A Visit to Burford Garden Company, Oxfordshire

A yellow vintage Citroen van sits nestled between some small trees and plants in front of the Garden Centre

For ages people have been telling me that I should visit Burford Garden Company. After a couple of friends told me that it would be right up my street, I put it on my ‘to do’ list. After the fifth person told me that I would love it, I realised that they really must be on to something and finally set aside some time to pay a visit.

Well, I can tell you now, I certainly wasn’t disappointed! The whole store is a feast for the eyes. I couldn’t stop snapping photos at every corner and I just had to share it with you!

A room filled floor to ceiling with green leafy tropical plants, sucullents and cacti

Burford Garden Company is a haven for all who are green fingered, but if (like me) you’re not overly handy with the secateurs, I can still absolutely recommend a visit. There is something for everyone here, regardless of whether or not you’re a keen gardener.

Despite the name, the Garden Company also stocks an impressive range of house plants, home decor, food and drink, and another of my true loves, stationery.

As a lover of interior design it can often feel as though all of the best home decor haunts are in London, so as an Oxfordshire resident I was so excited to find out that there was somewhere local to me with so much inspiration and so many beautiful buys packed into one space!

A shop display featuring set up to look like a mini home office with a retro wooden desk and chair and a brass lamp

A shop display with terrariums created in large vintage glass jars

A bright and airy glass house filled with rustic tables holding wooden trays of bulbs

It’s worth a trip to Burford Garden Company for the displays alone. You will stumble upon gorgeous glasshouses, vintage vehicles, and even a yellow submarine, nestled in amongst the beautifully curated collection of plants, both indoor and out.

If you’re a fan of all things rustic or the jungalow aesthetic, you will be in heaven!

An old rustic wooden cart stacked high with large green leafy plants

As a fan of unusual houseplants I was also over the moon to discover that the range here extends to, amongst many others, the ever elusive (at least in Oxfordshire!) air plants, String of Pearl succulents and Rosary Vines. These are three plants I’ve been in search of for over a year now, but hadn’t yet had the joy of coming across. Needless to say, I was like a kid in a candy shop!

A rusty metal dish filled with numerous air plants Two terracotta pots filled with unusual green and orange seed pods

I was wandering around the store for a couple of hours and I know that I didn’t even scratch the surface. I definitely left with my basket a little heavier, my bank account a little lighter, but my smile a lot wider. I know I’ll be back to realise more of my jungalow dreams!

Have you ever paid a visit to Burford Garden Company? Do let me know if there is anything I missed that I should keep an eye out for next time, or if you have any suggestions for other wonderful spots in Oxfordshire where I can satisfy my appetite for plants and decor!

DIYs to Bring the Seaside Home

I’ve just returned from a wonderful stay by the seaside in Devon, a favourite of the TFD household when we’re in need of some R&R. We go at least once a year and make sure to stay right on the seafront where we sit with endless cups of tea and lots of books (I finished 3 last week, a new personal record!).

A blue seaside scene with two sail boats on the horizon

I love being by the sea and every time I’m there I can’t help but become more inspired than ever. The last week was no exception and, although I’m pining to be back on the beach with the sand between my toes, I’m also feeling refreshed and my mind is now bursting with ideas! I’m lucky enough to really enjoy my job, but there’s something about clearing your mind of the everyday and getting away from the 9 to 5 that just helps to recharge those creative batteries!

I live nowhere near the sea, so I love to include beach inspired elements in my home decor to remind me to stay inspired. In this post I’m going to show you a couple of my favourite, super easy (and I seriously mean super easy!) seaside inspired crafts, perfect for city homes and coastal dwellings alike.

 

Driftwood star

A small DIY star made from lots of small driftwood sticks.

A group of images showing how to DIY your own seaside driftwood star.

Cut a circle from some sturdy cardboard and use a glue gun to fix drift wood in place all the way around. Yes, it’s as easy as that!

 

A trio of images depicting a seaside themed pendant made of pebbles, seaside themed beads and buttons. Another picture shows some clear fishing line used in the DIY.

Thread clear fishing line through pebbles and shells with holes in to create a nautical pendant that you can hang anywhere in your home. I’ve also added some freshwater pearls, buttons and other nautical treasures to give a pop of colour!

A seaside scene showing waves ebbing against the shore with a blue sky in the background.

Let me know if you gave these DIYs a go, I’d really like to see how they turned out. I would love to hear from you if you have any tips for my next visit to Devon too!

 

Living Room Makeover: Geometric Feature Wall

A room with a geometric feature wall painted with geometric triangular shapes in navy, grey and sage green, with a giant anglepoise floor lamp and some metal shelves.

