Tag Archives: interiors



I have been thinking [read: over thinking] just what to do with the bedroom wall to give it that little extra oopmh. The thought process went as such: wallpaper or not to wallpaper, paint stripes or not to paint stripes… The argument was pretty much that and to be fair VERY boring. So here’s the outcome. I bit the bullet, I decided to paint some yellow stripes on the wall in a kind of retro futuristic headboard vibe and as it turns out, I’m pretty pleased with the results.

The great thing about painting a feature wall in your home is that it’s a great value way of adding impact on a small budget. And of course the golden rule, if it looks rubbish, you can always paint over it.

To get the look you’ll need:

  • a metre rule or a long straight piece of wood
  • ALOT of masking tape (good quality)
  • base colour paint
  • your chosen stripe colour paint
  • pencil, ruler and rubber
  • a lot of patience and a small amount of OCD

First up was picking out just the right shade of yellow which took some time. Yellow can be quite a tricky colour on a wall and I didn’t want a mustard custard egg yellow, I wanted something translucent, slightly neon and light which doesn’t exist in your average range of paint tester pots. I ended up mixing my own colour using a neon yellow paint mixed with a lemon and white after testing some unsuccessful shades at varying times of the day. Being a light and sunny room, the yellow I chose warms the room nicely but be warned; certain yellows have the effect of making you feel like you are living inside Big Bird, and no one wants that no matter how much you love Sesame Street.

I wanted the stripes to act like a headboard but not to envelop the entire wall so I chose to sit them within the bed border and to go all the way up to the ceiling. This sat nicely with mirrors either side of the bed, any bigger and I think it would have looked overwhelming.

I marked out the edges using a piece of string with a weight attached to the bottom for an absolute straight edge and then taped it out. I then chose my angle and width and marked out the stripes (see pic) using a very feint pencil line (using anything heavier will end up with you seeing the lines forever so I advise a light touch here).

In order to prevent the paint from bleeding through the masking tape (note – less likely the better quality masking tape you use) I painted over the masked out stripes with the wall’s base coat (white) so that if any paint was to bleed through the tape you wouldn’t notice. With the masking tape was now sealed down and dry, I painted the yellow over the white making sure to paint the right areas with right paint.

When the yellow paint was fully dry (no cheatin’) I removed the masking tape (gingerly to avoid plaster being ripped off too) and saw my stripes in all their glory. The impact was marvellous.

Next stop, a striking piece of monochrome art to sit on top… the mission for a little more oopmh continues.
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Autumn Colour Pops

I’ve been adding a bit of Autumn colour to my bedroom of late. With its bright white walls, it can sometimes feel a little stark, but with the addition of warm, colourful soft furnishings, graphic prints and some bright flowers, the colours really ‘pop’ against the background.

I wanted a colour palette of grey and yellow and these work really well with small amounts of pink and orange sneaking in!

The resulting look is something bright and bold to cheer up a grey Autumn day.

Upcycled Blind



I know I’m not alone in having lots of odd pieces of fabric stashed around the house, you never know when it might come in handy right? And when my nosy neighbour had become too much too bear, I decided I needed something for my front door and that’s when those offcuts came in rather useful to make an upcycled blind.

I had ordered a small piece of chevron fabric online yonks ago on the premise that I would use it for making some cushions and hadn’t got round to it (classic). So that along with a rather lovely unwanted silk vintage dress provided all the materials I needed to create my blind.

By lining the chevron fabric with a section of the dress fabric it meant I could keep light (and prying eyes) away. It also provides a lovely turquoisey hue through the black and white when it’s sunny. The key, as with any sewing project, is pressing the fabric before sewing to ensure it fits like a dream.

A simple white pole and hooks to hang it above the window finished off the project adding a bold graphic and functional feature to my hallway.

Recycled Vases for Spring


Following on from our mini-makeover post yesterday we thought we should share some ridiculously simple ideas for some springtime recycled vases to brighten up the corners of your home. Super easy to make and they look ace too.

Taking an old tin and cleaning it up to use at home is always a winner. We chose a Brasso tin mainly because it was almost finished (and it’s been under the sink since 1986).

We cut up an old Vanish spray bottle for its beautiful bright pink colour to match our Spring bluebells. We peeled off the label, hacked off the neck and bob’s yer uncle, a bright pop of colour on your mantelpiece. It works a treat with our other makeshift vases, ours were a combination of random ceramics, ice-cream sundae glasses and an elephant teapot thrown in for good measure.

Happy making! x

Planning Your Gallery Wall Layout

Gallery Wall LayoutPlanning how you layout your gallery wall is the next step before *actually* hanging the thing. You might not want to plan it out and just go for it, but I found I needed to get some idea in my head of how it would look before getting the drill out (that combined with being a graphic designer and making my approach to these sorts of things erring slightly on the obsessive…)

I drew some rough sketches out first of what I wanted where. At one point I even considered uploading all the pictures on to my laptop and designing the layout on InDesign before realising I was going mad and this, even for me, was a step too far..

Instead, like a normalish person, I ended up laying the pictures out on the floor and arranging them as I would like them to be on the wall, it was so much easier to actually see what was in front of you and shuffle ’em around like tiles. I took photos for future reference (SO helpful later on) and messed about with how the main central images would sit. It was crucial to get these right as they are both orangey-red and bold (see photo) and would dominate the space.

I wanted colours, frames and themes to be balanced across the space, I wanted to offset the boldness of one image with a lighter style next to it. I wanted to punctuate with colours that repeated themselves but didn’t overwhelm. I also want to add things in the future so I had to make sure there wasn’t a distinct end or structure to suggest a finishing point.

