Before and after – main bedroom

Now that some parts of the house can be almost declared “done” I thought it might be fun to look back at how they have changed. First up is the master bedroom. Annoyingly I don’t have too many “before” images, but here are a few.

This was the simplest room to change. We just took up the carpet and painted the floor Farrow and Ball Strong White and chose Farrow and Ball Elephant’s Breath for the walls; a strangely named paint and quite a gentle but beautiful colour. Changed the light fitting and added some furniture.

After which it looked like this.


Totally floored

In recent weeks (well months) it’s all been about the flat. However whilst work still continues on the flat there has been some attention to upstairs, namely the entrance hall and upstairs kitchen / piano room.

We’ve been holding off on this part of the house because of all the work going on elsewhere and therefore all the walking through, carrying building items, dragging things too heavy to carry meant we knew it would just get damaged.

But now we felt it was time for some attention. Mainly all that has happened is we have painted the floors – Farrow and Ball Strong White, like the floors throughout the house. This was also the focus of much discussion; white floors certainly show the dirt more and as this is the main hall and communal room that seemed a silly idea. In the end however we realised it’s easy to clean, easy to touch up and the added light seems to balance the darker wall colours.

So here comes a series of images, some taken in the day and some in the evening showing the results.

obviously the fireplace needs some attention - we're not burning books just yet

rug from Ikea...

And in the daytime….

However this just means we have to face the much bigger decision on how we want the kitchen part of this room to be. At the moment it is just cobbled together from existing units and bits of the kitchen that was already there. We’re yet to totally decide between free-standing /rustic and fitted.

In the pink

Progress in the basement flat continues at pace as now it’s all about adding things that make it look better as opposed to stripping off plaster and generally wrecking the place as part of the “battle of the damp”.

Here’s a before shot.

And here’s the best of the interim ones.

The floor has been painted strong white like the rest of the house and the walls are setting plaster also from Farrow and Ball. I really like it, but it’s a slightly depressing colour to use when you pay someone to plaster the walls, then carefully prime them only to paint them basically the same colour as they were before. Again the ceiling is also the same colour and the skirting will be too.

And one of the many deliveries that helped get us there.

The boiler will be boxed in as part of a cupboard.

From this angle you can see the unpainted end of the room which will be a kitchen area. The lighting is already in for that work area.

They are from B&Q.

Still some work to be done on the door and obviously the stairs beyond but you can see the flagstones are back down and looking good.

The view into the bedroom.

And here’s the fireplace with the beautiful tiles that were uncovered when the heater was removed. Unfortunately there’s some pretty extensive damage, although ultimately the plan is for a wood burning stove in here so that might cover the gap and work. We shall see.

Here’s a close up of the lights which are from John Lewis (like the ones in the bedroom). The plan is that a sofa will sit under these.

Off the entrance to the flat is a kind of cellar which sits under the front steps. It was a horrible hole full of coal dust and a bit scary. It’s now had a new floor put in and is ready to act as some handy storage.

The plan is to put another toilet in the space under the hall stairs and because of that some serious digging has been required to put new plumbing in. Which also means going out the back door and particularly using the outside tap is a bit tricky.

And lastly, also outside some of the holes in the patio filled from our large supply of random bricks.

Adding more colour

The last couple of weeks have seen the introduction of lots more colour in the house. I’m no fan of neutral paints when they are used everywhere and there was some colour in the last house but there could have been more. I’m keen to be a bit more adventurous this time.

Therefore we already have the strong pink and green combination in the entrance hall. The Cinder Rose pink was only planned to go up to the first landing, even I can see this would be too much for the whole house. So Calluna was the choice. I had thought it was a pale grey (I got this impression from the tester) but it’s actually a bit more of a pale purple once you have it on the wall, although it varies greatly depending on the light.

You may notice that the steps are white in this shot as well. The stairs up to the top bedrooms have finally had the carpet removed and the first coat of white floor paint.

Here are the dogs on the same spot when we first moved in.

When the carpet came up you could see how in the past there had been a thin carpet running all the way up the stairs. This is something that’s in the plan but it has proved a struggle finding the right width which is also affordable. Harder than you’d think.

A few more coats needed, but you start to get the idea.

And so working up the levels in the house has meant decisions on door colours on the first landing (bathroom and sitting room) and top floor (bedrooms).

First landing is now Cooking Apple Green.

We’ve left all the old key holes in the doors, I think it adds a bit of character. The woodwork surrounds are still to be done as is the skirting. They will be Strong White like the floor.

Landing floorboards still to be painted.

Then top floor another similar colour. This is actually the colour of the front door from the old house. There was some paint left over and so this seemed a good place to use it up. French Grey.

Then inside the bathroom the door to the cupboard hiding the washing machine has also changed colour. Now it’s Lulworth Blue.

The little green door knob is from a selection I bought a while ago from Anthropologie.

That’s all the new colour inside. More colour outside.

The shed has received a beach hut make-over.

Also in the garden, exciting developments on the garden office. A roof has been fitted that isn’t a blue tarp and it’s also received a lick of paint. This time Down Pipe.

This is the view from the kitchen window.

And back towards the house from the office. A bit to do in the garden….

And last thing, while I had the paints out I painted this set of steps from Ikea (they’re to help me reach almost everything in the kitchen).

They match the first floor doors, Cooking Apple again.

Kitchen repairs, choosing colours and more work on the basement

There’s been a problem in the kitchen.  Some initial work was done some time ago in this room and colours tested but since then it has left it in a semi-fuctional state while other bigger problems are dealt with.

But there’s been a problem. Some plasterboard that was used to line the gap in the fireplace where the oven now fits,  has buckled and bowed in quite a worrying fashion. It’s been checked out and it’s nothing dangerous, the plasterboard just wasn’t given room to move as it dried and settled. It looked really worrying though.

So the solution was to take off all the tiles and plasterboard and the area has now been rendered and will (probably) be painted rather than tiled again. Here is it with some damp spots where the render is being sealed.

The rest of this room is looking kind of OK. There’s a small desk in here now, and even some flowers when I don’t find the general building dust too depressing to bother.

Not much more can be done to this room at the moment as all the floorboards will need to come up again to put the electrics in the basement which is still largely untouched. In fact if anything the basement looks a bit worse. It needs damp treatment (quotes are happening at the moment) and therefore some paneling that was probably just put in to hide the problem had to come off.

Hmm lovely.

So on a more positive note the entrance hall has been taking a step forward. Again the floor is still untouched because the boards will need to come up, but the current plan is that this will be  Farrow and Ball Strong White which is the same as the bathroom and bedrooms.

And on the walls just on this level, Farrow and Ball Cinder Rose (the same colour as the kitchen shelves).

Just painting this hall and adding in this radiator cover has made quite a big change because when you walk in it doesn’t immediately say “building site” anymore, it doesn’t say “finished home either” but it’s much nicer.

Cinder Rose is quite a strong colour, but even so I wanted a strong colour for the two doors in this hall that really contrasts, whilst the door frames and skirting will be Strong White like the floor.

I got a few samples including some of the new colours from (it’s my favourite) Farrow and Ball.

And I’ve gone for the most punchy, Arsenic.

So far a very mixed response…

And finally some random objects I have been collecting.

A beetle paperweight.

Some regal tins.

A biscuit to hold biscuits.

And some birds, standing guard in the bathroom that I bought in a market in Cape Town.