What a difference a year makes

A year ago today we had been in the house for a month and had a house full of our family, which was wonderful.  A year on, we are now married and it will be just us newlyweds for Christmas lunch tomorrow, which will also be wonderful!

We have been slowly put the finishing touches on the house over the last year, once the snagging was completed in the New Year, and we are looking forward to having a talented local photographer take some decent photos of the place early next year (which we will be sure to share).  In the meantime, here are some before and after shots we eventually got around to taking.

21HS-BeforeAfter 1

21HS-BeforeAfter 2 21HS-BeforeAfter 3 21HS-BeforeAfter 4 21HS-BeforeAfter 5 21HS-BeforeAfter 6 21HS-BeforeAfter 7 21HS-BeforeAfter 8 21HS-BeforeAfter 9 21HS-BeforeAfter 10 21HS-BeforeAfter 11 21HS-BeforeAfter 12

Merry Christmas and Happy Hogmanay!

 

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The last room of the house

Well this is a long overdue post, it has been a busy year!  We eventually finished our garden this summer which very much feels like the last piece of the jigsaw and very much the last room of the house.  So lovely to have created an edible garden in our small little patch, with lots of lovely fruit trees, herbs, chillies and tomatoes.  Not quite The Good Life level of self-sufficiency but we haven’t had to buy chillies or herbs since!

The olive tree sits beautifully on axis with our entrance hallway, so it can be seen when you enter the house through the glass door we put in on the half-landing of the stair.  The brickwork is formed in a square, bounded by our built-in planters and borders, with some experimental bonding patterns in an homage to Alvar Aalto (and a nod to Josef Albers).  The little stretch of astro-turf is a slight concession to give us a soft surface to lounge out on, on a sunny day with the papers.  Don’t judge us for it!

Garden- in progress

 

One year anniversary

Well Saturday’s Burns Night Supper marked our first anniversary of completing on the purchase of our house, and what a great night it was!

Burns Night Celebration to mark our first year in the house

Burns Night traditional feast!

Within the last year we have proudly achieved the following:

2013

25.01  Completed on the purchase of our dream house & measured survey promptly commissioned

10.02  Listed Building Application submitted (prepared over one very busy weekend!)

02.04  Tender submitted

15.04  Listed Building Permission granted

30.04 Helen finished working for BuckleyGrayYeoman (and received her first project enquiry!)

24.05  Helen & Peter left London and officially moved to Margate

01.06  Helen’s first day of self-employment

29.05  Pre-contract window refurbishment commenced

25.06  Main contract commences

29.06  Helen & Peter win RIBA Sandcastle Challenge ‘Life’s a Beach’ category on Margate Sands, how apt

24.11  Helen & Peter move into (one room of) the house!

20.12  Practical Completion

25.12  One very Happy Christmas with our families

31.12  Hosted Hogmanay celebrations and saw in the New Year with our wonderful new friends

2014

25.01  One year in and what a great move

We only mentioned this blog to a handful of our nearest and dearest but have been thrilled at the level of interest on our stats

We only mentioned this blog to a handful of our nearest and dearest but have been thrilled at the level of interest shown above on our stats… don’t know how people from most of the countries listed have stumbled across us

 

Hopefully when the weather improves we can post more updates on the progress in the garden and some proper photography in the Spring!

A New Year

Well, we had a wonderful first Christmas in our new home.  Thank you to our friends and family who visited over the festivities, it was so lovely to see everyone and to have a house full.

We have started the year slowly with bits and pieces of internal snagging but today saw some wonderful progress on our internal and external works.  It was kind of third time lucky on the grit blasting of the old paintwork, having killed/ damaged a couple of machines trying to remove about 12 coats of paint from our external railings that have been applied over the last 200 years or so.  The detail is beautiful and now legible.

Oh what a lovely Christmas it was!

Oh what a lovely Christmas it was!

AGA and prize-winning turkey were a winning combination!

New AGA and the prize-winning bronze turkey were a winning combination!

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Rear walls of former extension have had the last of the plaster removed and been sand-blasted back to the lovely brickwork

Rear walls of former extension have had the last of the plaster removed and been sand-blasted back to the lovely brickwork

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The paint has been successfully removed from our brick headers and external railings

The paint has been successfully removed from our brick headers and external railings

Paint removed from railings and stone steps

Paint removed from railings and stone steps

Ooh just look at the detail!

Ooh just look at the detail!

