Friday, 27 December 2013

A look back at 2013...

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas. I'd show you my gifts but I doubt you'd be impressed by my Poundland mug from my seven year old or the tyre pressure gauge from my dad.  My husband and I don't really bother with gifts for each other but he did pay for me to have a real proper haircut by a real proper hairdresser so that was very nice. Actually I hate going because making small talk over loud music, running water and hairdryers stresses me out. I can't hear anything. But my hair is much better for having a skilled snipper let loose on it rather than my usual untrained girl who thinks she can do anything because she has the proper scissors. (That would be me.)

The family lunch at the weekend went really well. The food all turned out fine and everyone really enjoyed squeezing past the half painted wardrobe that still inhabits the kitchen.

We had a stormy trip into Londons West End to see Stickman the day after. It was fabulous, really cleverly done. The book is one of my favourites, written by the Gruffalo lady, Julia Donaldson.

                  And our Christmas and Boxing day were calm,quiet and chilled. Perfect.

I've been looking back at the years posts and I'm really surprised how much I have done. I always feel slightly idle if there's not some massive chaos creating project going on and I guess I focus on the mountain of jobs that need to be started rather than the ones I've completed.

Halfway through the year I decided to focus much more on painting our own furniture and working on home improvements rather than furniture for other people. What brought this about was the realisation that we were coming up to the five year anniversary of living here and I felt a sense of panic at how much there was still to do.
Also, what's the point of being a painter and never finding the time to tackle our own shoddy furniture?

So the first project was this Edwardian Dressing Table table that belonged to a friend...

With new drawer bottoms, a refinished top and a bit of milk paint it became this...

Next a teensy little old Sewing Table got the milk paint treatment and a new upholstery job for the interior...


I added some much needed curb appeal with a french enamel house number inspired planter.

I altered a small wooden wine table, trying to achieve the look of a Swedish Gustavian antique.

The Painted Stairs! 
A monster of a job!
I thought I did this last year! No wonder you all thought I was bonkers when I repainted the walls before Christmas! I have dreadful memory problems. 

I turned a coffee table into a bedroom bench...

And I FINALLY painted the double Chest of Drawers in my bedroom... it waited four years.

Next it was a return to my love affair with milk paint on this Dressing table...

And luckily it fit into the living room and with the removal of the mirror, it's now my desk!

Sadly, it's not ever this tidy.

Then onto the dining room. EVERYTHING in here was overhauled.

The Pine dresser...

I learned how to paint on an old window frame...

and even the chandelier was painted...

I painted a marble topped table

My favourite makeover has to be the cupboard doors in my daughters room! By a long shot. The thrill I get from them still hasn't worn off.

I shudder to think that we were going to get them custom built!

I sincerely thank you for reading and commenting over the last year. The positivity that comes from blogging is incredibly uplifting and it's wonderful to share with like minded people. I've reached 100,000 page hits in a year which is wonderful.

I hope that 2014 will mean more completed projects and home improvements. I have a VERY long list! I'm hoping we can tackle our original 1960 bathroom which is GRIM! I'd like to attempt to improve our eighties kitchen on the cheap. I've got furniture galore to get cracking with, a TV stand, an armoire, two bedside tables, two chests of drawers, a headboard to make from a door, curtains to alter and customise, a vintage wallpaper wall to start and a walk in wardrobe and garage window frames to build. Now I've got my lovely electric saw there'll be no stopping me!

I wish all my lovely readers a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2014.

My daughter and I are heading up to York in the morning to stay with my dad for the rest of the school holidays. I  cannot wait. I'm hoping to catch up with some friends and do very little else. 

Funky Junk

Knick of Time

Elizabeth and Co.

Furniture Feature Fridays


  1. Wow! Good work, Superwoman! My fingers are aching just from scrolling through the photos of all your amazing makeovers- so I can't even begin to fathom how much work went into all that sanding!

    Very glad to hear you've had such a lovely, relaxing Christmas with your fancy new haircut; I hope you have a lovely rest at your Dad's too.

    Congrats on the page views- looking forward to seeing all of the projects you tackle next year. Hope you have a brilliant New Years! xxx

  2. I love your blog, and your house is gorgeous now. And I've learned loads of useful tips from you.
    Our Xmas was crap - power was off for 3 days - but I surely did appreciate my long hot bath when the leccy came back on!
    Best wishes for 2014 ♥

    1. Thanks Teri, there's still so much to do! I don't show you the bad bits!
      Sorry to hear you were one of the many without power. How extra horrid at this time of year. xxx

  3. A marvellous year of transformations (including your hair!)
    Have fun up North! xxx

  4. Wowzers, what a productive year...wish I could say the same. Happy New Year and enjoy your trip oop North.

    1. I think you could certainly say the same with all your stunning cards Fiona, not to mention the odd furniture transformation! xxx

  5. You have done some amazing transformations this year Emma Kate.Looking forward to seeing more over the coming months.
    Tony and I dont usually buy for each other at christmas either. We dont need anything so it is just buying for buyings sake. I did get us tickets for the Lion King in the summer though, that will be something to look forward to.Hope you have a very Happy New Year.

    1. Thanks Anne. I feel exactly the same about buying for buyings sake. The Lion King sounds great. Experiences are much more memorable than pressies anyway. xxx

  6. What a year of hard work and fabulous projects - well done, that woman!
    Enjoy yourselves in York, happy new year! xxx

  7. Fabulous makeovers Emma Kate. I transformed my kitchen with £220, a willing hubby, lots of tears, and a few obscenities! Good luck with yours!!

    1. Hmm, lets see if I can do it with a bitching husband and the same amount! xx

  8. Every one of your posts inspires to me to get off my butt and work on my home's long to do list with lots of furniture to paint too. Happy new year and thank you, Mary in Dallas TX

  9. Happy New Year! You certainly were a busy gal in 2013, looking forward to all your projects!! Antonia x

  10. Wow, I think that's quite a list of accomplishments for the year! And your home is just lovely. I'm looking forward to exploring more. Happy New Year!

  11. Emma Kate,

    I loved seeing the year in review, the staircase is amazing. I grew up in a house where the entry was a long glassed in porch all with glossy white wood floors. I love the look and it's strange how it doesn't get that beaten up no?

    Cheers from Umbria Italy


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