Update on home improvements

Prompted at least in part by Robin being asked to blog more, and also because I noticed that I completely failed to blog in January, and February is coming to a close, here’s a long overdue update from me on ‘stuff’.

I’ll start with Di’s office, a room that doubles as my gaming room. Here’s a shot of the gaming end of the room taken in August, shortly after we moved in and began decorating:

Here’s a shot of that end of the room today:

The blue screen reminds me I’m in the middle of a Fedora Core upgrade on the server, but that’s probably a topic for a more geeky post. Most relevant in the above photo is the sub and two satellite speakers. There are two more at the other end of the room, plus a centre speaker behind the TV. I’ve also run a signal cable from Di’s computer, so there’s a choice of inputs from the PS3, the server, or Di’s workstation. This can either be in 5.1 theatre mode – great for Modern Warfare on the PS3 or films, or in general audio mode – excellent for music while we work or are entertaining.

I’m really quite disproportionately enthusiastic about this audio situation. I’m a really big fan of having speakers high up in all corners of the room. Music from a tinny point source just isn’t something I’m interested in; I’d much rather have music fill the room without needing to be too loud. Additionally, the surround sound experience is amazing. When playing Modern Warfare in the dark, the sound of gunfire and explosions going off in relevant corners of the room definitely adds to the experience.

Moving on then (ahem!), the living room. Remember this?

We’ve made some progress here. I started by ripping up the minging carpet. This reveals slightly less minging underlay. Still, we’ve had the room decorated, fitted some curtains and stuck up a few pictures. Finishing touches (like a replacement carpet and a new sofa) will have to wait until the hound can be better trusted.

I also want to get a modern surround sound system for this room (the one in Di’s office is well over a decade old). There are also speakers in the kitchen and dining room, and I really want to be able to chain the three rooms together in such a way that any source in any room can be listened to in any or all rooms downstairs. This will be so good not only for parties, but also for some banging tunes to do chores to.

As a general note I want to replace all the interior doors. Unfortunately they’re all a very bizarre non-standard size, so I’ll have to appoint someone to make nice white doors with glass panels to just the right size. Moving through that doorway to the kitchen and dining room:

We still haven’t done anything about the funny green walls or that revolting door, but we have had Alexander Barden round to fit new flooring. There was lino flooring in the kitchen, and it is just about possible to see the old carpet below the cupboard door. I did have a picture of the man himself, hard at work displaying his generous bum-cleavage, but fortunately for you, dear reader, I can’t find that photo. Still, we’re really pleased with the results.

Upstairs there has been progress in the master bedroom, taking it from this:

To this:

New carpet required here too, and fortunately this is a no-dog zone, so we just need to get our act together there. As an aside, I’ve replaced the three single sockets in this room with double sockets. I really despise single sockets! Why go to all the effort of cabling up, cutting a hole and purchasing hardware to arrive at a single socket. A double could have been fitted for such little extra effort and cost!

The darker wall there is covered in a really nice textured paint – just a hint of 3D to it. I did try to photograph it but I appear to lack sufficient skills to produce a picture that suitably demonstrates the effect.

Finally, while Alex was working here he also fitted a shower screen which has modernised and tidied the bathroom nicely:

One day I’ll get around to putting the side of the bath back on!

In other matters Di is currently catching some rays in Tunisia, and Snoop is growing up nicely. Without going into too much detail, it has been a few weeks now since he has done anything, even overnight, that means I can’t call him house trained.

Alex is now self-employed. He specialises in network cable installations for business, but has significant experience as a builder and so is generally available for home improvement jobs such as new kitchens, bathrooms, wall relocation etc. If you’re interested in his services drop me a line and I’ll put you in touch!

4 comments so far

  1. Robin on February 27th, 2010 20:22

    Good work! Much faster progress than we’ll be making on ours, I suspect! Send the Barden over here to bum-cleavage our bathroom into a better layout…

  2. Paul Stewart on February 28th, 2010 11:16

    Houses are boring, didn’t you have a job to do on the M5

  3. Neil Mukerji on February 28th, 2010 15:25

    It’s a bit too minging to work on a car at the moment. :(

  4. Paul Stewart on February 28th, 2010 18:21

    Heaters in the garage, but i know what you mean

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