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Operation FionaOutdoors Office Move (with a bicycle theme)

Written by Fiona April 14 2014

This weekend was wild and windy outdoors but I hardly felt it. Instead, I spent the two days on operation FionaOutdoors HQ Office Move. The mission: To move my office to a spare bedroom upstairs and redecorate, all in 24 hours.

Redecorating in progress

Redecorating in progress

To put you in the picture, I use around the same energy for sport, work and decoration.

However, what I always forget about interior decoration is how long the preparation takes – and how exhausting it can be.

Most of Saturday was spent like this: Looking at Tools First reviews, a trip to a DIY store, measuring, planning, moving furniture, wallpaper stripping…

By Saturday evening the new office looked a total mess and I was fairly tired.

Sunday started at 8am with more energetic and (fairly) enthusiastic emulsion painting. It’s tiring going up and down a ladder to paint the edges and then rollering on the rest of the paint. I confess I turned it into a mini circuit training session for entertainment value.

Then came the wallpapering. I am delighted with my choice of bicycle print paper and this kept me going through the tricky hassle of applying the paper.

I learnt how to wallpaper as a child. My mum has always done the decorating and I can recall wallpapering a ceiling with her when I was aged only around 10.

Since leaving home I have used my DIY skills in numerous houses, including applying many miles of lining paper on old and cracked walls.

So one feature wall (and another half wall) would surely be an easy-ish task. Wouldn’t it?

photo 4

Spare bedroom/office combo

The wallpaper is beautiful but it has a half-metre repeat pattern. Added to this, the wall of my new office that I’d chosen as a feature wall is part wall and part coombed ceiling, which means it’s far longer than a normal wall.

It’s also an old-ish house, which also means that the walls aren’t straight. (You try hanging a plumb line on a coombed ceiling and working out where the straight edge should be!)

In addition, my wallpapering table was the kitchen table downstairs. All this meant I burned many hundreds of calories measuring, cutting, pasting, applying, sorting and generally to-ing and fro-ing on my DIY mission.

Surprisingly, I had only one big sweary moment when it became almost impossible to line up the wallpaper edges because of the vagaries of the coombed ceiling. I didn’t even get annoyed over four sockets that required to be papered around. (Little Miss, who was revising for her exams at the kitchen table said she expected a lot more loud swearing. She knows me too well!)

24 hours later: New office ready for work

24 hours later: New office ready for work

After two coats of emulsion, two coats of gloss on the skirtings and door, a wall (and a bit) or wallpapering and a coat of varnish on the windowsills I was exhausted. But I still had the furniture to move upstairs.

The G-Force has returned from his day of MTB massage and he helped me to move a bed and desk. I spent another hour or so sorting through things, hoovering and generally tidying.

By 9pm I was shattered, but my office looked absolutely lovely.

I now have a new outlook over the front garden and inside I am looking on to pink and silver bicycle wallpaper (whenever I am not staring at my computer screen). I’m a happy indoors-outdoors writer (although my arms and back still ache a lot.)

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