Mark’s Study

9515772939_ba80d597f8_oThis is what Mark’s study looked like when we first viewed the house. It was the most modern room in the entire house as the top floor had been converted into a flat for the carer of the previous owner to live in. The fact that this floor had its own little kitchenette, separate hot water tank and updated electrics meant that I could envisage how we might live in this house while it was being renovated. It was therefore a key factor in our decision to buy the house.

20418512562_6d87f1fd44_oAfter we moved in.

20425087482_8337d4dbb8_oThis room became ‘command central’.  It was our kitchen, dining room, living room, cat bedroom, my study and the building site office all rolled into one. It was a stressful time for us – Mark was in a new job and we were living in a new city, I was dealing with a hopeless architect and slowly coming to the realisation that we probably should have had twice the budget we actually did have for all the work that needed to be done. Later there was noise and dust, and a great personal loss that I have never blogged about here. Even day to day tasks were a challenge. The hotplates on the little electric cooker would turn off when they got too hot (!!), the drains blocked, we had a tiny little fridge, no proper heating for much of the time, and at one stage the windows were boarded up for several weeks. And no dishwasher! But we did have cable TV and wifi so it wasn’t all bad, and in fact we look back at that time with a certain fondness. We had everything we really needed in that small space, it was cosy and the cats adored having us and all their sleeping and eating places in close proximity.

20425090202_9cc3dc45f9_oThe bookcase was my pantry, the toaster was next to the armchair, and I still pity the poor moving men who had to heave that leather recliner up two flights of stairs (it was only about three months ago that we discovered it pulled apart into four separate pieces). Cat tree to the right.

20440409555_8fa610451f_oRose in the top of the cat tree, whilst Ruby surveys the scene from the other bookcase, which held glasses and crockery, knives, oils and vinegars.

19814780513_a6f1ef8611_oOliver and Ruby looking relaxed, probably despite massive construction work taking place on the floor below. Note the blocked up fireplace behind them.

IMG_7368This is how that same corner looks now.

IMG_7356Still plenty of cat beds though, if you look closely. I took these shots at dusk on a cloudy day, but in the afternoon this west-facing room gets masses of sunlight.

IMG_7365What have we done in this room? Not a great deal compared to the rest of the house. A new radiator was installed, the casement window was remade, the floors were stripped, sanded and polished. We redecorated of course – new blind, light fitting and wall colour (Farrow and Ball’s London Stone).

IMG_7363We had considered ripping out the kitchenette but then thought better of it. The little electric hot water tank under the sink might come in handy one day if ever the gas boiler breaks down – it supplies hot water to this sink and also the sink in the bathroom on the other side of the wall. The kitchenette is also handy for Mark as it means he doesn’t have to go down two flights of stairs to make himself a cup of coffee. It would also be useful in the future if someone wanted to turn this room into a guest room, or give a family member a certain degree of independence. There’s also a very convenient wine fridge under the counter…

IMG_7375This is also Mark’s den and library. Last weekend he finally unpacked his books, which had been in archive boxes for two years.

IMG_7372The units are from Ikea and our relationship even survived their construction!

20425186362_8f000d1758_oOliver, Ruby and Rose on the first day of building work, April 2014. To them, this will always be their room.


3 thoughts on “Mark’s Study

  1. oh I could cry it’s all so wonderful. you are out the end of that long dark tunnel [the one that was so much fun for the cats]. Massive sympathy re the bad thing.
    What a happy weekend for M when the books were set free. Like seeing a roomful of friends suddenly arrive.
    Very wise to keep the wet bar. The previous’s went to some expense to set up a carer. I often wonder about this when enjoying The Lady ads describing accom offerings.
    That fascinating mwave+cooktop must be peculiar to the UK, land of bedsits. Your temporary set-up is a masterwork of ingenuity. ‘a house is A Machine for Living’.

    Does your local paper have an online presence I can check for their inevitable coverage of Plaque Day? My Virgo nature is thinking keep the back door locked and secure the cats against unobserved wanderers. My Inner Melb friend had a back lane bag snatcher hit her kitchen while she was gardening out the front.
    Thank you for the pleasure of those gorgeous cats.
    oh and as you liberate your scarf+gloves for Winter, tell Londoners who freak at 26 degrees that we had 38Celsius here on a Spring day yesterday.

    • Thanks iODyne! The Leicester Mercury is the local paper. It has an online presence but prepare yourself for a barrage of slow loading ads on each page. I can’t believe there is a heatwave and bushfires in Victoria at the start of October. I think of you out in the sticks whenever I see such news.

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