Artist Amanda Troy needed all of her creative vision to see beyond the.neglected wreck she discovered some 26 years ago when she first spied the.house that was to become her much-loved home. 'I used to drive my baby.daughter Natasha around most afternoons to get her to off to sleep and one.day I saw a For Sale sign at the top of a drive' recalls Amanda. 'At the end.of a track there was this wreck of a house.'No one had lived in it for years. The farm manager had been virtually.camping in the kitchen and there were dead kittens in some of the rooms. It.was really horrible but I could see the potential. I loved the classical.proportions of it the lovely high ceilings "Save me I could be a lovely family.home".'.At the time Amanda and her husband Duncan were living nearby in a.cottage they'd renovated. 'We needed more space because we knew we.wanted more children. We also wanted ponies and there were stables with.the house.'.The first priority was to sort out the roof and walls which needed urgent.attention. The unsightly metal windows also had to go. 'We replaced them.with handmade wooden ones which were very expensive.'.With most of the budget spent on roof walls and windowsthe rest of the.house was updated gradually. 'It's grade 2 listed so we can't make major.changes but actually the layout is fine very traditional' says Amanda. 'Most.of the work was cosmetic. Though I love colour we painted everything in.magnolia at first just to clean it all up. Then once I worked out what I.wanted I redecorated room by room.'.