No Place to Hide: Wk 1 – Day Two

With everyone now on a roll, today work progressed more quickly. The building company had a trench for the foundations dug by midday and the skip emptied, the plumber had a boiler on the wall by the end of his day and the carpenter had four of the five doors up with handles on – which I was particularly pleased with as he chose them too, picking them up when he was in a trade store and doing a surprisingly good job of his selection.

The doors will look great although they will need a lot of tlc – I’m too scared to include a picture here as one is particularly bad with peeling paint and smashed glass which, although it will be replaced, looks rather unsightly for the time being. So, fearful of your comments, Ill opt instead to do a ‘before and after’ once they are primed back to life.

“They look very in keeping with the period style of this property” said S in a piss-take sort of voice after his long commute home to a building site after a tiring day. I perhaps mistook this for genuine enthusiasm and pushed the point a tad too far.

“I think we should paint them rather than strip them to hide all the doctoring the carpenter has had to do,” I said, “what do you think?”

“I’m prefering not to think” was his reply.

It’s amazing, though, how the house has gone from being irritating-and-old-fashioned-but-kind-of comfortable to chaotic building site in just two days. Because of the need to get three trades on site at the beginning of the project we have little to no place to hide. The bathroom is upside down with floorboards up, the hallway and bedroom are being used as a carpentry workshop and downstairs is, of course, where the main event is taking place. Thankfully we have two rooms, ours and the baby’s bedrooms, mostly complete bar some finishing touches so we have a kind of sanctuary to escape to. At least that was the plan but they are now storing stuff which should be in other rooms so once again we are living in a mess. Embracing it is the only thing we can do. It’s rather early for us to be getting stressed about it all – we still have a functioning kitchen at least although S tonight made preparations for a temporary one to be relocated to the spare bedroom so very shortly we will be properly camping. That might actually lend more excitement to the project? Here’s hoping…

Meanwhile I spent most of my day re-stressing over the kitchen layout. I say re-stressing as I have stressed over numerous versions of the design in the past few months. I had a nagging feeling all day that there might not be enough space for the design as was and the feeling made me feel quite sick with fear that I will get it wrong and waste all this money. So a long walk helped clear my head followed by another ponder of the plans, bath and bedtime of the little one, more pondering, a bath for me and then, I hope, a solution. Hopefully the kitchen company can add the finesse with their expertise and knowledge of products but I find it hard to expect a stranger to do the whole thing from scratch.. after all, how could they possibly know what stuff we have to store, how we live and what we want out of our kitchen? Thats what a ‘brief’ is for I suppose but its the detail I want to get spot on so every bit of being and working in our kitchen feels right – not just the aesthetic. Perhaps other people can do that better than I. Anyway, I think I’ve created something which functions better now but I’m slightly nervous at the thought of suggesting to S that we change the design yet again… Exhausted he hit the sack early so is oblivious to my multiple drafts. Feeling guiltily conscious that I am probably going round in circles, I shall reassure myself with the mantra of a fisherman friend…..”you can measure once, twice, three or four times. But you can only cut once”.

Ps. …..


Some of the wallpaper we found in the hallway under layers of textured paint and old paper. Orla Kiely….you’ve been rumbled.


2 thoughts on “No Place to Hide: Wk 1 – Day Two

  1. You will easily adapt to a new kitchen, the designer should be trying to fit as many cupboards into the space you have, obviously it has to look fantastic at the same time. Perhaps you could post the kitchen plans / details for a quick critique?

  2. Hi
    Only a couple of days in I am so enjoying reading about your adventure.
    I moved from a very similar pebbledashed pad this time last year after living there for a roller coaster 14years that saw me transform the house from 70’s relic to a beautiful and much loved home. However along with the rollercoaster of renovation came the rollercoaster of life and after 2 children, a messy divorce, a further heartbreak and a burglary I decided it was time to leave my pebble dashed pad for pastures new and something cosier to suit my smaller family unit of me and 2 boys. As I sold my home and started looking for a new project the one thing on my checklist was no more pebbledash as I hated it with a passion but couldn’t remove it without the front of the house coming down! What did I end up with, a beautiful little cottage with an extension that just needs some magic & tlc but guess what, its covered in pebbledash!!
    On the subject of Day 2, dip & strip the doors and buy ‘antiquator’ online – this will merge the new carpentry perfectly with the old wood and cover with a clear brush on wax, the beauty of this against paint is that bar waxing every now and then (once in 14yrs in my experience) the doors will be totally maintenance free – no chipped paint or re-painting, you’ll reap the benefits for years to come!
    Hope day 3 going well – I look forward to it!
    Katy x

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