To be honest, I haven’t really found more miraculous hours in my day to ‘get things done’ in the era of social distancing, having a 2 year old 24/7 hanging around your working day will have that effect. But we managed to get a lovely job done this weekend whilst Peggy had a long nap.
My dad came up a few weeks ago, armed with some MDF from a local timber yard and fixed some shelves in our alcove. It was something we’d been thinking about for ages, we still haven’t brought down boxes of books down from the loft after living here for over three years. I’m good at decorating and paint but sadly remembering to add storage solutions into rooms isn’t my strong point.
The task wasn’t easy, as most walls in our house are wonky. As soon as we used the spirit level we saw that the dado rail wasn’t straight at all. And then the alcoves are off-kilter, too – so on one side the shelves sit inside the alcove whereas the other end they overhang – but once they were in they looked great!
Cleverly, my dad also brought a bit of edging to glue onto the edge of the shelf to give it more of a ‘finished’ look, otherwise you’d get the raw edge of the MDF (not to mention it being a tricky surface to paint) which wouldn’t be the end of the world but it really makes a difference. Try searching for beading or mouldings.
Paint-wise, we went with white, mainly because there are lots of different colours in this room, and this way the books will really stand out. Also: we had loads of white paint leftover at home so kept the costs low!
We did undercoat then three coats and it took a couple of evenings to paint, then one afternoon to organise the books. We decided to colour-code them so it added a pop of colour to the room, most of these books we’ve already read so don’t need to access urgently – and I must admit, having them in front of us really makes us want to read more! We’ve been taking a book to bed to read for 30 minutes each night lately to help unwind and it has been really lovely.
A few of my favourite books (if you’re in need of some inspiration right now – apologies, not all of these are particularly ‘feel-good’ or that recent as my reading time has been limited lately!):
‘White Teeth’ by Zadie Smith
‘The Robber Bride’ by Margaret Atwood
‘The Girls’ by Emma Cline
‘Life and Death of Sophie Stark’ by Anna North
‘The Woman in White’ by Wilkie Collins
‘Valley of The Dolls’ by Jacqueline Susann
‘The Goldfinch’ by Donna Tartt