The Project With No End


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“Will you walk into my parlour?”

said the spider to the fly.


The study has ensnared time, money, patience, energy and general good humour for over three months now and yet, as you see, it is still devoid of furniture and life.

The piece of string? No, not a noose. Not quite yet. It’s a somewhat rustic means of door closure, deployed until the metalwork has been finally fixed in place. Lucky there was a lock there previously isn’t it?




Let’s start with the good news.


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The painting is complete.


‘Mittens’ turned out to be the exact and rather classy grey/green I had hoped for and I love it. Standing it that room when the sun is streaming in makes me feel so good.


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Devon peg


Mike marked the positions for the radiator fixings and hammered wooden pegs into the cob wall to provide anchorage for the screws. The pegs finish up flush with the wall and have now been skimmed and painted over. He says he still knows where they are..


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I have been giving some thought to floor finishes and playing with sample pots again.

And what do you know that’s not straightforward either.


Originally I’d intended to stain the floor a sort of medium oak colour, wax it and buff it up to a sheen. But now that I’ve seen the way the room is evolving if anything my inclination is to go the other way.. to go lighter.

The top stripe is an oil that is recommended for floors. Too pink.

In the middle another oil, supposedly maintaining the original colour of the wood. Too dark.

On the bottom, bingo. Liming wax. A considerable toning down of the orange accents in the stripped pine, resulting in an effect not dissimilar from bleached out driftwood.  The only drawback is that it is not really supposed to be used on floors, it’s not durable enough. But it’s an upstairs room, the main traffic area will be protected by a rug, and I’ll apply a couple of coats of clear wax on top.


I shall lime the doors and the windowsill too.




So where does the bad news come in?


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No radiator.


Remember we had to wait four weeks for the radiator to be made to order?

We initially overlooked the damage that may have occurred in transit. But not when Mike discovered that one of its orifices was just a little too small to accept the valve. It’s going back. And a replacement has been ordered.. another four weeks.


It doesn’t end there.

Mike had cut the second of our reclaimed doors down to size and started to sand it. But what we had assumed was dark paint turned out to be sticky: creosote. He worked valiantly for two days and got most of it off but after one night in the study the door still stunk the whole house out. We investigated getting it acid dipped but likelihood of success was deemed to be slim. We rang round the salvage yards once again but our purchase, it appears, had been a ‘lucky’ one off. There is nothing else around at the moment that is as tall.

The best option it would seem is to get a door made to order from reclaimed wood. So tomorrow we shall go and look at some examples to see if they fit the bill.

The £150 pound bill.

And the lead time on such a beast? 6-8 weeks.


2017-10-24T19:32:48+00:00February 24th, 2015|Tags: |


  1. Helen Johnstone February 24, 2015 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    Surely a door shouldnt cost £150 to make. I’m sure my son used to make them for less

    You are making progress though, you are nearly there and you will be so pleased with it when it is all done and looking gorgeous. Will there be soft furnishings or is that another whole decision process to be started?

    • Island Threads February 24, 2015 at 1:19 pm - Reply

      Helen in 2008 I was quoted over £200 for a narrow sized door for a walk in cupboard in my kitchen, I didn’t go with it, it does depend on the door style, mine was a 4 panel door, Frances

      • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 8:14 pm - Reply

        This is just a plank door, a few straight boards held together by three horizontal bars at the back. And a handful of nails. Helen’s son will no doubt correct me on the level of difficulty perceived, but it does seem an inordinate price.

        • Cathy February 25, 2015 at 11:55 am - Reply

          You have suggested yourself that it is only a few straight boards held together by 3 horizontal bars and some nails and Helen is quite right – I am surprised the pair of you haven’t considered making them yourselves. It would not only be substantially cheaper but it is likely to take you less time than trawling round the salvage yards (although you will still need your reclaimed timber to make them). It really isn’t difficult – and far more satisfying. Go on – I challenge you…. 😉

          • Jessica February 25, 2015 at 9:56 pm

            Himself is thinking about it. His time is a bit short this week but given further progress on the floor we will go out next week and see if we can find some suitable reclaimed wood. So, a tentative acceptance of the challenge.. 🙂

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 7:24 pm - Reply

      I have two pairs of silk interlined curtains from the last house that I’m going to join together, as long as the moths haven’t had them already. I’d have preferred roman blinds but there’s nowhere to fix them and the curtains aren’t easy either. There are enough challenges just in that for a whole new post 🙁

  2. Jenny February 24, 2015 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    Its just one thing after another isn’t it. I think the walls are looking great, and I like your choice of floor finish – I hope the rest falls into place soon for you.

