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Over the last 4 years, we have downsized twice. The reason for this is that we have an aim to completely simplify our lives. The simplifying process started with a mammoth decluttering, which although it did have a massive impact on our daily life wasn’t still quite good enough for us, so we downsized.
After two years in our downsized home, something still didn’t feel right so we made the decision to downsize again. We went on the hunt for a minimal maintenance house but one we could still comfortably have guests over.
We got lucky and found such a house in Cornwall. The house is 15 years old so it’s fairly modern which does mean minimal maintenance but it did look a bit tired. We set on a mission to beautify it.
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Minimalist Garden Makeover
One of the first projects we tackled in our new home was the garden. At the back of our house, we have a room that has glass along one whole side that overlooks the garden. We spend most of our life in that room as it also has a glass roof which makes it lovely and light.
The garden was pretty run down when we moved in and we were fed up with staring at it every day hence why it was our first project to tackle.
In our old home, we had a fairly big garden with quite a lot of grass. We also had a side bit of land with plants and a front garden. Almost every weekend in the Summer we used to have to spend at least one day sorting it all out. It drove us nuts!
One of the main features we were looking for in our new home was a small garden that would require minimal maintenance but still be big enough for us to entertain in. That is one of the reasons why we loved the new house we found, it had a small garden.
Here’s what it looked like the day we moved in…
As you can see from the photo it was already pretty low maintenance, no grass, minimal plants etc but now we wanted to make it look good!
By the way, that door goes through to our office which is something that we didn’t have in the old house, even though the house was bigger!
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Step One: Remove Broken Fence & Power Wash Everything
The first thing we did was remove the broken green fence and put new panels on any of the holes at the bottom.
We then power washed down the entire garden. Originally, we planned to put down artificial grass as the patio slabs appeared to be discoloured and dirty. However, once we gave them a good power wash they came up really nicely so decided against it.
We also removed any existing plants and shrubs.
Step Two: Build Shelter for Hot Tub
The next task was for the other half to build a shelter for the hot tub. He bought it for me a few years ago and I love it! It’s great to use after exercising to stop your muscles getting sore and just your general wellbeing.
He built the structure himself (he’s so good at those type of things).
Step Three: Laying Flooring for Hot Tub
Inside the shelter, we put some black matting down just to make it nicer for people when they got out. We also put trellis around the sides.
Step Four: Buy New Garden Furniture
As I said earlier our old garden was a lot bigger so we had quite a large table and chairs which simply wouldn’t fit in the new garden. We gave our old set to some friends and bought a new set from Homebase.
Originally, I wanted some good quality teak garden furniture but in the end, we opted for a grey rattan set, again going on the minimal maintenance theme.
Step Five: Beautify the Garden
The last step of the garden makeover was to beautify what was left. This involved putting down new slate stones in the borders, assembling our new garden lighting and adding some plants in freestanding pots.
This is how it looks today…
Here’s a before and after so you can see how different it now looks…
I’m soooo happy with the transformation and it makes me smile every time I walk into our back room and see it.
There are still little tweaks I’d like to make here and there. As we live in Cornwall I feel we definitely should have a palm tree of some description in the garden, a smallish one in a pot obviously.
We want to replace the door that goes into our office with one that has glass in it. We’re also considering painting the external walls.
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Since giving the garden a makeover we’ve also decorated our daughter’s room and the downstairs toilet. Next up are our son’s room, our bedroom and a kitchen makeover.
Check back soon to see how we’re getting along or subscribe to our tribe below for updates.