Tag Archives: Living Room


The internet is back up! I WILL NOT comment on whether it was our fault that it went down or not. That little white box containing the BT wires was far too delicate! Anyway back to business…

The Boy took an unusual interest in my DIY/crafting efforts the other day and asked about the second hand chandeliers that my parents had given us (well, me, The Boy claims to hate them).  My confusion only dissipated when he went on to comment that it would be quite nice if we were to have a light in the lounge, like, at all! This is what they looked like before so I can’t blame him for not loving them.

Firstly, it needed a good old fashioned clean. So I took of all the dangly bits and cleaned them first of all with soapy hot water and then dunking them into a bath of cold water with vinegar, they came out sparkling like new!

Then we went to the the orange coloured DIY store (the one that is our second home) and riffled through what I personally think is a rather small selection of spray paints. I read a lot of US based interiors blogs and I read about all these fandangled paints, but the range that we have in our local store, not so good. I don’t know about anyone else but these massive stores that they are building crammed to the hilt with everything, and specialising in nothing are limiting! They destroy the local hardware stores yet only stock small ranges of a large number of products and consumers end up ‘making do’. I guess we have bought it upon ourselves.

I then set about constructing an elaborate way of dangling the chandelier so that I could spray paint the relevant bits and not the irrelevant ones. For this I used part of a cupboard, a chair, a piece of scrap wood (we have heaps, you can’t throw it away…just in case!) and a wire coat hanger. I think it worked rather well.

After impatiently waiting for it to dry ( I gave it a few smudges here and there by not waiting long enough. I should have really learnt, considering how very much this paint is like nail varnish and how frequently I manage to smudge that!) I screwed all the relevant parts back together (minus one that The Boy attacked with the clothes airer and broke). Thank goodness that a) I had two of these things and b) that I didn’t take both of them apart at the same time as I really needed one to inform me on how to screw the other one back together!

So, here it is one newly restored chandelier…I know that they are not everyone’s cup of tea but I absolutely love it!

Ta da!

Puttin' on the glitz

This is how our lounge is set up at the moment (we had a party last week) and I love that the chandelier adds to the mismatched attitude to everything else in the room. We are not going to be able to afford all brand new furniture straight away so this eclectic look is just going to have to work for now.

Also, all respect and commendation must go to The Boy for wiring up this little baby. 2ndHandHouse appears to have the most confusing electrical set up ever! Thank goodness he loves a logical problem! Kitchen update is on it’s way…!


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Engagement picnic…

Whilst I get on with my more…ahem, nitty gritty DIY jobs, I will distract you with pictures of my friends beautiful hand crafted Engagement picnic. Even if it hadn’t been a beautiful, sunny day the atmosphere would still have been as magical.

Yummy food, beautiful bunting and home made decorations made the day extra special and stylish.

I can’t wait for next year when the bride-to-be will turn her crafty hand to create her very own wedding day that will be personal and as special as the couple themselves.

I thought that they deserved a crafty present to celebrate their impending crafty nuptials…first the card…bunting was essential!

It’s a unique way to make a bland engagement card (and I was surprised by how bland these cards are) something a little more special.

Then, as a nod to the groom-to-be, the present…

I bought this awesome 1950’s illustrated map from frontispiece which is a great vintage maps and prints shop that sits incongruously in the mega slick shopping mall at Canary Wharf. The Groom-to-be is a map fan (a cartographile??) and a Londoner so this was the perfect present for their love nest. I was just going to frame it on white paper when The Boy pointed out that it would look great on a map (ooo, he is a secret crafting genius…he just needs to give in to it!). Passing Stanfords in town he came across a sheet of wrapping paper printed with an old Stanford’s map on it and bought it home to frame the map with. Little did he know that the map itself was originally from Stanford’s back in the day, what a perfect coincidence! So the end result was…

We loved it so much that I wanted to keep it! But we managed to pass it on from one crafty couple to another!

We have been ploughing on with the work at the house, it’s just all a bit boring. Maybe that might explain how The Boy and I have each managed to injure ourselves over the weekend, out of sheer boredom! Stay tuned for the less boring stuff, coming soon!

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Not doing DIY…

This week I have been not doing DIY…well I have, but not the glamorous, transformative and interesting DIY that I could show you pretty pictures of.

