Sun, 09 Dec 2007


Over a month since the last diary entry. What have we been up to recently, apart from lying on the sofa munching grapes ?

Well, we've finished the Boy's bedroom. He started moving in the minute the project team (me and Sylke) handed it over but take my word, it makes the Saint Pancras refurbishment look like a doll's house. We fitted blue LED feature lighting (10 quid remaindered in B&Q). The flooring is cheap engineered laminate boards (11 quid per 2.4 m2 also remaindered in B&Q). The lad and his mates are heavy-footed and fond of rough-and-tumble so we laid out for sound-absorbing board under the flooring (20 quid for 10 m2). Now we only hear them when they're getting loud enough to need shouting at anyway, heheh. With seven crates of old toys and games banished to the attic, he has a very nice room now.

The kitchen is taking second priority for a while as we can't afford to do it properly yet. Sylke chose a pale blue which lightens it up without making it look cold. I was really surprised how it improved the room, even though we've only done half of it so far. We discovered that the last people stuck the wood-chip on the kitchen ceiling with PVA glue, presumably due to the number of leaks they apparently had from their own bodged plumbing. I'm still peeling it off with the help of the wallpaper steamer. Every single waste joint in the bathroom above has a corresponding black and soggy hole in the plasterboard, and the skimming is coming down along the joins. If I ever find out which firm of dodgy builders did this extension, I'll let you all know !

So otherwise we're relaxing, right ? No, we hated the last people's living room decor so much that we've stripped every single surface back to the plaster - or the cement in the case of the floor. The plaster is in the predictably appalling state that we are now coming to expect from the previous owners' so-called professionals. When we moved in we covered up their red and green colour style with a big bucket of magnolia, but we'd like something a bit less anonymous. It still had fussy heavy woodwork, meant to look period but which just made the room look small, and wasn't even neatly done. I pulled off their naff dado rail and Sylke is painting the big dark bulky fake fireplace into white (less muss-and-fuss than ripping it out as we were originally going to do). I bought up B&Q's last few packs of cheap flooring and a large sack of finishing plaster — with that, a large roll of lining paper and the paint we have lying around we should be able to do it without any more expense. Reckon we can get it finished by Christmas ? We hope so !