{ The Interior DIYer

Master bedroom makeover - the plans

Our bedroom is in need of a face-lift. It's long overdue at this point and I find the best way to get a job done quickly these days is to shame myself on the internet by posting gratuitous pictures online of said sad project. 

I should say our room isn't that bad, it's just been patiently waiting its turn. I'm on a roll these days since updating our bathroom [which was far worse], so our bedroom is next in line. Here is a rough plan of the room to give you an idea of how our room is laid out ... 


And here is what's wrong with it - 

1. The shelving unit is way too close to the bed so I have to basically jump over the bed to get onto my side of it. 
2. Our bedroom gets next to no natural light and it's damp. I'm hoping to move the heater underneath the window to nip this in the bud. Also, the curtains are old as hell and serve no purpose. 
3. The shelf over our bed is at such an awkwardly low angle that we can't sit up and read in bed. I should state that we did not install the shelf here. 
4. Because of the placement of the bed so close to the cupboard door, husband can't have a bedside table. So we have only one. 
5. Our grey dresser is necessary, but at the moment we can't put it anywhere else than here. It and the laundry basket are cramping my style. 
6. The cause of most of the chaos in our room - the heater. I'd like to meet whoever decided to put the heater here, and I'd like to wrap it around their face. It makes no sense being here. It's going under the window. 

To get your head around it, here are some before pictures I took of our bedroom a couple of months ago ... 




Ugh, YELLOW DOOR.





I know. It's hard to look directly at because the romance levels are so high right now. But if you can believe it, I'm hoping to make it even more romantic. If that's possible. 

And here's my proposed layout ...


I'm resorting to my Google SketchUp skills here to give you a better idea of the before and afters that I'm aiming for ... 



To get me from before to after, I'll need to -  

- Repaint the trim, window sill and door WHITE.
- Replace the curtain and curtain rod [with curtains not necessarily this long]. 
- Move the heater to under the window, where it makes sense.
- Move the bed to the other side of the room.
- Make a cover to cover the current wooden headboard.  
- Find two matching bedside tables. Preferably upcycle a pair. 
- Hang up our new-ish mahogany mirror
- Add some artwork or pictures or something to the walls.
- Get new bed linen
- Repaint our dresser to match potential bedside tables. 
- Put the laundry basket somewhere else where I can't see it, and run the risk that husband looses the ability to put his laundry directly into it. 

Our room may of course vary from the image above, but I find Google SketchUp a great way to get my head around a space without having to physically ruin an afternoon by doing it in real life, and then finding out it won't work. 

The only disadvantage to moving the bed to the other side of the room is that we'll loose use of the electrical sockets that are under the white shelf. But I'm willing to invest in an extension cord. What is it Spock says? The needs of the many outweight the needs of the few

Sneak peek - new living room hue


When do you consider too early for Christmas decorations? I have a couple of exciting things lined up next week, one of which will require me to prematurely decorate for Christmas for a photo shoot [eeeek!] and I'm wondering if I should keep our decorations up for the season, or do it all over again in a couple of weeks? I know. First world problem.  

One thing I can give you a sneak peek of is our new living room hue. I've wanted to paint the wall behind our shelves a bold colour for a while so on Wednesday night I bit the bullet and bought some dark berry paint. However, the paint has a 'silk' effect so it's shinier than I'd like and I can't help but stink-eye it. I'll be repainting it in the next couple of days [in time for a festive little feature! Eeep!] and once I'm happier with it I'll take some better pictures. 

From rainy and pissy Dublin, I hope you have a happy Friday, homies, and enjoy the weekend ahead xx A

Hydrangea Girl has changed to The Interior DIYer!


I shared on Facebook over the weekend that I've wanted to change the name of my blog, Hydrangea Girl, for some time. It all began back when the lovely Maria and I attended Blogtacular earlier this year and one of the speakers asked, "does the name of your blog describe what you do?" and crap. No, it doesn't. Like, at all. Maria and I both turned to each other and nearly cried. 

Over 4 years ago when I first created my blog under the name 'Hydrangea Girl', it wasn't anything other than a ridiculous blog I wrote that my mom occasionally read maybe twice a month. I didn't expect anything to actually happen here. 

