At the end of last year, my brother Mike bought a beautiful little cottage, right in the heart of Lympstone. It was perfect: 30 seconds' walk from the beach, right by the pub, very spacious and with very little structural work to be done. However the decor was, how shall we say...? Not to his taste. Maroon and owls featured quite heavily, and that was just the bathroom.
Mike and his girlfriend Lizzie have been working very hard to get the cottage up to scratch over the past few months. Mike works away during the week so they have devoted many weekends to the stripping of wood chip wallpaper, sanding of skirting boards and papering of walls.
So, when Mike and Lizzie headed off on a well-deserved holiday, we thought it would be fun to lend a hand and transform one of the bedrooms to take the pressure off them. To add to that, we knew Mike was planning to pop the question while they were away, so unbeknownst to Lizzie, it was to be a bit of an engagement present too! (She said yes - hurrah!!)
Here are a few shots (post wood chip stripping) to give you an idea of what we were dealing with.
This little project of ours happened to coincide with the heatwave, which made for rather uncomfortable decorating conditions, but the copious amounts of rollering and sanding in a room of sauna-like temperatures more than made up for the hours I was missing at the gym!
There's still a little way to go - photos on the walls, new carpet, curtains etc - but I think you'll agree that it's now looking one heck of a lot smarter!
One of my favourite parts of the process was finding this dressing table from The Children's Society shop on Fore Street. It had already been given the Farrow and Ball treatment by the previous owner, so after a little bit of TLC (artful distressing) and the teaming up with this mirror, (which I found in the pile for the tip!), a lovely getting-ready area was finished.
I painted the mirror in Fired Earth's Oak Apple emulsion. The closest stockist to Exeter is Darts Farm. The staff are very friendly, incredibly helpful and - writing from experience - have patience with the most indecisive of customers!
Congratulations to the happy couple!