I was going to post some photos of the bathroom, now it’s done. But I seem to be unable to take good shots – not only of the bathroom, but of any room in the house. Whether it’s the gloomy weather, or the fact that I have taken on the local failure to offer convincing visual ‘marketing’ of any house advertised courtesy of an estate agent I don’t know. The fact remains I’m not pleased with a single shot.
Inadequate as they are, however, I’ll post a few, together with a selection of photos taken in the very early days of our ownership. We bought this house exactly 10 years ago, though we’ve lived here only six. When you look at the ‘before’ shots, you’ll wonder why we ever bought it.
It was, quite simply, a ‘coup de cœur’. We loved the old woodwork, the spacious rooms, and the way the house had evolved, higgledy-piggledy, over the years as the needs of its owners changed.
And you may understand why getting to the ‘after’ has taken so very long. We do have more photos of the really bad old days. I’ll dig them out and post them one day soon. They may horrify you.
But back to the bathroom again. It’s maybe 5 years since we enlisted the help of a local plumber to get the ancient cast-iron bath out. As he chipped and broke tiling in a whole lot of places besides the bathroom, he’s not been asked back. Getting off tiling that had been cemented to the walls was a whole other saga. So was straightening the walls. So was dealing with the fact that the ancient steel pipework was deeply – deeply – embedded in inches of concrete that several friends and two different sets of plumbers, all with heavy-duty drills, failed to excavate. Continuing to use it was not an option, as it had got lined with decades of detritus, and emptying so much as a washbasin could take an hour or more. Eventually, we had new piping constructed alongside, and had to box it in.
One way or another, as real life got in the way, there were long pauses between each phase of bathroom construction, and it’s only today we can finally declare it officially open (though in the manner of all such official openings, we’ve actually been using it for some weeks, slightly unfinished).
In among we: refurbished 4 bedrooms and the living room; made a study from a lumber room with rough-plastered walls that had never been used as living space; made a shower room from a nasty corridor housing a museum-piece toilet; refurbished a kitchen; arted up the atelier; knocked down storage huts in the yard and created a ‘relaxing outdoor living environment’, as a certain Harrogate estate agent prefers to call a garden; made the roof terrace another pleasant place to idle away an afternoon or evening; made two storage rooms from the old shop cold rooms; smartened up the garage: re-worked the downstairs washroom – all with or without the great help of friends, neighbours, professionals.
Time for a rest then? Nope. Games room next, we think. Unless it’s time really to get to grips with the atelier.