Nursery done!


The nursery’s now been painted, hurrah!  In the end we went for Sorbet (Dulux) on two walls, which is a pale pink, and then B&Q’s Grey Hints for the rest of the room.  When the decorator was painting the grey, I was worried it wasn’t quite grey enough and it would just look dirty white, but it seems to have dried really nicely and they’re good contrasting colours.

We’d quite like to put a shelf or two up (especially as we have nothing to put the baby monitor and temperature egg thing on), so we’re on the look out for reasonable shelving, although I could always paint a pine one white I suppose.

Nursery paint

It’s really satisfying to have the room painted – the furniture is all finally where we want it now, so we’re just waiting for the arrival to really complete the room!

I’m expecting a few fabric samples from eBay for the nursing chair and stool and then I’ll have a go at reupholstering that – my lovely friend Charlie is going to lend me her sewing machine (thank you!).  And if it turns out like a dog’s dinner, I’ll put a throw on it.  Nobody need ever know…

Neighbourhood watch

Despite living in this house for three-and-a-half years, we don’t really know our neighbours.

On one side, we have Family A; the ones who let their dog poo freely.  I’ve mentioned this before.  We know the couple’s names, but they had a baby a couple of years ago and I’ve forgotten his name.  I know the name of the dog, who is the fluffiest Alsation you ever will see.

On the other side, we have Family B: a lovely couple who I think we’d get on with well if we saw a bit more of each other.  I once sat next to the lady on the bus home and we had a lovely conversation.  Barry’s spoken to the man’s dad quite a few times, so we know more about him than anyone that actually lives in the house.  Her mum has been round a few times to borrow a corkscrew!  They also have a dog, but it’s a bit crazy and won’t stop barking when it sees anyone other than the owners.  Although I see myself as a dog person, this makes me jump and scares me.  On our way home from a night out, a very drunk Barry stopped to pet the dog and (in his best doggy voice), said, “Hello, doggy!  Why are you out on your own?  Where’s your owner?”.  The owner was at the other end of the lead Barry had failed to spot, so I just dragged him away, apologising.  The neighbour seemed bemused, but it may be why we haven’t seen much of them.

Both sides have been round and looked at the kitchen.  The dad of the man from Family A actually knocked on our door to have a nosey (which is fine because we’re show-offs), and then happened to be outside the day after the worktop was put in, so we asked if they wanted to see it.  Family A guy said they were thinking of doing something similar, so there may be a spate of home improvements down our street shortly.

Family B nipped round when B&Q delivered some of our stuff to their house, and made polite noises about it looking nice, but haven’t been round since.

I’m thinking a housewarming may bring us all together.  I’m calling it a housewarming, because we never had one, and now we’ve definitely got something to be proud of (or will, when the floor’s done!).  After all, we all know that’s when good neighbours become good friends…

The joiner cometh

I have absolutely no news today, but I’m hoping to have updated photos tomorrow.  For today, the joiner cometh!

I’m so happy at the thought of having a functioning sink (never mind somewhere to chop those pesky veggies) that I’m hoping it will put me in a good mood all day.  It is still, however, a working day, so we shall see.

Jobs for the joiner

  • Cut worktop (four bits)
  • Cut out hole for sink (hopefully leaving us with a chopping board from the negative space)
  • Cut the upstand to match the worktop
  • Make a cupboard from the boiler from the random bits the B&Q designer cleverly ordered (note: adverb used with irony)
  • Cut the plinth for all of the kitchen.

While he’s cracking on, Barry can sort out the waterworks underneath the sink so we can use it straight away.  I daren’t ask him to take photos of the process, so I’ll just have to see the transformation when I get home!

Black as night

I’m off work today to wait in for a B&Q delivery (allegedly this should be the last).

This weekend, we took a deep breath and did it – we’ve painted most of the west wall in the kitchen black!  We decided against painting it with chalkboard paint, although looking at it, it’s probably the same stuff anyway.  Still need to do the edges but the majority’s done.

Barry’s also put the splashback under the cooker hood and built the unit that goes on the other side.

We also visited my ex-uncle this weekend with his broken and new sanders.  He was lovely about it and said we shouldn’t have, and there was much merriment about lending us tools that were on their way out!

Barry’s got lots of fiddly things to do now in the kitchen, like fixing the electric plug and gas hose behind the oven, starting to build a cupboard for the boiler, and then putting handles on all of the purple doors and drawers.  He’s going to ring the joiner this week as well; I cannot wait for the sink to be sorted!

Colour me beautiful

I’ve been following a few other decorating/DIY blogs, and one writer has recently come up with a couple of kitchen posts I found interesting – one about white ones and one about kitchens with flashes of colour.  It’s nice to see trends on the other side of the pond, and shows how a bit of colour can really work.  I’m unsure about the brightly coloured units in three different shades in one kitchen though – it would have to be huge to carry that off.

