Friday, 17 January 2020

Decorating On A Budget


I had just opened the first of a loaned mountain of Homes & Gardens magazines when the phone went.
I'm now working night shifts instead of day shifts over the weekend
Bang went my afternoon of decorating research.

I need to redecorate the cottage.
Psychologically that needs to be done
But physically that really needs to be done

A log burner maybe romantic and inviting when lit
( when you get home after a long shift and you have to light a mucky stove, romantic is the last friggin word that comes to mind)
But soot and dust and occasional smells take their toll in a tiny cottage
And everything looks a bit grubby, even in candlelight.

At the moment the living room is a gentle sage green, a plain background to my remaining original art, grandfather clock and furniture .
The paintwork is an old fashioned ivory cream and the ceiling and beams are painted white in traditional Welsh style.
Every surface is now slightly sooty and smoke stained.
The carpet is old and needs replacing.
It will have to be content with a good deep clean.

The master bedroom needs a total overhaul
The wallpaper remains a thirteen year old Laura Ashley rose print

I'm open to ideas on colours schemes
Send me your ideas



80 comments:

  1. Warm Golden Yellow everywhere!!! :)

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    Replies
    1. Yellow is my favourite colour

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    2. Soft yellows can pick me up when I'm a bit down. Blue walls enhance my bluish feelings so I steer clear.

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    3. I was never a fan of yellow tones, but my husband loved them. Every time I’ve agreed to paint a room some shade of yellow, I’ve been unbelievably happy. Lots of variations, too.

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    4. Anonymous7:28 pm

      This is my first ever comment here John. :)
      I believe redecorating will be very beneficial. My husband and I had a significant fire in our bungalow last May and 8 rooms had to be redecorated. Fortunately no one was hurt. While we were living in a Travel Lodge with our Bichon, Archie, we discussed colour schemes for the insurance company to instruct the decorators. I have suffered with depression for over 20 years and need lots of light and colour around me. I chose Gentle Yellow by Crown for almost all the rooms that were redecorated. My husband was happy to leave the colour choice to me as long as he could have magnolia in his music room. Now our home looks bright & sunny by day and warm & cosy in the evenings. And we're both very, very happy with my choice. (We've also discovered that every other colour goes with yellow - it's our 'neutral' now.)
      Kay in Cornwall

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  2. It seems the soot should be remediated first. Otherwise, new paint will just be spoiled again. Your lungs will suffer from a sooty place, full of particulates that will damage health.

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    Replies
    1. That will never change it will always be a problem

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  3. I don't envy you. I suppose it's a fresh start -- that's the optimistic way to look at it -- but redecorating is such a pain.

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  4. This place needs a total overhaul but since I'm going to be moving, there is no point as the new owners will want to change everything.

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  5. No reds dominating, please - otherwise I won't be able to visit you. (Harsh clash with my aura). ;-)

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  6. Anonymous3:01 pm

    Before changing the color of walls it helps to Google things like "pale yellow room photos", " pale gray room room photos", etc. After seeing several rooms and colors I chose a soft, very light,buttercream yellow for my living room. Keeping in mind the colors of my flooring, trim, and furnishings that way of choosing works. I find it far easier to visually see examples than to just imagine the end results. -Mary

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  7. Go with your favourite colour. After decades of cream everything, I now have pale yellow walls, pottery blue accents with a bit of white and apple green. Paint is the cheapest way to redecorate, especially if you do your own painting.
    We use our wood burner a lot, and replaced it with a more up to date EPA approved model...much cleaner and no soot. We also burn hard wood that has been seasoned for at least one year.
    Barb

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  8. I have dulux polished pebble in my lounge. It’s a beautiful calming soft grey that goes with most colour schemes.

