4 free printables that will wow your guests

Kari from Lovilee shared this gorgeous post on guest room printables. Click here for the original post!

About four years ago we renovated and moved into our own home and I’ve loved personalizing it with distinct pieces, making it warm & homey, more personal and more ‘us’. We absolutely love having guests over which usually coincides with visits to the mountain, delicious food & great conversation. It’s important to me that our guests feel at home, free to make coffee for themselves & get comfortable and there’s no easier way of doing this than prepping the guest room & bathroom for them, adding thoughtful details & fresh linen.


free guest room printables

This month is all about bunnies on the blog and it’s no secret how much we love this theme. To me it was the perfect opportunity to create thoughtful details to add to the guest room, which includes a welcome card, water bottle labels, a do not disturb sign & a card for the wifi password so our guests know how special they are to us – all designed by Lieflingkind. I’m so excited to be sharing these designs with you today & know that you’ll love the bunny details as much as we do.

We kept to a cool grey-blue and gold coloring, meaning these free guest room printables will suit most rooms and all of the seasons. These are simple to create, easy to display and perfect for hosting your guests over the upcoming Easter holidays (or any time of the year really). Pop the cards into frames, add a couple of midnight snacks in jars and you’ll be a memorable host in no time at all.


You’ll need

  • Downloaded guest room design, printed onto A3 cardstock (download them from the original post here)
  • Art knife & steel ruler
  • 500ml water bottle
  • Two 15 x 10cm photo frames in colors of your choice (we recommend gold, white or a wooden texture)
  • Glue gun

To make

  1. Cut out all the printed elements, using the crop marks in the corners as your guides. Be careful not to cut too far past the crop marks.
  2. Once cut, add the Welcome & Wifi Card to the frames and display on a bookshelf or dresser. Feel free to play around with different sizes/designs for the frames to keep it interesting.
  3. Add the Water Bottle labels to 500ml bottles using your glue gun & place the bottles on the side tables.
  4. Cut the Door Hanger Tag out according to the thin grey lines & hang at the back of the door.

Have fun spoiling your guests & be sure to let us know if you have any tips and tricks of your own!

How to create a tiny kitchen on a budget

Some of you may have followed my bathroom renovation adventure but what you maybe didn’t know, was that the project doesn’t just stop there! We have a cottage on the farm that has been a long-term rental since we moved here 6 years ago. People have come and gone, but we never really spent any money on upgrading the place. When the last tenant moved out, my neighbour and partner in this endeavour, Cate, and I decided to convert the spot to a luxury cottage that we can rent out on Airbnb. It was in quite a state, but always the optimist when it comes to interior spaces, I let my imagination run wild and set out to create this tiny little kitchen on a budget in the Winelands. This was, of course, easier said than done, so I enlisted the help of a few suppliers who were more than happy to jump on my renovation band wagon.

The results are slowly taking shape around us, but I hope to show you our fully furnished, fully kitted out, rental-ready cottage by the end of this month.

To call this a cottage when you look at these pictures is a bit of stretch. Basically, this used to be a double garage adjacent to one of the houses on the farm which was then converted to a very basic 1-bedroom cottage before we came along. The bathroom was really the worst feature and the biggest challenge which I set out to sort out first. The kitchen was also horrible, to say the least. The cabinets were rotten and the layout left a lot to be desired, so we just pulled everything out and started from scratch.

tiny kitchen

And there it is! I have to admit that I am so pleased with the result. It’s light and bright and really quite spacious. We will probably add an island a bit later, but for now, it works.

tiny kitchen

Builders Warehouse was really keen to get involved with the kitchen, and so I set out to my nearest store to pick out the materials. They do these really simple white flat-pack kitchen cabinet units which you can use to configure your own kitchen. Considering our tight budget, they were the perfect choice for the project.

tiny kitchen

For the countertop, I chose a Woodland Postform – it has the look of butcher block with the virtual indestructibility of engineered wood: scratch resistant, heat-resistant, and stain resistant.

tiny kitchen

I am quite proud of the shelves in this little kitchen. I am always appalled by the cost of shelving, and because I wanted 2 rows of shelves to cover the whole 3.5m length of the wall, I decided to design them myself. Our trusty farm handyman/gardener/Jack of all trades, Titus, made these brackets one morning, and they came out beautifully. Click here to download the drawing!

tiny kitchen

I used 22x44mm pine battens for the brackets, 16x220mm laminated pine shelving and an 8x44mm pine cover strip for the down stand. A quick white stain allows the wood grain to show while making the shelves beautifully light. I really love these shelves and they came in at a fraction of the cost!

