Small spaces: Families sleeping small

I had something else in mind for today, but on further investigation… it’s not as small as it first appears, and I couldn’t think of a good enough reason to include it in this weeks Small Spaces. But have a little look, as there are a few ideas to steal for a much smaller space – like the sunken bath, and some built in furniture.

So, another from my Pinterest filing system…

Cozy sleeping space / via Brooke Brooke on VSCO

It’s the time of year where I start getting itchy feet and think “this year? Will this year be the one we get to go on a family holiday in a campervan again?!” But with little Miss still hit and miss (with sleeping through the night) I’m not sure how relaxing it would be…

So I’m just looking at small spaces instead, and I love this combined sleeping area, for how well it could work for a small family (of good sleepers!).

You could use the lower bed as lounge seating during the day, simply by shifting the cushions up against the sill/shelf along the wall and making it a comfy day bed!

For a family with a couple of littlies, I’d have to make some modifications for safety, add a curtain to pull across at sleep time and ensure the sleeping nook up top would happily take two mattresses as I’m not sure how much sleep they’d get all in together! Another option would be to create bunks, but sacrifice some storage.

Although the storage is one thing I love about this layout!

I also love the white on white with the addition of natural colours and textures. It’s a somewhat surprising (to me) direction we seem to be heading in our bedroom…! And to be honest I’m enjoying the extra space we have in our l’il house with a third bedroom back in action. It’s ok to like small spaces at the same time as liking a few more useable square metres in our fulltime house isn’t it?!

Pin of the day: Spring is in the air

schoolhouse rocks.

 

I spent a lot of Saturday in the garden, and I’m so pleased to have tidied up all of the front and side yards. No longer are they overgrown with weeds (or those herbs I planted and forgot what they are…), and although they are still looking a little wintery and bare, at least we’re up to presentable again. Maybe next winter I will learn how to make the best of at least the front garden…

The good news is, I could feel a little spring in the air, and I even spotted a pansy poking it’s head up. My bulbs are starting to sprout (even the ones around the tree on the lawn, despite being mown over twice already!), and I’m looking forward to a flourishing garden again in a few short weeks!

The image above has got me a few times this past week or so – it’s been popping up everywhere. I finally gave in and pinned it on my Backyard board. I love a little private garden oasis like the one glimpsed through these doors!

There is lots more to this house too – it’s a converted schoolhouse in Haarlem, with masses of light and open space, but with plenty of eclectic goings on to create that cosy feeling the Dutch are so good at. More pictures at sfgirlbybay and here.

Enjoy!

A handle mismatch

You may have wondered why I included a close up of our door handle in last weeks bedroom post?

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It was actually because that photo shows the essence of how our bedroom feels now – all light and white and refreshingly simple. But… there’s more to tell about this door handle.

You may remember we lived with a cranky old sliding door in this bedroom for four years? We never even bothered to try and slide it out, so when we put a hinged door on it felt like a real novelty to just be able to give it a gentle push and…. shut!

But the screw driver handle was getting a bit annoying (especially when you were on the wrong side when it fell out) so on move in day Andre installed a proper one. A small thing, a small job, but so big you know?!

For all these years, we have rummaged in hardware boxes at second hand and demolition shops in a somewhat vain search for a couple of sets of handles to match our existing ones.

And, some time ago we came up silver (not quite gold) with a single handle in the same style, only the “lock” version. It was so long ago that we’d all but forgotten we had bought it, and our vain search continued each time we set foot in a demolition traders! We found it at Villa Desires in Te Aroha, on a random little weekend away pre-Miss E (yep, long ago!). We made a Plan B at the time (in case we didn’t find a complete set), to pair it with another single handle from the wardrobe in the “green bedroom”.

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Beginning with the HWC cupboard in the kids room, then the laundry and linen cupboard doors (and even the cupboard door on the kids play kitchen!) we are keeping “cupboards” consistent with simple round pull handles. So it made perfect sense to utilise the handle from the wardrobe door in the spare bedroom (and one day get around to replacing it with one of our stockpile of easier to find round pull handles) as our bedroom door handle.

