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?

 

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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 decorlasting.com

How to DIY build kitchen shelves on a budget

The favourite room in my house is my kitchen, mainly because I love to cook as a way of relaxing.  It was one of the first rooms to be decorated when we moved in about 3 years ago.  I really need to get around to showing you some before and after pictures. However, moving on a few years and accumulating more kitchen bits and pieces I need more storage – isn’t that always the case? So out with the tools again for a quick solution that wasn’t going to cost too much money, just a bit of time.

You can see in the picture below there was a spare piece of kitchen wall just crying out for a few shelves.  My plan was to try and house all the things I needed to hand so I could try and keep the work surface clear.  Getting into the realms of 5S here, a throw back to my corporate days, but lets leave that for another time.

Mr Husband wasn’t doing much so he was set to work with the sheet of MDF and a saw, and I did my bit too with a paint brush.  I don’t just sit on a stool and give instructions you know 😉

DIY guide to making new kitchen shelvesHere’s my picture diary

What an empty space!  My thoughts were to only shelve as far as the plug socket leaving space to expand in the future if needed.

I’ve no pictures of the wood sawing but you can see the bits of wood as they are being painted. Once again my work surface doubles up as a workbench. You may notice the shelves have been painted in Dulux Pixie Green, which was also used for my table makeover.

As you can see the shelves were put together as one unit so will be self supporting, no brackets required. However, the unit will be attached to the wall with a couple of screws to stop them falling forward. The shelves themselves are held in place with long screws counter-sunk, if that’s the expression, by Mr Husband and then filled once the screws were in so the screw heads would be invisible once it was painted.  He loves counter sinking screws 😍.

I painted everything before the shelves were assembled and just touched up the outer sides with the screw holes before the kitchen shelves were fixed to the wall.  I used Annie Sloane Clear Wax to finish as this was a matt paint.

A rare picture of Mr Husband at work with his safety slippers firmly on.  You can see the gold fixing used to secure the shelves to the wall and ta dah! the finished shelves. Obviously they were soon full – how did I manage without them?

Decorlasting green kitchen shelves

All in all the project cost was under £20 for the MDF and fixings, the paint and screws were left over from another project.

I suppose I could ‘dress’ the shelves a little more elegantly for the picture but there’s only so much time in the day.  Perhaps something later for Instagram if you care to follow.

I think it’s a much better use of space but let me know what you think. My next DIY project is going to be revamping an old side table to make a mid-century design classic (I can always hope).

Oh and if you don’t know about 5S……….

5S

KITCHEN SHELVES DIY

3 Indoor plants to try in your home

Indoor plants or house plants, call them what you want they are very on trend.  In my younger days, my house was full of plants, they were on every window sill and spare gap on the table.  It was a more of a gardening extension rather than a design thing. However, as life went on the house plants disappeared, I think a lot to do with taking holidays and at one point we were living in a fairly dark house.  However, now it’s time for them to return and bring life and air purifying properties to my home!

So, I recently ventured to a local garden centre to see what they had as I’d remembered they had an unusually large selection of indoor plants.  I picked three, I thought I’d start small and as I’m always looking to get something for free was looking for plants large enough to divide and make more plants.  These are the plants I finally chose.

Easy care Indoor house plants

Let’s take a look at them one by one considering their needs for light and water as these seem to be the key things to keep them alive and looking healthy.  A dying plant is not a good look, trust me I’ve done that experiment.

Schefflera Arboricola dwarf umbrella tree indoor house plantThis elegant plant is a Schefflera Arboricola or to give its common name (and we all like a common names) Dwarf Umbrella Tree

Water: Wait until the soil in the plant dries out and then thoroughly soak.  I would stand it in a few inches of water (maybe in the sink) and let it suck up as much water as it wants. Yellow leave falling off is a sign you are watering it too much.

Light: It likes light but not direct sunlight.  Not enough light and it gets leggy, too much light and the leaves will burn.

 

 

Gardenia indoor house plant

 

Next we have a glossy Gardenia.  Now reading about these they appear a little fussier.

Water: They like a consistently damp but not soggy soil, they also like high humidity so give it the occasional misting.

Light: These also like bright but not direct sunlight, and as me they like it on the warm side, which might be challenge in my flat.

So, this little chap is already sounding challenging, but I’m going to persevere as it will have vivid white flowers and produces a gorgeous fragrance.  Since getting this plant my living room has been smelling delightful despite the plant only having one flower.

