Thursday, 30 January 2014

The mystery of the moving ceiling...

Quite a dull post about ceilings... unless you're fascinated by building. Particularly bad building.

All stripped. Isn't that lovely?

I think I have solved the case of the moving ceiling. Looking at the ceiling there are lines of nails right the way across it. These are 16'' apart. This means that the ceiling joists are also 16'' apart.

Now on one side of the room, the row of nails is close to the wall. That's great. The ceiling is secured well here and could be plastered over.

Good construction.

The other wall? Not so good. The row of nails is 16'' from the wall. Meaning the joist is directly over the wall. Meaning the house was built by muppets and the last 16'' of the ceiling, right the way across the 19 1/2 feet, is attached to nothing! It's suspended in thin air and this is why it moves when you touch it.

Bad construction.
Slight crack

Pushing with one finger creates a bigger crack = loose ceiling. Pushing with more than one finger lifts the ceiling right up. No point plastering over this, it'll just crack.

We could just get a builder in to fix it. But really. Why would we want to do that? All we have to do is move the loft crap, lift the boards and add little blocks or cross braces sticking out from the ceiling joist and then secure the plasterboard into that from below. That sounds like quite a fun day.

While the ceiling is exposed from above we can get the light rewired and create extra lighting for the walk in wardrobe area.

Then all we have to do is have it re plastered! Easy and cheap!Well, cheaper than getting a builder in to fix the problem first.

We're fortunate that this ceiling wasn't ever plastered over and I can see the rows of nails or I'd be none the wiser. Hooray for polystyrene tiles! And I NEVER thought I'd say that!

One major hindrance at the moment is that it's a little chilly to be working in an uninsulated loft so I need a milder day before I can get stuck in. And someone told me snow is on the way. I rarely watch telly so I rely on playground chatter for weather reports. And I'm very well informed on a Friday as I hear the manager in the charity shop have the same weather conversation with every old dear that comes in. Bless her, she never lets on she's heard it all seventeen times in one morning.

Meh, perhaps I should just stick a coat on and stop being a wuss.

I've also removed the secondary glazing in this room and bleached out all the mould. I'm saving the windows to use perhaps as a lid  for the raised beds I'm going to build one day, making a cold frame.

In other news I'm very excited to have ordered some Minwax stain in Weathered Oak which I think should be perfect to age the new tongue and groove boards I need to put on the back of the 'new' dresser I accidentally bought the other week. We can't get Minwax here so I ordered it from the States on Amazon. We don't have any stain this colour in the UK and I've seen this one used a few times on American blogs to great effect. Can't wait to try it!

 I'm hoping this is the right colour. Classic Grey was also tempting.

I haven't bought the boards yet. I'm going to be that embarrassing person in the car park of Wickes, measuring and sawing my many boards so I can fit them into my little car. Should probably take a dustpan and brush while I'm at it...  I don't think they offer wood cutting at our store and I refuse to pay £1 a cut for 15 boards. The dresser has cost enough already. But don't tell my husband okay?

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Secondhand scores...

Crazy week. Finished stripping the master bedroom ceiling tiles, got some more paint on the Edwardian wardrobe, (though it's still not finished,) came up with an excellent new business idea, (this is a weekly occurrence) and sold my original dining room dresser. Instantly. So it's all good.

I'll spare you shots of the ceiling as it's looking awful. I still have to rectify the mobility issue but I've been far too busy. There are blood spots all over the ceiling from my poor skinned knuckles. CSI Hitchin would have a field day if I disappeared.

I will share with you my chazzing/booting finds for the last month or so.

More white stoneware to pretty up the new dresser. Because you can never have too much. Despite what my husband says.

I have two of these platters with the teal green colour now. I feel a collection coming on. The blue and white is much more common.

I'm loving that stained crazing on it. I don't mind if things are chipped or cracked which means I can get them for pennies.

A lovely printed crate...

And this blanket/bedspread. It seems to be hand made. It must have been somebodies lifes work!
Is it called an Afghan?

Again, it's not perfect, it has a few rust marks and has unravelled near the edge in a few places but I don't like precious things. They stress me out.

