So as we are now staying put in our home, I have been itching to get going on some revamping. And I have the perfect project to get my teeth into.
Our hallway is quite large, and stretches up through 3 floors, with the staircase splitting off in two directions after the first flight of stairs. It is not a typical narrow Victorian hallway and stairs, and there is a lot of space and ceiling a minimum of 3 meters tall on the ground and first floors. When we first came to the house it was painted a sickly aqua green, so I redecorated it in pale taupe and white on the woodwork to neutralise it. But it is now a long time since it was done, so I have decided to crack on and give it an overhaul.
It has great original floorboards, stained glass windows either side of the original front door and original panelling on the sides of the stairs. It’s large enough to take a huge period cabinet and a sideboard. The stairs are original with 2 spindles per step, (takes an age to paint them though). The stair carpet was inherited with the house, and is a very rich dark red Wilton attached with Victorian stair rods on the first flight. Then it goes full width up through the rest of the halls and stairs above. As anyone who knows me is aware, I have a love-hate relationship with this carpet. It is amazing quality, and looks like new after well over 7 years, and that is since we have been here and it existed pre-us. But I have 2 cats called George and Mildred, and EVERY hair they drop shows on it, so I have to hoover a lot. I always wanted to replace it with sisal when it got tired, but the quotes were really high to get it laid well and with multiple angles needed, and it shows no sign of looking shabby yet so I am holding on for the moment. It has also survived many children, teenage parties and flailing carrying of coffee and tea by the said teens. So I’m stuck with it for now.
Very pale taupe walls
The red stair carpet with brass rods
My huge old cabinet filled with ‘stuff’
It’s been a bit quiet on the blogging front whilst I have been trying to plan how to fit the contents of a large house into a smaller one. Books are the big issue this past couple of weeks – I have cleared the blockbuster paperback shelves and donated them to the charity shops, but still have a lot left that I re-read constantly including loads of penguin classics and art books. Even after the purge, I still have hundreds and really do not want to part with them My tape measure and I are constant companions now, and I have spent days researching various options for bookcases and cupboards that I need to fit into quite wide alcoves in the dining room of our new house this summer.
They need to look something like this and fit the spaces perfectly.
Ikea hacking came to mind as a first option, with cunning combinations of shelves and mouldings – but I am not made on melamine, and even when painted it chips easily so I know it would drive me nuts spotting flaws on shelves.
I then got in several firms who build bespoke shelving units to quote. Most were averaging £1K per unit. Unbelievable! For that I would get MDF, not even solid wood.
Finally I have found a firm online who can make solid wood ones to order for very reasonable prices. I supply all measurements and they make, deliver and fit. It is millimetre perfect so is actually not scribed into the wall but removable. I can move the shelves around to suit the book sizes, and they come primed and sprayed in any paint I want as well – all F&B colours or any RAL. I am thinking plain white but I will paint the back beading a much darker colour to make things pop.
I am going for a combination of these library shelves below, but with doors not drawers on the lower part top hide the uglier books! I just love the ladder – the unit will be 9ft tall so I think I can justify one!
What do you think? I am putting the order in this week… can’t wait!
As the property market gets ridiculously overpriced here in the UK at the moment, I have been thinking about staying put and extending instead of moving on to the next doer-upper. It got me thinking about when I have moved in the past, so here are some top tips for when you are thinking of moving home. I have learnt a few lessons from being a serial house-hopper personally, and am sure there are yet more to come before I finally find the ‘forever house’:
1) Look for a south-facing or east/west facing property
Estate agents love to sell south-facing properties because of their sunny, warm and light credentials. For many home buyers, the very thought of north-facing means a gloomy and chilly property that’s uninviting. While a south-facing home tops the most wanted list, it’s important to think about what your ideal home looks like. A glass extension built on the back of a southern home could actually be a waste of time, unless you fancy sitting in a sauna. An east/west property could be more of a draw if you’re looking for a bit of sun in front bedrooms early in the morning yet want it to switch to the back when it sets late afternoon.
Make sure to ask the current homeowner where you can expect to find the sun and at what time before you settle on a new home – even if you’re viewing the property in the winter. You might not mind straight away but you will once the summer temperatures kick in! Don’t get too caught up with the sun either – light is equally, if not more important. My current house loses the sun on the terrace by 3pm, so evening BBQ’s involve either wearing coats or running down to the far end of the garden to catch some rays…