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It all started with The Malthouse...

In 2019, I started my journey on the property ladder when I bought a top-floor flat at The Malthouse in Burton-on-Trent, Derbyshire.

After viewing the property just once, and for a grand total of 15 minutes, I knew it was perfect, so went ahead and put in my offer. It was accepted just a few hours later. 

I'm a sucker for places with character. After doing a bit of research, I found out The Malthouse formerly belonged to Wilson Allsopp Breweries, until it was renovated in 2006 and turned into apartments. Thankfully, they left in the exposed brickwork, the rustic beams, and a large vaulted ceiling in the living room. 

After what felt like forever, I finally got the keys on 20th December 2019, deciding to move in straight away. I had no furniture, no cleaning supplies, very little food, and no idea of how to run a house...

Moving in during a cold winter wasn't the brightest idea.

To make matters worse, the water heater didn't work and neither did the storage heaters (do they ever work?!).

 

With no hot water, no heating, no furniture, and no money, it initially felt like quite a bleak time. The carpets in the flat were really old and dirty, everywhere felt grubby, and it would be at least 2 weeks before I got internet.

I'd make a start on a few things, like trying to clean the carpets, and ringing round for trades to do work for me, but most were fully booked for months.

...Then Coronavirus happened.

Being stuck at home was different and challenging for a lot of people, but I still had no heating and no hot water, especially as tradespeople could no longer work.  So I started learning new things to get the job done myself.

The kitchen was fun to tackle. I love a good deep clean and also like giving things a new lease of life. So, after a proper scrub, I repainted all the kitchen cupboards and replace the knobs with new ones. 

Later in 2020, I had a new induction hob and washing machine fitted. 

The big bedroom got a very black makeover, something I would regret two years later while trying to paint the walls white...

Ripping up the carpet, I was hoping and praying for some original floorboards...  Alas, during the renovation in 2006, they'd just used cheap MDF floor panels.  So, making the best of a bad situation, I sanded them down and painted them glossy white.

The hallway carpet got ripped up very quickly, and initially I painted the walls "Emerald Green", which everyone else liked, but I wasn't keen.

 

So, I went for this off-grey colour. My stepdad did wonders with some old pallets and made me the hallway unit, so I could tidy away my size 13s!

In 2020, I got to celebrate my first proper Christmas at The Malthouse!

 

I was still in the middle of a lot of decorating, and didn't even have any flooring in the big room, but powered on anyway.

I had friends and family come to visit my makeshift living room.

When 2021 arrived, I started ripping out the storage heaters, the rest of the old dirty carpets came up, the immersion tank had a new pump fitted, and I realised that spending a bit more money on paint produced much nicer results. 

While I had originally wanted to replace the kitchen, I also didn't like the idea of throwing out something that could just be upgraded. 

Instead, I gave it another deep clean, put up a shelf (impressive, I know), and added some decorations, like plants and framed photos. 

A few months later, I had the lovely new luxury vinyl flooring fitted, which I was over the moon with. 

The black big bedroom became the white big bedroom...  After seven coats of paint.

The bedside tables were made by my stepdad, while the decorations and sheets were all from IKEA.

Decorating the bedroom like this made it feel so tranquil and peaceful, I loved going to bed every night!

The boring yellow bathroom also got a makeover.  The walls were painted a gorgeous green (COAT Paint), I hung some Dorma frames with some strange photography prints I'd found online, and I added lots of plants to amp up the feeling of being in nature. 

Finally, the big room with the vaulted ceiling.

Being the largest room, it was always the coldest.  That was until I had new energy-efficient panel heaters fitted, the new flooring put down, and the grey sofa upgraded to this gorgeous olive green velvet sofa with chaise.

I thrifted the dining chairs (they came from a village community hall), made the dining table myself, and threw some photos on the wall.

My stepdad once again came to the rescue with my awesome pallet wood coffee table, and with that, the flat was completed. 

Once everything had been completed, I had no intention of moving. My original plan was to stay at The Malthouse for at least five years before even considering a move. 

But then my friend sent me a listing for an old schoolhouse conversion that was up for sale in a neighbouring village...

That was it, I wanted a new project. While the schoolhouse sold the next day, I was then on a mission to find something new that I could love and bring back to life.

I started looking in nearby towns, then moved a bit further afield, looking at villages around the Peak District. I then went on a camping trip in North Wales, which has always been a favourite destination of mine, and as my parents plan on retiring there, I thought "why not?".

I found a gorgeous little cottage in the rural village of Trawsfynydd, and here we are!

Let's see how the story continues...