Dining Room – before & after

Hello lovely friends!

Firstly, before I show you what we did in the dining room, which really wasn’t much at all, I want to answer a question a few of you asked after my ‘winter room’ reveal. Lots of you were surprised that my sofa is from ikea and that I buy things from Facebook marketplace. I had lots of comments from you guys wondering how I ‘make it look fancy’ and why my house doesn’t look like a flea market when so many of my pieces are second hand or from budget friendly stores.

I definitely believe there are places you can save money and places where you need to spend a little more, but that doesn’t mean that it has to cost a fortune, you’ve just got to be smart and know where to spend and where to splurge.

I have young kids and pets, we don’t have adults only zones and our home is pretty relaxed, I don’t like to spend a lot of money of sofas because I know they are going to get jumped on, have food spilt on them and who knows what else! I look for an affordable option with covers that can be removed and machine washed.

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Where do I splurge?
I’m happy to spend money on quality house fixtures like taps, hardware, lighting and custom made window treatments. These are things that you don’t want to get wrong. They form the foundation for all the layers of furniture and home decor. If you get them wrong nothing will flow harmoniously.

Lets talk about window treatments today as that is what has made a huge impact in my dining room make-over.

My dining room has grey tinted glass and lots of it, the grey glass reflects a dark hue throughout the dining room. I wanted to use white sheers to change that to a bright, white light radiating in the room.

There is 2 glass doors and one window in this space, they are all different heights and widths, I’ll tell you more about this later, but their varying sizes made it impossible to get a cohesive look without having them custom made.

This is where you splurge.
When I say splurge it doesn’t actually mean you need to spend a lot of money. There are ways to get custom made, professionally finished curtains, crafted from quality materials at a fraction of the price you would pay an Interior Decorator. It just means you need to measure them and hang them yourself.
I talked about choosing your window treatments here and installing them here.
It really is very easy, promise!

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Back to my dining room sheer curtains, you’d think choosing would be pretty easy, right?

I went to Blinds Online to order my sheer curtains and discovered there were quite a few to choose from. I decided to order samples just to make sure I got exactly what I wanted. You can order up to 10 samples free of charge!

I have a little trick that I use to help me choose my sheer curtain fabric. I sticky tape all my samples to the window where the curtains are going and observe them in different lighting. It’s the best way to see how your curtain fabric will look in the room and against the window.

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I chose TAHITI VOILE SNOW with a Pinch Pleat head and centre parting panels.

There wasn’t much to do in the dining room. It is in an open living area with the ‘winter room’, the two rooms are separated by one of the bench seats that we did while we were doing that living space. The living space is ‘sunken’, 2 steps lower than the dining room. I love how cosy it feels in there.

The only real change we made to the room was to refresh the paint, add pendant lights and curtains.

We patched all the holes in ceiling and the walls, my husband started out in the building industry as a plasterer, it’s very handy! Then we gave everything a fresh coat of paint.

I chose two oversized rattan pendants, they have a beautiful aged patina and even though I thought they were going to be too big when they arrived, once we got them up they looked perfect.

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The real hero in this room is the new curtains, they’ve made a huge impact and they make the room so bright and light. They way they dance in the breeze is dreamy, it’s like something from a beautiful movie. It’s worth putting sheer curtains in your house just to get your movie moment.

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 There are three windows/sliding doors in this area, two are in the actual dining room and one is on the adjoining wall. They can all be seen at the same time from multiple views, but they are different heights which is not pleasing to the eye and disrupts the harmony. Both the sliding doors also lead out to a central courtyard area which I am planning on making into a seating area, so I thought it was important to make them feel cohesive.

I decided to hang them all at the height of the highest door which was just under the cornice, and to be honest I probably would have chosen to hang them there regardless because the added height makes the windows feel larger.

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It’s important to measure all your windows, don’t just assume they are all the same height. I thought my ceiling to floor measurements was the same throughout this area, but there’s a 15mm difference from one side of the room to the other. This is very common, especially in older homes, so check your measurements.

