Tag Archives: build and rennovation Rutland

Turning a building site into a home

I love hard landscaping, paving, walls, fences, but I think it is only when a garden gets planted that it becomes a garden. Likewise undertaking a building project can be a thankless task until you get rid of the builder’s rubble and dust and get onto the creative bits: paint colours, curtains, blinds, and furniture.

Here’s a quick preview of an extension I have just completed.

The original footprint of the extension

Digging out and setting the footings

The blockwork walls go up

Blockwork is faced in stone

The underfloor heating goes down

The plastering is done  – I wanted it to be a little rough to complement the age of the original building. The plasterer hated doing it but it looks lovely! And the Porcelanosa floor tiles are laid

Decorating with Earth Born Clay paint to allow the building to breath

The furniture goes in and the blinds are fitted and we have a home!

If you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham, Rutland, Oundle and Northampton  as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

How do I add light to a dark space?

Colour brings out different emotions in different people so it is important to find colours which you are happy with and which you can live with. If a color jumps out at you on a colour card then go with it. Buy a sample pot and paint an artists board or a large sheet of lining wallpaper and put this in the room you are thinking of redecorating. Move it around to see how it works in different lights (daylight, lamplight etc) and in the corners where the room is darker.

 

Setting the scaffold in order to start the wallpapering in our hallway

Our hallway on our design build and renovation project is quite dark so I wanted to inject some light with the wall treatment I was using as well as with successful lighting. I have a rule for small dark rooms: never paint them white. They will be small, dark, dull rooms. Instead inject some humour with wallpaper or drama with paint colours.

 

Adding the Cole & Son wallpaper which adds drama

Our hallway and staircase is just such an example. Instead of painting it all neutral I have opted for a dramatic scheme as you come up the stairs. The tongue and groove at the bottom of the stairs is to be painted Farrow and Ball Down pipe, an almost black grey.

In these photos it has had the undercoat but not its top coat yet. The wall surrounding  the window has an amazing Cole and Son wallpaper in yellow with splashes of metallic. The upstairs hallway is painted in Little Greene French stone, a beautiful buttery yellow which complements the wallpaper but is not too strong that it couldn’t be used on the walls and ceiling which slopes into the eaves.

By adding the drama and darkness downstairs your eye is tricked into thinking it is lighter than it actually is upstairs thus adding light to a dark hallway. Where could you employ this technique to add some light and drama?

If you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

Kitchen design

At long last I can report great progress on our design build and renovation project. As with all old houses, just as you think you are almost there, they throw something new at you. One of the decorators’ ladders went through a floor board upstairs which exposed a degree of wood worm, very old I hope) but remedial action was needed and so I am back to saying we are almost there – about another 2 weeks!

Today is a day filled with activity, I have 4 decorators on site, the kitchen fitter is making final adjustments and the floating shelves in the utility are going up. The joiner is fitting the final skirting boards and we are almost there – about 2 weeks! Have I heard that somewhere before?

The new kitchen has transformed life and although we are still adding the finishing touches I have the sofa in and a pair of curtains up.

 

Kitchen transformation: the new kitchen

One half is oak and the other painted with a granite top to the oak side and an oak top on the painted side ensuring that both halves are pulled together and complement each other. I have opted for a Little Greene paint colour, Rolling Fog, which gives just the right amount of colour without being too dominant. Walls are in Earthborne Clay paint which is a beautiful sailing cloth colour – quite apt for the weather at the moment as you could almost set sail from the kitchen doors earlier in the week.  I came across a lovely quote earlier this week which I feel I could live by: she stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails. Elizabeth Edwards. Perfect for this weather and a good mantra.

Looking into the new kitchen from the seating area

The painted side of the kitchen

We are now dealers for the fabulous Lacanche range cookers which are so celebrated by top chefs like Raymond Blanc, Jean-Christophe Novelli and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. They offer cooking facilities which are of a true professional quality and performance and each cooker is hand built to the customers specifications. We have opted for a gas hob with both electric and gas ovens which gives us complete flexibility.

If you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

Designing floor tiles on a design and renovation project

The dehumidifier really helped to dry the floors so that we were ready to lay the porcelain floor tiles I had chosen.  I have opted for porcelain over natural stone or ceramic for a number of reasons.  I wanted something that was both contemporary and easy to clean and felt that porcelain offered me this over natural stone. There was of course also a price comparison to be made and certainly given the budget comparison in terms of both the actual tiles and laying and finishing porcelain was a much better option.  I then opted for porcelain over ceramic as it is much tougher and in a kitchen where you perhaps have more tendencies to drop heavy objects that was important.

 

The new extension ready for tiling

The first tiles go down

Tiles are all down and ready for grouting

If you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

Interior design details

On a large new build project or a renovation it is often the small details that make all the difference. And sometimes it is the unexpected. One of the amazing things I have noticed in our new build is the way the light moves through the building. After 4 months sleeping in our daughters room while she slept in what was affectionately referred to as the Harry Potter cupboard, we finally moved back into our original bedroom. I woke up the following morning and the shower screen was reflecting the silver birch tree outside. The dappled morning light was falling through the leaves and the picture was perfect. Yes, all the mess, the dust, the dirt, the noise has been worth it!

