Monday, 12 March 2012

Our house a year (and a hundred years) on

It's been almost a year since we completed on the purchase of our house, and it's been a crazy year. Last week we had yet more plastering done so we are still living in chaos and dust, but every step we take is another one forward. The nursery-to-be has been replastered, so that the old walls are no longer textured, and the partition wall no longer moves when you press it. The snug ceiling is no longer an ugly, orangey pine - it's now insulated, boarded and painted white which has made the room much brighter than before. We are considering painting three of the brick walls just to brighten it up even more. Some people would say that's a travesty, but others will agree that there's cosy, and then there's GLOOMY, which this room can be on many days in Wales. I'll update with pictures of these when I finally get some breathing space from work.

What I wanted to show you today was an old picture of our house that the previous owners have kindly scanned for us. It shows Ty Isaf in the 1900s, with the Lloyd Jones family standing outside. Isn't it marvellous? I love pictures like this. It's a shame that the central window has been bricked up, and you'll agree that the house is quite different-looking from what it is now.

This is our house on the day we finally purchased it last March. Nothing has changed much on the outside since then, but changes are afoot. See those windows? 1950s metal windows. In three words: yucky, draughty, wrong. We are replacing them with bespoke timber sash windows to try and restore some Georgian grandeur to the frontage. We will not be bricking up the central window, of course, but will enlarge it instead to match the two on either side. It's a risky and expensive move, but we are keeping our fingers crossed that it will look good. The shutters too have their days numbered: they may be very pretty and French-looking, but are not really in keeping with the house's age. I think it will look much more austere than it does now, but I like austere and bare. It suits my glum personality.

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