Cute Houses of Montreal


DIY Camera Strap

Life changing magic

Life changing magic
The Life Changing Magic

House Update: The Guest Room revamp

We recently had the hallway replastered and whilst we had people in doing that we figured we might as well get another room done – you know, because it seemed good economy whilst the plasterers were here - but which room to do was the big decision?  The dining room was out because we've not decided if we're knocking through to the kitchen yet, and our bedroom needs to be rid of some hideous built-in wardrobes before we can tackle it, the shower room needs loads ripping out and the top floor is being left until last, so the room  that won was the guest room. 

It wasn’t in THAT bad a state. I mean the carpet was the colour of runny poop and the wallpaper looked like something an 11 year old might have picked, but it's a huge room, and once we'd we filled it with a bed, a wardrobe and added some curtains and we had a spare room that was usable. It wasn't pretty, but it was usable. See - how awful was that carpet! 
Because getting the room plastered was a bit of a last minute decision, it meant that earlier this summer we spent a frantic 2 days de-wallpapering the room to get the walls clear to be plastered and then a few weeks later we spent another frantic few days finishing the painting before a new carpet went it.

My plan for the room was to create a calming space for guests to relax. I want people to come and feel welcome in the house but we also didn’t want to spend too much on a room that will, for most of the year, essentially be a giant clothes drying room (if you tell me your spare room is anything but a space to dry clothes, I will tell you you’re lying!) In my mind the colours were going to be something like this, and my carpet was picked to go with this vision, but when I started painting the wall, the colour I had chosen started coming out far more blue than I had envisaged. Not in a bad way, but I was thinking more cream, but clearly my paint picking brain was routing me to cooler shades over cosy shades!  
Now, to make this post worth while we probably should have bought all new furniture for the room, but we haven’t. We've made the most of what we already had - we already had a king sized bed in there and the wardrobe too, so we’ve kept those big pieces and just added to the room, where we felt necessary and hey, guests get a king sized bed rather than a blow up mattress, so they can keep their complaints about the mismatching furniture to themselves! 
Once I'd realised that the walls were changing my colour vision for the room, my colour scheme changed a bit and I went from wanting browns and beige's to thinking greys and whites would be better. I shopped the house for some of the other accessories including the curtains, which were from our old house's bedroom, the chest or drawers were also in our old house, as was the bucket chair and the mirror. And although maybe they aren't what I'd have had if we'd been buying from new, they work for now I think.

One of the pieces that IS new and I am most happy with in the room is the lamp shade. I love how intricate and delicate and well, girlie it is and I adore the shadows that it casts when the light is on, but it's also cool enough to not make the room look twee. Honestly, I just adore how pretty it is and we get so many compliments. I picked up one of those fancy looking bulbs too, so whether you look right up at it, or from the side it's beautiful.
The room isn't quite finished yet, but I wanted to share it with you now. The plan is to add an original Victorian fireplace to the chimney breast as there is a hole for one behind the chest of drawers, but I can't find one that is small enough and is within my budget so I'll keep scouring Ebay for now. I'd also like to grab a dressing table for the alcove so that guests have somewhere to get ready, but that'll be something we'll pick up next time we're near an ikea, I guess. I've also got a lot of artwork from our travels that I am hoping will bring out the blue in the walls, it's ready to be printed but we need frames for them all, so we're probably going to have to wait until said Ikea trip to do that!
One of the advantages of Jim staying in so many hotels is that we have an abundance of hotel toiletries, which means guests get mini's like they would in a hotel - the jar is filled with berocca, cosmetics samples and painkillers for the inevitable hangovers. The top drawer of the dresser is full of hair dryers and an old pair of straighteners and some PJ's that I've never worn. Things guests might not have brought with them. 
Now all we need is an abundance of guests to come along and stay in the room - who wants to come? 

Shopping List

Walls – Snowflake by Valspar in a matt finish / Main light shade c/o First Choice Lighting / Bedding – Matalan / Carpet – Mintons, Sheffield / Chest of drawers - Ikea but painted / Wardrobe - on loan from friends / Candle - Sainsbury's / Chair - Ikea / 
Curtains - mirror - throws - bedside lamps - from the house.

My guilty pleasures play list!

Having just spent a fair wack of a recent weekend driving the 6hrs to Ilfracome and back with one of my friends, Beth, in the passenger seat and in-charge of the stereo, I've realised just how massively un-cool my music collection is. A couple of hours into the journey, we decided to abandon the radio and turn to my car CD collection which was probably last updated in about 2009 (we forgot both our ipods!).

Given that Beth has always been the friend who introduced me to cool new bands, her mocking of my CD collections was pretty just - I mean, I didn't even know I had 2 Justin Timberlake CD's - but it didn't stop us from finding a couple of massive guilty pleasures in there. And the dance party we had in the car had me thinking about what would be on my guilty pleasures playlist if I was given with free reign beyond my current collection of CD's. I mean it's not like it'll be much different to what's actually in my CD case but you know, I'm a creature of musical habits and maybe there are a few other singles I can pick up?

I mean no playlist, guilty pleasures or otherwise, would be complete without The Beach Boys, they've been my favourite since I was a kid, like a little kid, 10 years old and singing along to Little Deuce Coupe, but there havebeen times when liking them was so not cool and they will always feel like a guilty pleasure! And I just don't trust you if you don't sing at the top of your voice to Livin' on a Prayer when you're in your car. But in my list there are a few other sing along classics, some late night party memories, some cheesey numbers and a couple of indie essentials.

I mean this isn't the playlist I'd publish to impress the super cool amongst you, this is the playlist I'd put on to speak to the me's throughout the years, the me who wants to sing along and the me who wants to remember some awesome memories. 

And now I want to know what would be on your guilty pleasures playlist - not the cool songs remember, the ones you'd listen to when you're not trying to impress anyone. Go on, hit me with them!

*This is a collaborative post with HMV but all the view are my own* 

An Autumn Lust List

1. I have one of these Hush dresses in blue and white  (nautical, obvz, did you imagine anything else from me?) and it was an summer essential that I wore all the time so the fact I can get it in a long sleeved winter style makes me happy. It covers all my lumps and bumps so wonderfully (and I have many of them) and looks great too! 
2. Melle managed to get his teeth into my favourite casual winter boots over the summer. When I say he got his teeth into them I mean he ate one of the heels, leather, wooden heel bit, everything. Gone. Little monster. So I'm on a mission to replace them. They need to be low heeled and easy to wear with jeans or a skirt and these boots look like they'd fit the bill! 
3. It's been the longest time since I had a nice checked shirt and then this one popped up and I think I might have fallen in love. I had one pretty similar in about 2006, i wore it to death and 
4. With all the changes that are coming in my life keeping healthy is going to be high on my list of priorities. I've been thinking of replacing my fitbit for a while and this Bella Beat fitness tracker includes more than just your activity, it includes a wellbeing function that includes mindfulness and meditation.
5. I'm kind of obsessed with Cliniques Chubby Sticks, I've had one of their eye sticks and it's so easy to use for someone as challenged at doing make-up as I am (God help me if I ever have to start drawing my eye brows on or doing anything more complicated than my usual routine though!) I think this brown, Fuller Fudge, would be perfect for winter though.

What are your essentials for the Autumn?