Here we are, six weeks into our new life in Stamford. I’m not sure where the time has gone. It has flown by in a cloud of dust, a heap of boxes and a lot of DIY. At the moment, there’s no time for watercolour painting, cooking or much gardening. I’m either working on my paid work, camping out on the kitchen table with my Mac, or I’m sanding or painting some surface during the longest heatwave since 1976!
The move went as smoothly as a move can go. I hadn’t really worked out the space we had in our last house versus the space we have here. Hence the situation in the photo above on the first day. Gulp. Something had to be done, so we rented a small storage unit and moved out a LOT of stuff. I sold off or gave away a lot more. We’ve got rid of sofas, chairs, trunks, dressers, cupboards and tables. And there is still too much!
We love being in the town. It’s a vibrant little place, with a street market on Fridays, plenty of coffee shops, a lovely library, where I’m a regular. Our house is on a busy street, overlooking a park. In our last house, I barely saw a soul all day in our quiet cul-de-sac and I much prefer the hustle and bustle of our new location. The house has plenty going for it, with some pretty features such as two fireplaces, and lots and lots of original floorboards. There is masses to do, though. Probably more than we had anticipated. One of our first tasks was to remove all the beige carpets and see what was underneath. The removals van had barely left before I was ripping up the underlay. We needed to make a few repairs to the boards, but basically there are lots of beautiful old, uneven ones. I like that timeworn look and it’s something I’d missed greatly in our last house. I worried that I would regret leaving our large, wild village garden, and if I’m honest, yes I do miss it a bit, especially the wildlife (and most specifically the barn owl). But I think in time, our little town plot will be a lovely place to hang out. It is early days.
Another early task was to get a shed built. We badly need the space for our bikes. I ordered a standard 6’x4′ from Wayfair, and Perry enlisted the help of a friend to put it up. On a hot Saturday, it looked a bit like this….
And on a hot Sunday, I changed it into this…
With a little help from my friends at Cuprinol Shades, which is my absolute favourite paint, for ease of application and choice of fantastic colours. Couldn’t help having a styling session inside before the boring stuff gets moved in…most of my props are in storage, but I do have a few to hand.
Inside the house, well, that will take a bit longer. We’ve cracked on with it, and have already finished the attic room, which will be my younger son’s pad. We changed the lighting, installing recessed halogens, gave it all a lick of paint, and put down some carpet (not my choice necessarily, but I know he’ll prefer it to the boards).
Son doesn’t come home from America for another three weeks, and I think he’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Meanwhile, we found a builder to knock our two small reception rooms into one big, light space. That was messy. We hadn’t realised just how much dust there would be. But it was over in a couple of days.
Not pretty…and there is no ‘after’ shot yet…give us a few weeks and we’ll get there. It is a bit tidier than the above pic though…
We tried to sand the floorboards ourselves, but it didn’t end well. We’ve now found someone to do it for us in a few weeks’ time. As we’re doing a lot of work ourselves, we allowed ourselves this treat! The walls will be painted in Farrow and Ball’s Ammonite, a very soft, pale grey.
Sometimes it’s good to get out of the dust and the mess and appreciate why we moved to Stamford.
Love this place. There are so many small alleys and cut throughs, I am still finding them. And ghost signs. Lots of those as well.
I love the sense of history everywhere.
On Saturday we took a tower tour of the gorgeous All Saints’ Church. The aerial view was beautiful.
Looking over Burghley Park…
I think we’ll be happy here.