Posts tagged ‘DIY’

June 2, 2010

making a home {rugs}

When living in a rental or even when you move into your first home the spaces can feel empty, dull and not you.  Restrictions on painting walls and DIY in rentals also make it difficult to make the place feel like a home. 

Rugs are a great way of making a room warm and welcoming while bringing a bit of your style to your rented accommodation.  Furthermore – in keeping with our idea of buying pieces now that you can then take with you when you eventually buy your own home – rugs are a good long-lasting investment.

Typically when one thinks of rugs you imagine them by the fireplace or in the bedroom, however they can actually be used to brighten up every room in the house. 

Check out some of these ideas for inspiration:

Living room

 House to home


House to home


Living Etc

The Decoritsa


Living Etc

Bar area (OK dreaming now … but maybe one day)

Bright Bizarre

Dining room

Next Online


House to home


House to home

Even… Outside!

House to home


May 29, 2010

making a home {trays}

Whether living in rented accommodation or your own home the same issue always occurs as to what to do with the bits and bobs that we use everyday that aren´t particularly pretty or easy on the eye.  The answer is… trays.  A tray can make your toiletries, your coffee table, even your alcohol collection look organized.

Take a look at some of these examples:

A great way of storing TV remotes and other bits that clutter up your living room.

Ideal home magazine

All those creams, hair brushes, cotton wool and other bits that you use everyday and therefore need at hand.

House to Home

Magazines, photos and everything else that finds its way to the coffee table.

The Decorista

Plush Palate

Alcohol and mixers.

Southern Accents

Ugly washing up.

Plush Palate

The Decorista

As always I have had a look around the wonderful world of vintage and found the following great bargains:

$30 Etsy

$30 Etsy

£14.95 Ebay

Or if you are not a fan of vintage Ikea has a great collection:


If you have got a bit more money to spend this gorgeous hand-painted tray is worth the hit to the bank balance:

$350 The Well Appointed House

Happy organizing!

May 23, 2010

making a home {mix and match chairs}

When decorating a home one of the more costly pieces that we must invest in and one which will have a big influence on the overall look of the main living space is a set of dining table and chairs.  Matching dining table and chairs can be extremely expensive and the cheaper sets tend to look tacky and damage easily.

As an alternative to spending a small fortune on a brand new set I love the idea of mix and match chairs – they look great, add a bit a character and work out much cheaper.  All you need is a bit of imagination, some hard work and… voila.

Check out this dining room that I spotted on A Punch of Colour Blog:

You can easily get a similar look:

Firstly hunt down some old and battered chairs on sites such as Ebay or  I found this set for £5.50 on Ebay:

…and has a huge range of old chairs to offer:

Secondly, hire a sander.  You can do this online at sites such as where you can hire a multipurpose sander for £38 for an entire week:

Thirdly, find the right colour wood paint for you and get painting:

This Crown, non-drip satin paint is only £5.48 from Homebase.

Obviously you cannot just throw a load of different colours and chairs together and hope that they work.

Here are a few top tips on how to avoid making your dining room look like your local thrift store:

*Use just one colour to tie together various styles of chair

Photo courtesy of A mad tea party with Alis
Photo courtesy of Apartment therapy

* Stick to one group of colours or pick 3 colours and repeat them around the table.

Photo courtesy of A mad tea party with Alis

*If you have a set of chairs and a couple of odd ones, put the odd ones at the ends of the table:

Photo courtesy of A mad tea party with Alis

*Use matching cushions:

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Anne Designs

*And finally, make sure the chairs are all roughly the same size:

Happy mix and matching!

May 18, 2010

making a home {chests and trunks}

With the housing market in the state it is in and the impossibility of getting a mortgage without a 10% deposit the majority of us Twenty Somethings are still renting or …ah-hem… living with our parents.  In rental accommodation storage is always a problem and we are also restricted on hanging anything from the walls and/or decorating.  Rather than buying cheap, ugly,  ready pack furniture I think it is a good idea to start collecting quality pieces of furniture that we can then take with us when we finally buy our first home.  It will also make our rented room more homely and personal.  We here at Twentysomethingyears think that chests/trunks make a great investment piece.  They can sit beautifully at the end of our bed – a space that is normally left empty – and provide more storage AND surface space.

Take a look at some of these examples –


House to Home


If you shop around there are some fabulous chests to suit every budget and taste.

Here are a few of my favourites –

…this gorgeous vintage wartime chest sold for just £16.51 on Ebay

…and this huge vintage trunk was at £25.95 on Ebay at time of writing.

