A bare minerals bathroom 

So, the bathroom is finished. 

I can’t quite believe it, I keep going in to make sure it’s still there. 

  

In fact, I’m constantly having a bath just as an excuse to sit in there and stare at it. Plus, the bath has a wide enough edge to balance an iPad on for maximum, undisturbed Scandal viewing, which is always a bonus. 

  
We went for a minimal, natural look. We fell in love with the wooden cabinets and planned everything around there, looking for interesting textures in neutral colours as opposed to brights. It keeps the room clean and calm without it being to plain, and we’re slowly adding objects of interest – and a lot of Yankee candles. 

  
There are more details on the Before and Afters page. 

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Bedroom Inspo: Moroccan Minimalist

As we countdown the days until moving in, I’ve been having a look round at the new season offerings when it comes to bedrooms. 

I love traveling, especially the Middle East, so seeing that Bedouin-inspired fabrics and Moorish prints are in is really hitting my style buttons. We’ve gone for white and deep blue walls in the bedroom so I’d love to incorporate a little souk style in there. There’s something deeply cosy about Marrakech – the rich culture, the homely food, the spices and the sweets – and this means it is perfect inspiration for a bedroom. 
 

Moroccan Minimalist Moodboard

 

Clockwise from top left:

Linen bed set, £79.99 from H&M

Embroidered hand towel, £18 from Anthropologie

Mirrored tray, £19.99 from H&M

Wall light, £45 from John Lewis

Lantern, £39.99 from Zara

Curtains, from £70 from Next

Cushion, £30 from John Lewis

Cushions, £58 and £68 from Anthropologie

Bed, £1200 from John Lewis

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… 

   
 

The Big Build: Foundations Day!

 If you’re short on time, we’ve created this handy video to see what we did today in 25 secs.

  
But believe me, it took a lot longer than 25 seconds! It was a hot, hot day but we started at 7:30am. Whilst I made a bacon roll run, Andrew gathered the troops and made last minute alterations to the drain and the trench. 

At 8:50am, Big Bertha arrived with her cargo of concrete looking like a bizarre funfair ride and the boys began lining up ready for the drop.
  

Then it was action stations and go! As soon as the concrete hit the barrow we had 50 minutes to get it in the trenches. Luckily, Andrew had a plan!
  

Dan, my Dad and Andrew’s dad and AP himself made up the shovel team. When the barrows we ditched, they raked, shovelled and generally squished around in the concrete getting it into everywhere it was needed.

  

We had rigged up some boards and ramps through the shuttering so the boys could get straight into the far end. We needed a little bit of extra soil behind the shuttering as it was beginning to bow, but it held out.
  

After 50 minutes, the last barrow was emptied and the mixer was being washed…. But we didn’t quite have enough to get it to the right level. After a bit of deliberation, Mr Concrete said “save your money. Go get 10 bags of ballast, 5 bags of cement and mix it yourself.”

So off to B&Q me and Papa Hey went! 

  

There was just enough! The boys had created a frame to squeegee the concrete level, which was a great idea. Dan was Captain Concrete getting it all perfect. You can see our little poop pipe happily sticking out – it made a great drinks holder 🙊! (Don’t worry, it’s brand new).
  

With one final squish and a bit of trowel work, we made it. All that expensive steel was gone, covered in concrete. It just goes to show all the hard work you can’t see.

 

The finished product. Andrew is religiously dousing it with water to make sure it hardens low and slow, making it as strong as possible – although at 27 degrees and not a cloud in the sky it was proving difficult. At the end of the week we should be able to remove the shuttering ready for the brickie and backfill the holes around the edge so nobody falls down them again…oops. 

The only way is, quite literally, up. Hopefully. 

The build: laying the foundations 

It’s been a while, but we’ve been busy! 

This summer has been a bit of a blur of digging, ripping up and more digging. The conservatory came down, the trenches were dug and the old drains were removed. Then we found that our house was built on pretty shoddy soil (which also made it very hard work to dig!) and so the nice easy foundations we had planned turned into a fancy steel raft. We had some much debris in our ground that the raft will keep the new part of the house nice and stable. 

   
I came home one day to find the conservatory pretty much gone. The house looked so strange with its exposed yellow walls and vinyl “patio”! 

 Next began the hard work. Andrew got his money’s worth of the Titan ripping up the thick concrete drive and pad. 
An important planning meeting! Papa T and AP discussing where to put the new drains (which will hopefully actually work!).  You can see the first trench dug. This was the day we were told we needed a steel raft.

Getting stuck in! We had to dig two new trenches beside the existing walls for the steel to sit in.    
The trenches didn’t have to be as wide for the steel, so AP created some shuttering from the old conservatory roof. Clever! You can see the loo waste pipe here (nice). 

