Home · House remodel

We have finally moved in!

After 8 weeks of waiting and hard work, I can now officially say that we have finally moved into our new house! YEY! We managed to move in officially on Saturday, 17th June. Of course, there is still a lot to be done, but that is ok. There is no better feeling than my family and I being in our own home.

Remember my blog post about my rug dilemma!? (read:ย Which one, which one? Major RUG distress!) Well, I have finally decided and ordered at the beginning of last week! It was also such a bonus to get it on a 60% off sale. CHACHING definitely saved a bit of money there! To my surprise, it was delivered swiftly and the rug arrived by Friday. The courier was DHL and I was able to track the delivery online too. ย When I opened the package I knew that I have made the right choice. Rolling out the rug into the sun-soaked living area while the marvellous pattern and colours unfolded before my eyes and also seeing the difference it brings to the room was just absolute magic! I do not think I will ever get tired of it. It feels really soft too. When Joseph saw it, he quickly laid on it and said with a long sigh: “Ahhhhh reeellaax!” I am glad that my little monkey likes it too.

By the way, I have decided to ditch the coffee table. As much as I wanted to keep it, I wanted to make sure I was maximising the use of every space we have while keeping every sense of comfort suitable for my family. So instead I bought a footstool from IKEA which will also serve as a coffee table and storage. It is from IKEA’s “Ektorp” range which I absolutely love as it is timeless and yet at the same time super practical as the slipcovers are machine washable. Perfect for a household with little children and I can get away with having a white settee. YEY!

To ensure I can use it as a coffee table too when entertaining I bought a large white tray with grey laurel leaf pattern on the side which gives it a “French Provence” vintagey look. For a bit of texture on the whole ensemble, I have added a faux sheep fur throw which I have also purchased from IKEA for a bargain price.

However, as the room is not complete yet you will have to wait for the “Room Reveal” post.

We are soooo close to finishing the Living/ Dining and Kitchen area, so it should not be long anymore. But here’s a little teaser…..:)

 

Here’s one with the footstool and tray:

 

I know it is 3 months overdue but this is the welcome package and the house keys which we have received from the estate agent shortly after the exchange of contracts:

 

And because we have worked hard and the sun is smiling down on Bristol this week again, I decided to take it easy and explore a bit of Yate.

Here’s Joseph enjoying the giant sandpit in the middle of the town centre:

Until next time my lovelies! ๐Ÿ™‚

Design Ideas · Home

Which one, which one? Major RUG distress!

Now that we have finished decorating the living areas down stairs, it is time to design and accessorise! WOAHO!!! Exciting times! (I am so excited and I just can’t hide it! lalalala! )

In order for a room to have that “WOW” effect, you need to have a focal point right!? And you can use that focal point in working your way around accessorising and decorating your room. As we do not have a focal wall I have decided to place the focal point on the floor to anchor everything together. That’s when the big “RUG” comes in. Choosing the right rug is not easy, it is either you “make it” or “break it”. Plus I do not want to get this wrong as rugs can be ridiculously expensive.

As I can’t quite decide which pattern I like the most, YOU my dear readers might be able to help me out.

Below are mood boards I have created depicting how the rug will look like with pieces of furniture we have at home.

Rug A:

 

 

 

Rug B:

 

 

 

Rug C:

 

 

 

Rug D:

 

 

 

Rug E:

 

 

 

Let me know your thoughts, ideas and opinion!

The rug I will choose will of course be featured in a special “ROOM REVEAL” blog post.

So help me out dear friends by commenting down below. ๐Ÿ™‚

Dining · Home · House remodel · Kitchen · Living

Small details matter…

When we purchased our house and started this remodel/update project, Christopher promised that he will ensure that we finish and decorate each rooms and make sure they are presented nicely. And he is true to his words and quite a perfectionist too even down to the absolute smallest of details. But of course even those little things take time to install and sometimes they take the longest (and yes I do get really impatient as I just want it all to finish ๐Ÿ˜ต). These past two weeks we decided to focus on installing and fitting those little details.

