Monday, 4 August 2014

Renovation Project || Bedroom Before + After

I came across a stack of images last week from when we were renovating the cottage and since I haven't done a before and after in ages I thought it was about time.

When we bought the cottage, this is what our bedroom looked like...

The biggest problem was the floor, it was completely uneven to the point where it felt a little bit like you walking around one of those fun house rides at the fair. We saw builder after builder who told us to knock the whole thing down and start again; it was such a depressing time. Then we had a major breakthrough because the structural engineer I found recommended a builder who liked quirky projects and together they started working on a plan to restore the house.

The bad news was that the entire old part of the cottage had to be reinforced with a steel frame which meant everything had to be ripped out. Although we had to cover up the beams in the bedroom because of the new roof, we did manage to uncover the chimney successfully so it was a kind of trade off in the end. Ideally I would have liked to keep them but it just wasn't possible.

First we pulled the ceiling down to see what the roof looked like...

Some more bad news. You can see the original frame (painted white) and then a new frame tacked on top which occurred when the thatch was removed in the 1940s. Not the best way to do it apparently, but certainly the cheapest.

These two photos were taken in January 2013 when the roof had been replaced and the new wooden planks were laid. You can also see the chimney has been uncovered. Later my husband used a wire brush, actually 4 wire brushes, to remove the white coating.

This is the nearly finished room, the wiring is done, the plastering and 70% of the painting is done but the skirting boards and cladding still need sorting. We didn't have enough money in our budget to replace the UPVC window which I really hate, bur we will replace this one and the others eventually. Oh and still the stairs to go in.

So close now!! Skirting done, sockets done, painting all done. What you can't see is that there are still no stairs....

I took this photo late one night in October 2013. My neighbour Keith came round to help me put up the first roman blind I made. Keith put up most of the blinds and curtain poles in the house. The deal was usually dinner in exchange for a bit of labour. It suited us both very well as he can only cook a few things and I can only do a few DIY jobs.

I originally chose a light linen fabric but I was worried about the sunlight coming through so in the end I went for this beautiful Linwood fabric.

This is the bedroom now it's finished. Its not perfectly styled but this is exactly how it looks day in day out and I like that you get to see that reality.

Through the little green door is a second bedroom we use as a dressing room as obviously there is zero storage or places to put anything in here. I like that it is very simple and uncluttered. When we first moved in I took a nap late on a Friday afternoon and when I woke up, there was a soft breeze coming through the window and the baptist chapel (which is two doors down) were having their service and I could hear the choir singing. It was a really lovely moment.

I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into our renovation project.


  1. so sweet! perfect modern cottage look I think. The slightly leaning fireplace adds so much character.

  2. Looks great Louisa! x

  3. I browse your blog and I discover pretty old posts but I loved to read (and see the pictures) of your renovation. It must have been huge work but I love the quite and peaceful look of your bedroom now. And your cottage looks amazing (pretty British to me ;-) xx

  4. Your newly renovated bedroom looks really great, The white paint of the walls really fits the color of your bed, and is very pleasing to the eye. It looks so clean and fresh. I can just imagine how comfortable it is to stay in that room. Thanks for sharing that, Louisa! All the best to you!

    Helene Raymond @ Trade Squad