Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Make Your Own Baby Changing Unit

how to make your own baby chaging cupboard diy upcycle ikea hack http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/04/make-your-own-baby-chaging-unit.html
After the initial excitement of knowing that you are having a baby and looking at all the incredibly cute things you can buy you get to the sudden realisation that considering the newest member or your family may be the smallest member of the clan but they come with so much stuff. Not all of this stuff is pretty or looks like it belongs in a Pinterest worthy nursery. We are talking muslin cloths, (you can never have too many), clothes, nappies, towels, dribble bibs, creams, baby wipes, a whole mess of crap that needs to be squared away in order for you to stay sane. There are lots of articles talking about the negative psychological effects of clutter, here is a link to one of them.

With Sebastian I did not have a changing unit I thought of it as a really frivolous add on purchase, my lower back paid for this decision. I had already made space in our bedroom and wanted to kill two birds with one stone, have a closed cupboard for all the 'stuff'' and have a changing unit. Most of the nicer changing units out there were overpriced and had open shelving, I wanted to hide away these items. I set myself a budget of £30 and hit the junk shops.
What I found for £30 exactly was a 1980 drinks cabinet. It had lots of storage and it was the right height for changing. 

I painted the unit in Annie Slone Old White. I have since discovered Sarah Jayne Chalk Paints after working with them on a collaboration and I wish I had used them on this project as it is much easier to achieve a flat look with their paint it is not as gloopy and there is no need to wax afterwards, ahh well you live and learn.
how to make your own baby chaging cupboard diy upcycle ikea hack http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/04/make-your-own-baby-chaging-unit.html
I picked up some nice colourful replacement handles from a local store and bought a changing wedge, these wedge mats do actually help the rolling over in the middle of the nappy that will start happening sooner than you think.

I wanted to have a small store on the side that was open for grabbing things as needed so I painted everyone's favourite Ikea spice rack. The Bekvam has to be the most hacked Ikea item do you agree?
Having this on the side allows for a couple of chaging essentials that can be restocked so the unit was functional and still hid the clutter.
how to make your own baby chaging cupboard diy upcycle ikea hack http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/04/make-your-own-baby-chaging-unit.html
We are pretty happy to have this in the bedroom and when it is time for it to go I plan to get a snuggler seat for book reading.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Sebastian's & Humphrey's Bedroom Reveal

http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
Yeah it is my first full reveal, it has taken so long to get here but so many of the jobs such as roofing, fixing joists, pointing do not really lend themselves to blog posts of pretty pictures. Many of the rooms are almost there but I feel that this is the one that is ready to share. As a disclaimer there are actually a few additions yet to come namely another mattress for Humphrey but he will be in with us for some time yet so we decided to leave the extra floor space for now.
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
Designing a room for children is actually the most fun ever, all of those funny little quirks that you may be afraid of in the rest of your home you can instigate with ease for your kiddos, in fact I wrote a whole post with tips and tricks for pulling a great room design together for children, here is the link.
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
We knew we wanted Sebastian to share a room with his sibling, the new addition turned out to be a boy but if he had have been a girl it would not have altered our decision. With that in mind we were given a different scope of putting together two very different rooms, a playroom and a bedroom space.
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas

Firstly let us get the ugly before pictures out of the way. The house faces north south so lots of beautiful light on one side and not so much on the other.  Keeping it bright and free of scary monsters, (vital in a kids bedroom), meant keeping it colourful.
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
I based the design around two main elements the balloons, (that we started collecting before I was pregnant with Sebastian), and the cloud wallpaper. I had the idea of cloud wallpaper stuck in my head for some reason and spent the best part of a year and a half searching for the right cloud wallpaper. On a number of occasions Joe suggested that perhaps I should move away from the idea of clouds if it was proving a problem. I have one word to describe my husband quitter! Eventually I found the perfect paper on Spoonflower. I had seen Spoonflower on many American bloggers sites but always considered the shipping costs to be too great to justify. Since first hearing of the company they now have a base in Europe also so everything was falling into place. Spoonflower is a great resource for independent designers to showcase their ideas and you get to have them printed up as fabric or wallpaper.
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
I had never used pre pasted paper before so I was nervous but it went on like a dream and I did the whole wall with no mistakes and pregnant - oh yes renovations stop for nothing here.
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas

