building my room from scratch
i'm moving back in with my mum
after 3 years of uni
living in a holiday let
and finally a year in new Zealand
it's a big step to take
but i love my mum so it's all cool
she finally brought a lovely home in cromer
and i have the 'box' room
you know the tiny room that's meant to be an office
yeah that's going to be my den
i'm super excited to make it my home
and doing it all as sustainable as possible
so let's jump right in
check out my youtube channel for videos of each stage
and more on how i physically built the room
i straight away opened up my pinterest app
and started to create a moodboard
piling together colours and features i wanted for my room
as you can see i wanted a rustic feel to the place
very simplistic. lots of white, wood & plants
something peaceful and natural looking
a very minimalist style to the place
somewhere i can go, relax and unwind
a little eco haven
making an inspo board is a great way to keep on track
a place to come back to for inspiration and guidance
each time your out and about shopping
keeping in mind colours, textures and style
so you don't over buy or get anything that you don't need
things that wont fit in with the style of the room
but instead only purchase items you will defiantly use
I aim to downsize and minimise my junk
after living out of a backpack for the last year
and moving a lot between homes before that
i know that i don't need a lot to get by
and i want to start this new chapter
with a clear head and a clear space
so a simplistic raw style
with little details
lots of plants
and hints of me
to make the place pop
Light Wood Features
it's a compact space
four walls in a rectangular shape
with a large window at one end
and a door taking up half the other end
it is 208cm x 287cm
the purpose of this room was to sleep and work
so a bed and desk were key components
i'm going with a rustic industrial vibe
i shall be building a pallet bed that will take up most of the space
then adding light wood and metal features to bring it together
such as a fisherman's light, a metal stool and some pipe brackets
also adding some more natural rustic tones
like a jute runner and lots of foliage
i shall be making a gallery wall
of mine, my friends and people i loves art
to cover the west facing wall
that will bring together all the tones of the room
Room Mock Up
as you can see i have a long way to go to get my desired result
this room is a lot of potential
yes it is horrendously blue
but that was nothing a lick of paint couldn't solve
a tall ceiling and the big window let in tonnes of light
making the space seem much larger than it was
its north facing so i get all day light
plus the most beautiful sunrises & sunsets
the window is double glazed which is great for regulating temperature
keeping the room nice and toasty in the winter and cooler in the summer
there is a carpet already laid
however, i doubt i shall use it as it is not my style
plus its quite stained and gross
i shall be removing the curtain rod and blinds
to replace with a more aesthetic version
all in all its a great blank space to work from so lets begin
a blank canvas
for my first step i wanted to strip the place back
creating a blank canvas for me to work with
so that meant painting it white
when sourcing eco friendly paint you want to find something
without harmful odours, chemical, or added solvents
the things to consider are VOC level
(volatile organic compounds)
these relate to the toxic off-gassing from the paint
you want to choose paints with low to no VOC content
also look out for harmful ingredients such as ammonia or formaldehyde
some brands to consider are
farrow & ball water-based paint
Eco's organic water-based paints (which are great for allergy sufferers)
these brand create paint from natural sources like water or clay
instead of chemicals which are much better for you and the environment
a more natural look
after I had painted
i stripped up the carpet
to see what lied beneath
and found this beautiful wooden flooring
i'm not a big fan of carpet
i find it attracts too much dust and stains so easily
having asthma dust is my worst enemy
so anything i can do to prevent it i shall
i much prefer a wooden anyway and could let this beauty get covered up
i did consider a cork flooring which would have been lovely but pricey
and since i had a free wooden floor anyways i went with that
i also chipped off the paint on the skirting board
it was badly put on and was coming off anyways
i presume the previous tenants had painted wall paint on the wood
and that never ends well
i had to bang in the nails and give it a sand
but after a bit of TLC and a lot of elbow grease
it didn't look half bad
this also made the transition
from white wall to wooden floor much more pleasing to the eye
a secondhand ladder desk
when deciding what desk to place in my room i wanted something simple
a desk that didn't take up much room, or wasn't heavy and dark
but minimalistic holding exactly what i need
a flat surface to place my laptop, then a couple of shelves for bits and bobs
after searching through pinterest a little
i came across ladder desks
a simple structure
two pieces of wood slanted against the wall
then a few planks laying flat across them
i was going to make my own out of scrap wood
however my sister had a brand new bamboo one that she gave me
as her new place already had a desk
so waste not want not
i nabbed it
and attached it to the wall with just two screws
and bobs ya uncle
it was originally from the futon company if you are interested
my very own pallet bed
i've been wanting to build my own palette bed for years
make something that fits exactly in the space
with no give or movement. like tetras
making it on my own and how i want it and with my own two hands
this was going to be fun
i'll be building it high
all the way up to the window to cover up the radiator
and also give lots of room underneath to build some draws
as i am in desperate need for storage
the bed shall be the biggest piece of furniture
as with most bedrooms
so i need to think carefully about it's size
since I'm building this myself i can choose the size of it
i just need to decide wether to be stingy and go for a smaller shape
as to give myself more room to move
or do i upgrade and stretch the width to a more comfortable size
but in turn loose some floor space.
