In the first few months of starting this blog I attempted a little DIY of adding some home-made wall panelling over a damaged wall in my hallway. Fast-forward a couple of years and this blog post is still my most popular post ever. Even though I look back on the whole post (the terrible photography, the over-linking, not to mention the shoddy DIY job itself!) and cringe a bit, it points out that loads of you actually want to DIY wall panels in your own home, and are seeking out how to do it online.Read More
I definitely think we have moved away from being scared of bold, patterned wallpaper. As the dedicated House Of Hackney devotees flood Instagram with their wallpaper statements, it is now seen as something much more on-trend and desirable than something we associate with 'granny's house'. I don't think the same can be said about carpet. A heavily patterned, bold carpet choice is still something we flinch at and attach to a comedic period in interior-trend history, like avocado-coloured bathroom suites. I'm sure this will change going forward, yet for now, the neutral-coloured carpet is still king.Read More
There has been quite a bit of press around the new furniture collection for H&M Home recently. H&M, whose home accessories collections have always been peppered with well-designed pieces at great value, are branching out into tables and lighting. This is great news. However, I wanted to hone a spotlight on another High Street Interior Hero: Zara Home. I feel like Zara is currently leading the way on the high street for on-trend, affordable women's clothing. Yet, I never feel that they shout about their homeware collection too much, which is a shame as it is one of my favourite places to find well-priced gems. The designs are a bit West Elm, but without really stretching the bank balance like West Elm can do. My particular favourites have always been the side tables, to which I have a number in my home.Read More
So, our new composite deck is complete! Landscapers The Greenkeeper spent two weeks dismantling our rotten timber deck, building new framework and installing Trex deck boards and accompanying railing. If you missed the big reveal then you can find it here. If you want to see the build process then click here. Otherwise, I spent a lot of time chatting to The Greenkeeper during the deck build and it was a real eye-opener to how the innovative product of composite deck is revolutionising our exteriors. With its zero-maintenance appeal and eco-credentials, it is the perfect product for the time-poor consumer who would prefer to invest in sustainable materials within their home. I thought it would be interesting to do a Q&A with The Greenkeeper to find out all about how they came to be Trex Pro installers, and why they think that Trex is the future of decking, especially in the UK....Read More
There are a few reasons as to why I decided to attempt a DIY kitchen splash-back, even though I had never tiled before in my entire life! The main and most obvious reason was of-course money. Our old cooker had died a very sad death the day before Christmas and we couldn't get one the same size, so we had to have someone come and cut away the worktop and a section of the units to fit in the wide new cooker. We then had to have a joiner in to re-build part of the base units once the installation was complete. The wall tiles also came a cropper as part of the switch-over, but I just did not have a spare £500 to give a professional tiler to come and sort that out aswell. Yet, another reason apart from money was that I had discovered the new Syren range of wall tiles by Topps Tiles.Read More
I am SO excited to finally reveal on the blog my brand new decking area, made from Trex Transcend Composite Decking and Trex Signature Railings. If you’ve been following our garden overhaul progress you will have seen why I had given up on our traditional timber deck, as well as a progress report of the build. This post is all about how the finished decking area now looks and how I have styled it so it is perfect for alfresco dinners and summer parties. So, without further delay, here are all the final photos of my finished raised decking area in my garden. As you can imagine, I am delighted with how it has turned out!Read More
Last week on the blog I talked about my big garden plans and how I had given up on our rotten, raised timber deck area of our garden. Instead, it was all going to be ripped out and replaced by something called Trex Transcend - a strong and durable composite decking made from 95% recycled materials. Well, as you can tell from the header image to this post (!!) the exciting news is that the big garden overhaul has begun! Landscape company The Greenkeeper arrived to dismantle and and re-lay the deck just over a week ago. After some initial framework problems, the actual installation of the Trex Deck was pretty interesting to watch. So, here is the build progress so far.....
Once the rotting timber deck was removed it was obvious that the timber framework also was not up to scratch. As well as also being rotten in a lot of places, the framework was wonky and uneven and just not in good enough condition to lay down the new deck boards.
Using new treated timber boards and recycling the old timber where they could, The Greenkeeper guys created a perfectly level, strong and secure framework from scratch. This added on a few extra days to the build but it was really important that the framework was structurally sound and level. I actually really liked the look of this large geometric timber playground in the garden! It looked like a crazy piece of modern installation art!
