17 Mar

When Paul Whitelock bought the old house in Montejaque belonging to the Real family, he already had an idea of what he wanted to create; namely a traditional house with modern themes. He also wanted it to be an eco-house. He also had to have it ready for guests who were scheduled to move in on 19 September! He really is a crazy guy! 

When I viewed the ‘Real’ house for the first time. I could see past the old-fashionedness of the layout and the décor. After I’d bought the house I decided to retain as many original features as possible, eg traditional sevillanas (wall tiles) and the original floor tiles. We planned to expose and stain/paint some of the wooden beams. 

However, in contrast to that, we opened up three separate rooms to create an L-shaped lounge, dining room and kitchen. We also installed two new, modern bathrooms and modernised the kitchen. 

As for the eco angle, I have bought second-hand furniture and fittings; I have also been given a lot of things, including internal doors and windows, items of furniture, etc. A surprising number of items have been acquired from the dump and up-cycled. Well if Sarah Moore can do it on the BBC, so can I! 

Retrieved items include a kitchen cupboard, a couple of rugs, several pictures in nice frames, lamps, a beaded curtain, a child’s cot in new condition and material which could be cut to size to make shelves. 

Other items were bought new to ensure eco-friendliness – electrodomésticos, for example. Those included a new oven and hob, washing machine, kettle and iron. For hygiene reasons all beds have new mattresses and new bedding and the towels are all-new, too. 

The next eco-steps are to install double glazed windows and solar panels. But that work will have to wait until my savings account is in the black again! 

In the meantime, our first guests, old friends Hovis, Jacqui and Richard, moved in on Sunday and will be trialling the house until the end of September and giving us positive and negative feedback. 

Note: Casa Real will be available to rent as a vivienda rural in Spring 2022. Details will be available on www.secretserrania.com shortly.

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