Flooring

Fine Floors

When I came to view the house, I knew straight away the carpets had to go. As it had been a rental it was fitted with beige carpet everywhere, only the kitchen and bathroom had tile and the hall had some dark laminate.

Check out that crooked curtain pole!

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The carpet wasn’t in good condition, it was grubby and discoloured in patches, I really disliked the colour.

I spent many hours looking around stores and online at my different options. I thought this would be my chance to have beautiful oak floors amd dreamed of a chevron or herringbone pattern. Even though it wouldn’t of been in keeping with the age of the house it would of been difficult not to.

After lots of thinking and listening to my mum ūüôā I realised that with two dogs who come running in with wet paws and occasionally throw up that an oak floor wasn’t my brightest idea.

I wasn’t sold on the idea of laminate either, I had no idea how good some laminates are now, when I started looking it changed everything.¬† I found a lovely light oak coloured laminate that looked so much like real wood, I wasn’t actually sure what it was when I first saw it.

It was so well priced and the colour variation in the planks sold me.

The flooring was fitted over two days and all the beige carpet was no more. Well, apart from the stairs.

I really wanted to have it put in without the beading around the edges,  I asked the fitter to remove the skirting boards and for the floor to be fitted under them. I also chose to not have any threshold bars in doorways so the flooring flows right through.

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Overall, I love the floor. It’s laminate¬†so it’s¬†easy to keep clean, I don’t have to worry about spills or wet feet, human or doggy, and I can mop it as often as I need to without the worry of caring for real wood.

It’s a warm colour and I’ve covered so much of it up with rugs I honestly don’t think it’s obvious that it’s not real wood.¬† Up close if you stare at it, obviously you can tell. ¬†I chose a good insulating underlay too as the floors downstairs are concrete and I wanted to block out as much cold as I could.

I know some of you prefer carpet in a bedroom or even throughout the whole upstairs but I wanted to use rugs instead then I have the freedom to change them and replace if needed which would be much more cost effective than replacing a carpet. I have been known to drop a whole can of paint on a carpet. Probably wasn’t my fault. Honest.

What do you think? Would you choose laminate over real wood for convenience and cost?

Kitchen/Diner

Shelves, glorious shelves!

Shelves!! My favourite thing! This was honestly one of the most exciting projects.¬† I guess it must be sign I am becoming more, ahem, mature when I get more excited about new shelves than I do about what i’m doing on Saturday night.

I had a wall of shelves in my old apartment.¬† I loved those shelves… I spent many hours re-arranging them and telling them I loved them.

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A very cute, sleeping Charlie doesn’t hurt either!

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In the new place I thought i’d go for a piece of furniture rather than wall shelves.¬† As a quick (impatient) and purse friendly option, I decided to go with some short¬†BILLY¬† bookcases from, yep IKEA.

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I originally wanted to put my old TV in here on top of the bookcases and had to stand it on a join as I was a little worried the weight would make the top bow. You can see Mia chilling on the corner of the rug there.¬† We will talk about the rugs in the house in a future post, there’s a few! But I do love that layered cowhide combo.

This arrangement did not last.¬† It just didn’t have any wow factor and didn’t make me smile when I looked at it.¬† I decided I didn’t like the huge black box of a TV in here and realised I probably wouldn’t use it much anyway.¬† Back to the drawing board.

When I left my old apartment, I also left all the furniture.¬† I literally had a mattress, 4 dining chairs and a coffee table to bring with me.¬† This meant I couldn’t go down the expensive, high end route with everything.¬† Something had to give and I went back to day dreaming about my old shelves…¬† As a result I turned to¬†Ironmongery Direct¬†who supplied my last lot of twin slot shelving brackets.

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This time I decided to go with black uprights and brackets, I wanted some black in the room and didn’t want the actual shelves to be too dark and show up the dust too much!

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They deliver super quick and the price is so good.  The brackets are less than a pound each!

The shelves are the¬†Ekby Jarpen¬†from IKEA, the shorter and narrow ones they sell.¬† I didn’t have loads of space for them to sit out from the wall too far.

