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. 

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 

Upcycling 

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know I love a bit of arts and crafts, in particular upcycling. 

If you have been living in a cave and have no idea what I’m talking about then you should probably know that upcycling is extremely popular these days and it basically means taking an existing item and turning it in to something else. Whether that means keeping the item in tact and just using it for another purpose or turning it in to something else.

I do a lot of upcycling for a number of reasons. I enjoy being creative and love taking on projects. It makes my home look unique and I love that something old can become something new.

I’ve done a lot of upcycling around my home, both simple and difficult so I thought I’d share some with you…

Shelving 

Luckily my husband is a scaffolder so scaffold boards (yes boards, not planks) are easy for me to come by, but if you don’t know any scaffolders then eBay or gumtree are a great place to start. Scaffold boards make excellent shelves, and can create anything from a rough rustic look, to a polished, stained look. You could even sand and paint them. 



I also made a shelf from a plank of wood from home base, drilled a hole in each corner, threaded rope through and knotted it and then attached to a picture rail above our bed using picture rail hooks. I won’t lie, the first night I thought it might be ‘death by terracotta pot’ but it’s been up for a couple of months and hasn’t killed us yet! 



Lighting

In our downstairs loo, that I never photograph because it’s just plain boring, I turned a Mason jar in to a light. It was easy to make and ridiculously cheap. I got a Mason jar for about £1 from homebargains, made a hole in the top for the light fitting, along with a few little holes to let the heat out, and attached it. Easy! 


I also got a filament bulb on a string from The Range for £3.99, I didn’t like the string so I replaced it with twine and sprayed the cheap looking white plastic with copper spray paint. 


In our bedroom I converted a bamboo basket from ikea in to a light shade by turning it upside down, making a hole in the bamboo and attaching to the light fitting. 


And by far the hardest upcycling project I have ever done was making a beaded chandelier for our dining room. The tutorial is on my blog if anyone fancies a challenge! 😜 



Furniture 

Ikea furniture is so easy to upcycle, it can be as simple as changing the knobs on a chest or drawers, or giving it a lick of paint. 

In our bedroom we have a large chest of hemnes drawers. I wanted to give them a bit of a makeover so I bought some marble self adhesive from Homebase and covered the top. I have to say it was reasonably easy and extremely effective. 


In our living room we have a singer sewing machine table underneath our TV. It doesn’t serve much purpose but it looks nice. 

I was looking for some side tables to go either side of the bench in the dining room when I came across some vintage tea chests on gumtree. They were only £5 each, so I gave them a clean, stained them, turned them upside down and whacked some lamps on them! 


Painting vintage furniture is probably the most popular way to upcycle something, which I have done a fair bit of. Annie Sloan chalk paints are great for upcycling, and if you want to put a bit more graft in then farrow and ball works amazingly too! 


Because we live in a rented property there are some limits to what we are allowed to do. Therefore upcycling things temporarily is something I am always exploring. 

You may have seen my kitchen tiles that I recently have a makeover to using tiles stickers. I was apprehensive at first but once I got going I couldn’t believe the transformation. They have made the kitchen look completely different! 



Fabric 

In my son’s room my mum transformed a duvet cover in to a tepee. Always try to see the possibilities with fabric, it doesn’t have to be on a roll to make things with it. 


Before I decorated our bedroom I had a runner on the bed that I have made from some vintage curtains. The possibilities are endless! 

Most recently I made this plant stand out of copper pipe! I got the tutorial from Pinterest and it was really easy! 


I’ve got loads more upcycling planned as I’m giving our kitchen and utility room a makeover at the moment so keep your eyes peeled! 

I hope I have inspired you to get creative and think outside of the box! 
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

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