The New House – Dylan’s Bedroom

Its about time that I got my finger out and wrote another blog post isn’t it? And I must share more of the finished house, because we all love a good nosey round each others gaffs, don’t we? Well, I do anyway!

Can you believe that we have lived here for over a year now? Time goes so quick doesn’t it? I really must get round to writing up my thoughts and feelings on moving one year on.

Anyhoo, I want to share some photos of Dylan’s bedroom, now that he has nearly outgrown his next to the bed crib, (man, it feels so good to type the word “outgrown” as Dylan was so tiny and at one stage it felt like he would never fill out and grow big!) its time to return the crib to the rental company and put him in his cot in his own room.

Whaaaa!!!! The cat will be happy at least, as she will now be allowed back in our bedroom. Bless her, her tiny world was rocked when D arrived. No wonder she decided to lick her belly bald and get into nasty fights with other cats that cost us £160 (and counting) at the vets.

Right, rant about vets charges over, lets get down to business. Below is how the room looked when we viewed the house.And below is how it looked when we first moved in. There are more before photos in this post.

Back in November 2016, I talked about my ideas for this room in this post here. And I think that we have achieved all the elements that I was hoping for – like cheery, bright, primary colours, a retro/scandi vibe and a room thats not too twee that he can grown into. Basically, I wanted all the wanky nursery malarky that screams “this person has no life and spends far too much time on Pinterest!”

And here is how it looks now.BTW Apologies for the fuzziness of these photos. They were fine until I resized them. I CBA to sort them out or retake them, Im afraid.

We managed to decorate his room mostly on the cheap with furniture from Asda, Ikea and with things we already had. I did splurge on the prints, but when he is finished with them I will be more than happy to hang them elsewhere in the house. I slightly staged these photos by removing his bath towel from the (fake) Eames Hang it All and hanging a cute stripey vest up, which I cant wait for him to grow into, and removing the pile of (unused) nappies which live next to the G Plan unit (thank you Aldi baby event for letting me stock up on bargains! Also where we bought his cot mobile from). Most of his toys and books were presents. We just bought the wooden rainbow, which is probably more for my benefit and decoration (I blame Pinterest again!) than it will be played with. Never mind! The Ugly Dolls and plastic Star Wars models we already had, and Rob bought him the blue Noodoll as he wanted to buy him his first Teddy bear. Dylan is such a lucky boy to have such a nice room with so many lovely things!

The New House – The Finished Lounge

I am really pleased to say that we have finished decorating our lounge!

We actually finished decorating the room at the beginning of December, and now that we finally have brought some curtains (its a long story involving several trips to Dunelm, a £700+ made to measure quote* and a wrong sized curtain pole!) everything is done and ticked off our list!

We are both very pleased with this room. Its a nice room to hang out in and the space really works for us. I love it!

Right, lets begin by showing how the previous owner of the house arranged this room in the two estate agents photos below –

viewing b4 lounge 2viewing b4 lounge 1As I have said before, we planned to move in, leave things as they were, get settled in our new area, then eventually change the decor more to our taste. But then I got knocked up, so our timeline changed and we decided to get a wiggle on and to get all the stress and upheaval of decorating over and done with and out the way within our first six months of living here. So next year we can just get on with our lives. (In theory anyway!)

Plus all our furniture from our old house didn’t really fit in with the layout of the room, as you can see in the next three photos below↓. I think the big, massive window didn’t do us any favours really.

So I set about finding new replacements for most of our furnishings. I had decided before we moved, not to be too attached and sentimental about our furniture and possessions, so I sold on our G Plan Astro coffee table, teak starbust clock and vintage teak sideboard, then donated our old sofa, battered dining table and chairs, and replaced them with some new, better sized for the room, colourful versions!

I love our new green sofa. I am so glad I waited until we moved before buying some new cushions a new sofa!

There are more photos and more of me talking about the room in its before state this post here.imageimageimageBelow are a few shots of the decorating progress –

imageimageimageimageimageimageAnd here is how the room looks now –

I can safely say that now we are on our fourth house together, Rob and I know our style. It might not be to everyone’s taste, but we love it!

