I gave my little home study-come-craft room a much-needed tidy up and rearrange recently. The space works so much better now!
I ditched my old desk (it found a new home thanks to Gumtree) which was much too big for the room, and instead made my own with an Unto This Last custom-cut top and Ikea base unit and legs. I also got some rather sleek Ikea plan-chest type drawers to store all my prints for my shop.
My big wall o’ kitsch has expanded somewhat. I finally splurged on some String shelves (they’re on sale at Haus) to house my little camera collection. I was pleased to find that this DIY newb was able to install them quite easily in less than an hour. They’re even straight (thanks iPhone spirit level app), and feel pretty solid – good investment.
In the future I might replace the day bed with a more space-efficient one – it holds a ton of stuff in the drawers underneath but it’s really bulky. Having said that, now that the room is organised better I love just hanging out in here with the cat watching TV on my iMac. It’s also the warmest room in the house right now!
The crochet blanket is one of Yoni’s favourite nap spots
The next house jobs/purchases include replacing some light sockets, repainting the bathroom, a new bed and bedside tables, and getting the garden sorted out in time for warm weather. We’re doing a skill swap with a garden designer – website in exchange for garden design – and I’m really excited to have a lovely outdoor space for this summer. Is anyone else doing any new year home improvements?
We’ve been really lazy with doing house stuff the last few months. Apart from converting the spare cloakroom into a storage/laundry room we haven’t really done much at all. But very soon we’re about to get huge fitted sliding-door wardrobes installed in the bedroom, which means we can finally sort that room out and get a new bed too (we’ve got our eye on this one from Muji). In the meantime I’ve been doing little bits and bobs, getting some pictures framed and shuffling things around for a change of scenery.
A new print from Roddy & Ginger to match my cushion. Picframes.co.uk did a great job framing all our artwork that’s been sadly sitting in tubes for ages.
Another new print from Telegramme featuring a who’s-who of East London institutions.
I picked up this lovely little woven ikat-style cloth from Spitalfields market for a fiver. I’m not really sure what it’s supposed to be – a tiny tablecloth or wall hanging? Floor mat? – but I think it looks cute slung on the chair back. Or on the side table? I can’t quite decide.
I strung a crochet flower garland bought from Etsy onto the picture ledge shelves in my study. This is the pleasing view from where I work above my desk.
Hopefully I’ll have more exciting changes in the form of a newly finished bedroom to share soon!
A pretty new teapot and vase for the kitchen, found in The Ark, a little gem of a homeware/gift shop on an unlikely stretch of Kingsland Road. It stocks Orla Kiely, Rob Ryan, Joseph Joseph.. a proprietor with good taste. Plus these were both under £10! Oh, and the table runner is from H&M Home.
Our lovely new kitchen/dining/living room is all finished. Well, not quite finished — some little touches still to do — but I thought I’d better take pictures now as it’ll never look this clean and tidy again!
Here’s the obligatory ‘before’: one long room with lots of orange-veneered chipboard and boring whitewashed walls. Besides from being ugly, the kitchen didn’t have nearly enough storage space and there was nowhere logical to put a dining area.
The most obvious difference is we’ve zoned the room into cooking and living, split using the breakfast bar with overhanging pendant lights. This makes the two rooms work much better, giving us somewhere to eat and more vital storage space.
I love the clever pull-out and whirl-around cupboard inserts from Ikea – perfect for spices and baking ingredients. It’s so nice having enough space for everything to have a proper home; it makes cooking – and cleaning up – much easier and more fun.
Dualit toaster & kettle and Ikea storage canisters.
A bit of dressing: my old Ikea chalkboard, vintage crate labels framed up and a Pop Chart Lab print. Still have to make a Roman blind for the window and get some herb plants for the vintage wooden boxes.
In the living room end, we’ve rejigged the layout to make the furniture work better, with the sofa behind the brekky bar. We still want to put up some shelves either side of the fireplace but can’t quite decide what kind.