Especially with these guys around...

They've been enjoying the fact that the kitchen has turned into an adventure playground with all the excess furniture to climb on. 

Bad Bobby thinks he's so cute. I'm glad someone else around here appreciates crates.

One thing I bought on eBay is this...

It hasn't arrived yet so this was the eBay picture. It has lovely rusty iron legs and an old wooden top. I thought it would be nice for the garden.

But it does this...

And I was baffled as to why.

I wondered if it was some sort of sewing machine base? Do any of you know what it is?

Well I figured it out in the end. It's lost its working parts but it would have looked something like this once upon a time...

A folding mangle!

I think it'll look great with a few flower pots on it.

A few last pictures of the amazing skies we've had this week...

This is the view from the bathroom window.

Today is an optimum eBay listing day as it'll be pay day when a seven day listing ends. I'm staying in the warm and dry, clearing out some junk.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

I did a bad bad thing...

I didn't mean for it to happen. I wasn't looking for love. I thought I was truly fulfilled with my life. But is anyone really? When it comes down to it?

It happened like a thunderbolt in my heart. I couldn't ignore it. Love like that just won't go away.

So even though the dining room is the most finished room our little house has...

I found myself with this.

The hearts aren't working. Forget them.
Forget the plywood back. It needs some tongue and groove. Forget the black parts, the ugly cornice and the fact that it doesn't quite fit the space. I can sort all that.

Look at the paint!

It has real, authentic dirt. And scabby paint. With rust on it. From like a skip or somewhere. I daren't tell you what I paid but I'm sure Mr Flea market Man had some champers that night. He saw me coming.

The old one just seems fake, twee and sanitised in comparison.

The new one is the real deal. I can pretend I live in a Checkoslovakian farmhouse. Obviously splitting my time between there and my imaginary dressing room.

It seems my facebook friends prefer the old one. Honestly! Am I the only one who likes this new one? I believe this look is called 'Rough Luxe.' It's part industrial rusty salvage, part uber shabby chic. It means you can rescue furniture from barns and garages and sell them for ridiculous money. Because it's achingly hip.

I must be achingly hip.

In the meantime, progress on the ceiling?

Er, that would be a ''no.''

Husband is getting a teensy bit fed up with 4 dresser parts and a wardrobe in the kitchen, dining room and hallway. Fortunately he doesn't seem to have noticed that things have ground to a halt in the bedroom. On the whole he just laughs at me.

I promised I would absoloutely finish the wardrobe this weekend to atone for my shopping sins. And make Spaghetti Bolognaise.

Have a lovely weekend.
Funky Junk

Knick of Time
Blackbird has Spoken
 Timewashed Blissful Whites Wednesday

Furniture Feature FridaysIvy and Elephants

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Not for those of a nervous disposition...

Warning. There are some graphic photographs of an UGLY bedroom coming up.

Sadly it's mine. Well, not mine but my husbands. (He snores and I can't function without sleep.)
He got the master bedroom. It's the most peculiar size. 19 1/2 feet by 8 feet. Absurdly long and thin. And really gross.

It's virtually untouched since we moved in. Not because I'm being mean and I don't have to sleep there. 

There's a reason I haven't done anything apart from stripping the floral wallpaper and painting the walls. It has polystyrene ceiling tiles.

These are not only unnatractive but a real fire hazzard.
I wasn't sure how to tackle them. In the same house as ours around the corner, they took the whole ceiling down. I didn't want to do that. All the insulating fluff and junk in the loft would have to be taken out first.

The ceiling is also bowed. It dips in the middle. So we have to figure out if we need to take the ceiling down or can just scrape those damn tiles off and skim over the glue residue.

The window in this room is fogged up.

It's a seventies aluminium double glazed unit with a hardwood frame and also has secondary glazing. All the windows in the house were like this when we moved in. This is one of the last two we have to replace. The wood and metal are covered in black mould in addition to the fact that you can't see out of it. Nice.

There's no room for a curtain pole as the window reaches the ceiling so we have a track. I hate tracks. I put those Laura Ashley curtains in as I thought they looked masculine. I hate them. Lesson learned. Don't try to please the husband. He'd be happy with anything.

