We’ve got thousands of books (this is no exaggeration). And our house is small. This does not make an ideal combination. However, when planning/despairing about the lack of space our little saviour ended up being the staircase (more about the wooden stairs/floor later) leading up to the bedrooms and bathroom. The ceiling of this narrow L-shape staircase extends up to 3 metres from the corner step – we would have been foolish not to utilise this space!
As with everything so far, we needed to get the books up with as little cost as possible. We scoured through salvage yards for recycled timber but the cost was just too much to bear. So, as we were already ordering sheets of plywood for the entrance hall cupboard, the easiest (and cheapest) solution was staring us in the face – plywood for the win!
Our original plan was to make mitre joints for the corners but with our slightly wonky walls this ended up being too much of a challenge (to put it nicely) for us. But in the end we didn’t actually mind the way they turned out with straight edges.
The metal bars and brackets were sourced from Ironmongery Direct (highly recommend this site for lots of supplies – quick delivery and very competitive prices).
The small shelf on top of the stairs ended up being an after thought as the bigger art/craft books didn’t seem to fit on the shelves.
We’re still trying to figure out a permanent ladder situation (wooden ladder on the wall?) to get the books out when needed, but for now, the loft ladder comes out when we need to get books up or down from the top shelves.
When we moved in, this relatively large hallway felt like a waste of space. We toyed with the idea of knocking the back wall down and extending the kitchen more into the hallway but that felt like an expensive effort with hardly any gain. So instead we decided to make the most of this space and add some desperately needed storage.
After researching lots of built-ins and cupboard solutions the most budget friendly option seemed to be to make it ourselves – from Ikea kitchen cupboards (metod base and veddinge doors)! The inspiration for this came from Weekday Carnival. We decided to add our own touch by surrounding the finished cupboard with sheets of plywood (the best deal we found was from Wickes), which we cut to size and screwed on (from the inside so not to see the screws from the outside). I like the lines of wood on the edges and it adds a bit of warmth to the room.
The cupboards are super deep (61.8 cm) and hold all our camping and fishing gear, coats, hats and sewing machine+materials. The small yellow shelf serves as a bit of an optical illusion as it’s only half as deep as the others, this way the whole cupboard seems less obtrusive.
Another helpful measure is that the whole system “floats” on the wall. This makes it less cumbersome and gives a sense of lightness.
The small electric cupboard hides our smaller shoes and boots. Jon has a thing about painting the edges of doors with different colours.
We tiled the hallway using the same tiles as in the kitchen, for continuity’s sake. These tiles, again from Wickes, were purchased during their half price sale (mental note: never buy tiles full price – there’s always a sale around the corner!). This was our first time tiling so I’m quite glad we had big tiles that were easy and quick to do.
To start with, we decided on the centre line and stuck down the first (and most important) tile. Then we added all the whole ones in a brick pattern (we made a cardboard template that showed us the middle point of the tile – this saved us from measuring it every time) and left the edges where the tiles would have to be cut (we found the best way to add the tile adhesive was one tile at a time rather than covering a whole rows worth and then trying to get tiles down in a panic). After the middle tiles had dried (so now we could stand on top of them) we started on the edges, accuracy in measuring and a sharp blade saves a lot of frustration and wasted tiles! (learned through trial and error)
This sweet woollen rug is from Solva Woollen mill in Wales. Anniversary present bought way before this space was finished. I’m so glad it works.