So Close But Yet So Far…

Slowly but surely I am making progress on my ongoing upholstery project. I am so close to the end that I can taste it, but at the same time I also realise that I still have a way to go. In fact it has taken so long to get to this point that I am considering roping of the chair to ensure people view it from a distance only. I mean, if its ok for the National Trust… in just the same way as the National Trust does in all of it’s historical buildings. My biggest problem is that I am only at college once a week and this just isn’t enough time to get it completed at any great speed. I have brought it home a couple of times to get extra done but unfortunately I get so far and then have to wait, take it back to college and get advice on where I should go next.

My chair so far

My chair so far

Looking at the front view it looks pretty much completed and I cannot wait to see it completely finished. I know it is going to look amazing once it is finished…I mean it has to because I can’t believe that you can spend this much time on a project and it not turn out great (I am a glass half full type of person). Unfortunately, when you look at the back it doesn’t look anywhere near complete.

My Not So Finished Chair Back And Outer Arm

My Not So Finished Chair Back And Outer Arm

As you can see both the back and the outer arm need to have top fabric putting on it and also the bottom (although I don’t have a photograph of that) needs platform cloth putting on to tidy it all up and hide all of the chairs insides.

Having only 9 weeks of college left, which incidentally is a total of 27 hours, it is safe to say that I am rather worried about whether I am going to get it finished. The only solution is to make sure I do much of the work needed outside college time. This worries me slightly as I cant help but think that I am going to get something key and very important wrong. Although, this worry has aided me in certain situations as it has driven me to check all measurements prior to cutting my top fabric over and over and over again…and sometimes just one or two more time to make even more certain.

Irritatingly, college is closed for the next two weeks as it’s the Easter holidays so in order to continue working on it I have brought it home in a hope that I will be able to get the arms covered in my plain blue top fabric (the same as the seat). Just bringing it home is an effort in itself. Especially if you consider the fact that I am no longer able to carry it by myself and the fact that it is wider than most door ways. This means that not only am I required to find some poor unsuspecting soul to help me move it every time I want to work on it  but every time it needs to be taken through a doorway it has to be flipped and turned in order to squeeze it though the frame. Bringing my chair home turns into an epic game of Tetris as we negotiate around various bends in the corridors, doorways and finally face the challenge of trying to fit said chair into the boot of my Vauxhall Corsa. Thankfully transport to and from the car is made much easier thanks to the fact that a very innovative and brave college tutor of the past stole an Asda shopping trolley purposely for moving such items of furniture. So I have a big THANK YOU to this person as they have saved me on many an occasion.



Just getting ready for a spot of DIY

Hopefully this will be the first of many housey DIY projects…fingers crossed. It’s also number 2 on my Top Ten Project List that I started way back in November. The aim of this DIY project? To turn my cupboard under the stairs turn junk room back into the pantry of my dreams! A place where I can store all the lovely bulk bought bargains (such as baked beans and chopped tomatoes) with the intention of becoming more money efficient.

However, before any kind of DIY can commence it has got to be cleared out. Back in November when I started my project list it was pretty clear…


November – I must have been so organised!

Scroll forwards 4 months and after being used as a ‘what shall I do with this? I don’t know let’s just hide it in here’ cupboard it now looks like this…

So after many hours of emptying, sorting out and asking myself “do I really need to save this?’ over and over again my little cupboard under the stairs but soon to be amazing pantry of my dreams looks like this…TA DA…empty!

My Empty Pantry

My Empty Pantry

After clearing it out the hope was to get the cracks filled in, paint it a lovely light colour that isn’t white, install good quality shelves and find and install some sort of storage unit to hang on the door. I am also considering some sort of wheely shelving unit to wheel in and out of the cupboard. This was going completely to plan until it came to taking all of the hooks and screws at of the wall. It was at this point that our theory that the previous owners were complete dunces at DIY was confirmed. What confirmed our theory?? The fact that they GLUED hooks to the wall instead of screwing them in!!!

Who glues hooks to a wall???

Who glues hooks to a wall???

