Tag Archives: painting and decorating


Room to play

It’s really amazing what you can achieve when the arrival of a little person is imminent.

After spending around three years looking for a home and either being undecided, in love but outbid, or in one case having a sale agreed fall through when the vendors changed their minds, Mr Homebird (MH) and I somehow managed to find what TV property experts Kirstie and Phil would call our ‘forever family home’ in the space of approximately three weeks.

When moving day finally arrived I was in the roly poly third trimester. As someone who’s pretty hands on when it comes to all things home related it was really odd and frustrating to depend on others to haul our boxes around.  But I was able to benefit from the nesting instinct that comes with pregnancy.

Once we’d got the keys and were showing family around, my sister in law asked me about a room that leads off the entrance hall. With its close proximity to the kitchen/dining/living area where we spend most of our time and its pretty double glass doors, she reckoned we might be planning to use  it as a dining room.

We’d other ideas however. With Little Homebird (LH) about to make her debut we knew it would make a great playroom.

Here is the room in all its magnolia glory taken when we first moved in:

Number of those boxes touched by me: zero.

Not too inspiring, eh?

The first thing I did when tackling this room was to find a joiner to install some built in shelving along the left hand wall. ( I’m slightly obsessed with vertical storage. )

We knew we didn’t want the room to be confined to kids’ toys as we needed somewhere to stash our DVDs, CDs, board games and my craft things. (Confession: I’m secretly planning to convert the room into a full blown craft haven when LH is bigger. Shhhh.)

I designed a storage unit with open shelving in the centre which means LH can easily access her toys, and shelving with doors at either end to hide our music and film collection.  The doors lock so it’s great to keep mucky little hands off  MH’s prized music collection!

Here’s what the finished shelving looks like:




And here are the door handles I ordered from Amazon:

imageCute as a button, no?

The shelving is made of MDF and had to be painted which to be honest took me about a year to get organised. In the meantime I spent far too long thinking about a colour scheme. I’d almost settled on teal for the shelves when I’d a major U turn after browsing on Pinterest.

In the end I opted for yellow and white striped walls with the entire wall opposite the shelving in blackboard paint. To contrast with the black I decided to paint the shelves white.

gail's iphone jan15 335

Even though I’d hired a decorator, painting the stripes was a bit stressful, (especially when we realised that our walls aren’t exactly straight) but we used the window as a guide instead.  The walls were painted white first, then lines pencilled in and multi surface Frogtape applied. The spaces between the tape were painted bright yellow and peeled off.

I was really pleased with the result:


The finishing touches were an old-style school map for the blackboard wall (I was a teacher before re-training as a journalist and these things stay with you!) which I made from a £3 poster from The Works.  I used a glue gun to stick the top and bottom of the map to some wooden trim I purchased from Homebase.

Eh, voila:


We also needed a new light fitting as the original one cast lots of shadows and was quite low.

I opted for this simple black and yellow beauty from Minisun on Amazon:


I dressed the window with some bunting I’d made at a beginners’ sewing class taught by Ashleigh at her delightful Pottery Yarn in my local village.


imageimageTo complete, I added toys and a small person.

As LH would say: “And they all lived happily ever after.  The end.”



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