Sunday, January 29, 2006

Renovating the Old Police Station (OPS) -
Sitting Room Fireplace

Sitting around the fire on a bitterly cold January afternoon , my mind went back to how this room looked when we bought the house 12 years ago. Believe me, it was quite different! The fireplace for example, was a dreadful brown tiled monstrosity, considered ‘modern’ in its day, I guess, but it certainly didn’t figure in our renovation plans.

We have done all the work on the house ourselves (that’s why its taken so long) and from the offset, we made the decision to utilise as much re-claimed material as possible. It all adds character to the place, but most of all, such items already have their own history and more often than not, we have our own story to tell about how and where we acquired them. We search junk shop, reclamation yards and car boot sales. Our efforts have been great fun as well as the great savings we’ve made.

Oak Mantle Shelf:
Maybe the oldest material. It was part of the original window timbers from a 300 year old house in Oxfordshire. At first sight it looked not worth bothering with, having been battered by the elements for years and covered in many layers of old paint. It was John who recognised its potential and he was spent many hours stripping it down and polishing it, now it shines and is as smooth as silk.

The Hearth:
Who knows the age of this Welsh slate! We found two pieces, that joined together, were the perfect fit for our requirements. They came in a load we’d ordered to construct a terrace. What I like about one piece of slate we used, it has someone's initials carved into it ‘E P’ now there lies a tale. I can only dream about that one, maybe it was some young man who carved the initials of his love.

Green Tiles:
These are Victorian and I believe originate from an old washstand. A brilliant find at the carboot sale, just for 50p each. I bought them because they were pretty but had no idea where I’d use them, things like this we just put away in our store, then, at some time or other, a project turns up where such treasurers can be used.

Brass Topped Fender:
How thrilled I was to find this half hidden in a junk shop, very dirty, but very cheap. It’s cleaned up beautifully!


abe/happy said...

It must feel great to be renovating with materials that can tell a story or two. Your House[Old Police Station] sounds amazing.

Maggie Ann said...

I'm glad your picture was able to be enlarged....I so enjoyed the beauty of your things seeing them 'close up'. What treasures!