Accesorize The Outdoors

It’s that glorious time of year again, the time of year that another living space comes alive. Or at least it should be. When we moved into our house it had a perfectly lovely and mature garden, full of wild flowers and low maintenance beauty. It was not until we spent our first summer in the house that it dawned on us that as lovely as our garden was, we didn’t actually have anywhere dedicated to sitting and enjoying it. Slowly over our first summer we began making the garden a bit more habitable. We scaled back the bushes, jet washed just about everything in sight and removed a very damp and rodent infested shed that stood in the corner of the patio, it was that year that we learnt the lesson, that we are rubbish gardeners. Fast forward to 2020 and the sun came out again and we knew that we couldn’t spend another year not being able to sit in the garden. As I have mentioned before we have plans to extend the house in the not too distant future so I did not want to spend a fortune re doing the garden in case this would later be impacted by the build. The corner where we had removed the shed was crying out for a seating area and I knew exactly what we needed to do to create a little relaxingoasis on a budget.

I am a huge believer that accessories are key to transforming any space, you can buy the most expensive outdoor furniture, the garden dining set of dreams but styled incorrectly these things can just end up looking plain and un-special. We really lucked in when I found this rattan sofa and chairs on a local for sale page for £150, the quality of them is fantastic and who doesn’t love a bargain! I used this as the starting point for my styling ideas. We ordered white masonry paint from The Decorating Centre Online and painted the grey and gloomy back wall and garage, this gave the area a real freshen up and instant airy feel while providing the perfect simplistic backdrop for me to go wild on accessories!

I am a huge fan of geo prints and summer 2020 has not disappointed, I spotted these cushions in the Homesense sale and paid less than £5 for each and loved the pastel colours in a geometric pattern. Outdoor rugs have become a huge trend recently and with a tired old patio to cover, this seemed like the perfect way to fix this issue on a budget. The rug is from B&Q and is a great size, they had many styles available but I wanted to keep such a large item slightly more neutral in colour and let other accessories pop.

You can never have too much seating and as a family of five who spend a lot of time entertaining guests I was thrilled to find this amazing Moroccan floor cushion from RU comfy. These beanbags are a great solution to incorporate extra seating into an outdoor space without the need to store clumpy furniture, as the seasons change these Indoor/outdoor beanbags and floor cushions are a great addition to any space. With a huge range suitable for the outdoors it was so difficult to chose! I opted for this Mandala floor cushion, at a 120cm this oversized floor cushion is perfect for low level seating and lounging, you can also flip the cushion on its side and it makes a comfy beanbag chair that moulds to the users shape. I love the touch of bohemian style and I can confirm it is incredibly comfortable and there is often fights over who will be sat on it! You can check out RU comfy’s fantastic range online or over on their Instagram page.

We picked up the cushion box, wall hangings and oil burners from The Range, they had a huge amount of affordable accessories that work well outdoors. Of course no space indoor or outdoor woiuld be complete without an IKEA trip. We brought some low maintenance but realistic faux plants and some lovely pastel coloured pots. The Garage wall had two glass windows that we have covered with faux foliage for a rustic and earthy vibe.

Finally we added a gazebo that we already had to add a bit of shelter to the space and really give it that indoor/outdoor feel. I did have my eye on festoon lighting but I was actually really surprised by the cost for the length we would need and wanted to keep this project as low budget as possible whilst not scrimping on style. We found these lights pictured on Ebay and I am so pleased. They have several different modes and give a really pretty ambiance of an evening. Teamed with the fire pit that my clever husband built out of left over storage heater bricks, this area makes a great space to relax and enjoy a glass of wine, late into a summers evening.

I hope you like the space, I think this shows just how powerful accessorizing the outdoors can be. Simple and affordable accessories can make a huge difference and really transform an area without costing the earth. In total I think I have spent less than £300 including furniture. The area feels transformed and I love the relaxing Ibiza vibes. We are spending so much time in this space and can’t wait to enjoy more time in our garden.

Chynna

Moroccan floor seat was gifted, as always all words, opinions and photographs are my own.

Easy Peasy Wall Panelling

Read below to find out how we created this look.

As you all know I have always been a huge fan of panelling, after creating a panelled wall in our master bedroom (see here for tutorial) I have managed to incorporate it in to 3 places in the house and I have no intention of stopping there!

We have a long and thin, traditional 1930s hallway with windows on the stair side and a long blank wall running along the other. The house would have once had a separate dining and living room but these rooms were knocked through and the door filled in by the previous owner which we love, but it did leave us with a very long blank wall where a door once sat. We decided to go for a taller and more rectangular panelling than we have previously done. I actually took my inspiration from the panels in the front door, being a total sucker for period features I always try and incorporate traditional aspects into the home where possible.

As soon as my husband had got over the fact that I had convinced him to panel yet another wall, we headed to B&Q for supplies. We had already drawn and planned how many strips we would like on the wall and from that, worked out our spacing and height. We decided on 1400mm Lengths that were 80mm wide. We brought a 3mm thick large sheet of MDF from B&Q and had it cut using their in house cutting service. The MDF was only £13 and gave us enough strips of wood to do the panelling twice if we wanted to. It always impresses me how affordable panelling can be.