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  9. John, you may like the design-seeds.com website.A photo is posted every day, mainly from nature/outdoors and then a colour palette produced alongside it,showing the colours within the photo and of course all 'natural'.The range of colours is amazing and could give you ideas of which colours will work together for you. You can also just search for ideas if you have a favourite colour in mind.Pauline x

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  10. Take a look on Houzz John. My other half has decor books with titles like 'Handmade Home' or 'Keep it Simple'. Trouble is it rarely is and I'm the poor so&so tasked to come up with an approximation of what she's seen and it usually costs an arm and a leg!

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  11. The way you describe it, it already sounds perfect. Do try to avoid the 'Footballers Wives' look.

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  12. Do it as YOU want it, not as you think it should be. It is totally yours now.

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  13. Barbara Anne3:49 pm

    I love the barely there blue Farrow and Ball color called "Borrowed Light". Perhaps that color (reproduced by a different paint company due to FB cost!) would look serene somewhere? I also love sage green...

    Enjoy the process.

    Hugs!

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    Replies
    1. Barbara Anne5:32 pm

      I'll add that that we painted the den "Studio Blue/Green" which is an deep, lovely color from the Arts and Crafts period. We thought when we chose it if the color had endured for more than 100 years, it must be easy to live with. It's been wonderful.

      More hugs!

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    2. I love Borrowed Light - chose it for my sittingroom and front bedroom. Beautiful subtle colour - and vases of flowers [especially gypsophila] look wonderful against it.

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  14. Grab a pretty folder John - one for each room - and start clipping pages from those decorating/home publications. Collect photos of rooms that 'speak' to you, in colors that you love and would work in the cottage. Small rooms sometimes even look better with darker paint colors, and dark blues are really beautiful and popular right now. . . . . . all white walls are cold and don't always make a space look larger. We have a small house and I painted our entry hallway the darkest indigo blue - it makes the space seem bigger and showcases two large, mismatched, antique framed mirrors (I painted one white and one grey) on opposite walls to make it look a wider space, and added some art of course.
    Getting ready to do a makeover on the downstairs master bedroom now - all new paint in a lighter shade of blue which is a good color for sleep. Want new low pile carpet in a subtle mix of dark greys - no more light-colored beige carpet or deep plush which is hard to vacuum and leaves tracks, footprints etc., and we are looking at new bedroom furniture which is a little lighter to move about and clean under. Getting older makes for hard work in the home, especially when one does all the cleaning, believe me about this!

    Good luck John - make it a fun project for your lovely cottage, it will bring you happiness as you put your personal stamp on it. Just keep Winnie away from the paint buckets!
    Hugs - Mary

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    Replies
    1. Mary, your decorating style is inspiring and memorable. John might get ideas from your blog as well.

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  15. I have a light blue mostly everwhere.I use to have Laura Ashley paper in most rooms but is too expensive for me now.A nice pink hue may be nice though John.I have found that some woodwork painted a pale pink varies throughout the day depending o the light.My sitting room is grubby which I blame on the woodburner x

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  16. If you want to freshen it up and like the colours as they are then freshen them up without change. You may have chosen them in the first place. The bedroom may need more work but you will have colours you like, something not too "busy" to fit all the other things in the room, and restful, and to "take" any curtain colours you choose.

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  17. Must you use a wood burning stove? I thought you installed central heat a few years ago? It seems so archaic to rely on fireplace/ stove for heat. I would do everything white with blue accents but that is just me, contending with somewhat harsh ocean light. Soft greys with black accents are popular now. Or a very soft blue with your yellow as accents? Rugs and carpets are very inexpensive nowadays, maybe you can reconsider that. Do the bedroom first, get a new bed, new mattress, new everything!


    lizzy

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  18. Grubby suits you darling.

    Steer clear of Laura Ashley prints. Continuing the dream of virginal spinster of the parish would be fraudulent. My suggestion for the boudoir is dark, womb-like colours with a touch of leather here and there to compliment your rhino hide x

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    Replies
    1. Yes leather would be nice Mavis.I went into Laurence of Arabia's cottage in a woodland once and his bedroom was on the ground floor-his bed dominated the room and was brown leather-very inviting x

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    2. I recovered my headboard in red leather a few years ago. I love it's wipe clean properties. Dog snot is a bugger to remove from velour.

