The big kid

The second post in my round up of the first year’s work will detail the very top, most important, priority for the new owner of a grade II listed historic country house.

From pretty much the day after we had the offer accepted, before we even had a sniff of a contract, my husband was busy planning his First Big Project. And was it preserving any important historical feature, fixing any leaky bits, or surveying for any serious issues? It was not. Neither was it cleaning, making toilets work nor anything remotely practical. No, it was installing a soft play room. Obviously.

While I was still hyperventillating from the news of having our mad offer accepted, he was already scouring ebay for a second hand soft play centre. Almost immediately after the cousins were installed, my brother in law (who rather luckily builds leisure pools for a living) and some of his colleagues were roped in to deconstruct and move the primary coloured assets of a recently bankrupt soft play business from the home counties to Devon.

A bit of 3D software later and he had a working drawing of how to rebuild it in a rather different shaped room. Here’s what it did look like.


And this is where it had to go…into what looks like a small alcove behind the tall pair of openings with the column in the middle. By the way, the large room it leads off used to be the school canteen, but in an earlier incarnation of the house, this was apparently an open courtyard. We may go digging under the nasty blue lino at some point in search of the old stone floor. For now it makes a pretty good badminton court.


After a quick coat of paint and some new light fittings it just became a bit of a jigsaw puzzle.

The third layer was still to go on top at this point, but the kid containment room works pretty well, so we can get stuff done while they tire themselves out! Unfortunately they’re not quite as contained as we thought, and found the bits we still hadn’t installed yet, such as the ball pit. Oops.

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