Monday, 27 August 2018


Well hello! Thank you for your comments on my last post, it's great to hear that so many of your are fans of the Camber dress pattern. I haven't even started it yet because I've been a bit busy. I didn't mean to leave it so long between posts, what with this being the summer holidays and all this free time I'm supposed to have, but we've been occupied with a little light renovation at home lately with two rooms being turned upside down.

We've embarked on a project in our hall; the removal of our cupboard under the stairs, and the wall between the porch/entryway and the hall, with the idea that this will make the whole space lighter and more spacious. Our hallway is dark and narrow, and the end nearest the kitchen and bathroom gets very gloomy (and when we ever get around to replacing the internal doors we will definitely put a glass door between the kitchen and hall, for the borrowed light) but removing the cupboard and wall has already made a huge difference. The cupboard isn't that necessary for the storage, as next to it is a large walk in cupboard where we keep all our shoes and coats, and opposite is the door to the internal garage, where I will from now on be keeping things like the vacuum. 

Anyway, here are some progress photos for you. They are not pretty, and only snapped on my phone, but I thought you might like to see what we've been up to.

This is the cupboard under the stairs, as it was.

 The door and plasterboard was removed...

...then the panelling...

...until we were able to remove the carpet from the stairs...

...and the stair risers to expose the original, sixties staircase.

Here's a before and after photo:

Now, a word or two about these stairs; yes, we are aware that open, wooden stairs have their risks and we would never consider doing such a project with young children in the house. As it is, ours are nine and eleven and no more likely to fall on/through the stairs than I am. At the moment the stairs are so caked in glue that no-one will be slipping any time soon, but when they've been sanded and treated we will be adding a discreet but safe anti-slip strip to each wooden stair. As for them being open, I love this feature. It's not to everyone's taste, and I know some people find open stairs disconcerting to walk up and down - I get that, spiral staircases freak me out - but I think it's a beautiful original feature and I'm so happy to be restoring those stairs. 

Safety announcement aside, I love the way the light falls through the wooden slats and we plan to put the shoe storage unit under here with the children's shoes in it.

Next, the removal of the porch window and door.

 Once the glass panels had been carefully removed the wooden surround came out. John and my Dad did the heavy lifting here, while I offered helpful suggestions.

There is obviously some repair work to be done to the walls, ceiling and floor around the old threshold, but already the sense of space is amazing. 

Here's another before and after:

 Since then, my Dad and John have been plastering around the old threshold.

While my mum and I have been removing the paint from the stairs and metalwork. I know this photo looks a lot like the one above but there are hours and hours of scraping and rubbing down in this photo.

We now need to:

  • finish plastering/filling/sanding the walls
  • decorate walls and ceiling
  • sand and treat the stairs
  • paint the metalwork under the stairs (colour in dispute at the moment!)
  • remove the old laminate flooring
  • lay a new floor - John is very excited about doing this himself.

So we will be living in a bit of a building site for the next month or so as we are doing all the work ourselves, but I will keep you updated.

The second project that has taken up so much of our time is Bella's bedroom. I think Bella's bedroom has undergone more changes and transformations than any other room in our house (the last one here), but that's because it's absolutely tiny and she keeps on growing, so I am constantly thinking about ways to maximise every last inch of space in that room and adapt it to her changing needs. This time, is was the sudden realisation that the child's wardrobe she'd had since she was two was no longer big enough to hold her clothes and that it was high time she got something more suitable.

This time there was no decorating, but a day spent in IKEA and another day spent removing furniture, assembling furniture, putting furniture back, and also having a major sort out of all clothes, books, toys etc and the inevitable trips to tip, charity shop etc that this entails. Her new wardrobe is perfect and her old one was donated to a charity shop locally that takes furniture. 

We had fun though. Bella chose a few new postcards in IKEA and arranged a little gallery wall to go above her desk. She laid it out on the floor, then I took a photo of it and banged all the nails into the wall as per her instructions. We are a good team, Bella and I, when we're doing stuff like this. She may not want to craft, but she is creative and has a good eye.

