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Interiors

  • InBrand Collaborations, Home, Interiors

    Back Garden Renovation Progress

    The sun has finally got the memo that it’s Summer and apart from a few showers here and there, the weather is definitely looking much more brighter! This means that as well as throwing all my windows open at every opportunity and dusting off my summer wardrobe, my attention has been brought to looking at the gardens and wondering what the hell happened.

    When we first bought our house the front garden was beautiful, it was so well kept and full of amazing plants and flowers. But it was super high maintenance and we definitely let things slip! And then next thing we knew, it looked like an overgrown mess. Oops. So we have started doing some work out there which I will share soon.

    But today’s post is about the back garden which wasn’t so pretty. It’s very small sadly and was covered in super uneven patio slabs. Which were not child friendly at all. Like most families, our gardens are mainly used during the summer months only. And, though we are pretty good with the whole refreshing your home on a budget thing, I wasn’t really sure where to start when it came to the gardens. But after many hours on Pinterest looking at various ideas for small garden spaces, we decided in order to make best use of the space we would create some different zones. We made a start with the renovations out the back last summer and started by ripping out all the patio slabs and levelling the garden as much as possible. And then we created the following zones!

    Adult Space
    We decided to use CorTen steel edging to make a slightly raised seating area with cotswold stones. We put our garden corner sofa up here which I added some colour to with some outdoor cushions. In the afternoon it becomes a real sun trap and a lovely spot to sit and watch the kids play. It’s always good to get a bit of extra sunshine as its a great source of vitamin D which most of us are lacking! I’d also love to add a fire pit to this space so Josh and I can sit out there in the evenings when the kids have gone to bed and enjoy a nice cold gin!

    Play Space
    For the main garden area we opted for a LazyLawn. Artificial grass was definitely not Josh’s first choice but I managed to sway him by pushing my point that it would be ideal for the kids to be able to play without getting muddy. And it would mean we could enjoy the space all year round rather than just in the summer. I love that when I look out into the back garden during the cold and wet winter months that the grass still looks pristine. I also really enjoy being able to hoover it!

    Dining Space
    Eating al fresco is one of the simple pleasures in life. Both kids always eat so much better if we sit outside! We have a table and chairs set up on the artificial grass and we recently invested in a better BBQ. So I am planning to try and use it more during the week as well as at the weekends. I have been scouting out recipes to try and came across this great list of 33 types of chicken on the bbq which I am hoping to try out a few of!

    As well as these three zones we have also managed to squeeze in a small shed too! We’ve then created a little flower bed that runs along the house too. We made a great start last year but need to finish things off this year by painting the fences and shed, planting some more flowers, adding some festoon lights, replacing the gate and finishing the path off! So it’s still a bit of a work in progress but here is a few snaps so far!

    *Collaborative Post but all opinions and images are of course my own*

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  • InInteriors

    Kitchen & Dining Room Makeover

    When we first viewed our house back in October 2017, one of the first things we agreed was that if we were to buy the house, we’d want to change the layout downstairs. It originally had a large open plan living and dining room but we knew we would prefer a separate lounge and a kitchen diner instead. We moved in just before Christmas and lived with the existing kitchen for what felt like the longest few weeks ever. The kitchen wall cupboards were so shallow that our plates didn’t even fit in them!

    We started the renovation process almost a year ago now. It was a long and very hard couple of months but my god it has been SO worth it. I love the open plan kitchen and dining space we have created. And we spend the majority of our time in here these days! So I thought I should finally document how we got to this point including some before and afters. Let’s start with the ‘before’ shall we? The first photo is the original kitchen which we knocked the wall down and is now our dining area. The second photo is what was the dining area of the lounge / diner and we then built a wall and this space is now our kitchen!

    Josh did most of the work himself, bar things like plastering and fitting the worktops and doors. The first step was to rip out the existing kitchen. Annoyingly we couldn’t get a skip into either of our gardens. So we ended up dumping it all in the back garden then doing a million tip runs.

