Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

We have been enjoying living in our new space and were all very excited about where all the Christmas decorations would go.   

There was no discussion that the advent calendar would go anywhere other than the wall it always has been in in the hall.  Day 1 told e and b to put up the Christmas tree. There was much debate if it would go in the front or back. We tried lots of spots but settler near the door in the living room.   

After being at the country living Christmas fair I spotted a fab white paper tree which is perfect for the back room.   

All the other decorations have found homes and we are enjoying having them all back out. 

We made two new decorations this year a reindeer head and a fabric wreath. Big debate now is whether the head stays up all year?

After being let down by someone who was going to fix our driveway Jonny who has done work on our garden came to our rescue and he has relaid the mono locks and is going to come back in the new year to widen the path, put slabs at the back and help us organise stones to replace the glass.     We also managed to get our house number, what should have been a quick job to drill two holes in the wall took two days to get the sign up but we got there eventually.   

We have enjoyed entertaining over the holidays and the kitchen works really well with lots of work surface space and easy access to all equipment. It will be put to the ultimate test on New Year’s Day when we cook steak pie for the 20 coulls.  

2015 was the year we got one more room.  This will be the last blog post as we now have the space and are going to enjoy spending time on it.  Thanks for sharing the progress with us. 

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,800 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 47 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Blinds and more

I haven’t blogged for a while but things happening at a much slower pace now.   We now have blinds in the back room which has made a huge difference now that the dark nights are here. We no longer feel like being in a goldfish bowl.  

We ordered grey blinds from shades which were fitted a couple of weeks ago.    

We are really pleased but I was disappointed by the use of a red rawl plug.  Think I will have to get the grey paint out to cover it up.  
 I ordered the scion fabric I had seen in John Lewis after much deliberation about which way the stripes should go and two Roman blind kits.  Mark got the drill out to secure the head rails in place.  
 I enjoyed making the blinds but the instructions I had, the blind was hanging too low in the window.  So I changed it for the second blind but am now going to have to take the first blind down and unpick all the tape for the rods and reposition but will be worth it to let more light in.  Here they are let down.

  
Just need to sort curtains or blind for the garage room.  

We now have a new freezer as the lec one we ordered in June from currys kept leaking at the bottom even after an engineer had been out twice. It was then out of stock so we had to choose another one.  Now have an Electrolux which is slightly bigger. However it had a very loud humming sound which stopped with some tape on the vent.  One last engineer visit and all sorted. 

Mark hired a van today to empty Colin’s garage and acquire their bed settee.   It is perfect in the garage  room just need to finalise its position and sort a unit for the TV also acquired from Colin.  Thank you both.  

The van full of boxes.    

The garage is almost empty. Just need to sell the freezer and see if mum wants the steam cleaner. 

 

Started putting a few pictures up tonight. The first was a birthday present of a picture of St. Andrews so pleased to be able to put it up. Thanks Jean.  

  
Mark has his sign up that Emma got for him in St. Andrews all ready for him to read in his library!  

Stopped putting anymore pictures up to make sure they go in the right spot.  Too many options and extra space with our new rooms.  

Coving & Carpets

The coving is up.  Jamie came back yesterday afternoon and put up the coving for us.  It has screw holding it up overnight so I couldn’t paint it last night.  However, I got up at 7, took out the screws and filled in the holes and gaps with the decorators caulk.      

I managed to get the living room painted before Ian the carpet man arrived. 

 Everything was cleared and he and his friend started work on the stairs.    There was nearly a problem as the bottom step was loose but they managed to fix it.    

The grey wasn’t what we set out to choose but we are really pleased with how it looks.  The hall feels huge now and so clean. 

 The same colour is in the garage room and works really well.   
For the last 6 months the living room has changed from a living diner to storing all the extra furniture, being a temporary kitchen  and recently a very dusty room waiting for the carpet as the old one clashed very badly with the new red wall.    Today it has been transformed.  The dust is all gone, the settees have been washed down and feel clean to sit on, the glass on the TV unit is gleaming and the windows and fireplace cleaned.  E and I now sitting enjoying the space.   

 Just need to paint the hall coving and the last of the skirting board and then bring the rest of our things out of storage. 

Almost there….

We are still painting the skirtings and door frames, as these things tend to it has taken us longer than we thought.  Only three more stretches of skirting and the bit behind the fridge to do. It has been worth taking our time as it is looking fab. 

Our dining table stayed in the house throughout all the work and almost came out unscathed but it had a black mark that wouldn’t wipe out and a bit of the leg was chipped. I decided at the weekend to sand it down to smooth the chip and get rid of the mark. Mark was sceptical and almost put me off but armed with some fine sandpaper and some Danish oil it has come up looking like new.   

I have been unpacking boxes and enjoying washing everything and finding places.  Loved finding our fish plates which were my great auntie Nancy’s. Now that they are washed we need to remember and use them the next time we have fish.   Now that what we have stored in the attic is almost sorted we can start bringing more back from mums and Colin’s. 

The carpets have arrived and are being fitted on Saturday morning so that will make a huge difference and allow us to use all rooms properly. 

We have had a few quotes for blinds for the big windows at the back. Much as we love the light now that is getting darker the houses behind are too close and we are like a goldfish bowl.  They have now been ordered and get fitted on the 22nd.  My plan now is to make Roman blinds with the fabric I saw when the building work started for the other two windows.  Just need to decide if I can get away running the fabric the other way to save having to have a join in the middle? 

 

Door facings and skirtings.

The house is almost finished and looking great now that the door facings and skirtings are all on. The builders were back last week and finished off yesterday.   

   

However, lots of filling holes, sealing edges and painting to be done. I have discovered decorators caulk and am loving how neat it has made everything.  


