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?





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?


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?


Explore the World of Wedgwood

Was out and about on the weekend, and ventured to The World of Wedgwood. I’ve been meaning to go for sometime but just not got round to it.  Well last weekend was a rainy day (nothing new there) so needed to go somewhere undercover and this was perfect.  The factory site has been recently redeveloped and has a very contemporary look and feel and with blue sky would have looked even better.

wedgwood shop 5

I took a look around the museum, which led you on a journey from the first ceramic production at the Etruria works in 1759 right through to present day, follow the link if you want more history.

World of Wedgwood

Being someone who likes to experiment it was fascinating to see all the original trial samples for achieving the colours and finishes.  If you’re looking for design inspiration these kinds of collections are a must.  It was interesting how some of the oldest pieces were more in line with today’s tastes than those of the early to mid-1900 when from my point of view design appears to have lost its way a little.

I was especially surprised by the contemporary look of the plain kitchen everyday ware, off-white in colour it wouldn’t look out of place in any modern apartment – I looked for a picture on the online collection, but can’t find it, hmmm. Note to self…. take more notes!

Of course there was the opportunity to make purchases in their flagship store, which as you can see above was a visual feast.  And if tea is your thing, then in amongst the wares is a tea bar (they call it the Tea Emporium) where you can order from a vast array of speciality teas, all served in Wedgwood china of course.  For something a bit more special there is a elegant modern tea room serving afternoon teas.  Take a look below at the creature made of plates and cups, it was huge and very impressive.

wedgwood bull


We choose a bite to eat in the Dining Hall, which used to be the canteen for the hundreds of factory workers.  Unlike the refined shopping and tea areas they had retained the industrial feel in the decor of Dining Hall.  The food was delicious, a lot better than what the factory workers were given I think.

I did make a purchases from the pop up retail store on the site, some everyday dinner plates, only 6 – they were actually Royal Doulton, (Hemingway, Knotted) but as I learnt they are all part of the same group now (Fiskars) so didn’t feel too guilty and with 25% off it would have been rude not to.

Hope my little visit has whet your appetite, you can get all the details from the World of Wedgwood site.

In case you didn’t know Stoke-on-Trent is home to many British Ceramic factories so, if you are in the area you can tour factories from the likes of the Moorcroft, Emma Bridgewater and Middleport Pottery home of Burleigh, who incidentally are the makers of the dinner service bargain I picked up in Lancaster not so long ago 😍😍😍.

Burleigh ware



Get the perfect pouffe on a budget

This is a short post to provide some very light relief today. Just had to share with you the fabulous pouffe I bought the other day, with my groceries.  I know, I just popped in for some daily staples but couldn’t resist as it ticked all my ‘What I look for in a Pouffe’ boxes

  • the right height for the feet
  • nice and big to stably hold a tray if needed
  • sturdy fabric, you put your feet on it don’t you know
  • round, round, round, always beats square for me
  • needs to look good

This is what I found, they actually call it a bean drum, to me it’s a timeless Monochrome Geometric Design Pouffe and yes it’s from Aldi.

Enjoying the data as I do, here are the stats. Kirkton House Zig Zag Bean Drum  60x60x30cm £29


Adli black and white geometric pouffe

I tried to put together a montage of similars for you to browse but struggled to find any comparable in size and price,  but here’s the best three I could find.

pouffes asda , maisons du monde

So the lesson here appears to be it’s always worth checking out the grocery store to see if they have any home furnishing bargains, but remember food is always the priority. One cannot live on decor alone.

You may have seen my Facebook post about this last week when I bought the pouffe.  I use Facebook  for quick ‘of the moment’ info.  I’ve also begun a Pinterest Board with a wider range of stylish pouffes for you to browse if that’s your thing.  Why not give them a follow.

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 😘


How to create wood from MDF

I was set a challenge by The Son.  He needed kitchen shelves as he and his partner were rapidly running out of space.  Secretly he just missed being at home with us and our kitchen shelves but just didn’t want to say 😘. Anyway being my son he was quite exacting in his requirements, they needed to be dark wood, match the colour of his kitchen units, have black brackets, increase in size as they went up the wall and they needed to be cheap.

Now dark wood is not cheap so I dragged back my knowledge from the 1990’s, acquired from watching room makeover programmes of the time – do you remember Changing Rooms?  Well MDF was used in abundance and I remember, because I’d tried it, you could use stain to give MDF a fairly respectable wood finished.  And MDF definitely ticked the cheap box.

I had to convince The Son so I first took a scrap of MDF and stained it ……… with gravy browning (I didn’t have any wood stain to hand).  It served the purpose to show how you could get a grain effect, and he approved.  Of course, at the time I didn’t tell him it was gravy browning. Next, I just had to match the colour of the units with a real stain, although gravy browning finished with wax would have done the job a lighter colour was required as you can see below.

DIY MDF wood stain shelves

I used Sadolin Extra Durable Woodstain, Rosewood. it gave stain with a semi-gloss finish. One coat worked really well but the colour was just a bit too red.  So, I took some matt black paint and just gave the MDF a light covering.  I rubbed the black paint with a rag to give a streaky grain appearance and again when I added the stain I made sure there were brush marks, as this added to the illusion of wood grain.  And of course we purchased the MDF from the local  Buxton Building Supplies, who also cut the MDF to size. Here’s the pictures



I hadn’t realised getting plain black bracket was such an issue, the DIY stores only seem to stock either white or grey and if you remember The Son’s exacting requirements only black would do.  We eventually found them online from IronmongeryDirect, and they arrived the next day, spent more on the P&P than the brackets, but if we had spent more the postage would have been free. Don’t worry I’ll be adding up all the cost of this at the end. Oh and a message from Mr Husband who says if you try this make sure the brackets and fixings are suitable for the wall on which you are fixing the shelves and the expected load  – thank you 😍😍😍.  This is how the work progressed.

And this is the finished look.  The Son was right the insist on the black brackets I think.

DIY MDF wood stained shelves

We only fitted them last night but before we had driven home he had filled them!

DIY MDF shelves wood stained shelves

And finally the cost


Let me know if you’ve tried giving a wood finish to MDF and how it went. 😍😍😍