A Whiter Shade of Pale : Wk 10 – Day Five

I played a somewhat passive role in the refurbishment of our house today, departing this morning to leave C to get on with it and then again this evening to let S do the same. Both managed, in my absence (or because of) to get a fair amount done.

C’s tasks for the day included the completion of the third-time-lucky floor in the Worlds Smallest WC before continuing to make headway on some of the joinery needed to transform the utility and larder alcoves into operational facilities by the addition of doors and shelves. The larder door is actually…I hesitate to say this while the jury is still out on the success or failure of the upstairs ones (see week one) ….reclaimed. In fact its one of a pair whose mate will form the door of a linen cupboard in our spare bedroom once the temporary kitchen has vacated. The rest of the utility doors will be made of MDF (not very green, I know) and my plan to blend in the two styles is to transform the MDF versions with the use of both blackboard and magnetic paint to become a huge area where childrens pictures, birthday reminders, upcoming events, shopping lists and the elusive Indian takeaway menu which we lose, without fail, on a weekly basis can all be displayed.

I may have been out of sight but this house is rarely out of my mind so it continued to whir with today’s set of mountainous molehills. The first being what to do with my stockpile of frames…unloading them from the car where they still untidily reside probably being a good start. The second being what to do with the hallway floor – no real alternative to tiles has yet presented itself (much to my delight!) and the third being a concern that the white I had spent so long deliberating over in search of the perfect warm tone to compliment the oak of the kitchen is looking a bit, well white. With so many beautiful shades to choose from, many of them adorning my ‘swatch wall’ in the temporary kitchen, I worried that perhaps we were being a bit cautious and unimaginative. I pondered this all the way to the Tate Modern where I hoped to occupy an investigative O with the under 5’s area…..which turned out, ironically, to be closed due to work on their extension. It hampered us not. O was happy enough hurtling into the safe abyss of the Turbine Hall chasing after a wacky elastic band ball bought in the museum shop (it was the Tate Modern after all….) and it would seem hypocritical of me to criticise them for wanting to increase the size of their gaff to make space for a few more frames.

Funnily enough though it wasn’t there but on the quick diversion into Monmouth Coffee in Borough Market that I made peace with the white paint. Its slightly embarrassing to admit where the inspiration for our kitchen comes from …but as I’m getting in the habit of being honest here I’ll fess up. We handed our kitchen company a picture of Jamie Oliver’s kitchen from 30 Minute Meals as much of its essence we hoped to create chez Pebbledash. The three quarter height oven and pull out storage cupboard with a shelf extending from this along the length of the wall. The large island with hob in the centre. The ordered untidiness of jars, lamps and even pictures out on display….I might add a few rusty OXO tins for good measure. Even the handles we hope to copy so I’m currently on the hunt for similar ones which don’t “pull at my tshirt every time I walk past” (S’s brief). However the colour scheme itself was inspired by Monmouth Coffee who have similar green factory lamps, lots of golden wood ….and white walls. As I treated S to a bag of his favourite ground beverage I decided that yes, the white will be just fine….but I may need a wall of the deepest green in lieu of their brick, perhaps the sofa nook, to ground it. And Chief Blackballer may take some convincing…

This evening, while I sat with friends listening to their suggestions for our hallway flooring (I’m not convinced they were taking the problem very seriously as they, admittedly under the influence of white wine, unhelpfully suggested gravel or cress), S ploughed on with the mammoth task of mist coating. With pressure being applied by the imminent arrival of the kitchen – the room being much easier to manoeuvre, roller in hand, without expensive obstacles which would benefit greatly from remaining paint free – we put together a work plan.
“I’ll get the mist coat done Thursday…” I had chirped.
“And I’ll get the first coat on the walls Friday” replied S, with coats two and three planned for the weekend. We are now on day two, pot two and litre eight and are still not yet finished the mist. Revision is required.

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The progress on the painting
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The utility run and larder
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Inspiration for the blackboard section
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Monmouth Coffee – pic courtesy of Okay and Then
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Jamie Oliver’s kitchen

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