Category Archives: Rock n Renovation

Revamp, Restyle, Reveal: Our Kitchen Reveal!

You’re doing the kitchen… in four weeks!?!?”

That was pretty much the standard response we got when telling people about our insane plan to gut and basically rebuild our entire kitchen in a month. So why the ridiculous time frame? Well, we were invited to take part in Revamp, Restyle, Reveal – a challenge with ten bloggers, nine sponsors, one room (of our choice) and four weeks to make it over… And well, apparently my husband and I are suckers for punishment.

Our to do list was enormous:

♥ The door being used as a window in the middle of the outside wall needed taking out, bricking up and a new window putting in.
♥ The entire room needed plastering.
♥ Everything had to be painted (all the walls and the ceiling).
♥ A few of the electrical sockets needed moving and/or replacing.
♥ The sink needed to be moved (hence, plumbing!) and a new sink and tap fitted.
♥ Oh, and just the small matter of rejigging the layout and fitting a brand new kitchen + worktops!

With the onus on DIY, we also wanted to do a much as we were physically able to do ourselves and oh my god did Gareth step up to the challenge. To refresh your memory, here’s what the room looked like before (shudder).

He taught himself to brick lay, to fit a window and plaster from YouTube and Google. He fit the kitchen units in less than 24 hours, all by himself, when our worktop situation got critical (more on this in a future blog post!) He pretty much didn’t stop for the entire month. I would come by regularly and hand him plates of food and endless cups of coffee. He also didn’t shave for the duration and he may or may not have bathed. If you kept up to date with my Instagram Stories or our weekly update videos you will know that by week four he was beginning to bear a striking resemblance to Tom Hanks in Castaway

So why were we mental enough to tackle the kitchen, when all the other bloggers involved were very sensibly doing their living rooms and bedrooms!?

Well it all came down to the amazing sponsors that were involved. In order to help us pull off our rooms, the challenge hosts Bianca and Lisa had gathered a collection of the most amazing brands who were going to gift us items to use. When we found out that ao.com was the headline sponsor we thought we’d actually be insane to NOT do the kitchen. It was – by far – the worst room in the house and definitely had to be done eventually so what better an opportunity than when your favourite appliance website (we’ve literally bought every electrical item we’ve ever owned from AO!) were on hand to help us?

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Rock n Renovation: Revamp, Restyle, Reveal!

‘Before’ – no we had absolutely nothing to do with that awful yellow mural!

Wow that’s a lot of words beginning with R right there. I am so very VERY excited about this project though so all that alliteration is worth it to share the news!

Revamp, Restyle, Reveal is an interiors challenge which I was asked to take part in by interior designer Lisa Dawson (I mentioned her in my favourite interiors Instagram accounts a few months ago, isn’t it funny how these things always come full circle!?) and blogger extraordinaire Bianca Hall of French for Pineapple.

The concept is simple: 10 bloggers, 9 brands, 1 room, 4 weeks. It’s kind of like Changing Rooms meets 60 Minute Makeover but without Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen, Linda Barker or Peter Andre (didn’t he present 60 Minute Makeover for a hot minute? It’s probably quite shameful that I know that…)

Now because Gareth and I are suckers for punishment, and also because one of the sponsors is one our all-time favourite appliances websites (seriously, we’ve bought every appliance we’ve ever owned from ao.com – their service is quite frankly brilliant) we decided to bite the bullet, dive in head first (and a million other clichés) and do our kitchen. Yes, in a month!

And we have a door that needs bricking up and turning into a window…

And the entire room needs plastering…

AND we’re doing as much of it as we can ourselves…

What could possibly go wrong!?

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The Pink Door

Hi friends! Goodness, it’s been a long time since I’ve had a house post for you hasn’t it? I have to admit that I think I was a tad ambitious thinking I’d be able to update you weekly on our renovation. I’ve mentioned this before, but things have progressed really slowly (aka they haven’t progressed at all!) over the winter months. The motivation to tackle big projects has been seriously lacking but now that spring is finally here (allegedly!) we are PSYCHED to get back on that reno-train. IN FACT we’re doing the kitchen next month, which I am SO EXCITED about so I’ll have lots more updates for you soon.

