Project House, 10 weeks on..

June 17, 2016

A long overdue update on our recent progress at the house.. You can see all posts with previous weeks in the series here

I'll start from the front.. We've prettied up the front door with some tubs {full post on that here}.

The office on the landing got painted in the same F&B Wimbourne White to match in with the rest of the hallway. This photo was before it got painted, since then the skirtings, window and walls are fresh and white but it's filled with junk being juggled around from the bathroom and bedroom renovations!


Remember my deliberations with whether to paint the fireplace and floorboards in our bedroom? We've decided to paint the fireplace white and it's now fixed to the wall. Ben just needs to paint a piece of mdf to slide over that hole in the wall so it blends in with the regular wall. The fireplace came from eBay originally for our old house with a shield emblem which Ben cleverly carved into a heart shape. They were painted black but I think white is fresh for this bedroom. We used Rustoleum white spray paint for it, it took a good couple of coats.

As for the floorboards I've reluctantly decided not to paint them white because they look so gorgeous as they are now all sanded back. If we were to paint them and then change our minds in the future, the boards would be ruined if they got sanded heavily again. If I'm honest, if I'd known we were having the pine boards left natural then I would have gone for something more whitey neutral on the walls. I always thought we'd have white floors in here so went for the F&B Blackened, a light grey on the walls as a contrast. I love the floors as they are now they're sanded and we've tried out a couple of different waxes and stains on bits you can't see in the wardrobes but it makes the pine go too orangey so we've decided to keep them like this unsealed for now. It's a bedroom so it's not like things will get spilt on the floor. 

We had a gorgeous little chair from Loaf delivered. In my excitement I rushed to open it but then quickly wrapped it back up to protect it from all the dust still floating around everywhere. I'm in love with it and can't wait to move in properly now. It's the Loaf Bovary Chair in cobble house grey with the hiccup cushion.

{Lounge and hall:} - the floors..

We were so excited when we cut the green carpet and peeled through the underlay in the lounge and hallway to discover the original floorboards. It's something Ben and I had talked about all the way through the buying process, wondering what floors would be underneath. We realised that they'd need some TLC so got a company in to sand them, do some repairs to a few boards {plumbers are notorious for cutting through straight lines of floorboards rather than lifting the boards!} and then stain them. Ben had sanded the floors in the bathroom and bedroom himself but this was a much bigger job and it would take forever for us to stain it all over three coats plus we didn't have the materials to match the old boards in easily for any repairs. So we got a company in and while it wasn't that cheap, if we'd laid new floors it would have cost a fortune anyway and it's a large part of the house that would look rubbish if they hadn't been done properly so we decided to prioritise a chunk of the budget on them. It took a team of 5 people 3 days in total. 

They looked so weird once sanded back!

Dividing the hallway and the lounge was a section of parquet flooring. I was amazed on the whole at what good condition they were all in.

We then had to choose a stain. We wanted something quite deep, classic and dark to offset the light walls everywhere. We went for the darkest one in the photo on the far right, it's Mylands Light Fast Stain in walnut which was thinned down by 50%. On top of this they finished it with Bona Traffic in a matt finish. But these stains will come out very differently depending on what kind of floorboards you have and how much oil is in the boards, how old they are, how soft etc etc so it's worth trying stain out on your boards first. The colours also look very different once sealed and dried, 

I'm thrilled with how they've come out and am now super precious about everyone taking their shoes off at the front door.. easier said than done when you have builders in and out the whole time. I'm not even bothering to clean them until we're about to move in though. 

The lounge didn't have a fireplace on this main chimney breast despite there being one the other side into the dining room. There's a log burner and weird marble {yuk} fireplace at the other end of the room but it's not where we want to have the sofas so have decided to use this as the main fireplace. At the moment we can't open the chimney breast up to install a log burner until we get permission for amending a listed building. They've agreed in principle but we still have to wait for 8 weeks to get the final go ahead. So until then we found this flat fireplace on eBay that gives the room and walls a focal point but without actually eating into the wall at all. It was two pieces, we bought the cast iron hearth separately to the pine mantel. Ben's amazing on eBay, I wouldn't know where to start with trying to find two separate pieces that fit together! We primed the pine using this primer {the best primer ever} and then painted using white eggshell paint before fixing to the wall in front of the skirting boards.

We ripped out all of the old radiators, wanting column radiators instead which are a bit more in keeping with the style of the house. We had originally wanted old proper reclaimed cast iron radiators but it would have cost a fortune and been a lot of work to track enough down that were the right size and condition etc. So in the end we went for these which are all new, efficient but still look prettier than your standard radiators. We bought them online here, using an online calculator to work out the BTUs and heating requirements for the size of the room. There are these 5 super cute ones which sit under the window and then a larger one on a back wall which should keep us nice and toasty in the winter along with a fireplace.

Last week we had sofas delivered which is ironic as when we ordered them and realised that there was an 8 week wait, we thought we'd be sitting on cardboard boxes for a few weeks. But then of course the renovations have gone on and on and we haven't moved in yet so the sofas beat us to it! They're the Lynden range from Laura Ashley {with a sale on top of a sale and found an extra 10% discount code online} with a footstool from Loaf. We haven't quite decided which layout we'll have them in the room yet. I originally thought they'd be facing each other either side of the fireplace but then it hides the bay window and the cute little rads! So I think we will probably stick with an L shape but shift them around slightly. 

