Chalk Paint Chair Update (Part 2!)

Home Heart Harmony Chalk Paint Chair Update Part 2Well, another week has got away from me and it’s Saturday again! I hope you have all had a lovely week and managed to enjoy some spring weather. This week I have been mostly…painting chairs!

Back when I started this here blogging adventure, I was determined that the blog would respond to the needs of our home and not the other way around (ie. it would be a reflection of what we wanted and needed to do and would not see me forcing unnecessary projects for the sake of having something to write about.) Almost 16 months in and at the moment, I still feel like there’s enough to do around here to keep me busy with posts forever and a day….if only we could actually get on with doing some of it!

So, in the spirit of getting on, I was determined to finish what I started with the chairs for our dining area and get the remaining 5 chairs painted so we could finally get rid of our doggy-destroyed ones and move on. You can see my original post on the dining chair transformations here and a mere 5 (!) months later, here we are with six dining chairs basking in all their newly up-cycled glory.

Home Heart Harmony Chalk Paint Chair Update 6

You will notice we have four matching and two different chairs. I am always a fan of mixing styles when it comes to dining chairs so it was never my intention to have six the same. The two chairs at either end were part of a set my parents bought when I was a teenager and we took them on when they were heading for the scrap heap. They were unremarkable and we did nothing to update them….until now.

Home Heart Harmony Chalk Paint Chair Update 1

I love the way they have turned out with the chalk paint. They did take slightly longer to paint than the other chairs due to the larger surface area and ‘tricky’ legs but so worth it in my humble opinion!

Let’s have a couple of little ‘before and afters’ because we love them so…

Home Heart Harmony Chalk Paint Chair Update 3

And one of the other chairs from my last post…

Home Heart Harmony Chalk Paint Chair Update 7

And one of the dining area now that all the chairs and the gallery wall have been completed.

Before…

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And After…

Home Heart Harmony Chalk Paint Chair Update 5

All in all, and having lived with one of the painted chairs for a few months now, I would say that the chalk paint is great if you love a ‘shabby-chic’ lived-in look (which, fortunately, we do) but if you like things pristine, it may be better avoided. The chair I painted back in November is looking quite well used already (it has got a bit mucky from the wear and tear and is looking slightly ‘distressed’). However, I really do love the less glossy finish of the paint.

I have read that part of the beauty of the chalk paint is that you can use it straight onto your surface without sanding. Personally, I think a bit of sanding is always a good idea and whilst 3 coats has given a fairly good covering, I’m not sure it would have if I hadn’t sanded the chairs first. I did like the fact that there is very little of the ‘paint’ smell with the chalk paint, especially given that I’ve been painting chairs at our kitchen table for the last five days! Oh, and it’s easy to clean off (your clothes, floors, walls, hair!!) as well!

I’m looking forward to not painting anything this week! Has anyone else been up-cycling any furniture lately? Remember, I always love to see your pics which you can email to me at homeheartharmony@yahoo.com.

Don’t forget to follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for updates between posts. Until next week…xoxo!

All text and images are copyright Home Heart Harmony unless stated and opinions are my own. Single images may be reproduced only if they remain in their original state and must be credited back to Home Heart Harmony with a link to the site. Failure to do so constitutes a copyright violation. 

Combat the Car Clutter

Spring has arrived in our garden - Yippee!

Spring has arrived in our garden – Yippee!

We’ve been enjoying some beautiful spring weather in these parts the last couple of weeks and I was so ready for it. It has really lifted my spirit to see some blue skies and sunshine. We spent a gorgeous week last week in the lovely Dorset seaside town of Lyme Regis. It is a place very close to our hearts. My parents have a holiday home there so we are extremely lucky to be able to spend a fair amount of time in the town and because we do, the children have grown up knowing and loving it. It is also close enough to home to be able to take our pup in the car with us and the added bonus of having her and chasing her around on the beach has made our time there even more precious.

Lovely Lyme Regis - I took this photo last time we went.

Lovely Lyme Regis – I took this photo last time we went.

We arrived home on Sunday afternoon and it was straight back into the breach with a full-on week of tearing around. I had intended to get going with several projects but life took over. I remember when I was young if anyone would ask my Mum what she was doing the first week we kids were back at school she would say ‘Oh, I’m digging out!’ Meaning that we had created such a disaster zone during the holidays she literally had to spend a whole week getting things back to normal! So, that’s what I’ve been doing. Digging out. Having said that, we were away for the second week of the holidays so we weren’t even here to make a mess! Just demonstrates the havoc created in week one! Holidays do create quite the tidal wave of washing though don’t they?!

