So January brought a fair bit of precipitation down on our house, and we noticed a damp patch around our bedroom window. Our first thought was that the gutter might be blocked, causing rain water to spill over and soak the wall. Continue reading “”


Choosing white paint for our living room

With the log burner due to be installed soon, it was time to paint the living room walls. Also looking at ‘vivid mint’ with a layer of grime was starting to get me down. Here’s a reminder of what we were dealing with: Continue reading “Choosing white paint for our living room”

It’s a middle class cliche, and I’m only too aware of recent reports on the environmental and health implications of burning wood, but yes, we are having a log burner installed. I grew up in front of an open coal fire, and never questioned that the house I would live in as a ‘grown up’ would have one too. I first came across a log burner as a teenager when a friend’s parents had one installed. I thought it was pretty weird that you would burn wood rather than coal, and also weird that you would put the fire in a box and close the door on it, but hey, at least it was real flames in there. Years of renting flats without any kind of real fire gave me a taste of life without that smell, that crackle, that intense heat, and I really, really missed it. This is a distinctly first-world problem, but when we bought a house that could accommodate a log burner (no chimney, so open fire wasn’t an option), I was keen to go for it. Continue reading “”

Refinishing a water-marked table

We were lucky enough to be given an amazing mid-century dining table and chairs which once belonged to Mr1970sHouse’s lovely nan. It’s round, which is just what I wanted, but it niftily extends with an extra leaf to accommodate guests. The chairs are fab too. They’re designed so the top of the backs are flush with the tabletop. So neat, so mid-century: love it. They need a bit of TLC (wobble-correction and re-upholsery), but that’s a job for another day. For now, let’s take a look at the tabletop.

Continue reading “Refinishing a water-marked table”

Closeboard fencing: How we did it

Closeboard fencing is constructed from vertical boards, as opposed to the horizontal boards seen on larchlap fencing. It looks smart, and stands up to winds a bit better than larchlap, which can be a bit flimsy. When we moved in, our house had closeboard fencing along the rear boundary of the garden, and larchlap on the side boundaries. The larchlap was close to total collapse on one side. I was keen to replace it with closeboard so it matched the rear boundary, and also because I knew about it’s reputation for longevity and I didn’t want to have to do the job again any time soon! Here’s what happened…

Continue reading “Closeboard fencing: How we did it”

Enjoying a ‘just moved in’ home

I’m so excited about how our home is going to look and feel when it’s finally done, but I am well aware that it’s going to several years before everything’s finished. In the meantime, I want to enjoy our home so I’ve focused on bringing a bit of joy to a few regularly used areas. Here are some techniques that have worked for me:

Put effort into furniture layouts. And add flowers!


It’s amazing the difference putting effort into things like furniture layout makes, even when the walls are the wrong colour, and there’s still an old electric fire on the wall. This is a nice space to sit and read, and chat to guests, even though we haven’t got around to doing any actual decorating yet. The lovely pink indoor cyclamen really helps here too. It has lifted the space so much and provides something pleasant to focus on even though all around is dishevelment and bad taste!

Continue reading “Enjoying a ‘just moved in’ home”

Time for tea: my new tea tray

There’s very little I enjoy more than a nice tea break, so I’m thrilled to have a fab new tea tray, sourced form this¬†lovely ebay seller. The tray is melamine, with a gorgeous hummingbird and floral design in vibrant pinks, blues and greens. It’s the perfect size for two cups of tea and a plate of biscuits. I think it looks great with my kettle, which looks like a traditional tea-pot, but sits on an electric base like any other kettle. It’s ceramic, so I live in fear of chipping the spout. Devastatingly it doesn’t seem to be available on Amazon any more, but this kettle¬†is similar. Ceramic kettles don’t seem to hold quite as much water as a standard kettle, probably due to the weight of them, but for me that’s totally worth it to have something so pretty gracing my worktop.

What’s your teatime routine? Do you have any favourite pieces?