The Bog Blog…

Get the flags out, there’s another room done! It may be the smallest room in the house, but it’s another one down all the same. The cloakroom hasn’t turned out at all as I originally envisaged, I was thinking high cistern and subway tiles, it didn’t end up that way for several reasons…

1. Every interiors magazine has indentikit versions.

2. High cisterns and (nice) subway tiles are expensive.

Essentially we were led down a different path as we had tiling to use left over from the kitchen floor, we wanted to find a place to use the Victorian pot cupboard we bought and finally, we saw this on a trip to Stokholm.

And so it began… 

 
Once the horrid old bathroom was taken out we laid the stone floor and had the new suite fitted. We reused the chandelier from the bedroom of my last house. Our carpenter cut into the Victorian cupboard to accommodate our basin.

  
We then turned our attention to the walls. Inspired by the Stolkholm bathroom, we decided to use the photos we’ve taken on our travel adventures together to paper the walls. We had our favourite images printed to A4 size, trimmed where needed and then laid them out in columns, trying to avoid similar colours or repetition of locations falling too near to one another.

  

Once our composition was decided, we used LOTS of extra strong wallpaper paste on the reverse of the prints. We left each for a couple of minutes to soak before we put them onto the wall. 

 

Putting the images up was easier than anticipated, I was ‘Chief Passer’, while Ronnie, armed with a set square and level, assumed the role of ‘Chief Sticker’. Over the course of a weekend, we got the two walls covered. Once fully dry, we gave them three coats of oil based varnish. 

 

I’m really pleased with the outcome, especially as it’s cost so little. It would have been infinitely more tasteful if we’d used black and white images, but the colours are just so evocative of our travels, and if you can’t do something a little bonkers in the cloakroom, where can you!  

  

The last thing to do was put up shelves into the alcove. You’d think I’d be a seasoned pro at simple tasks such as putting up shelves, apparently not. Firstly the shelves arrived late (long story) and when they eventually did arrive, the ‘Tudor Oak’ wax colour I’d chosen looked more like red fence paint.  

Out of character perhaps, I couldn’t be bothered to complain, mainly because at best , I’d presumably need to wait for the vendor to grow another oak tree before I recieved replacements. So, I (stroppily) sanded and waxed the nasty shelves to a colour I was happy with and then started drilling the wall, basically it all went wrong and before I knew it we were in DIY SOS territory, spanners, gripfill, clamps…It was time for a man to take over. Once the shelves were up, they became home to some of our travel books and trinkets. 
   

 

 

 
  
We still need to replace the door for a Victorian version, but that can wait a while, we’re on to the next room. 

Ticking Boxes…

We have got quite a lot done this weekend, including a few things of the snagging list…tick!

We had a couple of gas engineers come to quote on fitting the new fire. Normally our quotes are pretty close, but in this instance one was almost double the other…hmm. We ordered a made to measure hearth of black marble, it should be around a week. In preparation for its arrival Ronnie got rid of some of the old bricks from the base of fire and laid a new cement bed.  

 

Meanwhile, I got on to waxing the fireplace. I used fine wire wool to apply clear beeswax and buffed with the orbital sander. It’s come up a lovely honey colour but needs a lot more work to look it’s best. 

 This image shows the carved roses painted, stripped, waxed and polished. The  polishing has really highlighted the difference in colour of the inlaid wood.  

 

While the mantel was laid flat I was able to clearly see the makers plaque which first allowed us to discover a little of it’s history. 

 

I picked a few flowers whilst I was outdoors and tried to avert my eyes from the  rapidly thickening jungle of a garden. 

  

Oh, and I dug up some mother of petal buttons, about 40mm diameter. I’ll have to use them in a project some time. 

  

Back indoors, we fitted the chandelier in the cloakroom. This came from the bedroom in my cottage. There has been comments that the light be a little ‘overstated’ for the smallest room in the house, thing is, I like overstated!  We also got the floor sealed at last.

 

In the kitchen Ronnie made a trim to cover the gaps between the extractor fan and the ceiling, it needs a final coat of paint and masking removed but looks better already. It’s so satisfying concluding jobs like this.

 

Meanwhile, I sanded the lounge boards again and gave them their final coat of colour. They now need varnishing.  

  

Lastly I chose wallpaper for the boot room, which is a positive step forward as I was in danger of bankrupting the project with excessive sample ordering…

 

To help the decision, I roughly visualised what the shortlist might look like… I love the black and white print on the right, but as the wall is going to accommodate our main coat hook, I’m worried it will soon look dirty, so in conclusion, I’m going with the one on the left from Brian Yates…almost probably certainly.

