Last time we’d just finished putting in the new floor and painting the walls and ceiling, meaning it was just the cupboards & shelves to go in. That makes it sound like we were really close to being finished, but sadly that wasn’t the case.
The carpenter we had hired to do our cupboards was someone Kitty found in the street… quite literally, she approached him as he was finishing a job just up the road. He’d given us a price and said that the job would take two days, which was ideal as when I work a weekend I get two days in the week off so we ended up timing things to coincide with my days off.
When he arrives he instantly begins talking about being here three days, maybe even into a fourth depending on his progress. Straight away timescales start to slip, and a day’s holiday had to be cancelled so I could re-book it and be there for the third day.
The plan was to put two cupboards in the alcoves, with three shelves above on the right alcove and two on the left, with the TV being up on the wall on the left side.
Three and a half days later that’s exactly what we ended up with.
The work is exactly what we wanted, and we’re very happy with it, even though it took much longer than expected. It also left us with a bit more touching up than expected too; although we knew we’d have to do some cover up painting, we probably underestimated just how much.
The wood at the back of the left alcove is a fake wall, to hide the cables behind with the newly wall-mounted TV. That in itself was a bit of a palaver, because I attempted to do it myself and the damn bracket started coming out of the wall when I started to hang the TV on it. Fortunately dear old dad popped round one day while I was at work and did it properly for us!
Next steps, paint the cupboard doors, shelves, fake wall, skirting and window surround. But what colour? That was a pretty big decision; it took us a while to make our mind up.
Our choices (limited to Farrow & Ball colours because Kitty loves them) were to paint the cupboards and shelves the same colour as the walls (Stiffkey Blue), the ceiling (Wimborne White) or something a little different. We thought that there would be too much white if we went for that, and then began to consider Railings, which is a very dark grey. The problem is then what colour to do the skirting… because we wanted a dark colour on the shelves and cupboards to help them blend into the wall and not make things feel too small, but then doing the skirting under the cupboards white could undo that and make the walls feel closer in.
So we decided to do all the cupboards, shelves, mantle shelf, door frame and skirting in Railings. The window surround, windowsill and skirting under the window is Wimborne White to make a feature of the bay window.
With all the painting done and the cupboards and shelves in, it’s time to fill them! I’ve ended up putting a real mix of new things and old favourites, like our new globe and lamp as well as our Mexican skull and Pointless trophy. However Kitty keeps telling me that, despite her tweaking things already, the shelves are not finished yet because she’s not settled on final arrangements!
But the most fun thing we now have in our living room are (for me anyway) the Lego minifigures!
I’ve been collecting superhero Lego figures for a couple of years now, having been selling them online for a while too, and they’ve never been on display. They’ve all been tucked away in tubs waiting for their chance to shine. And then Kitty suggested a printer’s tray to stand some in. I think she was hoping for something a little smaller, but I’ve managed to get away with a pretty big one that I found on eBay, which now houses over a hundred different Marvel and DC characters.
The room is finished off with a new rug from Cox & Cox. We only wish we could switch out our older arm chair and blinds for something a bit better, but there are more pressing things to do in the house and so they’ll have to go onto the wish list.
The next fun thing we need to do is our gallery wall, which is also subject to much debate. Both of us have different ideas of what we want to include. For me; I wanted something comic book-y and something Star Wars related. While Kitty was adamant we include one of our wedding photos and something typographic.
In the end I’m sure we’ll end up with something we’re both very happy with. We’re planning to use different styles and sizes of frames to house things such as our Rappers Delight print and an Arizona print that Kitty got me.
There are still a couple of tiny bits to finish off, like adding in the last bits of scotia trim in front of the cupboards and filling the gap under one side of the hearth. But we are essentially finished (at last) and have a brand new fantastic living room to enjoy. And just in time for Christmas too!
UPDATE (14th Feb 2018)
Well, we finally got the gallery wall up! Plus the scratch map that shows all the places we’ve been together. Naturally, Kitty’s moved a bunch of stuff on the shelves from where I put them. And now there’s a cot and a bunch of baby toys too!