Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Plaster, plaster, plaster... bathroom

We've been plastering, Pim and his dad are doing the heavy whole-wall work, on walls that will be covered by isolation. The plaster keeps these old, crumbling bricks together, and is breathable.

I have been covering holes and evening out walls (that will not be covered by isolation) as much as possible. Then giving a very watered down layer of primer (50% water) in order to see better what I'm doing (the walls are stained from the ancient wallpaper bleeding into the plaster), then starting all over again.

We are also nearly decided on the colours for the bedroom:

And also have been thinking about the bathroom. Well, we have been thinking from the beginning, but it is beginning to take shape:

At first I was thinking of petrol coloured walls*, but I've decided white and green (and oak) is best. A rather neutral sage green, because I want to put many plants in this room, which is south oriented, and I don't want them to be overshadowed.

More on bathroom plans later!

*I think this is my most repinned pin in Pinterest, go figure.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Living room beams

The roof guy came over today to install two new beams, since the old ones had rotted. The treated, green beams are new. The rest are fine. Next, they'll change the roofing, add insulation, and renovate the rain gutters.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Mural, colours

I've been doodling for the mural in the bedroom. I am considering different layouts, whole wall, part of the wall, framed in paneling... an example of mural within panels. This one (textile perhaps?) covers the whole wall, that we can see. I've made this sketch based on the paneling idea, perhaps it is too much... Pim seems to think so. But I sort of like the idea of including the door in the layout.

The little round things are plugs and switches, and there is a little space for wall reading lamps. Both night tables belong below them, and the bed overlaps the bottom part of the mural, although you'd see through it. Here I left the moldings and that wall white, while the rest is warm grey. The door is also white and warm grey (the latter, a sheer dye).

Still swatching and thinking about colours for this and other rooms...

Saturday, 13 July 2013

The bedroom

Stripping wallpaper in the bedroom

Perhaps since it is one of the easiest rooms, we are now focusing in the bedroom. It was wallpapered, and the pine floorboards are painted light grey. We have stripped the wallpaper off, and Pim has started laying the pipes for the central heating. The single radiator will be placed inside the fireplace.

Our current bedroom is painted a deep lipstick red. I've always wanted a red bedroom, but after several years of it I am perhaps ready to move on. Our closet and night tables are lacquered white, and our bed is black lacquered steel tubing. The red does go very well with them. It would however not work all that well with our fireplace marble (left), I think.

Greys it probably is. Warm grey, since it is a North-North-West oriented room, and we like a bedroom painted in a warm colour.

I am also considering painting a landscape mural on the wall behind the bed. A couple of Pinterest inspiration images here and here.

Some paint samples

Many years ago, I studied decorative mural painting during a summer. I loved it and have only been able to use the skill once, when I painted an oil trompe l'oeil window on a wall in my parent's apartment in Barcelona.

I sure would like to use it again in my own house! I am thinking of a misty mountain landscape in the same monochrome tones of the walls, or a very limited palette.

For the floor, we will very likely sand them, then tint them a deep oak tone, and probably oil them, or perhaps varnish them (I prefer oil, and there are parket oils available). The windows will be oak toned, and we have two oak pieces of antique furniture (a vanity and a full length mirror with side tables attached) which will go in the room as well, so it seems like a good idea. For the plinths, and probably a molding where the ceiling meets wall, we think of white lacquer. I like how a white molding separates a ceiling painted a slightly lighter colour from the wall.

Some of the mantelpiece bricks fell off while making a hole for the heating pipes, but nothing that can't be easily fixed. The pipes along the wall will be hidden by the isolation panels we have to install on this and all extant walls of the house. Useful to hide pipes and cables.

Thursday, 11 July 2013


The beautiful polished brass and tinted birch thermostatic radiator valves have been delivered.

Garden intermission

Woohoo! That's a pea from our garden :))

Monday, 8 July 2013


The house had 4 fireplaces, two on the ground floor and two on the first floor, along two separate chimneys. The front window belongs to the first living space, which has one of these, and it opens to a smaller, second living space with the next fireplace. On the floor above, the rooms correspond identically to these, plus the entry hall (which makes the bedroom larger than the first living room below), and the fireplaces were in the same spots. And I say "had" because my partner and his dad have already removed the further set of (nearly identical) fireplaces, one directly over the other. These weren't particularly pretty, the marble was split (worse than it seemed, it had been very crappily repaired in places), and they severely interfered with furniture placement, so they went. We are planning a bathroom on the smaller room above. The hole in the picture below shows the light coming from this very sunny room once both fireplaces and chimneys were removed.

Before and after, second living room

This chimney continues its way up into the attic. The attic will also be refurbished, and this chimney completely removed, but it is too dangerous to remove the rest of it until the roof is removed as well, and remade. The fireplaces and chimneys in the front rooms will stay. They are more decorative, and we plan, at some point, to install a gas flame stove inside the fireplace in the first living room, flush with the marble. In this picture, you can see the old stove that was there before, which the previous owner took away. You can still see the slightly art deco style of the fireplace:

Inside the fireplace of the bedroom we will place a retro radiator*:

There were also a couple of chimneys in the back buildings, just a few bricks at an angle in a corner in the kitchen and the room further back (these where back to back and sharing the same chimney exit). These have also gone:

Filthy work I didn't partake in :) (I do have back problems). This my friends is a pile of broken bricks (nowhere near the whole amount).

*Radiators... we have already ordered the entire central heating system and radiators. This house has never had central heating, just coal and later gas stoves. We will place it ourselves, with help from a professional. We have ordered these radiators for the entire house (except the bathroom - we have something specialer in mind):

Zehnder Charleston

This is a classic or even retro model that we think fits perfectly with the style of the house. It is, additionally, and very importantly (especially in a house full of extremely hairy beings) very easy to clean. Everything is smooth and accessible with a brush, and the enamel is deliciously glossy so that nothing sticks to it. However... we ordered them in the deepest black available! :D a bit suicidal from the dust point of view, but one must allow for some eccentricities.