Saturday, December 28, 2013

Bedroom - before (another photo-heavy post)

And on to the bedroom. This is a long, narrowish room and I don't have enough space otherwise to not try to make the most of the space. Much as I would love to have a bedroom with nothing more in it than a bed and a wardrobe, it's just not going to work out with this space. I've had a few different set-ups with this room as well and so far this is the closest I have come to the ideal - by dividing the room more or less in half. The ideal would have the sleeping area at the other end, near the window so that coming in the door, I would have a work area and I could walk through a curtain of some sort to a small sleeping area. However, living on a main road, the noise closer to the window is much worse. And the temperature is also somewhat cooler. My first few months here I did sleep down that end, so I quickly discovered the disadvantages.

 The door to the sitting room is just beside the blanket box on the left. The mess is actually mostly gone now - I've tidied up a bit. The small bedside locker is the very first item of furniture I ever bought. Just a cheap one, and possibly the one piece of furniture I'm not actually particularly attached to. The bed is the sofa bed I bought from Ikea when I moved here. The blanket box was a supermarket save-up-tokens deal. I bought it originally as a memories box but for now it serves its traditional purpose and contains bedding.
This is the view then to the other end of the room. The green cupboard on the left is full with mostly empty jars. The green unit on the right has some of the books that don't fit in the sitting room, paper shredder, first-aid kit, underwear, records (of the vinyl variety), choir music (my personal stuff) and in the bottom cupboard, more empty jars. I may at some stage hang a curtain of some kind between the two (purchased as a set second-hand from Cash + Raus) to really properly divide the two sections.

I was quite happy when I figured out dividing the room like this would give me two distinct spaces. Unfortunately, the second end has never gotten finished and in the meantime has become something of a dumping ground. As you can see. It's the Bedroom of Doom!

The wardrobe on the left (purchased new from Ikea when I moved here) has my clothes - it's a three-door wardrobe with the hanging part on the left (so not really visible here). There are two small drawers underneath the door you can see - just have speical occasion shoes in there. Behind the door there are four shelves, the top two of which I use as extra storecupboard space for dried goods, pasta, beans and so on. Since I need to get into the wardrobe every day, this is not the worst of the dumping ground. That's on the other side. Oh, note the colourful material up on the windows, got that my first weekend here and, as in the sitting room, still haven't ever gotten round to putting up proper curtains. You can just see the curtain rails I did buy in the background here and the plastic bag on the floor has all the bits to mount them. Just need to do it!

And this is the other side
The blue trug is overflowing with clothes - since the first time I tried dealing with the moth problem. I took everything out of the wardrobe to wash properly but that fell by the wayside at some stage and stuff has just been hanging around. I've dragged things out at various times when I wanted to use them but given that I haven't used or missed most of this stuff for a good while, I will probably end up bringing a lot of it to the clothes bank. But just in case, do still need to wash it all, I think. That trug is standing on top of a couple of boxes of books, along with the cardboard box and the suitcase near the window - all of which belong to my former lodger (the friend who never turned up a couple of weeks ago). Will have to get rid of them sometime and it'll cost me since he will prevaricate till the cows come home so the only way to do it will be to hire a car and drive down to the Black Forest with the stuff. Not high on my list of costs I want to incur so for now the stuff just gets in the way. Behind them are two large plastic boxes which contain wool. Again, rescued from the big cupboard in the sitting room after the first bad moth attack. Once I get around to cleaning that cupboard out properly, and I'm thinking of varnishing it inside just to make sure there really aren't any moth eggs lurking anywhere, then they can move back into that space. The shopping bag on top holds the dark blue curtains I want to hang here.

I'm not sure why the steam juicer ended up in here - that'll go down in the cellar with the canner for the winter. It's standing on a basic table, which also has my sewing machine on it (not used once since I moved here!). That table is a second-hand purchase from SVP in Dublin many years ago. The legs detach so I may end up dismantling it for storage or else will move it to position against the back of the green unit. Then my writing desk will come in from the sitting room to replace it and I will have a small office/work area. The dark coloured set of drawers currently sticking out behind the green unit is what I used to use for my underwear and also some spare computer parts storage. I find bottom drawers great for that kind of thing that I won't be going looking for very often. They're not usable in the current position, which is why I just have my underwear in a box in the green unit now. So when I rearrange, I'm looking forward to having a proper underwear drawer again - and especially being able to have a separate drawer for my socks. Hey, it really is the simple things in life that make me happy.

