Friday, 5 June 2015

Decorating dilemmas and indecision

Earlier in the annals of the Bear Family, you may remember I was suffering angst and anxiety about contacting a painter and decorator to sort out the decoration of a severely water-damaged room in our family's holiday cottage. Having (temporarily) overcome my horror of phoning people, I do seem to have got something organised, and on Monday the plasterer is going to start work re-boarding and plastering the ceiling. Which, I think, means that the decorator has been in this week to strip wallpaper etc. I'm kind of burying my head in the sand about it and not chasing him, just assuming it's happening. That's the best approach isn't it?

We have already chosen the new wallpaper and paint for the room. The wallpaper is a Greek Key design from Graham and Brown.

Greek Key

 And it's then going to be painted with Crown "English Muffin". From the sample pot we used on some sample wallpaper, I don't think it's going to look anywhere near as pink as shown in this picture, but paint and pictures of it are always a bit tricky.

The woodwork is all white, including built in wardrobe doors, window frame, door and skirting. All sounding quite simple and promising so far isn't it?

Then there are two, large, relatively dark, non-negotiable wooden dressers. And two single beds with patchwork bedspreads (small boy not included).

And all I now have to do is choose curtain fabric (oh, and either get the curtains made or make them myself, but at the moment that feels like a walk in the park compared to finding the right material). I know what colours would work, I know what patterns I definitely want to avoid, I just can't find the perfect material. Every time I think I know that I definitely want something pinkish I then realise a neutral would be better. And every time I think neutral would be perfect I remember that actually a green would look rather good. Every time I decide a nice subtle, delicate pattern is what's in order, I look at the bedspreads and realise I have no hope of finding a pattern that doesn't fight with the existing ones. And every time I think I should choose something plain, I remember how dull and dingy I find the current, thin, life-sappingly beige ones.

The carpet is still undecided too, so I guess that comes into the list of Things I Still Have To Do, but I'm ignoring it, since I'm going to have to wait till I'm at the cottage, go to a local carpet shop and arrange measuring, fitting etc once actually there. But curtains I feel I ought to be able to get sorted here. And by ignoring the carpet, I don't have to worry about whether the curtains work with the carpet. A problem deferred is almost as good as a problem solved.

So, BigBear's cousin has offered to help out, and I figure, there must be some other interior-design minded people out there, so what the hell, I've now presented you with (almost) all the information I have and I'll see what you come up with. I say almost, because I can't show you what the furniture looks like as I don't have pictures and at least 90% of you have never seen the room in question. And of the 10% who have seen the room, I'd put even money on a good half of them not remembering it.

I now have ten fabric swatches from John Lewis scattered around the place, none of which are quite what I'm after. I have these four coming from Sanderson soon (and they're rather pushing the limit on how much I'm prepared to spend on curtain fabric!)


I have absolutely no idea what any of these will look like in the flesh, and am reaching the point where I no longer know what I think as I've stared at so many fabric websites over the past few weeks I'm starting to see the warp and weft in my dreams. I am once again suffering from my complete and total inability to just let it go. There are times and days when being obsessive and focusing intently on a problem until I've gnawed it into submission and it lies on its back whimpering for mercy are a good thing. Like at work, when trying to make the impossible possible. But curtains? Get a grip woman!

So now, I place my sanity, sleep and the approval of my family in your hands. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to suggest an actual definite fabric that would look nice as fully-lined floor-length curtains in an 1840s slate-built quarryman's cottage with walls and bedspreads as shown. If you so much as think about saying "a nice light green with a slight self-pattern in it" I will find a hitman to hunt you down and strangle you with a Laura Ashley tie-back. I want specifics or nothing. (And I don't want £60/m either...)


  1. A coupe of suggestions below, from the same site. I've used the site before and been very happy with them, plus they send samples if you want and there is a special deal on now for free blackout lining. They look pricier per metre, but that does include having them made to measure. I think your green idea is good as it will contrast with the walls and not too much pattern to let the bedspreads be the focal point.

    1. Thank you MrsBunnyW! Both look good, so I think I may be sample-ordering soon :)