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Use What's To Hand - Keep it Simple

Check out the garden

When you purchased your restoration project, the garden was no doubt a mass of overgrown weeds and rubbish and when builders move in it will become a dumping ground for their waste. Before your builders reclaim your garden for their workspace, check underneath the weeds and rubble, you may find you have the basics for a beautiful cottage garden.


The previous Bulgarian owner will undoubtedly have been a keen gardener and often you will find grape vines lurk untended on the ground in need of a little support, love and care. Remember, old plants and trees have taken many years of nurturing to reach their size and it would take many years or huge amounts of money to recreate what you might already have.

If you want to salvage any established plants or trees, make a note and instruct your builder to take care. The trees in the garden may be fruit bearing and there may be lots of large rocks lying under the overgrown grass.

These old rocks can be used to build a rockery, mend a wall or create a barbeque. Old garden seats can be restored to provide cosy places in the shade. Wooden wheelbarrows and old oak tubs can make great focal points especially when filled with colourful flowers.

Windows and doors

They say that: ‘windows are the eyes of your home’, so why rip out what can be restored?

New window units often lack the character of the originals and it is often more cost effective to update original windows than install new ones. Whilst in some instances you will need to replace the windows and doors in your renovation project, there will be plenty of instances where you do not. If your window frames are solid, it is possible to keep their traditional style and have the panes double-glazed. You may need to strip your window frames and gates of layers of paint or give them a good sanding down in order provide smooth finish for new coats of paint.

Keep it simple – inside and out

One of the best pieces of architectural salvage I have ever seen is an impressive pair of French antique style gates, attached to an old wire fence leading to a dilapidated shack. The gates were in very good condition and just needed a light sanding and repainting. Many properties are also surrounded by ramshackle stone walls, but rather than tear them down in favour of concrete shuttering or other modern methods, a little time and skill can restore the wall back to its former glory in-keeping with the overall style of the house. It is easy to seek a modern alternative to old walls and gates, but its more important to create harmony and balance both inside and out.


A Bulgarian restoration project is a little like a jigsaw puzzle that has come apart. All the parts are there if you are prepared to look hard enough, put in a little bit of time to restore them and bring your home back to its former glory.

What’s more, those who chose the easy route of an all-new build, which will not have the character- or the history - of your labour or love, will look upon your newly renovated property enviably.

For restoration properties see Quest Bulgaria's Bargain Property Sales.