So, having done very little of anything interesting, I thought I would share a quick tip which might be useful to some of you in the way it has been for me (whilst interspersing a few pretty yet random pictures to keep us all going!)

Spring Flowers in our kitchen

Spring Flowers in our kitchen

I don’t know about you, but I have always found keeping the inside of my car from looking like a rubbish dump virtually impossible. The last two cars we have bought, I have vowed never to allow the children to eat in the car but there is always that emergency situation when you have no opportunity to feed them anywhere other than in the car (I’m talking about that packed lunch during the mad dash from one after school club to another with no gap in between or the occasion when you leave straight from school to head off for a weekend away and you need to arrive before dark.) Anyway, long story short, I never seem to be able to stick to my guns and even though I insist all rubbish be removed, it never seems to quite work out and over time, we end up with a car full of mess.

Every few months weeks, I have to face the music and clear everything out. An average haul usually consists of at least 5 empty drink bottles, several food wrappers, a few hairbands, used wet wipes, napkins, several pens and pencils, a toy or two, a dog lead, a pair of socks (don’t ask!), a hairbrush, multiple hoodies, 2 umbrellas, a couple of ties, a school jumper and a jacket or two. Half of these items will have been the subject of several house-wide searches and not once will it occur to any of us to look in the car.

In order to tackle the problem, on the advice of my sister, I purchased one of these:

This shall henceforth be known as ‘the car basket.’ Mine is actually boring black and not lovely red polka dots like this one but as it was on sale for less than £5, I can live with that. They are available on Amazon and eBay in various colours but the prices do vary. The car basket has been a revelation in keeping our car clear of clutter. It is used as both storage area and rubbish bin. I keep a plastic bag inside the basket for litter alongside everything else we need for our journey. I take it in and out of the car every time we enter or exit the vehicle. This is the key to the success of the car basket. Bring it into the house with you….every. single. time. Never be tempted to leave it in the car. Once inside, empty the rubbish bag, and take any other items out that will not be needed next time you leave the house.

The car basket is also useful for helping me to remember things. Anything I know we will need for our next trip goes straight into the basket. Just think of something you need to remember tomorrow morning? Pop it in the basket. No time to come home between work and school pick up? Stick a drink and snack in the basket for the kiddo’s now. Weather forecast good and you need to remember sun-hats for the children for school tomorrow? Put them in the basket. No waiting around for it to slip out of my head again.

There is an additional bonus feature which is also a game changer. The top of the basket has a zip that goes all the way around. This means that not only are you able to completely hide the contents of the basket from any undesirables that might come snooping through your car windows but also, the dog can’t get her nose in the side to get to any of the contents before we leave for school! Win-win!

I keep our basket in the hallway when it’s in the house and load it up as I go. When we’re in the car, it sits in the middle of the back seat. This is the most practical place for us to put it as we only have the two children but it could go in the boot or on the passenger’s seat just as easily (though I would recommend putting it out of sight when you leave the vehicle).

Does anyone else have any quick and easy tips for keeping the car clutter free? Please share them in the comments. It may seem like such a simple thing but this one little item has really made a difference to the amount of time I spend grovelling around in the footwells of our car – and that can only be a good thing!! Until next time….xoxo!

P.S. You can read about another in-car tip here.

P.P.S. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

All text and images are copyright Home Heart Harmony unless stated and opinions are my own. Single images may be reproduced only if they remain in their original state and must be credited back to Home Heart Harmony with a link to the site. Failure to do so constitutes a copyright violation. 

 

 

 

A DIY ‘Liberty’ Pen Pot

Home Heart Harmony Pretty Pen Pot

I hope everyone has had a Happy Easter? We have had such a lovely weekend with family and we are going to take some time out this week to enjoy some much needed rest together! I just wanted to pop in briefly today to share a quickie project with you.

As I mentioned last week, my daughter and I had a bit of a shopping spree in London recently. One of my favourite shops to visit in London is ‘Liberty.’ It’s an historic department store which is really unique and I’m sure many of you have seen and heard of the ‘Liberty’ prints for which the store is so famous.

These Liberty fabric covered mirrors show a selection of the Liberty prints

These Liberty fabric covered mirrors show a selection of the Liberty prints

[source]

I was determined to get myself a little ‘something pretty’ while we were in store but everything always seems to be so expensive, it’s hard to justify the expense (especially when you have a ‘tween-age’ daughter who’s just itching to drag you off to ‘Nike Town’ for a new pair of over-priced trainers!)

