I am a home maker. I know it’s not always fashionable to say these things, and if you could see my kitchen right now you’d doubt the truth of my words….
For most of my adult life my career meant I was on the move far too much to ever really settle down, so things like owning my own home - or even picking a place to finally plant some roots - just weren't high on my agenda.
So over the years, I've learned how to make rental properties into a home - remembering the golden rule of renting... no matter what you do, protect your deposit!
If you’ve read my other posts, you’ll know that I’ve finally stopped skipping round the country and am ruthlessly saving for my own home. So while I live in what I really hope will be my final rental place (‘rental’ not 'resting'. Stop skim-reading!!), I’ve taken up the challenge of making it lovely without spending lots.My current place dates from either the 1930s or 1950s (I'm too lazy to find out), so it really suits my love of vintage things and comfy living. But the house suffers from some 'interesting' décor choices and some very dodgy painting by previous tenants:
|Yes, that's 'magnolia' on 'magnolia'... *sigh*|
So unless I wanted to spend out on repainting someone else's house (nope), I had to come up with a cheap way to cover up the strange markings on the walls. Over the years, I have collected many picture frames and lots of pretty cards and followed Grandma Pembroke's example by putting the two together....
|Mostly full of Anita Jeram's art from the Two Bad Mice card range|
To me, cards are a great alternative to 'big art' because they're often beautiful and great value - which means when I fancy a change it doesn't cost the earth. I currently have a bit of a thing for Phoenix Trading's cards which I swear by for giving to friends and family as they're insanely good value and very, very lovely (my friend Lucy is an Independent Phoenix Trader so I buy through her Phoenix Trading page on Facebook).
So I pinched another tip from Grandma Pembroke. She always had an eye for a pretty picture, no matter where it came from - including magazines. So armed with old copies of Country Life magazines (thanks to a lovely subscription prezzie), chock-full of gorgeous photographs, I *ahem* redistributed a not-very-well-used noticeboard from the kitchen and got to work with some Blue Peter-esque cutting out...
|So many possibilities..... first decision, chocolate or crisps to fuel this work?|
|Final layout comes to you care of Galaxy chocolate and Doritos....|
|The finished frame - Grandma P would be proud.|
I'd been thinking about fabrics, but really didn't want to spend money on something which specifically matched this room. But then I recalled a lovely old fleece blanket I had festering at the back of the airing cupboard (you know - that place where odd pillowcases hang out). I threw it over the headboard as a temporary measure, but it's really grown on me so I can see it ending up as a permanent choice. It doesn't match a thing - but it's so colourful and cosy that I'm thrilled to be able to put it to use!
|Finally - a place for the blanket of many colours!|
In the meantime, my charity shop ferreting habit had netted two amazing finds - the first was a gorgeous fireguard which hides a gas fire that's simply not my taste (plus needs more dusting than I'm prepared to offer it). This actually ended up as a birthday gift from one of my besties - I'm a very lucky thing!
|The fireguard - as much about not having to dust individual lumps of pretend coal, as looking pretty....|
And the second was a really sweet little vase which reminded me of times gone by - and gave me an excuse to practice knitting roses...
|Showing off the vase...honest, it's all about the vase...|
Phew, that's quite a bit isn't it? I still have more to do - for example, now that my 'spare room' has become my favourite room in the house I'm thinking of moving into it and turning my current bedroom into a dedicated craft room for Nora's Thoughts...
Plus I've promised myself some hand made cushion covers and there's a garden which needs quite a bit of love this summer....something for another post, I think!