Dad’s DIY Guide: How To Measure Windows Correctly

In most homes, DIY projects tend come down to Dad over the weekend. But trying to juggle career, family and responsibilities – while doing things with little help except for little curious hands – can be difficult. To help save some time, we’ve put together this handy guide on how to measure windows for blinds, rods and tie backs. (Don’t worry Dad, we won’t tell anyone that you read a manual!) These guidelines are the secret that will help you to choose the right tools for the job and create the perfect window dressing.

You will need these tools:

  • Drill
  • 5mm masonry drill bit
  • Ladder
  • Measuring tape
  • Star-pointed screwdriver, or a star-bit for your drill/driver)
  • Pencil
  • Spirit Level

Home Deco

1. Measuring for Curtain Rods

Measure the inside width of the window. Rods should extend 10-20cm beyond the window on each side. Measure the height according to your existing or new curtain height. Usually, this will also be between 10 – 20cm above the top frame of the window.

Ideas for Creative Home Decor

PRO TIP: If you have really high ceilings, but your windows are not very high, you can install the pole high over the window the help correct the proportions.

how to measure windows

2. Measuring for Tiebacks

Tiebacks should be installed approximately 1 metre from the floor, on the outside edge of the curtain.

3. A note on Finials

Ensure there is enough space for your chosen finial at both ends of the rod. If space is limited, consider an end cap finial instead of something that protrudes.

4. Measuring for Blinds to be installed INSIDE the window recess

Check that nothing is protruding into the recess where the blind will hang (i.e. burglar bars)

  • Measure the inside reveal width
  • Measure the inside reveal drop

Amber Interiors

5. Measuring for Blinds to be installed OUTSIDE the window recess

  • We recommend 10cm overlap on each side of the window
  • We recommend 10cm overlap on the top of the window
  • A blind can comfortably sit on top of a window sill where one is installed. Otherwise, a 10cm overlap on the bottom edge is also advisable.

6. Cut out blinds

  • Measure the width between the tiles
  • Measure the drop of the tile itself
  • Measure the width of the tile itself

Some handy hints when measuring your windows:

  • Always use a metal tape measure as plastic and cloth tapes may stretch. Even 5mm can make the difference between a good fit and a bad one!
  • The saying goes “Measure twice, cut once”. It is definitely advisable to measure more than once. Measure left, middle, right or top, middle, bottom.
  • Also keep in mind that as much as builders try, windows are not always straight and level. For inside a recess, use the smallest measurement, and for outside, the largest.

Finishing Touches can always help you with your installation because they realise that dads also need a break! Just give them the correct measurements you took while using these guidelines above, and they will install your window décor in time and on budget.

It can be our little secret gift to you on Father’s day….

Happy Father’s Day to all those amazing dads out there!

NOTE: this post is sponsored by Finishing Touches.

Infographic elements from Shutterstock.


Awesome gifts for the man of moment on Father’s Day

Mother’s Day always gets a lot of attention here at the Bruwery – my lovely husband makes such an effort to make the day extra special. So when Father’s day comes around, I am always really keen to show him the same courtesy. Gifts don’t have to cost money though, so here are 5 gifts that cost, well, almost nothing!

Gift #1: Breakfast, of course! 

My man loves bacon and eggs. And while this is the most traditional of breakfasts, there are numerous ways to jazz things up. Here’s a quick recipe that the kids can make themselves (under supervision if necessary!), ready to serve when Dad wakes up.

Bacon & Egg Cups

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

  • 8 eggs
  • 8 pieces of bacon (Joey will argue that there is only 1 kind of bacon: streaky. Without the fat, it’s just smoked pork.)
  • a handful of grated cheddar cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste (remember that both the cheese and the bacon is salty, so don’t overdo it!)
  • Paprika
  • Fresh parsley


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Grease 8 holes of a muffin pan.
  • Line those holes with a piece of bacon.
  • Break and egg in each lined hole.
  • Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and grated cheese.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until the egg is cooked to your liking.

Sprinkle with paprika and chopped parsley, and if you want to be fancy, serve with a dollop of créme fraiche on each egg cup. Goes gloriously well with buttered toast and a cup of steaming hot coffee on the side.

And now for the vouchers! You can download these vouchers HERE and print them at home.