    Once the kitchen was out, we then had to rip out the old larder cupboard which was particularly stubborn! It was then time to rip down the wall between the old kitchen and dining space. I think Josh secretly enjoyed this part the most. Then the ceilings came down, the floors came up, the plumbing was done and we were left with what can only be described as total devastation. I remember shovelling piles of rubble out of the kitchen and wondering how an earth this was ever going to all come together!

    The next step (I think) was to build a new wall to separate the lounge. Josh did this and I remember I asked him ‘have you ever built a wall before?’ his response was ‘No never, it’ll be fine’. I think I just laughed at this point!! Once the wall was up, we had to put new ceiling boards up and then the plasterer came and worked his magic. Josh did all the electrics around this time too and put all the sockets and spotlights in. We then spent many late nights painting both the walls and ceilings ready for the kitchen to arrive!

    We bought our kitchen from Wren and I have to say, they were very good from start to finish. After much deliberation we chose a handle less gloss kitchen in the shade Pebble. This was very much out of my comfort zone as I had always loved more traditional style kitchens. But in the end we decided that for this style of house, a modern look would probably work better. For worktops we went for the luxury laminate in ‘Black Sparkle Gloss’. Josh and his Dad fitted the kitchen over a weekend. We sourced both the sink and tap ourselves as it worked out much cheaper. I was slightly hesitant when Josh suggested a black sink but I absolutely love it. It’s also super easy to keep clean!

    Next they then laid the laminate flooring. I would have loved tiles but to keep costs down we ended up getting this Albero Grey Oak laminate from Wickes. It was on offer when we got it so worked out super affordable. We’ve also run the same flooring right through the hallway, utility room and downstairs loo too.

    I always knew I wanted subway tiles in the new kitchen. I had my heart set on bevelled ones but Josh was adamant flat would work better. As he was going to be fitting them, I let him choose in the end! They were also from Wickes and on offer. But we had a bit of a nightmare with them when the order arrived lots of them were smashed! They were pretty good about it though and replaced them fairly promptly. We paired the subway tiles with a dark grey grout and I really love how they look together.

    For appliances we decided not to get an integral fridge freezer as we already had one and it worked out quite pricey once you’d added the cupboard in too. We did however get an integral dishwasher included with our kitchen price so that was a bonus. We kept our old oven as it was fairly new still and bought a new induction hob and hood from AO.com.

    Moving onto the dining room end, firstly we had a radiator put in under the window when the central heating was replaced. We also decided not to replace the door into the dining room end from the hallway but instead to have it as just an opening instead to save space. The door into the utility room was replaced with an oak effect one from Magnet.

    Our dining table was a sale bargain from Next, it is the Bronx light range (this is similar). It seats 6 but also extends to seat 8 which is so handy from when we are entertaining. The white eames style chairs were a pack of 6 from Amazon. These ones are similar. I love the contrast between the wood table and the plastic chairs, it gives a real Scandinavian feel to our dining space. The galvanised tray on the table is also from Next.

    Our white chest of drawers was originally Josh’s grandparents as we have had it a few years. We gave it a new lease of life with a lick of white paint and some super cheap new handles from IKEA. It holds all our place mats and table cloths and is super handy to have in there for extra storage. The print above is from Desenio and was part of a previous collaboration with them.

    Last but not least, the two yellow chairs are from Homesense. They were a total impulse purchase. Originally we thought we might have had enough space for a small sofa against this wall but quickly realised this wouldn’t work. Josh then fell in love with these yellow chairs and we ended up squeezing them into our car somehow. We actually use them all the time and they are seriously comfy! They are the perfect finishing touch to our main family room.

    And I think that’s it! If I have forgotten to mention where anything in these photos is from and you’d like to know then please just ask!! We absolutely adore this room and I am so proud of what we (mainly Josh) has managed to achieve with this space. If I was doing it again, then I would have gone for the integrated fridge freezer as ours has now broken! I also may not have gone for the gloss style kitchen after all, but I’ll just have to save my navy shaker style kitchen dreams for our next house!

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  • InInteriors

    Living Room Makeover

    I am super excited to finally be sharing the first interiors related post since we bought our first home last December! We started renovations at the beginning of the year and I have been desperate to share some of the transformations we have completed ever since. At the bottom of the post I have included where everything is from and provided links where possible but some of the bits are old season now so no longer available online.

