Category Archives: home

Do you love your bedroom?

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Bedrooms mean different things for different people and a lot of that depends on age. In my teenage years, my bedroom was my haven, it was covered in posters and caged my love of music and binge watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer! It was rarely shared with friends and was my own kind of organised chaos.

Being an artist at heart makes the bedroom a very unique place to put your stamp, now with three children, a husband and a wayward cat to share it with makes it hard for me to blend practicality with the boho charm i long to lounge in whiling away the hours in a good book.

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It’s always a challenge blending simplicity with vibrant colour as well as making sure our own little paradise is comfy, cosy and a joy to be in.

In keeping with my budget makeover challenge our bedroom hasn’t gone unchanged. With a mix match of furniture, some vintage some modern in a wide range of hand painted colours, a larger than life tv and a boho inspired patchwork wallpaper wall its still my own kind of organised chaos.

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It’s hard to pin point just one thing I love the most about this room, but it isn’t the window size, its cavonous and a nightmare to dress, it isn’t the plush bedstead or the bird print wardrobe but the people I share it with, the small feet that climb in on a Sunday morning, the cat that lays content upon my forehead and the batman duvet stealing husband which I believe to be a bed hog!

For all the things that make your bedroom, For all the things that make your bedroom, look no further than Parachute, a bedding company. They offer the finest quality bedroom and decor products at an affordable price!

Room Revival – The play room

Autumn for me is like Spring, it creates a sense of calm and i shift down a gear and float through the next few months simply enjoying the weather, the cosy nights and the comfort food and dare i even say it be the whole lead up to Christmas.
Watching my daughters become over whelmed with excitement at the prospect of a fat, hairy man, entering our home and leaving behind a mountain (they wish!) of presents they have be removing and adding to a list for a good three months prior.
Its also a time of year that i begin to nest build, i get this overwhelming urge to strip every room of unnecessary ‘clutter’ and redecorate it within an inch of its life, is that just me???? ( you must all think I’m mental!)
High up on my list of, ‘Seriously must get done before the fat hairy man arrives’ was the playroom. It used to be my office as with having 3 daughters no one ever wants to sleep alone so we have always had a ‘spare’ room.
I had painted it light pink and wallpapered a few years ago but after the girls had been using the room it looked tired and kinda MEH!
So i whipped out the rollers and some white paint and i got to work.

Sadly, like an idiot i had forgotten to take any before photos. But here in all its glory is the new room..

Its not the biggest room so the space had to work for us. The wall unit is from ikea and it comes with two sets of 2 drawers and 2 cupboards plus 12 squares that are large enough for storage baskets.
Even with all the toys they have there is a spare square and i used the spaces to display their things instead of hiding them away. Behind the cupboards are their books as well, children never put books away tidily. And in the drawers is Lego as that’s another thing that literally gets EVERYWHERE! The unit is surprisingly sturdy and the best quality unit i think i have ever bought in this type of style.
The plastic table and chairs is also from ikea, i was surprised how large they are in all honesty as children’s furniture tends to be on the smaller size which is a pain for our eldest.
They where really easy to put together and a really fab price.
This little corner is behind the door and not a very large space but i put their rolling storage box from Vertbaudet, it looks like a pram so it holds all their build a bear and doll clothes and accessories and i made them this cute dolls house from an old bookcase as most dolls houses aren’t big enough to get 3 in front of. i plan to use some wash tape to create a background and a roof for it also.
You can find all the furniture here
http://www.vertbaudet.co.uk/storage-chest-white.htm?ProductId=705023055&FiltreCouleur=0019&t=6    This isn’t the same one as we have as its old stock but there are some lovely new designs to choose from, i especially like the one I’ve added the link to
L x

Handmade Rug – A Tutorial

Ive been after a patchwork rug for a while and to get one large enough for my lounge it would easily cost £100+ and to be honest i really didn’t want to spend that so i went about seeing if i could make my own with carpet samples.

Tools:

Hot Glue gun
Scissors

Materials:

Carpet samples (amount depends on size of rug you are making) (these can be ordered from John Lewis and all leading carpet sellers)
Hessian or similar.

