Here We Go! (Again)

It’s taken over 9 months since we bought the place but we are finally now in a position to start the work! (Woohoo!) More on why it took this long later but first how about a tour?!

Today we agreed on the Construction company that will carry out the renovation with a view to start works next week so we really truly are ready to get going.

This picture was taken at the beginning of October 2016 shortly after being handed the keys (After 9 months of trying to buy the place!)


Yes. It’s VERY Blue. Here’s a video of the Front in 2016

The layout of the house is extremely similar to how Andalus Road was so it gave us a bit of Deja Vu especially with the decor.

And what’s more the house also has some amazing traditional features like these folding dividing doors:


…but also some, well, unique features too


Here’s a tour of the ground floor, which is a tale of two halves. The front will be lovingly restored, keeping many of the Victorian features, and the back will be… knocked down, and replaced with a glorious open plan extension where our new kitchen/ living space will be.

Video of the Ground Floor in 2016

What will make a difference from our last renovation is the space we have at the rear and side. The house is only terraced on one side and has both side access to the garden and a side return space on the other aspect, which means we can utilise a wider extension than the standard victorian terrace. The garden is also unusually long for this area of London, giving us opportunity for a longer extension at the back to allow for our dream kitchen space.

The garden was really overgrown and looked like this:


Alderbrook Garden 2016

It was a bit of a problem for getting surveyors and planning folks in so we cleared it out:



…and for this angle you can really see why the back of the house needs some TLC. I present to you the leaning house of Clapham!


This is likely going to be one of the best “before pictures” because the back of the house will be completely transformed. More on how later on in the blog!

What do you think?!

A Finished Front

We’ve got kerb appeal!

Early in January the final touches were made to our frontage and it’s only now that we’ve had time to share some photos. We are delighted with the end result, and would highly recommend Martin and his team from Abbey Driveways for doing such a good job.

So here are some pictures of the finished front!

Front 1 Front 3 Front 4 Front 2


Kirstin & Axe xx

One Year On

Putting on a good front…

We could pretend that this is the next post since our Christmas update but it has actually been a year. We’ve been having too much fun enjoying the house that the blog has gone to the bottom of the list.

Time for some new photos as we have finally got round to the front of our home. It looked like this for a year:
front 2012

Poor house. Let down by the front cover 😦

We’ve had a good idea about how we want it to be finished since Week 36. Actually, Axe has known since 2009 as he has this picture stored on his phone:Frontage Inspiration

The front should reflect the inside – so, traditional and as true to original style as possible. Using reclaimed yellow old stock brick for the wall and bull-nosed Yorkstone steps, with fleur-de-lis railing finials, and a scrolled backstay. (All new terminology for Kirstin)

Gate Inspiration:

Gate Inspiration

We already had the wall in place so the rest should be simple – right? Wrong! One of the set-backs was that the wall built  one year ago had pillars that were too short, and too thin. One of the front pillars was actually very wobbly. When we started asking for quotes there was a recurring theme that the pillars will have to be re-built to a 1 and a half brick thickness instead of the one-brick thickness in order to fully support the weight of the railings and gate. Basically, the picture we gave the builders was correct, but their interpretation was a costly mistake! (at £2.20 per brick plus labour, it adds up).We’ve added this point so that people know what the standard is, as we had no idea. Hopefully this advice will avoid costly errors for others.


Once we agreed the details work started straight away. In one day the pillars have been re-built to their correct width and made higher. The pillar supporting the gate also has a metal pole inside it for extra support and all of them filled with concrete – they aren’t budging. The coping was also added, and instantly in one day the front already looks 100% better.


Axe was fortunately able to work from home so got to see the whole process but I got the pleasure of seeing the difference as I walked home from work.

Pillars KM

Next week, the steps go in and it will likely be the new year when our house gets it’s final facelift with the railings. Can’t wait for 2014!

Kirstin & Axe xx

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

…And a lot more homely!

We cannot believe that we haven’t posted anything since June! I guess we have been too busy living in the house to really talk about it.

Bedroom1Now Christmas is almost upon us and we are gearing up for a full house of guests not once but twice in a week. This has sort of forced us in to making our guest bedrooms ‘habitable’ – so there are at least sheets and pillows, but not much else in the rooms. bedroom1.1a 

A huge difference to the living room and front bedroom have been the shutters. We got these from Shutterly Fabulous, and are really happy with the design and quality. It was good timing too, because they really do provide a little extra insulation against the cold. It’s nice that the neighbours also have similar shutters, as it does make an impact in the street:shuttersafronta

We still have a few bits and bobs to sort out the frontage, but other than that we are quite pleased 🙂


Preparing for Christmas has been very exciting. Our first tree in the house! We decorated it after we had gone to see Handel’s Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall, as we were feeling very christmassy at 2am! We also unpacked the last box from moving in – it is now really official that we live here.

As this will probably be our last post of the year, we would like to thank all of you who have read the blog over the past 18 months. At times where we were feeling low and stressed, your comments have really picked us up – so thanks for being interested and helping to keep us going!


Kirstin & Axe xx