Our home, six weeks in

I can’t believe we’ve already been living in our new house for six weeks.  In some ways it feels like hardly any time has passed since bundling all our belongings into boxes and piling them high into the garage of our new house.  Yet, at other times it feels like we have been here forever and that this is now very much our home.

New home card

Our new house is just three roads away from our last house but only once have we accidentally made a wrong turn and headed in the direction of where we used to live, and that was when we were on our way home from the pub so surely that can be excused!

I’ve been working hard on the upstairs rooms whilst Dan has been at work over the Summer.  Two of them were painted/wallpapered a dark red, and the other two were painted a dark purple.  It’s been my mission to peel the wallpaper, in some places scrape the paint, refill the walls where necessary and apply several coats of new paint so that we may turn them into our own.

The upstairs office is my favourite room in the house.  It has two large windows with blinds (kindly provided by companies like Bill’s Blinds Ltd) that take up most of the front-facing wall which let a lot of light through into the room first thing in the morning.  When we arrived, this room was covered with two walls in bright red wallpaper, and the other two sides in bright yellow.

The original office in our house(By the way, the fact that BBC iPlayer now lets you catch up with programs online for a month, rather than just a week was a lifesaver at keeping me sane during all the wallpaper-peeling and painting of the last six weeks!  I think that is a bit of Casualty you can see on the laptop in the background there!)

I had visions of our office being very plain – white/magnolia walls with a little colour in the room coming from pictures hung on the walls. I know how colors influence mood. I didn’t want anything too bright or distracting whilst we were trying to concentrate and get work done.  (Office ideas on my Pinterest board here)

The walls were fairly easy to peel of wallpaper in this room by dampening them and using a scraper.  It’s quite satisfying when you get a big chunk to come off in one go!

Scraping off wallpaper in the officeAs we had decided to have the walls painted in magnolia it meant three coats of paint.  We soon discovered that I was not a fan of rolling, and Dan was not a fan of cutting in with the paintbrush, so we had our jobs set out for us and I became the cutter-in!

Painting the officePainting the office Painting the officeThe step ladders were great fun for Bella, and it still leaves me in stitches that she walks up them like she would do any set of stairs, before appearing to check over our freshly painted walls for error!

Bella sat on the step ladderBella sat on the step ladderWe had to take the radiator off the wall so that we could paint behind it, although the radiator itself still needs to be painted.  I’m not a fan of it staying the bright red colour that the walls once were!Red radiatorHere is our office at present.  Not complete by any means, but definitely on the way there now!The office getting thereIt’s actually really hard to photograph the office as it is built as an extension of the house.  The wall you can see jutting out on the left of the above photo was where the fourth bedroom used to end, until the extension was built and the room doubled in size.  Behind that wall I have stacked and now filled a bookcase.

Just before reaching the wall there is a box for where the stairs jut out (shown below).  Here, we are planning on installing more shelving so that all of my craft boxes are easy to get to.

The craft corner in the office

Despite having stripped wallpaper, painted walls (three times!), removed and replaced the inbuilt desk, removed curtain poles and removed and replaced the radiator, we still need to; skim the ceiling, add coving and replace the skirting boards, add long shelves above the desk, add pictures to the walls and my medal hanger(!), move the electric sockets (as currently they are behind the filing cabinet and the bookcase), add shelving to the top of the stairs for my craft boxes, resurface the desk, change the carpet and replace the curtain poles and add curtains.

Curtains are ridiculously expensive.  Because the windows in our house are all incredibly wide it has meant that we are looking at about £70 a set of curtains, and because there are rooms like the office, where we would need two sets of the same design, it works out rather expensive when you add it all up!  Luckily, my Mother-In-Law has offered to make us a few sets over the coming weeks, although the cost of the fabric still works out pretty expensive! Hope you will find this resource useful for the best window solutions: https://www.ezwindowsolutions.com/louisville/.

Big windows in the office

Our ‘back spare room’ is the other room that we have been working on and we didn’t have quite such an easy time with this one.  The wallpaper had been painted, and also laid on top of silk paint and was a nightmare to remove.  The walls were so dark and the paint underneath so thick, that we needed to remove as much of the paint as possible, so there were some aching arms for several days running!Back spare room

I let Dan choose the colours for the back spare room and he went for ‘Natural Hessian’ with a feature wall colour of ‘Intense Truffle’.

