Saturday, 23 March 2013


I came across this inspirational photograph, which is featured on many sites, and loved how they had painted the backs of the bookshelves with a accent colour.  It's a great way for creating the illusion of depth and adding interest to a room.  I may have to try this myself!

I'm already thinking of the next job needing to be done after the alcove project is finished.  The interior window sills need attention as they are scratched and gouged, in some places quite badly.  The easiest and quickest option is going to be to adhere a 3mm thick ply wood veneer and then paint white which will result in a good finish.  Decorative wood moulding can applied to the front edge to hide the seam.  The other option would be to fill with wood filler and sand or plane the wood down, which I feel is going to be more laborious and messy.   I think wherever possible sanding indoors should be avoided because of all dust that is created.

Here's the Pepper Kitty modelling the window sill in the Living Room.  It may be snowing outside, but when she's stretched out and hogging the heat from the radiators, she may as well be in the Bahamas!  I'm not sure if that look means 'rub my belly' or 'bring me a Pina Colada, please'.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013


An update of where we are with the alcove cabinets & bookshelves:  The right side one is now in situ and ready for painting and to have the edge moulding fixed to the top and sides.

Again we almost couldn't get the bookshelf unit in, and at one point it was jammed into the space leaning forwards and I was having visions of having to take a chainsaw and hack the whole thing out and start again.  Luckily with a lot of brute force it finally moved into place.  I just hope that walls aren't so wavy on the left side and units slide in easily.

Next weekend we should be able to start the second cabinet.  As you can see this one was commandeered quite quickly as a makeshift wine bodega.  I'm just so happy that we are finally getting some storage!

Monday, 11 March 2013


Well after 10 days of having a stinking cold, weekend work has now resumed on building the alcove units & bookcases in the Living Room.  The carcass of the first unit has been built and was quite a struggle to cram into the space as one of the walls was crooked and slanting towards the right.  After an intensive session of wood planing (towards the back) we managed to get the unit to fit.  Luckily, we are working with 30mm (1 1/4 inch) thick MDF which gives plenty of leeway to trim the sides if needed.

We thought it might be a good idea to run through a dry run fit of the bookcase so that any adjustments could be made before priming.  This is what it should roughly look like.

The central support of the cabinet acts to hold the hinges of what eventually will be a 4 door cabinet.  The long narrow doors should give it more of an illusion of height.  It's impossible to tell from the photograph but the cabinet unit is actually 4ft wide!

The shelves of the bookcase were temporarily supported by pieces on wood on the sides which won't be there when it is finished - including the bottom piece sitting on the top surface of the cabinet.

Moulding will close up the space between the top of the bookcase and any on the sides.  That should give it a more finished look.

I like the way that all the TV cables are now neatly hidden in the cavity surrounding the recessed TV.

I can't wait to see it finished and painted white.


Sunday, 10 March 2013


There are times when all of us have inadvertently treated our parental home as some sort of 5 star hotel, where meals are cooked for us, our rooms cleaned, our beds made and our clothes laundered and ironed and all we have to do is check in and out.  It's a rite of passage to realise one day that it just isn't so.

For underappreciated entrepreneurial mothers the Hotel Mama doormat could make the perfect Mother's Day gift.  Of course, they'll also need to sort out the letterheaded billing invoices...  Payback time!

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Tuesday, 5 March 2013


Is it wrong to have a inexplicable fixation on the occassional beautiful object that one comes across like this  water buffalo horn & metal ashtray from Graham & Green? 

For the time being the photograph will have to suffice...

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