Our house is a new build and, as with many new builds, we were advised not to paint the walls for the first 18 months. This is a rule that we stuck to, but I’ve been longing to give our living room a statement wall for months, so I was hitting up the local DIY shops as soon as we reached the point that we were allowed to paint!

I’m never one to shy away from a bold decor statement, and having had the last year and a half to plan I decided that instead of picking one paint colour, I wanted to pick three. Finally, last weekend, armed with some Frog Tape and a paint roller, I set to work on my long awaited geometric masterpiece, and I’m so pleased with how it turned out that I’m going to share with you how I did it!

A room with a geometric feature wall painted with geometric triangular shapes in navy, grey and sage green, with a black sofa and a vintage navy trunk, a large floor lamp and some metal shelves.

Take some time to plan the shapes you would like, where you want your lines to sit and what colour you want each shape to be. I sketched out lots of different designs and picked a favourite before I set to work marking it out on the wall using masking tape.

Ideally you will use a laser level to get the masking tape lines perfectly straight on the wall, but if, like me, you don’t have access to one of these magical tools, I can reassure you that it is still possible to get the lines straight by eye. Just take a step back each time you apply some tape and re-adjust as necessary. Your lines won’t be perfect, but honestly, no-one will notice!

Top tip: Make sure you use a good quality masking tape for this project. My go-to is Frog Tape. You want your lines to be as clean as possible and by using cheaper masking tape you can run the risk of your paint lines bleeding into each other. Not a good look!

A plain white wall with masking tape laid out to make geometric shapes.
I chose to bring the shapes in my feature wall out slightly onto the adjacent walls. I feel that this adds to the impact whilst also tying the room together a little more.

You will also want to mask off the areas that you don’t want to paint, like skirting boards, the ceiling, plug sockets, and so on. My wall also had a radiator on, which I chose to take down so that I could paint behind it.

2 plug sockets with masking tape around the edges.

Once you’ve masked off all of the necessary areas and made sure that your floor and furniture are all sufficiently covered by a protective sheet, it’s time to get painting!

A geometric feature wall in the midst of being decorated. The floor is covered with a plastic sheet and the walls are partially painted.

Once you have filled in all of your geometric shapes with paint and they are completely dry, you can gently pull off the masking tape. You’re not finished yet though! Obviously, the parts of the wall that were hidden under the masking tape will be unpainted, leaving gaps between each shape. You may want to keep these lines, but for me, it wasn’t the look I was aiming for so I  masked up the areas next to these unpainted lines and filled in the gaps.

A geometric feature wall painted with triangular shapes in navy, grey and sage green. There are white lines between each painted triangle and dotted lines have been drawn to show where the masking tape should go.

A feature wall painted with geometric triangular shapes in navy, grey and sage green. There are white lines between each triangle and coloured lines have been drawn to show which areas need to be painted over.

Once again, you will need to wait for the paint to dry. Then, once you’ve removed the masking tape (again!) you’re done. You have the geometric feature wall of your dreams!

A blank white wall with 6 framed pictures on it and with a black sofa, a large lamp and a set of metal shelves in front.
Before
A room with a geometric feature wall painted with triangular shapes in navy, grey and sage green, with a black sofa and a vintage navy trunk, a large floor lamp and some metal shelves.
After

I’m so excited to have tackled my first big painting project in the house. It was a bold move, but I really feel that it’s made the living room a much more cohesive space.

Let me know if you decide to give this a go. I would love to hear how it turns out!

Giant Pegboard DIY

Following the latest season of Revamp Restyle Reveal, I’ve been feeling inspired to tackle the rooms of our house that just haven’t had much love, and our blank walled bathroom was at the top of he list! Over the last year I’ve gathered plenty of knick knacks that I thought would look great in our bathroom and I’ve been longing for a way to display my finds so that I can enjoy them while I have a soak. Never wishing to waste an opportunity to exercise some creativity and to hone my DIY skills, I decided that I wanted to more than just put up some shelves, and after a fair bit of Pinterest browsing I decided that a giant pegboard was the answer to my woes!  I loved the idea of being able to switch things up on whim and how this practical storage solution doubles as a quirky, industrial style, decor statement. If you like the sound of this too, you should definitely read on to find out how to make your own!

2 giant plywood pegboards mounted on a wall, styled with some littloe shelves and hanging plants.

Materials for this project:

  • Plywood of the size and thickness of your choice (my boards were 12mm thick)
  • Dowel (to make the pegs)

Tools for this project:

  • A drill
  • A Forstner drill bit (the same diameter as your dowel)
  • A spirit level (for mounting your board to the wall)
  • Goggles (because nobody wants to get flying bits of plywood in their eyes)

Overall, this was an extremely affordable project. One huge sheet of 12mm thick softwood ply cost me £28 and the hardware shop that I bought it from cut it to size for free. I insisted on taking all of the offcuts home for future DIY projects (so watch this space!). I wanted my boards to be slightly raised off the wall, so I also bought 4 pine batons to use for mounting the boards, along with a metre of dowel to make the pegs. All in, the materials for this project cost me less than £40!