We stuck to our tried and tested grey walls (we did experiment with lilac, but it wasn’t really for us!) with a similar coloured laminate flooring to what we had in our old house (which we find much more practical for a dining room/area than carpet!)  and our retro inspired mix of vintage and modern furnishings with lots of bright pops of colour in the room.

Well, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it I say!

When you walk into the room, we have our dining zone with our lovely (if I say so myself!) vintage Ladderax display and storage unit, which we use for meals, reading, and will do for craft projects and homework etc in the future. Then down the other end of the room we have our relaxing zone and future floor playing area with the telly, large sofa, fire and rug.

Anyway, I hope that the room is future proofed. ‘Cos I sure as hell am not in a hurry to decorate again that’s for certain!

And luckily we managed to find homes for all our prints from the old house! I was worried that we would not have room for them all and it was actually quite hard finding where best to hang them. This house is the newest house (built in 1969) that I have ever lived in (excluding a new build that we rented many moons ago) and I never realised how things like chimney breasts and alcoves in a room can make such a huge difference (i.e make things easier) with furniture and picture placement! But we got there in the end and I think it all looks great, even with the slightly odd, different sized frames behind the sofa!

Who wants boring, uniform, matching things anyway?!!

I love how Poppy is camouflaged when she sits on the rug! And yes, I have nearly trodden on her several times when she has been snoozing on it!!!

So there we have it. A full tour of the room with a little too many photos than probably needed! If you have any questions like where things are from please give me a shout in the comments. I hope you all enjoyed having a little virtual nose round my gaff!

*We didn’t pay a lot for the curtains in the end, thank goodness. We managed to find some ready made, just about wide enough, thermal lined ones for £69.99, then found a local lady to shorten the length to fit our humongous, monster sized window for £20! A much better price than £700+, eh!

The New House – Our Finished Bedroom

Right, its about time that I shared a finished room on here!

I will start with our bedroom. We finished decorating this room back in June (I think?) and we currently have the 3rd bedroom/office, the hallway, the bathroom and the kitchen all about 90% done. What’s left in these rooms is the silly little finishing touches like hanging pictures up etc that we always seem to take ages to getting round to doing.

I had hoped to share more finished room tours on my blog before the end of the year, but somehow we seem to be running out of time!

As per usual, the lounge is turning into a bigger project than we anticipated (including accidental purple walls!) and we still have yet to start the second bedroom!

I promise I will eventually get round to blogging the rest of the house. In the mean time, thanks for your patience!

Below is how the bedroom looked like when we viewed the house back in January ’16. This is the estate agents photo.viewing b4 main bedroom

A nice bedroom with nothing wrong with it. Yet we still felt the urge to decorate it!!!

And below are three photos of how things looked when we first moved in.
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We were expecting the previous owner to take the wardrobes and chest of drawers with them. But it turned out that they were built in units. Yes, we could have lived with them, but I am quite attached to our own walnut coloured bedroom furniture from our old house! One of my main requirements for any future home, when we were viewing properties, was that I could fit all of our bedroom furniture in to the main bedroom. I made Rob get out the tape measure in every property we viewed and all the poor estate agents heard the story about how I didn’t want to have to sell our wardrobes etc!

Within the first few weeks of living here, Rob carefully removed and dismantled the previous owners bedroom furniture and we gave away it to a friend. Then we set about recreating my old dining room in the bedroom!

We painted the walls white, carpeted the room, hung a new pole and curtains up, changed the light fitting to hang my lampshade that we brought with us from our old house (there was no way I was leaving that behind, as I knew our buyers would not appreciate its vintage, yellow, loveliness and would just throw it away!) and then we reassembled our furniture in the room.

After a few weeks of decorating fun and games, here are the results!

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As you come into the room we have our Cocoa Eyes print and mirror.

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Apologies for my (surprisingly flattering) 9 months pregnant reflection in the picture. I am a terrible photographer!

