Day 32 of kitchen building…

17 Aug

On the 17th of July, two bright-eyed , bushy-tailed shiny little souls started building a kitchen.

Like all adventurers setting off on a voyage of discovery, they were nervous but hopeful.

Little did they realise that a month from that fateful date they still wouldn’t be finished. This is their story…

Ok, so that’s a tad dramatic… but a month! It’s been a month already? Oh bugger!

I guess we’ve made lots of progress for people who’ve been fitting this in around work, a holiday, more work, getting another flat ready for selling and whatever else we’e been up.

First of all, we’ve made and put up all the cabinets. We’ve installed (with a bit of help from an electrician friend) the oven and induction hob. We have lights were there were none before. There’s new plugs, a new extractor fan, a new fridge and a new freezer. And a heck of a lot of dust!

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(This is our new oven… I like how he looks like he’s smiling. But I like that he cooks our food even more!)

BUT… the worktop isn’t arriving until the middle of September so we can’t put the flooring down until after then. Bummer.

And we’ve had to enlist help building our kitchen island. We were pretty confident we could build this ourselves… until we realised that as a kitchen island is a non-standard thing, you don’t get any instructions for it. At all. Ikea just give you some huge lengths of end panels and that’s it. Try as we might we’ve not been able to make sense of how those end panels are meant to translate into an island. So we’ve got a joiner round to quote for it but he can’t do the work until 2 weeks from now. Drat.

There’s also a 30cm wide space on one side that we can’t decide what to do with. Ikea don’t have a wall cabinet in that size with our door. We had thought of getting a corner type shelf thing but went off the idea.

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So any suggestions for what to do with the space would be gratefully received. I’ve been thinking of using it for something statementy but I’ve no idea what yet.

Other things we haven’t decided what to do with yet include our Superman splashback that we had for the sink… He’s about 120cm wide but the wall space on the sink side is now 210cm so he doesn’t quite work anymore – but we’ve got used to him moodily staring at our dirty dishes so if we can figure out a way to keep him, we will.

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However there have been some rather joyful discoveries of having a proper kitchen (or at least proper kitchen cabinets) for the first time in nearly 2 years… I now have a little drawer just for my tea!

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Yes, it’s a bit indulgent but by god I do love my tea! It’s also been great to put all our things on shelves again. Strange how something so simple can feel like such a huge step! The heart mugs are ones the OH made me as a present back in 2004, while the happy rainbow cup was one I found for him in a charity shop. (Yes, his real name isn’t actually OH!)

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It’s also been so nice to rediscover some things that have been packed away for aaaaaaaaages… like my babycham glasses. (Can you tell I have a habit of collecting things?)

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Of course our diy hasn’t been limited to just the kitchen (because we’re crazy like that)… we also put up our Mini Moderns wallpaper in the hall.

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It’s now one of the first things you see when you come into our flat… and it just makes me feel ridiculously happy. (Badgers to do that to me for some reason!)

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However two members of our household have not been such fans of the month-long diy-athon…

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Grey ninja suit cat has been giving us this look a lot… we translate this as I command you to stop drilling, hammering, painting etc and pay attention to me!

While our owl-fox cat – who has a more nervous disposition (she freaks out and hides when anyone rings the doorbell) – has taken to her bed.

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Wait, did I say her bed? I meant, our bed. (Why do cats act like they own everything and somehow convince you that they do too?)

We expect a full recovery from her sometime mid-September… around the same time we think we’ll have a finished kitchen.

If it’s not finished by then, I may take to my bed too!

Fun and games with drinking straws

14 Aug

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A while back we inherited an old drop-leaf table from the OH’s aunt. It wasn’t really our style but it certainly helped us out as kitchen surface when we had no kitchen. However that dull worn table had a lovely surprise for us – inside its drawers there were lots of fab random bits and bobs, including these delightful paper straws.

Now I had a bit of an obsession with straws (currently made worse by having white braces!) but it’s the packaging that I absolutely adore… It’s just so educational! Did you know that straws are good for parties? Or that they’re good for picnics?

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(How cool is the little boy’s Indian headdress?!)

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But the piece de resistance… the games on the back of the box!

Who knew you could have so much fun with straws?!

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(I’m so going to have to try this one at some point!)

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And just in case you’re wondering the straws are pretty great too… such lovely, happy sunshiney colours.

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However I can’t actually bare to use them for drinking so at the moment there’s a few just sitting in an empty glass on the sideboard… Might need to think of a better way to display them soon!

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Happy weekend everyone xx

P.S. If you want to play any of the games here with stripey straws… Lynne from Tea for Joy sells a lovely range of them at her shop Papermash.


