Unbelievably it is September already and so I thought in a spirit of back-to-schoolness I would remind myself of what I hoped to do in our house renovation by the end of this year, and see how far we’ve actually come, and maybe give myself a kick up the backside to actually get it all done.
As you probably know if you’ve been following our house renovations, pretty much half the house is in on the act at the moment. We haven’t actually finished a single room (well, the spare bedroom, but there’s a cabinet in there I need to paint because it’s currently half bright blue (clearly not my colour scheme) and so it has never been quite ‘finished’ in my eyes) and I was determined to make 2018 the year we got a couple of finished rooms under our belt. A few. Maybe even all the ones we’ve started. Okay, maybe not, since we’ve started another one since the beginning of the year, slightly by accident!
Since having Emilia we have spent our spare time doing family things (or you know, catching up on sleep) and nap times aren’t really suitable for the use of power tools or hammers, so in the past year we have not made much progress on the house at all compared to previous years. However, it might be that part of that reason is that most of the rooms we really need are functional and not too much of a mess, so we’ve just got used to living with them unfinished.
Now that Emilia is crawling and very close to walking, and in to absolutely everything, I am no longer happy to have powertools lying around or our entire upstairs carpeted in the most revolting old carpet that was here when we moved in. I want things packed away and safe for her, and a nice fluffy carpet for her to play on. Alas carpets are bloody expensive so in fact they will probably be the last thing we do and I’ve got a lot of freelance to fit in before that can happen, but a lot of the work that needs to be done won’t cost very much, it’s just labour or time intensive.
But I have been cracking the whip behind us nonetheless in the past few weeks, because the year is fast disappearing and I’ve got targets to meet. Speaking of which (and I’ve updated my goals post with when everything was completed here):
House Renovation Room #1: The Nursery
I had three things left to do, and I have done them. So I need to get around to taking some photos and hopefully soon there will be a nursery reveal. Because she’s 1 already. It’s about time.
And just like that, my beautiful baby girl turned one year old! Her actual birthday was yesterday but it feels as though we’ve been celebrating for a week, with an amazing party for her down South last Saturday, then a few days of fun together, an amazing day yesterday including her first swim which she adored, and then tomorrow we have a picnic in the park for my husband’s family and our local friends. I am not sure it has really sunk in yet that she’s a full year old, or the speed it has happened…I feel like she will be 10 in the blink of an eye! So proud of the clever, funny, happy little girl she is becoming. I can’t quite believe we made her!
House Renovation Room #2: The Bathroom
This room is so nearly there. In the last few weeks Ste has built in the cupboards in the gap next to the shower and finished the panelling and skirting. In between times I have been sanding, caulking, priming, and painting, and now we are almost done. Just this last weekend Ste added the shelf to the top of the cladding, so now I can finish that, and then I need to sand and paint the door too. The tiler is booked to come and finish off one row of tile down the side of the shower next weekend, and fill in a tricky gap in front of the cupboard. We could do this ourselves but he is so much faster and better at tricky cuts that we’re just getting him to come back for an hour. I can hardly believe we are about to be finished in here.
Now I have to think about the decor and actually style it, rather than just plonking things on shelves. I did some DIY abstract artwork recently too, because I couldn’t find what I wanted, but now that has changed the balance of that wall in the room and I think I need to move the other painting and maybe put a plant in it’s place? Oh dear. Will I ever think it is “finished”?!
Once upon a time I did a couple of abstract paintings on canvases given to me for free with a few leftover paint samples, and by some fluke they turned out pretty good. So when I couldn’t find a piece of art in the colour scheme I wanted for the bathroom I decided I could paint one. This time I used acrylics which I’ve never used before, and tried some different “techniques” (in inverted commas because I have no clue what I am doing!). I thought it was dreadful and was planning to paint over it but it has really grown on me and now I actually really like the end result though I wouldn’t exactly call it art 😂. Even if my Dad’s reaction was “which bit did the baby do?!”.
