Tag Archives: master bedroom

DIY clothes rack

As you know, we moved into our bedroom without a wardrobe. We had plans for a midcentury style built in, but got cold feet on that at the last minute. Neither of us could visualise it entirely, and we decided that wasn’t a good thing.

So our plans are to find a gorgeous pair of vintage freestanding wardrobes (like this one – below), and give them a modern lick of gloss white. Because we like our white bedroom, even though it really was unintentional!

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But… we do things a little slowly, so an interim measure was required. Crossing the hall to fetch clothes from the spare bedroom only felt fancy-dressing-room-like for a couple of days. It didn’t help that the wardrobe in that bedroom is less than an arm span in width and full of “stuff” already. Something more convenient was required!

On an instagram (@duckeggblueblog) post a while back I vowed I wouldn’t consider a clothes rack, knowing our collection of clothing is a long way short of colour-coordinatable. Plus, there is an alarmingly large pile of husbands trackies and swanndri jumpers that don’t fit in our drawers, and will never know a coathanger. Where to put those?!

Ignoring that small problem for a minute, I quickly realised a clothes rack would be the perfect interim option – cheap, quick and not so bad if I could leave the loudest of our clothes across the hall for special occasions!

So… a clothes rack:
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For anyone in a similar situation, there is so much inspiration out there for DIY clothes racks. It’s a simple matter of finding the one you like best and copying it.

I started this on a night when chaos was reigning… so excuse my over-zealous attempt to regain some control by laying out all my pieces like this:
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From there it was a simple matter of attaching the tees and elbows to the right pieces and then Andre helped me to connect them all up (one person holding up the frame, and the other spinning the allen key). Once it was all put together Andre got his squint on and adjusted everything so it was all in line, and standing straight up.
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We opted not to put flanges on the bottom to keep things a little more minimal, so needed some “feet” to keep the cut off end of pipe from scratching the floor. I found the perfect size bungs at Para Rubber!0904_2104

A little spray primer, followed by gloss white and we had ourselves a basic clothes rack!0904_2108 0904_2109 0904_2202 0904_2203 0904_2204 0904_2205-(2) 0904_2206 0904_2207 0904_2208

Budget breakdown:

Pipe $40 – Easysteel
Joiners $46 – Advanced Steel Products
Bungs $6 – Para Rubber
Spray paint (we had primer already, and some leftover white gloss, but I needed one more full can of gloss white) $8 – Bunnings

Total $100 (give or take a few cents!)

I’ll be honest and admit I removed half of our clothes for the styled shots above. This is how it really looks, with a few more colourful summer clothes still hanging next door. Not so bad!

0904_2212Next up is something other than a chair in the corner to dump those aforementioned trackies and big fat jumpers…

 

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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?!

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

Shop it Friday: Dream bedroom

Of course I have our bedroom on my brain, and despite all the dust, I can still see the light at the end of the tunnel.

So, I thought I’d share some amazing things I would love to have in our bedroom, but probably won’t because they’re a bit much for my budget-conscious self. However, a girl can dream, and do her best to spend other people’s money instead. Get your wallets out!

Wall storage cabinet

  • I love pretty much everything this designer creates, but a smaller version of this wall cabinet is still one of my favourites – I’d hang it right by my bed and store my treasures in it.

Swing lamp

  • I’d also get a pair of these wall lights – they’re not so bad at $95 (US??) each and come in loads of colours!
  • I’m still shopping around for this rug, trying to snap up a bargain original on Trade Me, but of course I keep forgetting and miss them. One day… one day it’ll be my turn!
  • I kind of like this light. I say kind of, because I’m surprised I like it, but I do! It’s $280, which is not horrendous actually.

Growing Up in Blueberry Art Print by Amber Armitage

  • There’s some new art about and I really do love it. It’s by Amber Armitage, of Homestyle mag. $190 for A0 unframed.

Happy Friday, and have a lovely weekend!

Note: I’m all done with updating our Progress page – I’ve combined the previous To Do list and Before & “After” photos into this one page now. Much more satisfying to see how far we’ve come already, mixed in with what we still have to do!

Master bedroom makeover: Wall prep

We are in the middle of a week of plastering and sanding, and I’m too scared to open the door to the bedroom for fear of a dust explosion happening through the rest of the house. I put up with a mess of dust through the living room once, and I don’t want to do it again!

Last time we talked about this room reno we had demolished the wardrobe and were starting on removing the wallpaper. But it wasn’t going well remember?

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And then we remembered there was this great invention called a wallpaper steamer! For less than $25 for a days hire I convinced Andre we should at least try it.

I’m not sure what was going through his head but he was all for carrying on with our spray and chip method for the next three months.

Buuuuuttt… look who took over. Power tool – it’s only natural. And a few hours later I had to forcibly remove the steamer head from his hand because it was way past bedtime.0605_1167 0605_1168

Once again, I was on clean up duties. But I was content to lean on my broom and watch that wallpaper coming off in strips, not chips!

