Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Really useful chalkboard wall....

In the year I spent pinning images for inspiration while we tried, and failed, and tried again to buy a house for our growing family, one thing that kept popping up in homes I admired was chalkboard walls. So, when we finally moved into our new house and started to look around and see what we could do to make it our own on our little budget, it didn't take long for me to look at this wall beside the fridge and decide that black was definitely the colour for here!

I wanted our chalkboard wall to be functional as well as decorative so this really was the perfect place for it. I am a maker of lists, however, if they're not right in front of me I totally forget to check them. Also I have an artistic two year old who thinks walls are the ultimate canvas so this wall was going to be a place I could solve both problems, and having it right beside the fridge meant I couldn't miss it and I could keep an eye on Em as she drew while I was cooking, perfect!

I used less than 1 ltr of paint that I picked up in Aldi for €5.99 (I actually bought two but I didn't need the second tin), but they sell it in all the big hardware shops, and you can even get it in different colours or with metal added to it to make it magnetic, adding another dimension to your wall :) I did two quick coats, and that was plenty.

I also made these little cork boards so that I can pin things I want to keep, or need to make sure I don't lose! I bought two packs of three cork pot stands from Ikea (I think they were a couple of euro a pack), I taped them off and painted them with geometric shapes that compliment the colours in my kitchen, dining and living room (which are connected) and then I stuck them on the wall with command strip velcro strips.

And there you have it! We really love it, and honestly it's been the most useful thing we've put into this house so far, it gets used every day. It's holding up really well, even though I often use a wet cloth to clean it down properly.

                                                                Em loves it!

What do you think? Have you ever used chalkboard paint in your home? Have any good ideas for what I can do with my second can? :) 


Sunday, 12 April 2015

What a difference a spray makes....

Let me introduce you to my best friend.....

hey girl......

This is my go-to, absolute favourite type of gold spray paint, and I've used it on an embarrassing amount of stuff in my house! In my opinion gold is a neutral (don't disagree, I will fight you on this!), and I often pick up accessories etc in charity shops that I paint to freshen them up and make them match my other decor, and this is by far the best one. It's really bright and shiny, and a nice deep antique-y type of gold that's really beautiful.

So when I needed a side table for my sitting room (we don't have room for a coffee table in front of the couch so we use side and occasional tables instead) and picked up the Klingsbo metal and glass one from Ikea for €30, it didn't take me long to decide to give it the spray paint treatment. 

The original black wasn't offensive or anything, but it was too harsh with my colour scheme of gray/white/pink, and I had also seen many beautiful pics of metal work Ikea pieces that had been spray painted gold on pinterest and absolutely loved how glam they were, so I was itching to try it!

So I started with this......

And two quick coats of spray paint later I had this.....

I think it makes a huge difference, and really brings out the detail in the metal work underneath. It's added a little bit of luxury to my living room :)

What about you? Have you ever "hacked" something from Ikea? Used spray paint to make something fit a room better?


Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Easy diy headbord cover-up

                        So a few weeks after we moved in our bedroom looked like this........

I feel like that photo speaks for itself. The puke green walls were bad, but add the too short curtains, tacky white pleather bed and cold, cheap laminate floor and you're not looking at the best nights sleep you've ever had in your life!

So clearly something had to be done, and urgently. My bedroom has always been a place I like to retreat to, somewhere cosy and comfortable that I can close the door of and relax in. It's somewhere I've always tried to keep "adult" no matter how much kid-plastic makes it's way into our home.

With this in mind our bedroom was top of our list for a quick makeover when we moved in....quick, because baby number 2 was due 5 weeks after we got the keys to this, our first house!

We started by painting the walls a deep grey. This may seem like a dangerous choice for the first room we had ever painted, but I'd spent so long thinking about the colours I wanted in my house and researching options that I was pretty sure I would be happy with my choice. Also, our bedroom is at the front of the house, which never gets any direct sunlight through the windows, so I thought "why fight it?", this room was never going to be filled with light, and to be honest I'm a fan of a cosy, cave-like bedroom anyway, so a dark colour should fit the bill. So after looking at many paint chips in the room I settled on a colour called clockhouse by colourtrend, and I love it! It really makes the white and gold of the rest of the furnishings really stand out, and it's such a neutral that I can swap out the accessories really easily.

After the paint we needed some furniture, so we hacked some ikea rast dressers and argos nightstands, adding white paint and gold hardwear to glam them up, and hopefully make them look a lot more expensive than they are ;) I painted some pictures to go above the nightstands, and made the diy sunburst mirror for over the bed. I also hung floor length white curtains from ikea and swapped the curtain pole for a gold one that was in the playroom downstairs.

                                                          And then we had the bed.......

Yes, you're right, that IS a plastic skeleton on the floor. Why you ask? Because Emilia found it in  a bag of Halloween decorations when we moved and decided to use it as a teddy for about a week. Checking on your two year old and finding that in bed with her was an experience....I love that crazy child.

The bed is awesome, in that it has a very comfortable memory foam mattress and the whole top is spring loaded so it lifts up really easily to get at everything stored tidily (and dust-free!) beneath,'s butt-ugly. White pleather may be fine on the base, but the headboard is awful, too short, has a strange curve to it and is covered in an awful material. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, just get rid of it and hang a new one on the wall behind the bed right? Wrong! The thing was part of the frame of the bed...which is made of metal, so in other words it 'aint going nowhere.

And this is the part of the story where the husband steps in, all McGuyver like, and says he's going to come up with something to sort it out, and lo and behold, a couple of days later he presents me with this.......

"This" is basically a piece of plywood, cut to size, with three batons attached to it that will slot between the existing headboard and the wall, holding in braced in place without using any other means of attaching it (makes it really easy to remove or change out the fabric too). It's ingenious! It mean the headboard now sits a foot higher, with the new piece just resting on top of the existing one, held in place by the batons, it's totally solid but also non-permanent! (makes it a great option for those renting too)

So now that I had this great new headboard extension I just needed to cover it in a great fabric to complement the room. I wanted something with a soft white background, and a graphic, floral print that was also modern. I finally found what I wanted in Ikea for €8 (I think) a metre. It's great quality, heavy weight fabric, bargain!

I laid batting that I got in Hickeys over the plywood and stapled it on with my trusty staple gun. I then lined up where I wanted the pattern to fall on the headboard and stapled that on at the top and sides.

The whole thing was then slotted over the existing headboard, and the extra fabric fell down over it and covered it. I then attached this with a few staples to pull it tight.

And there you have it!

A brand new look for the room for a total cost of around €35, and the best thing is if I decide to change the room around all I have to do is pull out a few staples and I can have a new headboard in about half an hour, and the old fabric will even be re-usable :)

I'm really happy with it, I think it really changes the feel of the room, the extra height makes the bed look much more luxurious and hotel-y, and I love it!

What do you think?

Linda xxx

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