Saturday, 25 February 2012

The Kitchen Project

This week the builders have been in to rip out our old kitchen and install a shiny new one. Although our old kitchen looked quite nice it was falling apart in places, didn't have great storage and wasn't really what we would have chosen...

So we had an Ikea planner come out and give us some ideas for how to make the space work better for us and then ordered a white gloss kitchen with white acrylic worktops. This sounds like a crazy plan for a couple with a dog and a baby on the way, but we have been assured that the white gloss actually shows things like finger prints much less than a dark one!
The kitchen was delivered in its flat-pack state last Sunday and stacked up in the spare room.

The builders arrived early Monday morning and it took them only a few hours to rip out the kitchen, including an impressive piece of masonry.

Because our new units are a slightly different size to the old ones we have also had to order a new floor, but for now the floorboards are gone and there is some rather horrible retro vinyl tiles on the floor!

Here is how the kitchen looked mid week...

And our little cloakroom is being transformed into a utility room...

The kitchen is now mostly finished, and we have been really impressed with the speed and hard work of our builders. They ensured that our oven and sink were fitted so we could use them over the weekend, but until it is totally finished we don't want to cause any mess! This time next week though we will have a brand new finished kitchen, hurrah!!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Sweet Smelling Post Office Table

Baby Briggs' room no longer smells of oil! I ordered some foam and upholstered the piece of plywood in the parcel shelf with PVC to make one big changing mat, which meant it smelt like foam for a while. Then I waxed the table base, which made it smell lovely. Then I lined the shelves with pretty polka-dot scented drawer liners from Laura Ashley. So now the whole room smells like flowers - result!

The changing mat has got handles on so that it can be easily pulled up, in case anything spills down the sides of it!

The shelves have plenty of space for useful things...

...and for new friends.

One of Baby Briggs' many little outifts...

We also put some shelves up that would allow us to display the covers of our books. There is now a very sunny reading corner waiting to be used, I can't wait!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Tweed and Coffee Sack Chair

This week I completed the other Parker Knoll chair. I didn't really take any photos while I did it because it is exactly the same as my nursery chair! The only extra thing this one needed was a spring in the back being put on. As you can see in the photo below the bottom spring had fallen off on one side. This was because the eye that the hook on the end of the spring was attached to had come off.

So I drilled into the wood and attached a new eye before rehooking the spring on.

And now there is a lovely new chair to be sent up to the shop in Stonehaven.

Grey tweed with coffee sack on the side

Coffee sack on the back

Coffee sack piping
And for no other reason than she is incredibly cute, here's Henny...

Friday, 3 February 2012

Post Office Table

My parents bought an old post office table years ago at a farm sale. It has pigeon holes and a parcel shelf and Mother Goose has always been convinced it would make a fabulous changing table. So we were all very excited that it would finally be able to come out of my parents old barn and be put to good use in Baby Briggs' room.
My dad sanded it, put it in his car and drove it all the way up to Edinburgh. There was then much huffing and puffing, and groaning and grunting, as Dad and Mr Briggs carried it up the stairs to our first floor flat. Although it separated into two parts this was a pretty hefty bit of furniture. Here is Dad reassembling it in Baby Briggs' room.

The bottom of the parcel shelf was still a little grubby looking even after sanding so Dad fitted a piece of plywood to cover it. With a changing mat on top it will be perfect.

There are plenty of pigeon holes for nappies, baby wipes, things I don't even know we need yet, and of course my old childhood favourite books - here is my old Beatrix Potter collection, tied up with string...

G.B is inscribed underneath the parcel shelf. For Great Britain perhaps? Or Great Briggs?

The only problem we have with this lovely old piece of furniture is that after it was used as a post office table it was used by a farmer to store his old tractor parts. This resulted in some of the shelves being covered in oil, which has seeped into the wood. The day after we put it in Baby Briggs' room, Mr Briggs and I realised that the room smelt like an old workshop! Although it's quite a nice old smell - it reminds Mr Briggs of his grandads shed - I can't imagine it will be very good for a tiny baby to be breathing in the smell of oil, and it is getting stronger! I tried covering the whole piece of furniture in baking powder (and bicarbonate of soda because I wasn't sure which one you are meant to use!), as this is meant to soak up smells. Maybe I didn't use enough or leave it on long enough because it still smelt. 
So then I bought a carbon activated blanket. Apparently activated carbon, or activated charcoal, is extremely porous and therefore it's increased surface area allows it to absorb pollutants and odours. Supposedly all I need to do is leave this blanket on the piece of furniture that smells for 12 hours and the blanket should soak up the smell...

Fingers crossed that this works, or maybe we will have to redo Baby Briggs' room in a tractor theme, complete with smell! If anyone has any other suggestions for how to get rid of the smell of oil please do let me know as I really don't want to have to get rid of this gorgeous piece of furniture.

On a slightly different, but still unexpected, note, work to get our home finished in time for Baby Briggs' arrival continues. This week we had new shower fittings put in but when the tiler came to remove the tiles ready for the new ones, a supposedly quick and easy job, all the plaster work fell off the wall!! This is how our bathroom looks now...

The joys of old buildings.