It Begins! (and Wallpaper Day #5)


The build began today! JB and his team arrived at 7:30 and got to work.


Oliver, Ruby and Rose had to spend most of the day in the top floor kitchen/lounge/dining room while the Great Wall was being constructed. See how stressed they look? Actually, later Oliver hid under the couch and Rose behind the TV but only for a little while when things got quite noisy, so we were glad of that.

IMG_1636This is the top floor landing before the Great Wall.

IMG_1657And here it is after the Great Wall was erected. The Great Wall is designed to keep the cats safely inside the top floor flat out of the way of the builders. The wall will also prevent most dust and some of the noise traveling up to this inhabited floor.

IMG_1672When finally released, the trio were quick to inspect the workmanship: it met with their satisfaction.The door has been recycled from downstairs – for 110 years it was the door to the larder/pantry and now here it is three floors up!

IMG_1661The view from the other side of the Great Wall.

IMG_1638For much of the day Ruby observed from her vantage point.

IMG_1640She watched as three truckloads of junk from the breakfast room were removed. All those weekends of lifting carpets, pulling down curtains, demolishing shelves and so on were cleared away in a couple of hours.

IMG_1688Meanwhile, serious work was going on downstairs. Internal doors and architraves were being removed.

IMG_1655External doors and windows were being demolished.

IMG_1689Servants bells were set aside for safe keeping.

IMG_1691Breakfast room (original kitchen) cleared, door and window removed. Much plaster brought down. This is the future kitchen. Can you believe we were once considering replacing this original quarry tile floor? Granted it’s a bit dusty but it will restore beautifully.

IMG_1700The boiler and chimney breast are still be removed. The structural engineer is coming on Thursday to advise.

IMG_1699In the old kitchen, even older scullery, future meals room, the window and door were removed as were most of the cabinets and shelves. Looking at the wall we can see various colour schemes from over the years. The lower rectangle shows a wall of two tones (yellowish browns, though they may have been lighter originally) with a red dividing stripe. I have seen this before in National Trust properties and am fairly confident this was the original colour. At some point the walls were painted that dark navy blue. It is the same colour I have found traces of in the hallways and stairs and I think this was probably a 1950s or 60s scheme. It would have been very dark.

IMG_1709Looking back through towards the future kitchen.

IMG_1706The larder/pantry was stripped of it quarry tiles for re-use. A pair of double doors will go through the end wall through to the garden.

IMG_1683Outside the cavities were boarded up ready for the bricklayers who are coming on Thursday.

IMG_1678New kitchen window to go in here, doorway on left to be bricked up.


More refuse leaving.

IMG_1693On some of the newly exposed bricks were Edwardian builder’s notes written in pencil.

IMG_1641While all of this was going on, I continued to strip wallpaper in the bedroom. Before.



IMG_1675The original moss green on the walls goes quite well with the hearth tiles.

IMG_1642I also made a start on the future en suite. I didn’t need the steamer for what you see here as it just peeled straight off the plaster – the moss green as well! There are about four layers of paper and a few layers of paint as well.

IMG_1648The pale green paint covers a dark green  1960s or 70s pattern featuring squiggles and circles. Under that is a pearlescent coral coloured paper.


Between the two are a few traces of a floral paper.

IMG_1652Some more fragments.

I think that’s all for today!





8 thoughts on “It Begins! (and Wallpaper Day #5)

  1. I am really enjoying your posts. One question I have is this one: It may not apply to your country, but here, when wood burning fireplaces were de rigueur, the homes were often painted with very vivid deep colors, to mask the soot. Is that a possible answer to your moss green walls?

    • Thanks Debby! Yes it was the same here – dark colours on the walls – especially with coal fires in the Victorian age. By the time this house was built though (1905), people were into lighter colours and houses with many more windows to let light and air through the home. I guess that there was remained a slightly old fashioned preference for darker colours though, especially as there were still coals fire in use.

  2. Bravo. Now reaping the benefit of meticulous planning. This experienced renovator salutes your organisation, and thanks for putting The Kittehs first up there as they were my first thought. When you have finished the project you will actually miss that cosy cubby/cave room where everything is an arm’slength away.
    Onward and upward.

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