A little house update

13th November 2017

I thought I would take a little break from my New York travel diary series and write about something else for a change (thanks for the idea, Amy!).

So, today I’m going to talk about my house, and how we’re getting on with the DIY side of things.

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It’s been around 4 months since we moved into the house we bought on the Wirral, and to be honest, it still looks very much like it did the day we moved in!

Here’s the thing; decorating this house has been a slow process so far, and that’s simply because we have been so busy! There’s no way we can do any work in the evenings, so it gets left until the weekends. But by the time the weekend arrives we’re both absolutely exhausted and so we only spend a few hours doing DIY stuff.

Sometimes I get frustrated that things aren’t moving quicker, but I have to remember that we’re going to be living here for a long time, so there’s no rush to get things done.

And also, I think it’s better to take our time because I don’t want to rush a decision, make a mistake and waste money in the process.

So yeah, I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t expected a full house tour any time soon!

Anyway, we got the keys to the house on June 30th. As soon as we opened the door we realised that more work was needed that we initially expected. Believe me when I say furniture hides a lot!

We decided that we wouldn’t move into the house straight away. As we still has a few weeks left on the contract for the house we were renting, we thought we should make the most of it, and get started on decorating before we moved in. So we actually moved into the new house 2 weeks after we got the keys.

These two weeks almost killed me off!

We spent the entire first weekend of owning the house painting the living room, which was, what I would call, an antique green colour. We painted it white.

Our living room

The living room is the biggest room in the house and the walls needed three coats of paint to get rid of the colour, so we ended up continuing to work on it throughout the following week. We’d come home from work, go over to the house, paint, grab something quick (and unhealthy) for dinner, then go to bed.

I didn’t have time to look after myself and workout, and as a result my hip ended up in a lot of pain. I ended up having to take a day off work.

Also, the weekend after we got the keys (the weekend before we moved in), we had to go back to Shropshire for a wedding. It was all a bit mad. One minute I was in my tatty painting clothes, next I was getting all dolled up in my finest dress!

Surprisingly, we managed to get the living room fully painted by the time we moved in. And we put new blinds up in there too. Tyrone has become a bit of a pro at installing blinds!

Another big change we made in the house on the first weekend was ripping out the built-in wardrobes from our bedroom.

The built in wardrobes we removed from our house

I know, this sounds like a bold move to make, especially when people seem to love built-in wardrobes, but it’s a decision that we do not regret making.

The wardrobes in our bedroom were really dated. Even paining them, or putting on new handles wouldn’t have made them look any better. They were big and bulky, and when you opened the doors it was apparent that there was more frame than storage space.

The built in wardrobes we removed from our house

We also wanted to use the space where the wardrobes were to put a chest of draws with a TV on top so we could watch TV in bed, which we love doing in the winter months. We used to have a TV in the bedroom when we lived in the flat, but in the house we lived in before this one, there simply wasn’t room to have a TV. It was a very, very small room. And yeah, we missed the TV!

Originally I thought we would have to pay someone to remove the wardrobes, but after a bit of investigating, we realised that we could probably remove them ourselves.

The built in wardrobes we removed from our house

We started by removing the doors, and then unscrewing all the screws that attached to wardrobe to the walls. Next step was to pull the framework away from the wall using a crowbar (safety glasses on!) which worked better than we expected. It only took about an hour to completely remove the wardrobes.

The built in wardrobes we removed from our house

Obviously, the floor, the walls and the ceiling looked a mess afterwards, but we’re working on it. We’ve painted the walls white, which makes everything look 100% better, and next step will be to paint the ceiling (although a part of me wants to get it re-plastered first) and buy new carpet.

Then once all this work is done we can buy ourselves a new bed, put our bed in the spare room and finally be able to welcome guests to stay.

It’s all about taking one step at a time. Slow and steady.

Once the bedroom has been decorated, we’re hoping to make a start on the bathroom, but as that’s something we can’t do ourselves we might have to wait a while.

In terms of things we can do ourselves, I have plans to make a start on my office (it’s just a spare bedroom!) which is currently a peach/orange colour. We’ve already made a start by replacing the blinds in there which were originally a copper colour (sounds like a bloggers dream but they were vile) with white ones, and I think this will be the easiest room to renovate.

Hopefully I can share another house update with you in a few months time!

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  1. You took down the build-in wardrobe? That was the first we build in our bedroom, after sorting out the doors and the new carpet. I love my build-in wardrobe, I have enough space to put all my things. But, for us, is a full-wall, so, basically, the room is shorter with 50cm.
    In time, you’ll do everything you want, there is no rush, is there? So, enjoy everything you do. πŸ™‚

    • Holly

      We’ve actually got built in wardrobes in the spare room that are a lot more modern, so we’re keeping them and using them to store our clothes in. I like to think of it as my walk in wardrobe haha!

  2. Kya

    It would be hard when you are so busy. I think it is essential to take your time, plan things out. It can be easy to see something nice (instore), only to find that it clashes with something else.

    Removing a wardrobe can be a lot of work, but so worth it! I had one in my bedroom that was in such a bad place. It was a bit of a struggle to get it removed and replace the cornices, but the end result was great. I was removing all the carpet and revamping the floorboards, so that wasn’t so bad.

    I have also been slowly renovating my parent’s house. Doing a lot of the work yourself saves a lot of money. But you have to do it in your own time. I am not trying to rush because I want to do it well.

    I hope it all goes really well. You will get it finished eventually, and I am sure it will look amazing. πŸ˜€

    • Holly

      This is so true! I would hate to waste my money on something that didn’t fit in.

      Glad I’m not the only one who has removed a build in wardrobe! I was starting to wonder if I was a bit mad.

  3. Being able to renovate the house a bit before moving is great! That way, you don’t get dust all over your belongings. I’m sorry to hear about your hip pain from all of this. At least you got to take a day off to recover a bit!

    I agree with you about the built-in wardrobe. It looks great if it looks modern but otherwise, it gotta go. This is some awesome teamwork you have with Tyrone! Hope the rest of the little renovation works out!

    • Holly

      Yeah, it definitely made life easier painting in an empty house!

      Haha we work really well as a team. We had a lot of fun ripping out the wardrobes. It was a great stress reliever!

  4. Doing it DIY is definitely better! You get to save money and you get the experience too! We’re currently renovating our house, I would have wanted to paint the walls myself, but my parents insisted on hiring a contractor. πŸ™

    It also frustrates me when things aren’t moving the way I thought they would be. But yeah, great things take time. Please don’t neglect your health too. Renovating is a tiring process, but it will all be worth it in the end.

    Can’t wait to see the new look of your bedroom. πŸ™‚ I love these kind of posts.

    • Holly

      Yeah, we have definitely learned a lot!! The walls we have painted don’t look perfect but I’m glad we did it instead of hiring a decorator to do it because we had a lot of fun and it saved us money.

      So glad you enjoyed this post! I can’t wait to share more.

  5. WOw~ You did a lot to make the house your own! I wish I was good at DIY stuff.

  6. Amy

    Glad to hear that you’ve made a good start on the house, Holly! I keep looking at Right Move for houses to buy, and getting put off by all the ones that are painted weird colours, even though I’d be allowed to re-paint stuff. I gotten so used to renting that I forget that I could make it my own if I bought it! Glad you managed to get the living room done. That sounds like a lot of hard work but I’m sure it was worth it.

    Good luck getting it finished!


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