How much fun it was renovating our Farmhouse in Malaga!
Honestly, redesigning your own house is not much different from working for a client. There are still different opinions to consider. It was sometimes a challenge to marry my husband's ideas with mine :)
and yes, we're still happily married!
The fun bit though was mainly on the drawing board, sourcing material (one of my favorites) and of course after completion enjoying what we achieved!
The work bit not so much (well, this is the step where it get's dirty, dusty and crowded at times)
As with every renovation/building project one is relying on builders, carpenters, painters, etc. to execute your oh so wonderful ideas, just to get smashed by changing schedules, delayed material delivery or not delivered at all, for what ever reason!!
One has to stay flexible though (and even it is the most stressful part, I do actually live up to my best self), coordinating trades, changing plans, materials, juggling schedules, and staying on top of it all!
But, for me this process is also part of the creation and keeps me on my toes to deliver the best version for the client, in this case ME!
We aimed to create a wholesome home inside and outside, making it our's!
Let's talk about what we did so far, because by any means, this is an ongoing process, since we love to transform and upgrade this place -always with it's heritage in mind- whenever our time allows it.
Starting off with the interior of the house, overhauling the kitchen and pantry. It was no question to keep the original Farmhouse style tiles, since for us, it was adding to the charm of the house we fell in love with firstly.
We -well, me, since I love cooking and spending a lot of time there- decided to go for a country style kitchen with a modern twist and a bold color....wait and see! Completing the look by adding a black retro style gas cooker with 2 electric ovens.
The pantry is off the kitchen in the back and since it is a small room I changed the cabinet color to off white. The staircase goes up there, so I had to make the most out of the space, dividing it to a wall for the pantry and the other side serves as prep kitchen with all my kitchen tools!
When we bought the house it had 6 bedrooms and 2 smaller bathrooms. This didn't work for us!
We wanted 2-3 guest bedrooms and a separate owner part of the 1st floor. So, two of the previous bedrooms been repurposed into a large bathroom and a walk-in wardrobe (definitely a strong influence from our time in the USA). This way i freed up space for our master bedroom. Did I mention, that in older, Spanish buildings, room sizes come rather small?
And boy, did I enjoy creating that bathroom! Me personally, I love designing bathrooms with natural stone and a lasting design over time.
For this one I chose slate tiles in a modern format with very small spaces in between. The shower had to be oversized, I have to admit, it gives you such a feeling of luxury and a great start in the morning! A free standing soaking tub in a light grey color takes the center stage!
To give you a better idea, our upstairs is having an inclining roof with gables, which was a bit of a challenge to place the vanity right. So I came up with the idea to place it directly under the gable and since the existing window is placed pretty high, there was enough space to mount a mirror underneath.
I didn't like any of the usual vanities offered and been searching a suitable sideboard, placing a natural stone sink on top of it. You gotta see that sideboard, it took me quiet a while to find it!
We also added a new roof window to take advantage of the morning light, which makes the bathroom bright and inviting.
On the other end of the hallway we have 2 bedrooms with a large terrace and wanted our guests to have this part of the house to enjoy the beautiful views from up there and also to have the use of a private outdoor space. We added a wooden Pergola to create shade for the sunny days and shelter for the rainy days (which aren't really as many...).
There is also the previous only and main bathroom, which we modernized by replacing the bath tub with a good sized walk-in shower and adding a modern vanity. The tiles were lovely and adding to the farmhouse style, so we left them untouched. Would you believe this bathroom is on an outside wall and there was no window in it? First thing we did was adding a roof window to get light and air inside. Looks fab! Job done!
There is another bedroom en-suite downstairs, which we currently using as office/guest room. The en-suite needed really some work. It was an unloved room with little space and my husband came up with the idea to take the door out and adding a sliding barn door instead. He actually built it himself out of recycled wood and black runners and a steel frame. What can I say! Job well done! Loving it!
The bathroom itself had seen better days, so we gutted it and instead of taking all the tiles down, we decided to use a method whereby you can add new tiles on top of the old and plastered the rest.
Again we added a good sized walk in shower (just having that urge to give everyone the space to turn around without bumping into obstacles) and a nice vanity with a hand made wooden counter (to match the sliding stable door) and a black steel sink on top. I was searching for weeks to find the right mirror and finally found the perfect match!
Fresh paint everywhere and voila inside ready!
That was quick you might think? Well generally yes, but we got hit with the Covid 19 restrictions and the first lock down, just when we wanted to get started. It took us half a year to finish the work!
Which gave us the time working on the outdoor design. There was the plan creating a wall garden and (since we're blessed with a really large pool) an entertaining pool area. There was only a very ugly structure there with no purpose and no shade to be found. Who lives here would know this is essential in this hot climate. Since we couldn't begin planting ( too hot in summer for them) that was postponed to the next year.
Kind of in between we got the pool itself refurbished, we hired a company to take care about it and they did a fabulous job! We had to empty the pool for that. They acid washed all the tiling, replaced loose ones, grouted, checked the connections and the pump, replaced the lightning with solar lamps (they are amazing!), we also got a solar cover tailor made. Basically we took all the steps to have the pool sorted for the next 25 years!
What WE could do is getting started on the Pool Cabana and making plans for a Pool Bar! You guessed it, a long term project as well. With the Covid 19 government measures still in place it was an on and off kind of work pace.
I went back to the drawing board a few times and finally got the idea to use bamboo as the main material, creating that summer feeling, hang out place for everyone. Relaxing under the Cabana roof, or hanging out around the Bar, it is a great area now!
The garden wall with all the flowers looks already like a jungle, everything is growing so fast and is a joy to look at, and did I mention, that my hubby built a fountain in between?
Which made me think to add a Gazebo with a chill out area to this part of the property, listening to the sound of the water and enjoying the flowers.
Eventually we got everything done and more ideas are flying into our heads to create areas around the place as we speak!
Guess what, the Cabana and Pool Bar are a hit and we ended up creating an entertainment house for ourselves and guests alike. Happy days!
And now? Well, if you feel you want to recreate your space and want my expertise, I'm ready for a new challenge!! Let's talk about it!
watch the page before and after pictures will be added soon!