“Downsizing is always going to be difficult when you’ve got a lifetime of things, but I’m so glad I did it”
Before the move to Latheram House, Stella – who was previously a sales director for a leading high performing appliance brand – had lived alone in her five-bedroom family home in Hertfordshire. Her children had grown up and left home and her husband had unfortunately passed away.
Downsizing had been on Stella’s agenda for a while, but it was her daughter that eventually spurred the decision…
“My daughter and grandchildren live here [in Cheltenham], so I wanted to move closer to them”, Stella said. “My daughter had a search around and we had a look at quite a few properties beforehand, and then ended up choosing Latheram House”.
Reflecting on the process of downsizing from a large five-bedroom house to a smaller two-bedroom cottage, Stella says, “I had to get rid of so much furniture and finding a home for everything was difficult – so a lot of it’s gone into storage. Luckily, my daughter plans to use those things herself at some point, as she’s got visions of moving into a bigger house.”
“Downsizing is always going to be difficult when you’ve got a lifetime of things, but, you just have to get on with it really. I’m so glad I did it now, anyway!”
“It’s a big upheaval at this age, but my daughter said to me ‘it’s a very nice town, you’re not going to be anywhere that you don’t like’, so in the end I took the leap.”
A home that’s just right
Reducing the clutter of a five-bedroom house worth of belongings hasn’t been the only part of the moving process to have an impact on Stella’s lifestyle. Stella tells us that the size of her new smaller home is much more manageable at this stage in her life…
“They call them cottages here, but in my language it’s a little house.”
As an avid gardener and someone who previously lived near countryside, having an outdoor space was important to Stella in choosing her new home – but she was keen to have something low maintenance.
Fortunately, between its urban access and garden area, the cottage at Latheram House is just right for Stella. She says, “It’s great – I’ve got a patio and I can do quite a bit of potting and gardening. As you get older, you can’t mow the grass like you used to, or [other things like that] – so this is just right for me because I can still fiddle about with plants and things, but I haven’t got the worry of cutting hedges or any heavy maintenance.”
The on-site facilities at Latheram House have also been a great help in building the balanced, independent lifestyle that Stella wants.
“You have to look after yourself, which is what I like – but there’s a very nice lounge here that we can use, and the on-site team are very helpful if you’ve got a problem”, Stella tells us.
“You also don’t really need a car here because everything is in easy reach. A lot of people don’t have them – but I’ve still got mine for when I want to go further afield.”
“I can walk to the theatre and the cinema, which I couldn’t do before”.
And being a self-professed film and theatre buff, Stella is particularly excited by her newfound access to art and cultural events that weren’t available to her in the countryside…
“The theatre here is very good, as all the shows from London come through here. We’ve also got the literature festival, and of course the jazz festival – which is an awful lot more than I ever had. Soon, I’m off to see Gregory Porter!”
Stella also praises the dining opportunities in her local area – and with all the fantastic things to see and do right on her doorstep, we couldn’t help but wonder whether the hustle and bustle of the town might take some getting used to after moving from the countryside. But, Stella says that this hasn’t been the case.
“Although I’m in the middle of the town, if I sit outside you wouldn’t know it, it’s so quiet.”