{ The Interior DIYer

The halls are decked, 'berry style

Christmas has finally settled in our home and we're on the cusp of enjoying the holidays. I decorated for Christmas back in November for the Sunday Times supplement, and even though our tree's been up for almost a month, I'm still really happy with it and don't want to tear it down! Yay! Yet. Maybe because it's not in our line of sight but behind us when we're on the couch. It seems a bit anti-social of us, but it's nice to have the holiday focus evenly dispersed throughout our apartment this year. 

This Christmas I kept it relatively straight forward with the decorations; tree, mantle and a couple of alternative decorations here and there. 

I only got around to properly decorating our mantle this week as last week I basically had the plague and was house-bound for 6 days. That seriously cut into my holiday prep time, but I managed to make up for lost time this week. I picked up this garland from Dunnes Stores and it's the absolute perfect length for the shelf over our tv. I personalised it by adding some upcycled baubles and a heap of lights. 

Other than that, I took a rather lazy approach to the rest of the decorations. I just hung shit up. 

My favourite being husband's Christmas sweater and the Star Wars advent calendar that hangs next to his side of the bed. Because let's face it, no matter what age, all men are basically children. 

We have almost all of our Christmas shopping done and dusted. It just needs to be wrapped, and I love wrapping presents. And let's be honest, I'm totally one of those people who carefully unwraps presents too. Recycler 4 lyfe. 

Happy Friday, friends! I hope you all have a relatively stress-free weekend before the holidays, and remember, it's called the Christmas season, so chillax and treat yourself. That's an order :) xx A

Canadian man cave, office edition - progress!

There's been a bit of headway with the Canadian man cave office I'm designing for my broseph and I thought today I'd share some of the progress we've made. For a little reminder, you can see the before pictures here!

We first had to decide on a colour for the walls. I'm a huge fan of grey, but too dark of a grey would have been harsh in here. 

I had some Crown Paint test paint pots from when I repainted our living room years ago, so I thought they would be a good starting point. As it turns out, Crown Paint's swan's a swimming was a great fit [you can see it in the above picture: far left swatch as well as top right swatch]. My phone picture doesn't do it justice, but it's a warm, frothy latte-grey hue. Accompanied by some serious tunage, broseph and I painted his office in one afternoon and moved his furniture to better suit the space. 

I hung up an old map of Canada we had as well as my brother's flag. As a temporary lighting solution, I hung up an IKEA Jara giant shade, but I'm not in love with it. At the moment I'm thinking B&Q's angular Colours Tuck or Colours Keynes ceiling light for a serious statement. I'm unsure if we'll hang curtains or not [there are wooden blinds in place already], but at the very least there's a skylight that needs a blind [possibly a blackout blind] that we'll be ordering from roofblinds.co.uk

I'd like to get more artwork and personal items up on the walls too. We have yet to do anything with the largest wall in the room [which is to the right of the above picture], and I've been brainstorming some better ideas for wall storage, so the shelves will be changing. But for a better and sleeker not only look, but layout. 

There are of course loads of DIYs and upcycling in the room that I've been documenting as we go, as creatively and cheaply as we can. I'm hoping to have the office ready for my broseph for the new year because everyone loves a fresh start after the holidays and he deserves a great one. 

I'll be staying with my family for a couple of days over Christmas so I have no excuse. That is, unless Netflix and a bottomless tin of chocolates aren't within reach! xx A

DIY Friday - bespoke Christmas baubles

On Monday I wandered down my usual charity shop route on Capel Street and when I stopped at CASA charity shop, I struck gold as they had a basket full of random unwanted Christmas baubles looking for a new home for 0.10 each. I couldn't not. 

I headed home with a bag full of baubles and a couple of ideas for how to make them more personal. I first thought of drawing rough geometric triangular patterns on them using a Sharpie in keeping with this years edible ornaments I decorated. I couldn't go wrong as I didn't have a pattern in mind; I just kept drawing triangles haphazardly in various sizes. 

Optimal thumb placement on the bauble so you can't see all of me in my pyjama glory. Dripping in diamonds. God bless tripods and timers. 