1. Sleep in Voucher

As any parent with young kids will tell you, sleep is something that we said goodbye to in the delivery room. And while our kids are thankfully now at an age when our nights are calm (except when they’re not well), our days start before 6am without fail. This Extra Snooze Time Voucher entitles Dad to a couple of extra hours, while you and the kids prepare breakfast.

2. Massage Voucher

Let the kids jump in and pamper Dad a bit with a foot rub, back rub or neck Massage Voucher. If you plan it well, you might convince them to work the knots out of your neck as well while they’re busy!

3. Movie Night Voucher

A lot of guys really love movies where cars crash after people get shot while jumping off buildings and breaking things. I don’t really see the point in them, but it’s nice to give Dad some guy time with a full-blooded, wild and crazy Action Movie Voucher. Let him choose the Sunday night movie – without guilt or consideration, and if you do not agree with the choice, climb in the bath with a glass of wine and a book while he watches it. Add a bag of his favourite popcorn and a snack to keep him company while he’s indulging.

4. Five Moments of Peace and Quiet Voucher

Everyone needs peace and quiet sometimes, and these Moments of Peace and Quiet Vouchers will give Dad a few hours off when he needs it most. Valid for 1 year, he can choose to spend it whichever way he wants to, even if it is to get out of something he doesn’t feel like doing (like a kiddies birthday party!).

I hope you spoil the Dad in your life this Father’s Day – goodness knows, they deserve it! And remember, Dads like flowers too 😉

Happy Father’s Day!

Laundry Organization Tips and Free Printable Cheat Sheet

Are you good at staying organized? Or, like me, do you need a little help sometimes? One of my least favourite chores to do is the laundry. So, to help you (and me!), here’s a little guide for a few laundry organization tips, including a DIY for making your own pretty re-writable board.

Laundry Organisation tips and free printable cheat sheet

These re-writable boards are a great way to add organization to any room of your house. They are prettier than white boards but serve the exact same purpose. You could even add one into a gallery wall if you like.

How to make your own re-writable board:

It’s honestly one of the simplest things to do. All you need is a frame of your choice and the background that you want to use. For your laundry, you can download this cheat sheet (download link found below), or for any other room in the house, you can use a pretty piece of paper or fabric.

Remove the backing board from the frame, leaving the glass in front. Place your new background into the frame, close it up with the original backing board and get writing straight onto the glass. Be sure to use a whiteboard marker and not a permanent marker though! When it’s time to change your to-do list, chores, shopping list or doodles, simply rub it off with a tissue or cloth and start again on a clean slate.

Laundry Organisation tips and free printable cheat sheet

As an added bonus, I’ve thrown in this shopping list and meal plan printable. You can either pop this into a frame too or simply print out a few and use it for your weekly planning.

Both files are included in the download here.

Laundry Organisation tips and free printable cheat sheet

Small Laundry Organisation Tips:

While it is important to keep yourself organized, it is also important to keep the physical space that you are using organized. Most people are confined to a relatively small space to do their laundry, but there are many ways that this space can still be used well, helping you to keep it organized.

  1. Use wall space for storage. Whether you use shelves or cupboards, make sure to utilize the space that is available on the wall.
  2. Separate the space by adding a curtain or folding doors. This allows you to hide the laundry away when not in use.
  3. Have a fold-out hanging rack, or a rack that hangs from the ceiling. It is not always possible to hang clean laundry outside to dry, so adding a rack that doesn’t take up precious storage space is very useful.
  4. Use small containers or baskets to keep like items together. This makes it easier when going through the laundry process, as everything you need is easily accessible.
  5. Don’t let the laundry build up. Having too much laundry is not only likely to make you want to procrastinate even longer, but it will also make a small space cluttered and difficult to use. To be efficient with electricity and water, don’t wash very small loads, but be sure to wash your laundry regularly.

Laundry Organisation tips and free printable cheat sheet

What are your favourite laundry organization tips or tips for organizing the rest of the home?

Happy organizing!

