You know how it is; you can’t walk away from that bargain piece of furniture in the local charity shop and your inner DIY goddess tells you how good it would look with a little lick of paint or a simple reupholster? Well, that was me when I happened upon this lovely little Parker Knoll midcentury chair fresh out of the 1950s. Its seat pad had been well sat on, its wooden frame was scratched and worn, but it was only £30. I was sold!…
A look at what projects I've embarked on in my own home
My youngest daughter, Annabel, turns 9 later this year and had outgrown the childish baby pink decor in her small bedroom. It was time for a mini bedroom project and she wanted to make sure she was involved!! She completely ran the project in many ways – instructing me clearly on the aspects of the room she didn’t like and the colour she wanted on the walls… but more on that later!
The first thing we did was get rid of the existing loft bed. It was an IKEA one similar to this one and although it incorporated plenty of storage and sleeping space within a singular piece of furniture, it took up almost half her bedroom floor space, making the room feel cramped and busy. It’s not a big bedroom by any means, but not a ‘box room’ either, so we felt there must be a better way of maximising on the space available.…
I’d been planning to refresh our kitchen walls and cabinets at some stage this year, mainly because after four years they had become rather grubby and – what can I say – I fancied a wee change! So, the paint charts were stuck onto the wall, sample pots dusted off and Pinterest thoroughly salivated over… then, as we are all too aware, 2020 took a very strange turn, with talk of complete lockdown impending by the middle of March.
Suddenly I realised I needed projects lined up to keep me same throughout my time at home! Home schooling certainly wouldn’t fill my days with happiness, but painting definitely could! Luckily, I had chosen the overall look I was trying to achieve in the kitchen. I wanted a darker colour on the units and a lighter colour on the walls to freshen and brighten the room up a little, particularly as the back of our house has a northerly aspect.
Have a read to find out how I got on :)…
Having painted our main living room fairly soon after moving into our home almost four years ago, I never really felt that I’d accomplished the look I was after in there. With an old piano and some other ‘brown’ wood furnishings handed down to us or upcycled in some fashion over recent years, it was all feeling a little heavy in comparison to the rest of the house.
Our living room has a dual aspect, with windows facing out over the front and back gardens due south and north respectively, therefore it was crying out for an airier feel to it. It’s a lovely bright room all year round, but I wanted it to feel cosy, too, as we hibernate in there by the fire during the winter months.
For a while, I’d been playing about with the idea of an all white room, but wasn’t convinced it would have the cosiness I was after, especially with it being a sizeable room. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago in true ‘Keira’ fashion, I decided to start ripping off the old wallpaper in the room, which to my delight (and relief!), came off easily enough. By the next day, I was ready to start redecorating onto the bare plaster walls.
Just to remind you, here’s a ‘before’ shot of the room. I had used Farrow & Ball Cornforth White on the walls, however it seemed too flat a grey in this room.
I was just never 100% happy with how the room looked, too many brown pieces of furniture were weighing it down and with the grey sofa and curtains it lacked a little something.
I decided to refresh the walls with a warm, creamy, white, and after trialling a few samples, found that Farrow & Ball Wimborne White ticked all the boxes. My only concern was the size of the room. I felt it needed something to frame the white walls and add a little more interest, so I had a root around the garage and found a half-used tin of satin paint in another Farrow & Ball colour, Mole’s Breath, that I’d used for our front door. I thought it would be perfect to continue this colour through to the woodwork in the living room…
Here’s how the room looks now with a fresh lick of paint on the walls and woodwork. I kept the little gallery wall above my pair of Ercol chairs the same, just adding a handy tray table from IKEA to finish off this area.
I love the winter light streaming in here during the day… the Habitat bistro table (just seen) is lovely to sit and work at or enjoy a few pages of my book with a coffee, enjoying the warm sunlight. I also changed up my vintage trolley, setting it up as a bar cart ready for some festive entertaining. I think I’ll decorate it for Christmas soon with some sparkle and lights!
