Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Treasures from ebay!

Like most people, I LOVE a bargain!
Inspired by the period of the house and friends and family, the house has a good mixture of old and new, with relatively expensive items sat along side relatively cheap (and often free! love a hand me down!) finds to make each room feel like home.

After a while of scouring old mills, charity shops and Ebay I finally found a dresser small enough not to overwhelm my lounge. 

A drive later to Chester to part with £30 whole pounds this little lady came home...

Armed with some sand paper, white spirit and period eggshell I set to giving the lady a much needed make over from pale and neglected to classical beauty!

Added some pretty glass handles, and ta da, here's the finished little lady all scrubbed up in her Sunday best....

A lovely place to store treasured gifts and tokens from my life x

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Victorian Beauties

On to the next.....

So following the long journey of the bathroom, I began the renovation of my bedroom expecting a relatively easy time, not so! The problems began with the ceiling. 
  As with every ceiling in this house, and most houses across England in the 70's, ceiling tiles had been used to cover a multitude of sins! I spent a whole weekend removing the tiles, no easy feat when the guy who had applied them had used a LOT of adhesive! So one weekend down, and lots of knuckles scraps and cuts later (!!) a very wonky, badly damaged and fairly scary ceiling was revealed!
  Now me being me, thought hmmm, wonder if that can be skimmed straight (WTF?!!) Got plasterer round, and no surprise to myself, ceiling had to come down! Oh Man! The most frustrating part was losing a weekend to ceiling tiles when could have just kicked the damn ceiling through!

So that's where the real fun began! Three friends and I later, kitted out in orange boiler suits, began the demolition of the ceiling! This was not a pleasant job, because although the loft was not full of someone else's rubbish and left off's as is this case with most homes, it was however full of 100 years of black soot and dust beneath the insulation! 
  We tried to brush, hoover and collect as much of this as possible, but to my distress, there isn't much you can do about the dust, and this sticky dust lingered and roamed around the house for months later! No matter how much cleaning I did! 

The ceiling was relatively easy to kick in! And the easiest way to do it was to hang from the beams and just kick down! (not recommending this, A&E visit may follow if beams not secure!) Thankfully no injuries here, just a LOT of ceiling, and dust to tidy up! 

A long and painful day it was, and how glam we looked when walking to a friends house to get clean!  Lots of head turning and curious looks as we looked like we had just appeared from a mine or a gas explosion!

The good point was just how quickly the new ceiling went up! Then began the the fun part of making a house a home! I hired a sander to reveal the original floor boards, which cleaned up really well. I stained and sealed them to protect the new wood. 

 Having previously started the fireplace clean up, whereby I stripped back the plaster to reveal the brick work. I continued by cleaning up what I believed to be a cement hearth, but to my delight, it was in fact a beautiful Victorian tiled hearth with bold greens and yellows. These beauties cleaned up exceptionally well considering they had been cemented over and had a gas fired placed on top for who knows how long!!

Not sure why people always rip out and cover up the original features of properties, when actually they can be the most beautiful part of the home!

And now to my favourite part, the end result!!

Best feature in my bedroom are the large original sash windows that have been renovated to fully operate. I love the sheer size of them, and the colours of the stained glass which change colours and sparkle in the sunlight, beautiful x

Oliver, Oliver, never before has a boy asked for more!

Here's a post to make you smile!

I'd like to introduce Mr Oliver Orton: a very beautiful, deliriously happy little man that never fails to make me smile! 

This beautiful little man is my best friends little boy, who we have the pleasure of 'baby stealing' whenever we can! This picture is his last visit to our home, in which a 6.30 wake up from him involved a game of clap hands and lots of giggling and chattering! Too cute!!

Here he is exploring my home!


Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Bath time!

My first project in the house was to over haul the bathroom. And man was that a project!

Something that I expected to take a month, turned into an epic journey that involved lots of frustration, lots of tears, lots of swearing and lots more money! Main reason: hired a dodgy builder! 
Despite going through a reviewed website (is there any escape from dodgy builders?) 

Anyway, long story cut short: kicked dodgy dude off the job, hired someone new, paid for damaged materials, bullied money back from dodgy dude!

Here's some pics to show the journey:

Note the beautiful ceiling tiles and fan/light, the vinyl floor tiles, and boat themed wallpaper and wall tiles! One word LUSH!

Note: at the end of each day, I had to clean down this bathroom in order to bathe! Lots of long hours, let me tell you! That was until the bathroom strip out in which public toilets, friends bathrooms and an orange bucket became my tools of trade! Thankfully this was not for long! Only so much peeing in a bucket one gal can do, let me tell you!!

Moving swiftly on to the grand reveal.....

Ta da!!!

Best moment: lying in the bath with lashings of Laura Mercier Honey Bath, a HUGE glass of red wine, candles lit, and Norah Jones's dulcet tones and piano rifts soothing the pain of the renovation! 

Bliss! x

Sunday, 17 July 2011

The beginning...

And so the blogging begins! Sat on my couch in Sunday joggers (yes 'joggers'! No other pants will do for lazy Sundays!), whilst my boy watches the Open (seriously how many dodgy outfit selections can there be for golfers?!) As I attempt to share the recording of the past two years of my life, of which there has been ample amounts of love and hate for this house of mine! 

 So here's the history: following a 5yr relationship breakdown, the fall through of sale of house, and subsequent 18 months living with the ex (do not advise!), I decided against my better judgement, but also because I was at the time, bruised by estate agents and solicitors (Gah to both!), to rent rather than buy. Thus, part taking in a swanky apartment in the city centre of Manchester, believing this would sooth the soul and aid in bohemian life of Northern Quarter bars and brunch!

  But found that I never could settle, and actually found did not actually utilise the location! Lots of moaning to a friend later, she asked the question: "was it not time to stop paying somebody else's mortgage?" (thank you for always stating the black and white Ms Atkinson! much love x) So, much debate later I sought out the advice of a financial adviser and began the search for my new home!

  After viewing quite a few properties, must say I do love looking at other peoples homes! I stumbled across a rather neglected, period end terrace. So on a Saturday morning in October 2008 I met yet another estate agent (gah!) at said property, and instantly fell in love! 
 Although in hindsight, should maybe not have been so animated in my love for said property in front of the agent?! Definitely think this cost me pretty pennies later! Duh! 
  Any way let me show you the  object of my affection...

The original brochure pictures

The love began at the sight of the original, stained glass windows..

 Although I didn't feel much love for the 80's gas fire and avocado carpet!

The dining room: if you look closely you can see where they decided to butcher a beautiful old cupboard, to stone clad (I kid you not!) the underneath to accommodate a TV! 

The mint green and lilac master bedroom

The yellow and blue 2nd bedroom

The wood cladded, extremely cold, damp kitchen

And no renovation project would be complete without the powder blue bath suite, wit woo I hear you say! Oh yes! But if you look close, you can see that the cherry on top of the cake comes in the detail: Boat featured wall paper (oriental boats, in pink!) with boat pictured tiles (pirate ships no less!)


And so the biding began! 

Although most people would have ran a mile from the dry rot problems, wonky door ways, bad wiring, lack of central heating, and 60s/70's/80's decor and although many advised I did not run! I couldn't resist the draw of the period features that were screaming to be restored and allowed to breathe.

So on the 13th May 2009, after lots of negotiations on price due to condition/damp etc, I finally moved into my home! 

Happy Days! x