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

A Dotty Delight- How we created a stylish Girls bedroom on a budget

Those of you who follow my Instagram will know that we have just completed renovations of Isabella and Sophias bedroom. I knew I wanted to go bold and had seen Dalmatian print decor whilst browsing for inspo, but as always my fear of following current interior trends was playing on my mind. I am very conscious that I don’t want to come to the end of the renovations and hate the interior looks that we created in the early days. Once I knew I could create this look without wallpapering I was off! I have had some questions on how we created the overall look of the room so thought I would put this post together to answer any questions.

The room when we viewed the house.
On completion day.
Stripped, plastered and ready to go.

Before- Just like the rest of the house, the room was covered in woodchip wallpaper, so once again before I could even consider what to do with the room, we spent hours stripping the walls, sanding down the most yellow woodwork I had ever seen and getting to work on prepping the floor. We had the room plastered and have done with all of the rooms, this is because we want to know that the walls are not only in perfect condition but that they will also stand the test of time. Expensive yes… worth it 100%.

Decorating – Then of course it was time for painting. I had seen the colour Oval Room Blue by Farrow and Ball and knew it would be the perfect colour to clash with a pop of pink and the monochrome of the spotty walls. I had this mixed by The Decorating Centre Online and was very impressed with the quality. This was my first experience of using them but I will be back. The Dalmatian print wall was created using this stencil from Ideal Stencils. We used our standard Leyland trade white paint that we have used for all ceilings, as the base and then purchased a small pot of B&Q Matt black paint for the spots. We used a small, foam roller for the black and found this covered much better than a brush. The stencil was easy to use and as long as you are careful to lift it into place each time and not slide it across it should be smudge free, we did wipe a bit of excess paint off the back of the stencil a few times. Once we had covered both the shelving and fireplace walls we stepped back and decided the spots looked slightly too uniform and repetitive, at that point we decided to cut the stencil up and place random stencil spots in-between any gaps that looked to uniform. This worked really well and we could not be more thrilled with the end result. We painted the fireplace and wardrobe in Valspar wood and metal paint, in a colour match to Sulking room pink. The gold wardrobe handles are from Amazon and a pack of 5 was less than £10.

The Dalmatian wall stencil was a great alternative to wallpaper.

The Floor- I have had so many questions about the floor! We had never painted a floor, we had used varnish in our bedroom but getting advice on painting floorboards was near on impossible. We scoured the internet looking for what prep the boards would need, what paint we would need to use and how to apply it and found no consistent answers. As we wanted a rustic and imperfect look, we decided we had nothing to loose, we removed or hammered in any visible nails, lightly sanded any raised drips of paint that we had caused while decorating and gave all of the boards a thorough hoover and mop. We decided on Dulux Pure Brilliant white Diamond Eggshell paint for Wood and Metal. We painted half of the room at a time as the girls bunk bed was too large and heavy to remove from the room. This has given the room a really light and airy feel and I am considering painting floor boards in other areas of the house.

We preferred the look of a more rustic floor so did not sand them to a perfect state.

Finishing Touches- A big factor on my mind when choosing accessories for the girls room, was that I wanted it to still feel and look like a child’s room. It is easy to get carried away with the idea of the ‘perfect home’ but ultimately they are still very much children and I wanted the room to represent a fun and happy place for them. We ordered the fabric reading nook from Amazon, this is filled with some baskets of books and cushions so they can kick back and read in peace. The floor mat in the reading nook is from H&M, and is actually circular but we folded it into a semi circle for a better fit. I sourced the beautiful prints from Make My Day Stationary and put them in IKEA gold frames, these worked out at around £10 per framed print and I was really impressed with the fun styles that Make My Day Stationary had to choose from. The rug was a total bargain from George at Asda, this was the largest of the sizes available and using a discount code, I paid less than £40 for it! I feel like the rug ties the room together really well and at that price it is one of my best buys. The shelving and storage unit are from IKEA, the shelving is their LACK range and the storage is Kallax with wicker baskets. The light fitting is from Matalan, I love Matalan homewares as they provide designer style at a fraction of the price. I had been looking at similar fittings for over £150 before finding this light fitting. The cushions and bunting are also H&M in the sale and the mini cactus plants, timer and gold pots are IKEA. Finally the pink and gold baskets on the shelves are from Homesense.

The Finished Look.

So will the girls bedroom décor stand the test of time? Who knows? Maybe not? but stepping out of my décor comfort zone and creating something so vibrant and fun has been a blast! The Dalmatian wall may go out of style in a few years but the great news is, it’s only paint and for now we all love it. The girls are enjoying spending time in their new room and it feels great to have another room finished and feeling like home. I hope I have answered all of the questions I have received but if I have missed anything please do comment below or send an email.

Chynna xxx

If blush decor is your thing, check out our panelling tutorial.