Saturday, 3 May 2014

Been thinking about...ART (for the bedroom)

...Art (for the bedroom)

So, with the bedroom all finished decorated, we are now playing the waiting game (Yes...still!!Aaaargh!) for our fitted wardrobes...I have ordered my new ceiling light (Yay!!)...although I'm not quite ready to share this with you all....yet!!And I have almost finished another DIY - a new Architectural feature for this room, that I am aching to show you...probably at the end of next week!!

In the mean time I have been "windows-shopping" for artwork for our new bedroom...
And today I want to share some of my favourite contenders.
I am hoping to show you all with this post how art doesn't need to be overtly expensive, and how the internet has made fresh art more accessible for everyone!!

 I love the simplicity of this "White triangle print" by Melinda Wood....instantly downloadable from her Etsy shop for just £3.04, it is both affordable and accessible + the graduations of  grey would sit perfectly with our new wall colour.

I've fallen in love with this monochrome "bat cat" print by the talented Norwegian graphic designer Hanne Lovdal of Lovedales approximately £25, it is a little more expensive, but still doable...
(We love both batman and cats...surely that is reason enough!!)

We honeymooned in Paris, and I have always wanted one of these vintage Paris maps on my walls. This one is from the Swedish shop arttlleriet, but at approximately £70, I think this one will have to wait for now! (sigh!)

Through her instagram account, I have fallen for the ultramodern and often surreal work of graphic designer Nynne Rosenvinge of the etsy shop spenderbuks.... I have a hard job choosing between her work, but I like the simplicity of this "Diamonds" print, and at just £14.40, it is quite reasonable!

Here's a bit of art I have found via the instagram account of the Danish interior shop Sirlig...I love the soft colours and the graphic composition...and at just £15 for this limited edition A3 print, it's a definite contender!

This simple and monochrome watercolour feather print from hong kong based artist, Tinarosa of Color zen, is so beautiful, don't you think?? For £7.30 from her Etsy will add a more organic feel to the room!

I could go on and on...I have found so many lovely and affordable art prints and posters that I would love for our newly decorated bedroom, but the last one I want to share with you today, is this striking abstract wall art in mint and teal from The midnight shop. I love the colours in this!!
I love how art has become so accessible ....and Affordable through digital printing: This one costs only £3 for an instant download!

These are obviously all to MY taste, but these is something to suit everyone out there....

Although these are all very affordable, I will of course make some DIY art that I will share with you all (next week) in true nostalgiecat style...
....and I was hoping to commission my 4year old daughter (I pay her in chocolate!!) to do a piece for our bedroom wall!! 

Have a arty and chilled bank holiday weekend folks...I know I am!!
(Now off to the www in search of nice frames....)


Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Putting up wood panelling (on a wall with no beams!!)

...on a wall with no beams!

...the story of how a molehill really can be a mountain..
(and how we overcame this problem!)


In this post, I have a treat for you all: You all get to "meet" my lovely husband (I call him Mr.) and I simply feature as his (useless) assistant!!

We've done it!! We've finally finished re-decorating our bedroom!! I've painted the walls, and the floor...and this weekend just gone, Mr an I put up the wood paneling on the wall behind the bed!

The wood panelling was essential to my design, as part of my grand plan to bring a touch of Scandinavia to our English cottage!

This was supposed to be a quick and easy DIY, but it didn't quite turn out like that!!
I am so glad I had Mr to help me with this one!

Here's what happened, and how we resolved it:

It all started off great:
I, the useless assistant,  held the wood panel up against the wall whilst Mr marked off, using a set square, where he needed to make the cut...then set about "playing" with his new tool: A chop saw!
This made it all the more easy to chop down the wood panelling...
(If you don't have a handy man ,like me, with a chop saw, a normal wood saw will of course do the job... it turned out there was another reason I was glad my handy husband was there for this project: Normally when putting up tongue in groove wood panelling on a wall, it is a simple process of cutting the panelling to size, then simply nailing it in place into the beams in the wall...

Problem was: We could not find the beams in the wall...


Even with a beam detector...
After basically drilling holes in the wall until it resembled a Swiss cheese, we finally found a couple of beams going upright...

But we (Read: I...) wanted the panelling to go upright!! And with no horizontal beams to nail the panelling into, this was a BIG problem...

We tried using some "No More nails", but didn't find it very successful (Although it came in handy later...) We tried screws instead of nails, but this still didn't really work, as the screws didn't get any "purchase" in the plaster board wall!
But Mr. ,being the handy man that he is, finally came up with a solution:
Using plaster board wall plugs !!

Maybe a bit of a long winded way of doing this, but at least it worked: pulling the wood panelling tight to the wall!!

Here's how:
Having cut the wood to size, I, his assistant for the day, held the panelling in place whilst he drilled some small pilot holes through the wood and into the plasterboard wall.
Then we took the wood away and Mr changed to a bigger drill bit and made the holes in the wall just large enough to fit the special plasterboard wall plugs into. With the wall plugs in place, we replaced the wood panelling and Mr countersunk the holes in the wood before screwing it in place...
 ....problem solved!!

When fitting the tongue in groove panels together, use a hammer with a bit of wood to protect the wood panel from any damage as you knock it into place...
Mr is a perfectionist...and kept checking with a spirit level, that the wood panelling was going on straight as he went...If one was a bit out, he would adjust it by not knocking the next bit of panelling all the way into the grove of the previous where needed!

