Thursday, April 4, 2013

Project Casserole: the DIY files

Hi everyone. I hope you've all been well and staying warm  – here in the UK, in London, on the 4th of April, it snowed. SNOWED. I'm sick of the winter now and am really desperate for spring.

The other thing I'm desperate for is my house renovation to be complete. I know I promised to keep you up to date with our progress, but it all happened so fast that on the Tuesday after my birthday I left for work and came home to this:

It's been over three weeks now without a kitchen, and frankly, I think we were a bit naive. We really just thought they'd take down the wall separating our kitchen and our living room and that would be it. But they also reinforced the structural support in the ceiling (so our bed doesn't end up on our sofa).

And they re-routed the pipes, which went through the wall we removed, and moved our boiler to the opposite wall which helped with the plumbing being made all nice and tidy. They also extended this wall, so that we could put more cabinets on it. This is really only exciting if you're into plumbing and plastering.

While all of this work was going on, my living room looked like this:

And everything, I mean EVERYTHING, was covered in dust. We spent most of our time in the loft, sitting on mattresses from the spare bed, watching tv from the iPad via the Apple TV. It was like being a student, in a squat, only we own it. Weird.

At the end of the 10 days our workers were in, this is what we were left with:

On the left there, that new door is my coat closet. I fought The Irishman very hard for that closet, and I'm very excited for it. This is my life now: excitement about built in storage. But the space is open plan now, and feels light and airy and BIG.

Obviously you can see that the flooring is gone; our kitchen had tiles and the rest of the ground floor was a laminated wood. We decided to put wood down on the whole floor, and went with engineered wood – and decided to save money by installing it ourselves. It arrived last Thursday, in time for our Easter Bank Holiday DIY-athon Weekend.

This is what they call "curbside delivery." You have to heft it into the house YOURSELF. I was the lucky one who worked from home that day and had to do it – all 28 boxes.

And here is the wood, and all of our DIY supplies bright and early last Friday. We covered a lot last weekend – filling in holes, removing the decorative woodwork, sanding, priming, painting, and laying over half of the flooring. We are finishing the flooring this weekend, and installing most of the kitchen cabinets along with the new oven (which arrives tomorrow) so we will have a pretty much functional kitchen AGAIN for the first time in nearly a month. We'll post photos of the nearly complete space next week – and in the meantime, if you have any tips about countertops or tiles, we'd really appreciate it!

Til next time... xx

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