All posts filed under: Upcycling

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 …

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 …

Learn to do upholstery – I promise you can and I’ll show you how in “Style At Home” magazine

Giving a new lease of life to an old piece of furniture is something that I absolutely love to do so can you imagine my delight when the lovely people at Style At Home magazine asked  me to write a feature on upholstery to help readers get started on their own projects. The feature is now out in the new issue and I hope it will inspire you to try your own project and help you actually do it. Because I do do this sort of thing myself, I have an understanding of what is a good idea to try when you’re a beginner and what’s not. I know that recovering a footstool is straightforward, tackling a button-back chaise is not. If you’re handy with a sewing machine, making new covers for a chair or sofa with loose cushions really isn’t that difficult and you can do it well. In the feature you’ll find out about what furniture to buy, what fabrics to choose and then I’ll talk you through a few basic projects. Grab a copy of …

Get ready to party and make carnival style lights – my favourite craft project for years

As you may or may not (but now you do) know,  I make all the lovely Upcycle projects for the brilliant Style At Home magazine each month – I take something old, maybe ugly but definitely unloved and turn it into something you’ll want to have in your home. Check out this month’s projects in the new issue just out…      I also sometimes do the “It could be designer” feature where I have to work out a way to make something that’s inspired by a fabulous, but jolly expensive home accessory. There are lots of  great rusty metal letter lights around at the moment so I was delighted to take up the challenge to make my own version and share the results with readers. I do lots of this kind of thing, but I have to say that this project is completely brilliant and the letters really do look amazing – even I was impressed with how they turned out. They’re not difficult to make and you could do your family’s initials, or make a word, or …

Revamping an EBay bargain to create a sumptuous velvet footstool

When relaxing in the evening on the sofa I like to have my legs stretched out and feet up. Although a coffee table is ok it’s not exactly ideal, so for a while I have had an EBay search for a footstool nearby and was delighted to pick one up for the grand price of £12.50 a few miles away. Granted, it wasnt to my taste upholstered in a rather dated wine red fabric but it was nice and big on attractive turned legs. Unsure what I would cover it with, the decision was made when I grabbed a large piece of blue velvet fabric in the charity shop for £1.25 (yes really). So then it was just a case of arming myself with a staple gun with a couple of hours to spend covering it. Now I have to say, I am no upholsterer, so the quality of the work isn’t perfect but I was confident I could make it look good – certainly better than it currently did. I didn’t want something so …

Giving an old tapestry a second chance

In the charity shop the other day I saw a framed tapestry picture. It wasn’t something I wanted on my wall necessarily but having done a bit of tapestry before I could appreciate the time and effort someone had gone to to complete the needlework and I did like the finished result. The shop assistant said it had been there a while and she didn’t think anyone would buy it and that made me sad – all those hours stitching gone to waste! I decided to buy it and think of something to do with it later – I wanted someone’s hard work to be appreciated again. On one of my many journeys in Pinterest I came across some tapestry and velvet cushions and I saw some other versions in very expensive high street stores. All were of similar design with a velvet piece either side of a central decorative panel. They looked great so that’s what I did too to complete my cushion. You could do this design to “frame” any central piece – it could be a printed or …

Get upcycling with my projects in the new issue of Style At Home magazine

I LOVE upcyling! Each month I’m lucky enough to spend a few hours turning rubbishy old things into gorgeous, useful and unique pieces for the “Revamps At Home” feature in Style At Home magazine (go grab a copy – it’s full of great ideas and inspiration for all things interior and at £1.99 it’s a complete bargain). The idea is that tired old furniture or accessories can be given a new lease of life with a little TLC. All the projects are do-able (by which I mean you don’t have to be a seasoned crafter or major DIY fan to complete them) and I love the whole concept or repurposing things or just making them lovely enough to want to have on display or use around the home. This month the colour scheme is a gorgeous mix of blues, yellow and grey that give the feature a summery, Scandi feel. The mag has all the instructions you’ll need to do the projects yourself (none are really expensive either so that’s a bonus too!) and if …

Take a simple wooden box or crate and turn it into something wonderful for your home

Wooden boxes or crates. Bit bland, bit nothingy you say? Well yes some are and the best we can think of to use them for is to hold magazines or kick shoes into in a porch but what else can you do with this unassuming little thing? Lots, actually and as I like wood – it’s strong and sturdy, happy to be painted or have holes drilled – I thought I’d collate a few ideas together and I hope you find something you like. All these ideas are pretty straightforward and require minimum DIY experience and some are just about the decoration so no matter what your skill level, there’s something you can do. Where to get the boxes in the first place? Car boot sales or charity shops have been known to offer a few vintage treasures (I’ve picked up old wine boxes and a gorgeous 30 year old Australian fruit crate) and of course there’s always EBay, but if you want a few that match, or smooth contemporary versions rather than the old …

Bold colour in the kitchen to stand out from the crowd – how far will you go?

Kitchens are generally white, wood, grey, black, cream…. any combination of the above. These are easy to live with and are less affected by the ever-changing tides of interior fashion but you’d be surprised at how much more you could love this room if you added some colour. It’s often “not done” and I think as showrooms and glossy brochures back away from bold colour, sticking to muted neutrals then everyone else does too because it feels safe. However if you take the plunge, the simple colour scheme of most kitchens is a great base – a blank canvas in many cases – to which you can add beautiful colours. White and black of course are easy as anything goes with them, but when there’s lots of wood I’d suggest being a bit careful. Generally blues and greens work really well, yellow, orange and red can be a bit trickier with wood but it does depend on the shade of wood and the depth of the colour you want to add. Getting samples of all …

What shall I do with my plain white bathroom?

Lots of bathrooms are white which is generally a good thing as it gives a clean and crisp feel, but can sometimes be a bit clinical and bland. This was most definitely a problem with one bathroom I was asked to look at, though this had the added joy of mustard paint that gave a slightly sickly air, but on the positive side was light and bright and a great size. The other important part of this makeover brief was that there wasn’t the budget to do any major plumbing nor huge renovations, but as far as I’m concerned that makes it a more fun and challenging project because you have to be creative and work with what’s there rather than ripping it all out and start from scratch. The homeowners wanted a vintage feel with no trace of mustard. They didn’t want to re-tile which I understood as that would have been a major job, but the expanse of white tiles needed breaking up somehow. I found some stunning patterned blue tiles in Fired Earth that might be prohibitively …