Primer coat already on

Primer coat already on

Hallway coving going in

Hallway coving going in

 

 

 

 

 

Its beginning to look a bit like Christmas

So the builders left us on Friday evening, hours before our first guests arrived and leaving us just four days before Christmas to turn our house/ building site into a home.  It’s been exhausting but a speed unpack and rapid, gruelling cleaning routine has got us into a more homely habitable state.   Hurray… just in time!  The house looks great and we are thrilled with the site team for getting us ready for the festivities.

Thanks Mark & Maximilian for helping to decorate our tree!  This was a lovely moment

Thanks Mark & Maximilian for helping to decorate our tree! This was a lovely moment

Ground floor is largely unpacked and essentially complete

Ground floor is largely unpacked and essentially complete

Hello piano... welcome to your new home, you have been missed

Hello piano… welcome to your new home, you have been missed

Pantry is getting stocked up

Pantry is getting stocked up

... and the wine racks!

… and the wine racks, ho ho ho!

Dining room

Dining room looking good (amazing how effective a door blank and some woodstain can be!)

Island workbench is a joy to use

Island workbench is a joy to use

Kitchen is patiently awaiting its concrete worktop... but good riddance to the microwave meals

Kitchen is patiently awaiting its concrete worktop… but good riddance to the microwave meals

Downstairs WC almost complete, just waiting for a big mirror

Downstairs WC almost complete, just waiting for a big mirror

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So nice to have our bedroom finished and unpacked

So nice to have our bedroom finished and unpacked

 

Our en-suite is all but complete

Our en-suite is all but complete

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Second floor bathroom is also now complete

Second floor bathroom is also now complete, just in time for a house full of guests

Merry Christmas and thanks for following us!  More to come as we finish off the external works and garden in the New Year x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The neighbours must really hate us

Sandblasting the railings... and creating Margate plage!

Sandblasting the railings… and creating a mini Margate plage in Hawley Square!

But look at the beautiful detail under 200 years of repainting!

But look at the beautiful detail hidden under 200 years of repainting!

Amazing

Amazing.. took 3 hours to just do this section

Parquet now in to the lower ground WC

Parquet now in to the lower ground WC

 

 

 

Getting there

We are ready for door furniture, what a milestone!

We are ready for door furniture, what a milestone!

Shelving going in to our alcoves and room prep is almost finished, ready for final decorations

Shelving going in to our living room alcoves and room prep is almost finished, ready for final decorations

Wardrobes are now ready to be assembled

Wardrobes are now ready to be assembled

We have a massive new bed!

We have a big new bed!

... and a new Miele washing machine

… and a super duper new Miele washing machine, what a treat

 

 

 

 

Week one in the big bedsit!

The second floor front room has been where we eat, sleep, hardly rest and work... it is a lovely room though!

The second floor front room has been where we eat, sleep, hardly rest and work… it is a lovely room though!

Our wardrobes aren't in yet, so third floor back room has become a closet/ storage room

Our wardrobes aren’t in yet, so third floor back room has become a closet/ storage room

Pete has managed to squeeze in a desk and teapoint in the front room, surrounded by boxes and furniture that can't go anywhere else yet

Pete has managed to squeeze in a desk and teapoint in the front room, surrounded by boxes and furniture that can’t go anywhere else yet

Second floor bathroom, still needs paint and sanitaryware!

Second floor bathroom, still needs paint and sanitaryware!

Our wardrobes are here, in componentry at least

Our wardrobes are here, in componentry form at least

Hallway is coming along

Hallway is coming along

Ground floor back room should be finished on Monday, hope my piano is okay under there!

Ground floor back room should be finished on Monday, hope my piano is okay under there!

Ground floor front room, lots to do in here, when we have somewhere to put our kitchen contents

Ground floor front room, lots to do in here, when we have somewhere to put our kitchen contents

Glass door to garden is in... this makes a huge difference to the light on the final flight of stairs

Glass door to garden is in… this makes a huge difference to the light on the final flight of stairs

Lower ground WC is ready for finishes and sanitaryware

Lower ground WC is ready for finishes and sanitary ware

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Kitchen is so nearly ready for us to use... had enough of microwave meals already

Kitchen is so nearly ready for us to use… had enough of microwave meals already

 

Pantry is almost finished too!

Pantry is almost finished too!

The house wasn’t quite finished when we needed to move in, but the top two floors were almost there so our poor removals men (& Pete) had to move everything upstairs.  Hopefully in a week’s time we can start to redistribute everything around the house and unpack.  We are going to have a festive houseful in three weeks, so we really need the decorators to work their magic!