Fighting the fight against ‘landlord walls’

Another slow but sure improvement I’m making to our apartment is hanging up artwork. I have a hoard curated collection of about 50 picture frames in our hall storage cupboard. Of those, we have at the most 10 frames hanging up. My excuse? I suffer from ‘landlord walls’ …

landlord walls
/’lan(d)lo:d/ /wa:lls/

  1. moving into a rented space and feeling the need to conform your artwork to the preexisting nails in the walls left by the previous tenants or the landlord him or her self. 

Oh look, there’s a nail up there in that really awkward place. I’ll find something to hang there, even though it’s wildly unsuited for my framed artwork. I don’t want to disturb the landlord walls.” 

It’s a difficult thing for me to admit, but the first step is to acknowledge the problem and be able to talk openly about it. Our landlord walls were pretty intense when we first moved in. There were nails everywhere. I’d say at least 60 throughout our apartment. In the beginning, I succumbed to landlord walling. With the help of the internet and being bombarded by beautiful walls, I was able to self-diagnose my problem start curing myself. 

For the past few months we’ve had pretty bare walls. Our hallway, bedroom, and most of our living room are empty. I needed time to mentally wipe the slate clean before I started to reintroduce things back onto our walls. It’s a slow process, but I’m considering each wall as I go and ACTUALLY HANGING THINGS WHERE I WANT [which nowadays is easy to undo with a patch of filler and some paint]. So far, Banksy has found a new home in our hallway and I added some of my favourite Instagrams to our kitchen. Slowly, but surely, we’re getting there and together we’re fighting against our landlord walls. 

So what about you? Are you a fellow landlord waller? Are you guilty of hanging things on random nails just because they’re there? It’s a tough thing to defeat. But remember, you’re not alone. It happens to the best of us xx

Master bedroom makeover update – Part II

Since I last blogged about upgrading our bedroom, I’ve slowly but surely made some of the changes. Not all of them yet, but some. I didn’t think I had made a big enough change until I looked back at my before pictures. Yeesh.

That’s the thing about updating your home. It doesn’t happen in 24 hours like TV shows lead you to believe. It happens slowly over weeks and sometimes months and THAT’S OKAY. It’s only when you look back at what it looked like before that all your hard work is put into perspective. Even if you’re only half way there. 

Contrary to my original plans to completely flip the floorplan of the room, I didn’t. I was able to iron out a lot of the layout problems without having to change too much of the room. One of the biggest and best changes I made was swapping the bed frame in our room with the one in the spare bedroom. The frame in the spare bedroom was very low, so swapping it and having a low bed in our bedroom sorted issue #3 on the list of problems

So here’s what I’ve updated in our room so far …

– Repainted the skirting boards, window sill and door WHITE
– Removed the heater from the middle of the room.
– Replaced the heater switch with a socket so we can use our TV [thank you again Maria for that tip!].
– Replaced the light fixture.
– Bought curtains – nearly new! In their original packaging, but bought second hand.
– Bought a longer curtain rod so the curtains can hide the unsightly mirrors and vent in the corner [as seen below compared to the 4th last picture here].
– Disassembled the awkward AF shelves.
– Sold our IKEA bedside locker and bought two bedside lockers for 9 euro each, second hand!
– Got my hands on some red rasta pillows [not sure about the purple one though. It may go]. 
– Swapped the bed frame for the lower bed frame, and nearly decapitated myself in the process.

And here’s what’s left to do … 
– Make a cover to cover or camouflage the current wooden headboard.  
– Hang up / incorporate our [new-ish] mahogany mirror
– Add artwork to the walls. I’m tired of boring walls. I’ll be DIYing some artwork too.
– Upcycle the bedside tables; possibly paint them and change the knobs.
– Find a pair of matching or semi-matching bedside lamps.

Above is to show where Dad DIYer helped me remove the heater from the wall [I’m not at all confident with electrics]. Having the heater removed means we can now place our dresser in the middle of the room at the foot of our bed; where it aught to be. For the moment, in the warmer months, the heater is stored under our bed as our landlord didn’t approve of it being placed under the window. So under the bed with it for now so we don’t have to put up with it. My old skip-salvaged desk chair sits next to our dresser and cleverly disguises the absence of paint on the wall. 

And finally, what inspired it all – I saw these red velvet shoes in Forever 21 around this time last year. I bought them solely for their pretty factor. I like velvet and I like quirky takes on the classics, which as lame as it sounds, is an inspiration for our bedroom makeover. Inspiration strikes at the most unusual of moments. 
In the mean time, I’ve also been working on updating our spare bedroom on a budget, which for the most part was ready for our guests earlier this month, but I’ll be adding the final touches this week to it and can’t wait to share it! Stay tuned! 

Always a good idea – embossed labels

I use our Dymo embossed label writer on so many things. Not just for organisational things [for which I use it a. lot.], but I love to use it for its retro-yummy-black-and-white-prettifying of things. I think embossed labels are not only timeless but super neat, a little bit sciency and official looking [such technical terms], fun and informative, won’t go out of style any time soon and immediately take otherwise blaze things to the next level.

One of the first things I added an embossed label to was the jar of sand in our living room that we scooped from the Sahara Desert 5 years ago when we visited an abandoned Star Wars set. Which, by the way, the desert in June is kinda hot. FYI. It was an epic Tunisian adventure nonetheless; exciting, terrifying, haunting, surreal landscape and for the most part if you wanted to stay sane you had to ignore the constant undercurrent of sexism and double standards. But that’s a story for another day. 

After I initially blogged my emergency rescue kit for our spare bedroom, it wasn’t until a couple of months later that it dawned on me to upgrade the box and slap a lush embossed label on it. It instantly looks well lusher. Also – the spare bedroom is getting another update which I’m hoping to share soon, so keep your eyes peeled!
Another set of boxes I prettified with labels were our holiday memory boxes. In fact, I made some bespoke embossed labels for that project that I’m hoping to use again. The holiday boxes have since moved from our bedroom into the hall cupboard. I tried to photograph them in their new home but the photos turned out terrible. Some hall cupboards just weren’t made to be photographed. 

Way back when I DIYed the Death Star globe for husband’s birthday, I punched out “I love you to the Death Star and back” and stuck it to the envelope for his birthday card. Little did he know it hinted towards the present I had made him that still takes pride of place on our living room shelves. I framed the envelope and it now hangs in our newly updated hallway.

I’ve used these labels in more areas throughout our apartment, but the above are the most interesting [aka, least boring] uses. I have loads more projects I’d like to tackle with my Dymo label writer but alas, it’s broken. It’s fixable, it’s just I need to actually sit down and figure out how to fix it. Welp.

So, are you a label-holic like myself? Do you have a penchant for punching out sayings? If so, you are among friends!