Paint everything…

Yesterday I attended an Annie Sloan workshop with a local small business called La di da Interiors in Andover, Hampshire. 

I have used a lot of Annie Sloan paint in the past and love how easy it is to apply. I knew you could paint furniture without sanding it down and that you could paint fabric with it too, but I wasn’t prepared to learn just how versitile Annie Sloan chalk paint actually is. 

Did you know you can dye fabric with it? No? Well neither did I! And it is something I am ‘dying’ to try! 


Steph from La di da told us all about how and why Annie decided to embark on a new career in not only designing her very own paint, but creating various techniques too. 

So not only can you paint furniture using her paint, you can paint walls, cupboards, floors, plastic, metal, fabric and even leather, including shoes and handbags. I don’t think anything is out of bounds when it comes to chalk paint if I’m honest.

Upon arrival we were all give a plank of wood to practise different techniques with. Steph demonstrated how to get a smooth modern finish, a textured finish and wash effects. 


We admired all of the different brushes in the Annie Sloan range, which are worth the investment because they really do make the job easier.



We also had a look at paint charts and learnt how you can achieve any colour you like by mixing the paints together. 


Steph mixed a red and blue to create a gorgeous bold purple which we slapped on to our boards. After that had dried we applied a white wash over the top and everyone was astonished at how well the white covered the deep purple. We then used Annie Sloan’s own sand paper to distress the white, allowing the purple to show through. 

After we had experimented with different paint effects we had a look at wax and lacquer. 


There are four different types of Annie Sloan waxes. Clear wax, white wax, dark wax and black wax. Something I didn’t know was that you can make coloured waxes using the paint too. 


The lacquer is typically used as a faster way to protect the paint, or used on large areas such as a lot of kitchen cupboards. 

I had such a fun time at the workshop and was lucky enough to share the experience with some really lovely ladies. 

If you live locally to Hampshire and are interested in learning how to paint your own furniture then I can absolutely recommend booking a workshop with La di da Interiors.

You can also buy Annie Sloan paint and some amazing homeware and gifts on their website. If you are on Instagram you can follow them here.

Until next time 
Hayley x 

*This is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own. 

My Porch makeover…

A porch is a funny thing isn’t it… ours is what I’d describe as a door that leads to a small room that you most definitely could not swing a cat in, that leads to another door. The front door. 

My pet hate is when delivery drivers knock on the porch door instead of the front door because I’m very rarely able to hear it. When I do finally come to the door, they are stood there like a lemon. It’s like a porch is a sacred place and visitors aren’t really sure if they are allowed in it. 

I guess it does have its practicalities. You can store wellies in there, raincoats, umbrellas and most importantly it provides a dry shelter for what I like to call ‘happy post’! 

Our front door was looking a bit tired so I thought I’d treat it to some farrow and ball love and whilst I was there, spruce up the porch as well!

This is what our door looked like before… 


The porch was nothing but a magnolia spiders paradise and a couple of empty shelves. 

The middle of our door has a stained glass window, so when choosing a colour I had to take in to consideration the colours in the glass. 

I decided to go for farrow and ball Manor House Gray. 


But first I had to do the boring bit and sand and prime the door. 



Once the primer had dried I applied my first coat of grey. 


The door took three coats of paint… 

I’m thrilled with the end colour result but even more thrilled with my new bee knocker from The Door Knocker Company


Isn’t she gorgeous…


The Door Knocker Company have some amazing door knockers mostly made in the UK using traditional forging and casting methods. 
The designs date from the Georgian, Regency, Victorian and Edwardian periods and are complimented by contemporary, simple designs and cottage door knockers. 


Whilst I was waiting for door to dry I gave the porch a lick of paint and added some greenery. 




Let me know what you think in the comments or on my Instagram page @iamhayleystuart

Until next time 

Hayley x

100% Reversible ways to transform a room…

Living in a rented house means I am always on the hunt for new ideas of what I can do to improve our home without a) knocking down walls and building an extension and b) investing too much money in to the place. 

So here are a few ideas that are 100% reversible that I have either tried myself or quite fancy giving a go…

Paint

Paint is of course the most common way you can change the feel of a room without it costing a fortune. There is a lot you can do with paint, you can paint a whole room all one colour, do a feature wall or even an ombré effect if you’re feeling creative. All of which are reversible. 

Image Pinterest

Image Pinterest 

Wallpaper

Wallpaper is bang on trend at the moment (the more out there, the better) however, it does require quite a lot of effort to put up and then remove again if you have to move out or if you change your mind after a year or so. Having said that, if you are prepared to put the work in then go for it I say! 

