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……….




DIY DRAWER HACK: How I changed my cupboard into a drawer

I’m a drawer person when it comes to storage in the kitchen, what about you? So when selecting the kitchen a few years ago I planned drawers wherever possible.  The only cupboards I’ve got are two wall cupboards and a corner cupboard.  So all my plates, bowls and daily use items are either in drawers or on open shelves for easy access – no bending required.

The exception is the dreaded cupboard under the sink, as when we bought our good old IKEA kitchen there wasn’t a drawer option. I think there is now. It’s where I house all my cleaning bottles so not a pleasant place. I always need to get on my hands and knees to find anything.  But no more! as I (for ‘I’ read Mr Husband) has installed a drawer into the cupboard.  So thought I’d share how a drawer could be retro fitted into a cupboard.

The details

The body of the drawer was simply made with furniture board / conti board left over from a previous project, it’s not expensive.  We had a spare panel from when we fitted the kitchen so used this for the front of the drawer, it looked a bit nicer. The side mount drawer sliders were purchased from Homebase, approximately £6 each, you will need 2 packs for each drawer.  You can get them from most DIY stores.

You need to make the drawer a little smaller than the size of the cupboard (sorry, I’m stating the obvious), allowing space for the drawer sliders to be fitted and making sure the drawer movement is not hampered by the door hinges. We added a wooden block to the hinged side of the cupboard on which we fixed the sliders so the drawer missed the hinges when it slid out. Precision engineering it’s not.

Just make sure the weight your planning to put in the drawer is within the range recommended for the drawer sliders you use.

I  hope this is all making sense,  I’ll talk you through the picturesDecorlasting drawer hack guide

🔨1 This is the inside of the cupboard at the start

🔨2 Drawer was constructed from furniture board held together with with fixit blocks (don’t look too closely at the already dirty inside 😱)

🔨3 & 4 Drawer sliders were fixed to the drawer and inside of cupboard.  You will see the ugly bit of chip board used to pack out on the side to make sure the sliders and draw moves over the hinges – no one with notice this.

🔨 5, 6 & 7 The open drawer, the closed drawer and with the cupboard door shut, which is how it looked before it all began!

Hope this gives you some ideas for your own kitchen drawers. Take care 👷

Decorlasting DIY Drawer Hack



Power of the packaging: My Online Shopping Experience

For my first blog this week I’d thought I’d share my recent online shopping experience. I’m not an avid shopper.  I like gorgeous things in my home but I don’t much enjoy going shopping, I just get a bit… bored. So for me shopping is biased towards online. However, I can be lured into stores when I know I’ll get a ‘shopping experience’. For instance, engaging service or finishing touches of packaging (recyclable of course),  I’m a sucker for a few sheets of coloured tissue paper.  When buying home furnishings, all this can make them a seem a bit more desirable.

power of packaging, a nicely wrapped gift

Of course one high street retailer that consistently gives the shopping experience is John Lewis, whether you’re spending £1 or £1,000. However, my online shopping experience with them is comparable with many online retailers big or small. They are efficient and reliable. It’s not a bad experience, just the same experience. It all then boils down to price and availability to where I shop.

So how can retailers give that personal touch to their online customers?  Maybe they could take a look at how Dowsing & Reynolds do it. (In case you’re wondering I’ve no business interest or had contact with Dowsing & Reynolds in writing this blog – I’ve paid for everything with may hard earned cash!!).

I’d previously shopped with Dowsing & Reynolds little while ago. They had what I wanted and they were in The North so local(ish) to me, not logical as they are just an online retailer but it swayed me. Total spend, about £15. I couldn’t remember all the process but I did remember I’d had a good feeling when my parcel arrived.

decorlasting light fitting



This is the copper fitting and black and white dog tooth cord I bought from Dowsing & Reynolds. The light shade is from B&Q (made by GE) and was only £4. I bought it as a stop gap until I found something special, but I still have it. I love the way it completely surrounds the bulb and gives a white but diffuse light.




So moving on at least 6-months.  I was looking to buy a particular wall clock (see my previous blog) so did a bit of a Googling and Dowsing & Reynolds popped up along with a number of other retailers who had it in stock.  But as Dowsing & Reynolds had managed to connect with me previously I placed the order, I had unwittingly been made loyal.

The clock came packaged in a large cardboard outer box taped with packing tape telling my delivery driver to take care of my package and for me to love my postman. When opened the boxed clock was safely nestled in an abundance of crumpled brown paper. No polystyrene or polythene in sight. The invoice was stamped with the message “packaged by Shirley.” I don’t know who Shirley is, I really hope there’s someone called Shirley who did package my clock – I felt she cared.

I know it’s all  just clever marketing but, as much as I hate to say it, it worked on me. John Lewis would have been equally as efficient, the product would have been exactly the same but the feeling would have been so very different. The personal touches would not have been there.

My question is how can John Lewis online give me the same experience or is this an opportunity for the small online retailer to lure us away?

Just to put all these feelings into context, I was going to take a picture of the packaging to share with you, but before I could Mr Husband had collapsed the box and put everything into the recycling. He was then busy trying to find a battery and appropriate wall fixing. Glad someone’s got a grip!

decorlasting newgate clock 2Finally this the Mr Clarke clock is on the wall ❤

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?

