Home Renovation

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I moved in with J last April and because I lived in a rented flat at the time, I was able to move my stuff out over the course of a few weeks.  He bought his, what is now our, house in 2009.  It needed a lot of work back then and still needs quite a bit of love and attention.

He worked tirelessly (with his dad) to rip out the bathroom and kitchen and had them refitted; he hung new doors, put down underfloor heating and laminate flooring in the bedroom, lounge and hallway and put beautiful black tiles in the bathroom and kitchen.  He had new windows installed and had the old soffits and drainpipes ripped out because they contained asbestos :/  and also did a lot of other important bits to get the house really habitable.

But I digress because this post is supposed to be about the start of what happened next!

When moving day was over, it was awful.  There were boxes everywhere, all over the kitchen and lounge. Despite having had weeks to prepare, to create space for my things, we hadn’t.

A few months after I’d moved in, my parents came to visit the house for the first time.  They were well aware the house wasn’t tidy and organised and we hadn’t got (and still don’t yet) a spare room, so they booked into a hotel.  I was going to meet them in town first and then bring them back for tour of the house and dinner, which presented the first problem. Since moving to Brighton, I’d not lived anywhere with a dining table that people could sit round and eat.  Food was usually eaten off plates balanced on knees while sitting on the sofa or sitting cross-legged on the floor.  I mentioned my worries to J, but he said there wasn’t much we could do at such short notice (or words to that effect).  I went off to meet my parents in town for lunch and left J to his own devices at home.  Unbeknownst to me, J was putting a plan of action in place.

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This is what our dining room had looked like before I went out, we’d already cleared some of the bits upstairs, but it was still messy and cluttered.  When I came home, he’d cleared a massive space and had brought the dining table and chairs downstairs, built them and set them up so I could serve dinner at the table for us and my parents.  This lovely gesture is one among many reasons why I love J <3

Over the next few weeks, we decided that we wanted to make the dining room properly usable.  The flooring you can see in the photo above was just old tiles, so not suitable for everyday use and it didn’t match the rest of the house.

The first step was to move everything out, we sorted through a lot of it and threw away the broken washing machine!  The rest of it went upstairs (our temporary storage room).  Once it was all cleared out, it was time to lay the flooring!!  The first step was to measure and cut the hardboard to lay as a base.  This wasn’t too tricky, although J got to do all the sawing 🙁

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Once the hardboard was down, we put insulation on top to protect the underfloor heating mats.  Putting the mats down took longest of all.  It’s one massive long piece (which J had ordered a couple of years ago) which was made to fit the floor exactly.  There is no room for error as it has to be cut to the correct size to create panels, making sure you don’t cut through the wires and break the entire mat!  It also had to be laid a certain way so the wires weren’t twisted at all when we lid the next panel down.  This proved problematic when it came to fitting it into the bay window.  It took us a couple of days and in the end, it was J who worked out how we could do it!

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Once the heating mat was down, we had to test it to make sure it wasn’t broken before we started laying the flooring.  Luckily, everything was fine!!  We measured a lot (measure twice, cut once!) and J cut the pieces to the correct sizes. We had to be very careful as we couldn’t stand on the mats, so we had to use bits of flooring to walk across.

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I love the floor and the fact that it’s the first room I helped with!! We now have the dining table and chairs in there, along with a cupboard for “stuff”, a cement mixer (who doesn’t have a cement mixer in their dining room??) and J’s desk.  Apologies for the ridiculously bright photo, the sun was pouring through the windows and we have no nets or curtains up yet!

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I think a really nice cool grey or sage would look lovely in here!  What do you think? x

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