Archive for the Renovation Category

of finish lines and mirages

Posted in Derelict house, kitchen, Renovation, Uncategorized with tags , , on August 3, 2013 by pimpmybricks

Good Morrow Ladies and Gents all

I have been nudged into wakefulness and summoned to my laptop to write a post (for which many thankyous – it’s good to be missed).  And so, like some crumpled old genie I emerge from my suburban bottle in a poof of wattle pollen.  But I must warn you that this will be a post thrown together by a distracted mind.  Caveat emptor!  Abandon ship all ye who enter here seeking order, coherence or even linear thought.

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But first, let’s do the ritual  sozzas for being late and get that out of the way. Ladies and Gents,  pray silence for the solemn reading of the Proclamation of Lamentations.   Items one to six – issues arising with the Regency Wreck.  Items seven to ten – other matters.  One such other matter, in fact, being the complete and utter lack of internet for five weeks.   There has been much eating of cold turkey around here and it hasn’t been a pretty thing.  It’s not until you’re without it that you realise the full and alarming extent of your dependence.   Mr P, normally the most equable fellow you could ever wish to meet, took to posting boxfuls of his torn out hair to call centres in Manila.  The eventual upshot being that  our illustrious ISP has now supplied us with a dongle (do you not love that word?), and so here I am, bashing out said post.

So then. Life has been somewhat Sisyphean of late.  It’s been tough on the Regency Wreck front – that’s axiomatic, innit – but also across the board really.  There has been some pretty awful news in the family and my own health issues have resurfaced from all the on-going nonsense.   A veritable tsunami of stress, all in all.   Mr P, I have to tell you, has been a Super Trouper of the First Order, with gold medals and epaulettes and everything.  But I, the ex-stress junkie, have been coming apart at the seams just a little.  Madame Flaketastic, wibbling and wavering all over, like a too-heavy thing on a too-slender base.  Hence, you know, the lack of posts.

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And what of the the jolly old Regency Wreck?  Well, it finally resembles a house (more or less), and, in fact, has been hovering within co-ee of the finish line for some time now.  Hovering but not advancing very fast.  Indeed, the very definition of ‘finish’ is something that is hotly contested at present.  And so we are still waiting.  And waiting.  Parables of tortoises and hares spring to mind.  Rather fed-up tortoises with tired legs, I tell you, having staggered around these past two and a half years (I know! really!) under the weight of that big old unliveable house.  And no, that’s not the wind in the trees you hear; it’s the strains of violins.  Overall, the situation with the RW is still…shall we say, somewhat powder keggish… and because of that I think I shall be prudent for once and stay schtum about the whole thing.  Just for a short while longer, if you’ll forgive me. But, as they like to say, watch this space.  I promise posts with pictures and sentences that make sense and no smoke and mirrors.  Maybe even a theme or two.  Soon.  As soon as a spoon.

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In the meantime, let’s look beyond that disputed finish line at the piles of kitchen, pantry and laundry cupboards that are still in the UK, but due to be packed on Tuesday and bundled onto a boat to make their seasick way out here.  I know that it seems an utter lunacy to have a kitchen made on the other side of the world but in fact, even with the shipping costs it’s cheaper and I got rather tired of hearing that no, I couldn’t have real hinges but I could have fake ones with those flat pack affairs behind them.  I mean, really!

In the end we did go with the pink island.  The actual colour has more yellow in it than appears in the photo; a sort of stewed rhubarb hue. At least I’m hoping it does because in the photo it looks a little scarily…pink. IMG_0458

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This last cupboard is for the laundry because – confession time here – I’m a bit of a closet washermaid (without the mob cap) and the pinnacle of my laundressing aspirations (other than, you know, a housekeeper) has for years been the idea of a cupboard into which I can sort clean and dirty washing.  In colour categories, mind you (for dirty) and owners (for clean).   You may call me anal – but let me remind you that Mrs Beeton would have called me organised.IMG_0463So then one pressing question on my mind (that small portion not taken up with matters of porcelain or semiotics, which is another story)… one pressing question is whether copper would speak nicely to the pink island in the kitchen.  Or not.  Because I am having a little love affair with these lights which look to me for all the world like slightly deliquescing jellies:

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And further, whether the pink condemns me to sensible honed granite worktops in grey, and all matters relating thereto.  And on that lovely prosaic note, I am off.

