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Quarantine DIY Home Projects – 10 Part Series

As many of us find ourselves quarantined during the Coronavirus pandemic, we’re all spending way more time staring at the same four walls we call our home. Whether you’re working from home, furloughed or laid off, this situation probably has you thinking “What cheap DIY home projects can I do while I’m quarantined?”

Man doing DIY during quarantine
Photo by Bidvine on Pexels.com

If money isn’t tight yet, you’re probably worried about it becoming tight in the future with record numbers of unemployment in many countries. Now probably isn’t the time to splurge $30,000 on that brand new kitchen you’ve been dreaming of.

There’s also the aspect of safety. Having multiple contractors in to your home means potentially more germs exposed to you and your family. So now is a good time to start learning some DIY skills yourself.

With all these challenges, you’re probably wondering what you can do for just a few $100 and basic DIY skills to make your house feel more like ‘home’. Luckily there are plenty of projects that you can tackle yourself with just basic DIY skills and some small change.

If this sounds like you, subscribe to my blog to receive 10 weeks of easy and affordable home projects, with a different theme each week. There should be plenty of ideas to keep you busy during quarantine, and as a bonus you’ll come out of it with better DIY skills and a refreshed home!

Here’s what you’ll get:

Happy DIY-ing!

Jo @britflipper

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How to get the Restoration Hardware look for less

If you read my last blog about ‘5 tips to get the Restoration Hardware look’ and you’re now reading this blog, you’re probably like me, and don’t have a large budget. You can definitely get this look by following the 5 tips and shopping around for similar pieces.

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Our lounge before – English country style

Although our lounge wasn’t bad before (note this was before we put the TV on the wall!) it just didn’t feel like those beautiful images of the Restoration Hardware showrooms that I loved so much. In my last blog ‘5 tips to get the Restoration Hardware look’ I deconstructed the look into 5 elements to make it easy to reconstruct the same look in our lounge.

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The 3D plan of the redesigned lounge.

Walls:

Firstly the wall color needed to be darker. All the Restoration Hardware images have a warm grey / brown color on the walls to add drama and coziness. So I chose Caffeine by Behr to recreate a similar look.

Furniture:

Next, the obligatory balustrade coffee table was a must, and a French casement cabinet. I found a much cheaper version of the balustrade coffee table at Joss & Main. It’s usually $834 which almost half the price of the Restoration Hardware version, but I got it for around $400 on sale.

I really wanted a French casement cabinet also, and did find similar options for less. But being that my budget was virtually $0 for this make-over, I decided to repurpose an existing bookcase by painting it white with Annie Sloan chalk paint. Read how to do that here in my other blog post.

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Greenery:

I needed to remove all color from the previous design, and only add it back in through greenery in plants. So I added a couple of topiaries either side of the fireplace, which also added symmetry, and moss balls in a striking dish that I bought from Z Gallerie.

I also removed all color from the room from pictures and accessories, and only accessorized with neutral colored items.

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Mantel:

I wanted to get a more classic look on the fireplace, and less Mid-Century Modern, so I repurposed the fireplace mantel by trimming the length down and painting it with some more of the Annie Sloan chalk paint. I added corbels to it to give it that classic feel, which were a whopping $6 from a Goodwill store that I again chalk painted.

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Symmetry:

I really wanted to add these arched mirrors either side of fireplace from Joss & Main, however on the $0 budget I had, that’s something that will have to come later. For now I created my own version with mirrors I found on sale at Hobby Lobby for $16 each. They looked a little bit lost on the brick wall, so I made some white shutters to make them appear larger and less lost. In total they cost about $50 for the pair.

Nerissa+Arched+Accent+Mirror

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Old prints:

A signature look of Restoration Hardware is the use of old prints or maps. Loving this look, but not the $1000 or so it costs to buy their version, I created my own. And actually, I’m glad I did as these prints have meaning to this house, as they’re the original architectural drawings for the extension they had in 1987.

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It’s not a total replica of the Restoration Hardware look, but on the shoestring budget I had to play with, I think the room is completely transformed and feels much more like the look I was aiming for. Whilst you can certainly get a similar look for less, you really can’t beat the real thing.

Thanks for reading!

Jo @britflipper

Weekend Bedroom Makeover Checklist

Just in time for the weekend is this bedroom makeover checklist that you can achieve in less than a couple of days. Bedrooms are often the overlooked room in our houses, and yet they’re probably where we spend the most time. According to a research article pulled together by Dreams (a British bed retailer) we spend an average of 33 years in bed! So maybe we need to start paying more attention to how our bedroom looks.

