Just before starting my period of otium (such a good euphemism), I managed to buy a flat in London. After 2 years, probably a million propert-ays viewed and *lots* of wasted pounds. Naturally, my first thoughts as a free man were to our new flat – that is called Hawksey, girl’s name – and what to do to improve it her. By the way, Hawksey doesn’t have a garden, of course. Having rented for a while, I have had my share of powerless swearing at poor building standards, bad design and sloppy execution. This is my chance to show what I can do! So fat I’ve restored one window (two technically but one is tiny), painted a room and built two beds…and I can say that to do a good job it’s much more laborious than I thought. Not very hard – just a little boring at times…

Sash windows

Sash windows. What’s the advantage of this design? It looks good! Other than that, I really can’t think of one. Tell me if I am wrong, but it is very draught-prone; it’s a pain to open as soon as the timber dilates because it’s a bit warmer or it has rained. Or the building moves around, as it regularly happens in London. An estate agent once told me: it’s a one-hundred-years-old propert-ay, of course it moves mate. Ehm…no? I am pretty sure that if they build proper foundations, perhaps using more and better bricks…oh well, that’s not the point anyway. Back to sash windows, they’re not great at keeping cold air out. Not that safe either…but most of all, they are a PAIN to service. It takes a professional three full work days, it involves using crowbars and breaking things, chopping wood and being surrounded by burnt paint. Then you have to change the pulley mechanism – which is quite interesting actually – and get covered in Edwardian rust and ash.

Bathroom window 1: the little porthole (20/01/2013)

Bathroom window 2: my first sash (11/02/2013)


I can be very picky. I am stubborn. In other words, what you’d call a pain in the bottom. I really wanted a guest bed that looked like this one…oh shoot they don’t make it any more! Can’t post the link I’m afraid. It’s a kind of stackable bed, two single frames that go on top of each other when you don’t need them, and next to each other when you do. Something like this but more cosy looking We went to try it, buy it was so uncomfortable, we really couldn’t justify getting it (it was £800 as well). So I ended up making one instead.

Next, I did think about a suspended bed but I doubt Hawksey’s joists would have held it up (sorry Hawk). So I decided that I really wanted a poster bed. Not with a roof at the top or something, but more like this one (but less clunky: Hawksey is a classy girl) or this one. This is on the right track but really over the top. Couldn’t find one that I could actually buy without spending silly money on it (this Mamma li turchi! bed – the colour version – is probably the best bed I’ve ever seen but unfortunately it’s also $14,000 or $30,000, depending who you ask), until I had an eureka moment…

This dinosaur’s design is the best of them all and is exactly the missing link to making my own bed! So I set off…

Next, I have a design for a table built in the same way ready…but my lab (the spare room) is now occupied by a sewing machine and a pretty blonde using it. Not complaining.

Guest Bed – part 1 (13/03/2013)

Our new bed – part 1: design…? (25/04/2013)

Our new bed – part 2: paint job! (07/05/2013)


One response to “Carpentry

  1. Pingback: Our new bed – part 1: design…? | Garden Leave for People with no Garden·

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