Friday, August 25

Revamp Restyle Reveal!

I've been waiting for this day to roll around for AGES, and I'm SO excited to announce that a very special project that I've been working away on with Lisa Dawson (mega Instagram Queen and Blogger) and Oliver Thomas (Interior Designer and Blogger, who you probably know from this years Great Interior Design Challenge), launches TODAY!

Revamp Restyle Reveal in a nutshell, is ten interior bloggers, Revamping a room in their homes over a set period of four weeks, with the help of official sponsors.

But unlike anything that's been done before, we're taking the project, across not only blogs, but Instagram, Instagram Stories, Twitter, You-Tube and our official website.

For a more thorough rundown of what Revamp Restyle Reveal is all about, do pop over to my co-host Lisa Dawsons blog, where she'll tell you about it in more detail.

We're counting down from today to the kick-off, which is Monday 4th September, and that's when the real fun will begin!

The idea is a Revamp - something aspirational, but accessible. During the four weeks, there will be regular updates on our You-Tube channel, Instagram feed and stories, as well as ourTwitter feed. And on the 5th of October, there will be a blog-hop Reveal, on all ten blogs. Exciting much?!

We're all ridiculously keen to begin work on our rooms as soon as the virtual starting bell rings on the 4th of September (incidentally the day after I return from an ill-timed, but much needed holiday!), so expect all manner of DIY fun, mayhem, sweat, quite possibly tears, and more than likely a fair bit of swearing under breaths, across all channels for the month of September.

In fact, the Revamp Restyle Reveal website has gone live today, so you can check out who the bloggers are and what they're planning for their rooms after you read this post! Obvs.

I'll be working on my kitchen. If you're a regular reader, you'll know that I loathe it. It don't feel that it reflects my style at all, and there's nothing I actually like about it. It's shabby and grotty, falling to pieces, and desperately needs updating.

It was the obvious choice for Revamp Restyle Reveal. However, always the DIY overachiever, my plan for a lick of paint and new splashback, has snow-balled into a complete re-fit. Hmmm, there's always one, right?

In truth, the cupboards could not be saved by yet another lick of paint, and over the last year or so, I've taken an extreme dislike to the matt black hexagon tiles that suck the light out of the room, that we also 'finished' incredibly badly. So we made the decision to tear it all out, and basically start again. Eek!!

It's one of those classic decorating domino effect situations, where every potential change, had a knock-on effect. Doing the kitchen was firmly not on the cards, but with the help of our sponsors, the impossible, suddenly became possible. And I couldn't be more excited. And terrified!

This is what the kitchen currently looks like on a very good day.

Yes, I do know that it's 'fine'. But you'll have to take my word for it when I say it has some serious issues, and that I'm just able to make it look more fine than it really is for pictures. Here are the issues...

• Not enough storage, so the worktops get cluttered easily
• No dishwasher and nowhere to put one. I know!
• Water-damaged particle board cupboard doors
• Falling apart door hinges
• Drawers that get stuck and require quite an effort to open and close, and often come off their tracks
• Oven that has lost it's ability to display temperature or controls, doesn't light up, and the glass on the small bottom oven is shattered. I've never cleaned it. Shhhh, keep that one to yourself. It's disgusting.
• Strange hob on horrific germ collecting platform (I'm being kind - I really could go on)
• Rotten in parts wooden worktops, with a too big sink that cracked said rotten in parts wooden worktops when installed.
• No atmospheric lighting, just harsh (and ancient) overhead spots that don't dim and we go through lightbulbs like there's no tomorrow.
• Extremely badly finished tiling, and the matt black sucks the light out of the room
• Ugly boiler and pipes on display
• Ugly fuse switches next to each badly tiled around double power socket that I'm constantly hiding behind strategically placed canisters and bread boards.
• Kick boards that constantly collapse in on themselves
• Did I mention there's not enough storage?

There's probably more. But it's making me anxious to think about, so that will do.

I've been fantasy designing my new kitchen for YEARS. Those that know me, will know that I'm definitely not kidding. And if I get even a quarter of the way towards realising it, I'll be over the moon.

