Bella’s Boho Chic (but not really) Bedroom

Arabella, Bella, Beellah, Bee, BB.
Daughter, Big sister, Little sister.
Virgo.
Creative, Genuine, Quirky, Loyal, Witty, Considerate.
Alternate music fan, Thrift shopper, Crystal collector.

I love this kid … but when she requested a ‘Boho’ style bedroom I had to question where she came from. Really? Boho? in my house? Ummmmm …. NOPE!

But, I also know that we all have our our style and I want Bella’s bedroom to feel like her home, her sanctuary and her special haven. I want to let her personality shine through and let the room tell her story.

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 She told me she wanted a ‘Boho’ vibe, after discussing what that meant to her I discovered that it wasn’t really boho, it was more of a vintage and collected feel that she wanted in her room. She told me what she wanted – light colours, nothing too bright, minimal patterns and no blue. She wanted to be able to hang her own art, photos and treasures on the wall (eeeek). She wanted somewhere to display her crystals and use her record player. She also wanted block out curtains since she loves a long sleep-in.

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So, we brainstormed a plan that would fuse her style with the rest of the house. We talked about what colours she connects with and I was so relieved when she suggested shades of green or pink, mixed back with layers of neutrals like brown and tan.

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We started with the curtains since they needed to be ordered first, and in my opinion are one of the most important parts of a room, especially when they take up an entire wall like they do in this room. They really are the make or break features of a room, we gave this room a mini makeover just after we moved in and while it looked pretty, the previous window treatments let the entire room down and it always felt dated and shabby.
We already knew we wanted block out curtains with a sheer. She has a large double door that goes out to the balcony and she uses it often. Curtains made sense as they are quickly opened to access the doors. We have used the same sheers throughout the house for continuity and also because they are perfect – the Tahiti Sheer Snow curtains.

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We sat down together and ordered a few samples from Blinds Online that we both liked. When they arrived I let Bella choose from the samples, there was no bad choice and I liked them all, but I must admit, I opened them first and I totally would have hidden any I didn’t like from her first, haha!

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She chose a beautiful green linen, I was actually quite surprised as I thought she would choose a pink, but I couldn’t be happier and I ordered them immediately before she changed her mind. Since she chose a plain colour, I decided I wanted to add a little something to them. I’ve seen interior designers use beautiful trim on their curtains and I knew I could achieve the same look for much less with Blinds Online. All of the curtains and blinds from Blinds Online are already custom made to your requirements, adding a simple upholstery trim is one of those details that elevate them and make them feel designer and expensive. I ordered a couple to choose from in our colour palette from Etsy, we ended up going with the multi coloured pom pom and they looks super cute. As I have hand stitched them on with a simple running stitch, they are easily removable later on if her style changes.

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Next, we chose the wallpaper. Wallpaper takes up a lot of real estate and makes a big statement. This is where Bella and I had very different ideas on what we wanted. I would have loved to use the Buffalo Check in brown from Edge Wall Art, but Bella wanted something a bit more ‘boho and spiritual’. She really loved the Astrology Hemisphere but we decided her bedhead would cover most of it on the wall we had in mind. She also loved the Bohemian Forest but the colour palette wasn’t quite right with the green curtains. We came to compromise and decided to ask our friends at Edge Wall Art if they could do the Bohemian Forest in the same colour way as the Buffalo Check in brown. Thats the great thing about supporting small business, they print the wallpaper themselves and they can customise it to suit your needs, they can even add your kids names into some of the kids wallpapers.

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With the two biggest decisions made, it was down to the details.

I gave the whole room a fresh coat of paint in a more neutral and brighter white. The last owner chose a pink based white and while I initially thought I could live with it, the constant pink glow just wasn’t working for me. I chose Dulux Snowy Mountains in 1/4 strength, and I painted all the trims and doors with Dulux Vivid White. I also changed out the door hardware to matte black which modernises them. It’s these small details that make a big difference in the overall feel of the room. I will continue these elements through the entire house.

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We shopped the house for as much as we could before deciding what we needed to purchase.

We decided to keep the furniture, we still love her bed which was a lucky eBay find years ago, but it was looking a little shabby and while I don’t mind vintage and worn furniture, this was looking more trashy than chic. I gave it a fresh coat of white paint and it looks amazing. Her bedside tables are still current at Early Settler and we both agreed the timber brought some much needed warmth to her room.

