Deep in the annals of my sleep deprived mind circa late-2016, I was sure that I had blogged our progress in renovating Harriet’s nursery… but somehow, along the way I blogged about Eleanor’s big girl room (which was renovated at the same time as Harriet’s) but have relegated Harriet’s room transformation to those hazy, screaming-newborn-busy-two-year-old days. And now here we are hurtling towards the middle of 2018. Far out Brussel sprout.
The week after Harriet was born and we came home from hospital to our cosy little farmhouse to hibernate by the fire, Matt and Eleanor were struck with gastro. Yup. Excellent. At this time we thought it entirely appropriate to start renovating both the girls bedrooms, including pulling all of the plaster off the walls and replacing, re-hanging new cornice, new picture rails, painting and laying new carpet. Oh and building floor to ceiling built in wardrobes, entirely custom built by Matt to suit what we needed. Aaaaaaand Matt went interstate for three days with work the day after I got home from hospital with shouty-Harriet and bossy-knocked-off-her-perch-Eleanor. Gastro may have been his karma. I’m starting to see why this has taken me two years to rub two brain cells together and post these photos.
Anyway, here we are nonetheless! Harriet’s bedroom renovations looked a little like this to begin with:
We replaced all of the plasterboard (as we did in Eleanor’s room), but in Harriet’s we had the bright idea to put in insulation – I don’t know why we didn’t do this in Eleanor’s???!!! But what’s done is done now…and so Harriet’s room is the only room in the house which holds a relative amount of heat/cool, which for a baby’s nursery was really the best scenario of any room of the house. Our wood heater in the lounge room keeps our small home toasty, but as soon as we put the girls to sleep and shut their doors the lounge room becomes a sauna and their rooms fridges! We have looked into putting a ducted system into the roof to push the hot air from the lounge room into the bedrooms…it’s still on the (never ending) renovating wish list/to-do list. Stay tuned for that blog post in 2020 if it happens sometime soon.
Behind the door is where we built the wardrobe – I did have a brief thought to do a wardrobe either side of the window and make a window seat…but it wouldn’t have made the most of the space available, and in our little shack space is at a premium. I think it also would have made the south-facing room a lot darker with a built-in wardrobe around the window. Just like the wardrobe’s Matt built in our bedroom and Eleanor’s bedroom, he made the initial frame out of melamine, including a section for wire drawers which we bought from Bunnings. Also just like our wardrobe and Eleanor’s, we built the wardrobe to the roof with a larger cupboard up above and two swing open doors. Stored up in this area is a box of our wedding memorabilia and my wedding dress, the baby play mat, the jolly jumper, baby toys the girls are a bit big for now and tubs of toys which I rotate (when I remember!) As we have higher than average ceilings, 12 foot I think, we really needed to utilise the vertical space. Up up up! We then sourced vintage doors, the same as the other wardrobes in the house, this time from Hughes Renovators Paradise. I don’t love these doors as much as the ones in our room or Eleanor’s, but it came down to a case of beggars can’t be choosers! I think particularly with the grey walls, these doors seem too red/orange. The ones in Eleanor’s room are a beautiful pale, more blonde timber look, but it may just be her white walls which cast them in that light.
Next came new picture rail and paint – the ‘fun’ part…except painting always seems like a more fun idea than it actually is. In reality it was a lot of Matt painting into the wee hours of the night whilst I rocked and rocked and rocked a screaming Harriet in front of the fire. Gooooood times… thank heavens for Eleanor who was a super champion sleeper at that point in time, so we didn’t have to deal with that (not so much now…although that has improved a lot in the past week or so!)
I was keen to do the same paint colour as in our bedroom and Eleanor’s bedroom – Antique White USA for the win! Once upon a time we had the surprise delight to be able to choose the interior colour of our little cottage when we were managing a beef property near Yea, a complete shock to the system if you’ve been in farm management – you just take what you’re given and don’t ask for more! My excited response? A resounding Antique White USA throughout, thanks very much. But Matt put his foot down on ‘boring white white white everything’ and wanted to do a grey in this bedroom. Ok, fine. I wasn’t opposed to a grey nursery anyway, classic without being too girly, and would look nice with a crisp white cornice, window and picture rail. Speaking of which, we put new bullnose picture rail up, instead of the ‘faux’ picture rail which was in every room (and still in our lounge/dining) and is very much not picture rail at all. For the perfect grey, after much research, I decided on Dulux’s ‘Dieskau’, with my beloved Antique White USA as the trim white.
You may have noted our floorboards…gorgeous aren’t they? But we made the decision to put carpets in the bedrooms, much to my initial shock and horror at that decision, it has truly been the right decision. Our very, very, very cold old weatherboard house is extremely drafty. When I vacuum, the faux-timber lino comes up and beneath I see the rabbits scurrying around under our house. So yes, we need carpet in our bedrooms. I am (now) at peace with that. The decision to put carpet over our boards was made easier by the fact that in the main kitchen/dining/lounge of our house there are strange hodge-lodge arrangements of various boards of differing eras and stages of the life of our 1930’s house, and irregular concrete squares where the old wood stove used to be. So, we wouldn’t be polishing the boards in the rest of the house anyway, which made the decision for me really.
Carpet was purchased, and laid, decision made, and I actually love the carpet! Enter Matt looking quite smug. We bought the carpet through Fowles auctions, and to be honest I would never buy new carpet now – so cheap and brand new! I was completely skeptical about the whole buying carpet at auction situation, I was very clear that it had to be carpet that I would otherwise buy off the shelf. Turns out I got exactly what I had envisaged, for less than half the price. No brainer.
And so the ‘bones’ of a nursery for Harriet were complete – new plaster, new cornice, new picture rail, new paint, new carpet, new built-in wardrobe. Obviously as this was all happening, Harriet was a little baby still in a bassinet (sleeping, if you can call it that, beside the fire in the lounge room) so didn’t need a bedroom. But! I highly recommend you renovate and decorate a nursery before the baby arrives. Learn from me, please! Ai yi yi… We got there in the end, and I will share the completed room in another blog post shortly, lest you want the world’s most epic blog post. In the meantime, here’s a little teaser…
See you with the rest soon!
And by soon, I definitely mean sooner than in two years time. Definitely.