DIY with the Boys - Black & White Bedroom

Is it really only a few weeks until half term !  This holiday my husband's shifts have worked out so that he is also off at the same time as me and the twins.  Think it might be time to get the boys involved in some DIY.  We gave their bedroom a bit of a makeover before Christmas but its just not working for them.  Both boys love the idea of a black and white bedroom so I got my thinking cap on to come up with affordable ways we could make them a cool room suitable for 10 yr old twins.  They are at that stage that they are not quiet ready to give up all their toys but also no longer want Thomas the Tank and the like.

A really straightforward and effective idea for their room is a blackboard wall.  These are really easy to do.  All major DIY Stores now stock blackboard paint and it really is just a matter of painting onto the existing wall.  Obviously you will need to make sure the wall is clean and is a smooth surface.  Also buy the best quality paint you can afford.  You may need several coats.  This is a great idea to get the kids involved, Who doesn't enjoy painting things BLACK !


I Absolutely love what they have done here and intend to also get the boys to help make a huge Ruler like the one shown.  Again something the children can get involved in and  looks wonderful on the wall.    As hubby is a hoarder of all things wood (he gives me a hard time for my love of stashing bits and bobs but you should see his garage/workshop ) !   There will definitely be a suitable piece of wood for this project lying around.  A leftover floorboard from when we replaced the flooring in the kitchen will be ideal, but to be honest if you want to get involved with some fun over the half term with the kids I am sure cardboard would work just as well.  I think the measuring for the wall will probably be the hardest part but will leave the technical side of things to the husband.  I'll let the boys (big and small) measure out the height lines.  I'm the ideas person in this house.

pic - potterybarn

I love this idea of also sticking Polaroid style pictures of what the boys look like at the different stages.

As my boys are total computer geeks, sometime will inevitably be spent online this half term.  I think I might get them designing some down loadable artwork.  Again very simple to do and all you need is a computer, a simple programme like microsoft word or wordart and a printer (no colour cartridges required) and some very affordable frames available from anywhere these days, even the pound shop.  Alternatively, I think posters and photos look great stuck on the wall with a piece of tape at each corner.

We might even get round to replacing the boys Wooden name letters hubby made for them when they were born and replace with something like this . Huge letter M on one wall above Milo's bed and letter J above Jarvis' bed.

I'll let you know how we get on.  What are you planning for half term ?  If you like my black and white theme for the boys bedroom you might also like my Pinterest board HERE

Scandinavian Style - Get the look


 Beautiful Scandinavian home decor has always been a firm favourite of mine. Decorating with cool whites and pale colours, pared down furniture and home wares.  It never fails to make me take in deep calming breaths.  Must be something to do with the state of my mind, I need a clutter free home because my head is full to bursting with thoughts, ideas and plans most of the time.
Having lived in our home for 10 years now and finally some spare funds to remove the wall between the kitchen and dining room, we were able to  create the large open plan space I always dreamt of.  It is almost finished, just the new flooring and comfy TV seating area to sort.  Its a lovely bright space, furnished with a combination of reclaimed hand painted furniture, modern pieces and local independent artists.  All coming together to create a bright, light Scandinavian style space.

  Above is a hand painted chest of drawers (the only piece in our home I didn't actually paint)in palest grey.  A bowl and glass ball both found at a local boot sale.  The sand encrusted SEA letters were bought on Etsy.  The painting was very generously given to me by local artist Linda Bartlett whose work I used to sell in my shop.

The dining room view of the space.  Huge white table purchased from Ebay is solid wood with great leg detail. If all white is too much for you to contemplate, the Scandinavian style is also very much about beautiful blond woods.  This look is appearing everywhere on the high street at the moment.

 Pic Danish design store

After much thought and changing my mind I decided to go for the classic Eiffel style chairs in white.  I initially bought a blue Eiffel chair with blonde wooden legs but when we decided to go for a dark floor I felt the metal leg style would suit it better.  I'm really pleased with the look.  We also have  clear Philippe Starck Armchairs for each end of the table.  Not really Scandinavian style but they compliment the look.  I think its important to not just follow a look blindly, but to inject your own personality into your home.

