Thursday, 30 July 2015

A bit of upcycling and new coat hooks

School hols always provide a great opportunity to get the kids working! Tidying and sorting which, oddly, children appear to quite enjoy. Mine do, at least.

There's something really therapeutic about having a really good sort and throw away. We seem to gather lots of small 'bits'....tiny bits of paper, endless mini notepads, bits of string (?!) and other oddments. My two are slowly growing out of the habit of insisting on keeping all of these oddments. Where previously they would protest that they do 'play with them' and that small pieces of paper do 'have a job', nowadays they are easier to convince of the need to get rid.

When it comes to furniture, it's always good as and when you are bored of something or want to purchase something new to consider what you have and whether you can upcycle or buy pre-loved.....sounds so much nicer than second hand!

Last week I drove to beautiful Chipping Campden to collect an old school style bench that had been used in a village hall. I had wanted something fairly simple, utilitarian, as seating in our entrance hall. I paid £20 plus the cost of half a tank of petrol and it's exactly what I wanted. Just needs a bit of sanding and the legs painting.

With upcycling in mind, I was contacted recently by Grace and Glory Home, an online boutique selling beautiful architectural hardware and home accessories. They were doing a piece on how to reinvent your furniture and asked for a few tips. It's a really good article and I'm including the link here.

And whilst on Grace and Glory, I have been searching recently for coat hooks for our hallway. I had my eye on the iconic Eames coat hooks below but at a couple of hundred pounds I just couldn't justify the cost. Too big for the space as well, which is probably a good thing!

So in the absence of funds and space for an Eames original, I spotted these hooks by Danish Designers 'House Doctor' below on the Grace and Glory website. At £16 for 5 hooks of varying colours (the additional 2 are purple and green and yellow and red) I thought these were a great alternative. I might actually prefer them and they the perfect size and really sturdy.

Right. Off to attack the next room!

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

A Mole's Breath disaster!

I want to be able to get it right first time! This method saves effort, time and more crucially, money.

On my latest personal project, I have failed on all 3 of the above despite my best efforts.

I said I would share with you project triumphs and disasters and therefore let me please introduce the first major disaster!

Our 'not so beautiful house' was attractively part clad in an orangey brown stained pine cladding. Mmmm. The rather respectable, elderly neighbours loved looking across at it, I'm sure! Coupled with the rather unattractive elderly UPVC windows, the whole look is cheap and cheerful....with less of the cheerful! A master class in bad UPVC windows.. (and I would stress here, I am not a UPVC snob. I've seen some great looking UPVC frames...just not these ones) Not horrendous. I've seen far worse. Not good though.

The photo above actually doesn't do the house justice, in that  in the flesh it is far was a beautiful summer's day and even the most horrid things can look ok when the sun is shining. The angle is also fairly flattering.

Having tested many a tester pot we plumped for Mole's Breath (Farrow and Ball...again) having undercoated in our trusted Zinsser B.I.N. undercoat.

The results are below and I can say with confidence that I hate it! Possibly not quite as much as I hated the orange cladding....but I'm not happy with the result. Again, the photo below does the end result far more favours than it deserves. Too dark? Too grey?

I think unfortunately, much of the problem is down to the window frames...and in particular the trim that overhangs the cladding. And the back door which needs to be replaced.

Silk purse and sow's ear spring to mind.

Any suggestions would be most appreciated. I'm hoping that it won't require a complete new paint job as I fear my marriage may not survive it!!

If there are any window companies reading that fancy taking on the challenge of prettying up this house for a bit of PR then please, please get in touch! I'll happily devote a whole article to the subject in return!