Liberty Pen Pots - the perfect little souvenir (or so I thought!)

Liberty Pen Pots – the perfect little souvenir (or so I thought!)

I saw these super-cute pen pots while we were wandering and, having been looking for a pretty pot for my pens, I thought this would be the perfect little purchase to take home with me.

You can imagine my horror therefore, when I turned the pot upside down and checked the price to discover it was the best part of £20!!! Sheesh!! I was having none of it.

Thankfully, as we were wandering around the stationery section (yes, there’s a whole section devoted to stationery!!) I spotted this adorable wrapping paper and as soon as I saw it, I knew I would be able to re-create that little pen pot for a fraction of the price.

I knew this pretty paper would make something similar

I knew this pretty paper would make something similar

The wrapping paper was fairly pricey for what it is, but, at around £3 a sheet, it’s less eye-watering than it could be and of course, this quickie project can be done with any pretty paper (although, probably best to avoid the very thin wrapping paper that seems to be everywhere at the moment!)

I used the top of a perfume box, glue, scissors and a paint brush

I used the top of a perfume box, glue, scissors and a paint brush

The pot I’ve used here is the top of a perfume box, but when I bought the paper, I was thinking of one of the many scented candle boxes I have stashed away which would also be great for this.

I used PVC glue and a paint brush to stick the paper

I used PVC glue and a paint brush to stick the paper

To stick the paper, I used the same technique that I used here and painted a very thin layer of PVC glue onto the paper using a paint brush. This worked so well last time I did it, I thought it was the best option. I cut the paper carefully to size using scissors and a craft knife and starting with one side, cut and stuck the paper down as I went, being sure to flatten out any bubbles straight away.

I'm thrilled with my new pen pot which cost a fraction of the Liberty version

I’m thrilled with my new pen pot which cost a fraction of the Liberty version

The finished product is exactly the look I was after. Don’t you just love it when you can re-create designer products for a fraction of the designer price tag?! I have some paper left over so I’m going to have a look around my home to see what else I can cover. I knew I should have bought more of that lovely paper!!

So there we have it. What do you think? Is my DIY pen pot as good as the real thing?! Let me know your thoughts in the comments. I hope you all enjoy the last of the long weekend. Until next time….xoxo!

All text and images are copyright Home Heart Harmony unless stated. Single images may be reproduced only if they remain in their original state and must be credited back to Home Heart Harmony with a link to the site. Failure to do so constitutes a copyright violation. 

Ch..ch..ch..changes! (And some pretty panelling!)

Phew, it’s been a busy couple of weeks. We’ve been making some pretty big decisions around here and in the middle of it all, our little man turned 9 and we whizzed off to London for a weekend of fun, frolics and football! Birthdays are a tiring business, am I right?! We have had such a fantastic week though and school finishes for the Easter break today so we can all collapse in a heap next week! (Thank goodness!)

So, back to those decisions…remember how I said we were going to rip our ground floor apart and create this amazing new space? Yeah, that’s not happening…*smiles through gritted teeth*…When it all came down to it, (and following some late night heart to hearts, with the builder waiting for our phone call) we decided that whilst we have a dream for our home, there are other dreams that might never become a reality if we commit ourselves financially (and practically) to all that work right now. Suddenly, going ahead with the plan we had made, didn’t seem so vital. Isn’t it funny how you convince yourself something is important until you suddenly realise it’s just not! I fear I may have got carried away with something that was only really important to me! I feel like I’ve been on a bit of a roller-coaster in the last few weeks but we are making some exciting changes which will hopefully mean that those big plans for our home are just postponed and not cancelled.

So, having put those plans on the back burner, obviously, I am now thinking about all the other stuff that needs doing around here! Goodness knows, there’s enough of it! I have had an on-going desire to add some panelling to our home somewhere. Every time I think about it, I imagine it in a different area and in my research, some of the inspiration has literally got me wanting to jump up and cover every wall in panelling of some kind – whether it’s tongue and groove, wainscoting, board and batten, I love it all and I think it adds so much interest and character.

Small bathroom with panelling

Small bathroom with panelling

Since we moved in, I have wanted to ‘glam up’ our downstairs W/C and this picture shows exactly the sort of look I have in my mind. Not only is it super glamorous and classy, it’s also really practical (I think we can all agree that wallpaper on the lower half of the wall in a bathroom would not be ideal).

