Sunday, 7 February 2010

New House Finished...Finally (ish)!

I know- I've been really terrible at posting on this blog. I seem to have lost all my blogging motivation. I think it's partly because the renovations were pretty much a full time job almost from the moment we arrived to live in Santa Cruz. Then I went to England for Christmas and as soon as I got back had to arrange a move and finish off all the little details in the house and the garden. All this and seeking out new business for my day job- real estate in Chile!

There are still one or two details for finish in the house, not least the studio flat which is awaiting its last coat of floor varnish. But that will be done on Tuesday, the sofa will arrive later in the week and then I'll be done. Although the garden is a never ending job...

Anyway, here are some photos of before, during and after. Apologies for the poor quality of most of the photos. I am a man of many talents- of which photography is not one.

Front of the house

Entry hall

Office (a little messy)

Living/dining room, kitchen. We combined two rooms here, knocking out a wall and adding a skylight to brighten up the space.

Main bedroom. We also knocked out a wall here, added a skylight and made the bathroom en-suite. The bedroom was originally the kitchen and the only bathroom was accessible only by going outside. We added a new bathroom inside and now the bedroom has direct access to the main bathroom.

We changed the floor tiles in the bathroom and painted. The tiles around the bath need to be properly cleaned to make them look all shiny again...I'll get around to that some day. Maybe.

The garden was a really big job. We did so much...first job was to make it private as the dividing wall between the neighbouring houses was about a metre high. We raised this to a little over 2 metres and put roof tiles on top salvaged from an old house that was demolished. These tiles are called tejas musleras as they were originally made by sturdy ladies using their thighs as moulds.

The actual garden was completely overgrown. We pulled out a couple of trees and loads of plants that were just taking up space. We also took out about 10 vines- there were just too many. We still have 14 and will probably end up with about 40 kilos or more of grapes in the next 2-6 weeks.

Once we had the space cleared, it was easier to see what to do. I really like brickwork so we decided to delineate the garden with brick walls. The centre is the grass area- there are two lemon trees and a persimmon as well (caqui in Spanish). Around the walls on the outside we put in flower beds and have planted lavender and roses. In a year they'll have grown to fill the space and will look awesome.

We also kept a bit separately walled off for a vegetable plot. We've already planted beans, peas, rocket, basil, peppers, chiles, garlic and potatoes. Some have sprouted so we're looking forward to our first harvest in a few weeks.

Finally, I really like brick floors so we laid a basket-weave pattern under the grape parron and around one side of the garden leading to the massive barbeque I had built (and which has seen seen some serious use already).

We've also planted 3 olive trees, two orange trees, 2 cherry trees, 2 apple trees, 2 loquat trees and 2 pomegranate bushes. They're not going to produce much for a couple of years but I can't wait to make my first home-grown fruit crumble...

And we also planted an araucaria, which will be taller than me in about 200 years.

Vegetable patch- look closely on the left hand side. There's rocket and spinach growing...

Orange, olive and snail-paced growing araucaria.


I love this house. There's plenty of space, I like the style...the cats can finally go outside after 5 years of indoor living and having a garden that's just an extension of the living room is truly awesome.



  1. Awesome Matt. It's looking great!! Tamsin

  2. Looks so pretty, and I can't believe you've gotten so much done so quickly. Especially in Chile!

  3. Thanks. And that's one of my many talents!

  4. The new house is finished finally. The post is very useful

  5. your house after Birmingham Remodelinglook great to me. We can see how much effort you are putting in renovation of your house.

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