7 articles Tag decorating

Not confident with a paint brush? 5 simple ways to add colour to your bedroom

From dull décor to boring beds, our bedrooms can look drab pretty quickly. Clothes on the floor,
tired old bedding, dust, scratched and scuffed walls, the list goes on. If you wanted to give your
bedroom décor a bit of a boost, you could try injecting a little colour here and there. But if you’re
not confident with a paintbrush, then the idea of stripping walls and making it look professional can seem a little daunting.

Even if you’ve recently had a decorator do all the hard work for you and you’ve even had new
skirting boards installed – check out the skirtings r us website for more information – if your room is lacking personality then it can leave you feeling a bit deflated.

But don’t worry! Did you know there are ways you can add colour without picking up a paintbrush? Read on for 5 simple ways to achieve a pop of colour.

Big colourful art

If you live in rented accommodation and painting just isn’t permitted, then hanging a piece of big, colourful art will certainly draw attention for all the right reasons. Not only can you select something that’s big and bold but also something that reflects your personality and really puts a stamp on the property without risking your deposit.

Pillows and throws

With the colder weather now upon us, we’re looking for ways to make our bedrooms extra cosy and comfortable and there’s no easier way than treating yourself to a new pillow, cushion and throw – or three! Choosing vibrant, even clashing colours will really give your room a “pop” effect as well as providing the perfect place to hibernate and binge on all those TV box sets.

Colourful curtains and beautiful blinds

Introducing a set of curtains to any room, makes it look “finished”. They’ll add an extra layer of style and comfort to your bedroom too, so they’re definitely worth investing in. They also serve as an easy way of introducing colour, particularly if the current colours of your room are muted. If you wanted something really eye catching then you could hang two different colours! If you prefer blinds, then you’re in luck – any good blind stockist will have something to suit your colourful tastes and budget.

A rug

Who says you should neglect the floor? Dragging yourself out of bed most mornings will be a little better if the first thing your feet land on is a thick, soft rug. You can buy these in a range of colours, styles and textures so you can really get something that compliments your style.

Upscale your hardware and accessories

This might sound a lot harder than it is! By hardware, I mean things like door handles, the knobs on your wardrobe or bedside table – all these things can be replaced with something bright and vibrant. They’re simple to install and don’t even have to be permanent; you can swap them back again if your taste changes.

Games To Play If You Love To Decorate

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There seems to be something about playing with paint colours and placing furniture which fascinates us as people. We love to create designs and order things in a new and exciting way. If you love to play around with interior design then here are some of the best things you can play!

The Fictional Furnishings Quiz

If you think you know Monica’s apartment from top to bottom or you think you could easily recreate hogwarts from memory then this quiz is perfect for you. You’ll have a piece of fictional furniture appear on the screen and you need to work out what show or film it is from, it’s the perfect way to kill time and relax in the evening.

The Sims 3

There’s nothing quite like using the motherlode cheat on Sims and then spending the next five days creating the perfect mansion from top to bottom. Whether you decide to recreate your own house or build the palace from your favourite Disney movie: it’s super relaxing, fun and you can really go as crazy as you like! You could create a castle with 4 floors and even make a home cinema if you want to, it’s all about being creative and taking your time to make the most fun house you possibly can. Just remember to put a ladder on the side of your pool!

Harvest Moon: Animal Parade

If you are a fan of the Facebook favourite Farmville, then harvest moon will be the perfect addition to your game collection. The whole idea of this game is to run your own farm successfully, get married and then build your home together from scratch. It’s the perfect way to spend your time and is seriously addictive.

Design This Home

If you are looking at decorating your house in the next few months you can actually use this app as a fun way to test what things you want and how you’d like it to look. You can create a virtual version of your own house and have fun playing around with colours, furniture and fittings. You can then use this as a guide for your renovation project and it saves you having to draw it out!

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Animal crossing is one of those games which makes you feel happy and relaxed. It’s comforting and super fun to play on in the evenings. Your task is to look after a small village, build up your home, pay a mortgage and even plants flowers outside. It’s the ultimate game for anyone who loves more chilled out games and would rather run around catching butterflies than race cars.

