Tag Archives: Decorating

Oh For Some Warmth!

The past three months have been pretty manic in the Domino household, thanks to my husband deciding winter was a good time to start refurbishing the hall, stairs and landing, seeing as he couldn’t get out and work in the garden. Bad move!

100_6791 The work definitely needed doing, from it’s acid yellow walls full of bumps and cracks and a carpet I was totally ashamed of, although beautiful when it was new some 25 years ago. Just before Christmas, off came all the internal doors, as these were all going to be replaced. It wasn’t too bad with no doors when the heating was on but, oh boy, was it drafty when the boiler was off. As soon as the festivities were over, we called in a plumber to replace the downstairs radiators, thus for several days we were without heating.  When the radiators were connected again, it was found we had a fault on the boiler, which necessitated another plumber calling several days later to make the repair. Again – no heating on all day. It was certainly a good job it was a relatively mild January. We then had the plasterers in, which again, necessitated all the outside doors open so they could do the messy mixing part outside. Brrrr! Thank goodness for my halogen heater.

Once the plaster was dry, Dave could start painting the woodwork. We were turning our dark mahogany wood into white, so several coats were needed. During all this I was unwell with the nasty flu bug that was doing the rounds this winter, with a cough I couldn’t get rid off. Then commenced the long, slow task of painting the walls. Dave could only do this of an evening or at weekends as he is still at work. He didn’t want me to do it, although I offered. When the painting was complete, the carpenters were called in to fit the new doors and a new wooden floor downstairs. Again, the front door was required to be open all day so they could do all the sawing and sanding outside. And still my cough wouldn’t go away.

The whole three months this work continued, it was a constant battle with dust, noise, seemingly constant banging, and workmen in and out of the house. I couldn’t make plans as Dave would come home from work and say, “Oh, so-and-so is coming tomorrow at nine o’clock,” or some such. Three times I had to cancel my appointment with the hairdressers. Or I needed to be in because something was being delivered. During all this time, I was curtain hunting. I just couldn’t find the right curtains to go with the new colour scheme. I was swamped with samples and swatches.

Dave was repainting the wrought ironwork on the stairs and I started coughing again. It wasn’t the bug, we determined, it was me allergic to the paint! As some touching up to the woodwork was needed, I arranged to be out the following Saturday so he could do what was needed. I came home to find him in tears. He’d dropped a can of white gloss paint down the stairs, all down the wall, over the new wooden flooring and up the new solid oak panelled door to the lounge. We spent several hours cleaning it up, with visions of having to have another floor laid and a new door. Didn’t help my cough though! Thankfully, we were able to clean all the paint off. Phew!

100_6880Choosing the carpet was easy, for we had already decided on the same carpet as was fitted in our bedroom last summer, as were the hall walls the same colour choice. Come March we were nearly there, just waiting for the carpet fitter, and I finally found curtains I liked, just had to wait for them to be made to measure. It was raining the day the carpet fitters came, so the carpets had to be cut inside, in the lounge. I can’t begin to describe the noise and dust made. It took me nearly two hours to clean up.

100_6885Finally, the week before last, the curtains arrived and we were finished. We’re thrilled with the results but have decided to wait until next year to do the lounge and dining room. We’ve had enough decorating for now and intend to enjoy the summer in the garden.  After I’ve done a deep clean of the house, that is.

Feeling Flushed

100_6184It’s been a chaotic month in the Domino household thanks to a new bathroom being fitted. It had been almost 20 years since the bathroom was last modernised. The shower unit needed replacing, walls half paint/half panel needed a complete make-over and the corner bath unit a complete waste of space. Dave had never used it. I had twice, both times putting my back out as I got out of it. It had to go. As for the carpet… well, we won’t talk about the carpet.

Eight m100_6196onths in planning. We knew what kind of shower cubicle we wanted but it took me a long time to convince Dave what we really needed was cupboards, lots of them. The old bathroom didn’t even have a medicine cabinet, everything kept either on the floor or in wicker baskets on the windowsill. I hated it. So began a constant round of searching the internet for images, countless showrooms visited, catalogues and magazines scanned, endless discussions until he was finally persuaded. Yay! I’d also managed to talk him into having it all installed professionally rather than he do it. It would be too expensive, he kept saying. He’d done the last bathroom, but he still works fulltime despite being past retirement age – we would still be living in a muddle 12 months down the line.

The hardest decision of all was what sort of tiles. There were so many to choose from, so many patterns, colour combinations – our heads were spinning. As we wanted the room tiled floor to ceiling and as this was hopefully the last time we would be doing up this room, we took our time: weeks and weeks of looking, more showroom trawling, changing minds, umming and arrring; we needed to be sure we picked the right ones.

Decisions made, bathroom on order, fitter contacted. That’s when another problem arose – the fitter advised us not to tile the floor as all pipework for the house (water, gas, central heating) runs under the bathroom and if ever there were any problem,  it would mean ripping up the tiles. Far better to have  linoleum. Oh dear, more shopping, more decisions, more choices. Eeek – we just couldn’t decide.

100_6197But finally we did, and the great day arrived when the complete bathroom was delivered. The delivery chaps wouldn’t take any of it upstairs, saying they couldn’t under Health & Safety rules, so it was stacked up in my hallway and dining room for well over a week. Oh joy! We found one item was missing so 100_6198rang the shop who arranged immediate delivery of awol part. When I mentioned about it all left in the hall, the helpful lady on the phone explained the fitter would take each item upstairs as and when he needed it because of space constrictions when working in bathrooms, which are normally small and space tight. It made sense.

100_6207 The day came when it was all to start so I beat a hasty retreat and made myself scarce whilst it was going on. I mean, what is a lady to do when the bathroom is out of action for a week and there is only one loo in the house? (Note black bucket for use of!)

Now finished, what an excellent job the fitter has done. Perfect!  He’s done all the finishing off, bits my husband wouldn’t have thought of. The best bit for me is the shower. Instead of tiles on th100_6219e wall in the cubicle, we came across shower boards – similar to Formica worktops. These single laminate sheets fit the whole wall: no grout to get grubby, easy to keep clean – no scouring or scrubbing. It looks fabulous. And as a surprise, Dave even arranged to have a lovely chrome towel warmer installed after telling me it would be too expensive to run.

We’re 100_6233well pleased. It took a little over 7 days to install, and yes, it was expensive but worth every single penny. We still have to put the finishing touches to it, buy the homely bits, but as we have 5 boxes of tiles left over which we can return to the store and get a refund, that pays for the fripperies needed.

Next we attack our bedroom, but first I’m nipping upstairs to look at the bathroom again. I can’t believe it’s really mine.