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

My bedroom makeover…

Here I am again, with yet another room makeover. Change is something I’ve always loved, so giving a room a new look is something I really enjoy doing. 

I only gave our bedroom a makeover last January and embraced 2016’s ‘botanical’ interior trend, however I never actually finished the room so by the time I got round to doing that I had other ideas buzzing around in my head. 


I only planned on adding a few things to finish it off, but I’ve actually quite drastically changed the look and it was all because of a vintage Persian rug! 

I had been hunting for one for ages and after watching about a hundred on eBay I took the plunge and bought one to go at the end of our bed. 

Firstly I created a mood board, which is something I do with all my rooms, so that I can get an idea of the final look and feel. 


I love neutral bohemian style bedrooms with statement Persian rugs and used that’s trend as part of my inspiration. My other inspiration was a big trend for 2017 ‘all things natural’ which inspired me to choose natural wood, baskets, and different textures for the textiles. 

The first thing I did was paint the room white, it was magnolia before which I personally don’t like. By painting it white, it brightened the room as well as creating a blank canvas.

Upcycling

I saw a £40 bamboo light on the ikea website that I thought would be perfect for the room, however after I drove all the way there, it was out of stock so I had to rethink. 

Then I walked past a basket and I had a brain wave! I picked it up, turned it upside down and thought I can totally make that in to a lightshade! When I got it home I made a hole in the top and attached it to the light fitting. Not only does it look great, but it only cost me £9! Bonus! 

Another thing I got from Ikea was their infamous ‘steps’.

Instead of using them as steps, I have used them as a bedside table. 

I wanted to put a shelf above the bed but without any wall damage. We are lucky enough to have a picture rail around the room to hang things from. So I decided to make a shelf using a plank of wood and rope. 

I got a natural wood plank from Homebase which was about £10, drilled a hole in each corner, threaded some rope through (also from Homebase) knotted the ends and secured to the picture rail using picture rail hooks. 


You know if I go quiet on Instagram then the shelf has fallen down and killed me in the night!

The details

I bought quite a few throws for the bed, all different textures and patterns. I am so in love with my real sheepskin from a local shop ‘La di da’ it is so soft and is a great addition to the room. You can visit their homeware website here.

The cushions are from ikea and next. 

Obviously I had to keep my suitcase shelves from Urban Outfitters, as they go so well in the room. 


That gorgeous gold vase is from eclectic homeware company Tin Design who have just launched some amazing bohemian products.  Check their website out here

Another thing I’ve kept is my beautiful macrame wall hanging from ‘Brintage’ you can find all of Amy’s masterpieces on Instagram @shopbrintage. 


Even though the instructions said it was a two man job, I managed to build these ladder shelves single handedly!  




I bought a new round mirror from The Range, but wasn’t ready to give up my old one, so I’ve put them both on the wall! 

I really really wanted a reclaimed vintage bench for the end of the bed. It seems they are hard to come by so I ended up settling for one from ikea. My husband absolute hates it as he keeps banging his leg on it as he walks by. I’m sure he’ll get used to it, if not I’ll get him some shin pads! 😂

I got loads of plants from ikea as well, definitely the best place to get them from. Personally I don’t feel like a room is finished without flowers or plants, so I really went to town. 


I hope you’ve enjoyed having a look at my bedroom makeover. 

Let me know what you think on here or Instagram. 

If you want to know where something is from that I haven’t mentioned, please let me know. 
Until next time 
Hayley x

How to ‘own’ your rented property…

Now I don’t want the subject title to be misleading so I’ll set the record straight now. This post isn’t about how to actually own your rented house as in buy it, it’s about how to put your stamp on it, inject your personality and make it your home whilst you are living in it. 


You might not realise this, but we rent the house we live in (see above photos). Don’t get me wrong, I long to buy our own house, but we met when I was 20 so we travelled before we got married and enjoyed shopping and holidays so saving for a house deposit was never really a priority. 

In hindsight (which is a wonderful thing) if we had actually knuckeled down and saved up, we’d more than likely be on about our third house by now. It’s frustrating to think about, but we have had such a great life in the 12 years we’ve been together including living in New Zealand so it’s hard to have any regrets. 

Anyway, moving on to what this post is actually about… making your rented property your ‘own’. 

Here are some obstacles that you may come across…

“I’m not allowed to paint” 

Okay, this is normally in the handbook when you move in to a property. It’s normally in there to prevent anyone painting a living room bright orange or doing a really bad, unprofessional paint job. So contact your landlord and ask very nicely if they would mind if you painted the walls white, if they aren’t already. Most rentals are magnolia which is a really yellowy cream colour. It’s not great but the reason they do it is because it’s generic so if you have to do any repairs to the walls you know which colour to get. If the landlord gives you the go ahead, then choose brilliant white as not only will it lift and freshen a room, it’s cheap, and another generic colour making it easier for the next tenants. 

Before and after I painted over the magnolia with brilliant white. 

“The carpets are horrible” 

There are three things I look at when we have viewed properties in the past. 

  • Kitchens
  • Carpets
  • Bathrooms

If I’m not happy with these three things, then it’s a no go for me. 

However, if you are living in a rental with crappy carpets, whether it be the colour, condition or both, then there is something you can do about it.

Rugs…

You might think you can only add one rug to a room but that’s not true. Vintage Persian rugs are so on trend at the moment and look great in every room. If you really hate your carpet, get some rugs and try layering and overlapping them. They will not only cover the carpet, but create a statement in the room too. Plus you can take them with you if you move! Winner! 

Images – Pinterest 

Check out Benuta Rugs they have a huge selection at amazing prices. 

