I've lived in my house for 10 years, when I moved in the main idea of buying a fixer upper was to actually fix it up. You do one room and realise that financially you have to make some compromises and all the pictures you've lovingly collected over the years are possibly not directed at someone on your wages. I am slowly ticking off one room at a time, in a fashion that is true to my style and my compromised scrapbook collection.
For some reason, that is now beyond me I decided that the hall would be my next challenge. I think the theory was it's the entrance to my home, its an important part of the house. Now I've put some blood and guts into it, I've realised it's not really a part of the house that I spend an awful lot of time appreciating. The effort and money I have spend on this no mans land would probably have been better spent in fixing my dining room.
You need a plan when it comes to these things, I had spot lights that I wanted to replace with a ceiling rose and light fitting. The trouble was we had to go through the bedroom floor above this area, I figured whilst we're there I'll give that room a lick of paint and a new carpet. Things started to crumble and it turned into a massive decorating job altogether, now it's finished it's an unplanned tick on the list but it did set me back on my hallway plan.
On with the mission, hallway artex! It had to go so I got three quotes to have it skimmed and plastered. You can totally tell who wants the job and who bloody hates artex when those figures come in haha how can they differ so much?
After making my choice, I returned on day one to find him sucking air through his teeth and we all know that's never a good sign. He pointed out the previous owner was a lazy artex lover and had decided to artex on top of wallpaper (why would you do that?), this meant when he tried to skim the tips off the artex the entire wall of artex comes down, "it's a bigger job then I thought", great £££££! "Your skirtings are going to have to come off too", great ££££. I was having visions of money dancing out my purse but he was a man of his word and he did all the extra work for the original quote price and he did a fantastic job. There were lots of little details in the hall that I wanted to keep, a large curved cornerwall and the walls curve onto the ceiling (a bit like build in coving), all the plasterers recommended we remove all of that as they're tricky to get round, this plasterer however just got on with it, my kind of man!
The dust and mess from decorating the hall gets everywhere, it doesn't matter how organised you are, how many doors you shut, it gets everywhere.
Once the plasterwork was complete I then came to realise that another one of the features I had fallen in love with wasn't a real blessing when decorating, high ceilings! You have way more area to paint and the ceilings appear to move further and further away when you have a roller in your hand.
First job was the shitty watery messy coat of paint to seal the plasterwork, which the walls just suck up so it takes twice as long, follwed by the fully loaded coat. That roller felt like it was permanently attached to my hand and my right arm became visibly buffer then my left, I felt like a human roller.
Woodwork, I was actually looking forward to doing something other then walls until I realised the artex loving lazy bastard who previously lived here also decided to paint every piece of wooden life in millions of layers of paint, every colour under the rainbow, over the years just building it up and up. The problem I had was every magazine cutting I collected had exposed handrails and I got a bit excited and decided I too could have an exposed handrail. After stripping the history of paint with a heat gun, having to disconnect my electric fire detectors and grow accustom to the smell of burnt bubbling toxic paint, I realised that maybe I could have lived with painted handrails. With the time spent stripping all the wood I could have possibly travelled around Europe, i then go to the point of no return and decided that the little window would pop out if it was stripped, I started looking at paintwork in a totally different light mentally calculating how long it would take to strip everything I saw haha.
I took one final look through my magazine collection and decided on a runner for the stairs, this meant a lot of stair TLC haha I didn't think it would take that much time..... I was sadly wrong.
Decorating my hall has taught me a lot, I can go without lunch and dinner if needs be, I have a steady hand even after a bottle of wine and the acoustics in an empty hallway is brilliant but I can't hold a note as well as I thought. I don't think I will ever appreciate the hall like I would have if someone else had done it because I know how much effort it has taken and I know how much physical and mental pain it has caused hahaha ok that's a bit dramatic but it was tough.
I have finally come to the end of the road, the long winding road and the moral of the story is this, fixer uppers are bloody amazing if you're dating a decorator! I have placed an advert in my local paper;
Single lady looking for a man that enjoys decorating, doesn't have to be clever, funny or good looking just good with a sander, filler and paintbrush!
Jokes aside I am proud of the hall and I'm pleased I found it in me to crack on with all those time consuming extras because in time (possibly lots of time) I know I would have regretted not doing it.
As you can see I'm holding out on getting the carpet laid as I'm having one of the bedrooms plastered and knowing what I know now, I'll get the carpet once the mess is over.
I have one final job, to make a sign as everyone now walks into the hall and with their hands they run them along my now smooth, white walls and say "Oh WOW, it was artex before wasn't it?", get your poxy hands off my white walls haha i bet the home owners in Elle Decor don't have that problem!
Darcey's room's next ......... I'll let the world know that I'm still alive first xx