Tuesday, 20 May 2008


Long before the television programme Grand Designs was conceived we yearned for a patch of land to build our own home - we never imagined in the early days that our search would take this long - it's taken 15 years! 
While working in America, I discussed our hopes to build a house with artist Emilie Henry, who gave me a book which further fuelled our dream - "House" by Tracey Kidder. That book has moved house with us three times in the intervening years, but our dream has remained.

Moving to our 2 acres of green, amongst the beautiful rolling Wiltshire countryside has been a life changing experience - an altogether calmer existence than the busy, dirty streets of London.

Having space has meant an expansion in our menagerie - we share our rural idyll with three cats, a hairy hound and eight chickens and a rooster.

Equally, having this space has emphasised the fragile nature of our world - from our vantage point on the hill, we watch the weather, we saw the flooding down in the valley, we sat through the storm which blew the electricity cables together and created a light show worthy of an Olympic opening ceremony... just watching the natural cycle of the year has made us look very differently at things!

We made plans to renovate the moment we saw this place, but since the purchase of this money pit, we have had to re-think these - and re-design plans which better suit the life we lead now with a more ecologically friendly existence.

This said we're far from being the perfect 'green' family - we each have our little luxuries we wouldn't give up - the car and the Aga being the worst offenders!

So, we try, we're trying to improve, but  most of all we would really like to prove that 'green' can be also be Luxe!

Over the course of the next year I plan to 'blog' our build - and would really appreciate technical help from any of you out there who have already  'been there' and have road tested the systems or techniques we plan to use!
Equally I hope my blog will serve to assist future, hapless self builders (such as us)!


blackbird said...

You are living a dream!
I look forward to reading more...

alice c said...

Tracy - at CupcakesfromHome - has moved to Scotland with her husband to build an eco-house. She has a blog to chronicle the build:
The last entry makes cautionary reading but I think that they are nearly, nearly there. She would be a good person to contact.
Good luck!

jenontheedge said...

Yay! I'm SO excited about this AND now you've convinced me to do my own construction blog when the time comes (soon!).

Two Crofters said...

hello x

we would love to offer any advice we can - send us an email on stephen@caithnessrarebreeds.com as Stephen has some advice regarding underfloor heating x
cannot wait to see your progress - i hope to put some pictures of ours on this weekend.

hope to keep in touch

t x

Debs said...

Hi there. We've just finished our house near Loch Lomond. Its very low energy, using a ground source heat pump to serve underfloor heating. The level of insulation is way in excess of building regs (one of the most cost effective things you can do). Happy to help with advice. Please take a look at our blog http://eastcambsumoon.blogspot.com

Sass E-mum said...

I'll live the green life through reading your progress. It's going to be better than Grand Designs.