Theme Park

If you fancy a different kind of design, one of the most iconic games of all time is theme park. As the owner of a piece of land you will have the task of adding tides, restaurants and facilities, hiring staff and even building roller coasters from scratch. It is supper addictive and will keep you occupied for hours and hours!

EcoAir Dehumidfier (Review)

When we moved into our current property, we had an inkling that it may have had an issue with damp because although the walls and ceilings were fairly newly painted, there was a wallpapered feature wall in the main bedroom and it was bubbling quite badly in one corner. However, we loved so many things about the house and the location that we decided we’d just deal with the damp as and when it became a problem for us…which was basically six months after moving in!

We spent the best part of two winters bleaching the walls and ceilings when the mould grew through and did our best to keep the rooms well aired; we didn’t dry washing on the radiators and kept the windows on vent all year round but it was starting to feel like a bit of a battle. The landlady did her best to help as well, paying to have an extractor vent installed in the bathroom and eventually having a whole new roof on the house! Husband and I also spent a week treating the walls and ceilings with a special mould-resistant paint and a paint which contained volcanic ash to stop cold spots, but none of this would be any good if we didn’t tackle the condensation problem. EcoAir DD-3 Classic dehumidifier

In stepped the EcoAir DD3 dehumidifier. EcoAir sent it to us to try out and I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am that they did. The main time that we experience condensation on the walls and windows is in the morning and leaving it to soak into the walls throughout the day was obviously causing the mould to grow. Now, we put the EcoAir on as soon as we get up and leave it on a 2 hour cycle (or sometimes a 4 hour cycle when the condensation looks particularly bad) and we’ve been measuring how much water we collect each time. The results are genuinely mindblowing.

On a 2 hour cycle, we collect 500ml of water and on a 4 hour cycle, we colect around 850ml of water. That’s half a litre to almost a litre of water PER DAY which isn’t soaking into our walls.

When I first emptied the collection tray out, I was properly astounded by just how much water was in there and I won’t lie, I’m just as impressed every single day. So far, between the treatments we’ve given the walls and the dehumidifier working so hard, we’ve had almost three months of being completely mould-free, which is a HUGE deal for us. We were starting to worry about the effects that it may be having on our health and were really considering our options in terms of whether continuing to live in this house was viable, but this has much such a huge difference that it no longer even feels like an issue.

Damp Before and After

One thing we loved about the EcoAir DD3 is that it’s so easy to use. The collection tray just slots in and out and it even has an emptying spout on the bottom to make it even easier to empty. It also comes with a hose which you could run into a plughole and leave on constant if you had a massive damp problem to deal with. Also, and I’m sure this isn’t a feature that EcoAir promote, the air it blows out is slightly warm, so if you were to run it for an hour before you got in bed on a winter night, you’d make the room feel warmer, too!

I know it seems like bloggers are often effusive in their praise when they’ve been sent something for a review, but I’m being totally honest about the fact that it’s made such a big difference to our lives, and I would honestly recommend it to anyone who was battling against damp. It’s small enough not to feel like it takes up too much space, it’s easy to use, easy to empty, and works BRILLIANTLY. If I had one minor criticism, it would be that it’s ever so slightly noisy, but given the fact that I never run it when I’m in the room, that really is a minor issue.

Do let me know if you have any questions about the EcoAir DD3, do leave me a comment below or hit me up on social media.

(Affiliate link)

My Top DIY Tips

Before we begin, I should probably confess that I am by NO means a DIY expert. By the same token, we’ve been doing a fair bit of decorating and DIY recently as we had a few bits in the house that needed doing and our landlady asked us to do them. Between painting, damp-proofing, repairs and improvements – if I’m doing big projects that involve the use of plastics, I used Simply Plastics, it’s been a real baptism of fire as it’s years since I’ve done anything like this, and I was probably a kid helping my parents the last time I did any of it. Jumping in at the deep end means that we’ve learned a few things along the way so I thought I’d share some of my pearls of wisdom with you:

It Doesn’t Matter How Careful You Are, Your Clothes Will Get Dirty

You can be the neatest, most careful painter and DIY-er on the planet but there’s still a better than average chance that you’ll end up getting SOMETHING on your clothes! Wearing old clothes for decorating in is all well and good, but using dedicated workwear if you have a big renovation project to complete is a really good idea as not only will you not mind if you get it dirty, you’ll also feel more in the DIY mood if you’re all kitted out. Take a look at the Engelbert Strauss’s website for some great options.