I cut the hessian to the size i wanted, this was just a trial run to see how it looked, if my idea worked and if anything needed taking into account when making it.

I took as many swatches as i need to fit the width of hessian in all the same size, as you’ll find they all come in different depths and sizes and began hot gluing them to the hessian.

I did the next row in a different size swatch, for me this didn’t really work and when i make my full size one i want to make sure that the samples are all the same type of carpet and all the same size so you don’t feel the difference in the carpet when you step on it.

I continued with this until i had filled the hessian. I managed to pull it slightly out of shape when i was gluing so its slightly wonky on my finished piece.
I also glued each piece to each other as well as the hessian or it moves under foot, this keeps each piece in place.
Its found its home in front of the cooker, stops my toes getting cold when I’m cooking. It looks great but going forward i know what needs to be changed, also id place them an inch inside to allow for a binding round the edge on the rug as they are now, after using for a week and being hoovered, have began to frey around the raw edges.
Hope you give this a go too even if its just for an entrance mat, hessian is just a few pounds a meter and the carpet samples are completely free just don’t be as impatient as i was for giving it a go because it takes a lot more than you expect to make one a decent room size. * Goes back to hoarding carpet samples*

L xx

Table to bench tutorial

After perusing Pinterest as ya do, I fell across several tutorials for refashioning tables into seating and  luck would have it we needed a seated bench for the girls AND we had a vintage table hiding out in the shed that we hadn’t used for a while so i popped on down to Dunelm Mill for some foam and dug out a vintage toddler bed duvet cover that didn’t fit the girls bed anymore and i got to work with my staple gun and my trusty hot glue gun.

 Here’s my lovely, and very long vintage coffee table. I think I would of liked to have painted the legs first but I also love the retro wood.


I cut the foam, which is 1 inch thick to fit and hot glue gunned the foam to the top of the table.

I didn’t over hang the foam as many of the other tutorials say purely because i didn’t have enough foam in one piece and secondly because Dunelm Mill didn’t stock foam large enough to cover it in one go and i didn’t want to have a seam down the middle.
This is the gorgeous fabric used from the vintage bedlinen, half was large enough to fold in half and staple down with enough overhang which has covered the colour of the foam perfectly and added a little more comfort.
And finally here is the final look!!
I love it!! AND its comfy which took me by surprise if I’m honest. I hope to make another one with a 6 inch foam and large enough to have an over hang that i can use in the hall way for putting on shoes etc, a really easy craft, only took me an hour start to finish and really cheap, was just £6 for the foam and everything else i had.
Give it a go, a really lovely addition to the home and practical to.
L xx

My handmade home

The blog has been neglected this last few months in favour of decorating and crafting and its been a lovely break, however i have ‘lost’ several hundred hrs of my life ill never get back on browsing pinterest for inspiration. Yet i say that like its a bad thing! lol

Here’s a few quick and easy Saturdays makes we can all spare the time for to bring some personality into your home with little to no outlay.

Halloween was creeping up on me and i was seriously unorganised this year, i mean who doesn’t manage to get a pumpkin on Halloween?? Yeah that’s right, ME!! So to make up for my lacking as the Halloween Queen i whipped up these little bats for the girls. I got the pattern and tutorial from Pinterest which was free and i simply used whatever fabric scraps i had lying around and some old buttons.
The girls LOVE them and they are super snugly as i used fleece for the back, would your little monsters like a ‘scary’ pet too??

But of course you always get one that doesn’t want what your making so with my thinking cap on i found a tutorial and pattern for a fabric doll but i couldn’t let the little lady be naked, and Emma didn’t approve so i whizzed up some clothes too from some fabric scraps.

As I’ve been decorating where i can between Christmas crafting and the sort I’ve been making some bits for the house from what we already had that wasn’t being used.
The french doors in the dining room being a major headache for me as i need to get out a few times a day to tend to the chickens but i also wanted them to look pretty and possibly cosy when needed.
So after much pondering i had a route through my vintage fabrics and found two table cloths that where the perfect size to make into curtains.
i simply hemmed the top on both to be big enough to slip the rod through, i moved it from the outside to the inside of the window as i thought it looked nicer.
then i needed some tie backs to keep them back for easy access to the back so i dug out some large doilies and cut them in half and zig zag stitched the raw edge.