Spider plant

A finally this beauty is a Spider Plant, a house plant favourite. Apparently these are one of the easiest house plants to care for, so I had better keep this one alive. As you can see mine already has many little spiderettes, which I’ve already potted to make new plants.

Water: Not too much watering, they don’t like it soggy. They like to dry out between watering.

Light: Again, bright but not direct sunlight but they do like it a bit cooler.

Now I know how to grow these plants 🤞 there are still a couple of things I need to decide. Firstly, I need to choose some planters.  At the moment, the pots are on plastic trays to stop water and soil leaking over the furniture.   I need to think about how the planter sits against the decor where the plant will live.

And that brings me on to the second thing I need to decide, where to put them.  I’ve been moving them around constantly.  I think they will all sit in the living room, but when I get the spiderette plants growing I’m going to have them hanging in the kitchen.

I hope my ramblings have inspired you to get a few house plants and you’ll can join me on the ‘journey’ of keeping them alive.  I will update you in a few weeks when I’ve select planters. A blog post consisting of dead plants is not attractive so I need to get my green fingers out 🌱🌱🌱

Plant selection

 

My DIY Pixie Green Table Makeover

It was a bit cold and wet during the last bank holiday. We had nothing planned so decided to repaint an old loved folding side table and make it usable once again.

Now this table puts the ‘lasting’ into Décor Lasting as it must be about twenty years old.  I bought it in a shop called Cargo, which at the time to me was a cross between Habitat and IKEA.  They were mainly found in the South East, don’t think they exist anymore.  Anyway this table was extensively used in my home, moving from room to room as needed: TV stand, bedside table, garden table. The uses were and remain infinite.  Due to all the use it’s become a little shabby, the odd tea & red wine stain but structural sound – a bit like me.  So time for a makeover otherwise it was probably destined for the wood pile, I’m talking about the table.

This is what it looked liked perched on my kitchen island anticipating the paint.

Decorlasting table makeover before

As green is the colour of the moment I went to my local B&Q to select a paint. I had a shade in mind and luckily found a Dulux paint matching my thoughts, Pixie Green Matt Emulsion from their Endurance range.  I would ideally have used eggshell but matt was all they had. Found this colour on the B&Q reduced shelf, it was my lucky day.

It hadn’t really occurred to me how long it would take for me to paint all those holes, just as well it was long weekend as it took forever.

When it was eventually painted (two coats) I applied a layer of Annie Sloane Clear Chalk Paint Wax to give it a little protection. All done.

Decorlasting table makeover 3

I love the paint colour, makes the table come alive again especially in the sun.  I think this summer it will be taken out into the garden to hold the odd glass of wine, frequently I hope.

Decorlasting table makeover

What do you think?

Upcycling brown furniture

During the summer, I picked up a few bits of old brown furniture and had a go breathing new life into them though the power of paint. Everybody seemed to be doing it but this was my first time so please be kind.  I was going for a more block colour look rather than shabby chic, although to be honest I was being ambitious thinking I was going to achieve any particular look. Before I started there was a little bit of fixing to do, especially to the chair as it had a noticeable wobble and the front cross bar snapped immediately on getting it home; I may have overpaid for this 😦

Here are my ‘before’ snaps (sorry forgot to take a picture of the chest of drawers before I painted as no blog on the horizon then.)

old pics (2)

On the recommendation of a neighbour I looked to the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint range. Chateau Grey was picked and I finished it with the recommended clear soft wax.   This was the first time I’d used Chalk Paint and it was fairly straightforward to apply with minimum prep needed. I was amazed how far one small pot went, so although it seemed expensive it was well worth it.  I had enough for all the pieces and still have some left over. I need to set up a paint exchange scheme to swap my colour before everything in my house turns green!

Here are my ‘after’ snaps

I actually have all the items in my living rooms as they have a function.  I keep my old CDs and DVD’s in the drawers. The chair sits next to the French doors and gets moved outside on a sunny day and the table stores the laptop and phone chargers. I would estimate the total cost for everything (including paint and knobs) was about £150.

This is my Victorian Gentleman look 😉

IMG_0257

In hindsight I could have been braver with the colour selection and gone more vibrant, although they do blend  well against the grey walls, functional rather than features. I’m very much liking the Annie Sloan English Yellow, Antibes Green and Aubusson Blue, so I might have fun repainting – there is always room for improvement.

Annie Sloan (2)