When I grow up I want to be an interior designer…

When you are at school you are taught various subjects and then based upon those you are good at, you normally decide what direction you would like your career to go in… 

Well, in an ideal world anyway. I always think that you are told about careers that require a uniform when you’re at school and not about all the other jobs that you may be more well suited to. 

I really wish I had known what I wanted to be when I was at school however I don’t feel like it’s ever too late to make your dream career in to a reality. 

For me, that dream is interior design. I remember saying when I was younger that I wanted to be an interior designer and now my 32 year old self is gutted I never pursued it. 

A few weeks ago I was invited to an Interior design workshop hosted by the very talented Lauren Gilberthorpe. Lauren has been an interior designer for over 10 years and has a fountain of knowledge that I had the pleasure of receiving. 

The workshop was held at the beautiful Barn at Upcote in Cheltenham. There were around 20 women who attended and as soon as we arrived we were all mingling and sharing our interior related stories and experiences.


Lauren kicked the day off with presenting us with a work book.


Before the workshop, she asked us to have a room we wanted to design in our minds, along with some measurements. As I have pretty much completed all the rooms in our house, I decided to use a room in my parents new house that they will soon be moving in to. 


We learnt how to draw to scale using a special ruler with different scale sizes on each side. This part didn’t really get me excited until I started to draw and I realised it was easier than I anticipated. I quite enjoy maths so combining that with drawing a room was quite enjoyable. Next we made scale drawings of furniture on separate peieces of paper that we cut out allowing us to move them around the room. I didn’t realise the importance of this step until now and will be helping my parents to plan every room in their new home using this new skill. 


Next we learnt about the colour wheel and how to put colours together. We were told all about shades, tones and hues and picked colours from the wheel to group together using different rules. 



We were then served the most delicious lunch while we chatted and reflected on what we had learnt during the morning…



After lunch we touched upon lighting and it’s importance, again, another thing I hadn’t really given much thought in to, but after Lauren’s workshop, it will now be one of the first things I plan when designing a room. We also spoke about paint and how to use it to highlight or conceal areas of the room. 


Next we designed our own mood boards. I had my parents new house in mind (which is an old station ticket office (cool huh?!)) but also chose what I was most drawn to. Lauren scattered hundreds of images across a table and asked us to collate a series of these images to create our moodboards. The images could be of anything (not necessarily interior related) but anything we liked. It could represent lifestyle, colour or texture. All of the images together should help guide you to what you want your finished room to look and feel like. 

This was my moodboard…


The day was packed full of amazing tips and priceless knowledge from Lauren about designing a home. 

If I knew what I know now when I said “when I grow up I want to be an interior designer” then I would have followed that path. However at 32 I’m still young and feel fortunate to have fallen in love with a hobby that will hopefully one day become my career. 

If you are interested in attending Lauren’s next workshop in October please click here for more info. 

Until next time 

Hayley 
*this is a sponsored post but all opinions and views are my own. 

How to transform a room in 60 minutes…

As you know I love a makeover, I just can’t get enough of seeing a room or piece of furniture transform from something average to something wonderful, packed with personality and unique touches. 

I left our utility room in its bland, tasteless state for years because I thought quite frankly that ‘you can’t polish a turd’ especially in a rental anyway. But how wrong was I?! 

A company called Pixers got in touch with me to see if I’d like to try out some of their Pixerstick designs. I have to say, choosing the designs was tough. There are so many to choose from I had to screen shot my favourites and then go back and look over them. In the end I chose a striking leaf design for the worktops and a monochrome geometric for the cupboard doors.  

Before it arrived I was nervous about applying it, but I really shouldn’t have been because it was so easy and quick too! 

My utility room before using Pixerstick.
My utility room after using Pixerstick.

After the results I saw from using Pixerstick for all surfaces in my utility room I was keen to try it elsewhere. 

I saw they did fridge designs which really caught my attention, they have designs specifically for fridges but you can also choose designs from their other ranges for your fridge too. 

I chose a marble design and I absolutely love it. Again, it was so easy to apply, if you get any bubbles you just lift the area back up and smooth it down again. So easy. 

Lastly, I promised my eldest son Rex that I would decorate his bedroom for him. I knew I wanted to use Pixerstick self adhesive wallpaper on the walls so I let Rex choose the design. He opted for arrows so I thought it would be perfect to do a cowboy and Indian themed room. 

When the arrow design arrived it came in 3 strips, large enough to cover one wall. 

I put the first strip on upside down so had to peel it off and turn it around. As you can imagine, it got stuck to itself and I worried I had ruined it. However, I just unstuck it and smoothed it back on to the wall, you would never know, it looks perfect. 


So proud of myself as I managed to transform his bedroom using Pixerstick in around an hour and all by myself! πŸ’ͺ🏼 

You can find this arrow design here.

As well as the wall I used a grey and white design for Rex’s wardrobe door and chest of drawers. 



You can find the grey and white design here.
Pixers have very generously offered a whopping 45% off of any of their designs for my followers using code ‘Hayley’ – valid until 19th June. Please have a look at their website because I can assure you, you’ll be spoilt for choice. 

Until next time 

Hayley 

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

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. 

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 ombrΓ© 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 Β£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 

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 Β£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! πŸ™ŒπŸΌ


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! πŸ™ˆ 

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 Β£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 Β£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 Β£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! πŸ˜‚

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