Thursday, 27 September 2012

House Renovation. One Year (and then some) On. 10.09.12

Here's the hallway minus the stair carpet and the new flooring back in September 2011.
And now: carpet and flooring in situ.
Latex gloop all dry in the hallway; ready and waiting for the oak flooring to be fitted.
oak flooring fitted; the single toddler shoe is an optional extra
latex gloop all dry in the dining area.
you can hardly see the wood for the trees.
more dry gloop.

makes you wonder what was the point of getting flooring.
Upstairs, DC's room seems ready (apart from the carpet.)
I think it's fairly obvious from these photos that I don't bother tidying up before I take the shots. Clearly I'm a big fan of 'keeping it real'...
And finally a very odd shot of the hearth in the snug.
And on a completely different note, I found a photo on my phone of the photo in a magazine (poss Country Living, or Period Living - I feel bad about not being able to attribute it properly) that inspired my 'twigs in a jug' look, as discussed in the previous post.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

A Mug and a Jug

Two new ceramic items entered the house a couple of weeks ago. Firstly there was was this mug.
Picture me sitting at my computer working hard a few weeks ago when up on Facebook pops a little message from Starbucks. Did I say I was 'working' when the message appeared?; well, you know what it's like when you 'work' from home...
Anyhoo, back to this important announcement from Starbucks: apparently they had collaborated with Emma Bridgewater to jump on the 'Isn't Britain fantastic at the moment what with the Queen's Jubilee and the Olympics and all that kind of stuff' bandwagon and bring out a limited edition mug. Well, obviously, as soon as I saw it I had to have one. Firstly, I loooove Starbucks (disown me if you want, but I can't deny it) and secondly, I quite like Emma Bridgewater's wares. So, add the two together and you can picture me getting a little frantic about when/where I'm going to get my hands on one of these mugs before they sell out. Over to the Starbucks website I head in order to check which of the stores are selling the mugs; cue disappointed weeping and teeth-gnashing when I discover that, of course, Starbucks are going down the 'let's sell these to the tourists' route and only stocking them in London, Bath, Cambridge, Oxford, Heathrow Airport and a few other places - none of which are anywhere near where we live. Booooo. And that's where lovely hubby comes in - I told him about the mug and then queried whether we knew anyone who lived in London who might be willing/able to pop to their nearest Starbucks to look for (and hopefully buy) one; he had a look at which London stores were stocking them, announced that one was just around the corner from his company's office, messaged one of his colleagues, and said colleague popped out in his lunch hour and bought me a mug; simples. YAAAAAY!! This all happened a few weeks ago, but it was only last week that hubby went up to the London office and was able to bring the mug (which I had completely forgotten about) home.
What do you think? It is quite nice, isn't it?

Moving on to the jug. Last week I went to our local auction room for their weekly general sale viewing and spotted this jug. I loved the shape and the colour (sort of a stone/putty/cream), plus it's made by Royal Doulton so has some pedigree. Also, admittedly, it has a small chip inside the rim, which is probably why I was able to secure it with my relatively low bid of £12 (the jug front right plus a matching sugar bowl [from Poole Pottery] were in the same lot, but I'm going to try and sell them on eBay to recoup the cost.)
Here's the jug sitting in my car waiting to make its way home.
And here it is on the hall table, complete with some old twigs from the garden. I was trying to recreate a look I'd seen in BBC Home and Antiques magazine (or possibly Country Living, or some such - you get the idea) where some branches had been effortlessly popped into a jug and made to look very chichi indeed. Mine looks more like a mess; but two weeks on, they are still there and will remain there until BBC Homes and Antiques tell me that this is no longer a look to which I should aspire.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

House Renovation. One Year (and then some) On. 09.09.11

Apologies for the dearth of posts this past week, it's been a little hectic round these parts - first off the International Businessman (a.k.a. hubby) jetted off to Rome for three days, leaving me in sole charge of the small child; then it was my turn to have a jolly - a couple of days in London with my Canadian cousin. Anyhoo, we're all back in one place now, so I can get back in the blogging saddle. Without further ado, I give you...
The self-levelling latex stuff had been laid in the area of the hallway where the cloakroom used to be; we had the cloakroom removed in order to open up the hallway, make it much lighter and more spacious. We were intending to have a downstairs loo/shower room fitted out in what is still the garage, but we ran out of money, so that part of the build is on (indefinite) hold.
Now: looks much smarter now that the oak flooring has been laid; just need to sort out a doormat to replace to scrappy piece of carpet we currently use.
More self-levelling latex goop, this time slap-bang in the middle of the living room/kitchen.
 And now; you can barely see the oak flooring for the furniture/clutter.
 Here's the oak flooring in its packaging, acclimatising in the snug prior to being fitted.
The snug now.
Can you see the new addition? My mum gave me the little table in front of the grandmother clock; it's a future project as, unfortunately, it's not so nice to look at close-up as it is from this distance.
Now, isn't this just a lovely photo? It's not supposed to be a close-up of the ensuite toilet pan, but of the boxing in of the pipework behind.
Same spot today; I put the lid down to save our blushes.
Boxing in of the pipework in the bathroom, one year ago.
And today.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

The Summer House Wendy House

When we last left it at the end of August, the summer, oops, sorry I mean wendy house looked like this:
But we couldn't leave it looking like that; it was too blah, too brown, too ordinary. It was time for the paint fairies to work some magic. Armed with a tin of 'Willow' in the Garden Shades range by Cuprinol, hubby set to one day while I was otherwise occupied (not sure what I was doing, sleeping perhaps?!)

Then it was my turn to pick up a tin of 'Country Cream', also by Cuprinol to tackle the doors and other fiddly bits.
Three coats of each colour later, plus the addition of a latch to keep the door open when required, and the wendy house was looking like this. I finally got round to painting the little diamond at the top (although the threshold was still waiting for a coat of green - no idea why it took so long to do that little bit), but I wasn't sure if cream was the right colour for it.
Then it was time to turn our attentions to the inside. Unfortunately, it's a bit slow going at the moment; now that the nights are drawing in we don't have so much time to work on painting, but we're getting there gradually.
After one coat of paint, it looks more than a little patchy.
But two coats ofpaint, and it's looking a lot better and much brighter too.
I've gone with the green in that little apex section just for a bit of contrast, although I'm not sure I'm loving it at the moment.

This morning, while hubby and DC enjoyed a manly trip to the rubbish tip, I was able to slap one coat on this next section and slowly, but surely, the wendy house is being transformed!
Oh, and I decided to go with green on the diamond and I finally painted the threshold too!