Before &After: Hallway & Stairs

Next room to be presented with Before and After pictures is the hallway and stairs up to the loft.

Before

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There was a cupboard in the hallway that housed the hot water tank and some linen. When we did the loft, we changed the whole heating system and installed a new bigger boiler up in the eaves and got rid of the old one in the kitchen and the hot water tank in this cupboard.

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It was great that we could build the new stairs in this “wasted” space and didn’t have to cut into any of the bedrooms.

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Like this.

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And after plastering the walls and under the stairs and painting all the walls and the ceiling and the stairs and about a zillion man hours later (we did all decorating ourselves), it looked like this.

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The white wooden stairs were beautiful but not very practical, especially with babies in the house as they can be slippery and they get dirty very quickly. So we decided to install a runner. I’m not a big fan of carpet (as a Scandinavian person I just don’t understand the point!) but runners are beautiful. I could have gone with something a bit colourful like this but you can’t install a patterned runner if your stairs “turn” in other words are not straight. So we went with a jute runner in their lightest shade.

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We used a company called Urbane Living and they were brilliant. The beautiful jute runner was installed in a day and looked great.

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After

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We have downlights in most of the rooms but since the bottom of the stairs in curvy we couldn’t install any there, so we got a wall lamp from Bestlite instead. All in all we have been super happy with our new stairs and to make it look like one big staircase we re-decorated the existing stairs (at the entrance) with the same style, more of that in a separate post.

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Before & After: Kitchen

I thought it might be nice to introduce our house with before & after pictures. When I moved in five years ago the first thing I said to S. was “We are going to have to do some work around here”. He didn’t think anything needed changing, five years later…? We have changed every single surface. Let’s start with the kitchen.

Before 

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The kitchen had bright red walls, birch cabinets, white appliances, PVC window, boiler in the middle of one wall on its own, brown and cream wall tiles…do I need to go on? But the biggest problem was that it was a separate room from the living room. That meant that if we had a dinner party, the one who was cooking was completely cut off from the party, not very practical or fun at all.

After 

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The most important thing was that we took out the wall between the kitchen and the living room and this way created one big space, a kind of family room for cooking, eating, sitting by the fire, listening to music and so on….and the bonus? The 46″ monster of a TV relocated into the TV room, happy days!

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What else happened? The boiler was moved upstairs, one window was covered, the other window was made bigger and changed into a double glazed timber sash window, the plastic flooring (do you call that lino?) was changed into hardwood flooring, the same as in the living room which made it feel like one big space and we got integrated appliances. Our kitchen supplier? Good old Ikea, assembled by us.

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Bathroom planning

The last room in our house that hasn’t been renovated is the downstairs bathroom. The drop-deadline for all renovation projects is quickly approaching. When I go back to work in 6 months time we’ll get an au pair and you can’t exactly ask her to put up with renovation mess and dust. So this is my last chance to get  everything done!

And this should be a quick and easy one (what I always say to my husband when I tell him about my reno ideas 😉 ) Anyhow the plan is this, materials and fittings will be the same as in the upstairs bathroom: large white matt tiles on the wall and small limestone mosaic flooring. The downstairs bathroom doesn’t have a window, so I’m hoping that the white tiles will help make it seem lighter and bigger.

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Images from ToppsTiles

The space is small and I don’t want to change the plumbing (cost control) so the layout of the room will not change. There is no space for bath and currently there is a pretty horrible glass brick wall, so that will come down and be replaced with a fresh looking shower wall like in the picture below. This bathroom will be the boys ‘ bathroom so I would love to put in a double basin for them. The Ikea double basin below should just fit and give nice storage space.

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Images from ToppsTiles and Ikea 

For some extra storage I would love to put in another Molger shelf (same as upstairs) and an Iittala Aitio shelf for shampoo bottles.
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Images from Ikea and Iittala

So that’s the plan, demolition will start beginning of May and husband will be project manager while we are away for the summer….luckily there is Skype to make sure that tiles are not installed in the wrong way or the sink in the wrong place or towel hooks too high or anything…And trust me I’m not being paranoid, when we re-did our kitchen the builders almost took out and covered the wrong window in the kitchen!