I had decided that the trusty IKEA Billy Bookcases had been useful, but were looking tired and the white finish was really out of sync with the rest of the lounge room.
Here they are in previous times, doing what Billy book cases have always done-providing a cheap and effective storage solution on either side of the fire place. Note the picture on the wall -more of that frame later!
We tried several times to get a carpenter to build us some built-ins, but the vents for the gas heater were a problem in the design. No-one would even give us a quote!
A week ago I finally made the decision to buy some ready-made shelves. They are in oak finish and have two drawers at the bottom. They will be delivered the week after next. In Western Australia, we often have to wait for things to be delivered from 'over East", and these are coming via Melbourne port and then on a truck across the Nullabor!
DH saw the delay as an opportunity to paint the room. We had put this off, because we were looking for replacement doors for the 1970s glass doors which lead from the entry into the room. They were looking very tired and very yellow. Confession: in 20 years of living here, we had never repainted the trim on these doors. They were pretty sad looking. Finding new doors which would go with the house -and in particular the entry doors we replaced a few years ago, was quite a headache, however. We had looked at salvaged doors but these weren't right in style for us. I had found a place which could make new doors but was not sure about a design. We decided to paint the room this week anyway -and figure out the doors later!
Now, you perhaps would like a 'before picture" but because we didn't like the doors, we have no pictures of them alone. Here is one just on the right side of the picture below.
Suddenly, we were packing boxes and moving things out. DH did a great job of painting the walls and ceiling. He even spray painted the ceiling fan blades white. It has taken most of the week to do.
At one point I had a crazy idea -what if we painted the door paint trim charcoal, like the colour of the curtains and many other decorative touched in the room? If it improved things, maybe we could live with the doors, until the right replacements came up. DH wasn't sure, but did eventually agree.
We are not professional painters, and the doors were not easy to paint but the result was better than we both expected.
The dark colour has brought out darker tones in the glass, and the dark frames pick up the colours of the gas heater, curtains, coffee table, sewing machine and even my quilt. They no longer seem to clash with everything here.
Here is the fireplace wall, waiting for the new shelves to appear. It looks pretty empty right now!
Do you see the new picture on the wall? I found it in an op shop in a dreadful frame. I took the print out and had a framer make a new matt and put it back into the frame which used to hang here. The new fresh look has brightened up this wall.
What did it cost so far? Paint (but not labour -both DH and myself in packing up and painting and putting things back), new matt for the old frame probably a couple of hundred dollars. Saving by not replacing the doors -several thousand dollars! Even if I count the cost of the new shelves (which were on sale and several hundred dollars each discounted) we are still ahead. A bonus is that the old doors get to live here rather than in a salvage yard or even in landfill.
We are all pretty tired and achy just now, but pleased with our efforts.
I should have some time to concentrate on my new quilt in the week coming up, so I hope to have some pictures of progress next week.