{Update} The Small Kitchen Makeover

We are almost there…well we would have been finished if I hadn’t had the electrician mess us about for the whole of December. He didn’t turn up 4 TIMES so he got fired and now I need to find someone else. But this has mean that we can’t get the last bit of worktop back on as the lead for the dishwasher won’t reach the plug!  So until the new socket is installed, the lovely  – probably live – wire hanging out of the wall everything is on hold.

I’ve also decided that we should have the old halogen kitchen lights replaced with shiny new LED’s which are less likely to burn the house down and will actually work – only 2 do out of the 4 at the moment!  So tomorrow I start the search for an electrician *again*.

But here’s what’s been done so far:

Cupboards – 90% painted. I just need to remove the last 2 glass doors and I think I may leave them off and just have more open shelving? But hubby isn’t as keen, so maybe I’ll paint them too and see how they look?

New Sink and Taps – Installed and just gorgeous!  The joy of having a stainless steel sink which is easy to clean rather than the white plastic one…*sigh* you can’t beat it! And the tap is now high enough to get the kettle/pans anything under it which it wasn’t before and how I think the old taps got broken.

The sink and taps both came from Screwfix Direct and were about half the price of the same thing in B&Q and Homebase.  The plumber who fitted them did a great job and was really reasonable.  He had to make a new hole through the kitchen wall to the outside, as the waste was in a slightly different position – argh!

Dishwasher – We could only get a half size one in the space but installed and how on earth did I ever live without it? It keeps the kitchen clean, we don’t argue anymore well about anything to do with dishes or cooking anymore. I love it, best thing I think we’ve ever bought and I include the Skyplus and iPhone in that!

Open Shelves – They make me happy whenever I walk into the kitchen. I’ve put them above the dishwasher so all you have to do is life the plates out of the machine and then straight onto the shelf above.  They’re called Jarpen from Ikea and were a whole £7.99 plus the fixings which were £10 .  They are in the oak finish and look really chunky and cool, much better than what was there before.

Repainted the Room – I stripped the awful backing paper that was there before and repainted the room in a neutral cream – Slipper Satin from Farrow and Ball. It matches the tiles really well, which saves on me replacing them. they’re cream and can be regrouted. The room looks much cleaner and fresher for it.

Hanging Rail – I now have one for my dishcloths, so I can display them. I have a huge collection of Cath Kidston and Green Gate ones, which are super pretty.

What’s left to do….

The Floor – the current plan is take up the old floor and see if the original floor underneath is saveable and not damaged. We also have the added problem that at somepoint the original floor has had lino put over it. It’s super stuck down and our plumber warned us that it’s possible it has asbestos in it – so to take it up very carefully!

If it’s not saveable/lino is screwing it up I think we’re just going to go for some fake slate tiles.  I’m also thinking about putting in underfloor heating as it turns out it’s quite cheap and we have no heating in there whatsoever which is making the rest of the house cold.

Window – it turns out the breeze coming into the kitchen for years was the badly fitting window as there was a big gap round it. So I’ve filled what I can and now I need to bead the window to seal it.

I’m also going to get a Roman blind to cover the window at night and to try and keep the cold out – the window is huge and we probably should have something on it.

Worktop – Sand and re-stain the wood on the worktop. We would have replaced it, but to get the section off where we put the dishwasher we had to kick the cupboard out underneath it and the bloody thing was still there! It took a lot of hard work to get it out, so I didn’t think our chances were that high unless we wanted to trash the rest of the cupboards!.

Lighting – I’m going to get some led’s under the cupboards as well as a better work light.

How much has it cost so far?

Well I’ve just had a quick tally and we’ve spent the following:

Cupboard Paint – £22

Shelves – £34

Hanging Rail – £5

New Sink – £105

New Taps – £65

Installation of the sink, taps and dishwasher – £110

Dishwasher – £358

Total: £699

Which isn’t too bad, I think the electric work might be about £200 and the floor maybe another £200, which still only takes it to over £1000 which is much, much cheaper than the £6,000 starting price I was originally quoted for the room.  So I’m really pleased and it looks fantastic in person. Fingers crossed it’s all finished by the end of the month! Wish me luck 🙂

Continue Reading

Cath Kidston for Geek Girls

For years I’ve found it impossible to find decent ‘girlie’ bags for laptops – there are some on the market but they are either not that well made, the evil pink, or are just really expensive. So I was really pleased to see that Cath Kidston have bought out a range of new laptop bags and other gadget holders.

(The images in this post link through to Cath Kidston and are affliate links. So I make a whopping 5% of any sale, if you are nice enough to buy something – thank you :))

But onto the pretties!  For laptops they have bags and sleeves:



There is also a cute little case for iPods or a digital camera

or this one for a digital camera


Also massive thank you to Heather at Younger and Younger for pointing these out to me on Twitter – Cath Kidston iPhone and iTouch cases!.  I’m going to break my ‘no cases’ rule for these, I love the mini roses one!.

And for you Blackberry, Nokia and Android ladies there are a selection of holders, the one below is for the Blackberry.

Well done Cath Kidston, now if more companies can follow that would be amazing.

Continue Reading

Cath Kidston Vinyl Flooring

Photo Credit: Cath Kidston/Harvey Maria
Photo Credit: Cath Kidston/Harvey Maria

I had my Cath Kidston affiliate newsletter this week (I make a whole 5% from any sales and I’m running at about £1.20 at the moment!) and was interested to see that they are bringing out a line of vinyl flooring with Harvey Maria.