I wanted to have the majority of my books and favourite ornaments and plants in one place to make a kind of feature wall if you like.¬† A lot of my plants came from this fantastic¬†eBay Seller.¬† They also have their own website¬†Perfect Plants ¬†I’ve bought¬† a lot from them over the last couple of years and everything arrives well wrapped, quickly¬† and alive! They have some rare and unusual plants you just don’t see in garden centres or high street shops.¬† I’m a sucker for Cacti and anything that goes in a hanging planter.

 

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They also have a weekly blog to help answer any questions you may have or just to look at the gorgeous plants.¬† I’ll be doing some garden posts in the future so i’ll be needing their services again! Check them out here¬†Perfect Plants

I bought quite a large Fiddle Leaf Fig or Ficus Lyrata from them and it’s thriving, lots of new growth and not one single leaf has dropped, it has even branched.¬† I was convinced it would suffer during the house move and it was fine, success!

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Everything looks better against the fresh, clean backdrop of white walls so the first thing to do was get rid of that Magnolia paint.¬† Arghhh…. I wasn’t feeling the magnolia and grey combo and that randomly placed wall shelf you can see below had it’s days numbered.

The stairs in the house are winders and the bottom of the staircase juts out into the dining area so I couldn’t go full height, wall to wall with the shelves.

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I decided to go from the wall nearest the window, across as far as I could.  This left a gap under the underneath of the staircase to put a nice comfy armchair and a small side table.

The Billy bookcases ended up making excellent storage for the shed. At the price they were I wasn’t too upset about using them for tool and garden storage and I needed some sort of storage solution in there anyway.

The shelves went up and I finally got to put things away and clear some space and empty boxes that I was tripping over.  My books had a home and I could start the fun part of arranging things.

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Here they are, I tried to put the heaviest things on a join with a bracket offering extra support.

What do you think? What would you have done with this space? Traditional bookcases or open shelving? Share your thoughts!

 

Bedrooms

Dressing Room Blues

In the master bedroom I wanted to create the feeling of a more subtle and calming space than I’d ever had before. Although I now have 4 bedrooms as opposed to one, they are not overly large rooms.

In my old apartment the bedroom was big enough to be functional. I had enough space for one small double wardrobe. Even though I don’t have masses of clothes it wasn’t really enough as I had to keep winter coats in there along with everything else.

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Here, in the new house, I toyed with the idea of a whole room just for wardrobes. A dressing room, read on to hear about my mistake.

The master bedroom isn’t really big enough to have more than one small wardrobe, ¬†because of the way the window and door are, you lose wall space.

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This is how the previous tenants had it set up.¬† You’ll see more of what I’ve done with the space in a future post.

My intention was to take the smallest room and use it as a dressing room. Wardrobes all around and a dressing table. I wasn’t 100% sure I wanted to use a whole room just for this but nothing is permanent, right?!

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My error solved this problem anyway… in my haste to get something into the house for storage so I could at least put some things away (I didn’t bring any furniture with me) I went to Ikea,¬† with the floor plan from the house and sat down with a planner to order my pax wardrobes. I decided to utilise the corner in the room and ordered a corner wardrobe and one single one. This would fit nicely and leave room for a large chest of drawers or a dressing table.

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It didn’t occur to me to measure the room myself as I had all the measurements on the floor plan the estate agent had produced. Big mistake. When I did measure the room I realised that the wardrobe wouldn’t fit and it had already been delivered. I could of arranged a return but Ikea’s delivery and return charged are not cheap.

It became obvious that the agent had measured the room into the window. Instead of measuring to the wall they had added another few inches onto the room by going right up past the window sill.

Plan B … the only room the wardrobes would fit in was the second largest room which would be used as a guest room.¬† My plan was to have this as a minimal guest room with a beautiful armchair and a couple of special pieces of furniture.¬† Not gonna happen..

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The wardrobes consequently ended up in the spare room.  The smaller room was now my work space.  This had been my intention for the third largest bedroom.  Confused yet?

Such a first world problem.

The corner wardrobe is a totally different design to how they used to be. If I’d spent a little more time making this decision. I wouldn’t buy one again. The corner unit is actually one double frame and an extra bit you attach to the side. The double robe has to sit 11cm away from the wall, leaving you dead space behind the unit. It has a cheap rubber strip on the front to close the gap between the double one and the extra add on piece.