The average person spends about 26 years sleeping in their life which equates to 9,490 days or 227,760 hours. Surprisingly, we also spend 7 years trying to get to sleep. That’s 33 years or 12,045 days spent in bed!

Restful bedroom

1. Declutter!

The first and easiest step to creating a restful bedroom space is to tidy up! Get those wet towels off the bed, the day old clothes off the floor, and unpack that suitcase that’s been sat there for weeks – I know we all do it! Clearing away the clutter is free and can make a big impact not only to the overall look of the space, but to your mental health as well. According to Psychology Today “Messy homes and work spaces leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed.” And being that bedrooms are a space for rest and relaxation, having a clutter-free space will aid a restful night’s sleep.

Messy bedroom

2. Make Sure You Have Storage

If you really can’t part with your clutter, then at least hide it away. A basket like this from Amazon is a stylish way to hide unused pillows and blankets, or those day old clothes that you really can’t be bothered to hang up. Wall shelves are another great option for moving the clutter off the floor. But be careful not to simply move the clutter, if it looks unsightly hide it in storage boxes on the shelves. Lidded storage boxes are great for hiding clutter and come in a variety of sizes and materials.

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3. Fresh Paint

The next thing you should do is to think about changing the paint color, or at least painting a fresh coat of paint. Paint can get worn and scuffed over time, so a fresh coat of paint will quickly and dramatically freshen up your bedroom. You can easily achieve this in a weekend, or if this is too daunting then just paint one feature wall behind the bed in a contrasting color. You’ll be amazed at how quickly and cheaply you can transform your room. Check out this blog post on how to Paint an Easy Feature Wall.

Painted feature wall in bedroom

4. Add Blackout Curtains or Blinds

Adding blackout curtains or blinds can aid a restful night’s sleep, and are commonly used in hotels to block out unwanted traffic noise and light. There are different degrees of light filtering, Blindster does a great job of explaining the difference “Blackout shades use a fabric that blocks 100% of all incoming light, while “room darkening” usually refers to almost any shade that uses a fabric that blocks between 95% and 99% of the light that enters your room. Anything that blocks less than 95% of the light is usually referred to as light filtering.” If you find 100% light blocking blinds disorientating (speaking from experience!) then try room darkening or light filtering options instead.

Blackout blinds

5. Create a Hotel Style Bed

Hotels know a thing or two about creating a restful night sleep, from the luxury mattress to the perfectly laundered white sheets with hospital corners. Now i’m not saying to go out and spend thousands on a brand new mattress this weekend, (although if you want to, don’t let me stop you!), but you can make your bed feel more luxurious with a few simple tweaks. Firstly, go out and buy fresh white bed linen. Have you ever seen a hotel with anything other than white sheets? Hotels tend to use percale bed linen for its easy care, wrinkle free appearance that can withstand frequent cleaning. Swapping out your sheets can really add instant impact to the way your bedroom feels.

Then there’s how you make it. This is an important step in making your bed feel like you’re in a 5 star hotel and only costs a bit of extra time. This video from HGTV shows how easy it is to do.

6. Swap Out Pillows / Cushions

Then there’s the ‘Great Pillow Debate’ – how many is too many? If you’re on my husband’s side, then he’d probably say “none”, if however you’re on my side, then “at least two” is where I’m at. I’m talking about decorative throw pillows, and not the kind you rest your head on. With the one or two white pillows you each need for your head, layer on top of that at least two decorative pillows to add color and interest to your bedroom. The great thing is, you can easily change them out to quickly change the style of your bedroom. Try changing them with the seasons, lighter colors and textures like linen for the summer, and cozier knitted or fur pillows for winter.

7. New Nightstands / Bedside Tables

If your room allows it, it’s always a good option to have two bedside tables around a double bed, with two lamps. You don’t need to go out and spend hundreds on a new set, you can try to pick something up second hand and upcycle it with paint and new knobs. Or try low cost retailers like IKEA, who have some great options from $10-$150 / £9-£129.

When choosing nightstands it’s important to consider a couple of things. Make sure it’s the right height for your bed. You want it to be around the same height as the top of your mattress, slightly above or slightly below is also fine, so you’re not reaching way down or up for things on them.

And then there’s scale. You want the nightstands to be in proportion with your bed. Don’t choose tiny tables if you have a California King sized bed. And if you want to create a more luxurious look, then opt for wider nightstands.

