Small Victorian Bedroom With An Open Fireplace
by Jai Williams
Original Edwardian fireplace from eBay
The smaller bedroom in my Victorian flat was simple and relatively easy to remodel ... apart from that little wallpaper glitch and, well, the built-in cupboards.
I removed all the old wallpaper and the bit of hard board across the open fireplace. Once the walls were made good, I tried my hand at lining the walls with a heavy paper
, and then painted them in a light 'mushroom' colour. The papering worked but the joins aren’t great, and if I could, I’d re-paper. But that's the beauty of DIY - it’s all experience.
I had seen my friends' place, and they had a tradesman in to build huge cupboards
from 18mm MDF sheet wood. "I can do that", I thought.
So I measured either side of the chimneystack, got my ruler and calculator out, and started making some working drawings. I figured with a couple of sheets of 8’x4’ x 18mm MDF sheets and a well-thought-out template I could get the parts cut at a DIY store that offers a wood cutting service.
You have to be millimetre accurate with this, and make sure you check every cut before you leave the store
Once home, a quick assembly using PVA wood glue and a newly purchased nail gun
, firing long pins into the joins. The doors are simply drilled with a special hole cutter
, so the kitchen-style hinges can be inserted and assembled.
I measured the holes on a factory-made kitchen door
to get the exact placement.
The cutter can be purchased from any large DIY store, along with the cupboard feet and handles.
A quick sanding of the door edges to round off slightly, and you have fantastic fitted units for under £150
Building a drawer
in one of the units - on ball runners - was a bit tricky as it was my first attempt, but it worked and looks great.
was an eBay
purchase. You have to make sure your measurements are correct, and don’t be frightened to ask the seller questions.
Mine is an original all-in-one Edwardian iron fire surround, mantle and inset. I loved the design of it, but bidding was tough
is easy. Simply bolt to the wall using the brackets that are normally moulded into the iron frame. A touch of plaster to smooth the edges and it’s in.
Once it’s tested & certified by a chimney sweep, it can be used as an open fire. Naturally, safety with open fires in bedrooms has to be of the highest importance and if children were in the property, I doubt I would actually use it. But with a glass of red and the girlfriend, it’s so romantic!
I let a woman choose, as I didn’t want a 'bachelor pad' look for this bedroom. She chose green-and-grey leaf pattern curtains and matching cushions.
With a carpet
fitted for warmth and noise reduction (with a quality wool underlay
) the room feels very cosy.
So, here's the complete Before & After:Before:
I love that little fireplace & wonder whether we could do something similar in our bedroom as well! And your built-in cupboards are awesome. The room looks like an oasis of calm!