16.11.12

Bodge Cottage



We are in! Thank you for the wonderful comments, much needed crumbs of comfort as we get to grips with our new kingdom. Oh dear. It wasn't advertised as a renovation job, but that is essentially what it is. We knew that there would be a lot of stripping out and re-decorating. Certain things had to go immediately, such as the nylon curtains reeking of old menthol cigarettes.




Every corner of this poor little cottage was *improved* sometime in the 1980's by the looks of it, and not expertly either. Bodged.




Truly nasty plastic textured wallpaper, walls and ceilings. Everywhere. In various patterns. All to be stripped off and eventually lime plastered. Back to basics.



Worse was discovered in the main back wall - bad damp which our expensive survey had not revealed. Nor had the vendors, which is not illegal, but has chipped away at my already fragile faith in human nature.





Wall to wall fitted carpet in all rooms, fifty shades of beige (and brown). Smelling of dogs and dirt.



I had hoped that under the grimy carpet, there might have been tiles or boards, but all I found was ancient, chilly lino laid over a concrete floor. Cold, but still better than the carpet. The colour reminds me of raw liver...it was going to be my studio, but that's another story.







Out with the old and smelly!




Because we'd rather have honest floorboards, even if they are in need of some serious love.
 



Some areas are  just grim. We spent the first weekend knocking on walls and stripping off bits of paper to see what was underneath.  Velour curtains anyone?





 In the main bedroom, we had been given to understand that there were 'oak floorboards' - underneath the mucky green carpet and nailed down chipboard.





As with so many other things, this turned out to be a flight of fancy. Not only are they bog-standard pine, as would be expected in a worker's cottage...




 ...but they hid a rather large hole!




Despite all this, we are keeping our chins up. At first we were disheartened,  but we're adjusting our rose tinted spectacles. As we thought when we first viewed this place, there is a nice little Edwardian cottage waiting to be revealed. 




 Now she smells of beeswax, not grime and with the carpets up, she is breathing again. Admittedly, she needs a darned good cleaning and stripping, but she has a good heart. Bodge Cottage. Ours for better or worse, and I think we've seen the worst.


48 comments:

Jess said...

I think it's lovely :) So much potential there and look at that little fireplace! You're going go to make it a lovely cosy home and I hope you'll share it here because I for one would like to see! Bodge Cottage for a name? Hmm.... ;)
Jess x

Kathy R. said...

I'm very happy for you to have your own place now. I'm sure the two of you (and the cats) will make Bodge Cottage into a true home in time. I've enjoyed reading your blog over the past couple of years and wish you the best of luck for the future. Happy Thanksgiving from Maryland!

Annie said...

What a challenge you have taken on Gretel but from now on you will be putting your own touches on what will be a wonderful home. Good luck with it all.
Hugs,
A x

fabriquefantastique said...

you certainly have your work cut out for you. I am sure someone (not sure quite who) would love those curtains!!!

Twiglet said...

Oh Gretel - what a mixture of disappointment and excitement. The latter will win out!! It obviously has lots of possibilities and your imagination and sheer genius will overcome the glitches. x Jo

Laurel said...

There is hard work to be done, for sure, but it's your place and you have the freedom to do whatever you like, whenever, and just as you like. There's nothing quite like that independence. Wishing you all the best as you get going!

P.S. It is unbelievable the messes that some homeowners make. I once read a first-hand account of a homeowner finding that the past owner had made a floor ramp entirely out of spackle. I am American and had not heard the word "bodge" but it's onomatopoetically (sp?) perfect.

Sue said...

Look through the veil of bodgery and that's a fab place you have! I can see so many possibilities! It'll be ruddy hard work, but it'll be amazing!

Nancy said...

It's sad and exciting at the same time but hopefully now that you have seen the worst, the cottage will slowly become a haven and a home.

I have one wall in out house that tilts but won't fall and the tub slightly tilts - I love it anyway. I hope you come to love your house deeply.

d. moll, l.ac. said...

She is lucky to have you and Andy.

Gemma Mortlock said...

Hey Gretel, so glad to see you are moving in ok, it seems like such a lot of hard work but when its done you can relax and look back at it thinking we did this and its truly ours.
I am hopefully moving too in two weeks time....its our first house and im overflowing with excitement. We can compare house stories ;) Oh and we must exchange new addresses. Take care Gretel and keep up the good work girl it'll be worth it in the end! Hugs
xxx

rachel said...

