Our hardwood floors were varnished on the day before we moved in to this house. We peered in anxiously, willing them to dry faster so that we wouldn’t have to pay another month’s rent on our dreary rental home. After eighteen months of house-building horror, we were desparate to sit on our own chairs and sleep in our own beds. When we finally tumbled through the door, we dumped all the boxes in the small sitting-room and collapsed with exhaustion. Small Girl was three weeks old and colicky. All thought of decorating was abandoned.
The following Christmas (2011), we cleared the boxes and moved in to that room but we skipped painting it. The skirting boards were never even nailed to the walls. My substantial collection of books has been stacked in teetering piles against every wall where they did double duty as wallpaper and also holding up the skirting boards. Every so often someone would bang a door and a distant kathumble of falling books would emanate from the front room. Some days it all seemed quaintly bohemian but more often it was all a messy reminder of unfinished work.
I have a fantasy of floor-to-ceiling shelving, an Eames lounger, a writing desk, a green velvet sofa…you can share my fantasy by taking a peek at my dream book room Pinterest board. If I hold out for the fantasy, I’m not going to get my books off the floor until Small Girl finishes college.
In the meantime, we have inherited some bookshelves from emigrating friends. We are overwhelmed with gratitude for their generosity. These new shelves have given us the kick-start we needed. I’m back in my favourite outfit. This is my comfort zone.
Husband and I carried all the books out and stacked them in the hall. They look great and it’s up for debate whether some of them might stay on the stairs. I’m not sure. The novelty of charging across the room to shore up a swaying stack has worn off!
Saturday afternoon, with nothing left in the room but two chairs, two cups of coffee and a TV, we sat down to watch the rugby. I felt that I was at the start of something exciting and, given Ireland’s win, so did Husband.
I love paint charts. This is a particularly beautiful example. I could live with any of these colours. Our colour is called Gorse Bush. French Mustard was in the running but I thought it slightly reminiscent of baby poo.I’m never happier than when I am in the middle of this sort of project. My mind is racing from one possibility to the next. Where to position the shelves? Which chair where? Woodwork white or yellow? Should I paint the ceiling of the bay window as wall or as ceiling? Decisions; I relish them.
Ooooh, I’m all excited!