Friday, May 10, 2013

Week Eight

Okay.  Despite the inability to save money on getting turfing materials, the grass is in!  And we like thenew look quite a bit.  (Especially when I look at the before pictures, like the one above.)

What a difference having a lawn makes for the back yard!  Every time I look out and see green it makes me smile.  I hope the little girls enjoy having an outdoor space of our own.

So...this week.  It has thrown a few curveballs, but we got there in the end.  (Or at least we will eventually, right?)  Today, officially, we got heating and gas!  The radiators were on and the range cooker works.  We're in business!

The sander was suppose to start doing the floors today, so I went up last night and spent about three hours cleaning out all of the rooms except the kitchen.  There was (and is) so much dust, but the house is coming together.

We got the electrics signed off.  Plus two missionaries from church came over today and helped for a couple of hours.  We got all of the rubbish picked up from the yard and I took a few more dump runs.  (Current count?  29 visits.)

We got the pendant lights installed in the kitchen.  (We're going to put in an island underneath the pendant lights.  Probably converting a sideboard we have in storage.)

The joiner rescheduled yesterday (again) and I got worried.  So I started calling around on gumtree until I found someone who could do a few hours of work for us last minute.  One of the things he was able to do was finish laying the bamboo flooring around the oxters in the loft.

We also found carpet.  It's getting laid next week.  We got several quotes and holy cow!  Carpet is expensive.  We ended up going to J&W Carpets and talking to them about remnants and discontinued lines. Niall and I looked at rolls and rolls of carpets and talked to several employees.  One guy felt sorry for us and starting digging through carpet in their back room.  He had to use a crazy carpet forklift to move the rolls around, but we finally found one that was nice (enough) and inexpensive enough for us. It's a darker brown color.

Then I called around on gumtree to get quotes for laying the carpet and supplies.  (And drove with the girls to the other side of town to pick up two rolls of underlay.  10mm thick underlay for £2/meter at Nett Carpets was the best price I could find.)  Doing it that way saved us about 40% off the prices we got quotes for.  Is this going to be a good or painful cost saving measure?  I'll let you know.

Sanding back the stairs is still a painful process.  But then I look at the stairs from Borgen and it reminds me what the sanded back treads with painted risers can look like.  (Oh, Borgen.  I think I want to watch the first two seasons again just to see the room designs and Birgitte and Katrine's outfits.  See the screenshot of the stairs from Birgitte's house?)

I've also been working on this funny built-in box in the small bedroom.  (The head height from the stairs cuts into the room, so the box is the 'aesthetic' solution.)  We don't know what to do with the box.  We've seen some houses that have build a wardrobe on top.  We don't love that solution, but aren't sure what to do. Maybe it can be storage of some type?  It's too narrow for a bed, but maybe a cushion with some shelves?

Anyway, the box used to have a piece of decorative paper and lots of layers of paint.  I used the heat gun to take off all the layers, and the belt sander to clean the wood.  We thought we'd just paint the top, but now that the wood is clean we're changing our mind.

Maybe we can sand it back enough to keep the wood.  You know, with all the spare time.

And since we're moving in six days, we've started buying some soft furnishings.  (Because having a 150 square foot storage room of stuff isn't enough.)  Mostly we need curtains and blackout blinds for the girls' rooms.  But the lengths are causing a bit of an issue.  Instead, I am buying less-than-high-quality items.  To add more color.  (That's what I'm telling myself.)  Niall the Interior Designer has provided plenty of input.  Here are a few items (I'm grabbing these photos straight from the interweb):

Duvet set from Harry Corry.  I bought this from someone on gumtree, so no returns.

We have really struggled with rugs (for the sanded floorboards) because what we like is out of our budget.  It may be that we go with bare floors for a while.  (Like in Cardiff, where we never bought any rugs.)  But, we're giving some less expensive options a go.  Urban Outfitters has free shipping and a decent return policy, plus 10% off purchases right now.  So a bunch of rugs are making their way to our house for a trial run.

Antique Blue Rug (Maybe in our room?  Because in my mind it might just work w/the duvet cover.)

Eyelet Rug  (Perhaps for one of the girls' rooms?)

Red Herringbone Rug  (Maybe for the front room, if we sell the maroon couch and get something else.  You know, always good to buy rugs on hypotheticals.)

And for kicks, this little elephant rug.  Where we'd use it?  I don't know.  But Niall was pretty taken with it.

Oh, and I just emailed a guy about this Chesterfield sofa.  I like the idea of it in the front room with the blue walls.  Niall has been looking at Chesterfields for years.

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