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?





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.



Two mini DIY garden projects

It’s been a bit of a wet and dull summer this year, but no excuse I did manage to get out in the garden and undertake two mini DIY projects.  Nothing grand but I thought I’d share.

Adding some colour to the wall

The first was adding a bit of interest to an outside wall that needed some repair. Every year we give it a bit of a white-wash to brighten up a dark corner, but this year I also needed to patch up some holes where the cement grouting had fallen off. An opportunity to sprinkle in some design I thought.  I found some glass beads in a drawer, which I’d had for absolute ages so thought I would put them to better use.

My plan was to incorporate the glass beads into the cement I was going to patch with.  This is how it turned out.  Pictures sometimes say far more than words so here we go.

The glass beads… of the holes…..the cement.

First I applied the cement and then I poked in the beads.  Had to use my fingers…. I know, I know you should not use your fingers, cement is not nice stuff.  I washed quickly afterwards.

DIY garden wall project with glass beads on the blog

Once the cement was nearly dry I just cleaned off the surplus with a cloth.

DIY garden wall project with glass beads on the blog

Then when it was completely dry I painted. I painted over the beads too as the paint easily wiped / picked off when the paint had dried.

And here is the finished product – look carefully you can see a few of the other holes I filled.

DIY garden wall project with glass beads on the blog

What do you think, was this a good use of old beads?

Adding some interest to a garden planter

Now the second project.  This was really a correction to a project from last year when we (yes Mr Husband did most of the building and correcting here) built some garden planters to use as wind screens by giving them perspex panels.  However, in reality when the wind got very blustery, which was frequently the case the planters just blew over.  What a mess.  So this year we took out the perspex but I wanted to a something instead to catch the eye and provide a subtle visual screen. This needed to be very inexpensive as I’d already spent too much money on perspex!! I used string and beads…so total additional cost £3.  Here are the pics to take you on my journey.

Firstly how the planter looked with the perspex.  They looked fine but just acted like sails in the wind.

And this is the string and metal beads plus the eyelets I needed to add to the wooden uprights so I could thread the string through.

And this is the finished look.  My mother thought it looked like beads of rain on the string…which is just what I was trying to achieve (yeah).

DIY wooden garden trough project with blog

My plan for next year is to get some plant growing up the string….. let’s see how that goes.  What do you think?  I may try adding some other things to the strings to give it an Autumnal or Halloween look.

Hope these two mini projects give you some ideas, it’s great working on a simply project in the sunshine.

My DIY kitchen makeover, on a budget

Finally I’ve found some pictures of my kitchen before I decorated.  I know it’s appalling planning on my part, we made sooo many changes and I have ALWAYS taken lots of ‘before’ pictures even pre-blog writing. To my shame I’ve had to resort to using pictures from the estate agent brochure, which I have managed to scan and annotate for you (I know, sometimes I surprise even myself).

Enough of the excuses and preamble let me set the scene of my kitchen transformation. This for me is the most important room in the house as it’s the first room you walk into when you enter the flat, and I love to cook so happy to spend the day in the kitchen.  It was the main reason I bought the flat as it seemed like such a homely space.  Maybe subconsciously I was seeing the potential as when I moved in I hated the kitchen, the colours, the layout the lack of space, aghhh.   It needed to change and of course it needed to be done on a budget.

I guess you would describe it as an ‘L’ shaped /galley kitchen, and below you can see the view when coming in from the front door (top pic) and the view when entering from the rest of the flat (bottom pic)…. hope that makes sense to you.

DIY kitchen makeover

Below is a picture I did take when I moved in, it gives you an idea of how narrow the space is between the units and you can just see where the cooker is located.  Note the Christmas card on the side, must have been our first Christmas, bless. The only space for the fridge-freezer was in the larder and once it was in the larder was pretty much full; a large cupboard for a fridge-freezer – it made no sense to me either.

DIY kitchen makeover

So, three years ago we cracked on with the decorating. The first thing I wanted to do was to get rid of the work surface on one side to expand the gangway to the front door. Having work surface on both sides meant the space was very narrow and immediately gave the feel of it being a very small dark kitchen.  This required the relocation of the cooker.  In fact, we pretty much relocated all the kitchen to the far end of the space, which we were able to do by taking out the larder room. We then enclosed the boiler into a little cupboard using the door taken from the larder, this gave us tall storage for the vacuum etc. The whole kitchen was opened up and I had enough room for an island bench, which I use all the time, cooking prep, laptop, painting etc.  What was outside the budget was replacing the stone quarry tiles, instead we gave them a good clean. We had to search and buy 5 tiles to replace the missing strip created when the wall was removed.