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 7:26 pm - Reply

      I just hope I don’t end up having to reapply the lime wax, but it does seem to give me the look I was after. You’re right, fix one problem and another pops up. Thanks Jenny.

  3. Annie February 24, 2015 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    Well it is clearly going to be a wonderful room … just one that tried your patience en route!

    I’m loving that the related posts widget has picked out three other posts with photographs of walls … together they look like a promo for a modern art exhibition of paintings with subtle barely there colour and delicate texture.

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 7:32 pm - Reply

      Subtle barely there colour is exactly what I’ve been trying to achieve, it’s a good way of putting it. I’m a bit worried about how my elm furniture will look when it returns, but hopefully it will be OK..

  4. Sue February 24, 2015 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    It just is on-going, never ending jobs, problems and work isn’t it.

    Remember to grit your teeth and smile when someone in the future says “You’re so lucky to live in such a lovely house”. The hard work to get that ‘luck’ fades slightly in time but it’s always there in the back of your mind.

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 7:41 pm - Reply

      It is a lot of hard work and far more stressful than it appears, as you know. I’m not sure how much longer I can cope with the thick layer of dust everywhere either. Every time I think about shifting some of it Mr Sander returns.

  5. Sue February 24, 2015 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    Oh and I meant to say … It is looking FANTASTIC … well done to you both. 🙂

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 7:41 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sue 🙂

  6. Jo February 24, 2015 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    There’s no point rushing anything. A few extra weeks is nothing in the grand scheme of things, and you’ll end up with the room exactly how you want it.

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 7:44 pm - Reply

      We haven’t solved the door problem yet. What we went to look at all turned out to be very new rather than rustic. Back to ebay.

  7. Alberto February 24, 2015 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    I have started following your blog with interest and a little nostalgia. I am a little forward than you now, but I have been through the same things. I love that colour in the room (what was its name btw????) sometimes they give very funny names to colours. I have a room nearly the same colour (more on the biscuit side, though) and I feel so good in it when the sun comes in and light up everything.

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 7:49 pm - Reply

      Hi Alberto, thanks and welcome to rusty duck.
      The colour is called ‘Mittens’ and it’s a clay paint from Earthborn. It’s a good paint to use on traditional plasters as it is highly breathable. The light is so very important, especially in England and in cottages such as this one where the rooms can be quite dark.

  8. Anne Wheaton February 24, 2015 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    … unsuspecting little fly. Oh that things would just go smoothly once in a while. It will look wonderful when it’s finished.

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 8:10 pm - Reply

      I feel a lot like the fly. Nothing is straightforward in an old house is it. The floor of the study, indeed the whole house, slopes from east to west so all of the doors need to have gaps at the bottom or they’d never open.

  9. Island Threads February 24, 2015 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    Jessica the main thing is that it makes you feel good being in the room, that is wonderful, I was just thinking while waiting for my other comment to post (it is taking ages with my current connection), anyway, as maddening as it is for things that are wrong at least they can be rectified, every time I walk in my kitchen I see the wall in the wrong place! the joiner listened to me, took a copy of my plan and then proceeded to do what ‘he’ felt like totally ignoring my plan and what he had agreed to, I made him change it but there is a wall that is about 6 inches out, it doesn’t sound like much but does make a difference and it glares at me every day, this work was done in 2009,
    it is a shame about the creosote door, I can imagine the smell, I like the limed wood, beautiful and traditional for your house I imagine, Frances

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 8:32 pm - Reply

      Lime is very traditional for old cottages. Many had their beams painted with it, one of the uses apparently being to deter the evil worm.
      I can quite understand how annoying it is to have a wall in the wrong place, even more so if it is only a little way out. The door opening between the hall and kitchen here would ideally have been a foot or so adrift of its current position. I briefly investigated having it moved but as it’s four foot thick and structural the builder was less than keen.

