Monthly Archives: Nov 2020

The living room transformation……

Well the final piece of the puzzle or should I say the living room has been completed today.

For some time I’ve been working on lightening up the fireplace as the wood was extremely dark. This took some doing and has probably been the toughest bit I’ve worked on. With advice from some friends I set about taking back the varnish on the wooden fireplace. Dad built and designed the fireplace when we moved into this house back in 1982. The fire place has a lovely piece of wood on the top and sides and the bottom was completed with a bit of skirting and scaffold board.

The original fireplace.

I carefully taped all around the sides and coated the wood in the varnish remover. The instructions said it may take two coats and lots of scrapping. Yeah right, five coats and lots of scraping later and the next morning some sanding back I finally had some good looking wood.

Mummies little helper.

However on carefully removing the tape I discovered not only had the product removed the varnish but some of the paint and wallpaper. Well that’s another trip to B&Q then to get some paint to now repaint the whole chimney breast. Just before this though I treated the wood with a wax and I’m really pleased to say the grain looks great and it’s so smooth when you run your hand along it now.


Bev kindly offered to paint the wall for me as this isn’t an easy manoeuvre for me just yet.

The end result looks better than I could have hoped for. Just some lights and ivy to put up to soften the look and give it a beautiful warm feeling.

The doors into the next room were also very dark but I really didn’t fancy stripping all the varnish from them. To my surprise when Bev arrived she came along with a curtain pole and some teal colour fabric, which happened to match the lampshades perfectly. What a difference this makes to the door, whilst still letting light in from the next room. Well done Bev, great idea.


So there we have it. After a few weeks work in lockdown two, three repainted units, two repainted tables, three painted lamp stands with new shades and a completely new look to the fireplace we have a transformed room. So much brighter, more modern and at a very small cost. Also it has given me something to work on over the last few weeks when we can not go anywhere we want again or meet up with groups of friends. A few well earned days off I feel now to catch up on some of my Suzy cross-stitch before I start the next project on the list. Have a great weekend everyone.

Let’s brighten up the cabinet

Over the last few days I have been tackling the display cabinet in our living room. It’s never been my cup of tea as I am not an ornament kind of person but you compromise when you live with others. Dad loved browsing antique shops so it does give me some happy memories and I can hear him saying “don’t open the box, it will lose value” 😂

The dark display cupboard.

So I remove all six doors and between my car port and utility room I manage to spread them all out after sanding them lightly.

I’ve gone for the same colour as the small units in the living room as it does make it all appear brighter. I enjoy painting furniture but all the prep is frustrating.

After four days, Ben and I remove the painting tape, tidy the edges up and put the new handles on before placing them back on the units.

The end result looks rather refreshing and again makes that end of the room so much brighter. Another simple up cycle project.

The finished units.

No project would be complete without a cup of tea and a piece of cake, and as I didn’t have any cake in I whipped up a quick Lemon drizzle that I’d seen on line. Delicious.

It’s a light bulb moment!

Can you guess what I’ve been up to again? Yep you guessed it up cycled some more furniture.

As I may have mentioned in previous blogs my living room is quite dark and so was the furniture. Rather than buy new furniture (there is nothing broken or wrong with what we had) I got to changing the look. You’ve just seen the newly painted units now it was the turn of the coffee tables and lamps.

The tables matched the units and were quite dark wood.

The previous dark tables.

First I needed to sand them back, the tops I wanted to strip all of the varnish to bring them back to the original wood. This took a bit of time but looked good after. The legs were a little tricky but again I persevered.

Sanded and ready to go.

The legs have been painted the same as the units and the tops waxed to bring out the grain of the original wood. The end result looks great.

The two lamps in the room were again dark wood. I purchased a third second hand, removed the lampshade and sanded them all back. I first used a chalk spray paint but on the new lamp it just kept going pink in colour. The tall lamp stand wasn’t taking the paint very well despite the paint saying no need to use a primer. Plan B, use the spray I’m used to working with. This worked well on the two original lamps but again not on the new. So not being defeated I returned to B&Q (my forth visit this week) purchased a primer and started again on the new lamp. Bingo. This is what it needed. Phew. With the new shades, the second new shades as the first I’d purchased were a different colour to how they looked online, they now look like completely new lamps and compliment the room better.

Mummies little helper

I’m very pleased with the end result, so whilst on the living room after taking Suzy on a lovely Sunday sunny stroll I took the doors off the next unit and got them sanded and ready for painting. You’ll have to wait and see how they turn out.

Today (Sunday) has been gorgeous and sunny so Suzy and I also couldn’t resist a little time in the garden. I mulched the roses, Suzy did what she does best. Laps up the sunshine.

Happy weekend everyone x x

Adventure to the Isle of Wight

College half term was fast approaching. The year has been incredible tough. We really needed a little adventure, a change of scenery before the nights draw in and the days become cooler.

After two days of solid accommodation searching, anywhere in the country we came upon a 3 bedroom townhouse in Seaview, on the Northeast side of the Isle of Wight. Ben and I had only been to the island in late December with my dad to accompany him for work so we were looking forward to seeing the island “open”

Bags packed, Lexy loaded Ben, Abbie, Bev, Suzy and I set off towards the ferry from Portsmouth. The ferry was to take us to Fishbourne and from there is was a short drive to Seaview. To start our trip off it rained, in fact it rained ever day we were there.

First stop, lunch. A little eatery was found facing the sea and we relaxed and enjoyed our meal.

The most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen.

Once keys collected we all excitedly explored our temporary home. A three bedroom town house with views over looking the sea from the second floor. That will do us nicely thank you.

The next day we headed off to Cowes. Cowes has been seen as a home for international yacht racing since the founding of the Royal Yacht Squadron in 1815. It gives its name to the world’s oldest regular regatta, Cowes Week, which occurs annually in the first week of August. Later, powerboat races are held. It’s a pleasant town to walk round and made easier on full belly’s after a pub full English. Of course to help keep us warm as you guessed it, it’s raining again.

Thursday we drove across the island to the windy west. Boy was it windy today. Our aim was to visit the Needles and Alum Bay, famous for its coloured sands. Yep raining again and combined with the wind that meant that the cable car wasn’t running down to the bay. So only one thing for it, walk, down lots and lots of steps. Well worth it though. The waves were crashing over the lower cable car station but this didn’t deter from the majestic brightly coloured cliffs. No trip to the beach is complete without a paddle either, well not for Bev😉

The Needles in the distance.

Fridays adventure was to Shanklin. Every time I had visited here in the past everything had been closed so we were looking forward to visiting Shanklin Chine. It was an interesting place to visit with lots of history.

The Chine had a calming feel to it and very pleasant to walk through. Especially when we returned after sunset to visit the illuminations.

No holiday is complete without a game of crazy golf. Yes it’s still raining but hey, we are brits and we are on holiday and not going to miss out. We may have got slightly soaked but we had lots of fun and survived the dinosaurs.

Hot chocolate never fails to warm one up.

Suzy also enjoyed her holiday, she loves the beach and even managed to have a swim, even though it was unintentional!

So if you fancy a holiday and want to feel like you’ve gone abroad, the Isle of Wight is a lovely place to visit. Why not give the coastal path or geocaching a try when you do x

Arriving back in Potsmouth.