Our Bedroom Project Part 2 – During

Part one showed you how our bedroom used to look and left you at the point where we had sold our old Ikea furniture, piled most of our clothes, shoes and junk into the spare bedroom and were about to move our brand new (back in 2013) bed into the office.

Here’s how that looked if you are interested! We were camping in the office for around a month while the later part of the work shown in the pictures below was carried out. It was fun at first, then it soon became less fun and felt like we were squating in the office!officeExcuse the mess and bags for life dumped on the bed. This is a very unstyled photo! The cat loved it though. As you can see her six hour naps were undisturbed during the renovations!wardrobesAbove is a little reminder of the old mirrored wardrobes and all the junk we crammed into them, with one door removed.popsSee above – Our cat is a champion sleeper.crack is wackThe crack of doom.I have no styleAbove – All the doors removed. With most of our stuff removed except for some of my bad fashion choices for all the interwebs to see in their full glory!ward 1Almost gone now! We also removed the dodgy spotlights from the ceiling as only one of them was working and decided not to bother reinstalling them. You can see in this photo where Rob had patched the holes up with plaster board.messThe mess from another angle.plaster casterceilingdoorAfter ripping out the wardrobes we could see that the house originally had two built in wardrobes in the main bedroom and one built in cupboard/wardrobe in the second bedroom.

I will say it again – I have beef with people who rip out original features to replace them with horrible DIY replacements. If it aint broke don’t fix it!

Below is a badly cropped partial floor plan taken from Right Move to show what I mean, how the top floor was originally built.bad croppingRather than any original features/handy storage, we just inherited walls that needed a lot of work. Before Rob put up the plasterboard to cover where the middle door would have been, he wrote this little message on the wall below – what a soppy so and so!brandedThen covered it up.wallWe ripped up the old carpet.floorboardsAnd removed the radiator in preparation for the plasterer.no radBelow – A shot of the other side of the room.bedroom beforeNext we had the walls and ceiling plastered.plasterplaster 2plaster 3all whiteUnfortunately our plasterer mixed up his plaster wrong and it started flaking away as you can see in the photo below. So we had to get him back round to repair it. We are still having a few issues with the plastering. Yeah, not great. But shit happens. No biggie. And now is not the time to go in to it.

crackBelow – After the repair. We also fitted brand new skirting boards. We used the same sized wood as the original skirting, in keeping with the house. We had to replace the original as sanding, filling and repairing it would have taken forever and not made much difference to its battered appearance. It would have been cheaper though. Replacing woodwork costs a small fortune! It is a hidden cost on DIY projects – please be warned people!fixedStay tuned for part 3 – the big reveal! Coming soon! (Once I have actually taken the photos that is!)

Our Bedroom Part 1 – Before

Today I am finally ready to start sharing the transformation of our bedroom. We started this project back at the beginning of 2013. In fact I blogged about our plans here and here. Then I hardly mentioned the bedroom again, except to acknowledge that it would take me a while to blog my before and after post!

True to my word as always, now that we have finished the last few little details, like wiring in a plug and hanging the artwork, I am finally ready to blog about this room.

As you may have already noticed, I do tend to overshare when it comes to stuff about our house, so to keep thing relatively short and (semi) interesting, I am going to publish three posts – a before, a during and an after.

Right, lets get started and share some photos, and I will walk and talk you through the before state of the room!

bedroom b4 1Where do I start with this photo? We had a messy, unorganised book shelf that did not match the rest of the furniture, a pugly waste bin in full view in the corner (surely that is bad feng shui or something?), some pictures just hung on random nails that were sticking out of the walls, unmade bed with a pile of rubbish on it, nik-naks unarranged, tester paint patches and a mug which needed taking downstairs to the kitchen!bed 3When we first moved into our house, this room did not have any curtains. Just a broken curtain pole left behind on the floor (Nice touch. Thanks for that former owners!) So off we went to Dunelm where I selected some plain white curtains, as I wanted nice simple curtains that would not dominate the room.

After we fitted a new pole and hung them, which in itself was a job and a half being a bay window with zero space between the top of the windows and the ceiling, within days the cat had ruined them with her claws as she was bored stupid with not being allowed to go outside for 6 weeks. The little moo!

They were blackout curtains, and did a decent job of keeping the light pollution out. Thats apart from the many little pin prick holes that her claws had left behind! Poppy’s claws created a constellation type of effect which was kind of cute. Except when you wanted to sleep. And yes, white was a bad choice of colour, they did get a little grubby. Hindsight, eh!bed 2

Above – A dark photo of our unmade old bed, piles of junk on the floor and a broken stereo.

bed4Above – Robs arm reflected in the mirror and a pile of cushions and our draft excluder from the lounge on the bed. BTW I have no idea why they are in this photo. Maybe it was taken when we were having carpet fitted in the lounge?