I removed the G plan unit/bookcase from one corner of the room to make a new space for the piano (seen further down). This left a good area of wall space in the other corner, to which I added a set of IKEA bookshelves and styled them up with heavier books, trinkets and of course, some greenery to soften.
The glass ceiling lights are original to the house, so almost 85 years old. They add such character, however one of them is broken, so I will have to replace them down the line, with something more modern, yet classic and in fitting with the house. I look forward to decorating the mantelpiece with some seasonal greenery and twinkly lights, but for now, I’m keeping it simple with these Scandi style candle houses and some dried seedheads from the garden.
This is the piano/music corner of the room, where I covered the piano stool with a piece of plain woven fabric to tone better with the rest of the room. Just need to add a trim around the edge of the seat to conceal the ugly staples. I set the stool onto a round jute rug I’ve had for a while to add some texture. And as you can see, the Monstera plant is continuing to grow like crazy!
I’m delighted with how the room has come together – it turned into a bigger job than I previously anticipated, but then again, what decor job doesn’t?! I suppose all the hard graft makes it more worthwhile in the end :)
Here are a few key pieces I have used (or similar) to achieve the Scandi / midcentury look here…
- Rug / La Redoute / from £79
- Cushion cover / H&M / £19.99
- Velvet cushion cover / H&M / £6.99
- Armchair / IKEA / £179
- Tealight House / The White Company / £12
- For sheepskin rugs, try IKEA or Dunelm
- Side table / IKEA / £15
- Floor lamp / Wayfair UK / £86.99
- Shelf unit / IKEA / £69
What do you think – a good change? x
Although we’ve been in our current home just over three years, there always seems to be a project to finish off. I wonder whether it will always be like that? (My husband says yes, if married to me…)
Our master bedroom is one such project; having ripped up the old green carpet and rid the room of the 1980s glazed slide robe, the room pretty much stayed stripped back and waiting for its makeover for almost a year. There just always seemed to be another, more pressing, job to save up for. Sound familiar?
This is how the room looked back at the beginning of 2017 before we had our new furniture chosen, walls painted or carpet fitted…
Shortly after the new carpet went down, we ordered a bed frame from MADE. I always loved the design of the wooden Ercol beds, so was delighted to find the Penn bed, which is really similar in style, but comfortably within our budget! We topped it with an IKEA HÖVAG mattress that was previously gifted to me for the purpose of a blog post I wrote some time ago in collaboration with IKEA (which you can read here). We also bought a desk for the corner of the room for me to use as a dressing table; I’ve detailed more about it further below.
It took me a while to choose a paint colour for the room, however after much deliberation, I settled for Farrow & Ball’s Peignoir, a beautifully soothing soft pink with just a hint of grey. Perfect for a calming bedroom scheme. The room pretty much stayed like this for a year, however I just felt it was missing something. It was only when I moved a Canadian art print (that my uncle and aunt in Ontario had given us for our wedding), onto the space above the bed, that I felt inspired to create a colour scheme around it that would add a bit of depth and interest to the room.
I put together a basic mood board to pull my thoughts together and keep me focused:
Taking into account the colours in the painting, I chose another Farrow & Ball colour, Inchyra Blue, for the wall behind the bed, which marries really nicely with the Peignoir. Inchyra Blue is more of a deep teal shade than a dark blue, so it’s really warmed the room up and made it feel like a cosy haven to retire to at the end of the day. I also love how the pale oak bed frame looks against it. This change spurred me on to finish off other aspects of the room, to the point where I can finally show you how it’s progressed from the bland beige ‘boudoir’ it once was.
So, here’s how the room is looking now!
Isn’t the Inchyra Blue just THE most gorgeous colour? It’s so cosy, yet if I’m sitting reading in bed, the room still feels light around me, rather than dark and heavy. I found the bedside rug in IKEA – chosen because it breaks up the grey carpet (a slight regret of mine to go grey with the carpets… on hindsight I think an oatmeal/neutral floor covering is more versatile), and it also ties in the dark teal colour of the wall.
