Kitchen accessories

Earlier in the week I shared our finished kitchen.

Although I had a few reservations about choosing grey – mainly about whether it’s a colour fad – I’m glad I dug my heels in and went for it. It’s a fair responsibility because I knew my husband would be putting in hours and hours of work and I wanted him to like the end result as much as me.

Good news: he loves it. He thinks – and I agree – it’s the best room we’ve ever done, particularly when you consider the big changes that had to come about. I think we make a pretty good renovating team and I’m so proud of what he can do and the care he takes over getting the finish just right.

It’s not completely finished. I’m looking to have a few open, wooden shelves and we’ll have to get a blind up. I’m thinking Laura Ashley Wallace for the fabric, as it has the colours I’d like to bring in, especially red and turquoise blue.

The beauty of grey is that – while it looks great with crisp white and natural wood – it also sits comfortably with bright colour. In fact, I think grey needs splashes of colour around it to make it looks its best.

So that’s what I’ve been thinking with the accessories I’ve added to the kitchen so far.

Kitchen accessories

// mugs (£4 each) and ‘Freda’ storage jars (£10 each), both Habitat at Homebase / Le Creuset teapot (£14.99 but RRP £34), TK Maxx //

Kitchen accessories

// pasta storage jar (gift), Jamie Oliver at TK Maxx / wooden box, H&M / linen napkins (£14 for four), West Elm / pepper mill (£18), Homebase / Le Creuset utensil holder (£7.99 but RRP £20), TK Maxx //

Kitchen accessories

// red casserole dish (£16.99) and ‘texture’ 12-piece dinner set (£19.99), Homebase //

Kitchen accessories. Dualit architect kettle and toaster

// kettle and toaster, Dualit from Selfridges //

Kitchen accessories

// Maidenhair fern (£3.80) and glasses (£3 each), Homebase //

Kitchen accessories Kitchen accessories

// glass hurricane lamp, used as vase (£9), Homebase //

Kitchen accessories Kitchen accessories

// mini milk bottles, c/o Eddingtons //

Kitchen accessories

Do you like these colours?

* Homebase were kind enough to send me some vouchers to help kit out my new kitchen

Kitchen reveal!

Renovating our kitchen has definitely been a labour of love. It’s been seven months of labour, but we’re completely in love with the outcome.

As is invariably the case with DIY and renovation projects, it’s all taken longer than anticipated. Our original estimated finish time was about two months ago, and although I’m calling this a ‘reveal’ there are still some tiny finishing off jobs to do in the kitchen. The dining area bit (behind the camera) is still a chaotic dumping ground and we’ve only just started on the living room this weekend.

But I didn’t want to wait any longer to show you this bit.

Kitchen renovation reveal. Ikea Veddinge grey kitchen with wood worktop and white subway tiles

Let’s remind ourselves of where we’ve come from.

In November last year, I showed you how my kitchen looked then. Yeah, a nice shade of 1970s brown, falling apart and pretty tiny to boot.

1970s kitchen renovation 1970s kitchen renovation

By April, we’d started pulling the downstairs apart and had moved our living space upstairs, crafting a makeshift living room and camp kitchen out of our two spare bedrooms.

Here you can see the old layout of the house: a through lounge and dining room, and separate kitchen complete with serving hatch. Yep, that’s an original. Seriously, this house had barely been touched since it was built in 1974.


A month later, at the end of May, the supporting wall between the kitchen and dining area had been pulled down and a steel beam put up in its place. We’d bricked up the old kitchen entrance doorway and brought the wall out further to separate off the living room.

Kitchen renovation update: supporting wall removed

By the end of July, we’d put French doors in the back where there was once a window. Still pretty messy though, right?


By September, the old external wall at the side had also been bricked up, and the plasterer had been and done his thing.


So you see why it’s been quite a long journey. And why it is pretty immense to us that it now looks like this.

