Top 3 quick make over fixes – on a budget

So my thinking is still that you lovely people who take the time to read my blog are also interested in my daily life, albeit a tiny bit… Of course my blog is about interior and design and art and DIY and other fab designers and home tours etc. but I think – correct me if I’m wrong – it’s probably quite nice to know a bit more about the person behind this all. If not then swipe away, flick through, go back or just shut down!

After the launch of my site last week I got massive messages of support and feedback so am feeling happy and chuffed that I actually did it. Of course the hard bit of getting people to actually buy stuff is yet to come!

So last week was surreal with all the stuff going on but then I always have my family to keep it real, keep me sane if you like….
They don’t care  – too much – about art, website launches, styling projects, meetings with potential clients, Instagram competitions etc. They still need to be brought to dentist’s, and we are still going to be told by dental hygienists how miserably we are failing as parents. My youngest will still crawl into our bed – at god knows what hours – as she’s afraid of the werewolf residing under her bed. I’m still going to be standing at the school – in my PJ bottoms – listening to small talk. Im still going to referee one fight too many in my house as my eldest is starting to go into puberty early and the other kids just annoy the living daylights out of him. Dinner time is still going to come as a surprise to me and I’m going to have to improvise no end (Jamie Oliver and Nigella would be proud of my resourcefulness, not necessarily of the quality of the result). And you know what, it’s fine….. All of this is normal and I would be so very worried if this were to change.

So today I wanted to give you my top 3 tips for quick, cheap and cheerful revamping a corner of your room – on a budget but with maximum effect.
We all have parts of our home we are not totally happy with but we can’t afford to restyle entirely or even a bit. I keep putting certain parts of the home off because I have a massive wish list which is 1) too expensive 2) requires help from OH who will have a fit if realizes what I have in mind. So here are some tips to spruce up that boring corner.

1.IKEA hack

I have been a bit dismissive of the big yellow and blue shop but I think I might have to eat my words….  whilst I will never be totally converted there are some great finds to be had. I love some of their rugs, kitchen ware, lamp bases, bedding, throws etc. I suppose what I hated was the samey bookcases, desks, sofas etc. everyone used to have. However I do understand the need to go somewhere were you will know you will find that particular functional piece of furniture – you and millions of others – but I’m fine with that as long as you make it your own, jazz it up a bit. This is where the Ikea hack comes into play. There are many, many types around and I think I must have been living under a rock as I’m just starting to discover them. Go google them and you might be converted if you weren’t already.

I’ve decided that I will show you one of my favourite hacks now – and I will do a whole blog on a bunch of my favourite hacks some time later. Hacks to consider are: wallpapering wooden chest of drawers, and glamming up cabinets with brass handles or taking bookshelves and making them look like built in shelves etc.

This is my current favourite hack and it fits right in with my Hollywood Regency style. Nice and blingy. This one I found on Instagram and is by the lovely Lyndsay @homesweentrental
It basically is about getting an IKEA metal bookstand – it is black metal see far left in picture 1. Then out of Mdf you will have to saw – or get someone to do this – the top part. See picture 2 – the design isn’t that complicated but you just need to be a bit handy with a saw. Attach the Mdf top part to the metal bookstand and spray paint all in brass/gold paint. I think the effect is huge and I would never have thought the bookstand wasn’t an original Hollywood Regency stand!

If you use this in a forgotten corner and add some of your trinkets, books or glass ware – you really have a revamped new corner on a shoe string.



2. Thrift your way to happiness

Now you have to stick at it. Don’t walk out at the first attempt. I promise you, you will find something and love it and once you get that bug your hooked. You will need your thriftshop/charity/fleamarket fix on a regular basis.

I started off at a young age being dragged by my mum to various antiques shops and markets and as all normal children; I hated it. But that slowly changed and I started appreciating, enjoying and even instigating our next hunt. Proper antiques come at a price and one day I found myself being downgraded to a thrift shop. Whilst I found that very overwhelming initially I realised that real bargains were to be found and I found I could forget about my initial inhibitions and delve in! Don’t think too long about why the shop is there but enjoy the fact you might find a beautiful object at a bargain price! In my experience thrift shops are especially good for:

  1. glass ware
    Whilst individually the glass ware might not look super special once you’ve collected some and mixed it up a little – it will look stunning. Particularly if you mix and match different colours.
    I would say that 90% of my glass ware in below picture are thrift shop finds!
  2. art work
    You do need to look but some really nice vintage paintings are to be found. If not always proper art  – but what is that anyway when it’s at home? If you like it, you like, it sometimes some really tacky and yet very ‘on trend’  pieces really glam up a corner.
  3. lamp bases
    I really love those 70’s vintage lamp bases and you get them a lot around here. If you get one for cheap you can spruce it up with a really nice lamp shade; one you might already have, a high street one or even a custom made more luxurious one. Very effective on any budget!

With either one of these thrift shop finds any forgotten corner, shelve or table will look all glammed up.

Moody Magpie

Photo: 90% of above glass ware is from a thrift shop.

3. Frame that paper

OK so this one can be as cheap or as expensive as you want. I love a bit of wallpaper but of course wallpaper is fairly permanent – Ok nothing really is – but it takes a bit more effort to take off some wallpaper than it does to repaint a wall (I know all sorts of horror scenarios spring to mind of paint that doesn’t cover and needing 8 layers before it covers etc). But in theory its harder to redo a wall thats been wallpapered than one that’s not. Yet, you might love a particular wallpaper but can’t afford it or as much as you like it, you might not know whether with that wallpaper the lighting in that corner will lift the room or make you want to to tear you hair out in despair. So here’s what you do – you buy a bit of that wallpaper and get it framed.

If you frame it yourself you will be confined to the standard frame sizes and if not, you can do whatever and get it framed professionally. Go big I’d recommend but the beauty is you will have a real statement in your corner and if you get sick of it you just move it away without having to get into war with your OH.
Luxurious options are of course the De Gournay wall paper – stunning yet expensive. But equally pretty are for instance House of Hackney patterns or Timorous Beasties. All stunning and a real game changer for that drab corner!

Go experiment and spruce up that wall!




Timorous Beasties – Archiexpo

De Gournay – pinterest


Finally just wanted to share with you that apart from my site launch I had some great meetings one of which was with the super talented artist Grace. Grace is a Dutch artist – whom I met on Instagram, this sounds like a sleazy internet date – and who happens to live 10 km from me! So we met up and what a fab stuff she makes!! Here’s some of the stuff which you can also purchase here online.




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