Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Atelier

When I found this house, I was delighted to discover that there was a very solidly built small brick bungalow in the backyard. Perfect for a atelier if you want to go all fancy-French!

When I moved in it was full to the gunnels with old packaging, discarded junk, broken furniture etc, but once all of that was gone, it revealed itself to be structurally sound and only in need of a good clean, paint and finishing touches to make a very inviting space to work in. I had fully intended to get it done before last summer..........that didn't happen! But I've finally reached a stage where I can give it some attention.

First the floor - good sound hardwood floor, albeit with a few flaws indicating that it is not first grade, but perfectly serviceable for a studio. I cleaned it up and scrubbed it to remove decades of ingrained dirt (it had never had any kind of finish on it). Here it is in all its glory, cleaned and ready to go. The walls are "ranchwall" plywood, which should paint up quite well.

I decided to finish the floor with Feast and Watson Liming White, which should lighten the room considerably and provide a good cleanable surface. The floorboards are inconsistent in colour and there is a bit of staining - the limed finish should even out some of inconsistencies.

This is what it looks like with two coats of the Liming White and another yet to apply:

Now try and picture white walls and a brightly painted window and door (colour yet to be decided on). A bright rug, some practical shelving, a worktable and an easy chair. I can see myself spending a lot of productive time out here once it's completed!


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Coming Out Of Hibernation............

Well, winter is officially over.......we had our first 25 Celsius day this week (quite unusual this early in Spring and I hope it doesn't portend a really hot summer!) To be honest, winter was not an ordeal: the house was warm and dry with the woodheater working efficiently and the residual dampness the house seemed to be harbouring is long gone. Things are really moving in the garden with the asparagus crowns I planted about 18 months ago springing into's so hard to follow the advice to leave it to go to fern for a couple of seasons before harvesting the spears when those fat little buggers are poking their heads above the soil! I'm told my patience will be rewarded. Next year. The apricot, plum and berry bushes have all set fruit - I'm looking forward to that!
Inside the house, I haven't been completely idle and I've been chipping away at some of the smaller, less pressing jobs before the spring/summer onslaught. 

I've replaced this nasty old carpet that was in the bottom of the built-in wardrobe in the main bedroom with some easy-to-clean laminate: that was a freebie left over from another job that was given to me - it's more than enough to do the job.

An improvement, don't you think? But probably, I'm the only one who will ever notice.

I've also finished off the laundry, which is a small room adjoining the kitchen. You might remember that there was a superfluous door leading from the laundry into the bathroom which I got rid of and re-plastered last year when I renovated the bathroom. That freed up a lot of extra wall space for shelving and even room for the freezer. After I painted it out, I installed simple open shelving with strong metal brackets, so I can see at a glance where everything is and I'm mainly using it for large and bulky cookware, iron and ironing board, vacuum cleaner, dehydrator, bulk food etc. Nothing fancy here - just a good utilitarian space.

Just to remind you - here are a couple of "before" pictures.

These shelves are tucked around a corner, so they are not visible from the kitchen or dining room. It has allowed me to substantially de-clutter the kitchen, too.

And lastly, I found this cute little nine-drawer cabinet (on sale for half price at Ishka) to put in my small entry (to replace a temporary very cheap and nasty table I had in there) It's the perfect place to put all the bits and bobs you need as you are going out the door and to put KEYS so they don't get lost!