Kitchen renovation reveal. Ikea Veddinge grey kitchen with wood worktop and white subway tiles Kitchen renovation reveal. Ikea Veddinge grey kitchen with wood worktop and white subway tiles Kitchen renovation reveal. Ikea Veddinge grey kitchen with wood worktop and white subway tiles Kitchen renovation reveal. Ikea Veddinge grey kitchen with wood worktop and white subway tiles Kitchen renovation reveal. Ikea Veddinge grey kitchen with wood worktop and white subway tiles Kitchen renovation reveal. Ikea Veddinge grey kitchen with wood worktop and white subway tiles Kitchen renovation reveal. Ikea Veddinge grey kitchen with wood worktop and white subway tiles Kitchen renovation reveal. Ikea Veddinge grey kitchen with wood worktop and white subway tiles Kitchen renovation reveal. Ikea Veddinge grey kitchen with wood worktop and white subway tiles

Need to know: kitchen units (base unit doors and drawer fronts are Veddinge range in grey, glass wall cupboard doors are Jutis), worktop, sink and pendant lights all Ikea; handles, Handles4Doors; cooker hood from eBay; white subway tiles, Wickes; walls painted in B&Q Colours paint in chantilly. More coming up on our nick nacks later in the week.

What do you think? Big change?!

Blogger lunch at Mill Kitchen

After enjoying the blogger walk around Bingley, we decided to make meet-ups a regular thing.

So it was a sunny Sunday that Jen, Fran, Natalie and I got together again, at the Mill Kitchen in Farsley, Leeds. This time we were also joined by Nadine, another Fran and Daisy.

The venue was Jen’s recommendation, and what a good one it was.

Blogger lunch at Mill Kitchen, Farsley, Leeds, West Yorkshire Blogger lunch at Mill Kitchen, Farsley, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Read More →

Weekend in the Lake District

Last week there was bad news again.

The kind that makes you cry, gasp for breath and feel scared and bewildered. The kind that makes you want to run for the hills and hide out for a bit.

Coincidentally, we were due a weekend in the Lake District for the Mr’s birthday (and mine which was a couple of weeks ago), though we felt little like celebrating.

But we talked and walked, wrapped up warm, arm in arm. We took in deep clean breaths. We raced in the hotel pool, whooping like kids.

I stood at the edge of vast expanses of water, feeling tiny, letting the enormity of the world shrink my problems and the stillness of the water calm my soul. I gazed in awe at nature, its huge hills and endless beauty, and reminded myself how miraculous life is.

Coniston, Lake District, Cumbria, England, UK Read More →

Trinity Kitchen 1st birthday

You may recall how gushing I was when Trinity Kitchen first opened.

Last month Trinity Leeds’ street food hall celebrated its first birthday and it seemed only right to show up and wish it many happy returns.

Oh, if I must also eat while there and listen to singer and ‘show-woman extraordinaire’ Em Brulée, so be it :)

Street food and music at Trinity Kitchen first birthday, Trinity Leeds Read More →

Deck the Halls with Matalan

For the first time in a long time, this year I’m feeling festive long before the 23rd of December.

I think it must be because, for the first time in ages, we’re having Christmas at home and cooking for 10.

So Christmas has become our absolute deadline for making sure the downstairs renovation is done. Our schedule is slipping slightly (still finishing the dining kitchen, when we should be on to the living room) but my husband reassures me it’s all in hand.

With no presents bought and half the house a building site, I should probably feel mild panic with six-and-a-half weeks to go until the 25th and several weekends accounted for between now and then. But I seem to be still in that blissful, it-will-all-work-out-perfectly-and-look-pretty phase.

If you are too, you might fancy joining in with Matalan‘s #DecktheHalls competition. I always think Matalan is pretty good for well-priced homewares, and Christmas decorations especially. (Not averse to their clothes either, as you’ll have seen in this recent outfit post).

For the competition, you have to create a Pinterest board with your favourite Matalan items up to the value of £300. First prize is £300 in Matalan vouchers, second £150 and third £50. When your board is done, tweet @Matalan with your board link using the hashtag #DecktheHalls to be entered.

My living room is yet to be decorated at all, so I have a completely blank canvas upon which to plan my Christmas style.

Scandi-style red and white Christmas living room Read More →

Avenue 32 A/W wish list

I’m afraid that, on my budget, and with the money we’re ploughing into the house, designer clothes just cannot be justified most of the time. But I always like to look and dream so when Avenue 32 asked me to compile a wish list for autumn winter, I was happy to oblige.

