Sitting Room

Phil says we have to call it the Sitting Room, because he is fancy.  But we all know it is really the lounge.

Phil says the lounge is where you wait for your flight. Hmm.

When we walked into this room when we viewed the house, we just stood and stared at the huge picture windows and the view of the park beyond.  It really is lovely.

Here are the before and after shots from the same angles (with the same posing children).  I will bore you with the paint colours too.

May2014 (3)
Before: Well that’s a hideous green wall right there. Even the child is blurry.

Poster is Phil’s – an old Schiele exhibition from his yoof – frame was from the refuse shop at the tip and painted in F&B Mole’s Breath.

31Aug14 (59)
After: Bright and shiny – and is that a new staircase? Well yes sir, it is!

A new modular Fontanot staircase has been built behind the sofa, the floors covered with real oak flooring (from Magnet, v. cheap).

Walls in Farrow and Ball Ammonite.

May2014 (6)
Before: Last updated when mummy was born.
31Aug14 (61)
After: Flop down on my big sofa and admire the lovely prints!

Upcycled TV cabinet was 15 quid from St. Margaret’s – painted in F&B Eggshell Purbeck Stone and a Dulux satinwood (forget how good this is) in teal, colour matched with the teal from the Laura Ashley Wallace Lampshade.

May2014 (9)
Before: Have these curtains actually DIED?
31Aug14 (64)
After: Oh darling, a little drinkie on the balcony? Don’t mind if I do.

The lounge fireplace:

The fireplace was beyond hideous.  After much deliberation I slapped on Annie Sloane Chalk Paint in Old White. I removed and dismantled the gas fire: I rescued the surround which I painted in Annie Sloane Graphite and the bricked inside of the fireplace in Annie Sloan Paris Gray.

May2014 (10)
Before: Oh dear. All the bad things. A gas fire with a marble surround and let’s PRETEND this is mahogany.
31Aug14 (66)
After: I don’t care if it’s marble; Annie Sloan paint will stick to absolutely anything so it’s going on. Thick.

The fireplace really does look fab in the chalk paint.  Looks great at night too:

Fireplace in Annie Sloan Old White Chalk Paint
Fireplace in Annie Sloan Old White Chalk Paint




The kitchen

Here are our Before and After pics of the kitchen – our favourite room in the house.  It used to be an unused basement room, but it had lovely doors leading out to the garden, and seemed the perfect location for a kitchen-diner.

We moved the kitchen units downstairs and created a kitchen island:

May2014 (43)
Before: this room wasn’t used. Because it was grim and damp.
31Aug14 (52)
After: It’s a light-filled kitchen of fabulousness

The paint is F&B Borrowed Light. Kitchen lights all from B&Q. The kitchen island is a light blue colour and was made using kitchen unit wooden panels from Howden’s.

May2014 (35)
Before: Minging. And WTF are those birds about?
31Aug14 (40)
After: Kitchen island and the birds have been lovingly scraped off and put in the bin.
May2014 (36)
Before: Sinister bird of death.
31Aug14 (41)
After: Wholesome baskets of organic vegetables and hanging planters.


We knocked out the old fireplace to open it up as a feature. Mirror from the tip. Fireplace slate from South West reclamation in Bridgwater. Kittens from a nice chap I met in the park.

May2014 (42)
Before: I know! Let’s brick in the fireplace and stick a radiator there instead. And a scary dark staircase.
31Aug14 (49)
After: Yay!


We knocked out the old staircase and replaced it with a lighter, modern modular staircase from Fontanot:

May2014 (34)
Before: This is where the carpet beetles loved to play.
31Aug14 (35)
After: We replaced the carpet beetles with some lovely gambolling kittens.

We knocked out the old staircase to make an eating area, complete with a reading snug and a handsome man stroking kittens:

May2014 (39)
Before: Even the stairlift was depressed.
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After: Kittens! Purring! A lovely reading corner.
May2014 (41)
Before: Just, no.
31Aug14 (47)
After: a handy place for eating! The reading seat is made from two old white IKEA Expedit shelves, laid on their sides.


May2014 (40)
Before: Well, it’s all rubbish.
31Aug14 (44)
After: Bright and shiny. Light from B&Q by the way.


The larder:
Every housewife’s dream.  We painted it white and tiled the floor.  And hoovered up the carpet beetles.

May2014 (37)
Before: This would be where you might hide a body.


31Aug14 (43)
After: It’s white and clean and full of crisps!





The entrance hall: we have covered up the door that previously led to the kitchen (now a bedroom) and SLAPPED UP BOOKSHELVES.  That’s about it.  It’s all WHITE.

May2014 (31)
Before: A doorway into a kitchen… but not for long! That’s kitchen’s going doooown (stairs)
31Aug14 (32)
After: Plastered over the doorway and built a cupboard for coats instead. Lampshade from IKEA (via the dump shop). Book shelves made by me.


May2014 (30)
Before: A stair lift. A very slow one. And lots of beige.
31Aug14 (29)
After: White. Books. Kittens.
May2014 (15)
Before: We didn’t really need the stair-lift, although Josie wanted to keep it….
31Aug14 (12)
After: Much cheerier! Carpet from the cheap range from Carpetright that the man swore cats couldn’t destroy. Apparently.
May2014 (21)
Before: The upstairs hallway.
31Aug14 (15)
After: We moved the wall back three feet to create a new corridor (and two bedrooms from one large one). Pollock by the children.


May2014 (33)
Before: stairlift.
31Aug14 (33)
After: kitten.

We replaced the staircase with a Fontanot Magia 90, complete with a pretty boy to clean the stairs.

May2014 (45)
Before: Creepy staircase of horror.
31Aug14 (56)
After: Nice bright staircase!



The Penguin Bookcase

This old bookcase was built by my dad when he owned a bookshop in Weston-super-Mare in the 1960’s.  The shelves are made of glass.  It’s REALLY heavy and I had to use some very long screws and make a great deal of noise putting it up.

I thought it would be good to restore it to it’s former glory and use it to display our Penguin books….

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… and a couple of penguins….

iphone pics 009

This bookcase is painted in F&B White Tie.