Tag Archive | Decorating

1 year on – New Kitchen Floor!!

Poor blog I have neglected you for far too long! I can’t believe I have had this lovely little flat for a whole year now! In honour of this anniversary I finally have a new kitchen floor!

Here is the old floor:


Not a bad floor, but ever since I moved in I really wanted to brighten up the kitchen as the wood effect floor made it all look a little bit too dark. So my dad is rather gifted in the art of DIY and dedicated a weekend to transforming the kitchen floor.

Of course the kitchen was exactly like the rest of the flat:


Multiple floors under the existing floor! Every room in this flat seemed to have three others underneath it.


Ta-Da!!! So much brighter! A very much appreciated first flat anniversary present! Thanks Dad 🙂

Skittles Pinata Cake

Remember the Pinata Cake? If not Click Here.

I could never bake properly in my old flat due to not having a dishwasher. No matter how much I hand washed icing bowls they were always left sticky. However now I have a dishwasher and baking can commence!

I ended up making a skittles Pinata Cake. I needed to make a cake that was both Halal and Vegetarian so found myself looking for a gelatin free alternative to my usual pinata cake. Not too sure how I ended up with skittles, I think it was the fact that I was surprised that they were suitable for vegetarians without any traces of gelatin.

My friends Ellie and Nikki helped me make a lovely fluffy buttercream to fill between the layers of the cake and around the outsides. We then filled the centre of the doughnut with skittles. We used the rest of the buttercream to “dirty ice” the cake. I do not know if that is the correct term for the first layer of buttercream that goes on the outside of the cake but that is what I learnt from my time watching Cake Boss so that is the term I am going to go with.

After the weeks I endured with dust all over the kitchen I actually didn’t mind the thin dusting of icing sugar which coated every possible surface of the kitchen. When it comes to cake decoration I always end up making far too much buttercream through fear of running out!

I iced the cake with different coloured flowers, leaves and some little butterflies before attacking it with even more skittles. This was quite a relaxing cake to make actually.

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I took this photo on my phone and it turned out that I have created a very photogenic looking cake!

Why do IKEA not sell Coasters?

I have really been procrastinating and avoiding making decisions. That is why I think Dad decided to take matters into his own hands one evening and drag me off to Reading to buy some bathroom storage and a mirror. I had been putting this off because I am a genuinely indecisive human being when it comes to purchasing things. Pretty stupid excuse as I am putting off purchasing things to go inside the biggest purchase I have ever made to date. I bought a flat with less indecision than I am currently having around purchasing somewhere to store my shampoo. Dad collected me in the van after work and he had also accosted Nan on his way to get me which was nice. I had quite a random list of stuff still to get. I needed bathroom storage for both bathrooms. Lots of people have told me that you do not need storage in a bathroom but I have always had a lot of bathroom storage. This has its downsides because it has allowed me to acquire a rather large collection of different shampoos, shower gels and other bath & shower related things which now require a home.

So this is what I ended up with. There are so many options with IKEA’s Kallax and it looks really smart. I love how you can take the basic shape and then add doors, drawers and storage containers as you see fit. You can also leave cubes empty which looks really nice if using in a living room or bedroom as you can put photos, candles or ornaments in them. However as I was using these in a bathroom it was important to protect things from condensation. I now just have to decide what to put on top of them. Thinking along the line of candles or a bowl of that nice smelling stuff (I believe it is called Potpourri but do not quote me on that). I did initially buy this lovely little specimen to do that job:

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Introducing Dobby the House Plant. Dobby was supposed to brighten up the bathroom but unfortunately when I got him home it just seemed a shame to leave him in the bathroom. So now I have another living room plant and a continuation to my Harry Potter references. At least if I ever burn myself I’m never more than 1 flight of stairs away from a nice dose of aloe vera. I have always wondered if the Aloe Vera plant is able to regrow back the bit that we break off. May need to do some aloe vera research.

The strangest thing I have found about IKEA is that they do not really sell coasters. I am now left to wonder if the Swede’s use coasters. Maybe I was bought up strangely but a drink always went on a coaster. Not only would that stop that really horrible ring that you get left behind when a glass is wet or a drink is knocked it protects the surface underneath. In that massive store there was the grand total of 1 coaster. This coaster was round and made of cork which I’m sure would have done the job but it just was not the coaster I’m looking for so it got left behind. I did however pick up some multicoloured place mats for the table and one of these is currently doubling as a rather large coaster on the coffee table.

I also went to pick up the mirror which had been looking at the past two times I had been to IKEA. I was very lucky as I managed to get the last one of these mirrors from IKEA Reading. So overal this was a very successful shopping trip. I even managed to treat my Nan to dinner in the restaurant!

However the next day when we went to put the mirror up there was the horrible realisation that it was broken. I went online hoping that maybe I had not been looking correctly when I thought I had bought the last one. Sadly for once my eyes were not paying tricks on me and the only way I was going to get this mirror was going to be by driving down to IKEA Southampton. Not ideal but it did allow for an evening of family bonding as my brother lives halfway between me and Southampton so he came along too and it became a bit of a family trip. I took back my broken mirror with no problems and went hunting for a shiny new one. I could not find it and was starting to panic. I got to where all the mirrors were and there was not my mirror anywhere. By now it was 20:30, we had been there over an hour and I only had half an hour left so I had to ask someone to help me track down this mirror. There was no way I was leaving without it after driving all that way. Luckily for me they had some somewhere in the warehouse although they did not know where. This must have been why they were the only IKEA in this half of the country to have it! I was “that customer” who was hovering in IKEA collections half  an hour after closing refusing to budge without the mirror while they tried to find it. Anyone who works in retail or who has ever worked in retail will know what I mean by “that customer”. So Apologies to the people of IKEA Southampton for making you late home. At least I was not tapping my contactless card on your non-contactless card machine despite you warning me it was not contactless. It could have been worse.

