House Tour Part I: Kitchen and Living Room

Whelp. I’ve promised this for months (years). Today I finally got my act together and set up the wide lens and the tripod and got some shots of the flat. My flat is super tiny (48sqm), but I think we manage to pull off family life here pretty well. Without further ado, on with the show (LINKS AHEAD!!)

The living roomIMG_4132IMG_4134IMG_4143IMG_4137

So. A breakdown on the finished article. The bare brick wall was created with Keswick Blend Brickslips. It was reasonably expensive, but not *much* more than a fancy wallpaper feature wall. My dear, long suffering husband stripped the original wallpaper (seen here), then laid the slips much like tiles, and then pointed the fresh brickwork with actual mortar.

The wall colour is actually super cheap B&Q Colours Premium matte in ‘Victorian Lace’. We have the same colour in both bedrooms and the living room, and it’s a lovely soft white, with just a hint of blue-grey. The flooring is from IKEA, they don’t do flooring any more, which is probably for the best, as it’s not really holding up super well. I’ve had to cut waaay back on the steam mopping. Boo.

The sofa is an Ikea Soderhamn, and it’s only a few months old but it’s holding up pretty well so far. The main draw for us is the washable covers – we’ve yet to try it, but I’m sure everything will turn out fine… Other things of note are the Hell Yeah print from Sir Face graphics, and the plant, which is a Sansevieria trifasciata (Mother-in-law’s tongue) and I’ve yet to kill it, so that’s a plus.

The Kitchen


Ikea Kitchen! There’s already been a total kitchen saga, dealing with the decision to wait until I was heavily pregnant to buy said kitchen, ripping the old kitchen out on boxing day, drawing all over the walls, following Ikea instructions, plastering, tiling on my due date, and getting sooooo close to finishing before Milo arrived.

There’s still a bit of old tumble dryer hose connecting the extractor hood to the wall, so answers on a postcard for solutions to that one, please…

We’ll catch up with the bedrooms next!

Pictures of Progress

And so, as promised, here are some pictures of the carnage we’ve created in the name of “progress”.  This is my life right now.  Below is the Dining room, temporarily repurposed to become a bit of the kitchen.
Dining room kitchenNext up  is what I genuinely think is the best of the bunch.  The nursery, temporarily repurposed to become another kitchen.
Nursery KitchenAll of this is of course in aid of creating the ACTUAL kitchen, which as of this morning, looks like this:
IMG_0341 IMG_0340Bye bye, blue.  The other thing I mentioned yesterday was my nail polish shenanigans.  Well, in all this chaos, I looked at my chopsticks and thought “Hey, these could be more colourful!”. So I procrastinated and painted my chopshick tips with nail polish, and it turned out kinda OK?
IMG_0358IMG_0355IMG_0337I am the queen of procrastination.  (And with that said, I should probably get back to work…)


I know this post has been a very long time coming, but we’ve been unbeievably busy over the last couple of weeks!  We picked up the keys to our flat on Friday 19th of July, and haven’t stopped since then.  On Friday, we got up, picked up the hired van and flew straight to Ikea.  Yep, our flat is more than a little Swedish… A new bed, sofa and dining table later, we picked up the keys and let ourselves in.  You guys, it was so emotional.  We just stood there in the hall going “we OWN this.  this is OURS”.  Over the next few days we realised how much actual work there was to do.  There were holes in the walls.  Not like screw holes, but face-sized, taken out with a hacksaw holes.  There were non-functioning night storage heaters, which, when removed (eventually) revealed a lack of skirting board behind and flooring underneath.  There were dodgy electrical spurs added on to the ring main.  It was not, my friends, a case of slapping some paint on the walls.  The best room in the flat was the bathroom, so bizarrely, thats’s where we chose to start.  We took down the old towel rail, the medicine cabinet, the frightening-looking heater, the mouldy blind and all the odd screws and nails.  I filled in all the holes, I sanded all the filler.  I painted the ceiling. I scrubbed the window with limescale remover.  We bought a new shower and installed it.  We changed the shower curtain track.  AND THEN we painted.  A glossy, charcoal grey called ‘Bottlenose Dolphin’.  Apt for a bathroom, no?  Once we’d painted I had a crack at the skirting boards.  I used one coat gloss, but I don’t know what kind of stain the previous guys put on the wood because the gloss went yellow.  So Once became Twice.  Lesson learned: Never Trust Anything.  Once THAT was done I moved my attention to the frilly stuff.  The Hang It All pretending to be a towel rack, the Mirror Of A Throusand Transformations, and a clock.  We need to get a new light fitting, but for now, this is nice.  It’s been nice during all thework to have a moody, masculine, calm retreat to wind down in at the end of the day.  The last thing you want when you’re trying to relax is to have MORE WORK staring you in the face.  Yay!  New Flat!



