The Interior DIYer featured on Houzz + a giveaway!


Much excitement was had over the weekend as an exciting feature for me went live on Saturday morning; back in early June I photographed our apartment to be featured as a Houzz UK and Ireland home tour. Much pinching. Big wow. 

Not only that, but alongside the feature of our apartment, Houzz UK and Ireland are running a GIVEAWAY where you can be in with a chance of winning a beautiful cabbage leaf serving bowl from one of my favourite Dublin design shops, Article! It’s very similar to my own beloved leaf bowl which was gifted to us by my parents after their last holiday. 

Want to know how you can be in with a chance of winning this beaut? All you need to do is comment on Houzz’s feature on their site … 

Please note this giveaway is open to UK and Ireland residents only. Closing date for the giveaway is midnight on Saturday August 13th. Full T&Cs can be found in the above feature. Good luck! 😉

Coffee station update – mini faux marble plinth

Last weekend I made a very simple change to our kitchen. This time last year I updated our kitchen and created a mini coffee station in the far corner. Said coffee station looked a bit lonely. Like it was being punished and put in the naughty corner. Making hot drinks is a social thing so I first brought it all forward to the middle of the kitchen. 

For a while now I’ve wanted to get rid of the black tray we were using previously and get [or make] something a bit more fresh all up in there. I had a large chunk of timber in our storage cupboard for a couple of years now, so I cut it to a more manageable size and luckily had the perfect amount of leftover marble contact paper to cover the piece. I quickly covered it and used it to prop up all our coffee and tea accessories. It’s the perfect size for our kitchen, helps define our little station without taking up too much space or height and is in a perfect wipe-able finish. 
I really do love when you make a small change to your home and it makes all the difference. Robert [who is the sole user of both coffee and tea in our household] was really happy with how it turned out and how fancy it looks. These kind of projects are my favourite. Especially when they cost next-to-nothing or even better – completely free. 

Room tour – our kitchen, currently

Last month when I played host to two stellar bloggers, one thing that really struck me when Maria and Kimberly first walked into our apartment and saw it in real life was that they didn’t understand the layout and where some things were in relation to each other. No, I’m not accusing my guests of being slow, it’s entirely down to my lack of showing images of an entire room and where things are in relation to each other in our apartment. I tend to show just tiny snippets of what I’m blogging about at the time. I already know what our apartment looks like, but I need to remember that not everyone else does. I love seeing an entire room on other peoples blogs, so I’m going to hope you’re equally enthusiastic about seeing our kitchen today. 

I spend a lot of time in our kitchen. But I must confess, I’m a little bit embarrassed of it. I just haven’t paid enough attention to it in the past 2 years as I have the rest of the apartment. We don’t own our apartment; we’re just renters so there are things in our kitchen that our landlord added and we can’t do much about [remember, he furnished the entire place during a 6-hour visit to IKEA 10 years ago]. 

It’s also a case that the previous tenants didn’t take as good care of the apartment as they should have, so things like the grouting throughout our apartment is a hot mess. Both along on the backsplash but much more noticeably, the grouting on the kitchen floor. It’s so bad that nothing I’ve done to clean it has helped [and our bathroom too]. Nothing. Pure bleach and hot water and nothing. So, please don’t look down. 

The last and final door left in our apartment to be repainted is our kitchen door. The reason I haven’t gotten around to painting it is because there’s a set of shelves blocking the door and I need to take them down in order to paint it. We’ve never used the door [and neither did our landlord, he once mentioned] as it’s an unnecessary second door into the kitchen. Therefore, I opted to lock the door and hang shelves against it for more storage. This corner is really the only part of our kitchen that needs special attention. A new lick of paint and some styling attention should do the trick. Possibly a bit of artwork hung below too? 

Below is the other side of the kitchen door
, as seen from our living room facing the front door, to give you an idea of where the kitchen is in relation to our hallway … 

The rest of our kitchen is good, in rental terms. Everything works and we’ve learned to live with the limited amount of storage; not to mention the typical mini fridge as found in most Irish houses. They drive me insane. Way back when husband was ‘boyfriend’ and he lived with me and my family, we all shared a fridge this size. Five adult humans. That is not an acceptable size for a fridge. People take note. I can’t wait to grow up and have a grown up fridge.
While I’m ranting about appliances, I’m considering removing the microwave. It takes up a lot of counter-top real estate and I’m sure it’s much healthier to just reheat things on the stove. </rant>

So, of all the above, here is what needs to be DIYed to our kitchen to bring it up to scratch … 
– The grouting on the walls needs to be bleached [I don’t like using bleach, but it’s my only hope].
– Walls to be repainted white.
– Sand and repaint the door and skirting boards WHITE. 
– Remove the shelves in order to repaint the door, then rehang them.
– Spray paint coffee box [more details below].
– Possibly spray paint the recycling bin black [as seen in the corner under the shelves].

Aside from the DIY stuff, there are a couple of things I’ve had in mind that might make our kitchen that bit more homely. As it’s a rental, there isn’t much we necessarily need in there, but I’ve had my eye on a few things that would help spruce things up. You know, for the sake of finishing the kitchen … 

1. Helen James’ Considered line is flawless. At the very least I need a tall storage vase and the marble mortar and pestle. And some dipping bowls. And the teeny black pinch pots. And a copper pot or two.
2. My old friend, Montana winegum spray paint. I’ll repaint my thrifted coffee box [identical to my tea box above].
3. Mini shopping basket and mini shopping trolley, both of which I picked up in Tiger. Perfect quirky displays for little things like eggs.
4. A fancy dish rack [but cheaper]. Since we don’t have a dishwasher, any prospective dish racks would need to tolerate an immense level of dishes and pots at a time. Not sure these fancy ones will cut it.  
I’m hoping now that I’ve shared what’s wrong with our kitchen, I’ll be more inclined to actually paint that last door and actually style something half-decent on those shelves. I just have to actually do it. Maybe this weekend will be the one. You know, compared to the last trillion that we’ve lived here. 

Kitchen update – beforemiddleafter