...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!)