Saturday, 10 August 2013

The Yank's House - Upcycling old furiture

If recycling is taking our rubbish and smashing it up to make something new from it  then upcycling is taking our rubbish and updating it to give it a new lease of life. This is becoming a fashionable thing to do with many great web sites to inspire us. One of my favourites has to be

I guess I have always been a bit of an upcycler – after all, where possible Pat and I have always done our best to reuse anything we found around the Yank’s House.  We have also been very open to collecting other peoples rubbish e.g. our kitchen cupboards being a prime example and reworking them to fit our needs.

So as the Yank’s House approaches completion the issue of filling it with home comforts comes to the fore. How best can we furnish the house on a very low budget? This question got me researching the idea of upcycling old furniture.

I decided my first project should be a modest affair. I have had this old chair for many years and even in its broken state I have been reluctant to throw it away. 

With a bit of help from Pat we stripped back this little chair to it bare bones. Then Pat repaired one leg that had become detached over the years.  

I purchased a trial pot size of Autentico, Pure and natural paint in Summer Sky. This set me back 7.50. The instructions say you can use this paint over any other paint or varnish finish without sanding.  So it is very hassle free. I gave my chair a few coats to get a good cover.

I picked up a remnant of fabric in the sales for 3 to cover the seat. I had some foam rescued from a broken armchair for the cushion – upcycling at its best and Pat found a piece of timber in the shed we were able to use. Once this new seat was screwed down onto my  painted chair we were finished.
I will let you judge for yourselves but I am very happy with my newly upcycled bedroom chair and am itching now for a bigger project. 

My chair has cost me a total of 10.50 to update. 

So now is a good time to sort out all the rubbish and see what you have. I also keep an eye on what my friends are throwing away.  You never know what you might find. There are also web sites where people advertise items they no longer what and many will let you just take these items away. 

I am on the lookout now for a dressing table. Maybe I will get one for free somewhere.

You can seal the paintwork with a water based sealer if the item is going to get a lot of use e.g. tables and dressers etc. So why not have a go yourself and let us know at Yank's house how you got on.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Yank's House - Is it time for a doer-upper

Has there ever been a better time to take on a doer-upper I ask? I think not. You have all been following our story now – some of you for almost a year but have you ever considered taking on a similar challenge yourself? Well if you have now might be the time to take the leap.

With this in mind I browsed the Irish property market this week to seek out some of the more interesting prospects for your attention. The choice is so wide – from thatched cottages to old gate lodges, from farm houses to old mills. What every you fancy can be found somewhere around the country as people off load old ruined properties in an attempt to raise a bit of capital in the current slump. 

So could you be the person to turn this disaster into your dream project? Let see what you think of my choices. There is so much to choose that I have concentrated on County Monaghan for this week’s report but if you find this interesting I might follow up with some more areas over the next few weeks. Please let me know what you think. Any way – here are my choices and all for a price of €100,000 or less. That is half what the Yank’s house cost during the boom.

For the very brave among you I have chosen Barton’s Mill in Co Monaghan. If I wasn’t already up to my neck in debt I would be very tempted by this place. The property description tells us the mill is steeped in tradition and is a unique selection of hand cut stone buildings including a private dwelling in need of upgrading all sitting on one acre of land. Unlike the Yank’s house it already boasts oil fires central heating, a fitted kitchen, a bathroom and running water. But it is the pictures that win me over.

What amazing Buildings. Priced at €98,000 I feel you would need deep pockets for this one but wouldn’t it be worth it?

Still in County Monaghan I came across this little gem – a gate lodge sitting on 0.5 acre site. How charming is this?

The property description tells us it sits opposite Rossmore Forest Park. Priced at €100,000 this might be a more manageable project for some. Overall floor area 45.1 Sq Metres or 485 Sq feet.

If you are looking for a farm house this offering might be closer to what we have in the Yank’s House. Again priced at €100,000 it comes with 11 acres of land but the house is a full restoration job.

My last offering this week is a detached stone built house with a very interesting lofted out house. The house requires a total refurbishment/restoration but isn’t that outhouse amazing -maybe even more interesting than the house? Also in the description the agent tells us there is no access to the public road and this would have to be installed. So for anyone looking for seclusion this might be the answer.  

So this is what can be found in County Monaghan on a budget of €100,000. Let me know what you think of these offerings. Next week I might look at urban properties in our towns and cities for those who don’t want to live in the middle of nowhere. As always – feedback welcome.