Author: diydivachick

Vax vs 2 children & 1 dog… let the battle commence!

My home is, like many up and down the country, a busy one. As a family with two primary school aged children and one 11-month-old Vizsla puppy, life goes at quite a pace. Although I would love my home to look immaculate at all times, it doesn’t. I don’t have a cleaner, nor enough time (or perhaps inclination) to spend any spare minutes cleaning and so things do take quite a battering sometimes, and there’s often a fine layer of dust/dirt/mud that shouldn’t really be there.   Take my favourite popcorn rug for example. It’s a lovely, but not a very practical pale oatmeal colour (chosen before the children started bringing in so much mud and definitely before the dog). It sits under the sofa that sits by the doors to the garden. It’s a lovely rug – squidgy between my toes but I have to admit it is filthy. Kids run in straight from the garden depositing mud and grass over it, and the dog? Well she just adds to the happy chaos (and …

Mr Fox is 5!

5 years ago, a very lovely print called Mr Fox was launched by Scion and he is a charming  character print that’s not just for kids – he’s rather sophisticated so will bring a cheerful quirky edge to any home. A while ago I gave an old EBay chair a makeover with Mr Fox fabric in mustard and grey and my kids love the chair as it’s just their size and I love how it looks – much more fun than a boring old high street chair don’t you think? The fabric is so easy to work with this was an easy project to do but if you don’t fancy upholstery, why not make a cushion or drawstring bag? I’ve used the print in a few makeovers but if you haven’t seen it then it’s time you made his acquaintance! The fabrics are in colours that are great for kids because they’re bright and so attractive to them but the palette is subtle enough that adults love it too. Throw a cheery cushion on your sofa …

Make a fab kids drawstring sports kit bag in an hour

My daughter has a whole heap of PE kit to keep at school – trainers, football boots, shin pads, shorts, t-shirts, sweatshirts… there’s loads! She wanted a fun big bag that could keep everything all together rather than an array of carrier bags, so we got sewing and made this in under an hour. It’s super easy so a great project for kids or novice sewers. My fabric is by Michael Miller Bam Boy about £13/m Here’s how you make it: Decide how big you want the bag to be. Cut out 2 pieces of fabric this size plus 3cm at the width and 6cm on the height. Pin the fabrics right sides together…  Put pins as markers at the side seams 4.5cm from the top edge and stitch starting and finishing at these pins down the sides and across the bottom of the bag (use a 1.5cm seam allowance).  Remove the pins.  Press the seams open and continue the pressed seam allowance up to the top edge. Stitch these seam allowances down (these will be …

Check out my work in this month’s magazines!

The new September issues of two lovely magazines have dropped on my door mat this morning and I’m delighted to say there’s lots of my work in print this month – hurrah! I have three makeover shoots – take a look at Style At Home & Your Home… Firstly, a beautiful classic bathroom that shows where to spend and where to save to stretch a budget to allow marble tiles and a gorgeous Utopia bathroom cabinet… And a cosy cottage living room that is right on trend with botanical and industrial accents (and on a budget too – lots from the fab Dunelm) Plus a pretty little cottage kitchen Next there are some fab holiday-feel makes in Style At Home – all easy to do to add some tropical cheer to your home And step by step instructions on how to make a hair pin leg table… And then I am really really pleased to say that the recent images I created for British Ceramic Tile are now released to press and here are two already in …

One bored stylist + 3 days = Hacked tv unit to fabulous sideboard

I’m a bit dangerous when I’m a). a bit bored and b). get a bee in my bonnet about something. This is a post about how those two things come together and result in a really rather lovely piece of furniture created from a small sideboard made by me that I’m really very chuffed with. When we moved our TV and sofa into the kitchen/diner we put an old sideboard, relocated from the living room plonked against a wall to put the TV on. It was practical and all, hiding all the TV boxes and cables etc (a particular bug bear of mine) but it always bothered me slightly – I wanted it to look lovely but it didn’t. It looked a bit meh. A couple of weeks ago it dawned on me that the problem was that it was just too small and looked like an island against a big wall. I started a hunt for a much bigger sideboard but I couldn’t find anything on EBay or in secondhand shops. I’m not very …

