It feels like yesterday that I wrote this same post after we’d been in our home for two years and now here we are – another Valentine’s Day, another celebration of when we picked up the keys back in 2014 and drove straight here from the estate agents in Chislehurst to go rushing from room to room jumping with joy. I can’t believe three whole years have passed but what is so wonderful is that the longer we live here, the more I fall in love with this crazy, beautiful, mad house of ours.
We made quite good progress in our second year which you can read about here and although it often feels like we can’t see the wood for the trees and everything is moving at snail’s pace, we did some pretty fun stuff in our third year too!
Updating Our Electrics
This was the first thing we did in 2017 and pretty much as dull as it gets. We’d had a survey previously on everything that needed doing, from replacing illegal bathroom lighting to an entirely new fuse box, so we saved up to just get the work done. For the first two years we lived here, every time the washing machine went on a spin cycle it fused all the power – it might sound a fairly small deal but oh, it was so annoying. Now everything has been made good – it wasn’t a complete re-wire by any means and as we go from room to room we’re adding extra sockets and changing switches but it’s so re-assuring to know that we’re safe now, even if it did cost a few thousand to get us there.
The Epic Home Makeover
I don’t know about you but every time we’ve had a job done it shows up everything else even more. When we moved in, the house looked like this (aside from the numbers by the front door which we replaced before this picture was taken):
Then when we changed the windows and added shutters in 2015, it transformed to this:
The windows and shutters looked fantastic but all they did was highlight just how much work we had to do to transform the look of our home. We’d been after re-rendering quotes for some time owing to large structural cracks in the side of the house which caused damp before we moved in. Finally, spying another house round the corner that had some great work done to it, I cornered the builders and we booked the the job in.
It felt like one of the wettest early summers ever as the scaffolding went up and nothing happened for four weeks. In the end the wait was worth it and we finally finished the transformation with re-rendering and painting, new fascias and soffits and replacement drainpipes. Pete and I finished it off by painting the hanging tiles and porch roof as well as the front door and bought new door furniture. It feels unrecognisable and now looks so very smart compared to what we bought, don’t you think?
New Flooring And Cupboards In Our Third Bedroom
Somehow we seem to be devoid of doing things in any particular order. We have two spare rooms, one of which will eventually be a guest room but is currently full of ‘junk’ and another one which we’d already started a gradual makeover of back in 2015. Most rooms in our home are in various states of disrepair and since we won’t have children but do have pets, replacing carpets with more practical flooring is high on the agenda.
The floor in our fourth bedroom to office conversion had already been replaced and we loved it so much we decided to use the same for our third bedroom. It’s stylish and durable and we’ll probably end up using the same in the guest room too whenever we eventually get around to that.
The cupboards serve a very specific purpose and definitely aren’t wardrobes. Mr D has an extensive CD collection which is currently sitting in huge crates in the other spare room. We decided to fit cupboards either side of the alcoves specifically for them to get them out of the way whilst at the same time as I put it ‘not being an eyesore’…I’m currently working on painting the cupboards little by little so that will end up in next year’s catch up!
A Home For Logs
After replacing our gas fire with a log burner in the living room back in 2015, we spent last winter buying logs weekly from B&Q or local garden centres. Not cost effective and not time-saving here. I was determined to find a wood store before this winter came around so that we could order wood in bulk and have somewhere to keep it dry and the wonderful Woodson and Son answered my prayers, arriving one Saturday in October to build us the most beautiful looking woodstore I’d ever seen, don’t you think? It even has a slate roof!
I’m not ready to leave the big smoke for the countryside yet so I like to think the logstore is a little bit of countryside living coming to us and I love it.
Fitting A Mantelpiece
It’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind and having previously thought I wanted a very streamlined look to our fireplace, in the end it felt like something was missing. When Traditional Beams started following me on Instagram, I took a look at their website and found the perfect solution, a range of fully customised beams in different finishes. We chose one which was delivered and Pete fitted it just before Christmas and now it looks as though it was always there and really does finish off the fireplace.
Our Hallway Takes Shape
When we moved in, the lower wall in our hallway was one of the areas affected by damp so it had to be replastered and it took me about 10 months to finally get around to repainting it which is the image you can see here:
Last summer we picked up a new console table which had been made for us by the same clever man who made our mirror – all using reclaimed wood from 1930’s houses in London. We love that it has a story to tell and with a new window next to our front door as well as little decorative touches, our hallway now looks a lot more welcoming than it did.
It’s taking us time but when I look back I realise that every year we make great progress. We’re not sure yet what our plans are for the year ahead but I’m excited to see what this post will look like in a year’s time!