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.