Showing posts with label around my home. Show all posts
Showing posts with label around my home. Show all posts

Monday, 13 April 2015

top ten cafetieres

If someone were to ask me what one of my favourite household items was, I would say without a doubt, my cafetiere. I use it everyday for my morning coffee. Until recently, I had two reliable ones and a cheaper back up (which doesn't pour very well.) But, in the space of a few days, I ended up dropping them both in the ceramic sink! 

So, I have been on the look out for a good quality, non drip cafetiere that gets all the coffee in the cup. These are a round up of ten of the best to suit most budgets that I could find. Have you got a favourite make of cafetiere? 

This is an amazing bargain from bpsalesdirect on Ebay right now. Not only is it incredibly cheap, but there is a fantastic range of colours to match anything in your kitchen.

A great value basic cafetiere, from M&S, for the price of the replacement glass for many others.

Very similar to M&S cafetiere, I love the colour of this one from Sabichi.

To celebrate their 70th anniversary, the Danish company Bodum have produced these unbelievably priced, funky coloured versions of their famous French press. The only drawback is that the colour combination you receive is random when you order. But hey, we all love a surprise.

Amazing value, this stylish cafetiere from Tesco has a
 double wall to keep the coffee warm for longer. A real bargain and no broken glass in the ceramic sink!

Another stylish, stainless and great value cafetiere. Made by ProCook, it is so pretty and sleek that I just want to stroke it. Again, the double wall means that you can take longer drinking your coffee.

This design by Sophie Conran, sold by John Lewis, is one of my favourites. Definitely one to whip out at a dinner party.

This is the one I really love. It is the Chambord, but with a shiny copper finish. I think it must be a limited edition because I could only find it on Amazon.

This modern, shiny stainless Bodum is an update, introduced a few years ago, on the traditional Chambord. It only pours when you press the lever, making it great if you enjoy breakfast in bed. It can be found on Amazon.

Finally, some real class! How gorgeous is this Guzzini stove top percolator at Red Candy. It is definitely the top end of the market, but I love it. It really makes a statement.

Which one do you like best?

Friday, 18 April 2014

how to decoupage a set of ikea drawers

As it's the holidays, I have finally got around to finishing this little set of drawers that I bought from Ikea many years ago. They were looking tired and past their best, so I had to find a way to make them look good enough to stay in my bedroom. I decided to use pictures from old Gil Elvgren desk top calendars.

It is my third decoupage project on the blog as I have also decoupaged a serving tray and a jewellery box.

You will need:
  • wooden drawers, or any other piece you want to decorate
  • pictures on paper
  • water-based primer
  • water-based matte varnish
  • polyurethane varnish
  • PVA glue
  • wooden knobs with screws
  • satin finish paint (for the insides)
  • paper towel
  • fine sandpaper (wet and dry is best)
  • soft cloth
  • paint brush
  • glue brush

What you do:
  1. Wash off any grease from the drawers.
  2. Lightly sand down all surfaces.
  3. Apply two coats of primer, lightly sanding after each coat.
  4. Use the satin finish paint to coat any surfaces you are not decoupaging.
  5. Plan each face by laying out the pictures. Cut each one out and glue it onto the wood, taking care that there are no air bubbles by pressing lightly with a damp lint free cloth. The pictures can, and should overlap to some extent. Let it dry.
  6. Brush on at least four coats (I used six) of water-based matte varnish, sanding lightly after each to remove bumps.
  7. After wiping to remove dust, finish with two coats of polyurethane varnish for extra toughness.
  8. Finish by giving the knobs a coat of primer, a couple of coats of paint and a couple of coats of oil-based varnish. Screw them onto the drawers from the back.

Tip: Give each picture a few moments to stretch after you apply glue. Then, as long as you avoid air bubbles, they will dry flat. Don't be worried by bubbles that seem to keep lifting, as they will flatten when the paper dries.

Have a great Easter weekend. I hope the Easter Bunny brings you lots of chocolate eggs. I'm hoping to make the most of this lovely sun. I'll see you on Wednesday.

Monday, 14 April 2014

small sighs

Saturday marked the official start date of the Easter holidays. So to celebrate I tucked into some lovely croissants, normally reserved for special occasions, and boy did I enjoy them! I normally eat breakfast in bed but as the sun was streaming through the blinds, I decided to get up and make the most of the day which included a lot of reading, drinking coffee and pottering.

Hopefully the weather will stay sunny so we can spend some much needed time in the garden. Lots of walks, enjoying the little things and maybe a spot of spring cleaning are my plans for this week.

I have been loving:

 Planting fresh herbs on the potting bench to use in recipes

Drinking jasmine tea in our favourite Vietnamese cafe

 Lovely scented lilies to brighten our dining room

Gorgeous gifts given to me by a dear friend 

Have a lovely week.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

happy new year

Wishing you all a prosperous, blissful, healthy, bright, delightful, energetic, and extremely happy, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

In the words of Walt Disney, 'All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them'. 

Monday, 14 October 2013

how to create storage with style

This was my perfect solution for the extra storage I needed for my crockery. I fell in love with this shabby chic dresser as soon as I saw it. For those of you who know me, you will already know how much I adore all things shabby chic!

The beauty of it is, the dresser is shallow and doesn't intrude too far into the room. Everything is easy to see and reach when you need it. With the shelving being open, it does give me an excuse to buy colourful, pretty pots. I buy many of my pots from the flea market and Jules china shop in Hebden Bridge. Check her goodies out here.

I like to dress it up at different times of the year; see here how it looked at Easter. It won't be long until I'm dressing it up for Christmas!

