All posts filed under: DIY

Industrial Shaker Kitchen

The Industrial Shaker Kitchen

When the lovely Ally of Digital Diva fame, booked me for a day’s consultation last August at their new home, I walked into a house I wasn’t quite expecting. A stunning, Grade II listed, late Georgian, early Victorian stone built property, just three or so miles away from my own home in North Leeds. This isn’t what it looked like, don’t worry. This is a photo from 2015 before it was bought by a developer. The whole place had been refurbed to a pretty good standard and whilst the developers retained the beautiful period features, some of the fixtures and fittings were not quite cutting it for the new owners, Ally and James. This was their kitchen back in August 2016, with shaker style units, range cooker, large island unit, solid oak worktop, open shelving, original Yorkshire stone floor and built in pantry by the side of the restored fireplace. So all in all, the makings of a wonderful kitchen. The layout was great. No issues with that. But these guys weren’t feeling the space and weren’t sure how …

Valchromat – It’s not just MDF

You guys already know all about my love of raw materials. I think half of our interior is made from plywood, OSB and bog standard MDF. Like this: Built in MDF shelves. Left bare, because I liked ’em like that. My dad, (actively) did not. Birch plywood featured heavily in our recent loft conversion. Varnished, bare and stained black. Oh and the poplar plywood floorboards. Don’t forget those. Orientated Strand Board (OSB) has been used in a few projects now too. The first being in my home office, 18 months or so ago where I made my own desk top. Still going strong and getting better with age…. ….and again in a commercial design project where it was used for bespoke wall units, a conference table, standing desk and modular display/room divide. I think it’s fair to say, if I had the choice of having something built from solid oak or walnut, you know, something proper posh and pricey or something from ply, MDF or OSB… i’d go for the underdog. You can make your …

Making Spaces Living Room update

Living Room Update – Pt 2 #styleitdark

Ok, if you didn’t read Part I, then this post might not make that much sense. So you might want to pop back a couple of posts and catch up so you know what the heck i’m going on about today. Or just keep reading… you’re in charge. I think it’s fair to say I wasted spent a week painting various sections of this room. This bit that colour, that bit this colour. There are some sections of wall that have been painted four times over the space of a fortnight, I swear the room is smaller. View this post on Instagram Still going….. A post shared by making spaces (@makingspacesnet) on Apr 24, 2017 at 6:26am PDT As much as I loved the tone of Dulux’s Rich Praline 3, it just did not work with our oak furniture or pine door. It was also a perfect match for the carpet (which I don’t like) making the room feel a bit “blah”. Not exactly the look I was going for when I started this room …

A living room update – Pt 1 #styleitdark

Ok. First off. Massive thanks for the ace feedback from my last post. It seems like I have unleashed some design demons, which makes me smile very much indeed. So pleased to hear some of you guys have been trying out my online tutorial on how to create your own mood boards, had a few PM’s and DM’s since last week letting me know how helpful it’s been, including this message: “Just thought i’d let you know, i spent the afternoon at work doing your step by step mood board! For work purposes obvs, but found it really useful!! Im defo guna become a bit addicted. Just need to get myself a Mac book for home now. Cheers!! X” And that’s what I like to hear. People sacking off work to design room sets on a work computer. My work here is done ladies and gentlemen. (**disclaimer – Making Spaces does not condone idle mood board-ery at a place of work or during work hours. Proceed with caution**) Ok, onto today’s topic. Our living room. I’m not going …

What’s going on with paint? Water based? Solvent based?

I’ve been planning to write this post for months, but wanted to collate as much info and evidence as possible before shooting my mouth. I haven’t seen anyone else tackle this issue yet and it’s about time someone did. **Serious face** Over the past few years, there’s been a huge shift in the paint industry.  Read this: “Since the latest Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) Regulations came into force in the UK back in 2010, many paint products containing high levels of VOCs – the solvents that determine a paint’s viscosity, flow and drying time – were no longer be able to be manufactured.” Dulux Ok, that’s very interesting, Karen, but what does this actually mean? I’ll tell you. It meant the paints we’re used to painting our wood/metal work with have had to change in order to comply with the new VOC regs. Oil or solvent based paints as we knew them could no longer be sold because of environmental reasons. You know how gloss paint stinks and takes ages to dry? It’s also really bad …

