Have you ever seen the tv show Doc Martin? BBC

marti8aJuly 8, 2011

It's set in a village on the coast of Cornwall, England. ALL the houses are small and quaint. I love the show and have been watching back episodes on hulu. It dawned on me last night that one of the things I love about the houses is that the people are (for the most part) happy to live in them the way they were originally built, small rooms, narrow stairs, inconvenient bathroom locations and all.

The houses are so small the people have to duck their heads to go through the doors and yet no one seems to mind. Most of the houses also have the English country kitchens that so many people on the kitchen forums are going for.

Anyway, it has made me think (now that it's too late) that we should have left our house alone and just lived with it the way it was built like those people. Yes, I do realize that they aren't really living there and don't have all the stuff we do, but it's still possible to live in a small house and be happy. One thing I also noticed was their houses weren't crammed with stuff.

I don't have a question and don't expect any comments (unless you want to), I was really just thinking out loud, as I flip flop over wanting to redo the kitchen or just rearrange it a little and leave most things alone.

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Marti, thanks for clueing me in to that program. I don't know what hulu is, so explain it to me?

One movie I continually rewatch is THE HOLIDAY with Cameron Diaz and Jude Law, and a couple of ther well known stars too. Atmosphere is what those tiny places have. And it is like living in a fairy tale cottage. If your house pre-renovation felt like that, then I'd agree with leaving it alone. But I bet it was not as charming as an English cottage, warts and all.

If you have anyy doubts about which way to take your renovation, hold off until you absolutely KNOW what will give you the feeling you want when you go into the kitchen. I'm not into making everything match. Hopefully we can wind up with a new kitchen that looks OLD. As an imperfect person, I'd be very uncomfortable in a perfect house.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 7:04PM
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Oh hulu is great! It's a video website. You may have to register (it's free) if there is any adult content in the tv show or movie. I searched The Holiday and they only have trailers. I see the house you mean though.

hulu search for The Holiday

My house had absolutely no atmosphere at all when we bought it. Still doesn't really. I think that's why I am always dreaming of some kind of facelift or something that will give it some character or curb appeal.

I have been thinking for a long time that I either wanted to add a gazebo onto the front porch, or add dormer attic windows (or both). I was looking through porch pictures today and it dawned on me that we NEVER sit on the front porch. It's really wasted space, and now I'm wondering how much difference in cost there would be in extending at least one bedroom out onto the porch slab. Both would involve rebuilding part of the porch roof which is probably the major cost of both.

As bad as he was, at least the builder poured the porches with the foundation so the piers and everything are there. Now that the kids are grown and will be getting married (I hope), I would really like to have at least one decent sized bedroom.

Our whole married life, trips to the in-laws meant squeezing into a tiny bedroom with no room to even have the suitcase open in the room. And my two guest rooms are like that now.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 8:23PM
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Marti - I discovered Doc Martin a few years ago and fell in love with the series I even bought the DVD's of the first 4 years. I understand Martin Clunes (Doc) and his wife are in production for the fifth series. Now about the houses -- I've been to Cornwall, England and yes, what they depict as the village and the houses are very similar, but there are also many larger homes that are positively charming. As Americans, we have bought into the philosophy that larger is not only better but necessary. We live in a 9 room house, but only really use 3 rooms (bedroom, kitchen and den). I would love to simplify our lives and have a smaller home but with an open feeling so we don't feel cramped.
Maybe someone has started a area for how to do that for those who have become empty nesters.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 10:54PM
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That's what I'd like to have too mbarstow. We're going to open our kitchen and living room a bit, but there's only so much you can do with older houses without gutting them and starting over.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 11:31PM
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Thanks for the heads up Marti. I will take a look at it when I get time. Will be a welcome break to sit back and watch. On my computer. Really busy with city stuff right now and on top of it all we are having company come again.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 1:17AM
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"I don't know what hulu is, so explain it to me? "

me either so I learned something! will have to check it out.

you get to watch the shows for free? if so, neato!

I like odd shows like you mentioned. I seldom watch regular tv. nothing on there I can't live without.

marti - I can understand you wanting a fair sized guest room for when a kid (married) comes home for a visit/holiday. 2 need more space than 1!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 4:17AM
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Well, I found Doc Martin on Youtube last night, flopped around a bit until I figured out how to watch the pieces of those episodes in order, now may try to find hulu. My education continues.

And, instead of retiring at 10pm it was midnite, because I was watching the episodes. It is a great show, low key, but Cornwall reminds me of the Irish countryside as well. If anything, the Irish roads are even narrower, and all those huge tour buses frightened me. Plus, there were rock walls up to the edge of the pavement. I loved it. Where else can you feel like driving in a Grand Prix at 30 miles per hour? Uhhh, kilometres.......cannot wait to go back before I'm so old they won't rent me a car.

Our house had just about no places to sit and relax, or do the nicer activities us retired folks enjoy. So we added a 10 x 12 deck. Then enclosed the 10 x 10 porch to make a Lexan-walled sunporch, to house my parrots and allow DH a place to read and watch the outdoors. Then we bumped out the back bedroom to have a walkin closet and a bathtub, because we'd already put in a really tiny 2nd bathroom in the space formerly occupied by 2 tiny closets. I figured we could do without the linen closet and coat closet if it gave us a second crapper and a walkin shower. The footprint of the house, what was under the old roofline, was only increased by the closet/tub bumpout, about 160 sq feet, so the real construction cost for changing the roofline was minimal. However, we did match the stucco exterior to what already existed.

Marti, if you are thinking of pushing a bedroom out to the edge of the shallow front gallery porch, I'd begin studying the sunshine it gets there. Quite possibly you could turn that wall into a window seat area with storage on either side so that no change of roofline is required. That is the same way they do attic rooms with reduced headroom where the roofline slopes down. If you are not paying for roofline changes, why not think about doing the same to both of those front bedrooms?

I would not want to make the "guest rooms" (the kids' old bedrooms) too cozy and spacious, if you do not want them moving back home. Our neighbors up north have the problem of a son approaching 40 who has never moved out, sleeps all day and works in his room all night designing computer games. This is very restrictive of the parents activities.
I just could not do it for long.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 9:49AM
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The front of the house has a shed roof over the porch, and while it would be possible to just push the wall to the edge, it would look funny - like "What did they do to that house?" funny.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 12:49PM
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Marti, it's a shame that reality always steps in to scotch some really great options, isn't it.....:)

And I've been watching Doc Martin all day. It is sort of addictive. I also found Hulu and joined it, might get around to checking out what else is available through them. I'll be exploring Hulu further. I think the "mature audience" category must keep it off the US programming, sad to say.
Reminds me a lot of Ireland.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 12:28AM
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I don't understand that mature audience category. It comes on PBS here at 7pm on Saturdays with no warnings.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 3:17PM
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I made a post on Conversations side about Doc Martin.
Was not sure I'd find this thread here, but voila, ....
anyway, if you are interested in the series, I've connected the dots for you.

Subject of that thread is DOC MARTIN

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 12:03PM
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