Master bedroom progress update! Featuring a chimney sweep, plasterer, plumber, electrician and a stressed out me

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 2 , , , , Permalink 1

I’ve been sleeping on a bed in the living room for the past week and everything that used to be in the bedroom is spread across other rooms. The house has been cold and damp whilst the plaster dries and there’s dust everywhere again – Christmas seems so long ago! Here’s a reminder of what the bedroom looked like at the end of my last blog post.

Not looking great

I made this mess.

Why I wrecked the chimney breast wall

The plan was to open up the fireplace and clean out the builder’s opening to create a feature wall with an electric stove. First I wanted to remove some of the plaster from the fireplace to investigate what was underneath. The fireplace arch was much higher than I expected and it seemed to be in poor condition. The centre keystone brick was cracked and it looked like the arch had dropped on one side. There was no other lintel or support. I could see where modern bricks had been used to close up the builders opening, but didn’t want to remove any in case the whole thing came down.

Obviously I'm a Photoshop expert.

I’m a Photoshop expert.

If I wanted to open up the fireplace I’d need to consider the weight of the bricks above. The extra expense and disruption needed to install a supporting lintel to create a hole for an electric stove didn’t seem worth it. My plans for the fireplace changed – I now want to

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Start of the New Year means restarting the DIY

Monday, January 4, 2016 0 , , , Permalink 0

Work in the bedroom stopped around October in the run up to Christmas. The DIY clutter scattered around the house was tidied away and everything made ready for visitors. The luxury of free time over the festive break meant I rediscovered my love for creative crafts. I decided to make an advent calendar.

Heart shaped metal frame with 24 mini stockings hung on

Homemade advent calendar.

I made the stockings using a paper template and an old pair of jeans. The copper heart is a picture holder from Sass and Belle with battery operated fairy lights wrapped round the outside. I bought the silver numbered beads from eBay. Altogether I spent about £18. Each of the stockings is unique and the designs are made up of the crafty bits collected in my sewing box. Here are some of my favourites.

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Removing fitted wardrobes in the bedroom (and hunting for original features)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015 2 , Permalink 2

Since the layout of my master bedroom is the same as the living room directly below, there should be a chimney breast and two alcoves behind the fitted wardrobes. Possibly some original features like cornicing. Possibly even an original Victorian fireplace. I was curious…

Four mirrored wardrobe door panels in the master bedroom


Some of the bedroom’s non-original features include a paper-thin carpet, brown walls, ugly radiator pipes and an out of place modern light fitting. The wall to ceiling fitted wardrobes consisted of a plywood carcass covered by four 2 metre high sliding mirrored doors (that didn’t slide very well) and a plasterboard wall. Overall the room felt dusty and neglected so I was eager to start work in there.

This blog post explains how I took the wardrobes out and what I found behind them!



You can see in the photo above that the ceiling has a been boarded over along the length of wall on the right-hand side. Poking into the plasterboard with a screwdriver revealed that this covers a steel beam which supports the loft conversion above. It’s ugly but there’s not much I can do about it.

Removing the sliding doors

Before getting to work I packed up all non-essential items into plastic crates and bin bags then stored everything upstairs.

Taking the mirrored door panels off was easy enough. They were attached to wheeled brackets which ran along a metal rail.

Top of mirrored sliding doors showing metal rail/runner

Close up of mirrored panel support

We* couldn’t lift the doors off the metal rail so we just undid the screws on the brackets behind them.

*’We’ means my partner and I – unfortunately for him dismantling the fitted wardrobes was a two person job!

Man unfastening the top of a mirrored wardrobe door

No going back now

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A room of one’s own: finishing touches and the big reveal (part 2)

Sunday, April 19, 2015 9 , , , Permalink 0

In my previous blog post I’d started to prep the study ready for decorating, so I’ll continue where I left off…

Step 5: add a new radiator

The old radiator was in an awkward position at the entrance to the room so there wasn’t much clearance to open the door. When the fire doors were installed I had the new door frame moved across a couple of inches to help solve this problem.

You can just about see in the photo below that the pipes came out through the skirting too, rather than up through the floorboards. Keeping the pipes like this would have caused problems when fitting the skirting.

Old single panel radiator underneath low window in study, bare floorboards and tools everywhere

Old single panel radiator

I wanted a radiator slim enough to fit next to the door, that was traditional in style and that had enough output to heat the room.

First I had to calculate how much radiator power was needed in British Thermal Units (BTUs). Factors that affect the BTU output needed include the size of the room, the number of windows and if the room is insulated. After a quick Google I found several online BTU calculators but each one I tried asked different questions and resulted in figures ranging from 1470 BTUs to 3110 BTUs. That’s a considerable difference and meant I might spend £100 more than necessary. Local plumbers also gave differing results. I decided to take the average of these figures – seemed sensible enough!

I ended up buying the Acova 2-column traditional style radiator along with a Pegler thermostatic radiator valve from Screwfix.

I also had to deal with this little problem…

Exposed brickwork underneath window where the plaster has fallen off

Some of the wall fell off!

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