Laundry Room Makeover

Spaghetti Stain Removals, but make it stylish…
Laundry Room Makeover - The Cardiff Cwtch

Well hey, it’s been a long time since I’ve done an interiors post here on the blog. A looooong time. What can I say? We got a bit… lazy. You know how it goes, you move into a new house, embark on a sort of decorating blitzkrieg – hitting one room after the next – and then you sit on it and enjoy it for a while… and then bam! Two years fly by, everything goes a bit stale and there’s still a massive hole in the wall where your puppy (who’s now no longer a puppy) charged into it at full-zoomies miles per hour (it’s on the to-do list, okay?). When we first moved in, there were rooms that we didn’t really feel the need to decorate, and so we kind of just accepted them for how they were and let them just… be for a while. Now they’re looking a bit stale and a bit boring compared to the rest of the house, and so when Sunny and I got back from Florida we made a new decorating to-do list and decided on a few rooms that we fancied giving a bit of a makeover. 🙂

Our Utility Room (/ Laundry Room / Mud Room) is straight off the kitchen and even though we use it every single day as access to our back garden, for washing clothes and sorting out Bungle when he’s come in from a muddy walk – it’s been looking more than a bit neglected. When Bungle entered our lives almost three years ago, it immediately became his space. It became his everything room, from his bed and dining room, to – oh yes – his toilet (before we finally nailed the toilet training – phew!) – and as a result the whole room started to look a bit bruised and battered. The floor was grubby, the skirting boards were muddy and the walls especially were in a right state; when Bungle learned how to open doors, he started clawing at the wall. The room literally went to the dogs (or rather, dog). Now that he’s (mostly) better behaved, we decided to give the room a fresh coat of paint and turn it from purely functional, to pretty damn snazzy!

Utility Room Makeover - The Cardiff CwtchLaundry Room Accessories - The Cardiff Cwtch

We had these large, grey metro tiles from Tops Tiles put in about a year ago when we tiled the kitchen, and I absolutely love them! They match perfectly with the grey work surface we chose when we first moved in, and look great next to the brand new (very moody) wall colour. We knew we wanted to go grey, but didn’t really anticipate going as dark as we did! The shade is called Sooty Lashes (I love it! Who comes up with paint names? What a job!) and is by Valspar at B&Q.  The pictures are actually really, really old; we bought them for the kitchen in our first flat in London and they had to come with us when we moved.  They’ll always remind me of that pokey little kitchen overlooking the muddy Thames. 🙂

I picked up the washing powder jar from IKEA’s 365 Kitchen Storage Range. Before we were using a plain plastic tupperware pot which not only looked a bit naff, but was really messy. Now I can actually keep my washing powder and liquid out on the surface for easy access!

Mud Room Dog Bed - The Cardiff CwtchLaundry Room Dog Bed

Even though Bungle sleeps upstairs on our bed now, the Utility Room is still his bedroom really, and he does like to trot off and take a nap there with “Bald Lion” (his favourite toy) whenever he’s feeling a bit antisocial or nervous. It’s his “safe space”. The gap under the counter is actually for a Tumble Dryer, but – since we don’t own one – it’s the perfect place for Bungle’s dog bed and blanket. I’ve got a basket on the counter piled with fresh blankets and towels that are just for him and are easy to access whenever we need to wipe off his muddy paws. The rug (old, from H&M Home) gives the floor a little bit more protection and makes the room just a little bit cosier for him. 🙂

Utility Room Dog Bed - The Cardiff CwtchUtility Room Decor Ideas - The Cardiff CwtchMud Room Decor Ideas - The Cardiff Cwtch

What do you think? Sunny’s been saying for a while that we need to bite the bullet and get a tumble dryer – but I’m pushing back as hard as I can because I don’t want to turf Bungle out of his den! 🙂 Have a lovely week!

My Weekly Cleaning Routine

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I’ve kind of come to terms with the fact that I’ll never have a spotless, squeaky-clean house.  Why?  Well, A) Because I have a dog, and B) I just can’t be arsed.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love a clean, fresh-smelling home – of course I do, who doesn’t? – but I’m no Hincher; I don’t enjoy cleaning and if I can get away with not doing something then, mate, I just won’t do it.

