Mimi’s room before and after

I’d say Mimi’s room is the only room in the house that is basically finished. The reason for this is that we pretty much lifted everything that was in her old room and placed it all in this new room and it all fitted and worked really well. In fact, the paint on the woodwork is what we used in her nursery in our flat and is what inspired me to use it throughout our new house as I loved it in her room so much. The only real difference in here is that the daybed has moved to our third bedroom and I have to say that we really miss it in here as it was where we would dress her and give her milk and read stories before naps and bedtime. Before long though the Sebra cot will extend into a junior bed so we can use that instead.

Other than that we have kept the room very neutral and there are a couple of blank walls that we can add to with book shelves and height charts and things like that. The only addition we have made is the linen canopy above her cot that my mum bought Mimi for her 1st birthday and she loves it and I love the burst of colour it adds to the room.

Have a little look for yourselves…

Sebra rose canopy | Sebra cot | Vintage shelf | Hot air balloon light | Whale (no longer available but this is a close match) | Sausage dog | Luggy trolley

Princess and the Pea print | Elephant | House cushions | Animals book | Rug

We removed the laminate throughout the house including this room and as you can see above the walls were in a pretty bad state and there were foam tiles on the ceiling. There was only one electric point, the ceiling light was right next to the window, the radiator was in the wrong place and it all needed gutting.

One of the things that I wanted to do to bring some character back to the room was to knock out the fireplace as we uncovered the original tiled hearth when the laminate was removed. I actually got the fire insert from eBay for £30 (it’s Victorian, not 30’s) and didn’t bother with a surround as it’s a small room and the insert did exactly what I wanted without the need for a surround. The room is painted in brilliant white with Light Blue woodwork and the outside of the door is Inchyra Blue. The floorboards were sanded and finished with Osmo Raw oil.

Chest of drawers | Vintage chair | Print | Curtains from our old house – made to measure by John Lewis | Radiator

We completely re-plumbed the house and replaced all of the radiators as well as moving them to below the windows. I’m really pleased that we chose to spend the extra for traditional style ones.

A big difference was made by re-hanging the doors in all the rooms so that they opened onto the walls instead of out into the rooms. I also love that you get a glimpse of the Inchyra Blue from the hallway when the door is open.


Changing basket | Pocket string shelf

And this is what the room looked like during the works if you are interested. In terms of the structural work we did in here it was taken right back to brick and the ceiling was pulled down.  The window lintel had to be replaced, the room was replastered and we replaced the skirting, picture rail and architrave. Take a look…

All plaster was removed.

The ceiling was removed and rebuilt and the fireplace was knocked out.

Plasterboard then went up.

The room was then beautifully plastered.

And decorated.

Our builder also sprayed the fire insert with a matt black paint that gave it a really nice finish.

So, there you have our one finished room! Hope you like it.

Katy x

Our unfinished hallway and need for storage

I hope you enjoyed having a look at our living room last weekend and as promised I want to show you the hallway today more than anything to gee me up to get this space looking and feeling a bit more finished and homely as it feels neither of those things right now.

I absolutely adore the colour that I chose for the hallway, which is Inchyra Blue by Farrow & Ball (they kindly gifted us just the paint for the hallway – not the rest of the house) and I love how it emphasises the beautiful original banisters and I chose to install a dado rail, not original to the house, to add even more of the colour (as well as hide mucky hand prints and dog scuffs). I also love the original internal doors that I chose to leave natural and I think the tone of the wood works really well with the blue (actually more green in this space).

However, the stairs are waiting for a carpet that may be a long time coming as it is SO expensive to carpet stairs and this makes the hallway feel and look very unfinished so I think we will paint them in the meantime (probably Railings, the same colour as our kitchen). Another problem is that we have a lot of shoes and boots to contend with so we are desperate for some storage as all we currently have are some hastily mounted pegs and a shelf from the old flat that don’t look great.  A lovely 1930s bevelled mirror and maybe a rug like this one and we’ll all be feeling much better about the space, I’m sure. In the meantime I’m going to show you some storage pieces from the Wooden Furniture Store that would work well in a hallway as they are kindly sponsoring this post.