Small bathroom update

A mini bathroom update

Remember me writing about “Where to spend your money at home?” It’s definitely worth a quick squizz if you missed that one. Here, I referred to the fun and frolics of updating something in one room to something more beautiful, practical and functional. Immediately followed by the overwhelming urge to do the same in the rest of your home. “Just be aware that once you update one, you will instantly notice how crap all the other ones are.” I predicted correctly. Our, loft bathroom certainly caused that very problem. Now, when walking into our main family bathroom on the floor below, I was getting annoyed by this.We had a rather large, unattractive and very high output radiator in there which we’d inherited with the house. It didn’t look this white and shiny. It was old, the white was now cream and rust was gathering around the edges. It wasn’t that bad, but in my head it looked like this: For dramatic effect only Why on earth we didn’t update it when we had our bathroom redone four years ago, …

New project. New wallpaper

I’m back! After a well deserved week off from all things blog, i’ve caught up with things like cleaning the house, finishing off oodles of painting at home, having conversations with my husband about things that weren’t loft related and washing my hair. Feels so good to have our home back. And a teency bit of normal life, whatever that means. So now felt about the right time to introduce a new project i’ve been working on since December. Yes, another one. If you guys remember the Drawing Room project, then you’ll know why i’m excited to introduce it… … as it’s the bedroom above this very room. So you already know these guys are going to be up for something pretty special in their “soon to be” new guest bedroom. Here’s is the room before these guys moved in. In fact, these are the estate agent piccies… “Just shove it under the bed, John. No, all of it under the bed. No, you can’t see it. No it’s fine. Honestly.” It’s a very masculine room …

To ply or not to ply – A floor quandary

We’ve uhmmed and ahhed about what to do with the loft bedroom flooring for ages now. As i’m going all out Scandinavian for the bedroom design, a blonde wood floor seemed the obvious choice. But then, to save some money and get this room finished in time for Christmas, we played around with the idea of simply painting the chipboard subfloor black (to which the builder just sighed and shook his head). After going around in circles for several weeks, mentally noting the pros and cons of both options, we finally decided on floor boards. Done. Having an actual floor laid meant I finally got to work with my fave joiners again, Bare Joinery. Which is always a pleasure, as they’re always up for a challenge and happy(ish) to experiment with materials, the design, the process, and most importantly, they don’t sigh and shake their heads at my less than conventional ideas. Not within view anyway. Our plan to lay floorboards sounds pretty standard, apart from the fact I didn’t want them to be actual floorboards, as …

The Loft Extension – Wk 8/9

As you can see, i’ve been keeping really upbeat since my last loft post. Full of the joy of life I am. Honestly, i’m a pleasure to be around right now. View this post on Instagram Week 8 in the loft conversion house. Losing the will to live. Just like Bernard the orange plant. Will it ever end? Will it? Will it? A post shared by making spaces (@makingspacesnet) on Nov 13, 2016 at 5:18am PST We’ve just finished week nine and if i’m honest, I thought we’d be done by now. Not 100% done, but I thought the actual build would have been winding down. Alas, that is not the case. Things here are continuing to move slowly, but we’re certainly moving now. And there is a teeny tiny sliver of light shining at the end of a long, dark (and snowy) tunnel. That’s me sounding positive btw. The plastering has finally commenced (hooray!) and our plasterer has been busy working his way around the bedroom and all the way down our new gable wall. …

Hicks & Weatherburn

Hicks & Weatherburn is the oldest manufacturing company in Leeds, trading since 1741 during the reign of George II they’ve been specialising in the manufacture of paint, colour and varnishes. And do you know what? I’ve probably driven past this place about 1741 times during my two decades in Leeds and never knew it was there. How mental is that, for someone who spends most of their day looking at colours and finishes?! So i’m really glad Hicks & Weatherburn got in touch a few months ago and very kindly sent me some sample paints along with their beautiful hand-painted colour chart. And a hand written letter. When did you last get one of those? Valley of Desolation in varying dilutions (bottom) They work with a charity that rehabilitates female offenders at HMP Askham Grange which is where all of their colour charts and cards are hand painted. A brilliant idea. Not just for the ladies that are involved in creating these charts, but it means we also get to see the actual paint colour in real life too. …