An inconvenient return

I’ll be selecting a few of the photographs that Amanda and I took while we were at the barn and sharing them with you over the next couple of weeks, as a stop-gap to my next visit.

I may, however, be there sooner rather than later and my next flight across the Bay of Biscay is likely to be triggered by an inconvenient Spanish shopping requirement.

We have decided that the best immediate solution, in the interest of cost, is to get an IKEA kitchen installed. While Amanda was in Galicia we drove the two hours from the house to the nearest IKEA in A Coruña, waited an hour for an assistant who then validated the on-line plan that I’d done, suggesting a few amendments which actually reduced the price by a thousand euros.

We fell on our feet. Although we were quite prepared to have the conversation in Spanish the assistant who buzzed our ticket was Swedish and spoke perfect English as well as Spanish. Some people are so gifted!

Having decided to go ahead we were informed that for an IKEA fitter to fit the kitchen he must first come to measure, and then check against the plans to make sure everything fits and works. Then, after making any necessary revisions, we were told that we’d have to go back to Galicia to place the order in person. It wasn’t possible to do this on the phone, or via the Internet. Apparently we have to be physically present.

It will then take around a month to get everything delivered, and then another fortnight will pass before they come and actually fit the kitchen. All a bit of an inconvenient faff for peoples whose main home is currently in the UK!

Still, it is pretty cheap, and the quality actually looks more than satisfactory with units carrying a 25 year guarantee and the electrical appliances five years.

Back to the photos.

The downstairs bedroom is pretty close to being finished now. It has a terracotta floor, plastered walls (except around the windows) and fitted windows, sills and lintel. We think that it looks pretty fantastic.


I’m still undecided whether to oil the slate window sill to bring out the blues and greys, or just to give it a good clean and leave it in the lighter colour that you can see here. I am particularly pleased with the beam and wood panelling above the window…because I painted that!

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9 Responses to An inconvenient return

  1. Guilhelme Rego says:

    Amazing!! Have you got a main house besides the barn?
    I would really appreciate a picture of the Cabaço or Horreo!

  2. Guilhelme Rego says:

    I love the stained glass, perhaps it would be a nice idea to place another thick glass on the façade to protect it from balls or any other object…
    The windows also look great. I would be opening and closing them all day long

  3. admin says:


    Thanks for your kind comments. There as some better pictures of the ‘big house’ and other building on an earlier story which you can find here;

    You are so right about the windows, it is impossible not to keep opening and closing them and the shutters.


  4. admin says:


    We have restored the Cabazo on the land, and it’s a real beauty about 3m above the old road through the property. All we have really done is replaced the roof (which was collapsing) retaining most of the existing beams, and removed one rotten beam from the floor (there are now 3). If you click on the small photograph below it will enlarge.

    I love the way that it used to look, especially on a foggy morning, and renovation has removed some of the character but now it is safe and secure for another 150 years.

    Since then I have put a floor in it but we are now deciding how to finish the open side. I’d like a balcony or half balcony but the architect wants us to put the floor to ceiling lats back on.

  5. Guilhelme Rego says:

    Thanks for replying and for the pictures!
    Well, if the barn and cabaço look impressive I just can´t wait to see what the main house will be like when finished ( And how expensive!!). If only all the Galician houses would look like yours, our country would be a paradise (if it is not already). Honestly, I wish all the luck to see your dreams come true. You must feel like a boy with a brand new toy!!
    Just thank you for making our country look a bit prettier!!

  6. Guilhelme Rego says:

    It’s just a pity all the natural oak and ash forests are being repalnted with eucaliptus. They are just depriving us of season colours!!

    • admin says:

      It was one of the factors that we considered. I am not a big fan of eucalyptus but do understand the part that it plays in the economy of Galicia.

      Fortunately the property that we fell in love with has very few around it, we have mixed forest, which although it is far from ancient woodland, has enough diversity of species to keep it interesting.

  7. matt says:

    Hi, I am one of a group of people looking to move to Asturias/Galicia. Very interested in your barn conversion. Was it easy to get permission from the consejo? Looking on the mil anuncios website (under inmobiliaria) there are plenty of casas for sale so why opt for a cuadra conversion?

    • Paul says:

      Hi. Thanks for your comments. The permissions were time consuming rather than a problem. It too about 18 months from first submission to getting final papers. It can be shorter but I’ve also heard of longer. We went for a conversion because we wanted to renovate and put our mark on a property. We did look at liveable properties but this one ticked all our boxes.

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