Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

What would your grand design be?

Hands up who spends hours looking on Rightmove at houses they can’t afford? Or obsessively watches every property program on the TV including the repeats of Location Location Location? What about planning your own grand design?

Well it’s a yes to all 3 for me but the last one is the one that can really consume my time. In fact it’s often what I think about while on a long run to pass the time, a perfect opportunity to mull over all those big decisions. You know the ones; convert an old building or build afresh on a plot? quirky old building or modern glass box? wood frame or bricks and mortar? Architect or sketch on a piece of paper? 30 foot kitchen island or cinema room?

Of course there are a few decisions that are easy; hire a project manager (no one wants to be mocked by Kevin for doing it yourself) and if restoring a property don’t get rid of everything that is old. But what about the rest? What decisions would you make?

My current thinking (and let’s be honest it changes regularly) is convert an old building, there has to be a nice chunk of glass to let lots of glorious light in and a bath with a view so I can sit and soak while looking over a valley on towards a mountain. I’d take remote country idyl over hidden urban gem any day of the week especially if there is a lake or river involved.

The kitchen will of course be huge because I love it being the heart of the home where everyone gathers to drink tea and chat. Maybe with an Aga as it’s an old house and definitely with a big island in the middle. There’ll be at least one wood burner in the house and while the kitchen and dining room will be open plan there will then be a cosy lounge area for snuggling up in the evenings.

The lady of the manor will tell me we need at least 6 bedrooms to fit all the kids in because if we build this place then we’ll have obviously won the lottery so she can have as many kids as she wants. Maybe we’ll stick a granny flat on the side in case we need it for the parents one day, we could join it up to the main house in classic Grand Design’s style with a glass passageway. After all you have to make a clear distinction between old and new don’t you?

What you have in those last few paragraphs is the product of probably 10 hours of running, lots of debate needed to reach that vision you know. But I can do better than that, I’ve even found the perfect barn to convert which I spotted on one of said runs. Wouldn’t this make just the most incredible house? Set in the stunning Wiltshire countryside just a few miles from Marlborough. I love the lawn at the front, you could have a big long drive way leading up to the house which would be opened up with glass at the front.

Wiltshire barn

But wait, there’s more, I even have a Pinterest board to capture all the inspiration and ideas for this home that I’ll probably never build.


So what do you think? What would your Grand Design be like?


  1. Sarah @apartyofseven

    October 27, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    thats a beautiful barn. 🙂 my OH is all up for the idea of doing a massive build like that. for me, i think id rather poke my eyes out!! 😉

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