Wednesday, 28 December 2011

progress at last...

I am finally able to post some before and after photos!  The sofa for the kitchen finally arrived at the start of December but I was due to go offshore the next day for a week so didn't have a chance to take shots for a post.  I have then been in London for a week and spent Christmas in Glasgow with my sister.  So have just taken these today.  Let me know what you think...

Kitchen Before and After

What I did - Kitchen
Painted the kitchen cabinets and replaced the handles (Paint - Night Jewels 3 from Dulux and handles from Ikea)
Painted the tiles white (Ronseal tile paint in white gloss)
Made dark grey spotty curtains to hide the recycling and bins
Purchased white gloss table and four chairs (Vertigo Interiors)
Purchase yellow fabric corner sofa (Instyle Furniture)
Installed 42" LED TV on far wall
Painted walls white (were magnolia)
Removed curtain rail

New Yellow Sofa

New Dining Table

So that's the kitchen finished until I have enough money to replace it completely.

I have also painted the dining room.  It's not quite finished yet, still another coat of eggshell to go on the woodwork but I can share a photo so you can see...

Dining Room Before and After
What I did - Dining Room
Sanded down woodwork
Removed plug socket from middle of wall and patched over (visible in before photo above sideboard)
Painted walls (Fired Earth - Wild Olive)

I absolutely love the colour of the walls, I am so pleased with it.  It's exactly what I wanted.  The shelves have a slight afternoon tea theme with my cake stand and tea trios and teapot.  I have also displayed quirky images from a photography project I did on the 7 deadly sins.  The cow skull as featured in a previous post looks brilliant up on the wall.

Finally just wanted to share a photo of my cat Pickle who is adorable - such a little cutie.


Hope you have all had a lovely Christmas and all the best for 2012. XXX

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Call of The Stag

I really wanted some artwork for in my dining room which wasn't my own photos as I already have too many of them up in the house.  I was browsing on Pinterest and stumbled upon the following image while searching for resin deer heads!!  I absolutely loved it and followed the link to a Flickr page.  The page belonged to Rob Cox who has some amazing wildlife shots.  I got in touch with him and enquired how much it would be to purchase a copy of his image, I also alerted him to the fact that his images were available to be downloaded by anyone on Flickr and suggested he should change his settings.  As a thank you he gave me a copy of the image for nothing.  I have since had it put on a 20" by 40" wide canvas and its waiting to go up in the dining room.
Copyright Rob Cox Photography
I love it and it tones in really well with the olive green paint I have chosen for the dining room.  Can't wait to get it up on the wall.  Big thank you to Rob!!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Amoooosing Birthday Present :-)

Again so sorry its been so long between blogs.  November has been so busy for me and I have been all over the place for work and play so haven't had much time to do anything in the house.  However, this weekend I am home and have got cracking again...

Unfortunately, I heard that my yellow sofa for the kitchen has been delayed due to a problem at the mill with the fabric.  It should have been here a couple of weeks ago but it won't be arriving now until December :-( which is rubbish!! It better be worth the wait. I want to get ONE room finished so I can do an actual before and after photo.

I ordered my paint for the dining room from Fired Earth online as my local B&Q didn't stock the colour.  Its Wild Olive which is part of the Kevin McCloud range which I love.  It's the first time I have ever used what I would class as "designer paint" so will be interesting to see if I think it's any better!!  I've done one coat so far and I am loving it.  Can't wait to get it finished and get the room accessorised.

It was my birthday at the start of November and I got an amazing present.  It's from a shop in Milton of Crathes called Rustiques (a nice interiors shop with loads of gorgeous bits and bobs).  I have been searching for the perfect animal head for in the house but hadn't found anything yet.  In Rustiques I saw a nickel cast cow skull.  I loved it but its was quite expensive so I didn't buy it there and then.  Anyway, I got it for my birthday :-)  It will be taking pride of place on the dining room wall and I can't wait to get it up there!  Just so you know it's a cast of an ethically sourced cow skull.

Nickel Cow Skull
FYI - off out for dinner tonight hence the outfit!  It's my new top and skirt from a recent person shopping experience at Frasers in Glasgow - both Mint Velvet.  Gorgeous brand I had not heard of until last week.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

it's a stitch up

Sorry its been a while since my last blog.  I have been pretty busy and haven't had all that much to share in terms of progress with the house.  I am finding the slow progress frustrating!!! Just want everything perfect NOW!

Anyway, so I have been down in Glasgow visiting my sister and I went to a couple of fabric shops.

As soon as I walked in I saw a muted tartan fabric which was just gorgeous.  I loved it.  I ended up buying 1/2 a metre of it with a plan to make a couple of cushions for the chairs at either end of my dining room table.  I've just finished one cushion and am delighted with it.  Such a sense of achievement!!  I'm not an amazing seamstress but am really pleased with how its turned out.

