It’s oodles and ages since I’ve blog-posted, so here are some snapshots of our barn to keep you updated…
It was meant to be a non-decision (or decision-avoidance): “I’ll have all the walls white!” There √ One less thing to think about.
Brilliant white is a non-runner (unless we’re keen to wear sunglasses all day) so what I needed was a nice off-white (it’s white-with-a-hint-of-pretentious again) and, damn it, I’m back on that keyboard with the internet leading me deep into the un-murky world of white paint and showing me how very beautiful my house could be if I just concentrate.
Ultra-matt, flat-matt, sheeny or shiny?
Wipeable, washable or guaranteed durable?
Trade, artisan or posh-bird?
Cool-whites, warm-whites or neutral-whites (eh)? Oh, hang on, apparently it depends which way my windows are facing…
I’ll be needing two whites then: Warm tones, ‘based on reds and earthy-browns’, for those north-facing, cold rooms, and cool whites ‘based on greens, greys or blues’ for my south-facing sun traps…
…or possibly three – tepid tones (based on sludgy non-colours?) for those indecisive, open-plan rooms which face every-bloody-which-way. And what about east and west?
Just when I think I’m on my way to resolving this dilemma I start picking up paint charts and find there are hundreds, nay, thousands (nay, millions?) of whites out there. And, even when I’ve worked out that posh-bird paint would cost almost as much as the windows, Dulux Trade promise they can match every single one! Oh, joy.
I tried typing ‘make the decision for me’ into Google, but alas, Google was as confused as I. I bought tester pots based on whether I the name of a paint caught my fancy (frankly, some of those paint manufacturers play fast and loose with the word ‘white’) and I painted bits of wood to test in various locations.
Then the builders needed the paint, so I panicked and ordered 60 litres of two completely untested shades which had been recommended by an unknown interior designer on some random blog I’d read weeks ago.
Flat matt (I don’t like shiny)
Wipeable, washable and guaranteed durable please (farmers, dogs and wet Essex clay). I’m making the right decision here, aren’t I?
Trade (an actual non-decision. Glory be!)
They were right about taking account of which way the windows face though:
This is ‘Timeless’:
And this is ‘Clouded Pearl 3’ (that number must be important.)
Two paints, a multitude of shades and I fink they look all wight!
Last week saw me deep in the trauma of a bathroom tile dilemma which resulted in my being blacklisted by more than one supplier for abuse of ‘order a sample by post‘. I’d already had a similar run-in with a certain manufacturer of engineered wood flooring.
Interior design by Google means a world of choice, literally at my fingertips, but it doesn’t make me an interior designer. So many choices and so many beautiful pictures of stunning interiors created by others but no one to tell me exactly what to do.
I have invented an acronym for the too much choice/not-enough-inherent-style syndrome I am presently suffering from:
(Fear of Uncool Copycat Utilising of Pinterest)
‘Order a sample’ seems to have become my knee-jerk reaction and I have sourced sufficient samples and swatches to decorate a modest bungalow, whilst not actually making any decisions at all.
Now I’m asking the world wide web which doors I should buy.
“Hey, WWW, which interior doors should I buy?”
… and I’m back on the cyber-cycle; surfing from Pinterest to Google with a swim across to Download our Brochure and a dip into Best Interior Design Blogs: ON-TREND IN 2018! (Velvet and variegated houseplants, in case you’re wondering.)
Is being on-trend a good thing? Will we be off-trend in 2019?
I only ask because this is costing us quite a lot of money and … Ah! Order a Sample. Yes. That must be progress.
Only oak is too oaky, ash is too yellow and ‘Scandi Horizontal’ is too on-trend. ‘Sand’ is grey (who knew?) and Maple is actually pink in real life. The Farmer won’t let me have plywood (the builders were so disturbed by that suggestion they couldn’t even dredge up a scathing comment).
Maybe I’ll just go white.
Now, should that be Pure Brilliant White, or White with a Hint of Pretentious?
Hey, I’ve got a paint visualiser app on my phone… I can point my camera anywhere and test a thousand different whites… Chiffon, Timeless, Clouded Pearl, Bleached Linen…
Hmmm, maybe. Order Tester Pot
I love a bargain (don’t we all?) and I missed Black Friday and Cyber Monday (not by conscious, ethical decision. I was probably busy… or forgot what day of the week it was.)
All the more reason to hit the new year sales hard. But where do you even begin to start when you need ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD for a brand, spanking-new house?