Bed with nightstands

8. Add a Rug

If you don’t already have one, try adding a rug underneath your bed. It’s a good way to bring in a new color, texture or pattern to your bedroom. You could go bold and add a brightly colored or loud pattern to your bedroom with the rug. Or you could make your bedroom feel more cozy by adding a shag rug or sheepskin. In terms of scale, you want the rug to be slightly wider than your bed, and position it so that you can see the end of it too.

Bed with rug

9. New Artwork

Another easy way to quickly update your bedroom is to add or change out the artwork. Again, you can bring in some color to the design, or pattern, or even texture. It doesn’t have to be a painting, it can be a more sculptural piece. One idea that looks great, is to hang an array of different size baskets on the wall like these ones from Pottery Barn. For a cheaper alternative, try finding baskets from your local thrift store or charity shop.

Basket wall art Pottery Barn
Image courtesy of Pottery Barn

10. Add Some Greenery

We’ve all heard that plants are good for us, not only do they look great, but they also reduce the carbon dioxide and dust levels in our homes. An article from Bob Vila goes on to say that certain types of plants can actually help you sleep better, so are perfect for your bedroom. Choose from these 8 plants for a more restful night’s sleep:

  • Lavender – reduces blood pressure and heart rate
  • Jasmine – improves the quality of your sleep and increases your chances of waking up with a better attitude and less anxiety
  • Peace Lily – reduce the microbe count in your home’s air, which can relieve allergy symptoms
  • Aloe Vera – promotes better air quality
  • Valerian – helps you fall asleep faster, and stay asleep longer
  • English Ivy – can drastically reduce airborne mold
  • Gerbera Daisies – at night they emit oxygen and absorb toxins and carbon dioxide
  • Rosemary – reduces anxiety and stress
Aloe vera plant

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Thanks for reading! Until next time.

Jo

The 10 Best Outdoor Rugs on Amazon Under $100

One thing I think is a must to create a truly cozy outdoor living room, is a rug. Outdoor rugs bring the inside out better than anything else. They make the patio start to feel more like your cozy living room, and a space you want to relax. Plus they’re cheaper than you think! Here’s my round-up of the 10 best outdoor rugs on Amazon for under $100.

I think this is probably my favorite, the Fab Habitat Reversible Rug Miramar – Gray. It’s $94 for the 5′ x 8′. It’s made of 100% recycled plastic, it’s mold and mildew resistant, and UV resistant against fading.

Another rug from Fab Habitat the Cairo – Natural & Black is another great choice. With the same specification as the Miramar it’s available in 4′ x 6′ for only $54.

For a more traditional or French Country look, the Nicole Miller Ayana rug from Home Dynamix is a great choice. Available in grey / blue or grey / black the 5’2″ x 7’2″ is $68.

For a more classic or coastal look, the Safavieh Courtyard Collection rug is available in multiple different colors and sizes. I like this color combo in a classic navy / beige to add a touch of coastal sophistication to your yard. The 5′ 3″ x 7′ 7″ is a decent size for just $100.

For a more modern rug this New York rug by Beverly Rug in blue / white is a bargain at just $80 for a large 7’10” x 10′. I love the red stripes at the edge to make it stand out from the crowd and add more interest.

For a natural look that would look great with a tropical or Boho style patio, this weather resistant jute look rug is a great choice from nuLOOM. You can get the Lefebvre Braided rug in a 3′ x 5′ oval in natural tan for just $44. It’s also available in multiple size / shape combinations and color ways.

This brightly colored Boho style rug would look great paired with brightly colored pillows and furniture for a true Boho chic look. The Safavieh Courtyard Collection rug is pictured here in light grey / fuchsia, but is also available in 6 other color ways. At $92 for the 5’3″ x 7’7″ this rug is a great choice to brighten up your yard.

This bright aqua rug by Fab Habitat is another great option that will make your backyard pop. The Brooklyn rug in teal is $94 for the 5′ x 8′. It’s also available in blue and a five different sizes.

To add warmth and coziness this rug by Unique Loom in burgundy would be a great choice for a modern Southwestern style patio. Th is design is only available in 4′ x 6′ and one color way, but at only $33 it’s a bargain.

For a classic yet modern style, you can’t beat this black and white stripe rug by DII. The 4′ x 6′ is a reasonable $40, it’s also available in navy or grey. This is the rug that I purchased for our patio and can’t wait to see it! Stay tuned for the grand reveal.

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I hope you enjoyed this list of my favorite outdoor rugs for under $100. Thanks for reading!

