And It’s Done. Hallelujah

Study 063 Wm[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=

Eight months. Not eight continuous months, obviously, but this decorating project has really dragged on.

The study, I’d convinced Mike, would be such an easy room to tackle. And so it seemed at the start. Well, if you discount the discovery of the hornets’ nest on Day One. But after replacing floorboards, sanding and liming the whole floor (twice), stripping back woodchip wallpaper then reskimming the lime plastered walls, demolishing a cupboard and re-routing electrics, renewing a radiator and fitting three new doors, one of them constructed completely from scratch… how easy does it feel now?

I just dread to think what the rest of the house will bring.


Study 001 Wm[5]


The Before


Chucking out the clutter has made an obvious impact and it feels a whole lot more spacious now with the lighter floor and removal of that built in cupboard to the far right. I’m gradually transferring magazine subscriptions over to digital so the paper mountain should will not grow again.

Study 064 Wm[3]

The window was crying out to have a window seat and so now it has. I’ve thrown out the rather straggly plants that occupied it before and made a bench cushion for the ledge. The power points have been moved to underneath the desk, making that whole wall feel a good deal cleaner.


Study 002 Wm[5]


The Before


The black ‘feature’ on the ceiling wasn’t really a beam, just a line of black paint masquerading as such!

It’s interesting how light levels change across the seasons. This room is actually a whole lot brighter in winter, when the ‘before’ pictures were taken. The sun is lower in the sky then and shines straight through the window. In summer the overhanging thatch roof provides a very effective screen.


Study 065 Wm[1]


From this view the room is all doors. Three different colours of door since they are all now reclaimed.

The one on the left is by far the most successful, the door that Himself constructed from old pine floorboards. The door on the right had been acid stripped before we bought it and, to my mind, lost a lot of its character along with the paint. Perhaps we should think about making another one of our own to replace it. I’ve started dropping hints. In the meantime it’s still a massive improvement on what used to be there..


Study 003 Wm[5]


The Before


And finally… did you spot who was following us around as we made the tour?

Study 066 Wm[3]


I wonder if Ptolemy approves of his new abode..?


A Christmas gift from Mike.



2017-10-24T19:32:44+00:00July 7th, 2015|Tags: |


  1. Christina July 7, 2015 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    Well done indeed; and I’m relieved to know it isn’t just us who start with a simple project that then becomes a marathon.

    • Jessica July 7, 2015 at 8:34 pm - Reply

      Definitely not just you. One thing always leads to another does it not!

  2. Joanne July 7, 2015 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    It’s beautiful, such a lovely peaceful & restful room now. You must be relieved it’s finished after all this time. I’m sure Ptolemy will enjoy it as much as you x

    • Jessica July 7, 2015 at 8:36 pm - Reply

      It’s lovely to be working in it rather than on it! I hope your own work is going well too.. a kitchen (lack of) is far more disruptive.

  3. Sue July 7, 2015 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    It looks gorgeous. And I can’t believe you have a toy Ptolemy after all the nibbling he did to your plants ….. and wasn’t he the one that attacked Mike?

    • Jessica July 7, 2015 at 8:42 pm - Reply

      You have a good memory Sue. Unless we have the original Jekyll and Hyde, the current Ptolemy is a rather more benign bird than the character which kept attacking us the first year we were here. Of course it could be he’s now discovered which side his bread is buttered, there’s a lot of bird food available around here if he plays his cards right.

  4. Jayne Hill July 7, 2015 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    To those of us who hanker after an older house (and will never have one) your ‘before’ looked pretty damn good. But, the ‘after’ is quite glorious, many congratulations and here’s to many happy productive hours in there. Only 8 months? You’ll have to come and help us, we could do with your turn of speed up here πŸ™‚

    Re: pictures number 2 and 4. Are you sure you didn’t creep in here to take them? Some of those ‘piles’ look terribly familiar! Good luck with the ‘paper mountain’ . . .

    • Jessica July 7, 2015 at 8:51 pm - Reply

      I really don’t know how those piles get to be so big. They must breed all by themselves. Now I’m just watching the red numbers on the tablet’s ‘Newsstand’ increase. The backlog is still there, it just catches up with me in a different place!

  5. Mark and Gaz July 7, 2015 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    What a beautiful room, it looks fabulous!

    • Jessica July 7, 2015 at 8:51 pm - Reply

      Thanks guys.

  6. Chloris July 7, 2015 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    You have made a wonderful job of it, it looks fantastic, but you are such perfectionists that I wonder how long is it going to take you to do the whole house?

