Thursday, 28 August 2014

Dressing Room Mini-Makeover: How to DIY a "Carrara Marble Slab" for Under a Tenner!

Oh my dear sweet lovely peeps... I have a confession to make: this might actually be one of my favourite DIYs ever. It's cheap, it's quick and the end result looks a million bucks. Oh yes, I wish I was exaggerating but trust me, I really am not.

Now as you probably know from my previous post, I recently repainted my chest of drawers in the dressing room a lovely soft mint green.

When I was initially questioning what to do with it, one of my lovely readers Jetta commented suggesting either a mirror or faux marble top. While mirror would be a bit too much upkeep (I use a lot of product for this crazy mane of mine, I could just imagine how difficult it would be to keep clean), the idea of the faux marble stuck. I'd of course seen it done on blogs before, most recently in Shannon from Burlap and Lace's office remodel and it looked utterly amazing. (In fact, her entire office remodel was stunning so go check that out after you finish this post! ;))

Of course, I'd only seen it on American blogs and despite endless searches, I couldn't find any 'Marble Contact Paper' here in the UK. Hmm. What to do, what to do...

Well, lo and behold, like so many things wonderfully British, it turns out there is such a thing. Except here (and I've got to love the way the British are so literal in their nomenclature), it's called 'Sticky Back Plastic'. Eureka!

Oh my lovely friends, this is the best part... I purchased it from Amazon for SIX POUNDS. Oh yes, now that's what I call pretty on the cheap!!

Here's how we created my faux marble slab for under a tenner...

As part of the renovation of our guest bedroom, we tore down the old closet in the corner of the room. The doors were still in there, waiting to be discarded or used for something else and I realised I could easily get my top by cutting one of the doors down to the size needed for the top of the chest of drawers. (Cost: £0)

The first picture is the underside of the original door. We cut the door to size, removed the hardware and sanded down all the knobbly bits of paint etc so that we had a totally smooth surface to apply the sticky back plastic. You want to ensure the surface you plan on covering is clean of any dust or uneven surfaces so be sure to start with that.

Next, lay your sheet of sticky back plastic so that it's nice and straight with a bit of an overhang on all sides (you'll be wrapping the paper around the edges to get that 'slab' effect so you want to make sure there's enough overhang to do that) and begin to pull the backing paper off slowly from underneath the sheet.  As you do this, use a plastic scraper to work out any air pockets that might appear, pushing them towards the unstuck edge.

When you get to the end, wrap the paper around the edge and use the scraper to create a nice sharp edge.

Once wrapped around the edges, cut off any excess paper to create a sharp corner.

Now as you can see, the roll wasn't wide enough to cover the entire piece of MDF so there is a seam where we had to join the paper. The pattern, however, is such that it's surprisingly not too noticeable as we did our best to match up the pattern and you can't even tell except when you really look for it. Very impressive.

The whole project took less than an hour!

Here's how my 'faux marble slab' looks on top of my chest of drawers.

Hard to believe that chest of drawers looked like this not long ago...

Apologies I can't show you a more 'pulled back' picture just yet as the rest of the room is still in a bit of chaos with my Billy Bookcase Hack but you'll be happy to know the last coat of paint is now drying on the shelving and I'll be backing them with wallpaper very soon! They are looking rather wonderful already though - can't wait to share!

So what do you think of my new marble topped chest of drawers? I love that it's really just a piece of MDF that's sat on top (it's heavy enough that it doesn't move around so I didn't need to attach it in any way) but if I ever wanted to change it or remove it, I could do so pretty easily. Honestly, for just around £7 with shipping, I'm loving this little makeover! I've already ordered more, anticipating the fact that I kind of want to cover my entire house in this stuff...

Any projects you can see yourself using this product? Or perhaps you already have and would like to share? I'd love to hear!!

Don't miss a thing!


Good news! My Joss & Main Sale has been extended for an extra day!! There's still time to get a Swoon Worthy bargain for your home! Easily sign up here.

I'm also on Plume, Joss & Main's blog, talking about how to get the "Eclectic Boho Glam" look in your home as well as a Q&A with me where I reveal my must-have pick for the season and what I think the next big 'thing' in interiors will be :)

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Blog Hop! A Tour Through Blogland...

I've never done a "blog hop" before. It was one of those curious things that happened on other people's blogs but this was the first time I was invited to do one myself and I have to say, I'm rather excited.

The lovely Julia of Cuckoo4Design invited me (you can read her blog hop here) so let me tell you a little about her first. She's German but living in Pennsylvania in the US, so an ex-pat like myself (which always makes perspective that much more interesting) plus she lives not very far from where I grew up! I'm absolutely in love with her colourful and fearless home and her endless array of DIY projects that amaze me. Here's just a little sneak peek of her stunning home:

Fabulous, no?

Well, the same four questions have been posed to a huge number of bloggers around the blogosphere and now it's my turn to answer them. Perhaps through these, you will get to know me and a number of other bloggers that little bit better.

So without further delay, on to the questions...

Why do I write?

