Wishlist Wednesday – Blackout!

If you know me or have been paying attention to my blog posts, you might know that i have a thing for black furniture…

I don’t know what it is. I don’t particularly like mega dark rooms but there’s something about it I’m always drawn to. I saw this display in Selfridges earlier this week. They had a white version too, but I just found myself staring at the blackout one. I think if I was given free reign decorating the house, our home would look just like this.

Perhaps one day I should treat myself to a dungeon. Joe has his man shed after all! A girl can dream! 🙂
Karen x

Wishlist Wednesday – Super shelving

This week I stumbled across a blog post on Red Hen Home on how to make an entrance in your hallway, and I love the way they’ve done it.

The blogger has re-used old suitcases as shelving. I think it looks so interesting!
Something we don’t have any of at the moment is shelving.

We have a bookcase in the lounge which is used for the enormous amount of DVDs and Blu-Rays we’ve accumulated, but I think we could do with getting one or two up in our bedroom – one of the only rooms in the house that has painted walls, ready for decoration! Then we can unpack more boxes hooray! That’s right, we’ve been in the house for a year and still haven’t unpacked. Oops! 🙂

Let’s see if i can come up with anything half as creative as this.

Karen x

An obsession with Next begins.

I’m not normally fussed on brand names so much. I like finding a bargain, no matter what the label might say. But this past month, I’ve bought two things from Next for the house. Yup. Two whole things.

I know this is not breaking news or particularly that interesting for most of my readers, but if you know me, you’ll know that I’m very difficult to part money with, especially on non-essential items. Gosh, how boring do I sound? I’m a cheapskate.

But, this payday I got us a moutache art piece for the bedroom which was actualy in one of my Wishlist Wednesday posts. I actually made one come true!

We also bought an oversized dice for the lounge. Joe and I are terrible decision makers. Our daily dinner conversation goes something along these lines:

Karen: What do you want for tea?
Joe: I’m not sure. Anything really.
Karen: I’m easy going.
Joe: Yeah me too.
Karen: Fancy pasta?
Joe: I dunno. Do you fancy pasta?

Argh! We are just pants! I don’t know how we are going to plan a wedding. So, to try and get out of this painful pattern, we’re hoping the dice will help us make some decisions. If it’s higher than a 3, we’re having chicken. Or something to that effect. Plus, it looks mega cute and is the size of my face.
I’d best not to into Next again for a while before it turns into a shopping spree…

Karen x

Wishlist Wednesday – More moustaches

Cast your mind back to February. I posted a Wishlist Wednesday about moustache-related furniture/ornaments.

They seem to be really ‘in‘ at the moment and we’re seeing them everywhere. But, on a recent wander round the shops, we found this simple piece of moustache-art in Next.

For once, I’m going to make this Wishlist Wednesday a reality. I’m going to buy it on payday and put it above our bed. Pictures surely to follow!

Karen x

June Bathroom Update – Part 2

As promised, this is a continuation from my last bathroom related blog post. Here’s what happened in our bathroom this week.

Monday
We bought a towel radiator at the weekend. Keith (bathroom fitter) reserved it for us at trade price which included all the valves and heating implements. This was installed and is functional.
The shower piping is now fully installed and has been tiled. Now that there’s no exposed brickwork, it looks amazing. Just a few touch ups needed. The drilled areas are in preparation for the shower heads.

Tuesday

The floor is IN! The bathroom door was removed so the floor tiles could be done easier. As always, sorry for the pants pictures! We weren’t allowed to walk on the tiles whilst they sealed/dried/whatever they were doing! So these are sneaky peaks from the hallway. For so long I get out of the bath all clean, only to find glass/plaster in my feet 10 minutes later. I won’t be sad to say goodbye to those floorboards.

Wednesday

The shower is DONE!
Of course, here’s Joe with yet another pretend shower! 🙂
The doors are on. Everything is sealed.The mixer and shower heads and attached. The floor has also been grouted (but needs a good clean).
What really impressed me is that the shower doors were actually an inch or so too short to fit our gap. We never realised this because they’ve been living in the kitchen since they were ordered.

I guess that’s what you get when you buy a bathroom off eBay knowing nothing at all about bathrooms!

But, Keith made it look as if they were the perfect fit. Really impressed.

Thursday

The final bits and bobs were done on Thursday. The bath panel was fitted, the sink and toilet have been properly installed and voila, we have a bathroom!

The sink has been living in the second bedroom for longer than I care to remember, and we’ve had a pile of cut up tiles in there too for months. I love that this is all going to be gone. The house will look so much neater!


I’m going to do a post later this week with some good pictures of the finished result. Yippee!

Karen x

De-cluttering my life! Well, the bedroom.

It’s no secret that I’m a bit of a hoarder. I know that it drives Joe absolutely mental because he loves the house to be nice and tidy. It’s not that I don’t, of course. I just really struggle to throw things away.

