Student flat 24 hour makeover

You know when time slips away from you…I am feeling full of guilt as I have not posted for ages, and I apologise to those of you who nudge for an update.

24 HOUR MAKEOVER

I have been really busy of late, my daughter has moved to London to study music at a Conservatoire and we did a 24 hour makeover on her new abode.  It is an unfurnished flat where she will live with her partner, and I really wanted her to have a clean, safe space that felt like home.   

So we hired a van, stripped my house of a lot of furniture and accessories and then headed up to the big smoke.  

Apart from getting a few bits at Dunelm and IKEA, the latter which I delighted in handing over for flat-pack building lessons, we had pretty much all we needed.  Plus we had zero budget!  It went from a dark, bland place to a rather smart des-res in 24 hours with a bit of creativity and styling.  

My daughter is definitely a chip off the old block, she had Pinterest boards ready to show me in the style she liked!  It is very Scandi, with lots of palms, copper accents and retro touches.  

Here is the flat when we viewed it originally.

For the bedroom I made some great bedside lights from old IKEA wooden shelf brackets I had lying around.  

Using Annie Sloans Graphite chalk paint to jazz them up, I upcycled them into light holders.  A long retro style pendant light with a filament bulb is wrapped around each one and hangs over the bedside tables.  These were reduced to just £5 each at Dunelm so the total project cost just £10!  The bedside drawers await a makeover with paint and new handles, I am trying to train up my daughter to embrace chalk paint!



The sitting room has to be a multi functional space- living, working, a music studio and also a spare bedroom for when mum comes to stay (that’s me!).  It is a good sized room which really helped.  We used a day bed that coverts into a full double bed as a sofa, and covered it with lots of emerald green velvet and shaggy cushions.  A leather chair from home and a cute retro table which my daughter’s boyfriend owned finish off the seating area.  

Above the daybed we hung large rattan plates as the start of a collection of natural objects.  My daughter also started to map out a gallery wall with frames ready to fill.  For the moment they have wrapping paper in them!


We got two lampshades from Dunlem which are made from twisted wire and they cast great patterns across the room.


One corner is used as a recording studio, so IKEA came to the rescue with their work tables and some wall hooks for all the leads.  I have had the shelves for years in storage and never got rid of them as I knew they would come in useful again.  They got a lick of paint and have lots of baskets on them to stash things away.



The bathroom got a fresh coat of paint and some accessories to jazz it up.  It’s very small so not many options to get creative, and I fitted a nice new loo seat, (it’s my least favourite job crawling around lavatories).



Finally we dressed the sitting room with layered rugs and lots of plants, and for a student pad it is pretty nice.  In fact, my own student flat was grotty beyond belief so I think she has landed on her feet.  I drive home feeling exhausted in a large empty can, but I know she loves her new little home and it is somewhere to go and relax after very busy days at Conservatoire.



Hang on!  My daughter has nicer mugs than me 😳. There’s still lots to do such as hang pictures and sort out the kitchen, (which has a garden table and chairs in it for the moment until we find a bargain on eBay or gumtree).  But they have a lovely home now and can grow into it themselves with their own styling and treasures, plus I can visit and pretend it is my pied a terre!

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Photo Shoot for 25 Beautiful Homes

‘Jewel In The Crown’

This week my house featured in the December 2017 issue of 25 Beautiful Homes.  The house was dressed to the nines with Christmas cheer, and styled beautifully by Sian Williams and photographed by Brent Darby.  It’s the second time one of my houses has been featured in the magazine, so thank you 25 Beautiful Homes.

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What is always odd about shoots for magazines is that they are done so far ahead in advance.  This feature was shot months ago, and since then new bits have been added or tweaked, so the photographs always remind me how much evolves in the house.  The houses always look so large due to the lenses used, and so CLEAN too!  The latter is due to a whirlwind of cleaning in preparation, so the ‘owner’s photo’ is always a bit hideous as I look very tired!

Here are some of the proofs that were taken.  The favourites are then picked out by the editors for the final piece:

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And here is the final layout, my rather useless scanner has not shown how lovely they actually look so apologies about that…

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Anyhow, job done.  It’s time to move house again now I think so I can start all over again….

