Restoring an old cottage...

Category: decor

Odds, Ends, and an Actual Floor

We’ve not made much progress since Christmas, but we have done a few odds and ends.


We’ve been meaning to make a little shelter to sell our eggs from for ages, because otherwise people tend to wander into the garden and walk into Vicky’s office while she’s working.

So we used some left-over fibre roof tiles, some odds of batten, and a couple of chunks of joist, and created a snazzy little egghouse.

Random pieces of wood and a couple of roof tiles ready to make into an egg shelter

Bits and pieces

There’s enough room for an egg holder, some egg boxes, and a honesty jar.

Shelter with egg box and jar inside, and words on the top: Dingle eggs £1.20 for 6

Yum yum

£1.20 for half a dozen eggs, half the proceeds go to the British Hen Welfare Trust, which is where we go to rehome ex-battery chickens.


There’s been a gaping hole above the tunnel from the living room to the Rayburn Room for aaaaages.

We finally got around to building a frame and whacking some wood-wool panels up there ready for plastering—eventually.

The tunnel all panelled over with fairy lights

Tidy tunnel

The Rayburn has left the building…

We knew we wouldn’t be using the old oil-fired Rayburn anymore because we recently switched over to gas, rather than oil. It’s not worth converting it, so we’ll probably get an electric Aga when we do the new kitchen.

Joe advertised the Rayburn on Facebook, and a couple came to pick it up—and we got 150 beans for it. Winning!

Manoeuvering the Rayburn using rollers and muscles and hope

Pretty heavy. Rollers were useful.

Looking forward to turning the Rayburn Room into a library, and installing a woodburning stove in the fireplace.

Empty fireplace

All ready for plastering, beautifying, a new hearth stone, and a woodburner

Oh and a proper solid floor

And finally, having spent months wobbling around on bits of shaky plywood and OSB, and wondering if Joe would put his foot through the floor again, we decided to lay a proper subfloor.

We had a little help from Kenda and Mike to get started:

Joe on left and Mike on right, putting noggins into the floor

Men doing manly floor things

The rest of it looks like this only without the gaping holes:

Marine ply screwed to the joists, with insulation visible beneath

The beginnings of a solid floor

And now the whole floor is screwed down and solid, and you can jump up and down on it and everything.


We’ve Finished A Room!

Actually, we’ve more-or-less finished it, and that was a couple of weeks ago.

The attic is done! Look how pretty it is:

Beautiful cottage bedroom

It’s a proper sanctuary and we LOVE it

We absolutely love it. It’s restful and beautiful and waking up with the sun is delightful.

Here’s how we’ve decorated it…

  • The rug and lights are from Bailey’s near Ross-on-Wye. Their shop is a massive barn showroom filled with stunning things, including lots of recycled and upcycled beauties. It’s a delight just to visit.
  • The large trunk came from Joe’s sister (thank you!).
  • The small trunk came from the fabulous and extremely friendly Salvaged in Leominster.
  • The lampshades and cushions were designed and hand-made by my beautiful and talented friend Katherine Wibmer.
  • All our bedding is always from Cologne & Cotton because it’s lush.

Also, you need to see the extravagant and gorgeous lampshade Joe bought me for my 40th birthday. I’d put a deposit on it, and he surprised me with it.

You need to see it because it’s extravagant and gorgeous, but also because putting it up was a horrifying experience. Here’s why:

  1. Erecting the DangerScaffolding around, through, and over the staircase.
  2. Starting an unstoppable oscillation atop said DangerScaffolding and unable to relax even with Joe shrieking “RELAX RELAX AND IT’LL STOP” at me. (Helpful)
  3. The shade is extremely fragile.
  4. Also extremely heavy.
  5. Also awkward to get your hands in and out of.

Good job it’s 1,000,000% worth it. It’s never, ever coming down though…

Beautiful shell lamp

The Amaze-Lamp. It’s a bit like a spaceship.

Yes, that is daylight you can see in the background, through the wall. We’re on the case.

Things still to do in the attic bedroom:

  • Fit skirting board to the panels either side of the staircase.
  • Fit glass over the triangle timbers on either side and above the doorway.
  • Have a door made with a big window so we can see the lamp.
  • Fill the gaps between the walls and the floor with new plaster so the room is sealed.

But it’s basically done.

Next stop: replacing all the brick wall panels in the front of the house, putting a new oak sole plate in (well, Ken is), then cracking on with turning our old bedroom into a posh bathroom.

I can’t tell you how good it feels to have finished a room. It feels like real progress, when sometimes we just think we’re getting nowhere.

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