As I’ve mentioned before, for a while now, our son has been throwing around the idea of moving from his current bedroom into our larger guest bedroom and we had been putting him off until the renovations we were planning on the ground floor had been completed. Now that those plans have been shelved for the time-being, there is no reason to delay and I think we all agree that he would benefit from the larger room a great deal more than our occasional overnight guests!

Board and Batten in the Bedroom

Board and Batten in the Bedroom

This bedroom from Shanty 2 Chic has obviously been designed for a much younger child but I can’t tell you how much I love the look. Even the colours would be great for our bigger boy. I must show him this and see what he thinks.

Panelling and Pictures from Young House Love

Panelling and Pictures from Young House Love

Since finishing our gallery wall, I have fallen for it a little bit more every day and now I want to cover ALL the walls in pictures! This hallway from Young House Love is one of my favourite inspirations and I think our hallway is crying out for this combination of panelling and pictures.

Tongue and Groove Panelling

Tongue and Groove Panelling from Lauren Leonard Interiors

This tongue and groove panelling is also a great look for a hallway and I really like the way the pictures have been hung on the panelling rather than restricting them to the space above.

One of my favourite spaces in blogland - Thrifty Decor Chick

One of my favourite spaces in blogland – Thrifty Decor Chick

Thrifty Decor Chick has used panelling in her living area and one of my favourite things about it is the way the white of the panelling shows off the colour above. It means you can afford to go a bit bolder with the colour since the majority of the wall is white or cream.

Don’t forget, you can follow me on Facebook or Twitter for regular updates, take a sneak peak at my ‘homeheartmoments’ on Instagram or follow me on Pinterest. So what do you think? Should I go panelling crazy? I would love to hear your comments. Happy weekend everybody…..xoxo!

All text and images are copyright Home Heart Harmony unless stated. Single images may be reproduced only if they remain in their original state and must be credited back to Home Heart Harmony with a link to the site. Failure to do so constitutes a copyright violation. 

 

 

Cute and Easy New Baby Gift

Home Heart Harmony Easy Baby Gift

Everywhere I look at the moment, people are having babies! I love it! I was never really a baby person. I used to look at women that went gooey over babies and think ‘why are they behaving like that?’ Having children (or maybe it’s just age?!) has definitely changed me. Now I look at a new born baby and it makes me weak at the knees! I just want to cuddle them. Baby cuddles are the very best kind!

I’m always excited to visit friends with new babies to top up on the baby cuddles and I like to take a little something along as a memento. I was browsing the shops recently looking for something cute to get as a little ‘welcome to the world’ present and it struck me that something with a personal touch might be a nicer way to show that I care and I’m excited about each and every new arrival!

Easy to make and so cute!

I made these pictures using Microsoft Word and they are so easy. You can (obviously) choose any colours you like or, if you know what the nursery colour scheme is, you can fit in with that. The font I have used here is called ‘Avenir Black’ and I chose to use a dark, medium and light shade of the same colour but anything goes!

Perfect for a girl or boy!

Perfect for a girl or boy!

Simply choose a quote you like. I used the same one here for a boy and a girl just as an example but you could use anything that suits. I played around for a while with the size and layout and added a jaunty border. I used the three colours in turn on each letter but you could add more or less or choose a colour for each row.

Once you are happy with your final version, all you need to do is print it out (card is best for a more professional finish) and get going to receive those baby cuddles!

Don’t forget to follow Home Heart Harmony on Facebook or Twitter to receive posts in your newsfeed or catch up with me between posts on Instagram. You can also follow me on Pinterest. Until next time, have a happy weekend…..xoxo!

Home Heart Harmony Easy Baby Gift

All text and images are copyright Home Heart Harmony unless stated. Single images may be reproduced only if they remain in their original state and must be credited back to Home Heart Harmony with a link to the site. Failure to do so constitutes a copyright violation. 

Top Tips to Save Money on your Grocery Shop

Home Heart Harmony Save on Grocery Shop

For one reason or another, we have been on a bit of a mission in the last few weeks to reduce the amount of money we are spending on our grocery shopping. With ever increasing utility bills, it feels like the ways in which we can save money and reduce our outgoings are rapidly declining and this is pretty much one of the only areas we can still affect. (Is it just me, or do we seem to be busting a gut to use less and less gas, water and electricity only to find our bills climbing steadily up whilst our consumption is creeping down and down?! Someone around here is laughing all the way to the bank and it’s definitely not us!) Anyhoo…climbing down off my soapbox, my point is…we gotta save some money somewhere! So, here are my top tips for saving money on your grocery shop. Now all I need to do is use some of them!

