Kitchen Re-Furb Reveal!

As most of you know, a new kitchen has been on my to-do list forever!  It’s small, but extending it would cost a fortune I don’t have.

Over the years I painted it, got rid of the faux Oak and that’s looked ok for a good few years, we got rid of some cupboards and got a dishwasher in.  But paint only lasts so long and it was looking really tired and we’ve decided that we’d like to move. I saw from the Estate Agents faces when they were valuing the house, that they saw the kitchen and the state of it was a problem. The rest of the house is fine, but there was lots of muttering about well the kitchen will need ‘some work’.

Thankfully a new franchise opened in town that does doors and worktops and general refurbs for kitchens. The cabinets of mine are fine, need a clean inside like everyone else but are solid and good. The tiles are an inoffensive country cream and the sink and tap are about three years old so I thought I’d keep those.  So we thought about it, got a quote for new doors, worktops, drawer fronts and drawers (mine were ancient and falling apart), kick boards, pelmets and infills with fitting and we went for it…and I am so so so pleased we did. It looks wonderful!

Here is the before:  (floral tablecloth is there to stop me using the disconnected sink!)

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After three days of very hard work by the lovely kitchen fitter who was an amazing craftsman, it now looks like a new room. The only real disaster, was when the ancient induction hob was being lifted out it cracked an broke! So a new one had to be ordered, which is much better than the old one. Thankfully none of the tiles popped off when the worktops were coming in and out which was a worry.  But here is my brand new shiny kitchen!

After:

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The floor was skimmed to make it flat and then filled in where we’d taken a cabinet out for the dishwasher. Then we had Rhino Floor laid over the tiles.  It looks amazing and I’m glad I went with it rather than tile as it makes it a bit warmer in there as there isn’t any heating.

I’ve moved the microwave and popped in on top of the fridge freezer as we hardly ever use it. It’s made a massive difference to the corner where the bread bin is, the room weirdly seems a lot more spacious now there more counter space.

I am one happy girl!

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Dining Room Makeover (Part 1)

Our dining room has been a disaster since we swapped it round with the lounge years ago. When this was the lounge I remember it being a bright sunny room, which you had to draw the curtains to watch TV in the afternoon but it was bright in the mornings too and I loved it as the lounge – small and snuggly with my baby girl. Then she became bigger, played more on the seemingly shrinking floorspace so we swapped with the bigger room next door.

When it became the dining room it shrunk, became darker, lighting became yellow and depressing.  No matter what colour I’ve painted it – pale yellow (too jaundice), pale blue (too cold and boring) it’s just not been the room I remember. I’ve filled it with bookcases holding more clutter and rarely used other than for meals.

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When I had my cousin over for a coffee a couple of weeks ago, I asked her to cast and eye over the room and see what she thought of it. It’s good to have an extra pair of eyes and she was very kind about all our clutter, but did point out to me that the bookcase in the corner as you walk into the room was casting a massive shadow which just darkened the room no end. It’s the FIRST thing that catches your eye, no wonder it’s felt so dark in there, I didn’t have them when it was the lounge I just had shelves.  So obvious! How had I missed it??

I’d been toying with how to get rid of the now offending bookcase, then Mr VP bought me an iMac for my birthday as my laptop is on it’s last legs. Where to put it….why in the alcove where the bookcase is! I went to Pinterest and literally pinned every desk I could find that I liked the look of onto my Thinkspaces board below.

Follow Liz’s board Thinkspaces on Pinterest.

What I like about having a Pinterest board is eventually you see a pattern of what you really like and in my case – white plain desk, iMac and a chair stood out. One trip to Ikea later – a massive white lightshade, LED light, a £30 white gloss desk, one spun round dining room chair and voila a new room is born!

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I don’t even feel the need to re-paint the room anymore.  I swear everyone is using this room now, more than ever. I know there is a new computer, however Miss L now mini teen is in here playing games and Skypeing rather than being holed up in her room. Mr VP came in here for breakfast this morning – unheard of! And it’s 10pm at night and instead of being in front of the TV I’m actually blogging in here. It’s become the hub of the house.

What else is left to do? I hear you ask?

The bookcase has been moved to the other side of the room where I can’t see it anymore and later this week I’m going to restack all the DVD’s on it there – where I can’t see them!.

Meanwhile the other bookcase will become the holder of books and pretties.  I’m thinking at the moment I’m just going to put photos and prints above the computer. I don’t need shelves there and I think it’s quite a good trick of the eye to make this side of the room look empty. Makes the room look and feel so much bigger.

I’m debating painting all the dark wood (except the dining room table) white…not sure if it’ll be overkill though? Maybe I’ll try some chairs first and see what it looks like? I feel the need to add some flashes of colour now, maybe some etsy prints are the way to go? But all in all I’m feeling much happier about our unloved room.

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Mini Fireplace Makeover

When we first moved to this house our fireplace was a hole in the wall which had previously housed a boiler and had just been boarded and papered over so it looked neat.  In fact in the early days it was so boring I shoved a mirror over it, and made this the dining room.  I can’t find any photos of it just as it was, this is as close as it gets.