Some disappointments, but also some lovely bone structure revealed! Don't be in too much of a hurry is the (unsolicited) advice I would give. By the look of it, your cottage has waited a long time to be loved and looked after properly, and can wait some more. Just 'be' in your new home and get the feel of what will suit you and it. I've been in my cottage for over a year, and am just beginning to see what I want to do to whatever wasn't so urgent at the beginning. You know it's going to be quite wonderful when you have truly made it yours.

Charlotte said...

Good luck and best wishes. The nicest thing about this? It is yours, and that means you do what you want to make if right. 13 years on and we have only just started to impact on the house we bought. Bit by bit your personalities will prevail on the bricks and lime wash.

jfidz said...

It must have been fate that you found each other. I'm sure the cottage will repay your kindness many times over. Enjoy!

Val Reaves said...

It's all yours...I'm so happy for you! I'm sure with a little time, and your vision, it will be wonderful for you! Enjoy and keep us posted!
Val in Kansas

Su said...

It is going to be so lovely and you'll eventually look back on this time with a smile - believe me I know, I've been exactly where you are at the moment.

I also think you can have some comeback against the surveyor if they missed the damp. Might be worth a letter with pictures?

Cathy Simpson said...

Know the feeling, Gretel, but it will be worth every single minute, and every penny once your cottage is truly yours!

I think it's just a standard thing with workers' cottages; I know that with mine, every single - apparently straightforward - job would have hidden complications. Just got used to it in the end!

And they do repay the love many times over...

ted and bunny said...

hmmm...now i wonder what that little cottage is saying about you?

"...hrrumph...had all my cosy carpets ripped up and I'm feeling the draught...and had to have a jolly good wash which I've been avoiding for years...but wait a minute, I remember when I used to sparkle and have my doorstep polished, and you know I rather liked being spick and span...perhaps I'll let them call me home after all..."

menopausalmusing said...

"Bodge Cottage" would make a lovely name for one of your felt creations....... So glad to know you are in and settling.

The Pea Pod said...

Wow! You've got work to do but even at this stage it looks a lovely place. Good luck with it and be sure to keep us all posted, I'll be sending you both DIY vibes through the airways :)

the veg artist said...

Lots of light and lots of potential. It will be lovely!

Gerry Snape said...

i hope that you keep the name...I love it...take heart...we have been there and done it and you two will as well!!! love.

Unknown said...

You have your work cut out for you, but it'll be wonderful, eventually. I can't wait to see what you make of it. Congratulations at last, on being in your forever home. It does have potential.

Jane said...

I'm sure you and your cottage will come to love each other over time. You Andy and cats will make it home and over time it will become a real home.
jane

Rowan said...

I can see that you have a lot of hard work ahead of you but I think the end result will be lovely. It will be so exciting for you to see things gradually taking shape. Since it's coming into winter now you won't have to worry too much about the garden for a few months - besides it's always good to see exactly what is there before deciding what to do. Maybe you'll have some lovely plants even if they are hidden in a tangle of weeds. The photo in your previous post looks very promising!

Caroline B said...

Yes it means a lot of hard graft, but the bottom line is the house is yours, and whatever you do to it will remain like that. No more landlords - I wonder what that's like! Good luck and I am sure it will end up being wonderful.

mountainear said...

It's essentially a great little cottage and you've got a blank canvas to work on. You'll have the satisfaction of knowing that everything you do will be done properly and to your own tastes. And it is your very own!

threadspace said...

I feel your pain re textured wallpaper. We stripped our entire Victorian-80s-Bodge-job concluding the kitchen ceiling. Grim. But worth it.

Jee said...

If it's any consolation, at least there's no question that it all needs stripping away from the start - we're into our fourth year of living with a v expensive kitchen which is not laid out to our taste, too good to junk but not new enough to take out and sale. It all takes time and cash but you'll get there. Lots of luck and looking forward to seeing what you do.

. said...

All the seat and tears will pay of in the end and then it will be all that you dreampt it to be and I bet it will be wonderful. I can tell it will with all that you have done so far, with your artistic touch and love for it I cant wait to see the results.
(we moved in to our house last July and we still work on things here and there, we still have a 80's time capsule of a basement to deal with, ugh... but it will get done).

You have a beautiful home thats in its bud stage and soon it will bloom!!!

Kim said...

It's going to be so much fun to watch your reno's...probably not so much fun to DO them...having your own home is such a blessing! For better or worse there's no place like home!!!

BumbleVee said...

ohhh. noooooo..... and dammit anyway. People can be so cruel and dishonest..... almost every last one it seems.... it's so not fair.

You have a huge job on your hands from the look of it ..... how I wish I lived closer ....I'd come to help....I know exactly what you will be going through over the next months and years....because some of it may take that long in the end.....

BIG HUGS GRETEL....to you both.....

