Living Room ledge/shelf/bench under construction

With the blinds complete the final part of the Living Room build is now underway.

Using white oak planks supplied by Corell Timber I am building a large ledge along 2 sides of the room under the windows.

The side facing the patio will have a number of sections that open on top to store timber for the stove and the TV.  The west facing shelf will be solid but will have a few open sections underneath to store other bits & pieces.

Vertical Blinds in Living Room installed

With all the steel pulleys buried in the walls a few months ago it has taken some time to work through assembling the rest of the system. The plastic-coated steel wires and second timber rail with pulleys have been hanging in the windows for weeks now awaiting the final stage.

With the seven custom blinds supplied by Stella Blinds in Eastlink Business Park in Limerick and about 120 metres of 3mm blind cord bought on eBay and strips of aluminium from James Healy in Eastlink Business Park ( we were ready to put it all together.

Threaded the blind cord around the pulleys before pulling the timber rail up into the wall opening and fixing the steel wires onto a hook inside the opening. Hopefully I’ll never have to bring that system down again but it is there in an emergency.

I glued the blind fabric to the aluminium strips, drilled holes in either end of the strip and passed the blind cord through the strip. All safely tied off I can now pull the blind right up into the opening. Fixing cleats to the poles with screw & glue means I can tie off the blinds at whatever position is required.

The final phase will be to cut out slots in 12mm ply sheeting which will cover the underside of the window opening which will hide all the insulation, structural timbers etc. and just let the blinds rise & drop.

All the cleats, pulleys, eye-plates etc. were sourced from a great UK website GS Products (

Footpaths and Ramps completed

With 2 pourings .. the foothpaths and ramps are now completed and ready for foot traffic!

Joe McNamara who completed the foundations, rainwater drainage, wastewater and sewage systems was also responsible for the footpaths.

His work is exemplary and the finish on the ramps and path around the house is very good.  He was also able to provide some good suggestions on the detailing and finishing of the path around the steps and storage container we have onsite.

With the ramp in place, we are now wheelchair accessible and had our first visit from mother OSullivan to the house on the weekend.  By all accounts the house meets with her approval – thank goodness!

Stove fitted

Just in time for summer the STOVE is finally installed and operational.  We won’t get to really put it through its paces for a while but it looks fantastic in the room.

We purchased a Jotul wood-burning stove and flue kit from Murphy Heating in Kinvara.  It has taken us some time to get the correct adapter to fit the twinwall flue into the top of the stove.  After a couple of false starts where the wrong adapters were sent we finally managed to get a correctly sized adapter. Last week it arrived and we were ready to install it.

We had the expertise of Peter Molony (plumber, gas and stove installer) and his ladder which was essential to assemble and position the 6 metres of flue.  It was a slightly precarious activity to lift the sections of flue into place, clip them together and finally fit the ceiling plate.

A spray of stove paint to cover any exposed chrome and scuffs and scratches and the flue was complete.

Foothpaths under construction

Now that we are nearing completion the footpaths and ramps are now ready to be poured around the house.

We’ve a path running around the house with a ramp from the car park up to the porch & hall door for ease of access.  There are also 3 steps which will take you around the front of the house to the patio area in front of the living/dining room area.

We are leaving a 500mm gravel drainage area all around the perimeter of the house to enable drainage of rainwater from the walls and paths to easily soak away.  All the traps and gulleys from the sinks and appliances are located in the gravel area also.

Now we’re cooking

Finally .. after a few partial attempts we have our gas hob working.

We had it fitted by Peter Molony a local certified Gas Installer who fitted the pipework in the kitchen and all the associated regulator, pipes and brackets for the two cylinders outside.

The cooker is made by Steel Cuisine of Italy and is their budget model .. the Party!!

Looking forward to cooking our first bit of food  …. just have to decide what it will be.

Final Painting underway

Just before we move in .. and fit the skirtings & doors we have our painter John Lowe back to the house to apply the final coat of paint this week

He’s giving all the walls in the house a coat with brush & roller plus taking the chance to fill any dings and marks in the plaster to give the best finish possible.  After he completes we will fit the window boards and skirtings & doors which are all pre-painted and finished.

7_ACRYLIC_DURABLEMATTAs before we are using the Johnstones Acrylic Durable Matt in white.  The paint has a good clean low-shine finish and is wipeable downable with a damp clothable or with a sheet of Plenty!

Fitting Towel Heaters to Bathrooms

Measure twice and cut once .. works for timber but equally for plasterboard as it is a real mess if you have to repair incorrectly placed holes.  I have therefore been very careful to measure and re-measure the fixings for the towel radiators.

The towel radiators are electric and switched for each bathroom on the outside … so we can use them when the need arises.  Finding the wall studs and ensuring that they are aligning with the fixing brackets is a bit of a nightmare and not always successful so we have to use rawlplug expanding bolts to fix those brackets where the plasterboard is hollow.

Living Room Concealed-Blind system

One of the more unusual elements of the interior design of the house are the concealed window blinds in the living room.

We have created a vertical space inside the walls above the long windows on the south and west facing windows. The cavity is approximately 100mm deep and goes the full height of the walls above the windows up to ceiling level. Inside the cavity about 3.5metres above the window we fixed a timber beam with pulleys.  A 4mm plastic coated wire rope is used to raise and lower a timber beam (see photos below) which has a second set of lighter pulleys attached.  These lighter pulleys will be used to raise and lower the window blinds inside the wall cavity.  The window blinds will be made of a standard polyester fabric with a weighted bar stitched at the end (same as on a roller blind).

If the blinds should ever need to be replaced or a cord breaks the upper timber beam held on the wire cables can be lowered.

We just need to have the fabric blinds made up to fit the openings and get the cord and we can pull the whole contraption up into the walls.

Kitchen Units installed

We had to wait until the plumber had installed the sink tap and drainage and plumbing for the dishwasher before we could get the kitchen completed.

The finished kitchen looks really well with the stainless steel countertop and integrated sink combined with the gloss white drawer units built and installed by Colleran Kitchen & Appliance Studio based in Doora Industrial Estate in Ennis.