I turned to tried and trusted IKEA for the units and work surface as Mr Husband had fitted many of these units in the past, so he’s getting quite good at it.  As ever I wanted the units to be plain and this time went for an off-white with very minimalist brush steel (timeless) handles, the sort you can NOT hang a tea towel from, which we all do if we get the chance.  Take a look and see what you think.

This is the view as you walk in from the front door, the larder is gone the boiler is hidden, the cooker has moved.

Kitchen makeover

This is the view from entering the kitchen from the rest of the flat

DIY kitchen makeover before and after at

As you will see wallpaper and the tones of the wood bring the colour. How do you like the grouting, I did myself – the first time ever (v proud). I point it out to all my visitors, they really don’t appreciate my achievement! The wallpaper also continues through to the small entrance hall, linking the two spaces.

DIY kitchen makerover

So how much did this all cost….well to be honest I’ve not got the receipts.  However this is me and I don’t go crazy spending money on a kitchen for a place I know I plan on moving from in the next 5-10 years.  Meaning I didn’t splurge on granite or marble I went for a laminated wood surface instead (I do like a bit of sustainable wood) and the IKEA cabinets were the low to mid price range.  The most expensive thing in the kitchen was the Smeg cooker which we bought only last year as I made a big mistake buying a cheaper as basically inefficient cooker, lesson learned the expensive way. I did get a professional electrician into to relocate the electrics for the cooker and put in some spots over the cooker.  Of course couldn’t have done it without Mr Husband, but he gets paid in cider and peanuts 😉

If I ever do fancy a change (I will) in the future, all I would need to change is the wallpaper. Something more colourful and contemporary would give this kitchen a whole new feel for nothing more than a weekend’s work.  I’ll keep a look out for that must have wallpaper, any suggestions? send them my way. Maybe a blog for the future, my wallpaper wishlist.

What do you think of the transformation, how have you transformed you kitchen


DIY vintage coffee table makeover

It seems a very long time since I bought an old coffee table from the local charity shop in downtown Buxton.  Checking my Instagram feed, it was April 28th!!  It has taken me ages to get this project completed.  This was partly due to the bad summer weather – I hate sanding and painting indoors, and the fact I think I fell out of love with it when I got it home and checked out how battered it actually was.  I paid £8 you know,  I was robbed!!

DIY Vintage Coffee Table Makeover. See the before and after results with

Emotions aside, I persisted (slowly) as I did love the shape. My first instinct was to get the legs lighter but soon realised it was not doable in the time I have left on this planet so compromise was required.  Instead I decided to stain it all a bit darker, as I’m not a fan of reddy-brown, but I would paint the bottom shelf off-white just to lightening things up, cunning don’t you think.

You may recall I had stained some shelves for the Son’s kitchen so the same stain was employed Sadolin Extra Durable Woodstain, Rosewood.  In addition, I thought I’d try out a spray paint for the off-white colour just to experiment, so I chose Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch, Heirloom White (satin finish)

So here we go. You can see the poor condition of the table meaning there was lots and lots and lots of sanding – not my favourite pastime I can assure you.

First I painted everything except the base shelf with a black matt paint, just to subdue the reddishness of the current stain and the one I would be applying.  I then applied a couple of coats of white-ish emulsion I had in the cupboard to the base shelf, as when I did a little test with the spray paint the stain bled through. It was at that point I think I put it all to one-side for the next few months.

I must confess Mr Husband sprayed the bottom shelf, he was a car paint sprayer of sorts so it was a bit of damage limitation, and I just wanted to get the darn table finished. But hooray its was all completed last weekend and although not a masterpiece (I don’t think I’ve increased its value by much), its a usable table and I think it looks better than when I started.

Although I am running out of space to keep all these tables. What do you think?

DIY Vintage Coffee Table Makeover. See what it looked like before with


DIY Vintage Coffee Table Makeover. See the before and after results with

How to make a good first impression; The Hall

As a break from the travel blogs (back next week) today I thought I’d just write something short to tell you about the smallest area in my flat, (although you could argue the most functional) the Hall.

