Wednesday, 14 May 2014

My guide to redecorating your home on a budget...

...And my top 5 money saving tips!!

So we've got to the middle of May, and I am halfway through this years redecorating plan for our home! The hallway is finished and the bedroom is as good as done!! (the reveal coming soon!)
I feel great about the progress I have made and that plans have already been set into action for some of the bigger changes we want to make to our Victorian cottage!!
Also I am feeling rather pleased with myself that so far, I have managed to achieve our home improvements without making much of a dent in our daily outgoings...
So I want to share my top tips on improving your home in a budget friendly manner!
I will deal with furnishing and décor on a budget in another post, today I just want to talk about  redecorating the home!!
Don't try to do it all at once!! Concentrate on doing up one room at the time!! This way it will not be so daunting a task and planning your to do list and spreading the cost will be more achievable!!

By planning ahead your room design, you can save money by buying paints or materials when there is a sale at the DIY will also give you time to shop around for cheap furniture, lighting or other necessities (More on that in another post)!
The first thing to do is to work out what you want from a room...What function and use, and what feel would you like your room to have?? Do you need to create a workspace in your dining room or bedroom? Or maybe your living room needs space for your child's toys? O do you simply want a comfy and calming space!??

My room plan for our living room

Draw up a rough room-plan!
 Measure the rooms dimensions and make note of where there's windows and doors to consider! This is particularly important if you are considering buying new furniture, such as sofas or beds!
Research your style!
 Use Pinterest to collect images of interior designs and items you love, then use picmonkey to create a mood-board! This will help you plan ahead your list of jobs to do as well as any necessary purchases to achieve your style!
My picmonkey collage mood board of images found on pinterest for the living room look I would like...
When you have worked out what look, feel and purpose you want your room to have, its time to write a list of the jobs you want done in the room, starting with what you feel would make the biggest improvement!! Basic jobs like painting the walls, tiling or sorting the flooring out should be top of your list!

DIY as much as you feel comfortable doing!!
Painting is top of the list of things that have an instant positive impact on the look and feel of the room! And it is something most people can do themselves!!
If a room is particularly big or you feel daunted by taking on painting the floor or ceiling yourself...get your friends around to help out...make it fun: put some music on and order in pizza!
Other things you might consider DIY'ing is for example: tiling or laying down new laminate flooring:
There are plenty of advice and tutorials on how-to to be found online, such as channel 4's essential DIY guide or the Wikihow's Home Decorating pages
If you feel unsure, however, there is no shame in calling in the professionals!!
This particularly applies to plumbing and electrics ....I recommend using qualified people to do these sort of jobs!! 
Save money by shopping around for quotes (Tip: Choose the middle quote: You don't want crappy workmanship on the cheap!) or asking for favours of friends in these jobs, or how about swopping skills: You paint their front room if they sort out your light fittings??

1.Wait patiently for sales on paints and materials! If You have your redecorating plan sorted in good time, you can take advantage of any seasonal discounts at the DIY shop. Spread the cost by not buying everything at once, and trawl the internet for cheap deals
2. Choose a neutral paint colour, like white, and buy in bulk, so that you have enough to redecorate more than one room, and even use the same paint for the ceilings etc...not only will it be cheaper, but it will also help streamline your décor and tie the look of your home together..
If you really cant live without colour on your walls, get creative and use smaller tins of paint (or even better: sample pots) to create a feature wall!

Image via ellens album

3. Beg, steal and borrow!! See if any of your friends are redecorating and have any leftover paint or materials that could come in handy!
Or maybe you can split the cost of a stencil or some wallpaper paste?
There are also some websites where you can find free or cheap building materials like paints, tile and timber. Check out recipro , trade leftovers or preloved

4. If you have your heart set on a beautiful wallpaper, but it costs a bomb, why not ask in the shop for a biggish sample (most stores will be happy to give you 1/2m ) and stretch it over a canvas for some instant art? Or maybe make some wallpaper covered folk art stars, like the ones below?
Most online wallpaper shops will send out free samples!

