Once all the interior tasks were complete on our house we were able to make our way out into the garden and I begun discovering my green fingers. Gardening is in my genes – ALL my family are keen gardeners! So naturally it filtered down a generation. Although our garden is predominantly patio we were kept extremely busy making this little space our own last summer. We cleared so much overgrown greenery, took trees out and filled the space with new plants.

We finally got the space exactly how we wanted it but I just couldn’t ignore the fact that the cement patio was ugly as hell! I spent all summer long pottering for hours on end in the courtyard, enjoying the area we had created simply wishing the patio itself wasn’t such an eye sore. I tried to pretty it with pots and flowers. Eventually I surrendered to the fact that no amount of pots and plants were going to make this cement courtyard look good. So I spent the winter months saving up to get the patio slabbed exactly how we wanted it in time for spring and summer.

And last week the amazing transformation took place. Obviously we opted to keep the flower borders for some flowers and greenery when the time does come for everything to start blossoming again. The slabs we selected were Indian Sandstone Grey, a choice which I think complements the brickwork of the house really well.

For a kick off, the entire courtyard was completely uneven whereas now it has been made level making the patio look neater in itself. There was also a drain (see images below) which set the line of the flower border off this just seemed to stick out no matter what we did to try and disguise it. With the clever contraption of a metal grill the drain is now aligned with the border.

I love that our patio is a better shape, its actually square now and the new slabs make the space we have appear bigger. Unbelievably the team who worked on this took just over a day – not to mention in dreary winter conditions and the images speak for themselves in what a top quality job they have made of it. The finished result is amazing and I’m over the moon with how our courtyard now looks. I’m really pleased I decided to get this done when we did because it will allow us to enjoy this area in the upcoming months as the seasons get better.

All that’s left to do is wait for everything to start growing and it really is going to look fantastic. 

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A living room is a personal space. Its a room where you go to relax and unwind, spend time with your loved ones and should essentially be a place where you feel most at ease. It should also reflect who you are as a couple or family. To me our living room is the most beloved room in our house. Over the last six months we have invested some thought into how we could make the room feel even more perfect to us.

Whenever you move into a new home there are always finishing touches to be made, upon the obvious decorating aspects to any room. You have to look at the space you have and think ‘what’s missing?’ or ‘what can I add to this to make it even better?’ and since May we have been doing a lot of that.

Below are the key aspects that altogether have completed the feel of our living room in the last six months.

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Added a big mirror.

There was something a bit scarce about the long wall of our lounge that we both immediately recognized once we had settled in our new home. We decided to add a large tall mirror above our side cabinet to both fill the gap along the empty wall and at the same time create even more light and space to the room. The mirror was from The Range.

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Restored some old furniture.

Although this one may not always be applicable but I restored a bit of retro furniture and when we introduced the shabby chic styled chair to the room it felt like it had never been missing! Not only can something like this be a bit quirky but it brings in an element of your own work. We draped a soft cosy blanket over it and voila!

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Chose a few feature pieces.

Feature pieces and where they are placed are key to creating a cosy and well styled room. They should be completely eye catching for all the right reasons! Like our woodland effect lampshade from John Lewis and the flower wreath upon the mirror as inspired by my favourite home/interiors blog The Home That Made Me.

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Bought a rug.

Hello texture! Nothing makes a living room more inviting than a soft bouncy rug under ones feet. Its the ultimate essential item for that really cosy lounge. Ours was from Dunelm.

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Experimented with symmetry.

I’m a little guilty for having an obsession with things being even. There is just something to be said for getting exactly the right balance and sometimes that means getting a pair. Although I don’t do this loads, where I have added symmetry I think its been very effective, these effortless fancy Laura Ashley candle stick holders look amazing on the fireplace.

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Invested in a piece of art.

Possibly one of our best purchases this year (and believe me we’ve made a few!) was getting our first piece of art for the house. When we both saw it, we knew we had to have it as it was simply almost made to belong in our living room. It was perfect!

Love, G x

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It seems that this year I have really discovered a DIY streak that I did not know I had in me! Just in case our home renovations earlier on this spring were not enough to cure my fix, a few weeks ago I had a go at tackling some furniture restoration too. During the process of emptying Nan’s house out my parents bought home this old purple chair amongst some more personal possessions. To be honest I never remember seeing this chair in my lifetime of visiting Nan and Granddads – it seemed to appear out of nowhere. Nevertheless mum granted me permission to have a go at restoring it and here is the result.

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The first time I saw the chair I thought it was rather unsightly. For a start it was a strange pinky-lilac shade and the holes on the seat look a bit peculiar. But on closer look it did have some features that reminded me of shabby chic furniture. Perhaps it was the vintage and distressed appearance of the chair that reminded me of some of the popular shabby chic stuff you see about today but suddenly I had a vision of transforming this from drab to fab.

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Using some of the sand paper and wire wool left over from the house projects I gave the chair a rub down in preparation for the new paint. I particularly paid attention to the flowery center piece at the top of the chair so that the indentation stood out as I think this bit looks pretty and definitely helps gives it the shabby chic feel.

