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!

Progress Continues


Today A, the other floor guy, came with his assistant to complete stage one of the terrazzo restoration.

IMG_3710A before shot taken from the vestibule.

IMG_3719Looking from the kitchen.

IMG_3720Close-up. Terrazzo is basically made up of chips of marble or granite set into cement and then ground down and polished to reveal the stones. Our terrazzo is very dirty and dull.

IMG_3706The terrazzo continues into the coat room.

IMG_3709And also the future walk-in pantry. Each space is defined by a reddish-brown terrazzo border.



Stage one involved two deep cleans and a resurfacing with a diamond polisher. It all got very wet in the process.


How it looked by the end of the day after it had dried off a bit.


It has cleaned up beautifully and the colours are much brighter. On Friday they will be back to apply the sealant and to buff and polish the floor. We have to be careful not to get it dirty in the meantime.


IMG_3736Coat room.



Meanwhile T the decorator was working upstairs on Mark’s study.


Ceilings and walls filled and given a first coat.


Build Day #81

IMG_3973Electricians installed lights and smoke detectors in the hallway.

IMG_3996Wall lights in the lounge. They don’t have their little shades on yet.


IMG_3986Another hallway light.

IMG_3988Back bedroom (former servant’s bedroom).

IMG_3989On the back landing this fitting was attached to the still wet filler – a bit of a mess really but the electricians were determined to power up whether we were ready of not. In the end they spent half the day trying to figure out a short they had created in the downstairs sockets. So in fact some of the rooms that were ready, sanded and painted still didn’t get their lights! Argh! Frustrating.

IMG_3991Downstairs cloak room now empty after the removal of the old toilet. The little pane of broken glass in the window has been removed and a replacement ordered.

IMG_3994Rosie inspecting. Thankfully the terrazzo under the toilet was undamaged.

IMG_3992Our new, single stopcock for incoming water. Much better than the four original ones!

IMG_3993I have the hooks to put back on these timber struts. I just need to apply some paint remover to the old hooks first though.

IMG_3972P the plumber connected the top floor to the main pipework and the temporary pipe was removed. Also, on the top landing the three old pipes that ran up this wall to the old expansion tank in the roof were removed. It won’t be long until the temporary Great Wall on the left is removed too so that this ceiling can be over-boarded and plastered.

IMG_3977All of the taps and pipes and toilets were commissioned. In the darkness you can see Oliver sizing up his new steam bath platform. He likes to accompany you in the bathroom when you are having a shower and needs somewhere to sit.

IMG_3979Spotting the running water in the basin for the first time.

IMG_3981These waterfall taps are great.

IMG_3984Endless fun.

IMG_4005The trouble is now the cats come to expect water on demand…

IMG_4003New rim latch and handle on the under servant stairs cupboard. Looking smart.

IMG_4002And on the servant’s stairs door.

IMG_4014New handle and mortise latch on the kitchen door.

IMG_3974Ceiling rose ring ready for fitting in the master bedroom.

IMG_3999Range cooker fitted and connected to gas and electricity. Shiny.

IMG_4039Oliver inspecting the ovens.

IMG_4015There are going to have to be some new rules enforced when the kitchen comes into use.

2014-08-15 15.22.14JB and P the plumber lighting the gas for the first time. We have fire!


IMG_4045Miss Rose. Just because.

IMG_3997Washing machine taps and outlet in the utility closet.

IMG_4047Build Day #81 was yesterday (Friday) and today there was a small amount of work done but I don’t consider today’s work a fully separate and complete build day as the trades were only here for an hour or so. The roofers were replacing roof tiles until their tile cutter broke down. T the kitchen man measured up for the glass splashback in the kitchen. The tilers came and fitted the splashbacks in the toilet…

IMG_4048…and bathroom.

IMG_4049They also repaired some of the lost grout in the kitchen and breakfast room quarry tile floors ready for Monday’s final cleaning and sealing.

IMG_4050As of Monday everyone will be barred from these two rooms while the floor is treated. Everything has been completed in here apart from the final electrical testing and the fitting of the over counter kitchen lights, both of which are low impact on the floor. Then on September 1st it will be time for us to move into these rooms!


They will become the new ‘Cat Headquarters’ and we will be moving all of their things in – cat beds, cat trees, food, litter, toy box etc. The rooms will also be my new Command Central for the rest of the build.







Build Day #76

IMG_3733Typical morning scene. After breakfast Rose and Ruby have taken to sharing the spare duvet (that’s English for doona) and Oliver has just been looking through the window at the pigeons who sit on the chimney.

IMG_3757Carpentry work. The restored casement window has been refitted. The casement on the right is awaiting its new pane. The bathroom window had the cracked pane replaced as well but I forgot to take a picture.

