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Things are looking up

24 May

When we first moved into our house seven years ago, it was a chintz palace. Everything was bright yellow and blue; there were frills everywhere; and the shell-shaped bathroom sink was very special indeed. Slowly, we modernised, but on a shoestring budget, which meant the faux-beamed artexed kitchen ceiling had to stay. I painted the beams black, and replaced the cast-iron chandelier with a row of spots, but frankly, it was still hideous. And gloomy.

So, when we’d finally saved enough to give the kitchen a little facelift, the ceiling was the first thing to get sorted. We couldn’t afford to redo the layout, meaning there was no room for fancy light fittings, so we decided to go for low-fuss spots instead.

But how easy is it to get a whole new ceiling and put in new lights? Surprisingly easy, as it turns out. Here’s how…

First, our friendly builder, Neil, built a frame a few centimetres lower than the old sagging ceiling. New lengths of wiring were joined to the existing central light fitting; then plasterboard was then screwed into the frame to create a new, flat ceiling.

Neil then spread a thin layer of plaster over the board to make it smooth; painted the ceiling; then drilled holes for the spotlights:

Finally, an electrician fitted the spots. We wanted good quality fittings that would look unobtrusive, but which would make bulb-changing easy, so we went for these brilliant recessed White Gloss Twist & Lock Fire Rated Downlights, £5 each, from FirstChoiceLighting.co.uk fitted with long-life LED bulbs (also from First Choice Lighting):

Extra safe (because of the fire rating), you simply twist out the bulbs when you need to change them. We wanted fittings flush with the ceiling, but if you’ve got more room to play with, they have a HUGE selection of modern lighting fittings – for all rooms in the house – that look a million dollars but don’t cost it.

And here’s the finished ceiling! The building work and electrician cost £350, and the light fittings themselves came to just £40 for eight. Honestly, it’s made SUCH a difference. Even my other half, who said he didn’t care about the old ceiling, loves the fact he can now see what he’s cooking. It’s like a light has been switched on (erm, because it has!).

What do you reckon? Have you completed a long wished-for yet simple project that has transformed your home? Let me know in the comments below or email me at thetreasurehunteruk@gmail.com – I’d love to see your photos!

The Friday Find: Drop-down-gorgeous origami shades

13 May

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Oh wow, how lovely are these lampshades? Combining two of my favourite things – origami and bright colours – they’d look amazing either on their own in a bedroom, or in a row along a hallway.

WildWood_Lifestyle_SS16_LampshadeOrange_1_HIBy stylish interiors brand Wild & Wolf, and made of hand-folded paper, you can choose from four retro hues: Alena (English mustard) £34.95, Zodiac (goldfish orange) £44.95, Caspian (Swedish green) or Nuvola (French blue) both £39.95.

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They come folded flat in a colour co-ordinated box, so would also make a great gift:

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Get yours at Redcandy.co.uk before they sell out!

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Let it glow

3 Feb

 

Get-Lucky

I’ve been hankering after a large circus marquee style wall light for a while, and once our loft conversion was complete, I had the perfect blank wall at the top of the stairs to hang one on. Thing is, these kinds of lights are usually so darn EXPENSIVE.

So, I was chuffed to discover the range of bargainous oversized vintage lights at chic online homes boutique Oliver Hayden. There are five designs to choose from, including a question mark, a ‘Get Lucky’ arrow, a ‘Sweet heart’ heart and a tattoo-style star, plus a smaller ‘Love’ heart:

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At £45 for the large versions and £25 for the small, they’ll make a statement without breaking the bank; plus unlike other more costly designs which need to be plugged in with an unsightly cable, these use batteries and have a discreet switch at the side, meaning you can hang them anywhere.

Mr Treasure Hunter and I treated ourselves to the Get Lucky arrow light, which now hangs – slightly cheekily, as my mum has pointed out – just outside our new loft bedroom:

photo (93)What I particularly like about it is that it looks cool whether it’s lit or not, and whether it’s day or night.

Fancy one of your own? They’re in stock now (buy the arrow light here) but do keep selling out. I’m assured Oliver Hayden re-stock regularly, but still, better get your name down pronto!

 

 

Goodbye pine needles!

3 Dec

Christmas tree light £120 BHS

Real Christmas trees are lovely – the look, the smell… but they’re also a faff.

So, if you’re looking for an alternative, try this amazing light-up tree from BHS. At 50cm tall, it’s perfect for small spaces; takes just minutes to set up; won’t drop pine needles everywhere; will look good year after year… oh, and unlike the real thing, the cat won’t want to play with the branches.

Whether you stand it on a shelf, mantlepiece or table; or hang it on the wall, I guarantee it’s the coolest Christmas decoration you’ll see all year.

Get your Christmas Tree Light here for £120.

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PS: It’s awards season in the blogging world again, and I’m very excited to be nominated in this years’ blogging Oscars, the UK Blog Awards – in both the ‘Lifestyle’ and the ‘Most Innovative’ categories. So, if you enjoy reading this blog as much as I enjoy writing it, I’d be honoured if you’d click on the below links and vote for me. Voting takes literally seconds – you just enter your name and email address – and would make me incredibly happy!
To vote for me in the ‘Lifestyle’ category, click here:
http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/candidates/the-treasure-hunter-uk-2/
To vote for me in the ‘Most Innovative Blog’ category, click here:
http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/candidates/the-treasure-hunter-uk/
If you only feel like voting once, please vote in the Lifestyle category. Voting closes on 3rd December.
Thank you!

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