Well, it was going to happen. I have been itching to begin decorating our bedroom for months and months, and it finally happened at the weekend. I am not entirely sure of the wisdom of undertaking such a decorating project a week before the end of term and in the midst of a few seriously busy and pressured weeks at work, but I can't moan because it was all my idea. John (who actually quite enjoys decorating and is very good at it although he'd deny both accusations) sweetly indulged my ideas and conceded that there were things he'd also like to change.
There was nothing especially wrong with the room, just a collection of lots of things that weren't working. The awful, awful carpet - with a pile so ruined that you could run the vacuum cleaner over it for half an hour and it still wouldn't pick up the hair on it - had to go. The blue paint colour wasn't working for me anymore, nor was the position of the bed in relation to practical things like plug sockets. I have learnt that decorating an empty house before moving in, while time-saving, isn't a long-term solution. There were other smaller details; a falling to pieces laundry basket, too-small mirror and furniture that had seen better days.
I was - and still am - excited about transforming our bedroom on a limited budget, as I did with Bella and Angus's bedrooms. There are things we would love to do to this house: rip out and replace the bathroom, replace the flooring in the hallway and living room, fit a new front door etc. But these things run to thousands, not hundreds of pounds and take serious and lengthy saving - especially if we want the odd holiday too! - and so for now I am enjoying refreshing our bedrooms on fairly small budgets, around £100-£200 per room.
So on Saturday morning, and with the help of my parents, we emptied the room (sleeping downstairs on the bed on the spare room for the next three nights) and lightly sanded the floorboards with a handheld sander.
Overall they were in great condition, apart from a few boards that had been damaged by a long-since-fixed leak. My dad (he's ace) replaced them and the rest we painted with some of that Damp Stop stuff before applying the floor paint.
We managed to paint the ceiling and start the walls that afternoon too.
Poor Angus had to put up with a room full of furniture for a few days.
On Sunday John and I finished the walls, applied two coats of floor paint and undercoated the skirting boards. It sounds like a lot of work but there was lots of time for crochet and watching the Wimbledon final between jobs.
Then on Monday, while I was at work, John gave the floor two more coats of paint and finished the woodwork.
It was hot over the weekend and the door to the balcony was open the whole time we were in the house.
It's just gorgeous when the sun streams in, bright and clean. Not everyone likes pure white, and some find it cold, but this room faces south-west and the light is warm. Too warm sometimes. I know that some also find floorboards cold and draughty. But this house, built in the late sixties, is warm and well insulated. I might feel differently if we lived in a huge Victorian pile. And, as John said, the carpets were going either way. If in a few years we decide that, actually, we'd like carpet again, then we'll fit carpet. Nothing is forever.
So far, any money spent has been on paint. Around £60 on two tins of floor paint and £30 on white wall paint. I intend to re-use as much as possible - furniture, prints, lamps etc - from other parts of the house, even re-painting drawer pulls rather than buying new ones, and will re-paint my dressing table this weekend. I'm not sure what to do with the chest of drawers yet. I may paint it, or swap it with the one that's currently in our living room. I have ordered some lovely shelves though. And there will be plants - lots and lots of plants.