  10. Sarah Shoesmith February 24, 2015 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    Keep focussing on what you have already achieved – it’s looking fab! Lead times always seem to be forever away. Your home will look exactly as you wish with time (says the woman with no doors on most of her cupboards after a year in the house… urg).

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 8:35 pm - Reply

      After a while you get used to these things don’t you? I guess peering into the unused en-suite come junk room will become quite the normal thing for me with time.

  11. wherefivevalleysmeet February 24, 2015 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    I can tell from your second photo that the study with it’s lovely ‘mittens’ coloured walls is going to be a source of pleasure and a great place to work. You will appreciate it all the more having overcome these different obstacles along the way.

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 8:40 pm - Reply

      The rather scary thing is that it is the first room we’ve done, except for the kitchen which we had the professionals in to do. I dare not do the exercise of extrapolating how long the house is going to take and shudder to think what other surprises lay waiting in the wings.

  12. Joanne February 24, 2015 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    A long time yes but it is really coming along now. You’ve achieved so much xx

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 8:42 pm - Reply

      Thanks Joanne. I’m really looking forward to moving into it now. And will, even if I have to have fan heaters and newspaper over the hole in the wall where the door should be 🙂

  13. Pauline February 24, 2015 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    You will get there in the end Jessica and it will all seem worth while. You have both done amazingly so far and the painting is looking really good. I didn’t know that doors could cause so much trouble!

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 8:45 pm - Reply

      I thought we had the doors licked, so this is a real setback. Especially as this door opening is tall and old cottage doors tend to be short. I’m still looking for a reclaimed door and found a couple of possibilities but it will be a trip way up country to get them.

  14. sustainablemum February 24, 2015 at 2:23 pm - Reply

    I am sure it will all be worth in the end………..whenever that comes!

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 8:49 pm - Reply

      Thanks. Renovations need patience, which so far has not been one of my greatest strengths. It also doesn’t help that there are so many other things going on at the moment and extreme pressures on time. We’ll get there.

  15. Sol February 24, 2015 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    endless isnt it once you get started

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 8:51 pm - Reply

      Absolutely. Just keep focussed on the end point, and the minor achievements along the way.. it’s usually worth it in the end.

  16. Mark and Gaz February 24, 2015 at 2:38 pm - Reply

    Four weeks! Creosote! A good example why projects almost always take longer than anticipated, when unexpected discoveries and things happen. Patience is a virtue and you guys will get there 🙂

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 8:55 pm - Reply

      I wish I could teach myself patience. The creosote is bad. The fumes are pretty noxious in a confined space. The door has been banished to the garage until we decide what to do next!

  17. CJ February 24, 2015 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    Keep being patient, it will all be so very worth it in the end, you’re making the most beautiful job of it. That green/grey colour is my absolute favourite at the moment, I’ve painted two rooms here in something very similar. I love the floor colour as well, honestly, it’s all going to be gorgeous, just hang on in there. CJ xx

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 9:00 pm - Reply

      Thanks CJ. It is a lovely colour and changes quite a bit with the light too. I can’t wait to get it all together, I hope it will be a very cosy room once it’s done.

  18. Em February 24, 2015 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    Love that colour. Am trying to decide on a slight greyer green for our place and ‘mittens’ might be it. As for the door, very funny, just not for you! X

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 9:03 pm - Reply

      I think it must have been an outside door or gate originally. Unfortunately creosote soaks right into the wood so it’s impossible to remove.

  19. Linda P. February 24, 2015 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    The room is looking good, Jessica. I think the decisions about the colour of the walls and the finish of the floor are the most important and because you’re happy with them you’ll enjoy using the study when it’s completed. (I’ve just noticed that when you click on a photo you get a larger one than the Blogger system and that’s very helpful as I had a wonderful time looking at your last post on your visit to Tintagel).