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So, that made our mismatched set for our new and novel hinged door! They are a different height, but it’s not something you notice at all unless you happen to be looking at the door like this out of focus view (and that’s never a good idea, because it likely means you’re about to walk into it!):

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I love these handles… they’re pretty in an understated way, but they also feeeeel good! It makes such a difference!
0801_2069And that difference is especially noticeable when I have to use this handle. It’s the best we could find as a “temporary” solution for the kids room. Although this one was done a long while ago, we kept that lock version that we’d found (and then forgot about it!), thinking it was a better fit for our master bedroom, and also that with our room off the entrance hall, it would be more noticeable.
0815_4296So… we will still be the ones you see rummaging in the hardware boxes at Junk & Disorderly et al.

Have a lovely weekend!

 

A little light makeover

Following on from last weeks bedroom reveal-of-sorts I thought I’d cover how we went about replacing our wall lights.

While shuffling things around in our bedroom was definitely talked about (mainly to accommodate a larger wardrobe) we ended up sticking with the current layout, because we didn’t want to turn a fairly simple reno into something major involving moving electrical stuff and patching big holes.

So, that meant utilising the current wiring and dimmer switches for some new look lighting over our bed. Cue a sad face when I knew I wouldn’t be following the trend for plug in pendants wound artfully around a bracket on the wall. But I consoled myself with knowing that is likely just a short term trend, and that my “statement making cord”-free wall lights were probably safer with kids around anyway.

That was the easy bit. I spent months keeping an eye out for a pair of good looking mid century wall lights. It seems fixed lighting was something of a novelty then, because there wasn’t much to be found.

But eventually I came across these ones on Trade Me.

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They’re by Beamalite, made in 1963, and were advertised as needing some restorative love. Fine, we can do that! We can do that with some glossy white and gold!0814_1889 0814_1894 0814_1898 0814_1914Over two or three days I painstakingly masked off each part and sprayed happily. Gold was a whole new experience for me and while it admittedly made me nervous, it was a fun kind of nervous!

Until I undid my “last” round of masking. Ooooh not good. Despite using proper painters tape (which I’ve not bothered with before) I had parts of the gold come off. It’s the worst to get to the end of a project and get yourself pumped for the big reveal, only to find you have to start almost from scratch again. There was feet stamping, and maybe tears.
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But I got over that, and went for round two. A little wiser maybe… So I tried taping first to get a smoother edge to my mask, then layering the foil over the top and taping it down. (You can get a glimpse of this in the back light, far right.)
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My trigger finger was a little lighter this time, and I left loads of time for drying. So the result was much, much better, although not perfect. There were some jagged edges of bleeding paint that still made me cross. But not cross enough to deal with it. I was over this project and considering other options…

But Andre assured me those little imperfections were not going to be noticeable to anyone else, so I handed them over to him to get them installed.
0814_1952 This is where things should have ended happily ever after right?

Alas, no. I’m going to summarise this quickly for you because it still hurts. We ended up with a hole in the wall (just days after we’d finished painting it) where Andre had plastered over the hole left by the previous fitting. Which meant more plastering, sanding and painting. Yes it was just a hole a few centimetres across, but at that point in the whole scheme of things the thought of just getting the plaster back out was enough to make us give up for another couple of days!0814_1965

 

So onto the other light. It was successfully installed in minutes. But then I get another shout – “the light is melting!” Sure enough the paint was starting to run, as it was warmed up by the bulb.

We quickly turned it off, and left the whole sorry mess in a huff!

Turns out that all we needed was a couple of smaller, lower wattage bulbs, and a few more days drying time. No more melting lights!

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So that’s how we came to have “new” lights that match the character of our scuffed up floors. (That is my excuse for everything that turns out a little imperfect in our house!)