Budget Bathroom Make-Over in Dramatic Black and White

Bathrooms tend to be smaller spaces, and because popular belief states that darker colours are not suitable for small spaces, we tend to steer clear. But a dark colour in a small area can have quite the opposite effect, creating depth and space. And while black is not the most obvious colour choice for a bathroom, this project shows that black can have an amazing effect. Here’s a look at my small family bathroom make-over.

budget bathroom make-over

This the kids’ bathroom in our old farmhouse. It had a few things going for it: a black-and-white vinyl floor, exposed ceiling beams, a freestanding Victorian-style bath and a sash window. The basic workbench-turned-vanity unit had a few scuff marks, but other than that everything was in pretty good shape. But the room lacked personality and all the white started to feel washed out and boring. This is a bathroom that is used every day and I decided it was definitely time for an update!

There were the 4 things on my to-do list:

  • I wanted to add some traditional details to the walls
  • The white needed to go
  • A feature wall had to be created
  • The bath had to be used as a shower as well


My first step was to add the dado rail and frame the window with a wide timber trim. This makes such a big difference already that everything after that was just a bonus! As with anything involving timber, it’s important to measure twice and cut once. Use a mitre box to get the corners right and acrylic sealant to fix the trims to the walls.


Next came the painting. Black and white is the ultimate classic colour combination, and because the floor and bath were already in those colours, it was an easy – although brave! – choice. I used a water-based enamel on the walls so that they are rich and with a bit of light-reflecting gloss. That helps to bounce light around the room. For the woodwork and untiled areas below the dado, I used a flat white acrylic paint. A black skirting prevents scuff marks against the white when the floors are being washed.


By adding 2 simple wooden shelves to the wall, I was able to create a striking focal wall on what would otherwise just be a large expanse of black. The shelves break the monotony, and the hanging kokedama adds some lush greenery.

I used 2 pieces of timber and painted them in the same white water based enamel as the woodwork. And because the wall was already a glossy black, I knew that I would be able to get away with very inexpensive L-brackets to keep the shelving up. No need for expensive floating shelves! To get a really smooth finish on the shelves, use 360 grit sandpaper between coats.



Turning the bath into a bath / shower, was a bit of a challenge. I didn’t want to do any plumbing, so I had to look for a handheld shower unit that would be able to connect to the existing taps.

TIP: if your shower hose isn’t long enough, get 2 and connect them in the middle to create a longer one!

I fixed the curved shower curtain rail to the exposed beams. This took a bit of adjustment to the track, but the fixings are just so much stronger that way. If you have a timber ceiling, fixing anywhere on the ceiling works well. But where you have a plaster board ceiling, especially in a bathroom where moisture and steam can potentially soften the ceiling boards, fixing to a rigid structure is essential.

budget bathroom make-over

I reinstalled the existing chrome towel rails on the opposite side of the bath, so that they will be within easy reach.  Soft aqua and white towels add a little bit of colour to an otherwise monochromatic palette.

budget bathroom make-over

Instead of reinstalling the old hand towel rail, I made 3 personalized towel hooks so that each boy could have their own hand towel as well. I used a porcelain pen to write my boys’ initials on porcelain drawer knobs.

budget bathroom make-over

After baking them in the oven the fix the writing, I fitted them to the wall: first, install wall plugs at the right positions. Next, screw the end of the knob screw into the back of the knob. Then you cut off the screw head using a pair of pliers, and then screw the open end into the wall plug. Black and white ribbon stitched to each towel, makes them easy to hang up.

budget bathroom make-over

The little crystal chandelier and large silver-framed mirror add a sophisticated touch to the space. And because the mirror is so big, it completely opens up the room and helps to distribute the light coming in from the window.

budget bathroom make-over

budget bathroom make-over

A few extra details on the shelves, and my bathroom is done!


budget bathroom make-over


Happy Decorating!



How to make a ladder storage shelf in 9 simple steps

This narrow shelving unit is perfect for storing all of your craft supplies in a small space. It’s also great for the bathroom, playroom, kids room – anywhere where space is limited and storage is needed! Paint it to match your decor or decorate with decoupage to give it some extra personality. you can even adjust the dimensions to suit your available space. So go on, make your own ladder storage shelf this weekend!

This post was originally done for Idees | Ideas Magazine.

You will need:

  • 3x 2.4m Pine PAR 19mmx94mm
  • 1x 1.2m Pine PAR 19mmx94mm
  • 3x 1.8m Pine PAR 19mm x 44mm
  • 1x 2.4m Pine PAR 19mm x 44mm
  • 2m white laminated shelf or laminated pine shelf 19mmx380mm
  • 62x 4mmx32mm wood screws
  • 2x 4mmx75mm wood screws
  • Wood filler
  • Scraper
  • 100 grit sandpaper
  • 3mm wood drill bit
  • Paint suitable for wood. We used Prominent Paints Ultrasheen water-based emulsion in white for the frame and the outside of the shelves, and Fired Earth Chalk Paint in Seine Olive for the inside of the shelf boxes.

