I wanted to show you the first stage of the home office makeover because I have been talking about it for a long time and while it’s broadly finished I am waiting for some blinds and also for the gloss paint to fully cure which means I can’t put anything on the shelves but I thought I would show you what has happened so far.
Now this room has been through it in the 10 years since we moved in. At that stage the house was two flats and this room – which measures roughly 6ft by 8ft, not including the corridor entrance, was the kitchen. It’s a sort of L-shape as the room next door was originally just a loo (in several houses on the street it has remained a loo and this is a good-size bedroom). However, when we arrived the loo room had been pushed back into this one to create a small bathroom with this kitchen next door.
We moved the kitchen downstairs and the then 7yo decided that he wanted this as his bedroom. It made sense – he was small, it was small and given that he can make titanic amounts of mess we thought this might contain it a little. Four years later we made the room over and created a built-in bed and desk which you can see here. He insisted on this cool blue shade and complained loudly for the next few years about how cold his room was (see yesterday’s post on blue). The pictures don’t really show it but instagram was mostly a twinkle in social media’s eyes back then.
Last year we decided that the now 17yo needed a bigger space to study for his A levels and since my study (formerly the 19yo’s bedroom – keep up!) was being used mostly as a junk room we decided to swap. In my defence for the constant tetris I offered this room to to the 17yo when his brother moved out and it became the spare/junk/laundry and he adamantly refused to move. So I took it, painted the ceiling gold and loved it.
But then the lockdown came. And with it the chance of redecoration. And as the room filled with the clutter we had zealously cleared from other rooms so I retreated to the sofa. The 17yo, however, spent most of last year lying down on his bed in this tiny room.
Something had to be done. When lockdown eased towards the end of last summer I called the decorator and explained. He put me on the list and promised to return as soon as he could. Which turned out to be a month ago. In the thick of another lockdown but with builders and decorators allowed to work. He arrived masked shut himself in with the window open and we donned masks to pass him cups of tea at regular intervals.
Now you will remember I showed you my plans for this room which involved some panelling and a rich emerald green. The 17yo was insisting on more blue. He was also hesitating over the gold ceiling which was fair enough although the decorator was hesitating over its painting over.
Then he saw my green. And demanded that it be his. Nothing else would do – he would keep the gold ceiling (which he secretly quite liked). I took the deal as there was also anaglypta wallpaper on the lower half of the wall which he hadn’t yet noticed and that was going to be a nightmare to remove.
So he was in and happy. Twenty four hours later he announced that he rather liked the texture on the wall and was glad of the eggshell finish. So that was him sorted.
Meanwhile, I had to start again. Then the new colour card from Little Greene landed, which I wrote about a couple of weeks ago. I instantly reverted to type – and chose Arras for the panelling and Ferdinand for the ceiling. And now you see it.
The back wall, once the built-in bed is lined with shelves and the panelling goes round the rest of the room. My desk just squeezes in front and the chair sits in the corner. The pendant light is from La Redoute. I had planned to hang two at different heights but I got the measurements wrong and it was too big – I love the single one though and it’s just behind the curved chair so no head-banging. There are also smaller versions and the light it gives is lovely and soft. Clipped to the shelves are two Hector pleat lamps from Original BTC (who I started working with last year). The shades are hand made from bone china and they give the most gorgeous diffused light. I’m particularly keen on the idea of being able to move them where you want with the clamp and the plug in cable which is so much easier than having to wire in a wall light.
Finally I need a window dressing. This is a north-facing room with two outside walls. I wanted a curtain but have realised there is only room for one and there’s no space for a curtain pole to extend to the left of the window to pull it back fully so it would cut the natural light. So it will be a blind. I wanted something over the top and floral but having looked at dozens of patterns it isn’t quite me so I have decided to go for the over the top floral but in black and white with a pink stripe behind it. I await the samples and I will, of course show you the room when it is fully done.
By the way – because you will ask – the Berber rug is from H&M about three years ago and the Persian rug has been rolled up in a cupboard for about six years – we’ve had it forever. It has emerged slightly moth-eaten and faded which, as any fule no, is a perfectly good way for a Persian rug to be.