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Home Improvement

New windows and doors

I’ve spent all day re-arranging rooms because I’ve had to move everything away from the windows. We’re having new windows plus front and back door fitted tomorrow, which I’m totally happy about 😀 but now my back is killing, my poorly ankle is swelling and to top it off, my hernia keeps reminding me it’s there!
I have to say, I’m also a bit annoyed that the housing association decided to do it all at this time of year because the house is going to be freezing all day tomorrow and guess who’s the one who’ll be here all day tomorrow?!
Mind you, Ant doesn’t get it much better because according to him, his workshop is freezing at this time of year and he has to work there everyday!

I’m just having a cup of coffee before tackling the living room. Ant’s huge shelves and his office desk are near the window and I don’t think I’m going to be able to move it on my own so I may have to wait for Ant to come home.
In the morning, before work, he’s got to go round and take all the curtains down then hopefully everything will be ready for them to start work.

They did next door’s last week and I think it took about 2-3 days. I hope ours doesn’t take that long!

Anyway, I’m not really complaining, just having a mini rant and since sleeping in that tent on the first night at Featherdown Farm, I’ve been thinking a lot about the people without a home, having to sleep out in these temperatures. I’m certainly not complaining about having new doors and windows, not having to pay for them and only having to put up with a little disruption to have them done. I’m quite lucky really and I’ll keep remembering that when it’s cold in here tomorrow 🙂

Tots100 DIY Challenge – Home Decor painting and decorating

Every room in our home has been decorated at least twice since we moved in here in 2004.
Ant got this house not long after we got together and every room needed decorating.
We picked all the colours together and had a great time making the house into a home.

I moved in the following year and since then we’ve redecorated the living room once, kitchen twice, bathroom twice, hall, stairs and landing twice and each of the kid’s rooms have been done three times in total.
Our bedroom, however, has remained the same since that first wallpaper Ant put up back in 2004.

Luckily, I still love the wallpaper and it’s lasted really well, which is one of the reasons why we keep leaving our room when the others have been redone. It’s never actually needed redoing until now.
The other reason is money. It’s always been more important to spend the money on the communal rooms and the kid’s rooms than it has our room.





I know it doesn’t look that bad from the photos but when you look up close you see that the top half is in serious need of a fresh coat of paint, as does all the woodwork.
There are holes that need filling from the various things that have been on the walls during the time Ant had his office in the bedroom and that closet (yes, it looks like a dumping ground because that’s what it is!) needs some serious organising!

I NEED to change this room! I want to get more storage in there and I want it look nice and new and clean.

I’ve been shopping with the virtual £2500 and I had a blast choosing new furniture and wallpaper!
I’ve also been on Pinterest (any excuse to get on Pinterest is a good one for me!) and have created a board just for my bedroom makeover ideas 🙂

I love this furniture range from B&Q and I know the paper isn’t much different from what we have already but I looked and looked and looked at different styles of paper and I keep going back to this traditional, country cottage style.
It suits us as a couple so I decided not to go all modern because I know we’ll both be happier with this.

Screenshots taken from and put together using Picmonkey

I saw this on Pinterest and fell in love with it. I reckon I could make something like this on a smaller scale using a shop bought canvas 🙂

Screenshot taken from Pinterest

Again, I’ve chosen a traditional rose pattern for the throw and curtains.

Screenshot taken from

I love the idea of the shelf over the bed and I would really enjoy buying lovely things to put on it….

Screenshot taken from Pinterest

but I do keep wondering though, if I’d feel safe having it there or if I’ll just keep worrying that it’s going to fall down on my head!
I think shelves would definitely feature in the new room but maybe on the large wall on my side of the room rather than above the bed because I really want to do the curtain and lights that you’ll see in the next photo 🙂

Screenshot taken from Pinterest

Just gorgeous. I’d absolutely love going to bed, snuggling up nice and warm with my lovely hubby and being bathed in the soft glow of fairy lights.

Screenshot taken from Pinterest

My main colour choice for our room is pink but after seeing this, I’m loving the pink as an accent colour and having the walls nice and light.

Screenshot taken from Pinterest

And this is what I want to do in that dumping ground of a closet!. I’d be in heaven with a custom made closet that would serve as a wrapping station and craft storage area 😀

Screenshot taken from Pinterest

I have to say that I really enjoyed planning and ‘shopping’ for a new bedroom!
Thanks to Tots100 and Rated People for the chance to win this great prize 🙂

Paraffin lanterns – Rust be gone!

I may have mentioned my Christmas mantel 1 or 2 times *cough* and I may have also mentioned the paraffin lanterns that Ant’s had in the shed since forever!
Well, I’m afraid I’m mentioning them again!