Cutting list for frame: Use the 19mm x 44mm pine

  • Back legs: 1400m x 2
  • Front legs: 1455mm x 2
  • Horizontal Strut at top: 420mm

Cutting list for the sides of the shelf boxes: Use the 19mm x 94mm pine

  • 2x 120mm
  • 2x 220mm
  • 2 x 320mm
  • 2x 400mm
  • 8x 420mm

Cutting list for the base of the shelf boxes: Use laminated shelf

  • 120mm x 380mm
  • 220mm x 380mm
  • 320mm x 380mm
  • 420mm x 380mm

Step 1:

storage ladder shelf

storage ladder shelf

Cut the top and bottom of the 2 front legs at angles as shown.


Step 2:

storage ladder shelf

storage ladder shelf

Use the diagram to drill pilot holes in the pre-cut sides of the shelf boxes. This will prevent the wood from splitting when you assemble it.


Step 3:

storage ladder shelf

Assemble the shelf boxes by screw-fixing first the sides, and then the back and front to the laminated shelves.


Step 4:

storage ladder shelf

Use matching wood filler and a scraper to fill the holes and cover the screws.


Step 5:

storage ladder shelf

Once the filler has dried, use sand paper to smooth it down.


Step 6:

storage ladder shelf

Drill pilot holes and then screw-fix the back legs of the frame to the boxes. The biggest box should be 100mm from the floor, with the subsequent boxes spaced at 260mm.


Step 7:

Once all the boxes are in place, position the front leg and screw fix that on the boxes. Always remember to drill a pilot hole first.


Step 8:

storage ladder shelf

Use a 75mm wood screw to fix the front and back legs together. Then add a horizontal strut at the top to further strengthen the shelf.


Step 9:

Paint the shelf, allowing sufficient drying time between coats.

If you used a white laminated shelf base inside the boxes, make sure that the paint you choose is suitable for laminate. Craft paint is great for this.

storage ladder shelf

Now you can use your shelf for whatever you need. It could even work as a plant stand!

Happy making!


5 Tips To Maximise Cupboard Space on a Budget

When we bought our first home, we were so mesmerised by the gorgeous country-style garden and quaint, eclectic interior that we didn’t notice the main bedroom had no built-in-cupboard.  Strange, but true. All it had, was a teeny-tiny walk-in-cupboard, for hangers only, and a mouldy, too shallow, in places door-less, DIY cupboard-cum-day bed around the window.

So, almost three years later, we set out to do some DIY of our own and transformed the four-square-meter walk-in hanging closet into a legitimate walk-in-wardrobe.

Creating additional storage in your home is about fitting as much as possible into what limited space you have available, which is usually as tiny a space as possible.

At the same time, it’s about creating a sense of peace and order in your home.  If you’ve ever packed a cupboard, you’ll know all too well that these two objectives tend to be at odds.  Knowing where to find what you need without having to unpack everything else, while keeping it looking tidy.  All in limited space.  It’s a delicate balance.

Here’s what we did

Our bathroom has a Victorian-Industrial feel and we wanted to bring that into the adjoining wardrobe with as little effort and material as possible. This meant giving the space a fresh coat of white paint once all the old fittings were removed, and using pre-cut, unstained pine boards.

We paired these two neutrals with black, industrial-looking brackets and matt black curtain railings to serve as curtain rods.

Finally, off-white woven baskets served perfectly to sort tall stacks of clothing and other odds and ends.

From a décor perspective, the baskets also softened the hard wood and metal surfaces, and added a warm touch to the wardrobe.

5 Tips to make the most of a small cupboard

#1 Keep it simple

Don’t be tempted to rush off to your nearest home store and buy the first storage solution they offer.

Sometimes, you have to plan in order to keep things simple, which is why you need to draw some plans, take measurements (at least three times!) and have a fully formed idea in your head before buying a single thing.  When measuring your shelf height, be sure to add enough space to get your hands in there to slide baskets or remove a piece of clothing from the bottom of the pile.

