Alright, I thought it was time to do a blog post so we can properly tell you what we’re doing down at ‘the studio’!
Finding the property.
If you follow our instagram stories you’ll have seen the journey a bit but a year ago we bought a property kind of out of the blue. For the 5 years our marriage we’d kept a list of things that we would love to have in our dream future home. We were living in a house we loved, where we started our marriage, where we brought Clayton home… and honestly I wasn’t desperate to move. But we knew eventually we’d love a slightly bigger home with some land for animals and a second living space.
Then two years ago we saw a house on Facebook and asked a realtor to take us round. It wasn’t our future home but we told him, “We don’t think we’re looking for a new home yet but in the next 5 years we will be and here’s what we’re looking for eventually [xyz] so if you find it, let us know… but we’re not looking for 2-3 years.” Exactly a year later on a Friday afternoon I was sitting at home and a text popped up:
“I think I found your home.”
I clicked on the link in the text, and looked around a property that I was scared to say I loved it was so wonderful. I texted Jared, ‘Did you see it?’ To cut a long story short, in a few days we’d had an offer accepted and a few weeks later, my 6 months pregnant self was packing up our home to move into this new dream property.
We knew when we looked round that we’d need to do some renovation work, so it didn’t quite feel like home knowing we were about to knock walls down and change a LOT. Over the next 6 months we closed off the kitchen, lived with the slowest single burner in history and ate very simple food. It was stressful. But worth everything in the end and we feel SO grateful. The renovation literally finished up while I was in the hospital giving birth (that’s a different story right here!) – I may have had some strong, hormone fueled words with the team letting them know the house WOULD be ready when I came home 😉 and it was. Friends came over and decorated for Christmas and I felt like I was in a home show walking into a renovated house with a wreath on the door and a Christmas tree up inside… with a newborn baby in my arms. We spend Christmas in our new home with my whole family and it was magical! We are so hugely grateful we get to live here.
Fast forward a few months and our permits came through for the next project (see right). When we told our realtor back then about what our dream home would be, one of the criteria was a separate unit. Both of us, having family far away, wanted a place for them to be able to stay right with us. We knew it would be harder to find which is why we jumped so fast when we saw this place come on the market! It took a long time to get permits but they finally came through in June and we started work right away!
The ‘studio’ was originally a 1200 sq ft artist’s studio with high ceilings, white walls, and concrete floors on the corner of our 2.5 acre property. It was a stunning space that I kind of wanted to keep open and as a true ‘studio’, but we knew it would be more functional with bathrooms and bedrooms (!) so we designed it as simply as possible keeping the high ceilings, concrete floors and exposed ductwork. The name ‘studio’ stuck though so we still call it that.
What are we going to use it for?
The space will have 2 bedrooms and two bathrooms, an open plan kitchen and living area and a separate study space. The study will be for Jared (more on that twist another time!) and doesn’t connect to the other areas. The main space will be available for rent via Airbnb (if you want to be notified when the calendar goes live then drop us your email HERE), and also there for our families when they come into town. We’ve divided it so it can be rented as the full space to sleep 4-6 or two separate units of 2-4 people with the kitchen, and 2 in an en suite room with coffee making essentials!
How are we furnishing it?
Our goal for the space, in the same way as our main home, is to have it be a minimalist, eco friendly and non toxic
space. We’ve also furnished it on a budget so it’s a mix. We have some used pieces that we sourced over the last few months (like this dresser I’m in love with!) and a set of 30 vintage wooden hangers I found to avoid plastic. Then we’ve also bought new thoughtfully chosen pieces like chairs from IKEA who stopped using flame retardants in their furniture a few years ago to keep the space healthy and clean.
We also chose a kitchen I’m excited about, with cabinets made from recycled plastic bottles and wood, stay tuned for pictures!
The running of the space will all be non toxic too, with only healthy cleaners used, and healthy products available for use. The kitchen will run on cast iron and stainless steel with no teflon cookware or plastic food storage. If you have any questions or more ideas just shoot us a message!
Will it be zero waste?!
Obviously our guests who come and stay can live however they want! But we will be providing an experience that allows people to live as low waste as they want. We’ll provide things like to-go kits to use during their stay for restaurant food as well as a list of how to eat out locally without creating waste. There will be recycling and composting available (as well as regular trash don’t worry!) We’ll have all the essentials covered but in ways that don’t create so much waste. Instead of plastic bottles of shampoo we’ll provide a new wedge of bar soap cut for each guest wrapped in paper, and conditioner from Plaine available in re-useable stainless steel containers.
In the kitchen we’ll provide some of the staples so guests don’t need to buy essentials on arrival, which will hopefully decrease the waste of having to stock up on salt, pepper, olive oil and simple things like that.
*Sadly the reno was not a zero waste reno. I think you really could only do zero waste if you were building from the ground up. We did try to repurpose some things (our chickens lay their eggs in old drawers that were thrown out in the demo!) but the reno couldn’t be zero waste. We’ve tried to be as mindful as we can though in the choices we’ve made.
Do we get your food if we stay?!
We’re working on what welcome packages will look like but I’m sure there will be some goodies in there 😉 There’s always the chance to book a private cooking workshop whether you’re staying in the studio or not, or to stay when there’s a group one and then join in! And I wouldn’t want to leave a fully empty kitchen for guests so I’ll be making sure there are some organic and plastic free staples available in case they’re helpful!
When will it be ready?
We are (with everything crossed) hoping to be putting furniture in in about 10 days! It will be available for booking as soon as it’s fully furnished and ready to go so hopefully late September. It’s already mostly booked through the month of October but after that the calendar will be open for booking! For a look at the current status, check the NEUSCH RENO section of my instagram highlight for the most up to date info on where it’s at.
For more information and to stay up to date and be the first to know when the booking calendar goes LIVE… pop your email address HERE and we’ll let you know as soon as we’re ready to host you! We’re anticipating it will be available for rent from the end of September… but we’ll let you know! And any questions, just shoot me a DM, comment on my last instagram photo, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.