Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Kitchen ideas for a small kitchen

When we moved into the house the kitchen wasn't to our taste. The ceiling was to low, the floor and wall tiles were horrible, the cupboards falling apart and stinking of damp and rot. There was also a window at the bottom of the kitchen and although it produced a great amount of light right into the evening the window actually opened out onto our next door neighbors garden and therefore felt a little exposed.
Small kitchen ideas
As you can see from the image above there is also a decorative boxing that runs around the kitchen and this made the small space even smaller. Removing the kitchen units and ceiling was quite a horrific job and I did think to myself that I would have preferred to leave it as it was compared to the state that it is now. However things have to get a lot worse before they get better. With the kitchen painted with damp proof paint and the walls freshly plastered we can move some kitchen units and work top back in. We have decided not to permanently fit any of the kitchen units just yet and to live with the temporary space for a while to make sure we are happy with it before it is finalized.
Removing the kitchen

New Kitchen
After a week with the kitchen like this we had a little re arrange moving the fridge into the bottom corner and moving the oven close to the wall. We also made the units on the left slightly more narrow to make the space seam more usable.
Kitchen island ideas

Lastly we place the island in place, again this is not fixed into position and has not only moved several times, we have also decided to make the work top slightly smaller then it is in the picture. 

Monday, 15 July 2013

Removing ceramic floor tiles in the kitchen

With the back wall and the ceilings fresh plaster drying nicely it's time to remove the rest of the ceramic floor tiles. I started attacking these with a chisel and hammer but after several hours and very sore fingers and aching arms James's dad arrives with a massive pneumatic drill and breaks the rest of the tiles out in record time. Leaving me to clear up all the mess into the skip outside and sweep up all the dust from the whole entire house ready for the next job on the girly DIY to do list. 
Removing ceramic floor tiles

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Rewiring a house and plastering in the kitchen, The build start's coming together.

Now we are really transforming the house! OK so the picture below doesn't look like a transformed kitchen but to us this is quite a big occasion. We have finally finished ripping chunks out of the house downstairs and we are now putting new walls back in and doing things to finish the house rather than more removing and gutting. I think we are on skip number 6 and will be glad to not be getting any more as they are costing us a small fortune just to remove a lot of rubbish from the house.

Here the walls are lined with a thermally insulated plasterboard, the electrician has visited and run the core electrics ready for appliances and lighting and our plasterer has plastered the ceiling and back wall. 

So even though the picture really doesn't show that much there is a lot of work going on right now to get our little Cornish home finished. 
Plastering walls

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Creating a stud wall in the kitchen and plasterboarding the walls

Fitting a new kitchen
It's a really good feeling watching the room get transformed from grotty dark kitchen dungeon to shiny new plaster boarded walls and feels like the house is finely getting completed. The window at the back will be boarded over for the time being as this opens out onto our neighbors garden. Once the inside is looking slightly more pretty we can worth to box the window in from the outside and finish the job properly. 
Fitting a new kitchen ceiling
The plaster board for the ceiling is also fitted and the wiring for the lights run and the holes drilled for the new light fittings. 

Friday, 12 July 2013

Stud Wall construction going up in the kitchen

With the horrible black tar like waterproof paint dry in the kitchen it's time to build the stud work walls. This is built slightly off the wall and will then be plasterboarded. Leaving a slight gap between the wall and the plasterboard. This will hopefully allow the walls to breath and let air circulate making our house warmer and dryer. When we removed these walls they were lined with plastic and then wood and the rotten damp smell that was emitted when we started taking it apart was shocking. I don't know how long the walls had sweated behind this plastic but it's very satisfying removing it and building up with fresh new materials.

I'm glad to finally start getting the house into a better shape and cover up the last of the old house and bring life to our new home. 
Stud Walls in the kitchen

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Living with no water in your bathroom for a month!

After a month with no bathroom at all not only do we have a bathroom suite in place but we also have a water supply connected to the room. It was quite a trial and error process with several leaks that needed fixing but finally we can turn the taps and get running water. 

However it wasn't as plain sailing as I described and we had a slight issue with the water pressure being up rather high and with the style of taps that we had chosen with the flowing waterfall effect. When the tap was turned the water came shooting out of the tap at such a speed that it completely cleared the bath and poured a fountain onto the floor. 

With a slight adjustment to the water pressure we now have the facilities to have a bath and use the sink in the bathroom. Next step connecting up the shower!
Water supply connected to the bathroom

Monday, 8 July 2013

Fitting the bathroom tiles transforms the room.

With the plaster board fitted in the bathroom we can start tiling. We have chosen ceramic tiles for the walls with mosaic tiles to add a little detail to the room. As for the floor we are still really undecided so we are going to get the walls done and then go back to the shops and start bringing home a few floor tile samples and see what we want at a later date. Fingers crossed there is something that we both agree on that goes with what we have already fitted. 

