Saturday, 8 February 2014

A "through the keyhole post" - this time of our house, rather than my wardrobe!

I usually take a break from blogging at the weekend but today I thought that I would bring you a post with a difference - a house post. It's not that our house is particularly amazing, or huge, but it's light and homely and if you're anything like me, you like reading about other people's houses! I think that I owned every single copy of Living Etc for the first five years or so that it was published!

We bought our house 9 years ago now. At the time we weren't even intending to move but I saw it in the Estate Agent's window after I had dropped the eldest (then 6, now 15) off at ballet one Saturday morning. I collected the details, showed them to Mr SG later that day and we looked at it on the Monday. Having both fallen in love with it - or in the words of Mr SG "I've been here before. You do know that we'll end up living here don't you?" - a man of few words but profound ones - we put our house on the market on the Monday, sold it on the Thursday and did the deal on the Friday.

Originally it was a late 1920's three bedroom detached house and was therefore much lighter than the Victorian terrace that we left behind.  A developer had bought it and re-developed it, adding a kitchen from the front to the back of the house, where previously there had been a garage. He added an extra bedroom and ensuite above, a conservatory and he also converted the top floor into two bedrooms and a bathroom. The garden was long and sloped down to allotments at the bottom, so although we are only about 3 miles from the City Centre, we can hear an owl hooting in the sycamore tree outside. I think that most of the women in the local area either knew about the house or had been shown around it by the developer but we were blissfully unaware at the time!

The developer had done the usual - an Ikea kitchen which was finished with a lovely work surface shipped over in one huge piece from China, relatively inexpensive bathroom suites but good taps and so on. He put in glass bannisters and lots of skylights, so it feels light and airy. The house had been painted white throughout so that all we had to do was to arrange for carpets to be fitted. I also whizz around the house once a year with white paint and a roller, getting rid of dirty finger marks! I take a similar approach to the house as I do to my wardrobe - lots of plain pieces with the some brighter accent colours. Really I treat it like a big dolls house and move things around all the time.

Since we moved in we have painted the front door (an immediate and necessary job so as to replicate the colour of the front door at our old house which was quickly painted a very dull bottle green - in our opinion - by its new owners) added wallpaper in our bedroom (see the jeans post for closer pics), added wallpaper on the hall, stairs and landing, in the downstairs loo and in the living room. Other than that, apart from re-tiling the en suite, we haven't really done anything other than swap a couple of light fittings.

However, we've had Dave the Decorator in today. He has re-papered the chimney breast in the living room with some wallpaper that I bought in the summer.  Previously I'd never felt happy in that room but it's so much lighter and brighter now that I am sure that it will get used much more.

I knew that something needed to give but with new curtains and/or new furniture being much more of an investment, it wasn't really an option to change them. But for the sake of a couple of rolls of wallpaper and the labour cost of putting it up, the room has completely changed its feel. Given the colours in the curtains/furniture, we were limited in choice but its worked well - well Mr SG says that he likes it so it must be OK!

The grand-daughter clock was a present from me to Mr SG about 10 years ago now, as was the Liberty leather elephant. The picture is by Janet Bell who paints lovely bright, cheery pictures of Anglesey and Cornwall. I'm not really a fan of "serious" artwork but rather I prefer something fun and which engenders happy feelings and the rug was from Habitat a few years ago.

So, that's what's been going on here today - that and various ferrying of various children to various activities - and lots of cooking and baking! Hope that you are having a good weekend.