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 9:10 pm - Reply

      I’m hoping the room will stay as it is for a good many years now while we focus on the rest of the house and the garden. I have been known to repaint a room within weeks if I go off the colour. This one is a keeper though.
      I’m glad you are enjoying the photos. They are uploaded in large size which possibly takes slightly longer to load but does make them easier to view.

  20. Chloris February 24, 2015 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    The room is looking great, I love the colour you have chosen.
    Creosote! How awful but It will all be worth it when it is finished. . You two are such perfectionists.

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 9:13 pm - Reply

      I didn’t think I could go too far wrong with green! But definitely chose the wrong door.

  21. Sue Garrett February 24, 2015 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    Can you part exchange the creosote door 🙂

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 9:15 pm - Reply

      Not now we’ve cut it down to 24 inches wide 🙁

  22. frayed at the edge February 24, 2015 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    I remember it well, the one step forward, two steps back of house renovation (and all those evenings standing looking at plumbing supplies in B&Q!!) I’m sure I have said it before – you just have to keep telling yurself it will all be worth it (just don’t do what we did – we had almost finished our beautiful Victorian house when Malcolm got a job in Indonesia and we had to sell it!!)

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 9:23 pm - Reply

      Ah yes, all that time spent in B&Q. It’s the nails and screws… I am always impressed by how many different ones there are. And how many different ones we seem to need.

      • Jayne Hill February 26, 2015 at 7:34 am - Reply

        Don’t buy them from B&Q. Screwfix are part of the same company – if you look at their websites the SKU numbers are identical – but Screwfix are much, much cheaper. And deliver the following day . . .

        • Jessica February 26, 2015 at 7:07 pm - Reply

          Good tip, thanks Jayne. Often it’s a matter of practicality. We seem to spend a large proportion of our lives in B&Q, or one of their kin, looking for something or another. Might as well add to the screw collection at the same time.

  23. Sigrun February 24, 2015 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    The painting looks very good, it is my colour. And the work will end, and than you can celebrate!


    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 9:23 pm - Reply

      And what a celebration it will be! Thanks Sigrun.

  24. Marian St.Clair February 24, 2015 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    What would life be without a few downs to make the ups so wonderful? I’m enjoying your consideration of every detail and the resulting progress. No need to hurry long-term satisfaction. Your good feeling shines through in photo #2; the room is already a beauty.

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 9:31 pm - Reply

      I love the light in the room. It is actually better in winter when the sun is low. When the sun does shine that is! In summer the roof overhang gets in the way.

  25. Denise February 24, 2015 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    I was going to make some platitude along the lines of ‘the journey is more important than the destination’ but I fear you may punch my lights out (as they so charmingly say in the teen vernacular.)

    Beautiful, beautiful light in your study. I suspect you will feel supremely calm and serene therein once the job is done.

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 9:38 pm - Reply

      I would not dream of punching your lights out. I would go for a far more subtle form of retribution, like waiting until you were away and swooping in with a room makeover Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen style, in grey, naturellement.

  26. Jane and Lance Hattatt February 24, 2015 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    Hello Jessica,

    Oh dear, such a sad and sorry tale of a study in the making. We imagine that you did not have in mind wearing mittens in the absence of heating in the very room painted in their name. But, how wonderful it is going to be. The colour is terrific and, clearly, you have a good feeling when you are in the room. These are surely good omens that the future is going to be pleasure all the way………..!!

    And, just think how character building this all is……..mmmm but what character, we can hear you saying……

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 9:48 pm - Reply

      I hadn’t thought of that… the mittens are quite appropriate really aren’t they. How fate doth provide!
      Dr Jekyll. Or was it Mr Hyde?