1. Adding Scotia trims to the skirting boards

Again we made are usual trip to our local DIY shop and purchased primed white Scotia trims to cover the gaps between the laminate flooring and the existing skirting boards. I think with the Scotia trims you can either choose and match it with the colour of your flooring or that of your skirting boards. We chose to match it with our white painted skirting boards as they are quite small and plain and the Scotia trim gives it a more polished look.

Before cutting them to size I first painted them white, and as soon as the paint dried, Chris cut the trim to the right sizes and finally fitted them using “no nails” glue.

Pictures below, with and without the Scotia trim (sorry for the bad photograph):

2. Lighting install

When the electricians did the electrical re-wirings they just installed standard, plain, boring pendant lightings for the living areas except for the kitchen and bathroom where we had spotlights installed. The pendant lightings definitely did not flatter the living/dining room ๐Ÿ˜ฒ and I was just keen to have them replaced ASAP. It was not easy to choose the right lighting, as yes the space is open plan but it it is not necessarily the biggest of rooms where you can just install grand statement chandeliers/lightings like what you see they do in Pinterest. It needs to be the type of lighting that can balance and pull the room together

In the end I decided to go with this (and Christopher did not disagree! Yey! ๐Ÿ˜†):

A 3 lamp spotlight in soft matt white finish and satin brushed gold fixtures…

…and I love it! ๐Ÿ˜Š The matt white colour blend perfectly in our living/dining area, but the satin brush gold finish detail gives it a little twist so it’s not just your average white spotlights.

3. Adding decorative kitchen plinths and panels

The kitchenโ€‹ took us the longest to install and we are not fully finished yet….ahhhhhhh it is just never ending. Thank goodness when Chris was about to ย install the decorative plinths and panels his dad once again came to the rescue! So the install went much quicker thanks to the know how and carpentry skills of my father-in-law.

Here’s how the kitchen looks at the moment. We still need to cover the pipes underneath the boiler and tile the kitchen walls with white subway tiles. So this is unfortunately not the final look yet….. ๐Ÿ˜’ But we will get there somehow, for sure.

Christopher’s dad also bricked up the outside walls underneath our living room and kitchen windows. He also added steps to the front and back doors! He’s an absolute superstar! ๐Ÿ˜†๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽŠ

Spot the difference!?

Front:

Back: (sorry couldn’t find a before picture of the back of house without Joseph ๐Ÿ˜„, he is cute though!)

There’s more work to tackle but we will prevail! Ha!๐Ÿ˜

 

Home · House remodel · Kitchen

Delight! It’s all slowly coming together!

It has been two weeks since my last post and it is definitely time for an updateโ€‹.

Juggling parenthood, work, house remodel and trying to keep familiar routines especially for my three-year-old son whilst temporarily living in my mother-in-law’s home can be somewhat challenging, hence the delay of this blog post. ย Despiteโ€‹ busy schedules I am so grateful I get to write, every time I do, I get a sense of freedom and a bigger appreciation to the works my husband and I (especially that of my husband) have achieved in making our house to a home we want it to be.

So here’s what we have done these past two weeks:

1. Flooring:

After we have finished painting the living, dining and kitchen areas we moved on to cleaning and prepping the floorboards to finally lay the laminate flooring. Chris and I chose the flooring together which we bought from B&Q at a very good price. Yey! we absolutely love the “oak effect”!

Here’s Christopher laying the underlay and then his dad came along to help. I love their picture together, it perfectly captured their “father and son bonding moment” ๐Ÿ˜Š

Here’s the before and after (excuse the mess! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ):

2. Kitchen install:

Now this one was a bit more complicated and you think installing an IKEA kitchen would be easy peesy right!? Heck NO! Ensuring everything is level and even was definitely not an easy feat! I don’t even want to dare count the amount of times Christopher and his dad had to re-adjust the cabinets and cupboards to ensure that they were perfectly aligned and level from each other.

The worktop is a whole different story. Luckily Chris’ sister’s boyfriend is a carpenter, who kindly came to the rescue at such short notice! He brought his expertise and the right tools and voila we got our perfect kitchen worktop! ๐Ÿ˜† (Thank you so much Jake!)