Soon, jellyspoons.

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The fool’s waltz – one step forward, two steps…

Posted in Georgian houses, Renovation, sandstone walls, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 20, 2013 by pimpmybricks

Well hello there campers.  Long time, no thingummies.

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(Please take as read the by-now standard apology for time elapsing, general slack tartishness and various assorted etceteras).

Actually, in fact, I had intended to write a post during our five week extravaganza to the UK, but we went at such a fast clop here, there and everywhere, ordering sofas, gathering paint samples and (most importantly) organising retirement homes, that I had hardly a second to sit at my machine.

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In order to cope with the stress and the sheer wall of anger generated by house issues, our response has been, as far as possible, to pretend that the Regency Wreck doesn’t actually exist.  Instead, we have tiptoed, hand in hand, into the realm of fantasy.

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Not  that nice, safe, unattainable variety of fantasy, mind you,  but the sort that has a margin of realism, something that might actually be pulled off by those with stunning reserves of masochism, goodly sets of blinkers and at least one very impulsive adventure seeker (that would be me, the sort of adventure seeker who always forgets that adventures are hard.  Incidentally, on hearing my (abbreviated) litany of woes, someone at potty training last week reminded me that I was even so lucky to be in my position.  And, of course, she was absolutely right.  I think the mistake is in expecting luck to always feel pleasurable).

In any case, the bummer of it all is that our bolt into fantasy still involves houses!  Do you see what I mean by masochism? Is there no escape? Were we terrible destroyers of houses in other lives who have been set the task of making amends in this life?  It’s bonkers, I tell you, and I watch aghast as we keep on doing the same thing, but keep on we do.

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So this little jaunt into fantasy – it started as a throwaway line.  The best and the worst things always seem to start with throwaway lines, don’t they?  Some friends told us that a house in the Somerset countryside which we know well, which we used to walk past yearningly, had finally come onto the market.  This was the house we dreamed about buying when we were properly grown up. It was the house we asked our friends about every year when we visited – had they heard anything about it, had it come on the market yet?

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And now it was footloose and fancy free and seeking a dalliance with new people.  Excuse me, all potential buyers – but that would be us.  Begone, you scurvy knaves, get thee hence!

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There are complications though. Always with the complications! One, a mere bagatelle, being the mountain of money it would take to secure this house.  We would have to sell almost everything (including that house which will never be finished).  We would have to go cantering over there quam celerrime.  It would take upheaval of the most blithering variety.  The Regency Wreck in comparison?  Would be a doddle.  A waltz in the proverbial park.  But why let that stand in the way?

And while we were at it, drooling over our old love, we had a little look at other houses in the same area.  They got bigger and madder the further we looked.  We rediscovered our old fantasy of doing up a vast old wreck and running it as a hotel.  If I tell you we got down to what we’d serve for breakfast and the fact that I’d need a studio to make the crockery, you’ll see how far gone we are.  If you’re going to be sick, I tell you, be properly so.

There was this one, which utterly smote my heart:

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But it’s near a busy road and the whole village can peer into your windows.  But even so, look:

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and

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And then there was this little tootsie, which is already a hotel.  In need of, of course, dosh and love.  And, oh em gee, new bathrooms:

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and

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The problem with that one is that there’s a car breakers yard just over the hedge.  So then we found another, this one already a hotel and one which Mr P has the  decided hots for (me less so – it’s a tad masculine):

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A grade 1 medieval number in need of a bit of colour and oomph

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But alas alackikins, this one sits in the grounds of an agriculture college and has no land.

And there are more.

But I am off for supper.  I’ll be back in short order with pictures of the sofas ordered, rugs ogled and that sort of thing.  Tooraloo.

Of visitations and kitchen islands.

