Quiet in Line, Quiet in the Hallway

I love stripy carpets! From the start we wanted to lay a carpet on the stairs to minimise the noise. We went for Promenade colour 971 Roulette (navy blue, beige, grey and cream stripes). It was bought at the same time as the wooden flooring at Country Flooring, so, I believe, we got ourselves a fairly good deal.


Get on the floor


Have you ever needed to choose a new floor?! That was a difficult task and an expensive one as well. So far the most expensive purchased we have made.

We knew we wanted to go for a wooden floor in all four rooms, but little we knew that the choice of flooring is that vast. The choice was:

  • Real wood versus engineered wood
  • Type of wood: oak versus bamboo
  • Shade: dark, medium, light
  • Type of finish: oiled, lacquered or unfinished
  • Installation: tonque-and-groove versus click-lock planks
  • Not to mention thickness and width, underlay… and obviously COST

Would you feel overwhelmed? I was.

I’ve done some research (Check Which or Housetohome for more info), and we decided to approach our local flooring company, which was recommended by a neighbour – Country Flooring. We decided against approaching a standard DIY store as we required lots of advice and were hoping for a better deal (you are more likely to negotiate a price deal with a small business).

At the end we went for the Calista Oiled Engineered Wood flooring, which was fitted (yes, we had it installed) on Timermate Excel underlay with Oak Veneered Scotia and solid oak door bars and rad rose. The installers did our two bedrooms upstairs, which were painted and ready to go. They will do the remaining two reception rooms when we finish redecorating them (hopefully in the next 2-3 months).

Why we went for the engineered wood at the end? Price was a big factor in our decision (£37 per sq m instead of £45plus per sq m) as well as its resistance to changes caused by a room’s temperature.

Installation tip: make sure that you think through how you want to have it done. We had a bespoke unit, and initially we instructed the workmen to lay the floor around it, but it didn’t look good, so they need to fix it. Argh!

The hole in the wall is gone

The office/guest bedroom is slowly taking shape. As with all the rooms in this house, we had to strip the carpets and wallpaper (that’s a fun exercise, not!)

One of the first tasks we’ve done was replacing the window and removing a fitted wardrobe to expose a fireplace. We are still planning to have a fitted wardrobe, but only in a left corner of the room. George (Steve’s dad) agreed to build us a wardrobe (George can do anything!) as per picture below.

It turned out that one of the walls had to be replastered as well as the ceiling. We went away one weekend, and Steve’s parents took over redecorating…when we got back, the room was ready to be painted.

I picked the wallpaper at Wallpaper direct, and, I’m afraid, it is going to dictate the colour scheme (green) and the overall design (modern, Scandinavian).

Currently, we are looking for a fireplace surround visiting salvage yards and antiques fairs. However, ebay is pretty good source as well; much cheaper than former mentions. We would like to find something similar to the one we have got in our master bedroom. Wish us luck!

Story so far…

We started looking for a property in May 2011. The first few months were tough as dealing with some estate agents was, at best, frustrating, and the properties on offer in the area we started looking at did not meet our expectations or budget limit.

Luckily, we decided to extend our search area remembering what Kirstie and Phil always say ‘Location, location, location’. Rightmove.co.uk was great and helped us with a shortlist of properties to view as well as getting us more familiarized with what we could afford in our selected area.

And that’s how, over a year ago, we discovered Chelmsford. We didn’t know anything about this place; we had no idea that the city (yes, it’s a city now!) has so much to offer to young first time buyers. A shopping centre, lovely parks, theatres, cinema and decent pubs, and only 35 mins to London Liverpool street. Perfect location for our first home! Anywhere closer to London, we could only afford a flat. Moving to Chelmsford, we managed to get ourselves a two bedroom house, with two reception rooms and a gorgeous cottage style garden (I dare to say the best on the street).

The purchasing process went surprisingly smoothly thanks to some very helpful Estate Agents at Home Partnership. Plus, the sellers were genuinely lovely people and we moved here at the beginning of December 2011. So almost seven months here…

And we haven’t had a rest since… We had to install gas central heating, change two sash windows, strip all the carpets to reveal wooden floorboards, strip the walls, re-plaster one of the rooms…Sounds busy!

As our house is spread over three floors (two floors and a basement), we started from the top.

The master bedroom is almost finished. Please see the picture.

Next on the agenda is guest bedroom/office room.