I bought the little desk from La Redoute (the Jimi desk), which I use as a dressing table after years of drying my hair on the floor in front of a mirror! Feels very extravagant now :)
The round mirror is from The Range (similar one here) and the wall-mounted beside lamps are good old IKEA RANARP ones which are great, because you can angle them away if reading in bed whilst your partner is sleeping.
I picked up the bamboo lampshade in B&Q recently, having had a bog standard white drum shade hanging here for a while. I love the dappled light it casts come evening time. B&Q is becoming a great place for finding home accessories that don’t cost the earth and you can fire them in the big trolley with your paint and sandpaper and the husband never notices! Win win!
We more often have plain white bedding on the bed, but I do still love this boho style patterned set I bought from H&M a while back. It’s nice for a change, although I don’t think they stock it any longer. The cushion covers are from H&M too and generally move around my house a lot! The bed blanket adds to the cosy factor and is a beautiful wool one I was gifted some time ago for work I did with local homeware company, Murmur.
I also have plan to make a pair of curtains for in here and am considering using IKEA fabric for budget purposes – this one is a great colour match to the room, so I must get on with it before it goes out of stock. (It’s not a great picture of it online, but if you look at the canvas bag hanging on my peg rail further down, it’s made from the same fabric!)
This is a gorgeous little peg rail I picked up in H&M a while back, although they are quite often sold out… can you tell I absolutely LOVE H&M Home products?! So well designed at such a good price point. The little glass globe plant hanger is from Söstrene Grene… wish I had bought a few of these!
We had IKEA PAX wardrobes fitted at this side of the room where the old slide robes used to be. They are an absolute must-have if you want good storage solutions on a tight budget! We have loved them and I find the central mirrored door handy for when I’m getting ready to go out (when my kids allow me 5 mins to check myself out!!)
Just had to include a pic of this little old lady enjoying the sun!
This is the view out onto the landing. I feel it’s important to consider a colour scheme for your room that flows well with the adjacent spaces in your home. It helps make your home feel calm and connected.
So, that’s how my bedroom is looking! Just the curtains to sort out, then I can tick it off the list… I’m looking forward to showing you my daughter and son’s bedrooms soon, too. Again, they just needed tweaked to finish them off, but it’s great to finally feel as though the home has our stamp on it outside of the main living areas downstairs.
Have you any home projects on the go that you’ve put off for a while?
I don’t know what it is about September, but every year I find myself updating and rejigging things around the house. Sometimes it’s as simple a job as changing up a cabinet display or rearranging a shelf, but I think the purpose is primarily to give my home a refresh for the new season approaching (that or the fact the sun has decided to hibernate and I’m forced indoors again!).
I was recently adding some lovely new bits and pieces to my glass drinks cabinet in my kitchen, when I realised what was really missing was something interesting on the wall above. Thankfully, the lovely team at Scandinavian poster company, Desenio, offered me the opportunity to select a choice of posters and art prints to style up and display in my home, so I immediately got to work, planning my choice of prints to jazz up this little area of wall space.
The first thing that surprised me about Desenio’s vast website, was not only the wide choice of designs before me, but how neatly and clearly the range of prints was categorised, making it an easy job to find and order up the styles and sizes I wanted. The only problem I had was narrowing down my final choice, as there are so many amazing designs to navigate!
I decided that I wanted a quirky, relaxed, feel to my mini wall display, so I opted for a mix of typography prints and art posters with a homely, yet modern vibe, with a vintage botanical theme running through to connect the pieces. This is probably the main thing to consider when planning a gallery display in your home – make sure there is an element, no matter how subtle, that visually links the various pictures. It could be that they are all monochrome images, but in different frames for a more relaxed feel, or a collection of postcards, paintings and posters in similarly styled frames with a central colour or design style to unite them.
Another thing I really liked about the Desenio site, was that once I’d chosen each print, Desenio offered me a choice of frames to choose from, so there was no danger of me selecting the wrong frame size. It made the whole process such a pleasurable, stress-free experience, and it was easy to change them around in my shopping basket later, if wanted.
I love the look of vintage style posters and you can find some great examples on Desenio at a fraction of the price of more ‘authentic’ versions. I chose the ‘Herbs Green’ and ‘Cocktails’ posters for their on-trend, vintage vibe. They’re perfect for the kitchen.
