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12 Months of Renovations | What We Achieved in 2018

12 Months of Renovations in 2018

It's that time of year when we look back over the last 12 months and all that we've achieved in the house, renovation-wise. I do one of these posts every year, so if you're interested in seeing our home-reno journey so far, then do check out the following years below:

2018 has been a pretty good year for us, although as you'll see a few of these renovations haven't actually been in our own home! Yep, we just love giving ourselves more work, ha. Because of this, we haven't gotten quite as far as we'd have liked but isn't that always the way?!

We're still very far from finishing the house, but I do still reckon we've made a good dent in it this year! So without further ado - here's all we achieved last year!

Decorating the Christmas Tree and Our Yearly Christmas Traditions

Christmas Tree World Ultra Mountain Pine Tree

This is the first time in four years that our house has felt finished enough to properly decorate for Christmas. Don't get me wrong, the house is FAR from finished and half of it is still very much in chaos, but we have more semi-finished rooms than we've ever had. And those rooms actually feel kinda homely - not something I've experienced for a very long time!

Needless to say, decorating the house for Christmas this year felt quite different from the years before. Cue the Christmas tree of 2016:

How to Build a DIY Gate From Pallet Wood

DIY garden gate made from pallet wood

If you've followed me for a long time on Instagram, you'll remember I built a gate from pallet wood about two years ago for Grants mum's house, but I actually never got 'round to featuring on the blog. Luckily I'm making one again, bigger and better - and this time for our house and so, of course, I'm sharing it all!

This whole project cost me under £10 to make, which is a serious bargain considering you can buy pre-made gates for over £50. It was also super easy to do, so if you want to save yourself some cash and give this DIY a go, then keep reading...

5 Tools Under £5 You Need In Your Kit

5 Tools Under £5 You Need Now

Having now owned a rather extensive DIY supply kit, I thought it was about time I shared some of our favourite tools (and not-so-favourite tools - coming soon...) that we think every toolkit needs.

This list was really hard to narrow down if I'm honest and we've tried not to choose tools that are too task specific. These are all tools that we use relatively often and genuinely find useful. I haven't bothered with stuff like screwdrivers and hammers, 'cos lets face it - if you don't have the bare basics, you probably don't have any interest in DIY and you most likely aren't even going to be on this site.

So, let's get to it!

*This Post Includes Some Affiliate Links

DIY Bike Shed with Log Store

bike shed with log store

For the last four years, we've had one small storage issue - where should the bikes live? For a while, they lived in the hallway, then in the bedroom and then they just hung out in the garden like a lost sock. Not only was it cluttering up my otherwise (semi-)organised garden, it wasn't so great in the winter, as the bikes would be wet, covered in snow and generally make them prone to quicker wear and tear. Grant uses his bike almost daily, so we needed them to live somewhere accessible, but somewhere they could stay out of sight and dry too.

So, of course, I had a plan - a bike shed. BUT a bike shed with a difference. A combined log store bike shed! Typical bike sheds are usually quite short in height and I felt not making use of the space above would be a waste. So my plan was to have a bike shed at the bottom and then use the area above as log storage. The problem was, no one sold anything that suited my brief - so I decided to make one. And of course, I'm sharing the full DIY with you.

*This DIY is Sponsored by Roofing Megastore and contains some Affiliate Links.

DIY Geometric Ceiling Light (Icosahedron)

There are so many parts of our home that are finished, but unfinished. Like the random piece of skirting board in the kitchen that hasn't been attached, the door that's lived without a handle for two years, the bits of filler on the walls I never sanded and repainted, oh and the two semi-attached bulbs hanging precariously from the dining room ceiling. You know it goes - nothing is ever 100% complete.

Over the next few weeks though, we're on a mission to fix all these little niggly things and one of those jobs involved buying/creating two light fittings for the dining room ceiling. With a budget of £0, we decided to get creative rather than buy something - and this is what we came up with...

icosahedron geometric ceiling light DIY

How Much Does It Cost To Install A Wood Burning Stove?

