This old house

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I think I’ve only shown you pictures of pretty parts of the house, but believe me, it’s an ongoing battle to make this dump habitable! 😀 That’s why I’m trying to document the process – to be able to look back at how horrendous things were before we did something about it. It’s so easy to forget what went before – you just put in hundreds of hours of hard work and as soon as a problem is fixed, you get amnesia and/or only focus on the next one.

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One big project is the facade. Half of it is painted red – the only part you’ve seen, I think – and this summer we’re planning to paint the rest. It’s in pretty bad shape – and it’s the wrong colour. The cinema is called Röda Kvarn, after all (Red Mill/Moulin Rouge), so the house better be red, right?

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Yesterday, though, it rained all day so we couldn’t work on that. Instead I started on a random basement room where we’ve just stored Stuff. It’s in horrible shape. I won’t bore you with the gory details, but you can see for yourself that it’s not exactly cozy.

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That floor! *shudder*

Every time I’ve passed that room to get something in what used to be the shop part of the house (the previous owner’s father sold men’s clothing), I’ve sort of stopped in here and surveyed the space, wondering if there’s anything at all you can use it for. And yesterday it struck me how to combine function and form.

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To be honest, I dithered a bit at first. Hubby suggested white for the walls, and I was on the verge of agreeing because it’s cheaper and reflects light. But the room didn’t really want to be white. We really love colour, and it felt like a waste to paint this room a dreary non-colour just for scrimping purposes.

So. I pored over our collection of random paint buckets that we’ve gathered over the years when they’ve been on sale, and there was this one tomato red that was sort of nagging me to “Pick me! Pick me!” So finally I did.

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The inspiration for this colour scheme is the HBO series Rome, so I’m trying for a “marbled” effect (on my level of expertise, which is zero). Suffice to say I’m not trying to make the paint completely cover the stone everywhere. I want that rugged, withered look, so that when we eventually store wine in here, it’ll feel properly Roman and ancient.

Unfortunately the paint was really glossy, and I tend not to check that kind of thing beforehand because I’m soooo spontaneous, so the next step will probably be to a) sandpaper the surface a little, b) fill in the white spots with a rag dipped in diluted ochre yellow, and c) maybe incorporate an intermittent pattern of gold. We’ll see.

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For the pathologically interested, here’s a short video. 🙂

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