I'm not going to lie to you. Buying our first home has been (and still is!) hard work. Our house is particularly old, but neither is it a brand new sparkly new ready to move into home. It's about 40 years old; and when we bought it, it hadn't been touched for about 20 years.
This meant some drastic action before we could even think about moving in. When we got the keys, we had a big decision to make. Did we move into the house as it was and do it bit by bit, room by room?
Or did we take the plunge, hire a HUGE (actually it turned out to be several huge) skip and rip everything out?
We decided on the second option. And when I say everything, I mean everything. We ripped out the entire bathroom, the entire kitchen, all of the carpets, all of the skirting boards, doors and architraves, the window sills. The entire central heating and all the water pipes were ripped out, along with the old boiler.
And the wall paper all had to come off... this might seem like the least of the jobs I've mentioned, surely demolishing an entire kitchen and bathroom has got to be harder that stripping wall paper?
You have no idea! I think I'm still traumatised now thinking about it. Every wall and ceiling had wall paper on it. Layer, after layer of wall paper. It appears that prior to us no one had bothered to strip the previous wall paper and had simply paper over the top. The top layer (again including on the ceilings!) was an incredibly think embossed vinyl that at some point had been painted white with a really thick gloupy paint.
It was a complete nightmare to get off and the task of wall paper stripping seemed to go on and on forever. As we were doing most of the work ourselves, the task of wall paper stripping was mainly up to me, while Mark got on with the more technical task of removing and replacing the central heating system and other similar complicated things!
Thankfully we had help. From quite a few different people (all of which was gratefully received!) but none more so than Mark's cousin Craig who came to stay with us for quite a while to help us with the house. Without him helping me, I genuinely think the task of wallpaper stripping might have driven me mad!
However, it's amazing how quickly things change. Looking back at these photos (and the ones I took when we first bought it), it's hard to imagine now that it used to look like that. I'll be back soon with a post that shows a room from the start, through the work that took place and then finally the end result!
P.S. In other news I've done some more knitting on my shawl and have nearly finished my first hand warmer... so I'm certainly on the way to completely my "list"!