Weddingnesday… are you still getting married?

11 Aug

picture 43 Weddingnesday... are you still getting married?

“Oh my god, I thought you’d called the whole thing off!”

This was a friend’s reaction recently to the non-enthused response I gave about our wedding planning.

Non-enthused, not because we’ve cancelled the wedding, but because we haven’t done any wedding planning for, well, nearly a month.

Cue slightly concerned looks from some friends and family… who didn’t look comforted by our ‘it’s not until next year’ rationale.

The truth is though it’s been quite relaxing giving ourselves a break from wedding planning. I mean we have a date, a venue, a band, a baker, a person to marry us, a potential dress (hiding in my side of the wardrobe), a list of people the OH’s mum wants to invite to the wedding… and we’ve nearly finished our save the dates. And we think we’ve found what will be my wedding ring!

That’s a lot right? Even if we did no planning between now and next June, we could still have a wedding!

So in the spirit of relaxed wedding planning, how lovely, chilled and/or blissfully happy do these weddings look?

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(via Once Wed)

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(via Rock n’ Roll Bride)

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(via Snippet and Ink)

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(by Kris Atomic spotted via A Cup of Jo)

And on a post on relaxed, fun weddings, I couldn’t not mention Hannah’s from Seeds and Stitches

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Her and her mister recently celebrated their 5th wedding anniversary and she wrote this fantastic post on weddings and being married. Her brilliant advice to brides and grooms to be is something I think I may be re-reading a few times before now and I do…

“The most important part of the day is about making this insane (and it is insane) lifelong commitment to each other, of declaring your love to each other amongst the support and love of your family and friends around you. And having a good party. The other stuff, the details are secondary. Not unimportant, especially if you are a creative person, but secondary. And marriage rocks. It is incredible. But it isn’t easy. However, if you are both willing to look at yourselves in the mirror sometimes and say ‘I’m being a stubborn twat’ (really, very important), and if you’re both willing to compromise and talk it out, really talk, about everything, then in my experience the best is yet to come.”

Happy chilled Weddingnesday everyone (especially to Hannah!)

Intro pic via Amanda Pulley

When you're tiling, the whole world tiles with you

8 Aug

So we’ve built the kitchen cabinets, we’ve ordered the worktop (not being delivered until September unfortunately) and now we’re thinking tiles…

Originally we (well, me) had been thinking about getting mirror splashbacks to maximise the light in the kitchen – but having decided on a white worktop with white cabinets, I’m thinking mirror might look a bit stark. So we looked at some coloured splashbacks and we just weren’t that wowed… They seem more modern than tiles, more streamlined etc but somehow less personal.

Which now means we’re on the hunt for cool tiles that would suit a white kitchen that will have a grey with dots floor and pink jelly wallpaper… um…

One of our thoughts was to buy plain white tiles and then get a few patterned/screenprinted ones to mix in among them. Kind of like Lulu Guinness’ kitchen (via here) but less full on…

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Here’s what I’ve come across so far in my tile hunting so far:

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This Punk Doily tile by Kiss Her is the right colour for going with the jellies… it also reminds me of my friend’s wedding!

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We could spell out any word with these circus tiles by Kiss Her … though I think deciding what those words should be would be a hard task.

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Which would be the same problem with these Big Tomato tiles (spotted via Home Shopping Spy). Our favourite is the Dalek… anyone who saw the ‘would you like a cup of tea?’ episode of Dr Who will understand why we think we need this in our kitchen!

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We also came across these rather lovely Wellbeck cutlery tiles (also via Home Shopping Spy)…

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They do a jellies one too which would either look great with our Thornback and Peel wallpaper or be jelly overkill!

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A further look at their range revealed Wellbeck also do these gorgeous tiles… Now I’m not a very flowery girl but how awesome do these look? I love the mix of the white tiles and the patterned ones (especially the gold hearts).

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Then in amongst all this tile thinking, we remembered we already own this Rob Ryan tile (ours is in red) and thought well, we could maybe just buy a few more of his tiles…

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But I’m not sure I could cope with these buttony ones… they remind me of Coraline too much!

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So we gave up on that theory. (One Rob Ryan tile turns out to be enough for us!) Anyway, from there, I ended up on Design Sponge where I spotted these lovely tiles by Xenia Taler

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A quick trip over to her site revealed these cute as hell tiles… I think the caterpillar is my favourite but he’s maybe a bit of an odd choice considering how much else we have going on in the kitchen. (The OH now wants owl tiles though!)

