Home - Lounge before and after

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Its seems fitting to be sharing my first before and after post a year ago exactly to viewing and offering on the house. Our lounge was the very first room to go under renovation and in comparison to the rest of the house it needed a bit of tlc rather than anything structural. I didn't take as many during steps as I was busy doing but I'm going to talk you through the best I can. 
There was rising damp in the front bay so putting in a damp course was the first big job that we had to pay out for.  Once that was completed, I think it took about a week, the first decorating step was taking off the board covering the fireplace. Much to my delight this beautiful fireplace was underneath, all the other fireplaces have been ripped out throughout the house which breaks my heart - all I get is the odd glimpse of  dusky pink or duck - egg tile, I try not to think about it too much as it makes me really upset. 

The second job was removing the hideous smelly carpet,  the previous owner had smoked in here and it stank, really stank, it was so gross.  I think it took me about 10 minutes to take that carpet up, I couldn't wait for it to be gone. I also cleaned the windows which took my mother-in-law and I a full day to get through the grime and nicotine - another delightful task. 
Once the room was clean I could finally get decorating, I replaced a panel of wall paper that must have had a piece of furniture in front of it and painted the ceiling, which took about three days in total and four coats of paint - it was grim and smelly up there. I then painted the walls in Dulux Brooklyn Nights 6. Lilac isn't a colour I'd normally choose but I wanted a colour to set off the green of the fireplace. 

Ever since my first trip to New York, I've had a dark wood floor on my home wish-list. The floor-boards in the lounge were in pretty good shape so we hired a sander and stripped them back. Because of the age there is quite a bit of 'cupping' to the boards so the finish is a little uneven which I like but if you're someone who likes things to be smooth and straight then it might be worth getting a professional in, I have done some research and its not as expensive as I thought it'd be and would save you two days work. Once the floor was varnished we painted the woodwork white, which made everything so fresh. 

We also had a couple of extra plugs put in as there was only one socket for the whole room and also moved the radiator to under the window, the electrics and plumbing were part of a bigger job but you should allow about £400 for a radiator (this includes a new radiator) and about £200 for electrics. These things cost so much more than you think. 
 There are still bits I want to do/ add (like find something to put DVD's in) but I do love this room, its perfectly sunny in the morning and cosy at night. I can't wait to get the chimney swept and a grate for the fireplace so we can have open fires in winter.
I furnished the room with mainly second hand finds, the sofa and chair we already had and the rug is from Made.com. Everything else has either been given to me or from various charity or junk shops. I think the best find was this chandelier for £45. 
 My mum is a very talented painter, she painted this especially for the room and I just love it -it's so special. It looks tiny in the photo's in real life it really fills up the wall.
The bookcase was an existing piece of furniture, it used to be so crammed with stuff. I'm only just getting used to seeing it empty again! The sofa which you can just see is another junkshop find - it's Ikea Erktop which I just replaced the covers on. I'd like to change it to something velvety in the future but for now its just right.
I'd be lost without a fireplace, I've kept this quite paired down for me. I've had the beautiful birdcage (from Rockett St George) stashed away for a few years, I'm so excited to finally have a spot for it.

As there has been so much to do I have kept this and all the other rooms really simple, we're over the half way mark on decorating now so I'm looking forward to adding bits and pieces to make the room feel more homely over time. I hope you've enjoyed this mammoth post, there is so much more I want to share so expect to see more home posts around here.

My Favourite...Pink Trousers

Friday, 18 July 2014

After a half-hearted attempt to share some of my favourite things, I have decided to try again, This time I want to talk about my favourite clothing purchase of the year - pink trousers. I bought these on sale in Mango at Christmas and have worn them for all occasions; my birthday (see post here), when I need to feel confident teaching (see here) and like in the photo above hanging around orange groves (I admit this is less frequent). The beauty of these is they work with all the classic colours; black, navy, grey & camel, all heel heights from Converse to a jazzy flat and then all the way up to my personal favourite, a classic Louboutin, they actually go with everything - amazing! I have fashioned a little moodboard below if you still need convincing. If you don't and want to jump straight in, this fitted pair from Asos look good and also these from Mango (I think they are my actual pair). Come and be the girl in pink trousers with me, its fun! Have a great weekend everyone. xx

DIY - Woven bead bracelets

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

My subconscious is obviously on a beach kick this week as this is the third beach inspired post in a row! These woven bead bracelets are a recent tutorial for Jewelry From Home, they use one very first techniques I learnt and when getting into jewellery making and are so much easier to make than they look. I bought all my beads and findings from The Bead Shop, Covent Garden, they have a great selection of matt glass beads like these ones. Hop on over to Jewelry From Home to see the full tutorial. Happy Making! x 

Psst - these seed bead circle bracelets use exactly the same techniques but are more delicate.

