Wood Burning Stove Installation

If you follow us on Instagram (@middleoftherow) you will already be aware that we have recently changed the fireplace in the living room from a gas fire to a wood burning stove. Let me tell you it was a decision that took well over a year but it has been well worth the wait and one of the best decisions we have made because boy does it heat the room up nice and cosy!

This was the gas fire place that was in the living room when we moved in. Everyone who has come into the house gushed about how lovely it looked. It did look lovely and very in keeping with the period of the house, however the hearth was absolutely massive and intrusive into the room and we never found the Gas fire very cosy or very efficient at heating up the entire room. We always have wanted a house with either an original fireplace to burn openly or have a stove fitted and therefore this fire was just not what we envisaged for our house.

On our decision journey we floated the idea of getting just an open fire fitted for the ambience and the dream of what we had always wanted. Everyone told us that they are not heat efficient and stoves are far better for heat etc etc etc….thankfully after finding out that the feathers in our chimney had gone and that this would be a massive cost to rectify that idea was shot out of the window and back to the stove idea we went and to be honest I am so pleased that we couldn’t get the open fire as I think it would have been a big mistake considering the amount of heat that we are now getting from our beautiful stove!

Installation took two days and had a little bit of trauma in that when they took the fire out the flu was not aligned to the centre and the hole was smaller than expected. The original fireplace that would have been in the living room must have been off centre to the right for some reason and that was why the flu was not aligned. This was rectified by removing a piece of the wall in the flu and inserting a lintel to make the hole bigger for the inglenook to fit the stove into. We also had issues with access to the chimney as we were advised that they could use our neighbours roof until the fitters came and said that they would not be able to access it and therefore a cherrypicker would be required which added additional cost.

I just love the finished look and feel that we now get with the stove and I am so pleased that we bit the bullet and decided to get it installed. We now just have a few finishing touches to complete, i.e. replacing the old skirting and decorating, but once that it done it will look even more amazing than it does now.

If you have had a stove fitted I’d love to hear your experiences so do leave a comment below?




Salvage Yard Shopping No.1

I had been following a salvage yard on Instagram for a while and they kept showing all these fantastic vinatage/salvage finds that I thought we should go and check them out and see what was on offer and if there was anything that would be good for the house.

I have also documented this as a vlog over on our YouTube channel here if you want to check that out as well.

We went in mind to potentially look at spindles, however ended up eyeing up a huge cupboard (of which we did not buy as we currently don’t have the space….maybe when we rip the bathroom to pieces it could go in there if it is still available!) and then ended up buying something completely unpredictable…..a 4m long salvaged school bench.

We had been mulling over storage for the hall for a long time and on seeing this we thought it would look and fit the bill perfectly. With a shelf for storing shoes and the bench to sit on to put your shoes on, what could be more fitting!?


This fits the length and width of the hall perfectly and since we have had the radiator moved and a new smaller column radiator fitted as well as the floorboards restored (see picture below) the hall is just coming together nicely and I am loving the industrial/vintage feel to it.


Before and After – 2nd Bedroom

Sorry for not being very active on the blog, we’ve been very busy with lots going on in the house so to get back into the swing of things I thought I would do a little before and after post of the 2nd bedroom. I have also done videos on these on our Youtube Channel here if you want to check them out as well.

Below is the before shots of the room. The paint work was a pale green and cream combination with a grey blind and laminate flooring. The radiator had been painted over who knows how many times and the room just never felt cosy, which I think stems from the laminate flooring of which I am not a fan of in bedrooms.

I wanted this room to feel very cosy and be a place our daughter would love to play in and so letting her be part of the decisions (i.e. colours) was very important.

As stated above I am not a fan of laminate flooring in bedrooms, it does not emit a cosy feel at all so the plan was always to have carpet in this room and our bedroom. I did however have a slight wobble when the laminate flooring was lifted and the original floorboards exposed, they just looked so good and stylish! However this wobble did go away as soon as the carpet arrives as it just finished the room off and as soon as it was down the room just felt fully cosy, snug and comfy underfoot, something of which was seriously lacking beforehand.

As you can see in the photos below, the colours (in discussion with our 2 at the time now 3 year old) was pink and white and we went for Farrow and Ball Nancy’s Blushes for below the dado rail and a Deluxe Brilliant White for above the dado rail. The radiator which I cannot rave enough about is from Best Heating along with the amazing valves. We got a pink blind (not in the photos below) which blended in seamlessly with the pink wall and went for a grey carpet just to finish off the room and compliment the pink and white.

We are so thrilled with how it turned out and looking forward to more progress in the house.


The Lighting Edit

I never thought I would get so excited about lighting but yet I have found myself spending ages browsing online at styles for the various rooms in our house and so far I think we have made some fantastic purchases from both online, the high street and independent shops.


We have bought a few pieces from Industville which include both ceiling and wall lights and other than the fact that they don’t include the fixings for the lights (which is a little bug bear) the lights themselves we have been very happy with and fit in brilliantly with our style.

I found our Kitchen light (which I have mentioned in a previous post here) from an independent shop on Etsy. When I spotted it I did do a little gasp of excitement as it was exactly what we were looking for and absolutely love it’s unique style.

