Posts Tagged ‘DIY’

The Colour Purple

In decorating, home, Uncategorized on June 13, 2012 at 11:28 am

I’ve had a bit of a change of heart on the kitchen front. I am taking a new ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ approach to the whole project and instead of grumbling about the spectacular failure to stick to my initial plan, I am going to suggest a few changes to my original decor idea.

Essentially, I shall be putting forward the – I think – perfectly reasonable suggestion that instead of carrying through a lighter version of the colour scheme from our sitting room, and opting for duck eggs and caramels to match the new white cabinets, we rip off the offending wood panelling that I’ve already painted (as per Adam’s original desire, clever eh?) and opt for smooth plastered walls, but choose a more striking colour combination.

I am thinking, naturally, of purple. I see no reason why it needs to be confined to my wardrobe, and while I’m not going to hedge my bets and ask if we can get glossy aubergine cabinets (but I would like that, I would), I think a statement aubergine wall will have a fantastic effect with the white units.

It also means I can buy all manner of striking statement accessories as a souvenir of this traumatic time, such as THIS one:

Say no more.


How to have your project hijacked: do it over a bank holiday

In Uncategorized on June 6, 2012 at 10:25 am

So, I thought it was too good to be true. Four days off, and so much progress made on my revamped kitchen project… all of the cabinet doors have been hand-painted and been given new handles, while all of the nasty wood panelling and the boiler cupboard has been revitalised in caramel paint.


ImageI’d got Adam to agree that we’d fit shelves in the alcoves for our cookbooks and my Le Crueset casseroles, and we’d agreed that we’d replace the floor with vintage smoked elm boards. I could actually see it all in my mind’s eye.

But then, Adam decided to chisel all the tiles from the walls.


This is what happens when you let someone else get involved

Don’t get me wrong, they were ugly, but they were a million times better with the new white cupboards as opposed to the wooden ones. But, as I knew it would, this new development led to the following scenario

A: ‘That looks so much better, doesn’t it?’

F: ‘It’s bare plaster with chunks missing.’

A: ‘We’ll have to get it skimmed and then we’ll put new tiles up.’

F: ‘You’ve wrecked the cooker.’

A: ‘Well we’ll get a new cooker too.’

Five minutes later:

A: ‘We could get all of the walls skimmed.’

Two hours later:

A: ‘We could just buy new cupboards?’

So, my project has transformed from upcycling the kitchen with paint and accessories to us spending thousands on new electricals, plastering, tiling and, I expect, new cupboards, meaning that all the money, not to mention the three full days, I spent preparing and painting the cabinets was a complete waste of time.


My end result of phase one – but was it all in vain?

Sad face.

Loving Lily’s work

In Uncategorized on June 3, 2012 at 11:03 am

Much as I’m enjoying making headway with the big kitchen DIY project, the fun part of revamping rooms, obviously, is the accessorising and shopping part, much more exciting than the wallpapering and painting.  Earlier this week I went to a vintage afternoon tea in aid of St Mary’s Hospice and as well as scoffing cakes and champagne and buying raffle tickets, I did a little browsing for new stuff to bring my new look kitchen to life.

While I’m pretty pleased with the canvas memo-board I bought to replace the boring old cork one, my real find of the day were Lily Flame candles

As well as being super-cute in their little labelled tins, the scents of these candles, made in Somerset, are just to die for. I bought three – Parma Violets, which instantly transported me back to being six, Coffee Galore, which is so strong, and so delicious that your tastebuds instantly start craving caffeine, and lavender and lime, which I think is heavenly, and the boy dismissed as ‘smelling like soap.’

 Image Image

So while I may be jumping the gun a bit, at least I know that once the painting is finished, I have just the thing to chase the smell away…

Crazy for Catherine Colebrook

In Uncategorized on June 1, 2012 at 8:47 am

Last birthday, I was bought a card with a twist on the whole Keep Calm… ethos that we’ve been deluged with. The Catherine Colebrook Save Water, Drink Champagne card made me laugh, so I was quite chuffed to see it’s available as a canvas at

I’m quite convinced it’s the perfect way to set off my new look kitchen, when it’s finished.


I’d expected the boy to veto the idea – bright pink artwork? In the kitchen? But to my surprise, he’s actually said that I can have it, and that he’ll choose another to complement it – this is quite a breakthrough as that’s three suggestions in a row I’ve made that he’s agreed to.

I may get the purple kettle past him yet, but don’t count on it.


Sharing the shabby chic love…

In Uncategorized on May 31, 2012 at 11:42 am

Six months has passed since the hellish ordeal that was renovating the living room, and a pretty hectic few months it’s been. Still, it means the experience has dissipated enough for me to start work on the next DIY project I’ve had earmarked for a while now – the kitchen…

Mr and Mrs Botchajob did an even worse job on the kitchen than they did on the offensive lounge – think vile orange walls, stained wood panelling and wonky, shonky cupboards… and you’ll still be a long way off envisaging it. For months I’ve been desperate to get my hands onto it and after a weekend of hard toil in the garden and clearing out the shed and utility, I took matters into my own hands, painting a stretch of wall, ripping down panels and stripping all the walls so that there was really no going back.


ImageAfter slapping a swift coat of paint over a chunk of panelling, painting the fire cavity and wine-rack white to prove my point, and a little sample and prop support for visualisation, we’re in business…

The problem with this particular project is that we have no budget, so it’s up-cycling all the way to turn the horrible orange and wooden hellhole into a shabby-chic oasis of calm.

So come the four-day weekend, and I shall be getting out my paintbrushes and paste table again to transform it into a caramel and duck-egg-blue haven before trawling vintage fairs and stores to find accessories and pictures to complement it.  Bring it on.