With my maternity leave drawing to a close and therefore time spent to work on the house about to significantly lessen, I’ve decided to switch the focus on getting a couple of rooms properly finished, details and all, rather than embarking on another epic painting job (namely the hallway) which would threaten to throw us once again into disarray. We already have four rooms out of action, the lounge, snug, bathroom (bar the disgusting pink bath we are all being forced to use) and spare bedroom …which is having a knock on effect as we absorb the furniture and knick knacks belonging to those four rooms elsewhere. So despite making huge progress ….and I think we can finally appreciate that we have……it still feels hard at times to congratulate ourselves on how far we have come as we don’t really have even one completely ‘completed’ room.
The kitchen is probably the closest to being there…so over the next few weeks I hope to finish the little bits which are preventing it from being so. The skirting, painting the access hatch and pillar which are both bare at the moment, having a go at this avocado sofa wall, painting the inside of the larder cupboard door and running another coat of eggshell over the utility doors which are already scratched and knocked from a combination of scooting accidents and C’s clumsiness. That said, until the lounge can accommodate the sofa and TV again we can’t quite get straight in the kitchen….its that domino effect all over again….
With that in mind, today has been spent trying to finish the lounge ….with a first coat of eggshell applied (laboriously…its not as much fun as painting green) on the woodwork. Tomorrow a second coat can be applied and we are then left with only the hearth and carpet to sort before we can move back in and start to get settled. Progress is being made on that front with a local carpet shop having visited this afternoon to measure up for the lounge, stair and landing carpets (they also supply marmoleum…..bonus) and the bullnosed quarry tiles for the hearth discovered, surprisingly cheaper than online, at Fired Earth. So with everything poised and armed with my Abigail Ahern Decorating book….I buckled and allowed her blog to convince me to buy it…I’m busy absorbing her tips on layered lighting, art walls, crazy colour shots and cushions and visualising how this might all come together in our, as opposed to her glossily photographed, space.
Another job which has been irritating me by its incompleteness is the stripping and sanding of the banisters. Today I found an hour to spend rubbing these down with fine sandpaper with a first coat of darkly coloured hardwax oil applied this evening.
“Are you sure?” S had asked as he emerged from O’s bedroom, O having been sent off to dreamland with a tummy full of milk and a head full of tales ….giants with falling down trousers, having (foolishly?) donated belt, tie, socks and shoes to a variety of his animal friends and of course a greedy goose eating his chocolate mousse.
“Yes….” I said hopefully…it being too late to change my mind. The banisters and posts were, I discovered during the paint stripping process, constructed of a motley mix of woods so my only choice was to pick the darkest and run with it. The spindles will, eventually, be painted a contrasting crisp white but until then, following one more light sand (with wire wool, not sandpaper P advises) and a second coat, the arduous task of the banisters can be finally crossed off the to-do list.
Recently I’ve also been spending a bit of time musing over the decoration of our bedroom. I say decoration….it was painted a pale grey last year (it’s Dulux’s Just Walnut but I know I mentioned before how blue their walnuts appear to be…) and as yet we have hung no adornments…. pictures, curtains, mirrors… to soften it into the sanctuary it should be. It is, quite simply, a painted box in which we sleep. This weekend, driven by my decision to focus on creating some homely spaces, I dedicated a bit of ‘staring time’ to the problem. I frowned my way around the room mentally picturing the mirrors and pictures we have and trying to work out which might suit. A mirror above the bed, I decided, soft white voiles (made and currently being stored in the wardrobe) at the window and a collection of pictures around the dressing table. I fetched some old magazines, tape and scissors and set about making a template to represent a piece of artwork I bought years ago at the Battersea Affordable Art Fair (“What happened?” asked a friend when I told her what I’d spent. “Did you go in the wrong door?”) which, in terms of colour, would work beautifully. Tacking up the template to one side of the dressing table and hastily making another….a full length mirror I thought….to balance it out at the other end I then randomly dotted rectangles and squares in the space remaining, representing smaller frames and encircling the freestanding oval mirror (yet to be upcycled with some paint) with what I hoped might be postcards, pictures and keepsakes. Tacked up with green masking tape and all a bit higgledypiggledly it doesn’t look like much just yet, but I think something like this might work and have bought a cheap mirror from eBay as a first step. Step two is to venture upstairs to retrieve my templates corresponding to the frames I have stored and play about with these to see if I can make a formation pleasing to the eye. Well. Four of them. Im guilty of busily making decisions and forgetting there’s another two eyes I need to consult…..but S has given his approval in principle and I’m looking forward to curating the photos and keepsakes together…step three. (Step two and a half is finding the boxes in which they are stored)
I may give the impression that I’m the only one interested in the finer touches to our rooms…..bar anything attached to a plug which is clearly the Technology Manager’s domain….but that is painting a misleading picture. Our postman is delivering at the moment a constant stream of intriguing items which are all forming part of a huge artwork in copper S has planned. A wall in the lounge has been dedicated to his creation and I’m more than excited about both the process and the end result.
Watch this space….Im told it needs a big one…
Playing about with ideas
Inspiration for the sofa wall….though may lose the subscription offer tag….