From House to Home: Part 1

The house that we have moved into is in a lovely condition, having been newly renovated throughout, prior to being put on the market. We so appreciate the fact that the house is structurally sound and requires no major work. What has taken us slightly by surprise is all of the work that goes into transforming a house into a home. All of the little, and not so little jobs accumulate into one long list. After returning from our holiday last week, we felt slightly overwhelmed at all we needed to do in order to make this house feel like a home So, we wrote a long list of jobs, and then a smaller list that of what we wanted to achieve by the weekend. 
One of the main jobs was to build some shelves for our dining room. John had the vision to buy reclaimed scaffolding planks from a local wood yard and use the width of 1.5 planks for each shelf. The plan worked perfectly.
John's parents came to stay this weekend, and oh my, do I have a lot of admiration for their work ethic. John's Dad worked his fingers to the bone to sand down all of the wood, with a slightly inadequate sander - he concluded that a belt sander would have been much better for this job.
 The finished shelves are beautiful and have a brilliant character and charm to them that I love.
John varnished the shelves with an Antique Pine finish, and while he was on a role, he also varnished the coffee table we were given for our wedding almost three years ago! Thanks to the sander, John was able to remove all of the water stains and marks the table has acquired over the past few years, so it looks like new.
My parents came to stay a few weekends ago, and I had deliberated for a long time with my Mum about the best way to dress the windows in our kitchen and dining room. After looking at all of the options, we bought a plain Roman Blind for the kitchen with the plan to purchase some lightweight fabric that I would cover the blind with. After a couple more weeks of consideration, we decided that it would be best to avoid a fabric blind in the kitchen, as it would be in such close proximity to the taps, and inevitably, would end up getting splashed a lot. So, on Sunday, John's Mum and I went back to John Lewis and I exchanged the plain blind for one of their ready made ones to hang in our dining room. While I love all things hand made, and would like to be able to say I made a lot of the soft furnishings in our house, I was happy to let this one go. It didn't seem cost effective to go to all of the trouble to make our own, and I am happy with the blind we have ended up with.
John, in all of his efficiency, put the blind up on the day we bought it, making the dining room feel just a little bit more homely.