Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Back track

You may remember that when I posted at Christmas I said the next post would be a progress report on the garden room. Sadly I got side tracked with Ely cathedral and frosty mornings but I've dived back into the archived photographs and so here we are.

Just to recap, the existing single storey extension has been refigured and the open room, loo and laundry area has/will become a wet room, hall and garden room which leads off the kitchen and is the location for the dining table. Our self imposed deadline of Christmas lunch in the garden room was fast approaching when we admitted defeat and called in professional plasterers. This was well worth it as what would have taken us a fortnight took two men just over half a day.

The brick is being left exposed

In this half day (7.30 to 14.30) they did all the ceilings and the walls of the garden room, hall, part of the wet room and made good the kitchen wall. Brilliant guys.

The hall from the kitchen

Next step was to seal and undercoat. New plaster is notoriously absorbent and so we did a 50/50 white emulsion and water mix. I persuaded Andrew to do the ceiling as he didn't need a ladder, poor chap came out like he'd had a fight with the roller.

Sealed and undercoated

I'm a bit faddy with paint, I prefer to use Fired Earth or Farrow & Ball because of the texture and I find that the colours 'live' more but they are quite expensive and also tricky to get in our area. As the hall and garden room lead off the kitchen we wanted to use the same colour for both and I needed it neutral. I have a large collection of table linen which I will use to be change the style of our dining area at a whim. The colour I wanted was Fired Earth's Alabaster but it meant ordering online which was going to get expensive. Now, B & Q have had a bit of a falling out with Dulux and have swapped their main paint range to Valspar, an American company which has been manufacturing paint for over two centuries. I have never used them but, like Dulux, they promised to mix any colour. So I headed to our nearest B & Q with the Kevin McCloud/Fired Earth paint swatch and had a tester pot mixed. Back home it went on the wall and was a very good match. And it gets better!  I'm not a fan of silk paint, although you can wipe it, I much prefer matt. Valspar were offering a scrubbable matt paint which, although a  doubting Thomas I thought I would try, particularly as the hall is a high traffic area. This next bit is like an advert for paint! Mortimer, unless you can throw a towel over him quickly, will come in and shake. Just like this.

Muddy water
So I got a damp cloth with a drop of washing up liquid and unbelievably…

Mud free
So I would definitely recommend Valspar. Just take any expensive paint swatch in and get a scrubbable paint back - and it covers well.

At the moment we are using the room although it is not finished. The floor has to be laid and then the cupboard which will disguise the washing machine and dishwasher needs to be fitted.

The appliances discreetly hidden under a table cloth!

But we are loving the room and even during winter we have sat at the table with the trifolds open enjoying a cup of coffee and the sunshine.

Enjoying the winter sun


  1. Love it! Can't wait to see the finished result, Carol x

    1. Thanks Carol! slowly getting there - it's just work keeps getting in the way :-(

  2. I'm beyond impressed. Your attention to detail is incredible. You and Kalba would make either a good, or an impossible team. Brilliant achievement.

    1. Thank you Margaret - some projects it just seems to take forever and this is one of them. But it is a lovely space, we're really enjoying it even though it's not finished. Although there is a rumour that the cupboards may go up this weekend...