The bed is a king size and is way to big for the room. It almost spans the entire width. We need a double or a small double in there. It's all just hopelessly depressing.

And the wardrobe. Oh dear.

That laundry basket keeps the middle door shut. It's not just been placed there to style the shot. In case you were wondering.

Want to see inside?

Yes, more of those bloody tiles. The wardrobe goes right back into the eaves of the roof. Can you see how the upper section is bowed? I was always nervous of sticking my head in there in case it all came tumbling down.

I could fit a lot in there though...all my out of season clothing went into plastic boxes.

Anyway, it's gone.

Why the bottom half of the wardrobe inside has gone this colour I do not know. The old owner smoked. Perhaps he did it with the wardrobe doors open? He hadn't thought of the cunningly placed laundry basket trick.

I've started removing polystyrene tiles...

No great improvement yet! The wall and ceiling at this end of the room are plastered and the tiles came off nicely.

The other end is just plasterboard and the tiles here don't want to shift.

Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. I'm at the ''Oh my God, what have I done?'' stage.

I've discovered a place where the ceiling is mobile which isn't good. I need to investigate why this might be. I'm hoping that it's anything but mobile ceiling joists. So, all the insulating fluff and junk has to be moved....

Ah, it'll all be worth it in the end!

I hope.

Are you shocked? This gives you an idea of what the entire house was like when we moved in!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Perhaps I can have my cake and eat it too...

I remembered seeing this little film a while back and managed to find it again. The wardrobes basically cut the room in two allowing a sleeping area and a wardrobe area. I'm wondering if we can use this idea in our long thin master bedroom to create a much larger walk in wardrobe.

Not sure whether I'd use the Ikea PAX carcasses, but I doubt if I could build similar for £60. The wardrobe area in the film is a narrow little corridor and ours would be much bigger. Perhaps even room for a frivolous chaise?

I need to pull up the rug and draw furniture all over the floor...

This post is not sponsored by Ikea.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Onwards and upwards...

You know what? I really actually hate New Years. Always have. I think that as a control freak, looking forward into the abyss is very unsettling. I spent New Years eve very quietly with my dad. We watched dumb films and I was longing to go to bed at 10.30 but I stayed up so he wouldn't have to see the New Year in alone. I'm a trooper aren't I? I'm sure he was glad of my stone cold sober yawning presence.
Deep down.

My daughter and I returned from our Yorkshire trip, the Christmas decorations are down and the new term at school has begun.
There's still a wardrobe in the kitchen which I have been blissfully ignoring. My husband is on my case though now and I'll have to get cracking on it before we have a huge barney. Just need an empty day....

My neighbour is giving me her old clothes rails as they've just had a walk in wardrobe built. This is something I want to do. The clothes rails mean I can demolish the gross wardrobe that's there at the moment. I'm really surprised it hasn't collapsed on it's own. 

 In my mind, my walk in wardrobe has double doors off the bedroom, with hanging space either side...

                                                        ...chandelier. Obviously.

...plenty of boot storage... 

...leopard print carpet...

I would look just like this too. (What happened to the childs trousers?)
and perhaps a frivolous piece of furniture in the middle of it...

                                                          Somewhere to toss rejected outfits.

But what I have come to realise is this; I have been muddling walk in wardrobes with dressing rooms. To have a fabulous dressing room we'd have to sacrifice a bedroom. Boo hoo.

When I measured the space it dawned on me that double doors are not going to fit.

Which is gutting as I fell head over heels for these.

Chaise longue? Forget it. There may be space for one person to stand in the middle. If they're slim.

Chandelier? Only if I duck underneath it.   

My neighbours house is identical to ours and their walk in wardrobe is utterly gorgeous although not quite as palatial as my fantasy one. Unless the builders of our homes squeezed in some extra square footage on our side, I think I'd better get real about what I want.

Popping round with a tape measure and a camera might be a good place to start. 

Bring on the demolition!

Uh oh. Just remembered I'm forbidden to cause any more chaos until the wardrobe in the kitchen is finished. C'est la vie.