Curb Appeal

The front garden needs a major overhaul, or at the very least some aggressive pruning.That’s a bigger job than I have time for right now so I’ve added some pots as a quick fix.


front door

Eight plants for £10 at East Street Market is, I think, a bargain. For those who live in London and particularly SE London I would recommend East Street. I think the plant market, which is a section within the market, is only on Sundays. It has a limited number of stalls (it’s no Columbia Road) but it still has a good selection and the plants are much cheaper than in a garden centre.

So a few pots and some other nice details and maybe no one will notice the bits needing more serious attention.


New additions

Some colour, some hardware.

The front door has been given a coat of paint, same kind inside and out. It’s Blue Ground from Farrow and Ball.

The surround still needs a final coat and the wall painted where the render has been fixed. Plus there’s a weird bit of cable hanging down that needs to go. So this is only halfway through. We had to add some bars on the door as well, the glass area as slightly bigger than we’d anticipated and given that this door is hidden from sight it needed some additional security.

On the back of this door is a new brass handle, an eBay purchase.  The door had been sticking a bit and this made it easier to close, although that doesn’t seem to be much of a problem anymore. Nevermind, I like the handle anyway.

On the same theme I also bought a door knocker for the new flat front door, also from eBay.

All ready to be fitted.

The bathroom doors also have new additions. On the bedroom side they are from Anthropologie.

And on the bathroom side they were bought by my parents on a holiday.

Final new purchase is this sewing box, it’s supposed to be a mid-century and Danish made, I bought it from Germany.

Quite stylish for a sewing box.

A complete kitchen

Well nearly.

The kitchen in the flat is in and working.

The plan is to add some shelves above these units for storage. Then with this dresser, bought secondhand from the British Heart Foundation (Old Kent Road branch) some years ago now, gives the room a mix of fitted and free-standing.

The door into the lobby you can see here is Farrow and Ball Lulworth Blue which is actually left over from painting the garden shed. The door through to the bedroom area matches.

The rest of the room is starting to feel more complete, although far from finished.

The entrance to the flat has also improved greatly. For starters it’s no longer a death-trap as the roof area has been repaired.

The new front door has been installed. This had to be made for the space as the dimensions are slightly unusual.

Still need to pick a colour for it….

The idea is to paint the exterior well area white so it reflects the light back into the flat. The bars unfortunately will need to stay because it’s a slightly out of sight, plus we need to get a security light working.

The lobby area will be for storage (coats, boots etc). The wires will be boxed in and some kind of cupboard will probably go in front.

Some touch ups elsewhere too. The doors to the bathroom have had a coat of paint. Again using up colours from elsewhere. This is Farrow and Ball Setting Plaster which is the same colour as the sitting room. I think it works really well with the green of the bedroom.

Slowly but surely

The flat continues to become more a flat and less a few damp rooms at the bottom of the house.

The bedroom and bathroom are the most complete.

The bathroom now has a proper mirror, which is a pivot mirror so adjustable for tall and short alike. It comes from Next, which is the first thing I have bought from them.

I still really like this view from the bathroom back into the bedroom.

I have finished painting all the things green that are going to be green, including the double doors on the bedroom side. They just need some handles now.

And some storage has been added to this room. Clothes are hanging in a space which will ultimately be an enclosed wardrobe.

Shoes hidden in a shoe cabinet from Ikea along with some shelves and white boxes for er, more shoes.

I also picked up a little bin for this room from Jane Newbery in Dulwich. Pretty.

One last small addition is a hook on the back of the door. I bought this well over a year ago from Graham and Green in their sale, so pleased to finally have a home for it.

The connecting space between the bedroom and the sitting room will also be the connecting space between the flat and main house. This separation has started. Which also means a space has been created which will hold another loo for the use of the main house.

The green steps are currently standing in for the loo so we can check there is enough space, which there is, just.

And this is the big hole that has had to be dug by the back door to connect all the plumbing.

In the front room which will be a lounge and kitchen space the kitchen has been delivered and partly installed. It’s actually has white gloss cabinets, but the protective cover is still on.

This room us usable now and some furniture has been added. Including this rocking chair which I treated myself too, also from Graham and Green, also in their sale.

By day…

And by night…

Somewhere for me to sit and rock back and forth like a little old lady working on my sewing. Probably muttering.

But the rest of the room is still a bit ramshackle.

The front door for the flat is the next major piece of work.

This kind of lobby area has access to the old coal storage hole. This now has a new floor fitted and is being used for some basic storage. One day maybe a wine cellar.

The roof in the entrance area needs attention and we’ve had to have a new door made as it’s not a standard size.

View out from the front door.

Back the other way. These flagstones have already been lifted and replaced and I think in the finished space will look great.

This internal door from the lobby space into the sitting room will stay but needs some serious attention.

Some temporary measures to keep things waterproof.

The new door is due to be delivered in the next week or so, so this area should be very different in a few weeks. After that it’s work on the extra loo, then the last big project which is the main kitchen.

Some Christmas sparkle

Whilst we have a house which isn’t even halfway finished we’ve still tried to give it a bit of seasonal cheer. Even if in some cases it’s a bit depressing….

But some of the other rooms are not so dismal. The sitting room being an almost completely finished room is looking quite festive and is the room we have chosen to put our tree up in. I’ve invested in a few new decorations. Here are a couple of my favourites from Anthropologie.

And some I made myself last year from salt dough. I’m actually surprised they’ve lasted so well. Kirstie did something similar on her show, here are some instructions she has helpfully provided. They are very very easy to make and I like the slightly haphazard look.

And on the mantlepiece….

And downstairs I haven’t done too much with, but tried to make it a little festive. These lights came with the house and are not my thing but are in my view greatly improved by being nicely obscured.

And I have also picked up a few more new bits and bobs from the local profusion of pound/discount shops – it is possible to spot some good things if you can try to screen out all the surrounding rubbish. Here are a couple of the better ones.

Some glittery deer. Very kitsch but then so is Christmas in general.

And some little trees which I think I will use as table decorations.

And finally we’ve got our first wreath for the front door. A front door we’ve actually painted, added new numbers too and bought a knocker for (for a while we had no doorbell and no knocker and therefore no way of knowing if anyone was waiting to come in). Here it is before, although in this one we have already added a new outdoor light.

And here’s the new door knocker we bought up close.

And a very seasonal shot from the weekend with some timely and photogenic snow. The paint we have used is Farrow and Ball Down Pipe and we’re also planning to use this on the windows as well – when we get around to it.