Creating a Comfy (and Kid-Proof) Family Home

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DIY/Tutorials

Framing a Closet to Fit the Ikea Algot System

Carl and I have spent a while thinking about the best way to get more storage space into the bedrooms upstairs. Like a typical English house, there aren’t any closets (save the linen closet in the hallway). Since we left our Ikea Pax wardrobes at our previous house, we have next to no storage and are starting from scratch. We’ve toyed with the idea of getting Pax wardrobes again. We liked their functionality and their height tall. They really use space effectively.…

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Are you up for flipping a house?

When Carl and I bought our Victorian Terrace to do up, we really didn’t know what we were getting into. Before taking on another project, we asked ourselves several questions to make sure we were really up for it. Here are the questions you will want to answer before you commit to a major house renovation. 1. Can you live in it and, if not, can you afford to live elsewhere, even if work takes twice as long? Our first…

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How to Save Time on your House Renovation: Taking Proper Room Measurements

So you’ve bought a house. Maybe it’s something of a dump, or maybe it’s just not decorated to your taste. You’re ready to start turning it into a place to call home. You’re itching to pull up the carpet, take down the wallpaper, pick new tile for the bathroom. It all needs to be done and you want it done soon. Where do you start? In our opinion, the answer to that question is rather anticlimactic. But this step could…

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The Ultimate Guide to Removing Wallpaper with a Paper Tiger

Our house is covered in wallpaper: standard, textured, vinyl, wood chip. All the rooms. All the walls. All the ceilings, too, in fact. Since wallpaper removal was a bit hit or miss in our last house, we’ve been asking ourselves: what is the best way to remove wallpaper? The two most obvious choices are to use an adhesive remover or to steam the wallpaper off. We discussed buying a steamer, but ultimately decided to try out the adhesive remover first.…

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What You Should NOT Do When You Renovate an Old House

Four years or so ago, when Carl and I were young, innocent, and newly married, we decided it was the right time to buy a house. ‘Let’s look at this one,’ I said. It was a two-bedroom, Victorian terraced house. There were two pictures in the listing: one of the front of the house, and one of the view out of an upstairs window. That should have been a warning sign, However, it was listed at £35k below where a…

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Fitting an Externally Vented Tumble Dryer

It is disturbing how casually Carl drills holes through external walls. He did this in our last house – to the point I was vaguely concerned the structural integrity was compromised. The house is still standing, thankfully. I’m not surprised, therefore, that Carl drilled a hole in our garage wall within a week of moving in. The hole is extremely useful, though, since we are venting our tumble dryer through it. Here’s how we went about the job. Drilling a…

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Fitting a Microchip Cat Flap in a UPVC Door

We have three cats. We started off with two, which is pretty respectable, but then we found another in the cellar of our last house. She was hiding in the darkness behind piles of rubbish left by the previous owners, staring up at us with pale green eyes, a bit like Gollum. She ended up much nicer than Gollum, though, so we kept her. Anyway, one of the first orders of business when we moved was to get a flap fitted…

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How We Boarded our Loft to Create More Storage

After getting all of our stuff moved into our house, we faced the very real issue of what to do with all our boxes. The garage filled up quickly with tools and leftover building materials from our previous house. This left our entryway filled with Christmas ornaments, mementos, extra kitchen supplies and clothes the boys have outgrown. Carl and I had talked about how we could board the loft to create more space for storage, and it was obvious we would…

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