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After all the searching, I remembered seeing these teacup tiles a few years ago…

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They would be very handy but wouldn’t exactly break up an all white kitchen!

So basically after all that I’m no further on deciding tiles… though I did come across a clock that I now want!

Anyone any suggestions for cool tiles?

I’m half beginning to think we should make some ourselves icon wink When you're tiling, the whole world tiles with you

Friday I'm in love… with Norway

6 Aug

Well, not really Norway so much as my lovely friends who live there…

They moved back to Oslo, abandoning us Scottish folks for better weather and higher booze prices, in 2008.

This was our 3rd visit over to see them (you might remember pictures from last year of their yellow house and the gorgeous cabin)… but this was our most exciting visit yet as we were off to meet their new baby!

Just like her Mum, she’s entirely gorgeous and utterly adorable…

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And put up with us adults doing SingStar and generally being daft without complaint! The OH brought along his Flip HD camera that I got him for his birthday… which means there’s now video evidence of SingStar-ing and me trying to prove how Scottish I am by attempting a Highland Fling on their balcony. (Can’t remember why… there was no alcohol involved there!)

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Luckily I had my trusty SLR with me to take some shots back!

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It was also the last holiday of my other friend before she has her first baby… so there was quite a lot of baby/giving birth/pregnancy chat on the go. I now know maybe more than I should on the subject!

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Obligatory shot of their dog… just to prove he’s not been forgotten now there’s a baby! I had those big eyes looking up at me whenever I had food as he knows I’m a soft touch for dropping a little crisp for him every now and then…

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And some pics from our lazy day at Frogner Park

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It’s this gorgeous park with some very strange statues in it – mostly of angry naked men and women.

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The angry baby statue… thankfully this was the only angry baby of the trip!

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The bad hair day statue… not sure if that’s what they call this but it seems like a good name.

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And the, eh, fighting couple… thankfully there was none of this on the trip either!

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But despite the angry statues, it’s a great place to chill out, sunbathe a little and attempt a conversation with someone who’s only 3 months old!

And to end on a happier pic… here’s the love heart I dropped in the grass. Mmm maybe the dog is right about me dropping food!

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Happy Friday everyone xx

Friday I'm in love… with this space

30 Jul

We’re still up to our eyeballs in kitchen building… it doesn’t go that fast when you’re building it yourselves (and I’ve been away most of the week so the OH has been doing it all on his own).

The rest of the flat also looks a mess too – everything that was in the kitchen is spread out all over the place AND covered in a fine layer of dust.

It will be worth it in the end though. (And other things to repeat to yourself over and over again.)

On a break from kitchen building, I stumbled across these beautiful pics from Jane Foster’s blog (via here) of her living room.

I’m in love with that couch, the sideboard and those paper flowers…

Everything looks so pretty, so calming, so not like the living room of someone building a kitchen!

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Happy weekend everyone xx

Viva design democracy… and doing your own thing!

30 Jul

rules Viva design democracy... and doing your own thing!

Ok, you’re probably all looking at the title of this post and thinking I’ve gone mad. (As usual, you might be right.)

Design democracy? What the heck is that?

Well, up until recently I’d never heard the phrase either… it’s not exactly something that gets dropped into dinner conversations. But then I got nominated for mydeco’s blog awards (you can vote for me here) and they asked all the nominees to write a post about ‘Design Democracy’.

Now I’m not a designer. Or even an interior designer. I’m just someone who likes pretty, practial things.

I like colour and fun. Junk furniture and bargain buys. I like what I think is cool, not what I’ve been told is.

So my opinions on design are just that… my opinions.

And that’s what I think design democracy is.

It’s not about being dictated to… it’s about about what you like, what makes you smile, what makes you feel happy.

If you want to paint your walls black, go ahead. If you want to go beige, well, that’s your choice too. Red, yellow, blue… that’s totally up to you.

Love mid-century modern furniture? Eat your heart out. More of an Ikea gal (or boy)? Well, why not? Got a mish-mash of well-loved bits and bobs? Don’t let anyone make you feel you need to replace any of it.

This isn’t a revoluntionary theory.

Just that your home – and the things you buy/acquire/covet/live with – should be ‘you’. After all, rules are for fools.

Make time…

25 Jul

make time hot pink Make time...

I’m timeless over the next wee while… not in an elegant Grace Kelly style but more of a there aren’t enough darn hours in the day kind of way.

So I’m taking a wee blogging break. I’ll be back once I’ve mastered the art of controlling the space time continuum. (Yes I may have watched too much Doctor Who at one point!)

Print via Christina Vantzou
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