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    3. Ooo red leather!- very kinky x

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  19. This year we plan to do exterior painting. My the colors out there are amazing. I checked out magazines and books about bungalows and color schemes. I finally settled on a bright blue and white trim with a hot pink door. Right now the house is painted brown with a deeper brown trim and fire engine red door. I have six palo verde trees that bloom yellow flowers so I think the colors I picked will blend well.

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  20. Beautiful As All Get Out - Stay Strong

    Cheers

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  21. I would suggest that you first off prop up that bird on the mantel so it doesn't look like something Albert dragged in.

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  22. Is gas available where you live? Could you have a gas line installed to a set of logs? They're clean and can be turned on with a remote control.

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    Replies
    1. Exactly what I thought. They are made to look very realistic these days.

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    2. I had one once but mine didn't give enough heat-it did look real to my uncle though who threw his fag end still lit onto it x

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    3. There are few areas with gas here in rural North Wales!

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  23. Get a whole lot of tester pots and try some colours first. Its amazing the difference from the pot to the walls! x

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    1. I also meant to say to you to look at wall murals, they have some amazing ones if you google wall murals uk! Perhaps that would be better than Laura Ashley?!! Sleeping in a forest, what more could you want lol. x

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  24. Anonymous6:07 pm

    I just used Benjamin Moore, Silver Mist for most of my walls. Fresh clean and reflects light nicely. Also makes a nice backdrop for art. I would be tempted to use a gas insert for the fireplace to eliminate the soot. Susan

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  25. Anonymous6:08 pm

    I like the thought of the yellow theme, going from pale primrose right through to a smoky oche type shade, moving through room to room as it suits the light and the furnishings that have to remain.
    I make my own paint shades, using basic white tipped into a large new bucket then adding small amounts of whatever colour l want, less or more colour as required. One tip though, make enough to cover what you need plus a bit over for touch ups, pour the overs into an airtight lidded container and label what room it is for
    Good luck, cannot wait to see what you choose.
    Decorating is my passion/obsession!
    Tess x
    I make my own paint

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  26. Anonymous6:10 pm

    Think l mean ochre not a oche dartboard! T x

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  27. John, isn't it old straight guys like me that ask gay guys for decorating tips? I don't have a clue, except I don't like clutter. Cheers.

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  28. Heidi6:15 pm

    As Rachel above said, if you like the colours you have now you could repaint to freshen up.
    Having seen the pictures of your lovely cottage I would think you're Country Living or Country Homes and Interiors rather than Homes and Gardens.
    Here my walls are a soft cream, sofas are brown leather and curtains, cushions and throws are mostly duck egg blue. Cream walls throughout except for the kitchen which is sage green. Wood floors. All easy to keep clean of dog snot and mucky paws.
    Yes wood burners can be messy but mine isn't too bad and uses the fallen branches from the woodland and driftwood from the beach. No idea what variety of wood the driftwood is but there's plenty washed up at high tides and during storms. Free heating!

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  29. I'm useless at choosing colours but I'm enjoying the comments and look forward to seeing what you end up doing!

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  30. We have soft peach throughout which goes perfectly with our Edwardian house and sets off all our original artworks beautifully. We also have an open fireplace.

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  31. My sitting room walls, with the exception of the fireplace wall are emulsioned in 'Natural Hessian' - with the fireplace wall emulsioned in a warm, darkish brown. The curtains are narrow soft green and hessian coloured stripes and the carpet is hessian coloured, as are the two Ercol settees. Boring jt may sound but it is the most restful room I have ever lived in.

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  32. Yes, after the past year a few changes around the cottage would do you a world of good! Only I hope you keep your gallery wall as it is lovely and so YOU! You have some excellent suggestions here. I used a pale, buttery yellow in our kitchen and it did serve to lighten up the room which it needed. But colors are a very personal thing and if you do paint check out a lot of examples online and in magazines first. I'm not much at decorating but I would say whatever you do keep lots of your own personal touches and special items that make you feel good when you see them.