Posted in Georgian houses, kitchen, Renovation, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 31, 2013 by pimpmybricks

In just over 6 hours Mr P and I will be toddling off to the UK, for the visitation of parents (and the buying of sofas).  Lawdy.  All the manifold house balls hovering precariously in the air  will somehow have to be brought in to land before then. The current crises (colour for the stairs, treatment for the floors) will have to be parked on little piles of crossed fingers in the hope that they’ll magically resolve themselves while we’re away.

Our run up to departure has been an interesting one.  You know, interesting in the manner of the Chinese proverb.

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Mr P’s car has developed a mysterious, and possibly fatal, illness.   Yesterday, while bailing out his old wooden boat, which was sinking, Mr Pimp managed also to drown his phone.  While he was busy drowning his phone, his tender slipped its tether and bobbed off down the harbour, leaving him stranded.  When he got home, his new computer blew up. Miss P developed a stomach bug.  And I sprained my ankle on those lovely flagstones in the basement and am hobbling round now like a cartoon crone with one ankle the size of a small watermelon. But you know what? There’s something almost relieving when the outside universe so closely mirrors the chaos of the internal.  It renders it all quite funny, in a perverse sort of way.  You just set your course and steer straight ahead.  Battle on girls, battle on.

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I don’t know about you, but when I’m a tad overwhelmed by things that need resolving, my mind tends to scuttle into one small corner of the chaos and concentrate on that.  The corner du jour (du? de? Oh, who knows or cares?!) is the question of what colour to paint the kitchen island.  Sadly, we’ve had to jettison my plans for a bronze island – rapidly diminishing piles of moolah for one thing, and for another the big black steel doors who commanded me not to introduce anything else dramatic into that space.  And so it is this question of kitchen islands which comes in a rescue boat at 3 in the morning when I’m stranded on my island of wakeful lunacy and steers me off to saner waters.  Though having said that, I’m contemplating pink. Is that utterly bonkers barmy, do you think?

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So anyway, off we toddle in a few short hours.  To say we’re unprepared for the trip is an understatement – packing so far is a pile of clothes plucked distractedly from their hangers and dumped unceremoniously on a chest of drawers.  I do, however, know the whereabouts of my passport this time.  Someone asked me to let them know in a post whether I found it, and if so where.  So for the record,  I did indeed find it (or rather, the redoubtable Mr Pimp did).  At the farm.  In, of all places, a filing cabinet.  A filing cabinet!  Who in their right minds would keep a passport in such an obvious place?  Mine should have been in the glove drawer where it’s always been.

I’m hearing tales of frigid weather awaiting us in the UK and (apologies to all who’ve had a long hard Winter there) I’m relishing it with utter glee.  Snow?  Oh, yes please.  Rain?  Pure bliss.  I can’t tell you how much I love English weather, especially the rain.  This poem by Hone Tuwhare gets pretty close to explaining why

Rain

I can hear you
making small holes
in the silence
rain

If I were deaf
the pores of my skin
would open to you
and shut

And I
should know you
by the lick of you
if I were blind

the something
special smell of you
when the sun cakes
the ground

the steady
drum-roll sound
you make
when the wind drops

But if I
should not hear
smell or feel or see
you

you would still
define me
disperse me
wash over me
rain

Hone Tuwhare 1922-2008

(found on http://likeafieldmouse.com)

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Tooraloo.

Bali bye.

Posted in Georgian houses, hallway, kitchen, Renovation, sandstone walls with tags , , , , on January 28, 2013 by pimpmybricks

Eh bien Mesdames et M’sieurs.  This was going to be a brief missive, the merest whiff of a post dashed off in haste as I winged my way out of the door and into a waiting aeroplane.  Can’t you just see my suitcase trailing chiffon scarves and feel those kisses blown from my fingertips?  (All very Isadora Duncan before the car trip, I know).

