How do children accumulate so much junk? Like, seriously? Daisy hasn’t long turned 3 and the toy situation was getting out of control. When Daisy started ‘playing’ with her toys a lot more, we decided to move the dining table into the kitchen, to give her (and the toys) a space of their own. This was great for a while, but gradually as more toys appeared, the room got cluttered and meant there was less and less space for her to actually play.

Everything was mixed up in a few large storage bags, so Daisy would end up tipping everything out and not actually playing with anything. As you can see, it started getting a bit out of hand.Just before Christmas, I decided enough was enough and armed with black bags, I started going through what felt like a real life version of pages 300 – 350 of the Argos catalogue. I threw out anything broken, separated anything that could be sold or donated and then split all the keepers into categories.

One mama and Daisy trip to IKEA (whilst wearing my very apt ‘Girl Power’ jumper), I picked up some storage units, boxes and obviously the essential napkins and candles; in our family, you don’t leave IKEA without them!I bought two of these units and eight storage boxes (similar here). I put them all together within an hour and already the room looked so much better. Label maker in hand, I popped one above each box to say what goes where and filled them up. The units themselves are the perfect height for sitting too, so a few pretty cushions made it a cosy reading spot.Daisy has so much more room to play now and it’s also helping to teach her to tidy her toys away; win, win! It made our Christmas shopping easier too, as we could see exactly what she has and what she loves playing with the most (as well as knowing what we can store and where). The blinds are a little squiffy and I’m planning on adding a few rails on the main wall for her arty stuff, but for now a few easy changes have made a huge difference to the little lady’s playtime.Emma  x

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