http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
Sebastian is a collector and I wanted him to have somewhere to display his treasure! This house was a dark wood that was given to us and painting it was a labour of love but I am glad I did.
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
The next hurdle was finding a yellow to match the clouds, cue more endless hours of searching. I eventually found a match in Valspar. Now this is a brand I had seen in the US for sometime but it is new-ish to the UK. I hate to get negative but I was not impressed with the paint quality. I can only assume that we have a different mix here as the US bloggers that swear by it I respect. The dark colour took 6 coats, yes 6! Up and down the ladder pregnant. When I painted the lounge a dark blue from Little Greene Paint Company it took 2 coats. The light colour from Valspar took two coats but the paint drags. Okay the negativity is over now but I felt that I have to keep it honest folks .
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
The gallery wall is a triumph I love how it contains so many memories and some very personal artwork including the handmade pennants and a beautiful bear drawing from artist and good friend Julia Ogden. Below are two futon cushions that fold out into single beds, perfect for sleepovers. I covered them in a furry throw. It is also a great place to snuggle up with a book.
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
The Ivar hack is shared fully HERE. Inside I have all of the more chilled out toys and baby toys in here. In fact after getting into pjs playing a board game from the cupboard has become part of our routine. It really helps Sebastian to calm before bedtime stories.
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
We had a huge old frame that we had never found a use for so we cleaned it up and painted it. I added net curtain wire and Sebastian gets to fill it with whatever he likes. Part of me wanted to change it for the photo and get all interior stylist on it but I decided to keep it real and leave it just how he made it. In front I created another little book area, the hack for that chair is HERE. Ontop is a bear rug that we bought in Paris it is actually a super cute outfit he can wear.
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
The curtains are the simplest thing ever to make simply hem the fabric all the way around and use curtain hooks that have clips.
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
The drawers I bought second hand from a friend on Facebook and I painted the bottom two grey to add a little interest. The You Are My Sunshine hanging is homemade and the post is HERE.
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
The drawers also give Sebastian another surface to work on his vingettes! I love his homemade bits including the abstract scuptures he made after viviting the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and The Hepworth Wakefield.
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
Let's talk about the elephant in the room.
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
You would not believe how self congratulatory I am about that rubbish elephant joke. I am in fact talking about the lack of a bed. Sebastian co slept and still does most of the time, he can open a baby gate carrying 4 soft toys and wanders in. We looked at lots of toddler rail beds but we settled on having a mattress on the floor so any roll outs caused no harm. I did have a plan to build a frame around it to look like a house but after getting everything in I feel it would be too much, there is a lot happening already.
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas

Okay so the fireplace is green. Well first of all I don't care, I like it. It was originally painted a yellowy cream and I was not about to pay to get it dipped for a room that would change at some point. I had some paint left from the utility and I painted it green which suited the room better. I am not a purist when it comes to painting/not painting things but I know for some it is sacrilege. Colourful fireplaces are not as uncommon as you may think, Karen Clough from Well This Is Growing Up wrote about it here, and she included this fireplace in her round up.
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
The book caddy here is actually from the kitchen section of Ikea. The lightshade was such a nightmare I could not decide what worked with the size of the room and the fact that we had the balloons suspended also. Then I was walking past one of my favourite shops in Hebden Bridge and say this in the window and bought it right away, the link is at the end of the post.

I enjoyed designing and executing this room so much. Adding all of the little details that make it unique. Sebastian loves it despite not spending a whole night in there and I am sure he and his brother will have many happy times talking and playing instead of sleeping in that room. All in all I am feeling pretty smug about this room.  
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
I have added links at the bottom for you to be able to find some of the things in the room.

Futon Cushions - The Futon Company
White Cabinet & Wall Units  - Ikea
Balloons - Authentic Models 
Lightshade (sold out but similar available) - Radience
Wallpaper - Spoonflower
Mustard and Pale Lemon Paint - Valspar
Bear Artwork - Julia Ogden
Bedding -  M&S
Wooden Circus & Rocket - Janod 
Book Caddy & Chair - Ikea 
 Globe - ELC
Fireplace Paint (Arsenic) - Farrow & Ball
http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/sebastians-humphreys-bedroom-reveal.html inspiration for kids and children's room interior design advice design ideas
Home Etc

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Homemade Pikelets & Crumpets

Now having lived as an ex pat I am fully aware that we in the UK perplex most of the rest of the world in many ways but in my experience our inability to decide on one word for something is up there as one of the most unfathomable British traits.