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However I am now a very happy customer with a lovely abstract mirror hanging on the wall in the hallway. Not too sure why it has been discontinued but I love it!

Anyway I still do not have an answer to my question which was why do IKEA not sell coasters. After visiting two in the space of five days I have not managed to find an answer so if anyone knows the answer to this question please let me know. If you were by any chance looking for cork round coasters to put your drinks on then IKEA is your place. You’re Welcome.

I solemnly swear that I am up to no good…

I wrote a while ago about some canvases that I was going to put on the Living Room wall. They arrived last week but due to life being so busy I forgot to upload them! I am a massive Harry Potter fan, in fact it is some sort of miracle that the flat is not decorated from top to bottom to resemble Hogwarts. However I could not resist putting a little bit of Harry Potter magic into the living room via the words of the amazing Albus Dumbledore.

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I bought the photos off of Etsy and then had them made into canvases by Photobox. I think they turned out really well and I’m so happy with them! A little bit of Dumbledore wisdom can Always be helpful in many circumstances whether you’re a Harry Potter fan or not.

Mischief Managed.

 

Day 24 -Rehoming Many Ducks

Been a very busy 3 days but I have finished unpacking! This includes the 2 boxes of ducks which were very difficult to place. In my old flat I had a lovely cabinet which became a lovely little home to the many ducks I have acquired throughout the years.

However there is no big cabinet in my new flat so I had to get a little bit creative with the duck placement. I actually only started with 1 duck which was a gift from America and then it just kind of grew from there. However they now have a new home.

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I can’t believe how quickly the flat has become so homely. I finally made use of my kitchen the other night and cooked the first proper dinner since I moved in. I have never had a gas cooker before but turns out they are a lot easier to use than I first thought and I think I may even prefer it to the electric one! I was having to unplug the reed lights in the corner before I went to bed as they do not have a switch. However I came home yesterday to find that my parents had bought me a remote control and now all my lights are controlled by remote! I feel a little bit like Albus Dumbledore now. Now I’ve unpacked I can finally settle and enjoy living here. In fact I decided that the last 3 weeks had more than earnt a lovely glass of wine.

Only a few more things to find homes for and life can resume normally 🙂
The saddest part of the last few days was Bobby and Brunch finally being separated. After living together for the past 6 weeks they had struck up quite a lovely friendship as seen in this post here. At least Bobby can come visit as much as he likes.

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Day 12 – Lets go Build a Light

Remember the lovely little IKEA hanging pendant lamp?

Exhibit A on the left is how the light is supposed to look. Exhibit B is how it looks when you open the box. Today I felt was the perfect day to build the Death Star Lamp. Armed with a Malibu and Coke and 3 trusted friends (1 human, 2 animal) we decided to build the light.

I was expecting the worst. Assembling things is not my forte but this little light actually surprised me. Everything clicked nicely together and within 5 minutes a star was born.

Turns out however that at the flat there was nothing to hook the light to on the ceiling and the old light was literally just hanging there. If I hung this light through that hole in the ceiling and pulled the cord to open or shut the light there was a high chance of the whole thing falling on my head. No worries though because I have a Dad who’s pretty good and this whole DIY stuff and he managed to go up into the loft, and install something more sturdy for me to hang my Death Star from.

Look it works!! It also makes some really pretty patterns on the walls the the ceilings. Definitely a new take on adjustable lighting, no dimmer switches needed here!

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Do excuse the naked stairs!  I am away with work now until Friday so sadly no more house related work until Friday/Saturday 😦 But hopefully by next update there will be carpet on those stairs! Fingers crossed!

Day 11 – Indecisive Furniture Placement

I’ve started laying out where everything is going to go and it is really hard to actually make a decision. We loaded the table into the van and dragged it up the stairs to see where it would look in various different places. Having never studied the art of Feng Shui I was not limited by the need to harmosie my environment so can pretty much put things wherever I want. I really hope Feng Shui is the correct term for the thing that I am trying to describe. I’m thinking of the Chinese thing where you place furniture in order to harmonise your home, I would hate to find out that I have actually said something completely different and offended someone! Maybe it is something I should look at as I could really do with some harmony right now! Watch this space we may be re-branding to “Sam’s guide to Feng Shui and I’m suddenly going to become a much calmer and cooler version of myself. I have now found myself Googling Feng Shui and I’m actually getting a bit interested so I think I’m going to close that tab now and get back to deciding the location of my dining room table before I add another complicated factor to the mix. On a completely unrelated note can you still call a dining table a “dining room table” if you do not actually have a dining room? I think maybe the correct term is a “dining table” which would make a lot more sense and I do not really understand why I have been bought up to call it a “dining room table”. Perhaps it was because my parents had a dining room. I apologise I have digressed very far away from the topic of this post and will now yet again steer myself back to the topic in hand which is the placement of my dining table which is from this point forward going to be known as the living table as it is located in the living room.

It is all a bit slow now until I get the carpet laid so I ended up going to my old flat to box up some more stuff. This was the last box so ended up having all the random things in it that did not fit in any other box, hence the name of “the shit box”. This then resulted in yet another distraction when me and my friend ended up decorating the boxes with Miranda Hart quotes and doodles. Why have a boring moving box when you can have one this colourful?

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I did tell you it had been a slow day!