creative 1975

Renovations Underway Part II

In Renovating/DIY on October 20, 2011 at 1:12 am

I previously wrote about the prepping and decoration of our first project, including photographs.

I am not an experienced or qualified builder nor am I a qualified interior designer. In fact it’s my husband who works in construction and can turn his hand to most things in building, from carpentry and plastering to fitting kitchens. And we’ve shared our life together for the past nineteen years, therefore I’ve partly grown up in a construction world – from running our own business together specializing in suspended ceilings, partitioning and office refurbishment – to renovating a house a long time ago.

I have managed to pick up some knowledge along the way. However, my passion, determination and frugality mixed with my husband’s extensive career makes a good combination to take on the project. And let’s not forget an abundance of patience! or get carried away in my optimism – it’s only room one!

I will give most things ago and if I fail, then I’m happy (mostly) with knowing I’ve tried. Therefore, I don’t believe I need a diploma in Interior Design to create a home.

This is the bedroom when we first took possession, which my daughter had to sleep in for a couple of weeks until we settled in …moved her out and started the renovation.

This is the room now complete. She had an input on the kind of room she would like – “I’d like it to be more grown up – my dream room – and purple!”

The only item of furniture that is new in the bedroom is the bunk beds, which were bought locally and are New Zealand made. The wardrobe and chest of drawers are pretty old, but suffice at the moment. Designing a room for a pre-teen is a little tricky, so it’s best to be frugal in the furniture department because in a few years time it will all probably change! New handles can give furniture a new look at a reasonable cost and this is exactly what I did on the wardrobe, but unfortunately the supplier has let me down and I haven’t received the handles for the chest of drawers.

A long mirror and some grown-up wall art creatives a little dressing area all of her own. And somewhere to hang all those little bags – wrought iron chicken coat hooks to add a subtle essence of our farm style surroundings.

Restoring furniture

Giving old pieces of furniture a ‘spruce’ up is definitely worthwhile and cost effective. The desk in this bedroom has had exactly that, and serves its purpose and it’s an item of furniture we’ve owned for over ten years. It used to be a computer table, but with some parts taken off and a good detailed sand down, new handles and three coats of varnish it’s a new desk to be enjoyed.

A pin board is a great idea for pinning up favourite animals or pop stars and shelves are essential to store books and personal objects. The shelves have been measured and cut from a sheet of pine – sanded down and given a couple of coats of varnish. The brackets have been bought from a local hardware store.

Window Dressing

I find fabric quite difficult to decide on – the colour – the pattern and so forth, as it’s going to adorn the window for quite some time. However, I did decide to make a roman blind myself. They’re cheaper to make than curtains as they require less fabric and I felt that a blind would suit the position of the window best as it is situated so close to the wall. It was experimental – as it’s my first one and I also wanted to find out how economical I could make it. I used dress fabric, which you’re not really supposed to do, but it’s less than half the price of drape fabric. I did purchase the lining at no cost difference as the backing had to be right. Because of the fabric I used I couldn’t get the required width, therefore I opted for a border to overcome this. I then referred to my ‘how to’ book and my sewing friend’s advice of: measure twice, cut once! The total cost of the blind, including all materials worked out at $106 NZD


Is a room complete with out accessories? Of course it isn’t – it’s the final touches that bring it all together, whether it’s a few scatter cushions or an ornate lamp. You can plan and shop for the room’s accompaniments before or during the refurbishment. These last components don’t have to cost the earth if you shop around – online stores and local shops, they all have sales. I check into Internet sites on a weekly basis looking for their weekly sales – searching for accessories that would suit the room and also what our daughter would like. She chose a few herself too.

© Victoria Clements 2011


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