‘I think it’s time we thought about downsizing love’ – whoa! What a launch on to a huge emotional rollercoaster that sentence can be!
Single storey living – what are the options?
Traditional bungalows with all the connotations of getting old, needing to live without stairs, no storage, two bedrooms not big enough to swing the proverbial cat and suddenly having to share a bathroom again with your other half and/or random visitors.
Barn conversion – community living at its finest, or worst? with neighbours even closer than on an estate. Vaulted ceilings with all that heat loss. Lovely countryside surroundings at the cost of not being close enough to walk to the shop or the pub.
Hmmm, what else? Thankfully a few developers are now getting into the idea of downsizing without compromising. There are few single storey, or dormer, properties being built or renovated in lovely villages with a great community, but not too close! If you search hard you can find properties with great open-plan living accommodation, two ground floor bedrooms both with ensuite bathrooms and huge storage space. Some even have a third bedroom for visitors!
I have just renovated a traditional bungalow for my parents. They haven’t shared a bedroom or bathroom for 20 years and certainly don’t want to start now! The end result? A property I would be happy to downsize to myself. It enjoys a private plot, tucked away in a fabulous village with lots of amenities. The open-plan living space offers two sitting areas and a dining area with a brand new kitchen boasting eye level ovens but with enough character to satisfy even the most hardened traditionalist. I would love to step outside the bi-fold doors to the south-west facing patio for a BBQ with friends in the late summer sunshine. The garden is all grassed and so stylishly simple. More sipping wine and chatting time, less pruning, chopping and weeding than I have ever had!
The big bedrooms both have bi-fold doors onto another patio, I can see myself with my croissants, coffee and Sunday papers out there already. Fortunately, the garden isn’t overlooked at all so my dressing gown will be fine! Both bedrooms have ensuite bathrooms with fabulous showers and even a bath while I am still agile to get in and out for a long contemplation on life. Upstairs there is another bedroom for when the kids and the grandkids arrive, including a gorgeous free-standing bath, double sink unit and huge shower. There is a great walk-in wardrobe, perfect for small people to play hide and seek!
But, now I have had to make the decision to sell. I had the chance to buy another property, a barn conversion right next door to my own house. So my parents are still making the move back from Spain, just not to the house I had prepared for them. I can feel another project coming on before Rob and I make our downsize move………