House Renovation Room #3: Our Bedroom
Unfortunately for poor Ste, he may be expecting a DIY break after the bathroom is done, but I am fed up with all the bits of wood we have around the place on the upstairs landing and in my office so we need to get all the woodwork done up here so I can clear it all out! The bedroom was finished other than a new carpet, but then we removed the chimney during the kitchen renovation so now we have an unfinished space where it used to be, where I am going to put up some shelving to house all my makeup and jewellery. It should be the task of a weekend to do the woodwork, and another to paint. In the old days (pre-baby) we could get this done in a couple of evenings, but these days we manage about two hours of work each day at a weekend so the pace is somewhat slower. So hoping to finish this by the end of September. Except the carpet – that will happen when we carpet the upstairs landing and stairs, which is the last of all the jobs.
House Renovation Room #4: My Office
Er, yeah. Nothing on my list has happened yet, and in fact, the room is still piled high with bits of wood and tools despite the fact that I have been working from here daily since I started back after maternity leave! Once all the jobs requiring wood and tools for wood upstairs are done, this is getting cleared out, and we can get back on with finishing this room, which really only requires a few new lights, caulking and priming the woodwork, and painting to be complete, and I cannot wait. Realistically, I don’t think this will happen much before Christmas, but I would love it if it did, because then upstairs would basically be finished, other than the hallway and landing, which only need paint and carpeting. (Only!)
House Renovation Room #5: The Kitchen
This is the room which has seen the biggest change over the last 8 months, but only really in the last month – it now has a floor! I’ll talk more about the floor in a future post on how we recycled our old kitchen into the new one, but it has made an enormous difference to how the space feels. We love it. Just a few things to finish up now, but most of which we couldn’t do until the floor was done, which was the main expense. The skirting will be a quick and easy project and there’s not much of it so it won’t be too expensive (Ste did this yesterday too since I drafted this post! Wahey. And I have primed the door ready for painting. Except we can’t find that tub of paint…) and the rest is mainly painting which is just a question of finding the time. I hope we can though. To finish this room and all of upstairs by the start of 2019 would be amazing. Suddenly feeling quite optimistic we might get this room finished.
Not really pretty enough to post but IDC. It’s cute! And shows the reality of renovating with a toddler…bloody big baby gates an absolute necessity 😂. The tiler started on the kitchen at 8am today and the last hour has been total chaos! Getting Emilia ready for the childminder while moving the white goods into the living room along with the furniture, walking the dogs, a rushed breakfast, and it’s not even 9am! But they are 3 rows of tiles in already and at long last there’s some major progress on our renovation which got a little bit stalled by a little person 😂. So exciting.
House Renovation Room #6: Downstairs Loo/Utility Room
Of course, it wouldn’t be us if we hadn’t also started yet another room during this time! The downstairs toilet/utility room leads off the kitchen, and so we wanted seamless tiles from one room into the other. This meant removing the broken old loo, so at the moment we no longer have a downstairs loo, but we do have a beautifully tiled room waiting for us to get on with the rest of it. Sadly the walls are in terrible shape and the roof tiles need some work because they are leaking in one corner. In an ideal world, we would board and plaster the entire room, but it is tiny and not really worth it, so we’re going to clad the walls with wood instead to try to improve the look, before installing a new loo, and a smaller hand basin (the current one blocks the door somewhat because it is far too big), and plumbing the washing machine in and moving the tumble dryer in here.
I am keen to get on with this soon, but in terms of priority, it is pretty low. I would prefer to finish upstairs and the kitchen first and then crack on in here next year.
And then once we’ve moved the washing machine etc, we can begin the task of ripping out the rest of the old kitchen and transforming it into an office for Ste and a playroom for Emilia. And when that’s done, it’s just the new porch and the living room to go. Maybe we will be finished by 2020, a full 6 years after we bought this place!
As you can tell though, we are actually cracking on with things again, and I’m now documenting it all on Instagram Stories if you want to come and watch as we slowly get things done. Come and say hi!