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  33. pintrest and instagram are your best friend for this and completely free! I have been watching one insta account for ideas of what we can do here. Theirs has been major work but it looks amazing.
    Pale walls to give light.
    The colour and darkness in a house can really affect you.
    I cant wait to see what you do.
    https://www.instagram.com/barn_number_six/
    https://www.instagram.com/homebytheloch/
    https://www.instagram.com/malmo_and_moss/

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  34. Perhaps you could replace the wood burner with a nice clean electric or gas one. I think a rich warm red would look nice against the lovely dark wood of your mantelpiece.

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  35. Good idea, John. Here's my two-cent's worth (which I lost and had to rewrite): You have a lovely home. Keep it simple. Start with a Pinterest board for each room, and take a month or so to pin photos of rooms that make you happy, not what you think you should have or like. At the end of the month, you will know just what change you want and how you can make it happen. Paint is always the cheapest and easiest way to redecorate. Do the painting yourself, one wall at a time if need be. Have a painting party! Save the money to buy a new bed and linens.

    Based on my own experience, a new bed is a priority. Everything throughout my small space now is different whites and woods, adding texture and color in inexpensive throws, quilts and cushion covers that can be changed by the mood, season or holiday. Your mileage will vary. I'm betting you just need to paint.

    Wishing you well on this new adventure, and please keep us posted on your progress. And remember to have fun!

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  36. I wouldn't even think of suggesting anything but I will say I have a kind of violet colour in my hallway and I hate it (looks like a dentist) and I have a dark orange in the dining area which I love everytime I look at it

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  37. Do cub scouts still do a "bob a job" week? Get a dozen of them in and you will get your cottage repainted for just twelve bob (around 60p). I recommend toffee brown throughout.

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  38. I have always liked very pale yellow or cream for walls. I agree with paint it yourself if you can. It takes time, but leaves a feeling of accomplishment.

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  39. The woodburner John. Ever since Homo erectus invented fire we've been exposed to smoke and particulates. My dogs love lying in front of the woodburners ( I have two). I'm sure your dogs and cats do too. Yes,they are messy, but so is life! Keep!

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  40. Pinterest is the best way to find some inspiration and cheaper than buying magazines. A light fresh color for bedroom walls and as you work nightshift - some good neutral blackout curtains to help you sleep. Then you can update duvets and quilts to add interest and protect the bed from the furry family.

    If you go onto pinterest and enter cottage bedroom or masculine cottage bedroom (for less laura ashley options) some nice choices come up.

    Julie Q

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  41. Anonymous12:22 am

    Check out Jocasta Innes for decorating ideas and colors. https://www.pinterest.co.uk/IslaElizabethSimpson/jocasta-innes/

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  42. I'm a fan of green walls and yellow walls. Our bedroom is a lovely bluey green. I think it depends on what you like. The nice thing about paint is if you don't like you can always change it.

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  43. All wonderful ideas.
    You have to think of the weather where you live. Something light to reflect the light or lack of it in the winter. The light or soft buttery yellows sound great also white. Much like the Danish and Swedish homes.. Picking the same color you have now but a lighter hue might work also.
    Good luck !
    parsnip

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  44. Lighter colours like soft yellow or a warm white will make the rooms feel bigger it's the soft furnishings that you can change with the season and you seem to have lots of those to choose from what ever colour you go with it's got to be pleasing to you.

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  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  46. John, have you thought of starting a Pinterest board. It is a great online platform for gathering all sorts of ideas.

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  47. If you have to strip paint, get it tested for lead first.

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  48. Pressed the button too fast. If all the trims are in good shape, just wash and use a wall paint that makes them look just painted. I haven't painted trims in 40 years by doing that. I did have to fight with the painter who hated using gloss paint but it was worth it.