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Ignore the creases in the bed covers. I never iron them. Or iron anything at all if I can help it!

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Sorry for the darkness in this snap. Its included to try to give you all the 360 tour of the room. I cannot be bothered to learn how to balance light or actually use the camera properly!

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The Parma Violets

Here is little up date on our lounge decorating situation.

We have hung the new lining paper, painted it with a white under coat, moved a couple of plugs, replaced, primed and painted the skirting boards, had the new flooring fitted and painted one wall lilac.

Woah hold up, whats that you just said Helen? Yep its true, we have just painted one of our walls a lilac colour!!!imageimageimage

It was not done on purpose, believe me! I do love colour, but purple is one of my least favourite colours. Its safe to say that I am not a fan of our new lilac wall!

It was a bit of a cock up. We were hoping to find a grey paint similar to the colour that we used in our old lounge. We couldn’t find one, so we took in a sample of the colour we wanted and got the DIY store to scan it and mix it up to order. The tester that we had made up was just what we wanted, so we paid for it to be made up in a large five litre tin.

When Rob opened the five litre tin on Monday, he remarked that the grey colour looked a bit pinker than he remembered. We just thought that maybe once it had been painted on the walls it would dry to the colour that we wanted.

Nope! It didn’t! It dried a lovely shade of 80’s-tastic lilac!

Ah, well. Shit happens. We can laugh about it now! And the DIY store who we brought the paint from were very good and admitted that the mixing machine had made a mistake somehow (they couldn’t figure out why though and it had never happened before!) and gave us a full refund.

I just cannot look at our lounge wall without being reminded of granny hair dye jobs, Parma Violet sweets and bad eighties bridesmaids dresses!

Mean while more tester paint pots have been brought! Its back to square one again!

The New House – Ideas And Inspiration For The Second Bedroom

Sorry to keep wanging on about baby stuff on here. I did hope to share a tour of our bedroom today, but its too dark and rainy to take any decent photos, so that post will have to wait. Fear not, I am not about to turn into a “mummy blogger” anytime soon! But at this moment in time its a big thing in my life, so I cannot help but over share on here occasionally!

I just wanted to do a little follow up from this post here (the 2nd bedroom before tour post) to talk about my ideas for this room.

I must say that it has been quite hard deciding how to decorate this room. My initial thoughts were to just paint the room white, but then Rob banned me from having any more white walls in the house! (He hates it! Because its a bugger to paint and you cannot see what bits you have already painted apparently!)

Next I thought “what about that greeny-grey neutral colour that we had in our bedroom in our last house?” But Rob was not so keen on the colour. So that was the end of that. (Yes, believe it or not, sometimes I do let him have a say in things!!!)

So it was back to the drawing board again. Or rather, pinning stuff on my secret Pinterest board for inspiration!

All that I had decided on was this Ikea light in the room and, don’t ask me why, but I set my heart on a bright yellow cot! …You know, the one colour that cots are least likely to be made in! Luckily I managed to find one online at a sensible price, so that Pinterest-to-blame-type-of-want was fulfilled!

So far we have purchased the two items pictured below.

Image from ikea.com

The light for the room. Image from ikea.com

His cot. Image from direct.asda.com

His cot. Image from direct.asda.com

And this is how the room currently looks.imageimageimageimage

Doesn’t it make you a bit twitchy and anxious? The piles of bags everywhere, the disorganisation of it, and the fact that I have just over four weeks left to go til D-day? Eep!

But to be honest, I am pretty chill about things. As for the first few months the kid will be sleeping in our bedroom, in one of those next to the bed cribs, so there is no December deadline to get this room finished. Phew! And I have finally decided on the wall colour and more furnishings! We just need to finish decorating the lounge first so that the Ladderax unit and the books etc can be moved back in there, then I can start sorting out the piles of baby paraphernalia that my parents have brought us and friends have kindly given to us.

And pack my hospital bag and do other practical shit like that!

