Thursday, 16 June 2011

Week 1 (and I guess Week 2)(whoops)

Well I meant to update this a lot sooner but have been faffing about trying to figure out how to make a picture montage on a powerbook.  No joy I'm afraid so there'll just have to be tons of photos.

Week 1:

I took some before photos.  They are not brilliant really.  And what surprised me the most was that the house didn't look that bad!  That sounds terrible and I don't mean it like that really, but it's amazing how peppy fake flowers look in a picture!!  So see below for some before shots!  

The exterior of the house dreadfully needs a good paint job and that is definitely something we would like to do sooner rather than later but I'd like to see how things shape up inside first, and also whether we need any new guttering or anything like that.


So the biggest change was of course the kitchen being ripped out!  I am getting excited about this now.  

It's still going to be small of course but I was able to choose my doors (whoop whoop).  I went for the white gloss finish.  And then for the counter top I wanted black but mum and dad thought black would be too dark in a small space so we opted for a wooden effect top.  

Not dissimilar to what they've got here:

I haven't chosen the tiles yet but to be honest I think I'm going to be really boring and go for white metro tiles.  There is such a small area to cover, and also there is one wall which hasn't been touched which is tiled with white square tiles.  So rather than go crazy I'll play it safe and stick with white at least.  Flooring also hasn't been decided on.  My mum said that she has some tiles in the garage which should do the trick but she's currently in Spain!  So can't check them out.  When she is back I will have to have a look and see what they are like (and whether there's enough).

At first I desperately wanted the Cath Kidston floor tiles:

But even on such a small floor space these would end up costing £140 which I guess is a bit more in Euros plus I'd have to get them shipped here.  Which isn't terribly expensive I suppose but when you have about a billion jobs to do it soon adds up.  

Once I had gotten over that idea I thought that some black and white vinyl floor tiles would like nice.  They had some in B&Q much more reasonably priced than Cath with the total being something like 60euro.  Very palatable!  (Of course you could actually just get some sheet vinyl put down for about 26 euro if you really wanted to cut corners.)  But now that we are not going with the black counter top I'm not sure that I like the idea of the black and white floor as much.  So basically I'm waiting to see what mums garage turns up and then if we have no luck there it'll be back to scouting around seeing what I like.  There is a little extension/utility room off the kitchen which leads out to the garden and the floor tiles are a beige..............not so sure I want to tie in with those necessarily but we'll see.

Living Room

Next biggest change was in the current living room (and which I envision as our bedroom).  

There was a serious case of bad mould in here and mostly (according to the builder) it stems from a lack of air flow.  Granddad had built an absolutely massive dresser/media unit which housed all his vinyl and music equipment.  This hadn't been moved in about 40 years!  And when we started taking it apart the whole back wall was covered in mould.  Gross!!!  So dad broke this down.  We also moved the piano out from the wall and again, covered in mould!  I think the lesson we can all take from this is that rearranging furniture semi regularly is no bad thing!!!!!  The piano was so full of mould that when we tried moving it out further, the back disintegrated!  A real shame as I had been thinking of having it in the dining room so people could plunk around on it if they liked.  But it's in bad shape, not all the keys work and none of us actually play it.  So really it's kind of senseless keeping it.  Pat, our builder, says he knows someone that should be happy to take it away and do it up.  As long as it's going to a good home I'm happy.

In this room we also took up the carpet.  I was absolutely delighted to see wood floors underneath, and jolly decent ones at that.  They are in great condition and with a bit of sanding and a nice varnish will be absolutely lovely.  This was exciting because we had thought we would need to recarpet which could have added up the costs.  But I don't think carpet is needed at all.  A rug is all that's needed - and of course rugs have the added benefit of being able to come with us when we eventually move on.

Not much more has happened in this room really.  One of the walls is very damp so we are trying to let it dry out.  Hopefully that will work.  Otherwise we may have to get it brought down and replastered.  The plan at the moment is to scrape off all of the layers of old wallpaper and gloss paint (!!!) and let the wall breathe.  Then we'll put on some insulating paint/damp proof stuff and then polybond/skim the wall where necessary.  Not looking forward to this job I have to say!!!