Here’s the kitchen as it looks at the moment, the side panels, trim mouldings and the rest of the doors and hardware still need to be added to give it’s final look and finish:

Ahhhhhhh! I have a feeling it’s going to be beautiful! And hats off to my husband who has done most of the work! He’s been working so hard to make everything perfect. Bless his socks! Ha! ๐Ÿ˜˜

So this week the built-in appliances will be wired in and the washer/dryer and sink will be plumbed in. Exciting times!

Until next time y’all ๐Ÿ˜˜

Home · House remodel · Kitchen

Painting, what a fun family affair!

My family and I are in a weird position at the moment, we are not tenants anymore, we are now home owners and yet we are homeless but at the same time we are not…..sorry guys my train of thoughts have been going loopy lately as ย there is so much to think about!

As already mentioned in my previous post, we are currently staying at my mother-in-law’s place until the the downstairs living areas of the house have been sorted and the kitchen installed. And so without any hesitation my boys and I rolled up our sleeves this bank holiday weekend to paint and prep the kitchen and living/dining area (we have not included the hallway yet). But alas, I have learned that there is so much more to it than just painting the rooms and it involves A LOT of other little things too which are pretty time consuming!

All those DIY enthusiast out there might already know this, but….

Did you know that a freshly plastered wall needs to be sanded down to smooth out rough surfaces (which is my least favourite – what a dusty business!), it needs to be washed down by a damp cloth to remove excess dirt, also it needs be covered with a minimum of 2 “mist paint coats” (water down paint) and a normal coat before you can actually apply the top paint of your choice! It is crazy loads of work especially when you need to do a big area and did I mention that it is MESSY too!

This is Chris and I doing the sanding and washing down and applying the first mist coat:

 

If you are a girlie girl, concious about your perfectly styled outfit, coiffure and manicured nails and planning to do extreme DIY painting and decorating, then be prepared that all of that will go down the drains! There will be splashes of paint all over you, you will be covered in dirt and your hands will crack and blister as if they are out of this world (it will still happen even if you wear gloves…๐Ÿ˜–)! So yeah just heads up on that because I am currently experiencing all those things. But hey on the positive note it’s an amazing overall workout as you will definitely stretch, squat and use a lot of arm muscles! I was aching after two days of work! ๐Ÿคฃ

However, whose to say we did not have fun!? My little boy absolutely loved painting with me and Chris which would last about 20 minutes and then he would either say: “I am tired” or “I am hungry”. Bless him, he was so good despite the fact that he had to stay in an unfinished house while his mummy and daddy are busy doing work on it.

 

We worked the whole day Saturday and yesterday we didn’t get home until past midnight. Luckily we managed to finish the kitchen and the dining area and we need to finish off the living area today to ensure the rooms are ready for floor laying and kitchen install this week.

Yup with house remodels I have observed that things rarely go as planned, unfortunately! But it’s ok ย we work hard, we give our best and we will get there somehow. I keep on telling myself, “Just focus on the end goal, it will be worth it!” Chris got his own motivation mantra as well which is: “Let’s do this!” And he tries to say it in a very manly way which kind of makes me chuckle! ๐Ÿ˜„

Before and after the paint work, and my superman burning the midnight oil:

 

The new door and windows got installed by Chris’ dad last week and our IKEA kitchen got delivered spot on time last Tuesday! ๐Ÿ˜Š And I am sooooo in love with our brand new sage green door! ๐Ÿ˜

Freshly delivered IKEA flat packed kitchen and electrical appliances:

Window frames before and after the install:

 

So this week, it’s the flooring and kitchen install we need to worry about. On that note: “We can do this!”

Home · Personal

Empty rooms, full rooms, empty flat, full house…..

There’s something surreal standing in an empty living space of the flat that has been home for my little family these past three years. And although we are not the owners of the property, we made it our home and I found myself reminiscing countless of memories, experiences and plans that my boys and I have shared within the humble walls of our Downend, Bristol flat. For all those memories I am forever grateful.