I have not been transforming my left over furniture into beautiful new pieces, I have not been re-vamping my lovely old dressing table that I bought back from my parents house and I have not been painstakingly cleaning my 2nd hand chandeliers in order to light up our lounge and hallway.


I have been laboriously applying coat after coat of satin paint around the frame of the sliding door in the lounge. This has involved getting home after work every night, applying a coat and then washing up all of the involved paraphernalia so as to begin the process again the following day. I then ripped off the masking tape to reveal that I had also ripped off large chunks of the carefully applied paint. Wielding my craft knife I deftly sliced through into the beading (seriously, it was having a tough time getting through the masking tape, except for when I slipped and it went…straight…through…the wood!). So I have backed off that for a bit.

Before: Dark surround

After: White...thrilling!

I turned my attention to caulking. It wasn’t until my father visited that we had an explanation as to why all the wood work in the lounge looked so grotty. Neither the picture rail or the skirting board had been sealed to the wall. So instead of a lovely moulding seamlessly emerging from the wall, you get what looks like a great big slab of wood slammed against a wavey wall…like so…

Before: Grotty

This is a two man job so The Boy and I set to work first all trying to neaten up around the door frame. It is actually immensely satisfying. A couple of pointers…use a wet finger, wet cloth or wet sponge to smooth down (it’s the water that makes the difference)…the less you touch it, the better is looks (applying, smooth with wet item and leave-you can always go over it again if it shrinks back, which it does sometimes).

After: Not so grotty

I have been fitting out the under stairs cupboards. We have been concentrating on these as they will provide us with the storage that we need to put stuff away so that we can get on with the decorating without ruining everything.  This one took ages and looks deeply unimpressive…(but we have a place for our dyson now)

Before: Urgh...

After: Meh...

I have been without a kitchen again as the plasterer came in to sort out the walls…

Two steps forward...one step back...

I have been spending far too long in B&Q with The Boy discussing precisely the shade of white to paint our kitchen. Why is it that the swatch in the book, the sticker on the pot and the painted swatch in the store bear no relevance to each other whatsoever? We went with Almond White (your guess is as good as mine!).

I have also been taking a moment on a Sunday, cooking my breakfast, watching my coffee pot boil (bought in Bagnone, Italy: site of Europe’s largest lottery win, FACT) to be truly thankful that I have a kitchen!! And, as painstaking and slow as these jobs are, we are getting there and we will get there!!


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Lounge Ideas

I wanted to do you a kitchen teaser post today but since my folks left I have been rushing around cleaning, tidying and unpacking things into my new, lovely kitchen! Can’t wait to show you what we’ve got so far…but…not…quite…yet!

Finally we have cleared our lounge of food, microwaves and woks so I can begin thinking about what to do with it. When we moved in it looked like this:













The picture rail and skirting board were a nasty reddish brown shade and there were (yep, you guessed it) black bin bags of smelly rubbish! Once we had removed the rubbish, we repainted the picture rail and skirting white (I sanded it down first using a black and decker Mouse I’ll tell you about that another time but it’s AWESOME!!).

So now it looks something like this:

Not a lot different right? We still want it kept white and the wooden floor will be beautiful, it just needs a sand and a polish. I would like it to have a South African-ish theme in a nod to The Boy’s heritage. I have been finding some inspiration from websites such as Miss Moss and Elle Decoration but my favourite ideas have come from the US of A so far…

Martha Stewart The Craft Department

I love this idea, it’s framed bandannas. A little 90’s I know but I Love the colours.  I want to create some kind of art that reflects our cultural heritage either separately or combined. You should check out Martha Stewart Living magazine too, it’s packed with great ideas.

I am also loving the Ralph Lauren California Romantic collection:

I know it’s a little rugged and ‘out doorsy’ for a city house but both The Boy and I grew up in semi-countryside. I would like to keep this in mind whilst we are trapped in this busy city for now. I particularly like mixture of textures you can see with the rough carpet, plant life and animal skin chair.

Speaking of animal skin chair…


I.go.blog via Dream Book Design ( I couldn't find the original source for this sorry)

This image is practically our lounge, but with a neater planter and a beautiful chaise sofa. We definitely want to keep the white but add pops of interesting colours and African prints.

Decor8 Blog

This image is perfect, the fresh colours against the white look homely and yet modern. I am on the hunt for some seriously bright graphic African prints for this room.  Let me know what you think and if you have any tips on where to get the fabrics from, I’d love to hear your ideas!

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