Feature wall in the back spare room

It feels like we’re much further off from finishing this one and still need to replace the curtain pole adding the curtains, add carpet, have the ceiling skimmed, add coving and replace the skirting boards, buy a small sofa bed for the front of the room and a set of wardrobes as this is the only room without inbuilt storage.

Back spare room

It was handy running the two rooms alongside each other.  It meant that rather than having to wait for things to dry we could move from one room to the other and back again, getting much more done in a day.

I could probably recall for you the layout of every DIY store within ten miles!  We have been to have our kitchen designed…

Designing our kitchen…although the design we received was almost identical to the one we had spoken about together previously.  (Although in olive green, not pink!)

We have also measured a million (probably not an exaggeration by very many!) items for the bathroom and ordered a bathroom suite which arrived yesterday.

Measuring up the sink and toilet for the new bathroomIt’s been a busy Summer!

Do you do your own DIY in the house?


8 thoughts on “Our home, six weeks in

  1. We’re on the verge of moving: and we have the curtain conundrum to deal with too. It may be worth checking eBay (we’ve had some curtain bargains there before now: and managed to get one set of curtains for a wide window out of two sets of Laura Ashley curtains bought on eBay – they needed seaming, which Mum did) and seeing if there’s a Curtain Exchange somewhere easy to drive to?
    Jane in London recently posted…The toes! They are getting a *bit* betterMy Profile

    1. I’d not heard of Curtain Exchange before, but have just had a look on their website and there is one in the Midlands which isn’t too far from my parents-in-law. Definitely worth checking out so thanks for the tip! :)
      I’ve only hunted for material on eBay so far, but again, didn’t think to hunt for actual curtains. Seems so silly that I didn’t think now I’m writing it! Gonna spend this afternoon having a mooch through for the other rooms…

  2. Oh god it makes me tired just looking at all the hard work you guys have done! I have no place to complain when I move into my flat as it’s pretty much good to go! You guys are awesome doing all that work – it really will be your home after you’re done (not that it’s not now obviously, but you know what I mean). It looks amazing!
    Just a thought regarding the curtains, have you considered blinds? They might be cheaper overall? We had blinds put in our house for the majority of our windows as it was just easier and worked out cheaper (plus we could get someone to do it for us as we’re no way like you guys! On a weird note: it feels odd saying “we” when clearly there is no “we” anymore…). But then having your MIL do the curtains for you is definitely a cost-cutting way forward!
    Anna @AnnaTheApple recently posted…Putting it into practiceMy Profile

    1. Yeah, I’m looking forward to having the rooms more complete and just as we want them.
      We’ve got blinds in the kitchen and dining room downstairs, but for the bedrooms thought it was probably best to have curtains as they will keep the heat in a little better. I didn’t even consider that blinds would be so much cheaper though.

  3. Wow you have done loads! Our house was fairly new when we moved in, so it was magnolia walls all around (apart from one wall in one bathroom where they had painted it bright blue). We have now decorated every room, but it is time for the bedroom again as that is looking quite tired now. We do decorate ourselves but when we had a new en-suite we got someone in to fit it. I am quite tempted when we do the bedroom to pay for someone proper to do it. Andy’s dad is really good- he helped him put down wooden flooring in our spare room, but it still took ages and it’s only a tiny room!
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…A Golden Gate parkrunMy Profile

    1. Our plumber said to us last year that if you work hard and earn the money sometimes it is better to spend your free time as free time doing the things you enjoy and reward yourself by paying for someone to do the work. I do enjoy a lot of the work we have done on the house but if there was anything I wasn’t sure about we would definitely be paying someone to come in!
      It’s surprising just how long some tiny tasks take. To paint each of our rooms probably took 5 days by the time we had stripped wallpaper, removed radiators and curtain poles, painted a couple of base coats of magnolia paint and then a couple more in the colour we wanted on the walls. It feels like we should have been done in an afternoon! Luckily we are in no rush!

  4. God this takes me back to exactly a year ago- it was so much bloody work deciding to decorate the whole house at the same time, every free second was DIY dedicated, and although it was all worth it I would never do it ourselves again, just too much work! I was the cutter-inner too! We haven’t got any curtains, just blinds everywhere.
    Lauren (@poweredbypb) recently posted…The Best Plant Based Sources of CalciumMy Profile

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