renovation tales


renovation tales | humphrey and grace

Life is hectic at the moment. Last week Tony injured his back. Nothing too horrendous but he was in a lot of pain and didn’t leave the house for most of the week so blogging went out of the window and concentrating on life outside the screen became more important. But I’ve missed chatting here and have been trying for a few weeks to pluck up the courage to share this new space of ours, it feels like its been such a personal journey, so here goes…

I’m sure you know (it’s hard to miss) that renovation takes up a whole lot of my time. I wrote about it here at the beginning of this project (not even half way round the house yet, job 124 of approx. 950) more months ago than I thought it would take to finish the job. We had a lot of problems along the way. Leaks under the floor which had to be fixed although the new floor couldn’t be finished for 3 whole months afterwards. Eek. That was fun. The plaster was removed where it had blown, no longer attached to the wall at all, simply held up by wallpaper and luck. The room has been re-wired and re-plastered. We have a new ceiling too. Yep this is a completely redone room and I LOVE it.

renovation tales | humphrey and grace

I’m currently on the lookout for chairs. Mismatched is perfect but I *might* have had to borrow three of these from other rooms for these photographs… Any thoughts on where to source comfortable single chairs gratefully received!

There are 8 custom made cupboards along the back wall as built in storage is limited in our house. They are white and without handles to keep the clutter to a minimum. I am a fan of simplicity and the cupboards are designed to be more a part of the room than a piece of furniture, to reflect the kitchen without entirely matching, a design drawn up between our builder and me. I’m really happy with how they turned out too.

renovation tales | humphrey and grace

We removed a large piece of the wall between the dining room and kitchen also. At our last house we had a lovely open plan kitchen/dining/living space and it just works for us. We also took the height of the opening up, our ceilings are relatively high so it was partly about proportion plus there is a wraparound extension that holds the original back wall up with a large steel joist which defines the height of the ceiling in the kitchen. Though it may not be clear on this photo the heights match, it makes for a more pleasing flow of the space. It brings it together.

The kitchen we re-fitted 18 months ago and it has been the heart of the home since. The stools at the end of the bench have been my ‘office’ for a long time although now I tend to sit at the dining table, just about from position pictured above. This is my view when I work. It completely makes me smile. I feel totally blessed to be lucky enough to dwell in this space.

Colour is not a huge feature here. I still can’t decide whether or not to include more, colourful pictures or accessories maybe… Or maybe not, if I’m honest I like the white and wood we have. Pared back and simple. Possibly I’m more likely to add some fairy lights…

I realise it may not be everyone’s cup of tea but we love this space. There is room enough for us and more, it flows both between rooms and to the outside through the large glazed doors which are often propped open when it’s warm enough. We can be in the same space while preparing meals/eating/doing homework/doing actual work/crafting/creating. It is a blank canvas for our family life and we fill it with the noise and colour of us. It just works.

Julia x

My friend Emma asked me to share this space on her blog A Quiet Style recently, if you would like to read more about the design of the inking room you can find it here


11 comments on “renovation tales”

  1. Oh it looks absolutely gorgeous Julia. Just gorgeous. So worth all that disruption. You must be so pleased! I can just imagine you sat there – a perfect space to work and create. I’m not too good at disruption. But half my office is currently in my husband’s – recently discovered more mould on the external wall that I had a huge shelving unit in front of. So that’s the prompt I need to properly resolve it all and paint and re-floor – but don’t think I can cope before Xmas! But we have ordered a dehumidifer, at least. Am sure you’ll be hearing more grumblings soon ;)

    1. Oh goodness me Zoë that sounds like a lot of work to put right! We have damp on the wall in one of the bedrooms and just can’t work out where it is coming from. You have my sympathies! And yes, this space was so worth the horribly disrupted year, we all love it now xx

  2. You must be delighted to have it finished, and the cupboards along the back look perfect. We are at the beginning of a long list of jobs that need doing on our old house, so I understand how much work is involved. Enjoy your beautiful light space. x

    1. We are Melanie! It’s taken such a long time… You have my best wishes for your works, it’s so much more time consuming than you think it should be ins’t it? But it’s worth it in the end x

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