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Then eventually we realised this room was bigger than our lounge, which did back onto the garden but was tiny. So why were we using a small room, when we had a massive free room and a mad toddler running around?  Time to swap rooms!

This became the lounge, along with the dull fireplace.  Now to get the fireplace re-instated it was going to cost about 2k+ (re-build and brick it, hearth, re-plaster etc) which as much as I like a nice fire, frankly not enough to spend that amount of money  on it. Especially when Miss L was little and money was tight, you know a few candles in there can make you feel warm and cosy.

Not long after we moved rooms we were browsing in B&Q one day, where I spotted a fireplace surround…pine. It was nothing amazing but it WAS somewhere I could put candles and christmas cards and a few fairy lights.  And the cost? A whole £13, yes that’s right £13. Done deal!

However we are now eight years down the line, and once again I was growing bored with the fireplace. The rooms needs a re-paint because of the rewire and we’ve changed the sofa’s from beige to a sexy dark grey and the fireplace was looking well, a bit blah and dull.  Time to get my paint brush out!

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I initially bought a Habitat paint tester pot in black to paint it with and although you can’t really see it in the photos, it came out a weird blue/black and insanely shiny….blurgh! I lived with it for two weeks and it was just annoying me every time I looked at it.

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However I was in my local hardware shop on Thursday and they have the full range of Farrow and Ball testers.  So I grabbed a ‘Off-Black’ tester post and repainted the fireplace last night. It’s came out MUCH better and it a grey/black and matt which is what I was originally thinking of and not shiny, shiny. All in all I spent about £6 on testers. I don’t think the brown beading quite works so I might paint over it?  But I’ll live with it for a couple of weeks and see how I feel.

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I’m really pleased with it and now I’m trying to decide what to do with the surround? A sharper white? Pale grey?  What do you guys think?

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Writing Desk Makeover

I’ve been a terrible blogger of late, Instagram has taken over as my easy/time poor version of blogging lately. If you’re on there, come and say hi as usual I’m at @violetposy

Anyway onto what I’ve been up to the last couple of weeks? I decided that Miss L should now have a proper desk but they are SO expensive! So I went to a few local second hand shops, but no luck until I headed to our local Emmaus. Oh my word! It’s like an aladdin’s cave of wonderful old furniture and they are a brilliant charity so a win/win for me.

I spotted this little beauty, a bit rough around the edges and the veneer was peeling quite a lot but it was solid and only £50. I also thought it’d be ideal thing for me to try some Annie Sloan paint out of as I’ve been hearing it raved about.

I bought it home and asked Miss L what colour she’d like it painted and as you may have guessed – yeah she wanted purple, with pink on the inside – ‘Perfect, no ageing it Mummy!’.

I loved using the Annie Sloan paint, it was amazing, a little goes a really long way. The wood didn’t need any priming, sanding or any other prep, all I did was give it bit of a dust.  I was really pleased with it and will happily use it again, I’m thinking that the dining room bookcases can use some old white treatment 🙂

But back to the desk, the inside’s not finished yet.  I’m just waiting for some oilcloth from ebay to come and then I’ll redo the writing area inside and then wax it.  But I think it’s going to make a lovely place for Miss L to do her homework, art and dream….

 

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{Tots 100 Home Club} Starting the Bedroom Makeover

This month’s Tots 100 Home Club –  Homebase makeover challenge, is about making your bedroom luxe.  Most parents end up with a room which has a bed in it and a bunch of other stuff just lying about – yeah that’s us!  The last time our room was decorated was nearly nine years ago, when I was the exhausted mother of an 8 month old baby who slept for 2 hours a day. The paint job really isn’t the best!  So as you can imagine this is quite exciting for me, I’m looking forward to reclaiming our room and making it more grown up.

After a morning spent fanny about, I got distracted by paint charts, adding images to my Pinterest ‘Bedroom’ Board and going through ideas on Houzz.  Then it was deciding which Homebase to go to. The guy in one one of my local ones thinks I’m a shoplifter, after the amount of time I spent looking at storage for the last challenge. So I chose to go to the one with the nice staff, who don’t mind me taking an hour looking at the paint – which I did again today.

When I finally got home with my sample pots, it was time to start the to the boring bit of preparing our room.  Originally I was going to strip the walls of the horrid lining paper that’s been there forever and just paint onto the walls underneath….

Or so I thought!

I learnt today, if you have 80 year old plaster on the walls and you peel off old wallpaper – the plaster will come with it. Eeek!  Thankfully I’ve only done a couple of small areas so I can fix it but I think that in hindsight it can be left there and I’ll fix what’s needed! Otherwise this is going to take a lot longer than the three days I’ve allowed for it.

The other thing that’s become apparent from the stripping back of the wallpaper is that our windows were really badly installed and the previous owners had put the lining paper up to hide it *sigh*.  It explains why I’ve been able to hear traffic noise and it’s freezing in our room in the winter – mystery solved.

