Guess what!! After two months of living on a building site, all my clothes and things covered in layers of dust and jumbled in cardboard boxes in the attic, everything a mess and not being able to find anything, not having a bathroom, having to shower at friend’s houses, brushing my teeth in the kitchen sink, and even having to pee in the bushes every time I need the loo (yes, really) and having four Bulgarian men in the house EVERY SINGLE DAY from 8am every day 7 days per week, things are finally taking shape! They’ve just finished and are OUT! Woohoo! I’m so excited!
Okay, so we still have to unpack and decorate, and then phase two starts; the front of the house, the front garden, back garden etc and the home office and attic etc, but on Friday night I came home from work (new job – working at my favourite magazine! I feel like I’m in The Devil Wears Prada – but with nicer people), and it felt like home for the first time. The new herringbone floor is down, our furniture has been delivered, the place feels fresh and clean – and perhaps the best thing, I came home to be surprised with a hot bath (with scented oils), candles lit everywhere, every room filled with fresh flowers, a tray laid out with wine and nibbles, music playing, laundry done, house looking beautiful and he was cooking up a storm in the kitchen. What a treat after the camping (definitely not glamping) these past couple of months.
Obviously the house is still far from perfect – and I’ll be putting together a few before & after posts soon once the rooms are properly finished and decorated etc, but in the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at the progress so far (remember what it used to look like, when we moved in two months ago?)
This is what the living room looked like when we first arrived:
The vinyl flooring was yellowish in bright light, the ceilings were stained and dirty (with some hideous light fittings), the shelves were dark and badly fitted, the walls were grubby and stained, and there were holes in the wall everywhere – in a nutshell, just a little bit depressing and not exactly homely!
The bedroom was okay – the ceilings were dirty and stained and there were no ceiling lights, the windows were rotten, the walls were stained and there were no shelves or storage – all fairly easy things to change!
The bathroom also had rot in the windows, and even rotten wooden floors (who puts down wood in a bathroom?) – the shower and the bathroom units were old, tired, and even falling apart in places, and there were no shelves or storage space..
But, as they say, things have to get worse before they get better! We decided to build built-in cupboards and shelves on either side of the fireplace, tidy up the fireplace, put new floors down, a new ceiling and spotlights fitted, sand down the walls and give them a new lick of paint etc.. I didn’t realise how much work it was until the builders started!
We tried to make the most of it. We used their ladder step as our makeshift dining table, and sat on the floor..
.. Meanwhile, all our stuff was jumbled in the attic – where we sometimes slept to escape the dust! I wore the same outfits on a loop as I couldn’t find anything else to wear, and as our bathroom didn’t have a door (it was still being made), with the builders in the house every day I would need to sneak into the woods behind the house every time I needed a wee! We didn’t have any mirrors in the house either, so I wouldn’t know what a mess I looked like until I got to work and colleagues would ask “didn’t you wear that yesterday?”, “did you wash?” – Uhm, yes, and no, fuck you very much. I was not a very happy bunny, haha! But every day the house changed ever so slightly, and we got one step closer to our future home, so we couldn’t really complain too much.
Our study was used as a dumping ground for all the builder’s tools – it’s still a bit of a mess now!
Whilst the builders cracked on indoors, we spent most weekends in B&Q – or the sunnier ones upcycling! We found an old dark and dusty mirror, which we painted white..
And we transformed an old wooden chest of drawers, as well as a dining table – which we had found thrown out on the street! We sanded everything down and painted it all white. You wouldn’t be able to tell it had all been junk!
We also did a lot of planning on power point – I found it was such a useful and helpful tool to help imagine what a room could look like! We used it to experiment with the idea of a herringbone floor, as well as to see where the lamps would go, where the TV would go etc.. It also showed us that many ideas we had for the room simply wouldn’t fit, match, or work! It saved us a lot of mistakes.
My mum made us a big blue sculptural painting (out of papier mâché!) which we also used in our mood boards to see which furniture would look good in the living room..
We were torn between buying a coffee table (very practical) or an ottoman (less practical, but nice and squishy) and ended up going for the ottoman to make the room a bit softer..
The living room started to look a lot better once the floor was being put down!
The bathroom needed the most work – new sink, new shower, new loo, new bath, new mirror, new tiles etc..
We changed the layout of the bedroom and built fitted built-in wardrobes along the back wall, so we would have enough storage space for both our shoes and clothes, etc.. The built-in wardrobes probably took the longest to build!
But it was so worth it. Look at them now!
And our painted chest of drawers and upcycled mirror have found a place too:
We’ve finally started putting a few pictures up too..
And although we didn’t get round to building a window seat, we found this comfy bench which opens up to store all our linens and blankets!
And the living room is getting there too – we still haven’t quite figured out what else to hang on the walls, where to put the other Chinese lamp, or what to put on the shelves, but it’s definitely feeling a lot more homely!
We even have a working TV now – which, funnily enough, felt like it made the biggest difference! Once we were able to put a film on and snuggle up on the sofa with a glass of wine, it really felt like the ‘finishing touch’ – which I know sounds ridiculous!
The new herringbone floor continues into the (newly painted) kitchen..
I think the colours works quite well! This is what the floor used to look like:
We found this sideboard on Gumtree and I’m so pleased with it! It stores all our big pots and pans, and gives us so much more storage.
Ready to see the new bathroom?
Remember what it used to look like?
Maybe not a drastic change, but it feels so much cleaner!
We also built built-in shelves around the door, for all our bits and bobs..
The first time we had friends over for dinner and we sat around the (upcycled) dinner table in our new home, it felt like a little victory!
So I’m sorry if I’ve been a bit rubbish at updating the blog lately, but it was worth it and it’s finally over! Well – almost..