For the larger baubles, I had an idea to add some punched Dymo embossed labels to add a simpler and old school retro feel to our decorations. I punched out some of our favourite phrases including our wedding vows from Napoleon Dynamite [ALWAYS AND FOREVER] and some romantic Star Wars quotes ["I LOVE YOU" ... "I KNOW"]. Husband particularly enjoyed those. 

Some more ideas to decorate your baubles, last year two years ago I used double sided tape and black glitter to decorate some plain baubles, as well as wrapped glitter / scratchy baubles in yarn to better suit the colours in our home. These baubles can be seen at the bottom of the image above. 

How are you guys coming along with decorating for the holidays? I'm not finished yet, but to me that's part of the fun. Adding, making more things, moving things around to the point that it drives husband insane because he can't find anything the next day. It's all part of the season. 

Happy Friday, friends! I hope you have something festive lined up this weekend. Happy holidays xx A

When paint colour and finish go wrong, and what I did about it

Last week I shared a picture of the new hue on our living room wall. The reason I gave you an out of focus sneak peek of it is because the paint was so ugly that I wanted to tear my eyes out. It was bad. I thought I had failed. And here is how I conquered said failure. 

These photos were taken on different days and under different lighting conditions, so please excuse some of them as they aren't the best. 

I wanted to paint the wall behind our shelves a bold colour. I've always swooned over the deep maroon some of the deceptive dust covers I made 100 years ago, so I took some left over scrap pieces of the paper and taped them to the wall to give myself an idea of whether or not that colour would be too dark, and also to see if that hue would suit our room. 

I loved the colour and was excited to get painting so we headed out that evening I bought a 2.5L tub of B&Q's forest fruit paint. In a silk emulsion finish. It wasn't until the next morning that I realized how wildly unsuitable it was for our living space. You could see every brush stroke and it was so shiny you could almost see yourself in it. It made me feel pretty crap. 

I remembered a discussion my dad and I had about paint a couple of weeks previously. I wondered, if I mixed a little bit of plaster of paris into the paint, would it make it look like matt paint? 

I mixed a couple of teaspoons of  plaster of paris with water into a smooth paste then added it to a couple of cups of paint in my painting tray. Whatever you do, do not add the dry plaster of paris directly to your paint. It'll end up like a badly made hot chocolate with lumps everywhere. 

At the same time, I wasn't too keen on how purple the paint was. It was a cold purple and definitely wasn't adding to the cosy vibe I was going for. Before I started mixing my paint in the tray with the plaster of paris, I cheekily squeezed a tube of cherry red acrylic paint into the tub [which was only about 1.5L after my 2 coats of paint on the wall the previous night] and mixed furiously. 

I painted a test patch to see how the new paint differed in both colour and sheen. And just like Charlie, this level of Sheen was winning. 

The above picture is a bit horrible, but you get the idea. I was excited. I had conquered the paint. I was in love with how it turned out and it only took one coat of paint to fix the problem. Please tell me I'm not the only one who's had a paint disaster?

At the moment I don't have photos of the entire wall without a Christmas tree stuck in the middle, but the colour is much better suited for our living room. A beautiful berry hue. That paint very nearly got the better of me. Nearly. xx A

Sunday Times - interior bloggers Christmas feature!

If you happen upon page 10 of today's Sunday Times Christmas guide, you'll find my big mug staring right back at you. 

The lovely Dara got in contact with me a couple of weeks ago looking to feature our compact apartment in the Sunday Times's interior bloggers Christmas feature. Myself and Siobhan Lam of April and the Bear were featured over a five-page spread and I've got to say, once I saw Siobhan's home, I made the ugliest of ugly-crying faces. Her home is beautiful, trendy, stylish, creative, detailed and jaw dropping in general. It is a tough act to follow. But Bill Murray, my berry wall and I did. Even though we're clearly not in the same league. 

Happy Sunday, friends. I hope you have a chilled December Eve and indulge in a cheeky bit of something spiked xx A
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