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Woodchip and Rainbows

Ellie Crosby

 

A  R a i n b o w  R o o m  F o r  T w o 

It’s a tough brief to accommodate a tweenage girl and a 6 year old boy in the same bedroom. We decided a rainbow theme would keep everyone happy (particularly me, I immediately started planning what to make for the finishing touches.)

I will have the smaller back bedroom and the children and all of their beloved plastic crap can move into the larger front bedroom. 

When decorating, there are variables that you have to work around and cannot change - typically they are the room size, essential furniture, special features and most importantly, budget.   Once you can point these out to yourself, everything else can be completely transformed and your imagination can run wild. 

What was to be the kid’s ‘new’ bedroom had bare floorboards and a dated woodchip ceiling, so that’s where spending time and money would really pay off. 

The walls would be white.  The ceiling would eventually be smooth and white.  The wooden bunk beds are already painted a lovely shade of white and the flooring needs to be a light shade too.

Laminate flooring would be ideal to help reduce noise (Lordy, there will be noise), retain heat to stay cosy and it can be easily cleaned with antibacterial spray - daily, I imagine.

I flirted with the idea of carpet but the mental image of being on my knees, crying as I scrub at ink stains forced my decision.  Strike the beautiful pure wool carpet idea, a light coloured, tough laminate was the best option for us (and our Sharpie collection.)

Thus far, I’ve created a pretty sterile white on white on white room in my head eh? Much like living inside an enormous Fox’s glacier mint.  But hold tight because here comes the colour... 🌈

 

R a i n b o w  B r i g h t s 

I’ve been decorating with a 50/50 success rate for a long time now and I’ve made enough mistakes to make a reasonably well informed plan this time around.  

Starting with a completely blank canvas and adding colour through furniture, accessories and fabric would mean that as they grow, the whole room can change without me ever having to pick up a paintbrush again (in theory).

That said, white walls and sticky little fingers may sound like a terrible combo but it’s easy to flash some white emulsion over any marks that can’t be sponged off. 

Adding colour with bedsheets, rugs, storage boxes, coat pegs, prints and painting furniture creates big impact without any drastic DIY action. 

Existing furniture can have a complete ‘upcycling’ overhaul with some tester pots and clear laquer varnish spray.  Sand surfaces to get a key for the paint to grip and then laquer the life out of it.  Once it’s had a few coats of colour, it can withstand being bashed about a little.

The eighties was filled with orange pine furniture and I have inherited quite a collection. It’s usually solid wood and so can withstand a good sanding making it perfectly upcycleable. I love the combination of the new, fresh paint colours with the nostalgic charm.  It feels like my childhood home reimagined. 

S t r i p p e d  B a r e 

Our house is a two-up-two-down built circa 1934 and has had a few owners in that time. One of which seemingly had a penchant for woodchip wallpaper - it’s a variety of heavy lining paper peppered with chips of wood for those readers lucky enough to have escaped its charms.  It’s then painted over many, many times to help cover lumpy, bumpy walls and ceilings by people with no regard for future generations set to inherit it.

The reason it’s painted over so many times? It’s because it’s a total ARSE to remove!

I have lived here happily for ... nearly 14 years (I can’t quite believe I’m old enough to say that). I’ve raised both of my children here and grown my business from the kitchen table. Every night, for over a decade, I’ve closed my eyes and the last thing I’ve seen is that bloomin’ woodchip that someone saw fit to stick my bedroom ceiling. 

A two bedroom house with two children, intent on only getting bigger, can feel quite squished. The most logical thing to do was plan a bedroom switcharoo. But before any exciting colour schemes could be considered or astronomically priced rainbow striped rugs could be added to baskets, the boil of the woodchip ceiling must finally be lanced. 

 

P r e p   

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” Benjamin Franklin

I hatched this brilliant plan a year ago and I have chatted at great length about it with no real sense of urgency. It wasn’t until the day I stuck my finger behind a protruding bubble of woodchip, curious as to what lurked behind, that the whole operation had inadvertently begun.

After much sweating and steaming, the ceiling was finally revealed and most of it, glorious virgin plaster so no professional skimming required.  Endless sanding was the next fun task and if you think working above your head painting a ceiling is a bad time, you try sanding a ceiling, my friend. 

If you’ll pardon the pun, I’ll skim over the laborious stage of prepping the room with my pants over my face as a make shift dust mask and hop right to the good bit - buying things!  

 

T i d y  U p  T i m e

I have a small house and it gets untidy very quickly. Storage is crucial because how can you tidy up if there’s no where to put stuff away?

If I get the storage right in their room, I’ve cracked it. Lego make amazing plastic boxes shaped like giant bricks so they’re cool, stackable, modular storage. A modest investment but anything that can spark a little excitement about tidying up isn’t a bad thing in a kids room at all. 

Once their beds are in, the biggest forces to contend with are toys, books and clothes. Clutter! 

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”   William Morris

Before anything goes into the new rainbow room, it has to be proven to be at least one of the following...

• beautiful

• useful

• holds huge sentimental value

...otheriwse it will be tossed out, given to charity, recycled or I’m flicking a match to it.

Broken toys won’t be played with and half of the story books we have would be perfect for other younger children to enjoy. 

Clothes - ugh. I don’t like putting them away. The kids won’t ever put them away so we needed a new system. Instead of a wardrobe, I found two industrial style hanging rails on amazon and by having the clothes as part of the room, we all HAVE to hang them neatly because there’s no place left to stuff them.  Pants and socks in the rainbow drawers and everything else hug neatly in some kind of aesthetic order. 

The Toughook rainbow pegs look fantastic now they’re finally on the wall and will hopefully help to get the kids to be more organised, thinking about what they need for the next day. 

 

B i g   M o n e y 

Time and effort has been invested and now it’s time for the money! Electricians, flooring, made to measure blinds and a 3m long desk wont come cheap but I’ll buy them as and when I can afford them.  It’s gradually becoming the bedroom I want to give my children and we all appreciate each little colourful step closer.  

 

 

 

 

All images are my own ElliesBeautifulMess©️Copyright2019 and cannot be used without my permission. 

 


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