  27. Jennifer February 24, 2015 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    It’s looking pretty good so far, though you’re having some seriously challenging experiences. I would really like to have my double front doors dipped. It’s so expensive and I’m not sure I have it in me to refinish them by hand. I’ve been thinking about just replacing them with those doors they make now that are basically a kind of plastic but they look a lot like real wood. I don’t know how secure they are, though. I’m glad that wasn’t a noose, by the way. No noose is good noose. 🙂

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 9:55 pm - Reply

      Very good!! (Holds head in hands)
      A lot of people over here have gone down the uPVC route for front doors, they are practical and low maintenance. I’m not sure about security either. Our front door is a mess of peeling varnish and will have to be on the list for this year.

  28. Vera February 24, 2015 at 5:45 pm - Reply

    I think its a fantastic job you are doing on your place, and also that you are letting each step lead to the next one without imposing your will. What I mean is, that you are letting the room tell you what it wants rather you telling it what it is going to have. We have done this with our renovation…we let the house tell us what it wanted each step of the way, and we are more that satisfied with the outcome, as I am sure you are with yours.

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 10:00 pm - Reply

      I’d agree. That’s why it’s important to live in a house for a bit and get used to the feel of it and then progress with the renovation slowly. It was the winter light coming into the room that completely changed my view of how it should be. The character of a house changes over the seasons.

  29. Kris P February 24, 2015 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    Maybe the project will be like childbirth – you’ll forget the pains of it once itis all behind you. Good luck with the next steps!

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 10:03 pm - Reply

      I’ll have to take your word for it on that Kris, but the birth of the study certainly seems painful enough. But no doubt when I’ve seen it, drunk the champagne and started to twiddle my thumbs again, another project will be on the cards.

  30. Julie February 24, 2015 at 6:51 pm - Reply

    Mittens is a gorgeous colour, I can see why it makes you feel good, I think Kris is right and I am sure we are all enjoying your up and down journey if thats any consolation, it would not make such a good read if all reports were that life was perfect.

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 10:11 pm - Reply

      If I was restricted to life is perfect they would be very short posts. 😉

  31. Brian Skeys February 24, 2015 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    Won’t you be delighted when the sun shines and you can just do gardening? It is very therapeutic.

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 10:14 pm - Reply

      I should say so… except that the next job is the chimney. And the roof. So things might be falling on my head.

  32. snowbird February 24, 2015 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    Well I’d say it all done bar the shouting and looking gorgeous too! Once the floor is done you should be able to move the furniture back, that’s progress!xxx

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 10:18 pm - Reply

      Oh, there is plenty of shouting going on, I can assure you of that.
      There are a couple more bits to get finished off, but it won’t be long until the floor gets done. And then the big move back. Can’t wait!

  33. Sarah February 24, 2015 at 8:55 pm - Reply

    Oh dear how frustrating! The colour of the wall is gorgeous. I was looking at some of the properties rented out by the Landmark trust one of the them reminded me so much of your lovely home. Sarah x

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 10:21 pm - Reply

      I’ve often thought about a stay in one of those. They are so carefully restored, they’d be an inspiration I’m sure. Thanks Sarah.

  34. Beth @ PlantPostings February 24, 2015 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    Always something with these projects, right? The lightness of the room is so cheery. I think I would have picked the same shade for the flooring, too, and as you say, you’ll have a rug over the top and protective coatings to keep it looking great. Very nice. I hope the radiator issues and other challenges resolve themselves soon.

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 10:24 pm - Reply

      I’m still a bit worried about the floor but having not found anything better despite intensive searches have decided to go for it and see what happens. I can always re-apply it or try something else later if it doesn’t work out. Thanks Beth.

  35. Anna February 24, 2015 at 10:04 pm - Reply

    Hang on in there Jessica! (((()))))

    • Jessica February 24, 2015 at 10:34 pm - Reply

      Doing my best in difficult circumstances (no wine week).

  36. wherethejourneytakesme February 24, 2015 at 11:28 pm - Reply

    Hi Jessica it’s looking good – I remember those exact words from one of our projects ‘ of course I know where it is under the plaster’ Did he remember – not exactly!

    • Jessica February 25, 2015 at 9:15 pm - Reply

      Hi Viv! There are five new holes in the hall ceiling now, as a result of trying to locate a joist. He says it’s small fry in the scheme of things and as approx a third of the ceiling fell down he’s probably right.