The scheme that I have decided on is for the walls to be painted on the bottom half a teal coloured dark blue (yes, I know, I have chosen blue for a boy! But I like the colour and would also use it in a little girls room) then white on the top half. A bit like in the images all gleaned from Pinterest below.

And somehow I have managed to get Rob to paint another room white again! But this room doesn’t count as its only half white. Honest!

Image from ikea.com

Image from ikea.com

Image from spearmintbaby.com

Image from spearmintbaby.com

More Pinterest inpiration. Not quite the look that I am going for, but look, a yellow cot and the same lampshade!

More Pinterest inpiration. Not quite the look that I am going for, but look, a yellow cot and the same lampshade! Image from babble.com.

Next, I plan to order this Ikea chest of drawers for a changing area and clothing storage, which I cannot wait to organise like this Mummy blogger has.

Nordli chest of drawers. Image from ikea.com.

Nordli chest of drawers. Image from ikea.com.

Image from twotwentyone.net.

Image from twotwentyone.net.

Then order this cute Scandi inspired bunny print below to hang somewhere in the room. Just because I like it and would be very happy to have it hanging in my bedroom TBH!

Image from thismodernlife.co.uk

Image from thismodernlife.co.uk

Watch this space for the room tour next year!

The New House – More Lounge Progress

When shit goes down, it feels a bit incongruous to blog about frivolous stuff like decorating my house. Plus I am well aware that blogging about baby stuff is as dull as dishwater and only semi-interesting to Rob and I, and the grandparents (who don’t actually read my blog!)

But the world still keeps on turning and life goes on. Blogs (to me) are a nice distraction from the world around us, full of inspiring, pretty things. They are five minutes of escapism from the bad news reports and political hate spewed on social media etc.

Ok, so I cannot call the images in this blog post pretty! But here is a little update on how things are currently looking in our lounge.

I hope that we can have this room finished by the time the kid arrives. The walls are going to be lined, then painted, skirting boards replaced, curtains hung and the new flooring will be fitted in nine days time (so long inheritance and savings – sob, its been nice knowing you!) Then we can move the rest of our furniture back into the room and I can faff about arranging my pot plants, books and nik-naks.

And hopefully share the finished results on here!imageimageimageimageRob has just filled in this crack in the wall. He said to me “go on, have a feel of my crack, feel how smooth it is” err, no thanks mate!

My Improved Kitchen Cupboards

I will hold my hands up and fully admit that I am a complete and utter saddo because my newly fitted out, much improved, all singing all dancing pantry cupboard (or is it called a larder cupboard? IDK?) and broom cupboard in our kitchen have made me so happy!

I also shouldn’t admit that I have spent far too much time perving over images of organised pantries on Pinterest!

And even worse, I am now the proud owner of a spice rack!

Ah well, too late!

Its a good job that I have no shame! But some of those Pinterest images are to die for. I mean, phroaw! Swit shwoo!

Some girls daydream about finding a handsome man to settle down with who will spoil them rotten with regular bunches of flowers, hotel mini breaks, meals in fancy restaurants and boxes of Milk Tray.

Nah. Not me.

I just want a man who puts the time and effort into building me the pantry of my dreams, so that I can organise the shit out of it and hoard half a supermarkets worth of tinned food inside it! That’s my idea of a romantic gesture!

Just look at these bad boys. Aren’t they amazing? Rob has improved them so much. I am never going to move house again because I never want to leave these cupboards behind!!!

Here are the before photos –

broom cupboard before

The boiler cupboard pictured back in May or June when we first moved in.

pantry before

And the other kitchen cupboard that originally housed the warm air heating system, that the house was built with, before it was ripped out and changed to gas central heating and radiators.

We swapped the use of the cupboards over. It makes better sense to store food and perishables in the other cupboard rather than next to a warm boiler. I am a bit funny about things like that, because in our old Chatham house, some of our kitchen cupboards that were hung on an outside wall had a touch of damp in them, and I kept finding green fur on things like my Paxo and pasta! Nice!

