Time for a change

A while ago I inherited some chairs which I painted and very simply recovered. I write about it here. With general use and a specific disaster when I spilt stuff on them I decided they needed a change.

Here they are ‘before’. Slightly stained.

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I found some fabric I liked in John Lewis called Deco Tulip.

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And I was ready to get started.

This is by no means a proper professional bit of upholstery. I have (I confess) been on a short course where we were taught to lovingly rework furniture and this isn’t really the thorough approach they recommend, but it works.

First I just removed the old top layer.

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And cut out roughly the right amount of fabric.

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As I paint I’m lucky enough to have a staple gun I use for making canvasses, but I think you could just use small tacks in fact that is a bit more professional.

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I then just pull the fabric tight, but not excessively so and staple it in place. A bit like wrapping a present.

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Pop a bit of fabric on to cover the edges.

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And you’re basically done.

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Rugs!

There’s been a small change in the kitchen. Actually the first of a few changes.

Friday night was spent living the highlife and driving to Ikea. It seems like a weird time to go, but it really makes sense. No on in their right mind would go to Ikea on a Friday night. Meaning you have to place (relatively speaking) to yourself.

The main target for the shop was to buy some extra spot lighting for the kitchen. This was successful but tragically I forgot to buy the corresponding bulbs so their great unveiling will have to wait for another day.

However I did take the chance to change the kitchen rug. It’s been subject to a grime onslaught and being made from jute is not easy to clean. Here’s an old picture showing it in it’s former glory.

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I was going to just replace it like for like, but then I saw this character and decided it was time for a change.

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A bargain at £50.

Paint

My friend has come to stay with me while he writes a book. So we’re transforming the sitting room into a bedroom and the kitchen/dining room into a kitchen/sitting room. It’s actually been fun. A bit of a struggle moving sofas between floors (the sitting room is…well was..on the first floor) but quite a good challenge.

As part of this I took the chance to get the painting finally done in the kitchen. It got a quick once over with pigeon when the room was first worked on but it was never a polished job. Plus overtime I had decided that it would be better to have all the woodwork, ceiling and walls one colour. I got some raised eyebrows when trying this out on people as an idea but I felt pretty sure it would work. Or I’d like it at least. So I plunged in and got going.

Taking delivery of plenty of paint.

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How it was before. 

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and after…

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I’m also changing the lights in this room to two of these which I bought in the John Lewis sale after Christmas. I don’t think they do this one anymore but they have some similar styles.

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Sitting room end.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKitchen end.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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Painting the ceiling a dark colour is definitely the most controversial idea, but (and it may seem strange that I consider this a good thing) no one actually notices that it’s been painted until you point it out. Just that something is different and I think it makes the room seem more complete and the ceilings seem higher as there’s not a band of colour demarcating the divide.

Overall I’m pleased with the results.

Booze

Recently I’ve had a couple of nice things sent to me to try out.

I’m still surprised by how frequently I get approached by companies and/or individuals and generally I say no (some are amazingly random) but in these cases I was kind of interested….

The first is a metal wine holder. I have no real space to store wine, beer etc the bottles are just all lined up in a corner of the kitchen. I probably should invest in a proper rack, like this that could fit into my alcoves.

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Although I’m not sure my “wine collection” totally merits in. In quantity maybe but quality might be stretching it.

However, Black Country Metal Works sent me this little number to try and it’s  made a big difference. It’s tidied things up plus I think it fits in well with the look of the kitchen / dining area. So a thumbs up from me.

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You can buy all sorts on their site, including I noticed – cauldrons!

Holiday memorabilia

Recently I went on holiday to Ethiopia, it was a horse trekking  in the Bale Mountains. It was a brilliant trip, and a very beautiful country (this also explains my very patchy posting recently).

Here’s my favourite photograph – my tent is the yellow one…

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Whilst in Addis Ababa we visited some shops specialising in handicrafts. There was some lovely stuff, particularly traditional coffee pots and woven baskets but space was limited and so I had to choose carefully. Finally I bought this….and I love it.

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I’m not sure if it’s really intended to be used as a fruit bowl, but I’m but it does the job very well.

A home for everything

Totally fitted kitchens are (at least at the moment) not really my thing, to my eyes they can be too finished or not in keeping with the rest of the house. I like a mix of old and new with open shelving to display the more attractive items and cupboards to hide away the not so attractive…much the same as my approach to every room.

With that in mind I have been looking for something to hang on the wall over the kitchen sink. I did think of a large vintage mirror but I looked and looked and couldn’t find one I liked.

Then I got a bit more practical and decided to go for shelves, mainly to allow the glasses to reside in a more convenient location. Eventually I found these old pine shelves (I suspect they were previously to top of a dresser) on eBay and the search was over.

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I love eBay. Living in London it can be hard to find furniture that doesn’t break the bank. It all seems to have been bought elsewhere, popped in a London lifestyle store, styled a bit and the priced doubled. eBay means that you can buy pieces from all over the country and either pick it up yourself or use the website anyvan. It works really well, all you do is post your job with the main details (description, rough size etc) and the picking up and dropping off points plus a timeframe it needs to happen within. Then a range of courier companies will bid on your job, they’re often combining your job with another so for them it works quite well. I’ve used it a number of times and it’s always gone smoothly and been quite cost-effective. I’m sure there must be something similar in the US and Canada – if not consider that a free business idea!

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glasss

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cups

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