There is a lot to do here but I want to concentrate on the sitting room and other areas first so don't expect to see any progress here any time soon. As for colour schemes, well, the sleeping area is where I wanted to paint a yellow/beige/champagne colour. And that, along with a deeper green are my guiding colours for here. Yellow and green again? Well, yes, but not really. Definitely deeper colours than the sitting room. And while it may be a cliche, given my Irishness, green is in fact my favourite colour - and not even just because a green background might bring out the green of my eyes nicely. LOL.

When it comes to wall art for the bedroom, I have this small picture which was my first (and until this year only) original artwork to buy. I got it maybe eight or nine years ago when I was looking for a graduation present for a friend. I just kept coming back to this one but I knew it didn't suit my friend at all so I couldn't understand why. Eventually I gave in and admitted I wanted it for myself. And out came the credit card (my friend got two hand-decorated tealight holders which she loves and still uses regularly) - it cost 75 euro and is one debt I have definitely never regretted. I still love this picture as much as I did when I bought it.
Sorry, it's my typical not great photo and the flash blends out the gold spirals a bit but without the flash the green was really off. It's green and the sun is front and centre so it shouldn't make me think of a beautiful sunset but it does. And I can gaze on those spirals for ages, losing myself completely in contemplation.
It's by an artist called Honor Hales, who had a shop in Dublin then but now seems to work from a studio and sell via website and other retailers. She's a friend of a friend and I first became aware of her when I was meeting him for breakfast and he dragged me along to buy a present for someone there. When I went back a few months later to buy a present myself I was very struck by her opening line, "If you want to touch, please do." Not something you hear often when it comes to art but music to my ears. I'm a very tactile person, something I only realised quite late as "don't touch" is so often what we hear, I thought it was the way you were always supposed to behave. 

I also have a print that I want to frame and hang here. It's a limited edition print of a painting by Derek Beggs, which I bought as part of a special fund-raising effort for a fellow ex-pat's young son (after he, that is, the father, had died unexpectedly). Derek generously auctioned a painting for that fund and since I didn't have a lot of money and hadn't thought the painting anything special anyway, I didn't bid and just made a small donation instead. When the auction was over and the winner posted a photo of the original painting hanging in her home, though, it looked completely different and I was quite taken with it. I don't know. Maybe I had just gotten so caught up in the whole thing. It's strange when someone you know quite well but exclusively online dies and you're left with just nothing to do. So when he also decided to sell a limited amount of prints (25 euro each), I went ahead and got one. Still haven't managed to get a frame for it, it's actually difficult to find large square frames. I thought I was going to have to have a custom job done but recently spotted some on the Ikea website so the next time I'm there I'll get one. In the meantime, it lives in its envelope and just comes out for a quick viewing (or photo) every once in a while.
Loch Asynt by Derek Beggs, 30cmx30cm print no. 16/48 sold in memory of Poppet
The yellow I'd like for the walls in the bedroom are a shade or two closer to beige than this yellow. This picture is actually what reminded me of it and started my thinking in the direction that has landed me here. Hoping to use the various elements I already have to pull together a more harmonious whole, making a home of what is currently mostly just a space to live in. Hope you've enjoyed the glimpses of that space, here's hoping it won't take me too long to be back posting lots and lots of 'after' photos!


Emma Watts said...

Good to see you're still progressing with your space shake up. I had a lot of fabric, old curtains, and craft supplies also to sort. I've vacuum bag most of it and use large laundry bags ( the reinforced plastic laundrette type) to hold my stash. Works well for me. I've also vacuum pack spare duvets and pillows together in sets ready for when guests come to stay. I have labelled the bags and as they are reusable can justify the initial expense. In the UK we can sell unwanted clothing for 50p per kilo. Not a great amount but after rehoming some items I raised enough to purchase an item in return. As you tame each room I'm sure you will feel a huge sense of achievement, I've only just begun to realise myself that having less belongings, stored in an ordered way make me feel more in control and cleaning less stressful. Has given me more time to do the things I want and less time procrastinating or stressful doing !

Moonwaves said...

Those vacuum bags are pricey aren' they? I did the same as you years ago with sets of duvets, pillows and covers for visitors but then once they were used once, I never got around to properly packing it all away again. That's most of what's in that cloth wardrobe I have.
I got a load of cheap ones from Penney's (Primark to you) but so far they don't really stay vacuumed. I'm going to get around that by putting stuff in them, putting them in the cupboards, vacuuming shut and then putting the next lot on top before it has a chance to lose it's seal. That's the plan anyway.
I have to say that even just having something approaching a plan already feels like a huge achievement - it'll take me a long time to get there but I'm finally starting to feel like I've taken control, if you know what I mean.

Emma Watts said...

I do know what you mean. It's taken me five years to really take control of my home after my marriage dissolved. I still have the loft to sort but there's relics from 25 years awaiting me up there. Like yourself I have a plan. Happy New Year. I look forward to following your progress