‘Wherever I lay my hat that’s my home.’ beautiful song by Paul Young which I listened to over and over again in the 80’s which ties in very well with yesterday’s 80’s fashion blog post I’m not sure I’m so flighty these days, my home is the house we’ve been living in for the past three years now and to make it a home is an ongoing process which sometimes seems never ending but 

I love my home.

It’s the place where I spend my best time with my favourite people. It’s the place I collect my treasures, some I display proudly for the world to see, others are just for me, maybe in a cupboard or a drawer but looking at them brings back instant fun memories.

random crap

 

It’s the place I decide how it looks, husband has a bit of input too but he usually goes along with what I’m thinking, if it was for him he’d quite happily live with the walls and flooring we inherited from the previous owners but there’s something about ‘Putting your stamp on’ that excites me, it’s the getting it done that’s a drag.

decorating hall

I want my home to be inviting so whoever walks in through the door feels at home, they can kick their shoes off if they wish or keep them on – I’m not a stickler on that rule plus I have wooden floors downstairs which makes it much easier to keep clean.

#GreatBritishHome

The Victoria Plumb quiz I had a go at which decided I am a glamour puss and TOWIE girl through and through made me laugh at first but there is an element of truth in that.

I cannot deny I like beauty, I love looking at beautiful things, owning beautiful things and surrounding myself in a beautiful environment. Sometimes my desire for beauty is way out of my pay packet so I try to achieve the look as best I can but I am a learner, an interior designer in the making *ahem* but if not a future Kelly Hoppen then maybe a good homemaker will do.

watering flowers in the garden

 

I find the one thing against me and my dreams of a beautiful home is time and DIY skills, ok that’s two things. This year we have already completed the guest room and are currently working on the hallway, possibly the biggest ‘room’ which isn’t a room, I just need to finish painting the woodwork and there’s masses of it – 8 doors and a wooden staircase. Plus it’s taking THREE coats, I am so tempted to get a painter in to finish the job I can tell you. This is the bit I have done though – carefully photographed leaving the unpainted door out of sight ;)

hall makeover project

Our biggest job will be opening up downstairs. This will need fitting a new bathroom and a new kitchen too, if I can get the plans passed a utility room for the washing machine and the dishwasher, the ironing basket and all manner of randomness. There will be sliding doors onto the patio which will make another outdoor living area too, I can’t wait for this particular dream to come true as it will change how we live offering much more interaction whilst I am cooking too, I can keep an eye on the girls doing their homework – multitask!

So my #GreatBritishHome is an ongoing labour of love, a work in progress and now I must leave you to go and paint another coat of white on my woodwork.

Disclosure: This post is an entry for the #GreatBritishHome Challenge sponsored by Victoria Plumb, a source of quality bathrooms for every type of home. Take its “What’s Your Celebrity Home Style?” quiz to discover what your home says about you. 

Untitled-22

 

We have finally completed our guest room makeover!

guest room makeover

The last bit that needed doing was rubbing down the window sill and re painting it white with two coats, that took 4 months to get round to doing, absurd isn’t it? There is always something happening that takes over my plans and jobs like these get pushed to the bottom of the pile.

guest room before

Anyway it is done.

We have turned this room around from the previous blue which was looking a bit tired into a sunny lemon yellow, there is still blue in there as I’ve kept the curtains and the carpet seeing as they were practically new but I must say I’m dead pleased with the finished product, ok it still needs a mirror on the wall and I’d love a wooden venetian blind at the window as it’s south facing so gets a lot of sun in the afternoon.

As you can see from the above photo the coving had a large crack where it had come away from the wall so that was filled with plaster using a tube which was very simple to use and then rubbing along with my finger to make sure it was a smooth as can be.

The room took two coats of yellow ‘Lemon Ice’ from the B&Q Colours range to completely cover the blue using a roller for the large areas and a small paint brush for the edges

Finally the radiator, skirting board, window sill and ledge were all painted with a brilliant white gloss. This is the bit that took so long as the sill and ledge needed sanding first and that’s the bit I couldn’t get round to fitting in to my daily schedule.

accessories home

Once the decor is finished it’s time to add a few pieces to the room, I have this gorgeous wooden Scandinavian horse souvenir from a trip to Gothenburg many moons ago, I found the wooden woven heart in a Sainsbury home sale, the teddies are old friends and the Love sculpture came from next a few seasons ago.