To mix it up a little, I opted for a couple of smaller, more contemporary, A5-sized typography posters (the ‘Ampersand’ and the ‘Dancing’ prints), as well as the ever-popular ‘Palmaceae’ art print, seen below, for a little pop of botanical greenery to soften the overall look.
I’m really pleased with how I’ve managed to create an instant update to this wall so easily. The great thing is, Desenio are offering you all a discount on their website, for you to plan your own gallery wall! Using the code “dekkobird” gives 25% off posters* on the Desenio site between September 11th and 13th 2018 (*except for frames and handpicked/collaboration posters).
So, what are you waiting for?
When we bought our house, the utility room was one of the reasons I fell for it. Ok, ok, I realise that might not be everyone’s first attraction to their new home (especially those of you who are sub-40 and have a social life!!), BUT… this room, with its original 1930s fitted scullery units and old fashioned Sheila’s maid, really felt like the heart of the home. I could just imagine life going on in there all those years ago when the house was shiny and new and I was giddy at the thought of getting my hands (and a tin of Farrow & Ball’s finest) on it.
So that was over two years ago and the first room I wanted to redecorate has now become the final room to redecorate… why does it always work like that? We knew that the avocado loo installed in the WC just off the utility room would need to be replaced eventually, however felt that it was better to just tackle both areas at once. And since the old toilet has finally given up in its campaign to be the last proudly-avocado loo in town, I’ve been busy stripping old wallpaper and removing old tiles like there’s no tomorrow.
It’s been a while since I shared a room makeover with you from within my own home, so I wanted to show you how I got on with recently redecorating our playroom.
Now that my three are a little older, the playroom has become more of a hang out ‘den’ for them, however it’s still a great space for the two younger ones to play with their larger toy sets, such as the lego. (And I can close the door on it come evening time which is an added bonus!) I also have my office corner in this room, where I mainly work during the week, its bright sunny aspect allowing me the ideal light to work in, especially if I’m comparing paint or fabric samples for clients.
All in all it’s been a great room, however it has never felt completely finished to me and has inevitably fallen to the bottom of the priority list, after the kitchen, hall, bedrooms, etc. So, I thought it was about time I gave the room a little makeover, not only to smarten it up, but make it work more effectively as a multifunctional space in our home….
When we moved into our house just over 18 months ago, the bathroom was one room we decided would be left on the long finger as it was in an acceptable state, having only been installed and decorated by the previous owners about seven years ago. There’s nothing really wrong with it, it’s just that it’s not to our personal taste, however it’s not hideous either. The overall layout works well and everything is in very good working order, but I just felt that a few little updates here and there would go a long way in modernising it and make it more our own.
Hello, hello! Ahhh, it’s so good to be back on here after my July break – we spent almost three weeks camping in France, some of which I tried to share via my Insta feed, however those of you who have had a similar kinda holiday will know how difficult wifi can be to search out!! Maybe that’s a good thing in disguise? It is however nice to be home again, back in our little bubble that’s home.
One thing we decided whilst we were away was that we needed to start thinking about our plans for our bedroom. It’s practically the only room in the house that we haven’t touched, however the bare floorboards (I took it upon myself to pull up the tatty old carpet some months ago – don’t even ask), jumbled together furnishings and partly wallpapered walls simply need to be tackled head-on! It’s reached the stage of no turning back, folks…
Which brings me to writing this post. I have a few ideas scrambling around in my brain about the kind of bedroom I want and three keywords keep popping back up: tranquil, light, scandi. So I figure this is where it’s at! Every successful interior scheme begins with a simple moodboard, often created and grown from something as simple as a few key words or singular item in a room, and I always find them a fascinating insight into the direction an interior project is headed, so I want to share mine with you, along with some interior inspiration gathered up from Pinterest and, of course, a look at a handful of always-so-covetable shopping items from my ever-expanding wish list (it WILL become a short-list, eventually, I promise!). Why not follow the planning process with me and hopefully I’ll be paintbrush firmly in hand come September!