old chairs, painted
a still quite bare kitchen work-in-progress
hot press corner, very much a work-in-progress
Work on the house (or Operation 'Add Charm to a Bungalow') is progressing very slowly. Winter doesn't seem to be the best time to get things done. Apart from painting furniture and moving things around from one temporary location to another we haven't done much. I did one paint job late at night and was rewarded with a streaky-looking lacquer coat the following day (see third photo above).
Because chalk paint has a very low VOC content and doesn't require much preparation work, I have been painting almost everything that needed painting with chalk paint. We are doing a lot of make-do-and-mend, and painting things can make such a big difference. We are keeping the kitchen that came with the house for now (but will take off all the hanging cupboards and put up a shelf or two instead) and painted it with Annie Sloan chalk paint, mixing 'Old Ochre' and 'Original' 50/50. The handles I painted a colour we got as a test pot in a DIY store, a pale lilac. There were also a couple of old chairs in the house, and a friend gave us another two. I painted them grey and pink, this time with chalk paint from Woodie's DIY, which was cheaper than the Annie Sloan and almost as good. Their range of colours is completely different, so I will probably buy from both brands again. Having said that, a small amount of chalk paint goes a long way, so I might not have to buy any more anytime soon.
For the black mosaic tile backsplash I got magenta tile paint, though we are also thinking of collecting larger ornamental tiles and creating a new backsplash at some stage.
The hot press is built into the kitchen wall and had the finish that is still visible around the doors in the last photo above. I painted the doors a light grey and took off the handles to make it look more like panelling and less like an inbuilt cupboard. For the frame we want a contrasting colour, but since we haven't decided what colour the wall will be eventually, we are going to wait.
Meanwhile this corner has become our favourite place to read and talk and drink wine. When we have visitors we pull up a small table and more chairs. We really depend on the stoves now that it has got colder. The sitting room (where the other stove is) heats up much faster, but a lot of life happens in the kitchen, which doubles as our office/studio at the moment. This is one reason we are going to knock down part of the wall between the two rooms. Large open-plan style wouldn't necessarily be my favourite (I quite like the cosiness of individual rooms, and open plan often feels cold, especially in Ireland!), but some sort of in-between makes sense.
*As always when I mention brands here, I do not receive anything in exchange for recommending or linking to things.