The bedroom makeover reveal

It’s been a while I know since I told you I was going to give my bedroom a bit of a makeover. To be honest I got straight on with it but it’s taken me an absolute age to get the pictures together.  I much prefer to decorate than take pictures. To make matters worse the wallpaper I’ve chosen, which I still love, is quite reflective and very difficult to photograph without getting a shine.  Of course a professional could make an excellent job however that is not me. But enough of my excuses here are the pictures and the details.

Now if you remember the aim of the exercise was to bring the space together in a cohesive way to give an overall feel of sumptuous luxury…. and as ever on a budget.  As you may know if you’ve read my other blogs I also love to recycle old bits of furniture so have tried to capture a bit of that too.  The points you need to remember are 1) the bedroom is dark, it’s partially underground with very little natural light from the north facing windows 2) it’s a rather large room in part of a larger Victorian villa however as it is in the basement flat (servant’s quarters only) so has no Victorian features, but I’ve gone with the Victorian(ish) theme. I’ll put all the details of my purchases along the way.

The wallpaper

As  I can’t do much about the lack of natural light I went with the dark and picked a richly coloured wallpaper  Caselio Power Maya Damask Wallpaper Teal from  I love Wallpaper reduced to £7 per roll.  This turned out to be a complete bargain as some of the other papers considered were in the region of £20 per roll (at least). The teal colour complements my dark wood furniture and I think brings the sumptuous luxury feel I was going for. Of course the wallpaper went all the way around the room, every wall.  Here are the pics.


As you can see the old wallpaper was bright and bold, in my attempts to brighten up the room, with a little bit of a feature wall going on.  It didn’t work.

It's time to decorate the bedroom. Read all about how it started. Follow the blog to join me on the journey to see how the wallpaper, shutters and all the rest end up



bedroom 1


The shutters

I don’t know about you but I’m not great choosing curtains. I only like curtains if the go all the way to the floor, which would be a bit of a waste of curtain in this room they are small windows.  This made me think of shutters but made to measure shutters are a little bit out of my price range so Mr Husband was employed to put together something a little less expensive.  He had great fun (not) trying to hinge and fold in the correct direction.  Eventually he got it right and I now have shutters for the cost of  a bit of MDF, a pot of paint and some inexpensive brass hinges for my local discount store.  I’ll be writing a blog about how the shutters were created but for now you can see the shutters in the above pic when then are open, and below how the light shines through in the morning.  The handles where a £1 each from a local flea market stall.  They were very dirty and corroded when I bought them but cleaned up rather well.


The lights

I struggled picking the lights.  I wanted something simple but didn’t want anything overly fussy or too modern, you know bare light bulbs.  I found these simple antique brass lights and shades from John Lewis for £30 each. I needed three.

The fire place

We had a hole the wall as you can see, so it seemed a shame not to make it look more like a traditional fire place even though it was never going to function. So I had a hunt around the local antique shops but eventually found this fire surround on ebay for no money at all, £22. It may not be an antique but it looks the part. It needs a bit of a clean and touch up but that was all.  I think it does a very good job.  I want to get a bit lantern to sit in the hole but not found anything I like yet, but I will keep looking as its all part of the fun.


It's time to decorate the bedroom. Read all about how it started. Follow the blog to join me on the journey to see how the wallpaper, shutters and all the rest end up


Read all about my bedroom makeover and how I went all Victorian and sumptuous. I've got the before and after pictures of the walls and the fireplace, and if you're thinking of other options rather than curtains then check-out my DIY shutters


So that’s my new bedroom and after a few months of sleeping in it I’m still loving it.  It may not be to everyone’s taste but it’s in-keeping with the building and my budget. What do you think?





Winter ramblings around Buxton

It’s been a long winter.  The weather has not been that harsh, just a constant wave of wet, windy and snowy weather.  It’s certainly not been inviting enough to get me outdoors.  For some reason I seem to have hibernated this year, and I must say I really don’t like it.  It makes me feel old and I’m not!  So, this weekend it was all change and even though the weather forecast was not great I was determined to get out on a little local walk.

