• Living

    Take the ‘Homeowner Challenge’

    by  • February 5, 2016 • Living • 0 Comments

    My Facebook newsfeed, probably like yours, has been filled recently with family photos posted for the ‘Motherhood Challenge’ – where mums are asked to post three pictures that make them proud to be a parent.

    I can’t get involved in this social media campaign, so I’m starting my own: The Homeowner Challenge.

    My home, a little Wendy House (as my mum lovingly calls it), is far from perfect. It’s pretty dinky, still has green radiators – despite my good intentions to sand and paint the last two over the Christmas break – and after several projects, of course isn’t finished.

    But it’s home. My home. I love waking up there and I love arriving home, but it has certainly been a labour of love with London property prices and a lilac kitchen (more on that later) to deal with.

    So, here are my Homeowner Challenge photos – the pictures that make me happy to call my tiny terrace ‘home’.

    Fancy sharing yours? Let us know in the comments and on our Facebook page.

    My new Shaker kitchen

    before    After

    Our house had a grotty lilac kitchen when we moved it. The units – evidently once baby blue – had been painted in sickly purple and were falling apart. The worktops had seen better days and the oven was in a ridiculous spot – slap bang in the middle of the surface, leaving little prep and serving space.

    It was ripped out and replaced with a gloss Shaker scheme, complete with wood-effect worktops and metro tiles. The room was our first big expense in the house, and the worry about the work was certainly in the air over the week the builders ripped out and rebuilt the room. But the result? I love it.

    My Power Shower

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    After a few months of recovering financially from replacing the kitchen, our next project was our bathroom. A bulky, dated room with green accents, we ripped out the tub and replaced it with a swanky hotel-style rain shower.

    It wasn’t without its problems (water damage on the living room ceiling, anyone?), but the result has been a game-changer for the room. The space feels so much better, it’s easier to keep clean and that first shower after two weeks without a bathroom was a feeling I’m never likely to have again.

    My raspberry feature wall


    The living room was white and dark green when we moved it. We quickly covered the green, but wanted a splash of colour – step forward Raspberry Bellini from Dulux, a vibrant treat on which my world map sits proudly.

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    Preloved storage solutions

    by  • January 11, 2016 • Living • 0 Comments

    Ah, storage. You can never have enough of it but choosing it can be a real challenge.

    You need enough space inside the item to make it worth buying, but it needs to fit effortlessly with the scheme you’ve got going on. And it goes without saying that you need to love it.

    The answer? Step forward FurnitureEtc, the online home of the best preloved furniture finds for all your shopping needs.

    And the best bit? It’s run by the lovely people behind the Homes Network, which features all your favourite interiors brands.

    The storage section of FurnitureEtc is bursting with eclectic gems – from cupboards and cabinets to large sets of drawers and bookcases galore. Here are few that have caught my eye. Which one is your favourite?

    A hand-painted beauty


    This beautiful 1920s cabinet has been transformed into a fabulous statement piece with chalk paint. It’s grey with detailed metallic gold birdies – what’s not to love? It’s on sale at £240.


    Really retro


    I’m not sure I’d have a place for this in my teeny tiny home, but wouldn’t this brighten up a hallway a treat? The 1960s-style sideboard, for sale at £490, has been upcycled with a splash of colour and the handles are brilliantly disguised – but there’s more than enough storage space inside for any living space.

    Trolly dolly


    A kitchen trolly – how marvelous. This 1920s French vintage trolley would look pretty good filled to the rafters with cookbooks and my extensive collection of battered Good Food magazines. It’s listed on FurnitureEtc for £365, and is in showroom condition. We likey!


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    Beat the January Blues with these 2016 winners

    by  • January 4, 2016 • Living • 0 Comments

    Monday, January 4 is officially Blue Monday – the most depressing day of the year.

    The tree may be down and the office open again but there are numerous things to look forward to in 2016…

    Pancake Day

    Pancakes: lemon and sugar, traditional. Sim used WW 8/02/2005 p14

    This is super early this year, so get ready to start flipping on Tuesday, February 9.

    Retro rules

    Prints, accessories and so much more rule the roost in 2016, so pull out your favourites and scour flea markets for hidden gems.

    Harry Potter returns

    The theatrical show of the year, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child comes to the West End in the summer.



    The first bank holiday of the year (Good Friday) falls on March 25, which means there are only 84 days of the year to get through before chocolate eggs!

    London Anniversary Games

    In July, our sporting heroes will be back in action in the Olympic Park competing in the London Anniversary Games. You can get tickets online at Britishathletics.org.uk.

    Tate Modern gets more space

    Another excellent reason to visit Tate Modern in 2016 – the 10-storey extension with 60% more gallery space opens in June. Mini break to the capital is go!

    Grey is still gorgeous


    The neutral trend that took over homes in 2015 isn’t going anywhere, so if you spruced up a room in the tone you’ll still be in style as 2016 swings into action.

    Rio is coming

    The 2016 summer Olympics kick off in August 2016 in Rio, which means…

    Carnival colours are in!

    Get ready for a burst of energy with bold and beautiful colours to celebrate the summer.

    Flamingos are the new owls


    The pink spindly chaps are replacing elephants and owls as the animal of the year. Top flamingo fact? The collective noun for a group is a ‘flamboyance of flamingos’. How fabulous!

    It’s a leap year

    Yes, February 29th exists in 2016 – an extra day and evening to enjoy, so make it count!

    …and if all else fails, we have 20 super cuddly house proud cats to make you smile.

    Chin up, spring is just around the corner!

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