Wednesday 15 August 2018

Room by Room: Family room/den

As each room in my house is 'finished' I thought I'd do a tour of all the things I did, bought, upcycled and re purposed.  So here is my family room/den.  Click on the photos to make them bigger.

When The Teenager (now a handsome 20yo!) lived at home, this room was his den and it was full of his stuff.  When he went off to university he took some of that stuff and furniture with him and it's been a dumping room for 2 years.  It's now a lovely second sitting room with patio doors that can be opened into the garden to enjoy the evening sun.

It all started when my lovely mum swapped this leather sofa with me.  She needed it removed so she could make some changes in her house.  She got 2 small wooden armchairs from me.   I hadn't intended doing this room but once the sofa was in place I could see how this room would look.  So I got cracking.

I didn't do any painting.  The room was already (badly) painted cream and had a brown carpet (yuck!!) but with carefully positioned furniture it looks ok.  You can see the badly worn patch of carpet in this photo.

This is the view from the door looking to the hideous fireplace in the corner.  Ideally I'd rip this out but removing a similar one from my living room to install a woodburner cost me a small fortune last year. So it stays.  The next owners of this house can do something with it! I used the red colour in the cat picture as inspiration so I bought a red lampshade.  It cost £12 from B&Q.  The leather/rattan coffee table was rescued from the garage.  It was very dirty and needed a lot of cleaning!

You can just see in this photo I have a wooden ceiling.  I also have one in the kitchen but it was stained an orange colour that took many coats of paint to cover up. Luckily this is already white!  The 2 armchairs are part of the suite I had 2 houses ago.  My oldest son has the sofa in his flat.  The brown suede lampshade (looks nicer than it sounds!!) had 3 tiers, like an upside down wedding cake.  I removed the bottom 2 tiers and it works better.  The chair at the window is a carver from my dining table.  It takes up too much space so it just gets brought back when I have lots of guests for dinner.

The cupboard contains some of my school stuff.  But it originally belonged to my middle son when he was at university.  His room didn't have a wardrobe so he bought this from IKEA 13 years ago.  It was in the kitchen of my old house where I kept cups and glasses.  The picture above the radiator is my upcycled canvas project HERE.  Although I loved these curtains  (pale blue and lavender ones that have been hung in 4 different houses and were originally in my bedroom here!) they were just wrong for the new look.

I bought these ones on Ebay for £3.50!  Unfortunately they're not wide enough to close but I love them.  They finish the room beautifully.  The cello in the corner was an impulse buy a few years ago when I thought I could learn to play again (I played one in the school orchestra many years ago!)  It's not that easy to pick up again without a music teacher!!

I bought a rug from B&Q.  This ONE.  It cost £78, my biggest expense but it finishes the sofa area and covers up the worn carpet.

It looks like knitted fabric!

Everything else in this room has been shopped from home. Some things I've just moved from other rooms and some things I've brought out of storage.  When my ex left he didn't want anything from the family home when we sold it so I still have lots of pieces in storage I can use.

My corset has not really found the 'right' place in this house until now.  It fits perfectly in the corner!  Details on how I made it HERE and more about my pearl necklace HERE. I've twisted it with my Gran's restrung amber beads.

The Teenager went through a phase of collecting crystals.  I don't think you're meant to mix them but I thought they looked pretty together in this bowl.

I have a 'tasteful' collection of snow globes that OH brings me every time he goes somewhere abroad for work 😆 They make me smile!

The electric fire was relocated from my living room last year.  The chimney has been blocked with a balloon to stop draughts.

These pictures were stored away in my eaves.  The frame is 50cm by 50cm but the 'picture' itself is just 7cm by 7cm.  Then it's been double mounted.

It's just a few squares of card/paper, then some foil then a foil wrapped  square with some wire.  Very simple and very effective.  I have a damaged one that I'm hoping to re do myself for another room.

This green Maling vase belonged to my Gran (not a great pic but it's green).  It's old but not valuable.  Some history about Maling pottery HERE.

This wastepaper bin was being thrown out by the owners of my previous house so I rescued it.  It's very sturdy.

