Kitchen update – reveal!

I’m actually quite excited to at long last share decent photos of our kitchen. For the 6 years we’ve been living here, I’ve rarely taken photos in our kitchen because, well, it was embarrassing. It was a classic case of trying to work around landlord [and builder] stuff and as much as I tried to make it pretty, it just didn’t work. To get you up to speed, you can check out what our kitchen looked like before, and then see the first round of changes I made to our rental kitchen. 

A few weeks ago Harvey Norman got in touch when they read my blog post about our kitchen and very generously offered to give a helping hand with adding some pizzazz to our kitchen. Um, woah. I had worked with Harvey Norman in the past when I was working on the Localise room at Sophia House, and to say they were a huge help is an understatement. They’re an incredibly down to earth group of people behind the name, and they have killer sales. Which is a giant plus. They’re a company I’ve been a fan of for a long time so I was incredibly excited when they got in contact to work with me directly. 

After all my work overhauling the kitchen last Saturday, I rewarded myself the next day by heading to Harvey Norman to accessorise our kitchen in style. And it was tough, I’m not going to lie. Because I wanted ALL OF THE THINGS … 

To the horror of poor husband, I spent almost 2 hours in Harvey Norman Blanchardstown last weekend. For our shelves, I couldn’t resist the sleek pepper mill [which we actually use for sea salt] and a mortar and pestle. Husband is a curry aficionado and has mentioned rather frequently, “hey, remember that mortar and pestle we had 5 years ago? That was nice. Before it smashed“, so Harvey Norman’s sleek porcelain and bamboo mortar and pestle was a must. 

I’m a big fan of mini versions of every day things, so when I spotted their mini shopping baskets, I had to get two. One of which is perfect for eggs. I also spied some mini espresso cups to support husbands caffeine interest. A perfect little black and white accent to our shelves.
I didn’t make any drastic changes to the shelves in our kitchen, I just paid a little more attention to them as they had been lacking some for quite some time, thanks to the yellow door taking the spotlight … 

I think the biggest change I made to our kitchen was removing the microwave. Our kitchen is tiny therefore we have very limited counter space, so removing the microwave gave us SO much more room. We didn’t use the microwave much anyways, so we can simply use the stove or oven to heat whatever we need, old school style. 

In place of the microwave, I created a little hot beverage station for husband. I had had my eye on the DeLonghi Brilliante kettle in black, but it was out of stock when I was visiting Harvey Norman. But to be honest, our old kettle [not pictured] works fine. It’s just ugly as sin and I was over excited at the idea of having a really fancy kettle. I mean look, it’s so angular

Both the tea and coffee boxes I found in charity shops over the years and spray painted in my favourite Montana winegum [the tea box was actually one of the centre pieces in our wedding]. I couldn’t resist picking up another mini shopping basket in Harvey Norman to perfectly keep all husband’s beverage accessories in line. 

Another change I made to the kitchen was that I removed the kitchen-roll-and-tin-foil thing that hung on the wall previously, as we only used it because it was there. To cover the wall studs in its place, I framed and hung one of my favourite food themed graffiti Instagrams. I think it looks much better, no? 

And on the far side of the kitchen, I simplified everything again. I got rid of our 8 year old chopping boards [ew] and replaced them with this bamboo and rubber board from Harvey Norman. It’s been a while since rubber got me this excited. When we’re preparing food, the chopping board doesn’t go all over the place like our previous boards did. It’s such a simple thing, but makes a huge difference with food preparation. 

I also couldn’t resist those giant BBQ matches I rather excitedly found in store. I bought 4 boxes of them, but immediately justified it because, well, look at them! I have more on display in the living room. I also picked up a bamboo bowl for the keys in our hallway and a giant vase that looks kind of like a bomb shell, for our bedroom. Both of which I’ll be sharing along with updates on our hallway and master bedroom. Speaking of which, that room is next to get the paint treatment. More #DIYDominoEffect!

Kitchen update – beforemiddleafter

Disclosure – Harvey Norman generously supplied kitchen accessorise free of charge for my mini kitchen makeover, but of course as always, all words and opinions are my own. I only work with companies I like and of course, think that you will like too! Thank you for supporting the companies that support The Interior DIYer.

Father’s Day gift bucket

For Father’s Day, Woodie’s asked me to put together a DIY themed gift basket [or gift bucket as I like to call it] filled to the brim with handy repair items from their store suitable for DIYers of all levels. The idea came about as Dad’s more often than not are tough to buy for. So we thought why not get him a bucket load of little things he loves or needs? 

I also shared a really simple tutorial with tips for how best to make and display a gift bucket of your very own. You can of course fill it with whatever you like! I find the best thing is to choose a theme and run with it. For example, a couple of DVDs, a bag of popcorn, some chocolate treats, a Netflix subscription and his favourite drink for a chillaxing evening or two on the couch. 

Check out Woodie’s Facebook and / or Twitter to see how you can be in with a chance of winning this gift bucket INCLUDING a 100 euro Woodie’s gift card! But the piece de resistance – you also get a tiny piece of chalk from my very own curated collection to write whatever you like on the bucket. I know. I don’t know how I do it either. 

xx A

New pop up shop – April and the Bear

I was invited to last nights exciting launch of April and the Bear‘s brand spanking new pop up shop at 5 Dame Lane, and it did not disappoint.

I’ve crept and followed Siobhan / April and the Bear online for a long while now, and if A&TB’s expert virtual taste was anything to go by, I had a fair idea of how fabulous the real-life shop was going to be. A truly curated collection full of the chicest, cutest, sweetest and quirkiest pieces.

I’m not what you would call a social butterfly, but luckily as the night went on I spied more and more people I knew stepping in to gawk at all the pretty. It ended up being quite the evening spent with MoyaRincyBenNathalie and Emily, praising all aspects of Siobhan and Jamie’s shop, fueled by Teelings Whiskey and the bespoke Gizmo gingerbread cocktails concocted especially for the evening. It was quite the line up.

I took approximately 200 photos of this T-Rex wall mount last night, which was designed and created by Siobhan’s dangerously talented brother Vincent. Creativity runs deep in the Lam family. 

A special mention to Rincy who has a print of her own on display in April and the Bear [you thought you’d escape unmentioned, Rincy? I don’t think so]. Framed, at the back. Special treatment for a special gal …

… Any photo I tried to take of her print turned out truly rubbish, so I daren’t try to get a closer picture. It’s a beautiful print full of care and consideration; much like the creator. 

The evening was a flurry of photos. The two walls full of delightfully clever prints to take home were a huge hit. I couldn’t resist this one, which I’m thinking of either hanging over my desk; to remind me when a tricky email comes in, or hanging it over the mirror in our bedroom; as a mini pep talk while I’m getting ready. 

The entire space was full of so many delectable and unique pieces. If there’s one thing you do this weekend, make sure to check out Dublin’s newest and hottest pop-up shop, April and the Bear. Get in there like swimwear.