This meant that when it came to taking them off of the wall it also took off the plaster, meaning that no longer was it acceptable to just fill in the holes and the cracks. We now need to plaster it…GRRRRRR! I can’t tell you how frustrating that is. So, now we wait for the return call of several plasters. If it all goes to plan this is hopefully something similar to what it will look like at the end…fingers crossed


My Upholstery Journey To Reading Chair Heaven Update

Wow, it has been a while since my last post. In the time since posting I have gotten married, been on honeymoon and settled into married life. Even though I promised myself that I wouldn’t let wedding related stuff take over my life…I did. Those last few weeks before the wedding were crazy and I can honestly say stressful. Although I didn’t turn into the stereotypical bridezilla, there were plenty of tears, tantrums and nerves. The day itself though was amazing and after the stress of wedding planning the honeymoon was just what we needed.

We have now been married for nearly 6 weeks and are starting to think about properly setting up our home. It was pretty much impossible to even consider any kind of decoration or house renovation due to putting all spare cash towards the wedding. Now that the wedding has been and gone though, we can now start to plan the house renovations (although these will be slow due to having to replenish our much depleted savings). With this in mind I thought I would share my upholstery project!

Here is a reminder of how it looked before I began reupholstering it.


Before – nasty fabric, filthy and smelly.

That was how it was in September. Since then I have been spending 1 day a week at college, where I have stripped it down to its bare wood, rebuilt it up by adding the webbing, hessian, foam, and fire resistant calico. It has taken a lot of time and energy but it is looking great.

3/4 of the way through - Before any of the top fabric went on.

3/4 of the way through – Before any of the top fabric went on.

It has a slightly different shape to before but it is lovely…and so comfortable! It’s going to make a great reading chair for my living room. In this picture you cannot see the cushion that will go on top of the seat for people to sit on (just like in the first image).

I always knew that I wanted to use two different fabrics. Originally the plan was to having a plain fabric and also one that had thin stripes on it, ideally in a light blue colour. However, this soon changed when I saw my final choice in top fabric! As soon as I saw it I fell in love and due to having a great conversation with the sales assistent (who also did upholstery) managed to get it at a great price. Its thick and hardwaring and, due to the quality, will withstand wiping.

My top fabric

My top fabric

The  buttoned back and seat will be done in the top (patterned) fabric and the piping, buttons, arms and the actual behind back will be done in the other fabric (plain). Incidentally these are the colours I plan to eventually use as the colour scheme in the living and dining room.

Today being a college day I have been able to work on my chair some more and have managed to start putting the top fabric on.

At the end of college today

At the end of college today

My deep buttoning

Deep buttoning close-up

As you can see today I have managed to get the plain blue on the bottom (which will sit beneath the seat cushion) and have started buttoning the top fabric onto the back of the seat (although this does need neatening up). I love it! I just know it is going to look stunning at the end once I have finished. Slowly but surely I am getting there.

Chair Update!

As you can see the chair is starting to take shape.

My Chair

I have managed to shaped the foam on the back. I can’t tell you have tricky it was to keep to the shape of the chair while maintaining the roundness of the foam. After about 3 college sessions I have finally finished shaping the foam and am getting ready to put the buttons into it. I cannot wait to see the finished chair back!


Just Call Me The Drilling Queen!

I HAVE USED THE DRILL! I managed to tick number three off of my To Do List and hang up both mirrors over the two fireplaces…YAY! The first one was pretty simple because of it being able to rest most of it’s weight on the fireplace and it not really needing any special fixings.

Mirror Number 1

The second one was a little bit trickier because of it being a really heavy mirror. Having never hung anything heavier than the typical picture (the mirror weighs between 10-15kg) I asked for the help and guidance of my dad. I did have an idea of what I needed but sometimes it just helps having someone there that knows what they are doing. So off we set for B&Q and picked up some heavy duty picture wire and heavy duty Picture Fixings designed for heavy pictures/mirrors. Then it was just a matter of using the drill to drill holes into the brickwork. It turns out that the hammer function on the drill makes it so much easier.

Mirror Number 2

I felt really empowered using the drill. I cannot wait to have to use it again! In the meantime I thought I would share a couple of pictures of me using it. Just to prove that it was me doing it.

