Category: Projects & DIY

A Little Front Door Makeover for Spring

Front Door Stiffkey Blue

I recently took it upon myself to give our front door a new lease of life with a lick of paint.  Since we moved into our house just over a year ago now, the door has been a shade of pale mushroom – not exactly an offensive colour, but just lacking in a bit of personality.  So, I thought it was about time we added our stamp to the front of the house.  Who doesn’t love a dose of kerb appeal as they approach their house from the street?!

I had always envisaged painting the front door a gorgeous, deep navy (i.e. something like this), however we are trying to stick to a budget whilst we go about updating and redecorating the house, so head ruled over heart and I resorted to using up a tin of another (still gorgeous) Farrow & Ball colour I had leftover from a little upcycling project I completed last year.  The shade is called Stiffkey Blue, a pretty well known paint colour, thanks to the trend for ‘going dark’ in our interiors that’s all over Pinterest these days.

In typical Farrow & Ball fashion, Stiffkey Blue is described as being ‘naturally dramatic’ and is named after a north Norfolk beach where the mud is this particular shade of blue.  Our house was built in the mid ’30s and the front door is original to it, so a lick of paint in what I would term a quite traditional, yet contemporary, shade, would be just what it needed to lift it a little into the present day.  In addition, the face of our house is covered in a trailing ivy which turns a beautiful shade of russet red in late summer through to Autumn and I reckoned this shade of blue would look stunning against it – time will tell!

I thought I would guide you briefly through the steps I took to paint the door, because a good old DIY how-to is always helpful, especially at this time of year, when many of us are turning our attention to Spring jobs outdoors.

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Tutorial: Tab Top to Pencil Pleat Curtains Makeover

Curtain Tutorial featured image

This is just a quick post to show you a little sewing project I embarked upon recently.  When we moved into our new home in February last year, I had to think of an affordable way to dress the windows, and no more so than in our drawing room, which is dual aspect, meaning two sets of curtains were required.  Each window is fairly tall and wide so I knew I would either have to buy a load of fabric to make curtains with (the expensive option) or source readymade ones which I reckoned would be nigh on impossible given the window dimensions.

So I took myself off to Ikea, the big blue and yellow friendly giant offering solutions to many a décor problem, where I found a lovely set of readymade, long curtains (here) with a nice linen-like look and feel to them.  I knew they’d be perfect for the job in hand, EXCEPT that they were tab top, which I’m not a huge fan of.  Unless you live in a country cottage or student flat, I don’t really think tab tops quite cut it on the style front…

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Welcoming in Winter with Simple Decor Updates

candle holder tk maxx mantelpiece

Like a lot of people, we spent some time at the weekend putting our tree up and adding some festive touches to our home.  As we hung our decorations and draped the fairy lights around, it occurred to me that we were formally welcoming the beginning of Winter in all its sparkling, glittering glory, and so, rather sadly, once again bidding farewell to Autumn and its lovely mild weather and beautiful colours.

For me, it’s important to welcome in a new season with some subtle tweaks to my home decor, be it cosy cushions in Winter or vases of daffodils in Spring.  A few weeks ago, with Christmas still a distant thought, I started shopping for some decorative winter additions for the home.  I was on a mission to choose some ‘Hygge’ friendly pieces to make the house warm and inviting to festive visitors and I found some gorgeous homewares from my favourite high street stores that I wanted to share with you.  Hopefully it will inspire you to think about your own home decor this coming season!

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20 Essentials for Building up your Interior Decorating Tool Kit

Whether it’s a spot of minor interior decorating you enjoy, upcycling the odd piece of second hand furniture or really getting stuck into a big room makeover, one thing is certain; you need to have the right tools for the job close at hand.  There are plenty of great pieces of kit out there to help you make your interior decorating a success, but there are also everyday objects around the house that can play as important a role in ensuring your decorating project doesn’t become a DIY disaster!

