Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Revamping an old summerhouse on a budget

Despite the rain, my project is proceeding. The outside of the summerhouse has been painted a 1930s-style forest green. I now need to find some paint that sticks to the windows' putty and the bits of wood that frame the glass as the paint I'm using (Ronseal Forest Green, on offer for £9.35 for 9 litre at Screwfix) is not covering it. The summerhouse was painted with some brown, water-repellent paint so I needed to give it two coats before the brown undercoat disappeared. 

I have now located a vintage radio, have some vintage metal toys and vintage books. The table and the 1940s chairs need restoring (I will need nice, dry weather as the chemicals are too nasty for indoor use). Perhaps I could use the heat gun we bought for the doors (the presence of lead paint made it a no-no so they were stripped by a professional). Still, it's quite a smelly job so best pray for good weather!

All photos by Trevor Tondro
With permission of S. Foster.
Meanwhile, some gorgeous pics of one of the most beautiful hideaways I have ever seen. It's inspired by Victorian crafts, so less contemporary 
than my project but it does take my breath away....  I think I mentioned it before on another  blog, but praise again for Sandra Foster's ex hunting cabin, which is a triumph of creativity.
Photo by Trevor Tondro

Photo by Trevor Tondro

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Pond life and the great outdoors

My new restoration project: an old summerhouse. My partner re-roofed it and I have started painting the outside. This is what it looked like before we did any work to it (although I cleared the surroundings quite a bit since I bought the house). It looks OK from a distance but not so good close up. Watch this space for an amazing makeover.

Meanwhile the pond has sprung to life with lots of frogs and beautiful flowers surrounding it. I have "bumped" into the frogs while gardening as they spend a lot of time browsing my bushes for slugs and bugs. The other day an orange one with black spots jumped up while I was stirring the compost heap with a stick. Not much change indoors, though, all our efforts are devoted to the garden - the greenhouse is full of plants and we now have several bespoke raised beds! Below are a few pics I took in May, I will post updates soon.

Our first barbecue during a hot sunny spell in May. It has been quite rainy since then, good for the garden, not so good for us human sun-seekers. And even less good for BBQs. And yes, we got a huge discount on this barbecue as it was quite bad weather before the sunny spell. So buy yours when it's rainy weather.

A fungus growing on the stump by the Bradford Pear - it might have been edible, but I didn't want to risk poisoning so with deep regret I detached it and threw it away

Three of our raised beds. The fence has been painted since then and the beds are now full of plants. I will post new pics soon. Bramble plants are growing against the fence, held by a long wire that runs across it

I have been spending any dry day painting my summerhouse and selected sections of fencing. It's going to be a spectacular vintage summerhouse, I have lovely furniture and accessories lined up: an old table, 1940s chairs, embroidered linen and - since yesterday - a 1960s radio (looks a bit 1950ish though). When it's finished, I will film the results and hopefully play some old jazzy tunes in the background. I was hoping to sell an article about the makeover but no luck yet. If any editor reads this, I can do a budget makeover with all the stages and prices (incl. before and after pics).

And it rains again! No painting today.