Then set off to the shops to find the best suited, most timeless pieces to achieve your goals, like pre-cut wood and pretty storage baskets.

In order to keep it simple, we also decided not to install doors, which is where the baskets came in handy.  Not only do cupboard doors create so much more margin for error with a DIY project, but they also push up your costs, take up space and can get in the way when you need to decide what to wear in a hurry.

#2 Make it easy to keep it tidy

In part, this relates to the colour scheme you select.  If you’re making the most of an already cluttered space, lots of jarring colours definitely won’t create the sense of peace and order you’re after.

If all neutrals strike you as too bland, you can always add a colourful carpet and light fixture when you’re done.

High stacks of folded clothing can also become real messy real soon. This is another place where the baskets come in very handy.  If you pack the most frequently used items in easy to reach places, the baskets can hold those thick jerseys that tend to make the pile topple or items like socks and underwear that need to be contained.

In addition, open baskets keep things looking clean and uniform by hiding all the different colours in the wardrobe. Labelling your uniform baskets allows you to find what you need at a glance.  Laminating the labels allows you to change them when you change things in your cupboard around.

#3 Light!

If you can’t see what you have in your cupboard at a glance, you’re going to be frustrated, late and untidy.  This is another reason why one should opt for lighter colours on the walls and shelves.

Getting an interesting light fixture is a great opportunity to play around with the décor if you feel the space needs a bit of pizzazz.  No matter the fixture you get, however, make sure it has a strong lamp that gets to every corner.

#4 Leave no wall unturned…

Unless you’re adorning it with a beautiful artwork, of course, think of ways to use every inch of the wall.  Be careful, however, not to put shelves on every wall if that will leave too little breathing room.

If that’s the case, rather consider hooks or railings that take up less space, but allow you to hang anything from tomorrow’s outfit or your bathrobe, to shoe racks.

Another surface that can be re-used, is a door with a mirror mounted on the one side. If you happen to have an open space directly opposite this mirror you can mount one on both sides to get a dressing-room effect.

#5 Dual purpose items

These are items that take up the space of one thing, but serve the purpose of two.  For example, the little ottoman in our walk-in-cupboard serves as both a seat when you do your make-up or put your shoes on, as well as a step to reach the top shelves.

It looks pretty, unlike an unsightly step-ladder, and you don’t have to keep hiding it away and unfolding it again.  Being able to reach your top shelves with no effort at all, means your cupboard is much more likely to work for you.

If you need help fitting a whole lot into tiny spaces, and want to make it look good at the same time, get in touch with me for a consultation.

Happy packing!

How to make a trendy copper towel ladder

There seems to be a tremendous amount of holidays at the moment, which is the perfect time for a quick DIY project. Storage ladders are very popular and you can make this one in less than an hour with a few inexpensive goodies picked up from your local hardware store. And best of all, you can use it in pretty much any room in your home! In the bathroom for towels, in the living room for blankets (perfect for the cooler weather setting in!) in the bedroom as a clothes hanger or in the kids’ room to store their multitude of paraphernalia. Here’s how to make your own trendy copper towel ladder.

This post was originally done for Idees | Ideas Magazine.

You will need:

  • 5x wooden broom handles
  • 100 grit sandpaper
  • Plumber’s tape
  • Paint (we used WondaSeal Stain & Seal in white) and a soft cloth for application
  • 8x 22mm copper plumbing T-juntions
  • 4x 22mm copper plumbing end caps

Step 1

Cut each of the 5 broom handles to the following lengths: 1x 480mm; 2x 400mm


Step 2

If the broom handles are sealed, you will first need to remove the varnish with sandpaper. If they are unsealed, you can skip to step 3.


Step 3

Use the soft cloth to apply paint or wood stain to the wooden pieces. TIP: You can keep them upright when they’re wet by making them stand inside the pockets of a Styrofoam seedling tray!


Step 4

Use the plumber’s tape to bulk up the ends of the wooden pieces. You want them to fit very snug inside the copper fittings to prevent the ladder from being shaky once assembled. Make sure that the wood is pushed all the way into the fittings to secure them.

Step 5

Assemble the ladder by placing the 400mm pieces vertically into the copper t-junctions, with the 480mm pieces making up the rungs of the ladder. You are going to be left with one 480mm piece – if you prefer a taller ladder, you can just add another rung with 2 more T-juntions. Secure the end-caps on the top and bottom pieces.

