Renovating with pint sized helpers

I’ve  put off writing this post about our 2, or maybe it was 3 months we spent camping in a dusty waste land, whilst we undertook some much needed renovation work to our more shabby that chic little home. This was for 2 reasons:

Firstly during this dark period of time I didn’t know my arse from my elbow let alone locate my laptop or half a brain cell. And secondly because I really didn’t want to write a sympathy seeking ‘we had no water last night, woo is me post’ when my new range cooker was sitting, no sorry, sparkling, it was definitely sparkling, in the middle of the deserted kitchen space. It is what all of my domestic dreams are made of. That’s really the only way to describe it; You can murder a dessert in one half while a stuffed bird roasts away in the other. Winning. (I should divulge that I spent the first couple of weeks after the kitchen was up and running still cooking ready meals, because I didn’t want to dirty the new oven!!)

However the reality of tearing apart every room as well as digging up the garden, all at once whilst hubster was still going to work, our biggest baby had just started school and toddlermonster was at her most epic, wa really something of a challenge. And I feel I need to share…

The beginning part was great fun, I can’t deny it: think colour charts and a major overuse of Pintrest. While the end has by far surpassed my expectations: I can’t believe I get to live HERE! But it was the dusty, grey, dirty, messy bit in the middle that was not so jazz hands. Especially when trying to convince a toddlermonster and a 4 year old that although mummy is washing up outside in the drain and we had to uncover and pull out the sofa to watch Paw Patrol this evening, life is totally normal.

I promise that your parents have not completely lost their minds.

We began with packing up the kitchen. Thank god I wasn’t being over looked by environmental health, or worse, Kim & Aggie, as I salvaged tins, packets and unidentified BITS from the bottom of drawer runs, and cupboards. Who knew black holes existed in the back of the carousel cupboard?!

We took over the girls little toy room at the back of the house and managed to shoe horn the contents of the kitchen as well as the rest of the downstairs crud into it. The toys got the raw deal and took a holiday in the loft. (Some of which are still enjoying their trip.) The funny thing is the girls didn’t really notice that their stock pile of stuffed, plastic, boxed tat had vanished. Result.

mess
Spot the Lila…??!

At its peak we were making rounds of tea for around 12 workman. That really tested my memory. White with one. Black with none. It appears that ‘trades’ (lingo – see!) only function with about 2 litres of tea inside them. I needed a bloody urn.

We muddled along with our new extended family for around 7 weeks with Darcie uttering the occasional ‘I hate my house’ with big sad looking eyes. To be fair she had a point, I wasn’t exactly feeling very fond of it myself. Living in a building site isn’t for the faint hearted. I tried my very best but did have a couple of embarrassing moments when the tears just spilled down my face to a room full of shocked builders. I think that might have been the day that the electrician drilled a hole through our new glass roof and water just poured in, power shower style, all over our freshly plastered/ painted walls. Serious cry face. Nothing a mobile Aluminium welder couldn’t fix a few days before Christmas!

Hiccups aside the deadline was breached by only a couple of hours in the end. That’s not bad, and although we are still snagging now, and continuing the never ending decorating, the house is really getting there.

Maybe builders make you live through dusty hell so that once they have finished you are so happy just to have a functioning space that you care little for those imperfections they might have left for you! Various trades are still coming and going to tweak this and that… So I’m still on tea duty.

The result is that our house looks fresh, and in my eyes, perfect. It doesn’t really look like it belongs to our messy slightly bonkers family! Woe-betide the first perpetrator to smear Nutella hands along the hallway. The girls were on a blue smartie style high when they saw their new bedrooms and toy room. So I guess the dust was worth it then.

Hats off to those who take on much bigger projects with children in tow – or even carry out the work by themselves. Huge, huge respect.

Here are a few piccys: happy to divulge the where-we-got-it-from secrets, just ask!

New kitchen

4 picsdoouble back