Hello and welcome to my post as part of the summer #UKHomeBlogHop! If you are joining me from Season's In Colour's post and have never read this blog before, then let me introduce myself. My name is Melanie and my blog is all about doing interiors on a budget with a bit of creativity and some DIY. For those of you who have come directly to this post just to check it out, then a huge thank you for coming by! If you enjoy this post then please do have a peep at the other blogs in this summer's Hop, all about styling our homes for summer. There are 27 amazing interior bloggers taking part in total, and it all starts here with host and organiser Swoonworthy's summer style.
We all know that kitchens are the area of the home that can suck away all our hard-earned cash. The units, worktops, fixtures and fittings - all these things often cost a lot of money. I know people who have been put off purchasing a home as the kitchen has not been to their taste or style, and they can't afford to also purchase a sleek, shiny new kitchen on top of the property price.
I'm so happy to be able to finally reveal to you the home office revamp that I have been working on since the start of the year! As I've mentioned in previous posts, me and my husband share this work space in our home and it just wasn't working for either of us. It was the only room in the house that remained decorated by the previous owners, and although the statement red chimney breast and biscuit coloured walls were inoffensive, they weren't exactly great either. Our artwork had been randomly hung all over the place just on the hooks left by the old owners; and with me and my husband working daily in this room, storage was a problem.
My mother-in-law recently asked me to cover an old headboard in her guest bedroom and add in tufted buttons (that trick which create the plush diamond pattern effect). I'd never upholstered a headboard before, but spurned on by how well my pink velvet bedroom bench came out, I watched a few YouTube videos made by an American upholstery company, made notes, then went about sourcing the items required to do the job.
I think that one of the major pro's of being an interiors blogger is the fact that you get invited to press shows to see next seasons furniture and home ware. Just spending my day in interiors shops is a fun day out for me, let alone being able to see and touch not-yet-on-sale furnishings! One of the big trends for SS17 that I took away from the end of last years press shows was the fact that blue would be big for 2017. Blue velvet sofas and chairs featured a lot. Large backdrops painted in lovely matt blues highlighted the new gold accessories for spring and summer.
I have a confession to make. It's a pretty bad one. Yes, I am an award-winning DIY'er, but until just before Christmas I had never put up wallpaper myself. Ever. Putting up wallpaper just seemed like one of those things that was a major headache - air bubbles, matching the pattern, having enough paper. Urgh. Too much stress. I have vague recollections of my parents putting up wallpaper and the difficulty of it causing a lot of bitching and bickering between them as they did it (I now know the reason for this being my mother is an absolute perfectionist when it comes to wallpapering, as I found out papering this bathroom with her.) Anyhow, I couldn't live with this lack of wallpapering experience shame much longer, so decided to give my bathroom a mini-makeover with wallpaper at the end of last year.
The back door to our house was needing a little bit of love. Its paint was peeling and it was just generally uninspiring. It also still had a bloody Christmas decoration on it which I had been meaning to take down in like forever. Instead of just giving it a new lick of paint, I decided to add a few more features to really jazz it up properly and give it a bit of 'wow-factor'.
Old homeware items can be given a totally new lease of life with a little bit of creativity. If you own an item that either you do not like anymore, or does not fit into your current decor scheme, look at it and think about how you could make it work with a little bit of DIY, rather than get rid of it or stick it in the loft.
I had a rather lovely chrome floor lamp that was in perfect working order; yet I am just so not into chrome these days, having fallen hard for gold and brass! Rather than replace it for something more my current style, I gave it an 'American Glamour' make over by spray painting the base and adding basic black ribbon to a plain white shade to give it a more sophisticated edge.
As daft as it sounds, I'd recently brought a new vase that would look perfect in one corner of my living room, but I needed to buy a table to stand the new vase on! I've got some gold and glass side tables in the room which I love, but they are all being used for other purposes (climbing frames and rubbish disposal points mainly, but lets leave that gripe there..) I needed a table that matched the existing side tables, but looking at brass side tables online I wasn't prepared to part with £60+ to display a £12.50 fake cactus vase.
