30 Jul 2010

Black & white, & Concrete shelves

I discovered  Anna Malin's blog  earlier on this week  (by way of Sunny's blog)  where I spotted these shelves, and now just can't seem to stop thinking about them. I  have been re-visiting them on and off all week.  The shelves are made out of a concrete mix, and I can't get over how lovely they are, welcome to the soft side of industrial!


In fact this weekend I intend to get my self lost in this blog as I'm quite taken with the black and white theme of  Anna's lovely home and her photography.  If you are looking for some decorating inspiration with black and white then head on over, oh and look out for the connection with Holly from Decor8!

23 Jul 2010


Just recently I have been updating my daughters bedroom for her, which is still a work in progress.  A while back I re-painted the pale lilac walls a lovely crisp white (can you believe that it took  me Three coats of white to paint out pale lilac.... that will teach me to buy cheap paint!) as she decided that she wanted a black  white and pink theme to her bedroom.
As I don't have oddles of cash, this mini makeover is being done on the cheap, with items being picked up from places like charity shops, car boot sales and any other place I can get a bargain!

So here are my tips and trick for a mini cheap-o- makeover.

  • The butterfly picture was a car boot sale find for just a few pounds, car boots are a great way to find cheap items.

  • The chest of draws started life as a  set of pine coloured draws which i painted with a white wash paint, (just a bit of emulsion watered down)  not sure but we may do another coat as my daughter is not all together sold on the white wash finish.

  • The Glass knobs where a real bargain as I managed to get seven for £16.00! I had seen some for £6 each, so i was well and truly made up when I bagged these for the draws!

  • The black and white throw was the starting point for the idea, a kind of, hey this looks good in here conversation that got the ball a rollin. 

  • The pink lamp shade was made using some material bought on eBay, and a do-it your-self lamp shade kit.
If your looking for a do-it yourself lamp shade kit, I got mine from www.hunkydoryhome.com, and currently you can find draw knobs and handles form  http://www.bombayduck.co.uk/ who also have a sale on at the moment.

12 Jul 2010

Whats plugging you?

When it comes to Energy Saving and Eco Friendly  gadgets and gizmo's  well I have to confess that I'm not as clued up as I probably should be.  I'm more of a reuse re purpose kind of person and  do my bit for the environment by recycling where I can, and not always buying brand new when second hand will do the job just as well.  But recently these little gadgets popped up in my mail box courtesy of http://www.energenie4u.co.uk/, and well I know that at first glance they are not the most beautiful thing you will ever plug into you sockets, they could well save you a penny or two, and so I thought I would give um a chance so here's the energy saving low down on these guys.

Automatic Standby Plug Adapter for TVs – This device will learn the standby power level of your TV and switch it off automatically when it is put into standby. You can re-enable the socket and TV at the same time using the standby button on your remote control without having to get up and go to the socket itself

Automatic Standby Shutdown for Home Entertainment Systems - This 5-gang socket has 1 socket reserved for appliances that need to remain constantly on (like a Sky box), this device will learn the standby power level of your home entertainment system and switch it off automatically when it is put into standby. It can be re-enabled using the standby button on your remote control without you having to get up and go to the socket itself. A similar 5-gang sock

Energy Power Saving Meter - Discover what appliances are the worst offenders in your household for wasting the most electricity. Find out how much appliances are costing in terms of money and their carbon footprint.

Oh and for all of us who have ever forgotten to switch off the hair straighteners before leaving the house with swishy shinny poker straight hair, well this one is a must  for you ..and I....but if my Hubby ever asked......its wasn't  me who left them on OK...!

So come on whats plugging you? (sorry I couldn't help meself) have you got  any energy saving tips and tricks to share, and gadget talk your loving at the moment?

Monday Happiness, finding new shops in town!

