The ups and downs of renovating a house

…or two

Archive for the category “bedroom”

The final video

I know.  It’s been a while. We went on holiday, I got ill, things got in the way…you know the drill. But I finally got a chance to take the final renovation video.  Is the work all done? Not entirely, there’s things to change. But it’s mostly done (and what has to be done isn’t really all that visible).

So, here’s the “before” video.  Definitely check it out first so you can see the changes a lot better.

Youtube video of “before”

And this is our video of “after” (please note that I did not spruce up the house – it’s how we live – and it’s certainly NOT a show home).  Excuse my voice and brain farts.  I did this three times and I guess it’s how my brain works.  It’ll never be perfect.

Youtube video of “after”

If you want to see all the pics I took and saved, you can head to my Flickr album here: click

If you have any questions about where we purchased items, please get in touch.

I’ll update the blog as we put up new paintings, do the outdoors, etc.  Owning a home is a never ending bit of work!


Week 24: little details and exterior

Possibly three weeks to go (hahahaha) until the work in the house will be done.  Nah.  Probably not.  But, we are hoping for pre-Christmas.  We’ve put off our holiday and Roy will be around to help me decorate.

I’ve started to search for specific items for within the house and we found the pendant lights we’ll use above the island.  My husband doesn’t like most of my entry way (front hall) light suggestions as he sees them as outdoor lights, so I’m trying to come up with a compromise.  What do you think of those below?


We’ve begun to figure out what we’re doing for our kitchen/dining table.  My husband has researched something a bit different – a pool table which can become a dining table. Very different.  He actually found one I like.  So we’re considering it.  We measured the space and there should be enough for a small table (6′ by 3′) which will have a table top along with the pool table bit.  We’re still trying to figure out the exact colour of the wood as well as what sort of chairs, but my husband would prefer fabric covered chairs, so I think we’ll go with it.

We have definitely found the stool we’ll use for our island (we’ll get 4):

The colour will work well with our island pendants (gives you a hint as to what they’ll look like) plus they are adjustable.

Some of the small changes around the house…

The exteriors of houses in London are quite different from what I was used to in the States.  The house I grew up with had vinyl siding, some of the houses nearby had wood siding and some in the cities I lived where brick. But NONE had pebble dashing.  What is that?

Also known as roughcast, pebble dashing is a coarse plaster surface used on outside walls that consists of lime, and sometimes cement mixed with other items.[1] The materials are mixed into a slurry and are then thrown at the working surface with a trowel or scoop. The idea is to maintain an even spread, free from lumps, ridges or runs and without missing any background.  It was used a lot in the 1920 and 1930s as it was easy to do and didn’t need a lot of skill (due to WWI there were a lot of skill sets missing).  It also lasted a very long time and was cheap.  I think it’s SUPER ugly.  Below is an example similar to our house:

Ours was damaged with all the house work so we’re getting new rendering.  What you can see in the pics above is the insulation that is under the render.  We’re using K-Rend, which is a silicone product that goes over insulation.  We’re doing exterior insulation as the walls could not be insulated (typically houses built in a similar era had cavity walls – this type of house does not, so cannot be internally insulated) and then the render will be put on top.  We chose a grey (granite) which is a medium grey colour. As we live on a busy street in London, the exhaust tends to colour lighter coloured houses, making them look dirty.  We’re hoping that this colour will help.

The electrics (plugs, switches, etc) are slowly being put in place. I really like what I selected, which is a brushed steel.  We also have the new underfloor heating thermostat in place for our master bathroom – yay!

So, what’s coming up this week? I’m expecting that the rest of the electrics will be put in, that the lights on the 1st and 2nd floors will be installed (other than the hallway), and that they’ll begin to paint the halls and staircase walls.  I know they are doing the rest of the prep work for the walls in the kitchen and living room, so may get to painting those as well.  We’ll see.

On Tuesday, we’re having a guy come to quote for the carpet on the staircases, 1st floor hallway, 2nd floor bedroom and the office.  We have carpet for the other bedrooms, so we’ll get a quote for re-instillation. We went to pick out the carpets this weekend with my mother-in-law who approved the colours.  We’re doing a champagne colour on the 2nd floor (mother-in-law’s room) which hopefully will go with the vanilla yellow walls, a pale grey in the office (to go with the denim blue) and an ash colour for the stairs/hallway – similar to this (in colour & style) which is a good neutral:


We selected our beds and mattresses.  I have to say that our favourite bed company is the Original Bedstead Co.  We already own several of their beds.  We are getting a super king for ourselves and a twin/single for my mother-in-law (it’s what she wants).  We also own the Arran bed in chrome and the Virginia in satin white.  Fabulous!  Here’s what we’re getting:

Mother-in-law’s bed.

Our bed

Week 23: coming together?

Yup, I skipped a week.  There really wasn’t much to see, though stuff was getting done.  So I decided to wait a week and show you better what has happened.