1. Plan your Meals

This is one that I am really trying hard to do more. (I so need to practise what I’m preaching here!) We have always roughly planned out our evening meals before doing a food shop but I’m stepping things up a notch and making a big effort to plan ALL of our meals. On each occasion that I make time to do this, I estimate I save around £40 in one week. Having our breakfasts and lunches planned out stops me from making a surprising amount of ‘just in case’ purchases. It’s all the extra cartons of soup, bread rolls, salad, pre-sliced chicken, tins of tuna etc that I buy ‘on the off chance’ that someone might want them for lunch that makes a huge difference.

I find it useful when planning our meals, to think about how we will spend each of our evenings – what activities everyone has on and how long we’ll have for meal-prep. When I am shopping now, I am constantly asking myself ‘is this item needed for the meals we have planned?’ and the answer is often ‘no!’ Oh, and I always plan at least one night, to have something from the freezer which gives wriggle room if our plans change and we need to switch things up for a night out or an ‘emergency’ take-away!

I created a meal plan and shopping list template which you can download for free by clicking on the link below the picture.

photo

Home-Heart-Harmony-Meal-Plan.pdf

I always take a photo of it when I’m done so that I don’t end up at the supermarket without all the info I need.

2. Shop Online

It’s no surprise that if you shop online you won’t be grabbing all those extra impulse purchases on your way around the supermarket but there are other ways shopping online saves you time and money…

You don’t have to take anyone with you – I don’t know about you but I find if I drag my kiddo’s around the supermarket, I always spend much more than if I go alone. (My hubby might argue that the same applies when he takes me!)

You save on petrol – New cheaper delivery prices from £1 (and one-hour delivery slots!) at some stores mean that if you live any distance from the supermarket, you are definitely saving on petrol driving there and back.

You can work while they shop – If you are lucky enough to work from home, you can have your shopping done for you while you clock up extra hours for your timesheet (just make sure you get a lunch time delivery so you can put it away during your lunch break!)

You can still benefit from special offers – Shopping online doesn’t mean you don’t get to take advantage of special offers (but it does mean you will probably only buy the things you really needed in the first place!) Most special offers are available online (they’ll appear as you shop each item) but you can even look through all the offers in one place on most of the popular grocery shopping websites if you want to.

3. Try a brand swap

I am the world’s worst culprit for insisting on a certain brand or product (‘Diet Coke anyone?!’) However, (diet-coke aside – obvs) the supermarket equivalent to so many of my favourite brands have turned out to be just as good. I am aiming to keep replacing one branded item each week with the supermarket brand equivalent and see how it goes. If I don’t like it, I won’t buy it again, but if I do? We save money every time. Win-win!

4. Shop your home first

This is a big one for us. We are so bad at buying things only to realise we already had one in the cupboard when we get home. This is where the beauty of online shopping really comes into all its glory! I’m forcing myself to get the laptop in the kitchen and as I go through my list, I’m checking whether we already have any items I’m not sure about, as I go. It’s a revelation I tell you! (O.k, not really, but it definitely stops me buying stuff I don’t need.)

5. Have the same person do your grocery shop each week.

I feel like I’m shooting myself in the foot here as my hubby hates the internet shop and I’m insisting we shop online, thus resigning myself to the fact that if I want it that way, I’ll be doing it. However, the only way to be sure you don’t buy twice (or three or four times!) is to buy it once yourself! So, from here on, I’m in charge of food shopping!! Hear that hun?! (He probably didn’t hear – he’s at the supermarket!)

6. Stick to your list (yes, the one you wrote and left on the side at home!)

I know, it sounds so easy! So why can’t I do it?! I make a list each and every time I go to the supermarket and never, ever, ever do I come home with only what was on that list! NEVER! I’m hoping the online shop will help with this. At least I won’t have to look at all the temptation in my path, it’ll just be virtual temptation! I’m trying hard to shop from the meal plan and the list and not add anything else. (But with the online shop there’s always the option to sneak back into your order up until midnight the night before delivery and add that item that you forgot, without buying 10 you never needed anyway!)

6. Use your vouchers (they don’t just take the money off because you have them in your purse! Whaaat?!)

Most of the big supermarkets now price-match their products with the other leading chains and along with your receipt you usually get a little slip that either…tells you how much you saved compared with others, or  takes the difference off your next shop. You can use these vouchers online as well as in-store. Infact, most vouchers have a code that you can enter when you do your online shop, so don’t forget to use them like I do!

