} Renovating an old house is a little like archaeology... you never know – Island Home Interiors
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Renovating an old house is a little like archaeology... you never know what you might find.

Renovating an old house is a little like archaeology... you never know what you might find.



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Hi Everyone,

Here’s hoping you got a little of that me time, post kids/partners returning to school and work places that I talked of in my last blog- or maybe you found that solace at your own place of work, being able to hold a conversation with someone not related to you, and actually in person not on Zoom, in an environment not strewn with breakfast dishes and the washing that needs to go on the line! My first day at home with just Milo, was lovely… and extremely quiet (except for his occasional snores) but to be honest I missed the bustle … a little, and then I got over it !

Anyway, with things back to what is likely to be the “new” normal, we have embarked on the next stage of our renovation of Lower House. As is the way with parents, we ended up doing up the kids bedrooms first (to stop the moaning!), but felt it was time to get cracking on our bedroom which was in desperate need of a revamp. The room had been previously decorated in a fairly ornate style - the ceiling in particular, and I wanted to pair this down quite a bit. My decorator Mark was a little concerned as to how we were going to get all the mouldings off the ceiling ( and what would be needed to repair it once we did). As I said in my title - renovating old houses I imagine, is a little like being an Archeologist… you never know what you are going to find underneath ! To our relief the mouldings turned out to be attached to thick ceiling paper, the plaster underneath, in pristine condition. Whoever had done the decorating previously had done a good job, and what we thought was going to be a nasty job turned out to be much easier than we expected.

Once it was stripped we decided to keep both the beautiful original plaster coving and the not so original but equally lovely ceiling rose. I am using throughout the house a ceiling paint colour which only goes by a number RAL 9010 - it is used a lot in National Trust houses, and has a lovely chalky hue to it. On the walls I am using Farrow and Ball’s Pavilion Grey and my all time favourite F&B James White on the door/window and skirting trims. We have decided not to replace the dated but beautifully made Clive Christian wardrobes that we inherited - we are just giving them an update with a couple of coats of the James White as well. The shag pile carpet - which even though I love a bit of 70’s retro, was well past its best, is being replaced with a beautiful New Zealand wool carpet from Cromar Carpet Company. I’m hoping it will all come together well, with a touch of Island Home in the accessories to finish it off.

At the moment though, everything belonging in that room is living in the hallway, Paul and I have debunked to the guest room, and basically the upstairs of the house is a bit of a mess. I find this the hardest part of decorating, remembering where you put things in the mess (like your underwear and socks) at 7am, as Sophie hollers for her towel (its on the floor somewhere - where you left it after your last shower…), and Georgia wants to know where I have put the hair straighteners! Unfortunately it is all part of the process, and at the end of the mess - comes the putting back together and hopefully, the desired result. I’m hoping to turn what was once a very dark, dated room full of heavy oak furniture, and hot pink floral wall paper, into a light, airy and calm space. Stay tuned to see how it all pans out. hopefully not long now, I’ll keep you posted…

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