Saturday, 16 August 2014

It will all look lovely when it's finished...

If I had £5 for every time someone has told me "it will all look lovely when it's finished", or some variation thereof, I would have a substantial downpayment on a new boiler. At some points it is feeling to me more like "It will be a series of compromises which you will eventually recover from"

Yes, the week started off on a low point when a heating engineer came to inspect the boiler (as a prerequisite to taking out insurance) and promptly condemned as dangerous and shut it down.  Luckily it's August so we don't need heating, and we have an immersion for hot water.  I'm getting quotes on a new boiler and the first quote back is twice as much as I was hoping.

A positive flood of tradesmen poured through the house during the week, leaving us progressively fewer and fewer rooms that were actually usable.  This is how the dining room and lounge looked for two days as the fireplaces were refitted:

And meanwhile my bedroom and the boxroom both looked like this:

The painter was supposed to take three days and hasn't finished yet after five days, partly due to a technical malfunction with the wood paint I had purchased.  Meanwhile all my toiletries etc. were crammed into the ensuite which I was using as a sort of dressing room, and all my clothes were trapped in the wardrobe in the picture so I had to extract each evening what I wanted to wear the next day. I kept forgetting to get my jewellery box out of the wardrobe so ended up wearing the same pair of earrings all week and no watch.

But the bedroom is looking hugely better with its new coat of neutral stone-beige matt paint, and fresh soft white woodwork in eggshell finish.

And the previously broken lounge fireplace is back in place, good as new, and the replacement fireplace in the dining room (genuine Victorian mantle and insert) is a triumph compared to what we started with.

The brass fender isn't fixed yet, it needs to be cut to size and given a good polish.

Meanwhile the kitchen has lurched onwards.  Still no plumber, but the electrician has been twice, the tiler has been (he needs to come back because the electrician had to move some tiles), and the fitter has put all the knobs on the cupboards and mostly finished up.

The kitchen has now been underway for three weeks and I think will hopefully be finished this coming week.  The fitter is supposed to come Monday to finish the floors, and I'm waiting for a call from the kitchen company on when the rest of it is going to be done.  We've bought a new four-panel door (the upper two panels are glazed) which they will hang on the opening between the kitchen and dining room.

On the outside, the scaffolders came back three more days (they ran over by a day) and our house is now completely cradled in scaffolding.  It's weird because we can now walk around it at a high level.  We've been able to pick the dead ivy off the neighbour's wall, which is three stories up in the air, so I won't have to look at that out my bedroom window any more - yay!  This is the view from most of the windows for the next eight weeks:

The outside painter has started painting from the scaffolding already, the roofer has been up to have a look and I'm waiting for his quote, and the brickmason starts repointing in a few weeks.  So it is all coming together, we just need to hang in there and keep hoovering up the dust.

The electrician also did an extra job for me and hung the two hall lights that I purchased optimistically several weeks ago. They look really nice, way better than bare bulbs. That's our fridge freezer waiting patiently in the hallway, and you can see the plastic covers we've taped over the lounge and study doors to try to keep out the dust.

Today we spent the day running around Northamptonshire - first of all to reclamation yards to buy two floorboards to be used hopefully for patching the broken boards in the dining room.  Then to fabric shops looking for upholstery fabric for our dining set and a few other chairs.  We went to a fabulous shop in Northampton called The Mill Shop, who also sell online.  A real Aladdin's cave for furnishing and upholstery fabrics, we will definitely be going back there for more and for curtaining because their prices are amazing.  They had roll ends of upholstery fabric for as little as £2.95 a metre.  They also have a room of lower end craft and quilting fabric but it is pretty normally priced.  I got three metres of upholstery fabric for a chair but couldn't find anything for the other chairs.  I think my taste is out of sync with modern trends, I want something that looks a bit Victorian and a bit faded, probably with a smaller pattern or stripe. The modern taste seems to be all glitz and metallics and loud bold patterns and colours.

Commuter knitting this week was a change in pace because I got so bored knitting the Low Tide Cardigan which is all stockinette in sock weight yarn now. I did a search on Ravelry and purchased the Ruffled and Ruched Scarf pattern by Pam Powers, she was having a 3 for 2 sale. I'm using the Dream in Colour Classy yarn that came in the latest Knitcrate and I've finished the scarf part and now I'm working on the rosette. The pattern is easy but looks great, and I've enjoyed knitting with the thicker yarn.

1 comment:

Daisy said...

See, it is definitely taking shape amidst the chaos! The painted bedroom looks lovely and I like what you've chosen for the kitchen.

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