The last post

calendarToday is the due date for the birth of our little’un. There’s absolutely no sign of her being ready for her grand appearance but it seems like a fitting day to close this blog.

So, why close? Essentially, because the house is done! Woohoo! Of course, there will always be ongoing improvements/updates but the major renovation is complete.

I never started this blog with any intention other than to share our journey. It’s taken slightly different directions at times (sometimes the writing has been cathartic) and has certainly been more successful than I would ever have expected.

When I look at the blog stats (which is rare) I’m amazed by the thousands of monthly visitors but also how and why they found the blog – it’s mostly around specific paint colours, colour schemes, Edwardian properties or practical things like varnishing a waxed table or restoring a fireplace.

So I love the fact that, in some small way, I’ve given something back to the online community having relied on it so heavily during our renovations. Too worthy? Yeah, maybe. But for this reason I’ll be leaving the site live, so people can continue to find it – but I won’t be updating.

pandaOur lives are about to change immeasurably – well, they have already been changing over the last 9months and our priorities have quickly shifted.

Despite the best support from the best husband in the world, I can’t pretend pregnancy has been easy. It’s been physically very challenging as I’ve been a bit unlucky with the hand Mother Nature dealt me but I’ve tried my best to just crack on with it and remember there’s always somebody worse off.

Emotionally however has been a different story, I’ve been dealing with things that have broken my spirit. But, that’s not for here.

The positives are that it’s refocused our thinking around what’s important. Our daughter will grow up cocooned in our love, protected from anything that may be going on around her. All our efforts will be focused here.

I therefore have no intention of becoming a mummy blogger (it’s been suggested plenty of times!). It’s by no means a criticism of those that do, I admire them greatly and will no doubt be scouring their blogs for advice, but it’s not for me.

Friends gave us this lovely print for Christmas:

family poster

Apologies for the poor quality photo – I’ve also blurred our surname – but you get the general idea.

I adore the fact that Humph has been included in our new family unit (though he’s a touch on the skinny side!) But this picture is what we will be concentrating on, and only this. There’s no place for a blog in here!

So, it’s the end of 1910housetohome. Thank you to everyone who has read, lurked, commented, provided advice, inspiration and encouragement. I hope you’ve enjoyed our journey.

Ultimately, this blog was – as the title suggests – about turning ‘just’ a house into a home. Some time in the next couple of weeks when our baby is carried across the threshold, that’s when we’ve really achieved our goal.

meThanks for reading, may the future be kind to you.

Over and out,

Jude x

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Nursery reveal

Finish LineThis is the very last room in the house to be completed – seems kind of fitting really that this is how we cross the renovation finish line.

This was destined to be our study but the little’un made her presence known just days before I was due to order paint and paper. If you’d like to see how we were going to decorate when it was destined to be a study, then – go here.

But if you’re ready to check out the nursery then, come on over to the ‘after page’.

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Bathroom reveal

We’re very lucky to have an incredible En Suite and so we rarely used the house bathroom – it was used only by guests so we generally shut the door on it and pretended it wasn’t there.

Here it is as it was when we moved in:

Tasteful

Tasteful

It’s little-use meant we didn’t prioritise it – just gave it a lick of white paint – and were going to save up and get it done next year. I was planning a luxurious ‘spa’ feel for our guests.

And then we found out we were expecting and we saw it in a very different light….and we knew we would never get round to doing it next year. But would you want to bathe your baby in here each day? The only unfinished room in the house! The wooden panels were skanky and scratched, the fixtures old and tired and the artex as depressing as all that dark wood work that had plagued the entire house.

So, we fast forwarded the plans with our little’un in mind. Maybe not the most sensible financial decision but one we felt we needed to make. Head over to the ‘after’ page to see how it turned out.

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Hallway, stairs and lobby reveal

Given we finished all this work over a year ago I thought it was probably about time to share it. Apologies it’s taken so long, it’s been a crazy year and blogging has slipped way down my list of priorities.

So, the hallway, stairs, landing and lobby. It was never going to be hard to improve on this area of the house, there was not only THAT carpet but also artex and dodgy moldings galore, alongside the icky red/brown varnish that was on every single bit of poor original wood. Have an in depth look here. But boy, we always knew the potential was vast.

