I’ve been doing up the spare cottage on our property for the past two or so years by myself (where friends and family stay when they visit us), and it’s now completely finished inside. I’ve only got a bit of tidying up in the garden to do there… and I’ll be done!
It’s very exciting to nearly have such a big job out of the way, and people love staying there too! I have previously posted a couple of ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos of the bathroom in the cottage, so you have seen the sort of state it was in! There certainly was lots of scrubbing, fixing, painting and re-organisation involved.
This post is about one of the four bedrooms, and this bedroom was one of the worst rooms for cleaning and repairs, as you can see.
When it came to decorating the cottage, I really just had to use everything that I already had. I didn’t really want to spend any more money and I also wanted to challenge myself to get it looking nice without buying new stuff.
I am very lucky to have a good supply of furniture already (from years of buying things cheaply, hand-me-downs from parents and friends), and I also had lots of bits and pieces from various sources (like my parents’ linen cupboard cleanout!). The things I did have to spend money on (like the curtains) I did very cheaply. Here’s a summary of what I did for this bedroom:
Painting - I Scrubbed, fixed and painted everything, including the floor – I priced getting some lino put down, but it was going to be too expensive when I multiplied it by the other 5+ rooms that I had to do! So I simply ripped up the old carpet, ploughed a mountain of no-gaps around the base of the wall, and painted the floor in white decking paint using a roller (the floorboards were quite rough so I did two coats). Then I used a heavy duty clear furniture varnish (one coat) over the top once the decking paint had dried. It looks great and wears extremely well, especially considering the amount of no-gapping that I did. It also worked out to be extremely cheap!
Curtains – I priced doing the windows cheaply with blinds or ready-made curtains, but it was still going to be too expensive. So I just made my own using only curtain backing, and I got this on special for about $6 per metre. I simply sewed a space at the top of each curtain for the curtain rods (these were cheap too), and I didn’t even bother doing any hemming at the bottom.
Talk about quick and easy! Then I wanted to give the windows some colour, and I also wanted them to look bigger than they are. So I put longer curtain rods along the windows, and hung red gingham material off the longer bit of the curtain rod (i.e. there’s no window behind the gingham curtains). And they look great!
Furniture – The bed was one of those black metal things that I bought from Harvey Norman about 15 years ago. I just painted it and I place pillows over the ugly circle design bit on the bedhead. The dressing table is a lovely hand-me-down, the chair I already had, and the bedside tables (my only furniture purchase for this room) cost $10 each from Fantastic Furniture. You can also see here my Tea Towel Cushion from a previous post. The nice European pillowcases with the red trim came from Ezibuy on special for $7 each.
Decorations – I just gathered what I had and used it – lots of little pictures that don’t work very well on their own but look great in an arrangement, the wicker wreath was another hand-me-down, a vase of sticks, an old suitcase that belonged to my father-in-law… all sorts of things like that. And somehow it just all works together!