Images Pinterest 

Self adhesive

If you love the look of wallpaper but are not prepared for all the labour that goes in to apply and removing it then you can get a removable self adhesive or wall murals to give the same effect. 

A company called Pixers is a website I highly recommend browsing if this is something that appeals to you. Not only do they do removable self adhesive for walls but they make it for all surfaces including, wardrobes, furniture and even fridges! You can transform a whole room with pixerstick and completely remove it all again when you want to. 

Check out my utility room that I transformed using pixerstick for all surfaces. 

Fabric wall

A really gorgeous way to transform a wall with very minimal damage is to create a feature with fabric. This looks particularly good behind a bed. 

Images Pinterest 

Another great way to utilise fabric is to buy or make large tapestries or wall hangings…

Images Pinterest 

Tile stickers

If you follow me on Instagram you have probably seen the changes I’ve been making to the kitchen recently. Up until a few months ago I didn’t really think we could make any improvements to our kitchen without doing anything structural. How wrong was I? The feeling when I discovered tile stickers was probably on par with how Christopher Columbus felt when he discovered America. What a revelation! My dad informed me they were in fact popular in the 70s so I’m worndering why he never shared this genius idea with me sooner!! For approximately £20 I managed to transform a wall in our kitchen using tile stickers and about an hour of my time! 


They have had steam on them and been wiped down regularly and haven’t budged! They are 100% removable as well but only when I decide! 

Feature wall

There are so many ways you can design a feature wall in your house. A gallery wall is probably the most popular but not the only way. If you don’t want to drill in to your wall then I recommend checking out command picture hanging strips. I used them for my feature wall in my kitchen I made from prints and wooden spoons. 

Woven baskets are a really on trend way to create a feature wall. 

Images Pinterest 

Another awesome way to make a feature wall is with plants. 

Images Pinterest. 
I hope I have inspired you to try something new. 

Until next time 

Hayley x 

Wine and dine in style…

I completed the makeover on our dining room back in December and we are yet to have anyone over to entertain. A waste, I know! 

A seriously cool homeware company called Also Home contacted me recently and asked me to review a few items from their new range of black dinnerware. 

Also Home is a stylish lifestyle brand created by Anna Smith that has been born out of years of travel and sourcing all over the world. 

All of their wonderful products are of a high quality, are ethically sourced and often hand crafted. They are also influenced by Scandinavian and Japanese design.

I received the Black woven bamboo tray, which is ridiculously versatile. It’s bigger than I expected which is great and if you have guests coming over for dinner you can make a stunning centerpiece from it. Alternatively you could also use it as a gorgeous coffee table tray.

I also received the Black Kuro ceramic dinner plate and the Black Kuro ceramic side plate. Both are slick and sophisticated. The amazing thing about black dinnerware is that it looks incredible contrasted against bright colours which allows you to create a really striking table display. 

I’ve styled my bamboo tray using candles and flowers, as well as cheeky pineapple! 


I love the shape and finish of the dinner and side plates. 

So if you’re looking for different ways away from conventional white to wine and dine your family and friends in your home, then I definitely recommend checking out the dinnerware available from Also Home.

Until next time 

Hayley 

How to bag a bargain…

We all love a bargain no matter how much or little money we have. I do live by the moto ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ most of the time, however, if you gave me £1000 to spend on what I wanted, I’m more likely to buy loads of things for £50 each rather than one expensive thing for £1000. I just love getting the most for my money. We all do don’t we? 

That’s why, whenever I want to buy something for our home, I check gumtree and eBay first. 

Gumtree is great because you don’t have to faff about with bidding like you do on eBay, which in all honesty gives me palpitations. 

You can narrow down the search so that it only finds items within your proximity. Seriously if you haven’t got the gumtree app on your phone, you are missing out!! 

Top tip – when searching on selling sites, try misspelling the item you are looking for. For example if you are after a ‘chest of drawers’ type ‘Chester drawers, chester draws or even chest of draws’ you’d be surprised at the amount of items under misspelled listings. You could bag yourself a really good bargain! 

Ebay is the worlds leading selling site, which means an abundance of choice but also a lot of competition when it comes to bidding. If you see something you want and it has a few days to go with no bids, why not message the seller and ask if they would accept a buy it now price? I have asked in the past and it has paid off. 

Facebook selling sites. 

I’m sure you have seen things being sold on your Facebook page. This is a great way of finding a bargain, if you have the patience to sift through it all. They have added a search icon now, which helps. 

