Friday, March 09, 2012

Restoration of our Vintage Home

We have been restoring our 17th century home in Herefordshire for over a year now. It is incredibly hard work and, whenever we are flagging or feel that we haven't achieved as much as we would have liked, we delve into our comprehensive archive of photos which chart our progress. The house was in such a neglected state and required so much work that we can hardly believe how it is beginning to come together with its wealth of timbers and original features. Although we are far from finished, we have completed a few rooms and are very proud of our characterful dining room; these photos show the amazing transformation.

As the photos below will show, when we viewed the house, the room which we thought was most suited to become the dining room was not conducive to cosy dining! The walls and ceiling were covered with boarding and a peeling layer of gloss paint did nothing to enhance the appearance. The floor was covered with a curled vinyl flooring and the 1950s tiled fireplace was cracked and broken. The doors, and any timbers which weren't covered up, were painted black and the Victorian casement window had not seen a lick of paint for many years. So it was decided that this room would be restored to become the heart of the house. The false ceiling was removed, the old fireplace was knocked out and latter day plaster was removed. All of this revealed a wealth of timbers and original wattle and daub panels. We even discovered a handwritten letter from 1769 hidden in one of the old peg holes and will one day have this framed to hang in the room. Although the room was rather uninviting before we started the work, it was quite scary to see it during its 'in between stage'. But, as the saying goes, you can't make an omelette without cracking an egg, so we 'kept the faith' and ploughed on with the arduous task. Eventually, it all came together and the room is now finished. Of course, we will continue to change the decor - and as I am sure you can imagine, in true vintage style, I have changed the textiles and pictures several times since these photos were taken!

So, here are the Before, In-Between and After photos!

As it looked when we bought the house - the fireplace was removed and our re-conditioned Rayburn now stands in its place (how we ever lived without a Rayburn before, I do not know!)

A room with a view?

Mmm, well the view has improved now those curtains have gone - but there's no going back at this stage!

A vast improvement without the fireplace, but there's still a long way to go until it has that 'homely' appeal!

Who would have thought I would soon be relaxing on the chaise longue in front of this wall...

...aah, now that's better!

Since completing the dining room, we have almost finished the bathroom and then we will turn our attention to the kitchen - oh, and then there's the huge, overgrown garden! See you all again soon...

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