September Home Style Shakeup

It’s no surprise that I seem to spend more on homeware and interiors in September than I do any other time of the year.  It makes perfect sense; the dog days are done, the nights are drawing in and there’s a distinctly Autumnal chill in the air (I wore my winter coat for the first time this morning… and then ended up shucking it off ten minutes later because we’re just not quite there yet!).  It’s time to get the house feeling warm and cosy and – ugh, yes – THAT Scandinavian word.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been stocking up on candles like a squirrel burying nuts, rearranging things a bit and just generally freshening everything up ready for winter.  I’m definitely feeling ready to hibernate 🙂

The lounge is the room I spend my life in and I finally feel like it’s “finished” – if there is such a thing.  This corner was a bit boring, so I’ve turned it into my Miranda from Sex and the City “You no longer exist” trashy magazine reading space.  I’m going to be sharing it with Bungle though, his bed is right next to it and he has a habit of sprawling right in front of the chair and leaving his toys everywhere.  We picked up this cheap little side table from IKEA about a year ago but the space underneath it was just wasted; it just seemed to collect tangled cables and dust (…and Bungle fur).  So to make better use of it, I picked up some baskets from IKEA to slot into the gap.  They’re brilliant for storing all of Bungle’s favourite toys.  I also picked up a new Yucca – which I’m not going to kill.


So here’s a tip; don’t ever stroll into a customer collection point stating that you’re there to pick up a “big clock” because the guys behind the counter will misunderstand what you’re saying.  Oh, and also don’t say “oh wow it’s huge!” when they appear with the package.  True story.  Anyway, this “big clock” is from John Lewis.


Some of our sofa cushions were looking a bit worse for wear, so I picked up these fancy  grey chevron ones from Tesco for £7 each, and I didn’t even realise until I got them home that they perfectly match our little footstool.  I also re-purposed this massive pirex pie dish and turned it into a little tray for the coffee table.  It’s nice to have somewhere to store lounge bits and bobs like flowers, tissues and candles.  Speaking of which, I’m absolutely loving this little Autumn Pearl candle that Yankee Candle Cardiff kindly gifted me.  It’s from their new autumn range and smells absolutely gorgeous – it’s getting me all excited for cosy nights in. 🙂

I also restocked my terrarium.  The old one was a graveyard.  It was tragic.  Oops!  I really love the cactus right at the back – mostly because it’s called a “Bunny Ear Cactus”.  Too cute!

Lastly, in the kitchen I’ve added a few bits and pieces around the hob.  Sunny and I made it to our fifth wedding anniversary at the end of August and so my mum and dad bought us this heart-shaped chopping board – because wood is the traditional gift for a fifth wedding anniversary. 🙂 I also picked up another plant (again, I’m really going to try not to kill it) because it’s nice to have some greenery inside during the winter I think.  She’s called Vera and the pot was a total bargain from TK Maxx.  Cute, huh?

Have a great weekend everyone! ♡

On the Bedroom Wall

On the Bedroom Wall - Geometric Grey Wallpaper - The Cardiff Cwtch

It’s been a while since I’ve done a home post, but then we haven’t really done any DIY or made many changes recently.  Things have been… cosy!  That being said, in September Sunny saw some wallpaper online that he fancied putting up in the bedroom, and after dithering over it for a couple of weeks, we went out and bought it.  The problem was that we’d never wallpapered before and so the rolls sat in the spare room for a good three months because we were too scared to actually put them up!  Then, one drizzly January Saturday afternoon I decided enough was enough and that we were going to give it a go, and so we did! It’s a bit different (and a little bit Gatsby), but I love it!  ♡



On the Bedroom Wall - Geometric Grey Wallpaper - The Cardiff Cwtch
On the Bedroom Wall - Geometric Grey Wallpaper - The Cardiff Cwtch
On the Bedroom Wall - Geometric Grey Wallpaper - The Cardiff Cwtch

The good thing about this wallpaper was that it was a “paste the wall kind”, rather than a messy “dunk the paper” kind, which made the whole process a lot easier (and cleaner!).  the paste came with a kit that included a tray, roller, wallpaper scissors and a wallpaper knife – so we had everything we needed to do it!  The trickiest bit was lining the sheets up, but even that wasn’t too difficult. 🙂

On the Bedroom Wall - Geometric Grey Wallpaper - The Cardiff Cwtch
Wallpaper – Homebase (Sold Out!  Similar here), Bedding – Tesco, Flower Cushions – Marks and Spencer, Spotty Cushions – IKEA, Lamp – John Lewis, Bungle – not for sale!