    • Jessica July 7, 2015 at 8:58 pm - Reply

      This worries me too. But I look upon the study as a prototype. We now know how to lime floors and skim using lime plaster. We also know to avoid putting feet through the ceiling.. the next room will be quicker.

  7. SmallP July 7, 2015 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    Definitely worth the wait. It looks gorgeous πŸ™‚

    • Jessica July 7, 2015 at 9:01 pm - Reply

      It’s been a tad frustrating at times, to say the least, but yes worth the wait. Thanks.
      I’ve just popped over to your blog and read your post. I’m sorry for the loss of another creative soul, especially in such circumstances. It is so sad. Keep strong and take care x

  8. Freda July 7, 2015 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    I LOVE before and after pictures! Wow! (I forget to take the ‘befores’) I’m longing to add a jug of summer flowers…..It must be a truly lovely space to work in Jessica. I wish you many happy hours in there.

    • Jessica July 7, 2015 at 9:28 pm - Reply

      You’re right.. there should be flowers in here. I will have to see what I can do about that! And your Kondo-ing has inspired me no end, thank you!

  9. kate@barnhouse July 7, 2015 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    What a beautiful room, also a beautifully composed post. Ptolemy looks handsome and at home in his new surroundings.

    • Jessica July 7, 2015 at 9:33 pm - Reply

      Thank you Kate. What I can’t get my head around is why Ptolemy should be sporting a shooting waistcoat? Revenge perhaps!!

  10. countrysidetales July 7, 2015 at 6:19 pm - Reply

    Jess, it looks beautiful.

    • Jessica July 7, 2015 at 9:34 pm - Reply

      Thanks CT. Onwards to the next project..

  11. ginaferrari July 7, 2015 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    It looks great. What a transformation!

    • Jessica July 7, 2015 at 9:51 pm - Reply

      Thanks Gina.

  12. homeslip July 7, 2015 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    Oh it looks lovely, calm and restful and a real writer’s room. I love your desk and low bookcases but what a lot of paperwork you have culled.

    • Jessica July 7, 2015 at 9:53 pm - Reply

      The light is so much better now. It had an orange glow from that carpet before, the photos actually capture it! Thanks Sarah.

  13. Caro July 7, 2015 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    Looks very lovely – I’m very taken with your limed floorboards and wondering if I have the energy to do the same to my boards! The light bounces around wonderfully, very soothing. Can’t wait to see what you tackle next!

    • Jessica July 7, 2015 at 9:58 pm - Reply

      I would definitely do the liming again, but only in a low traffic room. It’s not really advised for floors, especially in a kitchen or bathroom where there would be water. I can’t remember whether you have any animals, that (or small children) would also make it impractical I suspect.

  14. frayed at the edge July 7, 2015 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    We are both most impressed with the transformation (and we both noticed the nautical cushion on the window seat!) Looking at how good the room looks minus the clutter makes me realise I have to get things under control in the studio once it has been decorated!

    • Jessica July 7, 2015 at 10:01 pm - Reply

      This is a working room too, as you can see from the previous fabric stash! It will be almost impossible to keep it tidy all the time, but it helps if you have plenty of room for storage, sadly lacking here.

  15. Sue Garrett July 7, 2015 at 8:27 pm - Reply

    Well worth the time taken

    • Jessica July 7, 2015 at 10:02 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sue. Got there in the end. There were times when I wondered..

  16. Dorothy @ The Nature of Things July 7, 2015 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    Congratulations! It looks wonderful!

    • Jessica July 7, 2015 at 10:03 pm - Reply

      Now I just need to keep it like that.. oh dear. Thanks Dorothy.

  17. CJ July 7, 2015 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    Yes, I spotted your lovely pheasant straight away, he’s wonderful. And what an absolutely gorgeous job you’ve made of the room, it really is beautiful. You should be very proud of yourselves. All of the wood is delicious, such a fantastic colour. Your really do have a talent for it all. Good job! CJ xx

    • Jessica July 7, 2015 at 10:06 pm - Reply

      The furniture came with us from the last house, also very old, with a more traditional decor. I hope it still works, even in a more contemporary room.

  18. Sol July 7, 2015 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    you put in so much hard work and look at it! AMAZING! love it

    • Jessica July 7, 2015 at 10:09 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sol. I’m kind of disappointed that it doesn’t look more different, given all the work involved. You will know just how much work!

  19. threadspider July 7, 2015 at 9:50 pm - Reply

    Looks fabulous. Congratulations on all your hard work.

    • Jessica July 7, 2015 at 10:11 pm - Reply

      Thanks. Back to the garden for a bit now.. if only the rain would stop!

