Monday, 29 August 2011

The kind of after staircase

As promised here are the mid after photos of the stairs. I say mid-after because carpet is going to be a while coming, especially because it will be all of 3 weeks and the builders are back in to fix the bathroom. Exciting times!!

In the meantime here are the shots of a fully white stairs.

Now you may be wondering what we are going to do with the space under the stairs. Don't worry we have a cunning be revealed shortly!

The garden update (late summer)

I know this makes a lot of posts all going up in one day, but I'm feeling industrious and there is a lot to show! We've definitely been busy this summer.

The garden has now had plenty of time to settle in and we're pretty pleased to say that almost 99% of everything has survived. The only casualties so far are a daisy bush that didn't like the severe pruning I gave it while follow instructions and the geraniums. I'm not sure if it's slugs or what, but one day they were lovely and green with lots of flowers and the next day...bare stalks. Anyone have any insight? I've not seen lots of snails/slugs around, but that doesn't mean they don't go for it while I'm not around.

The biggest successes are definitely the roses and the tomoatoes. They are going for it! We're also trying to see if we can get the wild blackberry vine to root so we can train it along the fence and enjoy lots of lovely berries next summer.

Here is our more mature garden. Now I've just got to start figuring out what to do as the weather turns colder. Once again tips and hints gladly received just comment below.

Some baby strawberries. We didn't get many, but they were very tasty!
 The cherry tree in all its glory (unfortunately not edible cherries)
 The vegetable patch going strong
 A nice shot of the bed plants
 Plus a couple of shots of the tomatoes. 

Storage storage every where

When we were living in our first flat, which incidentally is the same size as our current garden, we found out that storage was key. In a country that seems to view closets as some sort of social pariah you've got to get inventive. After all, there are really only so many chests of drawers and wardrobes you can have before you start to look like an overcrowded furniture showroom.

With this in mind we contemplated one of the last great challenges in the dining room. Really it was the only thing that was letting the room down. The hollowed out chimney breast. It was large with not very straight sides and we were desperate for a place to hide the mop, broom, etc etc etc.

The original idea was something out of gothic novels with a wall made to look like a fireplace where the entire thing would swing open. Definitely cool, but seriously heavy and expensive. When we were told that our idea would cost roughly £10,000 due to all the structural work it was time for a rethink.

In the end we took the principals of the original idea and scaled it down with the builders only putting up a frame of MDF so we had at least some right angles and straight walls to work from. Plus it is a lot easier to screw into that than ancient brick...believe me we've tried.

We're pretty pleased especially when we were able to find some hand carved corbels that almost match the living room fireplace exactly. In the end it made a nice feature and gave us storage and function. It's not quite done as we need to make some glass doors for the top, but we're pretty pleased. Thoughts?

Ready to go thanks to the builders
 A nice side profile shot
 Step one..paint (we were still trying to decide what to do here)
 All decided and frame door and more paint needed
 The lovely door is in.....looking spiffy
 Lots of storage inside
 The almost finished article with shelves in on top

The last big job in the living room

There are many things in life that seem to end up on the "man wish list". Things like a really cool beer fridge and a proper man shed with shelves to put all the man toys. In this case it was a place to properly hold all his DVDs and the tv to allow for maximum enjoyment of the time between jobs on the house. Here is the job now from start to finish...apologies for any repetition of pictures.

The initial frame goes in
 Now we have a top half
 Some nice trim and a start on the paint job
 All nicely painted just waiting on the shelves
 Finished a ready for a Lord of the Rings marathon

The garden update part 1 (Early Summer)

The garden has obviously been the big focus of the summer here. In fact we made the decision to put up with not having a fully functioning bathroom for four extra months so we could get it finished. The last post saw the veg patch only going in and a bunch of dirt in the middle.

The turf is now in and thriving, as are the vegetables. We have made a strategic decision and replanted to tomatoes closer to the house so they get more sun. It appears to be the right decision because they are growing like weeds and have tons of little yellow flowers, which will eventually turn into yummy little tomoatoes. Can't wait!

Plus we've gone further with putting in some nice plants that aren't edible because after all what's a garden without a bit of color? We've put in roses, clemantis, hydrangeas, lavender and lots of other plans. Here are some pics.

 This is proof why you should never listen to the people who say "Wait five weeks before cutting your turn for the first time". Totally out of control!!!