Tag Archives: Paint

It’s a girl, but the nursery ain’t pink

It’s been a while since I posted – apologies, but I’m busy being preggers dont’cha know!

There’s still stuff I want to show you from our home and I promise to do it in the coming weeks – including the reveal of our amazing over-the-top utility room. But for now, how’s this for a different type of reveal. A gender reveal.

Apparently gender reveal parties are all the rage Stateside and, never one to pass by an opportunity for a party that features cake, we held our own. A small select gathering assembled to scoff the cakes – made by my own fair hand. Boy predictors took the  blue cakes and girl predictors took the pink….thankfully, we had an even split of opinion.

Baby gender cakes

We then ceremoniously bit into the cakes to reveal the  pink cream and the secret was out! It was a lot of fun and there was much squealing. Well, as much as possible with mouthfuls of cake.

baby gender reveal cupcake

We’re over the moon to be having a daughter and very shocked, given Oly’s family history is all male for several generations (and apparently its the male genes that decide). So, she’s the one who broke the mould – I suspect that may become a recurring theme in her life!

It also feels kind of fitting for me to have a daughter, linking the bond I had with my beloved mum – and, in recognition of this, her middle name will be Mary, which was my mum’s name. We do have a first name in mind but, for now, she is Tiny T (T being the first letter of our surname).

And I’m pleased(?!) to report she’s a stubborn little so-and-so. Two recent scans have both required long breaks, jumping around, cola drinking and much prodding to get the little bugger to turn around. The sonographer also got particularly excited by this shot:

nosepicker

She’s apparently picking her nose. That’s my girl!!

So, anyway, now we know the flavour of our baby it’s easier to plan other things as well as bond with her instead of referring to ‘it’.

But no, the nursery will not now be pink. Nope. No chance. We’re really not into that. Pink is a tricky colour – there’s so many lovely shades of it and yet so many awful candy, sugary, bleurrghh shades. We’ve painted it one of our favourite neutrals instead – Cornforth White – the same as our kitchen diner walls.

I’m proud to say I did much of the painting of the nursery though my back suffered a bit the next day. But as F&B paint is water based I didn’t need to worry about toxic fumes so had no excuse really! I keep telling Oly ‘I’m pregnant, not ill’. He, inevitably, uses this phrase against me!

White nursery furniture (if we can ever find any at a decent price) will look great against this shade along with bright colourful accessories so we’re very happy with it. There’s currently no curtains and a scrutty old carpet – so I’ll share pics when there’s more to see.

Of course, we’re well aware that a future decision to paint it candy pink may not be our choice….!

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As if we were ever going to have a boring utility room…

Apologies for such a long radio silence, it’s not been a good few weeks due to never-ending lurgy and the sad loss of a good friend, so blogging has slipped down the list of priorities. But, hello – how are you doing?

I haven’t forgotten I promised more info on items in the sitting room or that I still have room reveals to do. They will come eventually, I promise.

Meanwhile we have been turning our attention – amongst other things – to what will be the utility room. It was the old kitchen:

Old Kitchen

It is now currently a dumping ground that is too disgraceful right now to share pics of. It’s a pretty good size for a utility room and, honestly, we’ve struggled a bit with ideas of what to do with it. Home gym? Bar? Games room? Sauna? But in the end, what we want and need is a utility room/storage so that’s what it shall be. It is also where The Humph will reside at night and is home to the cat tunnel.

But who said utility rooms have to be dull? Admittedly we need to keep the costs down so are turning to good old Ikea for plain white units and worktops and we’ve also selected a wood effect laminate instead of real wood floor. That’s allowed me to squeeze the budget enough to go slightly crazy with other things!

So, how about Farrow and Ball’s Pelt for a wall paint colour – a deliciously dark purple which will look great contrasted with the white units, no?

Farrow and Ball Pelt

Farrow and Ball Pelt

And the feature wall (yes, that’s right, our utility room will have a feature wall, obviously) will be this stunning beauty which is SunBird by Matthew Williamson. We only need a couple of rolls, so totally justifiable, right?