  20. bushbernie July 7, 2015 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    What a difference! All that hard work was worth it. I love the wooden floorboards and those doors are a triumph!

    • Jessica July 8, 2015 at 9:29 pm - Reply

      It’s a completely different room to work in now. And, so far, still tidy!! Thanks Bernie.

  21. mattb325 July 7, 2015 at 10:20 pm - Reply

    It looks so lovely – the clean, pared-back feel must surely meet with Ptolemy’s approval. The floor-boards and wood work are fantastic…well done! It makes me want to get a wriggle-on with my renovations πŸ™‚

    • Jessica July 8, 2015 at 9:31 pm - Reply

      Already I’ve forgotten most of the pain and want to get on with the next room now. About a day in I’ll start to regret it..

  22. CherryPie July 7, 2015 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    The room looks fabulous, so light and airy. I need to follow your example and get rid of a lot of clutter!!

    • Jessica July 8, 2015 at 9:32 pm - Reply

      It does make a difference. Suddenly I can find everything I need! Thanks Cherie.

  23. woolythymes July 7, 2015 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    Ptolemy….what a lucky bird you are! You new living digs are quite nice!!!!! Behave yourself (I noticed that ‘mom’ has removed the plants. Smart woman.)

    • Jessica July 8, 2015 at 9:45 pm - Reply

      Ptolemy says he’ll behave. Although he is eyeing up the plants that remain outside the door..

  24. bumbleandme July 8, 2015 at 4:36 am - Reply

    It looks fantastic! I bet you’re so pleased with the finish. X

    • Jessica July 8, 2015 at 9:46 pm - Reply

      I’m pleased with the finish in both senses of the word!! Thanks Hannah.

  25. Kris P July 8, 2015 at 5:30 am - Reply

    It’s a wonderful space! I hope you’re going to give both yourself and Mike respite before you tackle another new house project. (I don’t count garden projects – they’re perpetual.)

    • Jessica July 8, 2015 at 9:50 pm - Reply

      I’m glad garden projects don’t count because I’ve got several lined up. We just need a break in the weather. Sorry to mention rain again, but..

  26. Virginia July 8, 2015 at 5:56 am - Reply

    I doubt I’d get much done in there – it’s such a tranquil space I’d go into a dream-state! And come to wondering where the hour had gone. You’ve made a lovely job of it, and I’m sure you’re right, all you’ve learnt along the way will make the next room go much faster.

    • Jessica July 8, 2015 at 9:56 pm - Reply

      So much of this project comprised learning experiences, which add to the time and the cost. Next time it will be a lot easier. I hope. Before we start the next room though there is work that needs to be done by others, so a bit of breathing space.

  27. annamadeit July 8, 2015 at 6:14 am - Reply

    What a lovely, peaceful study! Well done!

    • Jessica July 8, 2015 at 9:59 pm - Reply

      Thanks. I changed my mind part way through to go for the lighter colours (my hairdresser suggested the liming!) and am so glad I did. I love the light and spaciousness.

  28. Vera July 8, 2015 at 8:08 am - Reply

    What a lovely room, so peaceful, and just waiting for you to get down to some writing!

    • Jessica July 8, 2015 at 10:02 pm - Reply

      This winter definitely. Yes, I know I said that last winter. But this time I mean it.

  29. Brian Skeys July 8, 2015 at 9:04 am - Reply

    It all looks wonderful and in keeping with the cottage, Jessica, Mike is a skilled DIY man. Someone in the past probably replaced the original doors like your new ones with ‘modern’ doors!

    • Jessica July 8, 2015 at 10:05 pm - Reply

      There have been a lot of unsympathetic changes around here. It pains me to think that we are paying extortionate sums at salvage yards and the like to replace what may well have been here originally only to be thrown away.

  30. Anne Wheaton July 8, 2015 at 9:28 am - Reply

    A triumph! I find that completing one room makes the one next door look even worse and it takes so long to get around to actually doing the work that I don’t think I’ve ever sat back with the satisfied thought that the house is finished, because the first rooms need doing again. It looks a wonderful restful place to do some work. Or read a few magazines.

    • Jessica July 8, 2015 at 10:09 pm - Reply

      The magazines haven’t gone very far. They are still available to read. And I still kid myself that I’ll have the time one day..
      An old house is like the Forth bridge. Or a garden. It’s never finished.

