So today I thought I'd start sharing how we got on decorating our bedroom. We moved back into our bedroom at the beginning of December and while the decorating's done, there's still a few more things I want to sort out - like new bedding, some pictures and a new alarm clock - before I class it as completely done.
But back to the decorating. Our bedroom was long overdue some attention as it was last decorated shortly after we moved in back in 2002. We thought it would be decorated in 2013 as part of the Phase 1 decorations and we keenly ripped up the carpet and sold and dismantled the wardrobes in anticipation. But that was before we had The Builder Troubles when work stalled as we were unhappy with the quality of their work and prevented them from starting any new work until we were satisfied with the work done so far.
To cut a very long story short that meant our bedroom and the spare bedroom didn't get decorated, nor did some of the walls in our living room as we couldn't bear to have them in our house any longer. They were keen to put things right but after two and a bit months of a "four-week job" we'd had enough, so prices were re-negotiated and the damage caused was repaired and some seven long weeks later they were gone. It was very painful and stressful and not something I ever want repeated.
Understandably that made me super cautious about getting our bedroom decorated and to be honest, I delayed it for as long as I could as I was fearful of experiencing the same again. Thankfully though I got brave enough to call some decorators that had been personally recommended and with prices agreed we were off again, just a year or so later than we originally planned.
We're lucky to have a similarly-sized spare bedroom on the floor above us, so we moved lock, stock and side-tables up there. Our bed was dismantled and stored in the spare bedroom, the mattress leaning against it. Our temporary clothes rail (that was starting to feel more permanent) moved up with us, and we found spaces for the things we needed everyday and camped out in our top bedroom for the duration.
Moving everything into the top bedroom took a day which worked out well as MOH was out after work the next night and I thought it'd be a bit mean for him to come home and discover he'd moved rooms... Or worse still, for him to not realise!
Once the room was clear - apart from a chest of drawers that we had no space to move to - my next task was to rip up the underlay and get rid of it, luckily the council obliged with the latter. Once it was up though I was able to admire the full glory of what I can only assume to be a previous owner's decorating experiment - a section of the hardboard painted gloss red. Yes red, complete with paint splashes...
While the underlay and carpet were up we decided to do what we could to alleviate the squeaky floorboards - it's an old house, it's going to squeak occasionally but we thought some care and attention and extra screws in the floorboards would help. And mostly they have, especially when we discovered a whole section of floorboards neither nailed or screwed down and most likely that way since 2002 when we had the lighting done.
With the decorator arriving the next day that last weekend was spent making sure the floor was as squeak-free as it could be. Well that and freeing MOH from the bathroom when he got locked in there. In my defence I thought he was hammering the floor, not the door and it was getting angrier and louder so I delayed heading upstairs to "help" - well who wants to be in the same room as an angry DIY-er? Except that when I did head upstairs I discovered he wasn't in our bedroom at all. A neighbour's shoulder charge, a call to and visit from the locksmith and a cheque later MOH wasn't really up for any DIY, a stiff drink was more like it.
But the floor got done, squeaks eradicated and the hardboard was back in place before the decorator arrived, even though there was some late Sunday night DIY activity!
And so the decorator brought his things in. Things were immediately different as he had proper dust sheets (not the plastic kind) and wasn't afraid to use them (they don't do much left in the packets), he kept his tools and paint tidily in the room being decorated (not strewn throughout the house) and he dropped the spotlights down, loosened light switches and plug sockets and removed picture hooks rather than just painting sort of around them or simply painting over them.
Seriously we'd experienced all of this before, so it was a refreshing change.
With the prep completed it was time for the new paint colour. Yippee. Finally!
We chose Farrow & Ball's Dove Tale for the majority of walls (and it looks greyer than it does on that link), with a colour similar to Wimborne White which is softer than the more usual brilliant white for the ceiling and woodwork. For the wall behind our bed, and at 5 metres the longest in the room we choose the black, gold and silver colourway of this Wisteria wallpaper. It's bold but we both liked it as soon as we saw it, it's not cheap but on our previous decorating record I reckon it's good for a while yet!
Originally I wanted the wallpaper to cover the beams and pillars that "frame" the main wall. However when we measured them, our measurements confirmed what our eyes already told us - none of them were straight, or square or in fact in any way uniform. This meant hanging wallpaper and getting the pattern to look right would be tricky. With our previous decorating experiences behind us, this seemed a trickiness too far and more stress (for us and any decorator) than we wanted to deal with.
My solution was to paint them black to match the black background of the wallpaper, which is Off Black. Our decorator wasn't so sure, but my mind was made up and quite frankly, as he said he'd paint it any colour we wanted as we were paying. So with that settled, he got the black (or off black) paint out and began.
I'll admit at this stage it does look odd and MOH was beginning to waiver too, but alongside the rest of the room and the wallpaper it was the right thing to do. Even the decorator came around once the room was finished. So much so that you'd have thought it was his own idea. Hmmmn.
With the painting and wallpapering done, it was time to choose a new carpet - this needed some clever thinking as I wanted to be able to have the same carpet in our bedroom and the spare bedroom next door, without having too much wastage and spending a small fortune. In the end I opted for this Alternative Flooring wool cord carpet in Ochre that came in 4 metre and 5 metre widths.
We still have a bit of spare carpet - mostly from the cut out from the curved wall - but our plan is to use that in our porch later this year. Our porch is small so we've probably enough to carpet it and have a spare!
With the carpet laid, along came the wardrobes, which you've already seen, see Love this 55: Zipped storage boxes. Then all we were waiting for was our new curtains. But I'm going to leave it there for now and next time will show you our finished bedroom (well without those final touches I mentioned before).