Rob made all the shelves from MDF and we used cheap basic shelf brackets and fixings to hang them. We then covered the pantry shelves in some of this stuff from Wilko so that they are easy to wipe clean, and I also brought a £2 shelf divider for my tinned food and some cheap pull out storage baskets for my potatoes and onions from there.

I found the spice racks cheap on Ebay, and I cannot tell you how much I love having a spice rack! I must be old before my time (or rather I am now officially sad and old – as I am practically a middle aged woman after all!) because I feel that my life has improved so much since I have got a spice rack! Its just so handy!!!

Here are some photos of the work being out –

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Underneath about five layers of lino Rob found these floor tiles in the boiler cupboard. I am guessing that they are the original 60’s/70’s flooring?

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He removed the shelves in the boiler cupboard, gave it a lick of paint and then planned how to make the most of the space with some clever hooks and shelving.

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Before painting and shelving the other cupboard Rob lined it with MDF. He is such a good boy! ….And a perfectionist!

Nearly there, it just needs organising.

Look at all that space!

Once again I do apologise for the quality of these photos. I promise that I will use the DSLR for my future fully finished kitchen reveal post! Here are the after photos below –

boiler cupboard

The new and improved boiler/broom cupboard. And yes, as you can see, we have gone over to the dark side with our paint colour choice for the walls! #noregrets!

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My pantry in the other cupboard!!!

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A close up shot of all the crap I have stashed in there. Plus Rob even put a battery operated sensor light in there for me!

Lights Alive

Who else remembers the toy Lights Alive from the eighties? I wanted one so bad when I was a kid!

Anyway, this is another one of my random-musings-type post. I mean with that intro, I might as well start as I mean to go on, eh!

I was thinking about our new house, the decorating and the forthcoming kid. This is the first house that we’ve not had to decorate and change things because we need to (in that things are falling apart and are unsafe etc) – we just want to.

Take the lights pictured below in our lounge and the kitchen. They are fairly new and work perfectly fine. They are just not the fittings that I would have chosen.
imageimageI feel bad for spending money changing them, and guilty that the old fittings will end up in a landfill (charity shops will not accept certain electricals – including light fittings).  I asked myself if it is necessary to change them.

But then on the other hand, Rob and I are both homebodies and we like our home to look nice. We like decorating (well, the end results rather than the process of decorating!) and improving things, making our house(s) a home. We are putting our own stamp on the house, turning it into a colourful, retro/mid century influenced home that is very ‘us’!

We are both former art students who appreciate good design and we like things that are visually pleasing (I mean that’s why Rob settled down with me because I am so darn good looking! Ha!) Plus Rob works from home and I will be spending more time indoors next year. So having a nice, relaxing, functional, comfortable home is important to us.

I have been very fortunate that I have a small inheritance from my grandparents (obviously I would rather have my grandparents still here though) which has enabled us to move and to be able to decorate this house. (Which we were going to spend on some new interior doors and a new patio and driveway in our old house BTW!)

But should I keep the money in a savings account for the kid? After all, we are spending it on our future, not theirs.

But then I go back to thinking that this is something that we want to do. We want to decorate this house.

Everyone keeps telling us to make the most of things right now and to enjoy our freedom, because come next year, we will not have any time to do anything.

We are well aware of this! But thanks for telling us anyway!

So instead of having one last big blow out like an expensive holiday abroad (or a babymoon as they are called) or me demanding that Rob buys me a ‘maternity’ ring or an expensive trinket (or a push present as they are called!), we are treating ourselves one last time by decorating the house.

This will be the last time that it is all about us. Next year everything we do will be about the kid. Their needs will come first.

Neither of us are bothered about this. We are mature enough (I hope!) to realise what is coming. It will be a big shock change, just like everyone keeps telling us.

But bring it on, I say!

….I just hope that our little darling to be doesn’t destroy the place in a few years time!!!image imageAbove ↑ Our new lights in the kitchen and lounge. The kitchen lights were from B&Q and were not too expensive. The lounge light was from John Lewis (but I did buy it when it was on special offer with 10% off!) which looks soooo much better than the chintzy floral light fitting that was there before!!

