Turning my blank canvas home office into a cosy writing corner

Turning my blank canvas home office into a cosy writing corner

While the renovation to our Kitchen Diner has been happening I've been locking myself away in my teeny uninspiring office trying to stay sane. So, I thought I would use the #BlankCanvas opportunity to get some ideas for how I could temporarily spruce up my home office until I've got more time to sort it out properly, calling on the Julian Charles' in-house designers and my instagram friends for advice. Come see my updates!

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My bedroom mini-makeover (before + after)

Bedroom mini makeover (before and after photos)

A quick update from me folks. We've spent our bank holiday weekend making our bedroom look pretty :) 

This time last year my home was shared on the Direct Blinds blog. Whilst it was always fairly nice and character-filled, we'd only just moved in so naturally I had a whole list of improvements to make. 

My bedroom needing a fresh look was one, but it seemed to take FOREVER to make progress. It's only now I can see it taking shape. 

Bedroom mini makeover (before and after photos)

As you can just about see from the image above we used to have Farrow + Ball's Eating room red in the alcoves (the same colour as our living room) which the previous owner painted. 

Red bedrooms kind of disgust me, haha! so as soon as we gave the bedroom a fresh lick of grey and white paint I saw instant results. The room looked cleaner and I finally had a blank canvas to work with. 

Bedroom mini makeover (before and after photos)

We had the whole room re-plastered to prep for a much smoother, tidier paint finish. Above is how our bedroom looked for a solid 2 weeks. Dust everywhere, clothes piled up in our hallway, it was hell but worth every minute. Our walls are absolutely spotless now, no lumps and bumps from years of bangs and scratches moving furniture and hanging frames badly had scarred them with. 

I'll tell you what, plaster work was always something I never noticed as a renter, but as a home owner I'm completely sold what an improvement and investment it is. 

It took about 3 days to dry fully then we gave it a wash with white paint + water to seal it in, waited for it to dry then did 2 coats of Valspar's paints. Summer Grey matt for the alcoves and summer grey satin for the skirting boards, window and back of the door + frame, with Tidy White in matt across all of the other walls.

This paint was a dream to work with on top of the new plaster as you can imagine, but I'd used Valspar (in Smitten) on my mum's bedroom walls which need replastering and it still gave excellent coverage. A little goes a long way no matter what condition your walls are in. 

Bedroom mini makeover (before and after photos)

Until this weekend, we were left with something a little like this ^. Nice paint work, new bedside table from Ikea, but there were wires everywhere and nothing hanging on the walls. It didn't feel like it had a 'scheme' or personality to it. 

I'd been putting off hanging things on the walls because I was petrified of ruining the plaster work we'd shelled out £400 for, until I just thought to myself, it's worth the risk. If we make a hole, we can fix + repaint it, and luckily Neil took full charge and worked his magic on it. I'd be dangerous behind a drill, so left it to the expert.

From then I began by gathering together some ideas for wall hangings. I found that beautiful mini art deco mirror from Oliver Bonas for only £10 and knew it had to be mine. I saw it looking great as part of a gallery wall. 

Now I was originally going to do a feature gallery wall on the chimney breast in the centre of the room but decided for a more subtle mini-gallery, framing prints from my favourite company at the mo - Old English Prints

I bought some cheap frames from amazon, played around with layout and got my assistant Neil to do his thing hanging it all. 

A little bit of interior styling later, and here we are today. I'm really liking the direction the room is taking. 

Bedroom mini makeover (before and after photos)

It's not finished yet, I still need to refit a light, find a gorgeous blind + curtains to suit the room, and I'm in desperate need of a new wardrobe. I'm also wanting to work the new trend of layering rugs, so might keep my eye out for a new hide to sit under the sheepskin. 

But finally I feel like progress is being made! :)

What do you think? Are you currently redecorating too or have plans to?

I have a new interior class you should download (it's totally free) and will help you release your interior goddess... I'd love you to check it out.

Where's everything from? ›› drawers - ikea, rug - the forest + co, lamp - next, art deco mirror - oliver bonas (sold out but similar here), prints - old english prints company, frames - amazon, faux flowers - ikea, vase - ikea

Our beautiful new kitchen tiles (Before & After photos)

Interior blog - Before & after kitchen tiles: white tiles on black grout

If you've just bought a new home (or if you've EVER bought a new home before) you'll know exactly how slow it can be working through that never ending long list of things you need to change and get fixed. Unless you're lucky enough to have bought a stunning new-build, like my fabulous sister! I'm very impatient, and a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my house. I want things done NOW but haven't yet faced facts that dolla don't grow on trees :(

Getting some kitchen tiling done was surprisingly low on our priority list seeing as we have more pressing matters like leaks to fix and a fire place to install! yay! But seeing the walls behind the cooker get repeatedly splashed by bacon grease, I'd had enough. Bring in the tilers, fast.

It's a pretty hot trend on pinterest at the moment to marry white tiles with black grout. There's something all too clinical about white tiles with plain ol' white grout, and as our kitchen has quite a 'country' vibe with an island sink (not pictured) and stable back door, Neil & I knew going down the pinterest route would round up the look perfectly.

We worked with British Ceramic Tile on this look, flicking through their catalogue of really beautiful patterned and colourful tiles. They have every colour you can imagine. It was hard not to be tempted to abandon ship and go down the pattern route with all the fab tiles on offer, but we had a vision and decided to see it through.

We opted for Laura Ashley's new Artisan tile range for their glossy uneven charm. Here's how it looks...

Interior blog - Before & after kitchen tiles: white tiles on black grout

It's made the whole kitchen feel much more complete and homely. Not to mention it makes a brilliant backdrop for displaying my cacti and papping my baking posts. What dya think?

Interior blog - Before & after kitchen tiles: white tiles on black grout

Interior blog - Before & after kitchen tiles: white tiles on black grout

I've gotta say, choosing tiles is TOUGH work. They really change the appearance of a room, and unless you have an exceptional imagination, it can be really hard imagining exactly how the finished result will look.

I was delighted that British Ceramic Tile were more than happy to post me as many tiles as my fussiness demanded. If you're picking and choosing tiles in the future, make sure you have the tiles right there in front of you and prop them up against the wall. You wouldn't believe how different some looked online both size-wise and colour. I'm overall SO pleased with the look though. Laura Ashley tiles... and in my experience, ALL homeware are fantastic quality, and I can't rate British Ceramic Tile highly enough.

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