Independent shops:

We bought our Dining Room light from an independent shop and we will definitely be going back to it for future purchases. It looks stunning above our dining room table and we are very pleased with it.


This arrow we bought at a makers fair at a gallery, it is by the same person who made our copper towel rail that we bought for the kitchen. I love how unique and quirky it is and it brings a little smile to my face when I see it above the bench in the hallway (the bench was made by the same person as well, very talented indeed). Excuse the horrible carpet and wall colour in the hallway this will be the last room in the renovation to be done so unfortunately we will have to live with the direness for a while *sad face*.


We bought this copper light from BHS before the store closed in Durham, I think you can still buy it online and I would recommend this as it is a gorgeous light and is very stylish indeed.


What a find this lamp was in TK MAXX, I love it and have been showcasing this on Instagram loads as it is just gorgeous. Now I have to say TK MAXX is not somewhere I usually look for lighting but I think I will go in there more regularly now after spotting and then buying this as it was such a bargain and I think because there is only one or two available you feel as thought you have found something truly unique.

Do let me know if you have any recommendations for places to buy lighting as we still have some rooms to buy for so are always on the lookout for interesting fittings.

Buying Vintage

Buying vintage or second hand is not for everyone but it is a great way of getting unique and interesting pieces at relatively good prices and sometimes even bargain prices. It is also a good way of recycling and a more sustainable way of purchasing furniture. We have bought quite a few vintage pieces over the years and we have also sold or donated furniture that we no longer require or enjoy. I think that is important to try and give furniture new homes in this way rather than just sending it to the bottom of a skip. Another persons unloved item can turn into someone else’ most treasured possession.

I thought I would share with you some of our vintage buys that we have and also where we find it best to purchase items from.


I found this lovely washstand via gumtree and it was a bargain at that. When I bought it it was cream with decoupage flowers on it, a bit of sanding and a few coats of paint later and it looked a lot more fresh and up to date. I recently bought these new handles for it via amazon and I think they have jazzed it up rather nicely.



Auctions are somewhere that my parents love to browse and look at for furniture, they have bought a few items from auctions and fully advocate looking online or visiting the auction room before buying, they also say to know your limit when bidding. I have yet to visit an auction but it is somewhere that I am planning on going to in the future as I think you can find some fabulous pieces and if you know what you are doing can pick up some decent bargains.

Car Boot Sales or Charity Shops

This mirror was a car boot find absolutely years ago and it was just plain wood. When I was sprucing up the washstand I decided to give this a new lease of life by painting it up and adding some distressed character to give it a new lease of life.


I think buying at car boot sales has a knack to it and to be honest it isn’t somewhere that I regularly go to look for furniture but it’s always somewhere to go now and then to have a browse out of interest and if you see something it’s a bonus.

I have been in our local British Heart Foundation furniture shop a few times for a browse (we have also donated furniture to them that we no longer require) and we have bought two items from them so far.

First off was this mid-century bookcase. When I first saw this it was marked as £25 and by the time I had decided that it was definitely what I wanted it had been reduced to £10!! What an absolute steal! Mid-century furniture is very in style at the moment just take a look at all the amazing furniture on West Elm for a start, and it’s definitely a style that we love and have embraced whole heartedly so to find this beauty was a complete bonus.


When I bought it it did have glass doors that were immediately taken out as they looked dated and were a hazard for our toddler as I wanted her to have easy access to her books. My idea was to do it up and I do keep thinking I will spruce it up as there are little holes from the tacks off the runners where the doors were and I think it could probably do with being stripped and re-varnished or something but I am a little reluctant in case I ruin it…I’ll just have to keep researching on how to restore furniture before I make my mind up.

The second piece is this lovely vintage wardrobe which we think could be 1940’s. I think this cost around £65 and was in very good condition. It’s a perfect piece for our daughters room and adds a bit of character at the same time. I love the detailing on this piece even though it probably was quite simple for it’s time. The inside has a slide out rail and pigeon hole type storage to one side which I think is perfect for a children’s wardrobe.




I love browsing online for furniture and can’t tell you how many things I have mentally bought in my head. Buying online is tricky in regards to vintage furniture and I think it is always best to read reviews of people who have bought from the companies previously. Two places that I have bought from are Scaramanga and Mustard Vintage, but I also like to browse on MucknBrass as they have some amazing pieces and I have eyed up a couple of things on there that I would like to have in our house.

I bought these coat hooks from Scaramanga, we have one in our hall which has 5 hooks and then I have a 3 hook one in our bedroom to hang jewellery on etc. I think they look great and add some vintage industrial flare to the rooms. Scaramanga have some really good furniture pieces on their website as well so I would definitely recommend checking them out.

This side table from Mustard Vintage is a recent addition to our household and I absolutely love it. I literally saw it on their Instagram page and just had to buy it there and then. If you are on Instagram I would definitely recommend checking their page out, it is amazing and their styling is totally on point. They have some beautiful pieces of furniture, mostly mid-century (which is our style to a tee) however there are other pieces on there as well. All of which I could quite easily buy and fill our house with, I have to reign myself in every time I look on their page or go onto their website as I could just go absolutely crazy!

We would love to here any recommendations for buying Vintage or leave us a comment with your Vintage furniture experiences.