Home, Home Projects


Morland Abingdon

No28 is my mum’s house – not her home but a house she owns in the UK. She bought it in July and it was our temporary home whilst we found new builders and finished our home. After we moved out, my mum asked me to redecorate the house in true HMP style: using the furniture and pictures she had, upcycling items where needed but most of all, keeping the budget really low. No28 is a 15 year old town house in the old brewery area of Abingdon and it’s a 3 bedroom house. I know it’s not very British to talk money but I want to give you some context; to decorate this house from top to bottom I had £6,000. And that budget was to include everything – trades and, fixtures and fittings – to get it ‘move in’ ready for her and or short term tenants.

As it’s a relatively modern house in a very cool brewery area so I wanted to take it from magnolia boring to industrial modern. Brick, grey and of course some velvet.

Sorry this is a long post, but it made sense to include the house in one.  Here are the before and after photos starting at the entrance. I wanted to make the entrance, landing and stairs a feature by using a dark colour.

Before entrance

After entrance Dulux Night Jewels 3 Dark grey

I chose Dulux Night Jewels 3, a darker shade than the grey I picked for my home. It looks great with all the white woodwork.

Dulux night jewels 5

For the sitting room I had to go with a very on trend velvet sofa. Initially I was going to recover a sofa I bought on eBay for 99p in navy velvet (you can spot the sofa in the before photos). But during a trip to IKEA I came across a IKEA STOCKHOLM sofa in green velvet in the bargain corner and I couldn’t resist. Such good value! That’s my husband modelling it.

Ikea STOCKHOLM sofa green velvet

The sitting room went from magnolia to Dulux Night Jewels 5 – my favourite grey. And I had the carpet and tiles taken up and replaced with an oak laminate from front door to back door, to unify the space. Modern laminate is brilliant, it has a textured grain and grooves between the boards so apart from the huge difference in price, you don’t notice that the floor isn’t wood.

Before sitting room kea STOCKHOLM sofa green velvet After sitting room kea STOCKHOLM sofa green velvet Before sitting room After sitting room brick wallpaper

Introducing a fireplace to the room was a key design decision. I wanted to add focus to the room and bring in some character. The brick wallpaper helps too. I found the surround and hearth on eBay. The lady who sold it to me, told me her father built the surround. And Steve from W J ARMSTRONG (CONSTRUCTION) LTD did the necessary carpentry. The tile wallpaper is from B&Q.

Before fireplace
After fireplace brick tile wallpaper

I love the new IKEA DRAGET shelving unit. I have it in grey at home and the green here is great against the brick wallpaper and of course it matches the sofa.

Brick wallpaper IKEA DRAGET green shelving unit

Before sitting room After sitting room brick wallpaper

Like in a lot of open plan rooms, it was important to zone the dining area.

Before dinning room After dinning room pendant light creative cables

To zone the dining area I designed a pendant light to be plugged into the wall socket and then hung from the ceiling. This avoided any expensive electrical work but still give the effect of warm lighting over the table. I made the pendant with items from Creative cables.

After dinning room pendant light creative cables

The kitchen was completely functional and I decided it would be a waste of money to replace it. Instead it got a good clean, new laminate flooring and a lick of grey paint. Oh and of course every dark grey appliance I could get my hands on!

Before kitchen

After kitchen

As I mentioned at the beginning, the HMP ethos is to work with what you have. Amongst my mum’s items, I found some gorgeous blue and gold lamps, some blue bedding and a good collection of gold framed pictures. The blue and gold bedroom design was born. I built on what I had and created a cohesive styleboard.

Styleboard blue roomDulux Scion Sula Wallpaper Indigo Sapphire

I picked out the Scion Sula Wallpaper in Indigo & Sapphire for a feature wall and colour matched the background for the other walls.

Before blue room

After blue bedroom Scion Sula Wallpaper Indigo Sapphire After blue bedroom Scion Sula Wallpaper Indigo Sapphire

So the collection of gold framed pictures didn’t look too old fashioned, I grouped them on a picture ledge. The pre-loved table can be used as a desk or a dressing table. (Sorry for the contrasted afternoon light.)