Strangely, it's something I've always done at different periods of my life. In my childhood, I used to write silly rhyming poems to make my friends' laugh and I started writing a 'teen novel' when I was about 13. I think I got about 50 pages into it before I became bored with it (it was truly terrible given that I was making it up as I went along). I also went through a phase of writing a ridiculous amount of poetry between my mid and late 20's during a turbulent time in my life - I think I fancied myself to be the next Sylvia Plath or Anne Sexton and used to go to spoken word meetups and poetry slams. Once life settled down a bit, the poetry waned but it makes for quite interesting reading so many years later and I'm grateful I kept it all as a sort of representation of that difficult time. But it wasn't until I started my blog in 2010 that the joy of writing returned to me. I don't actually consider myself to be a gifted writer by any stretch but I do enjoy letting my random thoughts spill out onto my keyboard and of course talking about interiors is something I love too - the combination of both seem to work hand in hand.

What am I working on?

Currently, I'm in the middle of a revamp of my dressing room including paint, wallpaper, Ikea book shelf hacking, new lighting, building a new vanity and finding a new rug. Once that's complete, we're going to be starting work on the guest bedroom/office (a total gut job and remodel).  Plus I always have a few little projects on the go like getting something to fill a blank wall in my living room and deciding whether or not to repaint a chest of drawers! Aside from that, I'm going to be going part time in September so I've started to amass of list of things I want to accomplish on those 2 "free" days a week!

How does it differ from others in its genre?

I think as an American living in the UK for the last 13 years, my aesthetic is a curious mix of British sensibilities with extroverted American flair. Being heavily influenced by American design, I struggle to find the products and styles I love readily available here. And so living in a country where the predominating interior styles are so dissimilar to my own, I've found myself creating a look that's unique using British products in a distinctly American way. It creates a very strange alchemy but one that I'm pretty happy with.

What is my writing process?

Ha! What writing process?? I pretty much decide what I'm going to write about as I finish different projects (so things haven't changed much since I was 13 years old). It really just depends upon my mood and my inspiration or what is going on in my head at that moment. There's really no process at all. Which probably explains why I'm not that talented a writer!!

So now, it's time for me to nominate two other bloggers to join in the fun and keep the blog hop going.

First, I want to nominate the wickedly funny and talented Elizabeth from The Little Black Door. Elizabeth has a knack for taking traditional style and infusing it with personality and humour. Her eclectic style is out of this world and as an interior designer, has an incredible eye for finding sad, unloved pieces and making them absolutely out of this world gorgeous. She mixes pattern and colour with reckless abandon but always ends up with spaces that look stunning. A real inspiration - but also an incredibly down-to-earth totally cool person. I'd totally want to go to St Louis, Missouri just to get completely sh*t-faced with her - is that weird?

Secondly, I want to nominate my dear friend Carole of Mademoiselle Poirot who is an incredibly talented stylist and photographer... and crafter and cook and painter - honestly, when they were handing out talents, they must have fallen for her sexy French accent and gave her the whole lot. Our styles are very different but our sensibilities are very similar and I'm forever awed by her incredible eye. She's also completely down to earth with no airs and graces and we have a rather wicked laugh our in daily email exchanges. Check out her gorgeous blog for more of this kind of goodness!

Both Elizabeth and Carole will be posting responses to the same questions on Monday, 1st September so be sure to check out those out next week!

I hope you enjoyed our little blog hop today, got to know me a little bit better and that you've discovered a few blogs you may not have been aware of before! All of these are definite favourites so do go over and say hello!

Don't miss a thing!

Monday, 25 August 2014

Swoon Worthy Curated Sale Today at Joss & Main UK!

If you've been reading along for the last few months here on Swoon Worthy, you'll know I'm a big fan of Joss and Main. Joss and Main is a members-only site that holds limited-time-only sales on homeware. What sets it apart from others of it's kind however, are the design-led items that they carry.

I have been a member of a few other similar sites in the past and felt that they all offered the same kind of things I can find on any High Street in the UK. But when Joss and Main UK came along (their parent company is in the US), suddenly I saw items for sale that I could only dream about getting on our shores.

Things like Nancy Ramirez' Cozamia prints which have ended up in my living room and dining room and the rug I purchased for my home office remodel.

I've also picked up a few other goodies like this adorable gold elephant teapot (seen on Instagram).

And this Urchin Wall Art which I've seen in the US but never in this country before! I still haven't decided where it's going but it's going up somewhere (also from Instagram - and if you aren't following me, why aren't you?)!

And of course, I'm currently awaiting a new dining room table, also from Joss and Main.

Well, when Joss & Main asked if I'd like to curate my own Swoon Worthy sale, I jumped at the chance. Working with their buyer, we've curated a selection of items that are a brilliant representation of the kinds of things you'd find in my own home and a few others that I would love to get my hands on, all at just a fraction of their original price (and SO much cheaper than if you were to buy directly from the US!).

The only catch is that the sales only last for a few days so get in there quick!

Some of the items for sale are in my little mood board above but if you want to check out the whole collection you can find it on Joss & Main today. And there is so much more on the website in so many different styles, so do have a good wander around. I'll warn you, it's slightly addictive. They tend to be the only sale site that I will actually look at every day!

And if you aren't a member, you can sign up here via my personal invitation - it's absolutely free and all you have to do is enter your email address. And if you don't want daily emails, you can change your email preferences to reflect that - it's all really easy!

Anything in the collection that catches your eye? If you are in the US, do you buy from Joss and Main? Are you a fan already in the UK? Oh and if you end up buying anything, please do let me know - I would love to hear what you chose!

Don't miss a thing!

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