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Too Much DIY…Too Little Time

Blog readers will have noticed that I’ve been quiet on the blog during these past few months. – This is mainly due to the DIY projects that I have been working on. I promised myself I was going to get some jobs done, but as we all know one job leads to another.

The Main Bedroom
I have started this room by preparing the walls first. Anyone who has ever tried to quickly paint a room will know the consequences of paint brush marks, patchy paint and paint blobs on other walls. I have attempted to complete these jobs  properly and avoid the temptation to paint the walls and be done with it.

I started with preparing the walls and this involved dust….a lot of dust. I thankfully planned ahead by removing clothes and any furniture and it was a good job I did. The plaster dust covers everything.

Quick Tip here: Try and start the task when the weather is warm(ish). You can then open windows without freezing.

Make sure the doors are firmly closed before starting sanding. If you have enough ventilation, try and tape the door with duct tape from the inside to prevent dust escaping. I even taped the door afterwards while the dust was settling. Duct tape is strong and secure enough to keep the doors closed without marking the existing paintwork.

Sanding the walls took a long time, but was definitely worth it. The existing walls had bumps, holes and marks which have been smoothed away. The next stage will be wiping down the walls and removing the radiators, but that’s a whole new blog post….

I have included a before shot so readers can see what challenges I face….and how this room will be transformed…

The cupboards were the first furniture item to land in the skip…..



Get DIY Ready This Christmas

It does seem that Christmas has creped up on us again doesn’t it? Households all over the world are decorating homes and getting ready for Santa. I must admit the Christmas lights are also hiding all my decorating to-dos, the list that seems to be getting longer and harder to avoid.

Now is a perfect time to get ready for Christmas and ensure there are no excuses to not completing my DIY jobs in the new year. If relatives are still asking what to get me for Christmas I have started referring them this site, which seems to have all my DIY tasks catered for.

I have decorated my tree already and getting some last minute tasks done:

Checking for Draughts
This is one task that can be done by simply feeling for a blast of cold air from under doors. If you have a slight draught, you can place rolled up towels at the bottom of the door, just make sure the towels do not become a trip hazard. If you have prolonged draughts it might be wise to look into the problem a bit more and think about ways to insulate your home more.

Clear Out The Spare Room
We all know Christmas is a time for families and festivities. Therefore, if you know people are going to be stopping over then get the room ready first. Any junk can either be donated or stored in the loft or even (if it’s anything like my home) actually put away in a wardrobe or cupboard, where it belongs. If you have a lot of space in your house, why not try creating an entertainment room with a granite pool table like the guys from Planet Granite Worktops? Pretty cool.

Get Enough Cutlery and Serving Dishes
A slightly odd one, but if you are having guests to stay chances are you will use more cutlery than normal, even if you have an old set, give it a wash and store somewhere you can reach easily.

If you have decorated your tree, make sure the lights are safe and the wires are not a trip hazard. When turning out the lights in the evening, make sure any outdoor lights are also turned off to save money and also peace of mind.

Right, I’m off to clean the oven. One of the last tasks that I don’t think anyone enjoys but with all the planned cooking it is important to clean the oven in preparation.

Create Space In Your Kitchen With Wall Cabinets

One of the main reasons for changing a kitchen is to create more space for storing cutlery, utensils or food. The need for space can arise from replacing a unit with a free standing appliance and therefore the storage needs to be created elsewhere.
If you have a small kitchen then floor space might already be limited and if you cannot move appliances into a utility room or food into a pantry then creating space on the wall is the alternative. If you have a free wall in your kitchen that can be utilised with cupboards, then make sure the correct preparation is carried out and follow these instructions.

The cupboards obviously need to be straight on the walls. Use a spirit level to mark a horizontal line that will used as a guide for the bottom edge of the wall cabinet. Draw another line for the top of the cupboard and then vertical lines where the cabinets will meet.

The next stage is to attach the wall fixing brackets. All wall cabinets hook onto these fixing brackets and therefore, must carefully be secured to the wall. Each wall cabinet needs 2 brackets, 1 in each top corner. Hold the bracket in place and then mark out the position of the fixing holes. The best way to position the wall fixing brackets is to consult the manufacturer instructions. Different brands of fixings, will have different instructions so always check before you position a kitchen wall cabinet.

Hook the wall cabinets onto the brackets on the wall. Use the adjustment block to ensure you get the accurate position. Make sure you use the spirit level to ensure the cabinets are level and then screw into place.

There are many advantages to having wall cabinets, as they not only eliminate the need for that cupboard to take up floor space but the cupboards will be at head height.

There are several reasons for wall cabinets when it comes to designing your kitchen. If you have young children a wall cabinet is the perfect place to keep medicines and tablets as these would be out of reach.

Food dishes, plates and cups are best positioned at head height as they are frequently used and therefore easy to get to, instead of bending down all the time.

Celebrate Halloween Without Breaking The Bank!

It has been a while since my last blog post but I couldn’t let this month pass without mentioning that all important event that is happening very soon. I’m not talking about Christmas (come on it’s only October), its Halloween soon!

This is the time when homes get transformed from traditionally decorated rooms into caverns, caves and ‘haunted houses’. Front lawns and driveways are transformed into graveyards with tombstones and pumpkins. I love Halloween and the ghostly going-ons that make this night fun to get involved with.

However, if you are saving for something or getting ready for Christmas then money can be limited and spending money on house renovations or a plastic tombstone for the garden instead of that light fixture or special floor tiles can seem a wrong option.  There are ways to save money and still get into the spirit of Halloween (really, no pun intended there).

Decorate the Walls
Firstly, if you are having a party and not yet decorated (like us) this is an ideal time to invite guests without having to worry about the undecorated walls. Firstly black bin liners are a great way to decorate the walls and great that ‘dark’ look. The bin liners do not need to be expensive as you will be tearing these up into one bigger sheet. Cutting down the edges is easier than tearing.

Make sure that if you are using candles they are well away from the walls to prevent a potential fire hazard!

I personally love these for an outside decoration idea!

pumpkin being sick Pictures, Images and Photos

There are other wall decorations that you can make yourself. Print out pictures of bats, ghosts and pumpkins and trace outlines onto card and cut out. You can cover these with glitter if you cannot replicate all the detail.

The decorating does not have to stop in the living room. If you have kitchen wall tiles or a dark granite worktop that need decorating, use bluetac to attach to the tiles and place some shapes onto the worktop. Do not place anything around the cooker for obvious reasons.

Decorating the Floors

This area is obviously more tricky as you don’t want to have your guests tripping over. So stick to placing things onto the floor rather than decorating the floor. If you have plenty of floor space, you can make use of this and set up some fun games on the floor like apple bobbing or pin the witch on the broom.