10 Years at Breg House: Before and After

It’s been just over 10 years since my brother and I bought Breg House. It’s been quite the journey with many problems (some of which I’ve not yet written about) and it’s far from finished, but it felt like it was time to show the progress with some ‘before’ and ‘after’ pics.

Perhaps the most striking change, has been the conversion of the upper floor. The entire purpose of this building when built originally some 300 years ago was as a larder in which to hang, cure and store meat. In the ’70s, following the division of the farm into three separate properties, the upper floor just became a storage zone for junk, completely uninhabitable.

A big part of renovating Breg House was to take what was actually a sizeable and very interesting space, and turn it into something useable, namely a cosy lounge, kitchen and a snug.

This meant spending over a week, removing the old lime plaster by hand, using wire brushes and vinegar to reveal the beautiful timbers below, as well as cutting a bigger doorway to open up the entire floor and connect the new lounge space with the new kitchen space.

The snug was somewhat of an afterthought but is now one of my favourite areas of the house. From bare wood and a bathtub:

To beams and books:

And a new kitchen was added to in a space that was just a storage zone for junk:

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Downstairs, the old kitchen was converted into a master bedroom with ensuite shower and WC.

[photo of master bedroom coming soon]

And one of the old bedrooms has been divided to give a shower, as well as updated furnishings.

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Moving on to the outside, it was once only possible to access the upper floor via an external staircase. Now an internal stair connects the two floors from the inside, and a new set of chunky steps has been built at the rear.

There are  more improvements to come – but that’s the summary of the last 10 years’ worth. Hopefully the next phases won’t take another 10 years!

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A Snug is Born: Breg House’s newest room

Breg House has always been an ever evolving project. There has always been a vision – to restore and ‘cosify’ the 300-year old structure – but exactly how that is being done is an ever changing thing.

The most recent addition – which was also never part of the early vision – is ‘The Snug’. Previously, we thought it would be little more than a storage area, but during the work on other parts of the house, this storage zone showed us it could be more than just a place for tools and bits of wood to gather dust.

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And so it became The Snug. A room in its own right, with a custom built day-bed, books, and all the old, dirty, dusty floorboards sanded smooth and sealed with laquer. An armchair, rug and lamp to finish it off, and it’s now one of my favourite rooms.

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It’s not quite finished yet but it’s functional and the perfect place for morning coffee or reading a book.

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