Getting the builders in also gave us a chance to re-think the heating.  I have always loved the old style cast iron radiators and actually, considering they add to the decor and are not designed to sit unnoticed on the wall they were really good value for money.  Ours were purchased from B & Q but you can find many around these days from just £100 each.

What my heart really desires is the traditional Scandinavian style stove (below)  but they are WAY out of my budget.

 pic - pinterest

I really hate to have lots of "stuff" cluttering my work surfaces which is an ongoing trial with four men in the house.  Still its a great game of hide and seek I have !  Storage is important but also has to look good.  When I found these great ceramic house storage jars in the sale in Debenhams they reminded me of the tall house you see in many Scandinavian countries.  I've used them to store the tea, coffee and sugar.

pic -

Due to lack of money we decided to leave the existing kitchen units in place for the time being.  We changed the tiles and gave the walls a lick of paint and it looks fine.  A beloved find from my bootsale obsession is the set of beautiful plates and soup bowls displayed on a plate rack found at TK Maxx.   Have to admit they don't get much use but they look LOVELY !  Although they are Vintage English, they look very Scandi to me and fit the space beautifully.

If you want more inspiration for the Scandinavian style please pop over and follow my Pinterest board HERE.

January Style Wise

This weekend I found some great bargains and always get a great response when I post pics on my social media, so I thought I would try a linky to see if others wanted to join in.  Just link your recent bargain home wares or interiors posts/pics.  They can be a sale bargain, an item which you think was great value for money, a vintage or charity shop purchase, something you upcycled yourself, anything at all you consider stylish and great value for money.

You don't have to have a blog , it can be a pic from facebook, pinterest, instagram, twitter etc.  All I ask is that you use the hashtag #stylewise  & mention my blog or username The White Approach when you link up or promote your post.  This will also help me to find you on social media and RT you.

To kick us off, below is what I found this weekend

 I've always been a bit of a bargain hunter, but more so since the birth of the twins which also coincided with the complete collapse of our joint incomes.  Forced in a frugal lifestyle, I was determined to still find a way to live a stylish life.  Thankfully we are pretty much back on an even keel now ten years later, but old habits die hard and I find it very difficult to buy anything without first shopping around for the best value versus quality.  I found this great wooden sign at the range for just £5 its lovely quality.  I was looking for something to put on a newly wallpapered wall but when I put it up it just didn't work against the pattern of the paper.  I think it looks so much better white on white.  The shadow really makes the words pop.

 Bargain number two has to be this totally beautiful, on trend perspex light shade.  It looks perfect ether lit or not and suits my new kitchen/dining space perfectly.  Just £22 again from The Range.  They have a great selection of lighting in store.

As we have finally realised our dream of knocking through the kitchen/ dining room I though perhaps it was about time to put away (or sell off) my huge selection of mismatched vintage dinner plates in favour of a simple, more Scandinavian looking dining set.  I found these lovely, large grey dinner plates at Dunelm Mill for just £2.75 each.  Great quality and big enough to suit the appetites of all four men in my home.  The pretty white side plates I found on one of my bargain hunts last week in the local charity shop for 10p each !

and my final bargain for this week .  I stumbled upon a new store called B&M Big Brands at a retail park in Exeter.  Its a bit like brand value pound shop but HUGE.  I popped in for a mooch around and discovered these gorgeous retro looking table mats (to protect my new table) for just £1 for a set of four.  They are great quality, cork backed and wipeable.  Love them !

So that's my offering.  Would really love you to link up and show me what you have found .

Shop the Sales for Summer must haves

Herringbone Stripe Seat pad from The White Company
was £25 now £12.50

These days I find I 'm not so good at tolerating the push and shove of the Christmas/ New Year Sales. It also seems I never manage to have any funds left anyway after

The best friend gene

My whole life, Christmas has been about children (the easy part) I excel at "doing" Christmas.
 New year on the other hand is about adults and friendship. These days (screeches to a halt) not so much.