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

Master bedroom – Finishing touches

With the carpet ordered and a fitting date booked all that was left to do was buy furniture. We planned to use our current bedroom furniture in the spare bedroom and treat our bedroom to everything new.

So I set about creating a shopping list!

1. King-size bed

Oxford White Wooden Bedstead, Feather and Black
Oxford White Wooden Bedstead, Feather and Black

2. Bedside tables – I love The Dormy House for furniture, I could quite happily furnish the entire house with their furniture. Sadly the budget did stretch this time, no matter how hard I tried we couldn’t justify spending £400 on bedside tables! So instead it was a trip to Ikea… they weren’t quite as beautiful as The Dormy House French bedside tables I had in mind, but I think they were a close enough match.

Hemnes White Bedside Table, Ikea
Hemnes White Bedside Table, Ikea

3. Chest of draws

Hemnes White Chest of 6 Drawers, Ikea
Hemnes White Chest of 6 Drawers, Ikea

4. Bedside lamps

Pippa Table Lamp, John Lewis
Pippa Table Lamp, John Lewis

5. Wardrobe – I knew that I wanted an antique wardrobe, my parents had one in their bedroom when I was growing up and I always loved it, but it required some serious research. It had to be just right. It needed to be big (it had a big space to fill and would need to house both mine and David’s clothes), I wanted it to be Victorian/Edwardian but it needed to be in good condition, it needed to have a mirror on the front and we wanted it to be all hanging space, no draws. I trawled through eBay but nothing I found was ever quite right. Eventually David found exactly what we were looking for! We bought it on-line without ever going to see it and just hoped that it was going to be as good as it looked in the photograph!

Castleforge Antiques Ltd
Castleforge Antiques Ltd

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Master bedroom – The icing on the cake…

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This is the bit I was really looking forward to! Painting the woodwork brings the whole room together and is like putting the icing on a cake. Painting the fireplace was the cherry on top!

For the woodwork we chose white gloss, but for the fireplace we went for white eggshell. The fireplace has such lovely detail gloss paint would have obscured it, eggshell is a bit more delicate and the light doesn’t reflect off it in the same way with gloss.

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We painted the window frames on the 5th November 2012 and as I painted there were firework displays in the distance providing some much needed entertainment – as much as I enjoy painting, one coat undercoat and two coats gloss was a tiresome task…

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Master bedroom – Painting…

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What seemed like an eternity of filling and sanding woodwork we finally got round to the exciting bit… painting! For the ceiling and above the picture rail we chose brilliant white and for the walls we chose Dulux Egyptian cotton. I wanted something that was neutral and David wanted something that was more of a colour than off white – so Egyptian cotton was perfect for both of us.

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I really enjoy painting, there is something quite therapeutic about it, but three coats on the ceiling (first a water down coat to seal the new plaster and then two normal coats) was really tough.

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The room was really starting to take shape and I couldn’t wait for the next bit.

Next on our list of things to do:

1. Paint all woodwork
2. Paint the fireplace
3. Order the carpet
4. Buy furniture

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Master bedroom – The fireplace…

Our next job was to fit the fireplace and tile the hearth. When we removed the ugly gas fireplace we did unearth what would have been the original tiled hearth. Unfortunately after years of abuse they were beyond saving, so it was off to one of my favourite shops, Fired Earth, to find a sympathetic replacement. We decided that it would be too difficult to get a close colour match to tiles in the fireplace surround so instead chose a beautiful metallic grey that would look great with the cast iron hood.

Renaissance Silver, Fired Earth
Renaissance Silver, Fired Earth

David had never really done any tiling before so it was the perfect opportunity for him to get some practice before we started the bathroom! He was very critical of his own work, but I think he did an amazing job.

Once the tiles were grouted and set we fitted the fireplace. David did a great job of this too and, like the cornicing, once installed it looked like it should have always been there.

Now it just needed to be painted…

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Master bedroom – Reclaimed radiators…

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Yes it would have been easier to get our plumbers to install new radiators in the master bedroom, but where is the fun in easy?

On one of our trips to the salvage yard we fell in love with some original cast iron radiators and convinced ourselves that we could clean them up and install them ourselves.

It was certainly a challenge, but we David did an amazing job. First David gave them a really good clean and power flushed the insides. Then he sanded them back, getting rid of all the rust. Finally he spray painted two coats of primer and two coats of top coat – we went for a traditional anthracite colour.

Whilst we did pick up the two radiators for a bit of a bargain, we did then have to splash out on radiators valves. Never did I think I would get so excited about radiator valves, but when these were delivered at the office I could hardly contain my delight!

Valves

Now all we David had to do was install them (eek!). Luckily David’s Dad was on hand to give David a crash course on pipework and radiator installation.

C x