Before and after

Just to give you an idea of what the hallway was like when we bought the house and how it looks today…

The hallway was very, very tired with peeling wallpaper, a horribly dirty green carpet, the woodwork was chipped and battered, the walls were filthy, the plaster was shot and the doors were painted. We completely stripped the place back to brick, replastered, re-wired with spot lights (which I HATE but we’ll talk about that another time) and re-plumbed and installed a new traditional style radiator that we painted the same colour as the walls. We had the picture rail, architrave, skirting and coving replaced as it was but I also added a dado rail, which I love for the style and practical benefits. The doors were dipped and left natural on this side (they’re painted on the other side in the living room) and I bought new handles.

My greatest sadness when we bought the house was that the previous owner had taken out the original front door. All of the other period features in the house were left alone and I was fine with the fact that that windows are uPVC but the front door makes me weep. However, as it is purely aesthetic it got pushed to the bottom of the list when it came to how we spent our renovation budget.

Future plans

This is the only storage we have as it stands – just a cheap peg rail and wall shelf that we brought from our flat and nothing for shoes and boots.

We will be carpeting the stairs in this sisal, which from previous experience is amazingly hard wearing and does not show up the dirt and wear like wool carpets can. We will also replace the front door and its frame with an original 1930s one like this, which will totally transform the feeling of the space as well as letting in more day light. For now though we are going to focus on less expensive and more practical pursuits like figuring out the storage, which I know will make this hallway a very useable and useful space.

Taking inspiration from the hallway furniture at Wooden Furniture Store, I am thinking of a storage bench that we will be able to sit on as well as storing shoes and boots. The other option is a dedicated shoe cupboard, which we may be able to fit alongside a bench as very soon Mimi’s buggy won’t be needed (sob!) so we will have extra space and she will no doubt have more shoes.

I really like having a wall mounted set of cubby holes that can be used to store mail, keys, dog leads etc. Even though this wall shelf with pegs isn’t intended for the hallway it would be perfect or a more conventional wall mounted set of coat hooks is very useful, especially if it has a shelf above.

I had ruled out a console table as I had in my mind that it wouldn’t enough storage for us but looking at this one it could work for shoes below and then all those bits that just need to be shut away in a drawer and forgotten about 😉


We will also be painting and organising the under stairs cupboards as our next job so watch this space for progress on that (our weekends are soooo fun at the moment!).


And just to give you an idea of what was involved in getting smooth walls, restored doors, a new radiator and re-wired lights in our hallway here are the ‘during’ pics…

So, there you are. If anyone has an extra couple of thousand pounds floating around fling them my way for some carpet and a new front door – ha!

Katy x

*This post was kindly sponsored by the Wooden Furniture Store.

Living room progress so far

Right. I’ve finally bitten the bullet and taken some snaps on my iPhone around the house to show you how it looks so far. Usually I don’t feel very comfortable sharing a room until it is finished but this house is going to be an ongoing project for us over years rather than weeks and months so even though it doesn’t look how I would like it to yet, I want to show you around now and tell you about my plans for the future. It’s certainly not a flashy or highly styled interior, mostly dictated by my simple taste but also ruled by our restricted budget. Basically all of our funds went on bringing this house back to life and up to date structurally so there wasn’t much left for furnishing the house other than what we were able to bring from our flat (well, the items that fitted as our bed and sofa didn’t!). Anyway, I’m totally happy about not being able to make it ‘perfect’ from the start as I really do think the best interiors grow organically over time and there would be no fun for me if it was all done – what would I possibly have to do if I wasn’t continuously making plans about what to add or takeaway to each room? 😉 Also, I haven’t put anything on the walls yet really so that is all to come too.

I thought it would be useful to work through one room at a time on the blog so I’m starting in the sitting room that has now been knocked through to the dining room and kitchen to make one large room downstairs but I will show you those two spaces separately as there is too much to say in one post.

