Happy New Year Lovely Peeps!  Well, it’s 2014 – holy crapballs, how did that happen?  I remember being a kid growing up in the 80s, the year 2000 was this faraway land called THE FUTURE and I totally thought we’d all be using hoverboards and have flying cars by then and wearing silver jumpsuits.  Alas, we’re 14 years into the new Millennium and no hoverboards yet.  Ok, we have the internet so that’s cool but still… sigh.

Anyway, there’s no point in dwelling on the negatives – I mean, silver isn’t even my colour, right? We’ve got the new year all crispy and fresh stretching ahead of us, there are things to get on with, projects to complete, new stuff to learn, people to meet.  Ok, no flying cars, granted, but I live under a flight path from Manchester Airport and that’s bad enough.

While all that good stuff still lies ahead, looking back on what was accomplished in the past year is always good too.  I always end each year thinking I didn’t get NEARLY as much stuff done as I wanted to but when I do roundups like this, I normally surprise myself when I realise we actually did accomplish quite a bit.

The Dining Room

We’ll start in the dining room as it was in January that I decided to tackle the bare wall situation.  I had a bit of a no-money trial run using items I already had to see how I felt.  So my metal console got a fresh coat of gold spraypaint and I used an existing painting and a blank canvas above it.

Those canvases gave me the kick to try my hand at painting and shortly thereafter, I created a couple of canvases in acrylics that gave me the impetus to shake up my colour scheme in this room.  The orange stayed but I introduced turquoises and pinks to the scheme.

At this point, the gallery wall still didn’t reach the floor but in April, I declared it complete.  It only took two years!

But it wasn’t until September when that blank boring wall I started way back in January came into it’s own.  On a whim, I decided the dining room needed a new deep blue paint colour and I purchased a bargain beautiful console table.

As you can see in the above two images, the dining chairs went through a metamorphosis as well, starting with a set of real bamboo chairs in February and in August, I landed my faux bamboo chairs (which I’d wanted long ago).  In November, I finally had the new paint and fabric in my new colour scheme so the dining chairs were complete.

The Living Room

In February, I finally got my living room curtains – something I’d debated for ages – which gave the room a much-needed finishing touch.

That little table between the chairs needed addressing however and so in August, I added a lovely little brass and mirror table from Zara along with lots more plants.  Oh yes, 2013 was definitely the year I got a little obsessed with plants (that hasn’t abated by the way).

I also changed up some of the vignettes in October and added some of my own paintings to the room.

In October, I also catalogued all the changes to my coffee table over the last 3+ years and why I was finally happy with the vignette, with a little help of a friend.

And finally, in November, I talked about my plans for using wallpaper panels.  That’s a project that’s still in progress so stay tuned for more on that one in 2014.

The Kitchen

So initially I thought not much happened in the kitchen in 2013 but then I remembered, we got sexy new handles, I set up a hot drinks station and we got a new white fridge.  I also got some new pretties from Anthropologie and a new set of plates.  So we went from this…

to this…

The Man Cave

2013 was also the year I finally got to reveal the Man Cave – it was probably my favourite reveal of the year considering what a horrible state it was in when we started the work in 2012.  The end result in March was something that was a little geek chic and masculine and couldn’t have been farther from the spider-loving damp cave it once was.

The Master Bedroom

There was quite a bit of DIY in the bedroom in 2013.  After what felt like forever searching for the perfect bedside cabinets, I finally got my Ikea Rast Hack on in May creating campaign style in the bedroom.  I also spray-painted some old lamp bases from eBay and showed you how I covered plain shades in Chang Mai Dragon Fabric and I created more of my own artwork to tie the colour scheme together.

Here’s what it looked like at the tail end of 2012…

And here’s what it looked like by May 2013…

And the chest of drawers got a little zhushing in November with some new artwork.

The Dressing Room

I added some cheap and cheerful shelves to the dressing room in June (for all of £8!) along with some new art and I showed you how I shop my house for seasonal refreshes in both April and November.

I also added got a new chair in the space (my old bamboo dining chairs which then went to the outside deck in the summer and finally to the dressing room) and changed up a few bits and pieces like hanging my hats on pins below the shelves.

The Bathroom

Well, a heck of a happened in the bathroom in 2013.  It was the year we started a project we thought would only take a month and it’s still not done!!  In June, I revealed the design and we ripped down the horrible artex ceiling and started ripped out tiles in earnest later that month.  The destruction continued stripping the walls. In July, during one of the hottest weeks of the year and the week we lost our beautiful kitty Senna (a definite low point of the year), we still managed to replace all the plumbing and we got a new tub and toilet and laid hardwood for the new flooring.  By the end of July, we had a beautiful new floor in place and a working sink.  In August, the new hex tiles started to go on the walls.  We did bits and pieces and I shared where we were with the remodel in November.  While we didn’t get as far on this one as we’d hoped, I’m still going to give us some credit for the work that did take place which is basically shitloads.

There’s more that’s been done but I’ll be sharing those pics in 2014!

The Front of the House and the Back Garden

I started work on the front of the house in April by clearing out all the weeds and the overgrown rose bush out front and then the front door got a fresh coat of Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue paint and the inside of the alcove got a fresh coat of white paint.

Here’s what it looked like before…

With some fresh new brass hardware, a new door knocker, window film with our house number and a new bay tree, the whole entrance got a brand new look.

The back garden got some colour by way of new textiles and solar lighting this summer…

But the real change was in the replacement of the side fence and the planting that took place during a single back-breaking bank holiday weekend in August.  In 3 days, we went from this…

And this…

To this…

And finally this….

Ahhhh so much better!

Best Bits

2013 was also the year that I appeared in 2 magazines – Red Magazine and 25 Beautiful Homes.  Thrilled isn’t even the word – it’s still kind of crazy when I think about it.

There was a further photoshoot for Joanna Thornhill where I revealed what really happens behind a photoshoot – I’ll be able to share that project with you this year – can’t wait!!

I also got a bit of travel under my belt – closer to home in Shropshire for my birthday and Lincolnshire for Wayne’s…

And further beyond our beautiful island to Stockholm in February, Barcelona in May and Amsterdam in October.

AO at Home also went from strength to strength with a brand spanking new design.  There was so much hard work behind the scenes to get that together and I’m thrilled with the results.  It felt great when I revealed it at work and actually got applause from the management (that just never happens!! Eeek!).

I also had the privilege of helping out a charity this year, assisting with sourcing materials, creating moodboards and helping to design the interiors of the Albert Kennedy Trust Purple Door Project.  I loved being involved in this and hope to do more work with charities in 2014.

And, of course, the very best bit… we introduced a new member to the household, Meisha, our Bengal kitten in September who has provided plenty of laughter and mischief.

So it’s been quite a year for us!  Whew!

How was your Christmas and New Year?  How much did you get done in 2013?

Want to know what’s coming for 2014?  I’m revealing my resolutions soon!  Stay tuned…

Check out 2012’s Year in Review and 2011’s Year in Review
Don’t miss a thing!

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