We inherited the magnolia walls, which we eagerly painted samples on when we first moved in. We then lived with the reminders of my dashed hopes/bad decisions on the walls for around two years, until the time was right to decorate. Its amazing the difference between the colour on the chart and the colour that goes on your wall, paint drys so dark!

bed 5Above is our main peeve about the old bedroom – the mirrored wardrobes. I hate seeing my refection, I dodge mirrors like I dodge cameras. These things were enormous, but I managed to get used to avoiding my reflections eye. They were at the top of our hit list of things to go as they were rusty, falling to bits and not to our style.bed 6Right, thats the full 360° of the old bedroom in all its glory! I cannot believe how messy we used to be,I have got a stress headache just looking back at these photos!

In the photo above you can almost see the cracks on the ceiling and how bad the plastering was. When we viewed our property, I remember the previous owner proudly telling us that he had stripped off all the woodchip wallpaper from the walls. Lets just say that he stripped most of it off! There were a few missed patches and lots of nicks in the plaster work from his scraper. He then painted the room with a satin finish paint which really highlighted all the imperfections. See above the radiator for reference. We knew that when we came to decorating this room we would have to cough up the extra cash to get a professional plasterer around to repair the damage.

Next, we moved our bed into the second bedroom (which is Robs office where he works from home) and set about demolishing the wardrobes. Stay tuned for part two!

Early Birthday Stuff 2014

Its my birthday in a few weeks, and this year I have received my present from Rob early. I GOT A BIKE PEOPLE!!!

Yup, a brand new shiny bike! I am such a lucky girl with a great* other half who is far too generous.

To be honest the bike is not a huge surprise. It has been a long time coming. Rob wanted to buy me one for Xmas, but I would not let him as we had no room in the out buildings to store it. (OMG out buildings sounds so much posher than shed! The reality is that they are three small structures built out of asbestos that used to house the crapper and store coal back in the day!) I reasoned that I would not use it until spring and I did not want him to spend a lot on me.

When I say a long time coming, I mean years! Rob is a keen cyclist. Riding pretty much daily for exercise and fun, owning both road and mountain bikes, entering races, doing the London to Brighton and all the rest. To be honest I often wonder what the neighbours must think with the amount of lycra that I peg out on my line!

Needless to say Rob has been trying to convince me that I should join him riding for a long, long time. Pretty much for the duration of our relationship in fact.

Finally last summer, as documented on here, I relented and agreed to hire a bike and give cycling a go. The truth is that for the last few years on our annual family holidays, Rob, my BIL, Dad, sister and the nephews have been enjoying leisurely bike rides together and I had been waving them off secretly wishing that I was with them.

So we tested the water by hiring a bike for me at Bewl Water (boom! Did you see what I did there?!!) Even though I pedalled for much further than I thought I was going to and everything that I thought I would hate happened – like the steep hills, sore arse, perspiring, tiredness, thirst and sunburn etc. For some twisted, f***ed up reason, for as much as I hated it, I enjoyed it. At the end of the day it was all about doing an activity with my loved ones and making memories together. After all thats what its all about. No pain no gain, eh!family bikers

Not documented on here was that time I hired a better brand of mountain bike at Bedgebury Park where I did an epic skid, impressing Rob and a passing cyclist, all because a fly flew on my mouth and I panicked! Pleugh!

Laughing and Instagramming my skid! There was an old woman who swallowed a fly.....

Me laughing and Instagramming my skid mark! There was an old woman who swallowed a fly…..!

Next came the battle between Rob and I of what bike to buy. As much as I would love to own a cute Bobbins or Pashley bike with a wicker basket to put all my farmers market vegetables and baguettes in (dream on Hels), practicality wins. Like my dull dress sense, my bike choice is all about substance over style, about comfort and ease of use and not following any particular trend. And like most of my wardrobe, the colour of my new bike is not a cute pastel colour, but a nice slimming grey-black. Safe and boring FTW!

Image of the Birdie 2014 from bobbin bikes.co.uk

Not my bike. Image of the Birdie 2014 from bobbin bikes.co.uk

Because I know nothing about bikes I let Rob bore guide me on my choice and we ended up buying a mid range mountain bike with disc brakes. We chose a mountain bike because the type of riding I will be doing is off road (flat) family trails in parks and woodland. I am far too chicken to ride the on road with cars and lorrys etc.

As a natural tight arse, I wanted a basic, bottom of the range mountain bike. I reasoned that I would only be using it in at weekends and in the summertime on holidays, so it was not worth spending a lot. However Rob being a total bike nerd (and a Cube brand devote) argued that it is worth paying more for a lighter frame, bigger wheels, better gears, better suspension and better brakes.

Me being me, thought whatever, brakes are brakes. But having rode hire bikes with both the standard and disc brakes, I agreed that you can tell the difference. And so, here I am now, the proud owner of the cheapest women’s mountain bike in my frame size** with disc brakes that we could find. Compromise baby, thats what its all about in our household! Plus the nice man at Halfords gave us an extra £40 off!

My new bike! Image from Halfords.com.

My new bike! Image from Halfords.com.

Rob is picking up and paying for my bike today and my new helmet has already been delivered. We are off to Bedgebury on Sunday to do the smaller family trail. Hurrah!!

*Most of the time. Except when he is winding me up.
**I needed a 15″- 16″. Teenager size and hard to find in semi-decent bikes apparently.