Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Chicken coop

Ah, the heady days when I thought we could have chickens in the garden... inspired by a trip to Grand Designs Live where we discovered the Eglu. Then we discovered the neighbour's fox and decided that chickens probably weren't a great idea.

Now there's the Nogg thanks to a (fleeting) visit to Tent London during the London Design Festival. It looks a heck of a lot more secure than your average hen house and check out the design - isn't it fabulous? Would probably still need to keep an eye on the chickens as the foxes are so bold, even during the day. Wonder if I can get this back on the agenda? There's nothing quite like fresh eggs...

Monday, 27 September 2010

Phase two plans

Image: Joanopolis House, Sao Paulo from

Two years after the work started on the house, we've finally finished phase one. And now I'm thinking (vaguely) about phase two. I must admit my passion for getting this project finished is diminished somewhat but next door's build only went a month or two over schedule. Their Polish builders were superb, so we swapped numbers and I said I'd send through some drawings so they could quote for them when we get motivated about, well, saving.

Phase two was going to involve knocking the downstairs loo through to the under stairs storage area and putting in a wet room. But this isn't practical for lots of reasons - the location of the soil pipes, the plumbing costs, having to tank the room so it doesn't leak etc etc. The Polish builder suggested putting a shower into our utility room, which doesn't exist at the moment as the washing machine and dryer inhabit a wall in the garage/bike store room.

So Phase two now means fitting a solid wall in the garage, putting in a proper ceiling and floor, lining the walls, putting in a shower and a sink and tarting it up with some tiles etc. And then giving the existing downstairs toilet a makeover so that it doesn't look like a bad 80s flashback (as it does now).

Phase three is the top floor, phase four is the garden. By then I reckon I'll be shopping round for a happening retirement village...

(I couldn't find any suitable inspirational photographs of utility rooms or under stairs storage so here's a lovely home in Sao Paulo that would be my inspiration for a holiday home...)

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Splashback is in!

Who knew a piece of 6mm toughened glass would be such a cause for celebration? Nearly two years (!) after finishing the kitchen, we finally had the splashback installed yesterday. It cost just under £1,200 including installation and VAT, and was sorted efficiently by Robert Timmins Furniture who came round and did the measurements with a laser.

I'm so glad we paid the money - our original quote from a local glass supplier was half what we ended up paying, but would've meant the glass had seams/joins around the hob. A continuous piece of glass looks impactful, and the sockets were cut out perfectly thanks to the accuracy of the laser measuring system.

I can't believe we took so long to get this sorted. It makes the kitchen look SO MUCH better. And now I can continue having espresso machine explosions and blender accidents and not worry so much about the mess. Yippee!