Saturday, 5 February 2011

Room for Improvement

Here at Hilltop House there is a downstairs room that has many names: "The Cellar room" is pretty obvious, "The TV room"  because the television is there; "The Boy’s Room" because Hubby is allowed to play to his heart’s content with technical gadgets and other man stuff; "The Tartan room" because both the carpet and the couch is in Scottish plaid – albeit not matching; and last but not least, my personal favourite "The Room for Improvement", because Oh My God! There is plenty that needs improving here. Just have a look:

What on earth possesses people to think that it is a good idea to paint window ledges dark brown is beyond my comprehension, especially in a gloomy basement room. As if that wasn’t enough, there were thick dark green curtains hanging here, effectively blocking out what little daylight penetrated the small windows. As you can imagine, it didn’t take long before they were given the heave-ho.
The cupboard in the corner is the furnace room. Burning oil is an effective way to keep the house warm, but is neither cheap, nor eco-friendly. It takes forever to regulate the temperature, if you want the house to be warm tomorrow you had better turn up the furnace today. We would like to have installed under-floor heating cables, but because the electricity supply to the house is severely limited we can’t. We have installed two heat pumps and they just about manage to keep going without blowing fuses all the time. When it’s really cold though, we have no choice but to light the furnace.

The walls and ceiling of ”Norwegian Wood” were both light and fashonable and when they were fitted, but after forty years of darkening they seem to absorb all the light in the room. No matter how many lamps we use, this room always seems to be dark and gloomy.

Speaking of lamps, what do you think about this one? It was left behind by the previous owner. Probably it has been both fashionable and expensive once, so I've been a little reluctant to throw it out. It’s not pretty but I like the size of it. I wonder if it is possible to change the colour of it somehow. Can porcelain like this be painted?

And here is a lamp that is really dodgy. The retro style is one thing, but to our great dismay, we discovered that all electric power to this room goes via this lamp. Unless it is turned on, none of the other electrical appliances in the room work. To have the power to both heating and the TV going through a thin wire is hardly in accordance with regulations, so next week an electrician will come to ensure that we get earthed sockets throughout the room.
We have found many of these odd solutions since we moved into Hilltop House and have concluded that the previous owner probably had more enthusiasm than common sense when it comes to renovation and maintenance of the house.

And here is the carpet in all its lack of grandeur. There is really only one thing to say: H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E!
The heat pump is not exactly an object of beauty either, but I must just learn to live with that. Or is there anyone out there that has found a good way to camouflage a heat pump?

Hubby’s tam-o-shanter hat is another element that contributes to the Scottish plaid image. He has also been allowed to give his trophies the place of honour here. Are there other housewives out there who are struggling with husbands who desperately want to show off old third-place trophies from obscure championships? Is there a gentle way of persuading them that such things really would be better off in a box in the attic?
Believe it or not, it is actually Hubby himself who has suggested that we’d give this room a complete makeover. I think it was sheer frustration over the lack of light that made him willing to swing a paintbrush. As you can well imagine, my response was enthusiastic.

So here we have the challenge - how can we turn this shabby room into something chic? Obviously, if we had enough enough money it wouldn’t be a problem, but since the budget is stretched a little thin post-Christmas, we must do what we can with what we have. This will be redecorating on a tight budget. We'll have to see what we can manage.
Tomorrow, we begin carrying out the furniture and tearing up the carpet. I look forward to getting started! :-)

1 comment:

  1. Spennende rom- og absolutt et rom som bare kan bli bedre...

    den lampen kan males! Eller sprayes om du ønsker,
    du kan ta en titt inne hos "huset ved fjorden", hvor hun har malt porselenslampe!

    lykke til med dette prosjektet- blir nok kjempebra!
    klem ellemell