Half Built House Perthshire – The ‘before’ shots

The now famous 2000 screw wall

It was SO very hard not to tweet and share images of the homes we transformed during the filming of Half Built House… honestly for a design over-sharer like me, it nearly killed me! Finally our first show has aired and I can talk about what was done 🙂

Most of the ground floor of the Perthshire house was still a building site when we arrived, bare live wires, plaster-free walls, holes in the floor, filthy work surfaces and a curved wall filled with 2000 screws! Like many huge DIY undertakings, the job had taken far longer than expected (11yrs), cost far more than allowed for and the result was exhaustion for the homeowners who said they just never got any family time. The property was in desperate need of a kitchen and dining space for them to relax, cook and entertain in, plus also a therapy room would help to bring some much needed funds into the family purse. The family told me that getting a new kitchen was their number one priority, but the money had run out and they were at their wits end. The family’s teenage son said he didn’t know what it was like not to live on a building site 😦

This is what the house looked like on the day they moved out and we moved in:

A very tough space to cook in – no lighting, no heating, no sockets… no kitchen really!
Not the best dining space for a family who liked to cook and eat together
The wall of 2000 screws, live wires and no ceiling
Purple painted chipboard and purple stairs with no spindles
Bare plaster walls, no sockets, no adjustable lighting, filthy battered floor

So as you can see – we had our work cut out for us. In just 11 days I had to design and get fitted a family kitchen; sort out, redesign and commission the (dangerous) electrics and plumbing; get the whole kitchen area plastered and skimmed and decorated; have new skirtings fitted throughout, strip clean and repaint the filthy sash windows; transform the front room into a calm space for work ing with hypnotherapy clients; sand and sort out the timber floors and finally make the stairs safe and attractive again. But more than that, do it on a budget of under £15,000 which included labour and materials AND I was determined make it look design-led and spectacular in a way personalised to the family, particularly the creative artist lady of the home.

Not only that but Pitlochry isn’t exactly in the centre of a city! Suppliers and DIY stores were over an hour away and everything took forever to organise and get on site…. not surprising things got a wee bit stressful. We got to know nearby Perth pretty well by the end of the job.

More tomorrow on how I approached the design side of things and decided on a scheme… in the middle of a very beautiful nowhere.

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