Living room – progress pic

We have a living room and separate dining room in our house, the dining room was barely used so we turned it in to a playroom. That never really worked as I like her playing where I can see her and to be honest having such a large toy space meant we just filled it up. We’ve been slowly ditching the excess in the two rooms in preparation for the wall between them coming down for a few months and 3 weeks ago it finally came down!

These are all taken from roughly the same point in the room so you can see how it’s opened up.

It still needs the walls patched up and a fresh coat of paint and we won’t hang pictures until after that. We have a different curtain pole to go up so it matches the window at the other end and I have a new sideboard coming tomorrow, it’s a bright colourful retro style and the storage fits board games, our current one doesn’t.

Here’s the other side:

And after we realised moving the bookcases would make the space look tidier:

There’s so much more space now and it looks so light and airy. I really love it, it’s better than I expected and a Tabi has been running circles through the two doors since the day the floor went down!

We’d still like to change the triple window at the dining end for a bifold door at some point but the quotes were too high so that’s on hold for now.

We may also replace the dining table for something bigger. I’d like to start hosting Sunday lunches and this table just won’t do, again that’s something for later when we’ve saved up a bit.


And my complete lack thereof.

I’ve done little things this week but we’re still wrangling planning permission and a budget for the housing changes. There’s a huge clear out coming very soon, I reckon you’re in for the mother of all discard posts as soon as the work is completed and we start moving our furniture back in!

I did go to my Nana’s on Monday and try to clear her spare room out. She’s a hoarder and also stores stuff for my uncle to sell at car boot sales (which he hasn’t done in almost 2 years) so she couldn’t even see the bed, let alone get into the room.

I didn’t take before and after pictures but we took a car full to the recycling centre and charity shop, she can now use the bed and the floor is visible. She still needs to go through things like videos and bedding, as well as her clothes and shoes, but we got started, which is the main thing. Especially since when I’d finally cleared a path to the window, I found it covered in mould! It’s being scrubbed with bleach as I type and the window will be left ajar until it airs out.

It did need done but I think it also felt easier to help my Nana than to get on with my own clear out. I’m hoping I have more headspace after my exam to really finish editing our possessions and finding some stable ground for a while.

Unfortunately I’ve also rediscovered my love of buying Baby Boden clothes cheap on eBay so there’s more stuff on the way in. Baby clothes seem to spawn out of control whenever I turn my back. She’s growing so quickly I can’t get the ‘too small’ stuff listed quick enough!

House Edit

Ah the house changes….

We are doing the following

  • Moving a door into a cupboard from my husbands study to the w/c
  • bringing down the wall between our living room and dining room (currently Tabi’s playroom)
  • changing our living room window for a bifold door
  • installing decking outside the new bifold door
  • moving the front path and extending the fence.

Currently Our living room looks like this:

We’re planning to change it to:

The first picture is aiming towards the wall with the TV on it, which is coming down, the second picture shows the living room window as a door.

Maybe floorpan will be easier!

RoomSketcher Level Image

I think a more open plan layout will be better with a toddler running around and the door out onto decking should give us more use of the garden. I can’t let her run in and out just now because of the step down to the patio, I don’t want her to trip, especially not onto slabs!

I do have some concerns. We went open plan in our last house and found that unless everything was spotless, the whole space looked messy. That was an open plan kitchen, living, dining in roughly the same space as we now have for living/dining. The last house didn’t have a large glass door at one end either so I’m hoping the combination of larger space and extra light stops it looking cluttered.

It’s just nerves because it’s quite a lot of money to be spending (I think around £7k) and there’s alway the chance that it’s a mistake and you’re wasting your money!

And the £7k isn’t just for the wall! It’s the wall, decoration, moving a cupboard door from husbands study to the w/c, building warrant, bifold door addition, decking and some work on the front garden. All electrical and plumbing work (there’s a radiator in the way), flooring and with any luck it should stretch to cover maybe half of the string shelving I have my eye on!

Discardia – Week 6-8

Tiny clear out (not including the boot full of rubbish that we hauled out of the garage) but we’re still up to our eyeballs in building warrants!