Me drilling

Ignore the holes below, one of them was my practice hole where I worked out whether I had the right drill bit, screw and wall plug and the other one is what the previous owners left behind. When it comes to redecoating these will get filled in.

Me appreciating my handiwork




You know you becoming a hardcore when…

…you own a drill! After a little bit of advice from my dad I set of to the d.i.y shop with a reasonable amount of confidence that I knew what I was looking for. I didn’t want a rechargeable one (I’m terrible at charging my phone so this was a definite no no for me), I wanted it to be able to go though masonry and wood so needed both sets of drill bits and it needed a little bit of power to be able to go through the stone work. Also at the moment I want it to put up pictures and mirrors so I didn’t want one that cost a fortune.

My drill

The Great Reveal: My Dream Dresser

Here is the before photo:


It looked drab, dreary and very old fashioned. It didn’t go with anything else in the house but for a while I was just too scared to even attempt to paint it…what if it went wrong? Well, it took well over a year but I eventually found my backbone and just went for it and I am so glad I did! I LOVE THE RESULT!

AFTER – ignore the random Chappie. Sometimes it is crazy difficult to get a photo without him in it!



I started by taking off all of the hardware and took the doors and drawers out. It just isn’t a good look to have paint splattered hinges and door handles.

Next I completely sanded down the top to the original wood. This was hard work and I have definitely discovered arm muscles that I never knew I had. After this I then lightly sanded down all sides of the dresser, the drawers and doors. This helps  the paint to stick. After this I then had to use a clean cloth and white spirits to clean off every speck of sawdust.

Thanks to my amazing husband to be’s Christmas present last year I have a brilliant paint gun, which allows me to paint (using any type of paint) at a quicker speed that with a paint brush and with a much better finish. Originally the aim was to get the flawless finish with the paint but as I started to sand down one of the coats of paint I fell in love with the the distressed look, so I decided to not put another coat on and leave it be. I completed the look of my dresser by coating the sanded down top with bees wax. I didn’t want varnish as this would give it a shiny finish which would be quickly scratched by keys. As it is sitting next to the front door it is highly likely that it will have keys on it at some point.

I know need to work out what and how to store things on it. It definitely needs some dressing up.

It also takes point number 1 off of my house related to do list, WAHOO! Onto the next project…


Top Ten Project List

This is a blog post I have been meaning to write for a while. I figured that I needed to be a little bit more organised so I have decided to write up a Top Ten Project List detailing the furniture projects currently on my to do list. It is something I should be able to strategically work my way through. Instead of what I am doing right now which is more bumbling my way through. So here they are:


My Dresser

This is the project I am currently doing. The aim is to turn this into a beautiful cream and varnished pine dresser to go into my hallway (near the kitchen) to store all of my baking ingredients. This will then give me more storage in the kitchen.


The Cupboard Under The Stairs

When this house was built in the 1930’s I think this would have been a walk in pantry. At the minute it has hooks that hold coats and wonky shelves (installed by the previous owner) that can hold nothing plus I have a habit of chucking anything I dont want seen into it (e.g. the hoover, mop and bucket etc). I would love for it to be returned to being a pantry. It would allow me to buy certain kitchen items that I always use in bulk.


One of the mirrors next to one of the fireplaces

I just need to get these hung up on the wall and then the fireplaces can be ‘dressed’ properly to make them into a feature rather than a ‘place to put things’. The picture only shows one of the mirrors but I also have a starburst mirror that needs putting up.


My Lloyd Loom Ottoman

This is a Lloyd Loom Ottoman and it was also the first thing I ever tried to upholster (pre college course). I can’t believe I ever did anything as bad as this but alas it is true. Now I know a little bit more about upholstery I know I can upholster this to a much higher standard and turn it into something beautiful and unique. It is really handy for storing fabric in as well as becoming a seat as when the need arises.


Upstairs Hallway Window

Unfortunately at the moment we can’t re-decorate that hallway due to time and money. Having spent an absolute fortune buying and moving into the house at the same time as planning and paying for a wedding we are having to take step by step and one room at a time and currently the home office/craft room is the priority. So instead I am wanting to make small changes to smarten it up a little bit. One of them being dressing the window. I want to make a nice curtain to frame it a little plus adding a vase of some sort.