Matthew Williamson Sunbird wallpaper

Matthew Williamson Sunbird wallpaper – stunning copper background

Whilst I’ve reluctantly accepted we will just have plain white Ikea units (and Oly even won the common sense/financial argument against high gloss) we did want something a little more ‘us’ than an Ikea handle so I finally found these bad boys:

Chinese style handles

Chinese style handles

And all that coppery brassy goodness is just crying out for light fittings that I’ve been eyeing up for a long time and am delighted to finally find a home for. Hello Plumen gorgeousness!

Plumen Drop Cap in Copper

Plumen Drop Cap in Copper

And to top off all this excitement, we’re getting a new stunning top-of-the range washing machine and dryer from my new and totally bestest friends at Samsung. Who knew a washing machine could be sexy? But yeah, I know, isn’t it? And it has it’s own app. Yep.

Samsung ecobubble washing machine

Samsung ecobubble washing machine

So, we’re off to Ikea tomorrow to order the units and our favourite tradesman is due to start in a couple of weeks. We have until then to sort all the crap, decant and paint the walls.

Do you like our choices? Too crazy for a utility room – or would you expect nothing less?!

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Sitting room reveal

There were times when we couldn’t see beyond all that needed doing in this room – the old dining room – to turn it into a lovely living space. To be honest, sometimes it was overwhelming to complete novices like us. But here’s the treatment this room got:

  • Full damp proof course
  • Rewiring
  • Replastering
  • New skirting (the old stuff was rotten and full of weevils)
  • New picture rail
  • New carpet and underlay (it now feels like you’re walking on clouds despite the concrete floor)
  • Fireplace renovation
  • New central heating and piping
  • Paint job
  • New blinds and soft furnishings
  • New furniture  (and a few fairly old bits too)
  • A whole lotta love

But it’s been worth it.

Here’s the obligatory before and after:

Before

Before

Edwardian Farrow and ball pigeon blue gray off white pointing

After

A bit different, eh?! Of all the rooms in the house this one probably has the most objects that have stories. So I’ll tell these stories in future posts.

But for now, go on, take a closer look at the room itself. Push the door……..

Farrow and Ball Slipper Satin woodwork

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Hello. We’re idiots!

“The ultimate inspiration is the deadline”

Our day jobs both involve loads of deadlines – it’s got to go to print by X, the CEO wants it by X, the media need it before X. You get the general idea.

So, it’s fair to say a deadline doesn’t really phase us. So why then are our self-imposed house deadlines such a killer? For once, we actually have some control over our deadlines but have continued to make them virtually impossible.

Answer? We’re idiots basically. Total raving, exhausted idiots.

Idiots who think it’s ok to dress as fairytale creatures.

We’re currently fighting to get all our walls painted before the 18th. It was originally the 5th but we realised we had no chance of making it so moved it back. This deadline is the day our heating engineer returns to refit all the radiators and flush and balance the system  – now we are finally rid of all the microbore piping.

So, on the 18th Oct we will have central heating. Woohoo! But it means we’ve decided all the painting had to be done, on the walls at least. Hence the deadline. Makes sense, no?

We’ve also finally got a carpet fit date of the 4th November – so that means we want absolutely all the painting done; every last bit of wood, coving and ceiling rose. We ain’t spending THAT much on carpet to get paint on it – and trust me, I would get paint on it. Oh, and the floors need levelling/mending before the carpeting. There’s another bastard deadline.

Curtain and blind hardware can’t be fitted until the walls are painted; curtains themselves not fitted until the carpets are down (need to get the perfect hang length apparently).

And of course we can’t get furniture delivered until we have carpet and we’re really tired of having no bedroom furniture (“Oly, where are my socks being kept?” “In a bag in the bath, next to the holdall with my pants in it.”) So, yep, we’ve gone and created another deadline.

And all this has been leading towards the biggest deadline that’s been crashing towards us since we started our renovations a few months ago – “WE’LL BE DONE BY CHRISTMAS”.

I repeat: idiots.

Idiots who take it back to the 80s.

We have no spare annual leave so are out to work for 10-12 hours, coming home and picking up our brushes every night as well as putting in 12 hour days on a weekend. We’re on our knees…..quite literally much of the time.

Are we regretting our madness? Nope. Wouldn’t we like to take our time? Nope.

We want our lives back, we want a house we can really live in. I want to know my mum would have been proud. We want to host a family Christmas. We want our friends to come and visit. I want a goddamn manicure.

