Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Boxes and art

A few weeks ago we were visiting friends in New Zealand who'd moved into their new home around the same time we moved into ours. They haven't undertaken any major renovation work but the house felt more finished and welcoming. A few days ago we were inside our next door neighbour's place, again, no major renovation just some cosmetic improvements. And yes, it felt more finished too.

The difference with both of these homes was that they had no boxes piled up to the ceiling and their walls were adorned with artwork and photographs. We've been so busy focussing on all the "big" fixes that we've ignored the little things that make a home, well, a home.

I don't do New Years resolutions, but if I did it would be sort out our house this year. I am delegating the concrete counter fixes and splashback ordering to Rob, and I'm going to start dejunking the rest of the space. Those boxes have to go!

Rob and I don't have the same taste in art at all, but he did like the print I bought for our wedding anniversary last year from Etsy (pictured top) - the colours aren't the same as the one in the photo, but with any luck it'll be up on our walls shortly and I can post an actual photograph of it.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Office, boiler & outdoor furniture

This is the office nook with the desk and computer back in place. As you can see the boiler is kind of... dominant, and while a lovely bit of kit, it does make some odd noises. We've had a quote in from the Polish builder to house it in a cupboard with shelving underneath. This solution will muffle some of the gurgles and clicks. Not sure exactly when that's going to happen - we need to have the discussion about whether hiding the boiler in a cupboard will add value to the house in the first instance (to get through the mortgage valuation). If not, it can wait for a couple of months.

We arrived back in London on Sunday at 5am and got home a couple of hours later to find our garden was covered in snow. We knew it'd been snowing thanks to the panicked round-the-clock news coverage, but as it happens, the snow was beautiful and despite coming from a tropical climate, we didn't think it was particularly cold.

Annoyingly now that the snow has melted, I can see that three coats of Ronseal hasn't saved the wood on the table (which we only bought this summer) - the wood looks absolutely knackered and swollen with moisture. I'd think about swapping it with our lovely neighbour's identical table but I suspect they might notice. Or worse, be reading this blog!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Making good the wall

The weeks leading up to Christmas were crazy. Not only did the boiler get replaced (and relocated) but we had a lovely and efficient Polish builder over to make good this gaping hole that was now in the downstairs wall. Here it is pictured above, with newspaper covering to try and keep in the polystyrene balls which filled the wall cavity.

A week before Christmas we left the UK for a three week holiday to New Zealand and Malaysia. Three weeks is the longest holiday we've had since moving to the UK over ten years ago.

The dust and debris and suitcases (and cost!) seem like a distant memory as I write this from the Tanjung Rhu resort in Langkawi, especially reading that it's snowing in London this week.

The photo below shows the results of "making good" the wall after the first day, more pics to come of the wall after the plaster has dried. In the meantime, I'm off to try and find a sun lounger that hasn't been reserved by some over enthusiastic visitors from Germany...