This week I’ve sold a knock off Eames style lounge chair, which I’m a bit sad about. I wanted one for ages but we just don’t have the space for it so it’s gone.


And another box of books to WeBuyBooks.


Money ‘earned’ – £182.51

I have to do the books in stages as I find them quite hard to part with. I’ve cleared out any ancient history or classical studies books as I’m taking next year off and have found it’s much easier to find, read and use the information in textbooks in iBook format. There’s an accepted way to reference eBook material under my university’s reference guide and it means I can take textbooks to work to read on my lunch break without putting my back out!

The fiction or general interest books are the ones I struggle most with but I’ve been quite strict with myself if I don’t think I’ll read a book again. There’s also a point, I think from Marie Kondo’s book, about how we tend to keep the books which create the image of ourselves as we’d like to be perceived, rather than who we are. A shelf full of Tolstoy when you prefer Kathy Reichs for example. So I’ve been editing with that in mind, did I really like this book, or did I like the idea of being the kind of person who likes this book?

My other consideration with books is Tabitha. I was a regular library goer, but there are some books which I’d never have thought to get out of the library and only read because they were in my parents house on a rainy day with nothing to do. So to that end, I’ve kept some books I otherwise wouldn’t have, simply because I want Tabi to have access to them later. My husband and I have a family account on iTunes, so any books purchased are shared between us as we both have iPads, but I don’t want her having a tablet for a very long time. I think it’s important to experience physical books and for her to go to a library to borrow, rather than iTunes to buy as her first instinct.

We’re probably not starting work until June so we still have a little time to clear out. There’s just so much of it, I’m finding it quite stressful!

Lost the plot

Missed my usual Project 333 and discardia posts this week!

I’ve been really busy and we’re planning some work to the house that’s taken up all our time.

We’ve decided that instead of editing our rooms in their current form, we’re going to change the layout of the house. That means bringing down the wall between the playroom and living room and turning the two rooms into one big open plan living/dining room with doors at each end allowing a ‘flow’ in and out of the rooms. We’re also going to turn the large living room window into a bifold door way instead, which will go out to the garden.  Outside the new doors we’re having a raised deck area so the floor level inside and outside will be exactly the same with no lips or steps for the baby to trip over. The raised deck area should only be one step up from the grass and will cover a duff patch of garden which gets no sun. We’ve lived here for 4 years and this one section of garden just will not work. We’ve returfed it 3 times, tried planting shady shrubs… it’s still a sodden muddy mess.

Since it’s not useable as grass, covering it makes the most sense and the decking will give us a space for Tabi to play on (which is more kid friendly than the patio) even when the grass is damp.

That gives us a large living and eating space that goes straight outside and keeps toddlers out of the kitchen (the only access to the garden currently) and loses the pretty ridiculous playroom. I mean, what 1 year old needs a whole room for their toys? I want to create family space, not storage space.

The last 2 changes we’re making are to the front garden (moving the front path and extending the fence) and my husbands study. His study is a tiny room and has the only storage cupboard in the house tucked away at the back making his room an elaborate corridor, rather than private man cave. We’re moving the cupboard door so it’s accessed via the cloak room and then painting the study and splurging on a new desk.

That means packing up basically all of our downstairs furniture, which isn’t too bad because then we’ll only unpack what we need, leave the rest in the garage and then get started again on clearing out, but with the house in a ‘finished’ state. Possessions reduced, excess out the door… to the end of the garden, sure but at least it’s all in one place and we can sell the big stuff or ferry off to charity shops from there.

It’s a little extreme, upending the whole house in the pursuit of minimalism but I really want to feel like I’ve reached a stable point at home. Clear and functional, not in a perpetual state of overhaul.

Oh! In reference to my blog name, you want to hear about a failure in minimalism; remember my konmari wardrobe post? Well I gutted my underwear drawer with very little thought to the fact that I, y’know, need underwear, wound up with only 4 pairs of pants and last week, had to wear a pair for a second day while I went to the shops to buy more. D’oh!