I feel as though I have neglected my blog recently. Partly because Merlin has been so poorly, but also because we have been decorating! We are reluctant decorators really, and it has pretty much taken over our lives over the last few weeks! So I thought you might be interested to see what we have been doing.
We live in the seaside town of Worthing on the South Coast of England, about 50 miles due south of London. The town expanded during the early part of the 20th century and our house was built in 1929, along with our neighbours. It is a quirky house – like an L shape with the inside corner drawn across, and all the rooms are different shapes, a carpet fitters nightmare! We have lived in this house for 20 years, and seen both kids grow up here. I can’t imagine us leaving for a while, as they both still live here, so it was time to do some updating!
We started at the front and worked back. We had these rather splendid double oak doors with stained glass – but unfortunately they were going rotten. They would swell up in the warm sunshine and some days we couldn’t open them! (I got stuck outside several times until I started taking the back door key with me!) So rather reluctantly we decided to get a new ‘composite’ door.
The new door is so much smarter! Much easier to open and close, so much more secure and will be draught free in the winter! It looks really pretty from the inside. This picture (below) is taken from the hall into the porch.
We have a massive hall. It is like another room, and we have used it as a dining room when the kids were little, when the real dining room was a playroom. About 15 year ago, we bought this rather splendid oak dresser:
It has magnificent carvings all over it. We sought advice from an auction house, who told us that it has really crisp carving, with several different influences, art nouveau, art deco etc. It fitted perfectly into our hall. We painted all the woodwork in an antique green colour, and I had an eclectic collection of plates on the plate rack. Here’s another angle, looking towards the stairs:
We loved it! But is was time for a change. The hall is quite dark, and coloured woodwork is not so fashionable now, nor the Laura Ashley wallpaper below the dado rail. So after several weekends of rubbing down, undercoating and glossing, here’s what it looks like now:
We sold the dresser (on eBay!) and bought a new oak sideboard (www.oakfurnitureland.co.uk). The big red tulip picture is one of my photos on canvas. We have new funky lights from www.next.co.uk. The wall light casts lovely patterns over the wall. It has made such a huge difference! We are thrilled to bits with it! I keep going out there to have another look! Just a couple of finishing off bits to do, like tidy up those cables drooping off the shelf.
We carried on decorating up the stairs and onto the landing. We have fitted a wooden venetian blind to the very large window half way up the stairs, which overlooks the back garden. Really pleased with it as it blocks out the powerful rays of the sun without blocking the light. Maybe I will be able to hang one of my quilts on the wall up the stairs now.
We also updated our bathroom, with new tiles, new shower screen and flooring. Again, it looks fab!
Phew! I think that might be it for another 20 years or so!! (Although secretly, I would like a new kitchen, maybe next year!)