Back door

P1020799

Handsome, yet rotten.

Whilst it may have been one of the easiest parts of the house to make a world of difference to, to look at, it was also one of the most labour intensive. All the wallpaper (5 layers of it) needed stripping, the mouldings removing, rewiring, plastering and then sanding. How could I forget the sanding.

Here’s a glimpse of how that went:

You get the general idea of the sheer size of the task in hand! Added to this we also had to replace the interior glass, the back door and the huge front door.

Ready to see how it turned out? Head on over to the ‘after’ page.

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Nursery choices

Well, I’m fast approaching 32 weeks preggers and am quite sure I should be just sitting around. No? Of course, I’m not – we haven’t had a day or evening off for weeks despite taking time off work! We did at least make it to a Halloween party – the glamorous witch and his pregnant cat!

As you can tell, our impending parent status isn’t making us take life any more seriously! But the very grown-up job list is gradually getting a bit smaller and we are at least finally making progress including buying and selling a car and applying for a remortgage. And we’ve just had these exciting deliveries for our baby girl:

Cool huh? The highchair – which you can use from birth – looks fab in our dining room!

So, what of the nursery then? Well, being the tease I am it’s not quite finished so I can’t yet share pics. So, instead I thought I would share some choices.

First up, as revealed in a previous post, our choice of colour is Cornforth White, a lovely soft grey which we’ve paired with white woodwork and the same carpet we have in the spare room and master bedroom; Cormar Sensations in Coral White.

After much deliberating and budget breakdowns we opted for furniture from Mamas and Papas and we’re really pleased with the build quality. It’s officially ivory but it’s not a yellowy cream but instead is a pleasant off-white:

mamas-and-papas-harbour-ivory

And also in this space we have the most wonderfully comfy nursing chair – a bargain from a Kiddicare store that was closing down. Not the most attractive piece in our house but it’s damn comfy!

nursing chair

So, they’re the basics; now onto the more fun stuff! In the early days of pregnancy we lovingly referred to our baby as Panda  – read more here – so we wanted a reminder of this. We have the most thoughtful, lovely friend who offered to make our nursery curtains as a present. She’s truly one of life’s finest – always doing stuff for others and never asking for anything in return. Thanks to her kindness we could choose our fabric and so we opted for this:

Panda Star Jumps – Zest

Fab, isn’t it? It’s a Japanese print so when you look from a distance it just looks like a pattern (for a sense of scale, the panda is only about 1.5cm) it’s only when you get up close you see it’s little pandas doing star jumps! It’s from a website called Fabric Rehab who have some amazing fabrics and – as I found out – really great customer service, I would highly recommend them. We hung the curtains last week and are soooooo pleased with them – not just for the fabric but also for the love and kindness that went into every stitch.

Up next – our other favourite thing. This incredible wall sticker from Nubie:

nubie forest wall sticker

It came in 40 odd separate pieces and took us a few hours to master on our wall but we LOVE it! It goes over the cot and really makes the room for us.

To tie in with the wall stickers, this is our cot mobile by Skip Hop:

skiphop

 

We have some teal coloured gloss floating shelves from Ikea which house a collection of soft toys – including my own “beasts” from when I was little who have lived in every house I have – yes, including all my uni digs, they never left my side.

There’s a bear (Snow White Belinda), a hedgehog (Hedge), a frog (Uncle Froggie) and a lime green snake (Hiss). Given their age, none of them will be for playing with so they’re on a high shelf just keeping an eye. My bear – BooBoo – is also watching over the cot, happily perched on top of the wardrobe. The other critters currently include a badger, a lizard and a squirrel – along with my mum’s Hedwig owl. We’re hoping a fox and a raccoon will join the crew….they’re on our Amazon wishlist just waiting for a kindly donor to buy them (we’re out of cash!).  You’ll have to wait to meet all the critters in the reveal post.

So, when you have a sort of technicolor sort of woodland theme going on – what kind of light do you need? A dandelion clock of course! I’ve seen this Ikea light in quite a few Pinterest nurseries and, thanks to our high ceiling, we totally get away with it:

Ikea maskros

It’s a whopping 80cm diameter so makes quite an impression. We have it on a dimmer and it can cast the prettiest of patterns on the wall and ceiling.