 

Looooong Weekend…

So, three whole days working on the house, we’ve made progress, but of the preparatory sort rather than interesting sort so I apologise sincerley for the dullest entry to date!

In no particular order…

1. Painted the lounge windows, three coats and counting! I came across a photo from Christmas 2013 earlier, it looks so different now…and the tree hides the worst of it! 

 2. Painted the cloakroom, white, in preparation for our photos to be put up…maybe next weekend? 

3. Grouted the cloakroom floor. We hope to get it cleaned and sealed during the week.

 4. Masticed (it’s a new word, ok?!) the floorboard gaps in the lounge. We matched the colour to the wood, it needs another sanding, another coat of colour and then we start on the yacht varnish.  The mastic will be invisible after all that and will really help with the insulation of the room, and, it leaves little smiley faces on your fingers!

 

5. Dad and I painted the support under the bay window, after it had insulation added. 

6. Finished painting coving in hall. 

Over and out for this week, hopefully some prettier photos soon!

Another Mixed Bag…

Another week of random progress at Lansdowne. In no particular order;

We have upcycled the Victorian pot cupboard we bought last year, as an under-sink unit. We had to have the carpenter chop a few slices out which seemed a bit of a shame, but it’s hardly museaum quality. Even after modification, there is still plenty of storage space and it looks so much nicer than anything modern… #smug 

 

I’ve also found a home for my a Grandma’s old mirror. I was intending to hang a beautiful etched glass mirror I have from Aunty Doris, my Grandma’s sister, but, A. It looks a little too big for the space and B. I was slightly concerned Aunty D would disapprove of her mirror living in the loo and have us struck by lightening…Grandma wouldn’t mind. 

So far the cloakroom budget is looking good, the floor was done with remnants from the kitchen, the sink was free (don’t ask) , the toilet £5, the cuboard I think we gave about £25 for and the chandelier hung in my bedroom at my last house. Next, is to think about finishing hanging the light (did I mention attempt number one didn’t go quite to plan, it’s hanging, but precariously at best, oh, and it doesn’t light up…hence the dark photograph), decorating the walls, ordering a toilet seat, fitting skirting, grouting floor, putting shelves in the alcove and digging around the attic for our bathroom accessories…damn that’s loads now it’s listed!

I also collected the Parker Knoll from the upholsterer, it’s erm, very pink! I think we’ll have it in the library… Ronnie thinks it will go on a bonfire. Hmm. 

   

We’ve painted ceilings throughout the hallway today and also stained the lounge floorboards, now for lashings and lashings of yacht varnish!  

 

We’ve also been on the hunt for a fire for the lounge, we want something fairly authentic looking, but from the people we’ve spoken to today it appears that there are a couple of issues, firstly the style we had in mind are of very poor efficiency level, averaging around 15%…or perhaps 85% inefficient would be a better description. The second issue is our opening is much bigger than normal, meaning we can’t have a solid cast fire, without messing about with the surround which I wouldn’t be happy with after all the work that’s been done on it… Can nothing be easy?! 

Smallest Room In The House…

I don’t think I’ve shared much of the full, avocado-tinted nightmare that is our downstairs cloakroom…and with good reason – nervous readers look away now. 

 This is it as we moved in, believe it or not it got even worse. Once the lino was lifted and it became a hub for paint pots and jars of white spirit. I had visions of a rather grand Victorian cloakroom, high level cistern and metro tiles, but a weekend spent in an apartment in Stokholm gave us an different idea… 

  They had pasted iconic fashion photography photocopied from magazines over their bathroom walls and we decided we’d do something similar with our travel photography.  

 

I’m undecided yet to go classic black & white or full-on colour, what do you think?  

I wanted black and white floor tiles, but we had stone left from the kitchen and as the cloakroom flows from the kitchen it made sense to carry the flooring on. Next was removing the suite, I do hope someone somewhere has kept an avacado suite to preserve history for the generations to come, but as much as I love history and design, that someone ain’t going to be me!  

 

Today our carpenter has done first-fix boxing to hide all that nasty pipework. The plumber is due this week to fit our sparkly new toilet and basin. I’m planning to use the Victorian pot cupboard we bought last year as a vanity unit under the sink, I’m not quite sure how yet, but where there’s a will there’s a way!