So one of the hardest issues to tackle on arrival at Koppany Pines was the state to the cottage. In particular the kitchen, it had been left empty for months with food still in the freezer but no electric, this had led to a flood, flies and other unmentionables. Knowing we had guests coming in four weeks this was a daunting prospect, but with the relief that we had finally arrived on site we set about the task.
The first plan was to salvage what we could from the kitchen and rebuild. We had always intended a retro-look in character with the cottage so we already had a picture in our heads of an old fashion dresser style and freestanding units rather than a fitted kitchen.
With everything finally stripped out we decided that the wall tiles seemed to protrude quite a distance, so we decided to investigate what was behind. To our delight we found some handpainted wall-covering. Most of the design is in tact, so we have left it exposed and plan to paint in the missing sections and keep ‘our piece of history’. The other restriction on our design was the fact that the huge windows opened inwards. I have tried to investigate this and all I am able to ascertain is that windows tends to open inwards when properties are built in areas on heavy snow and the room space is not required. I would assume that as this section is built outside the original exterior walls, even though it’s old, so it’s original use would not have been a kitchen. We did consider changing the windows, but after much thought we decided to keep the originality of the build.
Whilst Mark put the kitchen back together, I googled the history of the wall-covering and checked with the village locals. Apparently this is quite prevalent in the older loam cottages owned by the village peasants. Although our design isn’t as ornate as many, it is carefully painted and very symmetrical so it must have been time consuming. I did wonder if it was a stencil, but I don’t think so.
Most hungarian folk painting covers walls and household items with the same intensive detail and color used in their embroideries. I will do a blog piece on this embroidery and it’s design, it is intensely colourful and a bit like a scottish kilt material, each design has a story. I discovered this is also a tradition in other eastern european countries such as Poland and if you take a look at pinterest the designs are simply stunning. When we have some free time we do plan to add some more wall painting, so if there is a bud artists make yourself known!
Finally cleaned and with the ceiling and a dresser painted to match the painted wallcovering the room has a nice warmth. The sun shines in through the windows and now it’s painted the well, positioned outside the window, provides a lovely reminder of a bygone age.