Friday, 5 June 2015

House year on

This weekend marks the first anniversary since I moved into my 1901 semi-detached cottage in Kent. I thought it would be interesting to look back over the first year and projects completed to see the changes...and set some priorities for the next 12 months.

I've tried to do some side-by-side comparisons - the left-hand photos are from just after I moved into the cottage, and the right-hand photos are the most recent photos I have of each space.

Front entrance
Complete! One of the most recent projects I've completed. Over the 12 months, I've repainted the masonry and front door, painted the picket fence, had a landscape gardener remove the pebbles and lay turf and planted two new garden beds.


Partly complete: I did an awful lot of work in the garden during last summer. I'm pleased with the basic evergreen structure that is in place, but I now plan to add some more planting in the two side borders to ensure more consistent interest throughout all seasons.


Complete! This is one of the first projects I tackled late last summer. All of the kitchen cupboards were painted, walls were painted and the glass mosaic tiles were replaced with white subway tiles. In December, the builder completed the last item which was to replace the sink and tap. In time, I plan to knock through the back wall to extend the kitchen and have french doors leading directly out to the garden...but this space is so much nicer to live with in the meantime.

Main Bedroom

Almost complete: The other major project that took up my time last year was redecorating the main bedroom. The dark pink paint was banished, plantation shutters were installed, and the builder added some much needed storage with built-in wardrobes. I also tried to add a little bit of character back to the cottage by reinstating the fireplace. I'm in the process of completing a few finishing touches to this room - curtains and artwork are currently being added.

Sitting/Dining Room

Still much to do: I've yet to really make an impact in this space. I did re-paint the walls late last year and the dark olive green has been replaced with grey...however, I've decided that it is a shade too dark and plan to repaint. I've also finished reupholstering new dining chairs. Still to do is to make a new slip cover for the sofa, and make a roman blind for the dining room window. Art work needs to be hung and I'm considering a rug for under the dining table. In the longer term the carpet will be replaced with floor boards, and built-in cupboards will be installed on either side of the chimney breast in the sitting room.

Projects for the coming year

1. Repair garage and replace roof - My little garage needs some work asap - some cracks in the brick work are widening, and the wooden window and side door desperately need replacing. The roof is old corrugated asbestos sheeting which also needs to replaced. Nothing pretty about any of this work, but this is the next renovating savings target.

2. Finish the redecoration of the spare bedroom - as you can see below work has started on this bedroom. I spent the Easter weekend stripping wallpaper and repainting. However, the room is still full of boxes that I am in the midst of culling before I can put the finishing touches on this room.

3. The bathroom - I think I must have become immune to this dark blue paint as I can't believe that I have lived with it for a year! But, it will definitely be changing this year.

Most of the work is cosmetic - I've already had plantation shutters installed at the window. Still to complete:
  • Paint walls
  • Replace bath panel
  • Replace radiator
  • Replace ceiling light and install wall sconces
  • Replace mirror
  • Refinish fireplace
I will need to book visits by the electrician and plumber to fix the lighting and radiator, but the rest will be up to me. I want to at least have the radiator replaced before it becomes time to turn the heating back on in the autumn.

4. The hallway - like the blue bathroom, I have been closing my eyes to the colour of the walls and carpet. The walls will be painted, carpet taken up and stairs refinished, and the banister on the upstairs landing will be stripped and refinished.

So, a busy 12 months...and an equally busy year to come...