Friday, 16 August 2013

Hotel inspiration

I like to look at hotels and restaurants for inspiration too.  This was my bedside lamp on my recent trip to Vienna.  Cream shade with black trimming. Simple and elegant.

I'm taking my cream lampshades and have a box full of ribbons and trimmings.  Look out for some upcycled shades in my new house ;-)

16 sleeps to go!!!!!

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Shopping from home

As I'm downsizing from a large house to a normal sized house I can cherry pick the best bits of furniture accumulated from previous homes and 25 years of family life.  Our last home was a brand new show home which we bought with furniture included. There are some good quality pieces that I'm reluctant to sell/freecycle.  So I've been 'shopping from home' and deciding what I can use and upcycle from what I already have.

I have 2 of these chairs.  Originally from the bedroom in my previous house and currently in the conservatory.  The dark varnish is flaking but a quick sand and some chalk paint will fix them.

This is a coffee table from M&S bought 3 years ago for the conservatory.  It should be all dark wood but the sun has faded it badly so it's ripe for painting.  The top lifts up to reveal storage space.  I have my knitting supplies in there!

This table is actually a stool.  It has a leather cushion that clips on.  Again this was from my bedroom in the old house.

High half moon table with a nice silver Rennie Mackintosh esque square pattern.  This is going in my new living room.

Candelabra, it's bronze coloured.  Might be nice painted white for the living room with some pink or green candles on it.

I've also got some cream voile curtains and some heavy tartan ones, both given to me.  I'm trying to think of uses for the good quality things I already have.  I want to spend what money I have on carpets, rugs and the kitchen.  I realise that once I get there a lot of my ideas might not work but the fun is in the planning.

Moving day is 4 weeks tomorrow.  Eeek!!!

Friday, 19 July 2013

Pretty chair inspiration

I just LOVE this chair!!  Ticks all my boxes

*Shabby chic style
*Pink and green
*Patchwork (kinda)
*Thrifty (if you use remnants)

Definitely having a go at this :-)

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Pink and green

I've decided to go with a soft pink and green colour theme which should be lovely with the shabby chic colours of white/cream.  I bought the above fabric on eBay last night.  13m of new curtain fabric for £39 (plus £10.99 p&p).  Retail value would be £25 per metre (!) so I've got a bargain at £3 per metre even allowing for postage.  There will be enough to make curtains/blinds for the 2 windows in the living room with enough leftover to do something with cushions.  I don't want it to be too co-ordinated.

My lovely mum gave me some fabric in the above green colour (I did photograph it but the true colour didn't come out well) which will be used in some way.

Unfortunately I missed out on bidding for a lovely pair of Laura Ashley curtains for my bedroom.  In the end they sold for £62 which was too much for me.  But it seems there are lots of people working the shabby chic look!!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Paint Testing

I just love Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint!!  No need for sanding and prepping apparently so appeals to my 'get it done quickly' side.  Most of my research suggests that the Old White colour works best for my shabby chic inspiration but I was curious to see how the cream would work with my sofas. I did a test on a piece of wood from the garage.  IRL the Old White works better.  I'm planning on painting several layers directly onto some dark stained furniture, then sanding the edges to 'distress' it.  It then gets coated with some soft wax to protect it.

This is the bottom half of a dresser that was passed down through the family.  It has a huge mirrored top that lives in the garage but I only use the bottom half as a sideboard.  It's a sturdy piece of utility furniture made between the 2 world wars in Wales.  Yes, it's 2 shades of brown in real life!!  The top drawers have some carving (not very well done, I suspect an apprentice!) My mum is horrified I'm going to paint it but it won't work in a smaller living room as it is.  Painting it Old White will bring it up to date in a timeless fashion (I hope) and it will get used in my new house.

I'm also painting this wee footstool.  Again, a utility piece of furniture solidly made but dull brown.  The tapestry top was damaged and badly stained when it came to me.  It belonged to my boys' Great Grandma.  When they were little they would sit on it when we went to visit her in her tiny sheltered housing flat. When she passed away I was asked if I would like something of hers and I chose this, always planning to re upholster it some day. 

I like to think the original owners will be happy that their furniture is still being used and that I'm respecting their memory by using it and not putting it into landfill.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

The wee pink book

Last week I bought myself a wee pink notebook.  It's big enough for writing and sticking pictures yet small enough to fit in my handbag.  I looked through my stash of home magazines (some I've had for several years!) and started tearing out pictures of looks I think I could recreate on my tight budget with stuff I already have.

(Click on the photos to enlarge and see more detail)

I have 2 tired armchairs similar in shape to the green one in the pic on the left.  I'm planning to reupholster them in 2 different fabrics for my living room.  On the right is how I would like my old sideboard to look.

I suspect the kitchen is where I will spend most of my budget.  I'm planning simple cream cupboards with a black laminate worktop.  Instead of tiles I'll have a glass splashback behind the hob.  I spend a lot of time in my kitchen so it will be worth the expense.

I love this colourway in the bedroom.  I don't think I will use as many clashing patterns but I like the bed covering (Laura Ashley's Tatton).  I actually have 3 rolls of that pattern in wallpaper so that will be the starting point for the rest of my girlie bedroom.

I have a wee footstool that's been in urgent need of attention for years.  The pic on the right is painted in Annie Sloan's chalk paint.  I just discovered that you can paint furniture with it without needing to sand and prep.  I've ordered a few test pots to try it.  If successful I predict a lot of things being treated with chalk paint!!

Imagine my delight to find a feature on how to paint brick fireplaces!  I have some masonry paint leftover from painting the outside of my current house.   This will be a fairly major project but will save me from having to rip out a hideous fireplace.

Hope you like the look of some of my plans so far.

Friday, 5 July 2013


Welcome to my new blog. 

I'm moving into a new house on the 2nd September with my 15 yo son and 2 dogs.  I have been able to buy it mortgage free but this means I have very little money left to upgrade the dated d├ęcor and fit a new kitchen and bathroom.

I'm planning on upcycling, reusing and buying second hand almost everything I need.  Anything that's bought new will have been thoroughly researched for the best possible deal! I'm downsizing from what was the family home so there's a lot of stuff I can reuse.  Sadly some of it will not fit into my new house so I'm hoping to sell/swap/give away everything I cannot use myself.

I can paint, hang wallpaper and make soft furnishings.  My partner has an electrical background and is generally good at DIY stuff.  Everything else I can learn as I go along. 

I hope you enjoy my journey