Our other artwork is quite minimal – as too much would crowd the room. We have this amazing Shakespeare quote via Etsy as well as a beautiful hand painted banner from a talented friend of mine, also via Etsy

And, alongside this, we stumbled across this fab world map – as illustrated by animals. This is going above the changing dresser and may even help with my dismal geography!

original_animal-map-of-the-world-for-children

We also have a limited edition Little Miss Trouble print (you’ll get to see this on the future reveal post too!) which was given to us several months ago by one of our nearest and dearest friends. She had read the blog and knew we were going for bright colours so bought us presents accordingly including the print from a little art gallery in London. We’re so lucky with our friends, and so thankful for them.

So, apart from various knick knacks we already had – that’s about it and we’re officially pretty much out of space for anything else! We have practical unpacking to do in there and a good tidy-up and clean and then I promise to share pics of the final result.

In the meantime, what do you think? We haven’t tried to be super stylish, we’ve stuck to things we love but we’re really pleased with how it’s all turned out. And so long as our beloved Tiny T loves it, that’s all that matters.

For now, we keep opening the door with happy goofy smiles on our faces and closing it again before Humph claims it as his own. He’s already staking a claim in other rooms…..

NaughtyHumph

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Blog hop

Do you remember chain letters? Back in the day before email when you had to keep the chain going or bad luck would find you? I hated them and always binned them and I do the same with similarly stupid emails, Facebook posts etc etc You make your own luck in life after all.

But, I got a sort of chain letter blog hop type thing a couple of weeks ago from the lovely Christine over at Little house on the corner. Christine is a great blogger, full of practical ideas, advice and incredible inspiration. Not the type to forward any old junk chain mail – nope, this is a different sort of chain where you get to maybe discover blogs you may not have found otherwise.

So, for the first time ever, I have accepted this ‘chain’ and am now expected to share some current photos of my home and then answer these 4 questions:

  1. What am I working on?
  2. How does my work differ from those in my genre?
  3. Why do I write/create what I do?
  4. How does your writing creative process work?

So, first off, here’s some photos of how it’s all looking right now – all available in more detail in the ‘After’ section if you’re that way inclined.

Farrow and Ball Downpipe and Railings

Kitchen diner

Disco loo gallery wall with Dulux Proud Peacock

Gallery wall in the Disco Loo

Edwardian Farrow and ball pigeon blue gray off white pointing

Sitting room

Farrow Ball Pigeon cast iron fireplace blue gray

Fireplace

Elephant's Breath bedroom Dimity Slipper Satin

Spare room

Farrow and Ball Hague Blue bedroom

Master bedroom

Lamp room gray Pavillion Gray and Cornforth White

Music room/study

Matthew Williamson sunbird wallpaper and Farrow and Ball Pelt

Utility room

A year or so ago I would never have though this set of pics would have been possible. But yep, that’s my home. I live here! We still find ourselves contemplating that fact when we stop to look around – we did this, it’s ours. Every single last bad bit of brushwork or wonky line – all ours.

So, onto the questions:

What am I working on?

Right now, I’m concentrating on perfectly baking my daughter…..I’ve had a bun in the oven for the past 26 weeks! Honestly, it’s been a pretty tough ride so far – I’ve had to put up with quite a few health problems but after years of longing would honestly put up with anything at all! Emotionally also, it’s been supremely difficult and I miss the love, wisdom, comfort and support of my beloved mum more than anything in the world.

Our Big News also means that, inevitably, we’re working on the nursery. It’s been painted and is awaiting carpet, then furniture and then decorative touches. I wish everything you needed for a baby wasn’t so damn expensive because it means we can’t have everything we’d like(!), but we’re certainly planning to make it special.

P1020900We also had the main family bathroom left to do and had planned to do it in the next couple of years. But now, realising we’ll be using it every day for our little’un we’re pressing ahead with that too.

I’ll share a couple of pics when it’s done but don’t have high design expectations, we’re keeping it strictly cheap and cheerful – not the grown-up, indulgent spa feel I had originally planned on. Seriously folks, we pretty much ran out of cash a while ago!

How does my work differ from those in my genre?

