Elephants breath vs mouses back


Not quite Babington yet…

We may have had our fair share of guests by now but we’ve relied on their pioneer spirit to see them through. That and a supply of flip flops for crossing unfinished floors. The house was slowly taking shape and with each holiday that passed we became more confident that one day we would have one of those holiday homes you could imagine on a website of ‘baby friendly boltholes’. We had a few finished rooms and had started to collect some bits of furniture.

Until now we had vacated our master bedroom and bunked into a little room next to the boys room when people came to stay. You have to walk through it to get to the boys room which curtails any chance of privacy and means that Arthur wakes us up with his 5am rises which he has done since birth and even now age 10 doesn’t show any signs of changing. I am hoping that one day he will be one of those teenagers that you have to drag out of bed with threats of cold water. And the room itself is fin. Cute even. I found the granny quilt on ebay (you actually search for just that – granny quilt) and we have no problem moving in while guests come to stay.


Our room when guests come to stay. Cozy.

But as another Christmas loomed large, and this time my parents were feeling brave enough to make the trip (the prospect of heating and not peeing in a bucket had increased their levels of interest in another holiday) we wanted to get a proper guest room ready. The room pictured at the top was the one we had earmarked. It was downstairs and next to the one finished bathroom (see below). Image

So together they would make a really nice guest suite. I could possibly start sidelining as a B&B landlady. But as usual there was a lot of work to be done before getting Alistair Sawday round to give us a five star rating.


The loo/rats nest was in the far corner. Like Nimh. Then it was gone.

By this stage we were old hands at doing up our rooms. And this room did not phase us. Oh no. Despite originally having a loo in the corner with a rats nest underneath it (we tend NOT to share this info with guests before they’ve slept in it) The most horrible peeling ceiling. A funny coat rack thingy (technical term) which I actually kept and put in another room later on and broken windows.

We got to work with a vat of decorators caulk to fill gaps in the wooden ceilings. A gallon of white undercoat and gloss for ceilings and woodwork. Another gallon of white emulsion for the walls and a lot of patience to apply all of the above. Ourselves. And finally hours of pouring over Farrow and Ball paintcharts to choose the colour for the walls, about six changes of mind over which particular shade of beige or grey to go for (Elephants Breath vs Mouses Back – #firstworldproblems) We settled on Old White

Old White

Beige by any other name. Old White if you want to pay lots more for it

And we painted. And painted. And I got the children to help and they painted. And then Peter filled the holes in the ceiling and I painted that too. And this was probably some sort of school holiday/half term or other and my friends were facebooking about their sunshine breaks to Morocco/Dubai/Majorca (I even had pangs of jealousy as people fessed up to being at Centreparcs – not for long admittedly)

And it was finished. Although it didnt yet have a floor – just some mucky cold concrete but I bought a rug at Marks and Spencer and that would do for now. We bought a Leirvik bed from Ikea and carted it back from Toulouse. Along with yet more Hemnes drawers (I will be calling my next born Hemnes FYI)

Thanks IKEA

And finally we added a great glass chandelier we’d found at a Vide Grenier. And i made some curtains out of my favourite hessian fabric bought on ebay – with black out lining for extra warmth. Voila. And the rather splendid 1970s pic of the fallen madonna with the big boobies was found in a Vide Grenier for ten euros. A bedroom fit for parents and anyone else who descends from now on. Want to come and stay yet?