New Years Resolution…

Anyone doing a house renovation will have experienced those little niggling jobs, those little jobs that you just keep putting off.

For every room that you declare as ‘finished’ there is always something that is not quite perfect, not quite complete. But in your mind you have already skipped happily onto the next project, relieved to have ticked another room off your list.

Housenumber59 had a few such jobs.

Bathroom

David, very skilfully, made two cupboards in the bathroom, one to house the boiler and another to keep all our bathroom stuff in – towels, spare toothpaste etc.

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In order to make the doors for the bathroom cupboards David wanted a router, an expensive tool that we could not justifying buying. So the cupboards stayed doorless for a while, until I had enough and paid a carpenter to make them for us. Then they remained unpainted, for a really long time.

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We could not end 2014 with the bathroom still not officially finished. So one weekend, I got the paintbrushes out. There is something psychologically difficult about having to do work on a room you have already declared complete – something about taking a step back. But once I got started it was fine. Almost therapeutic.

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We decided to only have doors on the boiler cupboard and not on the bathroom cupboard. We pretty much dip in and out of it whenever we are in the bathroom and the doors just would have been open all the time. Although having everything on show does mean we have to keep it tidy!

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Bedrooms

We also had quite a bit of ‘touching up’ to do in both bedrooms. Again a job we had been putting off for ages, but we wanted to start the year by ticking them off our to-do list.

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Before

When the old windows leaked it was typical that it was the guest bedroom, which we had just painted, that suffered the most. Since replacing the windows we no longer have any leaks but were left with water stains on the wall. In order to paint over the water stains we first had to use a special blocking primer and then paint over that with Polished Pebble.

In the master bedroom we had a few water stains on the ceiling from where the roof leaked (said though gritted teeth). Again we used the blocking primer first, followed by Brilliant White emulsion.

The final job was to fill and paint a small patch under the bay window in the master bedroom. When we had the windows replaced the fitters did such an amazing job of protecting the rooms we had already decorated. Fortunately this was the only casualty and it was nothing a bit of polyfilla and paint could not fix.

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After

It was great to get these little niggling jobs complete and off our to-do list.

*Smug sigh of relief*

C x

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Bathroom – a shopping list…

With everything plumbed in, painted, tiled and ready to go, all that was left to do was a few finishing touches.

We had a shopping list of items that we needed to get before we could declare the bathroom finished. But with our funds running on empty, we had to buy one item each month. Yes we could have gone to Ikea and bought the lot, but this is our forever house, we are in no hurry. After all, good things come to those who wait.

Our list:

Door lock
Period Vacant/Engaged Locks

In the Victorian house I grew up in, my Dad fitted a vacant/engaged lock on the family bathroom door. I am not sure why he choose it, maybe because it was traditionally Victorian or maybe it was just a bit of fun, but I always thought it was great. So when it came to choosing a lock for the bathroom door I knew exactly what I wanted.

Lock

Shower basketJohn Lewis

I hate the idea of bottles lined up on the shower floor. We wanted a good size shower basket to neatly store all our lotions and potions. Finding a good quality, good size, and good looking shower basket was a lot harder than you think. Luckily John Lewis came up trumps.

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Toilet roll holderHeritage bathrooms

Again it was harder than you think to find a good quality toilet roll holder, and one that would fit into our traditional theme. Even the ones from John Lewis felt a bit flimsy and all looked too modern. After much trawling of the internet, I eventually found this one from the same company we bought our bathroom suit from. It was weighty, good quality and had the exact look I was after.

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MirrorFletcher Frames

Ok, now you are just going to think that we are really fussy, but we also struggled to find the perfect mirror! Not only did the mirror frame have to look right, but we wanted a good quality bevelled mirror (so many mirrors are plastic and as a result look cheap) and it had to be a specific size to fit over the double basin. I hate to say it but I was really unimpressed with the selection at John Lewis. So many of their mirrors were poor quality, either the frame, the mirror or both.

In the end we went to a framers and had one custom made, and I am so glad we did as we got exactly what we wanted! It has a beautiful frame, a good quality bevelled mirror and is made to measure so is the exact size we need. And it was only a fraction more than what we would have paid in John Lewis.