So here's my moodboard. And some mockups that I did a little while back, so some things have already changed a bit, but this is the overall look I'm going for. A HUGE transformation.

We'll do everything we can do ourselves - so the demo of the tiles and all cabinets, the cabinet build and install, making the walls good if possible after the tiles come off - though there's a high chance a plasterer will need to be called in. Ed will attempt the plumbing himself too. In fact, the only thing we don't intend to do ourselves is the electrics.

So I hope you'll follow along and wish me luck on this slightly insane kitchen journey!

We'd love you to join in too! Revamp your room over the four weeks (4th September - 2nd October), and let us know by using #revamprestylereveal on your Instagram feed, and use the slideshow feature to show the Before and After (or the After and Before if you prefer to keep things pretty!). There will be prizes, and lots of post summer fun to be had, and we can't wait to get started!

How to follow along:

@revamprestylereval on Instagram
@frenchforpineapple for probably thrice daily stories
@FFFUKofficial on Twitter
@BiancaHallLDN on Twitter and Revamp Restyle Reveal on You-Tube!

And finally a massive thanks to our incredible official sponsors for supporting us on this exciting new venture. We literally couldn't do it without you!


Wednesday, August 2

Drama Tween Bedroom Update!

You may know that I'm in the midst of a big makeover for my teen daughters bedroom. She's a very lucky little lady, and she's going to end up with a bedroom that a lot of grown-ups will envy. Quite possibly including me.

Like all good things, it's taking longer than anticipated, and I'm waiting on a few things and need to make a couple of decisions still, but the room should be complete within the next four weeks. Here's the moodboard again incase you've forgotten!

The starting point for the design of the room was a wallpaper by the fabulous Drop It Modern, called Kitten, that Edie and I both adore. I had actually considered it for my studio makeover last year, but ended up going in a different direction, but I guess it was inevitable that it would eventually end up in the house somewhere!

I also wanted to include decorative moulding in the room, and decided to go with quite a thick moulding to act as big frames, and have the wallpaper inside them.

I've put the moulding on one wall only (for now - I may eventually add moulding to the other three walls too), where her new double bed will go, with a large box in the middle (directly behind the bed), flanked by a tall thin one either side. The wallpaper will go inside all three boxes, and maybe the box above the door too, but I'm undecided on that right now, and I'll make that decision once the wallpaper is up in the big frames.

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen a bit of the process of putting the moulding up, which was also slower than anticipated (isn't it always!?) for a few reasons. One is that I'm incredibly impatient. Two is that the wall where the moulding was going is super wonky! So unlike my very straight-forward decorative moulding in the newer part of the house last year, this was way more time consuming and definitely not a job I could do on my own. It required more than just my trusty Mega-Bond to hold the moulding to the wall - it needed nails too. So I had to wait until my husband could help me, then because of the nails, more filling was required, then a spot prime over the wood filler, before I could finally paint.

I'd not intended to do a tutorial for the moulding, so didn't take suitable pictures to illustrate it (yes, I know, bad blogger!), but I've had loads of requests, so I'll outline the steps below...

You will need:

Mitre saw
Eye protection
Tape Measure
Megabond or similar strong adhesive, and skeleton gun
Stanley Knife
Panel pins
Cup and water
Kitchen Roll
Nail Set
Wood Filler
Filling Knife
Sprit Level
Eggshell and Matt Paint

1. Decide on your design / sizes of boxes before ordering your moulding / decorative trim. Most suppliers will have it in 2.4 metre lengths, and I find that anything longer is just too long to handle for me, unless you're able to work in a huge open space, or outside.

2. I have left a gap of 8cms between boxes, from the corners of the room, above the skirting, and below the cornicing. There's no dado rail in the room and I didn't want to add one because I'm adding wallpaper and wanted it uninterrupted. You may want to research what's historically correct (or just do what you like the look of!).

Figure out the lengths required for each piece and make your cuts. Make sure you have your 45 degree angles facing the right way!