tiny kitchen

tiny kitchen

The small Franke drop-in sink matched with the Isca sink mixer is all that you need for a little self-catering space like this.

tiny kitchen

These brushed brass pendants work very well with the overall design and are positioned in such a way that they will be hanging over the island, providing task lighting.

tiny kitchen

Given the proximity of some of the Cape’s best restaurants, Cate and I realized that guests are unlikely to roast a leg of lamb or bake a cake, so an oven is really not necessary. They might want to fry up an egg or 2 the morning after a night out, so we added a clever little 2-plate stove top just in case. Add to that a basic bar fridge, kettle, and toaster and you’re good to go! And because we’d like to really make it convenient for our guests, we also installed a dishwasher and washing machine. It’s the little things that count!

tiny kitchen

And here’s a clever trick: if you have an old property with unsightly cables and things, just hide it behind pretty accessories! (There’s a horrible electrical box behind that bright bread bin and jug 😉

Builders Warehouse kindly supplied all of the building and plumbing materials used in this project. Get 10% off your online purchases with the voucher code SAVETEN until 20 August!

Happy renovating!

Make a DIY captain’s mirror with a tray, some lids and a pie dish

I inherited a pretty metal tray from my Gran a few years ago. I have never actually used it, and keeping it as a tray stashed away next to the fridge seemed like such a waste. So when Ideas Magazine asked me to come up a mirror project, it was immediately clear to what the tray’s ultimate purpose in life was meant to be: it was supposed to be a beautiful mirror! So I gathered a few other odd, unused items, got my drill, and got to work on my DIY captain’s mirror!

A note on the frames: Any metal object with a thin edge can work, provided it is at least 10mm deep. I used my Gran’s metal tray, a pie dish, a brass plate and a couple of old metal lids. Try to get a combination of shapes and sizes for your collection.

DIY captains mirror

You will need:

  • A collection of metal items that you can use as frames.
  • Brass and steel chain (whichever finish match the frames best). We used roughly 50cm per frame.
  • Spray paint (we used matte black)
  • Key rings
  • Mirror hooks
  • 2mm pop rivets and a rivet gun
  • 8mm metal drill bit and a 4mm metal drill bit
  • A mirror for each frame. We cut ours to roughly 10mm smaller on all sides than the frame.
  • Double sided foam tape

Before you start, choose which frames will have chains, and which will have a mirror hook. 

FOR THE FRAMES WITH MIRROR HOOKS:

DIY captains mirror

Step 1: To add the mirror hook to the back of the relevant frames, mark the position of the hook with a marker. It’s easier to mark and drill the holes from the inside of the frame, otherwise you risk denting the frame.

DIY captains mirror

Step 2: Using the 4mm drill bit, drill the holes from the inside of the frame. Then use the rivets and rivet gun to secure the mirror hook on the outside of the frame.

 

FOR THE FRAMES WITH CHAINS:

DIY captains mirror

Step 3: To attach the chain to the relevant frames, use the 1.8mm drill bit to make small holes in the frame’s edge.

DIY captains mirror

Step 4: Thread the key rings and chain through the holes. Don’t be too concerned with the length of the chain at this stage – you can always adjust it later if necessary.

DIY captains mirror

Step 5: Spray those frames and chains that do not match your collection.

DIY captains mirror

Step 6: Use 2 layers of double sided foam tape to fix the mirror to the frame. The extra height will ensure a beautiful shadow gap around the mirrors.

Easy as that! To determine how you want to hang them, lay them out on the floor or a table until you’re happy with the configuration. You can also cut out templates and stick them up on the wall with Prestik to make sure you get it right.

Happy DIY-ing!

This post was originally done for IDEAS Magazine.

 

A spectacular bathroom makeover with Tile Africa

Over the last 5 weeks, I have been working with Tile Africa and a troop of builders to transform the grimiest bathroom imaginable into a spectacular bathroom sanctuary for weekend guests. As with any building project, we went over budget, over time, and ran into a series of problems that we couldn’t foresee when we started out. But now when I look at the result, all of those challenges are forgotten. The new bathroom is even more amazing than what I saw in my mind’s eye. Here’s how we did it – you can also get the full video series of the makeover here!

