A little bit of house progress...

We've been busily beavering away at the house in every free moment we get, trying to transform our semi-building site into something resembling a proper house. I am losing the will a bit, but R is keeping us focused! Progress is slowly being made. 

We now have a fully functioning kitchen and are able (occasionally) to sit down and have a leisurely cup of coffee on a Sunday morning. Yay! 

Having a lovely new kitchen inspired me to make a cake. I always stick to loaf cakes as the results are invariably disastrous when I try to be more ambitious.....

I bought us a fancy new oven glove to celebrate (and then had to make something so I could use it!)

We now also have a beautiful bathroom (that has unfortunately sprung a teeny weeny leak that I definitely did not freak out about). It is being mended soon DON'T WORRY.

I found this lovely bevelled mirror on ebay which has little coppery bits on its sides. The first mirror I purchased (also from ebay) lasted about 5 minutes in the bathroom before it smashed into pieces and I burst into tears. Hope the next 7 years aren't too painful...

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We bought this old brick of a radio from Deptford market ages ago for about £5. It just needed a new (massive) battery and it worked just fine. Good for Radio 4 in the shower. 

I've been pootling round the house, putting bits and bobs into jars and baskets. Is it just me who loves decanting? I could seriously decant for hours. My sister's the same - maybe it runs in families...?

I even decanted my bubble bath!

We have also invested in a new front door, which has totally transformed the front of the house. We have mounted our fox knocker. I don't know whether it is warding off neighbourhood foxes, or attracting them. Either way, it gives me a lot of pleasure using it. 

I was very impressed with the company we chose to make and install it,

Voysey & Jones

. They were really helpful, came to do a consultation in the evening, talked us through all of our choices and did a really thorough quote. We chose Farrow & Ball Blue Ground for the colour, and went for an etched glass. 

And something very exciting has also happened in the sitting room....

Remember this? 

This was the hideous fireplace that some maniac in the 70s had decided to replace the original fireplace with.....

This was how it looked when we had stripped the wallpaper, sanded the floors, revealed the original hearth tiles, demolished the fake brick fireplace and re-plastered and painted the walls (phew!). It was an improvement, but basically still just a gaping hole..

This was when we'd just had the new fireplace installed....

And this is what it's like now! Complete with log basket and drying slippers (and a few bits of skirting that need patching up...)

The first fire felt very momentous indeed. Imagine being grown up enough to own a house and a real fire! Both me and R had log fires at home when we were growing up, and I can't imagine anything cosier than lighting the fire on a damp Sunday afternoon, drawing the curtains, putting on the telly and doing a bit of knitting as evening draws in. I feel very lucky that we can now have that in our own house. 

Actually, the fire has been a necessity as the days have got colder as we only very recently got round to putting the radiator back on in the sitting room. Until then I've been coming home from work and laying the fire. Fire on a Monday night? Why not! 

As we have started to get more rooms, I have begun unpacking our boxes and bringing things down from the loft. I love being reunited with all the things we have collected over the last few years. 

We have also now finished two of the bedrooms, ours and the small spare room at the end of the house. 

Which is nice, because now we can invite people to stay without having to tell them that they'll be sleeping on a blow-up mattress on a dusty floor...

We've still got quite a bit to do, mainly turning the other bedroom and study from unpleasant, filthy spaces into liveable-in rooms. At the moment both rooms are being used as dumping grounds for boxes, DIY crap, tools, random bits of wood and everything else that we don't know what to do with. I'm sure we could throw most of it away, but R assures me it's all totally essential! 

Which all means that there will be more of this:

more of this:

and more bloomin' paint stripping! 

I will try to post some pictures of our bedroom soon!