Monday, 9 September 2013

Home Improvements

I feel like I've not updated on here for a little while. It seems we have had a fair bit going on in Casa Manning, so let me get you up to speed, in case you want to know what has been happening in our little lives.

Seth had two weeks off work in August. I had been looking forward to this for ages, firstly because obviously, he would be at home with us and secondly, we would be doing some work on our little home. I'll give you the background story that let up to this point, as I know you're dying to know.... or not.... Anyway, when I was pregnant with Caleb (4 days overdue in fact), we were given notice on the property that we were renting and we had to move out in two months as the landlord had decided to sell it. I went into labour that evening, I'm not sure if it was related or not! At the stage when most Mums want to be nesting, I was instead stressing with the thought of packing up boxes having just had a baby. Seth and I decided that we would buy our next home as ironically, it worked out to be a lot cheaper than renting. And so we moved in to our first bought property in October. Where we live, we can get into central London within 20 minutes by train and so I'm sure you can imagine, it's really not the cheapest area of the country to be living in! This meant that our first bought home isn't what I would necessarily have wanted. I of course, wanted a place where we could move in and it would be beautiful, nothing would need to be done to it at all and I would love it. Very unrealistic, I know, but I could dream! We had to buy what we could afford, especially as we knew that I wouldn't be going back to work. There were quite a lot of things that needed to be done to our home, the hallway was completely ugly with old, stained carpet and dirty, peeling wallpaper. It sounds so glamorous, doesn't it?! In the lounge there was a tiled fireplace with a fairly old and really not at all to my taste fire in it. I knew that that was one of the things that definitely had to be on the top of our priority list of things to be sorted, especially as I have had a mirror standing in front of it since we moved in to try and disguise the ugliness!

During the first week of Seth's holiday he spent 3 days at a boys church camp. While Seth was gone, once Caleb was in bed my task was to strip the wallpaper from the chimney breast in the lounge and in the hallway. You wouldn't think it would be that big of a task really, would you? I knew it would be messy and I was fine with that but I didn't realise it would take SO LONG! The chimney breast didn't take long at all as the wallpaper hadn't been up for all that long but the hallway took what seemed like forever, even with a steamer. There were 3 layers of wallpaper and the top layer had been painted a few times. The underneath layer I'm sure was from the 1950s! It really wasn't easy to get off, I definitely had my work cut out for me! I more or less managed to get it done by the time Seth got back, so I was pretty pleased with my efforts.

The next week was so busy, Seth took out the fireplace, a plasterer came in to plaster over the chimney breast, Seth laid some laminate flooring which had to be replaced in the lounge, re-wallpapered the chimney breast and painted the hallway and I painted the doorways.


Seth did a lot of this during the day time while I was out with Caleb and in the evenings we would work on it together. It was so nice being in the hallway together, just chatting away. Seth reminded me that the floor didn't need to be filled as I seemed to be getting more filler on the floor than in the holes on the wall. We laughed a lot about it and for some stupid reason, even though I have never filled holes before, I managed to keep choosing the biggest and most awkward ones. I had to keep getting Seth to fix up my mess each time! One evening we were working on the hallway until 3.30am, but it was so much fun. At some stage in the process of me trying to paint doorways, I managed to lean on one of the freshly painted walls. Epic fail.

The lounge is finished now aside from just a couple of minor things and the hallway has been a bit of a work in progress. We didn't manage to get everything done while Seth was off so he has been laying the laminate in the hallway in the evenings when he gets home from work. Once the skirting boards are on in the hallway, that will be done too. I'm really pleased with how it looks, we chose (I chose) a grey paint and I love it! We have other things that we want to get done eventually but it's quite satisfying to be able to see what we have done and the improvement that has been made. I'm going to be doing a photo wall on one of the walls so once I have done that I will post a picture so you can see it in all its glory :).


  1. Looks great Kirsty - and in fairness to your flat, you chose well, the room sizes are generous, as is the hallway. Yo've a kitchen and front room that's flooded with light and lovely green space around you. I love it. Good on you for seeing the potential. It looks fab.

  2. Looks wonderful Kirsty. You and Seth have done a brilliant job. You have big , light airy rooms and a huge hallway absolutely fantastic.. Well done to you both xx

  3. LOVE the striped wall! Too cute!
    This makes me really excited about owning a home. I can't wait to have a place and make it our own!