All in all it took just under two weeks of builder work, which was difficult but not unbearable – lots of takeaways and microwave meals! Here’s a list of all the kitchen suppliers: Units/doors Ikea Faktum Worktops Iroko wood from worktops-express.co.uk Wall tiles Quicksilver mosaics from mosaictileshop.co.uk Oven, hob and extractor Samsung Sink Franke Floor tiles Wickes Pendant lightsGarden Trading Stools Habitat
We were supposed to be a week into having our new kitchen built by now, but unfortunately things didn’t quite go to plan so it’s starting a week late, leaving us with a half-destroyed old kitchen and boxes everywhere. Quite distressing to live in – but it will all be worth it when the new one’s done. Here’s a moodboard of all the stuff that’s going to be in it.
I particularly love the grey mini-brick mosaic tiles (from the creatively-named mosaictileshop.co.uk) and the scrape-dyed linen which my mum’s making into a Roman blind for the window. Yozo Craft deserves a special mention actually, because as well as Japanese fabrics, it stocks all manner of adorable craft papers, sticky tapes, stationery and rubber stamps. I couldn’t resist picking up a few extra bits with my order, and despite being based in China, their shipping rates to the UK are really reasonable. They also sell on Etsy under the name cottonblue.
…Such a lovely colour combo, no? Our sofa already had that scheme and we’ve carried it through the living room with a lambswool blanket from Primrose & Plum, cushion from Roddy & Ginger and vintage chairs reupholstered in Japanese linen (thank you, Mum!).
Here’s the before-and-during of the chairs. I used a mix of sandpaper, elbow grease and Nitromors stripper to get them down to bare wood, then stained and revarnished.
The living room curtains are also finally up, again made by my Mum with Amy Butler for Rowan fabric. (nb. still to do: re-varnish the coffee table)
Unfortunately, it was a case of one step forward and two back this weekend: a pipe in the flat above burst yesterday, flooding our back hallway and my study. Luckily it missed my desk (and computer) and most of my art and the wallpaper, but we had to move everything out and rip up the carpets so we’re back to square one up there. At least we have a pretty living room to hang out in until it’s sorted!
We’ve spent the days between Christmas and New Year doing some jobs around the house – mostly drilling into the walls to put up art and shelving. It’s starting to look much more homely now.
The living room has a red and gold scheme against the pale grey walls. We’re just waiting to put up the curtains and have some vintage chairs re-upholstered then I think this room will really pop into life.
The bathroom is the first room pretty much finished – it’s got touches of old-skool pharmacy with the vintage framed labels and bathmat (from H&M). The shelves are reclaimed wood left over from a kitchen worktop!
Loads of shelving and frames in my room to house all my precious stuff.
Josh’s boy den – I love how he’s hung his art in a tight formation one one wall, and the industrial metal shelves filled with old wooden crates look good.
After a rather exhausting couple of weeks, we’re in our new house. We’re still rather surrounded by unpacked boxes but we’ve got a little bit of renovation done already.
The first thing we did on getting the keys was start ripping out the bathroom ready for the builder to come in and give us a shiny new one. It’s pretty compact in there so we couldn’t do very much, just update the suite and tiles. It’s still not quite finished but I already love using it – taking my first relaxing baths in years and enjoying lovely hot powerful showers. I also love the teal blue wall colour and the bath mat and hand towel from H&M’s new home range. I’ll post better photos when it’s actually finished!
The most time-consuming task so far was getting the living room floor sanded and re-varnished. We kept getting the wrong tools, sanders and sandpaper grades and nothing seemed to shift the stubborn old varnish. Luckily I found a dark coloured stain that covered up the big mess we made (we probably didn’t even need to sand at all) and after a few coats of clear varnish on top it looks really lovely. We also painted the fire surround white and the walls a pretty pale grey. Still waiting for our sofa to be delivered and on the hunt for a big rug to insulate the rather draughty boards.
The to-do list is still very long: wallpaper 2 rooms, hang pictures, re-upholster some vintage chairs, make curtains.. and replace the ugly and too-small kitchen.