Sunday, 23 February 2014

The next project...

The Edwardian wardrobe sold pretty fast and is being collected this morning. I haven't been able to start on the 'new' dresser as the wardrobe is in the same room and there's no room to swing a cat. (What a curious expression that is!)

I haven't made a start on the kitchen as I really need to steel myself for that. Food preparation, paint and dust are not a good combination.

So here's what I chose to get stuck into... daughters bedroom floor. I don't dislike the dark wood. I stained the floorboards of my last house dark. But these ones have seen better days.

Paint spots and a certain amount of butchery by plumbers over the years mean they're pretty buggered.

I could lift the damaged ones and replace them but I really can't be arsed. So the look we shall be embracing here is RUSTIC.

Rustic allows butchered boards and even a bit of a hole in one area.

I like pale floors but here's the thing. The cupboard in this room is this one...

White painted boards. If I do white painted boards on the floor too I think we risk snow blindness and too much of a good thing.
Also would perfect white painted floorboards just show up all the cuts and holes? I think so.

So I think I'm going to try something a bit experimental.
I'm thinking of a dingy grey/white paint wash over the boards to break up the monotony and add some interest to the room.

Like this...

The trick is to choose the right colour. The floorboards are pale when freshly sanded but get more orange over time. If you just use a white paint wash you can end up with pinky tones.

I thought that the addition of a bit of cool grey would calm down any orange in the future. If you dilute the paint 50/50 with water you get a wash which lets the wood grain show through, looks tres rustic and forgives shoddy boards. I hope.

So seeing as I'm tight frugal I decided to sand the whole floor by hand with a belt sander.
This was stupid.

After five hours I was only half way through.

I've given myself 'white knuckle' and had to take strong painkillers last night to soothe my aching arm.
I'll have to hire an edge sander to reach the edges. I probably could have done the whole room in a few hours with a floor sander. I've used them before.

While I'm already creating utter chaos and mess, I think I'll also replace the shallow 1960's skirting for something deeper and prettier. It'll be a bugger to get off as it runs through the cupboard and I don't have the right sort of saw. Perhaps I can hire one of those too.

Sanding floors has to be The. Most. Disgusting DIY job imaginable. The dust gets everywhere. I'm having a day off today to prevent nerve damage and do more pressing things like shop for food.

Until this room is sanded my daughter is sleeping in my bed. She burrows into me all night. So I'm not sleeping. The upstairs is an obstacle course of books and furniture. My husband is a bit cross. I really hope this job is over by Tuesday.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Vintage bathroom possibilities

I've just got back from York. The Viking Festival was on up there to coincide with half term and I'm well and truly Vikinged out.

I've been lying awake at night planning just how I can turn scaffolding boards into work tops and if I can join planks of wood without use of a biscuit cutter. (The tool, not the culinary device.) It would be so excellent if I had a dad, or a father in law or a brother in law with all the big scary expensive tools that I could learn to use. But everyone is too far away. I wonder how much training you get from a tool hire centre. Perhaps if I put on a seriously dizzy blonde act they would have to instruct me for a good while or fail their health and safety requirements.

Anyhow, I'll figure something inner master carpenter wants to build stuff. The only thing getting in the way is that I have no idea of the right way to do things. Small obstacle really.

Here's a discovery I made recently that I think you might like. I saw one of these on ebay...


...well perhaps not quite as nice as this one, but I was really impressed. I've never seen one before but there are a few on pinterest...

Isn't it just the sweetest idea? With our minging original 1960's bathroom well past its use by date, I'm always thinking of how we can add gorgeousness without breaking the bank.
I excitedly showed it to my husband. ''Yeah, nice but there's no storage. We need storage,'' he said.
''But if you have this you'll just smile every time you go in the bathroom and surely that's more important than storage,'' I said.
He gave me a curious look.  Might have to work on him some more...

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Finished my wardrobe and The. Most. Exciting. News...

No, not my walk in wardrobe silly! That's all very much on hold and still only utterly fabulous in my head.

This is the Edwardian wardrobe I started in November, telling my husband I could do it in two days.
Yeah. I'm not sure what happened there. But Christmas came and went and the wardrobe sat in the kitchen looking a bit silly.

The thing is, it was boring to paint but I really want/need to get stuck into other more exciting things so this wardrobe needs to go.


Just boring old white eggshell (Dulux diamond hard- AWESOME STUFF) and slight distressing.

I don't even have a 'before' pic of this one. How naughty is that? This is the best I can do...

 ...which is quite rubbish. Just gives you an idea of how brown it was. 

So, why is the walk in wardrobe on hold and what are the more exciting things I hear you ask? 

Well, my dream has come true. I've been asked if I'd like my home in a home magazine! Would I? 
 So much so that I had read one sentence of the email and a noise came out of me that wasn't even human. It was very loud and sort of fog-hornesque. And then it happened again. My poor husband thought I was having some kind of seizure. 

Eventually he asked me to leave the office for acting like I was ''on drugs.''

I couldn't even call the lady for a few days as my voice would have come out all fast and squeaky and she'd have changed her mind. 

So as great as this is, I then started freaking out about how much I need to get done. Which is good because since that email, I've finished the dining room curtains, mended a hole in a skirting board, filled a hole at the side of a built in cupboard and finished the wardrobe above! 

I've also worked out just what is achievable and what isn't in the time frame that we have. This is why the master bedroom has been shelved. I really want to build all the units myself and it's going to be a year long
project I'm sure. 

