Final Carpet Installation

Today we had the last of the carpet installed on the stairs, hallways and landings.

IMG_9028And also in the creepy top floor cupboard. View 1, before.

IMG_9030And View 2.


IMG_2739 - 2013-06-11 at 17-21-27

This is why it’s known as the creepy top floor cupboard. Remember how it looked a couple of years ago? Complete with the old header tank, lead pipes, gas light fitting, woodworm, cobwebs, 1920s newspapers, collapsing ceiling and that little hole into the roof I lost the cats in?

IMG_9066Just look at it now! It could almost be another bedroom, or a least a box room (as tiny bedrooms are called in this country) for our steam trunks, portmanteaux and the like. We use it for general storage, which actually does include our suitcases.

IMG_9069It was a bit dark when I took these but you get the idea.


IMG_9031Top floor landing, View 1.



IMG_9034Top floor landing, View 2.


IMG_9208Reading corner on the landing.


Heading down the top flight of stairs.


You get the idea.


IMG_9039Looking back up again.


IMG_9043First floor landing and hallway looking in the direction of the servants landing and maid’s bedroom beyond.

IMG_9198And now.

IMG_9046View from the servants landing.



IMG_9050Back towards the main staircase.


IMG_9041View from Bedroom 1.

IMG_9202The closest I got to a matching picture.

IMG_9051View from my study.



You may recall that I painted this flight of stairs last year.


IMG_9185It was always going to be a temporary measure but I had planned to have a runner fitted to this flight so that all my efforts painting the stairs wouldn’t go to waste.

IMG_9188A word of advice though, don’t plan to fit a carpet runner on stairs that go around corners.

IMG_9187It is possible but the geometry of it was doing the fitters’ heads in. Mine too. It was impossible to get the runner looking even, particularly when there are also asymmetrical sides to the staircase (in this case the wall on one side and the newel post on the other).

IMG_9211Looks great though, even without the runner.




IMG_9233Inspection crew. It is no coincidence that the carpet is the same colour as the cats’ fur – the lighter carpet in the bedroom tends to get a “grey sheen” on it when it’s time to vacuum…

IMG_9238Pile depth tester.

IMG_9223Heading up.

IMG_9228Oliver not quite sure.


And so on.

IMG_9244Ruby checking her lookout isn’t osbcured, in fact she should be half an inch higher now.

All we need now are some blinds for the dining room and the entire interior will be complete!

Carpet Conundrum – With Audience Participation!

IMG_7129First, here is the lounge with the new wall colour.

IMG_7054Tile feature in the fireplace.

IMG_7135Roman blinds.

IMG_2838Sofas and cushions.

IMG_4874 - 2014-12-05 at 14-15-43Chair. Can you see where I’m going with this?

IMG_7110All that’s left is carpet. The lighter beige carpet above is a strong contender. It’s a Cormar carpet, 80/20 wool in a colour called Nutkin.

IMG_7109This is the other contender. It’s called Cardinal.

Let’s ignore the cat fur question – I have a new attachment for my vacuum cleaner which should deal with that. We all know what a beige carpet will look like – but what about red?

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 20.24.42

Here’s a sample of a tasteful, elegant room with red carpet.

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 20.24.10And a gorgeous Edwardian interior with red carpet.

100528dUnfortunately red carpet can go wrong too. This looks likes Liberace’s Vegas home.

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 20.38.15And a scene from an 80s episode of the The Bold and the Beautiful.

I’d be interested in your views – beige carpet with the red accents I already have, or the cardinal red carpet? Vote in this poll!