7. Ask yourself if you really need this item within the next 7 days

This one really helps me to stay focused on what I actually, properly need. If you have half a tub of greek yogurt in the fridge and you only eat it a couple of times in a week, chances are, it will last you until you need to go shopping again. If you buy a whole new tub every week, you’ll end up throwing half of it away. The same goes for apples in the fruit bowl, packets of snacks and bottles of juice. Seven days isn’t that long. Asking myself if I really need it this week always makes me question whether I really do. And if I’m reducing the amount of waste we’re creating, and saving money, that’s got to be good.

Is anyone else out there desperately trying to save money on their grocery bill? Any super tips that are going to rock my world? Please share them in the comments – I could use all the help I can get!

PS. You can check out some more of my ‘top tips’ here and here.

PPS. Thank you so much to everyone that entered my Wallcreate Facebook Giveaway. Winners will be announced at 5.00pm today!

All text and images are copyright Home Heart Harmony unless stated. Single images may be reproduced only if they remain in their original state and must be credited back to Home Heart Harmony with a link to the site. Failure to do so constitutes a copyright violation. 

Wallcreate Photo Canvas and a Giveaway!

Wallcreate Giveaway Home Heart Harmony

It’s been half term here this week and I’ve enjoyed taking some time to be with my (not so) little ones and re-charge our batteries. They have both struggled through to this break, I think it’s been a combination of the dark mornings, the fact that they went back to school tired after Christmas and the lack of sunshine. We have had a few beautiful days this week though so we were able to get outside with the dog and take in some fresh air.

As my children grow, and especially over the last six months or so, I am noticing more and more the fact that they are becoming more independent and increasingly want to spend time alone or with each other rather than leaning on me to entertain them every step of the way. It’s a strange feeling. I suddenly have time on my hands that I haven’t had for 12 years. There are short periods of each day where I find myself wondering what to do! This is such an alien feeling after so long and it’s definitely giving me moments to think about the passage of time and the changes that the next few years will likely bring.

Wallcreate Photo Canvas

Wallcreate Photo Canvas

I am so aware of the fact that we are creating precious memories together now that I will hold on to forever. As you know, I’m all about capturing those special memories in a photo and displaying them around the home. The photo canvas in the picture above is from Wallcreate.com and I love it! The photo was taken on our holiday in New York last summer and it was such a special moment. The best thing about it was that it was completely un-staged. We were just walking along on a beautiful day in Central Park and the kids were ahead of us chatting and laughing together and my daughter just put her arm around her brother for a bit. So cute! So glad I had my phone with me to capture the moment.

IMG_0303

The canvas is sitting in this little nook at the moment. I quite like it here but I may hang it elsewhere in the long-term. Wallcreate are a UK-based company who specialise in photos on canvas, photo enlargement, canvas art and pop art portraits.

My experience of using them was very positive. They delivered quickly, the canvas was well packaged and arrived in perfect condition. The quality of the image is better than other canvases I’ve purchased. The colours are vivid and the image is really clear. My daughter was particularly impressed by the quality and is already bugging me to let her have the canvas in her room.

Wallcreate Canvas - Home Heart Harmony

And now to the exciting bit! Wallcreate are offering one of my lucky readers the chance to win a free 30 x 40cm photo canvas made from a photo of your choosing. Simply hop on over to my Facebook page to find out more and enter. If you are not on Facebook and you would like to enter, simply email your name and address to homeheartharmony@yahoo.com and I will let you  know if you are the lucky winner. UK residents only this time I’m afraid.

If you don’t get lucky this time, all of my readers can get a 15% discount at Wallcreate.com by entering the code homeheartharmony at the checkout, so even if you don’t win, you can still get a great photo canvas for a great price. The discount code lasts until 1st January 2016 so you have plenty of time to use it. Maybe you could order a few as gifts for your loved ones? I might just do that myself!

I have also finally got around to setting up my Instagram account, so follow me there at homeheartharmony. Enjoy the rest of the weekend folks! Until next time….xoxo.

Please note that Wallcreate.com provided me with a free photo canvas for this review. Opinions are all my own.

All text and images are copyright Home Heart Harmony unless stated. Single images may be reproduced only if they remain in their original state and must be credited back to Home Heart Harmony with a link to the site. Failure to do so constitutes a copyright violation. 

Gallery Wall Reveal

Home Heart Harmony Gallery WallIt’s finally finished! I’m so sorry I kept you waiting so long. We actually finished this last weekend but the sun and I have not managed to be at home at the same time this week! It was quite a struggle getting these pictures to look anything other than ‘dingy’ so for that I apologise!

