I’m floored…

Today I’m talking floors. Beautiful, wonderful, floors. Now, flooring is not only important, it’s expensive and choosing the right flooring can be complex. You have to think about the room (what floors are typically used in this room – you wouldn’t want to install carpet in a kitchen), how people use the room (wear and tear – is this a heavy traffic area), the style (are you re-flooring your kitchen and installing shaker cabinets or sleek, white, modern glossy, cabinets), heating (is there underfloor heating in the mix). Anymore, simply choosing a neutral carpet doesn’t cut the mustard. Lord, I wish it did! Sometimes I think we’re so spoiled it makes it difficult to choose anything, let alone the RIGHT thing. Don’t even get me started on door knobs… Continue reading

Cooking up a disaster

In my previous post, I shared some pictures of the kitchen as it was being installed and highlighted a few of the issues we faced. This post I’m going to share a few hard-learned lessons that came out of this disaster. Some of these things will seem blindingly obvious, but when you’re six months into a build and the builder you’re working with is making excuses, it’s easy to trust them at their word. I’m here to set the record straight so let’s not waste any time, shall we?  Continue reading

Whatcha got cooking?

In my post regarding some of the plaster corrections we had made, I shared a few snaps of the kitchen. This post is all about that kitchen though, so get ready!

Kitchen Install

A hint of what’s to come…

We were recommended this kitchen company by our builders and were assured that we would be overjoyed with the end result. We went to a few other providers for quotes (Ridgeons, B&Q, Howdens), but we liked the cabinets Parker Rose supplied and tentatively decided we would go with them. Continue reading

Dealing with disappointment

I’d like to think that I’ve been pretty real so far. I’ve expressed my frustrations, pointed out where things have gone wrong, and talked about what I’ve learned. Yet up to this point, I’ve not really let rip how disappointing so much of this build has been. Nobody likes a complainer, right?

That said, I think it’s important to talk about disappointment. Learning how to deal with setbacks in a healthy manner is fundamental when going through any sort of renovation process. Why you ask? Continue reading

The corrections

In my previous post, I mentioned that the plastering had gone terribly awry. While I didn’t go into specifics, you’re in for a treat now. One of, if not the biggest issue was the new kitchen ceiling. As said, in an older building you expect some wobbly lines but in a brand new space to have a sloped ceiling is completely unacceptable.


When measured, the kitchen ceiling was 2 inches out. So if you look at those wooden slats they are thicker towards the kitchen cabinets and they then thin out. This was to compensate for the slanted ceiling. It’s rather extraordinary in my opinion, that a new space could be so badly constructed. After the slats had been carefully measured, the end result was a new ceiling. Again. Continue reading

The big pink

After all of this demolition, it finally came time to start to put things back together. When I say finally, I mean FINALLY! When we embarked upon this journey we were told that the build would be finished by end of June, early July at the latest. By the time we started putting the plaster on the walls we were already at the end of July and I was at the end of my wits.

Going through this process is not for the faint of heart and you have to be ready for all manner of delays and excuses. There are going to be times when you wish you’d never bothered and then you’ll see the hard work start to come together. For me, I had a moment of pure happiness when I came home from work and saw fresh, pink plaster all over the house… But unfortunately, that moment was short-lived and this isn’t a happy post.

Continue reading

Potty talk

One of the biggest elements of our build was refurbishing our teeny-tiny bog into something, well, not as tiny. It’s never going to win a bathroom of the year award in Architectural Digest, but we wanted it to at least be comfortable. And have a room that wasn’t covered in mould. Cause yeah, mouldy ceilings aren’t on most interior designers “top trends” lists. Unless I’m reading the wrong publications?

Just to give you a flavour of what we were dealing with:

SONY DSCI can’t believe we showered in that for years… Continue reading

What secrets lay beneath

As a result of all that stripping (oh la la!) we noticed that there were VERY large portions of original plaster “missing”. In fact, the plaster had broken down over time and it was only the chipboard wallpaper that was holding our walls together. Let this be a warning to those who stick their noses where they shouldn’t! So in addition to stripping wallpaper, my partner in crime also had to lug an inordinate amount of rubble to the skip, sat permanently in our front yard. You can see by looking at the photos, that we took everything back to the original brick work. It was a job indeed! SONY DSC Continue reading

This kind of stripping doesn’t require a pole…

While the builders were getting to work, we also decided to get down to business. Obviously we’d worked on or own bedroom prior to the major structural work being completed and so we knew what we were getting into. In this instance it was more wallpaper stripping and plaster chipping. Such an exciting way to spend every weekend in the summer, right? IMG_3181First we started with the entryway and hallway. I can tell you now that stripping wallpaper is a sticky, sweaty, nasty business. I’d done it before so I’m not sure why I volunteered to do it again! That said, it feels good to finish a wall, stand back, and admire a job well done.  Continue reading