Saturday, 5 July 2014

Beside the Seaside

Welcome to my first ever room makeover, which I am very excited about!

Recently, I have felt inspired by a few things, one of which is living by the sea – how beautiful it can be and how happy it makes me. Another is Joanna Thornhill’s book Home for Now, which is full of inspiring ideas that you can read more about here. It made me think about my rented home and how when renting there is a certain limit to what you can do. But this shouldn’t stop people from making it their own.

Our spare room was best described as a dumping ground with a bed. It was where all our odd bits of furniture ended up. We are so lucky to have lots of family and friends that come to stay with us and we love it – it’s been amazing to have the space to put people up. So I wanted to make this guestroom into something special. It’s a great room at the top of the house with a small balcony. It has a dark navy blue wall, which I decided was the perfect backdrop for a nautical, beach theme inspired by the sea at the end of the road! It’s all about working with what you have – if life gives you lemons and all that!!

So, first have a look at the room before (I always love this bit):
And here is the room now:
I have been working through ideas for the past few months. First, I sanded back the orangey pine on the rocking chair and repainted it white – I love how it looks now. The bedside table was something I found outside someone’s house when we lived in London. I really liked the shape of the legs and it was a good solid wooden table but it looked as though someone had started a DIY makeover that they never finished. Rather than paint it, I decided to add a sheet of glass on the top and put pictures underneath of beaches we have visited – I used postcards and old railway poster prints. I filled an old vase with stones and shells that our family have collected over the years from various beaches. After some searching, I finally found some old wooden boat oars from a local couple that I scrubbed clean and revived with some linseed oil. As most of you will know, I love old and new together and I feel this room satisfies my obsession!

I found the cushions, throw, artwork and storage box all at Tesco, which has a great seaside living range and they also have some great interior ideas on their Tesco Living site.

Have you recently completed a room makeover? Or do you have a nautical room of your own? I would love to hear from you.

Love Lemon x

Please note that Tesco kindly gifted items for my makeover. All thoughts are of course my own.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Lemon Loves #2

So what are my loves at the moment, well to start with I have really enjoyed catching up on lots of blogs recently and following some great sewing bloggers since completing a dressmaking course in March. I particularly enjoy the Dolly Clackett blog featuring so many amazing dresses in such a variety of brilliant fabrics. I have also enjoyed reading Randomly Happy, Tilly and the Buttons, This Blog is Not For You and What Katie Sews. A whole new world of handmade for me and so many inspiring ideas. I would be grateful for any recommendations for dressmaking blogs. 

A few weekends back I was in London catching up with some friends which was so lovely, we had food and cocktails in Brixton village which I have wanted to do for a while after so many people had told me about it. So much amazing food to choose from, we went for Tapas which we all really enjoyed. I also popped into ED which is a Rigby and Mac store in East Dulwich, it's near where I used to live and I always loved popping in to browse all the colourful and quirky homeware. I bought some great rustic wall letters that are made from old boat wood. A fab addition to the growing collection of items on my hallway wall. 

I started another dressmaking course at Felixstowe Sewing School and I am so excited to be making the Emery dress by Christine Haynes. I really wanted to try an independent pattern this time and did lots of research, checking out all the amazing pattern designers out there. For me the Emery dress was the perfect style and I found some very pretty Liberty fabric at Clothkits who were also offering 25% off at the time. I haven't actually ever bought Liberty fabric so it feels very special to be using some for this dress.
Sun and more sun, it's times like these when I truly appreciate living by the sea. I have been out on my bike with the kids and we have loved sunny trips to the beach. 

There are many things I love about where we live, it's mostly about the beach and friendly people but also smaller things that make me happy like fresh bread from the tiny bakers around the corner that sells the most amazing bread. You can't beat fresh bread and this seeded loaf is my favourite.
I am working on giving my guest room a little makeover, so hopefully I will be sharing that very soon. It's very exciting putting it all together.

