Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What everybody needs

When we were planning the renovation of my new apartment we set a timeline of 8 to 10 weeks from demolition to sufficient completion to move in comfortably. Demolition started on 10 June and I moved in on 10 August - nine weeks. How's that? A renovation completed on schedule. Admittedly, all the work was internal, so there were no delays or hold-ups for weather. But the work was quite extensive, with a new kitchen, bathroom, flooring, painting, and lots of work for the cabinet-makers.

So, it was on time. Was it on budget? Hmmm...except for two additions to the original brief that I requested, it's cost exactly what I was quoted. Admittedly, the original quote was significantly more than I had hoped to pay, but the final figure has not increased.

I take no credit for any of this. It's all due to Heather. Everybody undertaking a renovation really needs a Heather - a designer and project manager who, as well as assisting with design advice, provides expertise and contacts so that tradespeople are competent and their work is well-planned and scheduled and, most importantly, thoroughly quality checked.

One of my additional requests was to have my old lounge suite (to use a rather old-fashioned term) reupholstered. I dithered for ages about whether to do this. I could have bought a new, reasonable quality sofa and some chairs for what the reupholstery cost. But my old sofa and chairs were so comfortable in a way no modern sofas are. Heather says this is partly because they are structured with springs, which gives them resistance when you sit in them. I like sitting on chairs, rather than sinking into them, so this old-fashioned structure suits me well.

Besides, I've become emotionally attached to these chairs. I've posted about them before. They were bought, already second-hand, by my parents in about 1947 when they first set up house. They're quite bulky, and I had to decide not to bring one of the single chairs with me. But look at them now:

Lounge chairs

I've had them covered in grey flannel. I couldn't be happier with the outcome. They're very tailored and sleek. A little bit 'Mad Men' - though my cushions rather undermine that slick effect.

Lounge chair, single

Rather schmick!


Emily said...

OOooh, lovely! I agree about older sofas and chairs being more comfortable - also, tend to be less deep, so those not of Scandinavian, or basket-ball physique can sit with their bottoms back, not curving the spine so much. Yours look lovely.

A Heather would be great - but I think also, doing things as tradespeople are used to doing them, rather than trying to do things in new and innovative (in the UK market) way tends to mess with their timing!

Rose Red said...

I love your lounge suite, the new fabric is lovely.

And hurrah for the renovations being both on time and within budget. Yay you and yay Heather!

missfee said...

Ooo I have couch envy - the grey is just delicous

and congrats on Heather - what a find


jp said...

The couch and chair look great. I am a big fan of re-conditioning old lounge suites as they seem to be more resilient.

Your designer/project manager is a gem indeed.

M-H said...

A project manager is indeed invaluable. We really appreciated ours. And the sofa does indeed look very shmick. Lovely.

Anonymous said...

As someone just about to start a renovation, could I have Heather's number? Love the couches, and think that the money spent on recovering was well spent. Those couches will be soldiering on when the staples on a new one would have been falling out.

Kris said...

You're a good advertisement! I'd like to get Heather's number too. We have a couple renovation projects we've been planning and I don't even know where to begin. Someone like that would be a godsend!

And yes, very Mad Men! And very comfy looking too... :)

Yarna said...

The lounge suite looks very schmick, indeed. What a lovely colour! I think you and Heather have done a wonderful job. Now you can enjoy it!

Anonymous said...

oh they are just gorgeous! and what other colour could you possibly choose? so glad you are getting settled in. yay for heathers everywhere!

Brenda said...

Lovely. I especially like the wood trim. Here in Canada we have no such charming term as 'lounge suite'. Simply Chesterfield and chair.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, that lounge and chair - a time warp back to my childhood. My parent had an equally second hand set of three chairs (no lounge) when I was a littlie. In those early post war years (I was born in '44) most people furnished their houses with hand-me-downs or second hand.
The ones we had we a miserable sort of maroon colour way. Memories.

Gae, in Callala Bay

NessaKnits said...

Nice! My Dad's best man and his wife had a similiar pair in two toned green stripes when I was growing up ...wonder if they still have them ...