What Lies Beneath

So after tackling the spare room, we moved onto our daughter's bedroom, which once complete will be a glorious riot of hot pink, peach, teal and turquoise.

Here's how the room looked a few days after we first moved in - clearly the decor is hideous (why certainly, by all means team dirty yellow walls with orange woodwork and a nasty thin grey carpet, and don't even think about sweeping the filthy cobwebs from the ceiling) but the proportions! It's huge, with an enormous south-facing bay window. If I were a toddler I'd be cool with it, I think. Lots of room to run around evading getting dressed in the morning, y'know, the usual toddler activities.

Here's how it's looking now - yeah, we really should have moved the sofa out before bringing on the dust. The wallpaper had mostly been removed already by previous owners - I say mostly as we discovered large areas where they'd obviously given up part way through ripping it off and just painted over it - but the plaster was in a horrible state, so we've had to re-plaster a few of the walls.

Well hello there, excessively large 'built-in' cupboard installed randomly in the middle of a wall.

And as for the floor - oh my goodness. Brace yourselves, people. What you are about to witness makes for disturbing viewing. Let's peel back the corner of the carpet...

...to reveal that a quarter of the gorgeous original Victorian plank floor has been taken up and replaced with horrible, nasty old cheap tongue and groove.

Which has then been painted green in patches.

And subsequently hacked with a circular saw to access the central heating.

Seriously, who butchers a Victorian floor? What a travesty. I've spoken with a bunch of local reclamation yards to find replacement planks and come up with nothing - apparently five years ago there was so much reclaimed wood around I'm surprised I didn't fall over it in the street, but by now pretty much every old warehouse, church and school in Manchester and Liverpool has been demo'ed and turned into apartments, so there's nothing coming into the salvage yards any more. Waaaaaaah. I found someone selling reclaimed timber on ebay, but helpfully they won't reply to my messages.

So then I spoke with my favourite local timber merchant, Atlantic Timber, who have some lovely upper gulf Swedish redwood in exactly the right size that sounds like a good match for the original floor. It's not reclaimed, but by the time it's been lathered in delicious Osmo oil I don't think you'll really notice. And I can't sit around on the reclaimed wood waiting list (yes, there is a waiting list) for the next six months hoping something suitable comes in. So that's the plan. We'll have to see how it looks once installed, but I'm cautiously hopeful.

Oh, and you see the armchair in the first picture? That was abandoned in the house when we moved in, and I spent the long bank holiday Jubilee weekend re-upholstering it. And now have very sore fingers from repeatedly jabbing myself with pins. That's the difference a decade makes - in my twenties, post-bank holiday injuries mostly revolved around hangovers caused by guzzling one too many Cosmopolitans. In my thirties, they're caused by an excess of upholstery. And I wouldn't have it any other way.