New home, nice surprises

We are finally in our new home! And since picking up the keys, we have had some lovely surprises.

The first thing we did was to peer under the hallway carpet to see if there was anything original lurking underneath. And there was parquet!

So here is the before picture:

  And this is what we found, with all the carpet grippers strewn all over it:

  
Mr PFW has been busy sanding and this is now the result. We just need to find a good oil or wax to finish:

  
I need to go around the edges a bit more too with a wire brush. 

Now, to tell you about the other discovery which has really rocked my world – four original 1930s doors, hiding away in the loft, under the eaves.

This will really set the hallway off. 

   
  So what’s the best discovery you’ve ever made in a home?

And if you have any recommendations for a parquet polish, oil or wax, please comment!

Have a good week!

Come and take a peek…

Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to be popping up a few pictures of the house, taken by the brilliant photographer Jake Morley.. I’ll explain why he was at our house in a couple of weeks…

Anyway, if you’re in the UK and need a first rate photographer, this guy is the business. And brides to be, book him up quickly…take a look at his website and you’ll see why. Plenty of images for your secret pinterest boards girls!! It makes me want to get married all over again!

Today, I’m showing you our little breakfast room and hallway. You might remember that we’ve done quite a bit to the hallway to lighten and modernise it. You can see the before and after pics here and here. It’s completely transformed the space and now the original features stand out a lot more.

So the below photograph…this is my favourite part of the whole house. It’s the view out of the breakfast room/kitchen and into the hallway.

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This is our breakfast room which is open plan with the kitchen. I love the original, built in dresser. The kitchen’s not my cup of tea – it was what was here when we bought the house but we’d go for something altogether brighter and lighter! The layout makes it very easy to keep an eye on a Houdini toddler, plotting escapes from his high chair, while de-weetabixing the kitchen. That stuff gets everywhere doesn’t it??

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We went for greys and whites in our hallway. This print is from notonthehighstreet and a first anniversary present to my husband. The whole personalisation thing is all a bit done now isn’t it but it lists some of our favourite places, including Pica Pica – a bar in Cardiff where we met on our first date so I still enjoy seeing it.

You’ll see we have picture rails and we hang all our frames with picture rail hooks and transparent fishing wire which is really strong.

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We plumped for a grey carpet too and we are so pleased with it. It was all a bit gothic and medieval beforehand!

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Here’s a better view of our tiles…

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Obviously this was a day when little one was out! We completely de-child proofed the house- hence the lack of toys, stair gates, fireguards and general carnage.

The brown has been banished!

Hurrah, all signs of brown varnish have been eliminated from my hallway. It hasn’t been easy with a toddler running around. Wet paint, no stairgates and no stair carpet (with exposed grippers) has not been a recipe for easy living!

We still have a bit to do but I thought you might like to see some photos of the progress. But before we get to that. Here are some reminders of that lovely varnish…

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And here it is all lightened up with white woodwork and off white and grey emulsion.

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We have still got quite a bit to do – new lighting, tile cleaning, a cushion for the window seat, shelving to provide extra storage. I am very excited that a grey carpet is due to be fitted on Friday. I cannot wait. In fact, I may just hang out on the stairs on Friday night with a bottle of wine!

We also intend to paint the door in Arsenic – a lovely Farrow and Ball shade – to give the room a good pop of colour. Doesn’t it look lovely next to grey?

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Banish the brown

My hallway needs some serious attention and we finally have a date for the painter. He’s coming this week and says it’s going to take about 10 days, maybe more.

We decided to get the professionals in because it’s a huge job and it would take me and Mr Pretty Four Walls forever.

We have a lot of woodwork – I’m talking banisters, doors, door frames, chair rails, picture rails, skirting and window frames – all covered in this horrible, very dated, dark brown stain. It all looks rather gothic and it’s put me off brown for life.

Before you look at the pictures of what it currently looks like, excuse the buggy and excuse the makeshift stair gate. But this is what houses with toddlers are like, right?

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While I HATE the brown, the yellowy walls and the stair carpet, I love the stained glass, the original tiles and the space under the stairs.

So, now I must turn my attention to what I want my hallway to look like (cue pinterest-filled evenings) All I know is that I want white woodwork. I think this will help the stained glass to pop.

I feel as if I should be bold with my colour choice but I am veering towards off whites, pale grey carpet and then a warmish neutral below the chair rail. Maybe a bright pop of turquoise or green on the front door?

I also want a shelf above our radiator to create more of a finished look. (I would have liked a radiator cover but I can’t find one to fit.) And I want more storage so I’m planning to pop a shelf above our door hooks for boxes and baskets for gloves, hats and the million and one things that seem to find themselves here! I’d also like a cushion on top of the little cupboard by the door to create a little seat.

I have visions that I will suddenly become Mrs Ultra-Organised. I will never lose my keys again and my house will always be tidy – all because of my new shelves! Yeah, right!

So wish me luck. Ten days of painting and upheaval while the husband’s away with work and I am home alone with disorderly toddler. I have a feeling I am going to spend most of my time at soft play sessions…

I’ve pinned my favourite hallways – check them out here – and if you have any inspiration, please do share!