First night: Take Two

Two years ago, almost to the day, we spent our first night in our big, scary new house in the Italian countryside (you can read about it here). It was dark, cold and damp as we huddled by the fire, drinking Dolcetto, eating pizza and trying to decipher the German labelling on hundreds of keys.

This week, with the renovations still moving along nicely, our part of the house finally became habitable once more and we were able to spend our second first night there.

LIving room new house
Wooden beams, concrete floors… yep, we nailed the modern rustic thing!

It was a bit different to last time… thanks in no small part to the presence of heat, light, hot water and furniture, but also because we were in a completely different part of the house. What is now our home was previously almost entirely agricultural. Our living area was a stable, our entrance hall a garage and our bedroom a hayloft. We’ve tried to keep as much character as possible while also introducing a few modern comforts, such as underfloor heating, LED lights, solar-powered hot water, a state-of-the-art kitchen and some lovely big windows. I’m reliably informed that the look we’re going for is called modern rustic. Or something like that anyway. Right now it’s more building site chic.

Stairs concrete lights
The crumbling cement stairs really add to the building site chic look…

Not everything has changed though… we celebrated, as is now tradition, with a bottle of Dolcetto – this one kindly given to us by our builders as a house warming gift – and a pizza and I still haven’t worked out what most of the keys do.

There’s a bit of finishing still needed, (ok, there’s a lot of finishing still needed) but it feels amazing to finally be living here again.

Otto Bee new house
Otto has a new ‘spot’… from here he can keep an eye on the build and sleep in the sun at the same time

And the guest house is really starting to take shape now too… we’ve given the kitchen a new lease of life, fitted five beautiful new bathrooms and revealed as much character as is physically possible. Progress.

Our attention now is turning to the outside, where we have destroyed our lovely garden in the name of building a swimming pool. The underpinnings are in and we’ve built a supporting wall to be doubly safe, we don’t want the pool sliding down the hill and destroying the 2016 vintage of Barolo. Now we just need the good weather to continue so we can get digging.

Exciting times!!

Exterior render March
One day, the guest house might just look like this (minus the puppy…)

20 thoughts on “First night: Take Two

  1. Congratulations – it looks stunning! Our new favourite saying is: “I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it!” So worth it. Bravissimo!!

  2. Bravo! Absolutely gorgeous and I can only imagine how great it must feel to see the pieces coming together so nicely. I really like the sound of modern rustic…has a nice ring to it!

    1. Thank you!! It’s so strange seeing it come together as we’ve talked about it for so long, discussed every single detail at great length, and all of a sudden we’re living among it. There’s loads still to do, of course, but it’s getting there. Modern rustic sounds fancier than it is. I blame Pinterest.

  3. Had a bit of a titter at the thought of the swimming pool sliding down the hill 😉 The place looks amazing though – well done! Why are all the keys in German??

    1. Thanks! The previous owner was Swiss and was obsessed with labelling everything… tools, drawers, shelves and, of course, keys. She left us hundreds of keys, all labelld, but all completely indecipherable!

      1. My favorite is ‘large door cantina under chicken house’, all one word in German, obviously, but we don’t have a chicken house or a cantina under a chicken house. It’s very confusing…

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