Category: Home & Garden

Autumnal Floral Decoration

A few weeks ago, my OH’s sister got married. For the floral decorations, we decorated the venue with dried flowers. They were beautiful! And I had my eye on a few to use at home after the day was over. The thing about dried flowers is that they last, so when pennies are tight & you can’t afford fresh flowers, these work a treat. Here’s how I used them.

Autumnal flowersThese fit perfectly in the beer bottle in front of the fireplace in my study. (Please ignore the blue towel that the fireplace is resting on! It needs a spruce before being attached to the wall!)

vintage milk jugI’m always looking for flowers to go in this vintage jug, but you need a lot of flowers to make them look effective. I love the oranges against the green of the walls.

gourdsNothing says autumn to me like gourds! I love having them in the house & keep them as long as possible. They’re so festive & manage to brighten up any space. Try it!

floral displayI love the colour these bring, which is important at this time of year when it feels so much darker all the time. How do you decorate your home in autumn?

Creating a Picture Display

I’ve been collecting a few different pictures together. Most of my pictures live on my phone, so I got together some old ones, along with a few prints that I’ve bought recently because I want to create a photo wall in my study. Initially, I’d wanted quite modern black frames, but photo frames are expensive when you need to get a lot. So, inspired by Kirstie Allsopp’s ‘Fill your home for Free’ programme, I headed to a local charity shop and got a few mismatched frames. They were £1 each and because they don’t match, it means I can add to them in the future.

Picture frames

It turns out that lots of people who donate to charity shops don’t clean their donations! So the first thing I had to do was clean and polish the frames. I’d taken the pictures I wanted to frame with me to the charity shop so I knew that they would fit, though some needed mounts to make the most of the pictures. I wanted to have a go at making my own, instead of searching for ones that fit and are the right colour. I grabbed my cutting mat, my craft knife, my watercolour book and my trusty old ruler that I’ve had since secondary school!

make your own mountI drew around the pictures that I needed mounts for to create a template then measured the space that I needed to cover. Using my craft knife, I cut along the lines. Like most things, my cutting wasn’t perfectly straight, but straight enough to sit inside the frame. I used watercolour paper because it’s thicker than paper, but it has a nicer texture than card.

Mounted picture

I like how the picture looks with the mount, but I think I might change the colour or add some washi tape to make it stand out a bit. All that’s left now is to figure out how to display them on the wall, what pattern to go for. I’ve got some embroidery hoops that I want to add to the mix as well, so I’m going to be searching Pinterest for a few ideas! If you’ve got any tips, let me know!

How to brighten up a dark hallway

We’ve done an awful lot of work on our house in the three years that we’ve been here. However, one area that remained the same was the hall. It was an uninteresting light peach. Gross! Not only that, one of the door frames (which is now door free) was pretty badly damaged and needed repair. Also, the front of our house is incredibly dark, while the back of the house gets all the light. So whatever we needed to do, it had to maximise the tiny amount of light that it got.

poppy hall
Forgive my shoddy camera work in this picture! I was trying to make sure Poppy was in focus!

I started off adding layers of wood filler to the damaged wood frame. I’m so annoyed that I didn’t take a before & after picture, because the change is quite dramatic. You’d never be able to tell where it was damaged now! For the colour scheme, all we wanted was something light. We’ve used light reflecting paint in other parts of the house, but we aren’t convinced it makes any difference. Plus, it’s more expensive than normal paint. So we went with a plain old white paint for the walls. We didn’t want the woodwork to be white, so went with a light grey. After the first coat of the light grey, it was obvious that it was too light & it just didn’t work. So I headed back to Homebase and got some of their own brand Dove Grey and it’s just the ticket. We also painted the back of the front door in a bid to make the hall feel lighter. It wasn’t painted before, so was a dark brown and seemed to make the hall feel even darker. It’s made a massive difference to how the hall feels.

painted door

Ideally, we’d like to replace the door with one that has a bigger window, but we’ve run out of money! So we’re stuck with this one for a while longer. As you can see in the picture, the walls are artexed. A previous owner really, really, really loved that look and most of the walls were covered in it. When we moved in we needed a damp course so got some of the walls replastered. But as funds are tight, replastering the hall and other parts where it remains are not a priority so we’re stuck with it!

Lighten a dark hallway

I still haven’t found the perfect lampshade for the hall, but I’ll keep looking. The important thing is that we’ve given it a fresh look, made it lighter and got rid of the hideous peach that was there before. We’ve put our stamp on every room in the house now, as much as we can anyway. Now we’re looking around at the rooms we did when we first moved in and thinking about how much we’d like to change them. We’re saving hard to rebuild our DIY funds so until then there’s not much we can do. Unless we win the lottery of course!

My Handmade Lamp Shade

A little while ago, I wrote about needing a new lampshade for our newly redecorated hallway. We’re still trying to decide on one, but I wanted to have a go at making my own one. So I ordered a kit from Sarah Waterhouse Textiles and thought I’d have a go at making my own.

the kitAt first glance, I thought the instructions were really overwhelming, but when I sat down and looked through them, they were pretty straight forward. The kit comes with everything you need to make the lampshade. The only little extras that came in handy were a cutting mat and a craft knife. But if you didn’t have those, you’d still be able to make the shade without any problems.

The instructions are broken down step by step and are really easy to follow. Make sure your fabric is straight before sticking the pvc on as you cannot undo this! Mine is only slightly wonky and you’d never know just by looking. The only really difficult bit is sticking the hoops to the fabric, as you have to do both at once. You really need a second pair of hands! When doing this, make sure you keep the hoops as close to the pvc as possible. My top hoop wobbled slightly and it was difficult to move it so it looks a little awkward near the top. But the bottom, which is probably the most important as you can see it more clearly, is much better.

the finished lamp shadeWhat do you think? Not bad for a first attempt eh?! I’m pretty pleased with it. While it’s too small for our hallway, it might work on the landing. I would definitely recommend this kit if you’re looking to make something like this for your home. Have you come across any good kits recently? Let me know!