Sunday 25 March 2018


The only similarity between this house and mine is the office chair, I have the same office chair but mine's a 70's chrome and brown 'leather' £15 vintage eBay bargain version. 

Look at this Primrose Hill house!
Isn't it just beautiful!
This is the kind of look I'd love!
However... I have about £10.

 Undeterred, I have tackled my middle hall and upper stairs, the last area of my house that needed a budget/no money makeover, a make do until I've enough cash for a proper job makeover.
I'd like it to look like a luxury Primrose Hill town house but I will settle for (I'll have to) just making it more my style.

I had done a few things already, like having the lights fixed (none worked) by an electrician,
and I then bodge fixed the ceiling holes for £2.50,
click here if you want to admire that bit of skilled workmanship.

'Improved' the 'art piece' that was hung at the top of the stairs with no money,
click here for that masterpiece.

And a small thing I did, while doing other jobs was put any left over filler into any cracks and holes in the hall, it was surprising what a difference that small, bit by bit job made, kaizen in action!

Here's the before's

Nearly impossible to photograph but starting coming through my office door along the hall and up the stairs.

Yes that is a kind of death trap drop at the side of the stairs, not sure what to do with that.

Attractive view of the radiator from above.

Note the filled in hole around the light switch.

The orange pine doorway into the guest room on the top floor, I had already started painting the door before I took the pics, and tried to hammer that wooden kick board into place so I could get it close enough to the wall for a gap small enough to take filler.

A tad of gap filling and sanding needed everywhere, this is the top floor hall.

and looking back down from the top floor to a classic example of bodged joinery, a door frame sitting proud of the wall by a good couple of centimetres.

And this is looking back from, near the death trap stair drop.

The radiator again as seen from coming up the stairs.

And the view from the lower stairs (which have already been bodge decorated).

The last orange pine door was finally painted over with left over Wilko's one coat satin warm white paint.

Remaining holes and gaps were filled.

The walls were again painted with the remains of a tub of bargain masonry paint, click here for info.
It's probably creamier than would be considered cool,
but... it actually feels a lot nicer than my first stairs which is in the permitted bounds of cool - chalk white.

And the result is...
From the work room

Round the corner by the death trap stairs.

I already had the TK Maxx rug and jar of twigs.
The radiator shelf is made from part of a neighbours door frame she was ripping out, it's painted with left over charcoal paint and I attached two radiator shelf brackets, £3.50 each from eBay, you screw them onto the base of the shelf and then the legs of the brackets just slide behind the radiator so no need to drill into walls, hooray!
The picture is an old picture frame I had smashed the glass of (again!), I painted the frame with the left over charcoal paint and stuck a wall decal I'd picked up a while ago, £2 from Poundstretcher, in.
It's very possibly a bit cheesy to some, and as it was £2 from Poundstretcher unlikely to be deemed classy, but I like it, it's a good sentiment.

There wasn't a cap on the radiator end and I couldn't find one,
are they called something other than a radiator cap?
So I improvised with the lid of a Jo Malone perfume bottle.
It fits perfectly.
(Can I point out the hall isn't filthy, that's old little paint splats on the floor and radiator).

I love this folk art tin heart!
£1 from a car boot sale!
When I had asked how much it was,
and I really hate asking, how do you react if they say it's more than you have on you, or they are asking too much?  I'd rather they just put the price on.
The seller said his daughter had just piled a load of stuff into his car on top of his stuff and he didn't have a clue what any of it was worth or what she wanted for it so was just asking £1 each for her things.
Hope she was OK with that.

Looking up the second stairs.

Note the budget Batman art in situ.
I'd picked up these framed pictures from Homesense for an unbelievable 30p and 50p each in a new year sale and hung them on the walls.

Here's the view down the stairs and Oscar the shorky AKA The Best Dog In The World.
Note the door frame, giving a luxury look as is now sitting flush with the wall thanks to the cunning use of filler .

And here's another view of the hall from a different angle.

The little cupboard was made by Ollie's brother Josh out of scaffolding boards, he'd made it then didn't have anywhere to put it so gave it to me and I painted it with the old charcoal paint that is getting everywhere.
The feather art is an upcycled £1 charity shop picture I re-purposed from another room.

I re-hung this gorgeous Maggie Magoo print, which was present from my niece.
Thanking you Iona, I absolutely love it.

 Here's  looking up from the lower stairs.

Oscar getting involved again.
It's impossible to get a picture of him unless you are trying to take a picture of something else.
Also notice the perfume bottle top radiator cap adding a finishing touch!

Total cost
Under a tenner... £9.60.

I absolutely can't wait until I have the cash to cover the floors in cream wool Berber,
(including a hefty tip for the carpet fitter because of the weirdest shaped hall).
Have walls skimmed etc.

But... there is something simple, not better, but simpler, at looking at something and saying how can I make this better for no money/or £10/£20 etc.
It narrows your choices.
And though it's never going to look Primrose Hill, it's always better.

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