How to make a leather strap shelf

Browsing through some lovely interiors catalogues that came in the post I kept finding myself looking at those lovely wall shelves that hang from leather loop brackets? – have you seen them? I think they’re really attractive and a nice change from ordinary wood or metal versions but sheesh they’re expensive! I’ve been working on a shoot for the lovely British Ceramic Tile company where I have been designing and building lifestyle images to show off their lovely products. One set uses glorious petrol blue tiles and I really wanted one of those shelves but I was stretching the budget anyway and couldn’t stretch it any further. Then I thought about it and decided I could make one so I did. You don’t need to spend much and it was an easy DIY task so you could easily make one too. As usual there’s a great sense of satisfaction when you make things yourself and the joy is you can make this exactly how you want to be  – get the right length and width for your needs rather than be limited to what …

The best new craft mag and my work’s in it!

Listen up all ye who who like making things for their home – there’s a new kid on the block and it’s the best “make it” magazine I’ve seen in ages! The first issue of “The Craft Network” has loads of projects to make for the home (and they’re ones you’ll really want to try) as well as being affordable and doable too. There are ideas that the beginner can achieve successfully and some for more confident makers too. There are all sorts of crafts with instructions and step by step photography to guide you so you won’t go wrong. I was asked to complete a whole host of footstool projects from recovering dated old ones to making a crochet-covered stool from scratch. There’s patchwork and lots of staple-gun action so I do hope there’s something for everyone. My girls modelled in the early morning shoot and were fantastic (and they weren’t late for school either). I’ve also done a painted light fitting, underbid storage boxes, a set of little hooks and jeans pocket storage hanger. There’s loads more …

Check out my 3 features in this month’s Style At Home magazine

The new issue of the very lovely “Style At Home” magazine has dropped on my doormat and I’m delighted to see I have all sorts of features in there this month! I wrote an 8 page feature all about wall tiles which (I hope) will inspire readers to consider a different layout, colour, style or even room in which to use tiles. We all know they’re perfect in bathrooms and kitchens but what are the new trends here? Using rectangular tiles in a brick pattern has been popular for a while but now we’re using coloured grout or fitting in different patterns such as herringbone or basketweave which looks amazing. Doing these layouts is as easy as “normal” tiling and the visual impact is impressive (what a great combination). The tricky bit is getting the first row set up correctly then you build as normal up the wall. You can always dry-lay the tiles first (this simply means laying them out on the floor) first to try different patterns – take photos on your phone of each as you go so …

Woo hoo I have a new website!

I am a complete technophobe and even when I try really hard at getting it right, more often than not I get it all wrong so the concept of building my own website was more than a little daunting. A friend pointed me in the direction of Wix claiming it was really easy to use. I was very skeptical but I spent many hours, made lots of mistakes, got frustrated, got un-frustrated and ta- daaaaaaaahhhhh here it is!  I am terribly proud of myself because it all seems to work well and is a great place to see all the things I do… magazine room makeovers, styling, writing, up cycling and craft, as well as the videos I did for Style At Home magazine. It’s also got info on my new venture which is taking on private commissions for design and styling because for years people have asked me to come and help but up tis now I’ve only worked on magazine features. So I’m excited and I hope you have a chance to look at …

Inspired by the new Scion range – Lohko

I’ve been working on a fabulous new bedroom makeover for one of your favourite interiors magazines (I’ll reveal all when it’s in print) and the scheme has been driven by the most lovely new range by the wonderful Scion. The range is called Lohko and it has a relaxed, retro vibe and, like most of their collections can be used in so many different ways. So having been happily immersed in the oh-so-lovely colours and prints I thought I’d write a post on being inspired by a new range of fabrics and wallpaper. When you’re giving a room a new look, especially if the wall paintwork is fine, fabrics can be your best friend and completely change the space without lifting a paintbrush (though you’ll spend a few hours at a sewing machine). I’m working in a room that is currently a dark neutral – a taupe colour, in fact a neutral colour that will be in hundreds of homes up and down the country. Nice neutrals, inoffensive, easy to live with but by adding some Lohko …