Upcycled brick door stop

Hello All,

Hope you had as amazing weekend as I did! Don’t check the weather forecast just yet!

I’m popping in to show you S’s latest creation.

We’ve been building lots of things in our garden using reclaimed bricks, so the idea to use one of them as a door stop, must have struck him then.

Upcycled brick door stop

He painted one half using our leftover paint in Dove grey, and kept the other half to show the old pattern. Easy peasy!

In my opinion, it’s pretty good upcycling effort. What do you think?



Chesterfield armchair in our library

What a beautiful day we are having today. Finally a sunny spell!

I thought I’d pop in on a blog to share with you our great Ebay find, a beautiful leather Chesterfield.

We’ve been looking for a perfect reading chair for ages, but didn’t want to pay a fortune. Couple of weeks ago, we found this stunner in blue leather, five minutes before the auction was closing…and we won!

Library, reading chair, Chesterfield, chesterfield in blueWe picked the chair yesterday from Kensal Rise; a bit of a drive, but it was still a massive bargain.

We temporary positioned the chair next to the bookshelves, but might experiment later.

The rug (bought on sale) is from Habitat.

What do you think? Do you feel our current room set up would encourage you to read more?


Inspiring places: Home for Now

I’m so glad that April saw the launch of two interior books I was looking forward to.

Last week I reviewed the Bright Bazaar book, and this week I’m going to share my thoughts about Home for Now by Joanna Thornhill.

I’ve been following Joanna’s blog for over a year now, so I was very keen to get hold of her first book as I love her writing style and share the same experience of redecorating our first homes. Her passion for interior design is evident, and I find her tone of voice very personal and amusing.

Home for now review from secretgardenhome

Joanna wanted to inspire the whole generation of renters to transform, often dull and restricted dwellings, into beautifully designed homes, on a budget.

The author encourages both renters and budget conscious first time-buyers to use their imagination and flair to experiment with interiors and learn how to bypass the limitations, especially with regards to the rented accommodation.

She takes the readers through living rooms, kitchens and dining areas, bedrooms, bathrooms, home offices (I’m currently working on my study, so it’s a very useful chapter) and outdoor areas showing numerous examples of clever interior solutions and hints & tips.

My favourite, however, are how to sections where Joanna is motivating us to take up craft and upcycling by simplifying each step and making it less daunting.

The book is beautifully written and laid-out with the images being inspiring and bringing all the key points to life. I love the font used throughout as well.

I just wish I had this book when I was renting in London.

If you want to get your own copy, please click here.

Let me know what you think when you read it?





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!


Bargain of century: round wooden kitchen table

Hello Everyone,

Hope you are enjoying today’s weather after yesterday’s downpour.

I forgot to share with your our ebay find.

Our kitchen is almost complete, but was missing a table. I envisaged having a round wooden extendable table to accommodate our friends and family.

We managed to secure a beautiful table on ebay for less than… Ready! For less than £30!!! And who says you can’t find real bargain if you really looking for it.

wooden kitchen table from ebay

I’m planning to paint the table’s legs and the chairs in one of Annie Sloan’s chalk paint colours. I’m currently considering Old white, Paris Grey and Paloma.

Have you upcycled furniture before? Have you used Annie Sloan’s chalk paint? Any advice you’d like to share?

Enjoy Bank holiday Monday!