On the downside: I arrived on Friday to meet up with the guys doing the template for the worktops and found water coming through the ceiling.  The guys working there don’t have fabulous English so I couldn’t understand what happened.  But it definitely means that I’ll be making them take down the plasterboard there as I don’t want mould.  The worst part – it was coming through the hole made for one of the lights and dripping down wires.  Yeah, safe.  Luckily, not connected.  In addition, we still don’t have electricity.  Oh, well.

UPDATE: saw our contractor yesterday.  He had heard nothing about it so I’m glad that I was there.  He’s going to be investigating and, yes, he will definitely remove all the bad plaster, etc.

On the upside: painting has continued, switches have begun to be put in, lighting has arrived, sanding of the floors has been achieved and we had the guys in to do the measurements for the granite.  The kitchen still has a lot of work to yet be done but it’s moving forward.  Lots of pictures!

Lots of lights (there are more!) and switches and plugs

The navy of the master bedroom

Master bathroom blue

Newly painted feature fireplace in mother-in-law’s bedroom

The template being measured


A few pics from the template

The big sink

Handles on the kitchen drawers and cabinets

Newly sanded oak floors

The mess that still exists on the 1st floor (2nd floor for those Americans reading)

It’s very exciting that things are moving forward.  I really can’t wait for it to finish!


Week Nine – more plastering, decisions on hold

A few small changes have happened as we’ve finished week nine.  Basically, plastering, electrics and plumbing have continued.  It’s not glamorous or pretty, but it’s a good step in the right direction.

The floors are still coming up in the kitchen area, but we haven’t been able to move to begin the extension as we have to make some changes and our architect is on holiday for two weeks (and the structural engineer doesn’t seem to want to return calls).  At least there is plenty for our contractor to do in the other floors.  This will push back the finishing time a bit.  Oh, well!

The wall has gone up in one of the doorways to the kitchen.  It’s going to make a huge difference.  We’ll now be able to do laundry without worrying about getting a door in the back.  Yay!

They installed the skylight into the loft bathroom and have figured out where the toilet, etc, will be placed.

We’re going to be making some changes to the front of the house.  With the installation of the windows, the plaster/pebble-dashing came off in chunks.  So we’re going to have the contractor remove all the plaster (YAY – it’s ugly), put new smooth plaster on and paint it white, which will go nicely with the red brick.

Week Seven – small changes

This week brings with it a few small changes and a few concerns and possibilities.

Possibility: to be able to lower the floor so that we have higher ceilings.  Most of the 1920s houses in London seem to have very high ceilings.  Our house doesn’t really.  But there is a LOT of space under the house so we can move the floors down (which is good, especially as we’re doing underfloor heating in the entire ground floor).  This will be a great thing.  You can see below all the space under the kitchen that exists:


Can we fit in the bi-folding doors that we want?  Can we fit the kitchen furniture that we ordered? TBD.

The little changes – they have begun to plaster a bit and rip things off the walls.  The master bedroom has been pretty much stripped.  Lighting and electrics are being laid.

Main bathroom – ready for lights & plastering.

No more pine cladding or ceilings or plastered walls in the master bedroom

Plastering has begun in the office and in the loft bedroom.

We can see that things are coming together a bit more but it also means there are more questions.  We shall see what comes over the next few weeks.  I’ll post again in two weeks.

Week 6: many changes

Just back from a two week holiday to the States and it’s been a while since I last posted.  There are fabulous changes in the house that I can’t wait to share.

From front of house – you can see the new bay windows in the living rom and master bedroom

As you can see the new roof with new tiles has almost finished. It’s been very well insulated and the tiles are solid.  This is a view to the back garden and the park behind us from the extra bedroom.

The interior has also had quite a lot of changes – actual walls are up, new windows are in the front of the house, the bathrooms are beginning to take shape and the walls are starting to come up for the extension.

Loft bedroom facing the back of the room.  The two holes will have small doors for loft storage.  Behind the wall on the left (to the left of that hole) is where the shower rooms will be (small corner shower, toilet & sink)

Bay windows in the master bedroom. They still have to get rid of some wood around it (can’t wait).

Beginning to insulate the uninsulated office.  It used to have a small unused fireplace behind the ladders which we tore out and filled in with brick.  All of this will be insulated and then plasterboard will be placed on top.

The main bathroom.  They took out the windows and the wall separating the bath and the toilet.  Instead, they installed two Velux windows into the roof ceiling (it’s angled).  This will allow us to put our bathroom furniture in different places.

The walls are going up for the extension!

This is the office again with the new windows.  Because we took out some built in storage it’ll be so much better for us to use.  I’ll be able to fit in a small sofa or large chair to use for a psychotherapy room.

We’re very happy with the progress so far.  I have some more things to order but have to talk to our contractor about them.  Busy and exciting times.