Throughout the house the walls and ceilings were taken back to brick, re-plastered, re-wired, re-plumbed, painted and new picture rail, skirting, architrave and coving were added (we tried to make these as close to the originals as possible). We also removed the laminate sheeting and sanded the original boards. One day I would like a new wood herringbone floor as although I like the way the original boards look the floor isn’t insulated and can’t be except at massive expense as there is a four foot chasm under the house. Also, when the uPVC windows are due to be changed I would replace them with grey/black uPVC (as we’ll never be able to afford to reinstate wooden windows).

So, for now, the sitting room is quite pared back with brilliant white walls, Light Blue woodwork, an original 1920/30s fire surround that I bought from eBay for £60 and that was painted in the same colour as the woodwork. We still need to choose tiles for the hearth and I’m loving the Claybrook studio range and colours.

We hung sheer blinds at the windows to maximise the feeling of space and light. The radiator was moved to under the window and we chose traditional column style ones to help add to the period feel of the house. I chose not to have an overhead light in this room as I just never, ever use them and instead we have wall lights in the alcoves from Original BTC and the black angled one that you can see in the previous photo is from Anglepoise. They are all wired in so that they can be dimmed and turned on and off from the light switch on the wall by the door as you enter or leave the room. The wicker rocking chair is from Ikea and is likely to change at some point and we hope to have in built cupboards in the alcoves for the tv to sit on etc.

The main decision I had to make before we moved was choosing new sofas for this room as our old sofa was 4cm too long and the shape woundn’t have worked in the space. I knew I wanted really big comfy sofas to make the room feel welcoming and cosy but we had very little to spend. I had seen the Soderhamn range of sofas from Ikea in lots of lovely houses on Instagram but I wasn’t massively keen on the covers they are sold with as the colours weren’t ideal for the room but the price was ideal. For the three seat sofa at £450 and £295 for the chaise in the window I think they’re quite a bargain (NB the matching footstool is no longer sold in Ikea in the UK so I bought it on eBay for £50 – just search for Soderhamn footstool). I came across Bemz years ago when I didn’t have an Ikea sofa and thought their business idea was a brilliant one – they make bespoke covers and legs for any Ikea furniture so that you can personalise your sofa or armchair. They were my first port of call when I decided on the Soderhamn sofas as I knew a set of their linen covers would transform the look of the sofas and in turn the room itself. Bemz very kindly sent me a set of covers to showcase on my blog but had they not I would have bought them myself. I absolutely LOVE them. Some may think I am mad choosing the natural linen covers with a dog and toddler but these covers are fully removable and wash at 40 degrees. I’ve already washed them after Mimi climbed up onto the chaise with muddy wellies on and I can confirm that they are so easy to wash (there’s very little bulk to the fabric so they fit in the machine easily) and when you put them back on it is not a tight fit like it can be when you wash Ikea sofa covers. They don’t lose their shape or colour – you would never know it’s been washed basically. I will write a full post dedicated to them and photograph them in more detail, which will helpfully answer all your questions. In the meantime, for those of you who would like to know, my covers are the Loose Fit Urban covers in Rosendal Pure Washed Linen Unbleached.

We had all the original 30s doors dipped, which our builder organised for us at a cost of about £20 per door, and then they were either oiled or painted. In the sitting room I decided to have the inside painted Light Blue and the side facing into the hallway I kept natural. The reason for this is that the Light Blue brings a nice dose of colour to the room but in the hallway there is a lot of colour so the natural wood is a nice contrast. The door handles are these ebonised beehive doorknobs, which were the cheapest of this style that I could find. I’m very happy with them so far and I know quite a few of my friends have bought them on my recommendation so fingers crossed they will last.


Here are some pics of the works as they progressed to give you an idea of what the renovation involved…

This is looking into the sitting room from the dining room once the wall was removed and before the steel went in.

The room was then completely replastered.

This is looking from the sitting room down to the dining room and the kitchen to the left to give you an idea of the whole space.

The new fire surround was installed as well as coving, picture rail and skirting to bring the period feel back to the room.

Jules started sanding the floorboards at this point. He would recommend paying someone if you can to do it as he HATED the job.

The colour then went onto the woodwork and the doors were re-hung.


