So, I realised this week that it’s been absolute donkey’s years since I’ve written a post about my actual home – what I had started this blog with the primary focus of! I seem to have been drawn down a bit of a tangent with all the beautiful stuff out there! Easily done…
So, it’s the turn of the Guest Bedroom – I’m trying to write stuff in chronological order, however late in the day I am. The work in this room was started as soon as we got the keys, June 2015, and we finished up with the carpet just before Christmas 2016!
This story starts with a question. A question of naivety; one that only first time old-home buyers will ask. A question, which you find the answer to pretty quickly…
“I wonder why they decided to use this thick anaglypta wallpaper, just in this one room?”
We, in our excited naivety, stripped this bedroom of its anaglypta before we’d even moved into the house in a frenzied weekend of DIY (when we also stripped the feature wallpaper in the master bedroom, which had gone fine). What we uncovered, were bizarre bumpy walls of all different colours, parts which had been relatively recently re-plastered (why?!), and cracks. A big crack down the left hand side of the chimney breast where it meets the main wall, and one a bit smaller down the corner opposite.
The smaller crack in the corner, in the grand scheme of cracks, was OK. A bit of expanding foam and you’d never have known it was there. The result of a house being over 100 years old.
The big one, however, was a bit scarier – when you pressed it, the whole side of the chimney breast moved in and out. We put it on the ever-increasing list of things to get the builders to look at.
The verdict was that the original plaster was completely blown in this corner and was crumbling due to the chimney being leaky for years. In hindsight, I think we were pretty lucky that this was the only bit of damage. As we were having the chimney repaired, we were assured that it wasn’t a major issue, it didn’t mean the whole house was going to fall down, and certainly wouldn’t get any worse. Phew.
By this point, we knew we were going to have to have the whole room re-plastered, so we set ‘The Fear’ to one side, and just lived with it for a bit. To be fair, we didn’t actually use this room as a bedroom for about 9 months. When we first moved in, it was where all of our stuff was put, and acted as the kitchen and the dining room for about 2 months!
Quite a feat for a room a little over 3.5 x 2.5 m in size!
As far as a spare room goes, it’s not a bad size. We were gifted a second-hand double sofa bed, which is actually really comfy as both a sofa and a bed, so this was the starting point for the layout of the room. Aside from this, we decided we didn’t really want to put much else in here, to keep it as quite a multi-functional room. It’s where Husband keeps some of his guitars, and his amp, so he can best piss off our wall-sharing neighbour. It’s where we keep the weights, yoga mats and other exercise paraphernalia that take up space and are ugly to look at. Occasionally, it is actually used as a guest bedroom.
When I was about 9, we moved home and I was allowed to pick my own scheme for my new room, so I decided to have it painted yellow. Quite a bright canary yellow, which I wouldn’t be able to live with now, but I loved how sunny and bright and happy it felt in there, so now I’m a proper grown-up (when we have guests it still completely freaks me out!) I wanted to replicate that feeling in this room for our guests…
In terms of the design, it’s pretty much been cobbled together, although the main colourscheme of yellow and grey is one that I am a fan of. It’s quite sweet, but don’t worry, I am aware it’s not going to blow anyone’s socks off. Another example of how I’ve played it safe to not alienate potential buyers and kept budget really low, based on the understanding we won’t be living here for long.
The walls are a pale yellow – Dulux Daffodil White – and I decided on a vaguely coastal theme, based on a lighthouse painting we’d bought on a holiday to Devon years ago, and had never found a home for. I managed to find some really cute readymade curtains in a pale grey linen with white line drawings of a townscape – including lighthouses – from John Lewis and hung them from a white-painted pole.
The one part I did have some fun with, was some shelves in the previously-crack-tastic alcove. The shelves themselves were from Ikea and cost about £10, and fit excellently above the £20 Ikea chest of drawers to the left of the chimney breast. Aside from the price, I am actually really pleased with our choices – I’ve got a major crush on unfinished pine at the moment.
Anyway, I thought this would be a great place to display some of the random crap (for want of a better description) we’d accumulated over the years to brighten up the room a bit and make it more interesting. Bongos, paper-mache pig, sword, lanterns, holiday photos, ukulele, left over wedding decorations… You know, the usual.
This alcove is opposite the doorway, so it’s a fun view to have as you walk past, or enter the room.
Finishing touches, were the same carpet as the master bedroom – a grey-ish-beige polypropylene twist from John Lewis, a pale blue/grey framed oval mirror on the chimney breast, and a little paper lantern style light fitting.
I am aware the room still looks pretty bare, so sometime in the near future, I’d quite like to create a gallery on the wall above the radiator; every trip or holiday we take, we make sure to take a picture of the sunset – like the little beauty below from our Fijian honeymoon. I’ve got a couple in random frames already, but I’d love to get them all together and in white frames on this wall as I think the generic sunset colours of yellows, pinks, reds, oranges and the darker foregrounds would look great against the yellow walls.
To finish things off, I would like to add some fun cushions to the sofa bed, and a grey painted wood Venetian blind in the recess of the window, to complete the aforementioned “vaguely coastal” theme I’m going for, but I might have to severely twist Husband’s arm to convince it’s worth it!
Cushions – a selection from my favourite shop of the moment, H&M. Venetian bind – from John Lewis.
So, that’s all for now. If I get my backside into gear and get cracking on these finishing touches, I will post some updates along the way… But for now, I hope it’s a pretty, happy, cosy little space for our occasional guests!