Jill said...

Oh Gretel, you have your work cut out, but it will all be worth it as you know you are doing it for your own home. You saw its potential when you decided to buy it, it just might take a bit longer than you thought!

Threadspider said...

Welcome Home. You will make it into something lovely in time.

SAS said...

Oh, but it's going to be so very wonderful. It looks to have great bones and is oozing potential.

I can't wait to see it in all its glory. Congratulations on your new home. It is a keeper.

Mary said...

Oh i'm so sorry you were greeted with such awful surprises. You're working on it though, and it will be lovely when you're done! It sounds like it has good 'bones'. It will be home sweet home soon. :)

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Once it's clean and fresh-smelling , you'll feel a lot more at home !
Suspiciously stained carpets and saggy 'window treatments' aside , it looks lovely .

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

So much potential in your new abode ... it will be fun to watch you reveal it. Hard work for you of course, but absolutely worth it.

Are you north, south, east or west of Shrewsbury? I'm half an hour north and into Wales, but I LOVE this part of the UK. You will be happy in it too I'm sure :D

Cathy Holtom said...

You'll get there Gretel, room by room it will become the home you dream of.
Best wishesx

Fibrespace said...

Reminiscent of our move with nasty carpets and hidden damp. Pulled the smelly carpet up in the hallway because the concrete floor and chipped lino tiles were more desirable. Nine years on and we just had new flooring laid last week, woo hoo

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

So happy for you AND for Bodge Cottage. Our Edwardian also held a lot of surprises. Just have to wonder WHAT were they thinking? I do agree the work you put into it makes it yours and you can only make it a happy house!
XOXOXOXOXXO

frayedattheedge said...

Oh ..... all that took me back to 1990 when we bought a Victorian house. I picked up the keys, let myself in, looked round and thought "what have we done?" ..... but after much cleaning, restoring and decorating we had a lovely home ....... and so will you!!

janet said...

Dear Gretel,

I know you and Andy will make this little cottage a warm inviting home. You both have the desire and that is a lot.
I just did a little research and found that you have an Annie Sloan Stockist in Shropshire!!

The name of the shop is Vintage
http://www.vintage-shrewsbury.co.uk/about.php

As a house warming gift to you and Andy I am arranging to purchase some paint, waxes and brushes for you to help turn this house into a lovely home. Please head on over to my blog and let me know what Chalk Paint™ colors you take a fancy to.

Happy Homemaking!

Janet xox
The Empty Nest

Twiglet said...

Just in case you fancy a break from the house...

Marton Village Hall Craft Fair

Saturday 24th November

10am - 4 pm

(About 18 miles from Shrewsbury on the B4386).

We would love to see you and I am sure there will be lots of lovely things at the fair - perfect Christmas gifts. x Jo

rossichka said...

No matter what you've discovered "underneath" and how shocking it has been, you both LOVE this cottage! And I believe you'll reveal Her natural beauty and charm and She will hug you on her turn to make you feel safe and cosy every day and night, month and year that are ahead!:)))xx

Claire said...

Definitely an ugly duckling to swan transformation taking place there Gretel.....
This little cottage has been waiting so long for the right people to come along and see it's potential.......
There looks like loads of room in the kitchen compared to your last one and lovely big windows letting in the light.
"Bodge Cottage" love the sound of that, if not the reason for the name...

Wishing you and Andy lots of patience as you turn this little doer upperer into your home.

CLaire x

Vintage Jane said...

Hi Gretel,
I haven't called in for a while and am so pleased to see that you have a place of your own. We too, moved into our own 'Bodge Cottage' 12 years ago. In some ways it is a good thing because you can then do whatever you like to it with no qualms and make it your own. Our kitchen was fitted with half lino and half stinky shag pile carpet (yes really!). We lived with it for the longest three years until we had saved enough to lay terracotta tiles. Next week we are having new oak framed double glazed windows put in to replace the awful 70s replacements that were put into our 220 year old cottage. We've saved for a long time for them. We still have no central heating (two woodburners keep downstairs cosy) and no hot water (only in the bath)! I did persuade the Mr to buy a dishwasher a few years ago though as I was so fed up of boiling kettles. We are gradually getting there - it's a Hobbit house but it's ours. I can tell your home will be loved and have new life breathed into it. I hope you and Andy and your kits will be very happy there. M x

Yarrow said...

Your new home is so lovely and has many secrets to reveal as she loses her shabby coverings.

All the best wishes for you all.xxx

Limner said...

You are an amazing couple. I would have cried as I turned to run away. I just know y'all will turn your new house into an amazing home. I look forward to seeing the transformation.