22 January 2015

Still here

I'm still here and buried under a mountain of half-written posts! Once we moved in life got sooooooo busy, what with a half-finished not-quite-ready new home, new school, new location, new routines etc. etc.  So in the grand scheme of priorities blogging took the hit!

I also realised that I just needed to give myself a little bit of break and spend my very rare moments of spare time having a bit of a relax before I really did break.  

It was still full on with the build Sept-October, with the addition of living in the middle of it all.  November started easing off and we said goodbye to Andrew and Paul as they went to start a new project.  There was a paperwork frenzy in December and we finally got signed off the last week before everyone broke for the Festive season.  Christmas delightfully came and went along with birthday season in our home.  

So, batteries somewhat recharged I'm ready to get this whole experience recorded before I forget it all...

9 October 2014

Choosing paint

It was really important to us that the materials we use "inside the envelope" are as healthy and environmentally friendly as possible. This is always a difficult choice as there is always a axis with these things and everyone will take a different position as to what they feel is 'green'.  The paints are marketed variously as eco, natural, green, and organic each implying a different viewpoint and ethos and the trick is discovering what that means, what you think is important and which direction you are going to go in...!

6 October 2014

Bathroom tiles - Sourcing

Early in the bathroom design process I had moaned about how cleaning the grout on bathroom tiles has to one of the most miserable domestic jobs, second only to cleaning the oven. I looked for ages for an alternative to a tiled wall.  

Charlie and I discussed a morrocan style of lime plaster called Tadelakt. Very elegant and calm looking.  You can go on courses to learn how to do it yourself. 

Tadelakt lime plaster ©MikeWye.co.uk

16 September 2014

On Technology

Dimitri writes. This is not an article about the technology that will become part of the house. There is remarkably little of that in the sense of gadgetry and gizmos; of course, the materials involved are all technology of one sort or another, as are things like windows, doors, lighting and heating, but it's all fairly conventional stuff. The only thing in that department that stands out is the MVHR unit which ventilates the house while retaining the house's heat.

We decided not to go for the clich├ęd self build tech such as

28 August 2014

Sneaky Peak

We are preparing to leave our current home and shed all the superfluous stuff we have accumulated over the last 3.5yrs.  I love the feeling of relief and lightness I get when I drop off huge bags to the charity shop or recycling.  We have no choice as our new house is smaller than our current one.  We've also had to shed a lot of furniture as it won't fit/isn't needed.  But I am not sad about this, in fact I'm really looking forward to having fewer things and keeping on top of it all, more space often just means more dumping and clutter...

At the same time work is non-stop at the house as we try to get as much done before we move in.  We are moving before it is ready or finished, a couple more weeks would have made things a lot easier for the work schedule.  But needs must.  We promised we would leave our current house by the end of the summer and the children are starting at their new school.  Enough already.

As I really can't prioritise the blog at this critical time, I thought I'd share a few photos to preview everything that I will detail soon.  It has been very exciting to finally get to this moment... I can't believe that we are actually going to be living there.

23 August 2014

Kitchen progression

The chaps at Sustainable Kitchens have been busy and I popped into their workshop to get some previews!

This beautiful Dinesen box is going to house my extractor fan.  It looks amazing!

The carcass is constructed from birch ply and is rock solid.  Even without the fronts it looks fantastic.

I can't tell you how beautiful these drawers are.  They are dovetail jointed at the corners and they feel like they will last forever.

I got to open the box and have a first look at my sink, Kohler Vault Offset Double.  It was chosen over the internet as I couldn't find anywhere locally to look at it in person, but I'm not disappointed. This was one of the first things I chose for the kitchen, and you know what i'm like about sinks and taps!  The decision for the countertop material was one of the last choices.  I was very nervous about having a sink and countertop in the same material, I was worried that the sink would lose it's impact.  Also I prefer inset sinks to under-mounting and I worried about how the edge would look. Below I was looking at how the a wobble-sanded stainless steel finish would look.  This way of finishing the steel has many advantages as it shows less smearing and fingerprints and also allows you to sand out any scratches yourself relatively easily.

And finally my moveable island.  WOW!

21 August 2014

So, so, behind with updates

Hello, I am still here!  I am so sorry for the lack of updates.  I thought that my deadline of the build finishing sometime during the Summer Holidays was really clever.  After all, instead of the normal Xmas deadline with the focus all leading towards one day, this time there were 6 whole weeks.  However the sheer craziness of the 2nd fix, with so many decisions to be made and items to be ordered, coinciding with school holidays and trying to find time to enjoy with my three children has been HECTIC! I'm exhausted, mentally and physically. There is NO spare time, and I don't have time to write about it all now.  But I will and soon - before I forget it all!