DIY Installing a Wood Burner

It's that time of year again; where we're all swapping out the summer duvets for winter ones, blowing the dust off those old thick woolly jumpers and beginning to set timers for our heating to automatically come on at the crack of dawn. (Well, if you have central heating that is - we actually don't!) We'll do almost anything to stay warm and cosy! And as the temperatures start dropping across the country, wood-burners are getting lit and dominating our Instagram feeds and it gets you wondering - how much does it cost to install a wood burning stove? And should I get one? 

Good question - I wondered the same thing before we bought our wood burner too. Thing is, I couldn't find much info online about it. And even after getting a few quotes in, I had no clue how realistic or reasonable they were. So, I thought I'd share our experience, how much we paid, and what's likely to affect your quote and how much you'll pay too.


How to Fit a Rebated Door Latch on an Internal French Door

how to install a rebate door latch

Do you remember almost two years ago we bought a pair of secondhand glazed doors for our conservatory and fitted them? Two years ago. Well, we never got round to fitting any door handles. I know, it's shocking. Truth be told, the handles I had bought turned out to be way too big for the door. They protruded like crazy and for such a small door, just didn't look right. I think they were actually meant to be for an external door (oops!), so we never fitted them.

Now, two years on, I'm on a mission to get finishing all these little niggly jobs off, so the time has finally come to sourcing new handles and getting them fit!

*This Blog Post features some gifted products.

Creating an Indoor Garden Room: Conservatory Reveal

turning a conservatory into a garden room

Our conservatory is a bit of a marmite room. It's a very old conservatory (built in the 80s) that heats up to about 1000degrees in summer and then freezes to about -1000degrees in winter. I'm exaggerating, but you get what I'm trying to say - it's not a perfectly formed extension. It's what typical 80s conservatories are known for; being a tad impractical.

Despite that, knocking it down seemed like a total waste since we would only have gained a tiny extra bit of space in the garden. I think having it as a living space is actually more beneficial, plus, I'd always wanted a conservatory. It might not be the conservatory I had dreamed of, but I certainly wasn't letting it go!

7 Creatively Awesome Staircases Ideas!

industrial outdoor spiral staircase

If you follow me on Pinterest, you may have seen I've been pinning a ton of attic conversion ideas over the last month. We might still be a long way from beginning any work up in our attic - but a girl can dream right?! Anyway, in my mad month of pinning, I came across some simply awesome staircase ideas. Ideas that make you want to rip out your existing staircase and fit a whole new one.

VonHaus Rose Gold Cordless Screwdriver Review

Rose Gold Cordless Screwdriver

Being a DIYer means I have a fairly large amount of tools, but - I don't any tools quite as stylish as this one! VonHaus have recently just launched a whole collection of new rose gold tools, targetted at your average DIYer and Upcycler who want their tools to look as good as their projects. 'Cause let's face it - why shouldn't tools look good?

*I was sent this product to review for the blog.


The Blog Has Been Nominated for an Award!

This is a quick post today, mainly to say thanks for whoever nominated me and secondly I'm just sharing a link if you want to vote.

WIN A £50 Voucher to Spend At Skylight Blinds Direct!

Win a roof window blind

I'm super excited to be collaborating with Skylight Blinds Direct on this post today and giving away a £50 voucher to spend on their online shop! Whether you already have a roof window you'd like a new blind for, or you're renovating and have grand plans for putting in new roof windows, this giveaway is for you!


4 Years On - Our Home Reno Update

Home Renovation Updates

I can't believe we've been living in this house for four years already! It seems absolute madness and in many ways makes me realise how far we haven't come within our home renovating journey. I mean, four years and we're barely halfway through?! But I guess that's the reality of DIY renovating and renovating on a serious budget. Tough life, eh?

Laying Gravel In the Garden

Yorkshire Cream Gravel in Garden

If you've followed me for a while, you'll know I've never had much desire for gravel in the garden. Don't get me wrong - I don't hate gravel and there's certainly a time and place for it, but after having an entire yard full of gravel in the old house (full garden tour here), I was against doing the same this time around. And for a long while, I was pretty adamant about that.

Sadly though, our budgets aren't big enough for my dreams and now we've lived in this house for four years (yes, FOUR years), I'm beginning to realise I need to adapt some of my hopes and dreams and reign them in a little. I mean, none of our plans are insanely expensive, but they could always be cheaper in some way or another.