considering mattress sizes
a single mattress is 90x190cm
a three quarter size mattress is 120x190cm
& a double size mattress is 135x190cm
the space i have is 208x287cm
208 being the width and 287 being the length
so the bed shall be 208cm long
an then i think i shall go for a 3/4 size bed as it'll give me that
little bit extra space without taking up the whole room
bird's eye view
window wall at eye level
outside wall at eye level
door wall at eye level
inside wall at eye level
my pallets are 1m x 1.2m
the space is 208cm x 287cm
got the one i like
now to figure out the mattress position
and organise the space around it
to stop the draft
Once i had pulled up the carpet
the flooring underneath although beautiful
did have a few gaps in it
which brought in quite a draft
so to combat this i placed down a layer of hardwood
which I found at my dad's yard
and cut to an exact measure to fit perfectly in the space under the bed
around the radiator and pipe
i've been thinking about how to incorporate a side table into my design.
somewhere to attach a plug adaptor and have my phone, alarm, lamp, etc
since the radiator makes the bed stick out from the wall creating gaps either side,
I thought why not add a ledge in between the bed and the wall,
creating a surface for me to place stuff on,
whilst also stopping stuff falling down the side of the bed.
using pieces of scrap pallets and screws i found lying around the house.
I have created a simple lowercase n shaped frame,
i used four pieces of pallet wood as the legs.
since the gap is 18cm and the wood is 9cm wide I have attached two pieces
next to one another with a piece of hardwood and a couple screws.
then I placed a 2cm wide piece of wood down the back to hold them in place
and fill in the gap where the skirting makes the wood not sit flush all the way up the wall.
i then decided i wanted to be able to access underneath the ledges,
so i have attached hinges to top pieces.
first i trimmed the back of the legs down the width of the back piece of wood.
allowing it to sit flush with the top of the legs.
then I attached the top piece of wood to the back piece with a couple hinges.
i made two of these for either side on my bed.
on one side i attached an extra shelf with a hole in the corner.
this will allow me to feed charging wires down
to an extension lead i have fixed to one of the legs of the table.
i also made a smaller version of this to cover the gap in front of the radiator.
for the middle piece i attached two 78cm tall legs with L shaped brackets.
i have left a gap between each top piece, and between the outside two and the wall.
this was to allow them to open up with ease and not get jammed.
luckily i found a beautiful piece of wood at my dads yard
that i used as my top layer to all three tables.
this makes it look super slick
back to the bed
the finishing pallets
now the ledges are fitted it's time to finish the bed
since i was attaching a plug adapter to the side table
i needed to cut a section of the pallet out for the plug to fit in
for this i just drew out a section for the plug to fit in
then used a hacksaw, chisel and hammers
to remove the section
i placed another 4 pallets on top of the base pallets
raising the bed up
and creating extra room underneath
I recruited my mate Chloe to give a hand sanding and prepping the pallets
now the pallets are in place I have placed another sheet of hardwood on top
covering the gaps in the pallets to stop a draft
also creating a smooth and flat surface
since the pallets I got were old and upcycled
I didn't want to ruin the mattress from splinters
final bed layout
after placing the pallets and making the side tables
i found that the pallets where misshapen so didn't fit exactly together
leaving not room for a slide out larder cupboard down the bottom
instead i decided to use the gap between the mattress and wall to create a headboard
since my bed is 208cm long and my mattress is only 190cm
I am going to make a headboard that will fill the gap
i shall be using old scaffolding boards that are not fit for use
and otherwise would be scrapped or used for firewood
as there's an 18cm gap
I am going to slant the boards
creating a much comfier experience
firstly i cut five boards to 120cm
to fit the width of my bed
i laid one board up against the top of the bed
then attached a second standing up
using L shaped brackets inside
and t shaped brackets on the outside
I fixed this to the bottom of the first board
to make a butt against the top of my mattress
stopping it from moving and raising the headboard
i then attached 3 boards side by side by side
with 4 strips of wood laid across them
to secure the boards in place
i screwed one screw into each section of the board
and alternated them as i went along
putting one up one down
this was i create a sturdier board
to attach the two structures together
i sawed out the corner off the standing board
so that the bottom of the top structure
could sit nicely on top
without having a gap
eco friendly light bulbs
energy saving light bulbs
you can save energy by switching from incandescent light bulbs to cFLs or led bulbs.