Ha! I don’t even deserve to be put on a par with others in the DIY/design/renovation genre!!

a) I am a RUBBISH blogger. I’m not at all regular or reliable…..I received this nomination 2 weeks ago and have only just got round to it…sorry Christine! I still have things to post about that we completed in the house over 6 months ago. Rubbish.

b) We don’t have a clue what we’re doing, it’s all entirely trial and error, we never take on any DIY above the absolute basics. I don’t know any interior design ‘rules’ and just go with my gut and what we like. I don’t even know how to make my blog look any prettier or have a better structure and, honestly, can’t be arsed!! It works doesn’t it?!

c) I’m not good at being a part of the blogging community. I’ve (virtually) met some lovely lovely people but I’m no good at growing my followerers, watching my hit counter or seeking opportunities. I suppose that brings us nicely onto the next question…

Why do I write/create what I do?

The only reason we started this blog was to keep family up to date with our home improvements and, honestly, I don’t think they even read it! We have friends dotted all over the country, and the world, too so it was also a great way to be able to share with them without totally clogging up our Facebook feeds.

And we also wanted some kind of diary of the process – something to look back on and be proud of when we see just how crazy we were but how far we’ve come.

miss worldAnd finally, this is a bit ‘Miss World’ but…I wanted to give something back. We made nearly all our decisions aided by Google, looking at other people’s pictures, ideas and – mainly – paint choices. So, it’s the one thing I try to be really good at – tagging photos – so people who are umming and ahhing over Hague Blue or Pigeon or Elephant’s Breath can easily find our images and, hopefully, help inform their opinion. I have, more recently, been accused by a dear friend of  peddling “house porn”, which amuses me greatly.

How does your writing creative process work?

If you know anything about me by now you’ll know…it doesn’t. I have no plan, no method, no structure. I just woffle a bit, whack it up and hope for the best!

I guess the one thing I have been surprised about is how much I have found myself writing about my mum and, in a strange way, it’s kept her a part of all this. Growing up, she fought so hard to keep a roof over our heads and keep us fed that such grandeur for me now would have been unimaginable. She would have thought we were crazy for taking it on but would have encouraged us every step of the way. So yeah, I suppose that, through this blog, she’s somehow managed to be a massive influence. And, man, she’d have found that funny….pushing up daisies and yet still muscling in!!

As for practicalities of writing, it’s usually when Oly is on the phone to his parents, ironing his shirts (no, I’m not THAT good a wife to do it for him), or wallowing in the bath. Whenever I can grab the time really. And there is usually this little bundle beside me:

Our beloved beast

Our beloved beast

Thanks again to Christine for the nomination for this post – if you haven’t checked out Christine and Jan’s blog before it’s certainly worth it. Their DIY projects are ambitious (seriously, knocking down walls type crazy stuff) and all shared in perfect detail. They’re also incredibly generous with sharing printables if you fancy a go at some crafty things yourself.

And in turn, I nominate Karen from Well I Guess This Is Growing Up.  Like Christine and myself she’s another Northern blogger! Karen is very honest about successes, failures, costs and quandaries as well as talking you through her thought process. She’s also what I would class as a ‘proper’ blogger – a well designed blog, regular posts, a variety of content, good pics etc. And I have a special soft spot for her…she’s about to become a mum too!!

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Utility room reveal

DroolSome time ago I published this post revealing our plans for the utility. And then it happened and Oh. My. God. It may just be the sexiest utility room you have ever clapped eyes on.

No, seriously. You’ll be drooling – get something to wipe that up before you click any links below. The Matthew Williamson wallpaper is incredible.

The sexy was added to thanks to the exceedingly kind folks at Samsung and ao.com who kindly bestowed a top-of-the-range Ecobubble washing machine and dryer upon us.

I’m honestly not just saying this but we LOVE everything about the appliances and are especially looking forward to how much use they’ll be getting when our daughter arrives in a few months. I suspect their super large capacity may come in handy…

We gladly offered our formal reviews for the machines and even more gladly welcomed Samsung and AO into our home to take pics. You can read the resulting blog piece here which also features some amazing pics of our kitchen and the cake I made for our visitors. Before we all devoured it – let it be known that I make a damn fine sponge.

So, once you’re done reading all that, head on over to my ‘after’ page and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments section!

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