Shall we just see?
Oh – dangerous questions aren’t they!
All DIY seems to start with a little question. A harmless little question that then spirals out of control and you end up doing more, for longer at more cost than you intended to! Damn you Pinterest!
Well, we definitely did anyway!
Over the past few weeks and what has quickly become months, we’ve been working unbelievably hard to get our home ready for the arrival of our baby. We started by discussing the nursery. We knew we needed to decorate our nursery, which was a home office when we moved in. It needed the wallpaper stripping and painting. I was all for ripping out the fitted cupboards, but eventually saw sense and realised that they were useful storage that would cost a fortune to replace. So we decided to take out the desk unit and leave the rest.
Of course, the second we’d decided that I had the screw driver out and was hacking it to pieces – which included some heavy lifting I probably shouldn’t have been doing at five months pregnant. But I’ve found being pregnant fustrating at times when I’ve had to take it easy or slow down when I really didn’t want to. I like to get stuck in and make things happen.
Thankfully, the third trimester has been kind and I’ve been very much able to get stuck in and help with the painting, filling, sanding and electrics! No… really!
So that’s how it started off for us with, ‘let’s do the nursery ready for the new baby’. Then we took the wallpaper off the nursery and the walls had clearly never been plastered and were a rough, gritty concrete. So we had two options. Plaster – or re-wallpaper.
And I don’t adore wallpaper, or wallpapering. So plaster it was.
But – if you’re going to the effort of getting a plasterer for a box room. You may as well do the other two bedrooms right? Well it made sense at the time. But my word – it was SO much work!
It is a good job that we’re both able to keep a vision in mind. There were some late night stripping sessions – which I guarantee you is not as saucy as it sounds! The walls seemed to have been painted with three layers of plaster coloured paint and woodchip wallpaper, which was a complete nightmare to get off. It was soul destroying. One night poor Mike was going until 3am to be ready for the plasterer. I’d given in at 11 and rolled into bed. What a trooper!
DIY is such a long process. I always forget how long things take. It’s the clearing of the rooms, the prep, the waiting for things to dry, the design and the bumps along the way when things go wrong. Like when I spilt a pot of purple paint all over the floor and caused a lake of ‘Lively Lilac’ to spread more rapidly than I thought was possible.
It’s also the optimism of thinking that you’ll come home from work, put the small human to bed and then spend two hours doing some more – when in reality you’re exhausted and a week goes by with very little progress.
Choosing to do all three rooms at once seemed to make sense. I knew as soon as the baby arrived bedrooms would become our sanctuaries and we’d need them to retreat to. So it made sense to do them all at once. A box ticked – but that meant we all had to camp downstairs, for a week or maybe two, we said. It became six. Six weeks of sleeping on the floor, living out of bags and what basically felt like a flat. Our living room was our bedroom, dressing room and only room really! Everywhere else gave way to the project.
Thankfully Holly loved it. She loved staying in the same room and saw it as a big adventure. Even when her room was ready for it’s first night she wanted to stay downstairs with us until our room was ready. Ours was delayed due to the wrong carpet arriving – long story but basically – SCS – just don’t. Don’t EVER order anything from SCS. They are horrific!
I’d like to say I was decent at DIY before this. Steady hand with a paint brush and all that, but we’ve both learned tons along the way.
Mike’s rewired internet cables after we sliced through them. I’ve fitted five lights and rewired some interesting electrics. There’s nothing YouTube can’t teach you! Like how to drain, take off and refit three radiators and then repressurise your system. It’s amazing really. It’s been a real team effort.
Holly has learned how to undercoat, spray paint and turn her very dowdy black bed white. A bit of upcycling is so useful. She’s been great at getting stuck in and has been so patient with the process. Yes socks with crocs is a total fashion statement of course!
Now it’s time for the fun bit. The bit where we get to put everything back together, choose photo frames, sniff potential candles and size up furniture.
We get to build cots, dressing tables and relax into the space that we’ve made our own. It’s such a wonderful feeling to feel ready for the arrival of this baby now. She’s more than welcome to come whenever she likes now. She actually has somewhere to sleep.
So, do we regret any of it – no!
And of course – we’ve already started looking at the hallway with our DIY goggles! Next project?
Shall we just see?