Hunting for the perfect home can be somewhat disheartening. Looking for a country style home that fits all your needs and falls within budget can often seem impossible. One way to have your perfect country home, perhaps even for less is to buy a 'fixer upper' property that although needs work, has the potential to be everything you need and more. Try and look beyond the decor or work that needs to be done and focus on what could be, the size of rooms, views and location.
Buying a 'project' house in the middle of nowhere can seem a daunting prospect, but it’s often a great way to add your touch to things and even make a little money in the process. Renovations can be expensive, but it’s likely that you’ll be paying less for your home in the first place, so it can also be a cost effective way to finally own your perfect home.
Start With A Shell
Because your 'fixer upper' is likely to be in a pretty bad shape, you may need to rip near enough everything out getting back to brick to see what you're dealing with. It’s always best to start with an empty shell, as that way you have a blank canvas that you can start to put together. Plus, as you start to rip everything back, you can get a better picture of what you’re working with, and any extra work that you may need to do. It's MUCH nicer finding the work that needs doing from day one than having a seemingly perfect property with issues simply covered up.
Decide If You Want More
When you have your empty shell, you can work out what you’re going to do with the space. Sometimes, it’s easy to make plans when you can actually see the space you have, and if there are any structural issues that need fixing. At this stage, you may also want to think about adding on an extension, converting different spaces or even changing the structure in some way to suit your needs for the future.
Put The Pieces Back Together
Next you can get to work on turning your 'shell' back into a structure fit enough for you and your family. This can often be as simple as grabbing your plastering tools and getting the walls up to scratch, fixing up repairs whre you can and making the most of any original features still present. You may even need different contractors in to stabilize the structure, redoing the plumbing work or rewiring the property to make it fit for modern purpose. Depending on what sort of state the property is in, you will then be able to see and plan what work is essential to complete the job to the right standard.
Add In Feature Fixtures
Next, as the shape of your project is starting to look more like a stable family home, you’re going to want to add in some features and fixtures. When you want to create that 'country cottage' kind of look, it’s all in the detail. The structure and the shape can often be as unique are you are, but you need to add character if you want to get the right look, to compliment what's already there. With imitation or reclaimed period windows, fireplaces, and even wall moldings, you’ll be sure to create the right kind of look for your home.
Stick To A Neutral Color Palette
When it comes to the decorating, you may want to initially stick with very neutral shades. Whenever you look at a country home, the color palette that they work with tends to feature a lot of cream, super pale greys and soft duck egg colours. When you’re choosing the different color schemes for each room, make sure to keep things natural. You can add further colours and charm later on when you have a better feel for the property.
Install Smart Storage
Next it's time to think about the storage solutions you have on offer around the home. Country homes are never all that minimal, instead, they have a soft homely feel and always have plenty of beautiful storage. To try and keep the place clutter-free from the start, installing plenty of storage space is a great way to go. Built in shelving or cupboards are a great way to make sure you have all the room you need, again you may find some reclaimed timbers or furniture that will do just the job.
Finish With Country Decor
As the space starts to come together and you’re getting things in order, you’re most probably then going to want to work with some pretty country-style touches. This is the fun bit right?! Firstly adding in a mudroom can be a great way to set off the country cottage look, with the perfect 'wellies off' entrance. Then, by using printed patterns, textured fabrics, and lots of nature inspired decor, you will finish with a home that not only has a country heart, but finally feels like your own.
We are yet to buy our own country home, but it certainly is the dream! Having helped others with their cottages, I hope these tips will help you too.