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Hallway Makeover: Colour After Magnolia

Hallway Makesover with B&Q and Valspar at Housewife Confidential

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Do you remember back in the summer I shared our plans for decorating? Well the decorating has been completed and gradually we are getting the house back in order. Today I’m showing the smallest room which has possibly the biggest impact: our entry hallway.

As our home is an Edwardian workers’ terrace our hall is very narrow and only as wide as the front door. It doesn’t take much for this high traffic area to feel crowded. I would love to have somewhere to store our shoes but the position of the radiator and electricity meter make it impossible.

When it came to banishing the beige in our hall I knew I needed to keep in mind that it was North facing. With this in mind, one side of the hallway has white walls to bounce light. The main wall which runs all the way up to the top of the house is where we concentrated the colour. I chose a shade of blue a touch darker than that on our front door and had it custom mixed at the Valspar desk in B&Q.

An aside on colour mixing: my decorator, Jake (who is incredible, if you’re near Winchester get in touch for his number) was really sceptical about colour mixing, insisting it would only be approximate matching. We took our samples and before we went for the full pots the woman who mixed our paint let us test and dry them all to check they matched. I’m pleased to report that they all made a perfect match and he had to eat his words!

Hallway Makesover with B&Q and Valspar at Housewife Confidential

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As Jake was painting the first coat I got the wobbles. I suddenly felt that it was too dark and looked way too strong. It took a few days of living with it to get over the magnolia and settle into the colour. And what a beautiful colour! We have loved this on our front door and extending it into the house feels great.  Don’t you think it looks fantastic?

I wasn’t going to do the woodwork but Jake convinced me that if we left it the whole space would feel shabby. He was totally right, the fresh white paint makes such a difference. You really don’t notice how yellowed (and chipped) paint gets over time.

Hallway Makesover with B&Q and Valspar at Housewife ConfidentialHallway Makesover with B&Q and Valspar at Housewife Confidential

Thankfully there wasn’t too much purchasing to be done as it’s such a small space. The box shelf and mirror are Habitat pieces that we’ve had since our first home (we’ve had a lot of small hallways!).

This lampshade was my one buy for the space. We used to have a paper globe here which was very bashed about thanks to it hanging at head height at the bottom of the stairs. I spotted this simple lace shade on the Rice stand at a trade show and headed to Sisters Guild to make it mine. It works so well in this spot. The plate & cord need to be replaced and I’m thinking of buying some yellow flex to tie in with the front door – what do you think?

You can wash Valspar Premium Wall & Ceilings Paint Easily - great for those muddy finger prints!

Of course when living with children it is impossible for such a busy space to escape grubby hands and this weekend a trip to the river resulted in a set of muddy handprints. Knowing that this was inevitable we used Valspar Premium Walls & Ceilings which cleans very well and is staying strong following my scrubbing. It’s nice to have been able to make this investment in decorating without having to worry about it looking trashed after a few months.

Of course now the walls and woodwork are freshly painted the scuffed orange floorboards are crying out for some action. I’m yearning for white, what do you think?

Hallway Makesover with B&Q and Valspar at Housewife Confidential

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The migration from magnolia has been a happy one. The bland familiarity of lightly yellowed walls can be hard to let go of but life beyond beige is so much more cheerful!

This project is a supported by B&Q and Valspar who provided the materials we used for the makeover. Labour and additional materials model’s own.

Piano Stool Makeover with Annie Sloan

Piano Stool Makeover Made it My Own with Annie Sloan

I love picking up second hand furniture for our home. I scour the car boot sale most weeks and spend an unhealthy amount of time on eBay searching for the right pieces.

Recently, Milla took up piano lessons and needed a stool to sit at the piano. It took a couple of weeks but I found this beautiful stool in Portsmouth for a tenner. Originally it came with green velvet upholstery and it was crying out to be brought up to date.

Handily I was making a film with the team at Annie Sloan as part of the Made it My Own campaign and this was the perfect project! Ann kindly recovered the seat for me which instantly gave it a lift and it was ready for Milla and I to give it some colour.

Here’s the video of us painting.

If you can’t see the embedded viewer, click here to view it on YouTube.

Is it terrible to admit I wasn’t convinced by chalk paint at first? Having never properly tried it before this year I wasn’t sure if it would be any different than using emulsion for my projects.

After working on this stool I can safely say that I love using Annie Sloan chalk paint. I was really happy with how the colour mixed and how quickly I was able to complete – I did two coats and waxed the stool in one day.

Made it MY Own With Annie Sloan After

Don’t you think the piano stool is so much more me now? I’m adding it to the gallery of #MadeItMyOwn projects by tagging the picture on Instagram. What would you paint?

Summer Decorating

Housewife Confidential Sitting Room Makeover Before

I have toyed with not sharing these pictures but there is not fun in a makeover if you can’t share the before. And frankly, I’ve shared worse.

Over the last few months I have been teaching social media and photography classes at Annie Sloan. Dream job! I get to work with incredible small / medium business owners and share my passions at the same time. Not only that but adding in some extra work has allowed me to save some money to put towards my business and home.