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We still needed to find a storage solution for her to display her crystals, record player and special treasures. While her room is a great size, there isn’t much wall space, between the entire wall of glass windows and sliding doors, the door to the walk-in wardrobe, the door to the bathrooms, the door to the storage closet and the entry door to her room, there was barely any wall space left. I had one skinny wall left to work with, and I mean skinny at just over 80cm wide. After much searching we finally found a bookshelf  that we both agreed on, it was deep enough for her record player, but not overly heavy and imposing on the space, and had lots of shelves for her to display her collections.

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The last big hurdle in this space was wall art. Bella wanted a wall where she could change out her photos, pictures, art and mementos, I was picturing an 80’s wall full of ripped boy band posters and smiley face stickers, Nooooo! We considered a giant cork board, but that idea didn’t excite me. Then we considered hanging vintage wooden windows and using the glass panels as frames for photos and art, again, I wasn’t very enthusiastic about this idea either. When I was putting the vintage windows back in the garage, inspiration struck me, I saw a piece of VJ board there that was leftover from my bedroom. I thought it would make a great display area, like a giant cork board, but more grown up. It would give Bella a space to display her things, but keep it confined to one area instead of exploding all over the entire wall. We screwed the VJ board to the wall and framed it with Dado rail, I painted it with the same enamel paint I used for the doors and trims. We think it’s practical and pretty.IMG_0090

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We love how this bedroom has turned out. Just a few changes have made such a big difference. The fresh paint has made it feel bright and clean. The wallpaper has given it the ‘Boho’ vibe Bella wanted. The curtains make it feel luxurious and bring the colour to the space. All the small details together have made this room a space that Bella feels is more ‘her’ and truly reflects her personality and style, while also keeping it relevant to the rest of the house.

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We hope you love it as much as we do!

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Stay tuned for Orly’s and Lucy’s rooms in the next couple of weeks.

Happy Styling!

Hayley x

My IKEA slipcover review with Comfort Works

This last year has taught us all a lot. Spending so much time at home has made us rethink the type of houses we want to live in. For my family and I, we realised that we don’t want to live in a cold, over-style house where everything looks too perfect and shiny to touch. We wanted to create a home that felt warm, cosy, comfortable and inviting.

Lucky for us, we also moved houses at the beginning of 2020 and it’s been a great opportunity to change our style and create a whole new look for our home. Unfortunately, we didn’t win the lotto and we don’t have any money trees so we are creating our forever home on a budget like most people.

We have been doing this slowly, room by room, bit by bit and letting it evolve over time, waiting for the perfect pieces instead of rushing things just to get it finished. This week I put the final pieces in the living room and I am thrilled with the overall look we achieved in here.

If you’ve been here a while you will know we changed the window coverings and transformed the fireplace when we moved in, you can see those before and after pics here and here, while those changes are amazing, it still didn’t feel warm. It still felt a little coastal and cool.

BEFORE

That’s when I decided we needed to get rid of the blue and white striped sofa, while I love stripes, it just wasn’t giving me the warm and cosy feel I was after. New sofas were not in the budget, and we still love our IKEA Stocksund sofas, so I knew exactly where to go – COMFORT WORKS. I have used Comfort Works in the past for some sofa covers and was thrilled with the workmanship and quality of them, so I had no hesitation in using them again for some new Stocksund sofa covers.

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This is where the fun begins. There is so many options to choose from, it really is like designing a custom made sofa. Obviously, the base shape will depend on what sofa you have, they don’t just make IKEA sofa covers, Comfort Works do covers for so many different brands and if yours is not listed on their website, they will work with you to make a custom slipcover just for your sofa.

AFTER

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I have an IKEA Stocksund 3 seater and two armchairs. I found my sofas in the menu selections, then chose my slipcover style, There is 5 styles to choose from, the differences between them might be subtle, but it’s these small details that help to create the exact feel you want for your sofa. For example, this time I chose a style without piping because I wanted it to feel very casual. I also chose a skirted style so we could really appreciate the way linen drapes so beautifully. I chose the minimalist style.

