Spotty DIY Living Room Makeover.

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Before: It was a pale purple.

While I was decorating the living room last week, I found out something I never knew before (and it wasn’t that I don’t know how to decorate, I knew that already).

I thought I’d try something a little bit different with some spots – just to liven things up a bit.

Now, when I first mentioned to Mark and my parents what I was going to do there was a mild look of horror on each of their faces and I could almost see them thinking “here we go again”.

I’ll admit there have been some unfortunate decorating choices, including one that meant painting over a colour that clashed so badly with the carpet (who knew cream was difficult to match?) that it actually made me feel sick every time I looked at it – which is not ideal in a living room.

Anyway, it looked like they were right to have their doubts because when I tried to paint the spots on using a cardboard template I made from a cereal box…let’s just say, it wasn’t quite the look I was going for.

Undeterred, I ordered some vinyl stickers in a light and dark grey (to match the curtains and the sofa) from the internet.

The two colour walls (the other two are now white) were supposed to be a light green but actually turned out more a bluey grey, which thankfully works rather well with the soft furnishings. Mark wanted blue in the first place but I thought it would be a sad colour. I’m wondering if he swapped the paint when I wasn’t looking?

I was going to try and work out exactly how far apart the spots should be placed using maths but, as you may know, maths is not my strong point so I sort of guessed using frog tape. I don’t think I did too badly. I did use a spirit level #proud.

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When he saw it, Mark’s actual words were: “When you first mentioned it I thought it would be something else that I would have to pretend to like and then just put up with it but actually it’s awesome.”

When questioned tied to a chair with a spotlight in his eyes he said he was joking about the “something else”. Hmm.

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New grey boxes to store all Freya’s toys.

My mum and dad have been helping out and it was my mum who said: “I’d never have thought of doing something like that.” (I clearly need to introduce her to Pinterest.) “You must get it from your grandad, he was always trying new things. He once did patchwork paint squares in our hallway.”

My grandad died 20 years ago when I was almost 21 and my memories of him are like little pieces of film playing in my head. The earliest is of him taking me to the park (via the betting shop which was strictly forbidden) and collecting frog spawn in a jam jar. Then I see him standing in the amusements when we all used to go on holiday together smoking a cigar at the slot machine (which tells you how long ago that was). As I got older, he was often poorly and my memories are of my mum being called out in the middle of the night and then visiting him in hospital. It was lovely to learn something new about him after all this time.

I’m really pleased to have the living room mostly done. It badly needed repainting and it was almost embarrassing having people visit (not that anyone ever said anything). We didn’t really have the budget to change loads of things but it feels like a welcoming place to live again.

Have you ever done anything a bit out of the ordinary in your house?

 

 

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DIY Bedroom Makeover.

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The before.

After successfully re-decorating of our bathroom, I was already talking about moving on to the next project – and, more than a year later, I’ve finally managed it.

Our bedroom was last decorated shortly after Mark moved in eight and a bit years ago.

Before that it was rather…flouncy, shall we say. A friend described it as my “boudoir” – and I suppose with one wine red feature wall and lots of draped red and gold sheer fabric over the window it perhaps did have that sort of feel.

When Mark arrived one of the things he came with was a giant (and I mean HUGE) canvas map of the world, which took up an entire wall of the room – and looked completely out of place.

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To make him feel more at home – he had just moved 150 miles away from family and friends, after all – I painted the walls Natural Hessian and went for a more neutral, calming look of browns and creams.

And that’s the way it has stayed – until now.

It was in a bit of a state but I just didn’t have the time or energy to tackle it. Two things got me motivated. The first was that I bought the most beautiful new duvet cover in the world (and matching pillows and a cushion).

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Credit: Maiya Duck Egg range from Dunelm Mill.

For the first three weeks I wouldn’t even let Freya sit on it, I loved it that much.

The second thing was that my little sidekick attended nursery for two and a bit hours, four mornings a week, during the last term before the summer holiday and I thought “now’s the time, quick!”.

It was a bit like being on one of those challenge programmes where you have to transform a room in a set time.

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I won’t say I’ve done the best job in the world but I am actually rather pleased with the way it looks – especially the wardrobes and drawers.

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From this….
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To this…

I knew pine wouldn’t go with my new look and really wanted white but, with a limited budget and being a fan of “make do and mend” I decided I had nothing to lose by painting them.

Not having the money for fancy paint I used B&M One Coat Brilliant White (although I gave them three coats in the end) and they have come up really well, even if I do say so myself.

 

I gave them a light sand first, used a brush to paint the grooved bits and then rolled the rest (excuse the shadows in the pics. It was actually sunny then).

My dad was the one who suggested painting the handles the same colour as the walls. Genius!

 

Sadly Mark wouldn’t let me paint his prized West Bromwich Albion mirror, in case I “damaged it”, so I had to treat myself to a brand new one, which, as you can probably tell, I was very upset about. Don’t worry, his mirror has gone in the loft to be used at a future date.

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I spray painted those wings too. They were gold to start with.

After painting the ceiling and coving, the next job was to tackle the walls. I used a Crown Paint from the Period Collection, entitled Tea Gown. I had bought a tester pot and tried it but the real thing came up a bit less pink and a bit more purple than I was expecting. It went beautifully with the duvet but clashed with the rose pink curtains I had up. Mum to the rescue. She very kindly treated us to a set matching the duvet for Christmas (is it ok to say that word in August?).

I actually love the room now. It feels so light and fresh. I know it’s not going to be everyone’s taste (I’m not even sure Mark likes it that much) and it won’t featuring in Elle Decoration or Beautiful Homes anytime soon but I made the best of what I had.

Next up is the living room, which I’m planning when Freya starts school in September (hopefully it will take my mind off things). Fingers crossed it won’t take until August 2018 for me to finish it!

Have you upcycled anything you’re particularly proud of? I’d love to hear about it.