Jo

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Using Color and Texture to Bring The Inside Out

5 Styling Secrets For A Boho Outdoor Space

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5 Styling Secrets For A Boho Outdoor Space

I love the coziness Boho style brings to an outdoor space. With its almost tropical feel, it can bring the vacation vibe to your patio or screen porch without you ever having to leave home. Let’s face it, who isn’t dreaming of a tropical beach vacation right now?

Boho style isn’t as easy as it looks though, while it may look almost thrown together, it’s actually quite a difficult style to get right. I recently decorated our screen porch in this style – well my muted version of it – and here are my 5 styling secrets to creating a beautiful Boho outdoor space.

Vintage Boho bar cart
Vintage cane bar cart and papasan chairs

Secret No.1: Boho Vintage Furniture

Boho style shouldn’t look new and squeaky clean, it’s meant to look well-worn and lived in, and most importantly comfortable. Facebook Marketplace, eBay, Craigslist or your local thrift store are fantastic places to find second-hand treasures. Look for things made of wicker, cane, leather and wood that are well-loved, not only will they look instantly vintage, but they’ll also save you some precious pennies. I found this vintage wicker bar cart from Facebook Marketplace for just $38! If you can’t resist buying new, I also bought these vintage looking wicker garden stools from Kohl’s recently for just $80 in the sale.

Vintage wicker garden stool
SONOMA Goods for Life® Cane Weave Hourglass Accent Table from Kohl’s
Colorful Boho patio
Image courtesy of Jungalow

Secret No. 2: Boho Colors

True Bohemian style embraces color, lots of it. Clashing patterns, clashing colors, an array of tassels and embroidery, like this vibrant Boho patio space by Jungalow. If you’ve seen any of my designs, you’ll know I don’t usually use a lot of color, mainly because I change my mind so often. I prefer to use muted color palettes or monochrome designs, however you can still achieve the Boho look with a paired down palette. In this design I chose natural wood, off-white and accented it with green. For some of the green accents I bought this ceramic garden stool also at Kohl’s in the sale for just $70.

Green ceramic garden stool
SONOMA Goods for Life® Ceramic Leaf Accent Table from Kohl’s
Boho hammock
Image courtesy of Hammock Town

Secret No.3: Boho Fabrics

You’ll see a lot of fabric used in Boho style outdoor spaces. I love the tulle curtains in this design by Hammock Town, it creates an enclosed cozy space which would otherwise be wide open to the rest of the yard. I did a similar thing with our screen porch using Lill curtains from IKEA costing just $4.99 per pair.

Boho style outdoor space
IKEA Lill curtains

Try also using plenty of rugs, throws and cushions too. Layer them on top of eachother to get a cozy lived in feel.

Boho plants
Image courtesy of Magnolia Lane

Secret No.4: Boho Plants

Boho style tends to incorporate lots of greenery from plants, large and small. Again, use lots of them! If you’re lucky enough to live in a climate where tropical plants will grow year-round, then opt for plants like Split Philodendron, Birds of Paradise, Banana Leaf or Palms, like this beautiful patio from Magnolia Lane. If you live in a place with harsh winters like Minnesota, or you’re just not that green fingered, then opt for artificial plants. There are some great options out there, and again check out the second-hand options first. I bought this Ficus tree for just $15 off Facebook Marketplace.

Ficus tree
$15 Ficus tree

Secret No.5: Boho Lighting

To make an outdoor space feel cozy and inviting after dark, think about lighting. Candles, lanterns, festoon lights and fairy lights add a cozy warm vibe to an outdoor space. I recently bought some festoon lights from Amazon for our outdoor patio area. We still have to finish laying the new deck boards before I can put them up, but stay tuned for a blog post on that shortly, I can’t wait!

Boho patio at night
Image courtesy of IKEA UK

This Boho patio looks great at night with the wicker lanterns and paper lanterns hanging from the tree. Get creative with the lighting, and make your Boho outdoor space feel magical and romantic.

Boho style patio

I hope your enjoyed this week’s tips for creating a beautiful outdoor Boho style space. Even though many of us can’t get to a beach for a vacation at the moment, we can still enjoy some rest and relaxation in a warm and cozy tropical inspired getaway in our own backyards. If you’d like to learn more about creating the perfect outdoor space, check out my blog Using Color and Texture to Bring the Inside Out.

I’d love to see the Boho style spaces you create, tag me @britflipper on Instagram.

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Thanks and until next time,

Jo

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