My Christmas Decorations

My style can be described as being bright, fun, non-traditionalist, hippy and boho, and my Christmas decorations really embrace my style.  I’m not a huge fan of tinsel or traditional Christmas decorations, though I do add elements of the traditional into my decor.

I have Christmas trees, fairy lights and stags,but not in traditional colourways, I prefer white or black trees, my stag decorations are bright pink and glittery, instead of tinsel I choose bead ropes, marabou feathers and pom-pom trim.  I have really bright baubles on my black tree and have chosen little dinosaurs to hang from my other, scroll down to see the photos that I have taken of my non-traditionalist, seasonal decor!

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I didn’t want to hang my wreath on the front door because, well, its Wales and it rains!  Not just that but I really didn’t want to get him all dirty either.  I hung  my wreath on the next available door – the door to my downstairs living room.

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Joy lights which I have placed on the shelving unit opposite the door to my living room.  This is the first thing people see when coming into my home.

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My small tree that I have decorated with multi-colour fairy lights, pom-pom trim, marabou feather trim and tiny plastic dinosaurs!

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Here’s a close up of the dinosaurs!

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My second tree which is decorated with beaded ropes and baubles.

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A close up of one of the decorations on my black Christmas tree – my initial!

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Pink stars, green stars and purple stars also adorn the tree.

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Skull and Crossbone upcycled tree which I’m thinking of having as my table piece for Christmas dinner.

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My pink glitter stags, my mini Christmas Tree and its pom-pom decorations (which are also lights!) on my back windowsill.

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Here’s a close up of one of the stags!  I’m really liking the effect the rain on the window has!

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And lastly, my santa card peg fairy light garland.

How have you decorated your house for christmas?  Do you have a theme or colour palette that you use?

Project Make – Hallway Floor and Back Door Mat

The hallway in my house had laminate wood flooring which hadn’t been laid very well, was a bit battered and never seemed to look clean which always irked me somewhat. I really wanted to cover it with something as I was unable to remove it due to being rented accommodation.

I looked everywhere for a hall runner rug that would fit the 4 meter 10cm length and that would also fit width ways. The hallway starts off wide at the door and becomes narrow toward the foot of the stairs which made it awkward to find something suitable that would work well. The cost of the cheapest rug that I found was around £80 and came in really mundane solid colours – brown, grey and a golden colour, and most of the others I found I didn’t really like the pattern or colour of in a higher price bracket. There was nothing that I truly loved that fitted my style, that is until I started thinking about other types of flooring.

My first thought was carpet tiles as they were pretty cheap to buy and easy to fit too but, being a hallway I thought that might be a bit impractical with dirt being bought in from outside. I then thought about vinyl flooring as it is hard-wearing and can be cleaned really easily but the patterns that were available were not really anything that I liked. I wanted something bright, fun, easy to install, easy to keep clean, and even easier to replace if I needed to for whatever reason, it also needed to fit my budget. It was when I started to rethink over getting carpet tiles that a thought occurred to me… I knew what would fit my specifications perfectly and would be a pretty unique choice for flooring…kids soft foam play area tiles!

This is the outcome! I ordered these from here. When they arrived I opened up the packets and went about sorting them into colours before starting on laying them down.

I prepped the floor by sweeping and hoovering to get up every last bit of dust and dirt, I didn’t want to cause any further damage to the laminate underneath so this was a vital step.

I then chose the colour scheme I wanted, choosing to place the coloured tiles together to create a stripe effect and placed the first tile at the foot of the stairs and worked my way back towards the door. I then removed the first tile I had laid and cut one of the edge flat, removing the “teeth” before placing it back down and shuffling the tiles up so the cut edge butted up against the rise of the step.

The next cut I made was the tile to go against the door. Once I’d got this row in I was able to work my way back up towards the stairs and remove the teeth from the side closest to the wall and move the tiles into place.  I then added the next row which just needed the teeth removing from both ends.

The third row was the trickiest as I needed to cut down some of the tiles to fit the shape of the wall so that the tiles fitted snugly without any room for movement.  To do this I took each tile, laid it over the tiles that were there and made marks where the teeth and tile met.  The tricky part to this is to remember to make the marks on the opposite side of the tile to where you are measuring otherwise you will end up with the cut going in the wrong direction… so mark the left side of the tile to be cut with the right side of the tile that is already in place.  Be sure to put the tile fully against the wall before making the mark too!

Once all the tiles were in place the only thing I needed to do was to finish the edge near the doorway, this was fairly simple as I was working with a straight edge so only needed to take a measurement and cut a straight line.  I did have to go around a pipe but that too proved to be fairly easy to navigate… once Id cut the tile to the right size I laid it down and made a mark where the cuts needed to be to fit the tile around the pipe, then using scissors I made a small cut to each mark, then refit the tile to see if the cuts were deep enough to accommodate the pipe before removing the tile and making the last cut.  I then re-fitted the tile.