Calvins Room:

In Calvins room we broke down the wardrobe in there and also one wall has been pulled down and is being rebuilt.  There was real damp here, and not the crossing your fingers hoping it will dry out kind.  So insulating block has been put in and it should be replastered tomorrow.  I am excited about this room actually.  It's a nice size for Calvin with a lovely view to the garden.  It's nice and bright now that the larger furniture has been moved out.  So the plan is to keep this room as simple as possible.  Calvin will just have a bed and a small chest of drawers.  There is tons of underbed storage which is great.  And I'll have to find some nice toy storage as well.  

I had been thinking of getting the Cath Kidston cars wallpaper but am now thinking twice about it. 
Mostly because I discovered that we actually have quite a bit of the paint left over from when we did his room here.  We used Pale Peacock on the walls and Just Walnut on the woodwork, both from Dulux and it's really nice.  So we might just do a similar thing.  He has the Cath Kidston airplane wallstickers up now and they are lovely.  But not sure that we can transport those.  There are tons of cool wall stickers out there though so I think that might be the way to go.  Also they I can just buy him different bedlinen to jazz the room up.

Dads bedroom:
This room is the one that I want to be our front room.  

It doesn't feel that spacious at the moment as it has 2 single beds and a chest of drawers, 2 wardrobes, a bed locker and a bookcase in there.  Whew!!!!!  But it's at the front of the house and enjoys nice light.  We did toy with the idea of keeping this as a spare room but actually when we moved all of the furniture around to remove the carpet, we saw how big it is and how much potential there is.  We took the carpet up on Saturday and again, the floors are tip top!  Actually though when we were taking up the carpet we came across the most amazing vinyl flooring I have ever seen!!!

Doesn't do it justice really, and had I known that was underneath we would have been a lot more careful taking up the carpet.  We assumed it was just underlay similar to what had been in the front room but it was like a vinyl rug!  SO PRETTY!!!  But unfortunately we had already ripped it by the time we realised was it was :(  Absolutely gorgeous though, so cheerful.  But being practical, probably not what we would go for in a living room anyway (Chad tries to reign in my obsession with flowery prints).  But as I say, the floors in here are fantastic, and again, with a bit of sanding and a nice rug we are pretty much there.  Now we need to take apart the wardrobes that are either side of the fireplace as I want to have shelving either side.  This space is pretty redundant unless you do something like that with it, and it will be great for us to house books, vinyl, cds etc.  This room in my mind has the least to be done.  And originally I just wanted it painted really quickly.  HOWEVER!  The walls are painted in gloss so it's not as easy as just giving it a fresh lick of paint.  So now we have to decide if we want to go down the liquid sandpaper route.......or if maybe we will go with wallpaper.  Still trying to decide on this one.  Have been looking at tons of wallpapers but not getting anywhere.......all of the cheaper wallpapers seem to have a real sheen to them which I don't like.  And then the ones I like are about 60euro a roll which if you need 5 rolls.....well that's a lot of money.  So the jury is still out here.

Of course the biggest amount of work that we've had to do has been simply clearing out my grandparents stuff.  And boy did they have a lot of stuff.  I counted (and I'm not remotely exaggerating) 37 pairs of curtains!  WHAT???  So needless to say there was a lot of towels/bed linen/curtains bagged and taken down to the charity shop.  Annoyingly enough yesterday I was taking more to the charity shop when I noticed a shop up the road called  (  I took what I had in the car and had it weighed and got 28euro!!!  The worst thing is though that that was my last lot!!!!!!!!  And the smallest carload!!!  I could have made a fortune!  GAH!!!  But anyway, a lot has been removed from the house which is great.  We also had a skip on Friday and boy did we fill it!!!!  And truth be told we could do with another one.  But I think it will have to wait until more work is done and all the carpets are up etc.

So now we still have some clearing out to do.  There are some really large pieces of furniture that need to be broken down as they are too big to actually be moved out of the house (Granddad built a lot of the furniture in situ).  And as I said there's all the naff removing of wallpaper and awfulness like that that we need to knuckle down to and get on with.  But it's taking shape.

Originally I wanted as much as possible done before we moved in but now that I know that's not going to happen I am much more relaxed about seeing it take shape.  

So we shall have to see what developments take place in week 3!!!

And the Week 2 pictures will go up tonight I think but I can't find the cord for the camera right now!

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