Wednesday, 19 July 2017

All white


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.



 This was the room last night. Very bare and empty, but beautifully calm and cool. Of course it needs pictures, plants and rugs, and there is more furniture to move back in, but I love it so far, especially the position of the bed under the picture rail. 


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. 

28 comments:

Melody A. said...

I love white, would love the whole house painted white!!! so kudos for you for jumping in and getting started with a new direction in your bedroom!! I think it will be lovely! Take care from Iowa, USA

Jules said...

I love seeing how it has taken shape Gillian and I can't wait to see what finishing touches you bring to it.
The white gives a calm yet fresh look to the whole room.
Isn't everyone's laundry basket meant to be falling apart? X

VeggieMummy said...

You're my decorating hero - the way you just get on with it and get it done without any fuss, all very quick and efficient. I'm a terrible procrastinator and when I do finally get around to it, it takes me ages. I'm impressed with your floorboards; they're in brilliant condition and how lovely that your Dad is so handy. I'm very envious of your balcony too. Can't wait to see it with all the plants etc. xx

Sandra (Cherry Heart) said...

So inspiring G! I need to be more like you and just get with it. As you say, nothing is forever! I used to do the same thing but I seem to struggle to change things at the mo, even though they are in dire need of it. Must pull my finger put and get on with it!!

S x

Haak en Pen said...

You did a great job, beautifull so far..

Teje said...

Hi Gillian! Thank you for sharing what you do with your home! I enjoyed so much the time we built our house and always when fixed or renovated something. I don't think we will do anymore something like that so I love to see and read your stories.
Blue wall is beautiful but I love the white room with wooden floor! You have so beautiful home! x Teje

Sara said...

Ahh great job, am loving the photos showing before and after. I am looking forward to seeing the final look, thank you. Sara x

Anonymous said...

Your room is looking so good, Gillian. Really interesting to see the transformation in photos. I'm hugely impressed by how quickly you get things done. Nothing happens that fast in this house! We have a Victorian house with floorboards downstairs (with plenty of insulation stuck underneath!) and carpets upstairs. It would be too cold in winter otherwise! I look forward to seeing the final ta-da (if you share it!). Sam xx

Christina said...

We still haven't finished painting our new extension (completed Dec 16)! You are so motivated and efficient, I am in awe. I can't stand carpets and rather have cold toes. We do not have any in the house except some seagrass ones on the stairs as I find bare floor board stairs too treacherous. I knocked myself out once, a long time ago. I love the look of white painted floors. Do they need repainting often? I imagine they need freshening up more regularly than bare boards? White is good, a blank canvas for rugs, pictures and art. Have fun finishing the room. xx

CJ said...

Beautifully done Gillian, you are so good at transforming things. I love your full length glass door, all that lovely light. Plants will do very well in there I think. Nice to see you have John hard at work, but he does look quite chipper about it. You must find him some more jobs if he enjoys it so much... I shall look forward to seeing it finished, no doubt it won't take you long. Have a lovely weekend Gillian. CJ xx

Sol said...

I like white it looks clean and fresh and full of light.

Caroline Martin said...

Wow Gillian! How fresh and clean and serene does your bedroom look now! I bet you're chuffed! I did the same in my bedroom yonks ago and then did a limed white effect! Love it but you've inspired me to decorate some more! Enjoy your labours!! Xx

galant said...

What a wonderful transformation, Gillian! As you know, I love anything to do with décor and the position of your bed is much better than where it was before, facing the window. Our bed is in the same position in our south facing bedroom. I love pale colours in bedrooms, and you can't get paler than white, can you? Our room is F&B's shade called Bone and that is a lovely calming colour, too. Not light, not dark, not green, not grey. Hard to describe but lovely with the soft pinks and creams that are the accompanying colours. Another shade I love is House White by my trusty old F&B! The tall boy was cut down to make a dressing chest, with mirror from a charity outlet painted to match. I now love it and you will love your bedroom once you have the right accessories. I always have fresh flowers in our bedroom, preferring them to house plants. I "did" house plants in the 1970s when they were very popular. They have recently made something of a comeback but I've been there, had the spider plant and the Swiss cheese and don't want them again ha ha! So now it's white or pastel roses or spray carnations instead. Also I love a delicately scented room spray in rose fragrance, that really does add something to the ambience.
I now look forward to seeing how the room décor develops as you find the right accessories with which to dress the room.
Margaret P

Anonymous said...

Your blog is wonderful. So inspirational and it's a joy to see rooms tranformed on my kind of budget! I just love it - and your room looks fab . Jane x

Sarah said...

Another wonderful room transformation and a great team effort. Are you familiar with Kettle's Yard in Cambridge? Pure white interiors, bare floorboards, plants and the most covetable collection of 20th century artwork. The virtual tour of the house, available via the website, is quite inspirational.

Leanne Paxton said...

Hey Gillian,
It's all looking fab already. I love my white bedroom, but hate the old carpet. I'm hoping to replace it this year. I'm hoping that I can persuade Marc to let me have wooden flooring. Wish me luck!
Leanne xx

Winwick Mum said...

We're at that point where we need to redecorate the house and our bedroom is badly in need of an overhaul too - you might just have inspired me to get a move on! xx

Susan Smith said...

I love your decorating ideas & sometimes it's OK not too like what other people do, as all our houses are not alike & they all respond to different treatments. Your white looks so refreshing and once everything else is put back I'm sure you'll post more pics. Well done to you both for a full on weekend & your parents. Hope this one is more relaxing. Take care.

Jennifer Hays said...

I think you have to do what works for your own home, your budget and your tastes and that's it. Everyone has different ideas and priorities. I would love to have real wood floors in my house instead of concrete. Someday, I'll have fake laminate stuff, probably. The carpets in my house are dreadful, but we'll make do a little longer. I always enjoy seeing your decorating ideas. You're both very good at this!

Garden Girl said...

I love it, so fresh and clean..x

Librarian said...

If given the choice, I much, much, MUCH prefer floor boards to carpeting, no matter how cosy the latter may feel to bare feet when getting out of bed on a chilly morning. There aren't any carpets in my entire flat, and it is going to stay that way.
I really liked the blue wall, but I understand you wanted to change more than that, and the position of the bed now is much better, I think.

Kate-Em said...

I enjoy seeing your room transformations. I think the white looks lovely in such a bright, light filled room.

Anonymous said...

I am amazed at how quickly you get things done!
Your rooms looks lovely - fresh and clean, and I look forward to seeing your finishing touches.

Wood Fairy said...

I can imagine when those plants arrive the room will be a relaxing oasis. I have seen some lovely faux (or real) sheapskin rugs in places like Ikea that would also look fabulous. How lovely to have a door that opens out like this too, a lovely feature.

handmade by amalia said...

I love the while, a true blank canvas. Looking forward to seeing more.
Amalia
xo

Jo said...

What a lot of work. My Bloke hates any change to our house. If I decorate it is because I do ti on my own and with a slight air of trepidation that I a have not collaborated, just done it. Looking forward to your finished result.
http://joeveryday19.blogspot.co.uk

sewing green lady said...

The white looks brilliant! It is amazing what a difference it can make and I love your collections, the items all sit so well together. x

rachel said...

Love it. I'm quietly plotting a bedroom makeover though going the total opposite end of the spectrum with an almost black dark green!