 

The steel was delivered. We bent 70 pieces; 35 into a “bucket” and 35 into an “r” shape.
   
Here are the “r” pieces ready to go! 

Goodbye toilet! It’s buckets from now on as we removed the waste pipe.

   

 

The bent pieces of steel get attached to the straights to create a frame. The same happens to the bucket pieces. 
   
  

Polystyrene is stuck to the existing building to give a crushable zone should anything move.

  
The frames are put into the trenches. They were pretty heavy! 
  Once all the frames are in around the edges, four mesh layers are added over the top. Spacers are put underneath to ensure the mesh doesn’t touch soil; it should end up embedded within the concrete.  
The pieces of steel are cable-tied together. Now we await the concrete! 

 

Mid-century mash-up living room

I’m really into mid-century modern style at the moment. I’m wary that it’s going to go the same way as shabby chic, and be everywhere, but I can’t get enough right now. I’m loving the colours and the shapes, so I want to incorporate some into my living space.

I’m also into the colonial look, so I’m hoping I can mix the two styles together using the botanical, natural theme to tie them in. I’ve looked for some mid-century shapes, yet colonial textures. I’m crazy for the French Connection chair!

Find out where to buy below

Find out where to buy below

 

1 – The Fabulous Fleece Company

2 – Ikea

3 – Ikea

4 – John Lewis

5 – French Connection

6 – Kew Gardens

7 – John Lewis

8 – Fabrics and Papers

I’m really after a butler a table, or perhaps a fancy trolley for drinks and to put those glasses on. I’m also desperate for that French Connection chair with a fleece thrown over it for by-the-fire reading sessions.

Let me know if you spot anything else you think would go!

Ex

 

Progress update: The master

Hi everyone!

We’ve been super busy at the bungalow, so I haven’t updated you in a while. We took the last weekend off for Big Weekend and an important trip to London, then on Monday had to crash out to recover.

I caught up on Mr.Norrell and Jonathan Strange, though, which is amazing. I’m hoping it won’t distract me too much from here!

Our master bedroom is about 80% there. It needs dressing, and some new furniture, but the decor is done. It was hard work!

We started out with a room covered, and I mean, COVERED, in textured wallpaper. Now, we love retro but this was too much.

The main bedroom

The main bedroom

We did, however, like the grey carpet. It looks a little dull in this picture, but it’s pretty new. So our first job was to pull it up and shove it in the spare room to keep it clean. Then, we tackled the wallpaper.

Stripping wallpaper - fun!

Stripping wallpaper – fun!

It was messy, hot and stinky. We used a steamer to help peel it off, and with four of us working on it we had it done in the day. We had plenty of scrapers and had to keep the windows and doors open. At one point, it was like a sauna!

Andrew getting the hard bits off

Andrew getting the hard bits off

We went round after making sure all the tiny remnants were removed. As you can see above, we have a nice big hole in the wall. This was left by an old air brick which we removed. It wasn’t serving any purpose, so we blocked it up.

Andrew's handy work.

Andrew’s handy work.

You can also see the old burglar alarm dangling! We had to take this out. You can see where we had to fill A LOT of holes in the wall. There were a few cracks and marks left by previous decor. We also had to strip all the delightful lining paper from the ceiling.

That's not out of focus, that's steam.

That’s not out of focus, that’s steam.

By the way, Andrew’s not an enormous giant. He’s on a step-up stool. The ceiling paper peeled off pretty easy after spending the whole day covered in steam! We had the whole room stripped in our first weekend. The filling and sanding took way longer! We also had the job of adding a new double socket for our bedside table, which I’ll go into on another post. You can see them both here. And Henry…

The new socket, spurred off the old one.

The new socket, leading from the old one.

So, with a new socket and filled and sanded walls, came the fun part. This was about two weeks after we first stripped the walls and ceiling. PAINTING!

Finally painting!

Finally painting!

You can see where we’ve filled around the sockets (hard work) and cut in. Andrew rolls on the first bit of bright white. It took a good three coats to cover all the marks. We then decided to go for a blue feature wall, and settled on Stiffkey Blue by Farrow and Ball. The ceiling and coving we did first, followed by the walls then skirting.

Stiffkey Blue, City Break and Lost Lake colours (F&B, Crown and Dulux)

Stiffkey Blue, City Break and Lost Lake colours (F&B, Crown and Dulux)

 

After many coats, we finally got the colour we wanted!

After many coats, we finally got the colour we wanted!

We’ve moved in now, so I’ll share some final finished pictures soon. I promise!

 

E x