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It has been a rather grim couple of months trudging through my crappy health issues, and as well as that there have been a couple of big parental health scares.  When we arrived at my birthday a couple of weeks ago Mr Pimp, gawd luv  ‘im, suggested  we find a cheapie break and take ourselves off for a few days.  And so we set our caps at Ubud.  The plane was booked for this afternoon, the Herberts stowed, the suitcases packed, and we were more than ready to go.

Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal Temple, Ubud

Except. Except. A most exceptionable except.

My passport has gone missing!

It has vanished, seemingly, off the face of the earth. Gone off on a little sojourn of its own.  Or, more likely, it was stuffed into a box when we packed up our old house and moved to this godforsaken tin can, and then taken to the farm.  Where it now languishes in stygian gloom beneath lawd knows what boxed rubbish,  and has grown tired of calling to us.   So here we are, a half hour after we should have taken off, drowned and dismal and with the week ahead hanging off us like an extra skin.  And I am feeling like the egregiously air headed flake that I sometimes am. Bali Hi? Sadly, I don’t sink so.

This was going to be our bedroom:

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But anyway,  that a leaves me with a whole swathe of unexpected leisure time in which to show you the latest bit of progress in the house.  One, luckily, about which we are wildly enthusiastic. The pictures are a little dark because, ahem, I have a new camera (one birthday present which didn’t go wrong).  A new and, I must confess, somewhat frightening camera.  So frightening in fact that I felt quite unable to attach the flash (a flash that isn’t in-built?  New to me).  Anyway, when I get my confidence, we might all look forward to better pics.  But now,  Ladies and Gents, without any further paffing and faffing, I give you the steel doors (cue a bit of  parping fanfare):

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The picture above being from the hall into the kitchen and through to the door into the pantry.  And below, into the pantry:
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And from the kitchen into the dining room and hallway:

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So that being done, I shall return to my sitting and thinking and failing to believe that anyone could really miss a holiday by dint of a disappearing passport.  I mean, it’s absurd and unbelievable, isn’t it?  (Even now I keep expecting it to sidle around a chair leg and waggle itself for attention).   But actually, I have decided that we shall not sit here moping but gather ourselves up and go forth into the torrential rain and try to extract a bit of fun from this molten, silvery day.  Tally ho!

That was the year, that was.

Posted in bathrooms, Renovation with tags , , on January 8, 2013 by pimpmybricks

So, 2012 was the year of Supreme Folly.  The year when we started work on pretty much the worst house in the area and discovered it was even more dire than we’d imagined!  It was the year when whole rooms were mere piles of sand and lumber, when floors collapsed, when walls revealed themselves to be nothing more than giant honeycombs of termites’ nests.  It was the year of the Long Dark Night of the (restoration) Soul when more and more and yet more damage was pulled out of a hat by some malevolent magician until it became difficult to see how the house had not collapsed internally into a pile of steaming rubble. We were stretched further than we ever have been with a restoration (and there have been seven of them) –  mentally, financially, and most of all, emotionally.  Looking back at the end of the year, we had to ask ourselves the inevitable question – would we have done it if we’d known?  And the honest answer?  Probably not.  Maybe not.

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But the fact remains that we have started, and having started, we must continue. (And besides which, we still love that bloody house).  So armed with our one solitary New Year’s Resolution, the only one we could logically make – to survive! – and with pith helmets firmly clamped on, stiff uppers in place, our hysterical gibbering selves closeted once more in the….closet?… we’re ready for the final onslaught. May it not be too bloody. At least not after the floors have been laid.

So ladies, gents and mint juleps, I think it’s time for another little snapshot of progress.

Please allow me to introduce to you the Jungle Lav.  So named because Esteemed Architect originally conceived of it as a sort of high-up, diminutive conservatory, a verdant eerie where we could take tea of a Sunday afternoon and have a natter. You know – our ears nuzzled by potted palms, our cake dusted with fern spores; that kind of thing.  All of which was a wonderfully evocative idea until the humdrum clamour of waterworks started up and it was decided the room should retain its waterclosetory function as a guest bathroom.  As they say, you can never be too rich, too thin or have too many bathrooms. Especially if you might need to sell the house in a hurry on your way to the debtors’ gaol or the insane asylum.