   When we came towards the end of the wall, things got a bit fiddly:
There was two electrical outlets we had to cut around ...which Mr easily manoeuvred by marking the wood and cutting out bits of the panelling with a jigsaw!
Instead of risking drilling into the electrics around the outlet, we simply applied some of the "No more Nails" on the back of the wood (using a tongue stick) around this area, and held in place for a few minutes...See, I told you it would come in handy!!

And when we had attached the very last panel we could fit in, we were left with a 1,5cm gap...
...This was my time to shine...and be useful!!
Luckily, I am a hoarder, and had a wooden list laying around in my messy supply shed (You don't want to know....believe!!) that fit perfectly....ALMOST!!
Another stroke of luck, was that I had purchased the cheapest, most flimsy, wooden panelling I could find!! (???) This was good, because the wood was so soft that we could simply trim away the few millimetres off the panelling using a Stanley knife, to be able to fit that wooden list in at the end!!

And so we were done!! This was supposed to be a quick "bash it up" job, but instead turned into an entire day's work....but we were finally done....or at least Mr was done!! I let him hit the bath whilst I finished up...
 (I tried getting him to take a bow for a photo, but he is oh so camera shy!!) ....time for Junie to take over:

The last thing to do, was to fill all those countersunk screw holes in the panelling with a wood filler (Mr chose to buy a red tinted filler purposed for mahogany....don't ask why...I didn't! I figured: Bless him, he has worked so hard, it shall not be mentioned!!)
Luckily the plan was, all along, to paint the panelling!!

Then the following day, I sanded all that filler flush with the wood!!

I cleaned up all the mess, making sure the room was dust free!! (Hoover-ing the panelled wall) before getting on with the painting!!

First I painted on a white wood primer...(I had just enough left over from when I primed the bedroom floor for painting...I really am "jammy") I cut in the top and bottom of the wall then painted into the grooves in the panelling....I painted it on quite thick as this helped seal any unsightly gaps ... I then rollered on the primer on the surface of the panelling, keeping my paintbrush handy to smooth over any accumulation of paint in the grooves...
I left the primer to dry over night..


Then the following day, which was yesterday, I Painted the panelled wall with a soft sheen brilliant white...using the same technique as mentioned above!
...And that was it: All done!


It was a lot of work, but worth it in the end: The white painted panelled wall just gives a nod to that Scandinavian look that I love, and it brings an element of architectural history to the room... It is not bold or in your face, but never the less a considered design statement that has helped change the feel of the room!!
Now we are just waiting for our purpose built wardrobes to be installed, and
I have some other smaller project for this room, another architectural element and some more fun and arty ones, that I will show you soon, and then it is just adding the finishing touches left before the big reveal...
So stay tuned folks!

I am so excited!!
(and a bit exhausted!!)


Sunday, 27 April 2014

How to: Paint waxed floorboards

 ...paint waxed floorboards

 We are steaming ahead with our bedroom makeover! This week we have made a start on panelling the wall behind our bed, and I have painted the wooden floorboards white!
We were uhm-ing and arh-ing on wether to go ahead with this, as the floorboards were previously waxed, but in the end I desided I could no longer live with the orangy finish, so I folded up my sleeves and went to work....

I am not going to lie to you....this was a lot of hard work....but totally worth it in the end!!
When a wooden floor has been waxed, it is essential to remove the layer of wax before painting, as wax is a release agent, and nothing will stick to it!!
So unless you want peeling paint, don't be tempted to skip the first step: Sanding!!

Safety first: When sanding, please remember to wear a dust mask!!

If you have a large room , it may be worth hiring an upright sander, but , as our bedroom is relatively small, I used my palm sander wit some coarse (P40) sandpaper...
As you go, you will see where the wax is....basically you want to sand back any of the shiny surface...
 It actually didn't take as long as I expected, and after 2 1/2 hours on my hands and knees, and a the humming noise from the palm sander ringing in my ears, I was satisfied that the floor was no longer shiny!!


I swept away most of the dust, then gave the floor a thorough hovering... 

Then I cleaned the floor with some soapy water...(Use a cleaner with degreasing purposes)

When the floor was dry again, I got back on my hands and knees and scored the floor clean with some white spirit! This will remove any remaining grease and wax residue!!
NB! Please wear rubber gloves when doing this....White spirit is NOT good for your skin!!
Your floor will feel slippery when you do this, but as the white spirit evaporates, the wood will have a matt and slightly rough finish, perfect for painting!!

First you need to use a good wood primer to seal the now "raw" wood...

Start by cutting in the edges of the room...

Then use a roller (invest in an extended handle....your back will thank you at this point!!) and paint in the floor...working your way from the furthest corner of the room towards the door (You really don't want to paint yourself in the room...that would be silly!!! Doh!)

Leave the primer to dry according to the instructions on the tin...

Next up, choose a purpose quality floor paint, and repeat the above!!

Cutting in the edges of the room first, then rolling on the paint in the middle of the floor...

Again, follow the instructions on the tin, leave to dry, then repeat if necessary.
I did two coats!!

From start to finish, It took me about 2 1/2 days to paint our yellowing waxed wooden floor boards....
...most of that time was waiting for the paint to dry!! 

I love how my "new" white floorboards turned out! They are not perfect, as the grain of the wood and the "damage" to the old floor boards show through the white paint, but I love that!! (If you want a "perfect" floor, you will be better off with laminate) And I just love how the white floor has changed both the light and the feel of our bedroom!!

If you have been uhm-ing and arh-ing about painting your wooden floor, go with your heart!!
A lot of people will tell you it's sacrilege to paint wooden floor, but YOU are the one living in your home, and the decision is yours....just make sure you do it properly!!