Once the framework was complete the Trex Transcend deck was delivered. Seeing this lovely shiny new deck that I knew I would not have to sand and stain every year was a double feeling of not only excitement, yet also huge relief. With a small child, a house to run, a blog and a business, I just do not have time for the huge amount of maintenance every year the timber deck took. Also, comparing the old timber deck that had just been taken away off my drive to this new deck in the warm, auburn 'Lava Rock' colourway was a real treat. What I instantly really liked is the fact the Trex deck does not have the deep grooves of timber deck, meaning that it will be easier to sweep and clean.
The Greenkeeper guys, who are certified Professional Trex Installers, got to work laying the deck at quite a fast rate.
The black gaffa-style tape that you see on the surface of the timber framework is Trex Protect Joist Tape. This gives an extra layer of protection to the timber framework which will have screws in it from the Trex Fixing Systems (which is what attaches the Trex deck to the framework). When a screw is inserted into the timber through the tape, the tape acts like a silicone in the hole preventing any water or moisture from entering the timber.
So far, so clever, but this is the REALLY good part. Trex offers a Pro-Plug system for any parts of the deck that require screw holes in the actual deck rather than being secured by the Fixing Systems. These tiny nuggets have the same grain and colour of the Trex Transcend being laid, so you do not notice that there were any drill holes made in the first place. It took me ages to find one when The Greenkeeper guys challenged me to locate where a plug had been used!
Once the deck boards were down, the next step was the railings. As my deck is raised off the ground, railings were vital. My previous rotten deck meant that the wood railings wobbled at the slightest touch. Trex offer powder-coated aluminium railings with near-zero maintenance and this is what Mark from The Greenkeeper is installing below. This is Trex's Signature Railing and comes in black and bronze. I chose bronze to keep the colourway of the deck and railings all the same.
As the railings are being inserted around the front of the deck, The Greenkeeper guys cut away the excess Trex Deck boards to the shape of the framework. So this is where we are up too now:
All that is left is to add the rest of the railings and the frontal fascia boards and the deck will be ready for its BIG REVEAL! Sign up to the mailing list below to not miss out on my big garden deck makeover!
* This post is sponsored by Trex who are very kindly collaborating with me on the transformation of my garden deck space by providing all materials and labour in exchange for promotional activity.
After the redecoration of my sitting room was completed in four short weeks with Revamp Restyle Reveal, in the time that followed one of the things that I wished I had changed in the room was getting in a new rug. What remained in the room was a plain, small piece of high-pile rug just in front of the fire which was only put there in the first place so the dog could lay in front of the log burner in comfort. It looked dull, a bit worn and out-of-place in the shiny new room. I decided it was time for an upgrade.Read More
Hello and welcome to my garden! I have not featured the garden on my blog in a long time and with good reason - it is a disaster that I just cannot keep on top of. Well, not the garden itself but actually the decking area. We have a really large area of the garden that is raised decking, but the truth is the past couple of years it hasn't even been used - in fact I've actively cornered it off as I feel it is unsafe for the family.Read More
As part of my Revamp Restyle Reveal Sitting Room plans, I wanted to get rid of an old display cabinet that was not making the most of the space and create what looked like bespoke bookcase shelving. I had long admired the many amazing Ikea Billy Bookcase hacks that are all over Pinterest, so being on a tiny budget and for the love of DIY, I set about making my own version!Read More
Bank holiday weekends for me, like a lot of people, are all about DIY! The three-day period just gives that extra amount of time to complete any projects both inside and outside of the home. With the bank holiday weekend just gone having been dry, warm and sunny, I used this time to spruce up my outdoor balcony. It had been a few years since I had painted the deck boards in this space and they were looking weathered and bare. The metal railings had also peeled and cracked in the sun from summers gone-by. This summer, I wanted to bring an old wooden bench that had been left at the bottom of the garden up on the balcony as a colourful seating area, so I set about transforming the deck, railings and the bench using exterior paints by Sandtex and Sadolin.Read More
It is no secret that grey has played a huge part in popular interior schemes for a good number of years now. Grey-painted walls have completely replaced cream or magnolia as the modern version of the go-to neutral in our homes. I for one am a huge grey fan (as you might have noticed, having recently painted my living room a very matt, clay-coloured grey). The most successful 'shades of grey' have ranged from very soft, grey-tinged whites, to deep, bold greys. The huge 'Downpipe-trend' peaked a couple of years ago, where everyone took the plunge to dark interiors using one of Farrow & Ball's now most popular shades. This year we have seen a move towards using more colour in our homes. Bold jewel tones and a more 'maximalist' style have played a big part in key interior trends for 2018. While at Salone in Milan last month the key neutrals were very warm, beigey pink-tinged colours. So is grey over? Far from it, in fact. It is now all about using grey on the floor to compliment these new bolder colours or warmer neutrals.Read More