It Can Make or Break a Relationship

Decorating is one of those things which can be really fun and a great exercise in teamwork but it can also be massively stressful and a source of conflict for many couples. Husband and I are lucky enough to be really good at working together as a team when we’re doing practical things like decorating or furniture building, but it has also caused some fairly big rows in the past, so be prepared for potential tiffs! When doing DIY make sure you prepare a skip for all of your un wanted waste. Check out this skip hire company in benfleet for more information on quality skips.

It Might Not Always Go To Plan

Having a vision of what things will look like is all well and good but tempering your expectations will do you a favour in the long run, rather than allowing yourself to be disappointed if it doesn’t go your way. Husband and I recently decorated our bedroom and I had my heart set on a wallpapered feature wall, only to realise that the wall was just too damp to hang paper on. Although we’ve treated the damp and painted over it, it’s still pointless hanging paper which could ultimately be ruined but that didn’t change the fact that I was VERY disappointed for a while!

Have you learned something from a renovation project recently? Do leave me a comment below as I’d love to hear about it!

Making Design Choices that Last

studleyOne of the things that Husband and I loved about the house we’re living in now is that our landlady is happy for us to decorate. As with most rental properties, obviously we have a “within reason” guideline, so painting the walls black is a no-no and we’re not permitted to make any major structural changes, but other than that we have fairly free reign. When you rent rather than own, it’s wise to make choices that will last, which means avoiding ‘trends‘ or things which will seem passe by the end of the year.

Obviously, as with clothes, if there’s a particular trend which is big at that time, there will be a LOT of that in the shops – remember a few years ago when metallic furniture was all the rage and it was nigh-on impossible to find a Welsh dresser which hadn’t been gilded?! For us, it’s all about finding balance – items of furniture which are high quality and classic in their design, so that they stand the test of time.

Another thing to consider is lighting – lighting can change the whole look of a room and is so easy to add to. Here’s that the interior design specialists from Baytree Interiors had to say about lighting:

“Strategically placed lighting is a simple yet effective way to change the ambience in a room with minimal effort. Pendant lights and chandeliers are a great choice when it comes to lighting, as are filament bulbs which provide a warm glow with a vintage look. With a range of different styles available from industrial to vintage and modern variants, pendant lights can suit any theme.”

As much as we’d love to re-decorate our houses every time the trends change, what’s far more practical is choosing a style which can be amended if your tastes change. Opting for furniture in neutral colours and classic shapes and then accenting them with cushions, place mats or storage inserts in different colours is a far more practical (and let’s face it, CHEAPER) way to freshen up the look of our homes.

It’s also a lot better for the environment to opt for furniture which has been well-made. Yes, going to a massive warehouse-style shop and picking up a bargain may seem great but that furniture rarely lasts longer than a year, will add to landfill once it’s thrown away and has probably used lots of carbon-heavy processes to be made. Choosing real wood furniture which has been made by craftspeople is by far the better choice.

The Dulux Kids’ Bedroom Project

One thing that Husband and I are really adamant about is that kids should be allowed to have opinions and preferences, and should be given the time and space to express themselves exactly as they’d like to. A few weeks ago, Sausage made a passing comment about how cool it would be if she was allowed to have pink hair and after a little bit of discussion between Husband and I we told her that we had no major objections…and then this happened:

Pink Hair, Don't Care!

It’s a dip-dye which means that it’s easy enough to trim the bottom few inches of her hair off once she’s back to the daily grind, and it’s made her feel really special and grown-up, being allowed to have such wacky hair!