Apart from a lap quilt I'm working on for the sofa, I'm not going to do any more to this room so I guess it's finished.  Ideally I'd love a new carpet but it's low on my priority list atm.  It's in the extended part of my house.  The ceiling is about 20cm lower than normal so it's quite a dark room during most of the day (hence some of photos are hard see.)   However it faces west and benefits from the sun at the end of the day and is a lovely place to sit after work.

Cost: £93.50
Time: 2 days

Monday 6 August 2018

Pink cushion cover

This was a very quick recycling project that I've been meaning to do for ages. I had a large mock suede cushion cover that was the right colour (sort of vintage dusky pink that's not showing up on my monitor)) for my living room and a small cushion that needed a cover.

I turned the cover inside out and placed the cushion on top.  Luckily the zip was in the right place and didn't need to be altered.

I drew round the cushion with an erasable pen and a ruler (sorry not the best pic but you get the idea), stitched along the lines and cut off the excess fabric.  I turned it back the right way and inserted the cushion.

Ta da!! I now have a pink cushion that matches my curtains (I still need to hem them!) and throws.

Cost: free
Time: 15 minutes (seriously quick!)

Friday 3 August 2018

2 pictures into 1

This week I've been helping my oldest DS make his new flat a bit more homely by putting up pictures.  He did have some nice pictures from his old flat (from my old house) but some of them were a bit damaged in the move.  So I had an idea to reuse a frame I didn't want any more (it had a photo that included my ex!) and create a new picture.

It took ages to remove all the tape from the back (it was really sticky!) and then carefully remove the photo without ripping the mount or cracking the glass.  Luckily they both remained intact. Phew!!

Then I removed a lovely watercolour painting from this frame that promptly fell to bits!!! Luckily nothing was broken or damaged so it could be repaired.

You can see there was also some water damage on this mount.  But I'm hoping I can fix the frame and reuse everything in another project for my house.  Watch this space!

I didn't have any artist's brown tape to seal it but I did have Duck tape!!

And here's the finished picture.  The watercolour just fitted into the mount opening with a millimetre to spare!  It's a pretty painting of Schiehallion, a Scottish mountain in Perthshire.  It's signed and dated by the artist so might be valuable one day. 😄

DS is thrilled with his new picture and I'm pleased it didn't cost a penny!

Cost: free
Time: about 30 mins

Monday 30 July 2018

Canvas picture

Many years ago in another life I lived in a beautiful house that had been decorated by an interior designer.  At the time I loved it but in retrospect it really wasn't me.  This canvas was one of several specially commissioned for us.  It came with us to our house in the country and then it came with me when I downsized to here.

I didn't have anywhere to put it but I kept it because I knew it was expensive.  It was stored in the garage and over time got a bit damaged and damp.  I recently cleared the garage and decided I could do something with it.  It's been sitting on a radiator to dry off.

So today, armed with a glue gun, buttons, shells and sea glass I covered up the worst of the damage and created a usable picture for my family room.

Although it's an abstract picture I always imagined it looked like a beach hence my idea to add the shells and sea glass.  The buttons were just to add a pop of colour.

Cost: free
Time: about an hour

Hope you like it!

Fresh Start

Hello and welcome (again) to the revamped My Upcycled Home.  My efforts to record the process of decorating my house and garden were getting lost in my other blog and to be honest I haven't done much recently.  So this is a conscious effort (again!!) to get back on track.  Last year at school (where I was a Sustainability Community Group Leader) we did some work on educating others about the difference between recycling and upcycling.  Easier said than done!

According to Wikipedia, recycling is the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects.  For example, turning glass bottles and jars into erm, new glass bottles and jars! Whereas upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless, or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value.  

So this blog will focus on my environmental impact on the world starting with my house.  I might share some interesting facts but I promise no preaching or politics (although in the interests of full disclosure I am a member of the Scottish Green Party).  I'm also aiming to restock my Etsy shop (The Tartan Tower) and maybe some local galleries again.

Watch this (upcycled) space!