Then i decided to make a new lampshade and after some careful consideration i decided to try my hand at making a doily one. There are loads of tutorials on Pinterest for them and being low cost i thought id give it a go.
I blew a balloon as big as i could get it, i would suggest trying to find the really big ones or like an inflatable beach ball you don’t mind sacrificing for a more round shape but either way i love mine.
I simply laid on the doilies and painted over with wallpaper paste.

Then left to dry for 24 hours, i then popped the balloon, some times they will pop themselves once they are fully dry and contract against the doilies.
i cut out the top, carefully, to slip the bulb through and voila! new lampshade!!! i made a full one so had to use string to tie the shade to the fitting but i am currently making an open end one for the lounge so i wont have to tie that one on.

I love how it throws the light out and casts beautiful shapes all through the dining room and into the hall.

I then decided to up cycle a large, and damaged photo frame to home some James bond post cards my hubby brought home. They are all retro prints so i could resist putting them up.
It was a purple plastic so i simply repainted with a few coats of grey left over emulsion which took great and inserted the prints. it now has pride of place in the lounge.

 I also made a dream catcher after seeing a gorgeous tutorial on pinterest for one. i got the large hoops from a local haberdashery for £1.50 for two which turned out to be much cheaper than eBay but i would like to get some really big ones and make another.
I simply wrapped a doily around the frame and hand stitched into place then hung charms and feathers etc from the bottom and hung in our bedroom.
its to cute, i need to make millions!!

Next time id like the bottom to be fuller.

Our stairs window, which i hate as its huge and slightly pointless needed a loving touch so with a lace vintage table cloth that had seen better days i whipped up into a pair of curtains that subtly frame the window making it less imposing on the stairs.
i used a little ribbon and some lace edging to make little tie backs and it took all of 20 mins to hem the top and edges and hang them

And finally, an already repainted table needed a make over from red to something more subtle ready for decorating the lounge next year so i painted it a gorgeous cream tone that i picked a tester pot up of for 20p in our local homebase. it was just and i mean just enough to cover it and i customised it with some pacman star wars images.

A little PVA glue and it looks like a completely new table. it now homes the games consoles again and everyone is happy.

This just proves that with a few pounds, a little imagination and a whole lot of patience you can turn your house into the home you want.

 L xx

Curtain revamp

Since closing La Chic Unique, i have spent a lot of time finally getting my house decorated and primped and preened into the home i want, my budget has been very small and being as frugal as i am most of our now very priced possessions are preloved.
The man of the house has had an almost obsessive hate about the blinds we have had up since we moved in over 2 years ago so i bit the bullet and tried to find a pair of cute curtains for our newly decorated lounge.
I had wanted some gorgeous taffeta ones, to the floor in a rich cream but sadly these have been out of my budget due to the size of my window! So, as a last ditch attempt to find something as a stop gap i grabbed a pair of vintage floral ones from the local charity shop for a mere £2.
They where cream with a cute floral pattern but with a hideous frill. He hated them and i wasn’t a huge fan but they fit beautifully and are gorgeously made and have done the job for the last few months.
However with a little to much time to kill one afternoon i figured enough was enough and something had to be done about them. With autumn fast approaching i have dreamt up this gorgeous cosy lounge for evening snuggles and movies and i went ahead with giving the curtains a make over as my starting point for my autumn cosy hideaway.

I started off with carefully cutting the frill off as close as possible to the seam, with its satin pink strip it reminded me of my grandmas bedroom curtains when i was 6 i still shudder at the thought lol!

Then i used a Dylon Ruby Red machine dye to , fingers crossed, dye them to something that would frame the window instead of give me nightmares.
I had hoped for a really deep red tone to them as the walls are painted a soft grey tone and we have white nets up to the window.
Having been through the washer twice and a few hours drying they have been transformed into these…

As you can see from the photo the colour is a lot lighter than i hoped but they are not 100% cotton so i didn’t expect them to be very true to colour, not to mention the pattern! Even though you can still see it on close inspection, when the light floods into the room they turn a gorgeous deep shade against the bright white of the window nets and the light grey walls.

