When we were planning our loft extension, I didn’t want the new extension to feel like an ‘extension’. I wanted it to feel like it had always been there and flowed with the rest of the house. Of course the exterior would always look slightly different and more contemporary, since slate cladded boxy dorma’s weren’t exactly a trend back in the victorian era. But, what was important to me was that the fixtures such as skirting and architraves all matched (or at least the best they could) to add that beloved character back into the new extension.

So here’s my guide on how you can add character into your modern extension..

Skirting Boards

Our lounge had the original deep victorian skirting boards when we moved in, the 195mm kind, so this is something we wanted to replicate across the rest of our house as we started our renovation project. In hindsight we probably should have ripped the original ones out at the beginning, as we ended up sourcing the almost the exact same ones in MDF from skirtingworld and the time we spent sanding the trillion layers of paint off the originals could have been better spent on pinterest or in the pub. But, never mind. Lesson learnt.

And something which is a huge bug bear for me is that when we had our flooring laid, we had to have a horrible beading edge trim the old skirting boards to hide the expansion gap. Unlike the new skirting boards, which could sit ontop of the new flooring and hide these gaps. But unless your a pro DIY-er, how would you know these things!?

For the record I chose the 324 Skirting board in size 195mm from Skirtingworld.

Loft landing.   Rug Runner   Wayfair £113.00, Wallpaper- Divine Savages   Deco Martini    , Plant Stand - Matalan, £6 -   shop here for similar  , Paint - farrow and Ball-   Railings  .

Loft landing. Rug Runner Wayfair £113.00, Wallpaper- Divine Savages Deco Martini , Plant Stand - Matalan, £6 - shop here for similar , Paint - farrow and Ball- Railings.


Does your home have the original architraves? Or are you starting from scratch? It was the same story for us. Original architraves on the ground and first floor, which again had accumulated layers of thick paint over the past 100 odd years.

This is also something that can easily be ripped out and added back in if you have a good carpenter, and can still feel very much ‘characterful’ if thats a word. If you already have original ones and feel as though your monster to rip them out, I feel your pain, however you are NOT a monster. However having flush closing doors and beautiful architraves which emulate your houses period style is the way forward.

I chose the Victorian 1 MDF Architrave in 95mm width and 18mm thickness for our loft extension as these matched the old ones the best. If I could start the house all over, I would have these everywhere. But that’s another story for another day.

Dado Rail

If you know me, then you will know this is something I’m passionate about. We added a dado rail into our hallway to break up the wallpaper and paint. See previous blog post to read more on that. Top tip, choose a dado rail that looks most similar to your architraves to keep in with your homes period style.

Loft landing.

Loft landing.


If you can afford it, and again its in fitting with your homes period, why not add that beloved coving back in. Find local coving/plaster specialists in your area who can make a mould to match your original.

Ceiling Roses

If you have the head height in your new extension, and the room calls for it, add a ceiling rose to your extension. But only if its appropriate. Many modern extensions have skylights, and feature lights which might not work with a ceiling rose. However, it’s something to keep in mind if you want to add in.

Victorian style ceiling Rose in our lounge, with original victorian coving.

Victorian style ceiling Rose in our lounge, with original victorian coving.

Spindles / Handrails

We had lovely spindles on our original landing/banister. They weren’t the original ones, but they were beautifully shaped and fitted with our homes victorian style. When the new stairs went in for the loft we needed new spindles, so made the call to replace them all. This is something I would completely recommend. At the end of the day, consistency is key in any home, so choose new ones and choose ones which emulate your homes original period.

Brick Slip Tiles

When planning our loft we talked about keeping the original brick chimney breast wall as a feature. However, once the stairs went in, and I saw the original walls in all their jagged and dusty glory, I changed my mind. We did however consider using these old stock style brick slip tiles from UK feature walls though to achieve the same look. But in the end, we went down a different root and kept the walls plastered and painted.

Brick slip tiles are a great way to add character back in to create that old cottage, or loft apartment look without having to chip the plaster off the walls. The texture is just like real bricks and if you use a traditional mortar mix, the end result will look like its always been there. And, did you know you can also use brick slips on the outside of your home too? So you can say goodbye to the pebble dash/ plastered exteriors, and hello to old style bricks again. It’s definitely something to bare in mind if you hate the exterior of your home.

Image credit from Pinterest

Image credit from Pinterest

This post was sponsored by UK Feature walls and Skirting World. Everything written is 100% my opinion.



