A Look Around My Home – Kitchen

Today, I thought I would share a look around my kitchen as I have shared a look around other parts of my home previously (which you can find here) but not yet shared my kitchen at all.

Just to let you know that this post IS IMAGE HEAVY… (just to warn you in case it doesn’t load on your device…)

I’m pretty happy with this room so far but I still want to finish painting it green at some point!

What is your kitchen like?  Let me know in the comments!

House Wish List

House Wishlist

This week marks a year of being in my own home and the time has really flown by, and while I have most things there are still things I wish for.  Today’s post is about the things on my wish list.

  • A wheelbarrow.  I’m not sure whether I will always want or even need one, but for sorting my garden out, and to make it easier to move dirt and stones around in the garden this is something that I think could come in useful for the moment.
  • Secateurs.  I’ve been borrowing my Mum’s pair and they have come in more than useful this past few months so I think that investing in my own pair would be really beneficial.
  • A good tin opener, does such a thing even exits though?  The one that I have seems to like skipping and sticking, mangling the can rather than being efficient and opening things with ease.
  • An ice cream scoop.  I honestly can not believe that I don’t own one yet!  I tend to use a large serving spoon which has sufficed until now.
  • New tea towels.  When I moved in I had loads but now I hardly have any and I don’t have the foggiest idea where they have all disappeared to!
  • A small wardrobe or cupboard for downstairs that I can hang coats in and store my mop, bucket, and hoover in.
  • A bookshelf for the spare room.  I have been looking for the perfect sized one to fit into the alcove for such a long time but can’t seem to find one that fits.
  • A Welsh dresser for my bathroom.  I have a space in the bathroom that is dead space and a Welsh dresser would be perfect to put there to store my towels and other bathroom bits in while being able to display my plants and other pretty things on.
  • Rugs.  I have been searching for the perfect rugs, both for downstairs and in the hallway, since I moved in, I have an idea of what I want but am still waiting to find the perfect ones.
  • Lawn mower and strimmer.  My friend currently comes and mows my lawn using his mower but having my own means that I can get out and cut the grass myself.  Having both a mower and strimmer would be the best option as my grass grows stupid fast so strimming before mowing would make things so much easier!

I think that everyone who has a home always has some item they want or need on their wishlist, what is on yours?  Let me know in the comments!

House Plants

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House plants are an easy way to bring the outdoors in, they add a bit of life and interest to otherwise bare areas and can help to improve the air quality in the home.  There have also been reports, recently, that caring for house plants can help to lower stress levels, improve our mood and help with mental health.

I have several houseplants which have survived nearly a whole year, I’m quite proud of that as most plants I have had in the past have generally lasted a few weeks or months.  The trick, I have found is to assess what kind of environment the plants need, is it bright, sunny, warm spaces or do they prefer darker cooler spots?  Does the plant mind a draft or will they thrive in areas with little to no drafts?  Other things to consider are how easy the plant is to maintain, for example, does the plant need a lot of watering and caring for, or is it happy to be watered whenever?  Does the plant need regular dead-heading or de-leafing or some kind of pruning or can it just be left to do its thing?

I have learned over time that I am terrible when it comes to watering plants, I tend to forget when they have been watered which can lead to them being overwatered or not watering them enough.  I have also come to realize that I’m not the sort of person that wants to faff around with pruning, dead-heading or de-leafing, a simple routine of watering every now and again and dusting off the leaves occasionally is good for me!

Plants that I have found to be easy to care for are

Areca Fern (which I have in my bathroom) which was purchased in Wilkinsons around a year ago.

Dragon Plant (in my living room) bought from my local Wilkinsons store when I moved in last year.

Peace Lily (in my living room) which was given to me as a moving in present nearly a year ago.  This has only flowered once but I’m hoping that it will flower again at some point!

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Cactus and succulents (in my dining area).  I have had the cacti in the red bowl for 10 years and the succulents are around 3 years old.  I picked up the cacti in my local garden center and the succulents came from my local Tesco.

Avocado trees, which I grew from the stone, in my dining area window.  They are now around 4 years old.

Aloe Vera (which is thriving on my kitchen windowsill).  I bought this a few years ago from Ikea, it seemed like a healthy plant when I bought it but a week or so later it seemed to be dying, after a bit of TLC it has perked up and is now looking pretty healthy!

I am really pleased that all my plants seem to be doing well, and knowing that they can improve my overall mood and health is an added benefit.

What sort of houseplants do you have?  Let me know in the comments!

 

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?

Moving In and Decorating

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Picked Up The Keys!
I moved to my new home in July, moving, though stressful, especially when things didn’t go to plan for one reason or another, was all completed in a day.  I went with my friend to collect the keys, hired a van, loaded and unloaded then began unpacking.  I hadn’t got much furniture but that made decorating a bit easier as there wasn’t anything to work around or move out of the way.

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And…I’m in!!!!
I decorated in the first few weeks that I was here and had already decided upon painting the downstairs rooms pink and blue, leaving some of the walls the original magnolia colour.  I chose B&Q Colours silk paints in Electric Blue and Playful Pink after doing some research into colours and application, drying time and price.  I also looked into different paint application methods – roller, brush and paint pads, choosing the latter for ease and mess reduction.  I chose the Diall Paint Pad set as it came with a paint tray, two different sized paint pads and the paint pad handle and seemed to be the best value for money.  I also picked up a Harris Angled Brush as I knew from previous experience that an angled brush was easier for cutting in around the edges of the walls and allowed for a neater finish.

Once I had gathered all my supplies together (and made a coffee) I began by masking off the skirting boards and applying paint to the edges of the walls before in filling with the paint pad.  This was my first time using a paint pad and I found it much cleaner than using a brush or roller.  The basics of using a paint pad are to attach the handle to the chosen pad, pour some paint into the tray, rest the paint pad on the paint for around 30 seconds, wipe off excess, put the pad flat against the wall and drag it up and down the wall before changing direction – going diagonal until an area is covered before repeating.  I was really impressed with how easily and quickly the paint went on and had finished the first coat in under 20 mins.  I did need to do a second coat of paint but that was to be expected with such a vibrant colour.

I painted the side walls of the arches with the pink paint, using masking tape on the end walls to create a panel that was as wide as the arch sides and painting them pink in order to complete the look I was going for.  The pink paint seemed to apply better than the blue and only really needed touching up in a few places rather than fully applying a second coat.

Next time I will be sharing the finishing touches I added once the paint was dry and also share some pictures of the nearly completed space 🙂