Now, depending on the space that the pegboard is going in, the sizes and measurements will be different for everyone. In case you’re interested though, my pegboards were 100cm x 55cm and the peg holes were all 14mm. With a lot of careful measuring I worked out that I needed a gap of 7.5 cm at the top and the bottom of the board and a gap of 2.5cm on each side in order to space the peg holes 10cm apart. I took my time working out these measurements and marked out exactly where each hole needed to go before going anywhere near a drill. Remember, measure twice (or about twenty times if you’re me!) and drill once. Trust me, patience will save you A LOT of hassle in the long run!

After carefully measuring up, I put my plywood on a raised workbench, making sure that there was nothing underneath that I would accidentally make a hole in. I then donned my goggles and started drilling small 3mm pilot holes right the way through the board into every point that I had marked for the peg holes. This is an important step for reasons that will become apparent later on! Whilst doing this I made sure to keep my drill as upright as possible to ensure that the drill holes were not wonky, otherwise the peg holes would be wonky, and then the pegs would be wonky… and nobody wants wonky pegs.

Next, I swapped my 3mm drill bit for a 14mm Forstner drill bit and, using each pilot hole as a guide, I drilled approximately half way through the thickness of the plywood (again, keeping the drill as upright as possible). Now, why not drill all the way through, you might ask? Well, during my practice runs I quickly realised that if I drilled all the way through in one go, the drill bit would splinter the plywood on the way out. Not pretty!

The pegboard in progress. A picture of a drill and some plywood with one partially drilled hole.

Top tip: If you’re inexperienced with drills (like me!) use some scrap plywood to practice on. This way you can perfect your technique before making a start on the real thing!

Another top tip: You can actually buy guiding tools that will ensure that your drill holes are as straight as possible. I didn’t know they existed until after I’d completed this project (damn!). My pegboard still turned out great, but if you want yours to be the height of perfection then you might want to consider one of these!

After drilling about half way through on the one side, I then flipped the plywood over to drill the rest of the way through on the other side of each hole, creating a nice clean cut on both sides. Now, this is where the pilot holes really come into their own, because you can see exactly where you drilled through on the other side of your pegboard and you know that you’re going to meet in the middle!

A picture of the pegboard in progress. A drill on top of a sheet of plywood with lots of partially drilled holes. It's starting to look like a pegboard, but it's not quite there yet.

Yay! Now you’ve drilled all of your holes, you have a pegboard! On to the fun of mounting the board on the wall…

Every home is different, so you will have to tailor this step to suit the type of walls that you have. I have plasterboard walls, so for each board I opted to cut 2 pine batons to the same width and, after a lot more careful measuring, I used plasterboard fixings to secure these to the wall exactly where I wanted the top and bottom of each pegboard to go. I then attached the pegboards to the pine batons with screws, using a spirit level to keep the boards straight….Well, I say ‘I’ did this, actually it was ‘we’. Mounting these boards to the wall was definitely a 2 person job and I would recommend getting help from a trusted companion for this task!

Before the pegboards went up. Just an empty wall with one lone framed picture.
Before…
2 pegboards mounted on the wall
After!

When your pegboard is finally mounted on the wall, you can style it and rearrange it to your hearts content! I used some of the offcuts of my plywood to make little shelves and I also found it a great place to hang some plants!

This is by far one of the biggest DIY projects I’ve tried, and it’s also one of my favourites. I hope that it’s inspired you to have a go yourself! I would love to know what you think, so feel free to get in touch!

Floating Frame DIY

I love crafting and I’m always looking for creative ways to display the things that I’ve made and pieces of artwork that I’ve found. I’ve recently discovered an incredibly easy way to create beautifully minimalist floating frames out of things that you will probably have already lying round your home, and I wanted to share it with you!

All you will need:

2 bulldog clips and 2 matching picture frames

 

You will only need the glass from the picture frames, so they don’t need to be particularly fancy. I chose to use some basic clip frames, which you can find in a variety of sizes in most homeware shops.

Once you’ve removed the glass from each frame you can slot your chosen artwork in between the two panes and use a bulldog clamp on each side to hold them together (whilst, of course, being careful of any sharp edges and taking care not to break the glass!).

That’s it. That’s all you need to do. I told you it was easy!

 

2 floating frames, one with colourful confetti in and one with pressed flowers

 

The frames that I have made are 13cm x 18cm and I only need to use a couple of small bulldog clips. For bigger frames you can use bigger clips, and you may need to use more than 2.

