Tuesday 15 March 2011

auntiegwen's guide of what not to do - decorating for numpties

We are still deep in decorating chez auntiegwen. As always, I started without a clear plan of what I was doing and then made it up as I went along. This is not clever and also frighteningly expensive. As I am public spirited to my very core and I am so fond of you, my lovely readers, read on so you don't weep for you will not make the same mistakes as your auntie.

Do not try and paint your room the same colour as the sky in your Christmas present painting. A trained and talented artist spent years learning to lovingly blend colours to get the irridescence of a winter sky. A wee spotty boy in B and Q with an hours on the job training is unlikely to be able to recreate the tonal effect of said sky, no matter how good the paint machine is. You will feel like a numpty stood there with your painting under your arm. Even the wee spotty B and Q boy with his 1 hours training knows he can only do flat colours.

Ditto in the carpet shop.

Do not think that you and your offspring can paint a room. You can but you will reach cross shouty shreikyness fairly quickly and what you save on a properly trained and experienced painter and decorator you will spend on gin, you pays your money, you take your choice.

If you do manage to get a shade of beigey pinky greyey paint you like, DO NOT (in capitals for emphasis) paint all 4 walls if you only need 3 doing as you are having 1 wall with feature wallpaper. I emphatically did not make a mistake, I knew I only needed 3 but I also knew it may take quite some time to get around to wallpapering said wall and I felt that it would look better meantime to have all walls the same colour.

If you base the whole theme of the room on the 2 rolls of wallpaper on the feature wall, it is then A VERY BAD IDEA to decide that you are not actually a feature wall sort of person and you actually like all 4 walls in the beigey, pinky, greyey paint. Especially if you have driven to no less than 5 branches of B and Q in a 50 mile radius of your house to buy the 2 rolls of wallpaper.

Check that the beigey, pinky greyey silk lightshade that is the perfect shape to match the bedside lamps and that you fall in love with is actually for a ceiling light and not a lamp. There is a difference, who knew?

If you have champagne tastes on a beer income do not even have a sneaky peek at The White Company website or catalogue, it doesn't come with an addiction warning.

When you actually succumb to The White Company do not add up what your bedlinen cost you, because when people ask you in shocked tones what your pure silk bedspread in taupey grey, your 2 sets of grey piped duvet covers and Oxford pillowcases and the extra deep kingsize bed sheets costs you will be truthfully unable to tell them, this is much better for your mental health. Especially when you realise that your pure silk bedspread doesn't actually serve a purpose, it just lies there looking pretty.

Do not buy an extra metre of pelmet covering fabric to make cushion covers and tie backs, yes, you will be fair away with yourself and may fancy yourself as the next Kelly Hoppen thinking your room will look very what swish and co-ordinated but if you have no idea of how to and no means of making these cushion covers and tie backs, it isn't one of your better ideas. Especially when you actually prefer your interim solution of your curtains tied back with the black and cream ribbons you get tied round your Links of London jewellery boxes.

Do not try and outsmart yourself. I have a tendency to live with things unfinished, this time I have tried to overcome this by buying everything for the room at once, new furniture, new carpets, new linen, bedside lamps, light shade, curtains (paid extra to be made up quicker) and fabric plus tonal piping for to cover the window pelmets and to make tie backs and cushion covers for the bed. This was ANOTHER VERY BAD IDEA I have spent more than I earn and I get panicky if I can't clear my credit card bill in full every month. I am now afeared of the big feck off bill shortly due from my credit card.

When your room looks beautiful, it becomes a sanctuary for you. Your calm and serene room awaits you every night, lovingly inviting, not just to you but also for your nearest and dearest. They also wish to spend time in the calm and elegant sanctuary. This unleashes your inner Monica, I now clean and hoover every day, my usual slattern has been replaced by a cross shouty shreiky creature who doesn't want people to walk in her room as it leaves footmarks in the carpet and the thought of people lounging around on my bed makes me ill, I mean their feet might touch my pure silk White Company bedspread! I now want a lock on my door as I know when I am in London for a few days they will roll around and mess my bed up and send me pictures of them doing it, with glee on their faces.

When you have finished it just makes the rest of the house look so shabby so you think I'll have a go at the rest... and so it begins... decorexia.


Wylye Girl said...

I'm sorry but I laughed... and laughed... and laughed, then I laughed some more. I am always delighted to hear of another mortal being who shares my complete incompetence in all matters of decorating. Last time I was infected with decorexia I caught my nipple in a pair of pliers. Definitely in my top 10 of things NOT to do in your life. I hope you enjoy your sanctuary nonetheless

Looking for Blue Sky said...

Lots and lots of laughter here too :)

Nota Bene said...

I assume when you refer to Monica, you mean Monica Bellucci who was on the front page of the Sunday Times with an iron in her hand?

I was hoping for pictures, but I'll wait for the offspring ones...

P.S. Very well done on the effort...and the blog

Gigi said...

Yes, that would be the problem with doing one room - it leads to another and another. And once it's all done it's time to start all over again.

Sueann said...

I don't think I have laughed this hard all year!! Decorexia..love the new word!! I have been doing the entire house!! Expensive?? Well....mums the word!!!
Looks great though!! Ha!

Andy said...

I reckon your stay over in London will be a downgrade after your Boutique Bedroom with its upmarket decor.

Maybe you should rent the room out whilst you're away, to offset the cost of the silk beadspread?

Trish said...

Having a good chuckle at your post and slightly alarmed at how Wylye Girl got her nipple caught in a pair of pliers!!

We are about to embark on a whole new kitchen. This will bring decorating ansgt coupled with having 'men' in for some considerable time. Best stock up on hobnobs.

auntiegwen said...