Here is how we found it – an utter joy to behold.

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It had a sheet lead floor which, in our enthusiasm, we thought we’d seal and keep until OH&S and the builder intervened and it was escorted from the premises under armed guard.  It also had a polystyrene ceiling.  With nary a stretch you could reach up and inscribe your name or football team with a fingernail – imagine!

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But what you can’t see from these pictures  is  that when enthroned you gaze out onto this:

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Nice, innit?

When the conservatory idea was set aside the idea of its glass roof remained, which has had an unexpected boon.  On the landing outside there is this rather handsome window which lost the bottom section of itself when the Jungle Lav was originally built (the JL being an early extension).

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You can see how it relates to the JL:

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Somehow, the exact manner yet to be determined, the new glass roof will free the window from its truncated state and allow the bottom portion to be re-instated.

And here is the jungle lav as it now is, in all its transitional glory.  We put in a black and white stone floor.  Thuper cheap.  The border is not a border but water proofing, bee tee dubs.  The hound, however, is a hound:

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The glass roof (above). And ditto the yellow – it too is water-proofing.

Here are the tiles.  I’m not so sure I like them. In fact I’m quite sure I don’t much like them. I don’t think they sing from the same song sheet as the floor tiles.  They were a decision made very quickly, in the sense of ‘let me out of here’, at the end of a verrrrrrrry long session in the tile shop.  I always meant to cancel them and think again, but didn’t because I got buried under a mountain of other decisions that needed to be made at the same time.  Lesson to self – if everyone’s screaming at you for tile choices and you haven’t made one – get a pair of noise cancelling headphones and carry on thinking.

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But that being said, I have hopes the basin might bring them together:

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It’s a little bit Biedermeier. It’s a little bit cast iron.  And it was a little bit cheap –  ten per cent of its original price.  So obviously, it was a done deal, innit?

And that, said John, is that (for today).  I need to gather myself for the onslaught of the weather – we are promised bush fires and temperatures of 40/104 degrees.  And I need to attend to my other  New Year’s Ressie (I lied) – which was to make the bed before lunch time.  Every single day.  Toodlepip.

Rush rushery and a few ‘during’s.

Posted in bathrooms, Renovation, silver with tags , , , , on December 24, 2012 by pimpmybricks

Enter stage right, a small figure scuttling beyond the spotlight to slide a wrapped package unobtrusively onto the floor .

Greets, Ladles and Jellyspoons. I know! I’m late as the proverbial plate yet again, and this is my very last chance to slide a leetle sumsing in before most of the world shuts down tomorrow.  Apols for going awols.  You know the drill by now. You’ve read the headlines so many times before – “Struggling restorers sink into pits of black despair as more termite damage and cracked lintels are uncovered in inner Sydney Regency Wreck…”  It being blogland and all, and moreover blogland approaching Christmas, I have been loathe to come and spread my glooms abaht the place.  No Bah Humbuggery here!

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But wait, because in amongst all the doom and gloom, in all the tearing of hair and gnashing of teeth (they are mere stumps I tell you),  there has been the occasional sighting of that rare and lesser spotted beast – p.r.o.g.r.e.s.s.  Which is serendipitous because I’ve received a few requests for during shots and I’m nothing if not attentive to requests (unless, of course, you require me to don tutu and dance the Nutcracker Suite, in which case I would have to demur in the cause of Public Order).

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Tubby strictly honest I’ve also dawdled a bit because progress shots are so…well… incomplete somehow and every time Ive seen said piece of modest progress I’ve had the feeling that if I only waited another day or so those tiles may have been cleaned of grout to reveal their lustrous sheen, or the showers might have arrived. Or this or that or the other.  But work has now stopped for the holidays and nothing will happen until the New Year, and so without further procrastination I offer up a few morsels for your delectation.

But because we’re in the act of flinging a few things into bags and scurrying up to the farm, I’ll spread them over a few days, if that’s permissible.  Herewith, today’s little ration.

