Redecorating The Study, Rebranding The Man Cave

One of my big projects for this year has been the redecoration of the man cave which I’m looking to rebrand as the study. Why the rebrand you ask? Well I don’t know why but lately I’ve began to feel as though the term man cave is a little childish, it reeks of someone who hasn’t outgrown the frat house and is a bit reminiscent of a child’s play room, at least in connotation.

It was a much bigger task than I originally envisioned, to begin with I thought I would just put a lick of paint on the walls, get some new chairs and then maybe tart up the bookcases a bit. Whilst I did all of these things it all involved a lot more work than I ever imagined.

Firstly lets have a look at the before pictures:

As you can see some pretty basic billy bookcases from Ikea, pretty uninspired, just literally there to hold books, and a few nick knacks. But basically lacking in an real flair, and as for the rest of the room, there was hideous brown carpet, and an even more hideous and somehow more brown lamp shade, and four years and a few different sofa’s later I was sick of the sight of the room. So this was one of the goals that I had for the year was to redecorate it in a style that truly reflected my personality and the things I like.

It may not surprise anyone who knows me, but I drew a lot of inspiration for the new study from Downton Abbey, and the gentlemen’s clubs of the 1920’s  the red, gold and white colour scheme was taken from the Octagon Drawing Room and the library at Basildon Park.

 

I also took a fair pinch of inspiration from the National Library of the Czech Republic in Prague.

In order to get the colour scheme I wanted I took a trip to B & Q and came out with 12 cans of Rustoleum Gold Spray Paint to take care of the book cases, the radiator and the panelling on the doors, I also got a can of white Dulex Gloss to do all the woodwork, skirting boards and to paint the coving on the ceiling. and last but not least I managed to paint the room with a single tin of B & Q’s own Fulham emulsion.  After getting all this painting done the bookcases still didn’t quite look the way that I had pictured so I used 12 rolls of D-C-Fix’s self adhesive vinyl to coat (both sides) of each individual shelf on 8 bookcases (thats 72 shelves top and bottom, coated with fiddly sticky vinyl). Once the painting and vinyl was done and my back had recovered from sitting on the floor applying all that vinyl, it was time to star with the soft furnishings.

I Went straight to Ebay to buy 2 oxblood wing back fire side chairs, in the style of a gentlemen’s club, and globe shaped drinks trolley of the kind that I’ve always wanted. This was complimented by not one but two rugs as I didn’t want the hassle of recarpeting completely and couldn’t decide which one to go for.

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This was all complimented by a few other little touches like mouldings and hanging one of my prize possessions.

And then topped off with a new light shade, this is actually one of the things I paid no heed to at all until my wife said to me, “are you going to replace that light shade”, at which point I think I looked at the light shade for the first time ever and couldn’t unsee this hideous brown thing. So given that the my ceiling is far too low for the chandelier that I’ve always wanted, and having been hit in the head with a chandelier before (during a production of the phantom of the opera no less), so this is why I settled for something red and vintage looking from B and M bargains.

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Its pretty much done now, I have a few other minor things to do to the place, like fitting some Venetian blinds, some new door handles and a light switch, maybe getting some drawers fitted on the bookcases and a frame for that picture of me and Marianna. The other slightly more ambitious thing that I may try at a later date is fixing a false front onto the shelf being used for glasses, made to look like a bookcase full of books.

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The Glasses and Bar Ware Shelf

Of course the other thing that the room is apparently missing is an ornate ceiling fresco, this was made apparent to me this afternoon, when finding pictures of Basildon Park and the National Museum in Prague, Marianna asked why doesn’t my man cave (she hasn’t gotten into the habit of calling the room a study), why doesn’t my man cave have a pretty picture on the ceiling, so apparently now I have to commission a renaissance painter to put something up there. Anyone have Michelangelo’s mobile number?

30 Before Thirty (Comics & Graphic Novels)

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I’m going to be thirty in just over 2 years and at this moment in time I’m OK with that (how I feel about it in 10 minuets is up for debate) but one of the things that I realised is that there are a fair few things I still want to accomplish whilst the career and social goals are somewhat out of my control things like films I want to see, albums I want to listen to and books I want to read are very much in my control, especially as I have 25 months to accomplish it. Here is a list of the Comics and Graphic Novels that I would like to have read by the time I’m thirty.