Weekend activities – and a final fireplace reveal

IMG_4601 Yesterday we turned our attention to Bedroom 5, on the top floor. We shifted (or decanted) all the furniture into Mark’s study. IMG_4600 The floor is going to be sanded and polished so we ripped up the very last of the old carpet in the house. IMG_4605Surpisingly the boards were in very good condition underneath. We briefly considered leaving them as they were but decided they would look much better with a re-sanding. There’s Oliver considering jumping on the window sill. IMG_4608I then spent an hour or so removing all the old carpet gripper strips around the edges of the room. IMG_4607I was doing all the boring jobs before my fun for the day – this fireplace. I knew what to expect so it was on with the gloves and face mask, several buckets and plastic bags to hand, a dustpan and brush, and the vacuum cleaner. IMG_4609It was a bit on an anti-climax really. I think this chimney has been sealed so there was only about a bucketful of masonry and dust. No dead birds, which was a releif. No screwed up newspapers or other historical artefacts though. IMG_4638I swept out the mess and, like several of the other fireplaces, the pieces of the fireplace were placed inside the cavity – the fire grate, the baffle and the hood. The only think missing was the ashpan but I have one from the matching fireplace in Mark’s study so I might be able to find one at a reclamation yard. IMG_4641How it looked by the end of the afternoon. D, the floor guy, will be here on Tuesday and then T, the decorator, can start on this room.

Stage 2, Day 34


IMG_2720Yesterday, in the guest bedroom, I painted the insert in the fireplace black, and this morning I cleaned the hearth tiles.


I also prepared the floor for the new carpet. There were a few loose boards that I screwed down and I adjusted one that had a very loud creak. I also vacuumed thoroughly, especially around the skirting boards to prevent dust eventually staining the edges of the carpet.

IMG_2726The carpet fitters began by laying dust-paper and followed with the underlay.

IMG_2734An hour or so later – done!

IMG_2738Looking good.

IMG_1628How it looked just a few weeks ago.

IMG_2741The hearth tiles clash with the wallpaper but I wanted to have them on show anyway.


Do you remember when I revealed this fireplace about eighteen months ago?

IMG_1664And how I found the fire pieces up in the chimney a few weeks back?

IMG_2751Wallpaper close-up.

IMG_2779Oliver, Ruby and Rose inspecting at the end of the day.

IMG_2773Ruby was first over the threshold.

And Rose was the first to christen the carpet with her claws.

IMG_2743Carpet on the landing leading to the back stairs.

IMG_2753T the decorator continued undercoating them today.

IMG_2754The neat carpet edge at the top.

IMG_2728T also gloss-painted the doors on the top floor. Cupboard.

IMG_2731Bathroom. He also started to fill the woodwork in the utility and toilet.

IMG_2770P the plumber was here too. All the fixtures are now connected.

The new downstairs toilet possesses the most forceful flush I have ever witnessed.


IMG_2771Utility room tap.

IMG_2729Top floor toilet and shower.


IMG_2732The room is looking huge!

IMG_2760Externally, work continued on the new planters.

IMG_2761A slight adjustment is being made to the alignment.

IMG_2758The fence has been repaired.

IMG_2756Our neighbour will be very happy with that. I am too – I love the castellated top of the old fence palings and that’s an extremely sturdy new post.


At the side of the house, the site of the old servant courtyard will become the fern garden.


All cleared and ready for topsoil.

IMG_2767I had noticed for a few days that this drain around the side appeared blocked. The last time the builders were here I had to unblock it as it became filled with sand and rubble which obstructed the P-trap. This time it was much more difficult to clear.

IMG_2768I had to break it up with the trowel to get it out – it’s mortar that has been poured or washed into the drain and had set solid. I hope for my builders’ sake I got it all! Luckily I had a CCTV scan of all the drains just before work began so we can always make a comparison if necessary.

IMG_2765Finally, at the end of the day, after everyone had gone home, the gravel arrived. It was delivered by a lone man with a pallet trolley – no crane. Each of these bags literally weighs a tonne – 1000kgs. The poor man struggled so I had to help him push the load up the very slight incline to their final position. It was hard going even with the two us. I can’t believe they allow one person to deliver such a heavy load. He was a strapping Eastern European but as he said to me in halting English “I am not horse!”


Carpet Samples

IMG_4729 - 2014-11-17 at 18-12-00Just a quick hello as things have slowed here on the decorating front until we have saved some more money. Here is a shot of Ruby, Rose and Oliver helping with carpet samples. You will also see in the background that the first window coverings have been fitted – the lounge now has roman blinds! More to follow.