Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The first big purchase

When we decided to do this last stage of work on the house we decided that it wasn't just the house that needed to go through the "out with the old in with the new" process. We also managed to sell our sofa, large armchair and footstool as well as redistribute lots of our other pieces among family. In fact the only pieces we kept for the front two rooms was the dining table and chairs, corner crystal cabinet and fire screen.

So it's no surprise that sofa shopping was very high on the list. What will also not come as a surprise to anyone who has been through this without using up one of your three wishes from the genie is that the process is the most frustrating process you can ever go through. Not only do you have to find a style you like, but you have to find a fabric and leg design you like. You also have to bring in the comfy factor and finally decide in a setting that in no way whatsoever resembles you house decide if it will even fit/work in the space. So there we found ourselves wandering around the sofa showroom bleary eyed and sweaty palmed clutching fabric samples and throw pillows.   Yeah it was a long day despite the free sparkling water and cappuccinos...come to think of it the caffeine probably didn't help.  

Today saw the result of that long day with the delivery of our lovely new sofa that feels like the perfect purchase but also helps show how much else we need to get for the front room! So be prepared for must more posts to come. Here's the sofa (including the lovely green striped cushions that help continue the green theme)!!

Ps. Just a complete non-house picture of the most ambitious dessert plate I've ever made (with some help): Sticky Chocolate Pecan Pie, 12 Layer Mocha Cake and Which Chocolate Tiramisu. YUM YUM!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The floors are finished

This is a definite point of pride with me. Hubby has been so uber busy at work that my schedule of things to do before Thanksgiving has completely and utterly fallen apart. However, after my 11 hour days I'd come home and paint and try to get things done. This last weekend was the ultimate final turning point...the final big push so to speak. It was...staining the floors. Now several days latter they are stained and varnished and I'm exhausted, but happy that anything that isn't going to be done by Saturday won't be too noticeable. Here's how they look...let me know what you think of the color!!

 Our first fire in the refurbished fireplace!!!

Ode to a light fixture

O light 
so bright
one I liked how difficult to find
the pain in mind
I bought you both
You're mine

 Not exactly a piece of amazing poetry, but there you go. Let's just say that I do love these light fixtures we have bought. Despite not being nearly as sparkly and glitz as the ones I first like I think they work really well. Now just to buy a different bulb so we don't get the disco effect upstairs on the landing.

Color meet walls

Now how exciting is this. We have paint on the walls....real paint. I know how grown up are we?! Might I just say that aside from my undying hatred of wallpaper me and paint have spent too long together so we are now in couple's counseling. In fact, if I spent any more time with it I would have had to start paying it spousal support. Anyways here's some pics of how the house looks with paint on the walls....

Apologies for there not being more pictures of the front room!!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The builders must have a screw loose

Ok now I know an estimate is called an estimate for a reason, but you would normally expect it to be fairly close to the actual amount and if it's not then you think they would at least say something. Well ok that's what you would think and in fact this is not the case with us.

So despite talking to our builder from the beginning about the false door fireplace cabinet for the dining room so we can have storage for the surf board, skis etc. Despite always talking to him about this and getting an estimate we never finalized the details.

So despite repeated statements of it won't work by the builder we asked him to figure out a way and then decided to go for Plan B when it seemed like Plan A was going to take too much time/money (and also involve opening back up the new ceiling) . So we get the new quote and it is 5 times more expensive. So you can imagine our shock and surprise.

So that means we still don't know what we're doing and our builder needs to get a bit of a grip. Stay tuned for part 1 million of the builders are still here. YAWN!

The first big new purchase

Well despite the fact that the builders are still there and still trying to finish things off. Let's just say they haven't been entirely successful in that bit. Since they had invaded last weekend we decided to do the next big thing on the list and decide on our couch. So off we went to We knew that we wanted a small sofa that didn't look like something out of the Ikea catalogue. The only thing we hadn't decided was if we were going to go standard and neutral in fabric or "go crazy".

So several hours later we finally finished moving pillows around the showroom, talking about colors and being generally non-commital. So we handed over the credit card and bought a 2 seater Yanna Sofa in Broad Weave Linen in Undyded. Here's a picture:

We got mahogany legs without the casters on it. I think it'll look great! The nice part was that they threw in two large cushions in striped green velvet, which I think will really tie in to the green tones in the room. So definitely really excited about this! 

We also saw two fabulous chairs that we fell in love with, but they are going to have to wait. We don't want to end up with a super cluttered room again so sofa first and then everything else. Not sure where anyone else'll sit when we have people over, but we'll just play it by ear. 

Sunday, 31 October 2010

All change please all change

Well I know I promied more photos so here are a few more. The dining room has finally been painted or at least most of the walls have. There is still tons to do, but here's how it looks at the moment.

This last weekend has been a backbreaking struggle with the devil that is the floor sander. Let's just say that after yesterday I felt like I was 80. Plus with all the dust I think I inhaled half my floor and was definitely a whiter shade of pale (and for me that's pretty hard to do). So check out the floors in the pictures. We're really pleased with how they've turned out. Now all we have to do is stain them and varnish them. I'll give you one guess whose job that is....  Book my walker now there is now way I'm standing up straight before December.

The eagle eyes amongst you may notice that the evil taskmaster which is my husband decreed that the already stained and varnished floor of the kitchen had to be stripped as well so it could be redone to match the rest of the house. I'm sure all you lovely readers can imagine my delighted face at that. Now if you'll excuse me I have to go die from coughing.

Ps. Despite furniture reappearing downstairs the builders are still here. Their list is getting shorter, but they still haven't finished. Their welcome has never been more worn out.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

We've been Farrow & Balling

Now some of you may be familiar with the posh paint that is Farrow & Ball and some of you may not be. Let's just say that it's amazing and about twice or so the price of boring old Dulux and Sherman Williams. The best part about this stuff is that the colors are all historic. So that means we'll be using something that is sympathetic to the age of the house...or that's the idea at least.

