Edwardian restoration Dublin

Living in and restoring our late Victorian / early Edwardian home

Day 49 - Approach to restoration - coming to agreement

I feel it's important to note how Mehdi and I came to agreement on how we manage a huge slow project like this without going insane. We both grew up in big old houses in the country, with big gardens, where everything needed a tonne of work done, all the time - every time my parents ticked something off a to-do list, 3 other things had been added. In Mehdi's family, his father's approach was to do everything he could himself. While this approach can be cost efficient and means you're sure of your finish (for better or worse...), it has huge drawbacks, particularly if -

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Day 48 - chimneys, flues and fires - money up in smoke

From a design and heritage point of view, we’re lucky that the original fireplaces are all in place in the house – all 6 of them. And there’s a dirty old blocked up flue in the kitchen where the old range used to be. From a heating and efficiency point of view, we’re unlucky that we have 7 large holes in our house. Fireplaces have flues that ventilate rooms – but with that ventilation, you also lose heat straight up the chimney. Around 60-80% of your heating goes straight up an open flue. Sorting your fireplaces out can help you save 15-25% on heating bills.

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Day 47 - packing leads to unpacking

Or not, as our case might be. When moving house, I've always go through the same sequence of thoughts: 1 Committed to a move date This is the worst part of moving! We have so much stuff! Way too much stuff! How will we ever pack up and shift all this stuff? I'm sure it'll all get better once I buy some boxes. Time to drink a small gin. 2 After purchasing boxes/hired movers stage 1 OMG I must freecycle/recycle/donate/jettison anything we don't use! This really is the worst bit of moving. But it'll get easier once I've sorted everything. Consider drinking

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Day 45 - flying solo

Mehdi's working in San Francisco this week, which means I'm in the house with the kids, managing the daily routine, the crèche and school run as well as my day job. A text from me to Mehdi will go along the lines of: What bins are due when??? A text from Mehdi to me will go along the lines of: Just went to see Lenny Kravitz and Alicia Keys. Bin collections in Dublin are privatised. Recycling is picked up one week. Waste the next. And there's a food/garden waste pick up too, but I've NO idea when. Our black bin has been full since the

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Day 31 - post-party glow

Day 31 - post-party glow

I say glow, but really, I feel more like a paper skeleton that's been dunked in beer overnight. But yesterday it was a different story. Our first guest arrived at 1pm - a pre-party playdate. I was still in slippers and a sweaty t-shirt, rushing around hoovering up dust, gathering the nails that seem to be scattered everywhere in this house, laying out crisps, diluting juice, and pinning witches, skeletons, skulls and other creepiness throughout the house: Mehdi was busy in the kitchen, mulling wine and burning off the smoke out of the oven we inherited with the house (I've been cleaning it all week...we

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