Aha, I thought, I’ll start with a plan! So I did extensive research, making a list (and checking it twice). I trawled through a hundred reviews of integrated appliances, range cookers, tumble driers… (there are three different types of tumble drier. Who knew?) and, somewhat boggle-eyed, I finally achieved my whittled down selection of wise buys.
Damn it, not one of them was on sale.
Undaunted, and re-invigorated by Victorian Plumbing’s dynamic advert, I surfed on over to their site to check out the bath tub and taps I’ve been coveting for months (whilst watching the price and waiting for that special deal). Now VP are promising me A WHACKING 70% OFF! Yipee!
Alas and alack (and rather contrarily in my view) said bath, which has been discounted by 5-10% the entire time I’ve been watching, has returned to full price for the sale. Ditto my shiny, wall mounted taps and shower.
Right, I thought, you’re going about this in an arse upwards manner. What you should do is hunt out the bargains and then buy what you need…
… pink furry boots, jeans and a nightshirt, apparently.
Oh bugger. Strike three.
I may not have been looking in quite the right departments 🙂
p.s. Not much has happened over the Christmas break, but the plasterer made a start…
Look – a proper room!
Happy new year to you all.
The Farmer and I are at a stand off over our kitchen cupboards. He doesn’t like my suggestions and I doubt I’d like his very much (I can’t be sure of that, I discourage input on his part. His primary role vis-à-vis interior design is to look at my ideas and reject them.)
Healthy debate isn’t unusual for us, and we can resolve the trickiest of dilemmas with a robust ‘sulk-off’. He/she who sulks the hardest wins the day. Although sometimes he wins by default, like when something exciting occurs and I forget I’m sulking in my eagerness to share, or (and this is the worst) when I’ve been busily sulking for days before it dawns on me that he doesn’t actually know we’re having an argument. He’s not a talkative bloke at the best of times, you see, and that one’s a double whammy because by then I’ve used up my sulking reserves ahead of the actual battle.
I guess sulk-stamina is a reasonable strength-of-feeling gauge, and I’m willing to give it my all in a kitchen sulk-off. It will be a sulk to the death… Or it could be if I was certain of what I wanted myself.
It’s all too confusing: Scandi, urban, rustic, industrial… Frankly, there are just too many choices when you spend as much time as I do scrolling green-eyed through pinterest.
I need help.
Below are four choices. One of them is my favourite and has already been rejected by The Farmer [that doesn’t rule it out yet :-)] another is my best guess at his choice (I haven’t actually asked him… that would encourage interference) and the other two are liveable-with compromises.
Do feel free to voice your choice of favourite. In a best case scenario I’ll have extra ammunition for the impending sulk-off ahead: Worst case scenario… it’s possible you may not hear much from me over the next few days.
I’m not getting ahead of myself. This isn’t me adorning my 3D designs with cushions and trinkets (though I might confess to having played that game. Once or twice).
No, the plumbers have to know where to run the pipes (all 400 m of them) for my bath and everything plumbery (including the kitchen sink) before the floors are laid. The electrician will thread cables through our walls ahead of plaster-boarding (I think they call this the ‘first fix’. Get me, learning the jargon.)
It all feels rather premature, but I need to decide what I’m having and where I’m putting it all. Right now.
What fun! Let’s crank up the 3D designer.
The 3D design of my bathroom had everything slotted in, but it was quickly pointed out by the experts that I’d altered the room’s dimensions to suit my intentions. Apparently, that doesn’t really work.
Back to the drawing board.
This is when those quirky features I thought were so cool come back to taunt me. Like the full height vista of rolling fields I’d imagined myself enjoying while I steeped in my bath with a view. What I hadn’t imagined was a garden table below a picture window which beautifully framed my upstairs toilet.
We played ‘puzzle-my-bathroom’ for several days, me and the builders. We shifted a couple of walls (the builders’ idea, not mine. Bless ’em, they’re learning). They even made plastic templates of basins and bogs and bath tubs in an effort to hasten my decision making. I’d love to show you a photograph of the ‘hallelujah’ templated bathroom but no sooner had I said “That’s it!” than they ripped up the temporary floor to start shoving the pipes in.
Do it quick! Before she can change her mind!
And so… on to the kitchen.
I’ve found a nifty online kitchen design app…
… and I’ve cautioned the builders that my initial ideas may not take full account of the room measurements.
Another bloody great window. Sockets to place. A feature wall and feature stairs to accommodate and the wishlist is long. I might need more templates… dishwasher, fridge, cooker, sink, island, larder unit, microwave, spice rack…
Hell. And I thought the bathroom was tricky.