The Silver Birch tree which is now a feature in our new wet room

If you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

Skip hire

 We have finally waved goodbye to the last skip as part of our design, build and renovation project. There has been so much rain in the last few weeks I didn’t think the tuck was going to be able to lift it but its amazing just how much weight they can lift. Our drive looks very bare now that you can see it in its totality! I can’t wait to start designing the garden but the house has had to take precedence – except for a bit of tree planting I couldn’t resist doing during the bare root season!

 

The old kitchen has been removed and we are awaiting the arrival of the new kitchen post the floor tiles being laid later this week. The laying of floor tiles has a similar effect to plastering – bringing the whole project together – so look out for the photos later this week.

Until then I leave with you the skip leaving!

If you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

 

How our design build and renovation project is progressing

As much of the building work is now complete we have moved on to the outside wall and the rain has never stopped. It certainly has been the wettest drought I have ever seen. Back in April I was advising garden clients on how to conserve water and still keep newly planted bare root hedges and shrubs alive. Today I am bemoaning slow progress on three landscaping projects due to the wet weather!

 

Starting to tile the en suite

We are making good progress inside our new extension with a dehumidifier helping to dry the floor and plasterwork. We have painted the new extension on both levels and are just awaiting final plumbing before we can move back into our bedroom. After much head scratching and removal of both the head and handrail from the staircase and the carpets we have managed to get the shower screen up the stairs – shouts of ‘yippee’ and much clapping, plus beers all round for the builders who helped maneuver it.

 

Juniper Ash on site decorating

Liz Stephens, from Juniper Ash Decorating, has really enjoyed painting with the Earth Borne and Little Greene paint we have been using. Both have provided excellent coverage and are low odor, the Earth Borne paint has a really lovely smell! The feature wall was an inspired decision once we had seen how lovely the large wall looked. It will now make a great display case for my collection of cream-ware vases –  more on this in a later blog.

 

The finished en suite awaiting shower screen

If you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

 

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

 

 

Laying under floor heating on a design and build project

We have moved on a long way since I last put some images on the blog but I’m continuing the sequence so that you can see just how we have progressed.

Once the floor membrane and insulation was down we could install the under floor heating. We’ve opted for a wet system, having had a dry electric system before,  we know how great under floor heating is, but a wet system is more cost effective in terms of  running costs. Laying the under floor heating works on a grid system. It’s a bit like egg crates and the water pipes flow within the grid to ensure even coverage across the floor. Once this has been pressure tested a screed is applied which becomes the finished floor level ready for tiling. We are now waiting for the screed to dry out – in this weather it may be some time!

 

Laying the under floor heating

 

 

The red pipes snake across the floor

 

Platerboards are in place ready for the plasterer

All plastered and waiting for it to dry out

After you’ve plastered its important to get as much air circulating as possible to dry the room. It will be a minimum of 2 weeks before we paint but even so I have opted for an Earthborn clay paint which will allow the walls to breath. www.earthbornpaints.com

I’ve used this at our holiday cottage in Norfolk : www.pimpernelcottage.co.uk which has traditional lime plaster and where breathability was even more important. It’s been really successful: it’s hard wearing but also allows me to re-touch as needed without any visible lines – perfect if I just want to cover up a dirty mark on the sitting room wall!

If you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

Getting to the plastering stage on a design project

Everyone always says it but rooms look so much better once the plaster board goes up. They don’t even need to be plastered, just the fixing of the plasterboard changes the dimensions and makes them look tidier. It’s a bit like a messy garden getting a fresh fall of snow, it suddenly looks lovely!

Our design build and renovation project is no exception, it all seems to be coming together now the plasterboard is going up.

Where possible the plasterboard is screwed to the joists as in the utility

Taping the joints on the plasterboard

In other places we use dotting and dabbing, where the walls are dotted  with fixative for the plasterboard to adhere to

Part way through plastering the en-suite

Stilts: the tools of the trade for Paul the plasterer

Moving around is so much easier with stilts

If you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

Sourcing oak beams for our design project

I know I keep saying it but we really are making progress on our design build and renovation project now.

This week’s exciting event was the arrival of the oak beam. Having got quite excited about a reclaimed beam I sourced at a local reclamation yard we realized it was both too big and too heavy to fit and have had to opt or a new beam after all. This was always the builders preferred choice (you know what you’re getting with new!) but I think even he was surprised at the size and weight of it. But it is now in place and has had its first lick of Liberon Superior Danish Oil, to protect it and bring out the natural grain.

The oak beam arrives on site

Moving the oak beam is a challenge

It has to come onto site via our neighbour’s field – thanks Nick and Sara

It takes 4 people to move it, and a bit of head scratching!

Once in the garden it’s a clear run (well perhaps not a run) to the house!

Looking into the new space with the oak beam in place

If you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.