House Update: Month 2

If you’ve read the first instalment of our victorian renovation journey you’ll see that we’re in a 200 year old semi, which, while somewhat modernised, needs a hell of a lot of TLC. You’ll also know that ideas we had before moving in have completed changed after seeing the way the light fills and travels throughout the house during the day.

We’ve started tackling areas of the house which won’t be impacted by the future extension. So for now we’re focused on the front of the house, in particular the living room, entrance hall and stairs.

Although the front room is North facing we’re not overlooked at all, and thanks to the bay window we get surprisingly warm light in both the mornings and evenings.

Which is great. But not when it comes to choosing a bloody paint colour! Even the sofa which is supposedly a deep grey looks a little purple in the warm light which you can see in the picture above, beautifully modelled by the ever sassy Indy. Everything reads either lilac or orange depending on the time of day.

It’s such a toughie so I’ve parked it for now while we get the room into a better state.

Really it’s forced us to do things in the correct order as one of the biggest jobs was the ceiling. We’re pretty lucky as between us we know somebody in almost every trade. The most handy being my brother in-law to be, as he’s a very talented painter and decorator! Hallelujah because otherwise we’d be spending a small fortune just getting the basics done.

So he’s come in to skim our living room ceiling as it was that horrible old artex effect that seems to gobble up all the light thanks to it’s rough texture.

Needless to say I nearly had a heart attack when I first saw the state of it. Just the first coat that goes on blue though, although at one point it kinda looked like clouds and I was a little bit in to it. Nursery idea? Hmmm.

That was just the first coat and then the second will be white, then sanded and painted in All White by F&B. Even though the ceiling is bright blooming’ blue right now you can already see it’s going to make a huge difference.

While that was happening we’ve been stripping back the architraves, carpets and paint on the entrance hall and staircase. Turns out 200 years worth of paint isn’t easy to strip back.


Even with the heat gun it was quite a struggle and thankfully we didn’t get too far before our brains kicked in and reminded us that there is almost definitely gonna lead based paint in those hundreds of layers. We went off and got ourselves some fume masks and went back to it. All professional like.

We manage to get a good system going in the end and I’ll do a separate post on how we did it once I can show a decent before and after! All I will say for now is that I absolutely should not be trusted with a heat gun (third degree burns what?)

Amongst all the DIY it’s been pretty busy life-wise too. I always dreamed of having a house where people feel comfortable to just stop by if they happen to be in the area and it would appear my wish has come true because I’ve been caught out by unexpected visitors on more than one occasion now. I guess I’ll have to stop getting into my pyjamas as soon as I get home…

I’ve also made the decision to stop taking medication for my anxiety so have been weaning off them and finally went cold turkey about 3 weeks ago. So far so good but I also got hit by a major PTSD wave due to circumstances outside of my control. BUT I rode the wave and once again have bounced back feeling stronger than ever. I can actually say my exes name out loud now, which feels like a Harry Potter style win.

Joking aside, as brutal as this wave was I was so utterly proud of how quickly I pulled myself out of it. Not alone mind you, I had the support of my ever surprising fiancé who continues to amaze me with his patience for listening to me cry and talk about a truly horrific experience. It really does take quite the man to deal with that, so I consider myself very lucky. He managed to get me out of the house, smiling again and eating again when I categorically didn’t want to do any of those things.

I have had the best time having friends round, family round and getting stuck in to the renovations. I’ve rediscovered how happy it makes me to host and especially cooking for people. Particularly babies. Who, it turns out, really, really love my paella.

So we move into our third month which is just crazy to me and should be our most productive month yet. I’ve just finished tweaking some Ikea chairs to make them exactly what I want in my head but couldn’t find, and am getting ever closer to choosing the paint colour for the living room.

I think.

No I have.

Erm.. we’ll see.

High Points:

  • Watching Jeff the cat walk on grass for the very first time, acting like it may as well have been the moon.
  • Having family over for my mum’s birthday, decorating the house with balloons, confetti (it’s still making an appearance) but specifically getting to cook for my older brother for the first time in years
  • Watching my identical twin nephews gobble up my paella in a a cute/creepy synchronised eating pattern…even though they then threw up all over my dining chairs. Also synchronised.
  • Watching Dom take so much pride in the house, bringing home logs every day so that we stay warm while the radiators are taken off the walls, building us a garden dining table from scratch and not complaining when I change my mind on what seems to be every. damn. thing.
  • When Indy escaped and 30 minutes later came bounding down the garden celebrating her ability to find her way home.

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