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Finalising My Functional Entrance Hall…

October 26, 2020

My entrance hall has been completed in the past month and a half and I am loving it!  First and foremost, the functionality of this space means it wins the most improved medal this year.  My shoes are all easy to see and I am wearing all the pairs instead of a couple, that would normally fight to be at the front.  Everything is tidied away and has its place.  Adding the additional power point has meant I am not wasting time and getting frustrated removing plugs.  And my coat is hanging beautifully without risk of snagging or creasing. You can read more about the process here and here.

I took a few months after painting to finalise the purchase of the clothing hanger.  Summer here was toasty warm and there was no need to wear an outer layer.  Not that I was going out much as we were in the lockdown!  As the weather has turned and I’ve ventured out a bit more, I did start to pull out some layers.  Not having a place to put them restarted the end of this project.  I reached out to Kroft about their hanger to see if they would do a smaller custom size for me.  Result!  They let me know they do custom orders and there is a small wait as these orders build before they are processed.

I had the most fun getting my drill out and finding the right points on the ceiling.  Putting the hanger together was simple and it was done within half an hour.  I could hang more then one of my coats up but I am loving the look of only having one up.  Did you notice the hat?  I was going to be fancy and but a special black hook but then I realised the hook would be covered.  Command hook to the rescue with a clear hook that is keeping my hat on display and ready to go in sunny months.

What have you been doing in your home these past few months?  Hope you have found this inspiring.  MsJP x

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My Entrance Hall Progress…

May 25, 2020

This year I decided to focus on making over my entrance hall that really wasn’t functioning its best. It’s a small corner of my entrance that allows me to hide a bundle of shoes and a group of coats. There is a powerpoint that I use for my hairdryer because I can squish the cord under the bathroom door and do my hair in there. I still don’t understand why in the UK they don’t trust us with power in the bathroom! The lockdown has allowed me to think through what I want and this is the entrance hall progress.

I’ve chosen my paint shapes and used two beautiful blue based colours to create the artwork. To start with I painted the teal circle using a string/pencil combo to make the perfect shape. The arch was a little bit harder to work out as it is off centre. I started with the string/pencil combo but it didn’t feel right, slightly lopsided (as above). Creating a template with cardboard from a delivery I copied the left curve and used this to finesse the right curve (below). Perfect! The arch was so big I used a small roller which meant only one paint coat required.

After much searching for a shoe rack, it had to be black and small as the space is not as big as standard sizes, I ended up making the purchase from the Conran store. Originally I had found the Japanese brand on Amazon but at the beginning of lockdown my attitude towards Amazon changed and it being out of stock made me go elsewhere. Instead of a shelf for my hair tools I got a black wire basket from John Lewis. The tools are much bigger then I realised and the though of trying to balance them on a shelf gave me stress! Initially I thought I would hang the basket on the wall but it is very heavy with the tools. The shoe rack isn’t as full as I thought it would be and the black wire of the basket blends in seamlessly.

Next step is to remove the remaining items from the old coat rack. I still put it back in the space but need to move forward! I’ll pop it out in the communal area of my flat and someone is bound to take it. Then when lockdown is over a friends husband is coming to add a second powerpoint and I’ll sort out the fairy light cord situation. I think some command stripes and hooks will help. The final piece, the hanging coat rack, needs to be ordered. I’ve decided to wait until the end of this month to make sure I have the money set aside. One good thing about lockdown is it is easier to save money!

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Life Making

Different Ways to Paint My Entrance…

April 27, 2020

I’ve been thinking about my entrance hallway and how I want to make it over.  I am a lover of colour, but the thought of painting entire walls is not sitting well with me.  Within my home colour is in the furniture and accessories and I’ve realised I do enjoy the calmness of the white walls.  As part of my makeover I have thought about painting and as I have been searching for options these different ways to paint have come up.

Pops Of Colour On Doorway Edges.

I first saw this idea on Bright Bazaar who credits Martha Stewart Living where colour is added just to the edge of the door.  This is a great way to create colour impact without committing to an entire wall.  A great contrast adding colour against neutral walls. I also feel that this allows me to have a bright colour that might have been overwhelming on a bigger piece.

Image from Martha Living.

Creating Frames Around Doorways.

2lgstudio are colour lovers and design beautiful spaces for their clients.  I was particularly drawn to this scalloped framing around doorways.  Again, it allows a pop of colour without taking over an entire space. 

Beautiful Doorways by 2LG Studio.

Subtle Wall Stripes.

Emma Jane Palin is a fab designer blogger who loves bold colour, creativity and culture.  Not one to stop being a renter get in her way, Emma has injected design into her many abodes.  In her previous flat she added simple stripes at the top of her walls.  I like the one she did in the bedroom that added the scallop motif as well.

