How did this start?

Updated: May 5

Some days I wonder how this all started. We are both country kids at heart and knew the only place we would feel comfortable and at home was in an older house in the countryside. The first home we bought was a redbricked terrace, two up two down. It was warm and cosy and we made it our home. We lived off baked beans and had no money left over after the bills to be able to do anything as luxurious as renovate. To be honest we didn’t have a clue how to either.

One Summer hubby decided to go on a long weekend sea fishing trip. Faced with spending my first long weekend alone I plotted. The fireplace was a very dated, it had bright red facing brick going all the way to the ceiling combined with a TV shelf going off to the wall at either side. It took over the slender sitting/dining room and irritated me. So on the Friday evening just after I waved him off I took down the pictures and curtains. I brushed and hoovered the bricks and then got the can of cream paint I had bought the day before. I had never painted before so I probably got the wrong sort of paint and brush but nothing was going to stop me now. I worked late into the evening and got a coat onto those red bricks.

The next morning the room looked so much bigger and brighter, I was so pleased. It was far from perfect and needed another coat to cover the textured surface. Once I had finished and cleaned up the heavy red velvet curtains the previous owners had left looked all sorts of wrong. With a tiny budget I popped to a discount store and managed to find a pair of cream curtains and a huge cotton throw for the sofa. The room was transformed. When hubby returned on Sunday he was amazed….OK …he didn’t even notice until I pointed it out.

We moved some years later and as our family grew so our home had to. We put two large extensions on our Victorian farm workers cottage. I learnt how to do so much more than just paint. Hubby (who worked in Civil engineering) adapted his skills and I laboured to keep up with him. Just after our daughter was born I seemed to be full of 2am energy and directed it all into creating Winchcombe Reclamation. The colours, fonts, the beliefs and values all scribbled into a note book.

About a year later hubby packed in Civil engineering and joined us bringing much more practical inputs like organisation, profit margins and cash flows and Winchcombe Reclamation started to grow.

This year we have been trading for 15 years. We have survived market crashes, floods and thefts. We have sent a timber beamed barn to Calgary and a Cotswold stone roof to Connecticut. We built a RHS Silver Medal winning show garden at Malvern Garden Show. We commissioned and installed a 15ft Zebra (why not?) who became a blogging local celeb. We have recently built our own new house from scratch using the reclaimed materials that others had rejected. We have worked with many inspirational local architects, skilled and experienced builders and roofers, award winning landscapers, been in the background of a few TV programmes and count many of our customers as friends. The journey started, for me, with a long weekend and a can of cream paint.