Also, you cannot put handles on the doors as they close in together and the handles will clash together. You also have to open the double wardrobe door first as you can’t open the other one whilst this is still closed. My only solution was to use some vintage handles I had and fix them horizontally in the middle of each door.

Ikea have also changed the manufacturers of the¬†Bergsbo doors and they are a slightly different colour white to the¬†Pax frame. Annoying but not too noticeable once you stop staring at it and get used to it. Still, would of been nice to know they didn’t match!

All in all they do the job. My things are away and tidy and there’s plenty of storage in them but I would not¬†have ordered¬†this set up in hindsight. You win some….

Would you sacrifice a bedroom for a dressing room?

Lights, camera...

Welcome!

Hi, welcome to my first ever blog post.  I hope we can get to know each other and I hope you enjoy it.

I moved house in December 2017, for the first couple of months I couldn’t really sink my teeth into it due to family commitments and Christmas being around the corner but I am making some real progress now.

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So, here she is in all her boring beige glory.  Not the most attractive facade but I think I can cheer it up, some plants and hanging baskets will go a long way.

The house had always been a rental property until the previous owners decided to sell.¬† I totally understand why someone renting for a while wouldn’t want to spend any money or effort to make changes. As a result it was very magnolia and beige.¬† My two least favourite colours.

I was originally looking for a period property with bags of character and original features, I was dreaming of cast iron fireplaces and ornate coving,¬† but after a year of trying to move,¬† sales falling through and feeling a little impatient I decided to go and view this one.¬† I added it to my list of viewings as a bit of a red herring but it had that ”home” feeling when I walked through the door.¬† Total opposite of what I thought I wanted.¬† It’s only 4 years old and is very energy efficient which also pleased me very much.

I viewed the house and thought, great, just a lick of paint.¬† Yeah right… Of course I want to change everything!

The main thing that bothered me was the lighting situation.  This is the main focus of this post.  We will get to everything eventually though, I promise!

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As you can see from the various angles, it’s a lovely, big, airy and bright room.¬† Much bigger than I was used to!

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As you can¬†see we had a bulk head situation going on in the kitchen.¬† To me it looked like the lights you would find in a Travelodge hallway to lead you to your emergency exit… Not pretty.

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The dining area of the kitchen also had two pendant lights and I was pretty sure I wanted to convert these into one centrally placed light.

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I had been researching lighting options online for months before I moved, so many fixtures had caught my eye and it was a lot of fun decorating my virtual house before i’d moved in! such grand plans ūüôā

In the end I fell for some really well priced lights from good old BHS I even managed to get them with a 20% off sale.30002368-01-Kolding-ball-pendant

I bought three of these babies to hang above the breakfast bar/peninsula.

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And two of these to replace the ”industrial” vibe that was going on in the kitchen. All from¬†BHS.

I hired an electrician for this, I have to say, please don’t try to do this yourself.¬† Unless you’re an electrician ūüôā

I also asked him to convert my two pendant lights in the dining area into one.

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Here, I hung a gorgeous brass and frosted glass, 6 light pendant from NEXT

 

The six cables that suspend the glass spheres do not hang level, if you want it to look like the stock NEXT picture above it takes quite some fiddling.  Luckily I was happy to have them looking a little more asymmetrical.

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As you can see I had this job done before I’d even unpacked a box.¬† Impatient, much…

I did do things a little backwards, It would of been far more sensible to paint everywhere before I started installing new lighting and having furniture delivered but that takes us back to my impatience ūüôā I know if you’re reading this you’ll understand!

I decided to go with all LED lamps in here as the pendants hang quite low and I didn’t want the heat from traditional or halogen bulbs.¬† Not to mention the savings in the long term on my energy bills, I also like the idea of not having to change them very often. I purchased these ones from¬†B&Q¬†I got the warm white ones to avoid that clinical blue tinge the older LED’s have and they give out a lovely warm glow.¬† They’re considerably more expensive but the savings in the long term far outweigh the initial outlay.

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This room is pretty finished now, I’ll cover the other areas and decor in future posts but you can see here how the lights turned out. I am thrilled with them.

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If you made it this far, thank you for taking the time to read, please follow me and see what else I have up my sleeve!