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We had to wait 4 months before completing our shopping list and a further month whilst the mirror was being made, but we did it! The bathroom is finished!!!

C x

Bathroom – restoring the door…

Once upon a time there was a beautiful Victorian door. Over the years it had been painted and re-painted with layer upon layer of horrible paint, until one day it was not very beautiful anymore.

Just when you thought this door could not get any uglier, someone removed its beautiful mouldings, hid its panels behind a board and stuck on a mirror.

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It was now the ugliest door of the land.

One day a kind girl and her clever husband decided to restore this ugly door to its former beautiful self.

First they removed the horrible mirror.

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They took off the board and striped off all the layers of nasty paint.

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They reinstalled the beautiful mouldings.

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Finally they gave it three coats of nice, white paint.

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The door thanked the kind girl and her clever husband. It felt great to be beautiful again.

Now all it needed was a nice new shinny handle and lock!

C x

Bathroom – the roll top bath…

We have finished the bathroom! From start to finish, it took us the best part of a year. But boy was it worth it! I cannot wait to show you final reveal, but before I do that there are a few bits you need to catch up on…

David plumbed in the bath. I could not believe that after the long journey this bath had been on, from ugly duckling to luxuriously beautiful, it was finally ready to be filled with hot water and bubbles!

I know it is only a bath, but I love it and here’s why:

1. I love the fact we rescued it from going rusty and forgotten in a salvage yard. We restored it to its former glory, and for us that is what this whole house project is about. Saving things and making them beautiful again.

2. I love the fact it is beautiful and looks so grand, yet was actually a bit of bargain. Who doesn’t love a bargain!

3. I love how big it is and comfortable to sit it.

4. I love that David was smart and fitted 22mm pipes instead of 15mm, so it fills up really quickly!

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Sunday nights are now absolute bliss!

C x

Bathroom – the console basin…

Installing the console basin was going to be a mammoth task and was going to require a few extra helping hands.

But before we actually installed the basin, we had to tile behind it. But before we could tile behind it we had to hold the basin in place and mark out where it was going to go.

It is a double console basin and has removable legs so in order to ‘hold it in place’ it requires two people to lift the basin, one person to slot the legs in place and one person to measure and draw around it. David’s parents kindly agreed to come over one weekend and lend us a helping hand.

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Now that we knew where the basin was going, David was ready to tile the wall. In comparison to the floor and shower it was a much smaller surface area, but I think he found it equally as stressful!

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Needless to say he did a great job.

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We left the tiles to set and a few weekends later David’s parents came back over to do the whole military basin lifting operation again, but this time we could actually fix it to the wall! I would have loved to have taken a picture of us doing this, it was a bit like a game of twister, but sadly there was not a free hand.

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Basin in place, all that was left to do was to plumb in the taps and hey presto!

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Our list of things to do:

  1. Finishing building the cupboards
  2. Paint all the woodwork, including the cupboards
  3. Tile the basin area
  4. Install the basin
  5. Plumb in the bath
  6. Renovate the bathroom door

C x

Bathroom – the cupboards…

I had a fairly fix idea in my mind of what I wanted the bathroom cupboards to look like. But in order for David to make them he needed something a bit more visual than just my jumbled description. So I set about finding pictures of the style I liked.

I put together a collage of images of what I thought were all very similar cupboards but David, turned carpenter, pointed out that in fact they were quite different in terms of construction. For example, the doors can either be set into the frame or on the outside of the frame.

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Doors set into frame
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Doors on the outside of frame

After much discussion and designing David got down to business and built the cupboard carcasses. Then it was over to me to paint them. I did one coat of undercoat and two coats of white eggshell (we thought gloss would be too shiny).

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The slatted shelves took ages to make and even longer to paint, but worth it in the end as they look great.

We decided to have the doors set into the frame, but in terms of actually making the doors, I might have to wait until we can afford to buy a router. Which probably won’t be any time soon…

Our list of things to do:

  1. Finishing building the cupboards
  2. Paint all the woodwork, including the cupboards
  3. Tile the basin area
  4. Install the basin
  5. Plumb in the bath
  6. Renovate the bathroom door

C x