Conservatory Overhaul: The Beach Hut

When we bought our house, the conservatory was something of a selling point.  The idea of filling it with some comfy seats and spending a summer’s evening reading a book with a glass of wine, warm sunshine streaming through the windows, watching the apple tree sway in the breeze… was pretty perfect.  Then the dream died as it slowly became filled with all of the junk we didn’t know where else to put.  Because a conservatory isn’t exactly a high-traffic, highly used room, it became a haven for things with nowhere else to go – armchairs that didn’t go with the lounge colour scheme, clothes airers, Tom’s drum kit, an old fish tank, old suitcases and exercise equipment.  In the end we hung thick curtains in the lounge to keep the conservatory covered up as it was such a depressing sight.  As a consequence the lounge was very dark and devoid of light.  I remember one friend coming round and when I moved a curtain she exclaimed “What is out there?” When I showed her she said “Wow, you have a conservatory, I never knew that!” It struck me that it was a little crazy that we had a whole room we kept tucked away unused.  This summer I lamented not being able to enjoy it, and whilst we were away in France I made the decision that we would get stuck into revonating it when we got home.  I can’t say Tom was wildly happy with this decision as he hates DIY, but we both agreed that we wanted to use it and enjoy it again.

Here is what it looked like a few weeks ago.  Full of junk! You can just see the blue slab flooring.  Around the outside under the windows is just bricks.  It was very cold and it also let in water in some places (I think the previous owners built it themselves, the ground isn’t even remotely level!)

As we live close to the sea, and the conservatory looks out on our garden which is full of pebbles/gravel, I thought a beach hut theme would be fun. Tom damp-proofed over the bricks and then put MDF up to give a cladding effect, which I then painted. We painted and put up a skirting board and architrave.  Tom then laid some laminate flooring we had left over from when we first started renovating the house (we measured up for the lounge, then pulled up the carpets and found original wood flooring so it never got laid).

The red and black poang cushions were replaced with neutral/natural ones, and the fish tank was cleaned ready for some new fish.  The old blinds and curtains were taken down and replaced with some that fit the theme.  In the weeks we spent on the DIY I set about collecting accessories to fit with the theme.  After a lot of painting, floor laying, fitting and trips to the dump, this is our new conservatory…

It’s really hard to take good photos of it as there’s so much light all around you just get glare, but hopefully these photos go some way to showing you just what a calm, cosy room we’ve created.  It’s lovely and warm in the morning and lovely and cool in the evening – the perfect place to relax.  What you can’t see from the photos is that there’s a fish tank adjacent to the glass sliding doors – when we put fish in it you’ll be able to see them swimming around from the conservatory, or from the lounge as our table faces the glass doors (so I can watch fish pootling around whilst I’m eating my dinner!) We also painted an old oar and placed it above the doors but I didn’t manage to get any good photos of it!

I’m going to put some more photos up of some of the ‘details’ and where we got some of the items from later in the week but for now I couldn’t wait to share some photos of our new favourite place! Hope you like it as much as we do!

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