Grant Morrison’s 18 Days

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Camelot 3000

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Miracle Man: A Dream Of Flying

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All Star Superman 

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Preacher: Gone To Texas

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The Crow

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Sandman Preludes and Nocturnes

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Alan Moore’s: Saga of The Swamp Thing

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Marvel 1602

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Saga: Volume 1

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 The Order: Die Mensch Machine

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The Complete Scarlet Traces 

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Button Man

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Ronin 

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Superman: Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow 

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The Infinity Gauntlet 

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Amazing Spider-man: Kravens Last Hunt

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Promethea Book 1 

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Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus 

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Multiversity 

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Son Of Superman 

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Hellblazer: Original Sins 

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The Authority: Relentless 

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Hellboy: Seed Of Destruction 

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Doctor Who: Emperor Of The Daleks

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Death: The High Cost Of Living  

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JSA The Liberty Files 

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Alice In Sunderland 

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Daredevil Yellow

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The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch

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How many of these do you think I’ll get done before July 21st 2019?

30 Before I’m Thirty (Films)

Congratulations Mr Trump (2)

I’m going to be thirty in just over 2 years and at this moment in time I’m OK with that (how I feel about it in 10 minuets is up for debate) but one of the things that I realised is that there are a fair few things I still want to accomplish whilst the career and social goals are somewhat out of my control things like films I want to see, albums I want to listen to and books I want to read are very much in my control, especially as I have 25 months to accomplish it. Here is a list of the films that I would like to have read by the time I’m thirty.

How Green Was My Valley 

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Gentleman’s Agreement

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From Here to Eternity

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Gone With The Wind

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Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

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West Side Story

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Lawrence of Arabia

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Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf

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Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner

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Funny Girl

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Fiddler On The Roof

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All The Presidents Men

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Milk

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Kramer Vs Kramer

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Terms of Endearment 

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The Cider House Rules

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An Education

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The Wolf Of Wall Street

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Guardians of the Galaxy 2

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Moonrise Kingdom

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Saving Private Ryan

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Going In Style 

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Wall Street

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King Ralph

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Planes Trains and Automobiles

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O Brother, Where Art Thou?

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The Monuments Men

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Good Will Hunting

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Good Morning Vietnam 

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This Is Spinal Tap

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How many of these do you think I’ll get done before July 21st 2019?

The Lazy Ramblings of a Lazy Man (On Furnished Apartments)

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I was recently introduced to the Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow by Jerome K Jerome. The book consists of 14 essays on 14 topics

  1. ON BEING IDLE.
  2. ON BEING IN LOVE.
  3. ON BEING IN THE BLUES.
  4. ON BEING HARD UP.
  5. ON VANITY AND VANITIES.
  6. ON GETTING ON IN THE WORLD.
  7. ON THE WEATHER.
  8. ON CATS AND DOGS.
  9. ON BEING SHY.
  10. ON BABIES.
  11. ON EATING AND DRINKING.
  12. ON FURNISHED APARTMENTS.
  13. ON DRESS AND DEPORTMENT.
  14. ON MEMORY.

Jerome K Jerome is pretty much me down to a tee. He’s lazy and just writes whatever comes to mind. He doesn’t care who he offends, and I often felt that he may have been somewhat high when he picked up the pen. But Mr Jerome has inspired me, so I am going to be writing a series of posts on the topics that Mr Jerome turned his hand at. (I know I’m ripping the guy off, but quite frankly I don’t care).

On Furnished Apartments 

No where I’ve ever lived has ever actually come furnished, except for the student house I lived in while at uni, and it got me thinking, are the days of furnished rental properties behind us. Most of my friends, those who don’t still live with their parents, are living in rental properties and very few of those came with furniture.

My current home came unfurnished, and because money has been tight, I seem to have come by three different sofas, none of which match, and because I’m a heterosexual male I can’t be dealing with things such as cushions and throws, so I just opt to say that its eclectic.

My decorating is just a simple keep everything white. White walls, white Ikea bookcases, white coffee tables all on laminate flooring surrounding the “eclectic” sofa’s and the reclining arm chair that doesn’t actually recline. At least over time its starting to look like a home, and less like a student house, although I’m fairly certain the sofa in my “man cave” has the exact same cover as the sofa in that shared student house.

This is the twelfth in a series of posts ripping off the work of Mr Jerome K Jerome and his seminal piece The Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Man.