When we moved in, back in October, it was hard to imagine getting to where we even are now. After all, we ripped down plaster and walls, took floors up, lived with no kitchen, lived with no heating (the average house temperature through winter was 11 degrees...there were some less than wonderful evenings during that time), lived with no water (that was fun!) and generally took things right back to basics. Still, we pushed on; and last weekend we began to see why.
When we moved in the front room looked like this:
We'd had 8 weeks between getting the keys and getting in so we'd done a fair amount of the major demolition work in that time.
It was like moving into a dust pit.
That wrapped up thing on the right is my beloved Smeg fridge - just look at the state of her, poor thing.
Since October our living room furniture consisted of this - yes, those are garden chairs:
These pictures were taken pre-kitchen so we had a lovely kitchen/living room hybrid thing going on that, while hideous to look back on now, served us well.
Then the floors came up...
We learnt to balance pretty quickly, I can tell you. One bad foot meant a redo of some very technical work at times.
Then the new floors went down:
We used engineered oak throughout the whole downstairs because what we didn't want was radiators. So we chose underfloor heating and a wood-burner to keep us cosy. The engineered oak allows the underfloor heating system to work - solid oak won't let the warmth through.
Of course I am simplifying the steps in a major way but I would imagine to most people this is all achingly boring so I'm trying to be brief.
Once the floors went down we covered them in think lining paper (meant for prepping walls for papering.) This was an amazing tip from OH's mum. Good quality lining paper is ridiculously durable, non-porous in most cases and protects like nothing else we've used in the build. So whilst I *know* the floors look that fabulous underneath it all, we can barely see them!
So about 3 weeks ago the front room painting started in earnest.
Obviously all the pics include OH and not really me but I promise I was doing my half of the work!
After weeks of deliberating over wall colour we plumped for Farrow&Ball's Pavilion Grey.
We didn't actually - we went a trade paint place that does 'replicas' of popular colours and did it that way. I love the F&B floor paints we've used upstairs and they're really hard wearing but I'd heard from friends that the wall paints were a different ball game - chalky, constantly rubbing off against clothes and furniture and needing a fresh coat annually. I don't have time for that!
We decided to take the grey all the way up the walls but pick out the original features in white and have the ceiling white too. We hope that it gives the illusion of even higher ceilings which is part of what I love about the house - the feeling of space even though they're relatively compact rooms.
After we finished the painting we could FINALLY banish the garden chairs. While they've been marvellously loyal and useful their place is not indoors so off they went. Cue: The Chesterfield.
Our friend Mark helped us get it back in on the deal of beer and rugby if he completed the task. He didn't let us down. So up came the paper covering the floor and in came actual indoor seating. I almost cried.
Then came the windows. They were replaced just over a year before we bought the house which is brilliant but then, for some reason, the woodwork around them was stained a grim dark brown (see above.) So we set to work getting that all white and it instantly transformed the room.
OH made the genius decision of getting custom made blinds for the windows so they sit snug in the panes and look neat. And 2 nights ago, after living in a fishbowl for a week, he put them up.
And then I *did* cry.
So in 5 months we went from that to this. Next step is the dining room. Another Hupdate featuring that coming soon.