Sometimes when you need an inexpensive bit of basic furniture there is only one thing for it - Ikea. I searched Ikea's website for a glass topped table and came across the VITTSJO laptop table. This table was perfect as aswell as having a glass top, it has a metal frame which is best for spray painting (and it was only 20 quid!)
I can't emphasise enough how paint and a little bit of DIY effort can go a long way in transforming your home. Even if you do not change anything else in the room, a coat of paint a different colour, or a 'freshen up' if the paint work is looking tired, can totally revolutionise a space.
I was recently hired by my first ever client (YAY! Go me!!) to re-vamp her front porch. Mrs A was sick of coming home to her porch the way it looked, and felt it gave a really bad impression to people visiting her home. What she wanted was a pretty (but not fussy), fresh, welcoming, cheery entrance. So - cue photo time - she was currently coming home to this....
Do you browse Instagram, Pinterest or interior magazines and ogle peoples rooms that they have painted a dark or a really bright colour? Are you wanting to experiment with these colours in your home, but need to dip your toe in first before making a big commitment? I'm a really big fan of strong colours - bright fushia pinks, inky blues, period greens, dark greys and deep teal colours are a favourite. Yet when it comes to painting a whole room this colour, like you may be, I'm hesitant! I think if it was just me on my own I'd take the plunge, but as the rest of the family have to live with it day in, day out, I just can't bring myself to experiment painting our sunny living room dark (for now, anyway.)
I've recently started painting furniture that I already own in paint colours that I love and want to feature in the house, but haven't yet plucked up the courage to paint the walls with. This is a win-win situation as i'm introducing pops of the colour into my interior scheme, saving money by only requiring a small amount of paint and updating existing furniture rather than replacing it.
If you have moved house and your old furniture doesn't look right in your new place; perhaps you have brought a new dining table and need your old wood chairs to match; imagine what your existing furniture could look like with in a whole new colour? Or, if you love bright orange, imagine what an orange chair could do to transform your space and make it a focal point? It's easy and budget friendly to update what you already own with paint!
I'm really into the current geometric trend in interiors. I didn't think it would be my thing as it is so trendy and modern and my style is usually a bit more classic, but i've fully embraced it. I saw this cabinet on Instagram taken at the London Design Festival earlier this year and thought it worked so well, it totally inspired me to add together geometric brights and wood in furniture.....
When we moved into our current home last year, one of the great things about it was a balcony you accessed from the living room. As we live on a hill it has great views (especially on Fireworks night.) It is also a total suntrap, so I want to utilise it this summer.
Yet before it could become my evening wine drinking haven, this balcony needed some proper DIY love. Its decking was worn and faded, the paint on the balcony doors weathered, but the worst problem was something I couldn't do anything about - wood-rot and damage to the neighbours property that was clearly visible. The balcony needed a tart up, and I needed to cover the neighbours wall damage from view....
You can't move for brass drinks trolleys in interiors right now. They are all over interior magazines and the blogs. I decided that I would make like Zayn Malik (who apparently has his own pub in his garden) and have a drinks trolley as part of my balcony re-vamp (although, unlike Zayn, this was more to do with having a child and never getting out anymore, as opposed to being a millionaire popstar). I managed to win this gold number on Ebay (top tip: if you are also after a drinks cart, type in 'tea trolley' and you are more likely to get a bargain)...
When we moved into our house last year there was a problem with some damp on the lower floor. We called in the damp proofing people but we had real trouble with one interior wall in the hallway. The damp guys came back 3 times to try and fix the issue, with the final result being that the damp was eradicated but the hallway wall was left a total mess. Most of the wall had been drilled away numerous times to inject anti-damp treatment and even though I used a range of plaster repair tools and fillers, when the wall got a new coat of paint it still looked shoddy. What made it worse was that this wall was by the back door so the light shined on it all day highlighting all its imperfections..