Monthly Archives: August 2016

Edinburgh Renovation part 4

We are in!

Mummykimmy rainbow

To say it’s a miracle is genuinely an understatement. Marc sent me a video at midnight of him papering the toilet. The Wee Man took unwell and we had a couple of nights in hospital (just for observation, he’s fine). Rod shifted everything in a 24 hour period ably assisted by our pal Andy using only a large van. I and my friend Alison were in the old house with our marigolds and bleach until nearly midnight.

Yet somehow here we are.

So what have we done since I last posted?

Well, the bit that made me happiest was the toilet.

Mummykimmy toilet ba

It turned out as fabulous as I had hoped, despite stripes and a small space being a fenickity f*cker of a combination. Certain commentators have called it camp. I take that as a compliment and accept the sparkles in the stripes are a tad OTT.

Mummykimmy sanded floors

The dining room floor was sanded and coated twice with varnish, the bargain rug and splendid lampshade installed – all I need to do now is hang the leafy curtains.

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My black handrails for the stairs went on to my white walls and look freaking awesome – just wait till I’ve got all my black and white photographs up on that landing wall.

Mummykimmy stairs ba

Marc created a frame for the hole in the wall, ready for the door which is coming this week. We’ve put up a temporary door to stop any small children from tumbling six feet onto a stone garage floor. I’m still searching out the best provider of stairs, so any recommendations, please send them my way!

On Saturday the carpets were installed. I’m not sure who was more delighted – me or Marc, who actually tipped the fitters. I wanted the same colour in all bedrooms, stairs and living room to help the energy flow and it bloody worked! The carpet looks different in each room, reflecting the light and the wall colours. It’s lush. It makes the house smell like a showhome.

Today my garage doors were changed for patio doors and the vintage side window was smashed in favour of uPVC. It’s made a huge difference to the look of the house –  and the guys who fitted it were lovely. My friend Karrie, who’d popped by with scones, took his card for her own patio doors.

Mummykimmy garage

As much as I’m desperate to keep up the momentum – I think we’re going to take a break on the renovations for a wee while. I want to paint the house, change the driveway, landscape the garden… But they can all wait. Meanwhile I’ll content myself furniture shopping on Gumtree…




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Edinburgh Renovation part 3

Day 11 in the Big Other house…

Many miracles have happened.

I got diamonds for my birthday on Saturday – they were just on the end of the saw that put a perfectly rectangular hole in my wall.

Mummykimmy diamond saw

Another miracle was the boiler getting reconnected and working! Well, apart from the pressure gauge and apparently that’s quite an important bit, so I’m happy to spend £12 on a new one. Other mannas from heaven included finding the exact missing part for the sander attachment hiding at the back of a shelf in B&Q and then, in CarpetRight, discovering an off-cut of black lino that precisely fits my toilet – reduced to a fiver.

Mummykimmy boiler

Mummykimmy fiver lino

Marc, despite breaking down on the bypass at 9.30pm and needing a tow to my house, is in remarkable spirits. He didn’t even mind ripping up the hall carpet which was glued to the underlay which, in turn, was glued to the floor (????)

Mummykimmy stairs before and after

I suspect Andy did most of the graft – he spent much of today pulling out staples from the floorboards so Marc could sand them. He also, incidentally, looked after my boys while Marc and I dashed to the carpet shop. They loved him and he was still smiling when I returned so I think he had fun.

We’re getting to the really good bit where rooms are starting to look finished. The wallpaper is up and I nearly cried when I saw it.

Mummykimmy car walls

Mummykimmy feather walls

He even managed to disconnect the big ugly handrail that ran right down the middle of the driveway.

Mummykimmy railing

I’ll be assisting all day tomorrow and Thursday so that the carpets can get fitted on Friday. I’m excited. I don’t even mind if I just paint skirting boards for eight hours.

Rod, who’s back at work, is shifting as much as he can by evening. Last night it was the contents of the kitchen and tonight it’s half the boxes in the attic. This is a lot of boxes. We’ve effectively been camping out in our present rented pad leaving the majority of our belongings packed from Aberdeen. The boys, of course, got into the one box that contained all their books and squealed with delight when they found Stickman. The poor deprived children who’ve had to make do with only 500 plastic toys instead of 5 million for the past nine months. Just wait boys. Your playroom is taking shape….

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Edinburgh Renovation Project part 2

Day seven in the Big Other House…

I think I might have repetitive strain injury. Today I painted the kitchen twice with specialist tile paint. It cost me £38 for a tub and saved me about £500 on retiling the kitchen. A third coat is required but Marc took pity on me and said he’d do it. So instead of this:

Mummykimmy kitchen orange

my kitchen looks like this:

Mummykimmy kitchen white

I thought I was pretty early to the house this morning. I turned up at 8.45 carrying Starbucks coffee. But no. Marc had been up since 6.30 and the plumber had been and gone. Take a look at this:

Mummykimmy pipes

Now look at this:

Mummykimmy no pipes

Spot the difference? I have never been so happy to see a hole in a wall.

