I’ve been laid up for the last week recovering from a knee replacement operation. Before I had the operation I blithely imagined that I would be able to spend time researching and planning house options at leisure whilst comfortably resting my leg. Ha. The reality has been a little different, with the leg pain and the brain fog caused by the medication meaning that I’ve not been able to focus on anything much..
Because I won’t be able to get up to the kitchen design centre in Fife anytime soon, they’ve helpfully sent us samples of worktop and kitchen door fronts. The architects recommend Pronorm, a German kitchen manufacturer, and their range is extensive. It’s too much choice! We’re trying to keep it simple and the costs under control, which is a challenge. So far I’m looking at Silestone worktops with an under-mounted sink, an appliance wall, and two banks of under-unit storage with integral appliances.
We’ve also just had an email from the architects to say that we can expect building warrant approval by Christmas, which is brilliant news, and such a relief. I hope that this means that groundwork on the plot can start in the Spring.
We’ve just heard from the architects that planning permission for the longhouse on our croft has been approved. It’s a major milestone for us on this journey, and I’m so happy! Our home has just moved one step closer to becoming a reality.
Next it’s starting work on the building warrants and the more detailed specification for the build, which we are lined up to do in the coming weeks.
In preparation for this we’re travelling up to Fife soon to meet with the kitchen and bathroom planners to discuss what these rooms will be composed of, what we like, and what we can afford.
It’s been a bit of a revelation to me that people can (and do) spend many thousands of pounds on a bath… I keep repeating the mantra “keep it simple, keep it simple” so that I don’t get sucked in by the sales pitch on the latest and shiniest new version of anything.
We are not shiny people. Stone, wood, plaster, paint, wool and linen fabrics. Natural finishes, and as little plastic or gloss as possible, that’s our philosophy. We want to have a home that’s comfortable and functional to live in rather than a showhome.
It goes without saying that whatever we don’t spend on the house leaves us more money to spend on trees.
A glass of fizz this weekend may be in order.. 😋
It’s Easter weekend, and we’re in London in body but our hearts and minds are on our croft in Skye.
We’re at that stage where there’s little we can do until planning permission is granted, and so we wait, and wait, and plan next steps.
Fast on the heels of planning permission comes the need for a Building Warrant, and for that decisions need to be made about interior house specifications, so in the interest of ensuring that there are no delays we are working through plans for flooring, heating, kitchen and bathrooms.
All good stuff, but with the sun shining here and Spring firmly in place it’s so difficult not to get distracted by planting schemes and tree decisions. All of which should sensibly wait until after the access road and groundworks are agreed, as we can’t really start until this has happened and the lower part of the croft drainage has been improved.
Patience. Patience. A virtue that I sadly lack and which I have tried to develop all my life. I breathe. It will come.
I resign myself to planting out pots of herbs on the London house balcony and focussing on the positives. I bake bread (honing my skills for when we don’t have easy access to good bread on the island!) We start sifting through our many boxes of books and possessions, weighing what we will really need for the future.
I dream about the croft.
According to the design statement from the architects, we’re building a “subtle neo-traditional Scottish dwelling that alludes strongly to the longhouse design whilst incorporating a modern, energy efficient interior”.
The phrase neo-traditional had us both hooting with laughter. Honestly, the marketing speak that gets rolled out in the interest of persuading planning departments!
It will be a very simple, slate roofed, larch clad house.
It should sit low and silver slowly and quietly into the landscape amongst the trees. It will be well insulated, snug and energy efficient.
We’re running final checks on the planning permission pack this weekend, then off it will go into the laps of the planning department of the Highland Council to seek it’s fortune.
We have everything crossed that it is accepted. Another milestone reached on our journey…