An ode to Eau De Nil… and a child-free front room

The front room, before we took out shares in Fisher-price...

I can see the floor!

Looking through photos earlier I came across this one of our front room, just after we finished renovating it. It was the first room we tackled when we moved in a few years ago, and I painted it in turquoise, AKA my favourite colour (it’s Laura Ashley’s Pale Eau De Nil, to be precise – a muted green with a hint of blue).

Sitting in that same room now, I can’t quite believe what a couple of years’ worth of hoarding – not to mention a very small child – can do to a space. There’s stuff everywhere. Where does one put a Bumbo, a Jumperoo, a bouncy chair, a baby gym, a basket of toys, and a changing mat affectionately known as ‘the poo station’? None of which, I hasten to add, were available in Pale Eau De Nil?

I seriously need to look into some storage options before he gets any bigger and therefore requires more stuff. For now, though, I’ll look at these photographs and remember what the front room used to look like, before we took out shares in Fisher-Price…

Front room before...

Front room before…

Above: The psychedelic carpet was hiding some lovely floorboards that had to be spray-treated for woodworm, along with the joists underneath. Luckily they were salvageable, although thanks to a bit of a damp problem the skirting boards had to be replaced along with the plaster – we knocked it off up to a metre high to shave a bit off the price of damp proofing (when I say we, I mean my husband).

Plaster and fire surround removed

Plaster and fire surround removed

Above: The ceiling was covered in woodchip and once we took it off we could see why – there were cracks everywhere. It’s old-fashioned lath and plaster, with lovely curved edges that we didn’t want to lose, so we had to be pretty gentle with it. I spent several days filling and sanding every single crack until I could no longer lift my arms above my head. We also vetoed the idea of spotlights and went for a single chandelier instead, to minimise any unnecessary damage to the ceiling.

The fireplace before...and after.

The fireplace before…and after.

Above: The fireplace was a project in itself. We took the whole thing off, got a local company to strip the surround (by dipping it in acid, along with all the doors in the house so the colour would be uniform throughout), repainted the cast iron with heat-resistant paint, and replaced the fire brick, the tiles (reclaimed, £10 from eBay), the hearth (reclaimed slate), the grate and the tray, both of which were from a local architectural salvage company. There’s a separate post on the fireplace coming as soon as I can work out how to convert m4v files…

The finishing touches.

The finishing touches.

Above: Once the boring bits were out the way (we also added heating and electrics, yawn) I got started on the fun stuff. If I ever win the lottery I’ll decorate houses for a living – there’s nothing better than varnishing a floor or painting a room with a nice cuppa and a bit of Radio 2…

The fireplace - finished.

The fireplace – finished.

My favourite radiator. Thankyou, Homebase...

My favourite radiator. Yes, I took a photo of a radiator, and I love it.



Filed under Homes & Interiors

7 responses to “An ode to Eau De Nil… and a child-free front room

  1. Aunty Linda

    beautiful job, I love Victorian houses (well I would say that!)

  2. Be-a-utiful! I love the colour. So calming! You guys did an incredible job, I love before and afters. And, although we are sans bambino, I totally get the Fisher Price sponsored room. Why do you think we’re adding an extra room?! xx

    • KG

      You are clearly much better at forward planning than I am! Charlie has just learnt to roll, which means crawling is just around the corner, which means I need to jump on that extension bandwagon sharpish!x

  3. Amazing job – so cool to see what it was like before – you guys did such a good job – I probably wouldnt have changed the tiles, but I would have been wrong!!! But you know what, I reeeeeeally want to see the Fisher Price invasion!!!! hehehe.xxxxxxx

  4. Pingback: Paint I Love: Elephant’s Breath by Farrow & Ball | Turquoise Textiles

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