The New House – The Second Bedroom

Here it is, the last room tour from our new Devon house in its ‘before’ state! Phew, it only took me four months to blog them all!

This is our second bedroom, and when we moved here we told people that we would eventually decorate it, buy a spare double bed for it and then we could have people stay round.

Unbeknown to our friends and family, I was around eight weeks pregnant when we moved, but at that point we weren’t sure of how things would progress so we called this room our guest bedroom.

And even though it winds Rob up when I call it the ‘guest bedroom’, the name has stuck and I still cannot bring myself to call this room ‘the babies room’!

This will be the last room that we decorate. All that we have done so far is carpeted it and moved some random bits of furniture in to it which do not fit anywhere else in the house!

The room is pretty neutral already, but to me it is a little bland. The striped wallpaper is non offensive but not to my taste. I already have a few vague plans for the room, like a bright yellow cot (Asda do one for £59!) and to turn the G Plan unit into a toy display/book case, but that is about it really.

I just do not know what I want in there or nor have I done much research on what I will need!

I know that I do not want any bunting anywhere, any pastel colours, a theme to the room (like a nautical, car, fairy or Disney theme) , the future kids name displayed on the wall, or anything overly twee in there. Which is pretty much all of what Pinterest throws up at you when you do a search for nursery ideas!

I want a unisex/retro/mid century modern/Scandinavian vibe to this room with lots of bright cheerful primary colours everywhere. I also want the decor not to be too babyish and neural so that we can just switch up the furniture and storage situations as the kid and its needs grow.

Watch this space, as I guess I will be talking about things more on here soon!
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The New House – Lounge And Kitchen Progress

I thought that I would share some (badly taken mobile) photos showing the current state of our house in the midst of the decorating progress. Please excuse the mess and washing up etc. You know me, I never tidy up and stage my photos on here!

This is whats happening in our house right now. We are still working on the bathroom and Rob has now started to strip the wallpaper from the lounge and has removed the tiles from the kitchen.imageimageimagePictured above – as you can see I have acquired some new furniture! Our old furniture that we brought with us from Kent was either not working in this room or completely knackered. So we sold the G Plan coffee table (sob, I loved that table so much, but the room looks so much bigger and better with out it) and donated our old (smaller) sofa and discoloured dining chairs to the local hospice charity shop and ordered some new colourful replacements from Ebay and online.

We have also brought a new, slightly smaller dining table and I splurged on a gorgeous, vintage Ladderax unit for the lounge. I have wanted one for so long and I am so pleased with it! Lets just not talk about how I spent the same amount of money that it would cost for a pram/buggy system type thing on it! Oops! Priorities, eh!

The old G Plan unit has been moved upstairs into the ‘guest’ bedroom which I will share a tour of soon.

Why are we stripping wallpaper in this room, I hear you say? In my photos it just looks like it needs a lick of paint, doesn’t it? Well the lounge has lining paper on the walls that unfortunately have a hideous (IMO) fleur de lis pattern on it. Rob did try to convince me that once we painted the room grey I wouldn’t notice the pattern anymore.

Nope, he wasn’t fooling me! He is currently reluctantly stripping the walls and bitching and moaning about how long it is going to take him to repair all the damage to the plaster!

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Still to do in this room – sort the flooring, lighting, fireplace, tv unit and curtain situation out.

Right, on to the kitchen! We (and you know that I really mean Rob here) have chipped off all the old grey tiles and taken down the filthy, stained vertical blinds (we will have to buy new replacements unfortunately) and the pointless bits of wood above the windows. There is dust everywhere!

I did say in a previous post that we were keeping the current tiles, but we have decided to just go for it. If we are going to give the kitchen a make over, changing the tiles will make such a huge difference to the room.
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Apparently Jason and Marc installed the double glazing as we discovered when Rob removed the window sills to tile underneath them!

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So there we have it. I hope that this post was not too boring. Its nice for me to look back on how far we have come and to have a reminder on here never to move house and decorate again!!!