Stripes from Emma Jane Palin.

Arches and Circles.

With small spaces adding colour can be encroaching and I adore the way Gen from Collective Gen has added this arch in her daughter’s bedroom.  This simple design creates a distinct space for the bookshelf.  Gen has also experimented with painting half her front door using this approach of creating shapes. 

Front Door Magic From Collective Gen.

For the moment the arches and circles idea are my favourite.  The scallop look is a close second.  I want to wait until all the pieces including the hanger are installed before I decide.

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Life Making

How To Hang Curtains…

April 20, 2020

I moved into my flat three years ago and I was flat broke! I was sleeping on the floor and had only two chairs and a table. You can read more about that here. I also didn’t have any curtains. Instead I had a very old duvet cover and a shower curtain which I hung across the windows with command hooks! Once my bank account had recovered I saved up for blinds and my dad showed me how to use a drill to hang them.

Forgive me these photos were taken ages ago when I did this and my photography and editing skills weren’t great. It is what it is!

This was the situation in my bedroom! A piece of blackout curtain was stuck permenantly to the window with hooks and bluetack. A blind pulled down in front of it to make it look nicer! Sometimes on the weekend I would take it down to let in light. The window could be open at any time. I longed for the day when I could open my curtains but the blind would stop nosy parkers as I got dressed. Not having to turn the light on would be so lovely. Saving for my lusted after West Elm Velvet Curtains took nearly three years and I thought I would share with you how I hung the curtains.

I decided I wanted the rod and hardware to be black and whilst the West Elm products are lovely I settled for these Ikea ones. It all came down to budget! First tip is that Ikea do not supply screws to hang the hardware so I had to nip out and purchase those.

Using the curtain holder I marked on the wall the gap where the screws could go. I wanted there to be enough room at both ends to tuck part of the curtain around the holder. This way when I pull the curtains the whold panel doesn’t move to the other side. For this curtain pole I left a 5cm clearance.

Using the drill bit I made the holes for one of the curtain holders. I decided to complete one at a time to not rush. Now that I have more confidence in the drill I would have done all the holes and not had to change the bits as many times. Placing the curtain holder in the right spot I screwed in both screws. Done! Once I had completed the second curtain holders I added the covers.

To make things a bit easier I left both ends off the curtain rod and threaded on the curtains. Lifting these up in the holders I was then able to add the ends. To ensure that hte curtain doesn’t move across the whole rod I made sure one curtain tab was on the ‘wrong’ side of the curtain holder. After living with this for a few hours I moved another tab over which helped to balance and also prevent any light coming through the side crack.

Using a drill does have this scary overtone but it is quick an easy skill to pick up. If you are unsure get some scrap pieces of timber and practice on those. The biggest thing I forget when drilling is to click the drill in reverse to get the drill bit out! I soon remember as the bit will not budge without it!

Now that I have lived with the curtains for a couple of months I need to jump back up and adjust the curtain holder on the left. When I was fiddling around with it and extending the curtain rod the older moved and actually it needs to be further to the left of the window.

Do you do any DIY at home? PF xo

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Life Making

Creating A Functional Entrance Hall…

March 16, 2020

Each year I participate in Apartment Therapy’s January Cure.  It is a great way to reset your home, identify tasks that need doing and clear out the years clutter.  Each day you are given a goal from clearing a drawer to donating items to charity.  The big task is to put together your yearly home project.  Identifying something that you want to do, putting together a list of what that entails and planning it out.  You aren’t expected to complete this task in January and it can take as long as you need.  This year my yearly home project is to create a functional entrance hall.

How The Entrance Hall Functions Now.

Spoiler – it doesn’t!  I moved into my new build flat and I wasn’t allowed to repaint or decorate.  The plaster requires up to eighteen months to air and dry out limiting any decorating.  When I come into my flat there is a small entrance hall which every other room feeds off.  To the right, tucked behind a boxed in pillar, is a small space where I keep my shoes and coats. 

I currently have a very traditional, English coat rack in the space and that is it.  Storage wise it is a space that could be doing so much more and really could look better.  In this space is also a double powerpoint that I use for my hairdryer and fairy lights.  UK standards are limiting when it comes to power in bathrooms and we aren’t trusted to be able to plug in appliances in wet spaces!  As a result, all my other hair gadgets are piled in this space as well.  Safe to say I am not looking after these gadgets, and I have to tidy this space at least once a week.  It does not function well.

Planning and Budgeting The Entrance Hall Makeover.

Over the past four years I have researched many ideas on how to make this space function better.  The ceiling height means I can lift my coats with a hanging system.  It makes sense to have some sort of storage that stacks the shoes.  I’ve love to not see them poking out from their space! 