“We’re not allowed to put up pictures or shelves” 

Again, this can be overcome. If you have a word with your landlord and just assure them that any holes will be filled and painted when you exit the property then most landlords won’t have a problem with this. Failing that, you can buy command hanging strips that don’t damage your walls which are great for people that rent. 

If it’s a no to putting up shelves, then look for free standing shelving units. They not only add height to a room but they’re practical too.

“I don’t see the point in spending money on a property we don’t own” 

A lot of people have this attitude, and I did in the past. It’s half true, because why invest all that time and money in to a house that’s not yours. But the fact of the matter is, it is yours!! It’s your home, so truly make it yours! 

Spend money on things that can be taken with you if and when you do move on. 

“It’s not my dream home” 

We all have an idea of what our dream home looks like. The chances are, if you’re renting, you will not be living in the house of your dreams. However, if you know your own style you will be able to inject that in to the house by using soft furnishings, furniture and accessories that reflect your personality. 

If the property is small, look at styling and space saving ideas on Pinterest, there are loads for small spaces, so get creative! 

“I hate the kitchen” 

The kitchen is a hard thing to change in a rental. 

Our kitchen is ‘nice’ but it’s not how I’d do the kitchen if we owned the house. 

If you have solid wood cupboard doors and an easy going landlord, then removing the doors and drawer fronts, sanding them down and painting them using an eggshell paint is your best option. Changing the knobs and handles is also a cheap improvement. 


Failing that, accessories will be your friend! You can buy some gorgeous kitchen appliances from brands such as Smeg and Delonghi. 

Adding plants and herbs in planters look gorgeous on a kitchen window sill as well. 


I hope this post has inspired you.

Until next time 

Hayley x 

Dear Santa…

Wow, where has this year gone? It’s Christmas next month and I am in complete denial.

It’s only this week as it’s started to get bitter outside that I’m beginning to think about gifts.

For me, when someone asks me what I want for Christmas, it goes one of two ways. Either I have a list as long as my arm (which isn’t actually that long) and I need to narrow down my favourites or I just can’t think of anything.

The other problem is thinking of ideas for other people. I find men are hard to buy for. My husband has an ongoing joke where he asks for a jet ski every year knowing full well that ain’t ever happening. And my dad normally asks for ‘tools’ or vouchers for Wickes, which I hate buying because I consider it a boring gift. So unfortunately I can’t really help others with gifts for men.

However, if you are in the same boat as me then I’ve constructed a list of some cool gift ideas that are certain to make anyone’s Christmas.

Retro peg board

I won’t lie, this is on my own Christmas list (if I don’t buy it before) and can you blame me?  It’s retro, quirky and extremely versatile. So move over lightbox, there’s a newbie in town!



You can buy a retro peg board from The little house shop for £45. 

Jewellery Candle 

You’re probably thinking, a what? This is one of the most unique ideas I’ve seen in a while. Etta French make gorgeous candles all with a different piece of jewellery inside. I was lucky enough to receive one in the post yesterday and it smells absolutely gorgeous.

Etta French handmade jewellery candle – £38

I can’t wait to burn it and find out what jewellery is hidden inside. Candles, jewellery and a surprise novelty value… surely not?! Check them out for yourself here and enjoy 10% off until the end of November with code ‘bettyscottage10’😘

Bloom and wild flower subscription

I would personally be really chuffed with this as a gift. In case you didn’t know, Bloom and Wild are a leading ‘letterbox’ florist. Their bouquets are sophisticated, intricate and long lasting. They not only send flowers on a one off basis but they also offer a subscription package too. Who wouldn’t want flowers through their letter box every month?


You can order flowers from Bloom and Wild by clicking here.

Dslr camera

Okay, a pricey one I know so this is for people that like to splash the cash at Christmas. Whether you want to improve your blog photos, Instagram feed or just take some nice photos of your family and friends, then I can highly recommend getting a dslr camera.

I’ve got a Nikon D3300 and apart from my phone it’s probably my favourite possession. I take it almost everywhere with me and photography has become a passion for me. I have a new lens on my xmas list! 😆

Mermaid blanket 

You may have seen these on social media. They are basically a blanket that you put your legs inside and it looks like you have a mermaid tail. They are fun, warm and make you look like Ariel from the little mermaid whilst you are slobbing around on the sofa! Winner!


I haven’t linked a page because you can get them from loads of places. Just Google mermaid blanket, they are around £20.

Fake taxidermy 

Okay, this one sounds weird but trust me when I say you need a faux flamingo in your life.

Small faux flamingo £50

Hilary and Flo offer a small and large version and it is a must have quirky accessory for your home.

Check out Hilary and Flo’s website which is full of eclectic homewares and enjoy 15% off when you spend £20 or more until 11/11/16 with code ‘bettyscottage15’ 😘

Reclaimed bath rack

You may follow an amazing vintage seller Laura, founder of ‘dirty pretty vintage’ already, but if you don’t, please check out her website here.

Laura has just opened up another website called Thistle Home Store and I have fallen in love with everything on there.

I especially love these reclaimed wood bath racks. They come in an array of shades and are perfect for holding candles, bubble bath and even a glass of wine to really help you relax in the bath.

Reclaimed wood bath rack £35

Bath bombs

And last but not least, if the bath rack takes your fancy why not take a trip to Lush and grab some bath bombs.

I hope I’ve given you some inspiration for either your own Christmas list or ideas for others.

I have tagged all the companies mentioned in this post on my Instagram post for you to check out their pages and give them a follow.

Please let me know if you have spotted anything you think would make a great gift!

Until next time

Hayley x