  37. Amy at love made my home February 24, 2015 at 11:36 pm - Reply

    Oh my goodness, so much work you have done already – which looks great by the way!! I do hope that the end will be in sight before too much longer. If nothing else you are no doubt itching to get out into the garden again! xx

    • Jessica February 25, 2015 at 9:32 pm - Reply

      I did a couple of hours in the garden this afternoon and am now feeling it! I’m out of condition.

  38. Freda February 24, 2015 at 11:37 pm - Reply

    What a lovely room. Lime wax is a beautiful finish (I use it on frames for my paintings). My novel also feels like a ‘project with no end’ at the moment, but like you, I’m keeping going! By the way you are nearest yet in guessing where I am on my writing retreat Jessica…

    • Jessica February 25, 2015 at 9:48 pm - Reply

      A novel must be a very difficult thing indeed to put a time frame on (no pun), but just as satisfying when it’s done. Your writing retreat looks rather special. I’d have been going the other way.. to Argyll!

  39. CherryPie February 24, 2015 at 11:54 pm - Reply

    It will all be wonderful when it is finished and your sagas will give you reflective fun for many years 😉

    • Jessica February 25, 2015 at 9:49 pm - Reply

      These things always seem much more fun when they’re over! Thanks Cherie.

  40. Amy February 25, 2015 at 5:58 am - Reply

    Oh, that is too bad about the door and the radiator! It is so miserable to think you have solved a problem successfully, only to turn around and find yourself starting all over again with it… (That’s been the story of our three year probate project!) But you really have got the walls and floor looking lovely. I think the effect of the lime wax will be perfect – even if you have to tiptoe in stocking feet 😉 I like the idea that you can use the same finish on all the wood in the room 🙂

    • Jessica February 25, 2015 at 9:53 pm - Reply

      I’ve done one side of the first door today and it looks OK. I did have to spend the afternoon in the garden though to recover from wax polish fume inhalation. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  41. Rosie February 25, 2015 at 9:00 am - Reply

    So near and yet so far – the light and colour in your study is wonderful and what a super place it will be to write and be creative in – the waiting and hoping is so frustrating, as are the extra bills but it will all be worth it in the end I’m sure:)

    • Jessica February 25, 2015 at 9:40 pm - Reply

      I’m hoping that I’ll be able to move back in at the end of next week, something to aim for anyway!!

  42. paxton3 February 25, 2015 at 9:28 am - Reply

    I can imagine that it’s all very frustrating. But the room already looks beautifully light. And when you are finally sitting in your study working, it will all be worth it. It’s all just time and money isn’t it?
    Leanne xx

    • Jessica February 25, 2015 at 9:43 pm - Reply

      There’s a trade off. The more we work on it ourselves the less money we have to spend (in theory!), but considerably more time. I don’t think we’ve got the balance quite right yet.

  43. rachel February 25, 2015 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    There’s a very small part of me that envies your position, being able to really put your mark on the house. The rest of me (the sensible part) is mostly relieved that all the really heavy duty work of rescue and modernise was done before I bought it. Although I am slowly undoing the worst aspects of that modernisation, like the super-shiny brass light fittings everywhere. I would give my eye teeth for a floor to agonise over oiling or waxing……

    • Jessica February 25, 2015 at 10:09 pm - Reply

      Hang on to the sensible part Rachel. There are times when it becomes a test of endurance more than anything else. There have been many “what were they thinking” moments here too. When I’ve got rid of the very last bit of black gloss paint I’ll really be celebrating.

  44. elaine February 25, 2015 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    Remind me to never buy an old house – I am not as stalwart as you appear to be. Eventually it will all be finished and you will wonder what all the fuss was about and it will slip from your memory as you settle into a comfortable old age in your perfect, finished, home.

    • Jessica February 26, 2015 at 6:27 pm - Reply

      An old house is a bit like a garden, it is never really finished. There is always something that needs doing. But hopefully the pace will ease a bit after the first time around.

