Home improvements

Back in April my elder son had an unfortunate incident with our bathroom door (With hindsight we could have avoided that). Today we had the door replaced. For just under six months the children have been using a bathroom that cannot be secured. It has had no handle and, therefore, no lock since my husband had to break into it with a sledgehammer. My children coped; their guests did not. When friends came round they would either go upstairs to use the guest shower room or downstairs to use the loo. They refused to make use of a bathroom that did not have a door that could be latched shut. I can’t say I blame them.

When I first met my husband he was nearing the end of a major bathroom renovation in his second house. He had removed a wall, blocked up a door and replaced all the sanitary ware. He had not yet fitted the new door. Bearing in mind that I did not  know him well at this stage, being expected to use a loo (the only one in the house) in a room with no door made me feel very uncomfortable. There are some bodily functions that I wish to remain private. Thankfully, he fitted the door fairly quickly; in those days he was much better at getting on with jobs that needed doing than he is now.

Waiting over six months to complete a task is not unusual for us. When I finally got round to repainting our bedroom, about seventeen years after we moved into the house, I could not find any curtain material that I liked to go with the new soft furnishings. Having gone through several winters with no curtains in this room, I finally decided this summer that I needed to get on and do something about it. I trawled the internet for fabric and sent off for swatches of material. The only sample that I liked came from a children’s range. Last week I decided that I needed to act and placed an order.

My daughter commented that, just as we are doing up her bedroom in a more adult style, I seem to be decorating my own room in a style more associated with children. I don’t really care. This winter I will have the added insulation of heavy curtains with thermal linings at the window. The fact that the fabric depicts a colourful map of the world with appropriate, cute animals on the countries (except for the North Pole which has both polar bears and penguins) is perfectly acceptable to me. The only downside is that the colour scheme, delightful though I find it, is not going to sit well with the other soft furnishings in the room. I now need to find appropriate bedding and do wonder how long that will take me.

The state of my bedroom has never seemed that important to me as I spend so little time there except to sleep. Now that the children are teenagers, getting their rooms the way they want them seems to matter more. Their rooms are their sanctuaries.

My daughter’s new bed arrived this morning so today I have been sorting out her decor. A few screws need to be drilled in a couple of the walls to complete the transformation. I will try very hard to persuade my husband to do this over the weekend as I am not competent with a drill.

When I moved into my first flat I found that the previous occupants had taken the curtain poles with them. Undaunted, I bought new curtain rails, borrowed a drill and set about attaching them. I had never used a drill before, neither had I seen one used; my father did not own such a device. He was once asked why he did not buy a drill and explained that if he did then he may be expected to use it.

I managed to get my curtain rails attached to the walls but they were not straight; I had no idea how one was supposed to achieve this. When I drilled holes for picture hooks I did not check the walls for electrical wires; I did not know that this may be an issue. Obviously I survived my attempt at DIY, but such tales persuaded my husband that I should never be trusted with power tools. Neither does he allow me to paint walls after seeing the results of my one attempt to do this in our home. Looking back, I should also have made a hash of ironing his work shirts when I first took on that job.

I am very pleased with the results of the work that we have been doing around our home in the past few weeks. The rooms that are being worked on are coming along nicely and it is pleasing to see them looking the way I envisaged. I have still got a lot of cleaning and sorting to do, but the results make the tasks worthwhile.

The only room that remains in a mess is my elder son’s; I suspect that we will have to work on that together if progress is to be made. I do wonder if I should try to persuade him to have it redecorated; the sail boats that I chose for him when he was two years old are very cute but rather faded. Thinking about it though, I may try to complete what I have taken on so far first. There is only so much upheaval I can cope with before it becomes more beneficial to relax and enjoy what we have achieved thus far.