The Renovation – Phase Three

Blimey… it’s been almost two months since I last blogged. You can tell that life is starting to return to some form of normality after lockdown, whatever that might be!

Anyway, I’m desperate to tell you all about the next phase of our renovation, so I’ve managed to secure a bit of peace and quiet this Sunday afternoon to finally get it written down.

Just as a recap, in case you haven’t read my latest renovation post, the plasterers had been and gone, and the first fix of electrics had been completed. Most walls were now reinstated and our 1930s shell was starting to look more like a house once again.

So firstly, say hello to our new doors! These oak beauties from XL Joinery have been hung in every room of the house (as well as a glass panel version from our hall into our dining room) and they really tie everything together. The soft wood tones with our chrome handles from Dale Joinery create a stylish consistency throughout and are a certain improvement from the hollow walnut doors of my nightmares that were left previously!

The next step following the plastering was mist coating! It’s amazing how much of a difference this phase makes. The rooms feel like they double in size and you really start to realise their potential. This is an essential step if you’ve freshly plastered so make sure not to miss it if you’re doing a renovation yourself. Simply water down a white emulsion paint to seal the walls and prevent any peeling.

It’s so funny looking back at our archive of photos as I can remember the excitement as each puzzle piece was added and the finish line became closer and closer. It’s such a warm fuzzy feeling so I apologise if I describe 90% of the renovation works as ‘exciting’.

We wanted a luxury feel to our bathroom so these marble effect tiles from B&Q were the perfect choice. Available in two shades, we used the darker tiles for the floor, and the lighter ones for the walls in order to create a bit more depth. We also thought the grey tones would suit the chrome taps and fittings that we had chosen.

However, while certain elements were coming together, there was still major destruction downstairs… check out the alfresco toilet! Don’t you agree that it’s a rather strange choice to put a downstairs loo in the kitchen? Safe to say we pulled that out rather quickly to gain more space and move the unpleasantness away from our cooking space!!

As mentioned before, the flooring levels in this space were ridiculously uneven so it was necessary to knock through the concrete flooring, so our builder could add floor joists to sort the issue. Fortunately for us, there were plenty of salvageable floorboards throughout the property, so we planned to reinstate these in our kitchen/diner. Restoring as much of the house as possible was really important to us, so to be able to reuse the floorboards was an absolute dream.

Here’s a further peek at the marble tiles on the walls and parts of the bathroom being installed. We actually reused the toilet from the previous owners as it was pretty new – a little cost saving (although we replaced the seat, don’t worry!)! I won’t say too much more about the bathroom, but I couldn’t help but show off a little more of the progress!

I’ve already gushed about the floorboards quite a lot in this post so it wouldn’t be fair to leave you without featuring them! There was a real mixture of colours from where they’d been painted over the years but nothing an industrial sander wouldn’t sort. Look how well they’ve all pieced together – they’re really going to help open up the space while pulling the two separate rooms together in one space.

Well, I think I’ll have to leave you on a bit of a cliffhanger here, as you’ll need to come back soon to see the finished floorboards, but hopefully it’s been interesting to see a little more of our journey.

However, if you have any questions at all about our renovation, then please don’t hesitate to leave a comment, and I’ll be more than happy to help!

1930s terraced House

Number Twelve – The ‘Before’

My first home.

Picking up the keys has to be one of the proudest moments of my life. Opening the door for the first time without the presence of an estate agent. Sitting on the stairs, taking in the surroundings, without a want of being anywhere else but in your very own four walls. A feeling I will never forget.

We had decided to take on a project. With a builder in the family, and a want to put our own stamp on things, the decision was a pretty easy one. Plus, the idea of being able to add value to our new investment, was very appealing too.

Silently agreeing during the first viewing that this was the house for us, we put in our initial offer, and with a little to-ing and fro-ing came to an agreed price. We recognised the potential straight away, and fell in love with the spacious layout of the three bed terrace, along with its 1930s quirks.

The property had previously been a rental, so it was liveable, but the decor was dated and tired. The kitchen was narrow and had an odd downstairs loo within it, so we planned to remove the toilet, and knock down the wall between the kitchen/diner to open up the space. The flooring throughout certainly needed a refresh and the walls would need redecorating, but initially the amount of work didn’t seem too overwhelming.

However, on second thoughts, the more we looked at it, the more we felt that we wanted to do it ‘properly’. The to do list soon doubled! From rewiring the electrics and replacing plumbing, to taking the walls and ceilings right back to the studwork, it seemed foolish not to when we had access to friends in the trade and just enough in the budget to cover it.

Despite the garish floral wallpaper and ugly gas fireplaces, hopefully you too can see why we fell in love with the house, and imagine the full potential it has! I’ll be back very soon with more details and photos of our extensive renovation journey.

Please tell me the stories of buying your first home in the comments below. I’d love to hear them! You can also find out more about me here.

The ‘LAB’ in Renovation Lab

So, my name is Lauren Ashton Beardsley, and I am the ‘LAB’ in renovation lab. I’ve created this blog to share my renovation experiments, and document my future journeys involving renewing and restoring.

Let me tell you a little about me and my home… I live in the beautiful county of Devon in South West England. North Devon will always be my home, and always has been since I was born, other than a short stint in London for university (the fast-paced way of life was just not for me!).

I bought my first home here with my partner in December 2016, and we have been renovating ever since, although this has mostly been completed by my partner’s Dad (we are very lucky to have a builder in the family!).

I work in marketing for a local builders merchant, which has also been very handy, especially when we’ve needed tips and advice regarding materials.

We love our 1930s terraced house so much, but I can’t help but feel like another project will one day be in the pipeline, as we’ve thoroughly enjoyed the process of this one! However, we’d have to live in the next property while it’s being renovated, which could be a completely different story! (I plan to write about our first renovation in much more detail, so please check back again to see more!)

Perhaps you’re looking to buy a ‘doer-upper, half-way through your renovation journey, or simply love seeing before and afters; either way I hope you enjoy following my experiments and experiences. I know I took plenty of inspiration from others when I was imagining and planning my new home, so I want to share my results, and would love to be able to connect with others who have similar interests (although I’m always open to see different tastes too!).

I cannot wait to see how this blog develops and grows, and hope to make many new friends along the way! Please say hello and introduce yourself/blog in the comments 🙂