THE BEFORE

spectacular bathroom makeover

When I said that this was the grimiest bathroom in the world, I wasn’t exactly exaggerating. This 1-bedrooom cottage on our farm was a double garage that was converted to additional housing 6 or 7 years ago, and it doesn’t look like there had been any maintenance since. I had no idea why there was a pipe in the corner of the shower – or how it came to look the way it did. But I was going to find out!

spectacular bathroom makeover

The garage was originally adjacent to the outdoor toilet of one of the main houses on the farm. During the renovation, the wall between that toilet and the garage was knocked through and a small area walled off to make room for a shower. That did, however, mean that there was a terribly thick wall dividing the already tiny space, making it dark and depressing. I knew from the beginning that the wall had to go!

A couple of hammers and grinders later, and we had opened up the space to create a blank canvass of 3.8sqm. That’s where the fun began!

The lovely Carol Koopman at Tile Africa in Paarden Eiland was most helpful when it came to choosing the materials. Tile Africa has the Find Your Happy Place Quiz on their website, so even if you don’t quite know what you’re looking for it will guide you through a series of questions and provide you with a shopping list at the end – one-stop shopping at its best!

spectacular bathroom makeover

My style is definitely Vintage Romance! I had put together a basic look and feel that included light, natural wood, marble and white tiles. Carol quickly saw my vision and expertly helped me to pull it all together.

Tile Africa Bathroom Makeover Project Sample Board

THE AFTER

I chose Metro White Gloss Ceramic Tiles for the walls and the most gorgeous Patchwork White Mosaics made from recycled glass for the floor. White grout makes the walls look seamless while grey grout accentuates the pattern on the floor. The darker grout is also a sensible choice when it comes to cleaning!

spectacular bathroom makeover

spectacular bathroom makeover

Just a quick note about showers: I really dislike shower doors that open outward. There is almost no way that the floor remains dry with that design, so I always choose sliding doors for a shower. The Clyde Chrome Corner Semi-frameless unit is perfect for the space and ensures that the floors stay dry.

spectacular bathroom makeover

spectacular bathroom makeover

The taps are quite something! These super sleek pieces are by Vado and are manufactured in the UK. You can get them exclusively from Tile Africa. Their simple lines are very trendy and complement the rest of the fittings perfectly.

spectacular bathroom makeover

There is so much to say for a shower head: some people love a rain shower, while others prefer a power shower. Luckily, our bore hole and water pressure on the farm allows for a decent massage, while the slim square shower head supplies plenty of rain-like drops.

spectacular bathroom makeover

Because of the lack of space and layout restrictions, I was very concerned about the type of handwash basin we’d be able to get. The moment I saw this cute little unit though, I was sold! The Philly Coimbra Floating Cabinet with matching mirror and shelf look like it was made for this room. It’s compact, contemporary and has a lovely wood finish that adds warmth to the white tiles.

spectacular bathroom makeover

The toilet posed one of the unforeseen challenges on this project. Once everything was tiled and ready for the fittings to be installed, we realized that the existing waste pipe wasn’t able to connect to the new Orion Close Couple Suite toilet. We had to move the toilet forward by 200mm to allow for the new waste pipe to return, which meant we had to create a box behind the toilet. In the end, it was a blessing! Now we have a little shelf for guests to place things on, which is going to come in very handy in this small bathroom. Click here to download the septic tank notice for FREE!

spectacular bathroom makeover

spectacular bathroom makeover

Croydex chrome accessories ensure that towels, toilet paper, and other utilities are close at hand while looking great.

spectacular bathroom makeover

I added a few little touches, like this copper basket to keep the toilet paper in. It’s practical and the reddish metal also adds warmth to the room.

spectacular bathroom makeover

spectacular bathroom makeover

PRO TIP: to keep a guest bathroom always smelling fresh, place a reed diffuser on a shelf or window sill! That way, a delicate fragrance will always fill the room.

spectacular bathroom makeover

spectacular bathroom makeover

The bathroom is amazing, so now the rest of the cottage has to catch up! I will keep you posted on our progress over the next few weeks. Subscribe to my YouTube channel for more videos and our newsletter to keep you in the loop.

Happy Renovating!

The materials for the this project as well as this post was sponsored by Tile Africa.

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

Method:

  • 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

STEP 1: ADD SOME DETAILS

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.

STEP 2: PAINT IT BLACK!

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.

STEP 3: ADD A FEATURE

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.

STEP 4: ADD A SHOWER IN THE BATH

 

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!

BEFORE

budget bathroom make-over

AFTER

Happy Decorating!

THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY CREATED FOR KNOBS.CO

 

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!

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