As with all paint selection it was a case of try try try again. We got loads of tester pots (to see the tester pot pyramid see below) to try and pick two colors for the dining room and hall and two colors for the front room. The idea being that in each room the fireplace would have an "accent color". Aren't we fancy hehe.

So after much trial and tribulation we ended up going a lot bolder in the living room then we thought and we settled on Green Smoke and Pigeon for the dining room and Hardwick white and Shaded white for the front room. I can assure you that I'm not planning on painting my room with a skyrat nor have I ever seen one this shade of green so I'll just take it that the creatives at F&B were being a taking a bit of creative license with the name. Here's the some small test patches on the walls and fully painted walls to come!
               Shaded White & Hardwick White (little strip)   Pigeon & Green Smoke (little strip)

What the sensible people do

You may wonder what sensible people do when the builders are in on a Saturday starting at 8am and your  time sleeping in is broken by the gentle high pitch scream of a circular saw. Now for some people like Tim Taylor on Tool Time that may be the sound of Christmas morning, but the rest of us don't like it. So back to the original question...what do sensible people do?

Well I don't know, but here's how we spent one Saturday (and even managed to convince some friends to get up at the crack of dawn and come with us)

Monday, 18 October 2010

So much progress!

It's been a busy few weeks here at the house. So needless to say it's been very difficult to find time/space to take pictures and put up blog posts. Thanks to all of you who requested more photos and complained about my tardiness in keeping everyone in the loop! Enjoying the blog love!

So last time we met there was a very ummmm...interesting contraption that we used to get to the bathroom. I'm pleased to say the new stairs are in and they look fabulous. The carpenter did an amazing job and hubby also did a great job describing exactly what we wanted. Here are some photos:

Also the velux skylight has gone in and i'll have some photos up of that soon. It doesn't provide the best light down into the stairwell, but it does provide some, which in this house is better than anything. Other then that it's been a massive flurry of plastering, wiring, putting down new floorboards, etc etc. I can't say they've exactly been working flat out, but the progress is coming along. Enjoy the photos:
Where the velux was going in
 Eh voila le Velux!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Photos as promised

Here are the photos I promised. Lot's of photos below:
Look No Stairs!

How to get up and down v.1

Fixing some old problems

The new partition wall

Looking at the house from the Kitchen

Bathroom doorway ripped out and being flipped

How to get to the bathroom from the bedroom v.2

Just because it was so yummy the dinner hubby made me last night

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Day 24: They're still here

This is a dual purpose post. Firstly, I'd like to apologize for not doing more updates in the last 20 or so days. It's been tough with having no power to the sockets upstairs and everything else in life going on.  Also, there hasn't been that much to get excited about. Most days it was actually quite hard to see what had been going on.

So I'd like to think of this post as a new start for the build. We hit a slight bump in the road with the new partition wall being put up and being taken down and then put up again. Yeah you heard me if is supposed to be structural you better make damn sure that you know what's a joist and what's plywood on an engineer's drawings...all I'm sayin'. So yeah we think the builder has now gotten the message that we're paying attention.

Lots has happened in the last couple of days. Most of the electric and data cabling has been done. They have rectified quite a lot of the mistakes of the last builder. Let's just say long story short quite a few bricks were involved in the sorting out of the problem. It is now Saturday and they have ripped out the stairs (pictures of ladder contraption we are using to get around in next post) and the bathroom doorway has been destroyed because it needs to be moved for the new stairs. Let's just say that it's so alfresco I'm crossing me legs till the builders go. Plus we've got a proper partition wall, some plasterboard and insulation in. Now the stairs aren't going to be back in till Wednesday so I'm going to be pretty far along in my future career training as a high wire act by the time they go in.

Lot's going on and they are still working away. So here I sit in my cold backyard on top of a pile of bricks typing this because they are destroying more of the inside and plastering. Quite frankly that dust is enough to choke a mongoose and I'd rather shiver. Pictures to come.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Day 4: Joists up..Spiders Invade

Ok I'm not really one to run away from bugs and creepy things, but there are several things that I am not having anything to do with. The first is mice (we've already gotten rid of two nicknamed Frank and Bryan) and massive spiders. Last night hubby heard a "plop" and looked at the mantle place to see the biggest spider we have ever seen. Matters were not helped when it disappeared before we could find out biggest and heaviest book to drop on it. So while I was having Arachnophobia flashbacks hubby was busy searching. We were just about to give up when another "plop" was heard and it had dropped from the ceiling onto the floor. Hubby responded with a stick shoe squash and all was right in the world. Now that it was dead I was quite interested in looking at in, but decided to wait till day time. The spider has since disappeared...Arachnophobia flashbacks continue

Aside from that the builders have started putting in the joists and are making decent progress. The electrician starts to rewire the house tomorrow so more fun is coming! Let's just hope it doesn't involve more spiders....

Ps. Oh yes and with still no hot water I'm not looking forward to the cold wash I'm going to have to do tonight.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Day 3 Progress slows

I guess optimism is for the weak or something like that. I'm sure there is some very clever quote I should put up about optimism and how it's ultimately doomed, but I can't be bothered to find one at this time on a Friday afternoon with a glass of white wine sitting in front of me.

The builders continued their hard work and they did a few bits and pieces, but most of the day was spent at the lumber yard. Apparently, in the words of Jack (head builder of The Good Builder Company), "all the wood like a bunch of bananas". So they spent most of the day looking for new joists for the ceiling. Mission accomplished all we had to show for it was a big pile of wood and another piece of vintage porn found in the destruction ala 1991.