We’re into the new flat! Well, we officially move Thursday, but got the keys Monday and are doing a speed round of DIY before we have furniture to contend with. There’s so much we want to do, but at the moment we’re just blanking everything so that we can start from a fresh, clean slate. And man, did it need it. The one room we’ve agreed not to tackle is the kitchen; that will be gutted and redone with the help of some professionals – hopefully around Christmas so we can take advantage of some sales.
Liam had to work on Monday, so I had an entire day on my own to get cracking. I removed bookcases in the living room and bedroom, filled holes and then sanded them (went through an entire tub of filler on the first day), removed dirt, and did a first coat in the front room to as high as I could reach. I think our ceilings are 8ft tall. I managed to get to about six feet, after stacking the old bookcases on top of one another. We bought a step ladder today.
You can already see by the end of day one how much cleaner even one coat made the room look. The state of the walls was amazing to me. Speckles and splatters of food, dust, cobwebs, fingerprints, scuff marks, and general dirt pretty much pattered the entire front room. With each pass of the brush or the roller, I was feeling happier. Liam arrived around 7pm and started stripping off the painted wallpaper in the back bedroom. (More on that later). We stopped around 9 for our bottle of champagne (we bought it back in February to drink on our first night in our first home), and then headed for dinner. I’d been there since 930, working solidly. Let’s just say I slept very well.
Today we managed a lot. Liam tackled the ceiling of the front room, and also covered the top of the walls I couldn’t reach. At the end of the day before heading to Cross-fit (the man is a glutton for punishment and has energy stores that know no bounds), he did a second coat on the entire room. Using the step ladder I covered the top trim and the skirting boards. This gives you an idea how tall our ceilings are; Liam is 5’11 inches tall and even he was stretching to reach.
We pulled out the final bookcases in the hallway, and I went back to filling holes and sanding. Our bedroom, before and after – it will get primed and painted tomorrow.
And the lovely hallway, before and after:
We had to bash the top shelf to bits, as it was plastered INTO the wall. So I’ll be re-shaping that corner tomorrow before we prime and paint it. I can’t wait to get a nice colourful runner on the floor. We’re also going to do a photo/art wall on the righthand side and the left will be space for coats and a little bench that stores shoes underneath. I might even sneak a tall leaning mirror and a plant in, but we’ll see how the space goes.
The final challenge will be the spare bedroom. After an initial ‘wow, this wallpaper is coming off super easy!’ we realised we’d spoken too soon. There are not one, but TWO layers of painted wallpaper. Some areas even have plaster on them. Hiding underneath? A neon orange wall that will need filling, priming and painting.
After five hours of soaking and scraping today, we’ve accepted that this and the bathroom will join the kitchen as longer-term projects. But we’ll get there. We’re feeling really happy with the progress, and after years of living in other people’s homes, it’s amazing to know this is OURS.
Off to bed; tomorrow is another long day of DIY and packing. Hope everyone is having a good week! x