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.



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.



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.

How to refresh your bathroom on a budget

The other day a friend of mine sent me a few pictures of her bathroom. She wanted to brighten it up and asked what colours I thought she should go for.  Her bathroom is tiled floor to ceiling with beige tiles, which she cannot afford to remove. The bathroom suite is a little dated, cream with worn gold trim, which again she cannot afford to replace. The flooring is darker beige and you guessed it she cannot afford to replace.  So, as you will see from the pictures below a bit of a challenge.

I can hear you thinking a bit of a tidy up would be a good start – I didn’t say that.  Top tip NEVER send me pictures of your home 😉

I recently discovered she enjoys relaxing in the bath and that she is really the only person who uses this bathroom, which is great as she just needs to please herself.  I thought lets go for something a bit grown up with a relaxing feel.

Easily distracted, I was straight online to pick out a few pieces from the virtual high street, and I’ve brought them together on this mood board to share with you.

A bathroom moodboard

My colour scheme revolves around grey, green and black tones.  For me bright doesn’t have to be light colours.  I think you can brighten a space equally well with dark bold contrasting colours.  These colours I’ve selected should sit well against the beige background, which we cannot do anything about, sometimes you just have to go with what you’ve got.

Here’s the detail to accompany in the montage above.

The paint, Wilko’s paint selection, we have Storm Cloud & English Sage (£10 for 2.5L). The darkest greens are Farrow and Ball’s Card Room Green and Studio Green a bit more expensive than the Wilko paint, but it’s your budget to manage.  I think the green would enhance the gold taps and handles already in the bathroom. For me there’s something I like about gold and green.

For this bathroom the shower curtain would be one of the main ways to introduce colour into the room.  I’ve gone bold with the floral. Take a look around there’s a great selection on the internet as everyone is loving flora at the moment.  The green leaf design is from Urban Outfitters £35 the more botanical shower curtain is sold on a number of online sites, if you search ‘flora shower curtain’ you will see a wide selection – take your pick.

As there’s already a bit of gold in the bathroom, let go with it and add a bit more. I’ve picked this cheeky hook but it could equally be some pots. If you shop around you can get something for less than £10. Stick to your budget but embrace the gold, it’s back in vogue.  I would also get some gold knobs for that bathroom cabinet – after I’d painted it of course.

A mirror is a simple and generally inexpensive way of adding a bit of interest or maybe, as in this case distracting the eye from the beige tiles. You could get a few, rather than one big statement mirror.  The mirror in the picture is from Dunelm £17.00

I’ve added a bit of texture with a basket, handy for all those toilet rolls, let’s face it we all need them, La Redoute £51 . I love this basket, however less expensive similar products are out there.

The texture continues with the bold patterned black and white rug, which catches the eye helping the flooring stay well in the background. The bathroom mat I’ve gone for is from H&M £17.99

So what happened to the bathroom in the end…..well early the next day before I was able to share my well considered thoughts, the same said friend sent me a picture of a half painted bath panel…….duck egg blue. As you now know from my mood board duck egg blue wouldn’t have been my first choice. However, I saw the finished bathroom on the weekend and it looked sooo much better than before. I think she had fun doing the makeover, which is always a bonus.  She can now recline in the bath with a glass of wine and admire her handy-work. Perfect.

Hope this gives you some inspiration if you’re looking to refresh your bathroom 🙂


Bathroom mood board on

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