ANYWAY, I digress.

So, the pink door. Those of you that follow me on Instagram will already know that I’ve been lusting after a pink front door for as long as I remember. I hoped that once we bought our dream house that my fantasy would finally become a reality. But then we bought a red brick house and Gareth informed me that it would look shit.

Goddamnit.

I attempted mocking it up on Photoshop with as many different shades of pink as I could find but frustratingly, he was right. It just didn’t work at all.

But then saw that a few of my interior inspos had painted the inside of their front doors pink (Lisa, Elsie, Sarah – honestly, so good!) and I thought I’d found the perfect solution. I pitched it to Gareth… and I was shot down once again. GOD, someone remind me why I married such an opinionated man please?

And then it hit me. I WOULD PAINT THE INSIDE OF MY OFFICE DOOR PINK. We have a rule in our house that we can’t make any decisions on house decor/ big purchases without the other person’s agreement. After all, we both have to live here and we can have very different tastes in things (I’m right, he’s wrong but ya know…) This rule is strictly enforced EXCEPT when it comes to our offices. Those are our personal spaces and we can do whatever we like to them without the other person butting in!

So I excitedly headed off to B&Q immediately and collected approximately 15161 swatches – who knew there were so many pinks? I then taped my favourites up on the door and left them there for a few days so I could see how they worked in different lights, and see if I was more drawn to certain ones as I got used to them. In the end I settled on Dog Rose by Valspar. They actually colour match too so I was going to get an exact match to one of the prints on my wall, but in the end I liked this one so much I didn’t really need to. It’s the perfect cool toned blush pink.

I was actually pretty nervous about making the wrong decision. Our entire house (and our previous one) is painted entirely white at the moment so making choices on paint colours is not something I’m used to! But I kept reassuring myself that it was only paint and if I hated it I could always paint right over it.

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OMEDELBAR from IKEA: Gothic Meets Hollywood Glamour for your Home!

There are two great life lessons I’ve learnt since embarking on our renovation project: Everything will take 1716 times longer than you hoped it would, and IKEA is basically brilliant. OK so I knew the latter already, but when you have people coming around for your first attempt at hosting Christmas Eve and you realise that morning that you haven’t got enough chairs for everyone… Well let’s just say I thank those Swedish home gods everyday that they decided to open a branch in Reading.

The thing is about IKEA though… Yes it’s affordable, yes they have every homeware basic you might possibly need to buy and hell yes their meatballs are inexplicably delicious, but a lot of it is a bit to simple, design-wise for my eclectic tastes.

But this has all changed with the introduction of the brand new OMEDELBAR range. The collection is described as a hybrid between goth and Hollywood glamour and as you can probably imagine I am all about that!

Created in collaboration with Bea Åkerlund, one of Sweden’s most sought-after stylists and costume designers who’s worked with the likes of Madonna, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Katy Perry and Britney Spears, this 35-piece limited-edition collection includes everything a fashionista needs to show off their finest clothes and accessories.

The range, which launches this month, includes a leopard print rug, lip-shaped cushions and a super cool clear glass top hat vase. There’s black and white striped curtains and matching wallpaper as well as a giant gold clock, a bowl that looks like a crown, black lampshades with gold lining and the coolest faux leather armchair I’ve ever seen! With it’s black, red, white and gold colour scheme, this collection is definitely aimed at us babes who like to be daring with our home decor.

This chair is just the living end! I was worried when I ordered it that it might be a little big, but no, it is literally the most perfectly sized occasional chair.

