Saturday, 17 January 2015

DIY wrapped storage boxes

Taking my own advice from my Last post to start small, here's an easy DIY for you all!
Easy, but useful, resourceful and Pretty!!

With Christmas a vague recollection now, you may have some Christmassy gift boxes, boxes from perfume gift-sets ,an old shoe-box or similar laying around?
If you do, these are perfect for this project!
 If not, this is the perfect time of year to score some Christmas gift boxes or storage boxes in the sales!

I used a combination of all of the above!

Then I used a variety of pretty papers and contact papers to wrap the boxes in.
I carefully chose these,:

Sheets of Daler Rowney Canford A1 art paper in Blush and aqua
Metallic geometric double sided wrapping paper by Lilac coast (Currently on sale at Not on the high street for £2.50 for two)

(Click on the links to purchase*)

By mixing pastel pink and blue with marble and mixed metals as well as the lovely geometric patterns, I am ticking off not just one, but 4 trends in this make!!

I am not going to try to teach you guys how to suck eggs....or wrap up boxes!!
 I trust that you can work this out for yourself!
What I will say is: try to work neatly and use double sided tape to hold the wrapping papers in place:
The self adhesive contact papers are easy: Just make sure you smooth out any air bubbles:

I love how these turned out:

And how the combinations of finishes work together..
And not only are they pretty....
...but pretty useful too: I am planning on using mine to store papers and craft supplies!

This may not be a revolutionary DIY, but it goes to show: Those ugly boxes have got a second life as beautiful and useful storage boxes....
....and I've saved our landfills from a few more bits of cardboard!!
Please vote for me for best DIY blog

*I may make a small profit should you decide to purchase!

Thursday, 15 January 2015

How to Get motivated and find the time to DIY this year....

We all see images  (on pinterest , facebook, blogs and instagram) of beautiful homes...and maybe think to ourselves: I wish my home could look like that!
Or maybe you're out shopping and see something you love, but think to yourself : I could make that!!
Well, this year: Why don't you do it??
Image via domaine home
Because you can!!
I did!
Now, I know that that is kind of my thing...I mean: I blog about it right?? Easy for me to say: You have a job, kids, a life will you find the time to DIY and improve your home??
Well, that's what I used to think.
...until I started actually just doing it!!
So today I want to share with you all my top tips to get into DIY-ing this year!
The main thing is to get motivated, get planning and get started!!
Beautifying your surroundings and your home in particular is an investment into your personal well being!! Making your home a sanctuary where you truly feel happy, both visually and functionally is what interior design is all about....and you can achieve this all by yourself!
 If you have yet to find YOUR style....the look that works for YOU, I suggest that you start by buying a few interior design magazines...Spend a Sunday Afternoon , with a cup of tea in hand....maybe even listen to some music....relax and enjoy :looking through them, ripping or cutting out images that appeal to you! It can be colours, shapes, furniture or artwork....whatever catches your eye! Don't worry about reading the articles (unless you want to:)) but just skim through and compile visual images that you like...
Spread them all over the floor, and take note of what colours and styles are repeating....Maybe you're into opulence and dark jewel colours...or maybe you like bright and airy images with minimalistic decor? 
The style that appeals to you should become more apparent when you look at all your clippings!
Image via Elle decoration
Now that you've an idea of what you like, head on over to Pinterest
If you are not yet using pinterest, you should!
Its a great place to find inspiration for all your interior projects, big or small!
You can create moodboards of images you like for every room in your house: 
Just search for the styles you like using key words, say white walls, wooden floor, mid century modern furniture...etc...
This should make you hone your tastes down and give you a more solid picture of what you'd like your home to look like!
Just don't get too caught up with details: Yes, your home may not have big windows letting lots of light in, but stear clear of pinterest envy: you can still take inspiration from the interior design elements of that space! This article from Apartment therapy may help should the green eyed monster rear its head!!
Image by Mr Badger
If you already know you're style, and are quite confident in what you'd like your home to look like, get more specific in your pinterest search:
Searching the site using key words like DIY or tutorials on just about anything should give you results. Want to put up wall paper in your living room? Or maybe you've seen a knitted blanket you thought you could DIY? 
Set up a board with projects you'd like to do for your home: Big or Small!!
Get started by visiting my pinterest board Projects or just follow me to see what I'm pinning!!
Image from I spy DIY
Now you may already have thought about what you'd like to get done in your home already at this point....But putting it all down on paper should motivate you to start putting the plans into action!
Grab a notebook and a pen and do a walk through of your home and take notes of all the home improvements you would ideally like to get done this year! From completely redecorating a room, painting a wall to adding some art or maybe something more practical, like coming up with a new storage solution for the hallway? Write it all down as a list!
Image via Pinterest
Next up, get real....If you have a day job, you are probably not going to find the time to do it all!!
So you'll need to prioritize:
Re-order your list of DIY's from small, easy-to-do, to bigger and more time consuming projects!
Star those projects that are most important to you: The ones you feel would make the biggest ,most positive impact on your home (and your life) and the ones you feel would be most enjoyable!
A DIY project is as much about the journey of doing it as it is about the end product!
Tassel pillow DIY from Fall for DIY
Choose one, easy and fun project to get you started!!
Something you feel confident you can make and that you know you'll enjoy!
Like making some quick art or jazzing up a pillow with tassels, like in the image above!
Starting small will give you some momentum and build your confidence to continue tackling the projects on your list!
Image from from up north
Think about the process each of your projects on your list entails!
Start at the top of your list!
Break each project down into steps before you start!
Weather you are following an online tutorial, or instructions on a tin, make sure you familiarize yourself with the entire process so you know what to expect and can plan how long each project will take! 
Be prepared to encounter "spin off" projects!
ie: You've painted the walls, but now the woodwork/ceiling or floor looks tatty = NEW PROJECT!
Try to pre-empt if this could happen in the planning and preparing phase, and break down these projects into steps as well
Image from Classy clutter
Make a road map in your head of the processes and steps of your project!
Make a list of what tools and materials you'll need and set off time to purchase them.
Make a plan to work organized and always prioritize health and safety!
Invest in safety glasses ,dust masks and rubber gloves, as well as dust sheets and masking tape for those BIG jobs!!
Then work out an estimation of the time you think the project will take you, taking into account things like moving furniture out of the way or drying time for paints etc.....especially if it's a big one , like redecorating a room, and schedule it in your diary at a convenient time! 
Schedule time for DIY when you can feasibly fit it in!
Image via campaign
Set up your workspace, Protect your surroundings and your health and tidy up as you go!
Working in an organized fashion is key to enjoying the process!
Just don't be tempted to mix alcohol and DIY....NOT a good combo (Believe me, I've tried LOL)
If you've done your research, planning and preparing, you have set yourself up for success!
If you are doing a smaller project, Set yourself up a DIY station!
It doesn't have to be big (depending on the DIY , of course)
A desk or a space where you can leave your project out....or even just a tray or a basket where you can keep you project handy...
Setting up and cleaning up your workspace takes time and can be discouraging, so keeping a project handy in a designated area will make you more inclined to do it whenever you get some spare time!
Try to schedule time to DIY on a regular basis in order to work down your list of projects.

