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Thursday, 23 May 2013

This old house...

...is full of surprises! One of the things I love about our house is the history it has. The different people that have walked through its doors. The lives lived here. We're lucky enough to have the original deeds for the house, all written in fancy ink-pen script with wax seals, so we even know the names of the people that bought the land and built it. Before we bought this house, I had dreams of doing up a wreck of a place. Peeling back carpet to find beautiful tiles, wrenching off plywood sheets to find a perfectly preserved Victorian tiled fireplace. You know, like they sometimes do on Homes under the Hammer...ahem. Well, this house wasn't quite a wreck, and we haven't found any perfectly preserved fireplaces hiding behind plywood - more perfectly preserved pigeon nests hiding behind dangerous gas fires. Not so good.

Anyway, yesterday, we did get a lovely surprise. We found shutters! I'm sure you're wondering how they managed to stay hidden for so long - shutters are pretty big and hard to miss. Well, on either side of the windows in our dining room and living room are these pillar like, 'corrugated' wooden panels. We assumed that at some point in the house's history, the owners took inspiration from neo-classical fashions and wanted to bring some Rome to their home. That still may have been the case, but yesterday, while some of our windows were being repaired and the manky old secondary glazing was removed, we found hinges. Hinges that implied something could move... So after some investigation, cutting away at the old paint and silicone and with a bit of brute force, the shutters were free! I was almost squealing by this point, I was so excited! The paint is very yellowed as you'd expect, and they're missing the bar that locks them together, but they're in really good nick seeing as they're about 170 years old. A bit of paint stripper on the hinges to remove the layers of paint that have accumulated over the years, a sand down (carefully, as the paint may well contain lead) and a repaint, and they'll be good as new!

We've often looked into the windows of other houses on our road, gazing enviously at the shutters folded back. Now we can do the same!

Have you ever found any secret treasures in your house? Old photos in the loft? Beautiful tiles hiding under dodgy 70s swirly carpet?!

Oh and while you're reading...white walls AND white mantelpiece? Weird, or good?! We're struggling with paint colours and can't make our minds up. All the pale greys we've tested are actually purple/green/blue/brown, so we're back to the idea of white walls. Ready to be splattered with tomato sauce, no doubt.





(As you can tell, it was a very grey morning here, hence the rather dingy photos!)

8 comments:

  1. I would have been squealing with delight too ... what a brilliant discovery ... can't wait to see them spruced up ... Bee xx

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    1. Me neither! We're attacking the hinges with paint stripper tomorrow to try and get them moving. Fingers crossed it works!x

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  2. wow! I would have been on cloud 9 as well! the history! the beauty! so so fabulous. Please, more and more photos please! xo

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    1. Oh I'm sure there will be more photos! I'm too excited about them not to document them obsessively!x

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  3. Love this! Our old house was an 1840's terrace and just stunning (albeit it too small). We found gorgeous original wooden floor boards and a painting dated back to 1870, which we took with us when we moved. I loved that house and seem to be a fan of quirky houses as we now live in a dormer bungalow with a brook in the garden. I LOVED this post. Got all excited with you. Also - have you tried Asda for paint? I saw someone post about a grey they used the other day, which was lovely. xxx

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    1. Oh wow! How magic to find an old painting - have you ever had it valued? Didn't even know Asda did paint...off to check out their website now. Thank you!x

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  4. Oh my word, what a find!! They gorgeous! I feel like your house would being breathing a sigh of relief and thanking you for freeing it from being all trussed up!!

    Kate x
    Just Pirouette and Carry On...

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    1. Yes, I can just imagine the sigh of relief! Cooped up for 30+ years. Hoping we can free the other ones in the living room, and then the house will be very happy with us! x

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