Front Door

I also want to put a matching curtain downstairs in the hallway to block some of the draft from the front door. It will also add a little bit of ‘softness’ to the front door.


I love the idea of having a picture display going up the stairs. I just need to get more family photos to put into frames.


Front of Side-table

Top of the Side-table

I want to clean up this oak side table and get rid of all the marks and water rings that are on the top. I am torn between painting it or stripping it down to revarnish it…decisions decisions.


Undecorated Craft Room

My home office/craft room is in need to serious re-decorating. As of yet it has not yet even been starting but if plans come together that should soon change. The aim is to make this room into a creative space that is a joy to spend time in. It will have a good sized work space with amazing storage to ensure nothing is in the way ever. I want to install shelving into the alcove and then (hopefully) fit doors to the bottam of it to ensure we have a space to hide things away in.


I think I would like to install something like this on the wall at the bottom of the stairs so that as you come into the house you can hang your coats up.


The Problem

And finally a shoe rack that makes shoes look tidier and again this is for the bottom of the stairs. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of a future shoe rack because I don’t yet know which one I want.

My Soon To Be Dream Dresser

As promised I did start renovating the dresser, however, I am no where near finished. The weekend just isn’t long enough!

Dresser Renovation

This is how far I got. It took me absolutely ages to take out all of the hard wear because whoever had put them in had cleverly bent some of the screw heads. But after a lot of pulling, tugging and fiddling I managed to take out every screw, hinge and door handle. I even managed to remember to put them safely in a small bag to keep them safely together. After that I set to work sanding down the top of the dresser. This is the bit that I want to leave unpainted and coat it in a clear varnish to keep it as natural as possible.

Dresser surface after first sanding

I used a medium grit sandpaper on my  Bosch Palm Sander that I was lucky enough to inherit off of my parents after they had finished sanding down their live aboard narrow boat. But even with the help of this nifty devise it still took a lot of work and a lot of arm ache. As you can see from the photo there are patched on the top that are slightly darker than the rest of it due to some of the stain still being on. THIS NEEDS TO COME OFF! I also need to do all the edges of the top. This bit I am a little nervous about doing because if I use the palm sander I could easily sand too much off and make it uneven and unrounded, but if I hand sand the edges it is a lot of hard work…hmmmmm.

In terms of finished product I would love to line the drawers (see below) with lovely bright wallpaper. It would provide a spot of colour and cheerfulness each time I opened the drawer. I would love for the inside to be just as beautiful as the outside.

In terms of the outside finished product I want it to be decorated like the picture below. The off white colour combined with the pine varnished top gives it a warm clean feel while the blue of the back makes it quite a quirky piece of furniture. I love the blue but I am unsure as to whether I will paint the inside blue. I am a little bit worried that when we do eventually get around to decorating the hallway that it won’t co-ordinate. It’s something that I need to think about. I guess I can always change it if need be.

This is the biggest project I have undertook but hopefully it will look good once it has been done. Fingers crossed.


Lego Creations For The Home You Wish You Had Created!

I recently stumbled across an article in the Daily Mail from 2009 where James May created an entire house from Lego! Completely crazy but completely genius at the same time. It made me wonder whether people do actually have functional items in their home made out of Lego. So off I went to scour the internet and here is what I found…


Who would have thought to make a kitchen island out of Lego? Not me, that’s for sure but I would not mind one like this. That is if I had a bigger kitchen.


For those of you that have a small kitchen, how about putting a Lego table in your dining room?


You could then light up your dining room with your matching Lego lamp.


Want a unique conversation starter in your hallway? This Lego stair-case bannister could be just what you are looking for.


If you are looking for something spectacular in the office to wow you clients then you could do what this office did and use Lego as a room divider. Pretty amazing! In fact you can see the images from the big build here.


How about a fully functioning electronic wheelchair?


This Lego shelving might be something that I could use in my home office/craft room. I could even colour co-ordinate the Lego brick to match the colour scheme.

Believe it or not this is a fully working radiator made to look like Lego.

I think it is official…Lego is cool!