IMG_3736Skirting boards recycled from elsewhere in the house have been fitted in the utility cupboard.

IMG_3742And in the entrance hall.

IMG_3737The resized canopy panel has arrived and once more the kitchen has been pulled apart. It will be all be assembled soon…

IMG_3744The second ceiling rose has been fitted. This is the one in Mark’s study.

IMG_3745The third rose has been fitted and is awaiting its outer ring.

IMG_3746Here is the fourth Rose.

IMG_3748Awaiting a head scritch.


IMG_3739Farrow and Ball’s ‘Incarnadine’ in the dining room.

IMG_3740Gorgeous. I like it even better than ‘Blazer’, which we had in Liverpool.

946228_140471349489338_850348158_nOur Liverpool house for comparison. Blazer had a more yellow hue.

IMG_3741This is darker and is more towards blue in spectrum.


Build Day #54


Today the carpenters continued installing the kitchen – it’s really coming together.


The range cooker is arriving tomorrow and it should fit right in here.


View towards the front door.IMG_3083Future built in microwave – a masterstroke if I say so myself. It will save so much bench space.


The plasterer re-plastered the en suite.

IMG_3075Glad there’s a plastic cover on the shower tray.


Plasterer lunchtime reading.

The roofers were also here, though with the scaffold it’s difficult to see exactly what they did.


A bit of a tidy up occurred – we can see the hallway again! Those damaged boards are going to be replaced.

IMG_3078Our neighbour’s cat, Albus, wondering why all this scaffolding is encroaching onto his territory.

IMG_3082Ruby peering at Albus.


I have contacted a company about getting ceiling roses like this one for the lounge, dining room, master bedroom and Mark’s study. There are currently no ceiling roses and I’m not sure if there ever were. It would make sense in a house of this size so I think they will work well.

IMG_3066Rosie approves. Oliver has been much better today, which is good.

Oliver’s Repawt on the Introoder


Hello evfurrybody it’s Oliver! Yoo may remember me from The Oliver and Ruby Chronicles – I am a furnettic speller so please bare wif me. Scott doesn’t allow us on the compyooter much these days but I had to tell yoo abowt the introoder!


Yoo see, today Scott was removing the last of the carpet from the howse – there was some on the stairs and some in the entrance hall.


It was not long after the carpet was taken off the stairs that I discovered there had been an introoder!


See? On the bare wood were some kitty paw prints! I can’t believe we didn’t see or smell them – and I am not sure where they have gone!


Ruby decided to investigate. She says that the paw prints are in the same green paint as the original paint on the stairs, so the cat must be an Edwardian cat. I have never seen an Edwardian cat before. I hope he will be nice.  Maybe he will let me call him Eddie. Tee hee!

IMG_2603In other noos, we can now see the terrart-so in the hallway. Scott says it is in very good condition. Here is my sisfur Rosie inspeckting it.

IMG_2599Scott says the floor will look byootiful when it is restored.

Scott is also sure that at some point when he is painting the howse that one of us will add our paw prints to the collection!


Build Days #24-27

IMG_2421Last week was a four day week because of the Bank Holiday weekend. The plumbers were here laying new pipework.

IMG_2420Pipes coming into the en suite.

IMG_2452The old toilet was removed.

IMG_2445Here you can see the pipes and valves for the new shower being cut into the wall.

IMG_2443The removal of old radiators revealed more wallpaper. This is the one that I had only previously caught small glimpses of in the en suite.

IMG_2444This house used to have lots and lots of patterns. 1920s or 30s? It makes me think that this room was a nursery.

IMG_2476On the first floor hallway there is this 1950s pattern. You can also see that at one point much of the house was painted a dark navy blue.

IMG_2477Down in the corner is yet another wallpaper – the graphics look 1960s to me.

IMG_2427The plasterers continued their work too. Here is the kitchen and future kitchen window.

IMG_2430The other side of the kitchen.

IMG_2461In the dining room they plastered the ceiling and did the first layer on the chimney breast and recently exposed fireplace.

IMG_2468Oliver and Ruby inspecting the work in the dining room.

IMG_2474Oliver unsure of the large bucket of plasterer’s water. Not for drinking or splashing.

IMG_2459Preparations for the repair of the large crack at the bottom of the stairs.

IMG_2431It’s all a bit messy though. That carpet will be going and the terrazzo underneath will be restored.

IMG_2423Also the scaffold began to go up. Front.


IMG_2466By Friday it was complete at the front of the house. Can’t wait to get up there and have a look!




Build Day #22

IMG_2331The removal of the ceiling in Mark’s future study means that we can now see exactly where the leaks are coming from. It also means that the leaks are no longer absorbed by the plaster and water drips straight into the room.

