A map on my wall

It's been a little while since my post on loving maps, and the fear of wallpaper but the good news is the map is on the wall, and I love it.  Things didn't turn out quite as I planned for the actual putting it on the wall part, and so I didn't have to face my fear of wallpapering after all.

I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly my Wallsauce mural arrived, in fact I couldn't believe it was here just a few days after I'd made my choice, they most certainly don't hang about.  It arrived well packaged too, in a sturdy cardboard tube within a wallpaper sized cardboard box. There was wallpaper paste too, and as I discovered a visual plan as well as some written instructions, which are also available online.



But because life happens we needed to change our plans of tackling this ourselves. I'm certain we made the right decision as not only were we nervous wallpaperers but our attention, and time, has been taken up by those life events I mentioned on Monday, and neither of us wanted to ruin, or even slightly mess up, what is quite honestly, beautiful wallpaper.

And so we asked our conservatory builders to do the job for us, or the decorator anyway - I use builders as a generic term, and were confident they were up to the job, I wouldn't have asked otherwise.  They were just as keen as us to see what was inside the package that arrived, and so we peeked.  My first view was of Alaska (from Panel 1 of the plan above), and I was smitten, although in truth I think it could have been anywhere and I'd have had the same reaction, because as I said in my first post, because, well maps.

A peak at Alaska on the Wallsauce map mural

Now the builders had seen the wallpaper, they were keen to see the wall it was going on, which was the tricky bit, as we'd yet to tell them it was the curved wall around our spiral staircase.  Their faces were a picture, and while they might have been a little incredulous they were soon checking the wall for what prep needed to be done.

I know from dad that it's all in the preparation, so I wasn't surprised to come home to a wall with some extra filler.  Actually it was great to see tradesmen taking pride in their work, reading the instructions that came with the wallpaper, consulting with us and confident in their skills to do a job well, that we'd all be happy with.



But of course where filler goes, dust follows.  Luckily I'd thought this through and moved the duvet and as much as I could out of the room.  The room was covered with plastic sheets and dust sheets, but my reasoning was if it's not there in the first place it's not going to get dusty, is it?  And that's something I'd recommend, even if a builder says there'll be no dust.  As it's likely your definition of no dust will be different to theirs!

The result which wowed

I'd been keen to follow progress as the paper went up, and cups of tea were made, proffered and gratefully received so I could keep a bit of an eye on proceedings.  And progress was quick, relatively speaking (and definitely much quicker than I would have done) and the paper, and the design got the thumbs up from the builder too.

Even among the dust and detritus it was clear this was something spectacular.  I hadn't thought how having a map on a curved wall would give it a "globe" effect, but of course now it's been pointed out I'm going to claim that as the idea all along, what do you think?

A map on a round wall has a globe life effect

In my first post I shared my potential choices from the world map wallpaper section on the Wallsauce site, but didn't share which one I'd chosen.  This is the Antique world map and is the perfect choice for our room as it tones well with the wardrobe, and as both are things that I expect to be around for some time, that's a good thing.

the americas next to the wardrobe

The more eagle-eyed among you will have already spotted that Australia and New Zealand are missing (sorry guys!) - my wall just wasn't big enough to get you in and I chose to include all of the Americas, rather than cutting that off of the final design.  It's nothing personal, but as we're more likely to travel to the States it made sense to have that on our wall, as I'm pretty sure this wall is now going to become a key tool in our travel planning,

I wasn't expecting to be able to choose where to make the cut on the design, but thinking about it logically it makes sense as not all walls will be the same size, and not all images work if stretched to peculiar dimensions.  In fact the customisable-ness of the image size and position is one of the pluses, and imagine how this could work if you chose your own image. It was also easy to do on the site and to check your design.

You'll see that our map has a textured effect (look to the right of the text South Atlantic Ocean in the photo below) and that's in the wallpaper design rather than actually being raised, and it's very effective and I think adds to the overall result.

A wallsauce mural map on my wall

I mentioned that we would most likely use this while planning our trips, but it's already had its first use when at the weekend I looked to see where England's game against Panama was taking place in the World Cup.  You can clearly see Nizhniy Novgorod to the right of Moscow in the photo on the left below, and my light switch in China in the photo on the right.  

Checking where the England match took place at the world cup
China and the lightswitch

There's going to be many happy hours poring over this map, which has entirely transformed the room.  You've probably worked out I'm completely thrilled with it already and impressed with the quality and service I received - and I am - but I'm keen to know if you have, or would consider mural wallpaper in your house, and of course what do you think of my wall.

