Ah, October. Spiced warm apple cider, long autumnal walks through misty woods, warming pumpkin soup, snuggling on the sofa in cashmere socks and a blanket, and all the other stuff Instagram says I should be doing at this time of year. In actual fact what we're doing is replacing the last of our ancient old radiators because we decided that last autumn would be the last year we woke up to a 15 degree house that after having the heating cranked to the max still only managed to achieve a frosty 17 degrees six hours later. Brrrr.
Here's what our radiators looked like. The previous (lovely) owner waxed lyrical to me about how energy efficient they were, but the terrifyingly high gas bill we received that first winter told a different story (in fairness I wasn't really listening to him as I was too busy gawping at the original mouldings 12 feet above my head so I may have missed some fundamental detail about how to operate them in conjunction with the huge, rusty and leaking hot water tank skulking in the bathroom).
We've gradually been replacing them with nice new modern double radiators. Strictly speaking we should replace them with authetic or reproduction Victorian cast iron radiators (we have two small ones on the top floor) but there are some things I'm just not bothered about restoration-wise, stripping skirting boards being one and installing Victorian-style radiators being another, to which I say Meh on both counts. On the other hand, if all goes according to plan, then early 2015 will find me spending hours and hours Michelangelo-style carefully soaking 130 years of paint off the original decorative cornice in the living room, go figure.
Last year we replaced the radiators in the living room, playroom, dining room, our bedroom and Eva's bedroom. Natalia's room doesn't need heating as the hot water pipes running underneath her wooden flooring create natural underfloor heating, which is so toasty warm that when she rolled out of her new big girl bed at 1am a few weeks ago, she apparently found the floor so comfortable that she just kipped down there for the rest of the night. These crazy toddlers.
This winter we've tackled the hall and landing radiators. Pretty simple job, providing you can cope without hot water for the day, you have a magical oscillating multi-tool for cutting carefully through the floorboards you need to lift, and you don't make schoolboy errors like hanging the radiator before taking up the floorboards and realising you've positioned the joints over a joist. Cough *Andre* cough.
And here's one of the new radiators looking nice and sleek against the wall that we hadn't got round to painting when I took the photo (it's done now). We also need to repair the floorboards around the pipes.
But oh my goodness it is so warm. Luxuriously warm. Insanely warm. We left the heating on low while we went out for a couple of hours this afternoon and came back to a 23 degree house. I should probably share a tutorial of some kind explaining how to plumb in a new radiator but I have no idea how to plumb in a new radiator as I leave all that to Andre, god bless my handy husband.
Other things we have been doing recently - laying woodchip around the play area, measuring up for the fitted wardrobes, and perusing ceiling roses for the bedroom. And next post - bathroom plans!