I’ve blogged about our bookshelves on the bookblog. It sort of fits in with the series on “how the apartment is coming along”, but since it’s mostly book-related I put it over there.
I realise when looking at the pictures that even if we were able to live like minimalists in all other ways (not likely) our flat would never look minimalist with all those books. And there’s no way we’re covering them up. Or, even worse, making them look minimalist by turning them around. Yes, people actually do this (via). The mind boggles.
This desk has been in my parents’ house for ages. It used to be in the dining room while we lived in Hamar, and lately my father has been using it for his laptop when working at home. I remember that we got it from someone in the family way back when, but I can’t remember who, or why, or exactly when that was. I need to get some details from my father, I guess.
However, it is old enough. The colour is rendered pretty accurately in these pictures. It’s not really practical, which is why my father didn’t want it anymore. I don’t really have any plans for using it yet. In fact, I was all set to store it in the basement for the time being, when the husband suggested we might as well have it upstairs.
So. It’s not practical. The ground colour is – well – hideous. And I can’t really paint it, since I want to keep the rosemaling, even if it’s (probably) not the most impressive example. Still, it’s got history and it holds memories for me personally. It stays.
Note the yellow poster, by the way. My mom left a few bits and bobs in one of the drawers, mainly scrap paper and such, thinking the lass and I might find use for it in crafting projects. Among them was this poster. It says: “Not ready for cleaning.” I threatened to get it laminated and hang it on the front door any time my mother or my mother-in-law comes to visit…
To fit the writing desk, we had to move a tall chest of drawers (which were not meant to stay in this room anyway), and there was suddenly space to hang my type case. I found another one recently, which turned out to be perfect for displaying regular size minifigs, but not so good for the Toy Story characters I recently aquired.
Which gave me the idea that perhaps this desk would be the perfect Lego-building site. We’ll see.
I had a bit of time this morning while the lass was playing happily on her own, so I tore down some panelling along the wall running from the kitchen to the living room. We’re planning to put up the “magic” wall-smoothening wallpaper here, and paint it white, before hiding the whole thing with shallow bookshelves. I wonder, of course, whether we shoud dispense with the wallpaper and the paint and just put the shelves up, but figure we might as well do the job properly.
Also, note the use of floorboards to construct the wall. Interesting choice. Considering the price of floorboards vs. mdf I know what I’d have chosen, but whatever.
While we’re at it we should probably substitute those glass inserts with something else. Like, I dunno, wall? That seems slightly complicated, though. It’d be easy, of course, to just slot some pieces of mdf or something in over the glass and paper over that. It would look ok from the living room side, but probably quite nutty from the bedroom. On the other hand, who cares what it looks like from the bedroom?
To start with, let me just say that though I’ve been craving a dedicated crafting space for years, I had no idea how ridiculously happy it would make me. I’ve been sewing today – in my new Dedicated Crafting Space – and every so often I would pause and just… savour the feeling. I’m either mad or just counting my blessings.
Anyway, this is what it looks like when I’m in the middle of something:
Furnishingwise I’ve mostly been working on details today, figuring out what goes where on the shelves, hanging another picture and so on. Some details, therefore:
The top print is from The Black Apple on Etsy, and was purchased about a year ago, I think. I’m thrilled to finally have it up on the wall. It’s been languishing in its shipping envelope since it arrived, as I really had no place to hang it, but I just had to have it anyway. The quote, by the way, is attributed to Morrisey. The bottom one is also from Etsy, from Industrial Fairytale, and arrived only last week – and it’s still available, so if you want one for yourself, go get it!
I’m liking the way this is working out so far, the plan is still to fill the wall with book-related prints and such. I’m expecting to stick to black frames to create some sense of order, and I’m also expecting to take my time filling the space, waiting to find pieces that I really love instead of falling for the temptation to buy things just to fill it. I also know I have several things in boxes and such that might work.
The frames are Ribba from IKEA, and the one problem I’ve discovered so far is that the passepartout in these are for A4, whereas the prints, naturally, are American letter size. If you click one the images to get a larger version you can probably see that there is a gap on either side of the print. I’m going to have to get new passepartouts done, in other words, but in the meantime this will have to do. Having them on the wall makes me happy, gap or not.
Another detail to note is the lovely little pillow, which is from Syko. I’ve been a faithful reader of her blog for quite some time, so I had to have one of her creations – I also bought her book, Scandinavian Stitches, which is quite wondeful.
The curtains, by the way, are moving into the lass’ room when we get a rod up in there, and I’m making new ones for this room. If she ever “grows out of them” though, they might well be moving back, since I’m still as much in love with them as I was when I bought them before she was born.
