Our cottage is now very cosy indeed with a new boiler installed and lighting in every room. Every visit feels more like home and this weekend with friends round it felt wonderful.
We haven’t yet lit the wood burner. There are still problems with seepage through the stonework and last week our roofer did some more re-pointing on the external sandstone 18th century wall. He had repointed high up when rebuilding the chimney stack just before Christmas. If this repointing doesn’t do the trick our next tack is to apply sealant to the stone, but everyone is anxious to avoid this as the special sealant for use on listed stone buildings is very expensive. We shall see. The heating has only been running since Thursday, it has been extraordinarily wet and there is bound to be moisture in the stone which I’m glad is finding its way out.
The cottage was completely re-wired last week too. This was a huge job for our electrician which entailed making safe an unprotected cable that dated from the days when the cottage was heated by storage heaters and burrowing under floorboards to find and resolve four separate faults. One evening he was here until nine in the evening tracing the junction box between the new and old parts of the cottage. The chimney cupboard next to the inglenook was filthy and a tangle of wires and cables. Now it is clean and tidy and most importantly safe with a new consumer board.
We’ve been jiggling around the existing lighting, moving wall lights from the study into the sitting room and replacing these with plaster wall lights which will be painted the colour of the walls. The old antique brass wall lights in the dining hall and sitting room will be shaded by six pleated silk lampshades from Laura Ashley. Elsewhere we have moved clear glass shades into the bedrooms, the kitchen has new LED ceiling lights, the halogen lights in the annex have been replaced with LED and the bathroom has a new white ceiling light.
The bathroom is coming together. It is large and airy and and now the glazier has installed a new oak-framed window with cast iron fittings it is even brighter. The loo now flushes and Viakal has been deployed. I’ve even scrubbed the bath with Cif with pleasing results.
The kitchen has been transformed with its new boiler. The carpenter will build a cupboard to conceal the pipe work and give all the cupboards and drawers a lot of TLC. The kitchen is a good size at about 14 square feet and it felt great on Saturday drinking coffee and dunking biscotti with our friends while the sun streamed in through the two large south and west facing windows. The electrician has fitted a new oven and hob and the new lighting is fantastic.
We have made great progress. The decorator started on Thursday, the glazier has finished, the carpenter has a lot to do. I’m almost there with the flooring and I’m ready to order the dishwasher and washing machine.
My relaxation this past week has been altering and relining five pairs of curtains for the bedrooms upstairs. I am leaving the two deeply recessed landing Windows uncurtained. The landing is a wide usable space with great views facing south over the garden and up to the South Downs. Two pairs of sunny yellow curtains from the new entrance hall have been washed, ironed and will hang in the dining hall and I’ve acquired temporary curtains for the sitting room which gives me time to think what will work best in this room with its three Windows, a large inglenook fireplace, a door to the stairs, a door to the chimney cupboard and a door to the dining hall.
Here are some random photos which may illustrate some of the text. WordPress is very tricky at the moment, so much so that putting a post together is proving almost too much trouble. It is always a struggle posting using an iPad but at present it is almost impossible and this will be published on a wing and a prayer as I have lost the power to preview or edit.