Friday, 20 February 2015

Workspace Renovation

I've been so desperate for a desk and a couple of drawers for so long It was driving me mad. I like being organised; making lists, having my paper-clips colour coded, I like a place for everything and everything in its place.

In our initial renovation plans we always had this little pocket of the livingroom/den designated as a workspace. This space sits in a wee nook behind our staircase.

As the building work progressed, we decided to replace the plasterboard on the existing wall, adding a frame, running half a tonne of cabling round the back, and insulating.
You can see on the right of the photo the gap that we had to leave
to give us a perfectly flat wall and suitable insulation
The space we had left to play with reduced considerably from 1.75 m wide to 1.35m which is small but not impossible to work with.

The large shelving space was once a doorway leading into a corridor which no longer exists.
As you can see, the longer it took us to finish it, the more the space got filled with crap.

We were stumped looking for a desk that would fit the space. Anything off-the-shelf was too big, and I was reluctant to start building one ourselves (mostly due to time) I really wanted a simple white desk, but the dimensions were so unusual.

Back in November I picked a storage unit that would fit snugly.

Next came a couple of pin boards and a drawer... I was on the right road...

So then for the desk top. We dithered over choice of materials and size, eventually deciding on 'Contiboard'. It is basically laminated chipboard (what most flatpack furniture is made of)  Available in a range of sizes; we bought 46cm wide which is just deep enough for a desk top and fits neatly in the space we have available.
just balanced in place for a few minutes... to see if it fits
I didn't want legs cluttering up the already small and cluttered space, so I wanted to baton it instead. To ensure the (rather thin) desk top would be suitably strong and not bend I ran a full length baton along the back and side of the desk. Here you can see our other design hurdle as the only place for a desk was also the only place for a radiator. Hopefully the Contiboard will withstand the constant fluctuation in temperature better than plain wood, only time will tell though.

The contiboard was easy to work with, putting on the edging strip at the cut end was tricky but worth the extra time. 

I added a bit of art work to brighten up the space, and make it feel more homely.

An illustrated map of Glasgow - we bought at the Commonwealth Games
(check out the seller's Etsy shop - loads more lovely stuff)
I think it all looks pretty damned good and fits the space perfectly.

So here is our new workspace in all its glory!
(it is not usually this tidy)
The shelving is still a work in progress - check back later for the completed look...

And here for your viewing pleasure is the side by side shot.

The Nitty Gritty:
  • The storage unit is from the Besta range at IKEA with chrome legs to raise it to the right height
  • Pinboards are IKEA
  • The desktop is contiboard from B&Q
  • The framed illustration is The Glasgow Alphabet Map by Rosemary Cunningham you can find the map and more beautiful work available at her Etsy shop or on her Website

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Christmas, Surgery and Bedroom Antics

It seems that every second post I write these days is some kind of summary of recent happenings and explanation into why I haven't written anything lately...

We Wish You a Merry Christmas...

We had a fabulous Christmas, thanks for asking. Our tree was the most beautiful I've ever had. I successfully fed a bazillion family members delicious Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. We realised that our house is pretty awesome for hosting large groups of people, and a fabulous time was had by all! I have no photographic evidence of this, but this turkey was amazing, I wish we had scratch and sniff computer screens.

... And A Happy New Ear!!

At the beginning of January, John had surgery on his middle ear to replace those teeny tiny bones in there which had fused together. He lost his hearing about 12 months ago, though it was a slow process and probably been going on for a few years. Hopefully this operation will help him hear again. It turns out, I'm really freaked out by ears, and changing the dressings daily was a real sign of devotion (and gave my the dry boak)

It proved to be an incredibly difficult time for our little family as the temperature has dropped considerably, it made travel hard for anyone trying to lend a hand. John was on bed rest for 10 days, with another 10 days basically sitting on the sofa trying not to get dizzy, he still can't lift anything heavy.

My physical health is still compromised by my dodgy pelvis and PND is working on my emotions. I was pushed to my limits and just tried to get through 1 day at a time, sometimes just 1 hour at a time. I'm glad to say, we made it.

So here we are, a month after the surgery and back on our feet. I've been haphazardly working on some new projects around our house... including my workspace, slip covers for the sofa and armchair, and still very slowly working towards a bedroom for Teeny.

I'm looking forward to sharing more projects with you, and some new money saving tips coming your way soon too.

A call to action fellow bloggers:

I need a bit of motivation to get our most important project off the ground.

Our spare room should be a bedroom for our one year old 'Teeny', but it is not, and he currently sleeps, or doesn't, depending if it is 3am or not, in his cot at the end of our bed... this is not conducive to marital bliss... nudge, nudge, wink, wink, cough, cough, splutter... no, seriously... I hardly ever get more than 3 hours sleep in a row.
I'm looking for any bloggers out there who may want to join me in a 'bedroom renovation challenge' please get in touch. This mainly involves some mutual ass-kicking / blog along / group therapy 

Okpleasethanksluvyabye x

Monday, 15 December 2014

Painting More Shelves

I've been painting some more old furniture, as part of clearing out our not-so-spare-room, which embarrassingly we started back in April.

We have 2 large 'IVAR' bookcases that I bought 1 million years ago for my office in the city (I ran my own business for a while, It was very exciting, I was very young, It didn't last) The shelves have been moved around every home we have had over the past 12 years and they have been very useful, but they have languished in the 'spare room' since we moved back home.

In an attempt to empty the spare room and give ourselves better storage downstairs I decided to put the shelves into our kitchen, by the original stone wall.

I was moving quickly, because it was nap-time and I nearly forgot to take photos.

The shelves were really manky - having been used as tool/assorted crap storage for the last few years. I've tried to clean them up a few times before but I figured a coat of paint would be the quickest and kindest upgrade.

After I had finished the first coat, oh hang on, there is an un-painted shelf there... Oh well... this is a work in progress shot anyways.

I had turned some other Ivar shelves into a mini-kitchen for Small a while back, she still plays with it regularly so I incorporated it into the new shelving.

The upright on the right is too tall, but, for the moment, there is nowhere else in the house for it to go and it serves as a hanging space for bows and arrows.

A couple of days later and with all our cookery books, here it is in all its glory (and with the light levels a bit off)

Oh, yeah, also, I got some new fairy lights :)

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