Monday, 29 August 2011

My Favourite Finds v12: Bedroom furniture special edition!

For as long as we have had the Duck, we've struggled with the bedroom storage. The boat was designed with a bed just above gunwhale level, which folds away on gas struts very neatly. Under it, there was a desk for a PC, an office chair, a top entry wardrobe and an old chest of drawers. We had never really managed to store all our clothes in the available storage, and the desk and chair just got in the way really, since we don't have a PC (only a laptop). 
As it was when we bought the boat (we no longer have that computer)

As it became...
 So we decided that with both of us about to embark on courses in September, and the paperwork that would inevitably ensue, we had to do something about this space to allow for more book and paperwork storage, as well as more space for clothes. 

Last week, James took out the desk, the chair and the old chest of drawers. The same day, I nipped into the new British Heart Foundation charity furniture shop in my lunch hour and found a lovely solid wood chest which was exactly the right size. It also matches (in that it is the same sort of style) the chest I found for £10 in Oxfam some months ago which had been on the desk. Both are made of wood all the way through - no cheap MDF in sight! "Proper job", as John might say! After work we met up to check through all the other charity furniture shops and didn't find anything better, so we brought the BHF one home on the sack truck!

Chest of drawers in place, James set about making some plywood shelves to use up the rest of the space, including making one which is essentially a stand for the smaller Oxfam chest. The remaining spaces around the chests, we wanted to fill with storage boxes in the form of old suitcases. We had great fun on Saturday afternoon scouring the charity shops and antiques places of Cambridge, wielding a tape measure ruthlessly. If they didn't fit we couldn't buy them. In the end we bought four, ranging from £4.50 for the small blue one, to £20 for a larger sixties green one. However, our best find was the canvas and leather 1948 demob suitcase. Mass produced in the late 1940s, these suitcases were issued to service men as they left the forces after the war. They contained clothes and shoes to help them make the transformation to civvy street, particularly as some would have had very few possession outside of their military kit. We got ours for £8 at the wonderful Hope Street Yard antiques warehouse off Mill Road. We didn't even know this place existed! Well worth a visit.

The final stage was to make better use of the built in step storage over the curved swim. Previously we had stored things in there but could only get to it if the whole engine room floor was taken up. So James sawed it in two, added some hinges and now we have a useful box in the step where we are now storing sports kit.

So now, we have all our clothes, towels and bed linen stored away. All our books are now in one place, with space left over for files etc. Everything is much better organised in general, and we are pretty pleased with the weekend's work!

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