Change of use of the en-suite bedrooms.
Lots of time to think over the past week due to the slight delay with the ruin demolition, so I’ve come up with a change of use for 3 of the bedrooms. I shall explain…
Through the years
We started this build process 5 years ago after selling our large family home in the UK. We had hoped that the whole process would be complete within 2 years, even with delays (wishful thinking!). Well, we certainly didn’t factor in the painfully long length of time that Loulé planning would take to approve both our planning application and the construction licence, plus a pandemic stopped everything in it’s tracks, but here we are 5 years later with the concrete structure taking shape nicely.
Just the two of us.
Our intention initially was to build a home for our family of three, me, my husband and our son, (who works in the maritime industry and – at the time- was spending long periods away at sea). However, after spending some time in Portugal, our son decided it wasn’t for him, even though he loves the weather, the people and life in general here. What’s missing for him is an abundance of young people… Where are they? Well, they have left to find better paid and more varied work than is available in the south of Portugal. Head north and you will see more young people out and about in the evening – which is surprisingly a rare sight in Algarve.
This is the original design submitted to planning with 5 en-suite bedrooms. Scroll down for the updated use of surplus bedrooms as scribbled/edited by me (very badly!).
Memories of muddy pups and soggy socks
So…. then there was just the two of us to live in the house with the prospect of regular visits from our son. I’m not going to bore you with all the toing and froing but we were selling the project, then we weren’t, then we were….well you get the idea. We moved back to the UK in November 2019 to renovate a small cottage we owned there, and spend some time figuring out what we wanted to do. Lots of rain and mud and more rain, soggy dogs and drenched clothing reminded us why we left in the first place. Then the pandemic hit, lockdowns, travel bans, you know how it was. We were stuck there for a while but decided to make the most of it and renovate our cottage. We finished the renovation and listed the house January 2020 which sold within a week or so. Fast forward a few weeks and we were on our way back to Portugal to finish this project once and for all.
All in my head
My husband sees this as an investment, he doesn’t have any emotional connection to it at all, he just sees profit. For me, I have invested a lot of time and effort designing the layout of the house and have considered every detail of the build and finished project over and over in my head. I’ve spent hours in my imagination, opening doors, looking at light switches, placing artwork and trying out different options for exterior flooring finishes. I can see it finished and enjoy spending time in this home in my head. I didn’t think this was unusual until I mentioned it to my husband, who informs me this is not normal to be able to walk around a virtual house in my head. Maybe it’s my magical power – does anyone else have this ability?
Investment vs dream
We designed the house with five en-suite bedrooms to maximise the profit. However, we are just two people, why would we need so many bedrooms? This past week it hit me that we could actually be living in this house by the end of this year. I guess I didn’t think too much about the reality of moving in, as lots of people including my architect and engineer told me it would be sold before we finish it. The reason being, there are lots of people with more money than me who will pay top dollar for a unique and NEW home. There are some people who only buy new. I have already declined a very nice offer, but what would I buy instead? Ultimately of course, everything has a price and I may not be able to decline crazy offers if they come my way, but for now, I am going ahead to finish it for us as our dream home rather than with only re-sale in mind.
This brings me to the changes I’ve made this week to the function of the rooms. Instead of 5 bedrooms, we will have 2 master bedrooms, an office, a chillout/music lounge and a spa room.
Very 'la-di-da' Spa
What do I mean by ‘a spa room’ I hear you ask? The family bathroom on the east side will be designed as home spa bathroom. I’m going to spend a lot of time designing this room which will have a circular tub, next to glass doors opening out onto a small terrace with an outdoor shower. The bedroom next to this will support the use of the pool. I shall explain…. The spa room (which can easily revert back to its original use as a bedroom) will have towels, bath robes, spare swimsuits, toiletries etc and act as a changing room for visitors using our pool. It will also be where I practice yoga and meditate. I will use it for home beauty treatments and my own personal salon – a sort of beauty room. So basically, I have claimed this room for myself, a quiet, tranquil space for me, but with the added use for visitors using the pool.
At the other end of the house on the west side, we will have a music/chillout room. A place where we can go and lounge on a huge day-bed to escape the summer heat, without worrying about a damp swimsuit or wet hair. Somewhere to listen to music in comfort, surrounded by comfy cushions and throws. This could also double as a spare bed if a tipsy visitor decides to stay over. My husband wanted this as an office, but it’s a waste of a room with an amazing ocean view, just to have a desk and an office chair, so he’s been shuffled eastwards next to the spa room. I don’t need an office as I’m happy to work anywhere, however I’ve made a claim on the space in the basement/garage with panoramic views of the ocean, to use as a studio / workshop for all my art projects and silversmithing.