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.



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?





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?


How to get the most from a spare bedroom – my bedroom challenge

We all like having friends and family over to stay – I certainly do.  Everyone can relax, share some food, not have to worry about who’s driving home.  However, it’s a bit of a luxury to be able to afford to have a place, whether rented or bought where one room is dedicated to the occasional guest.  If you think about it, it would probably cost less to pay to put them up in a local hotel than take on the extra rent or mortgage fees for that bigger place.  But if we are lucky enough to have a guest room it would be great if we could keep it looking Pinterest pristine for that surprise visitor.

How to get the most from a spare bedroom. Read about my spare bedroom challenge on the blog

…… but in reality, daily living takes over the area. Before you know it can become a mish-mash of a room, bit of an office, laundry room, store room…….general dumping ground.

My spare bedroom falls into that mish-mash category. In case you’ve not guessed already the above photo of the bedroom is not mine.  I’m writing this blog in that said spare bedroom while it is draped with drying washing. I would have taken a photo, but it would not have been pleasing on the eye I can assure you.

My spare bedroom is actually bigger than my own bedroom, I chose not to use it when we moved into our place as I thought it wasn’t cosy enough. So three years after moving in I’ve now decided what I do need to use it for: an occasional guest room, a home office, possibly a dining room (I live all on one level) and a winter gym.  Hmm, not sure this is going to work.

So how can I accommodate the all the needs of a spare room without it becoming a mish-mash? Well at the moment I have no instant fixes, just vague ideas, so I’m going to tackle this conundrum over the coming months and share my progress on the blog so keep reading.

I do have some limitation, restrictions, things I can’t (afford) to change. These will influence my decisions, and they are probably not so different to everyone else.  I don’t want to throw out all my furniture and buy new things fit for purpose, that would be far too easy.  Oh, and I have a king-size bed, so no option for a sofa bed solution.

I’m thinking partitioning with the furniture and using screens, but the room is quite dark as I live in a basement. It does have a large window that looks up into the trees but light is a bit of an issue, but I’m going to go with the dark theme.  You can tell I’m still mulling all this over.

I’m going to be taking my inspiration from anywhere.

This modern bedroom is multi-functional, but much bigger than mine.  It has partitions to zone the space, and although such an elaborate partition is not an option for me the zoning with furniture is a possibility.

pexels-photo-210265 bedroom with divedes

And if you’ve read my blog in the past you know I have a handy Mr Husband at the ready, so some creative building may also figure.

pexels-photo-439227 bedroom

Oh and let’s not forget my summer visit to Chatsworth House, where even a palatial English stately home they had to have a desk in the spare bedroom. I like the clever use of a high headboard to provide a disguise for the bed, and I do have a bed to disguise and it currently doesn’t have a headboard…..

So if you have any ideas let me know, but as I said earlier keep watching this space, I do love a decorating challenge.



How to get Autumn into your home decor

I love Autumn, everything starts to get a little more snugly and you can dim those lights a little earlier.  So now is the time to get the home decor all Autumn-ed up.  This certainly doesn’t mean spending any more money on new things, as we all have too much stuff and too little money, right.  We can just make Autumn come into our homes with a few bits of colour and imagination.  For me the colours of Autumn are oranges, browns and reds inspired by all those falling leaves.  How old do you have to be before your too old to swoosh your feet through Autumn leaves on the pavement? Take my word for it you are never too old.

How to bring Autumn into your home decor. See my simple fixes for getting an Autumn vibes into your home with the minimal of effort. and cost. All at

So theses are my three simple fixes to bring some Autumn into you home decor with the minimal of effort.

Number one: Cluster all those brown’s, oranges and reds together with a smattering of green of course.

My living room is grey, as is everyone it seems.  I’m not going to redecorate for the seasons, life it just too short but I can pull all my dark things together just to make it all a little richer.  These are a few of my Autumn inspired pieces I will try and showcase this Autumn. It can’t all be white decor you know.

Have a rummage around and see what furniture combo you can put together, you know that dark old chair that sits in the bedroom, maybe and few old brown books you’ve got sitting in cupboards and if the spines are all too colourful why not stack them so you just see the pages.  The dusty library will be a look of 2018.

How to bring Autumn into your home decor. See my simple fixes for getting an Autumn vibes into your home with the minimal of effort. and cost. All at

Number 2: Say it with flowers

There are so many inexpensive flowers in the supermarkets these days but if you have a garden you might be lucky enough to get them for free.  The weekend before last there was a bit of work needing doing in the garden meaning digging up a huge hydrangea, which was absolutely smoothed in flowers.  Here’s a pic of how many there were.  I couldn’t keep them all but shared them with the neighbours and grabbed some myself for an Autumnal table centre piece which has been sitting on my kitchen bench and still looking good.

How to bring Autumn into your home decor. See my simple fixes for getting an Autumn vibe into your home with the minimal of effort. and cost. All at

How to bring Autumn into your home decor. See my simple fixes for getting an Autumn vibe into your home with the minimal of effort. and cost. All at

Don’t forget the foliage either.  Bunches of twigs, pine cones scattered about the place…get creative.

Number 3: Food food food. 

I do like my food and my cooking does go a bit more rustic  in the Autumn months, not that it’s ever fine dining in my house.  So take advantage of the season and get some squashes and pumpkins.  If you don’t like to eat them then just use then as decoration.  A bowl of squashes really dress up a kitchen.  Hey and we are getting near to Halloween too so this weekend I got myself a little pumpkin and did a bit of carving, it created a great little decoration for an evening with a good friend.  The pumpkin soup I made was not so bad too (I never like to waste)

How to bring Autumn into your home decor. See my simple fixes for getting an Autumn vibe into your home with the minimal of effort. and cost. All at

The soup was great too

How to bring Autumn into your home decor. See my simple fixes for getting an Autumn vibe into your home with the minimal of effort. and cost. All at

Changing seasons for me means changing decor.  A few tweaks here are there keeps it interesting, but it doesn’t have to mean spending money and getting more stuff  – right?

Have some fun this Autumn, it’s not too late to Autumn-ise your home




The Giltwood Gallery Cheltenham, a great little home decor shop

I love having a good old browse around a nicely curated shop.  I’m probably not the best customer as I rarely buy anything.  However, the person I was with did buy something so I don’t feel too guilty.

Anyway the shop in question was The Giltwood Gallery in Cheltenham UK, a town in itself worth a visit if you love fine shopping and dining out amongst grand architecture. The shop is located in the Suffolks region of Cheltenham so a bit away from the high street stores, but worth a wander as there are other decor and antiques shop in the area. I’ve had a few visits to Cheltenham recently due to family connections although I’d never visited before, so I will be bringing you the odd snippet or two.

Now back to the shop again, it stocks a variety of reasonable priced stylish home decor items and not just the same old same old. The shop is much better than the website, but be aware I don’t think it opens everyday. When we visited there was a delightful aroma filling the place, and the owner was only too happy to explain the product and give as much info as needed.

Here are my stealth pics.  I was very tempted by the leaf inspired dish, but I was moved on by Mr Husband!

giltwood gallery cheltenham home decor shop front

Giltwood Gallery home decor shop Cheltenham

Giltwood Gallery home decor shop in Cheltenham

You can never have too many leaf inspired dishes, can you?

Does this seem like your kind of place? Where do you like to browse?