Getting into a regular groove will help you stay on track!
And as you start ticking things of the list, you'll see your motivation and sense of achievement rising, spurring you on to the next project!
Don't put pressure on yourself to do too much in a short space of time....DIY's tend to always take longer than estimated! Be prepared for problems, delays or timing issues.
DIY is a learning curve!
If you want to be a DIY'er you'll need to accept that sometimes you'll fail...but if you keep trying your skills and confidence will grow by leaps and bounds.
Image from Livin3
Be honest with yourself in your skills and abilities...
If you have bitten off more than you can chew, there is no shame in calling in the professionals!
This applies in particular to anything structural or to do with electrics or plumbing!!
And if you run out of patience or time, just STOP!
Take a break! 
Image from Retrogasm
Don't keep going just to get it done....if it's half past 2 in the morning, you're tired, frutrated and not thinking straight...You're bound to make mistakes you may regret!
Just schedule to finish the job at your earliest convenience....
....but do make sure you finish!!
And on a last note:
Sometimes mistakes can be happy accident's....Life's little way of showing you just how creative you can be! It doesn't always have to be perfect to be beautiful!
And do what YOU want....not what Bloggy McBloggerson told you to do on her blog (mine included)'s your version of the project that makes your DIY unique!!
Image from fvquotes
Or, in the words of Sophie Conran:
"Things don't have to be perfect to be beautiful. If you go into a room and it's all perfect, you don't feel comfortable. A home interior is not an abstract thing, it is about people, it's about the way you feel, the way you interact. It's about family and friends, it's the backdrop to your life."

Image via Maisons blanches
See my DIY tutorials gallery for lots of little and large projects you can make and do for your home!
Next week I will be sharing my toolbox...
not literally of course...but I want to show you what basic tools, in my experience, any DIY'er should have!!
But before that I will be posting a pretty and pretty useful easy little project, so please pop back for that!!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Interior trends for 2015

A house is much more than a mere shelter, it should lift us emotionally and spiritually 
- John Saladino

Image via just decorate
I've been spending the last week looking into what interior trends are emerging for 2015.
What trends are still going strong? What's hot right now and what's on the rise??
THE one trend I am most pleased to see establishing itself, is that PERSONAL INTERIORS seems to be key for this year: Meaning that whatever YOU are into, whatever works for YOU and makes you happy has emphasis on the decorating trends this year!!
This means that whatever colors or styles are predicted as "IT" for 2015,there is lots of room for stamping your own style on it, making for an eclectic interior universe!
I think that with so many people sharing their interiors on social media, there is a real urge to NOT copy each other and to use our homes as an expression of who we are!
Every one gets influenced by trends, magazines, blogs friends and family, the trick is to be inspired to do what YOU love with your home: Your combination of everything YOU like will make it personal!
So here is this years inspiration for your personal interior, as predicted by the trend setters and influensers:
First, lets talk wall colors:
Image via wgsn