Step 6

Using a carpet knife or craft knife, carefully trim any of the plumber’s tape that may be visible once all the pieces have been assembled.

Now add some towels, blankets or baskets to your beautiful ladder. For some added luxury, place your towel ladder in front of a heating panel to have snugly warm towels all through winter!

Happy making!

How to make your own wall art in your rental home

Knowing how to decorate your home can be hard when you have limitations as a renter. Anything that is done needs to be able to be removed easily, without leaving any marks or holes in the walls. Washi tape is a great solution as it lets you add a little personality to your space, while still remaining easily removable, with absolutely no fuss.

You could use any design you like, but origami works well as it’s made up of straight lines.

Washi Tape Art for your Rental Home

What you need:

Washi tape
Painters tape or masking tape (optional)
Design (Click here to use this design:  Origami Hummingbird - Pure Sweet Joy for Homeology.pdf)

What to do:

Start by finding your design, measuring out the length of each line and then scaling it up to be the size that you want it to be. The easiest way to scale it is to measure the length or height of your printed out version and then see how much that length needs to be multiplied by to get the final length you want it to be on the wall. That number then becomes your multiplication factor for all the other lines. Look, there is a use for high school math after all!

Example: The total width of the printed hummingbird measures 23cm (seen recorded on the rough sketch). I wanted the final bird to be roughly 70cm, so multiplying by 3 kept it simple, making the final width roughly 69cm. The left-hand line measures 9cm on the printout, making its final washi tape size 27cm (9×3=27).

Washi Tape Art for your Rental Home

Using painter’s tape (or extra washi tape), mark out the rough area where your final design will be. The final dimensions may differ slightly from those you calculated, as it does not take into account the width of the actual washi tape and slight changes in the angles of the lines. Stick your printed design on the wall for easy reference.

Washi Tape Art for your Rental Home

Starting sticking your washi tape strips from one corner, and work your way across the picture. Place your washi tape according to the printed picture. For awkward corners, cut the tape a little longer and leave it for now.

Washi Tape Art for your Rental Home


Washi Tape Art for your Rental Home


















Once all the pieces have been stuck to the wall, go around with scissors and neatly cut off the little extra ends left at the corners.

Washi Tape Art for your Rental Home

Washi Tape Art for your Rental Home

What other rental decor ideas have you implemented in your space?

How to simplify your life with quick DIY organising hacks

Are you the type of person who has loads of little things lying around with no specific place to put them? I often find that simply giving something a home is the first and most important step to getting organised. It’s not always an easy thing to do though, especially if you have limited storage space. If you need a little inspiration, you can use these simple DIY organizing hacks to get you started!

Easy Cable Organising

Almost every time I need a cable for charging a camera, importing photos or tethering my camera I have to dig through a little pile of electronic cables. So while the cables as a whole have a home, the fact that all of their homes are in the exact same place means it still gets messy. By simply giving each little cable its own home in an empty toilet roll, this problem is solved. Decorate the toilet rolls with a strip of wrapping paper, Washi tape or a little hand-drawn design. Write the name of the cable on its new toilet roll home and you have an organised set of cables. No more scratching through the pile!

Use these simple organising DIY hacks to make your life that little bit easier

Mini Handbag Storage

Ever find yourself scratching through your bag for that little clip that you just KNOW is in there somewhere? You may find everything else that you didn’t even know was deep in your handbag, but just not that clip! One of the easiest DIY hacks, is to place your clips into a small mint container, like a Tic Tac box. Add a little glamour to the container with a simple strip of gold tape.

Use these simple organising DIY hacks to make your life that little bit easier

Use these simple organising DIY hacks to make your life that little bit easier

Or, mini stationery storage

Use the exact same method to tidy up your stationery storage for small things like paperclips, thumbtacks or pins.

Use these simple organising DIY hacks to make your life that little bit easier

Use these simple organising DIY hacks to make your life that little bit easier

Simple Plug Sorting

Tired of being unsure which plug is which? In an effort to not overload our plug points, some of our small appliances get unplugged when not in use. Not only does this mean the plugs get all knotted, but it also means that you can be waiting forever for the kettle to boil before realising that it isn’t even plugged in yet! Using a simple piece of Washi tape, coloured tape or even masking tape allows you to label each appliance close to the plug. This makes it much simpler when figuring out what is what. The same method could be used for all those pesky computer plugs or hair accessories.