Is it a snicket, a ginnel, a passageway, a back passage or an alley? Is it a barm, a bap, a muffin, a cob or a roll. So too we have the great pikelet debate, not so much a debate as Google search nightmare. Picture the scene a pikelet loving young maiden with culinary skills in her Paris apartment longing for a pikelet. She wanders to the internet and searches for a recipe only to be met with endless recipes that are not pikelets. Let me clear this up for everyone right now a pikelet is not a drop scone or a scotch pancake, (they are of course the same thing too with different names). A pikelet is a flat crumpet no argument or debate needed.
Now as it turns out the art of crumpet making is not a big thing anymore so I had to turn to an old recipe book of yesteryear, I collect these. I found a crumpet recipe, success! I had to make a few adjustments because buying fresh yeast is not as commonplace as it once was. When we were snowed in in Yorkshire last week I made a mountain of these, the pile you see in the photo was the tip of the iceberg but fear not they freeze, hurrah! Here is my updated pikelet and crumpet recipe.

you will need;

450g strong bread flour
14g fast acting dried yeast
300ml warm milk (or plant based alternative)
300ml warm water 
pinch of salt
method;
  1. Mix all of the dried ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, the mixture will rise quite a bit so the bigger the bowl the better.
  2. Warm the water and milk so that it is tepid. Pour into a well in the centre of the dry ingredients.
  3. Whisk until the batter is smooth.
  4. Leave in a warm place, by a radiator for example until the batter has doubled in size and filled with lots of bubbles. 
  5. Heat a pan. The old recipe I found said a cast iron skillet but I used a non stick pancake pan so I think you have some wriggle room there.
  6. Drop a tiny amount of oil on the pan and mop most of it up with kitchen roll.
  7. Drop around a tablespoon of mixture down and spread it out in a circular motion. Then wait for the bubbles to appear and pop on the surface. Cook until the underside is quite brown. Flip for a couple of seconds just to colour the top. Set aside and repeat.
  8. To make crumpets grease a crumpet ring, fill with the batter and cook both sides.
  • Important notes. You will need to keep adjusting the temperature as you want them to be in a hot pan but not too hot or you do not get the bubbles appearing and popping.
  • If you make the crumpets turn the pan down to a lower temperature than you will need for the pikelets to make sure that they cook all the way through. 
  • You may need to re oil the pan at some point whilst cooking off the batter.
  • They freeze nicely and can be heated up in the grill, serve with butter this is mandatory.
  • I have not added a number that this mixture makes as the amount dropped from the spoon is not an exact science but it it a lot.
So now I have put the great pikelet debate to rest I am off to the UN to see if I can help with anything there.


Wednesday, 7 March 2018

5 Ways To Dress A Window

how to dress a window interior design http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/5-ways-to-dress-window.html
When it comes to dressing a window we tend to stick to the safe zone - off the peg curtains, how boring. Well what if I told you you don't have to have curtains at all and you can still have a well dressed window. In fact bad curtains or curtains that are the wrong length can completely ruin a room, I ranted about curtains being the wrong length in this post. I have teamed up with Thomas Sanderson to talk you through some of the various non curtain options of window dressing with you.
how to dress a window interior design http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/5-ways-to-dress-window.html
First of all let's talk about small and short windows. Yes you can get short curtains for those windows but please don't they look silly. My advice is to consider blinds for these windows. As the majority of blinds fit neatly inside the window space it is a great way of combating small windows in a crisp stylish way. It is also a fun way to add a pop of colour to a room.
how to dress a window interior design http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/5-ways-to-dress-window.html
When you have a dark area in your home you may not want to block too much of the light but a window that has noting on it always makes a room look unfinished to me. In those cases it is time to really think outside the box. In our Paris apartment I used driftwood to dress the courtyard window. You can read about how I did that in more detail here.
how to dress a window interior design http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/5-ways-to-dress-window.html
When you have a window with lots of light you can fully embrace your inner Urban Jungle Blogger and fill it with plants. They will thrive in the sunshine, (unless you pick shade lovers - so don't do that). The plants will provide a beautiful organic screen to your window. How wonderful to have a window that will grow and change over time.
how to dress a window interior design http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/5-ways-to-dress-window.html
My all time interior design hero Justina Blakeney gathered some lovely examples of using throws, blankets, hangings etc as bohemian window dressings. Using this method you can add instant personality to your home and you can also drape the fabric in such a way that it adds interest and privacy so it is both beautiful and practical.
how to dress a window interior design http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/03/5-ways-to-dress-window.html
Lets look at the last problem window now - skylights. Having a slanted window limits your options. In this case a window blind is the perfect choice. Thomas Sanderson have a great range day/night blinds. These blinds are perfect for a skylight as they allow you to diffuse strong sunlight during the day and block the outside world at night.

This was a sponsored post but all opinions are honest and my own.