I know this all sounds a little trial and error but this is still our first home and neither of us have renovated before and don't want to rush in and buy something that we don't like. At the same time we want to create some parts of the house that take on our own personality and are funky and not at all like any of the rented houses that we have previously lived in. 
Bathroom Tiles go into place

Mosaic tiles going into place
Again I have never done any tiling let along seen a room get tiled! OK so that's a pretty crazy thing to say but my parents had the same tiles for ever in their home and everywhere else I've lived has been rented accommodation. James assures me that this is another skill that he has and will do the tiling in the bathroom himself. 
Mosaic tiles in the bathroom
Ignore the window that is seemingly lower in it's frame, We are planning to replace this window with a double glazed window and move it up at the same time. A job for another day.
Ceramic tiles with mosaic trim
We are making quite a random bathroom, partly due to money limitations but also because we have never been conventional people and like to try new things. Here we have four kitchen units wrapped in the same bath panel material that's been used to wrap the L shaped bath. With the square sink in place and plumbed in all we need to do now is grout the tiles and fit a mirror above the sink.
Bathroom suite ideas
We moved the old toilet off the left hand wall and plumbed the new toilet into it's final home which now looks much better than where it used to be in the old bathroom. We still have a fair amount of work to do in the bathroom including the rest of the tiling, the grouting, and finding and fitting the floor but it is so much better than what we had and can't wait to get it finished.
New bathroom suite

Saturday, 6 July 2013

The new bathroom suite arrives

After several weeks without a working bathroom and having to use the office showers and our kitchen for washing and cleaning teeth it's really exciting when our new bathroom suite arrives. I couldn't resist testing out the bath straight away... Ok so it need's some work before I can really test it out but it won't be long now until we have a gorgeous bathroom and can relax in our new home rather than work on it every night. 
L shaped bath
We temporarily put the kitchen units in place that we are using in the bathroom and balance the sink in place to get an idea of how it will look. If you ignore all the boxes, the bare concrete walls and the open kitchen units you can kind of visualize our spangly new bathroom... 
New bathroom sink
James get's straight to work fitting the bath in place and connecting up the water supply and waste pipes. As soon as the bath is fitted I can not wait to jump in and have a bath at home again rather than showering at the office. 
Fitting a bath waste trap

How to fit a new bath

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Uncovering real vintage wallpaper

vintage wallpaper
I think the best thing about renovating the house is all the treasures that we have uncovered. In the garden we found buried glass bottles, toy cars and even a bike that had been under a pile of soil for what must have been years, as the rust had eaten quite a lot of it away. Behind the garage we found an entire pond and several car tyres. In the house it's not so bad, we did find some grotty 80's porn in the loft which was quite eye opening and also a stack of newspapers from the 1950's which were really cool. I think we are utilising skip number 5 at the house so removing all the rubbish is costing us a fortune but we are getting through it slowly.

In the bathroom when the tiles were removed and the old rotten plasterboard removed we uncovered this wonderful wallpaper! I'm not sure if this room has always been a bathroom as this would have been a later extension to the house and the house does have an original outside toilet.

Whether this was a bathroom or a bedroom the vintage fish wallpaper is really rather funky, sadly it is not staying in our classy new bathroom!

Could you imagine a whole room wrapped like the inside of a fish tank! I quite like retro, but this retro wallpaper is being removed.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Damp proof paint applied in the kitchen

Paint on Bitumen. Damp proofing the kitchen wallls.
With the kitchen completely ripped out it was clear that there was an amount of damp behind the walls. This was from the build up of condensation created by so much wood built onto the walls and the amount of plastic on the floor, moisture really had no where to go.

I spent the day removing nails and screws out of the wall and prepping the area for painting with a damp proof liquid. With the wall clear it was time to paint with the sticky tar like damp proof paint. I've got to say if anyone has to paint this stuff in their house be careful! Not only does damp proof bitumen smell quite a lot like cat wee but it also does not come off your skin at all and stays quite sticky on your hands.

Hopefully with the kitchen looking more like a dungeon it will stay moisture free and we can now build the walls in thermally insulated plasterboard and quickly turn the area back into something pretty and start fitting our kitchen and get rid of the dark stinky dungeon area!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

The toilet is replaced temporarily

connecting up a toilet
With a lot of work to do it really is important to get our toilet back up and running as a priority. The toilet is reconnected in it's old position using the existing waste pipe etc whilst the rest of the work is completed.

The walls start to go up around the bathroom and it starts to look a lot tidier, it's going to take a while to get the shower and bath connected and ready to use so for the time being we are back in the house but using work to shower each morning. It's not ideal and a pain driving to work in your pajamas's but will all be worth it in the end when the bathroom is complete.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Bathroom Plumbing.

With the new floor in place it's time to start running all the pipework and plumbing for the new bathroom suite. James is actually doing this himself so it's taking quite a bit of time and a lot of trial and error to get completed as he is not a qualified plumber. With the floor marked out for what unit goes where the pipes are all in place ready to receive the suite and hope it is all plumbed in correctly. 
plumbing in a new sink
The plumbing in place for the new sink.
plumbing in a shower
plumbing for the shower and bath in place.
Plumbing for a new toilet
And lastly the plumbing in place for the toilet.