Before blue bedroom After blue bedroom After blue bedroom Detail

With the bathroom and matching en-suite, I started with what was there: the tile pattern you can see here. I decided to pick out the black and use it to modernise the bathrooms at little cost. I chose plain black vinyl for the floors and the boys at Fine Finishing helped me out again by spray painting the towel rails matte black.

Before bathroom Before bathroom After bathroom

Continuing on from the landing and up the whole heart of the house, the dark grey Dulux Night Jewels 3.

Landing Dulux Night Jewels 3 grey paint

In the weekend before we moved into the house, my husband, father in law and I decorated this green bedroom so our girls would feel more settled in this temporary home. Here is the post I did at the time.  The girls have since moved into their new bedroom with their personal items so this room is more pared back now. Again I chose the Scion Sula Wallpaper but this time in Juniper & Kiwi.

Before green bedroom After green bedroom Scion Sula Wallpaper in Juniper & Kiwi IKEA MYDAL bunk bed hack After green bedroom Scion Sula Wallpaper in Juniper & Kiwi IKEA MYDAL bunk bed hack Before green bedroom After green bedroom Scion Sula Wallpaper in Juniper & Kiwi

And up to the 2nd floor.

Before stairs After stairs Dulux Night Jewels 3 grey paint

In the master bedroom, the only item I had to work with was the IKEA LEIRVIK bed frame in white. It’s a bit girly for my taste so I wanted to contrast it with something more modern so I chose to reuse the brick wallpaper from the sitting room. The whole old brewery area is red brick so I love how this house reflects its surroundings. I picked out the flower pictures from my mum’s collection and from there focused on a green palette.

Styleboard green brick flower bedroom brick wallpaper Before master bedroom After master bedroom brick wallpaper green flower ikea LEIRVIK bed white

The new IKEA GLADOM tray table (pictured here in dark green but also available in white and yellow) has been acclaimed by the interior design media. As the budget was low, I used beer bottles for vases and a Gordon’s gin bottle for one of the bedside lights. The other bedside light is the IKEA FORSA work lamp.

After master bedroom brick wallpaper green flower ikea GLADOM tray table dark green Gordons Gin After master bedroom brick wallpaper green flower ikea GLADOM tray table dark green FORSA work lamp green

I continued the brick wallpaper into the ensuite. And again I used black plain vinyl and spray painted matte black towel rail to update the look.

Before master ensuite After master ensuite brick wallpaper Before master ensuite After master ensuite brick wallpaper

This has really been a true HMP project:

  • Beautiful: I’m a big believer in the practice of only having things in your home that you find useful or believe to be beautiful. In this case what my mum finds beautiful. I took the items and grouped them into coherent styles.
  • Organised: I haven’t shown in these photos but I improved storage and thought about how people would use the house for example by putting the iron and ironing board in the blue bedroom wardrobe.
  • Green: I reused what I had, I recycled by buying pre-loved items where I could and I upcycled.
  • Budget: I came in just under the budget I was set.

Hope you enjoyed the tour.

Made, Upcycle Projects

This old bed

metal bed frame

My mum kept the bed frame I had as a child. It started off light pink and she painted it black somewhere around my pre-teenhood. Here is a photo of it in my typical 90s teen bedroom. I had removed the bed knobs on the posts as I didn’t think they were cool.

metal bed frame

Fast forward a few decades and my mum had it shipped out to Dubai when we moved our eldest into a big girl bed. Well mummy’s big girl bed!

metal bed frame

By this stage it was a bit more knocked but my daughter was very proud of it. Then we shipped it to Canada and it got even more knocked.

metal bed frame metal bed frame

So I decided that with this move, we would take the time to restore it. The frame is completely solid so it was just a case of giving it a bit of a make over. I wanted to add the bed knobs back on the posts but my mum couldn’t find them in the garage and I couldn’t find any on eBay so, my awesome husband cut down some door knobs and fixed them to the frame.

metal bed frame metal bed frame

From there, I took it to the guys at Fine Finishing to get it sand blasted and spray painted. They did a great job and if you can find craftsmen who still do this (some car spray workshops will), it’s such a great way to save old furniture or even update your furniture to a new colour palette. I now have a long list of things I want them to spray paint!

Here is the end result.

metal bed frame metal bed frame

It looks brand new and hopefully once she’s done with it, I’ll keep it in the loft to give to her daughter.

Happy making!