Category: Home & Garden

A New Bedroom for the New Year

The other day I tweeted about how much I hate our bedroom. When we got the keys to our house, just under four years ago, we had a window of a week in which to do any redecorating before moving in. It was quite stressful and very, very cold. The downstairs was having a damp course put in, which meant there was no heating or hot water and we had a number of other jobs that needed doing before moving day. We had the carpet fitter arriving early on the Thursday before our stuff came on the Friday. We decided to do what we could to our bedroom in that short space of time and on our limited budget. It had lime green paint on wood chip wallpaper. Yep. Nightmare. We didn’t have time to strip the paper, repaper, wait for it to dry, before painting the walls with two coats of paint. So we painted over the lime green, onto the wood chip. Yep. Our bedroom still has wood chip wallpaper on it. Add into the mix, if you will, a burgundy wall, which we thought was a good idea as a feature wall. It took about five coats of paint. Feature walls can be a good idea, but never if they’re burgundy. Never. I will post a picture before we paint over it, if I can pluck up the courage.

While we’re not quite ready to redecorate it just yet, as we need to save some funds and sort out some storage issues, we will be decorating the bedroom this year. So you know that means? Pinterest time! It’s time to pin all the bedroom styles I like and want to emulate. I’ve started a board so will be adding to it over the next few months. Here are some of my favourites so far:

Via Red Online

Via Red Online

Via SF Girl by Bay

Via sfgirlbybay

Via The Olde Barn

Via The Olde Barn

Via Brunch at Saks

Via Brunch at Saks

There’s a definite theme running through all the images I’ve pinned so far. White walls, plain wooden floors, metal bed frame, lush fabrics. My only hope is that our bedroom looks at least half as good as these images I’ve found via Pinterest. It certainly can’t look any worse, that’s for certain!

What’s the worst decorating mistake you’ve ever made? Do you follow any great interior decorating boards on Pinterest? I’d love to know! I need lots of help!

Oh, Christmas Tree

It’s finally beginning to look festive at Crafty Chai towers. As our house is snug & compact, we have to get a small tree. For the last few years we’ve bought our tree from Appleton Christmas Barn, which is as awesome as it sounds! It really helps to get me in the Christmas spirit because as soon as you arrive, Christmas is all around you & can’t help but love it!

Festive RibbonAs soon as you enter, you hit with warmth from the wood burning stove by the entrance. Sadly, it wasn’t needed much when we bought our tree last week, but it has been essential in years gone by. They have absolutely everything you could possibly need to get your house ready for Christmas. I love the range of ribbons and stamps that they have, as it’s the little touches that help make Christmas extra special.

Christmas stampsI couldn’t resist buying a holly stamp this time, which has adorned plenty of envelopes, cards & gifts. As we only tend to go when we’re buying our tree, some of the products had already sold out. So we missed out on getting some new festive candles, but they always have plenty of games that are perfect for when the family comes round.

Christmas BaublesOur Christmas tree never really has a theme, as I made the mistake of having a silver & lilac theme one year and it was just horrid. Plus, our decorations are an amalgamation of both mine & my OH’s decorations from when we were single, with a few new ones that we’ve bought since we’ve been together. I prefer a full and colourful tree, with as much clashing of colours & styles as possible!

Appleton Reindeer Sleepy reindeerFor the second year running there were reindeer at Appleton Christmas Barn. It’s so great to see them up close. They were quite sleepy after a busy day of being festive and I was quite impressed with my iPhone photography skills and catching this one mid yawn! Cute or what?! We weren’t sure how Poppy was going to react to the tree, as she gets obsessed with things that move when she pokes them with her nose that ends in her barking at it, poking it really hard & running away. So when we got the tree home, we just put it up and left it for a few days before decorating it. Poppy couldn’t be less bothered with it if she tried! Once again, I worried over nothing. Will I never learn?!