However, I have to say, now that it’s done, I can’t stop popping my head around the corner to take a sneaky peek. I love that some of our happiest memories are now on display reminding us of those special moments day in, day out.Home Heart Harmony Gallery Wall

I am so happy with the final result. It is quite a step out of my comfort zone if I’m honest and is much ‘busier’ than anything else we’ve done in our home. It did take a few days of ‘getting used to.’ I think a Gallery Wall is quite a personal statement but I think that’s why I have decided I love everything about it, from the pictures of our loved ones to the selection of frames we have chosen, to the words and messages we have  included.

Home Heart Harmony Gallery WallI did plan the layout quite carefully which made the final step of actually hanging the pictures much more bearable than I had imagined. I had decided to go for a largely rectangular outline which I wanted to fill with frames.

I started by sticking masking tape on the wall around the area I wanted to cover with pictures. I then measured the space and gathered together all the frames I planned to use. I re-created the outline on our bedroom floor using more masking tape and placed the frames inside the template playing around with them until I had a layout with which we felt happy.

Draw around each picture, cut, then mark the nail hole  before sticking on the wall

Draw around each picture, cut, then mark the nail hole before sticking on the wall

I then used a fantastic technique I first saw on ‘Bless’er House’ blog to finalise the wall. I got an old roll of wrapping paper and cut around each of the frames producing a template for each one. I turned the frame over and marked the spot where the hook would need to be placed on the wall. Finally, I took a photo of the layout and used it to help me transfer the cut-outs onto the kitchen wall using blu-tak. I played around with the spacing until I felt it was right and then we hammered the hooks in straight through the paper using the marks to guide us.

All laid out on the carpet and then templates on the wall

All laid out on the carpet and then templates on the wall

It wasn’t a five minute job but we were prepared for that. I hung several of the smaller frames using command picture hanging strips to minimise the number of holes we would be left with in the wall. After all, this will all be coming down again in a few months when the kitchen renovation gets going so the fewer holes there are to fill, the better.

Home Heart Harmony Gallery WallI’m so glad I planned it out as the process of actually getting the pictures on the wall was relatively pain-free and didn’t take that long. This meant I was able to do most of it myself with just a guiding eye to tell me that everything was straight etc.

IMG_0247Home Heart Harmony Gallery WallIf nothing else, there is no doubting that a gallery wall is an expression of your personality and I love that about it. When I see one in someone else’s home, I’m always drawn to it, it is such a great way to learn a little bit more about that family – a little glimpse of what they love, what’s important to them and how they live. Perhaps the best thing is that those pictures can all be changed and updated whenever the mood strikes so it can evolve with us as our lives move on.

Do you have a gallery wall in your home? I would love to hear about it in the comments or you could send me a picture by email at homeheartharmony@yahoo.com or via Facebook or Twitter. I have also just set up an Instagram account so follow me there at @homeheartharmony or follow along on Pinterest.

PS. You can see my Instagram Gallery Stairwell here.

Sharing this post over at A bowl full of Lemons.

Update – the large ‘Home’ print and most of the frames are from IKEA and the square paper-cuts are by the lovely Leah at ‘Very Cherry Gifts.’

All text and images are copyright Home Heart Harmony unless stated. Single images may be reproduced only if they remain in their original state and must be credited back to Home Heart Harmony with a link to the site. Failure to do so constitutes a copyright violation. 

DIY Gold Paint Makeover Magic!

Gold Frames Title PicIs it still January? Really?! Ug! I’m so done with it now. It’s been a bit of a trying week with poorly people and sleepless nights. Let’s just say my supply of patience for this month has almost expired!

Still, what better way to cheer us all up than a little DIY project which I’ve been doing ahead of the big gallery wall reveal. After seeing this post, which I shared with you here, I was all inspired to get some gold into my gallery come hell or high water. Since I already had DOZENS of frames lying around which were either purchased with this project in mind or which had once displayed photos which had since been taken down, I couldn’t really justify purchasing new gold frames so I thought I would take this gold paint I bought AGES ago for a spin. It’s a tiny little pot and when I saw it, I just couldn’t resist popping it into my basket.

Old Frames + Gold Paint = DIY Heaven

Old Frames + Gold Paint = DIY Heaven

The two white frames pictured above sat in our fireplace for a good few years displaying photos of the children. They had been knocked over countless times and I eventually had to retire them as they were looking seriously battered. When I dragged all my old frames out to start thinking about the gallery wall, I stumbled upon these and decided a little make-over might be the way forward. Enter the gold paint….