On the Bedroom Wall - Geometric Grey Wallpaper - The Cardiff Cwtch

Have a great week everyone! X

6 Home Interiors Hacks

I can’t believe we’ve been in our house for a year and a half!  Mostly because there are still a couple of boxes gathering dust in the spare room… oops.  And we’re still making changes; last month we tiled the kitchen and painted one of the lounge walls, just the other day we put a picture up on the landing and this weekend we’re popping to Homebase to check out some wallpaper for the bedroom.  If there’s anything I’ve learned about decorating houses (house… singular, this is our first!) it’s that it takes time.  And that’s not necessarily a bad thing – I mean, sometimes it can take a while to decide how you really want things to look.

We’ve made some mistakes, but we’ve learned a hell of a lot along the way – including some handy tips, tricks and hacks that we’ll take along with us next time we move (…which hopefully won’t be any time too soon!)  🙂

1. Consider buying your flooring online rather than in a package from a retailer.

One of the first nasty shocks we had when we looked at getting carpets and hard flooring done was how crazy expensive it can be!  We’d never had to buy our own flooring before and so we did what most people do; we went to carpet retailers and those big name department stores that’ll offer the whole package (measuring, ordering, fitting), because we didn’t think there was an alternative.  The quotes we were getting for carpets upstairs and luxury laminate downstairs were IN-SANE, and the truth is (which my parents recently found out), the service and finish aren’t always the best you’re going to get.  Sometimes it’s better to break up that expensive package and arrange things for yourself.

Because we’d had that big retailer (let’s just call him Jonathan Lewison *wink*) come out and measure up to give us their crazy quote, we’d come away with the exact measurements of each room and the quantities of flooring we were going to need.  With that info, we tracked down the carpet and the laminate we’d been eyeing up online for a much, much cheaper price, bought it, and arranged for it to be delivered to the house (luckily we had a garage where we could store the enormous rolls!). We shopped around locally for a professional fitter who could lay the flooring for us, and he did a much better job than Jonathan Lewison’s busy contractors.  Honestly, it was amazing how much we saved, just by ordering things ourselves online – and it wasn’t even that difficult to arrange.  It pays to think outside the box sometimes!

2. Take your time

I can’t say this enough.  No matter how many Pinterest boards you’ve got stocked full of interiors inspo, and no matter how many ideas and plans you’ve got buzzing around in your head, it’s worth actually living in a room for a while before you whip the paintbrushes out or even start filling it with furniture.  Seriously.  Sometimes it’s a good idea to wait a while before you decorate or buy pictures because what looks good in your head might not work in real life, or what you want to change now might be something you regret in a couple of months.  You might realise you need a very specific piece of furniture (We need storage there instead of a chair, we need a silver lamp instead of a gold one…).  It took us about nine months to put a single picture up, purely because we didn’t really know what we wanted and where to put it.  And after living in our kitchen for a year and suffering terrible oil splashes on the walls around the hob, we realised that tiles were needed and started to shop around.  🙂

It also pays to think and plan ahead.  I was downright stubborn about the fact that I wanted hard floor everywhere downstairs because I knew it was going to be a bugger to constantly keep carpet clean in the most heavily trodden areas of our new home, but also because we had plans to get a dog.  Oh how right I was!  I honestly can’t imagine how we would have coped cleaning up after Bungle if I’d given in and gotten carpets instead.  Phew!