Empty living room just moments before we handed back our keys to the landlord. And the garden that we absolutely loved, which we gladly shared with a family of foxes (with 4 cubs!), A big fat cat, 2 sets of magpie couple, squirrels and varieties of birds! It was Joseph’s mini zoo:

 

Joseph playing with his cousin Bella (picture taken 2 days before the move):

The “big move” happened over Friday and Saturday, in which we moved the majority of the packed boxes to the new house and on Saturday we were lucky enough ย that two of our good friends, Chris’ dad and brother came to help to move all the furnitures etc…(so basically the heavy stuff) And then just after noon time it was all done. At first I thought it was going to be a major disaster as Thursday I came home from work with tonsillitis and was feverish throughout Friday and Saturday and also everytime I finished packing up, my little monkey would open a box and exclaim very loudly: “CAR!” or “DIGGER!” as if finding something precious in a treasure trove until the whole box was unpacked. There was no stopping him and he was quick! I wanted to rip my hair off my head but at the same time I was glad to see him happy and excited during the last few days in the flat he has known as home since he was born…And it was a classic comedic act between my son and me! ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

As the house isn’t fully inhabitable yet due to mainly that the kitchen is yet to be installed Christopher’s mum offered that we stay with her for a week or two until the house is fully ready and functional for us and we gladly accepted her offer. It was such a huge relief that we would not have to worry about how and where we are going to prep and store food and also we have gained a bit more time to finalise the prepping of the new house.

Stacked boxes just before the big day:

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These past few weeks prior to these events I have come to appreciate even more so the importance of families and good friends who with their good hearts just silently hold you up and give you tremendous strength in a way that you do not even realise.

I am especially touched by the support that Christopher’s father has been giving us and although his health is of fragile state he stood by his son, helping us prepare our home to be. He was there right from the beginning, knocking down / bricking up walls, clearing up rubble, plastering, etc…It was endearing and profound and I told Christopher that it is his dad’s “labour of love” for him. It was his perfect way of showing us how much he cares and loves us.

Yes, the property is still a work in progress and for those who were quick to judge and make remarks such as it was “ghettoey” or “we have moved into a ghetto”, it would have been best to have kept your arrogant heart silent as you have sadly failed to see what was behind the current rough faรงades and that most of the great things in life happen by starting small and staying humble (one of the main things my parent have thought me growing up)

This is a new start and it will be a good one, in fact we will make it a wonderful one! We, the Sewells will make our new house to a welcoming home, not only to fill it with love, joy and kindness but also ensuring that it’s free of arrogance, prejudice and false judgement.

……And of course staying true to “styling my heart out” ๐Ÿ˜‰

Home · House remodel

Never ending construction site and time is against us…

Last Saturday my husband and father-in-law met up again to do further work in the house and also to inspect how things are progressing with electrical re-wirings, plumbing and new boiler install. Well what can I say the place is officially a construction site and we are moving by the end of this week! And yes I am panicking! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ The carpets have been partly pulled out so that the boiler guy could install the new radiators and the walls are partly bare as the electricians had to chase the electrical wirings all over the house.

Due to some delays during the house purchase process it is now definite that my family and I will be moving to a construction site. I suppose we just need to ensure as much as we can that the house will be clean and safe enough, that the electrics are working and no wirings hanging out and finally that there will be running water…..I’m sure with the rest we will be able to deal with (…I hope..๐Ÿ˜ต)

New boiler installed and electrical wirings for switches and sockets in place:

Chris and his dad also bricked up the kitchen door leading to the garden to turn it into a standard window and the same was done to the front window of the living area:

My man hard at work. As you can see there’s no way we can temporarily use the existing carpet, it’s completely and utterly ruined!:

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On a positive note my boys and I went to B&Q (local DIY shop) today to choose the paint colour and laminate flooring we will be applying/installing all over the house. As already mentioned in my previous post we will keep the walls white and neutral to ensure the rooms will be light and airy.

Here’s the white tone I have chosen:

Farrow & Ball – Wimborne White

No, we will not be using Farrow and Ball. As it’s designer paint, they’re freakishly expensive! ๐Ÿ˜ต. We are going go for a much cheaper alternative of Valspar paint. The B&Q paint consultant advised us to choose a colour from the F&B colour palette and they can mix/create the same colour with Valspar paint.

Here’s the laminate floor we have chosen and luckily it is currently on a spring deal at B&Q – Ostend Oxford Oak Effect Laminate Flooring

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There’s still lots to do, any suggestions how to keep my head cool and and my nerves calm!? ๐Ÿค—