I bring you this update from Bar San Michele in Lucca, as I visit ‘Trebbio’ towards the end of January 2020. There’s been lots going on at our Holiday Cottage in Tuscany.
We have had all the floors taken up as they were very uneven and poorly done. We now have a wonderful new floor throughout the house. I’ve gone for a traditional Tuscan terracotta brick tile for the whole house except the bathroom, which is a lovely slate grey. I didn’t ever imagine that renovating a Holiday Cottage in Tuscany would cost quite so much!
We have white tiles on the bathroom walls and a really smart, free-standing roll-top bath. The bathroom fittings, as with everything out here, are VERY expensive! I am constantly astonished at how expensive things are over here but it is what it is I guess. It’s only a small room but we have managed to get a lot in. I’ve had the window lowered to bring the stunning view into the room more, and put the bath directly under it. We’ve also got a ‘wet room’ shower in there, which is really cool! (well hot, you know what I mean!)
The walls have all been channelled out for ducting and made good again, as the house has had a complete re-wire. The first fix electrics have been done and we have a working lighting circuit and power. We’ve also supplied power and light down to the cellars for future, further renovation. Once it’s ready our Holiday Cottage in Tuscany will be a fantastic place for 2-4 guests, but I hope that we will be able to extend it in the future to accommodate more.
The plumbing has all been done for the kitchen too. Nothing has been fitted in there though as I’m bringing pieces over from the UK to create a rustic feel, rather than to have a standard, modern, fitted kitchen. We are likely to have a free-standing range type cooker; I’ve been window-shopping for that today. Lots of photos taken but no decision made as yet!
The fire in the dining room has been re-dressed with traditional Tuscan stone and terracotta. I already have all the furniture for this room; a gorgeous polished oak table, with leather chairs, and a lovely old oak coffer and corner unit. Do note that in this photo, the floor hadn’t been done. It has now! The walls haven’t been painted though!
The roof has been repaired so the rain stays on the outside, which apparently is the right way round! Who knew?
We now have scaffolding all the way round as they prepare the walls for the insulation and rendering. The insulation process alone is €17,000 but I think it’ll be worth it. I’m kinda sparing no expense on this house, so that we can get maximum efficiency from it and so that it lasts my lifetime at least! It’s very old and it’s been neglected. The house, not me. Although…
Next we will be having the air-conditioning and heating system installed, as well as a huge terrace outside and then the external insulation and rendering. Then we’ll be having new copper gutters and downpipes all round. That doesn’t sound much but it’s all going to take a couple of months.
Back in the UK I have a lot of furniture and interiors stored, ready and waiting for a road trip. I wanted to scour the antique shops and auctions back home as I know what I’m buying there. I’ll buy mattresses at home too, as again I know the quality I can get from our UK suppliers. I don’t know if you’ve ever kitted out a home from scratch but I’ve done it numerous times now with barns and barges, and there is LOT to think about!
Anyway, I’m going to stop waffling now, I think you get the idea? A lot has happened and a lot is still to happen. It’s challenging and expensive. But I have broad shoulders so I’m not moaning. Once it’s done I will have a phenomenal asset that I can enjoy, my family and friends can enjoy, and you, dear prospective guest can enjoy.
I’ll keep you posted
If you’re not already on our VIP Tuscany list, then you’d better get on it! We are hoping to start accepting bookings for our Holiday Cottage in Tuscany around June 2020 and there are a lot of people wanting to know as soon as we do!