The lounge is coming along in leaps and bounds too.  (I will do a proper introduction to the flat at some point, with pictures and floorplans, I promise.  I just wanted to throw you a frickin’ bone here.)  The lounge has taken a LOT of work.  Nearly £600 of brick tiles to replicate that bare wall look, nearly a tub of filler and SO MUCH SANDING.  Throw in a nice vintage light, and some buttoning on an otherwise plain IKEA sofa and y’know what, we’re seeing progress.  Still a long way to go, but we will get there!  Having internet troubles at the moment, but once that’s all sorted (grr) I’ll keep the updates coming thick ‘n’ fast!
FlatProgress4FlatProgress5That’s all for now folks!

The Befores and the Afters…

Good Afternoon!

Whilst I’m planning the next change (I think it’s going to be the bedroom, I’m itching to at least paint in there…) I thought I’d share some before shots of the current place.  When we moved into our current apartment, we had furniture that was cheap, begged, stolen or borrowed.  In the case of our sofa, it was a 2 seater borrowed from my in-laws.  It was so small my husband and I could barely sit on it at the same time.  This wasn’t a problem in the old place, as we had 2 and a half rooms.  One room for sleeping and officing, one room for bathrooming (the ‘half’ room) and one room for everything else.

In our current flat, we found we had so much room that we didn’t even use the dining room for a while as we found our feet.  Slowly though (and we have been there a couple of years now) we’ve got things just right, with a balance of the cosy that we were used to, and the open and airy that we aspired to.  It’s interesting too, to see how our style hasn’t really ‘changed’ as such, but has instead become a little more ‘refined’.  The walls are essentially the same colours, the same basic shapes in the furniture but just a little more subtle and grown up, although saying that, we do have the biggest sofa in the world and I jump on it sometimes.

Now to think about the bedroom!

Calm new living room!

Good Afternoon.

As promised, here are the ‘After’ pictures of the newly painted living room (and kitchen, I suppose).

It feels so much softer and calmer in here now.  I made a trip to the big Swedish box today to get the second lampshade so that they both matched.  This made me happy.

Redecorating the living room

Good evening all,

We decided to redecorate the living room, get rid of the one dark grey wall and go for a softer grey all over.  After spending days agonising over the exact shade, hue and intensity of grey (seriously, who knew there so may greys!) we came to a decision and headed off to Homebase to get it mixed.  Obviously we came home with something else.

The colour we chose was called ‘night jewels 5’ by Dulux, but we picked up a tub of Once in Chic Shadow instead.  What can I say, I’m impatient.  Here’s the obligatory ‘before’ shot…

Most of the walls are white, but the one behind the TV was a dark grey shade called ‘Smoulder’ by Crown Paints.  It’s been that colour for a couple of years now and needed freshening up, so we decided to change it up completely and brighten the room up a bit.  Last night everything went back to ‘moving-day white’…

In an homage to Red Dwarf, we changed it from Dowdy old ‘Ocean Grey’ to crisp new ‘Military Grey’…

And here’s the completed paintwork!  We’re still putting the room back together, so I’ll stick up some pictures of the room tomorrow, but for now hopefully this gives an idea of the changes…We’ve moved some of the prints around too, and the whole room just looks so much less cluttered.

More pictures tomorrow!  

A bit late, but…

Merry Christmas and a happy new year everyone!  I thought I should share my Christmas decorations with everyone.  I always struggle to find a Christmas tree that I’m happy with-this year we went for a 5’5″ Nordman Fir, and I’m pleased to report that it hardly dropped any needles and stayed green and verdant for the whole three weeks we’ve had it up.

Merry Christmas, Everyone!


Right then…
I suppose it’s only fair that I offer a glimpse into my home, as it is now.  I’m pretty happy with my living room at the moment-I love my sideboard.  From what I gather, it was made in Portsmouth (local) in the 50’s by a company called White and Newton.  We got it in a local charity shop for £50 and managed to get it home in the back of a Fiat Punto!

It took a bit of polishing, but we got there in the end.  Other than the floor, it’s the only wood we have in the living room, so it helps to warm things up a bit.