However, I made him a promise that I would eventually get rid of what I didn’t want, and organise what I want to keep.

Well, I don’t think I’m doing too badly. I started off with our bedroom and admittedly, it’s taken me a while. On my side of the bed I had a large number of boxes and a few piles of stuff – I honestly have no better way to categorise what it was. It was just stuff.

In fact, when I painted said bedroom I threw this pile onto the bed. Bit embarassing…
And for good measure, here is Pebbles rolling around in it…
I saw a programme recently about hoarders on Channel 4 (It was called The Hoarder Next Door – Anyone else watch it?) and I never want to end up like that. They struggled to part with rubbish. And I don’t mean useless ornaments that we all have. But, actual rubbish. The episode I saw had a fella that couldn’t bring himself to empty the cat’s litter tray. Ew.

(Joe, if you ever think I’m messy, please just think how lucky you are, that I’m not quite so bad! :))

Needless to say, I did some extra tidying around the house that week. Completely unrelated of course…

It did get me to thinking though – I’m not alone! In fact, I came across this blog post on a blog I read regularly, Popcorn on the Stove, and it had some great tips and ideas on how to prevent clutter in the future.

Time to put this into action. I’m on a mission to get rid of a lot of my“stuff”. I’ll be putting some of it on eBay (can’t be a bad thing for the wedding fund!), donating some to charity, and binning what I can – although, I’d much prefer to find new homes for things. Green power woo!

Our bedroom looks so different now without all the clutter. It looks a lot larger and unfortunately, because all of our rats have now died, we’ve removed the cage.

On a positive, the room is now finished. I touched up the paintwork over the Jubilee bank holiday weekend, which I’ve been putting off for ages, and gave it a really good clean. Once I’ve put some stuff up on the walls (a shopping task for next payday), I’ll finally get some pictures of the finished result!

I did try and use a new app on my phone where you can do panoramic images. I’m not sure how well this is going to translate…
I went through my wardrobe and donated to charity (or my sister!) any clothes that either don’t fit, or that I haven’t worn in more than 6 months. It was brutal but it felt like a huge weight had been lifted.

Next, I’ll be clearing under the bed and the attic to see where we can make more room and shift what we don’t want.

Wish me luck!

In the meantime, I always have this excuse to fall back on…

Karen x

5 DIY sites I love this week

I often wonder what I did with myself before the internet as I’m sure many others do, but I ask it now more than ever as a homeowner. With this blog, I’ve enjoyed ‘meeting’ other people in similar situations, trying to tart up their homes. They’ve given me inspiration, tips and sometimes, praise.

Joe & I don’t actually have much to report in terms of the house at the moment. We are in a ‘saving up’ phase and getting price quotes for the bathroom (post to come on this later) but this doesn’t mean I’ve stopped nerding out to interior blogs and DIY videos on YouTube.

So, to show that I’ve not completely abandoned my blog, I share with you some of my favourite finds on DIY this week. If you’ve seen any, throw them my way! 🙂 Enjoy!

1. Smart tips to make life easier.
These funny pictures will make you kick yourself whilst questioning; “Why didn’t I think of that first?”
This one is my personal favourite. Reminder to self: buy post-its.

2. Tips on choosing paint colours.
One thing we’ve learned whilst decorating is that if you pick a colour of paint you want, you then have to pick a shade. But there are millions of shades in existence. It’s hard work!
However, if you’re stuck with picking a colour – full stop – then I thought this would be really helpful: a guide to picking paint colours.
I love how we picked green for our bedroom, which acording to this, promotes sleep. Woo, go us!

3. Could decorating be the answer to the flagging sex lives of Brits?
Erm, can it? This article is clearly a pile of PR hogwash, but it sure made me chuckle, as well as the Dulux advert on TV at the minute.
(P.S I actually met the Dulux dog about a month ago at an exhbition with my old job. It was so cute!)
4. The You Can Do It YouTube channel. 
I personally think that B&Q is pretty overpriced, but despite this, we do find ourselves wandering around their warehouses looking for inspiration a couple of times a month. One thing they really do well though is their Youtube channel. I’m sure I’m not the only one that, when I get stuck, I either Google/YouTube it before I even consider asking an actual human. Well, B&Q have some pretty decent video tutorials on basic DIY, for basic people like myself.

5. Nest design studio blog
This blog does a feature called Interior of the Day, which always makes me wants to drop everything in my life, run home and decorate my house. It’s pretty simple: just some stunning pictures of some amazing interior design. I love it. You should go love it too.

Karen x

April Bathroom Update

Just like I said last month, when we got the keys to the house in August, I didn’t think I’d be writing an April bathroom update. BUT, we are very close to getting the final wheels in motion. Hoorah!

Joe has done an enormous amount of work himself, from piping to tiling, but it has now got to the point where we’re going to have to get in the professionals and we’re due to have some quotes this week.