Use these simple organising DIY hacks to make your life that little bit easier

Mini Ribbon Holders

Just like cables, ribbons can also get so easily tangled together. This is especially annoying when you’re trying to wrap a present at the last minute! Once again one, of the simplest little DIY hacks using a mint container can solve the problem. Keep one end of the ribbon poking out the hole to make it easy to quickly pull out however much ribbon you need.

Use these simple organising DIY hacks to make your life that little bit easier

Use these simple organising DIY hacks to make your life that little bit easier

Organising Kitchen Drawers

While you’re busy organising things a little more, you might as well tackle that kitchen drawer which holds all the odds and ends. Each drawer will need different methods depending on what you end up using it for, but here are 3 easy steps:

  1. Start by taking everything out of the drawer.
  2. Before putting anything back in, throw out or give away the items that you can do without.
  3. Finally add smaller containers to hold like items together, use a cutlery tray for storing the extra cutlery items such as spatulas, salad servers and measuring spoons or even an ice cube tray for very small items.

Enjoy using your newly organised space!

Quick and easy DIY for an inexpensive kitchen makeover

My kitchen had been featured on this blog and a couple of other publications a few times now already, but only because it was the most inexpensive built-in kitchen ever! I bought the kitchen 2nd hand online and then painted it, put on new counter tops and added pretty handles and hey presto! – new kitchen! But now, nearly 5 years later, it had started to look a bit worse for wear and I decided that it was time for a kitchen makeover. I have always been a devout fan of gray in all its hues, but the pale French gray in the kitchen was really getting a bit dull and dated. So here is my easy and inexpensive update, featuring the heroes in the today’s story: deep charcoal and crisp white paint.

kitchen make-over

A quick note on gray: even though you may think it is, gray is not necessarily a neutral colour. Most grays lean toward blue, red, pink and even yellow! So, when you choose a gray, always test it on a small area in the room first, and then live with it for a while so that you can see if the colour changes in different light and at different times of the day. I chose a deep charcoal gray that is specifically neutral and not leaning toward any other colour. These will usually be marked with an “N” in the code. 

kitchen make-over

The doors were originally a very light beech laminate. We primed them with a laminate primer and painted them in a water-based emulsion the last time, so this time, no priming was necessary. I love water-based emulsions: it has all the washable and gloss properties of an enamel, without all the mess. These types of paints also usually have a slight sheen to them, making them really easy to clean as well.

kitchen make-over

A light sanding was all that was needed and then I started to paint the lovely deep charcoal on the lower cabinets, and a crisp white on the upper cabinets. The white required 2 coats with a light sanding in between, while the charcoal needed 3 coats with a bit of sanding between layers.

kitchen make-over

kitchen make-over

By sanding between coats, you get a really nice smooth finish that makes it look factory-finished.

kitchen make-over

Replacing kitchen cabinet hardware is another super easy way to quickly update the look of your kitchen. Handles come in standard sizes, but if you want something that is bigger or smaller than what you currently have, just make sure that you fill the old holes before you paint. These pretty little curved handles compliment the look of the kitchen beautifully. You can find similar ones from 

kitchen make-over

The charcoal really brings out the warmth of the butcher block counter tops while making the dishwasher less prominent – I didn’t expect that to happen, it was an added bonus!

Another advantage of having done this kitchen facelift was that I was forced to sort out my cabinets. Once the doors were off for a couple of days, I couldn’t stand the crazy mess inside the cupboards any longer and I started to sort out and throw out. My corner cabinet was probably the biggest challenge. There are fantastic hardware options, like the Lazy Susan, that will efficiently utilize the space. Because I also house the hob’s gas bottle in there though, it wasn’t an option. By simply putting all of the appliances that I don’t regularly use in there, I have now been able to maximize the space while not being confronted with the impractical shelving inside on a daily basis. 

kitchen make-over

I completely love my new charcoal and white kitchen, and as I’ve said so many times on this blog, I am always amazed at how a kitchen can be transformed with a bit of paint and new hardware. 

kitchen make-over

Click on the links to learn more about my kitchen island DIY or the tiled splash back.

Happy Painting!

The paint for this post was sponsored by Prominent Paints.

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