Nick’s Studio

After selling my web agency in 2018, I was able to buy and renovate the tiny cottage next door … to use as my studio.

The house had belonged to our dear neighbour George, who had lived there for 60 years. The cottage dates from the 1600s. The renovation was a strategic project of the best kind – focused on creating long-term value.

Nick & George

(Update: Sadly, George passed away in 2021, just months after his 100th Birthday. You’ll always be my role-model, mate … for kindness, good humour and pints in the pub.)

Before (and during) the renovation

Front door, paint peeling.

The front-door was caked in paint.

Derelict looking room.

The main room was rough.

Exposed floor joists.

The floorboards were rotten.

Roof with tiles missing.

The outside timbers were rotten, too.

Blackened fireplace.

The fireplace was nasty.

Mess and dust.

Most of the ceilings came down.

Bare walls.

Most of the plaster came off the walls.

12 months later

A new room, with bookcases, carpets and all is clean.

This is where I work. Books, light, a modest desk, and a thinking chair.

The beautiful new room. Looking towards the front door.

Looking towards the front door.

New kitchen installed.

A new kitchen installed.

Strategy is everywhere

The project took about a year. My wife and I did the donkey work and got craftspeople in when needed (which was often). To say I learned a lot would be an understatement.

Strategy is a commonly misused word in business, but for me, it means something pretty simple … taking a flexible, systems approach to building long-term value.


What are you building?

Nick Warren
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