let’s start at the very beginning…

I’ll try not to launch into The Sound of Music, but it is a very good place to start!

We have lots of friends and family who have or are renovating their homes. It’s nice to not be the only ones and to share in the stories of living with constant dust and wondering when the woodwork will stop needing just one more coat.

Once we had the keys, the first thing we did, when I say we, I mean my husband and ever-so helpful brother-in-law ripped out all the carpets. We knew we didn’t want to keep them and it also meant we could check out how good or bad the floorboards were. Amazingly they were in pretty good condition and will be sanded. One day.

We moved straight on to having the place rewired. We had a great contact through work who did the job for us super quickly.

ooh a new light switch!

With that job ticked off the list we were ready to decorate. Helpfully the in-laws had lent us their wall paper stripper so we got busy with steaming and scraping off layers and layers of ancient wall paper and the dreaded polystyrene ceiling tiles.  This took quite  a while but we were still buzzing with the joy of being in the teaspoon house and listening to our iPods that soon one room was ready to make pretty.

layers and layers of wallpaper

Hooray, the fun part and we couldn’t wait to put up the wallpaper that we’d snatched up in the January sales. Off we went to the DIY shop early one saturday morning with a spring in our step, returning laden with all the stuff we needed.

Then it sort of went a bit, erm, wrong.

Husband and I took it in turns to rage about the difficulty of putting up lining paper while the other reassured that it would look great when it was dry and not to be discouraged. It took HOURS AND HOURS.  We went to bed with a tinge of excitement that in the morning it would look totes amaze.

Oh how we were wrong. Not wanting to use naughty words here, I can just say that it look really really really pants. There were bumps everywhere, the paper had shrunk so much as it dried that it didn’t line up with the piece next to it and importantly, the walls were really bumpy and not level and there ain’t no amount of lining paper that can change that my friend.

Out came the wall paper stripper again. Sad face.

Days after day and night after night followed where all we did was strip back layer upon layer of wallpaper and ping off ceiling tile after ceiling tile in each room. Then it was time.

Enter the plasterer.

Plastering is very dusty. Even when you put down dust sheets and a CSI style plastic zip doorway, you will still come home from work everyday and mop the floor, Hoover everything including yourself and still go to sleep tasting plaster and dust and basically sleeping in a bed of dust, that you feel so gross but there is nothing you can do about it. And it can take quite a while to plaster a whole house. Even one that is not huge like ours.

One day we came home to discover the living room ceiling had been taken down. One day we came home to discover that one wall hadn’t ‘taken’ and so the new smooth plaster had to all come down and then one day we came home and it was done.

lovely smooth plaster

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