Well, Christmas is over and we’ve made a start on getting back into the DIY.  We have lists, for lists of things to do but at this time of year, progress is slow and seems to be very weather or ‘mood’ dependent!  Yesterday evening we had our first snow fall and it continued this morning, not much but enough for a dusting….

It’s a bright day, which makes a change from the grey, damp days we’ve had just recently but the wind is strong and extremely bitter.  Around lunch time I lit a fire!

Studio progress

This week, Edward made it back out into the studio.  Work in here has been disrupted, somewhat, by poor weather, colds, Christmas holidays and Sejours with the French students.  Despite the low temperatures, he managed to put up some plaster board in the ceiling, install some spot lights and hang more plaster board on the far wall.  It’s coming along and is really starting to feel like a room and it’s much easier to picture how the space is going to work with benches, chairs, cupboards, woodburner, etc.

But it’s hard working in the cold temperatures and when the wind is howling all around, it’s really no fun at all.  Yesterday we had an afternoon off from DIY and I think it did us some good.  The plan was to work again on the studio today, but then it snowed….

A Bedroom ‘Upgrade’

This time last year, we’d set ourselves the task of decorating all four bedrooms before our first visitors arrived in April.  It was no mean feat but working to a tight schedule, it was achieved, just in time!  However, some things we wanted to do, weren’t, due to time constraints, or we found afterwards, changes were needed.  So I’m now back in Edward’s room adjusting a few things, making repairs and painting furniture.

The first thing to be done was the dormer window.  The new window was installed in the summer but the ‘finished’ job left a lot to be desired.  Small gap and mastic were poorly applied and plastic trim badly set, so bad it sloped to the left!  Dirty finger prints we left all over the white reveals and chunks of plaster had been gouged out but not repaired.  It was frustrating to have to go over work that someone else had supposedly done, but there you are, it had to be done – it took about a day but looks fine now 🙂

Next up was the exposed beams.  It’s a small room with a relatively small window and the dark wooden beams seem to suck light out of the room.  So we decided to have them painted white.  It’s been a bit hit and miss with the paints I’ve purchased out here.  The first layer was made with what looks like a gel.  It’s for indoor and outdoor use but I think it is for tinting rather than block colour….

A couple of coats weren’t enough to cover the white filler I’d used in the gaps and large cracks, so it was on to plan b – using a thicker paint I’d used on all the internal doors.  It had done a great job on these but I only had enough for one coat here!

But, it’s done the trick and has already made the room feel lighter.

I want to re-paint the walls and ceiling but before I do there are a number of pieces of furniture to be painted first.  I’m not a big fan of painting furniture but in some cases I think it makes a big difference.  The chair and sofa in the kitchen were transformed once they’d been painted.  As we were trying to make this bedroom feel lighter and bigger, we felt the wardrobe and dressing table would help achieve that if they were painted….

They are old pieces of oak furniture but not terribly well made, which made me feel a little less guilty painting them!

The dressing table came to bits fairly easily and I think is looking quite nice…..

There are more pieces to do – two little side tables, recently purchased from our favourite brocante for 20 Euros and, of course, the wardrobe.  In between, we’ve fixed some trim along the skirting board (behind the dressing table here), to cover a huge gap where the floor has dropped at some point – it’s so big I can fit my hand inside it in places!  Anyway, that looks better and when it’s painted, won’t even notice.  We need to do the same at the other end of the room when the furniture is out of the way.

So, I should have been cracking on today but for some reason, my heart’s not in it!  Another afternoon off beckons….. ♥