So this is what happened. The builders took off the main roof ready to convert the loft. We had also asked them to do the smaller roof at the back, which goes mainly over No2 son’s bedroom. Last week they stripped it to discover that once the roof tiles were removed it was clear that the chimney was held in place by a combination of fresh air and, what my mother would call, personal magnetism.
Not only did it look like it would blow over in the slightest puff of wind, but in order to repair it and prop it up from the base, the ceiling in the room below would have to come down. Cue much delight from 11-year-old who was desperate for a room makeover and fury from 14-year-old who was given a room makeover for his 13th birthday and is constantly determined that his younger brother should never, ever, at all, under any circumstances, have anything before he was allowed to. Ever.
With the ceiling gone and the orange carpet trashed (we were perhaps all a little bit relieved about that) it was also clear that the walls (two outside ones) had no insulation. Which would perhaps explain the constant complaints about being cold in there. Roundly ignored until this point.
Cue plans for total room makeover. But he’s 11 and he still has toys. And this room needs to last until he leaves home. It must have a desk, be a bit cool, have room for the toys, which will in time become books? Or more grown up toys. There must be hanging space, because while everything is currently *hung* on the floor the time will, presumably (please God) come when he wants to hang up the odd shirt so that he can wear it out with his mates. And perhaps he will be able to assume that hanging shirts are clean, floor shirts are laundry. Something that is not possible in the everything-on-the-floor-probably-filthy-who-cares-anyway system that he currently has.
Did I mention that it’s a tiny room? It’s nearly 10ft by about 8ft in an L-shape with the door on at the end of the base of the L and a window in the middle of the long wall (roughly like the plan in the image but with only one door in the base of the L). So the plan is this: Along the blue wall (with the fish on currently) there will be a bed-width platform that turns the corner and becomes a desk running along the long wall (just seen in the top image). They will be the same height and at the foot of the bed, on the window wall, there will be bookshelves. These will effectively be at the foot of his bed but reachable from his desk.
The carpet and furniture will be dark grey. The walls, skirting boards and ceiling are to be Little Greene Sky Blue. The light will be fixed in the middle of the ceiling but will have a long cord flex and trail, via a hook in the ceiling, over to the desk. There will be a Shaker-style peg rail with seven pegs. At this stage he will hang five shirts, one pair of pyjamas and a school blazer there. In time it may hold hangers with shirts. Here’s hoping. There will be large boxes on wheels under the bed, which will be quite high as it matches the desk. This will be for toys but also underwear, pyjamas – clothes that don’t need folding. There will be space under the desk for some shelves for clothes that do need folding.
And that’s kind of it. It’s hard to explain but I have put together a board so you can sort of see the colours, if nothing else. When it’s done in two weeks *pauses for gales of laughter* I will show you.