This unprepossessing little room was earmarked by HRH Princess Pimp as her bathroom:

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She wanted it dark.  And by gum she’s getting it dark:

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Those tiles – they are tho thexy. The patch of light you can see to the left is the window in the pic above, which will be transformed into steel and glass doors onto a tiny Juliet Balcony from where, if you turn your head to the right, you’ll get an eyeful of the Harbour Bridge.  This was granted us by the Powers That Be because there was once a balcony on the back bit of the house.  Precedence – thou art a wondrous thing.

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And while we’re on the subject of tiles, let me show you this place of unaccustomed glam, which is the en suite.  The very en suite which, if you remember that far back,  may never have come to pass.  Which may have remained, if the purists had ruled the day, a mere twinkle in my eye as I hauled myself down four flights to use the bucket in the back garden.

This is it before:

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We would have preferred to keep the wooden floor but here in Uh Straya such things are verboten.  We bought the limestone tiles as a job lot for $50 a crate at a rather sad liquidation sale a couple of years ago. In the cause of full disclosure I should say sad for them, lustful for us.

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Avec crazy bath and the fireplace stripped back to metal:

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et the lav and basin:

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These are the very tiles which are still smeared with dried grout and don’t yet reveal their shimmery glory, but here’s a patch that have been cleaned:

ensuite tilesI must admit that when I first saw the bathrooms I was a little shocked.  I feared we had imposed too much on the house and felt we should maybe have found a way to minimise our impact.  But someone said the other night that they could still see the beauty of the rooms, even though they’ve been rendered functional, and  I was glad to hear that.

So anyway.  That’s the lot for today.  I sit here in my pre-breakfast frowsiness on the unmade bed while the day outside gathers itself for a full-frontal furnace assault. I must up, up and away before the roads melt and become a shimmering mirage.  Laters, potaters XX

 

Deck the halls with indecision

Posted in digressions, Dress-ups, Georgian houses, hallway, Inspiration, Renovation with tags , , , , on November 23, 2012 by pimpmybricks

Hola mis bellezas, mis peanut sellers and usherettes,

Firstly, a slight digression if I may (if indeed it’s possible to digress from what you haven’t yet begun).  A visit to my stats page recently revealed that someone arrived at this blog via, of all things in this vast and crazy universe, a search for “in my country we smoke lion fur”.  Not once, I hasten to add, but twice.  The mind fair boggles, so it does.  And to compound the mystery further, I could not see how that got them here because when I also typed the same thing into google it didn’t lead me home.  In fact it didn’t lead me anywhere in particular.  Which actually was a shame, because stress is currently so great on the house (and several other) fronts that I was hoping to find a bit of a ‘how to’ on smoking lion fur.  Maybe even a u tube video or two – you know, a sort of wildlife Mrs Beeton.  “Firstly,  trim the manes of two dozen lions…”   But maybe it’s not quite as strange as it first appears because we did, after all, as undergraduates, used to hang our old banana skins over radiators in the vain hope that they might produce datura-esque effects.  Alas, all it ever did was add to the squalor.  And what can I say in our defence?  – nothing, other than that we were all lost to Mr Ginsberg at the time.  Khaddish and all that.  I even used to wear an old 50s leather jacket which moaned and split every time I moved.

So anyway.  Let us begin. Recently we had a demand from the builder for all of the ceiling colours.  All of them! A bit of a surprise, I can tell you, because some rooms don’t even have ceilings.   But I hopped to it and by the skin of my teeth (and a leaking paint pot which erupted all over my hands as I was transporting it to the house) I made the delivery on time.  Cue scenes of builder and painters at the front door tapping their waiting toes, consulting their time pieces – you get the gist, minus a bit of hyperbole if you’re feeling pedantic.   All of which has served as a warning that wall colours might also be demanded with menaces at any unpredictable time and that I must, to put it bluntly, shift my arse accordingly.