With a good mix of established and emerging brands, Avenue 32 is a good place to look for luxury online. It’s not all at completely-out-of-the-question prices, particularly at this time of year, when I have a bit of birthday money burning a hole in my back pocket, I might want to spend more on a special outfit for an occasion or Christmas party and loved ones might be looking to treat me. I think I’ll just print this off and leave it hanging around the house throughout December :)

Avenue 32 autumn winter 2014 wish list

// JW Anderson anchor sweatshirt, £215 / Florence Bridge silver tinsel dress, £175 / Cedric Charlier long pink coat, £820 / Alexander Wang black studded rockie bag, £675 / Estelle Dévé gold unison bangle, £375 / Rag and Bone wine wool fedora, £165 / Dominic Jones white gold alopias earrings, £165 / APC tan demi lune bag, £295 / Maria Black rose gold detour ring, £75 / 10 Pamela Love gold lapis telepathy ring, £75 / 11 Chinty and Parker navy lambswool stars jumper, £285 / 12 Petit Bateau stripe top, £60 //

My picks are influenced by my limitless appetite for jewellery, the need for cosy sweaters, coats and hats for the colder seasons and the possibility of a couple of parties round the corner.

What do you think to my choices? Do you like to treat yourself to a designer label from time to time?

*sponsored post

10 things to do this week

1. Work out how you can get to Manchester on 15 November for Home Is In The North. You may recall I was pretty taken with the first such event, hosting independent northern interior designers, in April. I’d be going again but it’s my husband’s birthday and we’re off on a relaxing lakeside getaway. The theme of the show this time is ‘make a house a home’, with the focus on traditional crafts and the use of unusual materials – hence this design by cardboard artist Lottie Smith. If you fancy going along, just email me ( – I have five pairs of tickets to give away.

Home Is In The North, Manchester

2. Plan to be at Leeds Dock on 6/7 December for the Christmas market. You’ve just missed (last weekend) the first ever Leeds Dock Market. Think stalls, street food, mulled wine, cocktails, live music – and a free water taxi running from Granary Wharf. Getting wrapped up and strolling round markets, stopping every now and again for a warm drink or bite – that for me is one of the best things about this time of year.

3. Think of doing some of your Christmas shopping at the Etsy sellers pop-up shop in Queen’s Arcade, Leeds. It’s a bit of a coup for Leeds: earlier this year, Etsy invited local teams from across the country to apply for sponsorship to open a pop-up shop. Team Leeds, which has more than 200 members, won! The ‘One of a Kind’ store will showcase 26 Yorkshire-based independent makers and sellers. It opens at 9.30am on Saturday 15 November and closes on Tuesday 23 December. Follow on Twitter at @EtsyTeamLeedsRead More →

Grand Designs Live

As serial renovators we dream of building our own house one day.

It’s the next logical step for two people who rarely see a house that is already in perfect shape – inside or out – to be our ideal home (or at least one that’s in budget).

I’m constantly frustrated by the parodies of past architecture that pass as ‘new builds’. I think people of the future will find it impossible to define our style when they look back at the buildings put up in the last 20 or 30 years.

Our generation makes great leaps forward and pushes boundaries in science and design every day – but when it comes to housing we seem to have little imagination and willingness to innovate. Or at least, those that do have ideas worthy of 21st century living spaces – I’ve been impressed with what Hemingway Design are trying to do, for example – don’t seem to make it through to the mainstream.

Of course, there are individuals who are the exception and Grand Designs is great programme for showcasing their ambitious projects (even though I wish they’d feature more people with more realistic budgets). I love watching the show for inspiration and although my husband tends not to – he calls it ‘homework’, a chore not escapism, because we’re renovating – he was up for coming with me to Grand Designs Live at Birmingham NEC recently.

Although building our own home is not round the corner for us, more in our 10-year fantasy plan, we were excited at the thought of seeing some innovative design on show that could give us ideas for the future, or even some things we could implement now, albeit on a much smaller scale.

Grand Designs Live 2014 Read More →

What I wore: pink cashmere

Recently my ‘go-to’ outfit has mostly been my DIY and decorating clothes. But I felt my first cashmere jumper warranted documenting.

Does the fact I’ve bought something that’s made it to nearly every list of ‘wardrobe staples’ I’ve ever seen mean I’ve officially grown up, that my fashion tastes are fully mature?

Not necessarily: I wore it with trainers and a slightly-too-short skirt.

What I wore, pink cashmere jumper, black and white check skirt, New Balance trainers Read More →

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