Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Introducing the Living Room

Living room, August 2010.
Up the rather ugly stairs, and on the left side of the house, is the living room. When we first viewed the house in August 2010, it still had furniture in it and felt a bit lived in, even if the décor was quite dated, and it had been empty for over half a year. A thin, modern partition wall divides the living room from a small dining room. There's plenty of light, as overall there are seven windows between the two rooms. Headspace is not quite what it would be in a modern house, with a ceiling height of about 2.15m.

This room has one original feature that has to be preserved in some way, the so-called Lamberie, or wood panelling. This is just about visible on the left of the panorama photo below, painted a light grey, and we suspected it was also behind the modern cladding under the windows of the gable end, in the centre of the picture below, which turned out to be correct after I removed the modern covering over the weekend.

Living room, January 2011.

Old panelling exposed.
The plan here is to remove the partition wall to create one room. The front of the house and the west gable are to be insulated from the inside, due to the front being half-timbered, and the west gable having other features that should not be covered by external insulation. This is slightly problematic for the panelling. We could leave it in situ and put insulation and dry wall over it, or remove it and reinstate it on the new wall surface. It is not known whether the panelling continues beyond the partition wall into the rear half of the room, which is fully dry-lined with Styrofoam behind the plasterboard (drywall). If left, it'll be hidden and presumably preserved as is, while removing, restoring and reinstating it will add to costs. It it damaged in places, presumably why it was covered up in the first place. I kind of like it, and with care, could remove and restore it myself, perhaps with some help to make replica pieces to replace the damaged ones..

While removing wallpaper, many layers of old paint and plaster were revealed, with one of the most recent having some really lovely stencils making repeated floral patterns. There's nothing that can be done to preserve these, but a record will be made by tracing and photographing what is visible.

Location of living room.
There's a chimney running up the east side of the room where a stove can be reinstated, and the oak beams running across the room can be cleaned down to the wood. We don't know what is behind the ceiling, which appears to be plasterboard. It's possible that there is original plaster between the ceiling joists, so that needs to be investigated. Under the hardboard covering on the floor should be decent floorboards, as are still visible in the partitioned area (just about visible through the door in the panorama shot above).

And that's the living room, for now.


  1. I love the look of the place. I hope the rest of the plan goes well

  2. Thanks, Dave. I hope so too :) I at least hope our plans are approved, but executing them will also be a challenge, budget-wise.

  3. You doing it all yourself or have paid minions to do your bidding?

  4. Paid minions for the vast majority, or for as much as we can afford. There's a lot of major stuff to be done (central heating, new roof, full insulation, knocking down an extension, new piping, new electricity... you get the idea), which I have neither the skills nor time to do. Well, some thing I can do, but only on weekends. I'll do whatever I can to save money. That, and I enjoy it :)

    Must make a task/milestone list for the blog.