Icelandic SantaWe decided to put our Icelandic Santa in pride of place on top of the tree this year, after Poppy gave his beard a little chew. I love this little guy! Our tree is shorter than ones we’ve bought in previous years, but it’s much bushier, which led to bauble issues! If I spaced them out, it looked bare, but some of the bigger ones kept touching. In the end, I just put on as many as I could get away with.

Cath Kidston SantaObviously my little Cath Kidston Santa decoration took pride of place. I’m still really impressed with those neat little stitches! Does anyone else find that the sap from the tree really makes their hands itch? I always have to stop and wash them so I don’t keep scratching them.

Christmas TreeIt was so sunny today that I really struggled to get a decent picture of the tree, so I’ll add one to Instagram over the weekend. We decided not to use any breakable baubles because of Poppy so we’ve mainly got wooden ones, which are my favourite to be honest. The only problem with a small tree is that you can only use so much tinsel. I am such a sucker for tinsel! Love that stuff!

Be MerryMy OH bought this banner last year and it’s one of my favourite decorations. I love the colour of the print and think it’s such a good way to reuse an old book. Plus, it uses the cute little pegs. I love them! I’ve seen quite a few peg-related tutorials recently so might have attack them with some glitter glue and washi tape!

Almost all the presents are wrapped, almost all the cards are written and posted and we’ll be buying the most important thing tomorrow – the alcohol! Can never have enough in my book! One of the things I love about Christmas is that it’s universally acceptable to drink prosecco with breakfast! Bon apetit!

#BEDN ~ Home Sweet Home

It’s almost time for our four year anniversary in our little home and boy have we done a lot of work to it! Here’s what we’ve done so far:

  • Damp course
  • Replastered some walls (seriously, our house is where artex comes to die!)
  • Replaced 3 windows
  • Decorated 5 rooms & the hallway
  • Sanded & painted 1 floor
  • Carpeted 1 room and the stairs
  • Repaired the roof once
  • Installed a wood burning stove
  • Given the garden a complete overhaul

Wow. It doesn’t sound like much when you put it like that, but there has been plenty of blood, sweat, tears & swears shed over this place! And we’re not even finished *sigh*

One room that is finished is my study.

Before

Fireplace Before

After

Fireplace AfterBefore

Study BeforeAfter

Study AfterI’d still like to change the curtains as we bought those for the first house we lived in together and I hate them now. I’m thinking of getting a blind so light isn’t restricted at the sides of the window. That would be the only change I’d make in my study now.

Here are a few things we’ve got left to do:

  • Replace 2 windows
  • Redecorate our bedroom (We did this room first when we moved in. We made some bad decorative choices!)
  • Improve storage in the spare room
  • Plant up the garden
  • Add curtains to the new window/back window

And if we had all the money, extend the back of the house, move the bathroom and add a loft room. Or move. If we had all the money, we’d move to where we’d never have lift a paintbrush ever again!

Cath Kidston Press Day #ckss14

I have been a fan of Cath Kidston for many, many years. So when they got in touch and asked if I’d like to attend a press day for the launch of their new prints for next year, there was only going to be one possible answer. A most definite yes. So I headed off to the Big Smoke & managed to find my way to the Rook & Raven gallery, where the day was being held. I had a good look round and took plenty of pictures. Take a look!

Brighton up your day

Brighton rocks spotty satchel floral measuring cups time for tea Giraffe Cushion

I was very excited to see what they would have to offer and I’m not disappointed. I like the new prints. I think they stay true to what people expect from Cath Kidston, but they’re different enough to keep us all interested, and boy am I interested! I’ll take one of everything please!

teapot jumper cath kidston teapot cushionstanley timer

cath kidston crochet blanket

Not only were there lots of lovely things to see, they also provided refreshments! (Love free food!) I have the most delicious tasting soup ever – A butternut squash and sage soup. Perfect for warming up, as it was bloomin’ freezing in London! I also received a goody bag, which included these gorgeous socks from the Safari range, a handy travel cup, which I plan to use asap and a lovely tote bag, also from the Safari range.

safari socksWhat do you think of the new prints? Which one is your favourite? I can’t decide between Tea Time, Spots & Budgies!