Tag Archives: B&Q

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.

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 19.34.48

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!)

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 19.50.19

Read part one here



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Filed under Edinburgh, Edinburgh renovation

In which we make a new home

It happened in the space of 12 hours.

I viewed it. I chatted to the owner for an hour. I scrutinised the home report. I sent Rod round to view it. He chatted to the owner for an hour. They shook hands.

Thank God for old-fashioned values. “My word is my bond” does still work, you know, otherwise we wouldn’t have our house.

In the crazy, offer-7%-over-the-asking-price-and-be-prepared-to-go-to-closing, property market in Aberdeen we were very very lucky. We are now the proud owners of a three bedroom bungalow in a lovely part of the city. When I picked up the keys in mid-June the overwhelming feeling was relief. We could move out of the shoebox we were renting. We could unpack our boxes.

But first there was a transformation to mastermind.

The house would have been beautiful in 1995. In 2013, however, the cherry skirting boards and round-the-bed storage cupboards had to go. The carpets were gaudy, the walls were marked and the candy stripe curtains reminded me of the Brady Bunch. I called in Marc.

He roared up from Glasgow in his SUV and gleefully started destroying cupboards and ripping down curtains. Then he switched gears and painstakingly filled in holes, sanded and papered. Every day we went to B&Q. People asked his opinion in the paint aisle. Assistants jumped to attention. A young guy was left scarlet and speechless after Marc demanded: “Where are the knobs?”

Marc in action

Marc in action

I was happy to play his assistant. I cleaned things and painted things and made his lunch and dinner. By the end of the five days we’d agreed I’d be his PR consultant. This man needs his own show. Here is what we achieved:

BEFORE: Bedroom

BEFORE: Bedroom

AFTER: Bedroom

AFTER: Bedroom (the walls are grey, not pistachio, as they look here!)

Kitchen: Replaced ironwork handles with wooden knobs and painted all the doors pale blue

Kitchen: Replaced ironwork handles with wooden knobs and painted all the doors pale blue

BEFORE: Living room

BEFORE: Living room

We ripped up the carpet, painting the skirting white, repaired the holes behind the TV and painted the walls "Wishing Well" grey

We ripped up the carpet, painting the skirting white, repaired the holes behind the TV and painted the walls “Wishing Well” grey

With a new carpet and sofa, it now looks like this

With a new carpet and sofa, it now looks like this

The trouble with starting is that you have to finish. I now want every piece of wood in the whole house to be painted white. I am tackling this one doorway at a time. I’d quite like a few more carpets to be replaced. We’ve started jet washing the decking (a much bigger job than anticipated) and gardening (we have no idea what we’re doing and keep pulling out plants instead of weeds). But we love it. It’s our home and every brushstroke makes it feel more like ours. If you’re ever in Aberdeen, pop in.


Filed under Aberdeen, home