Saturday, 9 March 2013

{kitchened out}

Initially choosing a kitchen was super exciting but now its just becoming a pain!!  To get to the stage for a quote the amount of time and faffing with some kitchen companies is painful.  I have found it pretty frustrating to be honest as I know exactly what I want.  I have had another appointment today which went very well and am now confident I will be using this company for my kitchen.  I love their matt white glass units :-)

This is a model of what I want although the positioning of the furniture is not quite right.  But the kitchen layout is pretty close.

The sort of style of kitchen is ultra modern like these:

I love these handles I have seen and also would have the white matt glass cupboards on the full wall and the dark grey for the island cupboards.  The designer white Corian would go on the kitchen island.

Sleek handles which give a minimal streamlined look

Matt white glass door (amazing), grey door and Corian worktop

Very excited to get cracking.  Have started a spreadsheet to track all the things I need to buy and choices which need to be made :-) I'm in my element!!!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

{period delights}

I mentioned in one of my previous blogs that I would share with you some of the period featured which made me fall in love with my current house....


Upcycling - the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality...

I have a few plans at the moment for upcycling / revamping.  I have completed one little project which is a table I bought from the Heart Foundation charity shop for £15.

Here is a photo of the table as it was when I bought it.  It's not great quality nor is it a proper antique or anything but I liked the spindle legs and it was a perfect size for the turn of the stairs in my hallway.

£15 table from charity shop
I bought it with the plan to paint it so would never have kept it as is.  So firstly I sanded the table down to get a good surface for my undercoat.

I did the sanding by hand and carried it out as best I could on the legs but it was a bit tricky.
Next I painted a grey undercoat.  This went on very well and was easy to apply to the whole table.

Table with undercoat
Next I started with the layers of paint.  I painted the top with a dark grey gloss paint and the legs with a matt bright yellow.  The yellow on the legs was a complete pain and took about 6 coats.  All in all I'm quite happy with how it looks but if you examine it closely its not perfect.  I think if I tried this again I would test out a spray paint.  Of course the hall still need decorated so the muddy green carpet and delightful textured magnolia (grim) wallpaper don't really go with my snazzy upcycled table!!!

Finished table
Next mini project will be making and covering a new headboard for the bed in my guest bedroom.  Have been getting some inspiration via pinterest.

Monday, 25 February 2013

{my first period}

Property that is...

I started writing this blog post last night and actually am off work today.  I have a few bits and bobs planned including someone from a damp / rot company coming to the house to discuss a couple of things.  That's the only issue for me with older properties - the maintenance.  But I could still never go new build.  Period properties just do it for me!!

I have owned three properties in my life so far.  I bought my first flat just before turning 21.  It was a two bed Victorian tenement flat in the centre of Aberdeen.  I lovingly stripped back all of the woodwork and restored the doors - heat guns, nitromors, scrapers.....but it was worth it.  I stayed in it for two years before selling.  That was me hooked on the high ceilings and coving.  I've never looked back.  I'm surprised by my own file organisation as have managed to find some photos of it to show you!

Tenement from the outside - a little grubby looking! I was top floor.

My bedroom - the days when brown was my colour of choice (sorry grey!)
Kitchen - I think this looks terrible now but I loved pink!  This was the photo for sale.
My lounge - furniture was a random assortment of stuff I inherited being a poor student!

More pink stuff but these doors were all white when I moved in.
My next property was a ground floor Victorian two bed two public roomed flat in the West end of Aberdeen. I finally had my own front door.  It was like my own little house.  I loved this flat and did a lot of work in it over the four years I stayed there.  Redecorated every room, new flooring throughout (which I installed myself), new fireplace, new kitchen...again got some pics.
The front door of my old flat.  Lovely looking building on a tree lined street.
The lounge the day I moved in...(didn't have my wide angle lens then!!)
The lounge photo for selling. New floor, new blinds, repainted.

My bedroom - previous owners loved blue - carpet and stripes
My bedroom once decorated
Kitchen on the day I moved in - more blue!!

My new kitchen which was from Ikea.  Loved those plum brick shaped tiles!!

Dining Room on the day I moved in.  This wall colour was vile and the fireplace not great either!

Photo for selling - new fireplace, floor and redecorated.  Paint is Box Tree by Crown.  I had plum accessories to pull on the plum tiles in the kitchen.  The door was removed to try and create an open plan flow to the space.

Alternative view of the dining room.