Then you chose your fabric.
If you are not confident choosing fabric online, you can order some samples from Comfort Works before you order your covers so you can touch them, feel the weight and texture and decide on a colour in your own space. I highly recommend doing this.
There is a big range of fabrics ranging from synthetics, to cotton, linen, velvet and leather, including a vegan leather option. There is also a great range of colours suitable for every style from modern to country, coastal or cottage and everything in between.

I chose the Pure Linen in Natural. I decided to lean into the relaxed vibe and embrace the crumpled linen look. It’s a beautiful fibre that I really love in other places in my home, we sleep in linen bedding and I use linen on my dining table. It is soft and cool, it washes well and is durable enough to withstand a busy family with kids and pets.

I finally feel like this room is finished. It has evolved slowly and the sofa covers are the perfect finishing touch to the space. They have transformed this room from a cool space with a summertime vibe, to a warm and cosy space that works well with the fireplace, window coverings and rug.

Once again, I am thrilled with my new slipcovers. The whole experience from receiving my samples, ordering online, then unpacking and fitting my covers has been fabulous.

If you are ready to give your sofa a facelift, you can create your custom sofa covers and get an instant quote here.

Happy Shopping!

Hayley x

DISCLAIMER – I was gifted my sofa covers from Comfort Works. I chose my own style and fabric for my covers. All opinions are 100% my own.

Easter, but not really …

When Kim from Figs & Feta magazine contacted me recently about doing an article about ME I was gobsmacked. Our homes have been in a few magazines before, but those features focus on our home and style, not me!

I asked Kim why she wanted little old me in her beautiful magazine. She said she admires the way I have built a community of beautiful friends through IG, she likes how I share my DIY’s and encourage everyone to give it a go and she appreciates the fact I keep it real.

I had a little think about it and I realised I DO have an amazing Insta tribe of gorgeous, supportive and caring friends (so grateful), the only reason I share my DIY’s, shopping finds and styling ideas is to show you that you CAN do it and yes, I do like to share my giant piles of washing, my dirty floors and my epic fails just to ‘keep it real’.

So, the article was born, you can find it here.

Kim asked me to take a few photos of my house decorated for Easter for the article. I photographed the images in January and I wasn’t quite ready for 100’s of bunnies to invade my home so soon after Christmas, so I went with more of a Spring vibe with a hint of Easter. I chose a different colour palette than I usually do and I really love the way the photos came out. I wanted to share some of the ones that didn’t make it to the magazine here with you. I hope you like them too.

What kind of photoshoot would it be at my house if one of the animals didn’t make an appearance?

And of course the original photobomber – Orly!

I hope you liked my pics as much as I loved taking them. The best part about a home photoshoot is getting to eat and enjoy the props afterwards. Those mangoes and macarons were delicious, and the flowers brought a smile to my face everyday for well over a week!

Hx

White Dinner set – Shop here
Yellow gingham tablecloth and floral napkins – homemade by me!
Cutlery – Shop here
Black bunnies – Shop here
Hop Hop Hop bunting – Sold Out, from Pottery Barn Kids.
Flowers – Always from my favourite florist – That Pretty Market
Frog – Shop here
Rattan Jugs – Sold out – Similar here
Boxwood Topiaries – Shop here

If I’ve missed anything, you can usually find me on IG here.

Are DIY shutters really DIY?

I’ve always loved the look of plantation shutters, there’s something so sophisticated about them, yet they are also casual and classic. They complement nearly every home style and are very practical.

I knew I wanted shutters in my office space for a few reasons.

Firstly, our office is right at the front of our home, it is visible from the street and I knew shutters would compliment the curb appeal, they look just as beautiful from the outside as they do inside. I would eventually like to match the entire front elevation of  our house with the same plantation shutters.

Secondly, the office is a bit of a dumping ground in our house, if someone doesn’t know where to put something, – in the office, anything that needs to be retuned to a store or someone else – in the office, half done projects – in the office, leftover decor that I haven’t found a spot for yet – in the office …. you get the idea. So, I wanted something very clean in the office, clean looking to reduce the visual clutter and easy to keep clean. Shutters tick all the boxes.

Lastly, the office faces west and has 3 huge windows, the afternoon sun can be awfully hot in summer and absolutely gorgeous in winter. I like being able to control the light by tilting the slats to an angle that blocks the light or lets it stream in, while the bifold design makes them easy to open to access the windows.