What I am going to do is;
  • Paint the floors upstairs.
  • Paint my daughters bedroom furniture
  • Perhaps make some bedding. 
  • Perhaps upholster a chair.
  • Perhaps make some curtains.
  • Give the kitchen a CHEAP makeover - cupboards, tiles, worktops you name it. On a shoe string. Magazine worthy I hope. And I'm thinking of using scaffold boards!
  • Sort out the 'new' dresser with a new back and some paint.
  • Revamp the armoire on the landing. 
  • Perhaps steal a sofa. (We'll have no budget left by then)
So. It's going to be rather busy around here.

Other than that I really want to thank you all for answering the questions in my last post. That was SO helpful. I was surprised that green was mentioned more than blue. Your kitchens all sound so much lovelier than mine!

But I'm working on that.

My daughter and I head oop north tomorrow  for half term. I'll make the most of doing nothing much for a few days as it'll be all systems go when I return!


Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Dream kitchens...

I'm very much hoping to start my own business this year and although I don't want to go into it too much at this stage, rest assured you people will be the first to know when I get it up and running.

No, it's not Brush-on-a-Stick or The Checked Curtain Company.

It's a kitchen related product. What I would LOVE from you wonderful readers is a bit of market research. I may do the same with my facebook friends but after the dresser comments I realise what you like and what my facebook friends like, are poles apart. (You guys having the BEST taste obviously!)

Not my kitchen

What I need to know is:
  1. What colour are your kitchen units?
  2. What colour is your worktop?
  3.  Do you have an accent colour in there? Tiles, curtains etc
  4. What is the predominant colour of your DREAM kitchen?
  5. Kitchens: should they be neutral or coloured?
If you could leave answers below in the comment section I will love you forever.
( Eg; 1. White. 2. Black. 3. Red. 4. Cream. 5. Neutral.)

My very own kitchen is; 1. skanky beige. 2. skanky beige fake wood. 3. that would be beige again. 4. anything but beige. Cream? 5. Neutral.

Not my kitchen (sigh)

See how easy it is? Once I'm a successful business woman with a multi million pound empire I promise to do a giveaway of one of my extremely valuable and most desirable products. Pinky promise. And whosoever speaks below is automatically entered. But we're still in the design stages so give me a month or so...

Thank you! x

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Moving on...

Goodness me, if I had known that my last post was going to reach several thousand people, many of whom hijacked my blog as a way of venting their spleen, and even reached one of the people I wrote about, I might have taken more time with my words and not just jabbered away and pressed 'publish.'

I'm pleased to see that the nation feels so passionately about interiors.
But REALLY. Was that post more important than the ones it has surpassed in terms of popularity in which I showed off the cupboard doors I had spent WEEKS on? No.
Was it greater than learning how to paint on glass? Certainly not.
More riveting than an experimental wood bleaching process that took a REALLY long time? I think not.
So let's draw a line under it now.

Moving on...
I found a bag of patchwork pieces in a charity shop and a small piece of completed patchwork. I snapped it up as I love that kind of thing. Only when I got it home did I realise quite how special this was...

The fabrics are all so very vintage!

What do you think? 1940's?


They're all so fresh and bright from having been kept in a bag for sixty or seventy years.

It would be criminal not to keep this quilt going and use up those hexagons.

 I started a quilt of my own quite some time ago. I cut out lots of squares in delicious sludgey tones. Then I realised my squares were too small so they sit languishing in the loft. Perhaps in seventy years, someone will find them and get very excited over them.

Welcome back to all the bloggers in my sidebar. I took you all  off and missed too many posts.  No more layout tinkering.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The Great Interior Design Challenge...

I have REALLY loved this series. I recorded every episode so that I could watch it after my daughter was in bed and give it my full attention. Telly hasn't been this exciting since the days of 'Change That'.

The dashing Daniel Hopwood, Sophie Robinson and Tom Dyckhoff...

I found myself judging the designers on their own homes, hoping the one that appealed to me the most would win their heat.

Sarah Moore (Sarah Moore Vintage) excited me as her own home was to die for. Vintage florals were everywhere and they showed her staircase...

...which I recognised having previously seen it on Pinterest. 

In episode two we met Susan with her eccentric style, daring paint effects and her bright red lipstick.
In  the sun room episode Amys home was delightful and she looked every inch the beach babe. 

Sometimes it felt as though the quest to find something innovative overruled the quest for good taste. Emma's (Ooh Betty)  episode being one case in point. Her finished room was exquisite, tasteful and fit the brief 100%. Her client seemed to get choked up as he was so pleased. I'd have been well chuffed living there. Unfortunately she didn't go through. Luke won with furniture for cats to climb on.

Kimberly was so lovely and she scraped through her heat despite running a massive three hours over time.
Helen was so gorgeous I found myself wondering if I would look that good with a crew cut. She reminded me of Emma Thompson.
And Johnny. What a character he was. I cheered out loud when he got through his heat.
Jordan and Alice were great to watch. Poor Alice had to deal with a rental property with a HUGE pine built in unit so it wasn't really a level playing field at all.

The thatched cottage quarter final irked me as again, mad innovation won out over good taste. I bet that yellow horse lamp went straight to the charity shop after the filming was over and I didn't feel Jordans end result was quite right for the cottage. I loved Sarahs, Johnnys and especially Charmaines end result far more.

The mini history lesson at the start of each episode became quite tedious but the BBC have to make a certain amount of programming that's educational so I guess it ticked that box for them.

So tonight is the much anticipated semi final! Who will win?

Well, I think they ALL could.

Come on BBC, you have unearthed not only talented designers but some really watchable characters. I would be glad to see any of them on another interiors show.

Perhaps you can bring back 'Change That' or 'Changing Rooms' with your new found designers? In these frugal, upcycled, home spun times you would be fools not to.


Just watched the semi finals. I'm gutted for poor Luke. I think what totally stole the show for me was Daniels trousers. Looking forward to the finals tomorrow!