Second bedroom which I used as my photography studio.
Hallway with moulded doors, skirting and plaster cornicing.
The next move was to the house I am in now.  I have been very fortunate with my property purchases making money with each move to build up my capital.  I have many friends who have not been so fortunate.  I do believe in stretching yourself.  No pain no gain is a motto which can be applied to many aspects of life.  I remember days when I literally did not have a penny in my bank account because I was mortgaged up to the hilt!  But it has all worked out in the end and looking back I wouldn't change anything.

I have taken some photos of the period features in my current house but will save them for another blog post as this has ended up quite long....

Bye for now...


Sunday, 30 December 2012

{inspiration board - lounge}

Not been up to all that much lately, started making my tartan curtains for the master bedroom - will do a blog post when they are finished.  Its been pretty tough mainly due to the size and weight of the material!

Once the new year has hit I will be finalising the drawings with the architect for the kitchen / dining / lounge area and then getting some quotes.

In the mean time I have put together an inspiration board with my ideas for the lounge.  I found a really nice photo of a pale grey room which is making me question between light and dark grey for the walls but am pretty set on it being grey with some colour pops.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

{little bedroom]

I decided to start decorating some of the bedrooms upstairs.  The thought being that while I am saving up to take on the big project I will get on with some of the lower cost DIY intensive rooms.

The single bedroom upstairs seemed like a good candidate as it is the smallest room in the house.  It has a single bed with a pull out underneath for when my delightful but chaotic niece and nephew come to stay.

So the plan of action and current progress:

1) Strip the wall paper - in parts the wall paper turned out to be 4 layer thick and had yellow, pink, blue and grey (yey!) plus a few layers of paint. So all in all it was a bit of a slog to remove and I'd estimate took about 10 hours.  I just finished this the other night.

2) Rip off the current skirting boards - I will be replacing with new either in a traditional style.

3) Remove the raditaor and light switches / fittings

4) Get the walls skimmed or lining papered

5) Get the door dipped and strip and repaint the surround white - I've almost stripped all the paint off the door surround.

6) Install new picture rail painted white

7) Install new radiator

8) Install new light fittings / switches and plug sockets

9) Install new laminate flooring and skirting boards

10) Paint the room (jury still out over the colour...)

Here are some colours I like - leaning towards the more period colours and possibly a blue, green, purple or yellow.  I'm not allowed to paint it a pale grey....!!!

This is my favourite inspiration so far for colours:

This is Farrow and Ball paint in colours stone blue and brassica.  I love this!!!

Some colours from Fired Earth...

Some colours from Farrow & Ball

If there is space we would love to put in a traditional style radiator:

I like this vintage style light for on the wall:

Sunday, 11 November 2012

{technical drawings}

So I had the architect back last week again to show me the drawings he'd done of the house.  He rocked up with a tube of drawings - one of the existing layout of the house and one of the new proposed layout.  The new drawing isn't finished yet as I still have a few decisions to make.  His drawings were all hand drawn which reminded me of my drawing lessons at uni - I was seriously impressed and got very excited.

He left me with a couple of options and he's also come up with a brilliant idea to make the room space even more symmetric and large!  You might be able to spot the differences by looking at the original floor plan in my previous post.  Trying to explain it in words....When you come down the stairs to the basement level in front of you is a wall and a small cupboard.  This wall and cupboard are not load bearing and our architect is proposing we knock them down and bring the wall forwards towards the stairs to make the kitchen/dining/living room larger.  He is also proposing either a glass wall be put up or double doors. I am favouring the glass wall option for several reasons - 1) It means the entrance to the room is in the kitchen area and does not create a thoroughfare through the rest of the space to get to the kitchen 2) It means the large spare can be used for something specific rather than a walkway (we are thinking dining table) and 3) Having a glass wall will let much needed light into the bottom of the stairwell.

Here are the rough sketches the architect left with me to decide which option to go for.  A is my preference.  The kitchen layouts are not as they would be.  I definitely want a kitchen island in the middle of the room.  Our architect has supplied the drawings to Kitchens International who are currently drawing up a kitchen layout for us.  I am going over to the showroom later today for a cookery demonstration showing how to use steam ovens / induction hobs etc (and a free lunch!).

Edit - Back from the KI demo and have had my first Xmas lunch of the year!  Was lovely.  Looks like I will be going for an induction hob, a steam oven, a dual control oven and a combination microwave! :-)