The forecast was for heavy snow showers and for once the forecast was correct, we set out in a blizzard with cold snow splattering the face – why is it whichever direction you walk, you are always walking into the wind?

As this was a local walk for me it was in Buxton, Derbyshire.  Setting out from home took me first through the Victorian Pavilion Gardens, and then up through the woods of the Buxton Country Park to Solomon’s Temple.  From Solomon’s Temple you get magnificent views of the surrounding hills in every direction.   I was hoping once we got to the top the low clouds would have cleared, and luckily they had. Here are my snaps along the way.

Mr Husband walking ahead as usual

Join me on a walk in the snow up through Buxton to Solomon's Temple. See if you prefer the snow in the clouds or in the sunshine

Nearly at the top

Join me on a walk in the snow up through Buxton to Solomon's Temple. See if you prefer the snow in the clouds or in the sunshine

Low clouds over the tops

Join me on a walk in the snow up through Buxton to Solomon's Temple. See if you prefer the snow in the clouds or in the sunshine

Through the woods on the way back down

Join me on a walk in the snow up through Buxton to Solomon's Temple. See if you prefer the snow in the clouds or in the sunshine

You’ll notice there’s no picture of Solomon’s Temple, sorry about that.  I’ve seen it so many times I forgot to take a picture, so here’s one I took today from the window of my home, it sits high on a distant hill.

Join me on a walk in the snow up through Buxton to Solomon's Temple. See if you prefer the snow in the clouds or in the sunshine

You can find out more about Solomon’s Temple if you follow the link.  The 20ft (6 metre) tower was restored by the Victorians in the 1890s.  Spookily, over the years there has been a number of reports of dogs leaping from the top of the tower, which takes a bit of effort as there is a high surrounding wall.  In fact, a dog I know recently did this for no apparent reason, luckily she was not hurt.  Very strange – don’t you think?

During the night Buxton had another fall of snow, which was accompanied this morning by bright blues sky.  So on went my boots and here are a few more snaps I thought you might like to see.

Blue sky over Buxton Opera House

Join me on a walk in the snow up through Buxton to Solomon's Temple. See if you prefer the snow in the clouds or in the sunshine

The River Wye meandering through the park

Join me on a walk in the snow up through Buxton to Solomon's Temple. See if you prefer the snow in the clouds or in the sunshine

Buxton Pavilion

Join me on a walk in the snow up through Buxton to Solomon's Temple. See if you prefer the snow in the clouds or in the sunshine

Icicles hanging from the tunnel

Join me on a walk in the snow up through Buxton to Solomon's Temple. See if you prefer the snow in the clouds or in the sunshine

I think the ducks like the snow

Join me on a walk in the snow up through Buxton to Solomon's Temple. See if you prefer the snow in the clouds or in the sunshine

Hope you are awakening from your hibernation, outside is much better than inside in don’t you think?

The bedroom makeover has begun

I’ve finally poked my head out from under the duvet after the Christmas holidays and started to think about what’s going to be happening in the home this year. Yes, I have at last turned my attention to the dreaded spare bedroom.

You may remember I posted about how I needed to make better use of the biggest bedroom of my two bedroom home, which is currently being used as a guest room, home office and general dumping ground, catch-up here.  Well on a wet weekend a few weeks ago I had a go at rearranging the furniture to try and make it a more cohesive space, but no luck.  In the end I decided the best solution was to switch bedrooms. So now the spare room has become my bedroom and the guest bedroom / office etc has been put in the small room.  And for now, it’s all working. As the space is smaller things seem to fit together a bit better……so small can be good.

So now the new challenge is to redecorate my ‘new’ bedroom to make it a sumptuous sanctuary.  I was inspired in the Summer during a visit to Chatsworth House by a chinoiserie  design and used it as my starting point for looking for some new wallpaper.  These were my top picks.

It's time to decorate the bedroom. Read all about how it started. Follow the blog to join me on the journey to see how the wallpaper, shutters and all the rest end up

…….but I went a little astray and picked this little number, which is currently on order. It has a bit of a sheen which will pick up the little light this room gets.  I’m hoping the rich colour will bring a warm and a touch of luxury.


