Welcome!

Thanks for visting Simply The Nest. I'm an English girl married to an Portuguese boy, and when I'm not working or taking care of our two adorable daughters, I blog about our house renovation, DIY projects, delicious recipes, inspirational interiors, and family life in a Victorian Manchester nest.

Search Me
Tweet Me

Pin Me

Face Me

I'm not a Facebook person, so instead here's a link to some kittens singing Beyonce in Northern accents.

Friday
Jan232015

Eclectic Cupboard Handles For Our Fitted Wardrobe

I've had some unexpected spare time this week and have used it fruitfully to browse the internet in search of twelve perfectly uncoordinated door knobs for our fitted wardrobe project.

Here they are:  

  From top to bottom, and left to right:

Trinco Ferro, Marks and Spencer, eBay

eBay, Trinca Ferro, Milo's Curiosity Shop via Etsy

Bombay Duck, Bombay Duck, Anthropologie

French Grey Interiors via NOTHS, Anthropologie, eBay.

I chose handles in a variety of metals, with simple shapes - mostly a variation on the rounded star 'melon' shape (the internet seems to be in total agreement that this particular shaped door knob is known as a melon shape, goodness knows why). They are all around 40mm diameter (I had to check each one carefully as some looked great but turned out to be tiny), and I also felt drawn to ones that had an imperfect vintage feel with delicate details. My favourite is the rose-gold glass melon one from Bombay Duck. I may swap the rose-shaped one on the top right for this one from Anthro, assuming I can bring mysef to spend £14 on a cupboard knob!

Also, the Indian screens have arrived! More specifically, one screen has arrived and now we need to track down the other two. I also need to brave Ikea (even when you go to our local one at 10pm on a Tuesday it's still rammed) and order the internal drawers and shelves. Progress!

I've also recently been drawn into the serene, organic, rustic, luxe world of Lauren Leiss, a decorator and blogger from Virginia, US. I first found her blog a couple of years ago but stopped reading for some reason - I've picked t up again this past week and so far I'm on page 56 of 166 of the archives; that's a pretty good effort. The only other blog where I literally read the entire thing from cover to cover is YHL, albeit a good few years ago. I love Lauren's writing style, and the story of her house renovations and the growth of her business. If you've come across any great decor or renovation blogs recently, do let me know - I love finding new browsing material.

Leave a comment here, if you like.

Monday
Jan192015

A New Star Bookcase For A Toddler Bedroom

The carved Indian screens have been ordered and are currently in transit from Italy (I found a white-painted version of the ones we wanted, which will save me a job), and I've got quotes for the timber and ply from Atlantic Timber, so the fitted wardrobe project is starting to get underway. Maybe this time in a month my clothes will be hanging nicely in a purpose-built pink and gold wall papered space rather than being festooned around the house and stuffed into random drawers - ah, a girl can dream. Enrique will certainly miss having instant access to my socks, most of which are in a pile next to our bed - he loves nothing more than to shop illicitly for fabric footwear and then parade around proudly with a pair or two firmly between his jaws.

In the meantime, we have installed three new star bookshelves in Natalia's room, which we bought in the Great Little Trading Company sale. She'd originally had the DIY bookcase we made for Eva four years ago, but the girl is obsessed with reading and had run out of space for her Maisy collection, so we invested in a nice new matching set.

Installing them took about an hour (most of which was spent explaining to Natalia what we were doin', in response to her repeated line of questioning on the subject) and involved around fifteen different tools, because every project we take on involves around fifteen tools.

You can see we've also moved her into a big girl bed to match Eva's - we found both in the cellar when we moved in and just bought new mattresses. Eva's is sanded back (and still needs oiling) while I painted Natalia's white. You can also see that her little Christmas tree was still up when I took these pictures the other week (I have finally now got round to storing it in the cellar), and that we still need to do something about the unfinished original hearthstone.

Pretty stars and the very popular Postman Bear.

While we wait for the wardrobe materials to be delivered, I've also started work on a mini project to create a Hairy Maclary gallery wall for Natalia because she absolutely adores him, so will aim to share pictures of that next week. Happy Monday!

Sunday
Jan112015

The Design For Our Fitted (Built-In) Wardrobe

This is what most designs and plans look like round here - scribbles on multiple sheets of paper interspersed with drawings by Eva. I'm aware there's probably a more high-tech way to tackle the matter but I'm an old-school girl and heart so I'm happy with a pen, paper and calculator.

This is the design for our fitted wardrobe (also known as a built-in wardrobe).

The wardrobe will go along the wall where the bed is currently - it will start at the bay window and run for 3 metres. This will leave 1.5 metres to squeeze in the ensuite. It will be as high as the picture rail - any higher and we'd need one of those library ladders to access the top cupboards.

When I drew the design I didn't do it to scale - I just sketched out what I thought we'd ideally need. I then messed around measuring things with our new DeWalt laser measure (and good grief I cannot believe we have managed to do so much renovation thus far without one of these beauties) and it turned out we would be able to fit in what I had originally drawn, albeit with a trouser hanger for the lower of my two rails as there isn't space to fit in two normal height ones (I measured my shirts and blazers to check).

Eva saw me drawing, enquired as to what I was doing, trotted off to her bedroom and came back five minutes later with her own picture of a wardrobe. *So proud.*

The plan is to build a frame using 2x2" lengths of planed timber that will be attached securely to the wall, and then frame it out with 3mm birch ply or similar. We're going to use Ikea drawers (they have multiple options and all with very nice soft close runners) and I did look at the Pax wardrobe carcasses but they seemed a bit flimsy. I also don't want to use laminate because we want to paint the whole lot white and wood is easier to paint. 

For the wardrobe doors, we're buying a number of carved wooden Indian screens on eBay that we will cut to size and fit onto the frame with an additional face frame so it all looks nice and tidy. I did a lot of reading about fitted wardrobe construction on various DIY sites and the combination of frame attached to wall, ply plus face frame seems to be the way to go.

Internal rails and fittings will be Hafele, and I'm mildly contemplating spray-painting them copper as chrome seems to be hopelessly passe now, although I don't know how durable the finish would be. We're also planning on using Ikea LED lighting strips that light up whenever you open a door because, well, when you're going to all this trouble to accomplish the hard way something admittedly simple like storing your clothes then you might as well go nuts.

We each get 1.5 metres of cupboard space. My side will have glass-fronted drawers, and Andre's going to have wire baskets. I've designed it so it will hopefully look balanced, with hanging rails on each side, and shoes and shelves in the middle. The top part will be cupboard space for things like suitcases and general Boxes of Important Stuff that we currently have attractively piled up in the corner of the bedroom.

I want to paper the back of the wardrobe with a mad pink and gold wallpaper on my side and the same design on Andre's side in a gold and brown colourway, so I'm going to go and have a chat with a local interior designer, David Gavin, and take a look at some wallpaper samples. Something like Designer's Guild Kashgar (thank you Kimberly for pointing me in the right direction!) would be perfect.

You can read more about our requirements for the wardrobe here. I'm pretty sure we've covered everything, including the all important Currently Wearing Drawer. If you can think of anything we've missed, or have done this before and have any tips, please let me know! I'll be placing an order for approximately 100m of timber (yes, really) later this week.

Happy Sunday - hope you have a great week.

Click here to leave a comment if you like.