It’s not from the ground I get it….

IMG_20140323_0001We Irish have a unique way of expressing ourselves through the spoken word. If you haven’t heard the above expression before I should explain that it refers to something that one might inherit from a parent or grandparent. Personally, I blame my grandmother. My grandparents moved house 13 times. Not a record by any means I’m sure. However, this occurred over an 8 year period, after my grandfather had retired from the County Donegal Railways.

Continue reading

Through the keyhole .

IMG_0063 1Back to the house refurbishment story where I endeavor to show you the before, during and after of various rooms in the pigeon house. This week it’s the entrance hall at garden level. Continue reading

When Pad came to town.

padThe first time my Dad (Pad) came to see the house (site), he came prepared. Mentally I mean. He gets us. The madness of it all. He has seen what we can do and believes in us. So when I rang him one evening and told him we had an offer in on a house I should not have been surprised when I got a phone call the next day. He called to say he was sitting on the steps outside the house and was I in the neighbourhood? Continue reading

Game on…

We (finally) secured permission to commence the works we wished to do to the pigeon house.  As the property was a protected (listed) building, a large amount of information was required and a number of stages were involved in the permissions process from the local authority. This ranged from a historical account of the building to large scale detailed drawings. After much stress and tension the bankers eventually gave us the go ahead for our mortgage and we were finally ready to commence on site!. We simply could not wait to get in there and see what really lay behind the facade and above the many suspended ceilings (would there be any period details or not?) Continue reading

The keys to the (future) kingdom were finally ours.


keysFinally it had come to pass. The dilapidated house was going to be ours and it was time to hand over our house to its new custodians. To prepare for the first night in our rental home where we would stay while building work was carried out, I had packed an overnight bag for each member of the family. Continue reading

On the move, again

envelopeThe date for moving house was set, again. So it was time to get organised. To set the record straight I never said this was not a stressful business, it is. What I did say was that we (as in my husband and I) tend to convince ourselves that the inevitable stress and anxiety is worth it. There are always unforeseen things that can happen. The move itself however does not necessarily have to be too stressful as there is plenty you can do in advance to help make it go as smoothly as possible. One of the most annoying parts of moving house is making sure that all your mail moves with you. Continue reading

Just when we thought we were sorted…

chance 3

I know that to some people the story of our house purchase is dull as dish water but I also know that others are interested in the story so it is with apologies to some people that I continue. (I promise there will in time be nice pictures and design tips). I am also telling the story so that if you are thinking of moving, that you might take heart from the fact that things don’t always go smoothly and that there are always risks involved, but if one thing falls through there is always another house possible. Continue reading

You win some, you lose some…

flowersThe dilapidated house we were interested in purchasing went “Sale Agreed”. We both agreed that it was probably for the best. A lucky miss. Who knows what would have lain beneath. We didn’t need the stress. We were really only interested in moving for that house, so we decided that, for the moment at least we were staying put and we reveled in the fact that we no longer had to accommodate viewings. Continue reading

how to stage your home (or how to move house without moving)

stairsWe finally decided to go ahead with a viewing of our house to some prospective purchasers. I had cleaned the house till it gleamed. What started out as a dust and tidy turned into a manic re-organisational spree.

The pictures that have been on the floor for months (make that years) have been hung. Shelves have been de-cluttered, cushions arranged and candles lit. The entire house may not quite have had a feng shui makeover but there is an air of calm and (relative) sophistication. Continue reading

The gloves are off: How to sell in a depressed market?

for-sale-2-brightSo now we had set about a chain of events that might make the pigeon house ours. But first we had to figure out how to how to sell our house in a depressed climate? The answers were very clear, they just weren’t very easy. Continue reading