The changing of the seasons always brings a new color specter, as the changing light from outside makes people want to refresh their homes, maybe more typically so in Scandinavia, as there is such a dramatic natural change this time of year....
The stark White, grey and monochrome looks from seasons past are now giving way to a softer pastel color palette, and a new set of neutrals are emerging: Shades of blues and sea greens.
These are colours with nuances that blend beautifully into the background...But differs from the colorless neutrals in the way they add warmth and  beautifully offsets other colors...
Image via boligliv
 Also the use of geometric wall papers are also on the rise!
Image via 79 ideas
On the other end of the color specter we find Soft powdery shades of pinks and peach.
Image via The design shepherd
When Dulux announced that their color of the year was copper blush, at first I wasn't too taken with it, as I felt it resembled the Terracotta red of the 80's, but I can honestly say it has grown on me....and anyway I am loving all those muted blush pinky tones in a combination with grey's and even okra  or peachy yellows... In fact Dulux has got it pretty spot on this year with their silent shift range. 

What I think makes these colors work so beautifully is how they go with the materials and shapes that are trending for 2015:
The love of mid century modern lines are not going anywhere fast, especially when it comes to furniture and lighting. But pared with powdery pastels MCM gets a fresh new look!
And juxtaposed to the soft shades, sculptural lights in brass and copper, contrasting with greys and black with a 50-60's aesthetic gives the look a modern edge.... On a side note: Lighting for 2015 will have a focus on the light bulb itself....
Image via hanna rosell
When it comes to home accessories, Not only are mixed raw and polished metals a big trend, but mixing materials, like structural smokey  glass, concrete and marble , untreated wood and cork. Textiles in jute or linen in shades of grey with bohemian luxuries like velvet and wool and ikat patterned rugs are all part of the eclectic look for 2015!
Here are a few examples, that I've hand picked from around the web:
From top, left to right:
Turkish kilim rug from kilim warehouse
"Arendal" smokey grey glass p
endant shade from Dot and Bo
French connection "Zinc" sofa from dfs

"Grey seal" linen cushions from Rume
Large raw blond wood pot from French connection
wood and iron tray coffee table from French connection

Brass planters from School house electric

             Black Light by artist Diana Dumitrescu
Natural wooden sidetable on castors by House Doctor from Bodie and Fou

Black wooden rocking chair by Ercol from Heals
Pure nature wooden stool from Bodie and Fou
Marble/brass/copper candle sticks by Andreas Engesvik from house and hold

Marble trays and cup from H&M home
Smokey grey glass "chamber light" by Hallgeir Homstvedt from Menu
Jute utility basket from terrain

Velvet cushions by Home Address from Not on the high street
Concrete and wood "jack" speaker by anaesthetic design
Merino wool and copper wall hanging from Stilleben
Glow table lamp with black bulb from Bolia
Graphic poster by Elkeland
Salt crystals and cork cups from the home project
Image via Tina's lounge
Although there is no dramatic change in the trends of previous years, just an exaggeration of what we've already seen, 2015 is the year for fresh thinking and flexibility: 
The trend is to see the potential of things: Sometimes it's not the functionality you need to turn up side down, but the expectations: 
Using a black light bulb instead of white, both hints to the trend of light bulbs being in focus and smokey glass, a basket turned sidetable gives useful storage with an unexpected twist.
Image via Sightunseen.
Vessels by Kristine Five Melvaer
Lastly, I predict that 2015 will be the year of the art poster, as it is an affordable way to buy into art, making it easier to personalize our spaces, and also change things up more often!
The previous trend for spelling out words on cushions etc. will thankfully vane, and the graphic poster will take over....

Image via Domaine home
2015 is all about Unique, eclectic and personal interior design: Thinking outside the box to make your interior work for you: 
Decorate with home accessories that add a personal touch: Heir looms from your grand parents, Your child's first shoes, books you love to read, travel finds and old furniture....Do things up to suit your tastes and interior , change things up:A lick of paint,  adding new knobs to your chest of drawers, a new lampshade for the old lamp or  DIY your own style home accessories!
And I am here to help, and aim to keep posting lots of DIY ideas and tutorials on things you can make and do for your home this year...please check out my DIY tutorials gallery for my previous projects, and keep popping by for more inspiration, or better still: Follow me on social media or subscribe to my e-mails for instant post updates!! (Find the links at the top of my left hand sidebar!)
Let's do this: Lets personalize our homes for 2015!!