Home made cushion (chair from Annie Mo's)
Here are some photos of the process.  I bought 1/2 metre of fabric, two cushions, some olive green thread and two 12" green zips.

Cushion making...
I also bought a wax covered GREY and white spotty fabric for my kitchen table and also some charcoal GREY spotty fabric for making little curtain for hiding my recycling.

Not the best photos but you get the idea...
I want to make a box pelmet (or get a joiner to) for the kitchen window and cover it in the charcoal GREY fabric.  My yellow sofa should be arriving in a matter of days so will be posting complete before and after photos of the kitchen very soon.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

own a colour

Today I got an e-mail from my sister saying that she had donated to charity to name a paint colour after me as part of Dulux's own a colour campaign for Unicef.  I think it's really thoughtful of her and really neat.

the grey house paint :-)

"This is my sister's favourite colour and the inspiration for her new interiors blog documenting the transformation of her new house"

Today I had a few trips to B&Q trying to decide on the paint colour for the dining this space.

Dining Room

Tuesday, 27 September 2011


My sister has been raving about Pinterest for ages and I have finally joined.  Slowly building up my ideas for the rooms in the house.  Loving it so far.  You can check out my pinterest page here...

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

let there be light

I have a slight obsession with lights and mirrors.  I have loads of mirrors around the house and also lots of fancy light fittings.  Here are some of them...

Lounge Mirror and Chandelier
The lounge is yet to be decorated (I have dark grey plans...) but it has one of my favourite mirrors and light fittings.  I love the ceiling rose and deep cornicing in this room.  The mirror is quite large and really suits the size of the room.  I got it from Tree House Interiors a couples of years ago.  I used to live around the corner from Tree House Interiors and actually carried this mirror back myself with a recently operated on elbow....not the smartest move but I had to have it!  The chandelier is from Litecraft in Glasgow, it's the only one I have which is very traditional looking but I love it.  The room could probably take a larger light fitting (this is one from my flat) so I may upgrade sometime soon...

Lounge Chandelier

Currently on the wall in my hall this mirror from Litecraft is another favourite.  Its quite small but very chunky.  I plan to put this in the WC once it has been done up.

Chunky Silver Mirror from Litecraft
I also love my mirror which is in the kitchen and is from Alexanders in Aberdeen.

Sun inspired mirror from Alexanders
The final mirror I wanted to include was actually a mirror which my mum picked up from outside someone's house about 20 years ago - I can't believe someone was throwing it out.  We used to have this in the bathroom in our family home and I now have it in my hall.  I absolutely love it and it has great sentimental value to me.  Reflected in the mirror is the leaded stain glass of the vestibule door.

One person's trash is another's treasure
A few more light fittings...

I got these two lights from Annie Mo's in Aberdeen.  Annie Mo's is one of my favourite furniture shops and I have a lot of pieces from there - you will see me talk about it a lot!  These lights will eventually be going up in the hall.  I love the leaf detail on the edge.

Lights from Annie Mo's
I think an entrance hall should be grand and therefore I wanted a statement light fitting for my new house hallway. I went off down to Glasgow to find something suitable.  I came straight home and fitted it myself.  There are over a 100 glass balls and shapes to took a while.  But I absolutely love it.  I bought this from House of Sher in Glasgow but it is also available in Litecraft.

Entrance hall light
Finally, the light from the dining room, which I have a smaller version of in the master bedroom.  This light is again from Litecraft in Glasgow.  I really like this one as it is a bit of a modern take on the traditional chandelier.

Dining room light fitting
I recently ordered a corner sofa for in the kitchen, and have just had a 46" LED tv installed which is great for me while I am cooking.  I will post some photos of the finished kitchen once the sofa arrives - around the start of November.

The next room I will be tackling will either be the dining room or the lounge.....will keep you posted.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

kitchen accessories

Some of the things I have bought for in the kitchen...

I absolutely love Cornkist Ceramics - the fact they are all made in Aberdeenshire (and by one of my friends wives!) makes it even better.  I have four large old sweet shop jars which used to belong to my mum.  They remind me of when I used to go in to our local sweet shop and order a 1/4 of sports mixtures.  I ordered "Onion" and "Pickle" jar labels to keep the cats food and have also just placed and order for "Pasta" and "Basmati Rice" for the remaining two jars.  I love them, they are so cute.  I also ordered a personalised cake stand for the birth of my niece which was also from Cornkist.  Looking forward to placing another order soon...

My new jar labels and Pickle enjoying some food :-)

I am loving all the plays on the old world war II posters.  I couldn't resist getting this for my kitchen as the colour scheme is grey, white and yellow.  The poster is from Milly Bee and the frame is from Ikea.

