Time for something a little different. Not crafty per se, but it’s been creative, challenging, and very cathartic so I thought I would share.
I still live at home: what with one thing and another it’s been easier to live here than move out. My bedroom has been my bedroom since I was a baby, and the last time it was decorated was over fifteen years ago (I will be 30 this year). Yeah, I know.
After dad passed away I felt the urge to do something, so on 27th December I emptied all my stuff (books, clothes and other miscellaneous junk) from my room, and on the 28th I crazily ripped everything out of my room so that I could start from scratch.
Now, you’d think that taking the furniture out of a room wouldn’t be that hard, but you’ve not seen what my room was like. It’s the box room of the house (measuring just 183cm x 243cm) so in order to make the best use of the available space my dad built the furniture into the room. Have a peek at what it looked like:
There were cupboards (repurposed kitchen cupboards) fixed under the bed (and the bed was fixed to the wall), the desk was a board fixed on top of an old book case, which was in turn fixed to both the wall and the wardrobe. Plus all the shelving on the walls. Here, see what it was like when I’d moved most of the stuff out:
Taking all my stuff out caused problems in itself. Because of the amazing amount of storage space there was actually a disproportionate amount of stuff in there considering the size of the room. I ended up filling the living room, my mum’s room and the kitchen with all my things!
Ripping the furniture out was very cathartic. It was hard work, because (as a make do and mend family) my dad had reused old screws of all sizes – so I used pretty much every screwdriver we own, as well as a hammer.
It was so strange seeing it empty. I repainted about fifteen years ago, but the furniture has been in place about twenty years (possibly a bit longer, it’s difficult to remember that far back). As you can see there’s some subsidence, which was patched up by the council about ten years ago before we bought the leasehold, but I decide to ignore that for the time being and just decorate over it… The rest of the day was spent sugar soaping the walls and then filling holes and cracks with Polyfilla and hoping for the best.
That was the first two days, which I did on my own. Matt had gone away on the morning of the 27th, so you can imagine his surprise when he came home on the night of the 28th!
Day 3: Today was all about the stripping of the skirting board and door frame, as well as taking out the old carpet and underlay. We also went out and bought paint, other supplies and the flooring. Stripping the woodwork was interesting – apparently my dad hadn’t got round to stripping it when he and mum moved in over thirty years ago as there were colours of paint under there that neither mum or I had ever seen before. After the woodwork was stripped we gave the ceiling and walls a first base coat of brilliant white, and then the room looked like this:
Day 4: today was very exciting. We put another base coat on all the walls, and a final coat on the ceiling… then the first coat of colour went on. Victorian white on the two large (hah!) walls, and marina on the other two. We also built two book cases, but you’ll have to wait to see those…
Day 5: the second coat of colour went on today, as did the first coat of dove grey on the woodwork. Then we lost half a day by going out for brunch (well, it was new year’s eve, we had to do something relaxing!). After we got back from brunch we got the other storage sorted out. Two shelves (with a third piece of wood at the top – for aesthetic as well as practical reasons) which run the width of the room and are 40cm deep. Plenty of room to keep clothes there while this is still my room, and when it becomes the guest room (we’ll be converting the loft this year, which Matt and I will move into) we can use these shelves to store other things.
I’m going to get some fabric and make a blind which will cover those shelves like a screen, so you won’t be able to see what’s stored there.
Day 6: Oh the excitement! Today the book cases went up, the woodwork got a second coat of paint, and I moved all my stuff back in! I’ve decided to use the camp bed as my new bed (but with my super special mattress on it), and have pinched a small set of drawers which were my dad’s, but this is pretty much all the furniture I’ll have for this room. I intend to build another set of shelves in the corner to the right of the window, but not until later this year.
Matt was exceptionally proud of the book cases as he’s never helped build anything before The only thing missing from the room at this stage was the new floor, which had to wait a week… but it’s finally ready:
Beautiful, isn’t it? I love that floor soooo much! Oh, and my mum made the new blind for my window:
I’m going to have the same fabric as the blind to cover the overhead storage, but will have to wait a few weeks before I order some more as I’m now officially skint. Total cost of doing the room was just under £400, which included the flooring, paint, timber, fabric (for the window blind) and various brushes, rollers and wotnot. Not bad, but I need to let the finances recover before I do anything else!
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