Not long ago I wrote about the nightmare that is moving home and all the pit falls that come with it. But what happens after you’re in? Sure, in the estate agent photos you’ve been poring over for months the house looks perfect. But lets be honest, the reality is usually a house with peel wallpaper and paintwork that looks as if it were applied by a 5 year old in the dark.
Our own move was around 10 months ago now. In many ways we were very lucky, the previous owners didn’t appear to be aware of any colour other than magnolia, so at least we didn’t have to cover up dark purple or lime green. However the arrival of Baby 2 weeks after we moved in scuppered our decorating plans, some what.
Now that Baby is a little older we are very slowly working our way around the house, starting with the childrens rooms, as we felt it was important for us to have somewhere to send them! For the next few months (and possibly years) I will be sharing our adventures in DIY. The things that worked, the things that didn’t, and the things that we will never, ever try again!
As Teen had obviously gone slightly mad and decided he would like to live with us, so we chose to tackle his room first so that he would have a space of his own in which to shout at his friends via xBox live. We planned the room as a surprise based on his request for a double bed, his love of New York imagery, and his dad’s inability to decorate anything without using grey.
Believe it or not this room belonged to another teenager before we moved in, despite it looking very much like a spare room. We wanted something with much more character for our Teen.
We started from the top down by painting the ceiling which had turned a lovely shade of yellow white. It was about half way through this job that we realised that we needed to stop what we were doing and buy a roller on an extending pole, or risk breaking Grumpy Dad… We also vowed never to buy normal white paint for the ceilings again and to instead invest in some special paint which is pink when applied but turns white as it dries!
Once the ceiling was finished we painted the walls in a dark grey that we quickly decided was too dark and replaced with the much lighter grey. As both paints were on 3 for 2 we made the decision that all 3 of the children’s rooms would have grey walls.
The biggest feature of the room was to be a massive New York skyline which would cover an entire wall. This seemed like a good idea at the time. The picture came in a 4 pieces with everything we would need to put it up including instructions to hang the bottom two sections first. In hind sight this was a mistake as it meant that when we fitted the top two sections we were trying to match up the bottom of the picture while standing on ladders and balancing the rest of the sheet on our heads. In the end it took us 2 days and several expletives before we were happy with the result but now you can barely see a seam.
I would love to show you Teens finished room, however once we painted the skirting boards, put up a wooden blind, and made up some Ikea furniture, Teen moved in and the room instantly transformed from bright and stylish to a dark pit!
Unsurprisingly I had planned out Baby’s room in minute detail long before we actually bought the house, although despite her being 9.5 months now, I still haven’t finished it.
Before we moved in Baby’s room was another unloved bedroom belonging to a teenager, but I wanted to turn it into a cozy nursery which would be perfect for Baby now, without being too babyish, with the intention that it would grow up with her.
Baby’s nursery was the only room where the ceilings weren’t covered in paint or horribly discoloured so we were able to get straight on with painting the walls. After seeing a picture online I chose to paint 3 walls of the nursery in the same light grey as Teens room, while the remaining wall was painted a much darker grey to give a high contrast with the white and yellow tree decal I had fallen in love with.
Sadly the wall sticker didn’t live up to expectations as I explained in my review, so the effect is quite muted compared to my expectations, but despite this it still looks quite good.
Grumpy Dad and I searched for ages to find Baby’s sleigh cot bed (which she has yet to sleep in) as I wanted something that she would be able to use for a long time to come. This one should last until she’s around 5 years old, which is a good thing as she will likely be 1 before she sleeps in it.
While I have finished the bulk of the decorating in Baby’s room there are lots of finishing touches still to do. We have a shelf and several pieces of art to hang, curtains and blinds need to go up and Baby’s wardrobe needs to be dismantled, sanded and re-painted to match her cot.
These last few tasks have all put on a back burner as Grumpy Dad, Baby and I are all happy with the convenience of Baby remaining in our bedroom for now. Although, her tendency to grow like a weed and her growing mobility will soon make the move to her own room a necessity.
As Child is only with us every other weekend, she drew the short straw of the box room. This seemed to have been used as a music studio in its previous life and is so small that we were a little worried about fitting a bed in.
Child’s favorite colour is blue so we wanted this to feature in the room, but as she is 9 we also wanted something girly but not to childish. We found the perfect shabby chic wallpaper in Dunelm and as luck would have it, it would work perfectly with the same light grey we had used on the rest of the childrens rooms.
Our first task was to paint the ceiling, a job which we had grown to dread but as the previous owners appeared to have applied magnolia paint by flicking it at the walls, we had little choice. As it happens, this time it only took minutes to complete as the room is so tiny.
Wall papering was the biggest job in this room and was left in the capable hands of Grumpy Dad. Again, the small size of the room made this task easier as he only had to hang 4 strips of paper but as the paper did shrink a little as it dried, this was still a challenge and not one I would have undertaken myself!
In addition to our worry about fitting a bed in, we also wanted to make sure that the furniture didn’t overpower the small room. In the end a quick trip to ikea solved all our problems with a single white bed, under bed storage draws, a small bed side table, and a shelf to store Childs xBox. The room was finished with a small wall mounted TV, wooden blinds and a few new accessories. It will never be the biggest room in the world but it has now been transformed from a bland office to a snug and cozy little space.
Now that all of the children have their rooms Grumpy Dad and I are looking forward to turning our own room into a comfortable space to hide from the children in!
Once again, the previous owners have left the room as magnolia, and under their care it was full of pine furniture which is not a look I would have chosen as the room, while not small, is not massive and the pine just overpowers it.
I’m hoping that when we start to decorate we will be able to cover up the random cat paw prints, which are all over the walls and impossible to remove, and bring a little character to the room which could currently be any room in the house with a bed left in the middle.
We’re not planning to start until Baby vacates the room but after trawling through Pinterest and Googling design ideas I’m now leaning towards a New England feel and have found some beautiful white furniture at The Oak Furniture company which would be perfect as a design staring point.
Watch this space for more updates on our journey to turn our new house into a home.
Have you moved into a house with terrible decoration? Share your story!
*This post contains sponsored content however all opinions and text are my own.