Tag: redecorating

Redecorating my Home Office

At the end of the summer last year, my partner and I swapped rooms for our home office. This meant that we both needed to redecorate. As I had more stuff/junk, we decided to do mine first. It took us ages, for a number of reasons but we finally finished it before Christmas and I’m really happy with the way things turned out.

redecorating my home office

Our house is over 150 years old and it’s had a lot of DIY done to it over the years, some good, some bad, some very, very ugly. (Artex, I’m looking at you). All of this means that every bit of work we do on our house causes us a real headache and generally takes twice as long as it should.

In my office, we took down part of a built in cupboard to make way for some shelving and to increase the space in the room. We repainted the walls, ceiling and woodwork, including the remaining built in cupboards and we swapped the curtains for a new blind.

One wall was in a bit of a mess. It was the original wall and was pretty uneven. We probably should’ve had the walls replastered, but as we were on a budget, we decided to try the Polycell Smoothover instead. It’s not an easy task, but it is definitely worth it. While it isn’t as good as having the wall plastered, it is a lot quicker and easier. While stripping the wallpaper, part of the plasterwork came off the chimney breast, right down to the brick work underneath. To repair it, we used the Polycell Deep Gap Polyfilla. We didn’t do anything fancy to it, other than layer up the Polyfilla. It worked a treat and we were able to finish it off quite nicely, without any fancy tools. Then it came time to paint.  We repainted half the room and then I decided that I didn’t like it. It was too blue and I wanted a grey colour. In the end, I went for Dulux Night Jewels 5 and I love it! It’s really calming. We painted the woodwork using Milk White and it really compliments the grey.

Dulux Night Jewels 5

One thing I did learn, after painting the entire room using a satin paint, is that if your walls have imperfections, then you should you use matt paint as it’ll help to hide the imperfections. To be honest, there are so many imperfections in the walls that I don’t think any type of paint would hide them!

Fortunately, the office my partner now uses doesn’t need this type of work, as we had the walls replastered when we moved in, though we’re not redecorating that just yet. I need to get over doing my office! Do you find redecorating completely exhausting? Or is that just me?!

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!

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!

Hallway Lamp Shade Dilemma

I am notoriously bad at buying lamp shades. When we moved in to our house three years ago, we needed new ones in every room. I’m ashamed to admit we bought cheap paper ones. The reason was simple – we didn’t decorate every room straight away so didn’t want to spend the money on something fancy that might not fit the room when we decorated. Fair enough. But that doesn’t explain the nasty black rose shade for the upstairs landing. Awful, hideous monstrosity! We didn’t bother replacing the one in the hallway, not quite sure why. Think it was because after buying the black rose one we felt we couldn’t be trusted so left well enough alone!

Well, we’ve finally got around to painting over the peach walls and woodwork of the hallway. The walls are white & the woodwork is a light grey. We’ve kept it light, plain and simple because the hall doesn’t get much light & is very dark most of the time, so we wanted to help it out as much as possible. Now comes the awkward bit – buying a lamp shade. The redecorating pot is running low so nothing too expensive, but we want something cool, stylish, suits the old house but nothing chintzy! A quick Google made me realise there is only one place to look for awesome lampshades – Not on the High Street. And that’s where I lost the best part of a day! (Not kidding!) These are my favourites – all a bit different, would suit the colours used & a bit quirky.

Chevron lamp shade

Geometric Chevron Lamp shade

Herringbone Lamp shadeHerringbone Lamp shade

Woodland Lamp ShadeWoodland Lamp Shade

Little Houses Lamp Shade

Little Houses Lamp Shade

Mr Fox Lamp ShadeMr Fox Lamp Shade

Flock Sunrise Lamp Shade

Flock Sunrise Lampshade

It’s so tough! I want them all, but sadly don’t have the rooms (or the funds!). They’re all reasonably priced so now it’s just about choosing one that will suit the space. I was all set on choosing one of these when I stumbled across this:

Bird Brolly Lamp ShadeBird Brolly Lamp Shade Kit

I didn’t want to make my own. I didn’t want the fuss. But I love this print & think the colour will work, plus the kit comes with everything I’ll need, including the all important instructions. How cool would it be for people to walk into the hallway that I’ve repaired & decorated and see something that I’ve made?! It’ll be fine as long as I don’t mess it up!

I really don’t know which one to choose! They’re all great in their own unique way. One thing is certain – we won’t be having a black rose situation again!