In more recent months, I've been doing a lot of reading and taking e-courses about how to make more out of your blog; in a bid to make what I do a bit more legit. So for me, the most obvious and first step was to rebrand / upcycle my blog. And here is my thought process, in case you're curious ... 
- Hydrangea Girl has absolutely nothing to do with interior design or DIY. No arguing there. 
- The amount of people arriving at my site looking for gardening tips was worrying.
- On the rare occasion that anyone would ask me in person what my blog was called, I was too embarrassed to say Hydrangea Girl.
- I'm almost 30, so I can't really get away with Girl anymore. As much as I'd like it to, Photoshop does not work in real life. 
- I couldn't get a consistent handle on all my social media sites. It was messy. For example, on Twitter I was @HydrangeaGirI - ending in a capital 'i', because the original was already taken. On Instagram I was alex_hydrangeagirl. And for someone who likes order and for things to match, this was chaos. I was one step away from foaming at the mouth. 
And most importantly of all ... 
- If I'm to take myself seriously and approach companies and people for work, how are they going to take me seriously under the name Hydrangea Girl, when I can't even say it out loud. 
And that's when I got serious and eventually brain-stormed The Interior DIYer. It marries the two things I'm most passionate about, is pretty self explanatory, might boost my SEO, and [to me] it's a bit of a play on the words 'interior designer'. 

There was a tough 5 hours yesterday when husband and I were working on changing the URL and I was close to tears and we nearly lost everything. But don't worry, it was nothing a couple of G&T's couldn't fix. I'm still working on some final tweaking, so please excuse my site over the next while if it looks a bit hairy. 

Thank you guys for all your support, and I hope you like the new name. It's still me :) xx A

DIY Friday - recycled cat scratching post


Roughly this time last year I spotted this pin from Design*Sponge on Pinterest and I knew I had to recreate it in our home. Their pin was all about their stylish cat scratching post tutorial which showed you how to make a pretty cat scratching post to hang on your wall. 

I thought of that pin every time I saw our current haggard cat scratching post. Just look at it, cowering behind the dresser in our bedroom ... 


I bought this scratching post close to 7 years ago when Toshi was a kitten. And if you're curious + I want to share a picture of how painfully cute Toshi was as a kitten, whether you like it or not, here's what our cat scratching post looked like way back then ...


Squee! Our scratching post hasn't aged very well thanks to two sharp cats, but that's what it's supposed to do, right? I kept remembering Design*Sponge's tutorial and thanks to my recent nearly new wood challenge, I thought hey - I could just recycle our scratching post by reusing all its pieces in a new way! And so I did. And here's how I did it ... 

What you'll need - an old cat scratching post, a saw and a drill, a staple gun, a screwdriver [for removing staples, if needs be], paint and some ribbon, but these aren't necessary. You could leave the board au naturale and use extra twine at the top in stead. 

Method - I unscrewed the original scratching post from its base, enlisted in some DIY-expert-dad help and asked him to saw the base in half then drill two holes in the top; in order to hang it up [thanks again, dad!]. I unravelled the twine from the original scratching post and added it directly to the 'new' base.

TIP: if you want to paint the base, do that now. I only decided to paint it at the very end, and it would have been easier if I painted it at this point. 



I stapled the twine on the back of the board and started winding it around. Every second row I un-twisted the twine and stapled it to the back of the board [as seen above], to ensure the rope was extra secure. After all, there were going to be two cats picking at it. 

I wound the twine around until I was happy with the amount, and then stapled the twine a couple of times at the back to finish it off. I threaded a spare piece of black ribbon through the two holes and tied it tightly in a knot, then made it pretty by tying it into a bow.



Since there would be two cats hanging out of the new scratching post, I needed something tough that would hold up so I used a wall anchor. I measured the previous height of the scratching post and the height that our cats prefer to scratch at, and hung the new scratching post at this height. I threaded the ribbon through an eye hook and wound the eye hook into the wall anchor. Snug as a bug. 



So if you have an old eye-sore of a cat scratching post and want to have something a bit more chic for your feline friends, fear not for you already have the materials at hand.

And there you have it! I just hung up the new scratching post the other day and I have yet to see either Juniper or Toshi properly use it. Just yet. I had to trick Toshi to get that picture of her playing with it, but I know you won't tell anyone. Us Bloggers are just a bunch of liars. 

 xx A

Mahogany mirror


This week we inherited a behemoth mirror. My parents moved homes a couple of months ago and since they don't have as much space in their new home, they asked us if we would mind storing their mirror in our place. Well I mean, if we really have to. Insert heart-eye emoji here. 

I'm in the process of revamping the design in our bedroom. It's a sad room, which is why you won't see many photos of it here. I'm slowly chipping away at it and next week I'll be sharing some before photos and ideas of what I'd like to do with the space. Including our new loaned mahogany mirror. It's a very cold room both physically and visually [cold natural light], so I'm hoping to add lots of layers of warmth to cheer it up and make it more inviting. I think a bit of mahogany will do the trick ... 
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