And here we are today…

The mirror is a very old one that used to hang in my parents’ wine bar

The Soderhamn chaise fits perfectly in the bay window and Jules and I fight over who is going to lie on it every evening because it is soooo comfortable.

We are still deciding on the tiles for the hearth and we hope to install a woodturner here some time in the future. We also need to figure out storage for Mimi’s toys.

So there you have it. The sitting room as it looks today – nothing fancy and no styling. I look forward to keeping you up to date with changes and additions I make to this room over time. I will also do a more detailed post on the Bemz linen sofa covers that I was kindly gifted so keep an eye out for that.

Katy x

P.S. My next post will be about the hallway and I will publish it in a few days, promise!

Our new house – the estate agent pics

Oh hello blog, my old friend. And hello, lovely readers! I am so sorry for being absent for so long – the last three months, since I blogged last, have flown by in a haze of running around after a very adventurous toddler and spending every nap time desperately trying to push the purchase of our new house through dealing with surveyors, solicitors, agents, builders and mortgage advisors. It was definitely not a straightforward purchase and after buying my previous two flats, which were both new builds and therefore pretty easy in terms of the conveyancing, it came as quite a shock to the system just how much time, energy and headspace this purchase would take. I immediately knew when I saw the house that it would be perfect for us and I was so invested from the first moment so when it looked like the purchase might fall through on a couple of occasions I felt sick to my stomach. This was the only house we could afford in Ladywell, which is the area we wanted to be in (as it is a probate property that needs renovation and therefore that bit cheaper than equivalent houses), so that really added to the stress levels. Also, my levels of productivity throughout the process fell to an all time low because I felt so stuck in the limbo of having no idea whether or not we would be moving on and whether we needed to pack up and I lost all pleasure in being in the flat because I wanted to be elsewhere. I have discovered that living in a half packed home is not good for my mental well being.

Anyhoo, the good news is that we finally completed the purchase last week and the sale of our flat went through really smoothly so it’s all done! We can’t actually move in to the new house for a few months as it needs to be completely renovated so we are currently staying with my very kind sister who is willing to put up with us all for the summer. Mimi is completely obsessed with her so she’s very happy about the temporary move although Otto isn’t quite so pleased and it seems like he’s desperate to ‘go home’, which is making me sad. Hopefully he will settle down soon.

I’m hoping to be able to post here more regularly now that I HAVE A WHOLE HOUSE TO DECORATE FROM SCRATCH!!!!! It’s actually too exciting for words. I will have my mum and sister on hand for a bit of help with Mimi so fingers crossed I will have more time to dedicate to the blog as up until now I have only had enough time for interior decoration projects with clients.

So, do you want to see this old run down house of ours that we have bought?! It’s definitely not a looker from the street, that’s for sure…

All images from estate agent Acorn, Catford (who I would highly recommend if you are buying/selling in the area).

The house was built in 1929 and needs quite a bit of work to make it look nicer from the outside. It’s never going to be a handsome house but that was a compromise I was willing to make as I think that everything else about the house will work for us. We don’t have the budget to contract out any of the work to the outside of the house so anything we do will be DIY. I’ll do a more detailed post about it but in brief we plan to paint the outside of the house white, build a new brick wall, tile the path leading up to the door, replace the side access gate, create a porch and use an original 1920s/30’s front door and do some lovely planting to add a bit of green and colour.

The house has been rented out for years and years so it’s in a pretty poor state. The plasterwork throughout is shot, the flooring is horrible cheap laminate sheets, the bathroom is in a horrid state and most importantly it is begging for walls to be knocked down to open out the small rooms. I love the proportions of 1930’s houses as they are so square and the layout really works but this house is very small so we decided as soon as we saw it that it needed to be open plan downstairs. Here is the current floor plan:

I love the way the whole width of the back of the house opens out onto the garden and we plan to make the most of that in the future by building a glass extension but for the time being we will knock down the wall between the two reception rooms and the wall between the back reception and the kitchen.

This is what the front reception and kitchen currently look like:

The reception rooms have their original doors, coving and picture rails and lovely big windows so the house is wonderfully light and by knocking all the rooms downstairs together we hope to make it even lighter. I’ll tell you more about our extension and kitchen plans another time as they won’t be part of the first round of works.

