Lounging Around…

I sneaked off site for a few hours yesterday to an Interiors Experience upholstery class, as the dreaded chair is now finished, I dug this footstool out of the attic, I bought it last year with the intention of using it in the lounge as a low table.


I had not one, but four suitable yellow fabrics to choose from. After much deliberation, I plumped for a fifties style yellow, white and grey.   


I love it the look of this fabric against the stripe I have ready for curtains. I may use the others elsewhere in the room, or they may just languish in the craft room… 


The stool only took a couple of hours to do as the foam was in good condition under the old fabric. I just need to paint the legs and it’s ready.  

We’ve almost chosen a fire for the lounge, we want to get that in pretty quickly now so that we can get the floor finished. We also pulled off the horrid 1980’s double glazing, leaving behind quite a lot of frame destruction.  

We have also filled all the 207 nail holes in the lounge floor, that was fun. And finally, we managed to mend the extractor fan which we thought was done for, turns out a spacer had fallen from the ceiling and blocked the motor. Oops!   

Chairs and Despair – Again!

I have another chair to discuss…please try to contain your excitement.

About a million years ago, I saw a beautiful chair upholstered in grey velvet in an overpriced antique store, it was love at first sight but at £1200, buying it would have been ridiculous, I had no where to keep it, plus as I’d recently re-upholstered a Lloyd Loom blanket box I figured a chair wouldn’t be too much more demanding. Ahem. So, a few weeks later my Shire Sourcing Executive secured me a big brown bear of a chair in auction for the princely sum of £60.  

 A weekend upholstery course was booked, and off I went to complete my chair. My first course was at the wonderful Peak Upholstery, which is a little like spending a few days in Country Homes magazine, with the added advantages of delicious baking, homegrown fayre and the company of a small menagerie of characterful pets, oh, did I forget to mention upholstery tuition? It soon became apparent my chair was going to take substantially longer than the four days of the course, give or take a few weeks it’s taken me four years! I’ve been back to see Angie a few times since and loved every minute. More recently, I’ve been attending day courses at my local arts centre under the watchful eye of Fiona, of Interiors Experience. Perhaps by coincidence, there is delicious cake there too and occasionally pets…!

There are so many stages to a project like this that I could literally write a book, that would not however, be a good idea as I’ve forgotten many of the processes, but for those that are interested, here are a few of the milestones…  


And here it is finished, it really deserves better surroundings, it will one day take pride of place in the bedroom, but for now it’s being mothballed under dust sheets for safe keeping.



Where Did January Go, Again?

This time last year my post was entitled ‘Where Did January Go?’ And a year on, it’s happened again! It’s been nearly three weeks since my last post, oops. We’ve both been ill with coughs and colds, so progress has been slowed – and let’s face it, it’s hardly rapid at the best of times.

Anyway, on with the positives, I’ve had another day class on my dreaded upholstery project, amazingly though I came home and worked some more on it, I only need to put the back panel on and I’m done!

We started the grouting of the kitchen floor yesterday, which we should have done about a month ago, but sometimes life just gets in the way. Turns out grouting floors is a lot more time consuming than expected.

2015/02/img_5135.jpg As the tiles are so deep we’d half filled the gaps with the runny adhesive left-overs, this has made the grouting easier, but still takes forever. We found it was best to discount the manufacturers instructions on drying time and leave the grout for a good few hours before attempting to smooth and clean up. There’s a quick before, during and after above. I’ve pushed an 1888 penny which we found under the floorboards of the bedroom into the grout where the dining area wall meets the floor, it’s joined by a 2013 coin, the year we moved into the house.

2015/02/img_5138.jpg We’ve no idea where the old coin came from, but feels like it should stay in the house having been here so long, it’s certainly here for keeps now!

We’ve also started planning the downstairs cloakroom, viewers of a nervous disposition look away now.

2015/02/img_5136.jpg We love to travel, and this room is going to be our little adventure gallery…with a chandelier and vintage mirror. Probably.

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!

Windows, Wires & Webbing…

The old (ish) windows at the back of the house are now gone, I thought I’d be quite sad, as aesthetically they were ok, but in terms of energy efficiency and security were rock bottom. We chose Georgian style replacements, though we’ve no idea what would have been there originally.

20140126-184830.jpg I’m really quite pleased with the results. Much lighter than I was expecting and due to a few little suggestions from the fitters, they open really easily, the deep bay in the kitchen had been impossible to reach previously. We also had the old breakfast room door replaced. Our neighbours told us when they moved in they had the original door there, which was a stunning stained glass piece. We however, had a horrid, rotting, wooden door. We decided to replace it with skinny French doors, the fitters warned us against this as they were worried about seeing more frame than glass, but they actually look really good. They will work really well as we wanted to be able to leave the doors open onto the courtyard in Summer, but a regular door would have opened onto the library window. I’m not very fond of the Georgian detail in the top pane, I’d assumed it would be clear. Lesson learned… Spec EVERYTHING!

I did take the time to do a full design for the front door, as I wasn’t confident the guys had grasped quite what I wanted, seems this paid off as we’ve got pretty much what we asked for, with the added advantage of a handle, which I left off plan!

20140126-190419.jpg The neighbours popped round to say they love it, hopefully our house won’t be the ugly duckling of the street for too much longer!

Also this week the rewire has begun, there are floorboards and holes all over the place, and every floor, wall and ceiling is strewn with wires like gigantic grey spaghetti.

20140126-190717.jpg The cat seems to think she is living in some sort of feline theme park, her current party trick is burrowing down from the craft room floor and emerging in the top pantry cupboard, I’ve given up worrying what she gets up to, as there’s little we can do to prevent it!

Every evening we’ve been marking out switch and socket positions, it feels luxurious to be able to have everything exactly where we want it. Also great to get back from work and see there’s been progress in our absence as there are now plenty of people on site. We’ve marked out the kitchen too, though I got told off by Ronnie for drawing on the cupboards as apparently text would have sufficed and my pictures are neither professional or necessary… They make me snigger though.


We’ve met a couple a few houses down who have a similar level of work to do as us. We actually viewed their (beautiful) house before we bought this ours, at the time we were scared off by the amount of work required, though a year or so later we jumped in with both feet into a similar wreck! It’s going to be good to potter down and see what they are up to, and I’m sure they will be pottering to ours too.

Finally for this week, a quick update on my upholstery project, aka ‘The Damn Chair’. There was a class locally yesterday, so I had a few hours off renovation, at least of the bricks and mortar variety. I’ll post more about this project at some point as it’s a long, long story, but here he is at close of play yesterday:

20140126-191819.jpg After several years and more money than I dare think about, it’s very nearly there!