One of the biggest sticking points were my hair gadgets and how to store them.  Researching online I found several systems designed specifically for Dyson hairdryers.  Some even use magnets to display the attachments.  Finally, I would like to have a second double power point so that I can get rid of the power board.

Knowing the cost of this project would determine if I could go ahead.  I spent a few hours researching, over a couple of days, and came up with the below design.  It is a total spend of £290, excluding paint.  I am still unsure how, and if, I will paint the wall, total area, ceiling or nothing.  Paint isn’t cheap!  The most expansive item is the Kroft hanger which I might try and DIY later this year.

Getting Started On The Entrance Hall.

Excitedly I have decided to move ahead with the project knowing I have a year to slowly purchase and put everything in place.  I have borrowed a stud finder from a friend and organised another’s electrician husband to come and put in the powerpoint.  I’ve purchased the Dyson hair dryer holder and marked the ceiling where the hanger can go.  A few months of saving and I’m looking forward to making over this space.

Mood board picture of all the elements I am hoping to add to my entrance hall. 
 They correspond with the list of seven items nest.  Creating A Functional Entrance Hall.
  1. Kroft Hanger £98
  2. Silver Double Point Power Point £24 plus £50 install
  3. Dyson Hair Dryer Wall Mounted Display £21
  4. Black Metal Shelf Ebay £15
  5. Wall Hooks £19
  6. Yamazaki Shoe Rack £52
  7. Earthborn Clay Paint £20+

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My Tips To Making Candles At Home…

March 20, 2019
A picture of my flat with a dressing table with candles on it lit.  A beautiful bunch of colourful flowers sits behind them with orange, purple and pink flowers.

Candles Came Into My Life Late!

For along time in my dault life I rarely had candles in my home because of my upbringing. My dad has sensitivity to perfumes that make his sinuses go haywire! I remember distinctly one night going to bed and my dad trying to locate a perfume smell that had set his nose off. He asked if I had put on deodorant before bed. Ah no, just flowers from the garden Dad!

It was living with friends in the UK and their love of candles that changed me. I saw them not only to create a scent in your home but also to provide an ambiance in a darker, colder climate. My friends had multiple candle holders and without exaggeration, I counted, would light a variety of 27 candles in a room. Gathering together tealight candles to flicker against the fireplace, tall pillars framing bookshelves and a few scented ones to create the nights flavour. The effect was magnificent and really came alive when the weather was cold!

All the items you need for canfle making,  Wax in a purple bowl, wicks, various containers, lots of essential oil and measring cups, wick stickers to keet them at the bottom of the jar and a wick holder.

Candles Are Perfect For Decorating Too.

In my next home I too had a fireplace, though it was faux, and set about placing candles throughout to recreate this romantic home. Shortly after moving into this flat I won a John Lewis voucher. I wasn’t really a John Lewis shopper at the time and really struggled to find something instore to purchase. Today the store is completely different and they have many brands I use! Wandering around at a bit of a loss, I came to the candle section and decided to spend the voucher on pillar candles for the fireplace. They looked fantastic and really helped to create a focal point where the fire place had previously looked neglected.

Picture showing all the items for making in the background.  In the foreground is my hand holding a wick with a a wick sticker cut in half

How I Use Candles Now.

In my current flat I have long ago donated many of my candle holders I had due to the smaller space. Typically, I light a few unscented tea lights and one main smelly candle! My preference is for Diptyque but they are pricey and even more so with their Brexit tax. The pillar candles from my old flat have sat unused for a couple of years. I slowly burnt the very small ones but the large, almost church size ones were taking up room. I decided to make use of this wax, add my favourite scent combination of lemon, lime and clementine and create my own.

A picture showing me pouring essentail oils into the wax.

Where I Got My Supplies.

My pillar cadles were from John Lewis and cutting them down was the most challenging part. I am glad I tackled it over a few nights, slowly hacking away and adding to a bowl I had set aside. You can purchase candle wax ready to melt on Amazon. For the scents I did a lot of research as they aren’t cheap. The day before I was to buy them Holland & Barrett did a buy one, get one free offer. Fantastic! I’d ordered a candle wick kit from Amazon and was full steam ahead ready to go.

A picture from a top view showing all the containers filled with wax and then the wick holder and pencils keepign the wicks in place.

How To Make Candles At Home.

Making candles isn’t hard and I won’t labour on the details. Create a Bain Marie to ever so slowly melt the wax. Prep all your containers with wicks ready for pouring. Maybe play some jazz in the background! Take the wax off the heat and add your premeasured essential oils. Start filling up the containers and use the wick holder to centre wayward wicks!

My Tips On Candle Making.

What are your favourite candles? Have you tried making any at home? I’d love to hear about it. PF xo

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