We used Gripfil and pin nails to attach the strips to the wall. We started with the bottom horizontal pannels that ran along the skirting, because we had all of the strips cut to the same size we needed to join strips together to do this, we got them as close to each other as possible and used a finger of wood filler on the joins where required. We then began the vertical panels, and then the top horizontal panels at the end. The project came together really quickly and we had the panelling attached and together in around an hour. We used a nail punch, to punch in any nails so they were flush with the surface, used a small amount of wood filler on any joins and then began priming. We always use Zinsser BIN for priming.

A very messy photo, post priming

We have now painted and almost (story of our lives) completed the hallway and landing renovations. We painted the walls using The Decorating Centre Online hard wearing matte colour matched to Farrow and Ball sulking room pink. I am so pleased with the result. Panelling really is a fantastic way to transform a space on a small budget. If you give it a try, please do let me know how you get on!

The Finished Look

Chynna xxx

Style over Practicality? The roll top shower bath edition

When it comes to interiors my heart always rules my head. You will often find me standing in a shop, holding something impractical and trying to convince my husband that we need it in our home. If I had a pound for every time I have heard the words “Chynna we have enough cushions on the bed” I would be writing this from my sun lounger in the Maldives. Unlike myself, my husband looks to purchase useful and functional items, I am all about the look and style. In this blog post I will be delving into the good and bad of the ultimate style vs practicality item in my home. Ladies and gentlemen I present to you my most treasured possession, the bain of my husbands existence and the truth about…..

A roll top shower bath

It’s the most blindingly obvious style vs practicality example in our home, (although I am sure I could name a few). I get a lot of questions on my Instagram about the roll top shower bath and I am always sure to be honest, but I do feel that what I try to explain, may come across as confusing, so I will have a better go here. I can’t tell you the fight I had to put up to get Mr J to agree this beauty. I had always dreamt of having a roll top bath and until we knocked the toilet and bathroom together and saw what space we had, it still wasn’t a guarantee. When we were planning the bathroom we spent hours drawing out different positions and although we did eventually find a way to make a separate shower and bath fit, it just was not what either of us had envisaged and felt like it had very little floor space. Shower baths are really commonly used in bathrooms as a great way to save space so this seemed like the perfect solution to keep the bathroom feeling spacious, but I just could not let go of my roll top bath dreams. I scoured Pinterest constantly and this is when I noticed a few roll top shower baths… I was off! I gathered my evidence together in the form of the three Pinterest images I had found and a mock Victorian plumbing order and excitedly presented it to my husband. He seemed on board, he loved the look and got to work drawing a scale drawing, it looked to be the perfect solution, then in true Mr J style, he came at me with questions over functionality! “If it stands away from the wall will it not leak water down the back?” “Don’t shower curtains cling to your body and feel horrid” “what if standing in the bath causes it to become weaker” I knew I had some convincing to do…

Luckily in most cases my husband lives by the mantra ‘happy wife happy life’ and as I am sure you are all aware, I convinced him a roll top shower bath was a great idea. We have now had the bathroom completed for around 6 months so I can finally give my true verdict on whether it was a good idea or not.

The Good

  • We love the look- I don’t think I expected how much I would love the look of the over bath shower rail, the way the curtains fall and how well it would work with the rest of the bathroom. I could not be more happy with how the bathroom looks.
  • Because we saved space we got to go for a huge bath- The bath is my absolute pride and joy, it doesn’t look it in photos but the bath is a great size, even my husband who is 6ft is really comfortable in it, it is much longer than a standard bath also meaning that all 3 kiddies fit in comfortably and with it being double ended they don’t seem to flood the bathroom while playing like they used to.
  • No glass enclosure to clean- Lets face it glass shower enclosures are a pig to clean and with three sets of little mucky hands, I think a glass enclosure would have had sticky prints on it more often than not.

The bad

  • During showering water gets everywhere- Spoiler alert, Aaron was right! Water does go everywhere IF you don’t take precautions. If you clip the shower curtains at the back with a hair clip and make sure you angle the curtains correctly and don’t fling your arms about too much then its absolutely fine- my husband does not have the patience for this!
  • There is nowhere to place your products apart from near your feet.
  • Aaron is tall so when he steps into the bath it makes him even taller, meaning his head is very close to the fixed shower head
  • Because our shower and bath are together they are always in use, so I clean it all constantly.

So there you have it, the good, the bad and the ugly. We are fortunate that we will be planning a downstairs shower room into our extension, somewhere my husband can fulfil his shower of dreams, so this room will be used a lot less in a couple of years time. While I can totally agree with my husband that it is not the best shower I have ever been in and it’s most certainly a style over practicality purchase…. I have no regrets! I love our bathroom, it is everything I had imagined it to be and I am so glad that I went with my gut. I am learning along the way that in order to create a home you love, you have to go with the things you love, practical or not!

Chynna xxx