The duvet set is from Marks And Spencer – last year but I noticed they have the same cross stitch pattern this year in lilac, I bought it in their home sale for £20, bargain!

duvet cover M&S

The main art on the wall is this photography on canvas, you might remember I took this photo recently on our Cornwall holiday using my iPhone, you can see it here on my Instagram feed too. 

Polzeath canvas

 

I’m really pleased with it, I didn’t have to touch the photo up, I just used the largest size possible from my camera album et voila! Very easy to do, thank you Canvas Design I don’t think I’ll ever tire of looking at that view.

Disclosure: Canvas Design sent me the above in order to show you how good they are and what great quality they are.

Love Chic Living and Love Your Home

We’ve stripped all the wallpaper in the hall way and this makes me so happy, I’ve been staring at holes and peeling bits for far too long and calming the urge to want to pick at the peels and tear as long a strip as I can. But last weekend saw the beginning of this particular renovation project, one of many on the 2014 list.

decorating hall

The hallway is an important ‘room’ in my book as it’s the first a guest enters and therefore gives an impression of you and your tastes. I’ve been wanting to renovate since we moved in but there were other areas to focus on first, now it is time.

peeling wallpaper

Our hallway is a huge area to decorate, we have a large area at the front door which has a wooden floor, great for entering and changing shoes, with the stairs to your right, a cupboard just after the stairs and another door in front of you leading through to the living area (2 doors to paint). Go up the carpeted stairs and we have four bedrooms a bathroom and an airing cupboard (6 doors to paint) = 8 doors, it’ll take me forever. 

holes in the wall

There is a lot of wood to be painted and that’s going to be brilliant white, the walls now need some TLC where the holes are, a bit of polyfilla should hopefully do the trick and then they shall be painted a very light grey, my current preference is a Dulux Pebble Grey. The red/pink carpet will give a pop of colour and although I was tempted to put down some black laminate flooring at the entrance to hide all the dirt traipsed in we’ll be sticking with the wooden floor for now.

 front door before

I have some great pictures and prints to put up on the walls once completed and I’m wondering about a floor length curtain over the front door, it’s not so essential now but in winter the glass door does let cold in even if we do have a porch attached. To change the front door and surrounding window I’ve been quoted £800 so that’s on the back burner for the moment.

At least I can get through the summer before deciding whether to go for a curtain or not.

hall window

There is also one other small window at the top of the stairs and I’m thinking of fitting a blind in the window as the best option.

That should keep us busy for the next few weekends, are you doing any spring DIY?

 

Do you sit back and think about the state of your house, garden, life at the beginning of a new year? Do you wonder what you can do and can’t do?

I certainly do and although money will be pretty tight this year thanks to our wedding in March we still will do a few jobs around the house to keep it ticking over nicely.

What I’d like to do

If I were to be perfectly honest the entire block paving out the front would need lifting and relaying, I think the previous owners must have got ‘friends’ in to do it and I imagine they paid them well but it just goes to show that if you do take the cheaper option you’re likely to end up with a bodge job.

When we first took a look at this property in spring 2010 there was no sign that the block paving would deteriorate so quickly but over the past two and a half years it has sunk a lot towards the house, creating a muddy mess and to my great annoyance the whole area becomes covered in weeds during the warm summer months which take me forever pulling up and killing off.

The only solution is to take it all up and relay it properly as I have seen done on other properties along our road, I could do it myself, I could hire a cement mixer and seal the damn bricks together I suppose?

Nope, this is one job I shall continue to complain about this year *sigh*

I’d also like to re-lay the patio out back and build a wall along it instead of the fence which doesn’t even close off the property.

My dream kitchen and open plan living room is completely on hold possibly for another three years now but I will do the following

  1. Finish off the girl’s bedroom, it needs the woodwork painting and last year I slacked on this.
  2. Decorate the guest room – it’s nice and small and just needs painting to look fresh
  3. Redecorate the lounge as it already needs a new coat of paint.
  4. I’d love to decorate the hall too but I may be pushing my luck on this one so we’ll call it quits for the moment until I get the above done

What plans do you have for 2013?