Here’s a few reasons why:

This right here is the window that used to be behind the toilet. For those that have been keeping up to speed with my bathroom updates, you’ll know that the toilet has been moved and this is going to be a double shower. Where the window is, will be the piping and mixer for the shower. Something we never considered before was this window. If we put pipes in here and then tiled over, there’s a good chance they could freeze in the winter. We’re going to have to knock out the window and brick up.
And whilst we’re at that, we need the main window for the room replacing. We had a window company come round about a month or so ago to give us some quotes for the last 4 windows in the house that need double glazing (luckily about half of the house had already been done by the time we moved in. I’ll give you a clue who gave us the quote. If you buy one you get one free. I SAID, you buy one, you get one free! That will probably only make sense to my UK readers).

However, what we thought would be the cheapest turned out to be the most expensive – the bathroom window. Apparently, because of it’s height, there are safety regulations that mean you need enforced glass in bathrooms as well as different types of glass for privacy. Typical. Quite frankly, getting the shower fitted takes precendence over the window for now, but I’m adamant we will have a new window in before winter.

Another reason we need a professional in is the big one – the shower.
As you can see, it’s finally in it’s deginated spot! Not quite installed yet, but soon.
If you look closely, the new floorboard area is what Joe has put in, as it used to be a hole for the toilet. He’s also had to do bits and bobs of piping for the…you guessed it.. shower. However, these pipes were put under/over/through the floorboards/joists that are underneath and unfortunately that is something we can’t do with a waste pipe. The waste hole for this shower just happens to fit exactly over one of the main joists that is keeping the upstairs of the house from becoming the downstairs.
This means we’ll probably need the shower floor raising slightly. I obviously have no idea what I’m talking about when it comes to the batroom – it’s Joe’s big project and he’s the expert but as soon as we’ve got some quotes in the next week or so, expect to see some action, and hopefully, soon enough, some finished bathroom pictures! Watch this space.

Also – and this is not necessarily something we need a professional for, but we’ve got it ready for when the room is done – Joe’s parents gave us these for Easter.
Joe and I are always joking that we want to completely replicate his parent’s bathroom. It’s been re-designed in the past few years and it’s just generally a really nice looking bathroom. We haven’t yet bought any “finishing” bits for our bathroom yet (toilet roll holder, soap dishes etc) because we just didn’t see the point until the actual room was all built and put together. But, we now have our first lot of bathroom accessories! Woohoo! I love these dispensers. It makes the room look so much neater instead of having a million different shampoo bottles around. The only dilemma with this is, how do I stop Joe from using my fancy girly shower foams?

Karen x

Wishlist Wednesday -11th April 2012

I’ve not done a Wishlist Wednesday for a while because I’ve simply been too busy! For those that are interested (mostly Joe’s mates from work – hello lads!) I’ll keep them coming, but maybe not every week.

The other day I stumbled across a blog post from Lily Loves Lola talking about an Etsy store called ClosetCat.

She showed a picture frame called In case of emergency, and I just love the idea. Joe absolutely adores Monopoly but maybe I’ll try and create something a bit more personalised for us. I’m thinking about doing a gallery of fun art somewhere in the house and I think this would make a great addition.

There is this baby one as well, and I thought of all my pregnant mates when I saw it. How cute!
I need to think of something personal to me & Joe – maybe a cocktail umbrella and minatures of our favourite drinks would do the trick? (Southern Comfort for me, Cognac for Joe) Perhaps this is one to add to the “finishing touches” list for when we get a kitchen in a year or so.

Karen x

A girly weekend for Karen

In my previous post, I talked about Joe being buff in the garden. I suppose it looks like I didn’t do much but take pictures of him. Well, you’d be wrong!

This weekend I did lots of housewifey-type things. I baked…(These are Mars Bar melts. They were dynamite! I got the recipe from HERE if you want to make them too)

…and then I cracked on with some actual useful housework: I finally finished painting our bedroom.

Here’s a reminder of the colour I used; Polished Pebbles from Dulux.

And here’s a few piccies of progress.

Because it’s an old house, the walls aren’t straight. So I gave it a bloody good go of creating a ceiling line for myself with tape.

It went pretty well apart from the tape ripping off some of the white paint. Reminder to self: Add touch-ups to to-do list.

Also, whilst painting behind the radiator, we remembered that we never Polyfilled (To Polyfill is surely a verb?) the hole in the wall from when central heating was installed.

Another reminder to self: Seal this immediately! Spiders are evil and will most likely emerge from here.

So this is the finished result! It’s lovely and subtle but it’s absolutely not a white wall, which is what I was going for. It’s not as clear on the images but it’s a big difference from the white that used to be there. I’m really loving the grey colour.

Now I just need to pop back the furniture, and get some stuff on the walls.

Perhaps next time I paint I’ll remember not to do my nails first. D’oh.
Karen x