Wednesday, 20 April 2011

A girl's book of decorating

As I mentioned on Tuesday, K and I have acquired a house that was somewhat optimistically described as being in need of "some updating". Whilst K takes care of most of the project, I have appointed myself as being In Charge of Decorating. Mainly because I couldn't stand the thought of living somewhere in such a poor decorative state, and because decoration is low down K's list of things to do, and yet would be easier to do before we moved in, so I decided to give it a go. I have never done any DIY before with the exception of once, rashly painting my bathroom pink...*

Anyway. I digress. When I am faced with a new situation or want to know something, I usually turn to a book. So when I was looking up information about how to sand floors, and found that there was a book called A girl's book of decorating I couldn't resist ordering it at the library. As K will tell you, I am a sucker for anything that is pink or has some sort of female branding, particularly when it covers some task that I associate with being a male task. (And yes, I suppose this is the moment to confess the purchase of some pink garden tools with the remainder of my birthday money...). So I had high hopes that this book would tell me how to do what I need to do (get rid of ghastly wallpaper and carpets and cover in magnolia coloured paint).

Sadly, my hopes were misplaced. There are a very useful four pages at the back which give some practical advice on the most essential tasks, but just not enough detail. The rest of the book was devoted to ideas for interior design, most of which are completely inappropriate to a 1948 semi. I struggled to take the book seriously after a suggestion early on to use piles of books, artfully piled up, as a plinth for one's treasured artefacts. All I found myself thinking was what would happen if you wanted a book from halfway down the pile? And surely, one's books are one's treasured artefacts!

Instead, I seem to be relying on tips and advice from my colleagues, and another recommendation is do-it-yourself magazines. The B and Q website is quite helpful too. Any other good suggestions?

*Sadly, as the flat we inhabit belongs to my father who hopes to sell it swiftly when we move out, I no longer have a pink bathroom as he made us paint it back to green last year *sad face*


  1. My answer to everything is Magnolia - then I hang all my pictures (all cross stitch) in various places and move them around on a regular basis.

    Plus I have accent colours, plain bedroom but then really bright colours for the duvet. Deep Purple or Blue or any colour, that way the room changes colour (so to speak) every week.

    Same goes for the Living Room, cushions and blankets are bright solid colours!

  2. So probably a dumb question, but do y'all have anything like our Home Depot or Lowe's (think super-sized hardware stores)? They all offer free classes on how to strip wall paper and do nearly anything. And if you don't have time for a class, you can usually find an employee that can walk you through the process of whatever you are doing. If y'all don't have them, you might try their websites for that sort of info or might have some DIY pages. I always watch my dh to stuff, though, or stay far away. ;)

  3. That should read "I always watch my dh DO stuff..." :)

  4. I'd say Readers Digest DIY book all the way. Not pink and girly, but loads of practical how to stuff.

  5. oh Verity - how exciting for you both. We're having the survey done on our potential 'home' today so am a little further back down the road than you. I'm setting up a tumblr for all my internet finds. I'm going to try and use the internet more than magazines this time - I like house to home which is the umbrella one for Living etc and other home magazines.
    Happy Easter!


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