Usually when people talk about decorating their smallest room, we all know which room they have in mind. But for us our smallest room isn't that room at all, but our porch. It's so small that I doubt many people take more than two steps in it at a time, you can reach both the walls without having to stretch your arms hardly at all, but it does provide a bit of a buffer between our main living room and the busy road outside.
It's also a functional space holding our fuse board and electricity meter along with our recycling, a few pairs of shoes, my wellies for the allotment and an umbrella or two. What it hasn't been for quite a while is pretty. But on Sunday afternoon that all changed.
Hanging the pigeon shelves
In an unexpected spate of activity we hung the pigeon shelves which we'd bought a while back from Dormy House. We'd bought them unfinished in the sale, unfinished because we weren't certain what colour to choose and because they were significantly cheaper that way. My reasoning was if we bought them painted and then changed our minds it wouldn't be so cost effective, and as there was a strong likelihood that we would change our minds we (the Royal we, that is) might as well paint them to start with. Completely sensical, yes?
Well MOH needed some convincing, but he dutifully set about painting the units - we bought two sets, and my original plan was to hang them both in this small space. That's the bit that changed in the end, but more on that later. With one set of shelves painted MOH was keen to get it hung on the wall and out of the way in the Conservatory, which had turned into his painting studio for the duration.
In the end we chose Farrow & Ball Old White for the shelves, which is the same colour (and paint type - so not another tin of paint to store) we'd used on the bookcase and radiator cover in our main living area. The walls are Farrow & Ball Skimming Stone, so all very neutral and purposefully so. The only problem was that it was, well a bit beige. Or grey, depending on your viewpoint.
I didn't mind that so much as it's not a room we spend much time in, and having these neutral colours means it's relatively easy to keep clean. And with it being so small, let's face it it doesn't take long to give it a coat of paint. It is probably the most painted room in our house!
Adding some colour
A while back I'd been gifted a selection of Prestigious Textiles' new Java range, well looking at it again I realised that it matched quite nicely with our updated colour scheme now we planned to add Ocean (blue) and Mustard (yellow) chairs to our downstairs space. So I set about making a faux Roman blind with one of the fabrics.
I've mentioned it before but the sewing in this blind was minimal. Instead of being challenged by the sewing, as expected it was two of my other loves that came into play - ironing and maths! And if you're wondering why it's a faux Roman blind, we never pull the blind here so it didn't need to cover the window, it just needed to be deep enough to dress the window.
It looks quite good, I think. And does inject some much needed colour into the space. I still need to get a cleat and find something suitable to act as a toggle for the blind cord, but all in good time...
So with my Roman blind hung and my pigeon shelves on the wall, it was time to collect some of the items I've been saving to store in them. My aim is to add colour to the porch with the items we store here, but to keep it functional and as cohesive as I can too. The black treacle tin has used stamps, while the golden syrup tin is holding the batteries we need to recycle. I love these classic tins and giving them a new use, but I think I'll have to keep my eye on them in case they just happen to fall into the recycling basket below with help from MOH when I'm not looking!
The Indian Tiffin set was a birthday present and I knew it'd look good here. I haven't worked out if I'll use it to store anything yet, but it does make me smile each time I walk past.
The other purpose for the pigeon shelves was to store some of our cycling gear - we knew they wouldn't be large enough for helmets, but I've an idea for those (not yet implemented, of course).
I've added the mini cool bag I use when we take lunch out cycling, and inside there's a flask with the same pattern. Some pretty tins, and some notebooks, you know the sort of stuff.
MOH has added a saddle bag and a pump - can you tell which of us is the less frou-frou?
Ah well, they're supposed to be functional too - but perhaps I could make a little curtain for the less pretty sections...
So it's been quite a while coming together, but finally I think we're there. Our porch - our smallest room - is starting to add prettiness to its purpose.
And that second set of pigeon shelves?
Well they'd be perfect in what I call my craft room and what MOH still calls the study. There's only one wall they can go on in there, so I need to work out how to make it work - and choose a colour, because I'm not sure this colour would work so much, and I might need to repaint some of the walls too, to get it just right.
But I'm starting to plan, and starting to be quite excited about filling it with craft supplies. MOH will no doubt roll his eyes and not understand why I need all that stuff, but I'll remind him he can call the spare room with his records and dart board his own, I think...