If you're a mitre saw novice you'll probably make a few frustrating errors, so make sure you order slightly more trim than required. This will require a fair bit of re-setting your saw as you want to make all your cuts with the flat side of the moulding down, so that it doesn't move when making your cuts and that you get a nice clean cut.

3. It's helpful to mark the backs of the pieces as you go, so maybe number your boxes and then each piece, so top, bottom, left and right.

4. If you have nice new flat walls, and are using a lighter weight, thinner moulding, you might get away with using adhesive only like I did with thin flat stripwood in my TV room. If you can you'll save a fair bit of time, but otherwise you'll need to use adhesive and panel pins to hold each piece in place. You'll know immediately if you're going to need both by holding the piece in place. If it needs to bend more than a tiny bit to sit flat on the wall, you're going to need nails too otherwise it probably won't stay put while the adhesive dries.

5. Getting the first piece up onto the wall is always the scariest, but you'll get the hang of it pretty quickly. If your walls are really wonky like mine, you may have to go back and re-cut some pieces, even if they're technically the correct length. Be generous with the adhesive, but not so much that it squeezes out the sides when you press down.

6. Make sure each piece is straight using your sprit level, and also nicely in line with the adjacent box as you go. You'll have a little bit of time for sliding each piece around a bit so that they fit together nicely.

7. If you need to use panel pins you'll need an assistant, or unwilling husband to help hold in place or administer the nails.

8. Once all your moulding is up and the adhesive is fully dry, you'll need to countersink the nailheads with a Nail Set, then fill each hole with wood filler. Once dry, sand smooth.

9. Use caulk to fill the corners and inner and outer sides of each box. This is time consuming, but really worth it for a professional, neat finish. And it hides a multitude of sins. You'll need to run a wet finger over the caulk to remove any excess and get a nice smooth finish, so that's what the cup, water and kitchen roll is for - it can get messy.

10. Spot prime the wood filler.

11. When everything is totally dry, it's time to paint. In Edie's room I've used an eggshell finish on the moulding itself and a matt finish on the walls, in the same colour.

The moulding I used is from Skirting4u who had rather perfect timing, getting in touch with me, just as I was in need of some thick moulding. It's actually intended to be used as Dado rail, and is 7cms wide. This particular shape is Antique 2. Anything much thinner would not have held it's own next to the bold wallpaper, so this really was the perfect choice.

They also have a pre-primed option, which saves SO much time. Prep is definitely my least favourite part of the process of a big room makeover, so only having to spot prime where I'd filled nail holes, was great.

The paint I've used is Earthborn Lifestyle Emulsion, which went on beautifully and covered super well in two coats. And just two coats on the woodwork too which is particularly great as woodwork often needs three to cover properly.

Oh, and I DID prime the woodwork! I didn't want to if I'm totally honest, but I promised Earthborn that I would, and they sent me their multi-purpose primer along with the paint, so I was duty bound. And it was so quick to do a coat of it after a light sand, and I guess that's why the Eggshell then went on so well and covered the way it did. Yay me for doing the right thing.

I still have to sand, prime and paint her window. I HATE painting window frames, I find it frustrating and so boring, but I want all the woodwork in the same colour as the walls, so it needs to be done. Besides it's not been painted for years, and really needs it.

The colour I've used is called Donkey Ride, and I'm a bit in love with it. It's a very soft warm neutral, that ties in perfectly with the wallpaper. In some lights it looks more grey, in others beige with yellow undertones, and then in the shadows it's more pink based, but it's always a lovely colour no matter which way it's leaning in the different light, and I can't wait to see how it looks once the room is complete.

So the room is almost ready for me to put the wallpaper up when it arrives, and she's also getting some beautiful full length velvet curtains, which she and I are both ridiculously excited about. Then there is a big surprise to come that she doesn't know about yet, that's going to make her squeal with delight, and for that, you'll have to wait and see. Keep an eye out for the room progress in my Instagram stories, and the big reveal right here in a few weeks!

This post is in collaboration with Earthborn and Skirting4u.
© Bianca Hall. All rights reserved.