creative 1975

The Study Room

In Renovating/DIY on March 28, 2014 at 1:24 pm

A study is a room in a house which is used for paperwork, computer work, or reading. Historically, the study of a house was reserved for use as the private office and reading room of a family father as the formal head of a household, but today studies are generally either used to operate a home business or else open to the whole family. ~ Wikipedia

The renovation hill we’ve been climbing for nearly three year’s still feels steep at times, however we’ve made remarkable progress and I guess it’s becoming not as high to climb as it used to be. We are going to create a study and laundry in what we call the back room, aka ‘the leery room’. It’s the same sized room as the living room. They are both situated alongside of each other at the front part of the house. It’s in a similar state to what the living room once was with its dilapidated windows, dated décor and worn-out carpet.

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It’s a large enough space to make one room into two, giving the whole area functionality and practicality—a study and a laundry/storage area. We decided to make the front part of the room (with the large window) in to the study and the other half into a laundry; a place that would accommodate so much. Therefore, the entrance into the laundry is via the main hallway of the house and it is also the part of the room where the back entrance can be found. Eventually the laundry/storage room will accommodate: a linen cupboard, washing machine, somewhere to wash your hands coming in from the garden and so much more…

We have never lived nor renovated a home with the rare décor this room has, hence naming it the ‘leery’ room. All the walls are adorned with wildlife wall covering—quite amazing! We use it as another place for storage (of course) and Max the Labrador sleeps in here at night. Although, the items stored in here will need to be moved elsewhere and when this next project is finished I’ll be able to unpack some more boxes! When you’ve had your belongings—collected or hoarded— for over the past twenty years packed away in boxes for more than two years, it’s surprising how much you actually forget about! I will be delighted to unpack the rest of my books and place them on shelves in the study-to-be!

The plan

  • Strip wall paper, make good of walls and paint. Colour chosen Te Anau from the NZ Dulux colour range. (Te Anau is a town in the South Island of New Zealand).
  • Leave ceiling alone! Just paint white, including coving
  • Build stud wall to divide the room
  • Stud wall is to comprise of alcoves on both sides with the door through to the study situated in the centre of the wall—creating a bulk head above the doorway. Door to be used: original rimu wood door taken out of the original en-suite bathroom. Sand down, paint white and fit new door handle. (Rimu is a large evergreen coniferous tree prevalent to the forests of New Zealand)
  • Rear aspect of divided room to become a laundry area/parlour with storage, washing machine, sink, coat hooks, shoe storage, linen cupboard and already has the rear access to the outside. Also, the roof access is conveniently in this area where Mr C. has already fitted a loft ladder.
  • Replace large window at the front of study-to-be room with double glazed UPVC window. Keep original wooden window frame, sand and paint. Replace window sill.
  • Build shelving and cupboards in the two recesses either side of the door in the study using pine and MDF. Sand, paint and varnish.
  • Sand, repair and paint skirting boards.
  • Fit some kind of heating component in the room as it will pretty cold in winter without it!
  • Install electrical power for a light switch and create a power source for electric heating to be fixed to the wall. Also install power in both alcoves for printer or lamp etc.
  • Replace existing electrical sockets with new.
  • Fit new carpet and underlay.
  • Dress window with curtains and voiles sourced from the UK.
  • Refurbish old desk/table and buy a new desk chair.
  • Refurbish an old piece of furniture (Mr C’s grandfather’s little writing bureau) to make good use of it!
  • When finished, sit down and smile with pure joy and relief that another room is done!

It will be an ideal place for me to work and also it will be greatly used as a hobby room too; plus a quiet space in the house for us all to enjoy. The idea is to create a room with a summery disposition in components such as the curtains and furnishings. A space that is timeless, personal and alive. If you’re going to spend time in a room doing hobbies or using it as a workspace, it has to be a space you really enjoy spending time in.

The work begins…

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After all the walls had been stripped, prepped and painted, Mr C. set about doing what he knows best with his (many) years of experience and divided the room in half. The recesses in the laundry area will eventually have a large L-shaped cupboard on one side and coat hooks and shoe storage on the other. In the study the recesses will retain low-level cupboards and shelving.

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Mr C. built the shelving and cupboards using pine and some MDF. I proceeded to paint and varnish when he’d finished. I sourced some cupboard handles from the internet to use on the doors.

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Mr C. fitted the new window much to our relief and enjoyment, just how we felt when the living room window was taken out; a moment of clarity and joy with knowing that these windows will stand the test of time. He fitted a new window sill, created new mullions and then after sanding I painted the woodwork with an undercoat and two top coats of white paint. I did exactly the same with the skirting boards, sanding lightly in-between coats. However, I also needed to fill some of the small gaps and imperfections with filler. It’s a shame that the skirting boards were not original to the house, but good that they could be made good without replacing them.

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1980-01-01 00.03.45 2013-12-04 11.17.54 Window dressed with ready made curtains from Debenhams and voiles from online store. Double, white pole purchased online in NZ.

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With all the building works and decoration complete it was time to allocate some furniture to the room. New furniture (except for a couple of chairs) is not in the budget, so I tackled some old furniture to create a desk and a little stationery cupboard for those office necessities.

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I removed the legs of a pine table we once used as a kitchen table and sanded down the table top to a good finish. It wasn’t too difficult as it didn’t have stains or ring marks. It came up well and then I coated it with four or five coats of clear varnish, sanding very lightly in-between coats. Next I painted the legs with white undercoat after an initial sanding with medium coarse sand paper. I gave the legs three coats and then using fine sandpaper I rubbed the edges to give a shabby worn effect.

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The little writing bureau used to belong to Mr C’s grandfather. We’ve had in our possession for at least ten years. It was tired and deserved a makeover as well as being an ideal piece of furniture to house small bits and bobs. I chose not to give it a distressed style; I simply wanted to add some colour to it and opted for three different colours: blue, beige and white—all paints that I already had from previous projects.

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I removed the drawers and cupboard doors and sanded everything with an electric sander. I painted each section bit by bit allowing for good drying time in-between coats, building up the layers with each colour and light sanding in-between. When I was done I put everything back together and fitted some new handles!

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Next: the other half of this room – the laundry – in a few months!




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