{ The Interior DIYer

Image Interiors & Living - Ask the Experts

Today is turning out to be a pretty epic Thursday. Not only is it ludicrously sunny outside [PLEASE DON'T JINX IT], but the March / April issue of Image Interiors & Living is out now! 

For the latest issue, I was asked by Nathalie to contribute some of my DIY knowledge towards the new 'Ask the Experts' feature.

I'm actually struggling to write something after that sentence. I've sat here at my desk for 30 minutes, trying to think of something profound to write when in all honesty I can't even sentence. I'm just feeling very lucky / excited / humble / excited. 

To be included along side the likes of Roisin [!!! major design crush], John and Peadar, I'm having big time feelings of just woah right now. I can't wait for my mom to embarrass me in front of her coworkers for the duration of this issue.

Check out the full article in the current issue of Image Interiors & Living, which is available in all good newsagents now. xx A

How to repair cat scratched leather

Today I'm sharing my second installment of "embarrassing repairs I've made, but I'm sure I'm not the only one with this problem so I'll share how I fixed it". The first installment being how to repair a flatwoven rug

As any cat owner will know, cats have a natural urge to sharpen their nails. I would like to take this opportunity to say our apartment is not tore up from the floor up. It is not shredded and covered in cat scratches. I have zero tolerance for those things. It's a case that Juniper chose to pick one of our dining room chairs [seen as the farthest right chair in this post] in a place that we don't see. This is the worst damage they've done to date as I'm usually pretty on the ball. I've gotten Juniper something else to scratch since, so let's not get too mad at her. She is after all, adoraballs and just doing something natural.

But should you also have a furry friend than enjoys using leather furniture for target practice, do not fret. You are among friends. There is a way. 

What you'll need
- curved manicure / fine scissors or nail clippers
- leather shoe polish to match

Step 1 - using a fine or curved pair of manicure scissors, trim the stringy scratches off the leather. Trim them as close to the leather as you can, without cutting the leather itself. This is where I find manicure scissors and / or nail clippers very good. Take your time. The more detailed you are, the better it will turn out. 

You'll end up with something like this -

Step 2 - once you're happy with your trimming and you've cut the loose scratches as close to the leather as possible, it's time to add the shoe polish. As the scratches are a much lighter colour than the leather, make sure to mush the polish into every part of the scratches. I did this in a circular motion. I didn't have to do many layers and the shoe polish quickly covered the damage. Allow to dry for a couple of hours before use*.

No, it's not a perfect finish. No, I'm not a furniture restoration expert, but I have repaired a couch or two in this way over the years and it's worked a treat. I repaired the chair to the point that it is unrecognizably scratched, unless you point it out.

I do however know that the only way to prevent this from happening again is to make sure your cat has cat-friendly items to scratch and to keep an eye on what areas of your home they are choosing to scratch in. Our girls have their recycled cat scratching post and Toshi occasionally has a good go at our basket, which I'm okay with for the moment. I also trim both our cats nails every two weeks to make sure they don't do too much damage.

- the shoe polish I use doesn't rub off once dry [I used the W5 series shoe polish available in Lidl]. I didn't buff it, but just let it dry. Please be aware that some polishes may rub off, so follow the instructions on your polish accordingly

To conclude this post and to hopefully cancel any ill thoughts you may have towards her, here's Juniper doing what she does best - exposing her fluffy belly and softer-than-clouds paws. I dare you to get mad at that face.

Happy repairing xx 

Master bedroom makeover - update

Since blogging the plans for our bedroom last November, I've done nothing. Not a thing with our room. Then out of nowhere since Friday, I've crossed about 10 things off my to-do list. Am I the only one who works like that? Nothing for ages and then I get loads of it done in one go. What is that? Binge DIYing? 

There have been a couple of changes to the design for our room since November, but I'll share those once it's finished. One of the more unusual factors I had to take into account for our room is the light. I don't mean the light fixture, but the natural light we get in our bedroom is a very cold hue and not particularly inviting. I've learned this over the years when it came to introducing colours into our room. Anything in the purple-blue-green range made the room even colder. But, luckily for me, whenever I introduced my favourite burgundy hue, all is magically warm and cosy again. 