Mark has painted everything in the living room and garage room. I am working on the skirtings on top of the new floor.  Just taking it a bit at a time. 

The biggest transformation has been the door to the new attic. Th builders have put a bit of window sill under it which will make a huge difference to getting in and out.   
Before    

After – just need to finish painting

  Carpets have been ordered so hopefully will get fitted soon. We ordered six samples. We have chosen mineral (bottom left) for the garage room and stairs. It looks green in the picture but is actually grey and looks great with the floor. Then fleece (top left) for the living room.   

E and I popped into dobbies while B at Gymnasics and found some fab chrysanthemum plants for a planter at the front and back doors. 

   
  Hopefully the flowers will all open up soon and add some colour. 

When I was at my friend Katie’s she had a spare wooden IKEA shoe stand  which I acquired from her in a bid to save us both stepping into IKEA and spending more money. It needed a bit of sawing to make it fit. 

   
Think I might go and paint it white. 

Just need to collect the rest of our belongings from mums spare room and my brothers garage. 

Flooring – Day 2

The flooring is all down and what a difference it makes. We are all really pleased with it and have made the right choice.   The furniture has all been cleaned and has foam protectors and the kids instructed to lift furniture. Here are some before and after shots, just need to get skirtings and facings to finish it all off. 

   
 
   
 
   
 
   
 

Flooring – Day 1

After much deliberation we eventually chose our flooring a tile effect laminate quick step. After weeks of looking at a variety of options we ordered the very first floor we saw.   We were hopeful it could be fitted before we went to St. Andrews on holiday but today was the first date they had.  

It has been frustrating not being able to organise everything in the house while we waited but I am glad we took the time to make the right choice. 

We haven’t been doing nothing while we waited but lots of little jobs that weren’t worthy of a blog post on their own.  

When we were in St. Andrews Mark found a date block in the hardware shop. I have been looking for one for a while, I remember Colin and I changing one our Auntie Nancy used to have.   

He also saw a great sign ‘you have the right to remain silent use it’ he didn’t buy it so he has got Emma to pick it up for him when she was there last week. 

We had some great walks along the Fife coast. We collected some stones and shells. I have plans to put the shells in a frame and I have cleaned a rock I carried 2 miles home and is the perfect grey for our new shower room. 

 
Last week I decided to paint the inside of the hall cupboard and old airing cupboard. What I thought would be a quick job took two afternoons but great they are all fresh.  The airing cupboard is all sorted and managed to recycle some storage we had in the space where the hot water tank used to be.   

I used gumtree to sell our old pans.  I put them on for £20 and got an email offering £10 which I was about to accept until Lynda suggested haggling. I am not normally good at this but managed to get £15.  Our old dyson finally gave up the ghost so I listed it as well for spares and got £10 today from a lovely lady who had the same model and her husband was going to use the parts to fix her one. 

Lastly here is a picture of the floor, I am really please with how it looks and was definitely the correct choice

  
They have still to finish the kitchen and hall tomorrow.  When the fitters moved the freezer they found a lot of water underneath. It looks like lots of droplets under the  insulation.  The concern is putting it back on the laminate. I am off to phone currys in the morning and hopefully the newspaper under the freeze will absorb all moisture so the floor can be fitted and we will put polythene down in the interim to protect the new floor. 

 

Storage

It has been great having time over the last two weeks to spend time in our new home and I have spent lots of time sorting.  All kitchen things have come back from Colin’s garage and mums spare room. (However still lots there from other rooms!)

I was getting annoyed with all my baking trays and they kept falling or getting trapped. So after some online research into baking tray stands I found this from IKEA.  
The kids and I payed a visit today  To get two and ended up coming away with some extra storage for the freezer and kitchen cupboards.   

The pot lid organiser is great as it extends to the exact size of my drawer so now all my trays that were abandoned in this drawer are neat and easy to access.   

Not sure if I can use the second one as was going to put in the cupboard above the ovens but the oven baking trays are too tall but will keep thinking where else I could use. 

Our new chest freezer only came with one basket so it was a bit of a mess.  Found an idea on Pinterest with baskets with handles and ideas black recycling bins are perfect so everything organised one for meat an other for fruit and vegetables and the last for bread.    

Even though we have 9 drawers there wasn’t one that I could use for tea towels etc so used another IKEA range to sort out the cupboard under the sink and now have space for clean cloths and my new tea towels that match the kitchen. Hooks and clips have the microfibre cloths easily accessible for the glass, stainless steel and cupboard doors.   

Lastly some more of these white boxes organising a drawer which was full and difficult to find things. 

  

Now need to keep everything tidy and see if we need any more storage for other drawers. 

Decorating

While I was not expecting to come home to a lime green wall last week I have grown to like it and while I think the grey would also have looked good it is going to stay. Thanks to Katie for our lime green soap and to the gregsons for our lime worktop protector.  It is great now to be on holiday and enjoy our new space. With the sun this week the sliding door has been great so e and b can get in and out easily. 

We went on a family cycle round the reservoirs and rigg in the sun. 

We then came back to painting the banister it was mahogany with cream spindles. It is now all white.  However, it needs a second coat that will hopefully happen today or tomorrow. 

Robbie has been back and all emulsioning is done. The hall is willow green which is what it was before and looks great  freshened up. 

However now that I have painted the banister white all the other woodwork needs done so I am now on a mission. 

I have just given the hall mirror s coat of primer ready to go white before it goes back up.  
Just nipping down to Colin’s garage to pick up some more kitchen boxes and to pick two bar stools that I will prime later. The new attic space is going to be a great place to do projects like this.  

Just need to sort flooring now.