By the same token, we think that kids should have a say in their surroundings too. I’m not talking about letting them choose the wallpaper for the living room, but their own bedroms should be a place where they feel a bit of ownership, which is why I love the new project by Dulux, getting kids involved in the design on of their rooms. The Dulux Kids’ Bedroom Summer Holiday Workbook is a downloadable .pdf which allows kids to gather and record their colour preferences, inspirations and input into the design of their own rooms, so that Mum and Dad can create a space which the kids feel truly connected to.

Dulux Kids Workbook

Dulux have conducted a load of research which shows that kids really value being part of the decorating process:

An overwhelming majority of kids (92%) would spend more time playing in their room and doing their homework if they have a say in how it’s decorated.

Research commissioned by leading paint brand Dulux found a whopping number of children value being part of the decorating process, with the majority saying it was the second most important thing they had ever done – even more important to them than their first day at school or losing their first tooth.

The study of 2,000 families shows that children also found decorating with their parents a really positive experience, with 65 per cent saying they felt happy and 58 per cent excited at the prospect of helping mum and dad.

Additionally, parents commented that decorating together helped to increase their child’s sense of ownership, pride and opportunity for creative expression. Some parents said it even ensured rooms were tidier, because they wanted to show it off to their friends and family.

Surprisingly, however, whilst an indisputable 92 per cent of parents believe that decorating their child’s room is important, the study found that only a QUARTER of parents actually consulted their kids or involved them in the process.

Dulux offers a whole range of paints which are perfect for decorating a kids’ room – Dulux’s Endurance+ range is the perfect paint for a kid’s bedroom makeover – it’s 20 times stronger than normal emulsion, so when you’re tackling sticky fingers and mucky paws it’s a great solution, allowing you to wipe away the stain and not the paint underneath, meaning your walls stay as fresh as the day you painted them!

We’ll definitely be using the Dulux workbook when we get around to decorating the girls’ room and I can’t wait to see what crazy ideas they come up with. They’re sharing a room at the moment but have very distinct little personalities, so there’s a good chance we’ll end up with a room completely split down the middle, with one colour on one side and a completely different colour on the other! We’ll be sure to share the results with you when it happens.

For more info on Dulux and their ranges, you can tweet them on Twitter using their handle, @DuluxUK plus the hashtag #KidsBedroom

Guest Post – 5 Easy Fondant Icing Recipes

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Fondant icing is one of the most important ingredients for any cake maker. You can use it to cover a cake or make models and decorations with it. Its flexibility means that you can create whatever you can imagine, and it’s also very easy to work with which means even the novice sugar-crafter can begin to tackle projects with it. For lots of beautiful fondant icing recipes, have a look here >> http://www.renshawbaking.com/fondant-icing.html

To get you started here are five easy fondant icing recipes that don’t require you to be an expert.

  1. Rainbow Heart Cake. If you want to get to grips with using fondant icing to decorate a cake and make something that’s beautiful but relatively simple then try this Rainbow Heart Cake. This is perfect for a loved one’s birthday. This takes a simple sponge cake and covers it with brilliant white fondant icing, which will help you get used to covering a cake smoothly, and then uses simple multi-coloured hearts to decorate. These can be made by hand or with a cutter and make a sweet romantic decoration.
  2. Bobble Hat Cupcakes. You don’t have to be making a fully-fledged cake to use fondant icing. It’s equally useful for creating cute cupcakes like these. These bobble hat cupcakes are perfect now that the days have turned colder. Using different coloured fondant icing makes for an eye-catching display on your cake tray and is sure to entice people to take a bite.
  3. Eyeball Cake Pops. Fondant icing can also be used for decorative flourishes as opposed to an all over cake covering. With Halloween just around the corner these creepy eyeball cake pops are just the thing for a fancy dress party or to give out to trick or treaters who come knocking.
  4. Fondant Flowers. If you’re making a wedding cake then a perfect topper is a beautiful bouquet of fondant icing roses. These take a bit of skill and time to get right but when you do they look incredible. You can get petal cutters to help with accuracy or go totally freehand depending on your confidence levels.
  5. Animals. One of the best attributes of fondant icing is its incredible malleability. This makes it ideal for creating all kinds of decorations and one of the most appealing, and easiest, are little animals. Because fondant icing is available in a multitude of colours you can quickly make fondant pigs, penguins, cats or whatever you want.