Renovating a Home Abroad – Tips from Alaurabutlermadden: Exclusive Q+Alaurabutlermadden
Ever thought about moving abroad? Yes, us too!
We joined the lovely Alaurabutlermadden in an exclusive Q+A to discuss her experience selling up and starting a renovation project in sunny Menorca, The Mediterranean.
Read on as Laura reveals her challenges, inspiration and more (Plus, you can shop all the details she mentions too).
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I founded my blog Little Miss Homes in 2010 as a creative outlet from my day job, project managing a large building project in the Balearics. It was a way for me to share my passion for property and interiors with my family and friends whilst living abroad. Six years on, and the blog has re-branded to Laura Butler-Madden, but the content has stayed focused on interiors, with the addition of lifestyle and travel posts.
My husband and I started renovating houses almost ten years ago. We moved to Mallorca to help out with my family’s business (building some townhouses in a stunning position on the island). The houses were built using reclaimed materials and stone from former palaces and I found the process beautiful and intriguing – my passion for property started there!
What challenges have there been with moving to Menorca from your home in Dorset?
One of the problems with renovating is that it’s all consuming, especially when the property you are renovating is also your home. If you are passionate about history and architecture of buildings like we are, then it’s easy to fall in love with many different styles and once you have finished a project there is always a sense of ‘what’s next’. So you keep going and keep moving, but eventually you will have to stop. So Dorset was where we thought we would stop for a while, we adored the house, but in the end it felt it was the wrong location for this stage of our lives. Menorca we chose as a beautiful location to invest in something more long term – the island is stunning and there are lots of exciting things happening there at the moment and we both adore the Balearics, having spent a lot of time there over the years.
What were your favorite rooms in your Dorset home?
I adored the open plan kitchen, dining, sitting room that was housed in the original stables. It was rather huge, but zoned and was such a happy place to be, especially when hosting family and friends. I also adored our bedroom and still think about it a lot now. It was so fresh, light and calm – it had triple aspect windows with views across the beautiful Dorset countryside. Heaven!
And what are your favorite rooms in Menorca so far?
As happens often, as you start piecing a house back together you start to fall in love with it more and more. This definitely happened in Menorca and it has evolved into a really special home. My favourite space in the house has to be the top terrace – it’s really large and has the sun all day, but we have a shaded area too, a hanging chair and the sunset from the terrace is breathtaking. My husband also designed a really fun coffee hatch facing into the kitchen, which I really love!
Where does your home decor inspiration come from?
I find this a really hard question to answer as it can be so random. We travel a lot and I definitely find that very inspiring, but often a whole scheme can be born out of a colour that I spot or an interesting piece of furniture and then my imagination goes into overdrive!
And finally, what can we expect to see on your LIKEtoKNOW.it profile next?
There are a few exciting things in the pipeline – I have LOTS more interiors shots of Menorca to share with you, but we are also starting to renovate a small cottage in the Cotswolds and finally this year we hope to find a more permanent home – we are looking for Georgian or Regency architecture with amazing windows and when we find it I will be so excited to share.