We’ve been living in our house four and a half years now and all the while, living with a kitchen which I hated. With so many things to change though, we knew it would be a while off before doing anything as it would have to be gutted and replastered. Our conservatory runs off the kitchen, but even with this much sunlight, the room always felt cold. With black floor tiles, blue wall tiles and a navy worktop (?!) it was a far cry from my dream kitchen. I’d searched on Pinterest for a long time to get ideas on how to change it but never bothered, thinking I hated the cupboards so much, nothing could salvage it. That changed a few months back when I decided to try and paint the wall tiles to brighten the room a bit. What a difference! I used Wilko tile paint, making sure to scrub the tiles with sugar soap first. Once they were completely dry, I used a gloss roller and was really shocked as how easy it went on (it’s quite gloopy). Two coats later and I was feeling pretty pleased with myself.While this was a huge improvement, the worktops were still the awful faded navy and the room really craved some warmth. I toyed with what colour to paint the walls and settled for a dark grey (also from Wilko’s own range). This made the cupboards seem whiter and cleaner straight away.I read lots online about using sticky back plastic for worktops and was really dubious. I didn’t think it would look convincing at all but at £5 a roll, I figured why not? The only why I was asking later was ‘why haven’t I done this sooner?!’. This stuff is amazing! I used a wood effect from D C Fix and the results speak for themselves. Again, I scrubbed the counters down with sugar soap, waited until bone dry and then using the application pack, started sticking it on. If you mess up, you can just peel it off and start again. The whole kitchen took me 3 evenings and cost a total of £25! Here are my top tips for trying either of the above updates:

1. Be careful of paint drips on the tiles. Go back over where you’ve painted a few minutes later and brush over any runs in the paint.

2. If you’re using masking tape around any edges, use a Stanley knife to cut it away from the paint before peeling away, otherwise you risk peeling the paint off too. 

3. The smell will go. It’s very strong so I’d suggest ventilating the room as often as possible. You’ll definitely think you’re going to smell paint for the rest of your life but trust me, it does fade and eventually disappear. 

4. Have patience with the sticky back plastic. There was an area of our kitchen that I did towards the end and I swear, if I’d started there I’d have never done the whole thing. Just stick with it and gently pull away if you make a mistake.

5. Don’t worry about any little mistakes. I had a meltdown over that piece towards the end when I big crease formed in the middle. I tried a few times and eventually started with a new piece of the roll and the same thing happened; maybe I just have dodgy worktops? But after admittting defeat and just going with it, I popped a chopping board over it. 

6. Nobody is going to scrutinise your counters, even if you do. When someone walks into your kitchen, they’re taking in the whole thing. Once you’ve got some accessories in there, you won’t notice any little marks or bumps that just wouldnt go. 

7. If you hate your worktops as much as I did, it’s absolutely worth a try for just £5 a roll. 

I added a few new accessories in here and now I absolutely love this room. The cupboards don’t bother me anymore and while there are still things I would change eventually, it’s now a cosy room that I’m happy to sit in long after dinner has finished.I’d love to know what you think or if you’re thinking of giving it a go yourself. 

Emma  x

As someone who is always itching to get onto the next DIY project, I need to be able to change things around our home without it breaking the bank or causing too much chaos. I don’t like waiting around and many times have just started painting the walls on a whim. I tend to get bored of a room quite quickly and am always thinking of different ways to enhance or freshen it up.

Our living room is currently painted an off white (although I plan on painting it bright white pretty soon – don’t tell Jon!), with a neutral sofa and a dark wood floor. A far cry from the fuchsia pink and lime green wallpaper that screamed from a feature wall when we moved in. No joke, it was like being on LCD, tripping out whilst catching up on Masterchef!

Summer Living Room

I like to keep other elements fairly neutral too, using a large jute rug and mink colour curtains. We have a white TV unit and coffee table, along with two ‘laptop tables’ from IKEA’s Vittsjo range. At £30 a table, they are a real bargain. Again from IKEA, I’ve recently been given the ‘vending machine’ from my mother – a nickname the men of the family gave it. Clearly they know nothing! I absolutely love this cupboard and it really completes the room.

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By keeping the base of the room quite muted, I can change it up easily with accessories and pops of colour. I have a total love affair with blues and whites. Its so fresh and classic and reminds me of picnics in the sun, sand in between my toes and the smell of freshly cut grass.

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All I did to get my living room ready for summer, was change out my cushion covers, add a few different accessories and swap some of my picture frames for a couple of free printables I found on Pinterest. I’m still moving things round now and then, but overall it feels like a new room again. Not bad for an hours work!

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This fresh look will see us through summer, until i bust out the burnt orange tartan cushion covers and autumnal faux foliage (I can keep a child alive, but don’t ask about plants).

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I’d love to hear your thoughts on our summer living room. Do you decorate for the seasons? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Emma  x