I love paraffin lanterns; I love the shape and the ‘old world’ feel they have to them but ours were covered in rust. I’d thought about sorting them out to make them usable again a few times over the years but never got round to it, until now 🙂

I wanted to use them on my Christmas mantel because I think the soft glow they give will complement the fairy lights I’m going to be using. They also bring to mind log cabins and long ago winters where you’d have a log fire all day to keep warm, (I’m getting all this from tv and movies btw, I’m not actually from the days of Little House on the Prairie!) while the snowflakes drifted down slowly outside the window.

A log cabin on the side of a mountain, somewhere like, oh I don’t know, Vermont*, with loads of snow and cosy nights in front of the fire reading a book, would be my idea of Christmas heaven!

Anyway, back to the point of the post!

One of the lanterns is now finished 🙂 It didn’t take too long to do and I’m really pleased with the result.




I’ll get the other one done next week. Even if I don’t use them both on the mantel, it needs doing before it’s too rusted to save.

* I spent a couple of weeks in Vermont when I was 18. My aunt was a nanny in New York state and during the summer they’d stay in the log cabin in Vermont. I loved New York state but I don’t think I’ve ever fallen in love with a home or place as I did during those 2 weeks in Vermont. The town was like something from a movie and I wish I could have seen it at Christmas, covered in snow and twinkling lights.
If I could have one wish, it would be to spend Christmas in Vermont.

Bathroom Makeover – Before & After Photos…Finally!

A week later than I expected, I’ve finally got the before and after photos of our bathroom makeover.
I seriously under estimated the amount of time it was going to take to wrap the silver shelves and under sink unit.
In my head, it was going to take me from Friday to Sunday to do the makeover. In reality, it took one and a half days to decorate the room and a full week, working during school hours and after the children’s bedtimes wrapping the poles and weaving the shelves of the silver units.

The reason we covered the silver units in string was because they had started to rust but were still structurally strong.

We didn’t want to pay £85 to buy a new under sink unit and tall shelf unit.
We’d bought new nautical accessories and on some of them, there was string being used to look like rope so I suggested we wrap the silver units in string.
I’m really happy with the results and the fact that it only cost £7 for the string so we saved loads of money! It was £1 for 4 balls of string and I used 26 rolls!
It would have looked better with thicker cord but that would have cost a lot more so we stuck with the string.









We love our new bathroom 🙂

I’m not doing anymore decorating for a few months. Our bedroom needs doing but I’ve had enough of home improvement for a while now!

119 / 365 – Bathroom Makeover

I started on the bathroom yesterday. The walls are painted, the woodwork is almost finished and I thought we’d be getting everything back in tomorrow.

I thought wrong!

The picture above is a project I started today because we didn’t want to spend £85 on new bathroom furniture. I figured we could change the stuff we have but I totally under-estimated the amount of time this project is going to take.
I’m planning on working on it all day tomorrow so hopefully by Monday evening you’ll be able to see the before and after pictures of our new, lovelier than ever, bathroom!

I can’t wait to see it all come together 🙂

Kitchen Makeover – Before & After

Yay!! I finally got the before and after photos done 🙂
Ant still has to get the power sockets done and I was going to wait until he’d finished but I figure you don’t need to see power bars!
So here they are…..


Before – Too much stuff on the counters left me with very little space to prepare food. The curtain hung too close to the tap and was forever getting dirty so a change is needed there.

After – I’m going to use the original curtains and I’ve ordered some ribbon so I can make this for the window. It’ll let the light in, look pretty and keep it out of the way of stray paint brushes when the girls are clearing up after crafts!
Most of the counter stuff has been moved to shelves or cupboards 🙂

Before – I had to use an old photo here because when I went to resize the ones I took especially with this post in mind, I realised I hadn’t checked them at the time and the one showing this wall was too fuzzy.

After – We moved the cupboard from this wall and replaced it with shelves. I reorganised all the bottom cupboards and put the breadmaker, food tins and double toaster in them to open up the counters and give more room to work.

Before – The kid’s computer is no longer in the kitchen; it’s going to be moved into Ant’s office but before that, we have to sort Ant’s office out so the kids will be able to actually get in there!

After – We moved the cupboard off this wall as well and replaced it with shelves. I’ve been picking up assorted jars from ASDA, Tesco and The Range when I’ve seen them over the last couple of months so that I could use them for all our dry goods.
I bought the sunflower Lazy Susan from Betterware and the pink jar from B&M. I love them both 🙂
The brown chairs belong to our next door neighbour and she’ll be having them back as soon she’s made room. I need to get four more chairs so that we have eight then I’ll decoupage them all so they match.
We’ve finally decided on a colour for the decoupage papers that matches the kitchen so I’ll be starting on those in the next few days.
I got the kitchen trolley from Argos and it’s provided loads more storage. I’m using it to store all our vegetables that don’t need to be in the fridge which in turn has freed up loads of space in the fridge.

Before – This is my favourite ‘before’ photo because this is the part of the kitchen I wanted to change the most. Ant made the white unit when he first moved in and it’s served its purpose well over the last 8 years or so but I’d had enough of it. I wanted this part of the kitchen to look less cluttered and more like a kitchen.