Sometimes there are interior and home products that I see that make me elated and go "YES! That is RIGHT UP MY STREET!!" A visit to the the Kohler Experience Centre today on my tour of Clerkenwell Design Week 2018 made me do just that. In the week where London celebrates the best of horticulture with the Chelsea Flower Show, alongside the best in architecture and design with CDW, it was the perfect time for Kohler to unveil in the UK their new collection of Dutchmaster sinks. Big, bold, dramatic florals on a dark and moody background cover the entire surface of the washbasins, with two separate designs that come as a circular or rectangular model.Read More
Lately I have really noticed a shift towards people wanting to live much more ethically within their own home. Showers and white goods that save water have been around for a good while now, while the introduction of new technology has meant that we can get much more of a grip on how much energy we are using (and money we are spending). However, things seem to be taking a bigger step towards purchasing homeware products that are re-usable, recyclable and cruelty-free. Last month at the Ideal Home Exhibition interior designer extraordinaires 2LG created a 'love/work' space that encompassed the use of vegan leather and worktops made of recycled yogurt pots. The result was impeccably sexy and stylish, a million miles away from what could be considered by some as a 'hippy-chic home'.Read More
I am so excited to reveal today a HUGE project that I have been working on for the past 4 weeks - my living room transformation! I was delighted to be asked to take part in Revamp Restyle Reveal again for the second year, where 10 UK interior bloggers undertake the 4 week challenge of re-doing a room in their home with the help of some fantastic brand sponsors. The challenge of course is not an easy one - Revamp Reveal Reveal has a very DIY ethos, so hiring in tradesmen to do the hard work is not an option! This year I chose to revamp my living room. I have never decorated this room as I have really struggled with just how it should look. It was still painted in the same colour chosen by the previous owners (magnolia, which I hated) and it was filled with furniture from our old house that was never purchased for this space:Read More
Once upon a time in a relaxing period called BC (that's 'Before Children') myself and my husband used to take one luxury holiday a year, and we always chose to go somewhere in Asia. We absolutely loved the culture, food and the design, with it being so different to what we were familiar with in the West. Everything were more delicate, more detailed, playful and so well thought-out. Therefore, when modern Asian lifestyle brand Zens contacted me to see if I wanted to pick out a couple of their products to review, I jumped at the chance to style a couple of their contemporary, yet oh-so pretty vases within their Home Decor range.Read More
I have a small balcony accessed via some arched doors from my living area that is an absolute sun trap, so in the summer months I spend more time here than in the garden. Last year I created a really kitsch miami-pink style space here, which although was fun for one summer, it did not work at all with the living space and felt completely disjointed. This year I really wanted the area to be an extension of my living room as I felt it would work better than as a completely separate area to it. I wanted the furniture to be really good quality, while also fit in with the stylish pieces I had indoors. My living room is a warm blue hue, so when I discovered that Marks & Spencer were focusing on Artisan Blues for Spring/Summer 2018, I just had to check out their Alfresco range of garden furniture and accessories.Read More
The picture below is of the en-suite bathroom off our guest room at home. It is mainly used as the 'downstairs loo' as it is right by the kitchen in the basement. It has this lovely window that looks onto our back courtyard and then over to the kitchen window, however, this view can only be enjoyed when frequenting one of two places - either using the toilet or taking a shower! Safe to say whatever side of the window you are on, no-one is going to want to see someone else the other side of the glassRead More
Spring is the perfect time to give the rooms in your home an overhaul, and with statement wallpaper (on all walls, not just a feature wall!) being a key trend in interiors in 2018, why not update your decor with the new wallpaper collections from Laura Ashley? I was recently asked to write a guest post over on the Laura Ashley blog all about my favourite wallpaper picks from the new Spring collection, which you can read and see all the photos in full here.Read More
I've been wanting to do a section on the blog for a while now where I talk about my new favourite bits and bobs that I've added into my home. Spring feels like the perfect time to start 'The Edit' section as this is the time of year that I really want to give my house a bit of an update, what with lighter evenings and streaming sun finally being a thing again. So here are my fave recent additions, some have kindly been gifted to me, others I've brought with my own cash.Read More