Berry hues, warm woods and little hints of gold. Here's a splash of what I have planned -

1Textured cushions from Dunnes Stores. These are standard cushions from Dunnes that they've had in stock for years, but I adore them. I have one already so I just need to pick up another. Or four.
2. I have a sneaky project involving one of my favourite pictures I took in St. Petersburg last summer. Stay tuned.
3. I ordered this Escape from New York print by Mike Wrobel and it'll be perfect in our room. Snake Plissken FTW.
4. Good old Mozart jewelry bust will be in the spotlight.
5. The dark red plush throw from Marks & Spencer husband got me for Christmas is the perfect colour. 
6. I haven't crocheted in years and my yarn is guilting me. I spotted a couple yarn projects by A Beautiful Mess (this and this) and I have every intention of making a few to make our room feel cosier.
7. This snow leopard throw by Wayfair. We've had it for a couple of months so far and it's SO LUSH.
8. Our Scrabble monogram will be reintroduced to our room and maybe even hung up.

There are projects I'd also like to DIY on the cheap for our room. Such as finding and updating a pair of secondhand bedside tables, making our own cardboard monogram and a good few yarn hangings as detailed above.

So far, in my recent burst of readying our room, I disassembled the shelves in the corner of our room [which you can see here], swapped our bed frame with the frame in our spare bedroom [by myself. Word to the wise - don't try that by yourself], and I also repainted the yellowed-old-as-hell skirting boards and bedroom door. It was seriously bad ... 

Like, embarrassingly so. There's still a stubborn rusty nail peeking through, but it's miles better already. I was thinking of Photoshopping it out but thought, no. This is real life and life is a little rusty nail, refusing to absorb the white paint. 

Our landlord is visiting this afternoon, which is one of the pushes I needed to get the bones of the work done in our room. I've scrubbed every inch of our apartment this week, including vitally important places like behind our TV, under our bed and our fridge. Because you know, our landlord is going to be inspecting those places. I'm a worrier and when I worry, I overcompensate. 

Wish me luck xx 

Canadian man cave - man pillow

Hey, remember the lumberjack man pillow I made for my broseph's Canadian man cave last month? I'm not a particularly good sewer, so that should speak volumes about how straight forward this project was. I didn't even use a machine and sewed it all by hand, old school style. Wayfair.co.uk graciously provided the perfect pillow for my project and in return you can check out my full project today on their site HERE

Just like New Kids on the Block, you can follow the tutorial step by step, oooooh baby. Good luck getting that out of your head. I'm not even sorry. 

xx A

Valentine's Day chalkboard tray

Last month the lovely / incredibly cool Laura gave me a tour of the Woodie's Tallaght branch, to help brainstorm some ideas for my first project with them. We excitedly agreed the first project should be Valentine's based, and thought of all that could be DIYed for the big day. Most importantly, we wanted it to be an easy project that really made an impact. We threw some ideas around, checked our calendars, and when we realized Valentine's Day landed on a Saturday this year, we knew something for breakfast in bed would be perfect. 

Their wooden tray was a perfect canvas for the project, but what to do with it ... I did a lot of head scratching and finally thought - why not paint it in chalkboard paint so sweet nothings could be scribbled all over it; perfect for a romantic breakfast in bed! BOOM. A simple DIY that makes a statement. Literally. 

It took me around an hour to do this project, from start to finish. A simple project, but a statement nonetheless. And I should say everything you see in the photo shoot was sourced from Woodie's [sans the fruit and flowers, obv.]. Especially that kitchen. Security nearly had to escort me off the premises as I wanted to live in that kitchen.

This project was especially memorable as it was DIYed, styled, photographed, edited and written by yours truly. But more so, working with a company like Woodie's and with people like Laura who are equally excited and nerdy about home improvement and all things DIY, really is inspiring and so exciting. 

You can check out my full tutorial on Woodie's website as and from now! Go check 'er out. Get painting. Get inspired. Get cheesy, lovey and creative. It's tray chic [you're welcome]. xx A

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