Now the word Hall makes it sound rather grand, what I am referring to is the bit of the flat you step into when you come through the front door.  Mine is 2.6 x 1.4 metres so not huge but a usable space all the same.  It has a door leading into the kitchen, however we’ve taken the door off the hinges as there wasn’t really any room to open it.  Constantly dancing around door to get people in and out. Obviously, we’ve kept the door opening.

Pretty soon after moving in we replaced the old front door and decorated the Hall, and now its the area I always tidy if I’m expecting visitors, as it gives the first impression of the flat and, well me really. I went for the friendly, relaxed but organised look – can you be relaxed and organised? I think being organised helps you to be relaxed but that’s altogether another blog.

But a Hall can’t just be for giving a show stopping impression, unless you’ve a lot of space and a walk-in cupboard close to hand to hide the coats and boots, unfortunately we don’t. So before we did anything we thought about how we needed to use the space on a daily basis.  You may think two people don’t need much coat hanging space etc, but we live in a cold part of the country and love to go out walking in both the rain and the shine.  We have coats and boots for every weather situation. There was a time of year when I lived in the South of England, where I would put the winter coats and shoes away for the summer.  Not anymore. Bearing this in mind as much space for coats and boots was essential. Also, it needed to be an area where it didn’t matter too much if it got a little muddy.  I didn’t want tiles (very cold) so I went for sisal flooring.  Having incorporated our main needs, I then prettied it up with some wallpaper and a mirror,  kinda in-keeping with the age of the house (1880s) but not over the top.


If I’d been organised I would have taken ‘before’ pictures, but I didn’t so let me describe it to you, it had been a neglected area.  The entire end wall was covered with a built set of pine cupboards, kitchen cabinet style with a worktop surface, above which were a matching wall cupboards. They were soon filled with our clutter. We never put shoes in the cupboards just placed them outside in a human nature fashion, meaning you could never open the doors.  It really didn’t work for us as a space however, we did re-use the pine surface to make the bench.

Today I’ve no visitors calling, we’ve just bought a new vacuum cleaner and Mr Husband has just had to replace his computer monitor so the ‘Hall’ has become a bit of a dumping ground as you can see, the reality of real life. But that’s OK for a while (very short while, there will be a trip to the dump on the weekend, I promise!).



Do you have the same needs for your ‘Hall’? If you want more Hall inspiration why not take a look the Pinterest Board I’ve put together just for you.

Soon we will wander through the doorway into the kitchen, for which I do have some before and after pictures.


DIY – How to make a ‘family’ kitchen rug

I want to share with you my attempt at being creative, I do try my best.  This is a rug I made from the off-cut of sisal matting used to carpet our VERY small entrance hall.  I bought it online as it was the best price but even buying the smallest piece I could, it still left a substantial bit left over.

Now my kitchen floor has tiles, which I was not going to change, just too expensive and too much hassle for me.  However, I get cold toes very quickly so I put two and two together and made…… well you be the judge of that.

So where does the family come into this little story. Well, I made it at the time The Son was just about to move out (again) and was finally sorting out his stuff. I don’t enjoy nagging but really, I sometimes despair 🤦.  In the ‘things to chuck’ bag was a very old and worn pair of jeans and me, always looking for ways to recycle thought I could keep a piece of him in the house. Creepy I hear you think, but really I was just being practical as I need something hard-wearing to edge my rug.  I then raided Mr Husband’s drawers and found an old pair of his jeans (from the 1970’s me thinks).  Two sides of the rug was to be Mr Husband’s legs and the opposite sides The Son’s legs, from the jeans of course.

Here’s some pictures, you will see this is not a craft master class.



Now if like me you have limited craft skills here are the details.  With the aid of a sewing machine I joined and hemmed the cut denim.  Is it just me but I find sewing quite stressful and just pray I can get to the end of what I need to do without the bobbin running out, I know I need more practice. I then with the aid of a glue gun, stuck the hemmed denim to the rug edges front and back.  The back edge I also taped to give a bit of extra fixing.

To my amazement two years later this has all stayed intact despite extensive wear and tear as this is the route to and from the front door.  To be honest the denim is getting a bit dirty so now might be time for some fresh fabric.  Maybe this time something from The Daughter’s wardrobe.

Let me know if you’ve tried similar 😘