The faux leather black fabric makes it super pet hair friendly (I have Maine Coons, I gotta think about these things!) and the design is really fun and, in parts, unexpected. I adore the curved legs, the stud detail and the corseted back! And as soon as I saw this lips pillow I KNEW I had to have one to put on the chair. It comes in two sizes, and this is the smaller version. I mean, how bloomin’ cute!?

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Rock n Renovation: Quirky & Unique Homewares from Orchid Furniture

Devlin Photos

After living in a too-small terraced house for over ten years, moving to our new place has been a revelation… in shopping! Before, our place was so tiny we couldn’t really physically fit anything else in, but now we have three reception rooms I’m loving searching out quirky and unique finds to eventually fill them with. While we’ve started buying some small pieces of furniture and decorative items, the house isn’t in anyway nearing being finished so a lot of the time I’m just researching, researching, researching!

I have a tendency to “buy now, think later” and then end up with lots of inexpensive pieces that I end up not liking really quickly (IKEA you’re great, but I don’t need to own everything you make!) This time I want to make sure we only purchase things we really love, that will last us a long time.

So today I thought it would be fun to share some of the things we’ve been swooning over (a couple we’ve acquired already!) from Orchid Furniture. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you’ll already know that both Gareth and I are obsessed with all things Japanese, so when I discovered Orchid Furniture, that specialise in furniture, lighting and accessories from the Far East, I was intrigued. We don’t want our house to seem too ‘themed’ though, so our plan is to add a few choice pieces from their extensive collection, mixed with items of other styles that we also really like. Orchid have London and Hampshire stores and also sell online, delivering throughout the UK and overseas.

This rug was the first thing we ordered. We loved the neutral grey colour and the subtle pattern. It goes great in our living room and is super squishy and lovely. The cats sit on it almost permanently as most of the rest of the house is still wooden floors.

Marble, I love you, but I can’t really afford you. This stone-topped round table is a great dupe, and comes in cheaper than the real thing. It’s the perfect size for a plant, a cup of tea and a stack of magazines and sits beside our sofa.

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Rock n Renovation: The Sink Saga

House Beautiful

I hadn’t planned on talking about our bathrooms for a while. Although they both definitely need replacing at some point (the downstairs on is a delightful shade of avocado) they are were perfectly functional, and actually in much better shape than the one in our own place, despite their age. That was, until this week when I dropped a glass bottle in the sink in the upstairs bathroom and shattered the thing… No, not the tiny glass bottle of Primark room spray, THE ACTUAL FUCKING SINK. Ughhh, how is that even possible?

I took to Twitter to moan/ ask for advice and although people suggested using sealant in the interim until we were able to replace it, Gareth has informed me that the crack is probably too significant for that. The sucker literally goes ALL THE WAY THROUGH. FML.

So now we’re faced with two solutions: Find a replacement sink in the same shape/ style so we can simply remove the broken one and replace it without having to deal with moving taps/ re-plastering/ all that shit, OR move up our plans to rip out and completely re-do the bathroom.

Because the suite isn’t modern, we’ve struggled to find a simple replacement, in fact Gareth found one on a reclamation website and it was around £400. Shit.

I’ll be honest, we still haven’t totally decided what we’re going to do at this point but I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for procrastination and researching new bathroom ideas and share some of my inspiration with you! Every cloud right?

As you can see on the floorplan below, our upstairs bathroom is pretty sizable, but a bit of a funny shape. It has a step down, a sloped ceiling and the airing cupboard, although awesome for storage, is over-sized and could probably be used in a more efficient way. I think we’ll probably end up boxing the boiler in and putting in a proper shower (as this bathroom just has a bath at the moment).

In terms of style, we’re not totally sure what we want yet, but I’m pretty sure we’re not going to want a standard three-piece suite from B&Q. We both really like the idea of a proper retro looking bathroom, but modernised with bright colours (I’m not sure Gareth is totally on board with that last idea … yet). Seriously though, how freakin’ RAD would a pink or turquoise tiled bathroom be?

FUCK YES.

English Heritage Homes of Texas

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