DIY How to Create a Slat Fence with Pallet Wood

DIY Slat Fence made from Pallets

3 years ago I built a raised bed in the garden against the low-level brick wall between us and our neighbour. I built it with the intention of growing some climbing plants that would block out the view of the next-doors driveway (and the adjoining road) and give us a bit more privacy. Well, that didn't work out. Actually, I tell a lie - it did work out, but it worked too well. What I mean is, one of the climbers I had picked (a Solanum Crispum I believe) was on a mission to take over the world. It grew wilder than wild, quicker than the speed of light and basically became a nightmare to control and ended up being more of a pest than anything. So last year I dug it back up and decided I needed a new idea.

DIY How To Build Decking With Scaffold Boards

Scaffold Board Decking DIY

After months and months, I'm finally sharing our DIY Scaffold Board Decking. Yep, it's been a while and I've had quite a few questions about when this post was coming - sorry, I've been such a bad blogger recently! We actually started building this at the end of summer last year (yikes!) and finished it up earlier in Spring this year. But then with travel and other commitments, it's taken me quite a while to get this post properly written.

Turning a Cupboard Into a Pantry

Turning a cupboard into a pantry - how to do it!

It's been a while since I properly updated the blog on some of our DIY and renovations - and that's because we've been working away from our home, in another home. Yep, we're doing bits and bobs for someone else's renovation; Grant's parents renovation. Actually, I'm not sure I can call it a renovation just yet, but as I mentioned a while back, we'll be tackling their kitchen later this year - and in order to do so, we needed to sort a few smaller areas of their home first. With the first job being the old boiler room.


Somfy Electric Blind Review

Somfy Electric Roller Blind Review

I haven't done a living room update in quite a while; truth be told, we've had to put it on hold a little bit, due to a few different reasons. BUT, I'm back sharing a small update today - a new fancy electronic window blind! Yep, it's a blind that works totally on its own, via the power of a remote control!

Traditional Hand-Crafted House Signs by Village Green

Village Green House Sign Review

This time last year, I did quite a full 'front of house makeover'. I painted the door and I got up on a very high ladder and painted around the windows too. The house went from hugely discoloured red to clean white with a punchy dark blue door. But one thing I failed to update was the house sign. And over the last few frosty months - it took a bit of beating and completely fell apart. We needed a new one ASAP.

Bioethanol Fires: An Alternative to Wood-Burning Stoves

Bioethanol Wood Burner Review

You guys know how much I love my wood burning stove in the dining room. It's aaaaaa-mazing. However, it was bloody darn expensive. We're talking four figures. There's the cost of the stove, the cost of the flue, the cost of all the little bits like a register plate and chimney cowl and then there's the cost of having it all fitted. Which is no easy DIY when it involves carrying a 9m length of steel flue all the way up some ladders and onto your roof. Even for us, that was a stretch too far. The whole thing was expensive.

However, there is a much much cheaper easier alternative - a bioethanol fire. Say what now, I hear you ask? Bioethanol. It's a kind of liquid that burns a smokeless fire. You don't need a chimney. You don't need a flue. You don't need a hearth. In fact, you don't pay for any kind of installation. And yet, you still get the beauty of a real fire, heat and it even looks like a real wood burner, don't you think?!

Living Room Makeover with Little Greene (And A Guide to Hanging Wallpaper)

Little Greene Blogger Decorating

I've been busying myself over the last few weeks with our living room renovation - getting the walls prepped, the ceiling pepped, opening up the fireplace, sanding floorboards (post on that coming soon!) and finally - we're at the painting and decorating stage. I think this is probably the quickest makeover I've ever done - talk about girl on a mission!

So, this post is in collaboration with Little Greene, who have recently launched a new range of absolutely gorgeous wallpaper; Archive Trails II. I have been incredibly fortunate and as part of this collaboration, I was able to choose and feature one of those wallpapers in our living room. And I can't tell you how much I love Little Greene wallpapers, so I am thrilled to pieces to be working with them!

