My Favourite Window

March 31, 2012

Bedroom 2



Bedroom 2: Damage Yes, Walls Yes, Ceiling No, Floors No.
All walls have cracks that have been exaggerated from EQ.
Earthquake Commission accessment 16 November 2010


Mostly this is not Earthquake wreckage but the beginning of repair work begun in Autumn last year.  Elwin and I were such purists. We wanted so much, to retain the structural integrity of the old houses we have owned.  And in our fondest dreams of restoration we imagined new scrim-hung wallpaper.  Elwin died ten days before the above accessment and the accessor pointed out that current building codes require the replacement of scrim with fire-proof plaster board (known colloquially in NZ as gib from its brand name). Without my own personal and dedicated handyman, and with the offer of an up-grade it was time to change my priorities. I could possibly have pressed for a heritage exemption to avoid the installation of plaster board, but I was in no state to fight battles...


So a start was made on these walls. The most obvious damage was the parting of the wallpaper from the ceiling, an audible process noticeable during the aftershocks following the September 2010 earthquake.  Off came five layers of paper including the original wallpaper shown above. This probably dates to 1909 when Mowbray was built.


Rimu, probably milled from the Oxford forest, was once a plentiful and lowly timber. Now its protected status and rich colouring make reclaimed rimu a sought-after building and furniture material. It seemed a pity to cover up this sarking.


Although it is common - and now required - practise to "gib" old houses, the hard finish and blocking-in of cornices, skirtings and architraves, detracts from the character feel. Colin, the builder assigned to this job, suggested fitting 'reveals' to maintain the definition of period details.


This was done with ready made strips, which are plastered into place between the feature and the edge of the plaster board.
The effect is pleasing, but with hindsight it would be worth applying a thin bead of filler at the join with the existing detail.


For all sorts of reasons, once the plaster board had been fitted and stopped, the work slowed to a halt.  My own inertia and unwillingness to move out of the house - as most people have done, combined with work overload for the contractors and confusion about Earthquake Commission process, not to mention re-curring 'Events' and subsequent re-accessments, have all contributed to halting progress.


In the Spring Andy came and prepared and painted all the trimmings since the EQC insurance does not cover them.


And this week the paperhanger arrived!


And - Oh joy - now Bedroom 2 is finished.
Kitty chose this wallpaper. It is from the A.S. Creation Chateau II range, serial number 64014 although I understand this has now been discontinued. She also decided that one panel of the boxed corner should be a blackboard. The space above the picture rail is painted with Resene low sheen Karry. The picture rail, window and door frames, skirting and other trim are painted with Multiversal multi-purpose Cream of which there is a plentiful supply in Elwin's workshop! The full cost of this work, is not completely covered by Earthquake Commission insurance.


But if you think I am going to show you a styled House and Garden shot, I'm not. Kitty and I have already started moving in furniture and well... junk from the hallway and my bedroom, ahead of the next room makeover.


Rimu, Red pine  Dacrydium cupressinum

11 comments:

Cro Magnon said...

Goodness, that really is a major restoration. I rather liked the bare boards, they seemed in very good condition.

Jeneane said...

I love the bare boards, but the house was becoming a liability. It has been a romantic dream for the last 10 years but the bottom line is that it has to be saleable within the next 10 years :-(

Some houses of this style (NZ Villa) and age had lathe and plaster walls, but this one is just lined with cheap undressed 'sarking.' Hessian known as scrim was hung on this, and then wallpaper on the scrim.

fiona said...

Wow!! What a wallpaper choice - it is exquisite!! great taste from you Kitty :)

Jeneane said...

Glad you like it Fiona :-) You won't know this place by the time we've finished! Hope your EQC work is all under control.

libby said...

Oh I do love a 'reveal' photo!

Owen said...

Quite a project ! As we say in French... "Bon Courage !" Hope it all comes together as you wish, looks like lots of hard work. And may the earth stop trembling quite so much...

Jeneane said...

Merci Beaucoup Owen. The hard work for me comes down to clearing cupboards and shelves and moving stuff from one room to another so that the builders and decorators can work. This was what I couldn't bring myself to do last year, because it also meant clearing stuff out - a lot of it Elwin's :-(

About Last Weekend said...

Wow, your ceilings are amazing - are they tin? - and I am loving your wallpaper - what a great choice!

Jeneane said...

There are six different moulded metal patterns in the house. And I do particuarly like the one in this room. There's no historic theme - the villa builders just picked what they liked (and I suspect there was an element of show-off in the choosing) from the catalogues. I remember Elwin telling me what the composition was but I just call the ceilings 'tin.' They play havoc with cell phone reception!

the cuby poet said...

Oh my word there is so much to do but slowly,slowly you will get it alld one after all what is the hurry? The wallpaper is amazing, reminds me of Laura Ashley style, very good choice Kitty.

Jeneane said...

Thankyou Claire. There is certainly no hurry but the uncertainty of progress, knowing that at very short notice engineers, builders, decorators, may announce that they can start work 'tomorrow' and a whole room has to be cleared and ready, is stressful. Everyone involved, including me, is working on a different page from each other!