Category: DIY

Smallest Room Part 2

The wallpaper we made over the holidays? 

Despite just using the basics: Lining paper, leftover emulsion paint and cut up sponges – has worked a treat.

(Even though it meant embracing chaos)

This was the before state of the downstairs toilet. A mini dumping ground of DIY and general clutter.

First step was a deep clean of the tiles.  Vinegar, though powerful on the nostrils did the job.  A little bit of re-grouting was needed – and then I was going to dye the grout a dark grey, but I was concerned the new grout was of a different consistency –  less chalky, more rubbery so would they dye the same colour? It was an easier decision to not risk it. Besides the new pristine white of the tiles was impressive. Finally, paint – white on the ceiling and the Little Greene Paint Company’s French Grey Dark on the woodwork which is a soft, pinky grey that seems to blend with any thing.  A continual stream of Radio 4 plays on the ipad helped the process along..

The wallpaper went up easily: The lining paper was one of the thickest available and was aided by both pasting the wall and paper, and leaving the paper for a few minutes to fully soak up the wallpaper paste.

The randomness of the print meant there was no problem on the join – second piece went up where it went up.  Bliss.

The finished job.

Except there’s always one thing left to do…a fitted mirror over the sink. Sigh.

Better get ordering.

Laters, Kate x

The Smallest Room x

We’ve been printing.

Very simply with Sainsbury’s basic sponges bought for 20p a packet, onto lining paper and using left over paint from the kitchen renovations. Cheap as chips.

This is all part of the great downstairs toilet upgrade project, which after 10 years of abuse is sorely needed.

The idea is to paint the woodwork a mid-grey, homemade wallpaper above the dado (why not?!) and dye the grout (more on that in another post) between the metro tiles a charcoal grey.

(A bit like this)

The marbling was part of the experimenting plan for diy wallpaper for the toilet..except the problem was we could only make it in small sizes which gave a patchwork effect.  With printing we can make the runs as long as we need.  Brucie bonus to control within the chaos.

The inspiration for the print came from the above picture…

And the general sense of informal uniformity from pictures like these.

Embracing the idea that symmetry can just be too damn predictable.

What is working so well is the straight lines versus the diagonal against the curves of fingertips pushing the sponge into the paper.  I think I’m in love.

 Shame the next few days will be spent doing all the boring bits like filling and sanding.

But watch this space.

Laters, Kate x

First Craft x

Monday madness, first day of the hols and the sun was shining…we spent it in the garden with lovely friends marbling everything we could find.

We used these marbling inks from Brian Clegg for £9.50, ordered from Ebay..

(Plus the metallic set of 10 for the same price…they added a certain sparkle)

They couldn’t have been easier to use – drop on to water, mix with a skewer if you fancy, lay paper on top then peel off and dry..

The results were impressive.

This could be the wallpaper for the downstairs toilet..

So easy, so joyful!

Laters, Kate x

Easters Hols..

This is the last full day of term. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! Time for books to be put aside and real life to start.  These are a few of the projects on the list…

(All details Pinterest)

Now we play!

Laters, Kate x

Brickwork x

So I’ve found this App called ‘Paint my place’ – it’s not the most intuitive app and there’s no point in going for the free version, it’s £2.99 or nothing.  But it has allowed me to take a picture of the front of our house and play around with different colours on the brick work.

This is off-black from Farrow and Ball. Probably a bit too gothic..

Pic no.2  – I was curious to see what a really dark blue would look like as an exterior paint. Not my favourite. What I learnt is not to go for the colours you know, but choose via the sample square on the app, that way you can see if you like the potential colour rather than the specific colour.

The version using Farrow and Ball downpipe. The softer dark is better.

Neutrals – this is Skimming Stone by Farrow and Ball – which probably proves the point of colour distortion: Don’t rely on what it says if you’re going to buy paint based on this app.

And finally – Elephant’s breath, Farrow and Ball.

