Thursday, June 30, 2011

Internal view of our bay window

internal view of our bay window by sashinka-uk

The inside track, so to speak...

bay window - one day there'll be patio under the threshold...

bay window - one day there'll be patio under the threshold... by sashinka-uk

We have (bay) windows:) After a lot of planning, drawing and waiting, we have replicated, but subtly improved - now french doors rather than just one - the bay window, and it's even double glazed.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Maggie Thatcher in da house

So, as you know, I'm all about reclaim-recycle-renew (viz: our dining room is stacked high with French apple crates which will one day become a bookcase), and in the house, I've been keeping as much as possible to put back. In fact, it's something that my builder has teased me about royally.

But this, is something special. Scrunched under the floorboards in the front bedroom (making up the gap where carpet had been laid sometime before 1959 and the floorboards were not quite level) is Margaret Thatcher's 1959 Finchley election campaign leaflet.

A quite spooky example of print electioneering from a bygone era, and, frankly, very Finchley.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

faux wheat in Tesco

faux wheat in Tesco by sashinka-uk
So, when I'm in the huge Tescos in Finchley, which is a large commercial building under some offices, full of city people buying... their shopping, I see a vista of wheat fields ahead of me.

In front, "freshly baked" bread, wrapped like your grandma had just prepared it for you.

Like, who are you kidding? This image does not make me come over all Hovis and transport me to a time when people went out to the fields and then milled their own wheat and kneaded their own brad.

It makes me think: huge international multiple food retailer which has in probability put many artisan bakers out of business wanting me to **think** they're the corner store in the country.


In the words of a famous ad man: the customer's not a moron, she's your wife.

Tesco - you can do better than this.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

back of the house - pebbledash painted

You can really see how it's going to look now the scaffolding's down....

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

we have stairs...

we have stairs... by sashinka-uk
we have stairs..., a photo by sashinka-uk on Flickr.

obviously in their early stages, but hey, I don't have to climb up a ladder on every site visit.

Progress indeed.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Side of house, painted

Side of house, painted by sashinka-uk
Side of house, painted, a photo by sashinka-uk on Flickr.

And for the purists: a side view. I think the painted side makes our neighbour's kitchen much lighter and brighter - who knows, maybe they'll return the compliment:)

House, painted

House, painted by sashinka-uk

So, our scaffolding came down on shabbes (on the way to shul, it was there, but loads of blokes were dismantling it, and on the way home, it had gone).

You can finally see our hip-to-gable roof, and the velux in the dressing room, and our newly painted house.

Boy, did I agonise over the paint.

First off, I felt I (we) wanted to be true to the original house, which is our guiding principle. Much as most people "gut" a place, we've worked very hard to keep as much original as possible (skirting / coving / ceilings / doors / fireplaces) and are even reinstating some things in the original style of the house. We're not looking for a period piece, as I've said before, but at the same time, I feel like things should be "in keeping". And I'm very committed to the idea that Edwardian architecture worked - we've only knocked down one wall, and all the other rooms are staying pretty much the same.

So to some degree I felt that the "original" pebbeldash (thankfully only on the upper floor, there is some red brick), while to me tasteless, was a reflection of the hundred-year-oldness of the house, and we shouldn't mess with it. Re-painting or re-rendering was in and out of the builder's contract half a dozen times.

Eventually, we realised that it just looks dirty. There's something about hundred year old poorly maintained pebbeldash that's just - ugly. So we painted it on the front and back first floor, and re-rendered the side (where it had mostly come off anyway) and are rendering the back extension.

I think we made the right decision. But what do you think?

Monday, June 06, 2011

fireplace insert...

fireplace insert... by sashinka-uk
fireplace insert..., a photo by sashinka-uk on Flickr.

we're putting two of these inside the oak fireplace surrounds in the lounge and dining rooms (although our hearth will be flush to the floor...). This is the thing in the house I am most excited about. Hand-dipped Edwardian fireplace tiles are my middle name.

hall lightfiting?

IMG_2345 by sashinka-uk
IMG_2345, a photo by sashinka-uk on Flickr.

waddya think of one of these as a light fitting in the hall?

small child's bedroom....

small child's bedroom.... by sashinka-uk
small child's bedroom...., a photo by sashinka-uk on Flickr.

with real ceiling back ...


IMG_2316 by sashinka-uk
IMG_2316, a photo by sashinka-uk on Flickr.

through the kitchen to the family room...

our hall, will one day be tidier than this...

the two doors on the right are the dining room and lounge, and the white light coming towards you is the kitchen and family room.

completed office ceiling... looking for 1m drop lights

So I'm looking for some kinda interesting, slightly industrial hanging light for my office...

House Renovation - half way point?

So as you can see, I'm spread pretty thin with this house renovation lark, but for anyone interested, here's where we're at...

  • ground floor extensions (family room / utility) - built, roofed, waiting for concertina glass doors
  • ground floor lounge extension (moving bay) - just getting the ceiling the right height
  • kitchen - specified, beautiful bespoke solid oak (Plain English, but better) kitchen painted an (undecided, possibly Clunch, Farrow & Ball colour), with kashmir white granite and faux-limestoneish porcelain tiles, and the reclaimed original kitchen tiles in the fireplace behind the range
  • family bathroom specified - timeless white suite with carrera marble (60 x 60 on the floor, 30 x 60 on the walls, possibly in a metro pattern)
  • master bathroom specified - off-white crackle glaze metro tiles (in walk-in wet-room-style shower and waist height everywhere else), slipper bath with chrome feet, traditional pedestal basin and toilet, CP Hart Empire fittings...
  • all electric points and radiators decided
  • reclaimed oak parquet floor sourced

Currently all about light fittings. Keep changing my mind. I obviously don't want the house to look like a period piece: I'm always slightly drawn to the occasional Sunday magazine article about someone living the total 50s/20s/whatever lifestyle, down to the clothes and the kitchen, but it always feels a little... odd. Sure, I like deco/20s stuff, and I'm a sucker for period (minimal) oak, but I don't want our house to be a museum, I want it to reflect the history of the (Edwardian) house, while having a light, contemporary feel, and being liveable. So though I'm going for quite a few period light fittings - not least because I have lots of my grandma's - I'm seeking something quite modern in the hall to make the statement that it's a real house, not a BBC drama setting.

Any feedback gratefully received. I don't actually have anyone to discuss this with, so I really mean it....