I’ve also tasked Mr Husband to make shutters to replace the existing roller blinds, and he is also going to be creating a fire surround to make more of a feature of the hole in the wall we use as a bit of a storage space for general rubbish.

You can see I have a crazy feature wall at the moment; there will be no feature wall, the wallpaper will be going all the way around. Also need to replace the wall lights, there is no central light in this room so I’m going to hunt for suitable wall lights – I’m not a fan of wall lights so I think this will be tricky for me.

bedroom makeover

And yes in case you’re wondering this is all going to be done on a budget.  It’s far too easy when money is no object, where’s the challenge!


However, this is going to take a few weeks to complete so keep following if you want to see the finished result and the bits along the way.



My three Christmas decor rules

It’s that time of year again and I love it!  Not all the shopping and the spending, I try and keep that to a complete minimum, but I love getting the home all cosy and Christmasy.  Being a woman of a certain age I’ve experienced a few Christmas decor trends.  Growing up in the 70’s it was tinsel all the way.  We had it hanging from everywhere.  It was tinsel crazy in our house.


Then in the 90’s early 2000s it all got a bit too staged.  Everything seemed to be white or silver, with maybe a touch of blue or purple. Not my favourite look, all a bit cold.

So what are my Christmas decoration rules you may or may not be thinking, and to be honest they’re not hard and fast rules but I do have some, so here we go.

Rule number 1

It has to be a real Christmas tree, big or small it doesn’t matter, as long as it’s real.  I think it’s because my family always had an artificial tree when I was growing up.  Without a real tree it just doesn’t smell like Christmas.  And of course, there’s the ritual of going to the local garden centre or forestry shop to select the perfect one.  The tree always ends up being too big, but it gets everybody in the spirit, not to mention pine needles all over the inside of the car.  The tree doesn’t appear in my house until the first weekend in December, which is why the blog is now ready to go.  When my kids were young I would get the tree looking fairly stylish (in my opinion) then they would add all their finishing touches from drawings to toilet rolls covered in cotton wool – but what can you do? This year my tree looks like this. Not a work of art but there is only so much time in the day you know.


Rule number 2

Less is more and mix it up (is that two rules?).  What I mean is I don’t need it to look like there’s been a small explosion in a tinsel factory, but instead I prefer just a few bits of sparkle dotted around the house, after all there is already a tree in the house.  Then when the lights go down it all comes together with a few subtle lights (are you listening Mr Husband SUBTLE lights) and candles.

I do also like to have a bit of colour, rich reds and greens, and for things not to be too organised, and you can see this from the tree above.

I’m very much embracing the Scandi inspired decor themes this Christmas with wood and foliage. So this year I’ve been foraging for some free decorations from the outside world and come up with my own Christmas tree branch.  What do you think? The bay leaves gave a lovely smell to the room.

christmas twig (2)

Rule number 3

Everything has to fit back into the Christmas decoration box that gets stored on top of the wardrobe.   I don’t know about you, but I usually can’t usually resist buying something new each year – but I’m kept under control by my Rule number 3.  As a result, decorations are now carefully chosen and so have memories of how I came to own them.  I love these little wooden stars I bought in a shop in Dorchester the year before last on a pre-Christmas family visit.

xmas stars

Of course, I get around my Rule number 3 by bringing Christmas to a few of my all year round bits and bobs, so they don’t go back in the box -right? This year I will be using a couple of brass candlesticks and bon-bon stands I picked up in bric-a-brac stores for next to nothing earlier in the year. This will add a bit of height to my Christmas table.

Christmas table

But I guess my unwritten rule of Christmas decor is to have fun and not to take it all too seriously, so that’s what I did when I dressed up my spider plant for the day.

merry christmas spider plant

How do you like to decorate your home at Christmas, do you have any Rules to share?





A visit to an English vineyard

On a Sunday morning in the summer, I was fortunate to be taken by The Daughter to a lovely little English vineyard. Bear with me there is a seasonal theme to this blog …. in the end. The English vineyard in question was the Three Choirs Vineyard, Newent, Gloucestershire UK, where they grow the grapes and make the wine.