3. Command Strips are Stud Walling Saviours

If you’ve lived in a house with stud walling then you’ll know that putting pictures up with rawl plugs can be a risky business (in our London flat we left behind walls that were pock-marked with hanging disasters…!).  But now there are amazing things called command strips.  They’re basically just little strips with a sort of heavy-duty velcro on one side, and glue – that enables you to hang things on the wall without hammers, plugs and screws – on the other.  When you change your mind and want to remove them you just peel them off and they don’t leave residue or marks.  They.  Are.  AMAZING.  We pretty much created our lounge gallery wall using only command strips, and so far nothing has dropped down on our heads – so that’s a thumbs up!  🙂

4. Pick and choose when to DIY-it and when to get help – and when to save and when to spend.

We’ve all had DIY disasters and know our limits when it comes to decorating jobs around the house – so it’s important I think to know when to cut corners and when get help.  My Dad is a perfectionist when it comes to painting, is handy with a drill and has suffered enough minor shocks over the years to know what not to do when it comes to electrics.  Plumbing, however, is something he won’t touch.  It’s always helpful to get a few recommendations from friends and family of handymen and tradesmen you can rely on when you reach your DIY limit (we’ve been really lucky, and have met some people we’ll be keeping in the address book for a long time!).  Sometimes it’s worth spending a little extra to dodge a disaster!

Similarly, know when to spend and when to save.  Curtains – for example – can cost an absolute fortune.  We had our lounge ones made to measure (because we wanted thick, floor to ceiling ones), but saved money by fitting them ourselves and buying cheaper eyelet ones for the windows upstairs.  Lighting is something that can also be expensive – especially if you go for light fittings.  We saved money by shopping around for fancy lampshades instead.

Call this an addendum to point two, but it really does pay to take your time and shop around for the perfect piece, rather than throw money away on something that “will do for now”.

5. Homesense and TK Maxx for Candles, Cushions, Rugs and Pictures

I snort at anyone who spends over six quid on a candle.  Honestly?  Just go to Homesense – they’ve got a tonne of them for a fraction of the price.  Along with TK Maxx (they’re the same thing really) it’s quite possibly my favourite shop on the planet when it comes to quirky, unique pieces for the home.  Some of my favourite pictures came from there (the Pineapple and the Elephant in our gallery wall), as well as some of my favourite ornaments and candles.

6. Choosing substance doesn’t necessarily mean compromising on style.

Sometimes it’s worth waiting a while for the right piece of furniture that not only looks good, but suits its purpose well.  There are so many bits of furniture that we waited to buy because we had very specific criteria that it needed to meet.  Like our kitchen table; we knew exactly what we wanted it to look like, but it had to extend to seat 8, that was a deal breaker.  We knew we wanted a coffee table in the lounge, but it had to have a glass top and a wooden frame that matched the legs for our sofa (we had to wait a year to find that and pounced on it when we did track it down!).  We needed a TV table, but it had to have tonnes of storage (….remember the age of the DVD?  We’ve got about a hundred…), and I was absolutely adamant that our bed had to be a nice soft grey colour, and be an Ottoman so we could store stuff underneath (I drove Sunny mad trying to track that one down…!).

What are your favourite home interiors hacks?  🙂

Our Gallery Wall

Recently I wrote about the boring bare wall above my sofa and how Sunny and I were arguing over what to do with it.  I had pretty much given up on the whole gallery wall idea that I’d had my heart set on; Sunny likes right angles, straight lines, matching frames and neat corners, so I’d pretty much resigned myself to the fact that it just wasn’t going to happen… or so I thought.  Then out of nowhere he started looking at them on Pinterest and bada-bing bada-boom. Somehow, I’d managed to twist his arm (which is a pretty difficult thing to do) and convince him it was a good idea, and after an Etsy binge, a couple of trips to Homesense and IKEA and then a late night spent command stripping (…not as filthy as it sounds…), tada!  We have a gallery wall!


We’ve got a mix of pictures, photographs and a canvas, along with a mask my brother brought us back from his trip to South Africa, as well as a mix of frames.  And we only used three screws.  Back in our London flat we ruined a couple of walls trying to hang things up on plasterboard, but back then we didn’t have a little something-something called Command Strips, which are a bloody beautiful invention. 🙂

Always photobombing with that face.  *eyeroll*

Some of my favourite prints of colourful street scenes (like this one of London) came from allthewaystosay over on Etsy. Love it!

What d’you think of it? It’s weird walking into the lounge and not seeing a bare wall anymore!