 

My house in ‘The English Home’ Magazine, November Issue 2015

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I am very pleased that my home has had a feature in the interiors magazine ‘The English Home’ this month (November 2015 issue).  It is a very smart glossy, and it seems like a lifetime ago that the crew appeared to photograph the house. I can safely say that I have never cleaned a house as much as I did in the lead up to the shoot, it was pristine.  Even the picture rails got a clean….

Since then I have already redecorated two rooms – the breakfast room and the spare bedroom, so it shows that I just cannot sit still when it comes to experimenting and using the house as a testing ground.

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The photographer very kindly sent me copies of the photos, as my own image capturing skills above look a bit lacking:)

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It is quite a mixed bunch of feelings seeing your home immortalised!  One one hand, it looks so grown up and calm (unlike real life most of the time!), and on the other hand it makes me itch to punch some darker colours and patterns into it.  I think I need to be braver and bolder in the use of colours now.  I had my last home featured in 25 Beautiful Homes, and it is interesting to see how some of the furniture and objects are rehoused/placed/decorated in a different way in this current house.  Plus I also can see how much retail therapy has taken place, which is a bit alarming!

Moodboards making life more simple….

Today I have been preparing various moodboards to help visualise the styles available for a friend and client who wants a complete change in their living room.  They like a lot of very eclectic items from colonial to industrial to fantastic items from Anthropologie, so to try and narrow down to what it is they want to live with and what works cohesively, I have come up with the following boards.

I have instructions for no bright colours unless from Anthropologie, natural wood, creams and neutrals and statement pieces via lighting or furniture.  Hopefully the boards will start to whittle down what it is they really like and don’t like so I can prepare a final board for them.  They don’t have small children, and are happy to use pale fabrics on chairs and sofas, and they also love accent turquoise and teal which works well against neutrals and bare wood.

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ColonialThe boards are really useful generally for clients to let me know what they do and don’t like, plus they are also a good reference for me to keep generally.  I am LOVING the Anthropologie pendant flower lights, and may have to try and fit them into my own scheme in the near future…

‘Rocket Queen’ tattoo parlour Interior – Part 1

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My fabulous friend Charmaigne is opening a tattoo parlour , and we have been coming up with ideas to transform what is basically a HUGE empty space with creative ideas and a low-as-possible budget.  The shop consists of a vast reception area, two treatment rooms, a tiny staff room, WC and the main tattoo studio.  Various people will work in the shop; tattoo artists, a reflexologist, manicurist, and a laser tattoo removal specialist.

Most parlours we have seen are very male orientated – lots of photos of tattoos on the walls, big black leather sofas and quite cold in style.  We want to make a welcoming, fun, entertaining space for Charmaigne’s customers and their friends, and came up with a hybrid of Boudoir, Circus and Fantasy inspired ideas for the main reception space.  Lots of large scale props will be added later as decoration from pinball machines to pop art to a large scaled rocket.

Stripping Out:

The blank canvas was really daunting; lumpy rendered walls, awful suspended ceilings, and floors that were mixed levels and in a very sorry state.  A massive strip out followed, with new ceilings going up followed by plastering some wall areas.  The floors had to be stripped and made level.  Lighting was replaced with directional spotlights.

The first space you enter is the large reception area.  We chose an dark aubergine purple for the walls to warm up the large space.  Here is the first coat going up onto the very textured walls, (horrid to paint).  New ceilings and lighting had to be installed.    Rich gold is being used on skirting and door frames, this ties into planned decorative items being added later into the scheme.  Charmaigne has basically bought all the gold paint in the county for this project to date….

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The main tattoo workroom has to be very hygenic, and follow strict Health and Safety rules with non-porous surfaces.  We decided to follow a clinical/institutional theme in this room and play on the operating theatre theme of cleanliness!  The films ‘Dead Ringers’ is the inspiration for this space.  It also has existing security bars on the windows that have to stay, adding an slight prison feel to the room.  Metro tiles half way up the walls were applied to start which will have very dark grey grout, and a plasterer booked to come and skim the remaining walls and ceilings to provide a good base to paint on.  The walls will be a deep dark grey to offset the tiles and bright lights needed for tattooing.   The flooring is ordered; very dark grey lino which again is hygenic and practical.

IMG_9330There is a small staff area and WC, it is really dark and small so a deep red was used and the gold carried through, here it is after coat 1 of paint:

IMG_9329We have done the first shopping trip to gather a variety of furniture and decorative items, sooo excited!!!!  Watch this space for the developing world of Rocket Queen as it comes together…