Love Lemon x

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Home for Now by Joanna Thornhill

I hope many of you have had sunshine where you are; it has been so lovely here and actually hot. I had a rare afternoon to myself and took a trip to the beach on my bike with a copy of Home for Now by Joanna Thornhill.
Renting a flat or house for me does not mean it cannot be made into a home – we have rented different homes during the past four years and have always looked for properties we felt we could make our own. I was really looking forward to reviewing this book, which is packed full of homes from first-time buyers or renters. None of these places are forever homes but this has not stopped the people living there from creating a place that is truly theirs.
There are so many colourful and interesting homes to really inspire. I had to keep making notes of things I wanted to do and ideas that popped into my head for my own home. Throughout the book, there are clear instructions on how to create the look yourself and in a less permanent way for those renting.
I particularly liked the idea for reusing pieces of furniture in different rooms and for different purposes – the idea being that things don’t need to be thrown away but can be changed or moved to fit somewhere else.
However much we try to avoid it, most of us have a lot of ‘stuff’ and storage is essential. Home for Now gives ideas on storage for each and every room, making the most of all available space no matter how small and even making a feature of it.
This headboard was created so cheaply and has such a dramatic impact.
The charm of mismatched furniture and different textures, materials and colours really appealed to the particular style I like. I often wonder if my own style of vintage pieces matched with bright colours is due to living in lots of different homes and working with a neutral backdrop – meaning I added colour with accessories and interest with vintage.
Two areas that I was pleased to see covered in the book were indoor plants and outside spaces. I have never been amazing with plants and gardening but I am getting better and have chosen a few plants for my home and would like to add more. I now have lots more ideas on how to display house plants and also how to add colour and outdoor areas to my garden. 

These wicker chairs look perfect in this bay window surrounded by plants.

This is definitely a book I will keep going back to for inspiration and ideas. Home for Now is published by CICO books and available from Amazon.

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Love Lemon x

Please note: Home for Now was sent to me for review but all thoughts are my own.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Wardrobe Revamp #1

I really like the pale mint colour of this skirt and the heavy cotton fabric and of course it has pockets which I think every skirt and dress should have. However I wanted to add some finishing details and make it a more flattering length for me. I have been looking through my wardrobe recently after being inspired by a post over on the Live it. Love it. Make it. blog, looking at how I can make some changes to things that don't fit quite right anymore or need a little prettiness added.

Here is the skirt before

Here is the skirt after 

Here is a close up of the very pretty orange patterned bias binding I used for the edges of the skirt and the pockets.

I think the shortened length is much more flattering for me and I love the detail of the bias binding. A simple way to add something new. I would like to use some pretty Liberty bias binding on a plain t-shirt.

Love Lemon x

Tuesday, 6 May 2014


I was very surprised to find my husband had listened to me go on (and on) about sewing classes and bought me a dressmaking course at the Felixstowe Sewing School for Christmas. It didn't start until February so I had plenty of time to think about a pattern and fabric. I decided I wanted to make a vintage style shift dress and used this New Look pattern. 

I must admit my 2 boys keep me very busy and I am often shattered in the evenings but as soon as I stepped into that sewing room I felt excited and ready to get started. Of course the tea served in vintage cups and saucers and amazing homemade cake certainly helped.  

Amanda is a great teacher and extremely patient. Each week our dresses looked more and more wearable and it was actually quite a surprise how quickly it all came together in the end after all the much needed prep work. Amanda also helped me make the dress my own and add a peter pan collar. Here I am modelling the dress I made.

It felt like a great achievement and something I truly enjoyed. I have since made another dress using the same pattern with some changes (no collar or sleeves) that I was a bit nervous about tackling without a teacher nearby but I used a helpful book called Sew Step by Step by Alison Smith which has some very clear photos and from what I had learnt already the instructions made a lot more sense. I can't wait to start another sewing project. 

Anyone else attempting to make their own clothes? 

Love Lemon x

Monday, 5 May 2014

Bedroom Styling

It's almost a year since we moved into our rented house. It's been a great year living by the seaside, making new friends and making our house a home. I feel very happy here and look forward to many more years here. To be honest I'm not sure I could leave the sea now. We were lucky enough to find a great house to rent here with a lovely garden and our boys seem very happy. There are still a few things I would like to do in the house, I need some large prints for the living room and pictures and bunting for the playroom. 

I did some styling and took some photographs in our bedroom one morning and was pleased how the shots came out. I would love to do a lot more of this but for now will have to keep practising in my own home.

What do you think?

I recently painted our bedside tables in a slate grey colour, I bought mismatched bedside tables and wanted to paint them the same colour. I am really pleased with how they look. 

Have you been taking any photos of the rooms in your home?

Love Lemon x

Saturday, 26 April 2014

IKEA Colour

The house we are currently renting has a great garden and I have been looking up lots of ways to add comfort and colour and use each section differently. I like the idea of using cushions and throws to make a more comfortable place to hang out. I really like the new IKEA collection which brings lots of bright colours into the garden. I particularly like the outdoor rugs, plastic seats that look so comfortable and the large bright cotton tablecloths.

Love Lemon x