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Tuesday, 26 December 2006

House renovation

I am so excited about the new house! I have taken a wonderful builder around for a look - the chap who does the funky underground garages (Tom). He has suggested excavating the front garden and underneath the entire house. Apparently a hydraulic lift device can lower each car down, one at a time, thus providing accommodation for four cars right under the house in Court Lane Gardens!

Our wonderful architect John Pawson has been designing us the most amazing two story glass box type house extension complete with Poggenpohl kitchen and gallery, not to mention the two bedroom loft extension with en suite bathrooms. We shall have seven bedrooms in total.

James and I have had long discussions about the lack of privacy we currently endure, as we must have live in help in the form of an au pair. We have decided to opt for a wooden clad brick building - which looks like a shed, to house the au pair in the back garden (this way we can avoid planning permission issues with Southwark Council and the Dulwich Estates who are notoriously difficult)! I am over the moon. If we have a long slim building down the side of our enormous new garden, it will not even obstruct our view of the park! I wonder if we could have the au pairs accommodated underground? We could grow grass on the roof and we would not even know she was there! Rather like a bunker? I will ask Tom the garage man.

Maggie (the interior designer) and I have been having a good old scout around the new house. There is an enormous wooden staircase, original wooden paneling throughout the hall and stairs and ornate coving and plasterwork all over the house. We poked holes in the dreadful polystyrene ceiling tiles to discover all manner of ornate decoration. Never mind, we can have it all hacked off - and minimalist chique will soon prevail. I am so excited!

Today we were talking about burying a hidden water tank thingy in the back garden just like David Cameron, to conserve water, and solar panels on the roof so the neighbours can all see how environmentally friendly we are. I don't want them to get the impression that we are wasteful crass materialists. I shall make an urgent appointment with Mr Sentor from the Dulwich Estates for the new year. I think I shall send him a nice bottle of Armanyac to butter him up.

I am over the moon about the amazing bonus James has just had. It seems we will be able to stay in our current property until all the work is finished at the new house. In a matter of weeks Court Lane Gardens will be filled with builders, skips and excavators. What a way to herald in the new year, it will be simply amazing. Hurrah!

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