  31. Jacqueline July 8, 2015 at 10:31 am - Reply

    I will never know how some people can ‘ do ‘ a whole house in the space of a few months !!!! We have lived here for nearly 30 years and have never done everything !!!! It’s amazing just how long it takes to finish one room, isn’t it Jessica ? Your study looks brilliant and suits your cottage so well. I actually love the doors and rather like the fact that they aren’t completely uniform, but that’s just me !!
    Right ….. which room are you going to tackle next Jessica ?!! XXXX

    • Jessica July 8, 2015 at 10:14 pm - Reply

      I agree, the doors shouldn’t all be identical. But when one sticks out like a sore thumb it offends the eye. Well, it does mine anyway. Next room? Probably the bedroom. And that one can’t take eight months because we’ll be sleeping on a mattress on the sitting room floor..

  32. AnnetteM July 8, 2015 at 11:43 am - Reply

    You have created a beautiful space – it looks good from all angles. I have a house full of those dreadful slatted doors from your before photo. They are thankfully gradually collapsing and so no choice but to replace them. Although not a really old house our doors and wardrobes are still funny sizes. Would you and Mike fancy an ‘ahem’ holiday in Aberdeen some time soon?

    • Jessica July 8, 2015 at 10:17 pm - Reply

      I’d love a holiday in Aberdeen. But wouldn’t you get fed up with us before the eight months are up?

  33. Vintage Jane July 8, 2015 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    It looks great … a much calmer space!

    • Jessica July 8, 2015 at 10:19 pm - Reply

      Thanks. It does feel a lot calmer.

  34. L July 8, 2015 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    Beautiful end result. The doors in particular make a dramatic difference. Maybe the work on this room means other jobs will turn out to be easier than anticipated. A good end result of one job does make it easier to move forward.

    • Jessica July 8, 2015 at 10:23 pm - Reply

      Thanks Linda. The doors were a change of plan halfway through as well. Originally I intended to paint the louvre doors, but it would have been an awful job. It’s turned out better this way I hope.

  35. Rosie July 8, 2015 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    What a lot of hard work but so worth it, you new study looks wonderful and I’m sure Ptolemy – I did spot him under your desk – will love his new home:)

    • Jessica July 8, 2015 at 10:27 pm - Reply

      He’s supposed to be a doorstop (he’s bottom heavy!) but his tail tends to get in the way so he prefers a location away from the door.

  36. Mise July 8, 2015 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    It’s an accomplishment, perfectly tranquil and lovely.

    • Jessica July 8, 2015 at 10:35 pm - Reply

      I’m still on the lookout for more cushions. A girl needs cushions. And a pop of colour or two I think.

  37. Denise July 8, 2015 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    Calm and snuggly…Virginia Woolf would have approved! A job well done.

    • Jessica July 8, 2015 at 10:45 pm - Reply

      Thanks Denise.
      Not a lighthouse, a boat!

  38. haggiz July 8, 2015 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    so worth it and how clever of ptolemy to photobomb each shot πŸ™‚ x

    • Jessica July 8, 2015 at 10:47 pm - Reply

      He’s like that. You can’t put a good bird down! Thanks Julie.

  39. Donna@Gardens Eye View July 9, 2015 at 12:33 am - Reply

    Great to see the project completed…that was quite a project…but oh the doors look fabulous!

    • Jessica July 10, 2015 at 10:45 pm - Reply

      Such a relief that it’s done at last, only the rest of the house to go now πŸ™
      Thanks Donna.

  40. Natalie July 9, 2015 at 2:54 am - Reply

    Beautiful, beautiful, gorgeous, gorgeous!! I especially like those wide floorboards and the lovely doors. What a job, but what a wonderful result!

    • Jessica July 10, 2015 at 10:49 pm - Reply

      As far as I know, it’s the only place in the house we have the wide boards, so I was very keen to keep them!

  41. Angie July 9, 2015 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    You have both created a beautiful space and did not compromise on the look you wanted to achieve. It’s gorgeous Jessica. It’s been a slog but a worthwhile one.

    • Jessica July 10, 2015 at 11:01 pm - Reply

      It’s a look that has evolved as the work progressed. But you’re right, once I’d decided upon it that was how it was going to be. Which is why we’ll end up with better matching doors… eventually!

  42. PlantPostings (@plantpostings) July 10, 2015 at 4:02 am - Reply

    Oh gosh, it looks great! Very warm and welcoming. Now you can enjoy! Congrats!

    • Jessica July 10, 2015 at 11:04 pm - Reply

      Doing the study first gives me the big advantage of having somewhere to retreat to when the rest of the house gets bad. Which it’s bound to at some point! Thanks Beth.

  43. Annie Cholewa July 10, 2015 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    Ver-ry nice. (You and Mike must have more patience than I could ever dream of!)

    • Jessica July 10, 2015 at 11:06 pm - Reply

      Mike does.. nuff said!