A Chalkboard Calendar Wall Sticker | WallBoss Review wall sticker review

If you've been following our Conservatory Renovation, you'll have seen this room transform from an indoor shed (not literally) to a relaxing, warmer (non-leaky!) space. I've built some DIY seating, I've painted the floor in a jazzy geometric pattern but it's still looking a little empty shall we say. I have lots of plans for this room (and never enough time) which will essentially turn it into a full indoor garden room. I'm talking plants galore, vintage garden plant pots, gardening tools and basically it will become an indoor forest of awesomeness. So when got in touch to ask if I wanted to review one of their wall stickers, I knew exactly the one I wanted and I needed it in this room.

Uncovering a Victorian Chimney Arch

Opening up a victorian arch

One of the most hideous features of our living (aside from that floral carpet!) was the 70s style gas fireplace. It just kills the period features in the room. The cornicing, the panelling around the window; all those gorgeous original features, dominated by one giant ugly fireplace. Luckily, we had the gas to it disconnected back when we did some work in the kitchen a couple of years back (always thinking ahead!) and so now we're renovating the living room, it was finally time for this old thing to get gone. Finally! Thank the lord!

A Quick Guide to Repairing Old Walls

How to repair old plastered walls

When it comes to renovating, sometimes there's this idea that everything needs to be ripped out and replaced with new; whether that's the plaster on the walls, the skirting boards or even the boiler. But renovating doesn't have to mean replacing everything for new and you can, in fact, restore many areas of the home too. And if you're on a budget like us, you may find this a much more favourable route.

Smart Lighting | WiZ Light Bulb Review

WiZ Smart Lighting Review

I wrote a post a while back about how to make your home smarter which included all the stuff we have within our home, as well as some stuff we don't have. Smart lighting was on there, something we didn't have and something I've never been *too* sure about. As much as I love the idea of it; it's pretty expensive to buy and is it really worth the money or is it just *another* gimmick? Well having now finally tried it out, I'm sharing my thoughts...

Tips for Easy Wallpaper Removal

How to Remove Wallpaper

If you didn't catch my last blog post - then the breaking news of the blog the week, is that we've finally started our living room renovation. Yep, almost four years in - and it's begun. Luckily this room is in fairly good shape so doesn't require too much work - it's just quite dated; as in, it hasn't been revamped since the 60s. Eurgh!

I've spent the last couple of weeks stripping wallpaper, repairing the old ceiling and patching up the wonky and damaged walls. We're already beginning to see a fair bit of progress in this room and if you're following me on Instagram, you'll have seen all of this already. I was asked a fair few questions about how I remove wallpaper and how I'd be repairing the old walls. I'll be explaining the later soon, but I thought I would write a post specifically about removing wallpaper first.

Living Room Renovations Begin!

Dated Living Room Renovation

New year, new room! Well, sorta. I mean technically speaking, we're already a month into 2018 so I'm not too sure we can still this part of the "new year" timings... BUT, we are now finally starting a new room renovation for 2018! And at long last, it's the living room that we're tackling next.

Our living room has been an absolute mess since.. well since we moved in. It started as a place to store all our moving boxes whilst we moved in, then somewhere to store DIY tools as we renovated the kitchen, then it became a dumping ground for all the stuff we needed to take to the skip and now finally, almost four years later - it's empty and ready to renovate!

How to Build Pallet Seating With Hidden Storage

DIY Pallet Seating with Storage

Way back when I started planning the conservatory I decided we needed another pallet seating area in our life. Yep, you may remember the pallet seating I built in the garden way back in 2015 (jeez has it really been that long?!) well this time I'm building something a bit different, but at the same time, very similar (makes sense right?!) - and this time, it's going in the conservatory. 

Having learnt from my experience the first time around, I knew exactly what I wanted to do different and how I could improve on my initial design. This time around I wanted to make use of the space underneath the seating - that is to say, I wanted to include some storage space. And I also decided I wanted to tone down the full rustic look too. Instead of just using pallet wood and nothing else - this time, I wanted to use some panelling as well. This way it would be less rustic and a bit more refined and bespoke looking.

So if you're interested in making your own then stick with me, because I'm going to do a full tutorial to show you just how easy this is going to be.

How to Use An Old Ladder For Wall Decoration and Displaying Art

DIY Wall Ladder Shelf with Art

One thing our house is seriously lacking in is decoration. And by that, I mean walls that aren't completely bare or rooms that aren't sparsely filled with oddly placed furniture. None of our rooms has that cosy homely decorated feel to them. Renovating is one thing, but then turning a room into comfortable well-furnished, well-decorated and well-designed space is another thing. And that's something we definitely haven't achieved yet within our home.

