Tag Archives: Remnant Fabrics

Rocking Dog Home Making Tips

Spruce With Cushions, Rocking Dog

Spruce With Cushions

Being pretty vintage myself I have over the years become more accomplished at home making. Here follows some of my favourite tips in creating a creative home on a budget.

For the last two decades I have kept little black books – predominantly Moleskines which store all sorts of information and inspiration. Travels, ancestry, museum postcards, copious notes about all manner of things and decorating notes. On the home front, I like to keep window measurements for each room. These are useful if stores such as John Lewis or Laura Ashley have sales of display curtains and blinds. My black book also contains mini mood boards/room schemes with paint samples, fabric snippets and magazine inspiration. It is great to return to the book to discover a paint colour when walls or woodwork need touching up. It is so easy to forget the paint used, especially when painting rooms in a variety of shades of white! No doubt in the age of technology, information can be stored on a phone or tablet…but I am a vintage dinosaur after all!

Trade skills. On occasions I have traded skills with friends. One friend made some fabulous bedroom curtains and a rocking ball skirt for my daughters prom in return for food for two grown up parties.

I am a great poker around in fabric remnant and wallpaper oddment bins! Again, Laura Ashley and John Lewis are good, together with small interior design shops. Some of the wallpapers I have purchased would normally retail at over £100, but I have paid a bargainous £5-£10 a roll. One roll is sometimes enough to do a feature wall, to line cupboards or to paper a tiny room. I managed to paper my lobby with gilded monkey Fornasetti paper for £5! Additionally I use pretty papers throughout the year for gift wrapping and as table runners for parties. As for the fabric remnant bin, small single display curtains sometimes end up in the JL remnant bin for around £5. The curtain can be deconstructed and made into a blind for a bathroom or made into a whole host of useful items (dressing up clothes for children, drawstring bags, cushions etc..). Like anything sometimes you can be lucky and others there’s not a thing to be had!

Somewhat ashamedly I am a self confessed paint snob, and there’s nothing more that I love than a Farrow and Ball paint chart!
When it came to painting the exterior of the house I wanted F&B’s Dead Salmon. Alas, the coffers were not that big! Therefore, we had the colour matched and mixed at Homebase in a Dulux Weathershield exterior paint. This proved to be at a fraction of the cost of the Farrow and Ball. To further save on costs we painted the house ourself, 90 litres and two coats, whilst scaling scaffolding it was a pretty epic summer.

Other paint tips are to permanent marker pen the paint lids with what the paint was used for, i.e..kitchen ceiling, lounge skirting boards. If you can psychologically bear it, store used paint tins upside down to prevent a skin forming.

If money is tight and you can’t decorate a room for the time being, give the room a really good spring clean, de-clutter, add a few well chosen but inexpensive accessories (a new throw, cushions etc..) and a vase of fresh flowers. It’s amazing how much better a room feels with sparkling clean windows and hoovered floors. Our bathroom needs a bit of an overhaul but for the time being I have given it a coat of paint ( F&B Stiffkey Blue ) and added some bold floral curtains which were previously hung in a bedroom. It certainly feels better.

More tips to follow in a future post, in the meantime have you any good tips to pass on? Please share them.

Little Black Book, Rocking Dog

Little Black Book

£5 Gilded Monkeys, Rocking Dog

£5 Gilded Monkeys