  44. Sarah July 10, 2015 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    How beautiful it all is! I am very inpatient and wouldn’t be able to wait that long to complete it, but your patience has paid off. Those doors are fantastic. Sarah x

    • Jessica July 10, 2015 at 11:12 pm - Reply

      The trouble with doing serial renovations is that you get used to living in chaos. It just becomes the norm after a while. This one was relatively easy because the study I could live without. Bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms are a different matter!

  45. jannaschreier July 11, 2015 at 6:21 am - Reply

    It is so gorgeous, Jessica. You’ll not want to be out in the garden now! A very good lesson for me too: moving those electrical sockets makes so much difference and yet is just the sort of thing I would always make do with rather than change…no longer!

    • Jessica July 11, 2015 at 9:14 am - Reply

      The downside is it creates more of a cable city under the desk, which is something I need to address. But at least now the wires are only in one place! Hope you’re still enjoying Vancouver. Thanks Janna.

      • jannaschreier July 12, 2015 at 4:31 pm - Reply

        Ikea do sell a little wire mesh tray thing that you attach under the desk and it hold all the cables, transformers etc hidden away. We have one of those, just don’t have the sockets in the right place. Between us we would do quite well!!! And off to the Rockies today – hooray!

        • Jessica July 13, 2015 at 3:17 pm - Reply

          Yes, it’s that sort of thing I need to look into. Either that or a cable tidy and some sort of concealed box on the floor. Enjoy the Rockies.. fab!

  46. thesnowwoman July 11, 2015 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    What a beautiful makeover!

    • Jessica July 12, 2015 at 1:18 pm - Reply

      Thank you.. and welcome!

  47. welshhillsagain July 11, 2015 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    It is absolutely lovely and I am in awe of the amount of stuff you have got rid of! I tried to produce a similar calm and organised outcome in the sewing room and was doing quite well until Ian decided it should also have his hi fi stuff in it… Really like your new doors too, particularly the one Mike made. And the window seat. Love it all really and I think eight months is quite a short time. We have a similarly aged house and the last piece of decorating took nearly three years!

    • Jessica July 12, 2015 at 1:21 pm - Reply

      I remember you making a window seat cushion recently and it gave me the idea. And I feel so much better about the time it’s taken now too. Thank you! The trouble with old houses is that nothing is ever straightforward. So easy to hit and problem and give up.

  48. Amy July 11, 2015 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    A magnificent job, Jessica! I’m very impressed by what you and Mike have been able to do with the woodwork and plaster; everything hangs together with a wonderfully quiet mood now! If only they designed magazine covers to blend with a room like that… πŸ˜‰

    • Jessica July 12, 2015 at 1:23 pm - Reply

      The magazines are definitely not coming back. Not ever. Nope.. not ever..
      Thanks Amy.

  49. Chel @ Sweetbriar Dreams July 12, 2015 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    Well done! So much hard work that gives you so many future years of reward in return. Brilliant!! xx

    • Jessica July 12, 2015 at 2:39 pm - Reply

      Thanks Chel. And I hope you’re right. I couldn’t bear to do it all again!!

  50. 1gus1 July 13, 2015 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    It’s lovely – well done! Our projects rarely get beyond the ‘planning stage’ . . .

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

      There are a lot at that stage too. And yet more that will probably never make it out of the ‘too hard’ box. Thanks Janice.

  51. Jenny July 13, 2015 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    Oh wow, what a beautiful and tastefully done transformation. It makes such a difference, and well worth the effort I think. I love the doors – such a difference over the “standard” ones that were in there before. Enjoy πŸ™‚

    • Jessica July 13, 2015 at 9:47 pm - Reply

      These projects take such a lot of time and hard work, but it really is worth it in the end.. not least having just seen your fabulous new bathroom.

  52. sustainablemum July 25, 2015 at 9:03 am - Reply

    What a beautiful transformation, patience does pay…………..twelve years I have been waiting for a porch, it is growing slowly………..

    • Jessica July 25, 2015 at 10:43 pm - Reply

      Hi! Great to hear from you and thank you. I hope you’re all well..
      Yes, I know that waiting feeling. And sometimes when we finally get round to starting something we find that the moment has passed. I wonder if someone intended that to happen? Good luck with your porch!

  53. New Moons For Old November 22, 2015 at 11:02 am - Reply

    I’ve just discovered your lovely blog (better late than never)! This post is just what I needed with my own study to revamp.

    • Jessica November 22, 2015 at 4:11 pm - Reply

      Hello and welcome!
      It was a huge amount of work but, undeterred, there will be more this winter I’m sure. Funnily enough, we were just talking about it today. Enough water must have passed under the bridge since the last time!!

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