Autumn Decorating Day 4

IMG_6748The first coat of Calamine went on in the entrance hall. This was followed by more patching of the walls as the even paint coat shows up imperfections that are not as visible beforehand. P and T are very thorough.

IMG_6751You certainly can’t say I worked with a restricted palette on this house!


The first house we built and decorated was completely white inside – Dulux’s Dove White on the walls, ceilings and woodwork. It looked lovely and it was easy because I didn’t have to think too hard about colour – I could save it for the fittings, furniture and accessories. Also because it was so open plan it was difficult to decide where to stop one colour and start another.

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The next house we bought was completely cream inside – walls ceilings and woodwork. Both of these were modern Australian homes and the pared back colour palette seemed to suit modern homes in a hot country.


Then we moved to UK and I got a bit more adventurous with colour. This was my first red room, in the Victorian terrace we bought in Liverpool – though still many of the rooms were white. I think that because the UK climate is colder, and the sky greyer, having more colour in the home makes it feel warmer, cosier and more inviting. This current house then is really the culmination years of pent up colour desire – I have gone technicolour just at the moment when Little Greene and Farrow and Ball are bringing out entire colour charts simply with dozens of shades of grey (which is very ‘in’ at the moment).

IMG_6749With the walls almost finished, you find your eye catching all of the period details instead of the patchy, cracked old walls.

IMG_6752Going up the stairs.

IMG_6753At this point the colour changes for the next two floors.

IMG_6755A second coat of the Pigeon has been applied.


From this vantage point you can see both colours at once.

IMG_6756Up to the top floor.

IMG_6759Looking sharper with this second coat.


Back by the front door the cast iron radiator has had one top coat of the Old Penny Bronze.


Autumn Decorating Day 3


P and T the decorators continued their work. The entrance hall and stairs have been whited-out. Rose inspecting.


The space feels so much bigger already. This will be painted in Farrow and Ball’s Calamine, which I have already used in the utility room and have seven and a half litres of it left over. It’s a subtle, bluish pink, not at all sugary or Barbie-like, and looks quite different according to the light. In the evenings with yellow incandescent light its takes on a completely different hue.IMG_6733

On the next two levels the first coat of the wall colour went on. It’s called Pigeon – a greenish/grey. P the painter originally referred to it rather unceremoniously as ‘khaki’, though I have swung him round and he now refers to it as The Funky Pigeon.IMG_6735

It looks nothing yet but I know how it will turn out.


The restored cast iron radiator by the front door also got an undercoat. This was stripped about 18 months ago but I never wanted it painted until all the other work around it was complete. The tin of Ardenbrite ‘Old Penny’ metallic paint is the most expensive paint I have ever bought – and that’s from someone who has a house full of Farrow and Ball.IMG_6747To help the drying process I turned the heating on for the first time this season. Rose was quick to reacquaint herself with her favourite radiator.

Autumn Decorating Day 2


P and T the decorators were here again. The ceilings in the hallways and landings were covered with lining paper.IMG_6720

This creates a smooth, even surface for painting. IMG_6722

It covers a multitude of sins.IMG_6724

It also means that any cracks that form in the orignial palster underneath will not show. Many of the other ceilings in the house were replaced but these ones could be saved.

IMG_6726There was also more sanding and filling.

Autumn Decorating Day 1

The decorators returned today. The first job was preparation: masking, filling and sanding. By the end of the day, P and T looked like survivors from Pompeii – completely covered in white dust. I don’t even want to think about how much lead they may have been coated in (I swept and vacuumed before I released the cats) – hopefully they just sanded more recent coats of paint. Not a lot of words for these pics, so just enjoy some view of the entrance hall, stairs, corridors and landings.