Category Archives: design

New Year, home makeover

It’s a spanking new year and this year I made a vow to not make any resolutions or “changes” to the way we live. I did however make myself a promise, one to travel more this year and secondly to finally get this house into the home I have always wanted.

I’ve mentioned before how it isn’t in the best place, it isn’t the biggest but it is detached and is modern enough to have nice square rooms with no funny business so pretty much anything goes. We get flooded with light all year long but I have always decorated with what society has expected from a family. Instead I made a vow to decorate just the way I wanted.

In fairness this has been a challenge, fun but hard work finding the furniture from charity shops that is always hit and miss and finding wallpaper or paint that matches my vision. I began boldly with making over the downstairs loo. It is a tricky space as it has pipe work boxed in, it has a tiny sinking the smallest window but i wanted to add a nerdy look but with an expensive feel but with things we already had, I forgot to mention my budget for the whole house is practically zero!

We had some old star trek annuals that I had bought the husband a few christmases previous that had barely seen the light of day and thought these would make a great feature wall…

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I have to say I wasn’t wrong! I love the look, it was a dream to put up, simply with wallpaper paste and it doesn’t look overpowering, it also makes great reading!

I had planned to leave it at that, just a feature wall and the rest staying white but I found a new love for deep strong colours whilst checking out pinterest so I made a little adjustment…

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We had the plum left over from the tv wall in the lounge, the towel rack was an old one that used to be behind the front door for coats, the vintage mirror is about 4 years old and was bought on eBay for £3 and the cute rug was a few quid at tesco a few months back and i couldn’t find the perfect home for it.

I LOVE the space now! It hasn’t become a pram dumping ground again, it doesn’t feel cold and unloved anymore and even though the window is small it just bounces light around its almost magical!

It’s the perfect start to my end goal. What do you think? Would you be so bold in a small space?

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Kitchen Bin Up-cycle

So I spent a few hours scouring the inter web along with twitter requests, looking for a funky kitchen bin that came in under than £200. I mean lets face it, who’s gonna pay that for a kitchen bin?

This Wesco beauty is to die for but my budget just couldn’t justify it, how ever beautiful and epic it is!

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So instead of splurging £260 I suddenly had a brain wave, I had some sticky back plastic and our old grey plastic bin, make my own!

You can too so heres how..

Take an old and tired (or new) plastic kitchen bin.

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Ours has seen better days, much like our kitchen, but thats a whole other DIY tutorial!

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I used this cute Orla Keily inspired sticky back plastic I bought from Home Bargains last year for 89p a roll I think it was.

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I laid it out and measured it to size. As the bin tapered I knew I was going to have to become creative with the fit. There are some lumps and bumps to the back piece I couldn’t couldn’t get out but with a little patience you should get a smooth finish.

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I did the front and back panels before tackling the shaped sides.

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I cut two pieces to fit the shape as best as possible and laid them over. This has helped to cover the pulls in the side pieces due to the shape.

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Its not perfect but optically, as you really don’t spend ages staring at your kitchen bin, the pattern melts together and you don’t notice the joins.

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Sadly the lid was to tricky a shape for the stick back plastic to take but it could be spray painted in white to match, turning this once tired out old bin into something pretty.

I actually really love it , it cost me nothing, kept me out of trouble for a half hour and is a great start to our new made over kitchen!

What pattern would you choose if you pimped out your old kitchen bin?

DIY stairs make over

When we moved into this house, 4 years ago now, the stair case had been stained in a horrendous red mahogany that did nothing for the small small, it was imposing and frankly it had been done by a blind man!

So last year I made a start on doing them over, I painted all the sides white and the banister and painted the spindles a variety of colours just to add something new to the space, I LOVED it and we then replaced the tatty cream carpet with a lovely Berber, however, the cat took an instant dislike to it and over several months scratched out nearly all the loops he could get his swanky little paws on, I wasn’t best pleased but this spurred me to take the giant step id been pinning over since I started painting them and that was to pull up the carpet and paint the stairs completely.
I lost many an hr over several months looking for inspiration, trouble was I had to much and I basically couldn’t choose a style I loved most so in the name of frugality i had a rummage in my wallpaper storage ( read the loft!) and found something i thought would work.
Id picked up this paper at home base about 2 yrs previous for £1 for 2 rolls in their massive end of season sale.
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Basically this is what i started with, bare boards. The house being only 8 yrs old and not being build by the most capable of builders is a little rough around the edges but this really gives you the perfect opportunity to work with something you wouldn’t normally attempt because basically, it couldn’t get any worse!
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The bottom step had already been painted after the cat ruined the carpet so this was the first coat of gloss paint, I used satin so it wouldn’t be as shiny.
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3 coats in and I didn’t really feel like i was making much progress in all honesty.
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Approx 7 coats of paint, 48 hrs and a coat of varnish and they look the shizzle, here is the paper in all its glory. surprisingly it only took about 2 and a half hours to cut and paper all the steps, I still hate wallpapering!
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And… drum roll please…. The finished article! I seriously couldn’t be happier, and totally on a budget, it didn’t cost a penny! I used everything we already had around the house. Finally I have a stairway to be proud of!!
If you where making over your stairs, how would you do it? I’d love to hear your ideas.
L x