Dan here. Today, we have a special treat: a guest post from Eliza Cochrane of Carlen Glass, located in lovely Dublin, Ireland. She has a post on the benefits of natural light. If you’re a regular on With the Barretts, you know that lots of natural light in living spaces is important to us. We appreciate Eliza sharing and hope you enjoy her post.
I recall a few weeks ago, a brief spell of troubled sleeping. I would go to bed early every night and, after about four hours, would “waken” into a light semi-conscious drift. I’m not sure what caused the spell — though it probably had something to do with the increasing temperature of the summer nights — but there was one morning in particular that struck me as peculiar. On what was perhaps the hottest night of the year, I decided to sleep with the windows open and curtains drawn, to let a draught in should it come. I woke naturally — again, after a few hours of what should have been groggy sleep, only this time to the in-pouring of brilliant sunshine.
Welcome to my looooong overdue post about the deck. I’m not gonna lie, I thought this deck was overkill …. a lot of $$$ …. would it really add that much to the value of the house …. etc etc.
Luckily, it was Mr WTB’s turn to win and so onward we went with the OTT plan. (Dan here. Notice how when it’s my plan, it’s over the top? Just wait until the post about the new 35 square foot bath in Debra’s Domain!)
Renovation of the Littlest Bathroom in Hildring House
Hi! Dan here, kibitzing at the beginning of Debra’s post. As you know, (go here for the first inspiration post) the bath in Debra’s Domain was sorely in need of a re-do. Hence, we continue with the Hildring House littlest bathroom renovation. This is actually the second inspiration post. I may be chiming in (who am I kidding? Of course I’ll be chiming in!) in italics.
Just because it’s tiny doesn’t lessen the work load. For me, every decision feels even MORE important because there is no room for mistakes in 35 square feet!
We are very lucky to have an abundance of bathrooms at Hildring House- one for the grandboys, one for the mister, one for me, and a powder for guests. The powder is pretty – I love it very much:
We talked about it in a prior posts. (Dan kibitzing again – you can find that post here.) The master has a 1980’s makeover that is in need of an update. But it’s functional and, now that it’s been painted, tolerable. Now, however, in Debra’s Domain at Hildring House, it’s time for a full-on Bathroom Renovation: the Beginning.
The very small (35 square feet!) bath in Debra’s Domain is the next Hildring House project. I know, we never finished the last project..but that’s the way renovations go sometimes. The outdoor reveal will have to wait a while. So for now- onward with Bathroom Renovation: the Beginning.
Our friend John Stuart over at Trade Up Kitchens – a UK-based kitchen supply company – has a guest post for us: “A Guide to Buying Kitchen Worktops.” For those of us in the US, a “kitchen worktop” is a counter top. Actually, “worktop” makes more sense, doesn’t it? In any event, here it is. I hope you enjoy it!
Buying Kitchen Worktops
Your choice of kitchen worktops will dramatically affect the whole aesthetic of your kitchen. Choosing your kitchen worktop is one aspect which should never be overlooked during the design process. Similar to your flooring, your kitchen worktops sit on a horizontal plane, making it a prominent feature in your kitchen. With so many options available, choosing your kitchen worktop can seem like an impossible task but our guide is on hand to help you find the best option for you.
Before choosing your kitchen worktop, it’s important to consider two things:
Worktops come in a variety of materials, all at differing price points. Before you decide on a material for your kitchen worktop, it’s important to assess your budget – this will dramatically influence your choice of worktop.
If you’re choosing kitchen worktops for a student house or you’ve got a house full of children, then you’ll need to consider a sturdy, low-maintenance worktop. Alternatively, if you’re likely to clean up any spills immediately and don’t mind dedicating a little time to its maintenance, then you’ve got a few more options when it comes to kitchen worktops.
Any home renovation project should involve exterior improvements, as well as snazzing up the interior, and Hildring House is no exception. Just to refresh your recollection, here is a shot of the exterior when we first bought the house:
Beginning of Exterior Improvements
We started with a new roof. And that required more destruction than you ordinarily would expect. You can’t really tell it in the above picture, but the shingles are metal, made to look like shake. I really don’t know how long they had been on the house but clearly it had been through multiple hailstorms. They were really beat up.
The worst part of the roofing situation, however, was that the fascia and underside of the eaves were clad with aluminum siding. I’m probably going to get nasty letters from the siding industry but, please, never do this to your house. I understand all of the arguments about it eliminating the need to paint. But the cost for that is deterioration of the wooden elements of the structure.
No matter how careful the installers are, no matter how much caulk they use, water will get under the metal and sit, unable to dry, rotting out the wood. Until you have this.