Until recently I was devoting one day a week to getting all of my weekly cleaning chores done and dusted.  I’d do a top to bottom sweep of the house – from kitchen to bathroom – and that would be it.  Job done.  Thing is, I’d rush through it, end up doing a half-arsed job of it and feel absolutely knackered once I was done.  And if I got lazy and missed a week?  YIKES.  After getting Bungle the house slowly went from palace to pig sty and it became very obvious that my cleaning routine wasn’t working.  So I decided I needed to switch things up and come up with a way to keep on top of the cleaning in a more manageable way, and since then things have been so much better!

The basic idea is to tackle one room every day, whilst completing a few daily “once over” tasks to keep the place ticking over.  That way, you get the cleaning done in easy, hour-long chunks (usually less) and if you end up missing a day it’s not the end of the world – plus it’s much easier to catch up.  It also means you’re more likely to thoroughly clean each area rather than just wipe over the surface, and by scheduling in monthly tasks for each space you can also keep on top of those extra, must-do jobs.  Like cleaning the oven (ugh, snore).  Is the house perfect?  Hell no.  But it’s clean and mostly tidy and that’s all I care about.

So, let me break it down and show you how it works…

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Everyday Jobs

Having a dog means that there are a few jobs I can’t really get away with avoiding every day.  Bungle goes for a walk twice a day and so tends to bring in muddy paws twice a day – argh!  He’s also a ball of fluff who sheds, so if I don’t put the hoover over once a day, balls of blonde fur would roll across my floors like tumble weed.  So, every day – without fail – I do these three things:

✓ Hoover Upstairs and Downstairs
✓ Wipe the kitchen counters (and obviously do the washing up)
✓ Make the bed

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Monday: Kitchen

Monday’s the day I do my weekly food shop, so it makes sense to tackle the kitchen too. Once I’m back from the shops, I spend a little time clearing the fridge out – getting rid of any food that’s past it and mopping up any spillages – before I put the haul away. Then, it’s cleaning time!

To Do List…

✓ Dismantle “Drying Rack Jenga”: If you’re a bit lazy like me then your drying rack’s probably piled high with pots and pans. Now’s the time to put it all away.
✓ Clean the sink and draining board: Take everything off and out and thoroughly clean and disinfect the sink area. To stop your sink holes stinking either pour down a little bleach or, even better, use coffee grounds!
✓ Wash the bins: My food bin especially gets pretty grimy over the course of a week, so I always give it a good wash.
✓ Clean surfaces and appliances: Move everything off the counter tops and give them a good clean. Wipe down the kettle and toaster. Clean the inside of the microwave and scrub food stains off the hob.
✓ Wipe down the kitchen table: Don’t forget to wipe down the legs and the chairs too!
✓ Swap out your cloths and towels: Depending on how much you’ve used them in the week and whether you’ve got a dishwasher or not, you might want to do this step twice a week.
✓ Hoover and Mop The House

Once a Month…

✓ Thoroughly clean the fridge
✓ Wipe down and polish the cupboards
✓ Clean the oven

Favourite Products…

Method’s Rhubarb Anti-Bacterial All Purpose Spray
♡ Method’s Apple Orchard Steel Spray
♡ Astonish Hob and Cooktop Paste
Zoflora Twilight Garden
Bin Buddy Fresh

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Tuesday: Lounge

This is an easy one! The lounge is where Sunny and I (and Bungle!) spend most of our time, so it can get pretty grubby if one of us forgets to clean it. But, it doesn’t take long to have a quick sweep around and keep it tidy and smelling fresh.

To Do List…

✓  Dust and wipe down surfaces: Where the hell does the dust even come from?! Time to get the duster out and  give the coffee table, window sills and TV table a good wipe.
✓  Hoover the sofa: Oh yes, especially if you’ve got a dog who likes to cuddle.
✓ Dust any pictures: If you’ve got a gallery wall like mine then you need a feather duster in your life.
✓  Clean any pet bedding: Once a week I always change Bungle’s blanket and switch out his toys.
✓  Hoover

Once a Month…

✓ Wash blankets
✓ Wash cushion covers

Favourite Products…

♡ Tesco Fox and Ivy Topaz and Amber Diffuser
Tumble Dryer Sheets (TIP: pop them in your cushion covers to keep them smelling fresh)

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Wednesday: Bathrooms

I HATE cleaning the bathroom, but hey, it’s gotta be done. Once a week I knuckle under and spend an hour  getting it done and then usually reward myself with an epic soak in my squeaky clean tub. 😉

To Do List…

✓ Clean out the bin: I also like to give them a bit of a wipe.
✓ Wipe down the sink: This step’s especially important if you live in an area with hard water because limescale will ruin your chrome taps and plug hole.
✓ Wipe down the shower/bath: Don’t forget to clean the glass screen, and if you’ve got a shower curtain, it’s time to pop it in the wash. If you’ve got long hair, you might want to tackle your plugholes with some unblocking fluid, or bleach.
✓ Wipe the mirror: All that steam and toothpaste will have left your mirror looking streaky, time to give it a scrub!
✓ Thoroughly clean the toilet: That means more than chucking down a bit of bleach and hoping for the best! Wipe the WHOLE thing, but don’t flush the wipes – even if they claim to be flushable.
✓ Switch out your rugs and towels.
✓ Hoover and Mop.