I’m pleased with the end result and it was worth the wait and planning, though no doubt I will change some of it in the future and I will definitely add to it, but whilst I still live a television-less existence the images provide, for me at least, something as entertaining and probably more meaningful to look at.

Some top tips from me:

  • Get the pictures right first – mix it up but get it right
  • Plan it out on the floor to see how it’s going to look on the wall
  • Start with the strongest images and work around them
  • Don’t overwhelm with strong colours or strong frames
  • Take photos!! They’ll provide a handy reference later on

Finding the Right Pictures for your Gallery Wall

Gallery WallImage taken from Pinterest via www.housetohome.co.uk

When it comes to creating your gallery wall at home clearly finding the right pictures is the most important part of the process… *stating the obvious alarm*

As I had accumulated a fair amount of pictures over time, I needed to whittle them down to the ones that I actually wanted in the living room and then decide whether or not they looked any good together.

[As a side note, if you set out to create a gallery wall with no collection of art work in the first place, you’ll be doing yourself a favour – you’ll be able to pick and choose what works together and theme it from the outset. Although the likelihood of that happening is quite slim…]

I felt as though I needed some rules to live by when it came to curating the space (as you can tell I took this all rather seriously, much to the hilarity of my friends and family!). Was there a colour scheme or theme that tied them all together? Did they work with my furniture? Would I get sick of them in 6 months?

Making the cut was defined by the following criteria:

  • Colours – I went for mainly orange and red as the stronger accent colours as I had 3 pictures I knew I wanted to include that were the right colours. They also matched other soft furnishings within the room.
  • Themes – I was going for a mid-century themed room so I wanted to reflect this in some of the pictures, I had a few mirrors I wanted to use within the scheme and I definitely wanted to include a couple of prints and flyers that meant something to me.
  • Frames – I chose to go for mainly dark wood frames combined with a couple of gold frames, although there were a few exceptions.
  • Photos – I didn’t want to include personal photos within the wall, they would sit elsewhere as this space was to be design focused.
  • A Mix – I wanted to include paintings, prints and mirrors but I also had a plate, a tin and a printer’s tray that I thought would work well on the wall as well.

So when I had chosen from my existing items, I still needed more and it became my mission to find more pictures to hang and also to compromise a little by re-framing some of the ones I already had. Scouring charity shops and car boot sales was a complete winner, I found some amazing frames that needed a bit of TLC, a coat of varnish or a repaint. They cost hardly anything, looked fantastic and tied into my rules as above.

Next step planning the layout…

Creative Spaces

Studio WallIn stark contrast to my uber-organised (read: anal) pegboard, my other studio wall has a lot to answer for.

I absolutely love having a giant moodboard in my work space (although my studio mates Studio Can Can and Cult Zeros might not be as keen…!). I use it to paste up postcards, ripped out pictures from magazines and as many pictures of David Bowie and Blondie as humanly possible.

Every so often I try to colour co-ordinate the mishmash to give it a more pleasing look and feel, but less often, in the spirit of Edwyn Collins, I rip it up and start again. And therein lies the beauty of my constantly evolving studio wall.

Pegboard Part II

Pegboard full widthThe pegboard is up and adorned and I have to admit, it’s probably one of the most fun things I have done in a while (apologies to loved ones, family and friends – I do enjoy spending time with you!). There was something just lovely about spending some time organising bits and bobs for my studio. Things which had been languishing in a box up until that point when i set them free to climb up to their tiny new hanging pegboard homes in the sky.

With my new found appreciation of golf tees as hanging instruments married with things I found scrambling round the flat (paint brushes, bamboo crochet hooks, kebab skewers etc.) I managed to have enough hooks and sticks to make it work. These combined with bulldog clips attached with screws and the odd bit of double sided tape meant that I didn’t need to buy specialist pegboard hooks which for some reason are ridiculously expensive on ebay.

SticksI also found that a budget bath shelves (£3 – ditch the suction cups) and a soap dish (£1) from that well known department store, Wilko’s, helped me out no end with larger items that needed a home too.

I will no doubt rearrange the board as time goes on and new storage solutions become apparent but for now it makes me happy every time I see it or hang something new on it.



Pegboard (& other stories)

pegboardIt’s only in the past week or so that I have finally got my pegboard up on my studio wall. It’s taken a while… waiting for postage, waiting for my Dad to help me construct a frame for the back of the board and of course waiting for the right amount of time to actually have the mental headspace to do something about it all.

So anyway, it’s up and I can safely attest that it’s going to be brilliant, let me stress the ‘going to be’ bit of the above statement as at the moment it’s a work in progress (as all great things are, non?).

I have yet to lay out all the lovely handy little hooky, shelvey type things that will eventually furnish its holey face but for now here’s what I have learned so far…

1) Don’t use a paint brush to paint pegboard. I did and all the paint decided to worm its way into the holes, blocking them up good and proper, resulting in me having to re-hole the holes (if that’s a term?) I then used a roller – and hallelujah, it worked so much better.

2) Golf tees. Yes I may be stating the obvious but golf tees work as pegs in pegboard and of course they come in a myriad of colors (and a couple of different shapes) and so there’s no need to buy custom pegboard hooks from ebay which seem to be ludicrously expensive. And guess what? They look good too (yes those are weird looking golf tees in the photo and cost about £2 from ebay).

3) Install the pegboard away from the wall. Again, slightly obvious to most (and eventually to me) but I am not always completely practical about these things, but eventually I got it installed (with help from my Dad) with a frame behind the edge about 1.5 cm away from the wall, thus allowing pegs to have room to, er, peg (as it were).

These are just the lessons I have learnt so far, it’s been mildly epic already let alone without the layout which I am unnecessarily over-excited about and will post some pictures as soon as the beast is done.