Have a lovely Monday.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

how to create extra storage space

So, you have a lack of storage space, a small kitchen and an alcove that looks sad. What can you do? 

Well, we needed storage and lots of it! The solution was a cupboard that fitted in with the other period details of the house. 

I pride myself in being good at organisation and I spent ages designing this DIY project. I love seeing the process from paper to product and I'm very happy with the result. What do you think?

My first step was to plan and measure the shelf heights we would need for what was to go on them. This was to make sure everything we wanted in there would fit, so we didn't waste any space. 

The next step was to make a frame fastened to the walls and floor. It is easier if you can make this frame fit a standard size of door, but we opted to make them by using MDF. 

The wood for the shelves was reclaimed from an old school, and I got S to cut it leaving a four inch gap between the shelves and the back of the doors. 

The next step was the magic ingredient! I made and attached shelves to the backs of the doors, before we hung them. Again, I measured everything that was likely to go there so I got the most efficient spacing between them.

Then, it was just a matter of drilling holes for the doweling to keep everything in place. A whopping eighteen feet of shelving on the backs of the doors; perfect for herbs, spices, oils and different packages that can litter kitchen cupboards. It's so easy to see everything.

I painted the backs of the inside walls pink (had to get pink in there somewhere!) The shelves inside are finished in a honey gloss to make them wipeable. The frame and the door faces are painted in Farrow and Ball lime white. This is my favourite step; choosing the colours!

The key to creating extra storage space if you are making a cupboard or shelving, is to decide beforehand what you are going to use them for and making the shelf heights to fit.

What have been your storage solutions?

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Tuesday, 9 April 2013

around my home

I'm so lucky that I have got a partner that can build practically anything he turns his hand to around my home. It's not what he does for a living but he believes anyone can make things if they put their mind to it. One of the reasons we bought this house was to put our own stamp on it. It's just a modest 1930's house but it still has a lot of its original features.

It has two chimney breasts into which we have put log burners. However, the chimney breasts did present us with a problem. What would we do with the alcoves? We came up with the idea of a DIY bookcase that S promptly designed, then made an MDF box to fit a very awkward space (1930's houses are not the straightest!) S made the shelves different sizes to fit different sized books, vases of flowers and a lamp.

I had quite a few books that I wanted to hand (book hoarder!), and the bookcase is perfect. I love shabby chic and French styles as you can probably see. It houses my fashion and lifestyle books and I do tend to collect pretty notebooks so they stand on there too.

It's amazing how much it actually holds, it definitely adds interest to the room without it feeling cluttered. Everyone who visits my home, including my daughters friends, all make a beeline for the books.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

around my home

A lovely, cosy corner of my dining room. I was very pleased with myself when I came across this side table. The colour is very Farrow & Ball french grey and just what I was after to fill this corner of the room. It could also be used as a bed side table too.

I keep candles in the drawer for my nights by the wood burner and my favourite music discs in the basket. The photo frame was a present from S. I put a card S gave me for my birthday inside it. A friend asked me once if the picture was of my girls which I thought was quite sweet as I think it is really pretty. I keep myself surrounded by flowers as they have a real feelgood factor for me.

What is a feelgood factor for you?

Friday, 4 January 2013

how to make a room cosy

It has to be in front of the fire with my weekly reading and a glass of wine. When it's cold outside this has to be one of my favourite places to be. I have been doing this as often as possible since we renovated this room. There was a gas fire here before and we took it out and knocked through to restore the original fireplace. The bricks for the arch and hearth are all reclaimed so we could make it look more authentic. The finishing touches, which we were lucky enough to get as bargains from E-bay, were this rocking chair, an old pine table with beech chairs and a sideboard. The paint we used for the floorboards and walls were from Farrow & Ball.

My reading for this week is a mixture of second hand books (gotta love Amazon) that I have been wanting for a while. I am looking forward to reading Tony Curtis' autobiography. I love watching his films especially Some Like It Hot, which is a real favourite of mine. He has to be one of the greatest actors ever!

The other two books on my list this week are Nylon Street (love street style) and Anais Nin's A Spy in the House of Love, which a friend has recommended. Lots to keep me occupied on cold nights in front of my woodburner.

How do you spend your evenings?

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

around my home

This is a corner of my dining room. I don't have a lot of storage space so everything I use has to be pleasing to look at as it is all on display. These shelves were an Ebay find which I just gave a coat of Farrow and Ball Pointing. Most of the things on the shelves were flea market finds. The Cath Kidston plates were a bargain in the sale.
I just collect pretty things to use and don't mind about them matching - I love ecclectic.

Friday, 8 June 2012

birthday morning

When I walked downstairs on my birthday morning.

#The weather outside is frightful......# So much for a garden party today. Ah well. So I came downstairs to a surprise champagne party breakfast for two.

S got the recipes here:
Eggs benedict - here for food and here for egg poaching trick
Strawberry smoothie

Sunday, 3 June 2012

around my home

So, it's party day. Fun, friends and a new dress. Well that was the idea.... until the rain; or should that be RAIN! So I thought I'd start a series of pics of my home, which is a pretty eclectic mix of styles. 

This peg board is on my dining room wall. When I looked to buy a peg board, they were all so expensive. So, I thought I would have a go myself and get exactly the size I wanted.

It was so easy to make using a piece of timber, cut to length and then drilled at intervals. The wooden pegs I got off Ebay for a very modest cost. I painted it in Farrow and Ball 'pigeon' and gave it a coat of water based varnish. I have been delighted with the results and I often swap things around on there to ring the changes a little.