Christmas is coming! 

So it’s been a long autumn here at Hey There, House, although it does seem to have flown by! We’ve made so much progress that it seems weird looking back at pictures from the summer – being so busy has meant I haven’t updated for a while and having a new job has taken up a lot of my brain power. Oh, and there’s the little business of an RSC production….

  

 

But we’re counting down the days until Christmas, but instead of awaiting the arrival of a small Jewish baby Messiah we’re awaiting the arrival of some bathroom furniture. Not as exciting for humanity but pretty exciting for us. 

The walls were done, and the roof was put on. I naively thought putting a roof on wouldn’t be too bad – Lord knows why when I’ve already lived through a new roof at Mum and Dad’s. It arrived like a giant Mechano set with instructions and everything. It looked enormous in our drive but once it was on it was amazing how normal the house looked – like it was missing it all along! Over a couple of weekends and with the help of various family members we got it up, felted and secure. 

  

However, it happened to be during a couple of storms. We had water in places. In the freshly decorated bedroom. In the hall. In the spare room. The coving made a run for it. 

  

After what seemed like an age we were able to get up and start fibre glassine the flat roof part. As it was a half-hipped roof, we had to allow a section of flat roof on the top which can’t be seen from the ground. Andrew was able to pull in some expertise from his work and we spent a weekend of sun on the top of our “landing pad” painting on layers of fibreglass and resin. The finished result is finally watertight and pretty sturdy!
As soon as the roof was finished we knocked out a wall or two and put one up.  As we were extending the bathroom we removed the original wall and moved it a couple of feet out, giving us two decent-sized rooms. We bricked up the odd hallway window and fitted the new bathroom window, and the set to preparing the floors.

  

The damp-proofing bitumen was not nice. It smelt. It was sticky. It ruined everything. I’m hoping this bodes well for our floor. And that it doesn’t eat through  the insulation….

  

 Our plasterer came one evening to screed the floors level. It’s amazing what a difference a flat floor can make to a room!
Since then it’s been all-hands on deck again. We’ve chosen our bathroom and we’re getting ready for it to arrive, plaster boarding walls, plumbing in pipes and booking in Matt the electrician for our lights and mirror. Fingers crossed, we might be in by 2016… 

   
 

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The Big Build: Walls

Tonight, on Hey There House at 10…

Okay, so I haven’t updated for a while and so much has happened. This post is just the headlines.

In the past month we’ve seen some serious changes. The bricklayer has been and we’ve got walls!

   

  

    
 
We’ve still got one small wall to build (across the two above) and then we can knock the old walls through giving us two rooms – one for the bath and one for the utility. 

We’ve blocked up the old windows, too. Our kitchen window will be large and so will our new bathroom window, so we don’t need those anymore. 

     
 As the outside will be rendered, it’s enabled us to use blocks instead of bricks which is quicker and easier. You can see we’ve ripped out the toilet, too, ready for that right hand wall to be knocked into the new room. 

The kitchen and the bathroom have also been ripped out, so it’s starting to look like a real building site. It’s crazy how one cupboard can hold so much stuff! All of our supplies are now living on a camp table and in buckets. Luckily the fridge is still there… 

I had some serious fun removing the tiles. It’s my new favourite job. It was a lot easier with this baby: 

     
And in more news, our drains are finished! They’ve been here and there for months now THEY ARE FINISHED! Unless you have lived without proper drainage or a toilet for months you will not understand my excitement. This is big news.   
And finally, the roof has arrived!

  
Well, the trusses at least. They’re enormous. It’s hard to believe that all of that is going to be up soon. It does mean we need to remove the old roof which is currently protecting our brand new bedroom. We have tarpaulins but I am hoping we don’t see any more storms for a while; my beautifully painted walls can’t take it! 

An upcycling workshop with The General Office

So, I’ve got this chest of drawers. It’s second hand and painted duck-egg blue, which is a fine colour, but a colour I do not have in my house.

I’ve been thinking I need to freshen her up a little bit, but taking the plunge is a bit of a commitment for me. I’m keen to try chalk paint, but having never used it before I was a little apprehensive.

 

Thankfully, The General Office was on hand! I noticed Nina was holding some chalk paint workshops over at Milk & Moss, so I decided to head along to her intermediate class to learn how to make a good job of it.

   

Nina was a great teacher! We all started off with a wooden chair which was in desperate need of some TLC. Nina had prepped each chair to make sure none of the natural oils would seep through the paint by sanding and sealing with Grand Illusions’ Shellac. Then, we got to work choosing our colours!

  
Nina went through how to achieve various different effects by layering the paint. Some of my fellow classmates took bold yellows, greens and blues to their chairs but I had fallen in love with the wooden seat of mine. I decided to keep the seat plain, but highlight it by painting the rest of the chair in an antique white finish.

  

 First, we painted on our base colours. These were the bold colours we would reveal at the end through sanding to create a vintage finish. I didn’t want mine too bold, so stuck to creams and greys. Once these had dried, which only took a few minutes on such a hot day, we moved on to painting our main colour over the top.

  

 We used Grand Illusions chalk paints, and the colours in the range are beautiful! I was originally torn between the yellow of or the dark Nordic Blue, but once I’d chosen my chair I stuck to the Sel De Mer white. The paint brushed on easily and covered well, although some of the deeper colours came out lighter than the swatch.

Lunch was provided by the lovely Sophie of Milk & Moss whilst we waited for our paint to dry, and it was delicious! After a few helpings and a few glasses of fruit water and a cup of tea it was back to work.

   

Now that the paint was dry, it was time to sand back the top coat to reveal the colours underneath. A lot of my paint came off to also reveal the wood, but as I’d left the seat this added a really great texture. The lady beside me had gone for a bold red, and as she sanded a gorgeous yellow colour came through. Please with my work, I chose a clear wax to keep the white bright but opted for the deep brown wax for the seat to add richness to it. Those who chose a deep colour found that the darker wax really added a depth to their colour, making it closer to the original swatch.

  
The day was brilliant fun, and as Nina was so knowledgeable I learnt so much! I definitely have the confidence to paint all my old furniture now, and have stocked up on Grand Illusions’ paints and waxes ready for my chest of drawers!

    

The General Office paint workshops are held at Milk & Moss in Norwich, costing approx. 60 for 3 hours of tuition, lunch, drinks, supplies and a piece of furniture to paint. Bargain! You even get a tin of paint to take home, and 25% off other Grand Illusions’ products.