This one pays the bills

Right peeps, in it to win it and all that I have BIG plans for some home renovation. I had them the moment I laid eyes on this house. In fact I even said to the Mr, I’m only buying if we can do this, this and this. He said ok and although I was aware my dreams would cost big money I was prepared to wait after all, it’s not like you move house every five years is it?

So after a fair bit of squirreling away the money was saved and it was time to get some quotes in. I got one from a local builder who everyone speaks very highly of, see his blog for yourself. That was at the beginning of the summer. The quote came back at around £9000 for the complete project with no new kitchen – that would be extra and then the Mr and I went on holiday to France.

A few glasses of wine, oysters and lots of moules marinieres and we found ourselves talking about getting married! We’ve been engaged for years and a wedding has always been put to one side because of the expense involved, money that could be spent more wisely elsewhere, right? (like home improvement for example)

Wrong! The more we talked the more our wedding came to life and then he came out with.

‘Well you can’t have the home improvement AND a wedding, you’re going to have to choose.’ Damn.

I went for the wedding, I don’t know why, I just thought it would be a good idea and so my home improvement plan was put to bed for a while longer. *sigh*

Then TOTS 100 announced that ratedpeople.com were offering £2500 for the best home improvement project. They threw down a challenge for bloggers to take up.

Tell us which room in your home you’d like to transform, and how you’d do it, and you could be in with a chance of winning£2,500 worth of tools, materials and expert tradesman advice. RatedPeople.com will provide you with the tradesman and pay for his/her time – and there’s no rush – we’ll be there when you’re ready to start your project

It is far too good for me not to try, after all should the judge, Fiona Fullerton just nip down and take a look she could see for herself how my idea would look simply beautiful and so practical too. Take a look at my Kitchen Pinterest board where I’ve been collecting ideas

Kitchen Pinterest board

The area I have my eye on is the main living area, the heart of the home where we spend the majority of our time as a family. In a nutshell I’d like to knock down the wall separating the living room from the kitchen and put in those fabulous sliding patio doors, you know the concertina ones that look really cool leading onto the patio.

In order to do this the kitchen will need to be moved back to it’s original home and I’d keep it all open plan, which is the choice of most interior designers these days and because that area is quite small, well I’d need to knock down another wall, make the bathroom smaller and ideally fit in a utility area because that would be so damn posh wouldn’t it?

bathroom pinterest board

As for the bathroom it’s very tired, it will need a complete overhaul.

So, that brings me on very nicely as to how I will spend my £2500 should I win.

I think the only way to make this project do-able is to break it down into smaller parts and I think as much as I’d love the open plan bit completed like yesterday I’m going to have to settle for the bathroom for now.

  1.  Rip out the whole lot; tiles, fake dropped ceiling, old bathroom suite and floor. I would only keep the boiler as it works and that would cost £2500 alone to change
  2. Change the two windows as the double glazing is blown.
  3. If I can – knock out the fake walls housing the shower and sink. Replace with a glass shower which drains directly into the floor with one of those large rose heads that are so pretty.
  4. Add a large sink unit which attaches to the wall but has no pedestal allowing for easier cleaning. This is a well used bathroom as part of the main living area.
  5. Rip down the formica homing the boiler and home with something less ‘In-Yer-Face’ and possibly construct a cupboard to home cleaning products and so on.
  6. Re-tile the entire bathroom in delightful bright, luminous and modern ceramics
bathroom

So surely ratedpeople.com could come and take a look? Surely they could tell me the best way to use my space and be able to tackle this project in three stages to make it easier to accomplish? They could advise me on where to get windows, the best bathroom suites and which tiles would illuminate the space to the best advantage.

And when that’s all over maybe we could look at decorating the hall and stairway too but that’s another blog post.

So there you have it TOTS 100, that’s my plan. Can you help?

ratedpeople.com renovation

Disclosure: The video has been made with the fabulous Panasonic V700 camcorder that I have on loan and I still haven’t discovered all of it’s uses yet. It’s a beauty to work with