Once the Pantry was useable it was time to turn the old dining room into our new sitting room. Our main reason for doing so was to eliminate the need for 2 fires. All of our heating and hot water is wood powered and the wood is all processed by Mr F. Its a mammoth task running 2 fires all winter and quite honestly a waste of resources. Our old sitting room is at the back of the house and literally 'cut off' from everywhere else by a narrow passage. You either go in there to cook yourself if the fire is lit, or alternatively, die of hypothermia if it isn't. Well. Ive had enough of either of those options.
It took over a year to work out a plan of action that makes best use of space and heat. We changed our minds as many times as we made them up. Poor Mr F... just when he was thinking, "Thank God for that, she's decided what she wants, sorted," I was already hatching new plans for changing everything we had agreed on 5 minutes ago. Poor chap. I'm sure he has Had Enough. :)
Anyway... we made the decision to block off the stairwell with a new wall. Its a huge space, the size of a room in itself where heat just disappeared into for absolutely no benefit at all. It only goes up to an office and a store room in the attic so it was such a waste of heat. The new wall is fabulous. Still trying to remember there's a new door there. That feels most odd.
We moved a thousand books (bet it was more...) and goodness they took some sorting and cleaning. I rehomed a huge box full after having a book purge, and made a little pile of 'read again soon'. I found old tins of paint and set to with my decorating brushes. Crown period colours, Parsonage Cream eggshell for all the woodwork, which I have used throughout the house to save time and money with only one colour. The walls are a mix. Some very old, possibly 20 years at least, Crown Mustard Spice for behind the fire, and Farrow & Ball, estate emulsion in Dorset Cream for the walls. The beams were all undercoated in leftover white emulsion and top coated, alongside the ceiling in the same paint I bought for the kitchen. Dulux kitchen and bathroom paint (washable) matt finish in a colour called Timeless. Its basically neither cream nor white, but betwixt the two. I love it.
I haven't bought anything new in here. Just moved furniture from our old sitting room and cleaned everything. Its a mish mash but it feels homely and most importantly, its warm!
We haven't lit the second fire since October and once we get a dry spell Mr F will remove it and the chimney flue. I can then 'arrange' the old sitting room into a spare room / storage room. Very excited about that.
Work to be done still on the chimney, but getting there :)
To be continued...