An impulse buy and a new desk

Yesterday we won an eBay bid for this cheeky piece of furniture


It was originally bought to be a sewing or cutting table for me, but the base is so nice that we decided to put it in a more prominent place.

Over our morning coffee we’ve come up with a couple of ideas for what to do, so  we’ll update you when it’s all done 🙂

I’ll also be working on the laundry room so will hopefully be able to update on that later in the day. And the downstairs loo? That’s causing a couple of issues, mainly to do with water not being able to drain away upwards. More on that later!


Quick update

So work has progressed on the laundry room. Not quite finished, and a second coat is required, but so far we’re really pleased with how it looks.


Jasper is particularly impressed, as you can see!

There is still much to do, but for now I’m going to relax with a big glass of gin and tonic and will be up early in the morning to finish the job 🙂

Laundry room

While Gav continues in the downstairs loo, I have discovered a stash of paint left by the previous owner. One of them is an eggshell wood paint that has done a lovely job of covering up the fence wall between the laundry room and the aforementioned WC. It will need at least one more coat, but it’s looking better already.


And while that dries I’m going to make a start on the rest of the room. It’s a mix of porch, laundry room, dog food area and general dumping ground. I have already tried sprucing it up with a valance salvaged from the old house. I’m also drying lavender from the garden for some future project TBD.


I’m hoping that some nice paint and additional storage will help us get some sense of order in here. As the front door doesn’t work from the outside, this room is our main exit/entry point for now, so it will be lovely to get it sorted out, once and for all.

So that’s the Before, I’ll check back when the walls are prepped and ready for some colour…

New basin & fancy tap

So we can add rudimentary plumbing to the list of Gav’s skills 🙂 the old set of copper pipes feeding the grotty basin are out


and he’s put in all new piping and a new (and more importantly – CLEAN) basin!


But of course the thing that’s exciting me most is our super indulgent waterfall tap. An impulse buy from the bargain bin, it does feel a bit too fancy for a downstairs loo that will be primarily used to hose down the dogs, but I still love it.


There is still a bit of tweaking to get the plug working, but I am very proud of the work so far and am looking forward to the next stage – checking that it’s all watertight!

Cistern success

First of hopefully many quick updates – the cistern is in situ!


Now to clean up many decades of general yuck from the loo. Unfortunately we couldn’t replace it as the outlet is straight down and it is difficult to got hold of these nowadays. So the industrial bleach is my only option.


I don’t know that much about loos – apparently this setup is weird? Who knew!

So that’s that for now. We’re having a quick break for coffee and will then make a start on plumbing it in and cleaning.

Downstairs Loo – Take 2!

Remember what my first attempt at DIY looked like? In a word – lame. Fortunately the man of the house has come to my rescue and we’re doing a proper job, rather than painting it white and hoping for the best.

My previous attempts at blogging regularly have always failed, possibly because the thought of writing a big post has been overwhelming and put me off. So I’m trying a new thing with publishing small posts as they happen, rather than saving up loads of stuff that I never actually get round to completing. It’s a trait that seems to apply to house renovation as much as blogging, unfortunately!

So anyway, here we are, with the dulcet tones of drilling in the background. Let’s see what’s actually happening…

The shower

The shower is no more!

A nice ceramic cistern replaces the grotty plastic one

A nice ceramic cistern replaces the grotty plastic one


And the sink is no more!

So I am under strict instructions to make a cup of tea and keep out of the way. I’m more than happy to oblige! I will hopefully be back later on today with an update on the progress 🙂

We’re still here!

Oops – I can’t believe it’s been over a month since the last post – sorry!

As you would expect, lots of things have been going on in the 1879 house to keep us busy. But they’ve all seemed to be little things compared to the dramatic kitchen transformation, and not really blog-worthy. So this post will be the hodge-podge of all those little snagging jobs that have taken up April and half of May.

The first job was something that we worked on while the kitchen was being fitted. While having a cup of tea with the new neighbours I indulged in a bit of style-stalking. They had installed a pop-up plug in their kitchen counter and as soon as I saw it a knew I wanted *needed* one in our kitchen too. In the event, after much cajoling, nagging and whining I actually managed to convince the Man of the House that we needed to get rid of all our wall-mounted sockets and buy two. Result!

First job - hide the old ugly surface mounted plug socket

First job – hide the old ugly surface mounted plug socket

Next - hide the new sockets in the cupboards

Next – hide the new sockets in the cupboards

Then the fun really began.

Who's going to be brave enough to drill a 10cm diameter hole in the newly-installed wooden worktops?

Who’s going to be brave enough to drill a 10cm diameter hole in the newly-installed wooden worktops?

Parents to the rescue!

Parents to the rescue!

No going back now!

No going back now!

We encountered just one little snag, in that the worktop was thicker than the drill attachment. So a willing volunteer was drafted in to finish the job from underneath the worktop, inside a dark cupboard – me! It quickly transpired that gravity and sawdust cause difficulties with both seeing and breathing. Ever resourceful, a tea towel proved to be my saviour.

Feeling pretty bad-ass!

Feeling pretty bad-ass!

Practical - and stylish!

Practical – and stylish!

I think it was poetic justice really. After all that whining, I really did need to get my hands dirty. But once they were installed, they were worth every eyeball splinter!

Counter top   Pop-up plug

The eagle-eyed among you will have also noticed the completion of another job – the tiling 🙂

Yes, I can now add grouting to my ever-expanding list of accomplishments!

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I’m not sure if it was the irregular thickness of the rustic tiles, or the 3mm spacing, but the grouting scraper was worse than useless, so I had to resort to applying the grout with my hands. Next room I tile is going to have giant, regularly shaped tiles with 1mm spacing!

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Despite the difficulties with the grout, we’re very pleased with the final result

We also decided to start patching up all the cracks on the walls and around the coving in the lounge. Yes, I may sometimes forget, but there are actually other rooms in the house besides the kitchen 😉

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All the scraper tools were useless here too, because of the curved and bevelled coving. I probably broke every DIY rule in the book, but I applied the plaster by hand too, and gently sanded the surface to smooth it out.

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So that’s a quick snapshot of how we’ve been spending our spare time over the past few weeks. There are also a couple of other projects in the pipeline, so keep checking in for an update (I promise not to leave it so long next time!) xxx