Wednesday, 29 February 2012

More makeover action

At the weekend, I posted about the little revamp I'd done of my office. I only showed one side of the room, so wanted to give the other an airing too, which got a bit of a dye job...

The room is pretty small, but there's just about space for a single bed. I liked the idea of  a day bed in; that way it could still be a spare bed for guests, but also somewhere for me to, well, I don't know. I imagine reclining glamorously on it while dreaming up dazzlingly creative ideas. In fact, I'm mainly chained to the computer while my own Little Lord Fauntleroy benefits, as you can see in the pictures. But I digress.

My aim was to stop what is in fact a single bed from looking totally like one. Or at least to smarten it up a bit. I had some drab noughties bedspreads, cheap cream things from Habitat, and as they were a good texture and size, the aim was to transform them with some dye, rather than forking out for a new cover. As if by telepathy, Dylon's PR called me while I was walking the dog and pondering all this; I told her about the bed project, and she offered to send me a few samples for free to try out. So I did.

Above right you can see my new "Kenneth" print; a brilliant graphic of Kenneth Williams, grinning above one of his catchphrases "Stop Messing About". The aim is that as I can see it from my desk, it will prevent excessive procrastination (I should probably put it in the kitchen instead). Kenneth comes from the wonderful Ministry of Words and costs £35. They've just started selling a Frankie Howerd one, with "Titter Ye Not" on it in case you're interested.

So the dyeing was pretty simple. Only, being impatient, I managed to cock up by not pre-washing the bedspread (the instructions expressly warned against this; and above right, you'll see why...). Fortunately it is a double bedspread and the bed it's on is single, so the patchy bits are well hidden. You can buy the dye on Amazon for under a fiver, and the Dylon website has lots of advice and list of all the colours they do. The range isn't huge, but apparently you can – if you're bold enough – mix them yourself. I tried the "Jeans Blue" one, but the shade (on my cream bedspread, at least) was rather insipid. I was a bit reckless as I had two of bedspreads, so could afford to experiment. The grey one, and the cushion cover I dyed to match it, worked out much better. Patchy bits aside.

I haven't yet tried the green but the whole project has made me think about what other unloved textiles might work with a new colour. Meanwhile, I'll have to get some black to re-dye the blue one I'm not so fond of. But all of that is a whole other project...

Meanwhile,  here are the final bits and pieces I transformed...

The filing cabinet has been around for years. It was once all grey. I inadvisedly painted the drawers, badly, this weird pink colour years ago. The result was so ugly that the drawers had been languishing in "for the tip" pile for years. But now they look rather sprightly again, I think.

The shelves, which – with the filing cabinet – in fact form the base of my desk (that piece of chip board propped against the wall, middle row on the left – you can see the full desk here) were found in the street. I toyed with spraying both bits of furniture, but it was mid-winter and the prospect of getting them into the garden, and getting myself out there were just not appealing. So lots of sanding and lots of drying time for the gloss paint – et voila. They worked out OK I think.

Finally, the chair. This I inherited from the last office I was in. Very comfortable, but deeply shabby. I had a scrap of this fabric going spare and, handily, the plastic edging to the chair is such that the fabric simply tucks into it. The quickest bit of re-upholstery ever.

Do you have a makeover project you'd like to share? Email it over to kate@yourhomeislovely.com if you'd like me to post it up on the site. Every little DIY is inspiring... especially when it's easy DIY...

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