“A woman must have the money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction” – Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own. Never a truer word and for this blog we will concentrate on that room and how to make it the perfect writer’s retreat. For me that is a Shepherd’s Hut nestled in a sweet cottage garden where I squirrel myself away for hour upon hour, never failing to remember just how lucky I am. For nearly six years now I have had the luxury of spending a great deal of time in this happy and tranquil place where I get to listen to little more than bird song, whilst I lose myself in a world of words and storytelling.
Working from home
I recall a time when ‘working from home’ was not perhaps as popular a choice as it has become today. I recently read a report suggesting that during our enforced lockdowns, the sale of garden sheds had rocketed to take into account those working temporarily from home. I wonder if there will be more of us who choose to continue to swap the daily commute for a trip down the garden and thus will be investing in more rooms of their own as time goes on.
For a long time, my Shepherd’s Hut, Belle, sat nestled amongst the trees in a naked and unpainted state, similar to the day she arrived. Somehow though I always felt her wooden appearance a little ‘busy’ inside, scattered with my much-loved collection of trinkets and treasures. I determined she needed a calm and neutral back drop and in time, she was painted a standard white which seemed to suit her vintage trappings far more. This year Belle was ready for a little spruce up. Although, I was not ready for anything too dramatic.
Selecting a Wall and Ceiling Paint
And so, I set about searching the website of my favourite paint company Lick, to see what shades of water-based pale they could offer. I am in love with Lick’s innovative sample service. Be gone dripping pots of sticky paint and instead, welcome clever removable stickers which peel away without damaging the surface beneath allowing you to move the colour around the room at different times of the day taking advantage of both light and weather. This helped enormously with my choice of what might at first appear in this article as simply three shades of grey. In real life however, it is quite a different story since one offers a very definite blue tone and another a green, neither of which I was looking for in this space.
I settled on Grey 02 with its calm lilac undertones; it felt a gentle and welcoming choice. Having used both Lick’s eggshell and matt paints on previous projects, I opted here for the matt finish, hoping to garner as much rustic chic internally as I could. This paint promises to be both hard wearing and easy to clean and after a winter of Belle’s pot-bellied stove keeping us toasty, the area directly around the stove will inevitably benefit from a wipe over.
Selecting a Floor Paint
For the floor, I went with Rust-Oleum’s Chalky Finish Floor Paint in Chalk White. Although I am no stranger to the Rust-Oleum range, I have never tried their floor paint before and I researched a number of well-known brands before opting for this one. Like Lick, Rust-Oleum products tick a great number of boxes for me. Many are made here in the UK, they come packaged in tins not plastic and in the case of this floor paint, are water-based, helping me make some sensible and sustainable buying decisions. And if the blurb on this tin is to be believed, this decorative and hard-wearing floor paint has much to live up to with its rustic vintage feel and promise of an ever so slight sheen. Add to all this, minimal prepping and no priming, I was indeed sold and excited to get started.
And so, with Belle emptied of all her pretties and her sweet stove protected from spills and splashes, all I had to do was wait patiently for the decorators to come and do their bit. Did I mention, I don’t do patient? Join me in Part 2 of this blog to see the results of Belle’s refresh and to read my thoughts on both the Lick and Rust-Oleum products I used in this project.
Shepherd’s Hut Blog by Helen Moore of Whitewood and Linen
Check out Helen’s Blog on How to paint a wall with Lick paint here.