Week 10: almost there

Holy cow.  The work is almost finished, with an expectation that almost everything will be done by Friday.  Our builder is going away for the holidays, so we’ll come back together during the first or second week of January to do a final snag list and then the handover.  We’ll be able to move in February if we’d like.  This week I’m going to start really looking for carpet for the loft bedroom, small bedroom on the first floor, the hallway on the first floor and the staircases from the ground to first and first to second floor.  We’ll be keeping with greys for most of it.  I have a lot of pics of the work below.  Once we get the carpet in and furniture all set up, I’ll do another video to show the before and after.


As you can see the scaffolding is finally down, so you can see how the loft has been built up.  Here’s the before:


23612186272_238e173b54_n 23694623166_6209419180_n

The hallways and small bedroom lights.  They fit with the other lights in the house.


The staircase going up to the loft.  Needs another coat of paint, but I’m liking it so far.


The handrail which will be painted a darker grey than the hall colour (which is a very pale grey).


The shower is being fit…still needs some grout work done.  But I love, love, love these tiles.  We’ll add some glass shelved for shampoo & that stuff.


Where the higher tiles end is where the glass panel will go for the shower. You can also see the grey floor tiles which I think compliments the teal metro tiles nicely.  I have to find a good toilet roll holder – not sure yet what to get.  It’ll be placed in front of the radiator.


The corner sink & cabinet (not fully in place yet) were chosen due to the small size of the bathroom.  I think they will work well in there.


I know it doesn’t look like much right now, but it will be the light fixture in the bedroom – there will be 8 bulbs and it will be placed in a pattern that works to light up the entire room.  Hoping it works and looks okay.

So glad that it’s almost over.  Next steps…the Vale house!

Week 9: paint and tile

The plaster has gone on and the primer has gone on as has the first layer of paint in the loft bedroom.  We’re still not sure about the bedroom colour but I think with the white ceiling it kinda works.  The grey floor tile and the blue wall tiles are going to look fabulous.  Very excited about this.

They’ve also started to take down the scaffolding so we can see what the house will look like in the end.








Week 8: more walls & paint

The walls to the small bedroom on the first floor (2nd floor for you Americans) and the walls/ceilings around the staircase are all plaster-boarded.  We decided to go with an open staircase with spindles and a handrail.  It’s going to add so much more light to the whole area.

Not sure about my paint choice in the bedroom, as it’s very, very bold, but it’s a custom colour so I’m going to continue on with it.  If it looks horrible, then we can always lighten it ourselves before we put in carpet.  I tend toward the bold (hence the orange front room) but renters might not like it.  I probably should have gone with white or pale grey. Oh, well.


Now you can see the small bedroom and how the staircase will look being more open.  They’ll use the end post to start the handrail.  The handrail will look like the one on this landing.


Looking down the stairs (it’s not really as dark as it seems – darn phone camera)


Once the walls get painted, they’ll be ready to put in the switches.


Plastering and priming on its way


The very bold teal colour.  It came up more green than reality, but you can see how bright it is going to be.  We’ll see.  I love the colour but it might be better as an accent versus a whole bedroom.  The area where the Velux windows are located plus the ceiling will be white, so it might work out.  We can always paint over it!

Couldn’t get a good pic, but the bathroom is looking ready for all its stuff – and we can see where it’ll go (they drew lines all over).  Exciting!

Week 7-1/2: walls & stairs

The new staircase is in!  And insulation and walls are up (mostly).  They have cut the holes for the loft space doors.  And are ready to begin painting (should be done by this weekend).

I still have to order a toilet (as the one I originally ordered won’t work), get a thermostatic mixer shower kit, find an extractor fan that fits the hole, buy all the paint, buy grout & beading for the tiles, find a handrail for the stairs and a new tap for the bathroom on the first floor (second floor for all you US peeps) as it was leaking.  Eventually, we’ll have to get new carpet for all the stairs, the hallway and the bedroom.  I’m checking that out tomorrow.

We’ll be doing a light teal colour in the bedroom, white above the teal tiles in the bathroom, a very light blue-ish grey in the stairwell & new 1st floor bedroom.  I think we’ll have to repaint the entire hallway on the ground and first floor – probably just use magnolia (a basic white) as it’s cheap & cheerful.

Here are my phone photos taken as I was answering & asking questions of our contractor/builder:


This is the view toward the new single room and the new staircase.  You can see that the wall is being built for the single room and the staircase is in.


We need to decide if we’re going to put a wall coming down to the left of the staircase or put in the handles and leave it open.  Any thoughts?

22692842713_aeb4a6e1ce_n    23237372871_02d5ecafe1_n


Back of house – insulation in and plasterboard up.


Front of house – holes are where the doors to the storage space will be located.


Bathroom walls all waterproofed.  Waiting for shower tray & waste unit before doing floors.

Looking forward to seeing what this weekend brings.  Shopping ho!

Post Navigation