Hello to you all, how is your Monday going so far,  Good I hope.  I made a new discovery  in town today, which I first heard about over at The Bean Scene  blog (a local fellow blogger!) and I just had to check it out.   Elizabeth Howell  has recently opened, and is a fabulous mixture of interiors homeswares, clothing and jewellery.
I had intended to just pop in and have myself a bit of a nosy around,  but also on my to do list while in town was to search out some little handles for a chest of draws that i wanted to give a bit of a face lift to, and on entering the shop that's just what I found!  What a great way to start the week, Monday Happiness to all!

See those little glass handles above?  I now have the seven that I need to finish off my drawers.

Elizabeth Howell - 3 Burrard Street, St Helier Jersey

10 Jul 2010

Tips from the designers to the stars.

Recently you may have heard that Gwyneth Paltrow had a temporary home in Nashville  renovated for her and her family while she had been working on filming there, and I have been having a little snoop over at Goop (yes I like reading Goop) to see the results.  Now for starters  I'm pretty sure that what Gwyneth calls a very limited film scale budget is probably more than we ordinary folk would call limited if we were renovating on a budget, but there are a couple of pointers that I picked up from  designer/stylist Annette Joseph. which she used while working on Gwyneth's home, that any cash strapped renovator could find very useful .

Image Annette Joseph blog.

  • Look out for local sample sales and ex show room  for one off pieces, as long as they are in good condition these can be a  great buy and save money.  Gwyneth's bath tub was a floor sample find.
  • Flea markets, car boots and charity shops can throw up some interesting items, great for finding retro and vintage accessories and soft furnishings.  Again in Gwyneth's kitchen the lighting was a flea market find.
  • Check out online stores such as overstock.com for home furniture to make a saving, some items on overstock.com are now available to the UK now, though this is limited to smaller items.  I loved the clear  plastic chairs in the dinning room that Annette found for the family dinning area from overstock.com
  • Re purpose other pieces of  furniture for example one of the pieces that Annette used was an alter piece from India used as a little console table all in the bedroom.
  • Throughout Gwyneth's temporary home, Annette was able to use art work borrowed from galleries, this is probably not an option available to the likes of you and I, but don't let that put you off owning original pieces of art for you home. Recently I have been visiting local auctions, and have been amazed at how cheaply you can pick up original paintings, you may not be buying something painted by a famous artist, but its still an original.
You can see more of the renovation by visiting Goop, and learn more about Annette Joseph here.

5 Jul 2010

Lisa Stickley made at home.

A few weeks ago I received  this book, Made at Home (1) by lisa stickley (who I recently wrote about here) and published by Quadrille, and I have been waiting until this week  to tell you about it because of release dates, but its available now, and I'm  eager to share it with you.  made at home, a guide to simple sewing, is just that, and is a great starting point for  anybody thinking of taking up sewing and wanting to embrace the current trends in all things home made.
I love that this unpretentious book has  the feel of almost being some ones school project written in a jotter, probably down to the lined pages, illustrations as well a photographs, and bits of wobbly writing,  but the teacher would be wagging her finger at the lack of any capital letters!  Yes that's right its all written in lower case.  Being a person who frequently forgets these kind of things while writing i kinda like it!

Its an easy to follow book which shows you how to create items such as a tea cosy (2), pretty napkins (3), coat hanger covers (5) and shoe bags, along with slightly more challenging things such as a pouffe, and roman blinds, but all achievable in a weekend.

The book starts by covering the basic such as equipment, basic stitches,  seams, and tips on tackling corners.  I also learnt a tip for making zips look neater in cushions.  The  sewing projects covered are, for the kitchen, for living room, for the bedroom and for the laundry, with handy templates (5) suggested shops and suppliers at the back.

Over the weekend i got out my sewing machine and tried the project for making a little slip cover for those horrible wire coat hangers that I bet every home has hung in the wardrobe, and there it is in picture 5. so much better. 
What i really like about this book is that it doesn't have to be perfect, if you need to add a pleat here and there then do! (for making a bolster)  How many hours have I spent previously trying to get that round bottom to fit just so!

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