5. If you are changing the look of your room, there may be things that you have that will not go with your new décor...Try selling stuff on ebay  to raise funds for your decorating!
 If  you are finding it hard to let go of things, try clearing the room and setting up an outbox of things you are not sure you want to keep....leave the items there for at least a week, then go through and see how you feel about selling the items then....Chances are you are now ready to let some things go, as you've gotten used to not seeing them around!!

I hope you find this guide useful...I know I have saved myself a lot of money by planning ahead this way!
 I have one final tip for you all:
Sometimes, with a little imagination, a compromise can enhance the outcome of your decorating efforts..... I did with our staircase...When I realised we did not have the budget to replace the manky old carpet on our stairs, I got creative and purchased two minty green zigzag patterned runners in the sale, that I just staple gunned to the stairs!  If I had gotten normal carpet, no way would I have been so adventurous with the colour and pattern!!It looks great, and when they get dirty I simply rip them up and shove them in the washing machine! And all for just £30!!
I will be back with some more budget busting advice on Décor at the end of the week, this time focusing on furniture and accessories!!
Note: I just came across This post from apartment therapy, that you all may find useful if you are planning on redecorating a part of your home....Read the comment section as well...there are some really good advise there!! 

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Starburst ceiling rose DIY: Adding a mid-century style architectural feature to your home


Adding a mid-century architectural feature to your home

Adding some interest to our plain, but ropey looking ceilings has been on my agenda for a while.

So when I spotted a starburst ceiling rose on 2modern, a few weeks ago I instantly knew this was something I HAD to try myself!
What a great way to add a fun architectural element to your home, with the perfect nod to mid-century Scandinavian design!!
Unable to find the tutorial they referred to (The link to the blog "the vintage cabin" seemed not to work!!) I decided to figure it out myself, and today I want to share with you all how I did it!!

 I am not going to lie to you all: This one's not for the faint hearted, and takes a lot of work, but hopefully I have done most of the hard work for you, and this tutorial will make this DIY a bit easier!!
And the result is totally worth it....don't you think??

You will need:

A1 Grey board 3ml
Metal ruler
Baking paper
Cutting mat
Porous tape (I used medical tape)
Poly filla
Flat-leafed sculpting tool/spatula
180 grit Sandpaper
Gesso Primer/ white paint

The first thing to do is to measure the light fitting/ceiling rose in the ceiling where you want to put up your Starburst, and work out how big you want it to be:

Make a note of the its time to draw up...


1.On your grey board draw up a square to the size you want your starburst. Mine was 50cm square.
Then find the middle by drawing two diagonal crossed lines and a +.
2. Next you want to draw a circle in the middle...This will be the opening for the light fitting and hence needs to be just slightly bigger (ca0.5cm) than the diameter of the ceiling cup.
You could use a compass to do this, or if you haven't got one, like me, You can draw one by free-hand: measure half of the diameter (of the ceiling cup+5ml) from the centre and marking these points off on the lines. Use these points as a guide to draw your circle...It may help to half the distance between the existing lines, and extending some lines coming from the centre through these as well...(See picture 2 in the grid above)
3.& 4. Measure out 2cm from the circle onto the diagonal and + lines, and draw two overlapping squares using the other lines coming out from the centre as guides. This will mark the beginning of the 3D effect of your starburst. And this will also tell you from where to extend the lines for the triangles you will draw next.....
(In my head this seemed easy enough to explain, but putting it all in to words is not easy, so if you have lost me at this point, I don't blame you...please use the photos as a reference, and hopefully it will all make sense...)
You basically want to end up with something that looks like this:

This will form the base of your 3D starburst.
Next up you want to copy the pattern of the triangles, 4 of each size, onto the side of the grey board:

Instead of re-measuring each triangle, I used some baking paper and traced one of the small , and one of the large triangles. (You have probably done this as a child) then turning the piece of baking paper over, I pressed the template onto the grey-board using a pencil...