Car boot sales…

People have mixed opinions on car boot sales. Agreed, there is a lot of shite being sold, but you can also find some really great stuff. Especially if you are after vintage items.

There are some items I would never buy second hand but for furniture and general homeware, providing it’s in good condition then second hand is the best way to get the most for your money. 

Until next time 

Hayley x 

Spring cleaning…

Have you ever wondered how ‘spring cleaning’ became a thing? 

Well if you have, I have saved you the trouble of googling it…

“Spring cleaning comes from the days when homes were heated by fireplaces, and efforts were made to prevent heat from escaping. The coming of spring and warm weather was an opportunity to air the house and clean it of soot and all the grime accumulated over the winter months,”

Well there you have it. 

Maybe it’s in our blood, to clean at this time of year because I always have the urge to give the house a really deep clean, come spring. 

This spring I have been fortunate to have had a little help from some amazing products from Tincture, who create natural and cruelty free cleaning products based on antient knowledge of active botanical ingredients. 


In a nut shell you can spray away knowing it’s not been tested on a hamster. 😜

The natural ingredients have the most amazing scent as well. If only our phones had a scratch and sniff app. 🙄

My favourite has to be the all purpose spray. I use it on the kitchen sides, to wipe down the kitchen stools and cupboard doors. The reason I love it, is not only because it’s as effective as a leading brand, but the smell is incredible. I sometimes just wipe the side down as an excuse to have the aromatherapy oil like scent filling the kitchen. 


We have a dishwasher, but if we have a few things that need cleaning, I will just wash them in the sink. The Tincture washing up liquid again has an amazing aroma but is extremely tough on the hard to clean pots and pans too. I am impressed. 




For me, the bathroom cleaner is the most ‘natural’ smelling of the products. 
I keep it in our downstairs loo and use it to wipe the sink and toilet on a daily basis. 

The furniture polish has a more masculine scent and is as effective as any other brand I have used. 



I have to admit knowing that the products are natural and cruelty free makes me more aware of what I was using before. I am 100% converted and will definitely order more of Tincture products in the future. 


If you would like to give some a go please visit their website here, or follow them on Instagram here.

Thanks for reading. 

Until next time 

Hayley x 
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My utility room makeover…

You might be thinking, your what? 

Many people, including people that have been to our house didn’t even know we had a utility room, because I was always ashamed to show anyone. 

It joined on to our kitchen and has a corrugated roof. So kind of like a glorified greenhouse. It was freezing out there because of the bare painted concrete floors. There was damp coming through the walls, and we used to store all the crap we didn’t want in the house in there. 

Here is said utility room before the makeover, which can only be described as the crack den of dreams (without the crack obviously)… 


I’d had enough of hating it and decided to think about how I could make it better. First I bought some special paint for damp walls and got rid of the gross stained magnolia walls. 

Then I needed to figure out what I was going to do about the cold floor. 

I thought about painting it and putting a rug down but I read that painting a floor isn’t easy and with a broken leg I didn’t fancy trying it to be honest. That’s when I started looking at carpet. Strangely there was a lady selling brand new carpet off cuts on a selling site so I bought some grey carpet from her for £12 and luckily there was more than enough for the space. My very lovely dad laid it for me and it instantly transformed the room.

The worktops were drab so I covered them with self adhesive from Pixers who do self adhesive called pixerstick for any surface including walls. I chose a very bold palm print for the worktops and a monochrome geometric print for the cupboards. Daring choices but I think you’ll agree they work so well together. 

Here is our new utility room…




A closer look at the self adhesive… 


I put a bench in there so that the boys have somewhere to sit when they put on and take off their wellies after our walks. 



This stunning laundry basket is from Artisanne – it couldn’t be more perfect! 

Artisanne was born when two sisters, Elizabeth and Emma discovered they shared a love for the work of local artisans in Senegal. They work directly with a team of talented weavers to ensure they receive a fair and secure income to help them to earn a good living. 

You can read more about their work on their website here.



The prints are from Desenio and I will popping a discount code on my Instagram page on Tuesday if anyone is after some new prints. I can highly recommend them. 


And these all natural and cruelty free cleaning products are from Tincture and smell like aromatherphy oils. I’m completely converted! 🙌🏼


As the utility room leads out to the garden I wanted to bring the outside in, which influenced the items on the shelving unit. 


I hope you have enjoyed having a look at my newly madeover utility room! I absolutely love it and I’m actually quite enjoying doing the laundry! 🙈 

Let me know what you think over on my Instagram page @iamhayleystuart.

Until next time 

Hayley x