A Year of Home Improvements

A Year of Home Improvements

Everything seems to hit at the same time and sometimes it’s intentional, while other times it’s just bad luck. 2017 in the Hooper House was one project after another. Some projects had been put off, some had been planned for and others were just pure luxury wants.

Upgrading the Wifi and Creating a Data Point!

We’d upgraded to Fibre broadband and we thought that would solve all our life’s woes! What actually happened was that everyone would realise quicker that their device had no signal. So I started to think ahead a few steps and worked out a plan. As more and more devices need to be connected to the internet now, maybe its better to split off some into hard wired and others that need wifi to remain that way. Our other issue is that we live in a townhouse and our router is locked in the downstairs bedroom. This is great for any guests stopping over, but for us in our own room, it sucked.

The first Home Improvement project was to get a good strong internet signal on the top floor. To achieve this I decided to pass a long ethernet cable up into the loft and connect a second router. Then one of my neighbours suggested passing two cables into the loft. One to feed the new wifi router and one to feed a wired connection. This meant that we could connect our Apple TV in our bedroom direct to the fibre broadband. Giving it the fastest connection we could get.

Wifi Improvements

As the year went on we also added an external hard drive into the loft to become our data storage point. Now instead of saving files on computers, we use a WD My Cloud duo to save and back up files. The WD 8 TB My Cloud Home Duo Dual-Drive Personal Cloud is also accessible via the internet and works like my own private cloud storage.

Cabling holes

The problem was installing the cables left a lot of holes in the walls. Which starts a chain of events. Next step is decorating.


New Composite Doors

I was reluctant to start patching and decorating the lobby area until we had a new front door installed. Our old front door (as installed by the house builders) was very draughty and barely locked. In fact, we came home from holiday after a week to find the front door wide open. Once a new door was installed it became the time to redecorate.

Composite front door

We spent a couple of months looking into options for composite doors. It became our new springtime hobby. Driving around and checking out other peoples front doors. We looked at many company websites Click Here for an example.

Cat's Diamond

In the end, we chose this black one as it had a huge diamond cut glass section. This is the closest we’ll get to the Koh-I-Nor being in our possession. The company that we selected did a great job and worked efficiently.
Read our Composite Door Review here


Starting the Decorating

After using my best delaying tactics we eventually filled and painted the lobby. All the cable access holes were skimmed over. From its previous shade of Elephants Breath, we decided to go more dark blue. A shade of paint we’d never tried before.

It took about 5 days to finish the 4-foot square lobby space. Though I do think it turned out really nicely. Catherine spotted a gold mirror to add to the wall and in combination with the composite door, it’s lifted the space.

Blue Grey Lobby and Gold Mirror


A Quick Kitchen Makeover

The 12-year-old kitchen is looking a little tired, but until another trigger point happens we’ll need to make do with what we have. Ideally, Catherine wants to knock through into our study to expand the kitchen and includes a dining area. It sounds like a good plan except, It means I’m getting kicked out of my study.

Annie Sloane Kitchen Makeover

As we’d not budgeted for much expense in the kitchen we decided to give the units an Annie Sloane Makeover. Turing our orangey pine effect laminate doors into a shade of grey. We hadn’t decided what shade, but bought some tins of paint and mixed our own shade. A Mix of Graphite and Paris Grey worked a treat.

Annie Sloan Kitchen Makeover


Trying out a Vegetable Garden

I’m certainly not a green finger guru, but I like to try new challenges. The Summer brought us to the idea of growing my own vegetables. Our back garden is themed around “Under the Sea”. So simply making a veg box wasn’t going to blend in.

Home Grown vegetable patch

A few scaffold board and a lot of creativity resulted in this shipwrecked, weathered planter. We lined it with polyethylene to try and protect the wood and make it last for a few years.

We featured our Vegetable Garden post on the blog.


The Hoopsters Studio and my New Study

The School holidays marked the start of our kids trying out youtube with their The Hoopsters Channel. It also marked the start of Catherine’s master plan. I was moving out… or my study into the downstairs bedroom/studio. The Hoopster Studio had a makeover to improve what we’d started on but to also incorporate a study area.

The Hoopsters

One side of the room is painted Purple for the studio. The Other side is painted Hague Blue to highlight the new study. Dividing it is a section of white to reflect plenty of light when needed.


Our Final challenge for 2017 is to revamp our ensuite. If everything goes to plan with will be complete just before Christmas, but as it stands we’re chasing a shower unit around the UK. It seems to have been one project after the next. And I also feel like 2018 will continue to challenge. As soon as we’ve completed the Ensuite we’ll update with the results.


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