It’s been interesting and fun to to have a genuine chance to experiment. I think it has proved previous posts conclusions: Downpipe is an easy choice because it will work.  To find the right neutral will be much harder, but I’m surprised how much I like the neutrals.

My admiration for Hockney and his skill with ipad art has now shot sky high.

Laters, Kate x

Front door x

After 14 years of council-style reinforced glass the front door finally got it’s makeover on Friday.

The before picture! Complete with piece of paper stuck on with door number scribbled on it.  Attractive.

The finished design by Nikki  (click for her details) was beautifully based on the doors we have between the kitchen/diner and the sitting room.

 

The result is a delight, especially when the sun pours through and creates rainbows on the walls.

Above we’ve gone for simplicity of plain glass and the number to let in as much light as possible.

The added bonus was that Keith-the-amazing-stained-glass-man turned up in his pre-war Singer car! How supper cool?

A charming success in every way!

Laters, Kate x

Pod x

The quote is back for the garden office: this could actually be happening! The basic design is based on the shape above with the high point of the roof at the front, it’s a bit of an optical illusion that makes the rest of the roof disappear. As above, there will be one long bench desk across the window leaving the majority of the floor space clear for the kids to potentially camp out as and when. The entrance will be down the left side (just out of sight in the picture). Ours will be slightly bigger than this with a little add on room on the right where the roof dips down, to provide extra storage for gardening equipment etc to make use of our irregular shaped garden which only pretends to be a rectangle.

Inside will be a cunning mixture of plywood…

pallet wood….

And white.

Lights will either be black, adjustable wall light/s.

Or possibly, depending on height/position a lamp like this one from Ikea at £29 hung against the ceiling.  Why not?

And of course there needs to be a bright splash of colour with a vintage desk lamp.

(All pics Pinterest)

Heating will be a stove in the corner.

Bliss. When can I move in?

Laters, Kate x

Make it x

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Remember these beauties? For me a hark back to the eighties but the concept must actually be a lot older.  I was looking for something to naturally moth proof wardrobes and drawers when inspiration dawned.  A quick check on Ebay proved invaluable..they still existed and this little lot were bought in a bulk buy. The relative quiet of half term was the perfect time to renovate their little interiors..


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Some of them had beautiful vintage labels that we managed to gently peal away.

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Lots of the pomanders had a blingy gold loop so grosgrain ribbon has to be an upgrade. We found the easiest way to replace this was to feed both ends of the ribbon in through the top and pull them through with a pair of tweezers.

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You need to pull the two ends through leaving as little ribbon as possible on the top. We found the tweezers used as a brace was a wise thing to do.  Then just knot ends together and pull the loop back out again.

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After attempts with funnels, the best way to fill the pomanders was with a little jug.  We used lavender and essential oils.

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For those pomanders missing their bottoms we cut out discs from vintage material and simply glued them on.

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Strangely satisfying with a definite whiff of pure nostalgia. To be recommended.

Laters, Kate x

Black Doors..

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Have you noticed how black and green compliment each other? The black seduces whilst the green just pops.

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It’s why we decided to replace our dying doors with a simple, chic, metal alternative – this was the before picture.

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This the after – it’s made a huge difference – the whole space feels bigger, more grounded..the garden now beckons.

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And the black frames now link through with the crittall doors in the kitchen.

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Using the following pics as inspiration, we’d like to paint the areas around the doors black as well…

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Can’t wait.

Laters, Kate x

Leg Lift x

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Prettypegs is a simple concept – to bring the option of individuality to mass produced furniture just by changing the legs. It’s the idea that changing one small thing can have a huge impact – effectively it’s the metaphorical butterfly effect for furniture.  But without the chaos.

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Like Superfront and Bemz before them, Prettypegs main products are designed around anything Ikea makes that has legs – sofas, tables, chests..even beds.  But because they have a universal bolt available, other brands can work as well.

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(All pics Prettypegs)

On the notion of individuality, it would be nice if they offered a pic ‘ n’ mix option…within similar height options of course….

 

Laters, Kate x