Browsing Tag


Office Makeover Planning

Office Makeover The Before Housewife Confidential

I have achieved the impossible in our cramped home: a room of my own in which to work. I feel like Virginia Woolf would pat me on the back.

In the last five years I have gone from the sofa to the attic to the bedroom and finally took over half of the playroom. And while I am happiest with the space in here the children were not impressed. My equipment made it impossible for them to get at their toys and having them play in here while I work is less than ideal.

Continue Reading

Pink Kitchen Makeover

Housewife Confidential Pink Kitchen Makeover with B&Q and Valspar

The kitchen is where most of our family life takes place. From meals to homework and art; we’re in there the majority of the time. Given that it can be seen from the hallway and is open to the sitting room it has a big presence in our home.

As you know, magnolia just wasn’t cutting it for us, and the bluetack-marked and chilled wall of our kitchen was getting us down. I say wall as the rest of the space barely has any other walls. A pillar here and the top of an arch there but the majority of exposed wall space is concentrated on this one wall alone. The remaining walls are all painted a Slightly Pink Off-White (it’s official name – you get to name your colours at B&Q!) which we have used throughout the house to bring spaces together. What’s interesting about the shade is that it’s hue is very different from room to room thanks to the big differences in light. It ranges from a subtle off white to a pale lilac-grey.

Once we had settled on a colour combination I took our reference pieces to the Valspar desk in B&Q to have it mixed. I knew that I wanted something that would pop out, so rather than settle for a colour from the selection on offer I went for a super bright pink.

Housewife Confidential Pink Kitchen Makeover with B&Q and Valspar

The first few days of living with the pink wall were jarring. Where once the wall had faded back it was now jumping out every time I caught a glimpse. My initial nerves melted away and the warmth of the space reflects the heart of our home.

The next phase of the makeover was to tackle the woodwork. The kitchen shelves are home to my 1,001 cookbooks (still on vacation in the attic) and vintage plate collection. Ordinarily this whole area is a tip but I tidied up just for you!

The joy of a bright colour is creating a clash alongside it. Previously the shelves and dresser were both this pale green but I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Antibes Green to liven them up. As soon as I have a clear day I’ll be transforming the dresser in the same colour. Despite my love of creating I don’t do a whole lot of painting in the house but I find Annie Sloan’s paint easy to use and am gradually being converted.

Mr Kat used both the Annie Sloan and the Valspar paint on the shelf supports so they wouldn’t stand out as much. Do you think they work or have too much of the Lord Bath about them? I’m hoping it won’t be as noticeable when the books return.

Housewife Confidential Pink Kitchen Makeover with B&Q and Valspar

Housewife Confidential Pink Kitchen Makeover with B&Q and Valspar

In terms of other work which needs to be done in the kitchen, the gentleman’s wardrobe (art cupboard) and table will stay as they are. I’m considering painting the Ercol chairs although I’m not sure what colour would work in here.

The big issue with the room is that now, more than ever, I want to replace the tiles and worktops. Green faux-marble and random coloured tiles really aren’t to my taste. Of course, that’s a far bigger job but a girl can dream!

It’s amazing how far a few cans of paint can take you. Within a couple of days the whole feel of this room has been transformed. When people come into our home their eyes are drawn through to the kitchen and without fail they exclaim “I love your pink kitchen!”. Me too, me too.

Housewife Confidential Pink Kitchen Makeover with B&Q and Valspar

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


Hallway Makeover: Colour After Magnolia

Hallway Makesover with B&Q and Valspar at Housewife Confidential

Share this on Pinterest – hover & click.

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

Share this on Pinterest – hover & click.


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

Share this on Pinterest – hover & click.

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.

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