Living on a building site

We have been living in the converted loft for the past 18 months while the rest of the house has been ripped apart. This room is the only room in the house which we haven't done anything to. Thank goodness we had this extra room to live in; I'm not sure what we would have done if we had only had the 2 bedrooms! Camped in the garden perhaps? Err...maybe not.

Having just one room to retreat to at the end of each day hasn't been so bad for the most part. I guess you could liken it to living in shared accommodation or being a student where you spend the majority of your time in your bedroom (We had come from doing just that while we saved up for the deposit, so it wasn't difficult to carry on doing the same!) I have tried to make this room as cosy as possible. E.g lighting a scented candle in the evening, nice lamps etc.

Cosy loft

However, as time has gone on, we have both found it increasingly difficult to live in the loft. We have no storage-no chest of drawers or wardrobe -so our clothes lie in heaps on the floor either side of the bed. We have to "dig" to be able to find anything to wear. I'll spare you any photos of this. Way too embarrassing. We sometimes say we are like "The Twits" from the Roald Dahl book. Ha! I don't let anyone up there! There was a period of time where I tried to separate different items of clothing into different bin bags. This lasted a week. It is just not easy to have any kind of order to your life when you have no space.

My boyfriend works from home and until recently he had been working on a tiny makeshift desk in this room too. A couple of weeks ago, we set up a makeshift desk for him in the soon-to-be office by balancing an old fire door on top of the tiny table to make a huge desk space! It's not glamorous by any stretch of the imagination but it is functional and he is over the moon with it. Freedom!

The makeshift desk

We have no sofa. Actually there is no liveable space downstairs apart from my parent's garden table and chairs circa 1989 (seriously!) in the dining room which we use as a dumping ground/place to eat and a very grubby kitchen. I did try to prettify the kitchen when we moved in to save our eyes from being blinded by the orange tiles but I admitted defeat when the muck and dust just kept on coming. Don't get me wrong; the kitchen surfaces and dishes are spotless but don't look at the floor or the 2 inches of dust on the shelves too closely!

The kitchen -before and after (ish) minus tiles

I don't really think about the way we have been living until people mention it. Especially men! For some reason, men seem to be the most impressed by my ability to live in a house with no central heating or hot running water for two winters! "My missus would go mad!", they exclaim. "You deserve a medal for putting up with this!" Yes, yes I do!

Winter 2014 was SO COLD. We resorted to wearing bobble hats and coats while cooking dinner and made countless hot drinks and hot water bottles to try and keep warm in the evenings. I wish I had taken more pictures to document that time. Luckily this winter has been quite mild and we have more insulation than last year so we haven't suffered as much. I do think it is much harder for women to live on a building site; especially if you want to leave the house looking half decent each day. Men look the same. Showered or un-showered!

Somehow though, I have managed to do it. I think it's because I know what the house will be like in the end. We are almost there. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel now and when I look back on photos of how it was when it was at it's worst, I am not sure I could do it again! But I'm glad I have.

Winter 2014

What are your experiences with living in a home you are renovating? Tell me some stories!

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