Garden transformation continues

Hello All,

Hope the weather is not bringing you down. What a horrible rainy day!

To cheer you up, I thought I’ll share with you some pictures of our garden.

secretgardenhome raised beds, recycling, brick, garden

As you know it’s still very much a work in progress, but it seems we are getting there slowly.

We are big fans of recycling and saving money therefore most of the materials we’ve been using are reclaimed.

We needed lots of bricks to build two raised beds as well as a patio at the back of the garden.

Initially, we used a social network called Streetlife to ask people for unwanted bricks and wood. We followed that with a note through neighbours’ doors.

We got an amazing response, which we are very grateful for! Definitely worth a try if you are looking for reclaimed building materials.

S and his dad have done an excellent job, don’t you think? We’ve started planting, so hopefully, with time, our garden will look like a typical English cottage garden.

Raised bed, flowers, grape, herbs, reclaimed brick, secretgardenhome

Raised beds, secretgardenhome, garden transformation, cottage garden, recycled brick

The patio at the back is half-finished. We are planning to built a storage unit/barbecue area there.
Recycled brick patio, secretgardenhome

Apart from creating a new green fence, we also sorted out a pathway leading to the garden. Very happy with the results!

ecretgardenhome garden entrance, pebbles, green fence

Let me know what you think. Any advice about plants and creating a cottage garden is always welcome.

As some of you might know, I’ve been nominated for the Amara Interior Blog Awards 2015. It would be great if you could support me, so I can at least make a shortlist. Please vote for secretgardenhome. Thanks a million!

Have a good week!



Before & After: Living room

Dear All,

Hope you had a lovely Christmas in the company of your family and friends.

As promised, I’ve started working on Before & After posts to summarise our house transformation.

Let’s start with our living room. The next three pictures show you the extent of our makeover.

Living room before we moved inliving room before the work commencedsecretgardenghome living room after

The work included: new gas central heating installation, new sash window, stripping wallpaper, wall replacement (hardcore DIY), replastering, repainting, new wooden flooring…let me catch my breath…new open shelving (thank you George), new furniture…If you want to see more detail, click here.

secretgardenhome living room after makeover

In terms of the colour scheme we went for a mix of white, pebble beach and grey. The sofas came from Habitat and the coffee table and TV unit were made by Unto this last.

Inviting and cosy small living room

In terms of the lighting, the main light is called Kaigami, and the side copper lamps were purchased at John Lewis.

We are almost there with this room now. Just a couple of things to do: putting pictures on the walls (should be fun), getting a small rug (I’ll share my research with you soon), and perhaps a magazine rack.

What do you think? Do you like it? Is there anything we could have done better?

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!


Yellow utility room

We’ve got a sunny Sunday in Essex, finally!

I thought it’s a good time to show your our transformed utility room.

utility room

We decided to paint the back wall yellow, the sweetcorn yellow to be precise.

Last time I went to Ikea, I fell in love with HÖNEFOSS mirrors, and here they are on our wall. We need to get another 2 packs to finish the job though.

What do you think of our utility room? Do you like the colour?


Finally new bathroom

Do you remember, few weeks ago we started our bathroom transformation. It was supposed to take 4 days. It took…over 2 weeks, but we are finally getting there.

bathroom transformation step by step

Just a quick reminder how it looked before

bathroom collage before

And this is how it’s looking now.

bathroom collage after

1. New bath and shower. Blue tiles are called Fox Azul and we bought them at Topps Tiles. They are absolutely beautiful. The bath and the bath taps came from Victoria Plumb. Most of our bathroom came from there. They offer a very good value for money, but their post-purchase customer service is appalling.

The bath gave us lots of grief. Seven days into the project we noticed a  small crack where the panel was installed. Thank God, it was easy to sort out. You can just imagine the stress we went through…If you have a similiar problem, check this service.

2. The shower came from Better Bathrooms. And it’s the best shower in the world:)).

3. I had my eye on a vanity unit like this one for a long time (Odessa floor mounted unit). The mosaic tiles (Niebla giava) came from Topps Tiles.

4. Sienne WC unit is looking perfect. The large Urbino Matt white tiles are from B&Q, and I love them. The hooks came from Ikea.

We still need to:

  • lay the floor
  • change the light
  • fix the mirror above the sink
  • sort our side cupboard

But more or less, we are almost there.

What do you think? Any tips about bathroom floor? We are thinking about vinyl.