Let me share with you my summer visit to an English vineyard and winery. This was Three Choirs Vineyard in Gloucester, UK. The sun was shining, and the wine tasting was fab. You can see the three wines I bought along the way. It may give you some ideas for presents

I’ve long been meaning to try a bottle of English wine but it’s quite expensive (relative to my usual wine price point) and preferring my wine on the dry side I’ve been a bit weary anything I bought would be a little sweet, but that was not to be the case.

So first of all, the visit. We joined a wine tasting tour taking us through the wine making facility with information and tastings along the way.




What made the visit very special was the moment we arrived the sun came out and we could have been in a vineyard in France.  Plus by 11.55 am on a Sunday morning I was standing in the sunshine with a glass of English fizz in my hand (traditionally made sparkling wine I should say). After the guided tour we were free to roam around vines as they gently rolled over the hillsides, as did I.


What more could you want from a Sunday you may ask….. well 3 bottles more perhaps? I purchased a white, a rose and a sparkling wine to take home.  It would have been rude not to as they had a very extensive shop where we were able to taste before we bought (we had already tasted, but are very indecisive).

This is the bottle of rose we enjoyed in the garden one sunny day in Buxton.

IMG_20170810_164920 (2)

So where is the Christmas connection? Obviously a bottle of a good English wine would make a special Christmas gift for any wine lover, but believe it or not we are yet to drink the bottle of purchased sparkling wine.  I had planned to enjoy it on my birthday, while we were having a quick break in North Yorkshire.  However the holiday cottage where we stayed did not have champagne flutes! I know, but what can you do. For me the glasses are as important as the drink contained within, water, wine, beer (don’t get me started on unacceptable beer glasses).

So like me the sparkling wine has been to North Yorkshire and back. Which gives me the dilemma of shall I take it to the family Christmas gathering or save it for a quiet New Year with Mr Husband?  What do you think?


Let me share with you my summer visit to an English vineyard and winery. This was Three Choirs Vineyard in Gloucester, UK. The sun was shining, and the wine tasting was fab. You can see the three wines I bought along the way. It may give you some ideas for presents

Cheers 🙂

A circular walk in the Peak District – Buxton via the Goyt Valley

This is a walk I’ve done quite a few times as it starts and ends in my adopted home town of Buxton.  I like the walk as you get a mix of terrain, a few steady climbs to challenge the heart rate and of course some stunning vistas.  It’s also long enough to give the excuse to take a flask of coffee and a few sandwiches, which always appeals to me. The walk is ever changing depending on the weather and seasons.  I’ve done it on a foggy frosty day, a wet day but unusually for October this time it was blue sky most of the way. You can see the Autumn colours in my pictures but towards the end of the summer you would have seen purple heather everywhere.

For me this Derbyshire walk of course starts from my front door, but for you I’ll start it on Bishop’s Lane on the west side of Buxton.

Goyt vally - Bishops lane

Follow up the  increasingly steep lane road passing the houses and up into the countryside. You will pass what looks like an equestrian centre on the right after which you will soon come across a footpath on the left. Take the footpath up a steep hill via a few steeps.  Up and up you’ll reach a gate at the brow – don’t forget to turn around and take in the view.

Goyt valley - view over buxton

After catching your breath carry on up to the summit, which has appeared as they always do just when you think you’ve got to the top. You’ll be walking in a slightly right veering direction picking your way through some boggy ground, the theme of the walk. The next part is my favourite part of the walk as it is a leisurely stroll down into the valley, keeping the dry stone wall on your right.  Again there is an abundance of muddy stretches, but that’s the fun of the walk.

goyt valley - mud at top

A small climb up will take you to a cross-road with an old disused railway path, but go straight across  and continue down the other side. Keep waking down the valley for a little while following the track as it gently bears to the right.  Eventually the path widens and gently rises up hill and you are rewarded with an impressive view of the Errwood Reservoir.  Take the time to soak it in.

Goyt valley reservoirs

And then you’ll get a view of both Errwood and Fernilee Reservoirs.  You’ll later be walking along the road that divides them.

goyt valley two reservoirs

The path drops downs before it cross the open ground, still in the direction of the reservoirs, and very gently rises until it pops out on the road, where you then follow it downhill between the two reservoirs.  Continue along the road keeping the Errwood Reservoir on the left-hand side. There are a number of bench opportunities on this stretch of the walk and it’s a good place to have a sandwich while looking out across the water.