About a week ago I started putting up our old Ivar-shelves in the office, and found to my annoyance that we were about 1 centimetre short of fitting five widths in there. We considered several solutions, one of which was to shave 1/2 a centimetre off each end. However, I suddenly remembered that once we get around to redoing the bathroom we will want to take 40-50 centimetres out of this space anyway, so there was really no point in going for a perfect fit.
So we just put up one height using the narrower shelves. All was right with the world again.
Then I spent a few nights (well bits of a few nights) getting the Hemnes daybed together. And today we went to IKEA to get a mattress for it, and to look for useful bits in the “rejects” corner for the desk arrangement. I decided a while ago to go for kitchen tops instead of “desks”, as I suspect they’ll be more hardy and take kindlier to any messy crafting we might want to do in here.
So with that all in place we started constructing a desk. I got adjustable desk legs since I wanted something a tad higher than 70 centimetres, but wasn’t entirely sure what to do to get the kitchen cabinet to the right height. However, a search of the flat unearthed some shelves that we removed from the kitchen cabinets because they were not needed, and with those screwed on to the bottom (and edged with duct tape to avoid the raw edges becoming dust magnets) I had myself a hack:
Then it was a simple matter of connecting the desk legs to one end of the long countertop and the hacked cabinet to the other, and voilla, a desk:
Because I hadn’t quite worked out in my mind how this was going to work I only got two desk legs today. So the idea is to get two more and connect the shorter countertop to the other half of that cabinet to create one long desk. And, yes, the desk runs the length of the shelving – in front of it. It’s going to work pretty well, belive me. I’ve already started getting stuff onto the shelves, and it’s perfect.
That office chair, by the way? Also from the rejects corner, at half off. Purchased a couple of weeks ago. Have I mentioned I love IKEA?
I’ll snap some more pictures tomorrow, in daylight.
She is well and truly installed now, and seems to like it better than her old room, despite the fact that it is noticeably smaller. She’s still in love with the wall colour, which is good. The lamp is a temporary solution, the walls next to the bed are masonary and hell to drill in, so we haven’t quite figured out how to give her a permanent reading light. For the time being, this works.
Two Billy bookshelves, purchased a few years ago while you could still get them 60 cm wide. We have a lot of children’s books. This is most of the ones with pictures, there are boxes and boxes of books for reading aloud or for reading to oneself once she gets to that stage, as it is she “reads” anywhere between five and thirty books before going to sleep every evening. It’s best to instill good habits early, you know.
I meant to take some more detailed pictures, in order to tell you a little about some of the books, but it seems I forgot. I might get around to it later. In the meantime, let me show you a nice little piece of furniture, purchased long before I even met the husband.
Yes, it’s child size. Found at a flea market in Oslo for a mere 100 kroner in 2001. My only regret is not buying its twin, too. I can’t remember why I decided to buy only the one, I might have been short on cash, I suppose.
You know the room where I just tore down the horrid, horrid carpet wall covering? Where we meant to have the hobby/guest room? Well, progress is being made. There is now paper up on the wall where the carpet used to be, the moulding is all white (one more coat needed) and paint is going to come up on the walls quite soon. And on one wall? Probably pink paint.
See, we’ve come to the realisation that we have to move the lass from her current room. We did absolutely nothing in there, luckily, so no work gone to waste. The problem with her in there is it’s next to the bathroom and when someone takes a shower it sounds like a really bad storm or something. Which means we can’t really have a shower when she’s sleeping, whether it’s in the evening or the morning. This is, you could say, a tad inconvenient.
So. Since we’re so good a procrastinating* this realisation came to us at the perfect time, just in time to change the plans for paint in the room we’re working on and move her in there, then we can do a little bit of work on the room she’s in now and get the hobby room set up there. The shower thing will be a problem whenever we have guests, but that’s not going to happen often enough to warrant worrying about it. Once we get around to doing up the bathroom – a few years down the line, probably – we can consider a little measure of noise insulation.
And, yes, pink. I told her we would paint three walls white and that she could choose a colour for the fourth. So far she’s insisting on either green or “girl colour” (jentefarge) with a heavy leaning toward the latter. So I’ve told her she can have pink, as long as she starts calling it pink, not “girl colour”, since there is no such thing. It seems to be sinking in. Well, the calling it pink part, anyway, I guess I can’t expect to conquer the combined force of society’s genderization of colour in just a few sentences, but I’ll settle for the naming part for now.
