What lies beneath

In decorating, home, shopping on December 6, 2011 at 12:56 pm

I’m not sure I can take much more. Four weeks in, and less than three weeks until Christmas, and the house still looks like a building site. We had a trying weekend… Saturday was spent mopping down plasterwork and fitting radiators – oh, how excited I got! Actual heat! Until, alas, we decided that this would be an opportune moment to take up the existing flooring.

It was logical, we said – once it was taken up, the new one could be laid and then we could have skirting boards. We spent 40 minutes, our hearts plummeting with every one, ripping up the boards and looking despondently at the dark, damp flooring beneath. What had happened, we discovered, was that the former residents of our house, Mr & Mrs Botcha-Job, had basically laid underlay and plastic directly onto a wet concrete floor. And what happens when we lay an air-tight cover over something wet, kids? That’s right, the air can’t get to it and it becomes a nasty black putrid stinking mess.

The Gods of Renovation were, however, smiling down on us and almost immediately, the floor began to dry. We spent a couple of hours chipping up black bubbled surface stone and four days later, the ground is completely dry, thank goodness. Unfortunately, the delay meant another night without radiators.

On Sunday, our carpenter arrived bright and early – oh yes, we have the rare breed of workers who arrive at 8am every day, no chance of a lie-in at this establishment- and spent 10 hours ripping out our cobbled together crappy banisters and replacing them with white pine Georgian spindles and deep hardwood sapele rails.


And – stop press – one of the radiators is working. Not that we’re exactly in a position to sit there and enjoy it, but it makes the next phase a little more comfortable.

The next phases are painting, wiring in lights, fitting new doors, laying the floor,  and fitting the skirting boards, before I actually get to do the fun bit and hang the mirror, picture and start tossing cushions around with gleeful abandon. Last night we went on a window shopping spree to remind ourselves how it was going to be worth it.

I’ve promised myself a reading corner and, further to the devastating realisation that my chaise won’t fit in the alcove I’d earmarked it for, Im buying a striped chair and footrest to curl up on with my kindle.

Of course, the fact that we’re just 19 days away from Christmas puts us under immense pressure, but not as much as I’ve decided to pile on with my insistence that we’re finished by the 19th so that we can put our Christmas tree up, stick on feel-good festive films and wrap all of the gifts that are stacked high in the bedroom.

So, that’s what? 13 days to get it done? Easy.


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