Here are some before and after pics of the living room and kitchen...
I was determined that we would have an exposed stone chimney. The corner house in our little configuration of Manor Houses was on the market at the same time as ours was and I'd seen from their sales brochure that they had exposed stone so, by jingo!! I wanted it too!
So one saturday morning after breakfast we decided to knock seven bells out of our living room fireplace.. previously it had looked like this
When we'd finished hacking away at it - it looked like this. At this point my husband was not convinced about my 'rustic' idea but I was still determined.. Even though the built in shelving now had a big gap where it was supposed to meet up with the chimney breast .. and it was blowing ten sorts of a bastard through said gap and making the whole living room feel positively arctic. I was on a mission, we would clean up the stone and it would look wonderful!! Right??
The brown stuff around the fire opening is varnish! And it was not for budging! We called in a stonemason who helped me to see sense.. he suggested a compromise.. new exposed stone around the whole of the opening and nice, clean plaster everywhere else. I bowed down to experience and it now looks like this:
Its not what I had in mind exactly.. but I must admit - I do like it! Obviously the above pic was taken after we had painted it.. I was planning on doing everything in muted colours: sunbleached blues, greys etc.even very, very, very (did I mention 'very') pale pink... so off I went to the DIY place and came back with this little beauty.... erm.. well .. I had been checking out all of these cottagey type american blogs and the golden rule was ALWAYS PAINT EVERYTHING WHITE (or muted almost whitey type versions of colours) so I was determined, despite my inner voice saying "but it will look just like all the other cottages in the blogs...."
Problem was that I went into the paint section and I just couldn't help it.. Never would have worked with everything white in here anyway.. this is me we're talking about and white and me just dont mix favourably - I do try but it just never works out.
And so.. on to the kitchen.....
This was how it looked when we moved in.. We had money to spend and there I was saying "I do not want a new kitchen! I want to renovate the one we've got." We put in a new worktop, oven and hob and I painted all the cabinets and wall units and cupboards above the hob. The display wall cabinet just didn't seem to need a lick of paint and I quite liked the idea of having mix and match cabinets as if we'd collected them gradually over time.
again I was originally going to paint the units white, but at the last minute in the paint shop I had another ''dont want it to look like everyone elses'' moment and opted for a pale grey which in practice does actually look like the pale wedgewood blue in the picture. I also swapped the handles on the display cabinet for white ceramic ones. I'm really pleased with it. No one can believe that its not a new kitchen.
Anyway, I have to dash off and walk the dog.. My teenage son is offering to watch my littlest and its one of those limited time only deals..
Bye for now....