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I chose the same curtain rods I used in the living room, firstly for continuity and secondly because I like being able to pull the curtains completely to one side or the other of the rod without a centre support interrupting them. The rod system is simple and unobtrusive which lets the curtains steal all the attention.

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As for the furniture in this space, there’s a mixture of old and new. I’ve had the chairs for about 10 years, they are a classic French Provincial design, they’ve been moved to and from 4 houses, they’ve been tipped over by kids, they’ve been broken and repaired … but I still love them.

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I bought the table 3 houses ago, again it’s a timeless design, very simple in a warm timber with a parquetry top. It’s a long table at 270cm, almost impossible to find tablecloths, but I like that I can fit 4 chairs each side. I love a beautiful carver chair at the end of a table, but sometimes I don’t want to block the view down the table to what’s at the other end. This is one of those times …

I bought the huge cabinet especially for this room. I wanted somewhere special to display all my collected and sentimental china and all the shelves and glass doors in this cabinet was perfect. The cabinet gives me the ability to add personality to an otherwise very simple room.

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Eventually we will remove the carpet from this room and do either timber or stone floors. I personally don’t like carpet in dining rooms, especially when you have kids, they are feral creatures and spaghetti bolognese doesn’t mix well with wool carpet! The floors are always the last thing we do in a house, we’ve learnt from experience that flooring can get damaged during a renovation and it’s best to leave it till last unless you need to do it due to a change in floor plan.

Thats about it in this space, lets have a quick look at the before and after to see what a huge difference a few small changes can make.

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Before we moved in.
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During, progress.
AFTER!
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Before we moved in and AFTER
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Before we moved in.
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AFTER

As always, I’m happy to answer questions, e-mail me or find me on IG anytime.

What do you think?

Happy Decorating!

Hayley x

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Wallpaper : Peel & Stick Vs Pasted

I love pattern and colour.
I love the emotions of colour, I love the way it can change the mood in a room, I love the way pink takes me back to my childhood and makes me smile, or the way blue reminds me of the ocean and makes me feel cool and relaxed.
I love the playfulness and personality of patterns, I love how patterns can make me feel calm or invigorated, I love how a simple stripe makes me feel at peace, or a sprawling wall of flowers makes me insanely happy.

So why not use the largest canvas in your room to conjure all those emotions? Wallpaper is one of the most statement stealing, impact punching and cost effective ways to convert your room from boring to breathtaking.
Wallpaper has recently made a huge comeback, there is something to suit every style and the options are endless.

I recently worked with Edge Wall Art and wallpapered two rooms in our new home and I used different types of wallpaper for each room. For Bella’s room I used a peel & stick paper and for Lucy’s room I used a pasted paper. I did it myself with very minimal help from my teenager daughter. I had so many of you message me with question about how easy/hard it was to hang, which style I preferred and how long it took.

Firstly, lets talk about the peel & stick paper.

Upon receiving my paper I was pleasantly surprised by the thickness and quality, despite being called wallpaper, it’s actually a polyester type fabric. The printing was sharp and saturated and the pattern was exactly as it was represented on the website.

I took my time to read the enclosed instructions and make sure my walls were prepped and ready for the wallpaper.

We started on the left side as specified in the instructions. Its important that you start on this side as the overlap of the joins is printed to go from left to right. It is like a giant sticker and you literally peel away the backing paper and stick it to the wall, a little bit like contacting your school books.

The first panel is probably the most important as it sets up the lines for the rest of the panels. Unfortunately for me our first panel was a tricky one as it had a 45% turn in the wall and our gyprock wall finish was not very straight, that’s what you get with a 25 year old house I suppose. Despite that hurdle we managed to get it up okay and it was all smooth sailing from there.

I was pretty happy with the finish except for one panel that I didn’t get straight and the overlap pattern doesn’t line up exactly. Luckily the floral print is busy enough that it is not very noticeable. In hindsight, I should have made sure the top was straight with the ceiling cornice and in line with the pattern, then let the wallpaper fall naturally rather than try to manipulate the paper to match the pattern from the sides. In other words, I should have listened to the instructions from the professionals instead of doing it my way … *insert big eye roll at myself* … you live and learn!

