Project House, 14 weeks on.. {ish I lost count}

August 02, 2016

Today's the day we've been long awaiting. Move in day!! So before I share the latest photos of a couple of our finished rooms I thought I'd better look back over the past few weeks. The last house update I wrote was this one at week 10 and a lot has changed since then.. 

Kitchen - 
  • Whilst we're not changing the kitchen until we get permission to extend and start the next lot of building work {please hurry up council, I want to create my dream kitchen!!} we've made the current layout a bit more liveable. We needed to get the island in which we took from our old house so had to chisel out some of the wall!
  • We removed the hugee chest freezer from the utility area so we could get a washing machine and tumble dryer out there instead. 
  • We painted over the horrid floral wallpaper to make it feel a bit fresher
  • We bought a new fridge, cooker and dishwasher and then unpacked a few of our kitchen bits to make it feel a bit more homey.
  • But other than that I'm reluctant to do anything else in here until we know what's happening with the planning permission. I could paint all the cabinets and windows white/cream but is there really much point? Fingers crossed we won't have to live with it like this for long but at least we can cook etc in the meantime.

Hallway - 
  • I think on the last update I'd posted the floors had just been finished in the hall and the walls were all painted. So nothing much has changed in here, we've got some coat hooks to go up, mirrors and pictures to finish it off but until we finish the upstairs bedrooms then we won't finish the stairs off with a carpet runner {it would get trashed!}
  • We've added our wooden settle in the hall, it used to be part of our dining room seating but for now I love it in here as a feature and somewhere to sit and put your shoes on. As I type I've still got piles of shoes and coats at my Mum & Dad's that I need to find a home for. I kind of don't want to overfill the house as it's so lovely and empty right now! 
  • The settle was from Kempton Antiques market a few years back.

Bedroom -
  • The walls, wardrobes and floor were finished in our bedroom and so since then it's been the finishing bits like putting up curtain rails {from Dunelm} and curtains as well as unpacking and arranging furniture.
  • I decided on plain white curtains in here to keep it fresh and found the perfect pair from Ikea that I'm going to add a pom pom trim to the edges to jazz it up a little. 
  • I've been loving unpacking all of our homey bits but NOT all my clothes. Like I said I just want to have empty wardrobes and cupboards but already it's all overflowing a bit. I've given so much to charity already but it seems that I just have too. many. clothes. It doesn't help as well that until we finish the spare rooms, both Ben & I's clothes are in here whereas in our old house we had separate wardrobes. 
  • I've been selective when unpacking and have really thought about if I actually want everything. I don't just want a carbon copy of our old bedroom so while I've kept a few favourite bits, I've boxed up the rest to use throughout the house in different rooms.

  • I love finding new homes for pretty bits. Ben bought me these mirrors for Christmas when we were in Hampstead last December so I was excited to find the perfect spot for them between the curtains and wardrobes.

  • We fitted shelves in the alcove, they're Homebase floating shelves which annoyingly they discontinued after I bought 2!! Cue a mad drive around to 4 different branches for the others. We cut them down to size and then primed and painted them wall colour.

  • I then started unpacking. We packed our old house in such a rush and stupidly without labelling very well. I mean, we knew which rooms they were for but if we'd have had more time I would have boxed things up much more systematically. It was chaos unpacking with bubble wrap and paper everywhere for a couple of days. Like with other rooms, I was selective about what we actually wanted in the lounge. Until we have the dining room sorted we have so many books, cushions, candles etc but only one lounge. So I've boxed a lot of it back up again now I've decided what I want to keep out in here for now.

  • We had a window seat made by a local upholsterer and I love it! It's an awkward shape bay so going bespoke was the only option. I used this Laura Ashley fabric and then got these cushions to decorate it with. Without realising it, our bedroom, bathroom and lounge are all pink white and grey so far. Interior fail. I blame the shops, blogs and magazines for making it so on trend right now and subconsciously sending me that way... But what I love about this room is that apart from the slight hint of grey in the curtains, this room is neutral enough to change it around as trends come and go. We can change the cushions if we want to make it feel like a new room again.

  • We're so pleased with our Laura Ashley sofas{here} and Loaf foot stall and I'm soo looking forward to cosy nights in here. And as of today we can finally unwrap the sofas after mopping away {hopefully} most of the dust!

  • We looked everywhere for a console table but couldn't find one suitable or the right size so Ben being Ben adapted two different tables. We bought one from eBay for the nice legs on castors which we stained down and then cut a different table {again sourced on eBay} down the middle to the size we wanted and stained it to match the legs. It now looks like one proper table. I'll write a full post on this soon.

  • Reunited with my Diptyque collection!! Out of sheer luck it was in the first box I opened!

  • We put up curtain poles across the back door and Ben had to cut down and adjust three poles for the bay window. Again, full DIY post on that soon as it's a bit complicated to explain on here. We've got Ikea grey curtains which cost a fraction of the price of the quotes I got from local upholsterers. Just £35 each! Steal and they were the exact colour I was looking for.

  • On a trip to Kempton with my Mum a few weeks back I fell in love with these shutters so they're now sitting at the side of the fire place. I don't know exactly where they'll end up but I love them in here as a feature for now. 

  • We hung some vintage mirrors, full post on that here.

