This is the second of two posts for today. The first deals with work being done on the house in general.
When we arrived at the new house today, I wanted to go straight up to my ARTHaven to see what progress had been made! I was thrilled to see that Andy had completed the worktop all around, with the second curve in place.
Across this second corner is where my sewing machine will be. The old shelves above will remain for extra storage.
I love the way the worktop continues around the blocked-off fireplace. Underneath, I am having the electric fire from our present sitting room – it exactly resembles a small coal-burning stove and will fit the space beautifully. It has an efficient fan heater, and real coal in the “stove,” with glass doors, and the most realistic flame effect I’ve ever seen! We don’t need it in the new sitting room because there’s a nice living flame gas fire in there.
Above the fireplace, which is my display area, I am having a decorative shabby chic shelf unit which I got from Ebay. I spent a lot of time choosing the right one, for shape and size. This one was perfect except for the paint effect – the colour was a rather dirty yellowish cream painted over black, and artificial distressing had been added, but in the most unlikely places randomly over its surface, which just made it look rather a mess, in my opinion. Artificial distressing should be done in places that wear would naturally take place – on corners and exposed edges, and not on flat surfaces.
I started repainting it white today. After I started, I realised I hadn’t photographed it, so this is the Ebay photo:
See what I mean about the distressing? In this photo, the colour at least looks better than in real life…
Here it is being painted with the first coat.
It is going to need several coats to cover the black distressing.
Back to my ARTHaven. At the end of the curving worktop, Andy has made an upright supporting panel, with a moveable unit underneath. The space beyond, and the whole of the remaining wall, will be taken up with free-standing storage units. These won’t look as nice as the fitted set-up, but they will not be visible from the door. Over the top of them, Andy is going to make a nice deep shelf the full length of that wall, on which I shall be able to store all my large flat things like mount board, my cutting machine mats, etc. These things are always a problem to store so that they stay flat.
Here’s a lovely view of the room from the doorway – without a wide-angle lens, I couldn’t quite get in all the curves, but you get the idea!
Andy and I discussed how to seal and finish the worktop. He is all for an oil-based polyurethane matt varnish as it is the hardest-wearing. He got an offcut and painted half of it to compare the before and after colour, and it made the MDF several shades darker, to a shade that was unacceptably dark to me. He is now thinking about other ways to seal it – including my original suggestion of an acrylic varnish, which was initially dismissed as not being hard-wearing enough because it is water-based. I am sure he will come up with the right solution. As it stands now, the colour is perfect – a nice restful, neutral shade which tones well with the floor, and I certainly don’t want it to be too dark!
The next time I went upstairs, he had started installing the wall units.
These all have two shelves, which are adjustable for height. Andy is going to get me a few more shelves for the base units so that I’ve got the choice of one or two shelves, to be tailored to my storage needs. He has laid an offcut of the worktop over the units on the further wall to give an impression of the top shelf. This will be the same depth as the units, and made of the worktop material. I am hoping also for some extra white shelving to go between the units, adjustable to suit my needs. Andy says he can always come back and sort out any final shelving requirements – this also applies to the office area. I will have the freedom to have wall-mounted things like Ikea rails, pegboards, dowels for ribbons etc. etc. between the wall units if I want. With the wall units as fixed reference points, I’ve got plenty of choice.
I am very pleased with the double-width unit just inside the door – it fits the space well. This area will probably be used in conjunction with the sink area beyond, for painting and mixed media.
We discussed the microwave which I am having mounted on a shelf above and to the right of the sink. We have got Mum’s old microwave, but Andy said it is too big and I wouldn’t be able to have another wall unit over the sink. He pointed out that you can get small microwaves for around £40, which would do much better (I might get a second hand one even cheaper); Mum’s is a combination one and I will have no need for the convection oven facility anyway, so I am going to have a look around for one.