Everything else in her room was already there, but it's just been moved around. 

We both really like her bed under the window there, and she loves to arrange cushions along the length so it's like a sofa.

Ah, my little pre-teen girl, she's growing up.


  1. The same thing happened to us with the wardrobes - one day I suddenly realised that my daughter's clothes were longer than the wardrobe - she found her own answer though as she offered a really good bribe to her younger sister to swap rooms and got the bigger room and a run of floor to ceiling wardrobes. Younger sister had to wait a couple of years but then got the larger extension bedroom and a brand new full size wardrobe. So they both won in the end! I love what you have done with Bella's room it is looking more grown up each time.

  2. Reno looking great so far, can't wait to see all done!

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  4. It seems odd that some people still feel the need to cover up everything in carpet, such as your beautiful sixties stairs - why would one deliberately close up something that was bright and airy before?
    No matter what colour you'll end up choosing for the metal work, the stairs will look great!
    Bella's room is wonderful and a good example of how much can be done even with very limited space.

  5. I love what you've done to Bella's room. It won't be long before I need to make some changes to Lily's bedroom - what's with this growing they do!!?
    It looks really light and airy in the hallway now. I'm looking forward to seeing your finishing touches. X

  6. Oh, I'm excited, cushions along the bed to make it like a sofa is a brilliant solution, it will be perfect for the littlest boy's room, which is tiny. He has his bed along the window as well, which is great for light and for being nosy. I'm doing this at once, I know he'll love it. Bella's made a beautiful job of the wall of pictures, it's such a lovely room. The hall has been completely transformed, now it is all light and space, it's fantastic. I shall look forward to seeing it finished, no doubt you will add some beautiful finishing touches. CJ xx

  7. Oh I really like the stairs opened up! I dont know if I would have thought to make such a change but it does feel more open.

    And these children, I know! My two little ones need SOMETHING done to their room as it is a total mish mash of bits and bobs with no theme nor colour scheme. i need some inspiration!


  8. Wow, it looks so great with the stairs opened that way. It makes a huge difference. Bella's room looks great too. My daughter has her bed under the window the same way (mainly because there is nowhere else to put it!), and she does the same with cushions against the wall, like a daybed.

  9. It is all looking super bright and spacious, I love the picture arrangement in your daughter's room.

  10. ive been having a lovely catch up here...happy hols by the way! ;) wow! you have been busy sure does open up the space!...i love your daughters room...we have been doing the same for Sophia (same age as bella) but we've been a bit slow... but she has new bedding, painted walls, rug...and re-arranged furniture to give her more space...also got rid of 'junk'...we just need to buy her some fancy finishing touches items to give it a more personal pre teen look. ooooh and some storage trays for under her bed ;)x

  11. We did the girls room too this holiday - they had toddler chairs at a desk and Heidi is 11! I thought where is she going to do secondary school homework? Looking forward to your final reveal. Jo xxx

  12. Love the 60s stairs, it will look fab once finished. I also love Bella 's room too. I won,t mind a room like that and I am 59 ( you really can,t best Ikea for inspiration and art work to lift a room)

  13. Your first day of term is possibly fairly peaceful compared to all this you have accomplished at home... Love the staircase - my Granny had an open sixties type staircase in her home (I've never thought before that it was slightly strange having such a style in an Edwardian house, which was the house that my Granny had been born in, so I can only imagine she chose to mix styles from differently eras). Bella must be very pleased with her gorgeous room!

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  15. I am just loving the original staircase, and how lucky for you they were still there! What an exciting renovation. Bella’s room is lovely; I juggle the boys’ rooms constantly too, well not so much Jacob’s, as he no longer lives at home, but Isaac’s room seems to be constantly filling with stuff that then constantly needs filtered and sorted x


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