Keep Calm and Eat (Madeira) Cake
I bought myself a new silver mirror for on the wall from an interiors shop in Aberdeen.  The sunflowers are from Country Baskets in Glasgow.

Sun inspired spiral mirror
I ordered a table and 4 chairs from Vertigo Interiors.  A white gloss round table and 4 tulip chairs with charcoal grey cushions in the style of Saarinen by KnollStudio.  Here is Pickle relaxing on one of the chairs...I'm quite impressed with the quality of them and they look really good in the kitchen.

Pickle relaxing...
That's it for today....more coming soon.

inside out

I think its important that the outside of your house looks as good as possible.  I have a lot of work to do to my gardens but one of the first things I did once I moved in was paint the front door.  It was a wishy washy pale blue colour which was not great.  The colour I went for was grey (shock). It is Night Jewels 2 by Dulux - in an exterior gloss for wood and metal.  I also ordered new door furniture from Door Furniture Direct.  Everything I ordered arrived quickly and they refunded extra items with no issues.  I'd definitely recommend them.  Everything I bought for the front door is quite traditional.  I love original features and where possible will buy items in keeping with the age of the house.

New door handle and letter box from Door Furniture Direct
I stripped the door back to bare wood as far as possible using a heat gun and as a last resort Nitromors (hate the stuff!).  I did one coat of primer in dark grey and then two coats of gloss top coat.  I have since spoken to a friend who is a painter and decorator and he says it is not worthwhile stripping right back to the bare wood - as long as there is no loose or faking paint.  Wish I had spoken to him before doing the door!

At the front of the house there are iron railings.  The integrity of them was intact but they had several layers of thick black paint on them which was flaking and rusting badly.  After speaking to several companies and researching online I decided to pay to get them soda blasted.  The company I used was Soda Blast and they had to travel up from Edinburgh.  They were brilliant and the result was all the railing completely stripped back.  They look fantastic now and all the detail is back which was lost under layers of old paint.  I have since painted with a red oxide paint to protect and prevent rust and one coat of mirror black gloss.  This really needs another coat of gloss but will have to wait until next summer as the weather is too unreliable now.

Railings painted mirror gloss black
There is so much work to do in the back garden but the front of the house is looking a bit more respectable now...

Monday, 12 September 2011

moving day

Moving date was 20th of June so naturally I started packing about 1 month in advance and trying to have a clear out at the same time :-)  I didn't plan things particularly well and ended up going on a holiday to NYC for a week prior to moving day.  It was my first visit to New York, and in fact the USA and I had a brilliant holiday.  This is one of my favourite snaps. 

Manhattan at night as viewed from Brooklyn

Anyway, back to interiors...Moving day arrived and luckily it was sunny (always a gamble in Aberdeen) so no rain wrecking all my things!  I decided to save a bit of money and do the moving myself - along with several happy helper friends!  Once again I hired a van from Low Cost Van Hire on Constitution Street.  I have used them several times now and find them really reasonable.  The move all in all went well, I got the keys at 11am and by 4.30pm had finished unloading everything and I was able to return the van.  Then the cleaning and unpacking began.

As I said in my first blog the house is over three levels.

Entering on the ground floor...

Downstairs via the mezzanine level....

To the basement level...

From ground floor up to the first floor...

Luckily the house had been rented prior to us purchasing it so everything (except the bathroom) was painted magnolia.  However, its my personal belief that magnolia is the devil and anyone who chooses to paint it has no style or taste.  BUT its inoffensive to a degree (although I won't be able to abide it long term).

The first room we decided to tackle was the kitchen (mainly because I found the cupboards particularly grim and because I spend a reasonable amount of time in this room)....I will post some of the after photos in my next blog along with showing you my purchases and what I have done.

Kitchen (Before) - Basement Level

welcome to my blog

I have recently bought my first house together - a 4 bedroom, 3 public room house over three floors.  I absolutely love it and along with my two cats Onion (6) and Pickle (1) have settled in well.  There is loads to do and I will be tackling it bit by bit.  My sister Sarah has started her own blog and suggested I do the same to showcase the changes to the house and my ideas.  I absolutely LOVE grey and will be incorporating it throughout the house, hence my blog title.  My favourite interior magazine is Livingetc which definately best reflects my taste.  I currently have around 30 magazines stacked beside my bed all tabbed with my favourite bits and bobs.

Before I moved in I created an electronic mood board for each room and began planning colour schemes and purchases - I absolutely love interiors!  I have lived in the house for over 2 months now and my plans have adjusted slightly but for the most part remain the same.

My next post will include some "before" photos and I will start showing you some of the changes I have made so far :-)  Hope you enjoy...