  45. adaliza February 25, 2015 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    Just discovered you and your rusty ducks. I have a real one – Flora – she followed me as a day old chick, in Cornwall! Now she happily lives in our garden – she’d love your stream. Good luck with the floorboards – love the pale washed out finish, so in-keeping with your cottage. Good luck with the door – and the radiator!

    • Jessica February 26, 2015 at 6:50 pm - Reply

      Hi adaliza and welcome to rusty duck!
      The pale washed out look is a new one for me, it kind of sneaked in without my realising it but now it’s here I really love it. Sounds a bit like Flora… I’d rather like some real ducks too..

  46. Charlie@Seattle Trekker February 25, 2015 at 11:55 pm - Reply

    This project is really coming together nicely; I love the color you chose for the walls, the light from the windows is amazing, and the floors are going to be so special when you are done.

    • Jessica February 26, 2015 at 6:51 pm - Reply

      I hope so Charlie. I’m struggling a bit with the liming, not as easy as I thought!

  47. Jayne Hill February 26, 2015 at 7:30 am - Reply

    I always wanted to live in an old house, at one level I still do; a house with character, quirks and history. However you very capably illustrate it’s not all toasted crumpets and a whistling kettle on the Aga (don’t forget two muddy hounds gently drying off in front of aforementioned Aga!)

    Seven years into our own project and we’re still nowhere finished with sorting out a 1960’s bungalow, so it might be best I satisfy my ‘old house’ desires vicariously. And cheer you on from the sidelines . . .

    The light flooding into your newly painted study is quite wonderful though :-}

    • Jessica February 26, 2015 at 7:03 pm - Reply

      This is the second house we’ve restored and I’m wondering why I didn’t learn my lesson the first time. The difference is then we were both working and could afford to have others do it for us. This time it’s hard graft.

  48. The Middlesized Garden February 26, 2015 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    If you’re still looking for reclaimed wood, there are wood recycling centres – just search ‘wood recycling centre’, and they might have some doors too. It’s obviously going to look so beautiful, and I think you’re absolutely right about the liming of the floor. Oddly enough, painted floors seem to last longer than you think. Some people use yacht varnish (clear) to protect it, but even if what you’re using isn’t strictly for floors, it’ll probably last you a few years.

    • Jessica February 26, 2015 at 9:03 pm - Reply

      Hi Alexandra. Having limed a door now I’m sure it’s the right way to go, the colour is perfect although it’s messy and not particularly easy to get an even finish. I was going to wax it to protect it, see how it goes. In the bathroom, when we get to that, yacht varnish could well be the way to go. Thanks for the tip re wood too.. I’ll look it up.

  49. Janet/Plantaliscious February 27, 2015 at 8:58 am - Reply

    Hang in there, a few weeks after it is finished hopefully all you will be left with is a room that makes you smile when you walk in to it, and some good stories that also make you smile with the cushion of a little time. Love the wall colour.

    • Jessica February 27, 2015 at 10:32 pm - Reply

      Hi Janet. The cushion of a little time is important. But I’m sure (hope) you are right!

  50. Josephine February 28, 2015 at 1:02 am - Reply

    I love the color of the walls, you chose well.
    Your cottage certainly has been a labor of love, I so admire you both !

    • Jessica February 28, 2015 at 11:29 am - Reply

      We took it on knowing there would be a lot of work Jo, just not quite how much! Thanks.

  51. casa mariposa March 1, 2015 at 3:25 am - Reply

    But when it’s all done and over, the room will be glorious and you’ll have lots of stories to tell about its making. Love the walls and floor. 🙂

    • Jessica March 1, 2015 at 7:56 pm - Reply

      Thanks. I think the foot through the ceiling will be remembered for a long time to come..

  52. Denise March 3, 2015 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    LOVE the colour – is it F&B? I LOVE theirs ours is pale hound and hound shades!

    • Jessica March 3, 2015 at 9:57 pm - Reply

      Not F&B this time, even though it’s been the only paint I’ve used for years.
      The people who supplied the lime plaster recommended clay paint, it’s turned out OK. It’s a sort of cross between Old White and Lime White.

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