The Guest Room: Almost Done

July 25, 2014

Most of the guest room makeover was completed before our Hawaiian holiday but since then it has come to a bit of a standstill. The repairs to the cornice and ceiling, and the painting in general, took so much longer than anticipated that once the furniture was in and things were working I ran out of steam . That's not always a bad thing though, sometimes I think it helps to not look at a room for a bit and then go back with fresh eyes to finish it off (my excuse). Anyway, the bed and wardrobe are in, the light works and the cornice hasn't fallen off so all I need now is to hang another frame or two, move in some bedside tables and that should about do it.

This glass box is resting upon the current bedside tables, a not too old pair we bought to go with our old bed, in our house before this one.  I'm planning on moving these tables to the master bedroom after they've had a makeover too, as it seems a waste to get rid of them as they're not that old and in perfect condition - but that brown wood just isn't doing anything for me any more.  Then the bedside tables currently in the master bedroom (which are white) will come into the guest room. Follow all that?

Hopefully I'll be back before the end of the year with a completed room.

The Modern Honolulu & Waikiki

July 11, 2014

Paul and I just came back from 10 days in Hawaii - so, so good! For us, the hotel is part of the holiday experience and I can say that our stay at The Modern Honolulu lived up to expectations.  I like to have a peek inside hotel rooms almost as much as seeing inside other people's homes so here's a look inside The Modern (and some tourist shots too).

The front of the hotel and our room.  Each night when we came back from our day out, we'd find cookies on the bed, bottles of water & ice and slippers laid out beside the bed - sweet little touches.

The Sunrise pool (above) and the Sunset (adults only) pool (below).  Whichever pool you relax by, do so with a coconut mojito in hand.

We can't wait to visit Hawaii again, such a friendly place (shopping is good too!).

The DIY: How to Repair and Re-Use Old Cornice

July 6, 2014

So going back a few weeks now I mentioned that we had trouble finding a match for the cornice in the guest room. It was really just dumb luck that when we removed the old built-in wardrobe in this room that we decided to remove the cornice surrounding it gently and keep it (to remove the cornice, a Google around revealed that all it needed was a bit of delicate levering with a chisel and the pieces come off). This was about 18 months ago, so we had kept the cornice in the garden shed just in case it would come in useful later. Which it did.

Even though we had the two pieces intact, all that time in the shed (and umm, a little time outside at one point...) meant the plaster hadn't fared that well. At this point we just thought we'd get new cornice but after visiting two plaster work companies and not being able to find a match, we were about to pick out a new design (which would have meant ripping out all the existing cornice in the room and replacing it), we got the assistant at the second company we visited to check out one of the pieces we had brought with us to see if re-using what we had would be OK.   He said it was fine to re-use, provided we cleaned the pieces up and removed any of the old cornice cement on the back of each piece and touched up any cracks, removed any of the old flaking paint before lightly sanding and then repairing any of the cracks with plaster and leaving to dry.

Here's the smaller piece up (along with the new wall vent which were able to match).  Putting the cornice up just required cornice cement (which we put generously on the back of the cornice piece and also a little on the wall) and then once the cornice was in place, we tapped in some small nails at the base to act as a bracket while the cement dried. The nails were then removed once everything was dry and secure.

We did the first piece one day, then got to work painting the picture rail and then the following day, put up the bigger of the two pieces with the same method - repaired cornice, cement on back of cornice and on wall and then used small nails as a bracket.

This is the new wall vent and the re-used cornice before being painted.  It's not completely perfect as it was hard to match up edges of the existing cornice with the repaired piece as some of the plaster on each edge had chipped off, but I think it's a pretty good job and I'm so happy we didn't have to rip out all the cornice and replace the whole lot - I am also very relieved we hung onto that old cornice for as long as we did.

A little extra plaster to smooth over the edges has made the join less noticeable but it's still there if you get up real close, which unless you have a ladder, won't be happening ;) I tried to get the pictures at the same time of day but the 'after' still turned out darker as it was dark earlier today - that's winter for ya.