Travel - Es Trenc, Mallorca

Monday, 14 July 2014

Some more holiday snaps today, this time I'm at the beach at Es Trenc. I didn't take too many photo's on the beach as it turned out Es Trenc was quite popular with the nudists (is that the pc term?) and I couldn't be sure what would appear in the background! The beach itself was lovely and very natural (in all senses), the sea was beautiful and ideal for swimming and the sand-dunes which backed the beach where good for exploring and collecting pinecones. The best discovery however, was the stunning Flor se Sal d'Estrenc -  a shop and cafe selling local salt which is about a 5 min drive from the beach. If I could've picked the decor up and transported it home I would've - faded washed wood in beautiful blues with a dash of perfectly faded terracotta,  mis-matched rocking chairs and things just casually hanging on the walls are what my dreams are made of. I have made a massive mental note to re-create this look on my patio on years to come, it was too perfect. If you're heading to Mallorca then a really recommend a stop off at Flor se Sal d'Estrenc, its a little oasis of beachy goodness. 
 Blurred on purpose - I love these colours 
 Simple stacked crates and stripy cushions - so easy to recreate 
 Rocking chairs went straight to the top of my wish list after seeing these
My love for weather beaten wooden furniture continues to grow

You can see my other Mallorca post here.

DIY - embellished canvas shoes

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

After my last summer statement necklace, I'm sharing an easy tutorial this week. These embellished canvas pumps are an ideal make for any age and ability, if you're worried about your drawing skills then stick to lines like I have here, if you're feeling more confident then I'd go for something more complicated. I jazzed mine up with some jewels (of course!) but you don't have to. All the steps are below. 
You'll need; Plain canvas pumps (mine were from Primark), Fabric Pastels, Tape (only if you're doing stripes) and Jewels (I used hotfix

Step 1. Tape of the section you want to keep plain. If you're doing a random pattern then you can skip this part.

Step 2. Draw on your pattern, I went for a mix of blue stripes because they were nice and easy

Step 3. Using a pressing cloth and hot iron fix your colour 

Step 4. Embellish, making sure you keep the colours tonal and textures mixed


These are so quick to make and perfect for days when then sun doesn't quite come out and is too hot for converse. Happy Making! x

A massive thanks to Jo for the action shots, I'm slowing getting more comfortable with being on the internet.

Favourite Summer Makes

Monday, 7 July 2014

Got the urge to make something? Then give some of these summer specials a try...

Bead and Wire Hoop Earrings
Ribbon Bead Necklace (this is super easy)
Summer Statement Necklace
Leather Friendship Bracelets 
Wire Heart Necklace
Metal and Chain Earrings 

DIY - Summer Statement Necklace

Friday, 4 July 2014

This summer statement necklace is a lesson in many things; one, don't try and attempt a big make mid-move and two, if at first you don't succeed...I started this a few months ago I was giving an early make a revamp, my initial idea was to attach a diamante strip to the cord and keep the big crystals on the colourful cord it didn't work and looked awful so I put the necklace to one-side and let it simmer for a while. A few weeks ago I went back to it and this is the result, there are some vague steps below, I was making it up as I went along. 
Step 1. Gather your materials, you'll need thick cord, chunky chain, cord ends, lots of 5mm jump rings and head pins, crystal beads, a selection of beads, bolt clasp, tiger tail and crimps - its a long list, sorry about that but you don't have to stick to it. See this post for a supply list.

Step 2. Cut the chain to length (mine was 45cm) and then cut a piece of cord 2cm shorter and apply your cord ends with strong glue, leave to dry. Once dry stitch onto the chain, try and keep it as central as possible. 

Step 3. Start to add your crystals, keep the largest in the centre and work outwards. Fix to the chain using your 5mm jump rings. 

Step 4. Now add your smaller crystals, add a few in with the large ones to start to blend the sizes. 
Step 5. Thread smaller beads onto a length of tiger tail (approx 12cm long) fixed with a crimp at either end. If you don't want/ or have tiger tail then you can stitch your beads straight onto the cord. In hindsight I might have done this.

Step 6. Stitch your beads onto the cord, try and get them as central as possible

Step 7. Now all the layers in place, assess the amount of beads and colours. I decided to tie the small white beads into the main crystal design so threaded a few white beads onto head pins and mixed them into the centre.

Step 8. Add your clasp to the main chain to finish





I bought these crystals years ago, I have been having a look and these from Ebay look a good substitute. I'm rather pleased with how this turned out in the end, I give it it's debut last week and it went down a storm! I have some more photo's of this necklace that I can't wait to share I teamed up with Jo the other week and she has taken some gorgeous photo's of the work in progress. Have a great weekend and happy making! x  

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