WG - I have to know the nipple/pliers story

LFBS - as I always say, my life is funny when you don't have to live it

NB - I saw her and thought of you

Gigi - I am afraid of what I have unleashed

SueAnn - oh I can't claim credit for decorexia, I heard it somewhere and I'm not even sure I'm using it in the right context

Andy - oh no, people are messy, more so if they have paid to be there. I fully intend to leave my hotel bed unmade, little rebel that I am

Trish - I covet with covety covetousness a new kitchen, when Hot Boy becomes famous he's going to buy me one. I will look forward to reading about yours to keep me going meantime :)

libby said...

Is it all done? can we see pictures? and why the London trip? xxx

Alex said...

Have you investigated the going rate for a sex change Auntie ?
It might seem a tad expensive at first glance but once it`s done and dusted you will never have to torture yourself with thoughts of decoration or new furnishings ever again.
Book yourself in,toss out the White Company guff and be a slob..!!
Only downside to joining us on the dark side is that you will get no birthday presents and a couple of pairs of nylon socks at Xmas :)

auntiegwen said...

Libs - it's done bar the pelmets being recovered and the cushion covers and tie backs. I'm off to London for work, 4 times per year to Head office but I only have to stay over twice :( I'd rather be at home tbh

Alex - I'm not sure I would be a very good bloke, I hate wearing socks! but if I can have a wife who does stuff for me, I'm with you, socks and all, on the dark side:)

Curry Queen said...

I have had many experiences like this and I have learned my lesson. Pay someone to do it in future - it's the only way!

Helena said...

lol.....oh, Gwen! What a wummin'.....but they are wee and spotty in B&Q aren't they?

I used to paint murals, (not the ones with mountains and ducks ect...) so if all else fails I could try a huge David Tennant for you, if you like..!!

AGuidingLife said...

I remember me and a friend painting her bedroom ceiling once, using the bed to stand on to reach and drinking a bottle of gin whilst doing so. A happy memory! My bathroom still isn't (a bathroom) so you are leaps and bounds ahead of me. You'll feel more relaxed about your room after you've calmed down after the first spillage/ripage/markage :)

Autumn Mist said...

I don't want you to have a cardiac arrest or choke on your biscuits, but I must confess that my dog sleeps on the bed with me. I can't see myself doing that if I had White Company furnishings, can you?

Anonymous said...

I think I need to commission you as my bedroom interior decorator although how much will you spend at The White Company if you're not footing the bill...think I need to tell the husband to work a bit harder...

ps. Where's the pic...we need to see this wonderous room...

scrappysue said...

pictures please auntie!!!

auntiegwen said...

CQ - I think I'll have to, I want my hall stairs and landing papered and I suspect that's best not tackled by me!

Lena - ooh David Tennant in my lounge and bedroom, could it be a naked DT?

S - there will be no spillage/ripage/markage ever, my son actually asked me why I didn't keep my quilt in a glass box.

AM - fair play to you, It's nice that you treat your dog better than I treat my children :)

Lottie - oh I am ace at spending money : mine mostly, I would worry that I was spending too much if it was for others

Sue - when I have my pelmets back, that's the last bit

Anonymous said...

I second/third/fourth the pictures request, and the ones your kids take! I thought you meant the Monica from Friends! (I don't think I even know who Monica Bellucci is - sad but true).

Sally said...

Oh my GOODNESS, you bought a whole set of bedding AND the grey blanket from the White Company? That is, like, the single most extravagent thing I can think of. So long as you didn't buy the candles, though, I think you can get away with it. You didn't buy the candles, right?

Taz said...

I'm sooooooo glad I didn't click on that White Company link.

My bedroom is desparate for a make over, it's never been decorated in the 8 1/2 years I've lived here but as it involves ripping out nasty fitted wardrobes I keep putting it off. Wise me thinks ;)

OhMyMissRebeccaJane said...

Everytime I attempt something like this and it ends up being a long, messy journey, I always tell myself that next time I will pay someone to do it. But when you sit or lay back and enjoy the surroundings you have created, it's worth it!

Decorexia. Love it!


Muddling Along said...

Decorexia - love it!

Mrs Worthington said...

My god when you decide to do something you go for it! I was expecting more pontificating after your earlier posts not a trip or several to B&Q. Good for you. It took me ages to get my arse into gear and I still haven't bought the curtains to go with the rest of the room because the only ones I like costs £500 and nothing else will do. A bit like you and The White Company.

Rarelesserspotted said...

decorexia is NOT good, that's why I never learned to wallpaper and my painting (gloss at any rate) is undesirable. My strategy is to allow her indoors to do it and heap praise on her to convince her that in fact, she is the only person who could do a good job. It works.

Sandi said...

It all sounds gorgeous, so photos???? do we get to see said beautiful boudoir????
x Sandi

auntiegwen said...

Alienne - I did mean the Monica from friends, the other Monica is my friend NB's dream woman, she occupies no 1 to 5 on his celebrity shag list, something he never fais to remind me of

Sally - relax, I didn't buy the candles, surely TWC will send me a candle after all the shameless pleading for free stuff I have done?

Taz - that's the key, just don't start, then you'll be fine

Becca - hello you :) xxx yep it'll all be worth it in the end, that's what I keep telling myself

Ma - oh I read it somewhere and shamelessly pinched it :) x

Mrs W - oh spend the £500, then we'll both be skint together :)

Steve - can you send Mrs Steve to me, I'll look after her very nicely and provide cake and nice cheering other lady things ! xxx

Sandi - I will post pictures when I get the pelmets back from the man who's recovering them xx