So, what’s my verdict on the peel & stick wallpaper?
The sticky is pretty sticky and I did manage to get myself stuck and to also fold the paper back on itself more that once, fortunately it peels apart easily and can be removed and re-stuck multiple times until you get it right. I also have a few tiny air bubbles which I didn’t notice while I was hanging it, they can only be seen at night time with the lights on, I could probably fix them but they are so small and hardly noticeable so I’m going to leave them alone.
It took me about 2-3 hours to hang this paper.
The peel & stick is great for renters as it can be removed easily, and also for people who change their mind often like me!

Now, lets look at the pasted wallpaper.

When this wallpaper arrived I instantly fell in love. Sometimes I am hesitant buying things online because the colours can look different, and I took a risk with this one and didn’t order a sample first, but when I opened it I was so excited and couldn’t wait to hang it. The pasted paper is actually a paper, not a fabric, it is thick and the colours are rich and beautiful.

Again, read the instructions and makes sure your walls are clean and suitable for wallpaper.

Lucy’s wall was easy peasy, straight across without any weird angles. I used a laser level in this room to make sure my lines were straight and to show me how far I needed to paste the wall for each panel. I used a roller and applied the glue generously enough to get a good even coverage. Again, we started on the left side.

This paper is also printed to overlap from left to right like the peel & stick. Once it is hung you can choose to leave the overlap or you can choose to do a double cut, which is what I did. It sounds scary, but it really is quite easy, you just use a razor blade or knife and run down the join making sure you are cutting through both layers of paper at the same time. Then you remove the excess strips from both panels and your cut lines will line up perfectly.

It hung like a dream and was quick and easy. The finish is perfect, I managed to get this up without any bubbles, the patterns line up and the edges are straight and even.

My thoughts on the pasted paper? I found it much easier to hang, I think taking the sticky factor out of the equation gives you the extra ability to move it around and get it straight, you can actually slide it around the wall a little to get it perfect. It is however, a little bit messier, excess glue will be pushed out the side as you smooth out your paper and you should have a damp sponge to clean it up as you go. It does require the added steps of rolling the glue on the walls and cleaning it off at the end. It took about 3-4 hours to hang and clean up.

So which do I prefer?

This seems to be a really personal decision and people really love one or the other. While they both have their advantages and you will end up with a beautiful wall with both options,  I prefer the pasted wallpaper. I am not a professional and I found the pasted paper easier to get a perfect finish. Although I wouldn’t rule out using peel & stick again, I would chose pasted if I had the option.

Luckily, Edge Wall Art have both options available.
If you’re keen to have a go at wallpapering, I’ve got you!
Use this discount code – use ‘mumlittleloves’ for 10% off at Edge Wall Art (valid until 1st June in Australia only).

Happy Wallpapering!

Hayley x

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Much ado about Bamboo

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Four month ago I was challenged by Linenly to try out their bamboo bedding.
If you’ve followed me for a while you’ll know that I am mildly obsessed with belgian linen and to be honest I didn’t think I was going to love the bamboo sheets.

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I accepted their challenge, but I ordered the sheets to fit my daughters bed because I wasn’t ready to part with my belgian linen. Yes, I use my kids as guinea pigs! I have never heard a kid rave so much about their bedding, she absolutely loves it and complains if I change her sheets with something different. She kept telling me that I had to try them, so when she was away for the weekend, we slept in her bed ….

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Okay, now I get it …. they really are beautiful to sleep in. They are soft and silky without being sticky or clingy, the fibres are cool and breathable and we truly did get a great nights sleep.

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I was happy to get these sheet for the kids as they are not only affordable but they come from a sustainable source and are friendly to the planet, and now I’ve added a set for my own bed.

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One of the best things about these bamboo sheets in particular is the ‘long side’ label, it is an absolute sanity saver and I can’t understand why it isn’t mandatory on all fitted sheets!