I love the idea of having chalkboard paint from this blogger.  We’re having one wall matt black anyway, so we’re looking into this – it’s definitely a possibility!  From the big UK stores, I’ve found this one from B&Q, and this one from Wickes.  If anyone actually has experience of doing this, it would be much appreciated.  I’m not sure how much control you would have with a spray one, and I’m not sure how much you’d need to cover a wall that goes up the stairs!


Barry started building cabinets yesterday, it’s very exciting because there’s visible evidence that we’re making progress (unlike painting the ceiling white).  We did come across some problems though – the B&Q designer seems to have taken a little liberty with the measurements Barry provided so we’re having to “make do” with some elements, which isn’t ideal.  We also put the double cabinet together for the sink to go in, only to find the sink won’t fit!

Anyway, for those of you who watch Project Runway, we’ll “make it work”.  Photos of the progress below!


After we discovered that B&Q had missed some items yesterday, Barry gave them a call. Their reasons were many and varied:

  • They had the wrong barcode for the cream door pack, so it was still correct as far as the call centre was concerned, so Barry had to ring the store to ask them to call the call centre and change it to white;
  • The taps aren’t coming in from the suppliers, so we have to pick another. But we like our tap! I can’t believe they didn’t let us know about this in advance – we can’t fit the sink without the tap! They said it wasn’t in stock anywhere, but it is in Romford! After some furious internet searching, I told Barry to ask them to courier it from another store, but he wouldn’t;
  • The wooden maintenance kit had the wrong barcode on our quote, so wasn’t ordered, it was put down with the barcode for an upstand so that’s why we ended up with three of those;
  • Hood filters are waiting in store. Of course. Our mistake. Except nobody ever said that. Why didn’t they give them to Barry when he placed the order?

My work colleagues said they could actually feel me seething.

Barry waited for B&Q to call him back, they said they would change the door, the lady also had the presence of mind to notice that the cornice and pelmet were coming in cream, so she changed those as well. Maybe those would have come on time if they’d got the right colour. They’ve just confirmed that they can deliver on 5 March.

What we didn’t mention was the fact that designer hadn’t listened to Barry with regards to the drawers. We think it’s a bit late to notice now, so we’ll just live with it, but she was obsessed with pan drawers and we kept saying that we didn’t have space – we needed a four-drawer unit to put all our stuff in. She’s given us pan drawers anyway.

Barry started painting the kitchen last night; some of the plaster is coming away with the paint, and some of the paint we used had dried bits in it and went all bobbly, so he had to keep going over it and may need to sand and repaint it later.

Rant over.

Up and running

The oven is now functional! As evidenced, we plastered the last wall and had pizza last night. I can honestly say, it’s the nicest meal I think I’ve ever made in that oven.

It’s so satisfying, removing the plastic wrapping that’s around the oven. It will have to be popped back in its box while we sand and paint, but soon it will be free.

We spent last night checking we had what we thought we had from B&Q. Sadly, we don’t have what we thought. We’re missing:

  • 2 x cornice/ pelmet
  • 2 x pelmet

Fair enough, we knew about these. However, we’re also missing:

  • 2 x cooker hood filters
  • 1 x tap
  • 1 x wooden maintenance kit
  • 1 cupboard door (they sent us cream instead of white)

So our jobs list for this weekend is thus:

  • Ring B&Q to sort the above ASAP.
  • Sand.
  • Paint the ceiling and some walls (the important ones).
  • Start putting units together!


It’s here!

I’ve been sent this very exciting picture from Barry, who is working from home today and has just accepted the delivery of our B&Q kitchen.

We’ve been told the cornices are missing due to a quality issue – they’re going to be delivered in a couple of weeks.

Barry’s going to take the oven, sink and parts of the old kitchen out this evening, so it looks like it’s takeaway for tea.  Hard life.


I know I’ve mentioned this before, but Pinterest is brilliant!  I thought you may want to see a couple of my boards as they stand.

I keep spotting some lovely accessories and pinning them to my boards, and it’s easy to see if they’ll fit with the theme, so I’d highly recommend it if you’re decorating.  I’ve pinned photos of items on there from B&Q, Wickes, Argos, Dulux, the list goes on…

As an example, I’ve just found these lovely curtains on the left in the Next sale for the living room.  I can clearly see that they complement the room’s theme.  However!  A word of warning.  I pinned this photo onto my Pinterest board and was going to wait until payday to buy them.  Then I thought I’d better get them as they’re on sale.  They were all gone, in every size, when I went back an hour later.  I’m naturally suspicious, and event one might have nothing to do with the other, but if you see something on sale, buy it before you pin it!

This is my kitchen board.  I’m lusting after some gorgeous tableware from John Lewis at the moment, but, being realistic, £9.99 for a cup is out of my price range, unless we start buying one piece of crockery a month!

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