Friday, June 15, 2012

Project No 1.

The first DIY project in our house took place only the day after we moved in, and what a difference it made! 

Our kitchen is a little tired. It may have been tired since it was put in in the 1980s when the house was built: for instance the drawers have not all been installed at the same heights, and one even gets wedged on the knobs for the hob as you open it. It has one string and fibreglass (!) counter-top and one tiled. And since this rather dubious installation, the kitchen has been well used, particularly by the somewhat dubious-sounding tenants when the house was rented out. In order to sell, the room obviously needed a lick of paint, which is was given, right over the holes in the wallpaper and even the tiled counter. Which gives an interesting effect. 

Yet the worst thing when we moved in was the fact that a row of cupboards had been suspended from the ceiling, stretching across the room. They blocked out almost all the light, which is an achievement for a room with three windows and an external door. 

(Looking in from outside) cupboards blocking all light...

So our first goal, especially while we still had our parents with us, was to pull the cupboards down. But, as has turned out to be the case with all our 'small' projects since, this task turned into more of a mission. 

Step 1: Remove back panel

When mounting 'wall' cupboards a cross a room, they obviously cannot be mounted onto the walls. So instead they were hung inside a large metal frame suspended from the ceiling. Which turned out to be a nightmare to remove. 

Step 2: Unscrew and remove cupboards from frame

The cupboards themselves came out fairly easily from the frame, just a few screws and a gentle push and out they came. Makes you wonder how secure they really were. 

Step 3: Try and work out how on earth to detach the frame from the ceiling

Then came the fun part. No matter how much we tried to remove the bolts holding the frame to the ceiling, they weren't budging a centimetre. So the only option seemed to be to survey them from above, i.e. from the loft. So up the other half of us went, gingerly making way across the unlit, un-boarded loft, complete with exceedingly thick insulation. 

Step 4: Enter the loft to remove the bolts!

As it turned out, the bolts were the longest I have ever seen, stretching through the ceiling and through the joists in the loft above. After a fair amount of message relaying and tool passing, the nuts were removed from the bolts in the loft and the frame could be pulled down. Mission accomplished! And what a difference it made to the light in the kitchen. Still a long way to go to make the kitchen as we want it, but definitely a huge improvement. 

Step 5: Remove the frame and survey the chaos!

Our first house

The biggest change for us in our first year of married life has been buying our first home. After nearly three years in a damp flat, we couldn't have been happier to move to our own home. At least here if things go wrong we can (let's hope!) fix them.

Moving from a small one-bed flat to a three-bed house has also meant that we can finally put all our things away, and reclaim possessions stored at my parents' house, and at last start getting our photos and artwork up on the walls.

The move does has one drawback though. We have moved to be closer to work for the other half of us, but this puts me an hour and a half drive from the university and my friends. Needless to say this has taken time to adjust to but I am getting there, helped by the fact that we love having our house.

Crossing the threshold!

The front

The rather aged kitchen

Living room with picture window

Too much brown...

The rather retro bathroom

In need of some decorating

A few odd jobs here and there...

The back

Photos (eventually!)

Nearly a year has gone by since the wedding (what?!) and still nothing has been done with the photos. But it is definitely time to share them, before moving on to new news.

How nice it is to look back at the photos and remember the amazingness of the day. Funny though how you change your mind over time as what you really think captures the day best...

Arriving at the church

The wedding party

Walking down the aisle

The church

Signing the registers

We're married!


Beautiful bouquets thanks to my amazing sister

Baby bridesmaids showing the way

The Black Barn

Our lights

Hogroast queue

Summer sun

Wheat fields

Sisterly hugs


Sisters dancing


Whirling baby bridesmaids

A moment to ourselves


Photos by Lauren McGlynn and various family members