Sunday, 23 October 2016

The Pink House - guest room before and after by Amy

I absolutely LOVE our first before & after peek inside Amy's amazing new house!  It's inspired me to want to sort out our mish-mash of a spare room soon.  I love what they've done with this space, so calm and stylish.  Over to Amy...

The room we decided to make our guest room had previously been the master bedroom.  It's got a lovely river view and great inbuilt storage but is on the corner with the road so we decided it was better for occasional rather than regular use.

The final result

You can't really tell from the before photos but the whole room, including the ceiling, was covered in woodchip, which was a real effort to remove!  And after we had removed it we were pretty scared the ceiling was going to fall in as it was covered in large cracks.  All of the plasterwork is lathe and plaster so it would have been a massive and very messy job to redo the ceiling so instead we elected to fill the cracks and paper it. One piece of advice for you all - papering ceilings is bloody hard work and WILL lead to arguments. 


The ceiling:

We decided to go nautical in this room but we wanted it to maintain a high end look and not feel tacky or themey.  There were a few bits from our old flat we'd originally intended to go in here but have decided they don't quite fit.  James found this AMAZING Cole & Son wallpaper and that really set the tone for the rest of the room.  It's an original wallpaper pattern from the 1900's and is based on Hokusai's Great Wave which I'd studied at uni so it was perfect in lots of ways.  We decided to tie that through with other nods and added the Hokusai print and book.  We also decided to have a bit of fun with our ceiling ordeal and frame this vintage Puffin postcard.


We've still got a few bits still to do - I'm looking for a mirror for above the fireplace (I'd seen a lovely white wooden round one in The Range but it was too small) and once we've found one we will hang the frames currently on the mantle on the opposite wall. My uncle has also given us a lovely curvy old wooden chair that will go in the corner by the door and I'm trying to find a nice fabric to reupholster the seat pads that will go well with the wallpaper in a complementary clashing sort of way.  Overall though we are so pleased with this room and it has turned out exactly how we wanted it to, which makes all the blood sweat and tears worth it!

Where we shopped:

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

The kitchen - plea for help! The Pink House by Amy

So as you will have seen from my last post, we are about to launch headfirst into some serious decorating! Usually the 2 of us have very similar taste on pretty much everything (lamps and light fittings being the notable exception) but we are really struggling to decide on how to style the kitchen. Luckily this is going to be pretty much the last room we do (living room and downstairs hall will probably be the last) so we’ve got plenty of time to decide what we want but I’m totally stuck. We have a completely blank space to play with as we’re relocating the kitchen so literally anything goes. Key features to take into consideration are a red brick fireplace (which I’m going to paint wash to a more natural brick colour and open up a bit to put a BRIGHT PINK range style cooker in), and some beams which are currently really dark but we’re going to strip back to a lighter wood.

My all time favourite kitchen style that I keep coming back to is modern white gloss units with wooden worktops but I’m really nervous about the wood because in my experience it marks and stains really easily, especially around the sink.  J is leaning more towards a shabby chic country kitchen style but I don’t feel as though that fits with our overall style. Other styles we both like are either a really modern industrial type vibe which I like but worry I’d get bored of, or brightly coloured units with a light stone worktop which are really fresh and funky but might look a bit garish with our brightly coloured appliances and utensils?

I’d honestly welcome any thoughts and also any top tips on kitchen shopping as it’s our first time!


Thursday, 25 August 2016

Garden Patio Makeover - Home by Bex

We decided we needed to do something with our patio area at the end of summer last year, we thought a deck would be the perfect solution to hide the ugly paving and planned it for spring but have only just gotten round to it (and saved the funds) and we are thrilled with it!  I can't recommend Mark from Allsorts Property Maintenance enough!

It's a small area of our garden but  has made such a difference to our enjoyment of it, not to mention the twins' ability to get in and out independently!  They often fell off the step as they prefer to hold on to the side of the door frame when going down and it didn't stretch across the full width.

Our patio was ugly, grubby and uneven with huge spaces between slabs.  It was tricky for the twins to walk on, the table & chairs are unstable and difficult to push back when sitting down or getting up.  The step also got in the way of our table and chairs.

We had to keep folding the chairs out of the way to get around the table.

Our plan was to get rid of the step, have the decking be at the level just under the patio door and to cover the whole main square of patio with a slant across the corner to spare the tree.  We decided to leave the path area along the side of the kitchen because of the drain, tap and hose.  We also planned to have it overlap onto the grass about a foot on each side to give us extra space for our table and chairs and we decided to have a step along the front edge and the side of the path.

I asked around for local recommendations for someone to build it for us and booked in a few quotes.  Our choice was then easy - only one turned up when he said he would and gave us a quote the very next day, laid out with costs for each and every material, labour and listing exactly what he'd do.  The others either never showed at all or showed up late and sent us quotes WEEKS later!!  (One was actually a complete joke giving all kinds of excuses for being late and increasing the quote 3 times because he got it wrong!)

Anyway, Mark turned up bang on 8am and got to work without even disturbing us until he needed electricity and he did an excellent job.  The whole thing was done in fewer than 3 days to an excellent, sturdy standard and is exactly what we hoped for.

He left the place tidy every evening and made sure it was perfectly level (meaning he had to dig out and level part of the lawn as it's on such a slope!)

The twins manage the shallow steps so much easier than previously.  Their confidence has improved massively as they wouldn't go up steps before without being on all fours or holding on to something/someone.

Although we'd opted for pre-treated wood, we decided it just looked unfinished in the raw wood so decided to paint it.  After much deliberation/searching for inspiration, we opted for Cuprinol decking stain in Silver Birch.  Nik did a fab job painting it with a couple of coats and it looks great!

Perfect for early morning Duplo in pyjamas!

It looks great with my pots and hanging basket back up and we have so much more space for our garden furniture without the step getting in the way!

We already use the patio area a lot more now and have enjoyed a great BBQ with plenty of space for the high chairs too.

She was hungry!

I love my melamine plates (not least because they go in the dishwasher which a lot don't) which I got from M&Co with a gift voucher I won on Instagram!

We are so happy with Mark's work, we've already booked him to come back and build the twins' playhouse for us!  (When it arrived it became apparent that it was going to take us days to complete!  Not your standard flatpack!!)  It's their early 2nd birthday present from both sets of grandparents which we're hoping they'll get to enjoy this summer before the weather turns colder again.  (Although that is now looking unlikely thanks to quite a few issues with it but that's a story for another post!)

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