So this isn’t going to be the straightforward job I thought it would be, I’m going to need expanding foam and a lot of pollyfilla stat, before I can start thinking of how I want to decorate it. I hate doing the boring parts, I want to get some colour on the walls…off to look at Houzz again 😉

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Mini Kids Bedroom Makeover

Hi Everyone, thanks for the all the lovely comments on my last post they really cheered me up.  I’m now on the mend, but I’m still getting tired easily which is a bit limiting.   As I’m not up to too much, I decided to do an easy mini project in the now anonymous child’s bedroom.

She’d spotted a rather gorgeous child’s room on the Pottery Barn Kids Website (which btw is now shipping to the UK and lots of other non US Countries)

She really wanted the blossom tree in her room as she is a little nature child and I thought it looked pretty cool too. Now I know you could have made it with some brown paint and pink and green paper – but I’m not that talented, it would have gone seriously wonky!  So I bought a huge blossom tree wall sticker from eBay for £6.49 and then set about putting it up.

The first problem I ran into wasn’t the endless post-it notes that were on the walls or even the blu tacked pictures, but the bunting I’d lazily stuck up with sticky tape years ago. It had set to the wall and of course when I pulled it all the paint came away with it in massive chunks.

Luckily as I didn’t fancy re-painting a whole wall,  the new flower stickers went over the marks perfectly.

The good thing about the stickers is that they, pull off easily if you’ve put them in the wrong place. I didn’t initially realize it would be so massive and put it too low, but I just peeled it off and popped it up a bit higher. And here’s the finished result – not quite as fabulous as the Pottery Barn one, but quite pretty and cute all the same and child (I must think up an anonymous name for her) loves it.  I’m just waiting for it to be covered with new post-it notes!

 

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Fall Nesting – Garden Furniture Makeover

Melissa at Inspired Room is running between 2-5th September ‘Fall Nesting’ and today’s entry from me is a garden furniture makeover.  This is embarrassing, but I’ve been meaning to re-paint our garden furniture all summer and never quite got around to it, the paint has just been sitting in the hallway looking at me.  We’ve not hosted many BBQ’s or dinners this summer as our weather has been so rotten this summer and it just never got done.

However I was out playing with the dog yesterday and as I was sitting on the table I realised quite how bad it had gotten.  This coming weekend we have Vero from That Canadian Girl and her hubby over for a BBQ and the following weekend we have Suki-Lou, her hubby and their gorgeous baby girl coming to stay.  So I thought it was time to do something about it or no one would want to sit on them!.

So with some elbow-grease from Miss L and I here is our transformation

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The picnic bench

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The love seat.

The whole thing took about 40 minutes to do, so I really wish I’d done it months ago now!  Still better late than never  🙂

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Chair Makeover

Back in the day when I got my first flat, I was broke and couldn’t afford any new furniture.  I had a small dining room area and I wanted a table and some chairs to entertain my friends and family.

Mum and I went to a car boot sale and found the 1940’s table on the left for £5 and a memory that’ll be with me forever is us giggling whilst trying to lug it across a field to the car. The chairs came someone I worked with kindly donated me a couple of chairs from a relative that had recently died, also from the 40’s.

The table I tried to get stripped as it was quite damaged but apparently the lacquer they used in the 40’s just turns to glue and goes all sticky. So instead I painted it with a cream eggshell and it looked great – the envy of my friends! The chairs however were a nice dark finish with tapestry seat pads, and I left them alone….

Fast forward 10 years…..3 moves, a husband and child later and I still have the ‘temporary’ furniture! The table is faring well and when Miss L as a baby had play doh’d it, painted on it or had chucked her food over it, I didn’t mind and just re-painted it every couple years and chucked a Cath Kidston Oilcloth or table cloth over it for a bit of colour.

The chairs however did start to look really worn, so I sanded them, painted them cream, got some wadding from the market, picked up some cheap Cath Kidston fabric from ebay and re-covered the seat pads. In hindsight, the cream rose maybe wasn’t the best idea but as it was so cheap and easy to do, it doesn’t matter that much if I replace the material every year. I’m thinking blue stripes or pale grey floral for next year, and I might even change the paint colour?

My husband threatens every now and again to get an Ikea table and chairs, but I can see us having these now forever 🙂

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Fireplace Makeover

I read on ‘Restyled Home‘ about imperfect makeovers (transforming something ugly into something beautiful on a shoestring budget).  Well as I have a rainy day here, I finally have time to post mine.

When we moved into our 1934 house 5 years ago, we had *the* ugliest fireplace in our lounge.  Although a good Art Deco shape it was gray and brown and beige – just disgusting!  So we looked into getting a new one, and then realised that it would cost about £2000 which we didn’t and still don’t have. So here’s what I did….

BEFORE

The original fireplace tiles but the structure is a decent shape.

AFTER

I primed it with tile primer, which you can get from Homebase and then painted it Farrow and Ball ‘Slipper Satin’ Eggshell and it came out better than I imagined.  I then added some Sid Dickens tiles and it looks like a real focal point now.  In fact we’ve now made that room our dining room and it looks very elegant lit by candles.

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