This year has been the year of finally doing some decorating in our home. Until January we had lived here five years and not so much as put a lick of paint on the walls, so this year after deciding a move was not on the cards just yet, we decided to start making it our own.
Our project this summer is the garden, which is currently a space consisting of lawn (which has seen better days), a swing that takes up the entire space and a park bench which had served as a fine dining spot for many a BBQ since we’ve been here! To say I’m excited to create a welcoming outdoor space is an understatement!
Like many would, we felt pretty mean getting rid of the kids swing. It’s ginormous and far too big for our garden, but the kids do play on it and love it. It was so important to us to make sure they didn’t lose out by us creating a new outside space. After all, the main reason for doing the garden is so that days at home can be spent as a family, with the patio doors open and lots of space to roam and relax.
Two years ago, Kev built a summer house in the corner of the garden, which was originally a stock room and office for my various businesses. As time has gone by, I’ve found myself naturally migrating back into the house to work, especially since we’ve given the house some TLC, and so more often than not, the summer house stays locked up and unused.
With me now working from the house more and the stock being kept elsewhere I decided the space would be perfect to give to the kids. Not only could I add to it/change it up easily, it would be a shaded spot for them to play on sunny days . The real challenge was in making it a space fun for an 8 year old girl and 2 year old boy at the same time. Luckily for us, Kev’s daughter, Evie still adores role play so I could utilise that in making it fun for them both.
I started off freshening up the paint on the inside. I knew I wanted a colour, but as it’s a small space I wasn’t keen on painting all the way to the ceiling. Pinterest is my saviour when it comes to inspiration for any decorating, especially small spaces, and I quickly found a few ideas for painting just part of the wall a colour, and the rest white.
The paint I chose was a Dulux mix called ‘Tuscan Glade 3’. There was no way I was paying through the nose for paint out there and Dulux had a lush range of colours to choose from. I hadn’t painted like this before so my good friend Google provided some handy blogs on ‘how to’ and it all came down to a bit of frog tape and a spirit level. Even this kid can’t screw that up! I decided to go about shoulder height as halfway felt a bit odd. The frog tape ensures the paint doesn’t bleed through like it can with some cheap masking tapes and although I wouldn’t give myself ‘Painter of the Year’ award, I was impressed how it came out for a first attempt.
Next was what to pop inside. I know it’s hardly unique, but Ikea is just the best go to for cheap kids stuff. I spent the morning there with a friend and managed to get most the furniture for a reasonable price.
Ikea is famous for it’s kids kitchens, and the traditional one you see most is £60. This one above was just £25 and we simply bought a rail with some hooks and pots to hang utensils from making it almost identical to the pricier one. Win!
This little table and chair set was £20 and so easy to put together. I bought some wipe clean material from Dunelm and used some fabric I had bought for kitchen curtains on the seats to give it a little character.
This is actually a TV stand and was just £9! I used the fabric I bought to create some curtains across the front. I’d love to take full credit for this but it was infact my good friend Vic (@home_and_the_wild) who whipped out the sewing machine and stitched them so I could hang them up. Super cheap and cheerful though with the material costing just £10 and leaves them some good shelving space to store their kitchen bits and bobs (for me to shove all the crap they’ll likely leave all over the floor!)
The little bookcase is also from Ikea, and again, not too pricey at £16. I used this to keep arty bits in for them, and it slots in perfectly to this little space left.
The little details are always the most fun part for me. These wooden letters are from Hobbycraft and just £2.20. I simply painted them with the wall paint and glued them to wall. The bunting was also Hobbycraft and helped to add a summery vibe to the space.
The ironing board and washing machine were second hand from Facebook Marketplace, and the Easel was Evie’s when she was little so these were big savings we were able to make. We get so much stuff second hand. Facebook has some stuff as good as new and when they are going to change their interests quickly I just don’t see the point in buying everything new. The rug was from H&M early spring and used to live in Freddie’s room (which is next on the list for decorating) so I figured I’d give it a new home in here for the summer and finally, the till and afternoon tea set were from Asda for £10.
The kids were so happy when we surprised them with it on Sunday morning and Evie asked to stay extra this week so she could play some more. It felt so lovely to give them a gorgeous space to call their own (not to mention getting some toys out the living room!) and now I feel like we can enjoy planning the rest of the garden so it’s a relaxing spot to enjoy the nice weather without fear of them missing out on any fun! I’ll keep you posted on garden news. For now, I need to educate myself on the best plants to get to see me through all the seasons! Any suggestions? 20 year old me thinks I’m well old but I for one live for this these days. Here’s to quiet sunny days at home with the all the family