I've been travelling for the last few weeks, but that doesn't mean that I haven't been thinking about the house. The beauty of online shopping is that you can easily order things while you're on the road, so I did!
At this stage most of the major things I wanted to get done are in place so now I'm looking at "tweaks".
The space under the stairs, for example, is still a disaster area, but hopefully I'll be getting it converted into usable storage space in the next few weeks. Fingers crossed! It's an awkward shape and if it's left as is will just become a disorganised dumping ground. Some people have suggested putting in a wine cellar, which isn't a terrible idea.
Another space which is currently "dead" and unusable is the space under the boiler. In its present state it's being wasted, though it would be a good place to store sweeping brushes, mops, ironing boards etc.,
The Home Network:
This is crucial for me. Everything from music to movies, to the heating system are all connected to the network in some way.
The network setup in the house is still in flux. I thought, incorrectly, that a couple of 8 port switches would be more than enough, but of course I was wrong. For now I've got a rather noisy Trendnet switch in the office and a couple of 8 port Netgears in other parts of the house.
The wireless setup in the house at the moment is almost optimal, as I'm installing a couple of Ubiquiti wireless access points. So far I've got one installed and the other one should go in over the next couple of days. I'm still having issues getting them to "play nice" with the controller, though I suspect that I'm doing something silly and it'll be easy enough to fix.
The entrance hallway downstairs was upgraded ages ago, but I hadn't done anything with the light at the top of the stairs. It now matches with the downstairs hallway. This time round I also got the low power eco-friendly light bulbs, so leaving the hall light on won't break the bank.
I'm still trying to find lights for the bathroom and en suite that I actually like. What's there for now isn't great, though it does the job ie. it provides light. The central lights in the bedrooms also need to be changed, but again it's a matter of finding light fittings that I like. (As an aside, I never thought I'd become this fixated on light fittings!)
Reading a recent article about ways of improving your bathroom provided a bit of inspiration. You know what I hate about bathrooms? The mats. No matter how often you wash them they're nearly always smelly and grotty looking.
The solution? Swap out the mats for a duck board. Sure, you'll get a bit of water on the floor, but it's a bathroom, so that's sort of inevitable. You won't, however, have to deal with germ infested mats.
My downstairs toilet always has a stale smell no matter how much I clean it and mop it out. So I'm trying out bamboo charcoal to clean up the air and kill off the odours.
Sitting Room & Home Cinema Setup
This is still on my "must fix" list. Over the past few years I've accumulated a fairly beefy home cinema setup, but I disconnected everything during the move and simply haven't got round to reconnecting it all. Laziness? Possibly, but I've got multiple speakers, separates and a crazy number of cables. The built-in cupboards in the sitting room have plenty of space and power outlets to run everything, but I need to spend about half a day reconnecting it all as well as expanding the setup. I'm adding a Sonos Connect into the mix, so that I'll be able to leverage the Sonos and various streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer with my analogue system.
When you've got multiple home entertainment devices you will naturally end up with a crazy number of remotes. This week's "Amazon Prime Day" meant that I ended up picking up a "Logitech Harmony Elite Remote Control" remote at a big reduction. I had one of the earlier models but it's a bit long in the tooth and these days will barely hold a charge for more than an hour or two.
One of the things that was on my list was either replacing or treating the fencing. It's wooden panels between concrete blocks. Not the prettiest, but being left for years without any treatment or care of any kind it had become plain ugly.
When you see the freshly painted / treated sections up against the ones that haven't had any treatment yet the contrast is shocking:
I still need to do the bit around the front porch, as well as the electric gate.
I've still got a load of boxes and bags that I need to go through. Of course every time I start into a box or two it's like a trip down memory lane, so it takes way longer than it should!
Prints, Posters and other Artwork
Over the years I've accumulated a collection of movie posters and prints. Some of them are framed or mounted. I also got a few of the Royal Mail stamp issues that came framed. With all the movement of furniture, fitting of bookcases, wardrobes etc., most of the prints that had gone up ended up coming back down again. So for now most of them are waiting to be put up either under the stairs or behind my desk in the office. I really need to spend a few hours working out where to put everything!