There are two simple reasons for this really. 1 - Decorating and furnishing is expensive and 2 - our funds are always needed elsewhere (ie more plasterboard) so we never have the money anyway. This year, however, I decided that I needed to get a bit more inventive and make do with lesser money. So, I have a few ideas lined up already and I thought I'd share one of them today: A wall ladder art thingamabob. OK, I don't know what exactly to call it - a ladder that's on the wall used kinda like a shelf, but also a feature piece of art. Making sense? (How I'll decide on a title for this post, I don't know....)

A Very Yellow Cupboard Makeover...

Ideas for using up tester pots of paint

Just before Christmas, I shared the reveal of our new dining room - it still had some finishing and styling left to do, but by the most part, it was done. Within that post, I also shared the unveiling of our gorgeous Victorian cupboard doors which had been locked away behind a giant white glossy board (oh so stylish!) for far too long. But, if you noticed - the inside of this cupboard was horrendously hideous.

Half of it was filled to the brim with rubbish, it was covered in renovation dust and just blah. I wanted to do something a bit fun to the inside, I wanted to add a good splash of colour. Something that popped against the grey. I wanted it to go full-blown YELLOW.

10 Ways to Save (and make!) Money on a Home Renovation

How to Save and Make Money on A Home Renovation

It's January. The month where we're all paying off those credit cards from Christmas and wishing we hadn't spent so much on food when half of it ended up as waste. Bank accounts are empty and for one reason or another, money is always tight in January.

When renovating you can't exactly commit to "no spend" months, and cutting down on spending, in general, is easier said than done. If you need plasterboard, you need plasterboard. A renovation will cost money and there's no getting around that. You basically need to always be in supply of cash. But, there are still ways you can save and even make money on a home renovation project. So I thought I would share some of the ways you can make your money go further.


Colour Matching with Valspar Paint

Colour Matching with Valspar Paint

So I'm kickstarting 2018 by finishing some of those DIY jobs that are half-done - you know, when you start something all excitedly and then run out of steam and it just gets left. For an eternity. Yeah, those kinds of DIYs. 

We started renovating the Conservatory waaaaay back in 2016 - we gave it a new roof, sorted the plumbing, added electric, we even plastered and insulated the external walls. It then took me a WHOLE YEAR to do the DIY Patterned floor (although in my defence it had become a room used for storage whilst we did the kitchen) and now another 6 months on from that, we're finishing the rest of the room off.

The Yellow Door: A Super Quick Transformation!

Yellow Front Door

After giving our little inner porch a lick of paint on the walls and some new Karndean flooring, the front door was crying out for a little bit of loving too. I like to refer to this door as the "not forever door" as quite frankly I hate it and with enough wishful thinking, I'm pretty sure we'll be able to replace it one day. It's not the style of it I hate, but the weird bulging glass panels. They're just awful. This house needs an original Victorian style door for sure, but until I win some millions - It's got to stay. So I'm on a mission to make the front door look a little nicer and a coat of paint was exactly what it needed!

Matching Period Skirting Boards with New Ones

Skirting Boards from Skirting World

Luckily for us our house has most of its skirting and original architrave intact and whilst it's not always in the best condition, I'm really keen to preserve those features. Sure they're massively overpainted, you can see where old sockets have been attached and generally speaking they just don't have that crisp fresh new look. BUT that suits me just fine. I love a house that sings its age - rustic floors, repaired skirting boards, overpainted architrave (within reason) - it's all about telling a story as to how the house has lived and been lived in. However, whilst we have most of the original skirting boards intact, some have been removed and replaced with non-matching ones and this seriously bugged me.

Renovation Goals for 2018

2018 gold party balloons for New Year

I can't quite believe it's 2018. I feel like I say this every year - but how does a whole year go by so fast?! With a new year, comes new goals - and every year I like to lay out a proper plan to what I'd like to achieve. It doesn't always go to plan, but y'know, my intentions are good. And you never know - maybe one year I'll accomplish a whole list!