We’ve now been living in our very small, beach cottage for almost three years, and when I say small, I really do mean small. Not so small as to be classed as a ‘tiny house’, but small enough that furnishing and decorating has been a challenge. There’s been lots of trial and error along the way, but I’m pleased to say we’re getting to the stage now where we’re happy with it.
If you’re interested in taking a look at some of the progress so far, grab yourself a cuppa and settle in for today’s instalment. A lot of changes have happened to get us to where we are now, so I’ll need to divide the house into sections to show you the progression. If I wrote it all in one post, it’d be a bit of a book rather than blog post chapter, and I suspect I’d lose you along the way. Today, I’ll show how we’ve managed to make our master suite liveable.
the master suite – Before
When we bought our little house, sight unseen, the master bedroom was painted in three different shades of blue.
The carpet was stained and dirty, and the very blue en-suite had dull white, musty smelling cupboards. The hand basin had been painted, and although you can’t see it in the photo, the paint was peeling off. Yes, it was dreadful!
The first changes
The first job was to paint the walls and re-new the carpet. Along with all rooms in the house, a coat of warm white paint went onto the walls. We then had all the bedrooms fitted with neutral grey, wool carpet.
We purchased a second time round queen sized bedroom suite, and of all the second time round furniture we purchased, I think this bedroom suite is one of the only things that we’ve actually kept. Bed sizes differ depending on where in the world you live. In Australia a queen bed is 153cm x 203cms and is a size bigger than a standard double bed. In the UK I think a queen bed is smaller than their double bed. I’m not sure how the US bed sizes compare. Anyway, it’s a good sized bed for two adults and a small dog to share. It was custom made for its previous owners out of a light coloured hard wood (Tasmanian Oak I think). It’s solid, and the drawers are roomy and practical.
However a bed frame took up more of the room than an ensemble mattress and base would. This year we ditched the bed end and frame and replaced it with a latex mattress and base ensemble. Paul fixed the bedhead to the wall. I’m not sure if the photos do justice to the additional space this little change made. It gave us approximately 10 cms (4 inches) of extra space on either side of the bed, and the same at the end of the bed. 10cms doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you’re very limited for space every little bit helps.
The small three doored built in robes had hinged doors. We’ve had these replaced with sliding doors, and Paul’s added a couple of additional hanging rails, and some shoe racks to help keep things neat and tidy.
Next we added mirrors above the bedside cabinets. These serve no practical purpose. My grandson is astounded at the amount of mirrors we have. Most, have been fitted purely to add more light, and a feeling of added space, and these two in our bedroom are no exception. It works. From the minute we fitted them, the bedroom appeared to be larger.
The latest addition is plantation shutters. Whilst I actually liked the pastel floral curtains and pelmets that come with the house, they had definitely seen better days. The shutters fit right back into the window space and add a streamlined, coastal look to the room. By doing away with the curtains and pelmets A further 8 – 10 cms of space has been gained. The jarrah (West Australian mahogany) window sills would probably look nice painted glossy white, but I think I’d lose that battle with the Mr of the house.
I’ve painted the dark brown base on our crystal bedside lamps (purchased from a garage sale in Tasmania), and we’ve changed the shades from the big, old fashioned, pleated cream shades to a smaller, more modern white drum style. I don’t know if you’ve ever looked at replacing the shades on lamps. We found the shades on their own to be very expensive. We ended up instead buying new lamps from Kmart, throwing out the lamp and just using the shade. It cost us $50 for two, as apposed to $60 each for just the shades from a lighting shop. There’s a difference in quality, but we’re a bit over buying excellent quality in home wares. The fashions change to often and then we find we get stuck with something we’d rather not be stuck with, just because we paid a premium price for it. The mind set becomes that it’s to good to throw out.
I’m now on the look out for two feminine coastal prints to go above the bed between the mirrors and the centred, above bed light. I’m thinking something feminine with shells and pearls. I have seen some on line that feature polished Trochus shells with a strand of pearls, but I’d prefer to see them in real life before purchase. They’ll turn up one day, or maybe we’ll get creative and make our own.
Weve done a minor re-vamp of our en-suite, with a new toilet tank, a faux marble bench top to replace the previous blue one, a new basin, and new gloss white drawer and cupboard fronts. Paul painted over the blue header tiles. It’ll keep us going until we get around to the planned complete bathroom refit. We’re thinking maybe a sliding entrance door, and a frameless glazed, hobless shower. With careful planning, and with the bricked shower wall gone, I think we may fit in a double vanity, and still manage to keep the internal width of the shower the same. Perhaps with a sliding door we’ll be able to get the shower diagonally shaped out towards the entry, which will give us slightly more shower space too. That’s all still in the planning stages at the moment though – next years project perhaps.
Thats the changes to the master suite. As you can see by the photos the bedroom’s small, in keeping with the small house. It’s only 3.5 metres x 3.1 metres (approximately 3.8 yards x 3.5 yards), and without extending, I think we’ve done a reasonable job of creating more usable space, and giving the room the illusion of being bigger. There isn’t room for a bedroom chair, or a blanket box, but we can manage without those. There’s certainly no room to spare, nor is there any wasted space. It wouldn’t suit everyone, but it works for us.
You may have noticed one of the ornaments, previously on one of the bedside cabinets, but now on the dressing table. The bronze colour didn’t work in our colour scheme, so I attacked it with white chalk paint. I think Paul’s a bit frightened to stand still for long for fear he’ll get painted from head to toe too.
Watch this space to see how we’ve managed to furnish our guest room, other spare bedroom, and some small changes to our guest bathroom……