Continue along the quiet perimeter road for sometime as it rises uphill, leaving behind the reservoir and tracking the pretty stream in the valley below.

Goyt valley - looking down to stream

Take the path down to the second wooden footbridge you see.


Once you cross the stream turn right and carry along the path in the direction of Berry Clough.

Goyt valley - signpost 2

The stoney bracken-engulfed path takes you up hill again through the moorland, sometimes it feels like your walking up a river bed. And don’t forget to look backwards sometime to take in the view.

goyt valley - lookig backwards

Up  and up you’ll eventually reach the summit and a signpost.  Carry on straight ahead in the direction of Burbage.

Goyt valley -signpost

You will next reach a field boundary where you need to take the path bearing right diagonally across the field, which you guessed it can be a little boggy.

goyt valley - top view

When you get to the other side of the field turn left down the track, which takes you back into Buxton.


Follow the road through the houses and to the main road, which you will lead you back into Buxton town centre with its multitude of cafes and bars to revitalise your soul.

Hopefully my route description gives you an idea of the walk but as always plot it out on a map before hand, and make sure you have some study walking boot and warm clothes as it can get jolly cold up on the moors. You really should try the walk, you won’t be disappointed.

The walk is about 9 miles and took me about 4.5 hours including stops along the way.

Feature Image Goyt Valley walk

Why I bought a new sofa

It’s not every day I get a new piece of substantial furniture for the home as I like to wear things out, and in my experience things usually take a long time to wear out.  However I have broken my rule and bought a new sofa, as even though I like the look of my old leather sofa it’s just not comfortable for me – am I getting old?

I’ve been mulling over getting a new sofa for some time after nights of rearranging cushions and throws and squirming around trying to get comfortable, but after a brief look around early in the year I lost interest and it went down on my list of things to do.  However, it was on a rainy day in the summer when my sister and nephew were visiting and I needed somewhere indoors to spend the morning with them.  I had a bright idea and I thought of my favourite browsing independent furniture store, Arighi Bianchi.

Arighi Bianchi is my go-to browsing store as it stocks an extensive higher-end furniture range which gives stacks of inspiration but is a little (a lot) out of my price range (their sales and clearance days are great). If you’re ever in Macclesfield I would highly recommend you have a look around too. You can get lost in this store both metaphorically and literally – it’s a maze. It’s also still a family run store with a history dating back to 1854. The building is impressive too especially at night.  Picture sniped  from the website (hope they don’t mind).

Arighi Bianchi store

Anyway the relatives were very happy wandering around the several floors of endless furnishing when I stumbled upon the sofa section and sat on a very comfortable sofa.  Then all of a sudden I’d bought a sofa.  Not sure how that happened as there was no hard-sell sales people – it was all my own doing. Now ten-weeks later the sofa has finally arrived.

Here are some pics. The sofa is still as comfortable as in the store and I do love the curves.

new sofa

It has a high back so not for slouching – I think my slouching days may be over. The cushions are all interlinked so they always look neat. Saves me having to everyday straighten out the cushions and throws after what looks like a small explosion may have occurred on it.

sofa 2

I went for the punchy Shetland Green as I have a grey-painted living room and the grey version would have just merged in, but it comes in a selection of colours.  I think it’s a good all-year-round kinda colour.  I also chose the dark legs as they match in with the rest of the decor, but I could have gone for a light wood finish. The fabric is very soft, a bit like felt. Snug.

The sofa is the medium size from the Rebecca sofa range

This has been a big investment for me, so I will be keeping it for a long time, doing my best to keep it clean (no spills allowed). I anticipate the fabric will not be as forgiving as leather – but it is a good deal warmer.  We had an evening of moving furniture about, and I’m not entirely sure the new sofa is in its final resting place – always work in progress.

The old sofa has for now moved into the spare room / office as despite having it for about 15-years I can’t bear to get rid of it. It does however add to my spare bedroom challenge  dilemma I talked about in my last blog.leather sofa

Do you like to keep your furniture until it falls apart?