Our plan to knock through into the garage playroom involves rerouting pipes and removing a radiator. There was a small moment of panic on day five when the plumber said he might not be able to reattach them to such an old boiler and we should really get a new one – at £1200. Luckily Marc stepped in and persuaded the plumber it was worth a try. If it doesn’t work I’ll be contacting Scottish Power and financing that particular cell in my spreadsheet.

Decision made, the plumber came back and cut everything off in time for the cute builder to return tomorrow and use his big tool. The only thing was, the plumber turned up at 7am, catching poor Marc in his pants (he’s staying in the house while we renovate). Luckily Marc is a pragmatist so he was content to throw on a T-shirt and shorts and supervise. Now the dusty messy knock-through job will be completed before we start painting downstairs. Score.

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Other achievements over the last few days include this discounted light fitting, picked up during a two and a half hour trip to B&Q.

Being with Marc in B&Q is a bit like being with a pig in shit. He bartered on my behalf in just about every aisle. We got a £60 rug for £22. He found curtains that exactly matched the idea I’d described that morning, then persuaded an assistant to mark them down by 15%. We both got very excited over black dimpled tiles for the toilet splashback. When the octogenarian who assisted us argued that they had no barcode and were not tester tiles, Marc charmed him into selling us the box for less than the cost of the two tiles we’d originally wanted. To finish with a flourish, he led me and our groaning trolley through the trades till.

So where are we now?

Today I chose carpets. The guy is coming to measure up on Monday and fit on Friday. Marc and his assistant Andy painted my bedroom dove grey and KD’s bedroom comfy jeans blue, including the radiators which now blend in to the walls. Every ceiling has now had a coat of white and the Wee Man’s room is no longer electric blue thanks to a couple of generous layers of white. Tomorrow the feature walls will be papered and on Sunday my harlequin toilet will come to life. I’m planning to film the wallpapering and speed it up – if that works, I’ll share it.

Blue and grey (with the old purple still on the door!)

Grey and blue (with the old purple still on the door!)

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Read part one here



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Edinburgh renovation project

Day 3 in the Big Other house…

My eyes are burning because I’ve been bleaching for the last two hours.

The noise of weeds being scraped off the driveway has mysteriously stopped.

I plunge my Marigolded hand into the oven to scoop out the first layer of dissolved gunk. I make a mental note to buy another can of oven cleaner.

I rinse the cloth, scoop a few more times then decide I really must find out where my driveway weed scraper has gone.

I step outside into the sunshine, hear voices and look over the saggy fence to spy Rod sitting with our 97 year old neighbour.

“Don’t lean on that fence!” she warns me as I drape my yellow hands over it and fix Rod with a look. He’s unrepentant. He and his new pal have been having a grand old time chewing the fat. “Er, I really must get back to the garden,” he eventually says.

Mummykimmy keys

We got the keys three days ago after the 3rd longest 9-month period of my life. I’ve already had two driveway specialists in to quote and Marc has roared in. Remember Marc? So far he has stripped the wallpaper in two rooms – this one:Mummykimmy dining room

and this one:

Mummykimmy toilet

Today he called in some guys he knew and suddenly a builder is coming tomorrow to create a door where there was previously wall. A new patio door has been measured and ordered. He knows a driveway guy. I swear, this man has superpowers. I’m so so happy he’s my project manager and painter and decorator and joiner and designer and entertainer.

He came later today so Rod and I got on with the clearing and cleaning. The kitchen is now spotless and I’ve bleached the tiles in preparation for a coat of white tile paint. The bathroom is sparkling, the driveway is merely crazy paving, and we’ve figured out that a ratchet should remove the railing the previous owners installed for an infirm family member.

I found three sets of rusted shears in the tumbledown shed and managed to get one of them to cut back some of the overgrown bushes in the back. We’ve decided to rent a small digger to level the garden and are trying to figure out if we can afford artificial grass. Rod saw a huge roll of the stuff in B&Q today and we both got quite excited until he decided he quite likes mowing grass so maybe we’ll get turf instead.

I got to choose some wallpaper today which was fun. I’ve been really stuck for our bedroom. The one I wanted was £110 a roll from Matthew Williamson:

mummykimmy peacock wallpaper

The one I got was £12 a roll from B&Q:

mummykimmy feather wallpaper

The toilet downstairs was very bright and quite blue. I would rather it were very chic and black and white. So I’ve bought awesome striped wallpaper, a minimalist mirrored cabinet and some new taps. Together with black lino, black splashback, black skirting and a black radiator it could become my favourite room in the house.

Considering we bought the house after one viewing – you have to move fast in Edinburgh – it’s been full of wonderful surprises. Gorgeous wooden floorboards under the carpet; high quality thermal underlay under stained carpets; wooden internal doors on the fitted wardrobes which precisely fit the four doorways we needed new doors for (mirrored wardrobe doors are much cheaper); treasures in the shed; a Smeg hob and a cupboard under the stairs which even Harry Potter would be happy to sleep in.

Mummykimmy understairs cupboard

I think the aspect that makes me happiest is the fact Rod has finally seen the potential and even got a little bit excited about the house. I had to really twist his arm to buy it and then reassure him for weeks that we’d done the right thing.

If you’re interested how our wee renovation project unfolds then click FOLLOW up there in the top right – or on mobile scroll down to click Follow – thank you!

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