    So first up is our living room makeover! I suppose we should start with a couple of ‘before’ photos…

    This room is at the front of the house and has a huge window overlooking the front garden which lets in SO much light. When we bought the house it was an open plan living room / dining room. We knew straight away that we wanted to change the layout of the downstairs to make the space work better for our family. So we have put up a wall to separate the living room off and we then knocked down the wall between what was the dining area and kitchen to make it one big open plan room. I am so glad we did this as I really think it maximises the space and I personally love having a separate living room. It’s much more cosy!

    As well as putting up the wall we also ripped down the old tiled ceilings throughout the downstairs and replaced them with lovely smooth plastered ones. We then painted most of the walls in the living room powder grey apart from our feature navy wall which is in the shade admiral. All of the paint we have used in the house has been from Wickes’ own brand and the quality has been fantastic!

    We haven’t got around to changing the carpet yet so I think that’ll be a job for the new year. I’d like to change it to laminate to match the rest of the downstairs and get a large rug but Josh is quite keen to keep carpet in the living area. I’m also still on the hunt for the perfect pair of navy curtains. I bought some when we first decorated but once I hung them I realised they were the wrong shade of navy so quickly took them down and returned them.

    We spent a lot of time contemplating what to do with the fireplace in this room. As it is no longer central we even considered pulling the whole thing out. But in the end to save costs, we decided to just freshen it up with a lick of white paint and then Josh made a deeper top for it too. We may change it properly at some point in the future but for now i’m really pleased with how it’s turned out.

    In our living room at our old house we had quite a few copper bits and pieces so we decided to stick with that theme in this house too. I think the copper accents compliment the navy really well and they break up the grey theme that runs throughout the whole house too.

    Our old sofas sadly didn’t work in this room at all as they were just too large. So we sold them and have bought a corner sofa and armchair instead. I’d never considered a corner sofa before but when we went to Center Parcs last Christmas there was one in our lodge and we both said how nice it was to be able to sit together and both have space to put your feet up! So when we realised we needed to buy new, it was a no brainer to get a corner suite this time.

    The TV is mounted on the wall just like we had before and we have a lovely solid wood sideboard that we inherited from Josh’s parents which sits nicely underneath. Our DVD player and sky box sit on top of it and all of our DVDs fit perfectly into the cupboards too. I haven’t shown this in the photos as I am planning on giving it a new lease of life with a fresh coat of paint and some new handles very soon.

    The final finishing touches to this room are definitely the beautiful pair of copper frames from Desenio. It took us forever to decide what to put on this bit of wall behind the arm chair. Once we had decided we wanted some prints we then spent a whole evening looking at all the amazing posters that Desenio has to offer. I’m pretty sure we looked at every single one! There was so many we loved but we were really struggling to agree on two together so in the end we chose a set from the ‘perfect pair’ section. I am so pleased with them, the quality is amazing and I really think these posters complete the room!

    The code “lifewithmrslee” gives 25% off posters* on all of our sites between October 2nd and 4th. 
    *Except for frames and  handpicked-/collaboration posters*

    Copper Frames – Desenio

    Hummingbird Poster – Desenio

    Ocean Poster – Desenio

    Breathe Poster – Desenio

    White Square Mirror – IKEA

    Armchair & Corner Sofa in Graphite (They don’t do ours anymore but this is similar) – DFS 

    Pink & Grey Fluffy & Plain Grey Cushions – Matalan

    Spotty Cushions & Dark Navy Cushion – Sainsburys

    Copper Clock – Primark

    Grey Round Side Table – Next

    Copper Lamp – Sainsburys

    Mini Faux Plant – IKEA

    Plant In White Pot – Tesco

    Black & Copper Candles – IKEA

    Light Up L (Similar) – Next

    Plant In Pink Pot – Sainsburys

    Grey Throw – Home Sense

    Pom Pom Basket – Next

    Sputnik Copper Light Fitting – Marks & Spencer

    Grey Ribba Frames – IKEA

    Jelly House Print – Cheryl Rawlings

    Happily Ever After Print – The Old English Print Company

    Photos in grey frames taken by Charlotte Rawles Photography

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