So, they say DIY … how easy is the DIY and can you do it?

If you can measure your window, drill a hole, read a spirit level and screw in a screw – YOU CAN DO IT!

If you said no to any of those things, keep reading and I’ll show you how easy it really is.

I’m going to give you the quick version of how they arrive and what you need to do to put them together and install them. Please don’t use this as your instructions if you order your own shutters, it’s just meant to show you the process so you can see how simple it is.

Depending on what fitting option you choose your installation may be slightly different. The fitting guide from Tuiss Blinds Online gives you step by step instructions that are simple to understand and easy to follow. We have the ‘Recess with Sill’ option to fit on the inside of our sill, at the same projection as the architraves.

You shutters will arrive in separate parcels with the framing in one package and the shutter panels in another. Unpack everything before you start, lay your components out on the ground and familiarise yourself with the tools in the fitting kit.

The fitting instruction from Tuiss Blinds Online tell you to assemble your frame first, then drill your fixing holes, but we found it easier to drill the holes first as our frames were so big and it was much easier to manoeuvre the frame lengths before they were assembled.

I know this bit sounds scary, but if you have basic knowledge of how to use a drill, it really is very easy. We drilled one hole 10cm in from the top and bottom of the ends on all 4 sides and also another hole in line with the centre of each hinge on the side pieces. We measured and marked our holes with a pencil first, my tip is to measure twice and drill once!

To assemble your frame you just need to push the hoffman keys into the holes, you might need to give them a little hammer into place.

Now you are ready to install the frame into your sill, or whatever fitting option you chose. Use a spirit level to make sure it is sitting level and straight in all directions. You can use the ‘shims’ or ‘packers’ provided to adjust it horizontally or vertically.
Drill your pilot holes through the holes you made in the frame and into your sill or wall. A pilot hole is small hole that is used to guide the threaded screw, it reduces the risk of the wood splitting and makes it much easier to drive the screw in.

Once all the pilot holes are drilled, use the long screws from your kit to secure the frame to your opening. We put the screws in loosely at first then checked the frame with the spirit level again to make any small small adjustments before tightening up all the screws.

It is worth taking your time through the frame installation step to make sure everything is level as your shutters will hang straighter and operate smoothly.

Now you are ready to hang the shutters.

If you loosen the hinges just a little it will give you some movement and flexibility which makes popping the pins in much easier. This is the only part of the process where I found it helpful to have someone else help me, the panels are not heavy, but the extra hand is helpful, one person to hold the shutter steady in place while the other person pops the pins in. They just push in, but they are made to fit snug and may need a little tap from your hammer.

You shutters are now installed.

If they are not perfectly level or sitting slightly off centre, you can adjust them. The fitting guide shows you the best way to adjust them depending on where they are uneven.

See, it’s really not hard at all!

And your next question – Why would you WANT to install your own shutters.
Two reasons, convenience and money.

I find it much more convenient to measure up myself, order online and fit my shutters at my own convenience instead of having pushy salespeople coming to my home and having to wait all day for them to turn up when they feel like it. I’m not saying all tradies are bad (I married one) but I have had a few that walk dirt through the house, bump into walls and the worst – use your loo for number two, ew!

And money … do you have any idea how much money you can save by doing this yourself? You’re basically doing the labour yourself, and we all know that the labour costs is quite often the most expensive part of any home renovation. Obviously I can’t tell you exactly how much you’ll save as prices differ from business to business, but to give you an idea – we ordered shutters from a local business at our last house, we looked at their invoices and worked out a rough meterage price, then we did the same with our quotes from Tuiss Blinds Online. The DIY shutters were LESS THAN HALF the price of what we paid last time.
Seriously!

We chose the Sherbrooke Egg Shell shutters from Tuiss Blinds Online and we couldn’t be happier.

Here’s a few before and afters.
The first ‘before’ is when we first moved in, the windows had greenish-grey sheers over the blinds. We removed them pretty quickly. The second picture shows the blinds just before we removed them.
I’m thrilled with the transformation in this space!

What do you think?
Leave me your thoughts or questions here or on IG here.

Happy DIY’ing!

Hayley x