* This is a collaborative post but all views and opinions are my own.

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A beautiful storage chest

For quite a while I've been looking for the perfect storage solution for our spare bedroom. Nothing has quite been right. Back in October I'd seen a lovely wooden chest in the same place I was wowed by all the crockery, but it needed work and they weren't up for budging on the price and so I walked away, reluctantly. On our recent visit to Norfolk I headed back down there to see if it was still there, it wasn't, and I didn't feel as sad as I thought I would. 

There was another chest there, this time tin rather than wood. Again though it was tattier than I'd like and I wasn't sure how we'd repair it. This time I'd gone armed with measurements and it was the right size for the space I had. We did a lot of umming and ahhing and once again walked away. 

But a seed was sown. 

It wasn't long before I was looking on eBay for tin storage chests, and I was amazed at what I found - as I so often am when I discover you can buy almost anything on there. I mean you can buy bricks, as well as lovely storage chests...

And yesterday I arrived home to a very large cardboard box. Inside was this:

Inside the large cardboard box was this beautiful storage chest

Yes, a beautiful storage chest, sold as a 'second' on eBay. 

unwrapping further revealed the chest

It's newly made, but made to look slightly more lived in. And that's a great compromise for us. I was keen for something that wasn't too pristine, while MOH preferred something brand, brand new. I didn't tell him until it arrived that it was sold as a second and it came with some added character.  

And a lovely chest - sold as a second on ebay - was revealed

And it fits perfectly in the spot too. 

Moving it into position

I'm really pleased with it, it was just what I wanted but wasn't able to articulate. The inside is lined with a plain brown material, which means it won't need any work and can be put straight to use storing the bedding for the spare room.  

A look at the detail on the top of our new storage chest

That means no more lugging the pillows and duvet down the stairs each time we use the room, and you don't know how happy that makes me. It's just a small thing, but it's often the small things isn't it... 

A look at the front of our storage chest sold as a 'second'

And filling it with the bedding will start off a new batch of Spring rearranging, as the space the bedding is taking has already been earmarked and the new-last-December Christmas tree will be moving in. 

The new storage chest in situ, waiting to be filled

Yes, I'm finally getting my act together! Well, almost... 

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Shoe storage sorted.

Back in 2013 when we started to plan how and what to decorate and agreeing what should be in and what should be out, a shoe wardrobe was very much on my wish list. But it was deemed not to be, although I secretly thought I'd always manage to sneak it back in again somehow. You see, I do like a nice pair of shoes or two, and I may well have accumulated more than the usual number of pairs...

In my mind I'd have a wardrobe in the spare bedroom dedicated to shoes. It would have pull out racks with shoe trees on so it'd be very easy to decide which shoes to wear, and be easy to get to them too. 

I'd spotted some racks in IKEA which did just that, and seriously coveted them. However, because the decorating on our middle floor - where the spare room is, didn't take place until earlier this year the shoe wardrobe was put on hold and during that time many of my shoes were stored in a large cardboard box in the conservatory. Occasionally you'd find me in the box head first, searching frantically for the pair of shoes I wanted to wear, that I was sure was in this box. Somewhere...

As we got around to decorating the spare room I learnt that IKEA had stopped doing my dream shoe storage solutions, so further negotiations were needed to secure somewhere suitable to store them. The Expedit units were the answer, our solution was to combine a 2x2 unit and a 4x2 unit on each side of the room.

A deal was struck.

One IKEA unit primarily for record storage and another IKEA unit of the same size primarily for shoe storage. Yay. I'll let you work out which of us were claiming which unit...

Further negotiations were entered which resulted in MOH putting forward a good case for some storage in the shoe unit. Three cupboards I was assured would be enough. The rest was mine. This is how it worked out.

I'll admit it's not quite what I imagined, but it's clean, functional and looks good. And let's face it it's way better than rummaging in a large cardboard box! 

With the help of some pretty labels I can now easily find the shoes I want.

And yes the top right cupboard also has a pilates circle in and isn't so organised as the rest of the unit. But, hey it's got to go somewhere and boots were slightly trickier to fit in tidily. There are at least four pairs of knee length boots in there - and yes, I need all of them!

Don't ask me how many pairs I have, I still didn't count them. But at least now it's much easier to do that, if I wanted too!

How do you store your shoes?

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