Herbie goes bananas!

Firstly, let me recap. We bought a huge renovation project back in February, in a lovely village called Cranfield. It took an age to find the right house as our demanding list exasperated all the estate agents. We wanted:

  1. Somewhere we could renovate not wanting to spend a premium for someone elses work (and as Mr YVL is a carpenter this obviously made sense)
  2. Somewhere we could add value too
  3. Somewhere in a village
  4. Somewhere near good schools (there were only 3 upper schools in the whole county I wanted to live near)
  5. Somewhere with a large garden as we grow our veg and have chickens
  6. Somewhere with a double garage for our camper van
  7. Somewhere where I could work from home and keep a lot of my stock
  8. Somewhere detached
  9. Somewhere with 4 bedrooms
  10. Somewhere where we could live with 4 adults in the future as we want to be here for a long time.

Phew, you can see why it took a while to find it! But we did, and last February we moved in.

It’s a 1920s house which hasn’t seen work since the 60s. It is our Patterned Palace (check out the blog here) with an array of swirls and patterns. It even came with it’s own starburst clock, lights, and phones that were thankfully left for us!

So slowly we have started to renovate. First job was to stabilise the chimney breast which had been removed and not supported. Mr YVL did that quickly himself. He then mended the holes in the roof and insulated the loft. Good job!

Next we did our bedroom. We were not planning on doing this as we had decided to start the garden first. We needed to dig the veg beds, plant all the fruit plants we divided from our last home and most importantly, give the chickens their new home.

One day I was feeling down about waking up in all the mess so I started to strip the wallpaper. Mr YVL came home from work, saw the wallpaper half down, got a little excited and took over! 2 weeks later the room was done with the lovely FiFi wallpaper from Sanderson. It’s an old 50s print which was found in someones loft! Read all about it here.

Next up was the playroom. Giving up one of the reception rooms was an excellent idea. No more CBeebies for me in the adults lounge! There was a horrid old gas fire which we couldn’t remove as it was integral to the boiler, so we built a cover. This is now a huge shelf for the vintage Fisher Price toys!! This room isn’t as bare as it looks here…it is now full of toys and pictures!!!

Next was the lounge. A white and teal retro affair all based around a Mucha print. Read all about it here.

Now to the present. This Christmas, Santa brought Herbie a bedroom! Anyone that has followed this journey will know that his room was by far the worst. The previous owners had removed the chimney breast from the room and left it unsupported. They then added french doors to an upstairs room with no balcony. On top of this was a wooden lintel which had rotted. This meant that the wall had dropped slightly. To add to this they hadn’t bothered to install a radiator so the room was damp from condensation. It was smelly from this so they locked the door and forgot about it. I remember when we looked round the house it was the room I didn’t fancy going in to even look at!

So, all that has been repaired by Mr YVL of course (clever man). A window has been added and of course, heating!

When we were moving we asked Herbie (only 2 years old at the time) what he wanted his room to look like. He thought long and hard putting his finger to his mouth in a comic thinking type way! He then announced “I’ve had a good idea!”. “Go on” we said.

“I would like a camper van room”. So a camper van room he has!

It’s full of modern stuff of course (the only room so far!) but there are some lovely handmade touches. Our friend Kim made 3 canvas paintings for him.

Caroline from Dotty’s Heart (read all about her here) made him a picture for his door.

I had made a canvas of photos of our camper van, Florence!

There is even a great photo of us a few years back in a Herbie beetle!

His campers are all out on display including his 1970s Fisher Price one.

And of course, no room can get away without a 60s light, a retro mirror and a bin!

So, on Christmas Day Herbie got his room and yes, he went bananas!


Fabulous Fifi

For anyone that follows our blogs, you will know we are renovating a poorly neglected 1920s house. Check out “Our Patterned Palace” for a glimpse of the array of 60s wallpaper and carpet on every (and I mean every) wall. It has been a labour of love but……

We have finished the first room!!!!!!

Our bedroom was covered in pink psychedelic wallpaper which we actually liked, but was not in a good state of repair.

This has been replaced with an amazing wallpaper called Fifi. It is from Sanderson and is part of their 1950s range. Recently they have pulled together a fantastic collection of original prints from wallpapers and textiles which are both eye-catching and fun.

Coinciding with the 60 year anniversary of the Festival of Britain, this range is nostalgic of the many fabric designers who showed their new radical ideas here at a time when this country was just coming out of rationing.

The Fifi design was an original wallpaper which was recently found in someones attic. It depicts ladies with hourglass figures and Dior’s New Look shapes which launched in 1947.

Tight bodices, nipped in tiny waists and full wide skirts. Splashed with purple and green it looks amazing with our Murano and Whitefriars glass collection.

I love white walls…perfect for showing off your vintage homewares. Teamed up with cream stained floors the room is bright and calming.

People often think white with cream is wrong, but i love it. Look at our Panton lamp against the cream of the wallpaper.

The room is quite big so we have added a 50s chair, a glass topped kidney shaped table and a cocktail cabinet.

No….we are not drinking martinis in the bedroom!  It is full of my glorious 1950s bag collection: lucite box bags, Dorset Rexs, Atlas window pane bags, Caro Nans, Enid Collins, Midas of Miamis…..I LOVE THEM!!! They are kept behind glass to protect them from sticky fingers!

All we need now is some curtains and to find frames big enough for our amazing vintage magazine covers, as mentioned in our blog “We’ve got it covered“.

Let us know what you think of Fabulous Fifi?? And maybe check out the whole Sanderson 50s range…

Our Patterned Palace

We finally moved into our new house last week and we wanted to share some of the retro lovelies that awaited us. It is a 1920s house in need of total refurbishment….as it is totally set in the 1960s. Yes, yes, we do love the retro look but perhaps to a modern standard.

Every room is covered in 60s wallpaper…some good, some bad, some down right ugly!

 Let us know which you love and don’t love…

The amber one is in the hall…I love it but it will be ripped out as we are moving the stairs so it will become a natural casualty.

The pink flower power look is in the spare room and i love it. Our cream vintage furniture will look stunning against it.

The wall effect in the hall is definitely going! It is up against parquet flooring which is lovely but alas will also be going with the stairs moving. Or maybe we could just add some more…

I think the lounge walls and floor speak for themselves!

Kitty’s bedroom wallpaper is so pretty and looks gorgeous next to her shabby chic, white furniture and original bedroom fireplace.

The kitchen’s 70s tiles will be ripped out! They are along side bright blue walls…not the best colour scheme.

Our bedroom has a 60s psychedelic pink wall..I quite like it but it is not in good condition.

The landing carpet is spectacular!

The last owners left us a few gems which we may well keep..let us know your thoughts!

A 1980s car phone! I have never seen one before and may have to stay!

The starburst clock is bold and works!

The wall lights in the lounge with their teak background goes well with our furniture.

And finally I totally love the 1950s fire guard..never seen one before and looks great in the spare room!

We intend to blog the whole renovation so keep reading for news on which wallpapers are lost from our patterned palace!

And I will let Herbie have the last word…from the 1960s hatch!