IMG_2330Evidence of another leak in the future en suite. Both rooms leak due to the dormer windows on the floors above. The windows will be repaired soon and so too will the leaks.

IMG_2334Plastering continues. I have decided that one never knows true mess in a home renovation until the plasterers arrive. They bring dust, mud and debris but their work really marks a transition as you can see the new house taking shape.

IMG_2335The other wall in the bathroom has been boarded up ready for plastering.

IMG_2378Plasterer’s buckets.

IMG_2347Plasterer’s platforms. And Ruby.


The repaired bay in the master bedroom.

IMG_2339And the new ceiling!

IMG_2358The blocked up door to the future en suite.

IMG_2351It is the lounge’s turn to be stuffed with furniture while the dining room is plastered.

IMG_2354Ruby, queen of new box towers.

IMG_2389Oliver inspecting the first floor hallway. Everywhere you look there is mess and dust. For the first time I haven’t even bothered to try and vacuum as there will only be more tomorrow.

IMG_2355Rosie on the stairs. Could she be any more beautiful?

IMG_2344In the back the breakfast room is taking shape with the boarding almost complete.

IMG_2343Facing towards the kitchen.

IMG_2342And turning a little further to the right.

IMG_2360A new bucket installed in Mark’s future study to catch the drips.

IMG_2365Rosie on the bed. At the end of the day this bed is re-made, a bedside table dusted off and a rug unrolled on the floor. You’d never know it wasn’t the Ritz in the dark. Plus there’s no electricity on this floor so bedtime involves torches and a mobile phone as an alarm clock.

IMG_2400See? Rosie making herself comfortable in her glamorous surroundings. About to be ambushed by her sister.

IMG_2401And they’re off!



Build Day #20

IMG_2280The ceilings that had started to go up in the kitchen were taken back down again as the electricians needed access. Luckily only a few of the boards had been fitted.

IMG_2281Entire rooms were emptied of our stored boxes and furniture and the lounge got its new ceiling boards, which will be plastered over tomorrow.

IMG_2279This left other rooms bulging with our stuff!

IMG_2277In Mark’s future study the collapsing leaky ceiling was brought down and when JB investigated, it appears that we have some wet rot, with a fruiting body. Sounds delightful. If you look carefully through the ceiling into the shadows you can see an irregular line of white fungus. This will be treated when the window on the floor above is removed and the source of the moisture is stopped. At least wet rot isn’t as bad as dry rot, apparently.

IMG_2275The old radiator from the hallway was taken off the wall in preparation for its restoration. Written on the back in chalk are some of the original delivery notes. The name is Mr J Paris but no-one by that name has ever owned this house, so either this was the name of the installer or perhaps a tenant, though I doubt a tenant would be paying for the installation of heating. We think the radiator dates to the 1930s. I want to have it resprayed in a metallic paint called Old Penny Bronze as a feature in the entrance hall.

IMG_2283Behind the radiator was a magnificent wallpaper.

IMG_2284It features birds in foliage.

IMG_2285And birds in gilded cages. It’s a pale blue grey with yellow.

IMG_2286There was also evidence of another wallpaper on the left featuring stylised leaves and flowers. It appears to have been applied after the radiator was in place as it doesn’t reach fully behind it.

IMG_2288Then on the right hand side was this paper featuring stripes and grapevines.

IMG_2290The lining of the breakfast room continued.

IMG_2289Services were piped in for the future Stage 2 build in the coal store – hot and cold water and the heating pipes. We will also have an electric feed put in.




Build Day #18

IMG_2243We have attained full sight-line! Just look at that vista!

IMG_1145A reminder of how it used to be.

IMG_2254The removal of the rest of the servant’s toilet wall has opened up the view of the future French doors and the garden.

IMG_2252It’s all thanks to this – a new steel beam supporting the floor above.

IMG_2247The view from the garden.

IMG_2251How it looks as you walk in. This room, the future breakfast room – former kitchen/scullery/pantry and servant’s toilet – is much bigger than we had imagined.

IMG_2245The electricians continued their work and also the alarm installer completed his first fix. Secret location of alarm control panel.

IMG_2244The white wire dangling from the wall is for the new alarm’s bell box.

Screen Shot 2014-05-17 at 10.55.38iPhoto does this face recognition thing so that you can name people in the photo. There was no-one upstairs when I took this…

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 17.24.46I did a super zoom in and there is still nothing. I wonder if the angle and proportions of the window bars triggered an auto-recognition… If you squint it sort of looks like a Moai face. Mark doesn’t want me to talk about it. I don’t believe in ghosts and nothing has ever happened here to make me feel uneasy. I once said something similar to a ghost-believer about another building and she replied “Well, maybe they like you”.

IMG_2238More deliveries of building materials.

IMG_2246Our new ceilings have arrived!