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It's been a busy weekend, featuring a Hen Party of awesome at Bath Spa, shifting of a recalcitrant sofa through a freshly-painted doorway, and an attempt to shame next door's cats into not peeing on the front garden by planting pansies in the bare patches.

But, just before the working week begins, time for a walk through the new bedroom:

Step 1: walls and floor

The walls were woodchip. I have a horror of woodchip dating back to childhood hours spent hallucinating at woodchip ceilings in the dim light of a sleepy bulb in the hours between bedtime and unconsciousness. The woodchip had to go. A rickety scoring tool took me down through the three layers of paint over the wood chip (grey, cream, and a lilac accent wall) then I took the steamer over it, first my rubbish steamer, then a rather better bit of kit borrowed from fellow member of the Guild of Lady Handywomen, Joella. The woodchip lifted, and under it was a further three layers of paint -- dusky pink, sage green, and an inexplicable purple alcove. There was also a mustard yellow colour, so decayed that it was barely a dusting of powder over the plaster. This I only discovered when it began to drift up through the layers of one-coat white, like a chilling memory of bedrooms past. We defeated it in the end, along with the crack of horror, the holes of doom, and the places where the plaster didn't quite reach the ceiling/skirting boards/doorframe.

light and space new floor

Then the floor; the dirty carpet in indistinct swirls of dark blue and charcoal grey peeled up to reveal gappy floorboards stained dark with something that smelled suspiciously like creosote, the occasional puddle of adhering carpet underlay marking the passage of many small, incontinent dogs, and paint-splashes of all the aforementioned colours. That all had to be sanded off, nail heads banged in, gaps filled with tiny black rubber sausages, and then any damage to the paintwork repaired before the great varnishing. This is Ronseal Diamond Hard Light Oak, which does a nice job of reflecting morning light:

close up

IKEA bed Mandal is not a light build. It does, however, respect the (lack of) space typical of Oxford bedrooms. Those nifty drawers took all our linens and still had space for bags and pyjamas.

mandal assembled cat shelves

The IKEA Expedit system featured a large unit that would fit across the larger of the twwo alcoves. We had this theory (fortunately correct) that all the clothes we currently had in our drawers could be put into this unit. Those slide-in fabric drawers caused some ructions. The ones intended for the Expedit unit were available in black or pink, and being neither princesses nor goths, we didn't really want that. After much IKEA stress we found these white, almost-fitting cubes in the laundry section which do very well.

chest of drawers her side of the bed

Finding a full-length compact wardrobe proved surprisingly difficult. Our memories of IKEA's compact version of their full-length system (complete with coloured glass doors in green or blue glass) turned out to be sadly outdated. Judging by the numbers of furrowed brows in the wardrobe corner we weren't the only ones feeling a bit judged on account of our inadequate available space. This simple box from the Futon Company was an easy build and fits everything -- just. The box on top has smart shirts and other seldom-used garments, the valet stand stops stuff from ending up all over the floor. Mostly. Plus a bonus picture of the cats chilling on the old futon just before it went down the tip.

interim arrangements getting to know you

One of the nicest things about the new arrangement is that there's space on both sides of the bed for a decent bed-side table. meaning we can pursue very different ideas of suitable quantities of clutter, reading material, etc.

his alarm clock her alarm clock small things

The panel blinds are another IKEA system, I forget the name. There are two green panels and one cream, and we've attached the metal fittings to a wooden back-plate varnished the same colour as the floor. This was for practical reasons (it's a hard wall to drill, so we adapted the existing system) but ended up looking very good. Finishing touches: the stained glass mirror came from the Hologram Shop in town, I'd been admiring it for weeks before I cracked and bought it. The white LED light is from nowhere special, B&Q probably. The octopus dates back to the time when beanie babies came in many interesting species.

fair trade mirror accessorising mandal


( 13 worms — Feed the birds )
20th Sep, 2010 08:23 (UTC)
A valet stand is such a great idea for those things which you wear more than once!
20th Sep, 2010 11:48 (UTC)
It's not been out of use at any point since I bought it, which is a solid indicator of usefulness.
20th Sep, 2010 09:02 (UTC)
Whew, that took a lot of industry! looks veh fine, though.
20th Sep, 2010 10:42 (UTC)
May well have a similar rescue job to do on various floorboarded rooms in the nearish future.

Are these black rubber sausages laid all the way along every gap between boards, or did you just use them in the odd larger gap? Do they make it basically flat (once varnished in/over)?
20th Sep, 2010 12:05 (UTC)
No, some boards were laid tightly enough we didn't need to -- it doesn't matter because it's charcoal grey and sits a little (a few millimentres) below the floorboard level, so just looks like the shadow between the floorboards. So it's not quite flat, but anything that drops between the boards just rests on the sausage and is easily retrieved. We filled anything with enough space to lose a wedding ring/ earring and left the rest. You put it in with a plastic pizza cutter type device -- here's the link =- it was quick to do, too

20th Sep, 2010 17:26 (UTC)
oooh, that looks useful to know about
Our floorboards were done years ago before I bought the house, but there are some places where the filling in the gaps has come out. Sounds like I could get this for a bit of a top-up. Or - did you have any spare that wasn't used up?
20th Sep, 2010 19:23 (UTC)
Re: oooh, that looks useful to know about
Yes, we overbought -- didn't even use half of it. You want to borrow the applicator and use as much draftex as you need?
20th Sep, 2010 20:26 (UTC)
Re: oooh, that looks useful to know about
Yes please, that would be great!

I am also a fan of valet stands, re other comments above.
21st Sep, 2010 07:17 (UTC)
20th Sep, 2010 19:12 (UTC)
I like the clean lines and Ikea simplicity, (I have no Ikea fear - sensible modern design works for me.) I'm intrigued by the headboard thing - and the cunning cantilevers.
20th Sep, 2010 19:26 (UTC)
There's a secret little metal plate holding them in place round the back -- cunning! It still alarms me a bit when Harley uses it as a diving board, though...
20th Sep, 2010 21:52 (UTC)
Truly an Ikean vision
Sounds like cathartic work getting rid of the hideous wall-coverings...
24th Sep, 2010 09:38 (UTC)
The bedroom looks great. And thanks again for help with sofa-shifting.
( 13 worms — Feed the birds )