If you are not much of a vintage lover you can also get some good quality new chests and trunks –

…This handmade banana fibre chest is £39.99 from Ikea

…and this Opus Mango Trunk is £99 from Next

For those of us with a bit more cash to spend –

… I love this gorgeous Vintage white cedar blanket chest from Etsy for $450

…and this Quartersawn Oak bench, $499, also from Etsy

May 11, 2010

making a home {independent sustainability}

It isn´t until something happens to jeopardise the status quo that we realise how dependent we are on certain things.  Until our electricity goes out on a stormy night we forget how dependant we are on it to cook, keep warm and even do our homework.  Until our car breaks-down we forget how vital it is to our daily routine.  Until the ash cloud threw the whole air industry into chaos – and had reverberating effects on the tourist industry, the import and export industry, even the postal system – we had forgotten how dependant the running of the world economy is on air transportation.

In an insightful 2-part series journalist Heydon Prowse explores our reliance on technology and our therefore diminishing ability to do things for ourselves.  This is provoking a growing dependance on big companies and the state for example, when the government banned all flights from taking-off during the ash cloud we were powerless, we simply could not go anywhere.

The two individuals in this video would have no problem if we experience another fuel strike or a freak storm blows the entire National Grid!  Personally I think they could have picked examples that are more accessible to the general British public to prove that all of us can make changes to our lives to make us less dependant on the big-bods  but you get the idea!

This is the first in the two-part series.

For the second video check out the Guardian Environment section tomorrow.

May 3, 2010

happiness {bank holiday}

Let´s face it – bank holidays are great!  And as the UK is one of the countries that ranks globally as having the fewest public holidays us Brits like to make the most of it.  Generally we cram the weekend full of activities and visits to family and friends and arrive back at work on Tuesday even more exhausted than when the weekend started.  As a kid I remember that I would always get confused when glumly packing my bag for school on the Monday night and would end up with all my Monday books instead of my Tuesday ones!

I always think that the key to a great bank holiday weekend is really thinking about what makes you happy.  Here´s a few examples:

{lie-ins}  As Bright.Bazaar blogger wrote about last week, some days you just feel like curling up in bed and watching your favourite series back to back.  If this is the case – do it!  Don´t feel like you should be doing something just because it’s a bank holiday – you´ve got a whole extra day don´t forget.

{picnics} I always dream of the idyllic picnic laid out under a shady tree on a sunny spring day.  Homemade sandwiches, sausages rolls, cakes and a bottle of  bubbly –  all of which has been elegantly carried to the spot in this gorgeous Cath Kidston hamper:

…normally things never go to plan; I end up carrying all the food in plastic bags as I cannot afford this beautiful hamper, the sandwiches go soggy, the only bubbles that touch my lips come in the form of a can of warm Fanta and we get attacked my a swarm of ants!  However as long as the weather´s nice and you´re in the right company picnics are always fun… Cath Kidston hamper or not.

{family and friends}  Normally I find I am happiest among family and close friends.  Others may feel happiest as far away as they can get from the in-laws, but what´s important is that you spend the weekend with people who make you happy!  Obviously one is obliged to pay the family the odd visit, but that does not mean that your whole weekend has to be lost to it!

{long pub lunch}  Now by writing this I am in no way encouraging drinking.  But a cheeky afternoon at the pub is a great way of spending a Sunday (or Monday)- accompanied by family and friends.  It is also a fantastic all-weather activity; snuggle up by the fire on a rainy day or lap up the sun in the beer garden on a nice day.

{me time}  If you never get any time to yourself a three-day weekend is the perfect opportunity to have a bit of a pampering session.  This doesn´t cost much money AND its a great thing to do if the weather is bad.  The Anatomicals range is great for a bit of TLC:

(1) Farewell the Scarlet Pimplehell Cleansing Mud Mask, £6.95

(2) Don’t look Like your Ma Home Spa Pampering Kit, £11.95

(3) No Old Bags Allowed Eye Gel, £2.99.  (All from The Pod Company)

{DIY} There is nothing like that sense of achievement when you complete something (that actually stands up) with your own hands.  Even if you think that you´re not much of a DIY expert I bet you will actually feel quite pleased with yourself when you stand back to admire something that you have made with your own bare hands.  If your DIY skills are of a similar standard to Homer Simpson´s then this book might come in handy:

Available from £8.25 at Amazon UK

We would love to hear about your ideas for a happy bank holiday weekend!