*Apologies for the min sabbatical, I've been playing 'nurse' to my eldest whilst she recovers from an operation and it's left me more tired than normal so I've been having lots of early nights!*
When I was approached by Laura Ashley to pick some items to write about for their blog, I was over the moon. A long standing brand I have adored and the chance to work with them - wow. Only issue, my home is currently a building site! Where to start. Not one to admit defeat, I started plotting angles of shots for the only room in the house that won't be structuerly affected and is semi presentable; the lounge. We bought a run down old property in a gorgeous village, it was also known as 'the ugliest house in the village' but the potential was great and plot of land more than the house we left behind 7 miles down the round. However in the short term we have downsized and taken on a hell of a lot (still no dishwasher 15 months on....). The asbestos fencing was gone and central heating installed within the first 7 months before building work commenced. To say this is a project would be an understatement, oh and all whilst living in it. Madness yes but needs must and my husband talked me round.
So there's the start of our little journey and here's some progress. Let me show you the 'nearly finished' result first. Since these photos were taken, a log burner is now in situ and my beloved mirror up (how hard is it to drill into solid old walls!). Then we aren't far off done for this room - I'm not allowed a new sofa until all renovations are complete apparently!
So this is where it all started from below - a very old style park ray log burner. It had to go! The wallpaper had several coats of paint on and there was still the original plug sockets and skirting.
We un-earthed this......there was a fireplace in there waiting to see the light of day.
Someone didn't want this old surround, a friend was taking it to the skip so we rescued it. My husband patiently sanded and sanded it. It does still need another light sand and wax and I have also come round to not painting it now we have different flooring.
The walls beneath the wallpaper weren't great, they were an absolute mess. This was supposed to be an easy room! A quick strip of paper, rip out the fireplace but no. All the walls had to be re-skimmed. Oh and then, the novices that we are had all the pipework cut into the freshly plastered walls as the central heating was coming into the house via this room. Oops. A mistake but £100 rectified it with re-plastering where needed so it was a small price to pay for the lesson learnt.
I was adamant the brickwork needed to be exposed and not covered up but it was in poor condition. We had it re-pointed then had to fill in the front to make the walls flat.
Whilst ripping it out and lifting the carpet we discovered parquet flooring. It was old and orange but we decided to restore it. Luckily there was more in the hallway and under the stairs so we pinched some bricks from there to fill in the fireplace area as it was very deep and I wanted to get some flooring back.
And after the restoration! At this point below all the furniture was in the kitchen/diner with the sofa on it's side in the hallway. The dust was immense. This end window is where the internal doors will be to my new kitchen/diner. Initially I wasn't keen on the flooring but it has really grown on me, especially with a puppy on the cards! I love the new rug from Laura Ashley and the deeper new skirting made a huge difference also.
To read the full article I wrote for Laura Ashley and see the details of what I chose, click here. I also accessorised with a few 'pineapple' features!