Gold paint makeover magic

Gold paint makeover magic

I’m not going to lie to you, there were a few anxious moments early on. The paint pot advised ‘stirring the paint well’ which I dutifully did but when it went onto the frames, it was quite thin and I was concerned that the texture of the frames would mean this wasn’t going to work out. However, a few coats later and I discovered why! All the gold was still clogged together at the bottom! I gave it another good stir and all of a sudden, the frames started to look gold.IMG_0200

I searched Pinterest for a couple of quotes I liked and created some ‘artwork’ on Microsoft Word using the pink and grey colour scheme we already have in the kitchen.IMG_0191

I can’t wait to get these on the wall. I love the way the gold paint has worked out. And I think the pink complements it well.

Has anyone else been DIY’ing this week? I’m so looking forward to getting the Gallery Wall completed. I honestly don’t think anything would ever happen around here if it weren’t for this blog! These things always take so much more time to pull together than I anticipate.

Let me know what you think about the frames in the comments and don’t forget to follow along on Facebook and/or Twitter. Until next time….xoxo!

All text and images are copyright Home Heart Harmony unless stated. Single images may be reproduced only if they remain in their original state and must be credited back to Home Heart Harmony with a link to the site. Failure to do so constitutes a copyright violation. 

My favourite clutter-busters

I don’t know about you but I definitely feel like I am fighting a never ending battle against clutter. I always feel inspired to tackle the issue around this time of year. Let’s face it, there’s not a lot else to do in January and all the money has been spent over Christmas so it’s a great opportunity to spend some time at home clearing out ready for the year ahead. (Yes, I am aware of how sad that sounds!!)

It’s overwhelming how much stuff we have and I am constantly trying to reduce the amount of it that we hold on to. It’s hard to stay on top of it and there’s no doubt it’s an ongoing and relentless effort but I have found there are certain things which have really helped us to keep things under control so I thought I would share some of them with you.

Bag Hook

Bag Hook

This little hook in our hallway is where I hang my bag when I come into the house. Previously, it used to hang around on the kitchen worktop or the hall table but this one little thing has put an end to all that trauma (oh yes!)

Hidden Shoe Storage

Hidden Shoe Storage

This tower is from (you guessed it) IKEA and it is home to all our shoes! This one was the Expedit but the range has now been replaced by the Kallax which is very similar. Ideally, it would be in the hall but we have all got used to carrying our shoes into the den and popping them into our designated bin. (I get two because I’m both an adult and a girl and my need is greater!) This one item has made such a difference to the entry way to our home. Previously, we have tried many ways of containing our shoe clutter but none has been as successful as this and I think that’s largely due to the capacity of it. Each one of these bins contains up to 10 pairs of my shoes and boots (so, more of the children’s and less of the hubby’s).

Storage Bags for Just about anything!

Storage Bags for Just about anything!

These storage bags are the perfect way to keep piles of ironing contained! I use them to store out-of-season clothes as well as those waiting for my ironing attention but they could be used as toy storage or for spare towels or bed-linen.

Baskets to hide the clutter

Baskets to hide the clutter

Baskets with lids are a home-maker’s best friend. These ones that live underneath our coffee table are so useful for keeping our magazines and catalogues contained. I like to make sure there’s always some space in them so that I can gather up anything that’s lying around and shove it all in there in an ‘emergency tidy up’ situation. These were bought from Amazon but I have seen them in numerous other outlets.

Magazine rack for post

Magazine rack for post

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this magazine rack really pulls its weight when it comes to clutter busting. It is one of my most useful purchases ever. I try really hard to deal with paperwork as it comes through the door. I recycle anything we don’t need and quickly pop anything we do need in here within the relevant person’s file. I only deal with the files around once a month and they are not usually over-full in that time. The rack is from IKEA. We’ve just bought another one to organise our daughter’s school books – one pocket for each day of the week.

Stacking Fruit Baskets to free up worktop space

Stacking Fruit Baskets to free up worktop space

I know it sounds ridiculous but these stacking baskets have created lots of extra worktop space in our kitchen. They have a small footprint but stack up to hold lots of fruit. Previously, we had a large fruit bowl which, after grocery-shopping day was usually spilling its contents across the worktop. Now, all of our fruit sits happily in here. I bought them on Amazon.

Does anyone out there have any items that really help them keep the clutter at bay in their homes? I would love to hear about them in the comments. You can also get in touch via email at homeheartharmony@yahoo.com or follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.