I rehung them the wrong way round so the outer seam would be on the meeting side of the curtain so they now look like a completely  new set of curtains. Ive had two fabulous reactions when i said they where the same curtains, no one can believe five Min’s with a pair of shears and a fabric dye can make such a huge difference to a room, i cannot be happier, not only did it not cost me a whopping £100 for a fabulous pair of curtains but i didn’t even need to buy a new pair.

And here my window is, with my gorgeous vintage sun catchers up, i love them more than i ever thought i would and with the ease of use of the Dylon fabric dyes i will defo be reworking more in the future!!
Thanks Dylon for the stunning new curtains, i hope you approve.

L xx

It’s been a while

I can barely remember the last time i sat and wrote a blog post because i was either fired up about something or just because i wanted to.
Things have changed considerably of late, with taking the huge step of finally closing down La Chic Unique and concentrating more on what i need than everyone else i certainly feel more like i wanted to than i hoped i would.
Im no longer making or selling my wares, this has taken a huge pressure off me and given me more time to do things that should be important but never really are.
Just to sit with the girls and laugh about, well nothing really, has made me see that being successful as a person isnt the same as being successful as a mama. And to be honest id rather be a great mama than a great anything else.
Ive curbed my creative passion, ya know that itchy feeling inside that makes it so you cant sit still, by growing again. This has ticked two things off my current WANT list. Ive longed for the opportunity to be more self sufficiant and after the success we had last year with potatoes and peas i figured hell why not, i can so do this! We as a family agreed on some chickens to for fresh eggs so thats been a great experience and they havent even arrived yet! its been nice to discuss things more and taking more time to plan and purchase things has really made me drop a gear which i havent do in what feels like forever!
Our modest size garden is starting to look beautiful and will soon be inhabited with 2 chucks, we are currently “remodelling” our large shed into a play house for the girls which has really inspired my creative side so for once im getting to have it all so to speak.
We have spent a lot of time on the house recently too, when i say we i mean me, making it feel more like a home than a house and now i dont have to cringe every time someone visits! (yes i am secretly very house proud!)
Im enjoying just taking everything back to basics and just simply enjoying life. This is an aim for me, its bugged me for such a long time how my dad missed out on so much from being ill for such a long time. i still miss him, no less than i have for the last 3 years, but instead of feeling sad i wanna do all those things he never got round to or put off for a time when he didnt have to do other stuff.
This has really inspired me to be more inventive with cooking, saying no much less to the kids, accepting that compromise is the spice of life and putting things off isnt an option.
I even said to the hubby the other day, all im short of is a dog and a camper van and i wouldnt want anything else from life. No im not a millionaire, or have the perfect figure of have a “normal family” but im happy in my day to day life, no not happy, content. perfectly content with the decisions i made, the things i have and where im going. Content is nice, its like a spring sunny morning straight after its rained. All fresh and sparkly. I like it. It feels like a long time coming to be fair.
So my advice for you dear reader, would be to sit back, look at what youve got and if its worth keeping, simply enjoy it. Dont make it difficult because you can, dont make it hard because its easier and dont let things pass you by because they are scary.
Life is desceptively short, you may feel at 20 that you have an eternity to fill your life with all those hopes and dreams you have right now but hey.. why do you wanna wait til your 65 to do them when really you can do them right now.  Change jobs, ask the hot guy out, read that mountain of books, learn a new skill or craft, have a baby, have a dog/cat/goffer whatever! just do it instead of saying…’ yeah i will next month when (insert crap excuse here) all it takes is setting say an hr a day aside to achieve that dream/hope/aspiration you have been harbouring for years and no its never to late!
So go, fill your life with simplicity, enjoyment and contentment, and most important of all… SMILE! (it doesnt only release chemicals that make you feel great but its free AND its contagious!!)

L xx