After the floors were finished the decorator came back to finish the skirting boards off and finished the window seat and windowsill. I've got a window seat cushion pad arriving this week and then I'll add some cushions to it. 

{Bathroom:} The boiler has been boxed in since the last update, and tongue and groove panelling fitted all around the room with skirtings at the bottom. The window got cleaned up and painted but the walls or skirtings haven't been as of yet. The floorboards were painted white {we used Farrow & Ball All White Floor Paint} by a decorator but then we realised they weren't gappy enough so Ben had to cut through them after the first coat. 
{oh and about the gappiness, if there's one piece of advice I'd give to anybody house renovating it would be this: If you're not happy with something then say so right away. I wasn't happy that the floorboards were too close together and didn't look floorboardy enough - more like vinyl to start with -  so while the decorator I'm sure said some cross words about me behind my back and Ben huffed as he had to get the saw out to cut them, it was worth me saying it then before the decorator had finished it all. Time is the key, things are soo much easier and cheaper to rectify halfway through rather than waiting until the end! So stand your ground ladies.. and gents even if you do feel like the builders hate you for it}. 

I haven't got any good photos of the floorboards since, they're not finished yet as the decorator is now away for a week.. so we've covered them up to protect them until he's back. In the meantime though the rolltop bath {another eBay purchase} has been painted - we used a primer again called Zinsser Bin first of all which is perfect to use for any plastic or cast iron bath if you want to repaint it and then used two coats of Farrow & Ball Eggshell in Plummett. I was tempted with a pink bath but decided to go for grey in the end. More classic and while this is our only bathroom for now until we get planning permission, I thought I'd probably get a little sick of pink. 

I chose Farrow & Ball Plummett after much deliberation but now love it. 

We ordered taps from eBay in an antique brass finish. The bath's feet are black cast iron which I'm not sure if I want to paint or not yet. I do like the look of them but there's no other black in this room so I'm thinking a grey would be better or some kind of gold/brass to match in with the bath but is that then too matchy matchy? White is another option but as the floor and walls will be white I don't want it to blend in too much. Oh the deliberations! 

The sink unit was again another eBay purchase. It was just a chest of drawers, already painted in this colour {which I think is similar to Farrow and Ball calamine or maybe a chalk paint? It's certainly been distressed a bit too which I love}. I think I'll change the knobs on it. I'll write a whole post on how we then convert it into a sink unit with drainage for the sink etc. It's been requested by a few of you so I promise it's on the agenda once Ben starts on it. The sink is just placed on top for now, again an eBay purchase. It's a baby belfast sink.

I like the pink and the grey combo with the white. Although without realising I think this whole house so far has some grey, pink and white somewhere! I need some other colours for the rooms we haven't tackled yet. The taps are again from eBay in the same antique brass to match the bath. I love the way that they come out of the wall. 

Next to the sink unit there's a shower being constructed right now. We've gone for a minimal glass sliding screen with a thin white tray, again alll eBay purchases. There's some incredible sellers on there, it's all brand new but a lot cheaper than you'd find in shops. We used it all for our last bathroom and Ben's sourced it for all of the development properties and we've never had an issue with quality. I know some people are a bit wary of using eBay but it really has done us proud {and saved a pretty penny!}

It's being tiled as I write this, white flat metro tiles {I didn't want a bevel this time around} with grey grout from Topps Tiles. 

I'm so in love with it so far! And it feels like it's all coming together.

Slowly but surely! I'm hoping we can move in soon after we get back from America as soon as the bathroom is plumbed in and we've ordered a fridge, cooker and dishwasher ordered plus a lot of finishing off bits. Then we'll need a deeep builders clean before unpacking and arranging furniture. We can get to work on the two spare rooms and dining room once they're clear of all the boxes. The kitchen, as I've said before isn't worth touching until we sort out permission to extend so we'll live with it as it is for a while.

As for the rest of the house... It's still complete chaos chocked full of boxes! I can't even remember half the stuff we own anymore haha. It will be like Christmas unpacking it all.

Let me know if you have any questions. Lots more interior posts as soon as I'm home! 

R <3 xx 

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  1. did a little whoop when I saw this was live! LOVE seeing your updates on the house! Can't wait to see it all finished with furniture. Have a lovely holiday xx

  2. WOW! Your living room and bathroom is looking incredible! I absolutely cannot wait to see it when it's finished, how exciting to be able to do things exactly as you want. I'm hoping we can do a renovation project one day but unfortunately my fiances super scared of a project (fingers crossed I'll manage to convince him in a few years time though!).

    Gemma x
    The British Feather - A UK Lifestyle & Home Decor Blog

  3. What a stunning space! Everything works so beautifully together, especially the brass touches in the bathroom. Most excited to see the end result once you're all moved in!

  4. Quick question - which ebay sellers would you recommend?

  5. I'd also love to know which ebay sellers you'd recommend?


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