A couple of weeks ago, we watched the new Dad’s Army film – it was some light-hearted fun for some evening entertainment, which is more than can be said for the spate of DIY and decorating we are currently enduring….  At time of writing, we have a week before our next visitors arrive and then our first tranche of French students come to stay with us immediately afterwards…. Don’t panic, indeed!!!

Transforming the stairs and landing

As for the hall, before we painted it, the stairs and landing were both dark, depressing areas – a combination of the coloured wallpaper, dark, dirty carpet and brown woodwork all helped to make it feel like you were walking into a cave….

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DSCF8755We made a decision not to strip the wallpaper, as originally planned, due to the little time we had left to get the job done – I’m sure it was the right decision, but even so, it took a couple of days to fill holes and cracks and stick down peeling paper.  The wallpaper in the stairs was particularly troublesome as it seems to have lots of air pockets underneath – I had to painstakingly slice open the paper, insert a glue nozzle, squirt some glue in, rub it down and hope for the best!!

It was a relief to see the first lick of paint go on…

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And once the dark woodwork was painted, we really started to notice the difference.  The square cupboard door on the half-landing leads to the roof space in the extended part of the house.  It was a bit beat up and broken around the edges but rather than make a new one, Edward added some trim and I filled the panel with some sweetpea wallpaper – it carries on the theme that we used for the cupboard in the hall downstairs….

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And so, on with the landing….  It’s actually a really wide area and over 13 metres long!  We have filled it with furniture and we had a residual stack of things at the far end (under the red material), for which we still needed to find storage….

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Cue Edward’s new shed!  It’s been like a ‘tardis’ and has taken all the camping gear, fishing gear, boxes and other bits and bobs that were stored at the end of the landing, along with much more from other parts of the house.  It really helped to see what needed to be done – sadly, more filling and sticking down paper!!!

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But then I was free to start painting the walls and woodwork…  The non-sloping wall is magnolia, while I planned to paint the sloping wall white…

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Before I started painting the white walls, Edward took some electricity from the bathroom, fed it through the toilet next door (wall of toilet seen here) and installed 8 new plug sockets, yes, 8 (!) all along the wall.  There were none on the landing at all, so we figured we’d have plenty for lamps and the hoover, which needed to be plugged in at several points to cover the distance!

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Again, the newly painted walls and skirting have really made a difference to the feel of the space, even with the large furniture…

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This was the lovely view I had as I painted inside the velux window:

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The Bathroom

While I was developing repetitive strain injury (!), Edward was making headway in the bathroom.  Previously, we had installed a new shower and screen, so we had somewhere half decent to get clean and then Edward put in a new ceiling and wooden floor.  After that, we had to leave it as we prioritised other works.

Now he was back in there, the first job was to strip the wallpaper, which was too far gone to save…

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His next conundrum was what to do about the tiles where the old sink had been.  We’d thought about taking similar tiles from the downstairs shower room, to replace those that had been cut out around the sink but matching grout and removing tiles within a tiled section was going to be tricky….

Instead, he came up with a cunning plan…

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He has made a new panel, which matches the ceiling and actually looks like it was meant rather than a botch job to fix the problem!  A couple of coats of paint and viola!!

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The sink has been installed but a leak at the drainage point has caused a problem, which Edward hopes to have fixed last night.  He has put on new skirting, and trim around the floor, new trim around the doorway and new trim around the edges of the tiles in the window. He has the new door to fit but I’m going to be working in here today, so he will do that when I’ve done….

In the meantime, he has started painting the walls in the nasty downstairs loo, I’ve painted 6 new doors upstairs and 6 new doors downstairs and today, he will make a start on replacing the rotten bannisters and railings on the outside steps and ‘balcony’…. Long, tiring days are beginning to take their toll and we’re looking forward to a break when our visitors come – having days out or just lounging around the house/garden is very appealing just now!

Dramatic skies

In between the hard toil, we sometimes have time to watch the sunset or take in the dramatic skies during stormy weather…. ♥

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