Hello and Happy Monday. First of all can I say thank you so much to those of you who read and liked my “film script” last Friday (linked here for anyone who missed it). I have to inform you that Richard Curtis did not, in fact, ring me over the weekend and hence you find me here typing away about more prosiaic matters than how Cameron Diaz would react to her knickers falling into Hugh Grant’s dirty Martini in a corner of south east London.
Secondly, I realise that a number of you don’t “do” instagram and while I have a tendency so show new things in the house there first they often end up coming here later or not at all. So, today, I am showing you a few tweakments that are currently going on in The Mad House before they make it to the ‘gram.
And in doing so it occurs to me that in the same way a new top can somehow reinvigorate an entire wardrobe so a small change can make a whole room feel new and exciting. Let’s be honest – for those of you do “do” instagram, I have not been there that much over the last few months. A combination of lockdown lethargy and feeling I was boring myself with my own spaces never mind anyone else.
But the arrival of the builders to sort out the leaking shower room (from roof and floor) has meant a a few changes, or tweakments, have taken place. A nip here and a tuck there. Nothing so dramatic as full Botox but a bit of filler as it were – cosmetic not surgical.
First up was painting the tall flat radiators in the sitting room. They took up so much wall when they were installed that we stopped the dark paint in the corner and left that part all white. It worked to open the room up and for a while I thought it was fine. But they were still big shiny blobs of metal in the room and I was desperate to paint them and wrap the room round at the end – as it were. However, The Mad Husband, while a late convert to a standard painted radiator, wasn’t convinced that a flat painted one would work.
People, it’s been a long campaign but I’m thrilled with the result. I still adore this wall colour (Fallen Plum by Atelier Ellis – I think I rang her up with 24 hours of her launching it) and now the room feels complete. Well apart from window dressings but more on that later in the week.
As you can see from the pulled out shot, we are also adding a small panelling tweak in the library. That blue tape is the decorators’ fixing the black plastic sheeting down as they have stored their tools in there for the bathroom works. I will show you that at a later date but, again, that was a final tweak.
I always liked the idea of wrapping this room in bookshelves but it would have made it very small and given that it’s a very high ceiling – the room is slightly sunken – it might have felt like you were sitting in the bottom of a bucket. So we left it blank and carried on. Every now and then I mentioned panelling and The Mad Husband ignored me. Then I panelled my office (mine see he has no say there) and he was taken with that. So now we have panelled that last wall in the library and, once again, it has been the perfect finishing touch.
Before I show you the last tweak, I will show you the painted radiator in my office. It’s not a shot that’s really going to make instagram but it’s the view from my desk and I think you might agree that it disappears into the panelling and looks so much better than a white one would. Left white it would have become a feature and it sure ain’t pretty enough for that. And yes as soon as I can co-ordinate brain, paint and brush I will be painting the white plastic knob too.
Lastly, for now, we’re off to the kitchen. And all credit to The Mad Husband here. We have too many recipe books and not enough storage and he suggested a narrow shelf on this unused corner which would free up space in the library and also on the sideboard in the kitchen (not shown) and on the shelves above the kitchen sink. Which means, in turn, we can remove some stuff from the overcrowded pantry and put it on the shelves where the books where. Everyone’s happy.
Although I now suspect the entire thing was a ruse for him to legitimately store his shoes tidily in the kitchen rather than in a heap by the door…..
And, yes the ceiling is two different colours. Thanks to the leak from the shower room above the ceiling needs repairing and repaining so it will now be the same colour as the walls. It was painted white when we built it 10 years ago and while the walls have changed several times the ceiling never has. Now is its moment.
So house tweakments, not necessarily cheaper than Botox but for my money far more satisfying. And permanent come to that. And, for the more energetic among you, things you can probably do yourselves.
Share some of you simple tweakments that have made you fall in love with your house again below.