The Boy and His Girl have been hard at work over the past couple of weeks, bringing fun and sunshine to the upstairs loo.
This was probably the most depressing room in the farmhouse and I avoided it as much as possible. It tended only to be used by the kids, as it is near their bedrooms and has a rather dramatic floor-flooding flush if you forget to put the lid down before you pull the chain (yes, really - it is an overhead cistern).
The makeover began with with the stripping of three layers of wallpaper: 1970's, 1960's and 1950's. I wish I had got there in time to see the 1960's as the tiny scraps I saw were of a psychedelic turquoise and yellow paisley sunflower pattern :D
They stuck up a roll of thick white lining paper (£4.99) while I thought about my colourscheme. I prefer to use eco-friendly paint, but I was still prevaricating when my decorators ran out of paste and I found myself in Homebase looking at the Reduced Items counter...
So I presented them with an anonymous "matchpot" of Dulux matt paint for £2.49 in this rather lovely light sea green / blue, and a larger tin of Dulux Bathroom (mould resistant) paint which had been mixed specially for another customer and they hadn't like the colour: "Easter Morn", for £9.
The yellow is really rather scary, but it's fit for purpose on the sometimes-damp wall.
I gave them a free rein on the artwork. I vaguely suggested a beach theme, and The Boy's eyes lit up: "Whales?"
He has been reading Moby Dick for the past two years. Every time he comes home he starts at the beginning again, but has never yet reached the end. It has become a tradition.
Listen, if you were an art student stranded in the middle of nowhere for three weeks of summer rain, with nothing but your paint palette and an intermittent internet connection, what would YOU do?!
Oh yeah... read Moby Dick!
I joked with them that they could get a job decorating children's playrooms... but actually I think there might be a market for their work. Although perhaps they would have to leave out the steampunk octopus in case the kiddies had nightmares!
... and this is what it looked like before. Peeling Laura Ashley wallpaper in a fetching shade of beige, circa 1976, broken frog toilet roll holder (it used to croak when you pulled the roll, but the inner spindle is long gone). Dark, dreary and dirty-looking no matter how often it was cleaned.
Total cost of makeover:
Labour: One trip to Balmedie beach to gather further materials, including portion of chips between two (£2.90);
two cinema tickets, popcorn and train fares on day off (£20);
celebratory Indian takeaway meal for everyone at the end of the project (price not known - FL paid!)
Heritage value: Priceless.