But that's ok with me.
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But that's ok with me.
And so the daydreaming of what will be done on my little olive farm begins anew...Which means it's time for another update on the progress of the renovations.
This, dear readers, is what will one day be the kitchen.
This is what it looked like before we pulled out all the brambles and weeds.
Ta-Da! Would you just look at the progress?? It will be finished in no time.
I'm not quite sure what these gigantic rocks will be used for...they look like some sort of sculptural element, so I'd like to build around them but not sure what that will look like... I'm thinking a glass wall of some kind, with shutters to protect during inclement weather, or simple French doors, running the length of the room, to throw open on warm days and let in the scent of wild rosemary from the garden. And a skylight, perhaps, to brighten the dark, winter days. There will definitely be a long, wooden farm table and a "rustic" chandelier...
The best part was dicovering...this. The beautiful, original bread oven. I can't wait to bake my first loaf of pao caseiro, the traditional country-style bread of Portugal.
I told you it would be scary. I've been told the workers have already removed all the spiderwebs and run a power vac through the whole house, removing the dust and dirt. I hope they left the birds' nests. I liked those.
The floors are in remarkably good shape and I should be able to restore them without too much trouble. There was one small section by the window that had to be replaced because it had rotted away, but the rest is still good.
Each of the bedrooms has a charming little window with shutters. Even though the green trim is a typical color used in the homes of this period and place, I plan on stripping them down to the wood. And I'll paint the walls in the traditional whitewash.
This cute window and cupboard are in the room with the fireplace; in what used to be the 'kitchen". I use the term loosely because that's all there is, a fireplace. No sink, no stove, no refrigerator. Before farm-to-table became a foodie trend, it was simply a way of life, born out of necessity.
The fireplace has a beautiful oak beam running across the top. Too bad it was painted over. But I can fix that.
I plan on removing all of the white, "bathroom" tiles and doing...something else.
When we lifted the old linoleum covering the hearth, this is what we found - beautiful terracotta tiles with a wood border.
I love, love, love this door. I'm going to strip it to reveal the natural wood underneath. And do you see the tiny mouse door at the bottom? I might need to keep it as an interior door for another part of the house because it's just too...perfect.
This is the outside of the yellow door. If you look closely you can see the large keyhole. The original brass key was still attached! I have it hanging on my bedroom wall at home.
These stairs lead up to the attic. I'd like to turn it into a loft bedroom. But it'll need a lot of work. You see, it doesn't even have a floor...or a ceiling, for that matter, but look at how beautiful and strong those beams are!
Well, those are all the photos I have of the inside for now. I can't wait to take more this summer to show you all the progress...
About five years ago I decided I was ready to go after my lifelong dream of having a little stone cottage in Portugal. Since I was (and still am) living full-time here in the U.S., I assigned my lovely Tia A. with the daunting task of finding just the right little dwelling for me. It had to be within close enough driving distance of Lisbon (should I want to go into the city for the weekend) and close enough for a day trip to the coast. It had to be in a pretty, quiet, off-the-beaten path spot, where I could keep a few sheep, goats, rabbits and a couple burros. I also wanted an olive grove, so I could press my own olive oil. It had to be dilapidated enough to be affordable, but still intact enough to be somewhat livable without too much of an initial investment. We looked all over the central part of Portugal the north being too damp and cold for me and the south too expensive) but in a perfect example of life coming full circle, she found the idyllic little spot in my family's village. The same place I had been coming to for years and had spent most of childhood. I bought it sigh unseen, from a local farmer who had known my grandfather.
Here are the first photos she sent me, my first look at Casa da Nuvea.
Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting some more photos of the house and the surrounding lands, and some of the improvements which are finally underway, after much saving of pennies.