Once a month…

✓  Wipe down the skirting boards.
✓  Clean the grouting between the tiles.

Favourite Products…

♡ Bloo Foamaroma
♡ Viakal with Frebreeze
Method Daily Shower Spray

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Thursday: Bedrooms

Thursday is bedrooms day; which for me basically means dusting and tidying away my floor-drobe and cleaning up my dressing table.  If I’ve got time, I also like to make it a “clothes day”, i.e. a day for ironing, washing and putting away freshly cleaned clothes.

To Do List…

✓  Tidy away “floor-drobe”
✓  Put away clean clothes
✓  Put on wash load
✓  Dust and wipe surfaces
✓  Tidy dressing table (clean makeup brushes!)
✓  Ironing
✓  Hoover

Once a month…

✓ Hoover the mattress
✓ Hoover behind the bed
✓ Wipe down skirting boards

Favourite Products…

♡ Dyson V8
♡ Lenor Gold Orchid Conditioner (TIP: Pour a little into a spray bottle with some water and use it to spritz your bed sheets, curtains and soft furniture to keep things smelling fresh)

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Friday: Hallways

Fridays are an easy day that I use for tidying the hallways and stairs, and sometimes I catch up on monthly cleaning tasks or anything I’ve forgotten to do in the week. 🙂

To Do List…

✓  Dust pictures
✓  Wipe down surfaces
✓  Hoover
✓  Hoover the stairs with crevice tool
✓  Water plants
✓  Refresh diffusers
✓  Mop

Once a month…

✓ Wipe down skirting boards
✓ Wipe down doors and handles
✓ Spot clean carpets
✓ Spot clean walls

Favourite Products…

Ecover Washing Liquid: (TIP: This stuff is great for spot cleaning carpets – just add a little to a cup of warm water and gently work it in.  Because it’s gentle, it won’t bleach your carpet)
♡ Dulux Tester Pot: (TIP: These are great for touching up scuffs and smudges on your walls – especially as they’ve got a roller tool attached now.  When you paint a room, don’t forget to stock up on a few pots for emergencies!)

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Saturday and Sunday

Saturdays and Sundays are generally non cleaning days; hey it’s the weekend, who wants to be stuck doing chores? But saying that, there are a few things I do like to keep on top of on a lazy Sunday afternoon. 🙂

To Do List…

✓  Hoover
✓  Change Bedding
✓  Meal Plan and Shopping List

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And that’s it! If you fancy downloading a printable pdf of my cleaning schedule to use yourself, just click here.  And let me know how you like to tackle your weekly cleaning chores, or any cool cleaning hacks you have in the comments below!  Have a great week! 🙂

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! ♡

Our Garden

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I think this is the first year in a while where we’ve had a proper summer.  So far, anyway!  And because the weather has been so nice we’ve spent loads of time out in the garden scoffing barbecue food and just soaking in the sun like the little solar powered creatures we are.  When we moved in to our house three years ago, the back garden didn’t really exist – it was just a muddy slope.  Three years (and a lot of hard work) later and it’s finally looking good.  I mean, it’s still a work in progress, but this is the first year that a lot of the plants we put in during those early days have blossomed.  It’s definitely one of my favourite places to chill – and it’s one of Bungle’s favourite places too (although he can’t really be trusted on his own out there because he likes to dig!). 🙂



Against the back fences we planted a couple of climbing roses that finally seem to be growing!  You know me, I love roses, and so I definitely wanted some in my garden.  Luckily our soil is perfect for growing roses in, although they’re way more upkeep than I thought they’d be; they constantly need spraying to get rid of insects and fungus, and trimming back to encourage more roses.



For my birthday last year Sunny bought me these colourful hanging pots which I absolutely love!  We filled them with pansies and geraniums and it nice having a bit of extra colour on an otherwise boring brown fence. 🙂



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