This is today’s 365 photo ‘cos it makes me happy everytime I look at it 🙂

After – I painted the cupboards the same colour as the walls after seeing it on Pinterest but now both Ant and I feel we need to break it up a bit. I plan to decorate the cupboards with some decoupage pictures but I’ve not found a design that I love yet so I’m going to keep checking Pinterest and Google to find ‘the one’ that jumps out at me!
We got the counter from B&Q and there’s enough left to make a small desk to go in Ant’s office for the kid’s computer.
We left the space between the dryer and the freezer so we could put our new green laundry hamper there but for the life of us, we can’t remember where we put it when we got back from shopping over a week ago!
I’m starting to wonder if I left it propped up against the counter while I was packing the bags at B&M.
I think it’ll be worth asking at B&M, if anyone left one on the date we went…..if I can find the receipt to find out what day that was!

So there we have it, our kitchen makeover.

Every time I go in there, I smile 🙂

106 / 365 Kitchen Makeover – End of day seven

My super wonderful husband has worked hard all afternoon putting down our new kitchen flooring and I’m soooo pleased to see it finished.

To say I’m happy to see the back of that green flooring would be an understatement!
I LOVE the new floor and I’m so excited to see our new kitchen finally coming together.
I was hoping to do the before and after post today but we have a few small things to finish up and Ant has to work tomorrow so he won’t be able to get them done until the evening.
By Tuesday I should have all the pictures ready to go 😀 I can’t wait to do the before and after post!

I’ve been planning this kitchen in my head (and on Pinterest!) for the past 2-3 months and to finally see it all done makes all the hard work this week totally worth it.
There were a couple of days when I wished I’d never started and when it felt like we were never going to finish it but we did, together 😀

105 / 365 Kitchen Makeover – End of day six

The shelves are up 😀
We’ve both been working on various jobs in the kitchen all day and we’re absolutely shattered now.
I’m going to finish getting everything put away tomorrow while Ant sorts out all the power points then he’s going to get the rest of the floor down.
We’ve nearly filled all the shelves that Ant put up today and I have to say I’m loving my new pink jar 😀

I still have the kitchen cupboards to paint but I’ll do them last thing tomorrow night and varnish them each night when the kids have gone to bed.
I’m now off to play some Wizard 101 and catch up with Corrie…..two things that are sure to help me unwind!

104 / 365 – Kitchen Makeover – End of Day Five

Has it really only been five days since we started the kitchen? It feels like many many more!

I want my living room back now, I want to be able to walk to the door without having to turn into a crab and walk sideways.

See that chair there? Well it used to be painted white and was decorated with lots of scratches, stains and chips (no darling hubby, not the potato kind!).
It’s now half decoupaged in green. The wrong green. It took me about four hours to cover the top half of the chair and ten seconds to take it into the kitchen to dry, only to find that it doesn’t look right because the green is the wrong shade!
Being the stupid incredibly intelligent person I am!, I never once took my chosen, printed pattern into the kitchen to see if the green on the paper matched the green on the walls before I started decoupaging.
The green on the paper is no where the green on the walls and I now have to find a green pattern that I like and that matches the walls.
I also have to either go over this chair with white paper*, hoping to cover the green, or do the other three chairs in the same green to then have to go over them all in my new, not yet found, green pattern. The reason being, it’s likely this green will show through and change the colour of my new green, leaving me with one odd chair.
This is now a project for another time when the children are away because I’m running out of time to get the kitchen finished.

The good thing is, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel….finally!

My SUPER WONDERFUL HUSBAND** has started getting the shelves up and he’s going to get the rest up in the morning. This means I can then get everything put away and Ant can get the rest of the floor down as soon as I’m done 🙂
I’m hoping to do my ‘before and after’ post sometime on Sunday 🙂

*EDIT: My SUPER WONDERFUL HUSBAND has just pointed out to me that I can just paint the chair white again…..doh! *slaps forehead*

**See his comment on yesterday’s post to find out why it’s in capitals!

103 / 365 – Kitchen makeover, end of day four

Thanks to my wonderful hubby, we now have cupboards back on the wall and part of the new floor down.
I don’t think anyone, in the universe, ever disliked a floor as much as I dislike the one that was down when we moved in and that we’ve had ever since.
I really can’t wait to see all the new floor tiles down and finally get rid of that old floor!


Ant’s been busy all day and as well as doing the cupboards and floor tiles, he’s put our brand new counter in, I have to say that I LOVE IT 😀
Before going to bed, he also tiled the wall above the new counter. It looks wonderful and I’m so much happier than I was this time last night!

I’m not taking any pictures of the new counter yet; we’re close to finishing and I want to post the before and after pictures at the weekend.

I’ve just finished giving the shelves and brackets a coat of gloss so Ant can get them put up tomorrow.
The only painting I have left to do is the bottom cupboard doors then I can get everything put back.

Organising and setting out all the new stuff is the best part of decorating a room and it’s the part I most look forward to 🙂