Lets start with this….
This pretty much sums up my last month. Having found myself back into temp-work taking me away from what I really love doing. Life recently became depressing. I was reminded of how it felt to work for a boss who didn’t respect the hard work, who didn’t see me for who I truly was – After a month of feeling utterly miserable I quit, taking control of feeling worthless and invisible.
I know I am not alone – we all can find ourselves reflecting at how we ended up where we are and we struggle with those choices. Reflections both in the metaphorical and physiological sense both do the same thing – reflects light into darkness, making us see the undeniable truth.
As this months blog is all about Mirror image, I’ll gently guide this towards the physical reflections of our surroundings.
Mirrors as we all know, make light appear and bounce from nowhere. Reflections gives an altered dimension and enhances original features – like a fireplace, amplifying it to a greater depth of its purpose. Your eyes will always search for a focal point in the room. Usually they will settle on a centre piece. As a rule, I generally never plan a living room fireplace with artwork above it (bedrooms are ideal though) Mirrors belong on a focal point wall so when your eye settles on the original features, you are also processing reflections of the opposite wall, light, and space. There are plenty of other wall hanging areas for artwork, so please give the mirror its own dancefloor.
Bathing in beauty
It was a while ago now but remember that bathroom overhaul? The old Victorian roll top bath we were so overjoyed to discover, turned out to be mismatched and impossibly heavy to shift. After much thought, Jason chopped it up with an angle grinder into five pieces and cashed in the iron at the scrap yard.
Now a little tip – if you’re having the same bath-extraction quandary and decide to replicate the above. Make sure you move any light coloured vehicles from the vicinity. We realised afterwards that the very fine iron filing dust had blown out of the window and adhered into our car paintwork below giving a rust-like coating all over. You might also want to protect the white window frames or you’ll have a lot of scrubbing to do.
Onwards to the bathroom refit – as you can see from the photos below, the walls were stained with spores of mould that appeared through the plaster. It was so ingrained that the plaster had to be completely stripped away, leaving bare brick to start over. There was also the removal of the brittle floor & ceiling tiles, spaghetti lead pipes and the leaking waste pipes. Once that was all done Jason then had the task of re-plumbing with new copper piping and install drainage outlets ready for the new bathroom suite.
Stripped back to the brickwork, Jason had a challenging small space to work with. At just under 4sq metres the design and refit had to be carefully measured so we could get the new bath, vanity unit and toilet in.
I think the end result was well worth waiting for. Before and Afters…
As with the bathroom downstairs we chose the same white Metro tiles with bevelled edge’s. Kept the room neutral with a white ceiling, a small splash of pavilion grey Valspar paint on the walls and a stylish white bathroom suite. We accessorized with a chrome finish towel radiator, taps and ceiling spot lights. Brought some colour back by painting the tongue & groove bath panel grey and added a warming floor lino with a tile effect. I fought the Lino route at first – but was then convinced when we saw a decent selection of contemporary tile effect designs.
How did Jason get around the issue of the bathroom being so small? well, he couldn’t move walls but he did take the bathroom door off and refit it to the other side of the hallway frame. A genius solution that allows more bathroom floor space.
Lastly, Jason installed a noise reduced extractor fan above the toilet and fitted a blind. A midweek trip to Ikea furnished us with flat plate mirrors which finished off both bathrooms perfectly. Both mirrors are large and came in at a bargain £20-25 a piece.
Now, its vital that as a property developer blogger, I arm you with really useful info other than pretty pictures right? So I’m going to tell you about the importance of window- packing insulation (yup, living the dream) – especially if your old windows have been replaced before you moved in or if a new window upgrade is something your thinking of having done in the future.
Windows are a costly investment – not a big statement there, so the way they are fitted can sometimes lead to future issues if they have been badly done. We discovered a frustrating amount of heat loss, drafts, noise and couldn’t figure out why when we first moved into our doubled glazed house.
I’ll set the scene – window fitters rip out old windows. Some bricks come loose in the process but that’s no biggy if they’re cemented back in place. Then lovely new clean windows are lifted into place. Screws go in to secure new window. All looks pretty good so far…But wait… there’s a gap big enough to poke a pen through, all the way around the edge of the new frames? – Its ok though because I’m sure the fitter will seal this before covering the gap with a thin plastic edging strip….won’t he?
This sadly isn’t always the case. And here is a good example in this photo of our bathroom window. In fact every single window in every part of our house sufferd from drafts. So even though we were pleased to buy a house without having to fork-out for double glazing initially, just be warned that there might be drafty gaps around them. This explained why our heating evaporated out of the walls and we felt drafts in the bath.
To any window fitters reading this – I am not in any way suggesting you do a moody job of putting in your windows. In fact I doubt today it is common practice to leave a window with a gap around and not use a can of spray-foam to insulate it.
Just keep in mind that when you have your windows replaced – have the conversation. The gaps need to be packed to get a really nice insulated seal before the edging strip goes on. You’ll be thankful you did your research when winter approaches.
The renovations are finally slowing down. Little by little, areas of our 1930’s house are being completed. Here is also the latest on the top and bottom of the hallway (the stairs and landing floors are still yet to be completed)
Here, the ceiling was scraped back due to old polystyrene ceiling tiles. Wallpaper stripped off all sides. As this was a very tricky area to work on we decided to not re-wallpaper the stair-well. But because the wall had quite a few indents we had to prep it by filling and sanding which took some time. Coving was added to the ceiling – this made a huge difference so I highly recommend to always install coving in a 1930’s house as it moulds perfectly with the curved design featured mostly within the door frames. More pavilion grey was rolled onto the walls and as I mentioned before – artwork can be placed onto areas like this to display their full potential.
It may be a daunting task for those renovators who still have a lot to do, But as I keep stating to my friends who are all jumping on that property ladder – don’t let the amount of work overwhelm you so that you do nothing at all. You’re bursting with ideas so you need to start somewhere without running out of steam and yes it will steal your weekends.
The trick is to bite-size your jobs. Do ten minutes when you have the time. Half an hour, an hour even. Do this for weeks, months, a year and you’ll get there.
Till next time, be safe with sharp objects – norgstar