Month: May 2015

What can I do with a junk shop side table?

Side tables… jolly useful for a cup of tea, glass of wine, TV remotes or a book. Those in the shops are generally fine, just a bit blah but charity shops, car boot sales and junk shops often have a sad small table or two just asking to be given some love. Small projects like this are a great place to start learning how to upcycle furniture because they’re cheap, don’t take long or cost a fortune to transform and it’s fun to try ideas out without worry because even though you will probably create something fantastic, if it all goes wrong, you haven’t lost very much. I hope there’s something that makes you reach for the paintbrush as this is a perfect project to join the upcycle revolution 🙂 When purchasing, check for any major wobbles (and see if there’s a screw to tighten to remedy this), and ideally buy solid wood pieces (not flat-pack plastic coated versions) because these are easier to paint successfully. Lots of old tables have a piece of glass covering the top surface which allows you to display anything you like …

Banish princess pink and create a wonderfully colourful, folk-inspired bedroom for your little girl

Girls bedrooms…. if you shop on the high street then almost all accessories are pink and purple, with glitter and sparkles. Nothing wrong with that of course, but what if you want something different? Kids love colour and they need lots of good storage, and canny ideas if there’s a hope of them keeping anything tidy. If you design a kids room that only looks good when it’s perfectly neat then it’s likely to be a constant source of irritation because let’s face it, few kids automatically get up and make their bed and neaten piles of books so the room will always look messy. If you don’t want to be constantly picking up after your little one, this is a great scheme because it’s naturally relaxed and simply can’t look pristine in the way a modern crisp design does, so it disguises imperfections like piles of things on a messy desk, or half-done jigsaw all over the floor which has got to be good for everyone. The mis-matched design is warm, cosy and full-of-life and I love an eclectic mix of old and new, with patterns …

Want to make your house stand out? Make your own fabulous number plaque from a slate floor tile

Everyone’s home has a name or number of course and having clear identification means that all friends can find you when they come to visit, or that special online purchase is delivered without a hitch. When I was looking for a number plaque for my house that was traditional yet bold, I found limited choice, none of which inspired me. I was sure I could do something myself that I would love the look of and as I always like things if they’re a bit unusual this was the way to go. In simple terms, the plaque is made from a 40cm slate floor tile with the number painted on top. I used white paint but you could do something really eye-catching with orange or turquoise (or any other bright colour) paint – get a small pot of craft paint at Hobbycraft to avoid wastage or use a standard exterior or oil-based paint. The only thing is to make sure it’s a good contrast to the colour tile you choose so it can be seen …

What to do with a blank wall… Get colour, character and gorgeousness in your home

If you ask me, deciding what to hang on your walls is one of the hardest parts of designing a room scheme. It’s also really important as the right display gives a blank room character, adds interest, and is a good way of adding a personal statement. Framed photos are a lovely  touch to any home but what if you want something different for wall decor? There are other options and these can create an amazing focal point and I’ve been thinking about what I can do in my own home so I thought I’d share my research. I’ve spent lots of time (too much, some would say) going on long trails through Pinterest to see what ideas I can find and as usual, there are some clever folks out there who have posted smashing ideas. Some of these may take a little more time than putting up some pictures, and I know from experience that gathering a collection that works effortlessly together can be really tricky to amass but these do look wonderful and are well …

Inspiration from across the pond – Loving HGTV magazine

I’m a subscriber to a few American homes/decorating magazines and I love them dropping on my doormat. There’s a similarity of course to those we buy here, but there’s also a slightly different viewpoint and approach to decor and schemes that I personally find inspiring. As I paint, make, write and decorate for magazines in the UK, it’s interesting to compare and contrast   and absolutely, I learn lots too. The American market seems to be deeply practical and HGTV magazine clearly inspires as well as instructs. Reading from the UK means that in order to recreate the ideas you need to do legwork to find paints the same sort of colour, as well as clever primers and the like but it’s all quite do-able and the slightly different take our cousins across the sea have means that anything you do bring into your home will give it an unusual twist – and we all like being unique, don’t we? This month’s HGTV magazine cover is four-part in contrasting colour schemes – all a splash of colour to brighten this rainy …

Fabulous upcycle projects in Style At Home

My copy of the fantastic “Style At Home” magazine has just dropped on the doormat. There’s so much to read and be inspired by in the issue including these upcycle projects where I’ve turned drab, run of the mill things into lovely home accessories using on-trend pastel colours and geometric shapes. Go grab a copy as all the instructions you need to do it yourself are there!