How Long Does It Take To Decorate A House? Part 2, The Compromise

I’m feeling back to full fitness after my decorating escapade the other week, see Part 1 of the blog, so here’s the second part of the story.

If you remember I left you with pictures of what needed tackling in the 7 days before a new family moved into my daughter’s rental house. Make no mistake all my skills of prioritisation came into play. We’d reluctantly come to the realisation, try as we might we were not going to get everything done in the available time, especially to the desired standard, all a bit depressing.

But chin up! first thing was clear the rubbish and stop water leaking out from places it wasn’t supposed to.  Oh and we had to clean sufficient floor space for us to set up camp – did I mention we were sleeping on airbeds in the house! Time was soon slipping by as this took the best part of the first day.

Next we started to tackle the woodwork. Ideally I would have repainted everything but we didn’t have the time (are you picking up on this theme?) so Compromise 1 was to only repaint the doors and wood in the hall and up to the first stair landing, plus the skirting board of both rooms on the first floor, they being the living room and master bedroom. The rest we just cleaned, touching up any big chips.  It was actually surprising how much better the woodwork looked after a good clean. It’s always good to clean 🙂

Decorlasting hall stairs after

It was day 3 before we were able to start putting any emulsion on walls.  We decided to paint everything white, why wouldn’t you and it would be less of a worry about the interface between the ceiling and the skirting, remember we’re not professionals and speed was important. However, the son-in-law wanted colour in some of the rooms. “Trade Magnolia” he suggested??  I pleaded “No, please don’t make me paint Magnolia” So Compromise 2, I pointed him in the direction of trade sized tubs of  grey paint, therefore no increase in cost. Trade grey – does that make grey a classic or just the new Magnolia? Something to think about.

All ceilings were painted thanks to Mr Husband who appears to love painting ceilings, something I may have left. The pictures below gives you the finished look of the two rooms painted in grey (Wickes Contract Classic Grey, Silk); the living room and the master bedroom.

At the weekend when we were at our full complement of four we split into couples, the hall and stairs for one and the two remaining bedrooms for the other; what a choice. Somewhere in between, I lose track, the bathroom and kitchen where painted white, the rotten trim replaced in the bathroom, the grass cut, the windows cleaned, the bathroom descaled (yuk) and while the carpet was being laid on the final day, the kitchen de-greased; we then took a breath. We were unable to box in the ugly boiler pipes, only managing to patch up the gaping hole behind the boiler, paint some pipes and give it all good clean: all that added up to Compromise 3.

Decorlasting kitchen after

I think that just about covers it. All good character building stuff.  There were a few tense exchanges of words, usually when all very tired and hungry. But we also managed some smiles especially while having lunch from the conveniently parked burger van. Not my usual first choice but they certainly kept us going.

It would’ve been great to have a ‘DRESSING THE ROOM’ moment however, we were all too keen to get back to our own beds. Sleeping on an airbed for seven days is not so good when you get to a certain age.

So how long does it take to re-decorate a house?  Well in this case it took all the time we had, 7 days.  I would say another 2 weeks and we would have got it looking much better 😉 How do you think we did?

Next time I want some mother and daughter bonding perhaps I will suggest a spa weekend ❤

My first time visit to the Ideal Home Show 2017

Just thought I would write something small about my recent visit to the Ideal Home Show 2017, Olympia London, as this was the first time I’d ever been to an interiors event.  It’s only now I’ve started blogging I feel the need to attend these things, and this seemed like a toe in the water dip event where I could just mooch about.  It also gave me an excuse to go down to London for the weekend (great beer and curry at the Warwick Arms), although it was a busy few days of mainly sitting on the train.

Anyway back to the point, what did I think of the Show?  Well they have obviously done this before 🙄, minimal queuing and plenty to see, eat and drink. There was a big food event going on at the same time, which the ticket also gave access to, so if you’re a foodie too there’s even more to look at, the aromas were heavenly.

The Show itself was a bit like going around a very big department store, with unlimited spending opportunities, including furniture and gadgets.  There were numerous celebrities on small stages around the venue giving their take on various aspects of food and design plus providing demonstrations, these were a welcome opportunity to have a sit down.

So was it worth it?  It was a good day out, and as my advance ticket was only £15 not expensive for an all day event.  It was also the first time I’d been to Olympia, which is an impressive building flooded with natural light. So worth a visit if you’ve not been before especially if you don’t have far to travel or have just moved into a new place and looking for interior ideas, as it’s all in one place.

I will be exploring other events and of course sharing them with you. Next weekend I’m off to the Cheltenham Wine Festival for a family meet up – not entirely clear what design inspiration I will get but I’m sure I’ll find something amongst the bottles.

In the meantime here are some of my pics from the Show.

This garden pod  from Ornate Garden was one of my favourite things at the show, I could see this sitting very neatly in my garden (if I could afford it – maybe Mr husband could build one?). You can see more about my thoughts on garden furniture on a previous blog
pod 2

I liked the lighting from this exhibitor Culinary Concepts London, a refined industrial look


IMG_20170325_104033 (2)

And there were a number of well laid out simple garden design ideas.

As I said the venue is a great space and worth a look in itself

So if you’ve got some spare time the Show runs until April 9th 😍