It does explain why our blog posts have been lacking  – and, oh, I have so much to catch you up on and show you – but needs must, sorry. (I’m only writing this now because we’re waiting for a takeaway….)

So, deadlines? Bring ’em on, because nothing ever feels quite as good as when you smash them.

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Sitting room paint colour scheme

We’ve finished plastering. Woohoo!! Just now need to patch up the gaps and clean up the mess. Then it’s onto sanding, mist coating and finally  – be still my beating heart – painting!

In the meantime,  I thought it was perhaps time to share another colour scheme, this time for our sitting room.*

Farrow and Ball Pigeon

Pigeon for the main body of the walls

The computer screen doesn’t massively differentiate the next colour from Pigeon, but it really is different (lighter) in real life!

Farrow and Ball Blue Gray

Blue Gray for the frieze (above the picture rail)

Farrow and Ball Off White

Off White for ceiling, skirting, window woodwork, architrave, doors and picture rail

Farrow and Ball Pointing

Pointing for the cornice and ceiling rose

The idea is to create a cosy, calming, neutral backdrop, though not too neutral. We have some lovely bits to go in this room including a family heirloom – a painted corner cabinet from 1710 – as well as framed ivory fan set against fuschia felt. And, of course, we have a wonderful original cast iron fireplace – a post about that little beauty will follow soon.

We need to crack on with painting as soon as poss so we can get the radiators back on before we start to need them. Then it’s just carpets, curtains, furniture etc and we MIGHT stand a chance of being done by Christmas. That’s the plan anyway.

Oly has been known to become one with floor...

Oly has been known to become one with floor…

* I refuse to call what will be our new beautiful room a lounge.

In the little flat I grew up in my mum always used the term ‘sitting room’ – and I find it much more elegant and fitting for our darling house.

There will be no lounging on settees in this room, there will be sitting on sofas.

And, ok, after a few drinkies there may possibly be the occasional touch of sprawling on floors……

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Kitchen diner – the big reveal

We’ve been terrible teases and not posted full shots of our lovely new kitchen diner. We may now have over-compensated by posting absolutely loads of pictures!

Anyway, head on over to this page to see the lot. And please do leave us your comments on that page – would be great to hear what you think!

Before you go, here’s the obligatory before and after shots.

Now go and view the rest of the pics!

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Yet another cat bed

Oly had a plan for the window in our dining room. The cat has tweaked those ideas.

Lord Humphrey

Lord Humphrey

Ol is a huge music fan and has a small collection of much-loved vinyl. He’s always wanted somewhere to sit and listen to said vinyl so we decided this window presented the perfect opportunity.

(I think he has dreams of the good little wifey in a pinny baking bread on a Sunday morning whilst he sips coffee and Ella croons another crackly jazz classic. But that will never be, I don’t own a pinny.)

Whilst on the lookout for stylish chairs Oly announced he also needed a foot stool – the Sunday morning fantasy apparently came complete with somewhere to put his feet.

So that’s how my cursor came to rest on the ‘chaises’ category on my new favourite website – made.com

To be honest, I’d been looking for an excuse to buy one since I fell in love with the beautiful curves of the Halston Panama. (They also do this in an amazing hot pink but Oly’s fantasies rarely involve pink furniture. At least, I think they don’t……)

Before we talked ourselves out of it, this was ordered but it’s only recently it went to its rightful place. And since then, it’s been a firm favourite with a certain someone:

From the rare occasions we’ve been able to sit on it we can confirm it’s super comfy and beautifully finished. We wanted to add a splash of colour so opted for a lovely cushion from David James Interiors – made from Sanderson’s Bellflower fabric, a bargain for £12.50.

I’d hoped the cushion might have put the cat off. But no, stubborn little sod.

Chaise longue and Sanderson cushion

Something new to cover with fur

We do have some friends who really don’t like cats (the fact that they’re our friends trouble us slightly). To them,  allowing the cat to steal the chaise will be sheer lunacy. But seriously, could you resist this face?

But I've been so tolerant of the mess, I only want a little sit down

For those who really don’t care about the cat (weirdos) and are purely here for the paint – the wall is Farrow&Ball’s Cornforth White and the woodwork All White.

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