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Roots and Wings

Raising a kid, creating a home

Hello, blogging world

Just in case you’re wondering (and you didn’t make it to the ‘About’ tab up there!) I’m Amy, a 30-something mum of a totally adorable, cheeky, funny and crazy two-year-old boy called Ted. Me and my husband Paul have just bought a beautiful – but totally dilapidated – Victorian school cottage and this is the story of our journey to create our dream family home, all while navigating the choppy waters of parenthood. Why not take a nosey around to see what we’ve been up to?

“Give them roots so they always know where home is;

Give them wings so they can soar.”

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Featured post

Project Upcycle…

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Turning old furniture into new furniture.

As if we didn’t have enough to do during ‘moving in’ week, I decided to get my hands dirty with a little DIY project which has, to be honest, been on my to-do list for years. And that was transforming our orangey pine bedroom furniture into something a little more stylish, brighter and more in keeping with the fresh look we’ve been trying to create throughout the house. Continue reading “Project Upcycle…”

Moving in…

First night
First night in our new home… cheers!

It was the milestone we’d all been waiting for. And on April 29, five whole months after we got the keys, we were finally able to spend our first night in the house.

With the majority of the main building work completed – building work which eventually meant us pretty much stripping the house back to bare brick and dirt floors – and a temporary new bathroom suite installed (the proper bathroom is another huge project which we’re planning to get done over the late summer months) we felt the house was complete enough for us to muddle through, and safe enough for a toddler! Continue reading “Moving in…”

Admitting defeat…

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The beautiful solid oak flooring upstairs, treated with Osmo raw Polyx Oil for a natural look.

Well, of a fashion. Flooring. It’s been the subject of much debate and we’ve been round the houses with options – carpet, wood, parquet – and even when we thought we’d made up our minds, things happened to change them again. Continue reading “Admitting defeat…”

Fifty shades…

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Farrow and Ball’s Dimpse in the spare bedroom.

Let’s talk about paint! After walloping the whole house with some 120 litres of brilliant white trade emulsion, it was time to have the conversation about choosing some actual colours for the walls. Now, I’d been familiarising myself with the Farrow and Ball colour chart for some time and had been drawn to, somewhat predictably, pretty much every shade of grey. Paul’s initial reaction was “You can’t paint the whole house grey!” Well, just watch me! Continue reading “Fifty shades…”

Rapid progress…

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Freshly concreted floors and freshly plastered walls.

After the setback of ‘damp-gate’, it actually feels like we’ve made some serious progress in the past three weeks with major tasks. The first of these being the damp proof course, which Paul measured, drilled and injected himself, and which fulfilled the second part of our obligation to the mortgage company (the first being the woodworm treatment) needed to get back the money they’d retained from the initial purchase. Continue reading “Rapid progress…”

It never rains, but it pours…

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The chimney breast wall showing signs of damp damage.

Quite literally, in our case! And a bout of heavy rain showed up a few problems which needed immediate attention, and which looked to scupper some of the hard work we’d put in up until this point.

We’d been making great progress upstairs, as I’ve discussed in my previous update, and started mist coating all of the walls. Well, after a few days’ worth of heavy rain those freshly painted walls were covered in unsightly yellowing damp patches, showing up a leak in the roof and some porous brickwork which needed dealing with before we could go any further. Continue reading “It never rains, but it pours…”

Upstairs, downstairs…

The first coat of paint goes on.
The first coat of paint goes on.

It almost feels like the house has two very different identities at the moment. Upstairs is really back on the road to recovery; fully plastered, adorned with skirting boards and picture rails and – my god! – there’s actual paint on the walls! Two bedrooms have had a good walloping (technical term don’tcha know!) with Brilliant White trade emulsion – 20 litres of paint and counting – and we’re just starting on the master bedroom, which should be painted over the weekend. So there’s just the small matter of deciding on final paint colours, fitting the radiators, carpeting and sanding the master bedroom floor, and then upstairs will be ready to move into. Continue reading “Upstairs, downstairs…”

And then there were walls…

Freshly insulated and plastered walls in the main bedroom.
Freshly insulated and plastered walls in the main bedroom.

In my head one of the major milestones, and the point I thought it would feel like we were actually getting there with the renovations, was the plastering. Since we’ve had to remove pretty much all of the plasterwork downstairs, as well as several walls’ worth upstairs, stripping it back to bare brick, I figured that plastering would make the house feel, well, like a house again rather than the barn/outbuilding feel it’s been rocking in recent weeks. Continue reading “And then there were walls…”

A happy new year…

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Rebuilding the chimney – it’s hard work!

And as 2017 sets it, it means that this is the year we’ll actually move into out forever home! The last couple of weeks of 2016 saw more progress both inside and out: the main addition is that we’ve had the new boiler and central heating pipework fitted, removing the old gas fire, back boiler and hot water tank in the process, and our lovely radiators have been delivered and are just waiting in their boxes until the walls are plastered and painted ready for them to be fitted. Continue reading “A happy new year…”

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