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. 

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?! 

Cooking on gas…Nearly!

Today was spent digging a trench from the side gate to the road, what fun! This is in preparation for the gas line to be fitted, we’ve saved about £500 doing this, so as much as I moaned (and I really moaned) the saving was worth the effort. It was also quite nice to be out at the front of the house chatting to passers by, many of them are older folk who knew the previous occupants, they all want to know how we’re getting on and wish us well, which is super.

20140322-181603.jpg We’re slightly concerned that there doesn’t seem to have been any notification to our neighbours that the road will be closed, except a tiny sign on a lampost at the very end of the street, so there may be some drama this week!

I’ve also been on the case trying to mend the stool that the pesky electricians broke. Here is how it looked a few years ago when I first bought it…

20140322-182318.jpg After much stripping, waxing and upholstering it looked like this, shown in our last home…


And after the aforementioned electricians got at it, it looked like this…!

20140322-184107.jpg Not only has the poor old thing lost a leg and it’s mouldings, it’s having to lie on the vile carpet. After a bit of nailing, a lot of gluing and some serious clamping it was on it’s way back to health.

It’s now looking much better after a bit of filling, sanding and polishing, and will be going into the guest bedroom word of warning to friends and family that may stay in future….It might be wise not to sit on it for too long!

This weekend has finally seen an end to the hours, and hours, and hours of scraping and scrubbing of the exposed brick wall in the kitchen.

20140323-211724.jpg It looks a little patchy in this photo, it’s far from ‘perfect’ as each brick is different, but I’m super pleased with it, I can’t wait to get it sealed and hang my Thai mirror on it.;

A kitchen, a sofa and a robbery that wasn’t.

Oops, missed a week. We’ve both been in the sick bay with a bug, so progress has been slow… We’re recovered now, so full steam ahead, phew!

We’ve been given this lovely little sofa after eagle-eyed June spotted a neighbour throwing it out… It’s now on my ever-growing list of things to up-cycle. Sweet, isn’t she?

20140311-214721.jpg Last Saturday Ronnie and I ventured into the village for some breakfast, when we returned the workmen mentioned Ronnie’s friend had been round to borrow his electrical saw from the shed, we’d not been expecting anyone so after a quick ring round, we decided that the saw had been stolen by an opportunist, which was pretty much what we deserved for leaving the shed open with valuables inside. Oh well.
The kitchen fitting is almost, very nearly complete. It took the fitter quite a lot longer than he anticipated but we’re really pleased with the results so far.

20140316-181215.jpg These pictures show where the two walls have come down, the first just behind the new breakfast bar, the second came off the yellow wall in the background. The stained glass window I bought will drop into that yellow wall one if these days!

20140316-181228.jpg The breakfast bar has achieved the divide we wanted between kitchen and dining areas, we still need to get the extraction hood fitted. I’m still upset I missed out on those old school stools on Ebay, they would have been perfect! The exposed brick wall can be seen in this picture too, sooooo many hours of scrubbing, but it’s looking good!



20140316-182639.jpg The oven and microwave sit just got the right of the hob.

20140316-183507.jpg The corner by the pantry has worked out ok, and now houses the fridge freezer and some cupboards, next weekend I plan to sort out the cupboard doors…new hardware, beading and a good few coats of paint. Dottie cat has been ‘helping’ in the kitchen by sitting in the box of handles, refusing to move.

20140316-185000.jpg Finally for this week, the ‘stolen’ saw was returned. A red faced couple knocked at the door and basically they’d arranged to borrow some tools from a friend of a friend and gone to the wrong house, they only realised when they returned it! All’s well that ends well, they bought us some wine and chocolate to apologise, and the saw made a lovely job of their new kitchen floor!