And the next day we were done with a couple of hours still to spare before we had to return the steamer soooo… the bathroom got dealt with too. This wallpaper is of the nineties trying to be twenties era. It had to go.0605_1173

This was possibly/probably a paper especially for use in a bathroom as it seemed to have quite a “plasticky” top layer, which I ended up pulling off before Andre used the steamer to remove the backing. It all came off really easily, and of course it helped that we only had the top half of a small room to do.0605_1178 0605_1181 0605_1182

But apart from cleaning up that mess, the bathroom has had no more attention for now.

So back to the bedroom. I mentioned last time there was icky stuff to be found under the paper in certain areas. This is the dampest and darkest of all the rooms in the house, and with drafty timber windows and no insulation until recently I wasn’t surprised, but I was still well and truly disgusted.

So after a bit of research and pulling on some latex gloves with a satisfying snap I held my breath and got rid of it as best I could. I started by spraying it with a water/vinegar/tea tree oil solution. I did this two or three times over a couple of days. Apparently that’s all you usually need to do to treat it (slash kill it, although how do you tell when it’s dead?!) and wiping it is maybe not good because it can cause the spores to spread. But of course we need to paint these walls and I’m not painting over dead mould, no matter how dead it is.

So I compromised and did my best to kill it before I then cleaned it up with rags doused in the same solution. Those rags got binned immediately – nasty things.

For luck I went back for a third step and sprayed again to ensure any leftovers were well dead.
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In the meantime we spent an evening doing some wardrobe visualising with the doors and shelves of the old wardrobe. We are trying to decide whether to use woodgrain on the sides of the wardrobe, or on the doors. Or not at all.0605_1204

All other spare time in the last couple of weeks has been put into sugar soaping. I started out with this job thinking sugar soap was some miracle cleaner that would disappear all gluey mess as soon as I touched my cloth to the wall. Not so my friends, not so.

I scrubbed, and scrubbed, and scrubbed until my arms ached and my fingers were raw.

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You can see below the difference it makes though – the left side is sugar soaped, the right is still waiting…0605_1207But I’m done, and now it’s Andre’s job to plaster and patch up and then finally sand smooth these four dodgy walls!
0605_1269And I don’t envy him one bit. I’ll take sugar soaping every time!

 

Interim measures

I’ve been at it again… making ugly furniture into something a lot less ugly.

And this time it was easy! No dramas like that time with the kids table

But first, a little back story:

A few weeks ago I couldn’t help myself – I started picking at the wallpaper in our bedroom. I just wanted to know, y’know, how easily it was going to come off? Or not. So it’s uglier than ever and I hate it. But thinking ahead to the time when I’ll love it, I did that “Buy Now without consulting the husband” on Trade Me, and got us our first EVER piece of real furniture (that we haven’t built ourselves or amateurly upcycled from something awful) and it kinda set the ball rolling on a couple of other teensy updates that alllllmost make me forget the wallpaper for a second.

Here’s a little sneaky peek of our grown up furniture:

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I can’t show you any more than that because it gets ugly again if I zoom out!

And we hung a mirror! This is a big deal. We’re those people that hate putting holes in walls, because what if we change our minds?! But mirrors and 3M command hooks don’t do so well together. So… out comes the drill. And then, the strangest thing happened. Andre drilled straight into that wall – not once, not twice… but something like ten times! Hah! And still no stud/nog to hang that mirror on. I guess knowing you need to replaster a room sooner rather than later is a little liberating. So off to Bunnings to buy a wall anchor. Another big deal. Andre doesn’t do wall anchors.

But it appears that now he does and I’m very thankful. Because now I can see more than a reflection of my chin in this mirror.

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So now for the amateur upcycle of a watermarked and ugly old petticoat table project (because one piece of grown up furniture is enough for a few months). I shared this one on Instagram and got a little debate going about whether or not I should add some metallic bling. So… did I?

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No I did not!

I’ll tell you why in just a minute, but first here’s the pretty after photos (again, zooooomed in because you really don’t want to see any more).

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Since we sacrificed my bedside table to become the kids play kitchen I’ve been living with this nasty mdf and pine petticoat table, complete with lumpy and water-stained top.

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A quick sand, prime and painting of the top in high gloss white and it was looking a million miles better. But the question remained – what to do with the legs? Paint them white and dip them in coppery bling-a-ling? I wanted to. Oh I really did, but I also didn’t want to ruin the simple freshness of the white top and timber legs. A smart young Instagramming gal by the name of Katrina suggested painting just the edge of the table with copper.

So I did. At least I started to. But you can see in this quick repeat for a photo after I wiped the first attempt off in a panic that it just didn’t look good. Maybe it would have looked better with a couple of coats? My paint was just artists paint after all, not really designed for the job, but I just wasn’t liking the colour. It really clashed with the bare timber legs.

0415_3253 I tried another colour – bronze I think this one was called. And it was marginally better (less red) but still not enough that I let it dry!0415_3254So I’m sticking with white and like it rather more than I thought. This temporary fix up might end up hanging around longer than planned? Although I would prefer a drawer rather than the baskets for those little books and bits that collect around a bedside. We shall see…

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For now, I’m enjoying these small snippets of our bedroom, because we’ll be moving out soon and really getting stuck into that wallpaper stripping and wardrobe demo. If it rains on our pergola building plans over the next couple of (long!) weekends we’ll be right in here!