Next you want to cut all the shapes out:

Use a scalpel with the metal ruler as a guide edge!
Start by scoring the centre lines (Marked in orange in the first picture above) of the triangles approximately 3/4 in to the grey card ...Take care not to cut through the card!
Then cut them carefully out, just outside the lines...
Next cut out the centre circle of the starburst base, then move on to cut out the starburst itself! (It is best to do it this way, as you don't risk damaging the pointy bits of the starburst whilst cutting out the centre)

Now you have the basic shape and all the bits you need to create your starburst ceiling rose.
The base is done, but now you will need to fold the triangles to create the 3D effect:


Fold were you have scored the grey card...

Use something thin and flat to fold against towards the tips of the triangles...this will help you get a neat fold !

Lay your folded triangles on top of the starburst base:

Manipulate the folds so that the triangles fit nicely onto the shape of the base.

Time to tape it all together!

Try to tape it all tightly together. Take extra care to do a neat job on the tips of the starburst.
The reason I recommend using a porous tape , is because a shiny, smooth tape will make the next step very difficult...

Filling and shaping the starburst

Using a flat-leafed spatula/sculpting tool and some fast setting poly filla (Don't be tempted to use the powdered stuff you mix up with water, as this will make the grey card go soggy)

Start by filling the creases in the folded triangles and any other gaps. Then use the filler to sculpt sharp, crisp edges.
Leave to dry, then use some fine grit sand paper to sand back the filler until smooth.

Please wear a dust mask when sanding back the is NOT good for your lungs!!

And don't go too overboard with want your finished ceiling rose to be nice and light!

You will not get away with filling just the once (unless you are a champion filler-master...)
So brush away the dust and  fill again....and sand again: use the sandpaper to help sculpt crisp edges...
Repeat this process until you are happy with the shape...

 Make sure you have protected your work surface (I used a plastic table cloth)
Push some filler onto the sides of the starburst (Photo, top right, above) and smooth it towards the work surface to ensure your starburst will sit flat...
(Instead of sanding these bits, use a scalpel to trim away any lumps and bumps when the filler has gone cheesy (:almost set hard)...)

When you are satisfied with the shape and finish of your starburst, give it a quick clean with a slightly damp sponge!
Don't worry if you have some minor imperfections in the filler finish...because next up we will paint it, and they will probably be hidden under the paint!

I used Gesso primer, but a coat of white emulsion paint will do...

Leave to dry...your new ceiling rose is now done!


Fitting the starburst ceiling rose

This is the easy part!
Basically you are just going to stick the ceiling rose to the ceiling around your light fitting with some "no more nails"(or other instant grab high strength adhesive)!!


Have your flat leafed sculpting tool/spatula to hand...

Squeeze some "no-more nails" onto the back of your starburst, spread it out using your spatula, then press it onto the ceiling in position! 
Use your spatula to neaten up any excess adhesive squeezing out at the side..


If there are any unsightly gaps, use your spatula and fill with some poly filla

Use a damp sponge or cloth and gently wipe away any excess filla.
Leave the filler to dry, then give it all a lick of paint!


 I love how the starburst ceiling rose has added some interest to our bedroom ceiling....and also helped neaten up the area around the light fitting, hiding imperfections in our knackered old ceiling!!
Oh! And by the way: What do you think of my new origami lampshade?? It's from Snowpuppe! Adds a pop of colour...

Now I can lay in bed and stare up in the ceiling at my new ceiling rose, proudly thinking: "I made that"!!! (and of course admire the inside of my new origami lampshade)

I have made another starburst ceiling rose for our living room, but I am getting Mr to mould it first so that I can make these to order (in lightweight resin) in my etsy shop (More on that later) for those of you that feel like this seems just that little too complicated!!

For less than £15 I have made this architectural feature for our home...A long process, but with a great result!!You can too!!

Thanks for popping by!!