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A Rainy Day Make: Circle Bunting

I was recently inspired by a rather cute little product spotted on the lovely Rainbeaubelle blog, which was a circle bunting garland made from coloured and glitter card. It would be perfect to hang up for a birthday party or simply to add a bit of pizazz to an otherwise bare space of wall in the home.

As Julia suggests on her blog, it costs around £13 per garland, however it could be quickly and pretty easily made at home, too.  This got me thinking, until one day recently, when I was shopping in my local Sainsbury’s store and found myself dandering down the stationery aisle (is it just me?!), I came across some little gift tags that I thought would make for the sweetest circle garland!

I immediately got to work with a selection of the gift tags, a few rolls of washi tape and a length of string.  Find out how I did it here…

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A 1970s G plan unit brought up to date

When asked, I often describe my interior style preference as Scandi with a bit of vintage mixed in and it’s funny how when you look back at your Pinterest boards, there is inevitably a visual link between your pinned images that defines your style.  If you look at my own Pinterest feed, there’s plenty of old mixed with new, clean lines and varied textures, muted walls with pops of monochrome, a hint of the industrial softened with a vase of flowers or soft wool.  Definite Scandinavian influences there, but with a lived in, vintage vibe, too.

In particular, I’m drawn to a bit of Danish midcentury style and love old pieces brought back up to date.  I have a pair of Ercol carver chairs that are patiently waiting to be transformed with a length of wool fabric, possibly a soft heather grey herringbone weave or navy blue edged with a striking yellow.  I can’t decide which, but their time will come…

It follows then, that when a couple of weeks ago one of my lovely neighbours contacted me to say she thought she had a piece of furniture I’d be interested in, I couldn’t resist popping over for a peek (despite the fact that eldest daughter was imminently heading off to her Spring school concert and we were in the middle of a rather rushed tea – you know that situation when stress levels are kind of high?! – however, some things have to give when it comes to potential new decor finds!!)

For those that know me, I’m never one to turn down a preloved piece of furniture that has every potential to be made loveable once again and this piece was no exception, in fact it was perfect!  When I arrived at my neighbour’s house, I was delighted to discover the piece of furniture she was looking rid of was an authentic G plan teak sideboard/wall unit dating back to the 1970s. I just had to take it!  Needless to say, my other half immediately deemed it ugly and dated, however thanks to my addiction to the aforementioned Pinterest, I had other ideas…

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Potting Shed Makeover

I have to say, I’m absolutely loving this recent Spring weather we’ve been having here.  I just want it to last for weeks and weeks, but alas, here in Northern Ireland, that is rarely the case!  On the positive side, however, I suppose it makes me appreciate the settled weather when it’s here and its often short-lived nature motivates me to get outside into the garden and do stuff before those pesky April showers make another appearance…

It was during one such spell of recent dry weather that my husband and I decided to repaint our lovely, but very much flaky and deprived potting shed in the corner of the garden.  When I first viewed our house, it was one of the features I instantly fell for, as I could see bags of potential in it and it just oozed such yesteryear charm.  At the moment, we use it as a store house for gardening tools and logs, however recently the children and I planted out some seeds in preparation for our veg patch come Summer (more on that soon), as it really does heat up quite nicely on a sunny day.  I can also imagine it as a sort of summerhouse – it will eventually require a little work on tidying up the paintwork on the inside, however plonk a chair in there on a sunny day with a coffee and a book and I’ll be in garden heaven.

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Weekend Project: A little painted mirror

I don’t know about you, but for me, Spring, with its longer evenings and fresher, brighter days, is making me feel newly energised and motivated to tackle some mini projects around the house that I’ve been meaning to do for ages (you know how it is, they’ve been queued up on that never-ending list I have inside my head, probably not dissimilar to yours!)

One such job I have been planning to do for a while is to repaint an old mirror that a friend donated to me a few weeks ago.  She had no place for it in her own home, yet thought it had some potential to be ‘prettified’, and so it arrived on my doorstep one day, ready for its mini makeover!

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