It's been sweater dress central in Pout Manor lately. I've another on back burner for you but I thought you could do with a little break, so today I give you a post on, err, a house horror story.
I should really be giving you a Holiday Home Tour right now which seems to be the bloggy thing to do, but you know, not one decoration has yet come down from the attic. So house horror it is, then!
This post contains a house horror image which some readers may find disturbing!
It started not with a kiss but with a post, this one. I intimated there that a crisis was a-brewin' and I would follow that little teaser with a post.
Well this is the post, a year late!
To briefly recap, when looking for specific photos in my photo album stash, stored on shelves on a little half landing, I discovered more than old photos - I exposed work that needed to be done and money that needed to be spent. I like neither of those.
The stairs leading to ...
... the problem.
Yes, this is my house horror image. Yucky, eh? Damp ingress in the corner of the wall. Rod the Roofer informed me that rain was coming through cracked leading on the roof. Oh and by the way, the old pantiles were crumbling too and the whole lot needed replacing.
I decided to put a positive spin on this. This was an ideal time to tackle the very pokey cottage stairwell which turned under the eaves. Why so pokey, I often had wondered. The Photographer jokingly told me it was designed BITD for Hobbits. Well, I'm a bit Hobbit-like (but without the two breakfasts)., so I'd had no issue with the quirky stairwell. TP, however, needed to do a bit of ducking and diving to go upstairs, which perhaps is why we had designated the main bedroom upstairs as a guest room over time.
So I talked to various professionals and learned that a cat slide window maximises head height.
There ensued many months dealing with architect, the local government planners, roofers, window fabricators, builders, plasterers, electricians and decorators. All this palaver just to complete a relatively minor reno.
And sometime towards the end of all of this chat and just before work commenced, we managed to get up into the attic. As the roof was to be exposed, it was wise to clear the attic of its
junk carefully curated and archived items stored for longer-term use. That was a perfect decluttering opportunity. And I did. A little.
Finally the scaffolding went up in June. (You can imagine how the little ones loved all this!)
The pantiles were replaced during some of the hottest weeks of summer.
I became ice lolly dolly for the guys.
A big hole for the cat slide window was gouged out of the roof.
We slid Bertie down it to test if it did what it said on the tin. Joke!
The hole was sealed. Then a few weeks pause whilst the window was made up and fitted.
So the electrician went in to lay cables (ceiling spots) whilst the joists were exposed.
I did think to do some type of exposed granite feature but felt it would look a bit odd on a little mezzanine landing and with a plastic window.
The window was fitted in July. Plaster was slapped on the walls - those guys work so quickly.
Then there was then a gap between plastering and painting, as our preferred decorator wasn't available till November. So four months of bare plaster walls and dangling ceiling spots.
Then last week, when our lovely decorator chappie, Pete the Painter, arrived mid-week and started painting the whole area white. But, alas, the job wouldn't be finished until Tuesday this week.
Last Friday afternoon, I returned home to find that he'd made a feature of the protective plastic sheeting for the weekend.
He even created a cute tie-back. I think I may just stick with this feature!
What I now have is a stairwell fit for Gandalf.
It's a blank canvas of white wallage. It looks fresh and modern. This relatively small tweak has made such a big difference to how this cottage works and feels. Hey, we've even moved back up into the heavenly en suite bedroom upstairs!
This new space is a place where I'd like to party. Hmnn, a Window Warming Party.
I'm thinking of serving drinks and canapes from the window sill at Christmas. Seating, the stairs. Mingling area, the miniscule mezzanine.
I now want to give myself some months of thinking time before finishing off the banisters and dressing the window and the space generally.
That's what I've been up to since that butterfly fluttered a year ago.
Creating My Stairwell to Heaven ...
(You just knew that's where I was heading, eh?!)
I hope my home improvement story hasn't been too tedious for you. I'd love to hear of any tweaks you've made to your home. Quirky challenges in the house that have been overcome with a tweaking. Sometimes a little tweak can really made a BIG difference
A la perchoine.