 

One floating frame with a polaroid picture in

I love how versatile these frames are. They suit a wide range of decor styles because of how minimalist they look. It’s also so quick and easy to swap out what’s inside and they’re a great way to display all kinds of keepsakes. I’ve filled my frames with polaroids, small paintings, pressed flowers and colourful confetti, but the possibilities are endless!

 

One floating frame with a small watercolour painting of two roses and some leaves

 

A floating frame with some pressed flowers in

 

I would love to see what you use your floating frames for. Get in touch and let me know what you come up with!

 

 

 

Why I Love Second Hand

Second hand boots lying on grassAs you join me on my blogging journey it will quickly become very apparent to you how much I love buying vintage and second hand! A few years ago I didn’t tend to buy pre-loved items much at all, but whilst I was at university my penchant for 50s and 60s vintage and my student budget led me to vintage boutiques and charity shops alike, and this habit has now helped me to furnish my own home!

So, why do I love buying second hand and why should you embrace it too?

 

Save money

Of course, not everything second hand is cheap, but if you shop wisely then very often it is cheaper than buying new.

 

Minimise waste

It’s so easy to get caught up in a world where most things are mass produced and everything is considered disposable. By buying second hand you’re giving items a new lease of life, which is better for the environment, not just your wallet!

 

Escape fast fashion

I’m not one to completely avoid buying things new and many brands strive to be ethical and are absolutely worth supporting. However, there are also a lot of companies using very questionable practices. By buying second hand or vintage it’s great to know that my money is going to a charity or an independent business owner.

 

DIY opportunities

I love upcycling, so buying second hand furniture and clothes really appeals to my creative side. Often, when buying second hand you have to look past the item in front of you and see what it could become, a skill that quickly becomes second nature! Of course, sometimes you’ll find a gem that is perfect the way it is, but I love nothing more than finding a piece of clothing or furniture that I like and turning it into something I love.

 

History

This is more for the vintage side of second hand. I’m an absolute sucker for anything from the 1940s, 50s and 60s and I own many items from these eras, particularly clothing. Buying vintage isn’t always cheap, but the quality is often amazing and if you choose pieces you love they can be with you for a lifetime. To me, not only am I re-loving a piece of furniture or clothing that someone loved in the past, I own a piece of history. Isn’t that pretty cool?!

Do you love buying pre-loved items too? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

Industrial Decor on a Budget

Industrial decor takes inspiration from old industrial spaces and factories. It’s style rooted in simplicity and utilitarianism, yet, when done correctly, it looks absolutely stunning. Raw materials, such as cement, metal and wood, and a neutral colour palette are key to achieving this style, and at the moment it’s easy enough to find industrial pieces all over the place. However, despite being easy to find, these pieces can often be eye-wateringly pricey. In this post I’ll show you that this can also be a very budget friendly trend. So, whether you would like to decorate a whole room, or just incorporate a few industrial elements into your decor, read on if you would like some inspiration on where to begin without breaking the bank!

 

Keep things as they are: If you have exposed bricks or beams, leave them as they are! Elements like this are key to the industrial style and, if they’re already a feature of your home, will cost you absolutely nothing.

Simplicity: Industrial style is very utilitarian. Focus on what you want a room’s function to be and select a few key furniture items that fit this criteria. The occasional knick-knack can also help to add to the industrial feel of a room, but it’s best to be selective with these and be careful not to go overboard!

Neutral Colour palette: One of the cheapest and easiest ways to transform a room or a piece of furniture is with paint. The industrial colour palette is all about neutral tones, such as greys and browns, so there’s no need to worry about clashing colours. Use paints in this colour palette to spruce up your walls or give old furniture an industrial makeover.

 

 

 

Get salvaging: Never be afraid to go for pre-loved items! Charity shops and salvage yards can be a treasure trove of reasonably priced industrial pieces. Many items may need a bit of tlc, but the beauty of industrial decor is that it makes a feature of imperfections. Items like chairs, old leather suitcases, tarnished mirrors and metal bed frames are easy to find and can be picked up at very affordable prices!

Get creative: Re-purposed items are such a fun way to add an industrial twist to a room and provide great opportunities for a bit of a DIY project. Maybe you can turn a trunk into a coffee table, or make some scaffold boards into a set of industrial shelves (just make sure to give them a good scrub down with disinfectant first!).

Wall art: This is one of my favourite ways to inject some personality into a room. Vintage posters, adverts and educational charts can easily be picked up online and make a perfect finishing touch to any industrial style space, especially when stuck straight onto a wall or hung in a wooden poster hanger.

 

…anyway, these are just a few affordable ways that I’ve welcomed some industrial decor into my home, but there are so many other great ways to go with such a versatile style. Feel free to comment and let me know how you’ve added some industrial décor to your home!