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  49. Decorating on a budget is my thing! I've painted all my walls in Brilliant White. It's the cheapest colour and you can buy 10 litre containers for £22 or 2 for £40 in B and Q. Then I buy the mistints in the Oops area. There are always great buys for a fiver (I recently got 2.5 litres of a deep plum) You can mix them with the white to create your own colours or use them for pops of colour in alcoves , doors etc. I also buy end of line rolls of wallpaper as well.

    I use brightly coloured accessories against the white walls and they really stand out. I know white isn't everyone's cup of tea but it's cheap!

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  50. That's a very crowded mantelpiece. Maybe a wee bit of de-cluttering would also help?

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  51. I've just been reading that concrete is the new look "is your home ready for new industrial chic?" so you need to replace the kitchen table with a paving slab and paint the walls with concrete-effect matt emulsion (£50 for 2 litres). Demand has apparently gone through the roof. Or you could just buy some different shades of grey emulsion from Homebase.

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  52. My favorite color is gray light to medium and then add colorful pillows and other décor as accents.

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  53. Wilko do lovely colours at a good price, and they deliver.

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  54. What about incorporating a happy, warm blue, like the one on the background of your blog here? I love blues and greens. My guy is always "Natural color..." Blues and greens ARE found in nature.

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  55. I would keep the walls as neutral, light as possible.
    Helps make rooms brighter, larger.
    You have wonderful accents with your original art.
    Pick up the yellows in pillows, blanket type throws and flowers.

    Carpets and animals . . . not the best “team!”
    Maybe consider new flooring, easier to keep clean
    with a charming plush area rug . . .(with a fence around it!)
    (My angst, having a 15 year old, incontinent, dog love!)
    (Pads everywhere in carpet areas.)
    (We have changed most rooms to wood flooring, but EXPENSIVE!)

    Is the stove your primary, only heat source?
    Nothing like the warmth from a wood fire . . .
    But . . . it carries with it the constant “tidy up, soot and mess.”
    It must bring wonderful charm to the cottage!

    I am a huge fan of your original art . . . wonderful charm in your cottage!

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  56. I did the same thing after my divorce. Made the house my house. Did repairs that were desperately needed, and repainted everything. Paint is probably the cheapest, most effective way to redecorate. (I even repainted the outside of the house!) Now, everything is "me": yellows and greens and sea blues. Good luck to you!

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  57. I'm with those who have suggested a gas fireplace insert. The beautiful flowers you grow could be an inspiration for your colour palate. Also, I couldn't help but notice the unfortunate bird on your mantle piece!

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  58. Choose colors that make you feel happy just looking at them. You want your home to be entirely "you" so pick out furnishings that you have always wanted. Remove anything that brings on a negative feeling. Just make sure to purchase an extra bucket can of paint to paint over the inevitable messes caused by spills and pets!

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  59. I too vote for gas heating, no mess and a lovely heat not like electric that doesn't seem to permeate the area.
    You don't have time or energy to faff about dusting so only keep the ornaments you can't live without and display a few at a time that are swapped with the other precious ones kept in a box nearby.
    DIY painting is easy when you know what you are doing, the prep is usually a pain in the arse but the result is fantastic.
    It is unbelievable what some people donate to charity shops so start looking before buying new, heaps of money can be saved and it will be an ongoing process.Very strange thing is if you focus on a specific need you will often find it.

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  60. The gay interior design gene passed me by. We go for the easy option - our place is painted throughout in neutral off-white which is inexpensive, low maintenance and works well with all our wall art.

    As for the soot, could the culprit be candles? From our experience scented ones in particular don't burn cleanly and mark walls and ceilings over time.

    Whatever you decide on, happy decorating!

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  61. Medium blue is the color of the year and you can do so much with blue walls and white trim. Perfect for a cottage. Paint one wall darker. I know you have a budget, but a gallon of paint isn’t that much for a big change.

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