Thursday, 11 August 2011

Slow progress at the 1930s house

Hello again... Before we venture inside, do visit my overgrown but charming garden. Here are a few before photos - I will keep you posted on my progress with the mower, secateurs and loppers.
Long grass, extra long branches and a weedy pond

A big pine dwarfing the shed, which needs re-roofing

Bold and beautiful, I don't have the heart to cut this down or reduce its height

The greenhouse at the back - 'has seen better days' in the words of the surveyor

The summerhouse, needs painting and re-roofing, a project for next year

The weedy, smelly pond, awaiting cleaning - the previous owner left me a sieve with long handle!


Please wipe your feet and come in! I have been asked to post more photos of the house, so below are a few. Apologies about the gap between the first hopeful post and this one - we have been massively delayed by an unforeseen problem. Despite measuring and remeasuring to reassure ourselves that all our bedroom furniture would go upstairs, the removal men couldn't get two wardrobes and a double bed up the stairs. So instead of getting on with the many jobs that need doing, my partner has been dismantling the wardrobes bit by bit. One has been rebuilt upstairs and another one is awaiting in the garage. We are talking old wardrobes, not flat-pack furniture, so it has been a labour of love. A rather smelly labour of love as I had to paint them with Cuprinol woodworm before they entered the house. I do this every few years to keep the woodworm under control... Oh, the joys of antiques and vintage pieces!

Above is the photo of the staircase, you can see that the turn is not helpful and because two of the steps were broken (notice the dip in the carpet), we had to wait until a carpenter fixed them before taking heavy stuff upstairs. Of course whatever the age of a house, you are bound to find a few things that need fixing, so we had the wiring checked and an old electric fire disconnected, which turned out to be an original feature (so it's still in situ). We also disconnected (and removed) a dodgy gas fireplace and discovered we had an original fireplace behind. Looking at the before and after pictures you'd notice a change of paint on the walls and bookcase. My partner found a killer deal at B&Q for Dulux Magic White, a paint that fades from pink to white so you can easily spot where you missed a bit! One coat was enough as the walls were magnolia (the choice paint of rental houses).

The surround of the fireplace looks like green marble and there is a chrome trim, very 1930s! We were lucky that behind the panel and ugly gas fire the original fireplace had not been ripped out. The bookshelf was painted with Dulux white eggshell, which is less shiny than gloss and easier to deal with. We are keeping the walls plain for the time being as I have a lot of dark furniture, but will mention the 1930s colour palette at some point.

We have a second original fireplace in the dining room. The before and after picture show a change of paint, again Dulux Magic White. How do I know that this fireplace is original? Because I have a few reference books at hand and I found this fireplace photographed in one. I will be mentioning my reference books for this exciting renovation project in a future post and there will be a book up for grabs for a lucky reader.

Come back to see me, for more photos, the chance of winning a beautiful book and a few tips!

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