House Update – Decorating in Progress

Hi all. Since we last checked in, we’ve been cramming a lot of work into a very short couple of weeks. Freja starts nursery on the 1st, and I’m back in the office from the 7th. The way the house looks at the moment, there is a LOT left to do before I go back! But we’re getting there, thanks to the amazing team I have in at the moment.

Before I show the work in progress, I have to offer a massive apology to all the amazing professional decorators out there. I really, REALLY underestimated how much ‘behind the scenes’ work you do when you paint a room. The last few weeks I’ve realised just how many corners we cut when we do things ourselves. Not life threatening, cowboy-builder corner cutting, but just a different attention to detail and neatness which then has a HUGE effect on the final result.

Liam and I discussed removing the wallpaper and painting ourselves. We did it at our last place, so of course we could do it here. Getting a decorator in sounded indulgent, but we’re so time poor that it was an indulgence we decided to go for. Our plan would’ve been strip, fill holes, sand and re-paint directly onto the plaster. Which would’ve been fine, but the walls wouldn’t have been perfectly flat and we would’ve taken about ten years to do it all. Plus we would’ve sunk lots of money into primer and paint to get a semi-decent finish (you’ll see why in a moment).

Once we decided to get people in, we simply assumed they would do the same job we would’ve done – just quicker and better. They’ve totally surpassed our expectations. Just stripping took about a week (and there’s a bit left to do), thanks to the sheer amount of paper on these walls. In some places, it was three layers deep with one layer of chipboard paper. So we’re back to the bare bones in most of the house, which feels great. Then the guys went over the walls and dug out areas that needed re-filling. There were a lot, as they spotted holes that I never would have noticed. (Our ceiling looked like it only just survived an earthquake). Once that was done, they addressed any problem spots where plaster had fallen away, cracks had appeared or large holes had been drilled. Then (after lots of sanding – more than I have patience to do) they prepped the walls, re-lined them, filled the paper lines, and re-addressed any other problem areas. This is all before painting, which should start to happen tomorrow. Even with filled liner paper, it feels like we have brand new walls, so I cannot wait to see the finished product. And the ceilings in the reception room where they’ve done the first coat of white paint look immaculate.

So here’s a peak of our original-plaster walls – and the mayhem we’ve been living in… SO. MUCH. DUST. and these guys are tidy!!

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And a few snaps of walls that are prepped and almost ready to paint. See how they’ve even cut into the corners so we will have nice sharp edges?! Love it.

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The skirting boards are getting sorted out and we decided to paint the doors rather than leave the original wood, as they’re not in great condition. We’ve done a final swap on some of our wall colours, but rather than add another 500 words to this post I’ll just explain when I can show you the finished rooms. AND we’ve picked lighting, but that’s so exciting that it warrants a post on its own. (Yep – I’m excited about lights). The floorboards are wearing well and the guys have been back to sort a few of the inevitable teething issues. We still have a few niggles to work out, but are waiting til the decorators are finished to do so.

If you’re in London and looking for a reliable team to seriously sort out a room or a house, I would definitely recommend Mark and his guys at Decorating Company UK (check out their website here). This is not a sponsored post – just a happy lady passing on some good people. I’ll do a final wrap up post on them and all their work once everything is finished. In the meantime, hope everyone is having a great week. We’ll be back with progress (and lights!!) soon.

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