Really, they’re not so bad. They’ve just lost a little of their shine, and have some dull patches where they were handled during the melty paint stage.

Time heals, and I’m back to thinking they look pretty awesome actually! Agreed?!

Pin of the day: Going green

Since introducing some plant life into our bedroom “part-makeover” we are converts to having indoor plants. Who knows if it’s the rush of refreshed air that puts the smile on our faces as we walk into our room, or just the pleasing look of green leaves in a mostly white room that makes me happy? No matter… we’ll be adding more!

plants..

Roomie clearly knows what I’m talking about – this one popped up on my Pinterest feed from them today.

Happy Monday!

Master bedroom makeover: Moving in

I started writing this post a week ago, almost to the hour… and then big things happened and this blogging and renovating and home decor part of my world fell out the bottom. I think I might start hauling it back up… but no promises I won’t drop it again!

Because in the whole scheme of things it is the last thing that matters, BUT I’ve come to realise too that these small and unimportant things can be the things that help when the big and important things get to be too much sometimes. I was picking up mess around the house yesterday afternoon and realised that if there’s one thing that might possibly keep me able to function if my world flipped it would be having my house in order. When kids are yelling, the phone is ringing, the dinner is boiling over and there’s a whole host of things spinning in my head, the first thing I’ll do (apart from making sure the kids are yelling over nothing!) is tidy. Then, and only then will I answer the phone and try to save the dinner and write myself a priority list (all at the same time, because if my house is tidy I can do everything!).

So, with that… back to last week:

I feel lots of things writing this post. Relief is the big one though!

After three months of living across the hallway in a room that every member of our family has now called theirs for a time, it feels truly amazing to be back in our room to stay. Last time, we’d nearly finished painting the walls. That was a big step in progress for me. It made me feel like we were really getting there!

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But then there were the windows. We grabbed our opportunity on a Saturday about 3 weeks ago. There was 14% chance of rain. But this is Auckland in July, so that was pretty good! We took it.

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Now this week… In the early afternoon we could see the rain was coming and the freezing temperatures weren’t helping the paint dry very quickly. So we taped up some plastic drop sheets over the gaping holes and filled the room with windows. Then began a few days of tedious top coats, and a few nights of lying awake in fear of the temporary windows giving in to the stormy weather (yep we picked the worst days of winter for this!) and flying off to cause an accident somewhere in the next suburb over. This is how it was for me at least. Andre had no trouble sleeping!

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The storm died down, we finished painting and scraping, and on a dark and peaceful night we had real windows back up again! Following that we had a little floor touching up to do, where the old wardrobe framing had been. We gave it a quick sand and some coats of high gloss poly. (Our preference would be a Low VOC sealer like we used when we redid the whole floor in the kids room, but they don’t appear to come in high gloss to match the rest of the house.)
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Once we put up the blinds, curtain rods and our sheer curtains, we moved on in!

Let me open the door…

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I won’t even begin to list all that still needs doing or replacing – in terms of furnishing and decorating we’re at about 8%. I’ll save that for another day, along with sharing some of the details like where we found a door handle to match the others in our house, the wall lights we found and made over, and the obvious “what are we doing about a wardrobe?!”.

Because right now, I’ve got something to be doing about that wardrobe situation… and a house to tidy!

Have a lovely weekend x

Master bedroom makeover: Painting progress

Total silence from me in no way means nothing is happening ’round here!

It’s all happening, just as fast as it can. Sometimes I get frustrated that it’s not fast enough… but for various reasons of work, weather and a weekend off, this coming weekend will be the first in six that we get more than a couple of hours to hit this master bedroom renovation.

I’m hoping for some dry weather so we can remove the windows for sanding and painting. But if we don’t get that, there are plenty of little things like putting outlet covers back on, installing some “new” wall lights, and planning and possibly materials shopping for the wardrobe.

But first, here’s a mass photo drop of our plastering and painting progress to date.

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Have a lovely weekend x