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I had left over tiles and decided to use these to make a back door mat in the same way!

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What do you think of my flooring idea?  Is it something you would try in your home?

Upcycle Project – Dining Chairs (Part 2)

In last weeks post I told you guys about my dining chair find and the idea I had for upcycling them, todays post is about prepping them and painting them.

I decided that I was going to paint the chairs in different colours and change the seat fabric to white instead of going with white chairs and coloured seats.  I wanted to match the colours of the chairs to storage boxes in my dining area – pink, blue, yellow and white, however, I thought that having one fully white chair may look a bit odd but I was not really sure what colour paint to choose instead.  I decided to head to B&Q and see what sort of colours they had and what stood out to me.  I chose B&Q Colours range and bought tester pots in Playful Pink, Buttercup Yellow, Tropez blue, and lastly, instead of white I chose Green Apple.

Before painting I needed to prep the chairs by removing the varnish from them so that the paint would adhere properly.  Unfortunately I learned this the hard way as all I did for the first chair I painted was to “rough up” the varnish rather than remove it completely, the paint didn’t take very well and still, in certain lights looks patchy now.  I decided to remove the seat to make the process of sanding a bit easier and managed to remove the seat from the chair frame fairly easily, all I needed to do was flip the chairs upside down and undo 5 screws then lift the seat off.  Once the seat was off I was able to start sanding the chair frame down.  I used an 80 grit sandpaper and sanded each chair back to the wood in the garden.  Sanding is a lot messier than I anticipated and after being covered with dust and having to wash so many clothes I figured it would be better to wear my overalls for the job!  I worked on one chair at a time so that the screws and seats didnt become muddled as I wasnt sure if all the screw holes would match up on each chair.

There are a few things I learned about sanding while undertaking this part of the project (aside from wearing overalls…) and one of them is to sweep up immediately after you have finished otherwise the fuzzy “helper” will go and lie in the dust you have created and get covered!  The other thing I learned was that sanding is a lot more time-consuming than you imagine!  I had expected to clear the varnish from one chair in around an hour… in reality it took more like 4 hours to remove all the varnish per chair.

Once the sanding was finished I was able to start painting.  I started with the yellow first as I was going to be using the same brush for all chairs and washing it out between colours.  Starting with the lightest colour first means that there is less likelihood of paint to be ruined through colour contamination should the brush not be cleaned thoroughly.

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Aside from the yellow chair needing several layers of paint and still being patchy now (due to the varnish not being stripped completely) I’m pretty happy with how the chair frames turned out and the paint colours I had chosen.  The paint is a matt finish and I used 3 tester pots per chair, did 2 to 3 coats per chair (the yellow chair took 5 pots and a lot more coats of paint) and they were fully dry by the following morning, touch dry within 20 minutes.

Next week I will be sharing the upholstering part of this project!

Pulling the Room Together

As promised, this is the second post about decorating my downstairs room and the extra decoration I have added.

After painting and leaving the walls to dry for a time I decided to add some fun touches and textural interest to the arches and alcoves in the form of multi-colour pompoms.  I measured the alcoves and archway and searched the internet for what I had in mind…. I eventually found what I wanted from Amazon .  I was able to purchase this in long lengths which was what I was looking for, each length had to be more than a meter so I could run a continuous length rather than fixing lengths together to fit into the alcoves.

I bought some Command Hooks from B&Q that are meant for hanging decorations such as Christmas Lights, to hang the trim up.  Command Hooks are able to be used and removed without harming the wall underneath and, having used several of their other products in the past, decided that these would be the best thing to use.  The hooks were a bit fiddly as they come in a pack – the hooks all connected to one another and the sticky part separate.  You need to break off the hooks and attach the correct side of the sticky to the hook before peeling the other side from the sticky and attaching to the wall.  I found it easier to break off all the hooks and then attach the sticky to them all before using.

I placed the hooks up the alcoves at equal distances but alternating the facing of the hook, so one faced towards the wall, the next at 180 degrees and facing away from the wall before weaving the trim up and through each hook.

I was really worried that upon the trim being delivered it wouldn’t be as bright as I’d wanted or, not even the correct thing at all (going by past experiences…) and worried that the overall effect would not be like I imagined.  I’m really pleased with how it turned out though, and it always makes me smile.  Visitors to my home have commented on how nice it looks so I’m guessing that it’s not just a hit with me!

Here’s some pictures of the room with the trim up!  (please note that some of these photos are really recent ones…)