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Oh, and Skipper loves them too, have a look at her doing her morning yoga session here …

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If you want to give them a go, you can find them here.
Now excuse me while I pop back to bed for a quiet cup of coffee ….

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Happy Shopping!

Hayley x

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A Sofa Slipcover Review with my friends at Comfort Works

Have you ever bought a piece of furniture that you thought was timeless and you were going to love it forever, then a few years later you’re a little bored and the love is fading? That’s exactly how I felt with my sofas, just a little ‘meh’.

My sofas are from the IKEA Stocksund range, IKEA sofas are durable, practical and very affordable. Ours are super comfortable and only a couple of years old, they are still in perfect condition and they work well in our living room. The issue is that I am interior decor obsessed and I like to change things around often. I felt stuck in a rut with my current blue and white ticking sofas and was longing for a fresh new look.

That’s when I decided to have a look at Comfort Works and see what they offered in the way of IKEA sofa covers or more specifically Stocksund sofa covers. I think slipcovers are a great choice for families as they are so carefree ….. who wants to be that parent that is always yelling at the kids and wrecking all the fun by being precious about the furniture? Not me!

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When I asked for your advice and ideas about my fabric selection on my social media I was inundated with so many questions, so I popped up a quick blog post about the ordering process and a few other questions.
If you missed it you can find it here.

I was blown away by the customisation options and range of beautiful fabrics available at Comfort Works.

Firstly, lets talk about the fabrics. They have curated a collection of beautiful colours in a selection of both synthetic and natural fibres. Natural fibres tend to be softer and comfortable but less durable, while the synthetic fibres are tough but not as comfortable. A natural and synthetic blend tend to be a great compromise of comfort and durability. They also have speciality fabrics available like velvet and leather.

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I chose the KINO fabric for my sofas. They are from the Heavy Duty range and are 100% polyester. This fabric will withstand lots of wear and tear from the pets and kids, it will hold up to lots of washing and is the most hardwearing fabric in the collection. With three kids and 2 pets, this is just what we need!

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I also chose to have contrasting piping for my sofas. This is another customisation option available, you can choose plain seams, matching piping or contrast piping. I know most people tend do do a darker colour for the body of the sofa and a lighter colour for the piping, while I love this look I really want these slipcovers to be as carefree as possible, so I chose a mid strength colour for the body of my sofas and a dark colour for the piping.
I think if you want to do the reverse, with the light coloured piping, slipcovers are the only way to do it. Can you imagine trying to clean white piping on a sofa without removable covers!

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The last, and most exciting customisation option I chose was to have long skirted covers. The Stocksund sofa has tall legs and is high from the ground. I thought the open air underneath them would give our living room a sense of space, which it does, but now I find myself wanting a more intimate looking space and the long skirted slipcovers have created the warm and inviting atmosphere that I was looking for.

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Other customisation options include built-in USB ports, yes you read that correctly, you can have a USB port built into your slipcovers for easy-peasy charging of all your devices. Genius!

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Comfort Works kept me updated with every step of the order process from the beginning through to shipment details and delivery date.
When my covers arrived they were neatly folded and packaged with care. They all had individual labels telling me what part of the sofa they were for, no guessing required. It made it so easy to pop them on, I had a whole new look in under half and hour!

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So, the big question on the edge of everyones lips is – Am I happy with my new slipcovers?
ABSOLUTELY!
I am thrilled with them!
The fabric is softer than I was anticipating and the fit is perfect. I love the colours I chose and the contrast piping is amazing. The best part of all … the long skirts, they have completely changed the look and vibe of these sofas and it truly feels like I have all new furniture.

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I am so happy with entire process and I have no hesitation in recommending Comfort Works for all your custom sofa covers and slipcover needs.
I am already planning my next transformation!

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Happy Shopping!

Hayley

DISCLOSURE – I was gifted my slipcovers by Comfort Works. As you all know, I would never recommend anything unless I have used it or experienced it for myself. I know you trust me and I will not betray your confidence by recommending an inferior product or brand. All opinions above are my own.

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