Again reusing what was left over in the garage I painted the chair with satinwood, which we used all over the house for skirtings and on the fireplace. I love the satinwood paint as its so crisp and gives a clean polished appearance. The satinwood is not shiny or glossy but it isn’t flat either so the woodwork always looks really nice. I actually gave this three coats of satinwood as two wasn’t enough – unfortunately bits of lilac were still visible!

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However three coats of satinwood later and here we have the finished result. The chair looks instantly revamped and has even found a way into our living room! I’m pleased with the outcome as it definitely makes a statement and goes well with the rest of our lounge. The plan is to drape a throw over this and create an even cosier feel to our room – plus the throw will hide the holes on the seat that I’m still a bit uncertain on: bonus! I’m planning on doing a little update of the living room soon so keep your eyes peeled for the final look that the shabby chic chair adds in the next few weeks!

What do you think of this transformation? Have you ever restored a piece of old furniture?

The latest house project Oliver and I have completed is our small room. Its literally a ‘box room’! Its tiny.  Due to its size this room was limited as to what we could do with it, particularly as fitting furniture in was going to be tricky. Luckily for me there was enough space for a dressing table so this has become my makeup room: the ultimate indulgence for any beauty lover!

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After the craziness of April and May getting our house ready for us to move into, we decided that there wouldn’t be any rush to finish the second and third bedrooms. Unlike the rest of the house where we’ve gone at full speed ahead to get everything completed, the two spare rooms have remained smaller side projects that we have tended to as and when. We have a decently sized second bedroom that will eventually be a single room. And then there is the third room, newly my makeup room.

Where the room had been left for a few months it was simply becoming a bit of a dumping ground for all my excess stuff . Frankly I was starting to get a bit fed up of all my items scattered around without a real home, so a couple of weeks ago I got the tape measure out and decided to measure up and order a dressing table.

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The dressing table I went with was the Ikea Malm a very simple yet effective option. Because it is slim it is an ideal piece of furniture for a small room. It has a single draw but it is big and wide – a surprising amount of stuff can fit in here.

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As for the top I’ve left the layout as it is for the time being as this was how Oliver had left it for me – he put the dressing table together while I was out one evening and I thought it was cute the way he laid all my things out. In time I will play around with what is on the top. I plan to change the mirror first but I’m going to stick to whats there at the moment.

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For now I’m enjoying the simplicity of my dressing table – with just my makeup brushes and the foundation I am using most often out on display with a few decorative items to accompany them.

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In addition to putting the dresser up, Oliver also hung a few pieces on the wall for me. There are four frames of two different sizes and its created like a wannabe gallery wall, which I think looks pretty good. I’m pleased with the way its turned out, the beauty related prints obviously fit the theme of the room perfectly while the butterfly photographs add even more colour while still being complementary.  I got the frames all from Wilko, the prints I ordered online and the photographs were a lovely gift from a client.

 

 

My makeup room is still not 100% complete, as I need to buy a chair and a few other bits but its certainly an improvement to how it looked a week ago!

I’m so chuffed with how one piece of furniture and some pictures on a wall has ultimately transformed the room!

 

 

 

Since Summer graced us with its presence here in the UK  we have been able to crack on with some of the outdoor projects at our new house. Obviously our main focus was to get the inside complete. If you’ve read my previous posts you will have seen that we put a lot of effort into getting that done and although there was no rush to alter the outside, I was eager to make it our own. So across the last few weeks we have been cracking on with little projects in the garden on our weekends off.

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We went with a black theme on the exterior for practicality due to the original colour being a rusty brown. Going for anything lighter would have been a total mission to cover!

 

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Garden in May

We have a small courtyard garden where the garage is directly at the rear. There is a door leading to the garage that we have freshened up with new paint along with the strip of wood above it. The black looks so much tidier and smartens the garden right up. Throw in some new garden furniture to match and things quickly started feeling like our own. We’re already in discussion of our next project to paint the fence panels to the side black.

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Garden in June

There were then a few bits of worn paintwork above the window frames that were niggling away at me so I touched those up one morning too.

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Neatening Up Some Old Paintwork. Top: Before. Bottom: After.

The old garden gate we had replaced with a new one as it was quite literally falling to pieces! The new gate is slightly arched in its shape and is also a bit taller than the original resulting in more privacy, which is always a bonus.

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I’m pleased with how its turned out so far, what we have done has certainly restored the garden and made it our own. It is surprising at what a simple little bit of paint can do – the original rusty brown shade was an eyesore but luckily that is ancient history! Our black theme has put a slightly more modern edge to things, and although it is more contemporary now there is still a comfortable feel about it. I love the contrast of the greenery among the black as it really enhances both colours and brings the garden to life even more.

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Talking of greenery and things that grow, we went to a garden center when it was the bank holiday weekend a few weeks ago and picked up a load of new lovely flowers and pots. The two black potted carnations outside the patio doors are one of our favourites, they look absolutely gorgeous. Oliver picked out a stunning blue hydrangea which we both love. So we have also made a start at adding some of our own picks to the actual garden too.

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A few more touches in the garden and it will soon be ours. Its already feeling a lot better. I’ll do another update when things progress. 🙂