  • We're planning on opening up the chimney breast and fitting a log burner as soon as the council sign it off {listed building woes..}. Hopefully by this winter but if not definitely by next. There's a log burner already at the back of the room which we'll close up when we open this chimney up.

Bathroom - 
  • Since the last post, our floor had to get repainted. It was a bit of a pain and set us back a couple of weeks. The decorator hadn't prepared the boards properly first time and put the lacquer on a bit too thick so it dried patchy and yellow in places. He was true to his word though and promised to come back and sort it out. Which he did and we're really pleased with it now.

  • The shower, sink and bath all got plumbed in and we finished the sink unit off {full post on that here}, And the tiles got grouted. We decided to panel the bare wall above the shower and finish it off with picture rail to match the rest of it and tie it in. 

  • I talked about painting rolltop baths yesterday {here} and we added a shelf above it to give some interest to the panelling and for somewhere to put bubble bath/candles etc. It's a basic shelf kit that we primed and then painted wall colour.

  • We had plantation shutters fitted in here last week and I'm so pleased with them. I'll talk more in depth about them on another post but we wanted a window covering that would let light in whilst giving privacy from neighbours if we're in the shower/bath. These slide across so in the day we can have the window letting all the light in but at night or in the mornings/evenings they shield us from prying eyes. We used James Shutters as we'd used them in our old house and found Dave to be so brilliant. - if you're in Hertfordshire/London then give him a call, he'll look after you if you tell him Rebecca and Ben Sterling recommended him! 

  • We just need to fit a towel rail in here now. And some of you noted that there's no toilet. It's because it's just along the hallway. We're ultimately looking to put an extension on the back of the house so if that's the case we'll use the current toilet as a hallway to get to the new bedroom at the back of the house. When that time comes we'll make a new bathroom at the back and fit a toilet in here I think. Until then we need to decide whether to pretty up this toilet with floor tiles or statement wallpaper. This limbo land is a funny place to be! Decisions decisions.

Garden - 
  • After this garden post, everything has bloomed and gone wild. I felt a bit guilty for being away for a few weeks of it's peak and not actually living here to enjoy it. But the plants will establish and hopefully be even better next year. For this year I'm just glad we got some plants in and started it off. Aside from some deadheading, weeding and cutting the grass we haven't actually done any more to the main part of the garden. We're still waiting permission to build a pretty summerhouse and put some kind of fence around the whole thing {annoyingly we applied for listed building consent when it actually should have been planning permission which delayed it all by another 8 weeks}. So god knows when we can actually start putting up the summerhouse and greenhouse. 

  • And likewise we don't want to change the patio or top bit of the garden until we extend the kitchen as then it will be all getting dug up and re-jigged. So until then, like the kitchen, it's just making the best of the space we have for now. My brother and a couple of friends have been a great help this summer as labourers wanting to earn some money so we've set them tasks like digging out big shrubs to open it all up a bit, and they even got rid of the grass on our driveway and gravelled the whole thing! They've been amazing. 

  • Ben's Mum also came round to help us clear the patio area and pretty it all up. We had a morning last week where the boys were clearing the shrubs and laying gravel over it as a temporary solution and Ben, Julie and I were planting up our galvanised tubs, tidying and getting the patio organised. It looks soo much better now - I wish I'd taken more ugly before photos to really show the difference.

  • It's ready to enjoy the last of the summer with BBQs and we're gearing up for a big housewarming party in September. I want to hang some festoon lights to make it all sparkle. 

  • As for the rest of the house - the dining room and two spare rooms we're cracking on. It's a bit of a juggling act as those rooms are storing the rest of our furniture at the moment so it's a case of getting everything into the middle of the rooms so that the wallpaper can be stripped and then we'll have to decide on paint colours and flooring for them. 

  • The office needs sorting out although we won't finish the floors off in the upstairs hall until we've finished the spare rooms. Haven't decided if we're keeping the wooden original boards yet or whether to carpet the whole upstairs landing. 

  • This back bedroom has got cleared out today {shifted into the front bedroom} and luckily there's no wallpaper to strip! So we'll get decorating in here next.

  • It had been filled with boxes and furniture for so long that I'd forgotten that it's not actually a bad room and so much lighter than I remembered.

  • In this front bedroom we're taking the wardrobes out to create one big room and then this will get divided up to create a bathroom that will become an en-suite as well as the third bedroom. Hopefully within the next month we'll have most of the decorating finished and I'm really hoping we'll have a few more finished rooms! 

As I said, I'll be back soon with updated photos of the finished bedroom, bathroom and lounge {plus more in depth talk about some of the DIY projects}, and the rest of the renovation progress - I just want it alll finished now! But for now I'm going to enjoy our first few days of living here.

Back soon!

Any questions as always let me know.

R <3 xx

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  1. Hi, we are also in the middle of a renovation, we moved back in around 5 weeks ago. I feel like we have come to a standstill, with a 5 yr old, a 10 month old and the school hols I suppose it's no wonder, however your post has inspired me to get cracking!!! Thank you. Ps your house looks amazing, I love the stool/table in the lounge X

  2. Hi,
    We're looking to create similar floating shelves in our alcoves, I wondered if yours came with the fittings supplied? Everything I've found is too chunky/plastic looking, were they just pine individual shelves and you found the fixtures separately? Thanks for any advice! X

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