I’d try to convince her to go for green, except I’m planning on buying closets and such from IKEA in the new Stuva series with green fronts (mainly because the pink and blue are of such insipid hues) and figure it will be easier to match with a pink than finding the perfect shade of green paint. Also, I figure it’s better to let her have SOME pink, then hopefully she’ll grow out of it at some point. If we were to be militantly against it might become an obsession, which would not be a good thing.
* And boy am I glad we have been procrastinating on this, it would have been a major pain in the ass to discover this after having set the hobby room up with desks, computers, sewing machines and craft supplies. Major, major pain. Procrastination FTW
Since I finally got around to buying goggles and mask, I thought I might as well get to it and tackle that horrible unnaturalness on the wall in the soon-to-be hobby room.
The goggles and mask were necessary, because the glue holding the monstrosity to the wall was very dry and brittle. Thus tearing the carpet down was a cinch, getting the glue off was somewhat trickier. That is, it turned out to be easier than expected, using this tool:
And some elbow grease, it took less than an hour in all, I think. It resulted in a lot of this, though:
Which is why I thought the goggles and mask were required accessories for the job. Because, frankly, this would not normally be how I dress up of a Sunday afternoon:
However, it’s gone. The strange and unnatural and mind-boggling wall covering carpet is gone.
I realise I might now offend someone out there who just looooves their wooly walls, and, well, to each his own and ours is not to judge. But first stones aside: Are you mad? I mean, fine, you’re mad, I don’t really care. Whatever makes you happy. As long as the shit’s down off our wall.
On the subject of mad: What’s with mothers? Mine thinks we should have been all moved in by now (including having emptied the storage facility). I commented that as long as we were still refurbishing it would take a while, and that the magic carpet wall was next in turn (this was before I attacked it this weekend, obviously). She then let me know that she’d thought about it and had decided we should leave it as it was (and I mean “should” not “ought to”). Apparently she thinks it might help noice reduction between the rooms. Well, I granted her the point but wondered why she thought we would be in dire need of noise reduction between the hobby room and our bedroom. Well, it might be handy whenever it was used as a guest room, she argued. Which might happen, oh, I don’t know, at least once every blue moon, I guess, but I didn’t argue, just pointed out that I’d already started pulling it down to see if I could. In which case it was ok, apparently, to continue.
Why does she care, anyway? She lives in town, she’s hardly likely to ever need to sleep over. Besides: I HATE THAT WALL. Seriously, isn’t that reason enough to tear it down? Knowing us we’ll more or less cover the wall in shelving anyway, there’s noise reduction for you.
And what’s with everyone’s haste on our behalf? I don’t care if it takes us years to be done “moving in”, it’s not as if I’m planning on moving out again. I just said hello to our downstairs neighbour for the first time yesterday and she said they’ve lived here for 39 years. THAT’s what I’m planning on. Fine, I know, I know, life doesn’t actually always work out according to plan, but does that mean we should treat this place like we’re on a short term lease? Fuck that.
So the bed is in the master bedroom, we’ve been sleeping in there since this weekend, in fact. We’ve also put up a couple of shelves on either side of the window, to hold some of my stuff (it’s mostly my stuff), and we’re considering what to do in front of the window where there is room for more storage – or something.
Along the wall at the foot of the bed we’d sort of hoped we could fit narrow bookshelves, but I’ve nixed the idea as it would then be impossible to walk along there and I’m tired of climbing over half the bed to get in.
So the plan just now is plenty of hooks and other things to hang things on. Practical, right? Well, practical can be combined with decorative, so I’m going to insist we put a little effort into finding attractive hooks. I’d like a nice variety over the length of the space, actually, preferably at different heights, too, to make it look a little interesting. Come to think of it, there will be room for pictures and other wall decorations over the hooks, too, we have a few things we need to find room for, so this is a good thing.
So far I’ve put one thing up, this hook that I purchased last year at a Christmas market:
Isn’t it just perfect? It’s designed by Lillian Tørlen, and I’ve found her designs – apropriately called Hanging About – on the web before. Doing a quick search now I see she’s moved to selling through Epla, “the Norwegian Etsy”, and her shop is also called Hanging About.
As you can see, it’s the perfect place to hang some of my small bags:
Making a mental note to try to make it to the Christmas market in question this year as well, I could always shop through Epla, but it’s more fun in person – if she’s there, that is.
Edited: It suddenly occurred to me to check the tag, and of course there is a Hanging About website: www.hanging-about.com. There’s even a list of shops that stock them, and there’s one in Trondheim, juhu.