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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

Project Garden: Building a Deck


Help my patio-1

This Spring we have been working on the big jobs needed to give us a garden we can use. The Winter storms blew down the fences and took our 70s wall with them. We replaced the fence posts as planned and the wall has been put to good use – see if you can spot where…

Last year you might remember that we were thinking about putting in a patio. We decided to take your advice and plan the patio well. We were in B&Q costing it and figuring out our timings when we looked across the aisle at the decking.

We just hadn’t considered it before but after a lot of research, planning and costing we decided a deck was definitely the right move for our garden. It’s more cost effective, quicker to build and less effort to take out should we need to.

B&Q, as ever, have a superb video on building a deck which I recommend you watch. We used the guidance from that video to plan our deck. We made the deck 2.4m x 3.6m, 2.4m being the length of on deck board. This gave us enough room for the expanding wooden table we bought which we love!

How to Build a Deck in One Weekend

The whole deck cost us around £200 including all of the fixtures and fittings. We bought our materials on a weekend when there was an offer on decking ahead of a bank holiday. That’s a great saving compared to a patio of the same size not to mention the difference in time to build.

There is every chance Mr Kat could have built it in a day if he had got started early and not had the children rushing around. As it was it took him a day and a half which is not bad going at all. He built it over a bank holiday weekend so by the Monday we were enjoying our first barbecue on the deck.

I can not tell you the difference having an outside dining space has made in the last couple of months. After seven and a half years in this house we really appreciate the value of creating this deck.

Housewife Confidential How to Build a Deck

Here’s a shot of the deck this morning, slightly different angle to the shot above to hide the fact that the remainder of the wall is a pile of rubble on the ground! All of our garden furniture is on the deck currently because – GRASS! Next post will be all about the return of the lawn I promise.

Here is the timelapse of deck building to show you just how simple it really is to make:

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