In the future we will also do a loft conversion to make a really good sized master bedroom but for the time being we’re more than happy with the bedrooms as they are. Having a third bedroom, albeit a very small one, will make a massive difference to us as it will give us the extra storage and a guest bed that we didn’t have in the flat.

Upstairs there’s also a bathroom with separate toilet and we plan to knock them together and completely re-do the room, which I’m very excited about as I have never planned a bathroom from scratch.

So, there you have it…a quick tour of our new house as it looked before we bought it. I plan to do some decorating and furnishing inspiration posts as well as detailed posts about some of the DIY jobs we will do that I hope will be helpful on a practical level. Let me know if there is anything particular you would like to know about that I can potentially cover during the renovation project. Our contractor doesn’t start until the end of May but fingers crossed we will be able to move in by the end of summer. I’m so pleased to be back on the blog and look out for lots of new posts soon!

Katy x

Holiday House

As you may have seen on my Instagram we are moving house! I started to play the Rightmove game last Friday night, got the flat on the market by Monday and it was under offer within a day – boom! We had a mortgage agreed on Tuesday, saw a house that we like on Thursday and I’ve got a feeling that this could be the one. It’s a cute 1930’s three bedroom house in south east London that backs onto lots of green space (ideal for Otto) and has a lovely garden (perfect for Mimi). It needs lots of cosmetic work and walls need to be knocked down so it wouldn’t be the way we wanted it for quite some time but I’ve always wanted to do a house up from scratch so I’m very excited about it. We will see…

Anyhoo, that accounts for why I have not published this post sooner but it feels like the perfect time for me as all I can think about right now is inspiration for doing up a WHOLE HOUSE and there is nowhere better for design inspiration than the Holiday House. A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited to a beautiful dinner with the team at Farrow & Ball at the houses (there are actually two of them worth a cool £22m) as they are one of the sponsors and you can spot lots of their colours and wallpapers in the rooms. The houses are an interior design showhouse, where top interior designers showcase their talent to raise funds for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation – each room is designed by someone different so it is filled to the brim with beautiful designs, furniture, styling and the best bit is that everything is for sale, with proceeds also going to the foundation. Also hosting the dinner and the tour of the houses was Rachel Laxer who is the co-chair and creative director of the Holiday House in London. It was so wonderful to get her insight on the project and to hear the inspiration behind the cause that it supports.

You have this weekend left to visit the house as it closes on Sunday 10th December evening and it would make a lovely day out. You can book tickets here.

Here are a few snippets to give you an idea of what the houses look like…

The Holiday House interior design showhouse designed by renowned interior designers.

I love the simplicity of this design and the exquisite rug pulls the whole scheme together – CW Design.

The Holiday House interior design showhouse designed by renowned interior designers.

The vintage chairs in this room are the stars of the show – Beth Clancy at Rachel Laxer Interiors.

The Holiday House interior design showhouse designed by renowned interior designers.

The lovely Laura Hammett, who is a friend of mine, designed this stunning bedroom and I really appreciated the attention to detail of every aspect of the room.

The Holiday House interior design showhouse designed by renowned interior designers.

The ceramic wall sculpture in Laura’s design was stunning.

The Holiday House interior design showhouse designed by renowned interior designers.

Wallpaper heaven – Amelia Carter Interiors.

The Holiday House interior design showhouse designed by renowned interior designers.

I love the combination Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue and Calamine stripes in this striking bedroom – Roselind Wilson Design.

The Holiday House interior design showhouse designed by renowned interior designers.

Farrow & Ball’s Peignoir used in the hallway. If you’ve seen my living room you will know that that is one of my favourite F&B colours – Hazel Collins Design.

The Holiday House interior design showhouse designed by renowned interior designers.

This is Rachel Laxer’s design and is dedicated to her mother, Barbara Stern – a strong breast cancer survivor.

I think we spent about an hour with Rachel touring the houses but we could have spent three hours there with no problem at all; there are so many rooms to see and the details in each room need to be soaked up. Buy tickets here to visit this weekend – your last chance!

Katy x