Keith and I considered this room to be the best in the house but that didn’t mean it was a breeze to finish – more a case of it being the best of a bad bunch. We took this photo on the first day – a few lovely things hidden amongst many not so lovely things.
The bedroom door and the cupboard door had been covered with a sheet of thin hardboard.
I removed all the hardboard panels and stripped off all of the lead paint. We were able to remove the entire cupboard façade in one piece and put it to great use in our bathroom. The one saving grace of panelling over the doors was that everything underneath only had one coat of paint on them, so they were relatively easy to strip.
Something odd had happened with the skirting in the past. In this room, all the original skirting had been removed and had been replaced with ordinary lengths of timber and it had been CONCRETED in place. When I come across something like this, it is easy to criticise the handy work of the previous owners but I try not to – instead I try to image reasons why they may have done things this way. Although I do find concreting the skirting board in place a difficult one to find reasons for…
This was our only original fire surround but it was hidden underneath some glaringly white gloss paint. I used a heat gun and removed all of it. This took four solid days to do, with all of the intricacies needing to be done with a fine pointed scraping tool. Then it needed scrubbing with a wire brush and finally, I was able to finish it off with some black iron paste and a polish.
For a short while the room was used by Timothy. This room is closer to ours and didn’t have any stairs between the two – much safer if he decided to come and visit us during the night.
Now I am always quite busy sewing but I didn’t have a designated space for the sewing machine. At one point I was sewing on the kitchen table, but it didn’t work having to pack everything up as frequently as it needed to be. Then I moved it all onto a table in our bedroom, but sewing can be a messy hobby and it was ruining the ambience in our bedroom. So when Timothy got a little older, we decided to switch him to the slightly smaller room at the back of the house leaving this room as our new guest room with space for a sewing area!
I am still in love with dark colours, so I decided to decorate this room with a very dark indigo blue. I choose a Valspar colour called Thundercloud – RI96A. I did the skirting boards and the coving in the same colour and it has made the room look really tall, dark and handsome. I added a few touches of pink here and there to soften the room – hopefully making it welcoming and cosy for guests.
Last year, we went on a driving holiday to Switzerland. On a drive up one of the mountains we passed an old train station, which had been converted to an antique shop. It was in the middle of nowhere and I don’t think it gets much passing traffic, but it was full of the most amazing furniture and accessories. If only we were holidaying in a truck…I would have bought half the stock back with us. The quality was astounding! I had to settle for two glass lampshades, which I got for ten euro each. We then bought old style twisted cable, a bracket and pulley and made these stunning bedside lights.
Because this room is also a guest room, I wanted the sewing section to have a little pizzazz. I am using an antique plate rack for a shelf above my sewing table. I bought it years ago from a junk shop in Hastings for £60, which I thought was a little on the ‘high’ side because it was riddled with wood worm! Keith treated it every four months for six years to make sure nothing was surviving in it. I have mixed a few decorative pieces in with a few pretty sewing essentials. When we have guests, I move the chair to the side and the table gets cleared. The table can then be used for their suitcases and other personal belongings.
I store the remainder of my sewing necessities in the adjacent cupboard. This mid century gentleman’s wardrobe is another charity shop bargain. I loved the shape of the doors and for £35, I couldn’t pass it up. One side is hanging space and the other is shelves. I have painted it in Farrow & Ball Pavilion Grey – the same colour as the dining room and tall kitchen cupboards, and added some interesting handles to finish it off.
I also used some of the left over fabric from the pom pom cushion to cover my sewing chair. I have only ever covered one dining chair before and it was ten years ago – I swore I would never do it again. Yesterday, I was in the ‘zone’ though…and I did the whole thing in under three hours. I might paint or stain the legs of the chair but for now, this is how it is looking.
We are now ready for our next guest but in the mean time I will carry on sewing!
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