Now I love colour.  Love it with a pash.  But my usual MO when choosing it is to take forever, pottering and pondering, doing little pigment mixings, taking note of how the light falls on it,  thinking for a month or two, having a crisis or three, and then finally deciding.  It ain’t gonna happen like that in this house.  We’ve paid for the house to be painted, and painted it will damned well be. But oh!  I deflate like an elderly balloon at the prospect of having to specify all that colour!  And all at once!  Because in so doing we’re back to that great imponderable – what ‘mood’ does the RW want to be captured in?  A rather plain and sober mood that shows off its beautiful classical proportions?  Something a little more Rococo and playful?   Something feminine?  Masculine? Eclectic?  Contemporary? Moody and dark?  Light and airy?  Egads, Sirrah, you do tax me most unfair.

A friend and I were talking recently and one thing we felt was that the house would not look good dressed all in unadorned white.  Not unless we had a vast collection of vast artworks, which, alas, we do not.  Without the vast artwork, we felt, it would be a little boring. Like someone left standing in their petticoats, awaiting the maid to dress them. So colour it must be!  But what?  And where? And how?  My friend suggested I gather together a palette of colours that I like, which all harmonise well. She is right, of course.  I know she is absolutely right, but I am dragging my little hooves to the task like that proverbial horse…  Instead I find myself concentrating on individual areas, hoping they will somehow all end up speaking to one another. Willy nilly and without any help from me. Never ask me to match-make your aunty, or do the seating arrangements for dinner parties. (Did you know, bee tee dubs, that some people do colour boards for their seasonal entertaining? I discovered this quite by chance recently and was aghast but unrepentant about my own failings).

So anyway anyway.  Back to business. My area du jour is the hallway and staircases.  Which are built to a large scale, but which, because we have the extra ‘wing’ at the back, lack light at the ground floor (though it is bright above). I have been playing housey dress-up and fished a few things out of the box.

Firstly, this is the hallway, to remind you.  Or rather, this is the hallway as was, before the builder set about it.  It now sports a bath, a mountain of wood and a very racy (actually mind bogglingly depressing) earlier colour scheme in death-by-yew green and dried blood:

and

Now then.  The sober mood. I have a great love for Farrow and Ball’s Elephant Breath, not only because of the name (and I must say that when in Zimbabwe and surrounded by elephants I didn’t so much notice the colour of their breath as their propensity to tiptoe.  Have you noticed that about them?):

In this sober mode, I’ve wondered about  adding a bit of Grisaille on the right hand wall as you come in, just up to the arch.  I’ve been out and about (digitally) visiting Zuber and de Gournay and the like, but a conversation about money yesterday (conversation would be the polite word for it anyway)  has seen me scuttling from their front doors like a mouse in plain worsted.  This, though, is a manageable version from G&W:

Or this from Cole and Son, but mucho more coconuts:

So that’s one option, and quite sober it is too.

However, my pink furnace is still burning away and I’m thinking possibly this, on the same wall:

but in this colour way, with splashes of a similar hue on various landings:

But having tipped my cap at pink,  I also have to say that a certain blue persistently tugs at me.  Tugs and tugs and won’t leave me alone. There is this, by Axel Vervoordt (stolen from a waiting room mag – you can still see the fold lines):

I like the broken quality of the colour and the way it wraps onto the ceilings.  There is also this:

and even this:

or a pale and interesting version (on seeing this was a pub in London I thought to hasten me back to Blighty where I could sit lose hours (weeks!) with my G&T in a narcotic blue haze):

On other days, however,  a bit of pattern seems to float the boat:

or this (but probs not):

and I positively love this, but wouldn’t do it (or would I?):

This one I pledged my troth to some years ago:

So how to choose?  Sober? Pink? Patterned? Blue?  All or none of the above?

And here are a few more miscellaneous hallways, just for good measure (and further confusion):

 

And before I go,  let me just slide in one last digression, which is slightly more admissible on a housey blog than lion fur and banana skins – I’ve had a few requests for progress shots of the Regency Wreck and they are imminent (honest),  but I am rusticating at the farm for a few days and hope (hope!  what an expensive commodity!) that vast swathes of tiling await my return, photos of which I will then plaster liberally all over t’t blog.

Toodlepip.