3 July 2015


We are so lucky to have beautiful and interesting views from each of our windows.
Take this one above...it's from the hall landing looking across at our neighbour's field.
The sun is setting after a warm summers evening, the grass has been cut
and bundled into hay bales. Is there anything more lovely to look at?
We look out of this window every morning as we walk down the stairs to the hall below.
Each day, after several years of seeing it, it does not disappoint. 

The lounge (above) looks towards the church across the road.  
You may not be able to see it clearly in this photo, 
as the shrubs and trees against the wall are growing fast but beyond them you can just see the roof of the church.

Richard's office has a special view looking past the conservatory onto the garden. 
The purple Catmint is in full bloom, lush green grass and a Corkscrew Willow.

We are very lucky to have dual aspect windows in the kitchen, offering us two very different views to look at. 
The sink (above) looks out over our neighbour's drive (always immaculately kept).... 

and the opposite side has views of our garden which has lots of green trees, bushes and grass too.

Looking through the windows every day brings a happiness....
it offers a new image to see as the seasons come and go.

24 June 2015


I've been influenced by a photographer that used our house as a backdrop for a photo shoot.  
Beth Botterill is a smart, witty and talented photographer.  She works fast and intuitively. 
I like her style and the images she got from our rooms. 
With her speed and impulsive style in mind, here are some details from our spare room...


4 June 2015


The easiest way for us to see our ideas for the kitchen renovations, was to make a 3D model of what it will look like when finished. This was such a useful exercise.  We could then look at all four corners of the room from north, south, east and west.

Using foamboard (5mm thick), which can be bought from any local craft or art shop, a scaled down version of the room was cut and stuck together.  The starting point were the walls, then doors, windows and flooring, after this the units and island added.  I printed and cut-out the hob, ovens and sink and made a little Smeg fridge!! ( I know Smeg's have rounded corners on the door but there is a limit to this model making!!!). Lastly, the concrete worktop was included.  

When it was finished, it gave us a great insight to what the 'proportions' of the room would feel like.  We answered questions that couldn't be answered by a flat drawing. These included - was the island going to be too big or maybe too small? 
Were the ovens going to be in the correct position with easy access to the hob? 
What about the sink - was this in the correct place in front of the window? 
And, the shelf....was it to be white and float or something else? 

Having completed the kitchen, (see photos below of it finished) we look back at the mock-up and realise just how useful it was to do. The island is in the correct position and right size, the pleasure we get from looking out of the window every time we stand at the sink, clarifies this as the best decision and the two ovens together in close proximity of the hob, makes for an easy experience when cooking...

The only answer we still needed to make was what shelf to have.  
This will be left for another blog post.

1 April 2015


One of the most exciting decisions we made during the renovations of our kitchen, 

We spent a lot of time discussing (...and with the odd argument thrown in!), what work surface would be best.  
Was it to be wood, granite, corian, ceramic, quartz or concrete?   
My research lead us to concrete and once I'd seen it, there was no going back. 
I knew it was what we had to have.  

Luckily for us, I found a local firm - Low info, - who with the help of Tim, 'spoon fed' us through every step of the process.

Once the units where in place, templates were made in MDF. We needed 3 separate pieces... large island size with cut out for hob, L-shape that goes from door into corner then to sink and lastly the section where the sink was to be. 

(above) This is the sink section and below shows the MDF template.

Once the measurements and templates were made, the concrete was filled and caste at the factory. It then needs to cure...

"Curing is the process in which the concrete is protected from loss of moisture and
kept within a reasonable temperature range. The result of this process is increased
strength and decreased permeability. Curing is also a key player in mitigating
cracks in the concrete, which severely impacts durability."

We decided on a natural 'beach white' colour.  To lighten the weight of the concrete, the
centre is filled with a foam plaster board and the concrete poured (sometimes by hand)
around the edges.  Below shows the underneath of the worktop with plaster board in the
middle and the concrete on the edge.

Finally, after 10 weeks of waiting, the exciting day arrives and the concrete is delivered.  
It took 5 strong men to lift the island into place ... 

from van to tressel table ... 

from tressel table to utility room floor...

from utility room floor, then basically sliding it on cotton rags to the kitchen, 
picked up and put onto the units and moved into its final position.

                           (below) The finished work tops in place. 

26 February 2015


I'm getting a few subtle hints ....
(actually not that subtle, rather more like blatant, honest remarks)
that I'm 'dragging my heels' taking too long in showing the final reveal of the kitchen and utility rooms.

So, I've decided to do things slightly different and show them now, 
then save the updates of details etc for later posts.

Here goes then......ta dah!!!!!...........


(below) The utility room ...


What do you think of the finished renovations?  
I would love to hear from you.

23 February 2015


The kitchen is complete...yay! 

Now time is spent finding new and exciting 'bits and bobs' to put in it.  
Some more practical and some not so...

Something we needed desperately were tea towels.  
This one was found on a trip recently in Amsterdam at Sissy Boy.

The black wooden stars are less practical but look lovely sitting on the concrete worktop.

18 February 2015


Our daughter was woken by loud chirping noises coming from her chimney - 
it's not uncommon for Jackdaws to build their nests on top of chimneys with sticks and twigs, 
which often fall down them - bird included.

The chimney had been sealed off with a board when we renovated the room, mainly because of the mess that the birds had caused in the past. 
We couldn't leave this one stuck up the chimney to die, 
so the board was removed, dust sheets draped...

bird pulled out and rescued....
(funny how my daughter has a bird on her t-shirt this morning!!!)

It flew off out of the window. 
A few minutes later it was back on top of the chimney - 
hopefully not to repeat its adventure again!!