these may cost more upfront, however over time they will use less energy and cost less to run.
best lighting for your eyes
also when thinking about lighting you want to consider the effect they will have on your eyes.
bright white and cool florescent tube bulbs and incandescent bulbs emit
the most radiation and cause the most damage to your eyes.
also excessive exposure to blue light from smartphones, tablets and some led lights can damage your eyes.
the choices are
incandescent warm light bulbs: these traditional bulbs provide a warmer light that produces less uv rays than white light, and tend to be the cheapest to buy, however not very energy efficient so end up costing you more.
full spectrum lighting: these types of bulbs simulate natural light and provide a balance of brightness and contrast. said to enhance readability, colour perception, and mood.
led bulbs: the most energy efficient and the most expensive upfront. these bulbs produce no uv rays. available in a range of colours and can provide warm light.
compact fluorescent lighting (cfls): is a fluorescent lamp designed to replace an incandescent light bulb. they contain a tube which is curved or folded. CFLS are also energy efficient, however contain toxic mercury which is hard to dispose of.
I shall be be going with an led bulb,
since it is the most energy efficient, and has the longest lifespan.
it is also recyclable, so disposal isn't such a huge strain on the planet.
plus you can get a warm light version which will be better for my eyes,
and create a cosier feel to my room.
i have gone for the 'LUNNOM LED bulb E27 600 lumen, globe clear glass, 60 mm'
which has an A** energy rating
and a lifespan of approximately 15000 hours.
also it is a warm light reading at 2200 kelvin,
now for the fun part the shades.
since my room is pretty industrial looking anyway
i thought i'd stick with that theme and get lights to match.
main ceiling light
i've seen lots of different versions of the fisherman's shade
so i search charity shops far and wide for one,
unfortunately i did not come across one.
however, a small little independent light company in my town
had a lovely array and i found a beautiful industrial brushed silver light shade
22cm diameter x 14cm height
I found some 4w flexible led bulbs
which have the Edison look to them fitting in with the style
yet save up to 90% more energy, with a class of A**
producing a warm white light reading at 2200 kelvins.
as for my lamp i wanted something super warm and cosy feeling.
allowing for my brain to produce lots of melatonin ready for a great nights sleep.
my sister made these incredible ceramic light shades for her degree show.
unfortunately it wasn't big enough to fit as my main shade,
so I've used it as my desk lamp instead.
it is so beautiful!
a ceramic shade with an etched squid
she used a sand blasting method to get this effect.
light and energy must come from somewhere
in the uk 90% of energy come from the big six;
British gas, EDF Energy, E.On, NPower, Scottish Power & SSE.
These Companies aren't sustainable
they get their energy from fossil fuels.
nonrenewable and damaging means of power.
ecotricty are the uk's leading green energy company
producing 100% green electricity
from their wind and sunmills
also frack-free gas
unfortunately green gas is a rarity in the energy business
however ecotricity produce 12% green gas,
but are in the process of making that higher with green gas mills.
also your money goes back into making green energy
by building new mills, maintaining old ones, developing battery storage
and expanding our national network of electric vehicle charging points.
i have two surge protected plug adaptors.
surge protection stops damage being caused to your electrical devices from voltage spikes.
which is great if you have lots of precious tech.
as it make sure they wont die, basically.
this is good as it makes your devices last longer, creating less waste.
by having an on off switch on the strip,
or on each socket can help reduce energy wastage
as you can switch off individual power outlets when not in use.