Happy Thursday – anyone else absolutely knackered?
I’m overdue a little house diary update so whilst the office is quiet and I’ve made myself a cuppa, I thought I’d take advantage and have a long blabber about where we are at with our move.
For anyone that doesn’t know, Charlie and I moved out and up to West London to live in Isleworth at the end of April. My friend from work was leaving her gorgeously cheap flat and we jumped at the chance to take it over. It’s a beautiful converted house but as it’s so old, it definitely needed some TLC and like fools we decided to do this ourselves so that we could just get it sorted without having to wait for decorators to get in and finish it (little did we know that once we moved in, the motivation to whack out the paint is at its all time low)
It’s been a little over a month and we have smashed out so much in that time and I really feel at home but there’s still a few things on our list that we need to tackle before I can fully relax. Disclaimer is that we don’t own it, so we’ve done what we can without ripping it all up and starting again, something that if we’d brought it, we definitely would have done. Our lovely landlady has paid us to do it all and has let us do what we like which is super rare so I’m well aware of how lucky we’ve got.
First up – living room.
By far my favourite room of the flat. I’ve literally dreamed of having a window seat my entire life and I have to stop myself from just getting home and staring at it in disbelief that the space is ours (pahah as much as renting can be ours)
My friend had covered all of the windows with a plastic film to keep the draft out and when taken off, it left all of the wood work around the windows a little bit worse for wear. All of the woodwork in the house was a kinda creamy white/yellow and my mission was to sand it all down as much as poss, give it some primer love and paint it back to white and it’s made such a difference. The window seat (and all its shutters) took 3 days alone so hadn’t quite anticipated how much work painting was. Next on the list is to give the storage cupboards underneath a good clean out to hide all of our spare linen and switch out the curtains for our new grey ones – yet to find curtain rings that fit!
We’ve painted the rest of the room white and changed the light fittings but kept the fireplace in its original state – I’m on the hunt for either a cute electric fire stove to go in there or might just pimp it out with vases and candles. The mantel piece is definitely a work in progress whilst we find what we want so watch this space.
I want to get a couple of draping plants to place one on the top shelf of the alcove and work out how the hell to make it all look artistic without looking like a mess so you’ll find me studying Pinterest for the foreseeable future.
We’re still fighting over an arm chair and garden chair that was left for us whilst we wait for our sofa to arrive (which is the bain of my life and super delayed) and I know the whole thing won’t feel complete until that’s finally in and sorted.
Dining room –
We’ve turned the second bedroom into our kind of dining room/spare space/place for our book shelves room and it still feels a little bit unfinished. Our maintenance guy has to replace the big sash window so that’s locked up behind the shutters and until the sofa arrives, we can’t really have a move around of all of our random furniture and work out where everything has gotta go – it’s hard work being patient but the room is stunning once the sun is out and all of the shutters are open so I’m excited to do something beaut with the space.
This was the first place we tackled when we go the keys as was by far in the worst condition for what we were after and needed a little more than just a paint. We sanded down the wooden cupboards and painted them white, scraped all of the old chipped paint work off the walls and tidied those up, filled in lots of holes, brought new grey blinds and freshened up the tiles. I really wanted to ditch the tiles but it just didn’t make sense to pay out that much money so instead, I painted in the grout lines to freshen them up and wiped them down when the paint was dry and honestly, they look brand new – such an amazing transformation for something I thought was going to be a bit of lost cause. Our landlady kindly replaced our cooker for a 21st century oven (as much as I loved the retro cooker) and we’ve just kitted it out with new appliances and hanging utensils etc to make it feel like home. Next up is to top up the paint by the cooker and upgrade the floor – my god I can’t stand the half carpet tiles/half bike mat and even more now that we’ve stained it with paint. It’s on our list to get some cheap lino down but sadly having to focus on affording to eat and live for the time being so the floor is currently on hold!
The toilet is still half complete and in need of wallpapering. We ripped out the old wallpaper and repainted the wood work and toilet cistern. Charlie and I are going to give it a go this weekend to hopefully get it all finished as we have a cabinet to hang on the wall and a new toilet seat to go in and I’m the least patient person in the world. I’ll be very relieved when we’ve sorted it.
I don’t have a photo for you but here’s a before shot!
I actually managed to freshen up the hallway (bar the dreaded ceiling) in basically a day and it’s looking soo much cleaner – amazing what a bit of white paint can do. Two more doors to go and then got to work out whether I’m going to be brave enough to strip the furry wallpaper and see what’s underneath or just paint over it and hope it doesn’t look like a train wreck (which is very likely) Unfortunately no photos yet but I’ll share soon.
We’ve left the bedroom until now so that we can get the main flat sorted and be able to sleep in the bedroom without being covered in dust sheets. Now that the main flat is getting there and we’ve brought a super comfy airbed, it’s definitely time to get in there, strip the wallpaper and make a new feature wall (we’re thinking navy paint?) and get rid of the orange ceilings. I’ve been putting it off because it’s a bit of an overhaul and means all of our stuff needs moving and protecting from the paint but will feel sooo much better once it’s all freshened up and can start arranging it properly. Here’s what we’re dealing with –
All in all, this has been the best experience and I’ve enjoyed every minute of getting a taste for some renovation – couldn’t even imagine the work that goes into a full renovation. Still lots to finish but do feel so at home already, I get excited to get in in the evening, cook dinner, stick my candles on and chill in the living room and I’m so happy with how far we’ve come. I’m excited for summer to try and make the most of the garden and buzzing to get everything tidied so that I don’t have to see another paint brush for a very long time.
Catch up soon.