I think for a small en-suite, laundry room or kids bathroom they could be quite good fun bringing some colour and interest to what are normally quite dull rooms.  They’re £39.95 on the Cath Kidston site but I can’t tell if that is per meter or for a pack of tiles?  But if I had an en-suite that rose one below would be on the floor asap!

Continue Reading

Spring at Cath Kidston

Someone at Cath Kidston hates me – they’ve stopped sending me the magazine that comes out every season *SOB* and no matter how many times I resubscribe they won’t send it to me.  So I’ve had to look online to see what’s new *mutter, mutter*

And here are my favourites (family reading this remember it’s my birthday soon – love ya!)

Continue Reading

New Cath Kidston Easter Magazine/Catalogue

Hurray!  Look what appeared in my post yesterday, I’m still loving the new look.

There are some fabulous ideas in there, I’m coveting Kirstie Allsops garden office – what a lovely space to have to yourself!.  My favourite idea, which I can’t see getting past Paul is….

Digital Wallpaper!  What a fabulous idea if you have one of those massive feature walls or a room with a ‘cathedral’ ceiling. But the website is a bit vague as to what patterns you can get, I’m guessing that as it’s a new item the images just aren’t done yet.

The other thing that caught my eye is the Cath Kidston Vintage line which are sold sadly in store only.  They are a collection of all the treasures the store buyers have bought from all over the country and re-purposed or tidied up.  But I’m sure car boot sales, Ebay and Etsy probably do them cheaper – but it’s always good to get new ideas.  I’ll have a look next time I’m near a store.

Right I’m off to have a coffee and read of this and my new Country Living USA – Have a lovely Sunday xx

Continue Reading


Homesense finally opened in Cambridge yesterday – hurrah!  It’s the sister shop of TX Maxx and only sells home items.  I’ve been saving my birthday money for the opening and I couldn’t get there for the grand opening as I was at work yesterday, so you can imagine I was a little impatient to get there today.   We headed there mid morning, despite my whinging that I had to get there as soon as it opened and it was a really pleasant surprise.  The store is really well laid out, less jumble sale like than TK Maxx and beautifully decorated and my do they have some bargains! And also what Credit Crunch the store was packed and people weren’t just looking they were buying – a lot!

There is some great garden items for the summer which I looked at, but lacking any storage I didn’t go for any of the cool laterns that caught my eye.  The cushion section is fab and when we stop arguing about if the main colour should be blue or green then I’ll buy some 🙂

I picked this David Austin Rose book up for my Mum’s birthday (she never reads the blog so I’m ok sharing it with you)

But upstairs….oh my……


They had bedding including the discontinued classic rose (which I’ve spent 18 months trying to get on ebay) and summer blossom duvets, and I had a moment which rarely happens anymore where I couldn’t decide and so I bought both.  I have a little shoppers remorse, but not a lot as they were reduced from £80 to £24.  I might have also popped in the matching rose pillowcases.

There was also cute melamine plates, so I bought one for Miss L.  A plastic jug, which will be fabulous with Pimms or cocktails in when we have summer BBQ’s.  So all in all I bought what would have been I worked out £245.00 of goodies for £70 – now that is what I call a bargain and I will certainly be going back.

I’ve waited for years to get this on our bed and lucky for me I have a very understanding huband!  I’m going to be a very happy girl when I snuggle up in bed tonight.

Continue Reading

One more thing

I super promise not to blog about Cath Kidston for at least a week……..

But I spotted this on her website today hidden right down at the bottom, and I thought it would make some of you happy……..

Cath Kidston Computer Desktop Wallpaper!!


This is now gracing my desktop

Okay I promise no more 😉

Continue Reading

Cath Kidston New Catalogue

There must be a new marketing genius at Cath Kidston, they’ve made a great job of the new look website.   And look what was waiting for me when I got home today, the new Cath Kidston magazine/catalogue!

It’s a completely fresh new look and everything in it looks fabulous and there are some great ideas of how to use her products.   Darn it was trying to pay off my credit card! That said my birthday is in a couple of weeks so I might just leave it lying around in the lounge as a small hint – he he!.

Continue Reading

Cath Kidston Goodies

So back at Christmas when the online Cath Kidston sale went live, I wondered why there wasn’t much choice.  Now I know – they seem to have sold their stock to TX Maxx!  Not that I’m complaining 🙂

Here are a couple of the absolute bargains I’ve picked up

Kingsize duvet cover reduced from £85 to £24! And pillow cases from £15 to £2.99!!

Cute little basket for storage – £7.99 (I think they were about £20 before), this has now been borrowed by Miss L for a teddy bear bed as it’s the right size and has roses in it – LOL!

I’ve just looked on ebay and there seems to be an awful lot on there including the now discontinued fabled ‘Classic Rose’ bedding, which I intend to hunt down tomorrow at my local TK Maxx – wish me luck!

Continue Reading

Good Books to Share

I am a very lucky girl.

We visited friends weekend before last and swapped presents early, which I love doing as it makes Christmas last longer.

Susie and Jon had very sensibly hit my Amazon wish list and got me these


It has the most amazing homes featured in it and the ideas for stylish family living are brilliant.

They also go me this


Woo hoo!!

You know me and Cath Kidston obsession – LOL!  It’s a cute little book with lot of pretty ideas for making things.  I really must learn how to use my blessed sewing machine!

Continue Reading