This past month on the Moregeous Mansions renovation has consisted mostly of mad dashes from inside to outside dependant on *weather* there was glorious sunshine or torrential rain. Honestly, talk about not being able to plan from day to day what to do, we haven’t been able to plan from hour to hour!
As you can see above, rain couldn’t stop play in the master bedroom, where a giant scaffold was set up in mid-May to allow full height pitched ceiling insulation, plaster-boarding, skimming and painting, plus the installation of the newly fashioned cornice and creation of a high chandelier shelf capable of taking the weight of two lights. It was a lot of hard work and a little unexpected as we’d not actually planned this wonderful cathedral height ceiling, just kinda found it when we took down the old, bowed and dangerous original ceiling, then couldn’t bear to cover it up again 🙂
The original purlins have remained exposed, rather than covered up with fire-board, as I think they’re a lovely feature. Mr M sanded them back, the dirty stain disappearing to reveal a beautiful golden colour, which I further enhanced & sealed with a clear wax.These images really don’t cover the hours spent scraping back layers of old, stubborn paint from the four or so linear metres of original cornice which remained intact after the ceiling came down. They don’t show the agonising over which white to use – as only an interior designer or interiors obsessive will understand 😉 – and the persuading of Mr M that the most expensive one would really make a difference. It did – Farrow & Ball All White. They don’t show the individual taping of the circular balls on the chandeliers to turn them from brown to white with splashes of gold. But that’s the thing with us home renovators and self-builders, we obsess over every detail and then wonder why it takes us years to finish our houses!!
Things got a bit mucky again with the last ceiling to come down and it really was no fun for Mr M washing this blackness off in a bathroomless house….
And yes, of course, this newly opened space has created another dilemma. Do we leave this small hallway ceiling vaulted like the bedroom, meaning more timber work, insulating and boarding, or do we simply pop another low ceiling on the existing rafters? I know which one I want to do, but there’s another few days work right there. He’s still to be persuaded.Meanwhile outside the main circle of doom, made from several tonnes of reclaimed setts found in a brick yard in Salford, was completed in June and I started to muse over how it would connect with the front gate. My original plan was to simply run lines of setts a bit like a cobbled street but it struck me that two more circles might look cool. Sometimes you need to step back and look at a design plan half way through and see if any tweaks are needed. Tweaks or, um, major changes. The boys nearly fainted but just got on with it as I measured and planned. I bloody love them. The setts and the boys 🙂
Here’s a little video of some of the process, and I think I’ll probably blog a How To about using these reclaimed stone setts, which I adore even though there is a lot of work involved in laying them!
In between thunderous showers we’ve also been getting on with the main garden area, cleaning hundreds more reclaimed beauties for a new brick wall between us and the neighbouring property. We’d debated using just timber garden panels but I decided they’d look a bit rubbish on their own, so have designed a mix of brick and timber with integrated lighting. Poor Brian, every time he turns up I give him such a challenge to get his head round 🙂The base of the wall is brick, 17 courses high with holes for some fabulous lighting made of old grating, then timber panels will sit in-between the brick pillars, strengthened by steel bars as it’s quite high. The aim is to create a walled garden vibe with climbing plants up the pillars. My arms ached from all the striking out, pointing up & brushing off, I’m practically a brickie now 😉
Can you see how happy Brian looks at this plan? You can tell it gets serious when men put their glasses on.Someone wasn’t impressed AT ALL. Years of blithely wandering into next door overgrown jungle, sleeping in the long grass and vicious mouse hunting were suddenly halted by the growth of red solidity, which was eyed with utter disgust. There was so much angry staring by Builder Cat, I felt the need to design in a cat hole especially for her and passing hedgehogs to pop through on their travels. Brain couldn’t believe what we were asking him to do to a perfectly good wall but look at this, it totally worked.
Yesterday we started putting down the polar white spar stone, slightly slowed by the irritation of a horse fly kindly giving me cellulitis. I always have a rotten reaction to any bites or stings but this one came up a treat. Thanks to Lottie for telling me to get my ass to the docs for antibiotics x Brian’s back tmw to finish the Great Wall of Moregeousness, the fence panels are being made ‘specially & ready on Thursday and I’ve to pick up some Drop Cloth for my timber work. Should all look pretty different by this time next week, if the rain holds off!!