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.
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…
As a way of nudging myself gently back into the usual weekly routine, I’ve been setting aside some time to sit down with a cuppa to watch this year’s Great Interior Design Challenge (GIDC), back on our screens this past week. With the show now into its fourth series, there have been a few tweaks, the most obvious being the introduction of new judge, renowned interior designer and all-round businesswoman Kelly Hoppen. She and fellow judge Daniel Hopwood are certainly already putting the contestants through their paces.
I’m hoping that as the weeks progress, we will see more genuine raw talent shining through as the contestants gain worthwhile hands-on experience and, in turn, confidence in their ability, so I thought it would be fun to share a weekly round-up of some of the better ideas they’re coming up with and look at how they might work in your own home (because let’s face it, a LOT of their ideas are very much for the TV screen and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in finding myself cringing when they get the stencils and gold paint out…).
Here’s a quick rundown of what they had in store for us last week…
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!
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…
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.
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!