During the dark, grey days of winter .... sorry ... summer, I've had lots of time on my hands, so on my days off, when I'd normally be pottering around the garden, skipping about doing summery things, and going off on jollies, I've been confined to barracks, and been finding fault with my surroundings. When we moved in 5 years ago, the house had basically been done up to sell, but not done up very well! (New bathroom suite, not fixed to wall or floor; wooden flooring fitted but with no gaps, so every autumn it rises alarmingly in the centre; front room decorated but 80's Artex left in situ .... oh dear, I could write a book!)
This is the front room, which we just painted cream and then didn't really do much else. It's a south-facing room, and while on sunny days is really bright, in winter seemed to lack a little warmth.
One Friday morning two weeks ago, I got up, went straight to Homebase (I stock up on my Farrow & Ball paints when it's 15% off weekend ... this is Thriftwood, after all!) and spent about an hour umming and aahing over the colour chart. I went home, cleared the first area to be painted, and started (I don't mess about, I just do it ... purists please close your ears!) The first four images are of the room before I attacked it.
I do think it lacks warmth, even though I brightly accessorise ...
I haven't a clue what that is in the left hand corner of the above photo ... there's nothing there! And it's definitely not my thumb which is the usual explanation! Ideas on a postcard please!
This is the transformation ... even though the colour is not bright, it just seems to make everything blend in more. I chose French Grey from Farrow and Ball ... I love the chalky finish their paint gives, and it even subdued the Artexed wall. It was painted in a silk finish before, and I think that just highlighted the problem. I can't even see it's gorgeous ripply bumpiness on this pic ....
A change of curtains ... not new, given to me by my cousin when she moved home. I snapped them up even though they had been in a damp conservatory and were very mildewy. I hung them on the washing line, sprayed liberally with Dettol Mould & Mildew Remover (excellent stuff), left them for a while and then machine washed them. Good as new ... bet she wants them back now!
A bit of Elmer going on here, I think ...
Sofa part of Ercol cottage suite (£45), oak bookcase (£30) ... pictures cost pennies from car boot sales ...
Lamps £1 each, shades 50p but revamped by me.
Artex rearing it's ugly head on this wall above.
Flowers on mantelpiece from my garden ... I am actually growing wheat! We think the only explanation is that the corn in spilt chicken feed has germinated ... Haha, I could make my own flour!
This morning my friend came round, and I was telling her about my home made furniture polish, so I made a bowlful and gave my old pine cupboards a treat. As the room gets a lot of sun, the wood does become dry and parched, but this is the ideal remedy. Simply pour some cheap olive oil in a bowl, add the juice of a lemon, mix, and apply to your furniture. I usually put one lot on and leave it to soak in for a while, then apply a second lot and buff. The lemon juice cleans the wood and the oil feeds and shines it. It makes the room smell lovely too, and is a lot more rewarding than a spray can! Ruby liked it too ... she was following me around licking it, yuk!
I don't really buy cleaning products nowadays, I just use lemon juice, vinegar, and an awful lot of bicarbonate of soda. Kinder to your purse, but also kind to the planet!
And below, six little lovelies waiting to be transformed! When I did the last two vintage fairs, I don't know if you remember, but I sold a couple of cupboards me and Steve had renovated. At both fairs I received orders to make more, so have been going off on my thrifty travels amassing cupboards ...
They've been sanded and given a coat of primer at the weekend, but unfortunately rain stopped play, so hopefully this weekend, we'll get them painted (or Steve will!) and then I can titivate! That's the bit I love best ... hopefully my commissionees will like them! Will share them with you when they're done.
I'd just like to end by saying thank you so much for all your lovely comments on my last posting ... it certainly seemed to strike a chord with you all. I'm going to Leeds next week to see Jacob before he goes away to France to work for the rest of the summer ... hankies at the ready!!
Hope the sun shines for you this week,
Love, Claire xxx