Between Christmas and New Year’s (yes, last year) Matt had a handy week off work. Brilliant, we thought, we’ll do a ‘little’ home renovating DIY project to keep the holidays interesting, get it knocked over in a week and back to work you go! Easy. Let’s just say that seven weeks later, we were still sleeping on the sunroom floor… But let’s go back to the start shall we?
Our little ol’ farmhouse is severely lacking in the storage department. As in…there is none. Zero. Zilch. Nada. No wardrobes. No linen press. No pantry. No cupboards at all in this house unless it’s of the freestanding from Bunnings or Ikea variety. Nothing overly unusual there, we have never lived in a farmhouse with wardrobes, but the wall behind our bedroom door was just begging us to be transformed into one. “I could do that!” says the handy husband. “Go for it” says the perplexed wife about the storage situation. Plans were drawn up, measurements taken, a shopping list written, and off to Bunnings with the trailer we went. Matt and his dad had the frame for the wardrobe knocked up in a day on the bedroom floor…
Then came the ‘fun’ parts – removing cornice (which of course is the kind which can’t be replaced/sourced from blooming Mars so we had to very carefully try and save it to replace around the new eventual wardrobe), removing the skirting boards, moving a power point, cutting out the lino… Whilst all this was happening we got to thinking…we were basically going to have to re-paint a third of the room, we might as well do the whole thing. And gee those floorboards under that hideous faux-timber lino look good, let’s pull it all up. And if we’re repainting we need to do something about a picture rail. Oooooh look! Pretty new curtains on sale! Bugger it, let’s go bed shopping…
You see what’s happening here? Some may say ‘snowball’ – I say avalanche.
So it was on. Bedroom blitz, of the Brindabella variety. New paint, new curtains, new bed, new light fitting, new bedside tables. Before we lifted the internal framework of the wardrobe into place against the wall, we painted the whole room…with the big ol’ frame in the middle of the room. Who put that there?! It was pretty quickly determined that being a painter was not our dream job. The walls were in a rough condition, so we tried to sand and plaster in patches as best we could, removing the old ‘picture rail’ (which was actually just square bits of plaster to hide the gap where the upper and lower plaster sheets of the wall met). We replaced with proper timber picture rail, with a bull-nose edge that you can actually hang pictures off, novel! Our squared cornice proved a nightmare to paint, so many edges! As did our battens on the ceiling, which meant a lot of brush work instead of majority roller work on the ceiling.
We went with good ol’ Dulux Antique White USA for the paint colour – it is my absolute favourite shade of white, and as it’s so popular and pre-mixed in most hardware stores it seems a lot of others agree. Our little cottage we once lived in was painted in Antique White USA throughout and I loved it, ever since I’ve been dreaming of a whole house decked out it again. The crisp, but warm, white immediately transformed the room from it’s drab yellowy-cream – ugh! And the first rule of painting (ceiling white!) can never be underestimated in my opinon, especially with lovely 12′ ceilings like ours. Ah, much better!
Back to the wardrobe works…Matt built the framework around it and then plastering began. It all seems so simple now to just type it, but in reality it was a few more trips to Bunnings, a lot of nights sanding, then plastering, then sanding, then plastering…doing bits and pieces after work as we could, we never spent a full day on the wardrobe really, that would’ve made things all too easy!
But finally we seemed to be getting somewhere – the upper doors were constructed and painted (and re-painted…and re-painted…the OCD husband made me do a THIRD coat on the INSIDE of the doors because they weren’t perfect! I wish I were joking). Clever husband re-built and re-instated the cornice, he did a flipping fantastic job with it, considering just what he had to work with and never having plastered before! Overall, the plastering job has turned out beautifully – a truly professional job done by an amateur builder wannabe! (Although, I must add being a plasterer is also not high on the dream jobs list). Skirting boards were also replaced and architraves added (and picture rail bits and pieces) to make it look really built in, like it had always been there! Finally, after weeks and weeks, we could see it all coming together…and I couldn’t stop dreaming of all the stuff I could shove in there – ha!
Finishing up the room kicked into high gear – we finished off painting the room, the architraves and sash windows, another coat on the ceiling, painting, taping, sanding, painting, painting…
With all the painting finally finished, high-fives all round, we were ready to put the final touches on the room (and move back in!) Stay tuned for Episode #2 of our bedroom blitz…and the final ‘after’ shots!