Housewife Confidential Sitting Room Makeover Before

Business first – I bought a new lens and can now take wide angle shots (yay) and secondly, decorating the ground floor of our home. Finally.

We have done a few bits of decorating over the last nine years but so many areas haven’t been touched. There’s even a mark from where our removal man cut his hand the day we moved in. Oh yes, we’re bad.

Housewife Confidential Sitting Room Makeover Before

I wanted to share our sitting room with you first. It’s in the centre of the house and because of the way it’s been extended it only has a tiny West-facing window up high. As such it gets very little light and I often have the light on during the day. I’ve taken these photos at sunset which is about the only time it gets light (and they look a little weird for it!).

We’re going to be keeping it bright in here. At the moment Plan A is to put a warm white on the wooden wall and fireplace and to repaper the wall behind the big sofa.

Plan B would run to us painting the floorboards white / pale grey – the colour of them isn’t quite this ghastly but it’s not far off. They will need to be redone in any case as I’ve worn the varnish away with my laptop table. If not in this session then in the next.

The Billy bookcase is going and the metal shelves are going into that spot which I hope will make it look a little less messy. A girl can dream, right?

Juloa Rothman Daydream Wallpaper in Sunshine from Hygge & West

I picked out Julia Rothman’s Daydream paper from Hygge & West. I have loved this pattern for years and the white/blue/yellow colourway just sings to my heart.

I’ve been out of love with our paper almost since we put it up so I am looking forward to seeing something different in here. I’ll be stripping the paper this weekend in readiness – not a moment too soon!

Housewife Confidential Sofa Lust

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I would really love to replace our sofa. I know it looks so comfy (and we can fit all five of us on it) but as it’s feather-filled it not only gets uncomfortable really quickly but it’s probably not doing my asthma any favours.

I have been crushing on several sofas online to the extent that every time I log into Facebook all of the ads are for sofas. As a responsible home owner I should probably focus on fixing the roof first but I can’t help but imagine a new sofa in the finished room. Which one would you choose?

So this is the first room I’m sharing but we’ll also be painting the kitchen and hallway – there will be plenty of colour going on the walls! We’re going to be using Valspar paint again, thanks to B&Q, and I’ll be going to have the final colours mixed over the next few days.

Goodbye boring magnolia and hello fresh, happy interior!

Project Garden: The Finished Garden!


Last Summer we called time on having a shabby garden. Bit by bit it had gotten away from us and turned into one of those gardens. Hands held up – I was embarrassed about the state of it (and you’ve seen inside my house, I don’t embarrass easily!). So embarrassed that I stopped asking people over to the house. You can relive the full horror here.

In the last year we have gradually reclaimed it as a space to be enjoyed not avoided and by the Summer Solstice it was looking good enough to have a barbecue with actual outsiders and everything. It may have taken us a year of work but in all reality we could have packed that into five or six weekends. Sounds simple but you know that’s not going to happen when you have children in the equation. Or lazy adults for that matter.

We all know slow and steady wins out in the end and we now have a garden to be proud of. I cannot tell you how dreamy it feels to be able to play on the grass again or how excited I feel every time I sit at the dining table – did I tell you we haven’t had an outside dining area since we moved here eight years ago?

Gone are the crumbling raised beds, the bald lawn and the numerous broken plastic toys and we’re left with a serene space. The balance beam you see was being discarded by the local school so we picked it up and brought it home. It needs a coat of paint and some marine varnish as does the bench so I still have a few jobs on my to do list!

To re-lay the lawn we roped in some family to help with rotavating the existing lawn and then allowed it to settle for a week. Mr Kat laid the turf in two sections mostly because it weighed too much to buy it all in one go! As you can see the first section of turf has taken well and is already growing long by the time the second section went down a week later. Now it has been in for a few months I can report that the grass has survived the summer well and didn’t need watering beyond the first week or so. We’ve thinned the plum tree a little to give it the best chance over the Winter in this tricky spot but so far it’s goring well across the whole garden. The rolls of turf cost around £3 each from B&Q (I did notice them on offer over the last Summer bank holiday for less) and in my opinion they have been great quality – no weeds, no dying back, all lush green grass.

I know you’re dying to see the final timelapse of the lawn being turfed (watch out for the worms and the birds in the middle). So here it is along with the reveal of the finished garden!

If you’re not seeing the video click here to view it on YouTube x


Project Garden Housewife Confidential-7

Project Garden Housewife Confidential

Project Garden Housewife Confidential-13

Isn’t it the best? I know it’s not cutting edge or likely to win any awards but when it comes to a family back yard this one is tops. So good in fact that I even invited my friends over for coffee. Thank you B&Q for helping us get our garden back and for stocking all of the best toys (because really; paint, power tools and DIY are about as good as it gets). And thank you to you guys for your advice, encouragement and for not disowning me when you saw how bad it really was. Let’s have coffee…

Project Garden Giant Pavlova Tea Party from Housewife Confidential-3

Project Garden Giant Pavlova Tea Party from Housewife Confidential-11

With thanks to B&Q for supporting Project Garden. For more information about this kind of post please read my disclosure for readers page. Kat xoxo

Read all of my Project Garden posts.

project garden