When Wayfair asked if I wanted to be part of their latest home expert challenge I jumped at the chance.  Celebrating the start of spring and all things greenery,  this month's challenge is all about plant pots, and creating your dream planter of choice by giving one a bit of a makeover. As you might know already I blooming love a house plant so I couldn't wait to create my own pot for one, in my home style. 

I decided immediately that I wanted it to be dark and have touches of metallic so first I chose the Gem Round planter by Sfeer Voor Jou (£27.99) from Wayfair's huge planter range for its gorgeous hexagonal shape. 

And then this is exactly what I did, encase you want to do it too.....

1. To begin, clean your pot encase it has any dirt or grease. Mine was brand new so it didn't need a clean, but I'd recommend doing this if you were pimping up an old planter. 

Gem Round Plant Pot by Sfeer Voor Jou

2. I then sprayed the entire pot black (inside and out). It's important to do this in a ventilated area, so I did it in my garden with a bit of cardboard to protect the table. You can see the difference below from wet to dry and how lovely the matt finish is! 

3. I then used gold foil leaf along with some Mixton relief (a special glue) to start layering up the glue and the gold leaf gradually, spreading the glue in different directions with a small paint brush. **Top Tip** make sure the glue is almost dry and tacky before applying the gold leaf, otherwise it won't stick, and worst case can take off the black paint underneath. 

After I'd finished layering up the gold foil, I primed the vase with a PVA glue to give the foil a protective shield, but you can also use a clear varnish if you have any around the house.  You can layer as much or as little of the gold foil as you like. **Top Tip** be messy with the glue (Mixiton relief) so you achieve a more random look. 

DIY Metallic planter

This DIY plant pot might not be to everyone's taste, but with the right colour combinations you can make something look more unique and more you.  Go on, give it a go. 

To achieve a similar look all you need is...

  • 1 x plant pot 
  • 1 x small paint brush to spread the glue 
  • 1 x Can of acrylic spray paint in black (or any colour of your choice)
  • 1 pack of metallic gold foil 
  • 1 tube Mixton relief (glue for the gold foil)
  • PVA glue or clear varnish to seal the foil. 




This post was sponsored by Wayfair. I wouldn't post anything I didn't agree with or personally like. 


DIY Upholstered footstool

Are you are thinking of buying a foot stool to fill a space in your lounge? Or perhaps you’d like an ottoman for your bedroom? Before you take the plunge and spend a few hundred quid, maybe consider covering your own.

Not only will it be better for the environment, but also much more cost effective and could save you hundreds, not to mention the self-satisfaction it brings you. what I REALLY mean is total smugness!!

So where to start, well ebay is a good place, so are car boot sales, gumtree or even vintage flea markets. I bought my one below from Kempton antiques market for £20.

Find a shape and a price you like and remember that anything is possible so don’t be put off by the print or fabric. As long as the legs are sturdy and the frame isn’t riddled with wood worm you can cover anything.

Once you have a frame then all you need is the fabric. Velvet is a favourite of mine and is still up trending and you’ll find plenty of online merchants willing to give you a deal. If you do go for a velvet maybe choose a cotton one. They're more mat, clean and more in keeping to what you would find in the shops if you were to buy your own velvet stool. Alternatively jacquards, and heavy canvas fabrics are also good, just make sure they are hardwearing and don't contain any stretch. 

What you'll need;

A foot stool to cover

Nail gun and spare nails

pair of scissors



(and an extra pair of hands can come in handy if your new to this).

DIY Upholstered footstool

1. First buy an old footstool that's in need of a makeover. (As I mentioned before, I bought mine from Kempton market for £20). 


2. Strip it back. If you find its actually not antique (like me) and it's made of PU,  then keep this as its a smooth base to cover over. Yep mine looked lovely and french but it was probably just from DFS... Good job I only paid £20 for it! 


3. Start with the base. Measure and cut a piece of fabric that fits around the base. If you're using velvet decide if you want the fabric pile up or pile down. Pile up will make the colour look brighter. 

Then using the nail gun, nail the fabric inside. For the ends, fold the edges in for a smooth, clean look. 

At the base fold the fabric in to create pleats. Then pull teh fabric tight and staple. Use the hammer to knock in any nails which haven't gone in fully. 

4. Then for the top, unscrew it from the base and lay it on top of the fabric and cut around, allowing an extra 5cm seam allowance to pull it over. Then pull tight and use the nail gun to secure. Hammer down any nails that are sticking out. 

And thats it. One finished footstool. The nails are inside and underneath so you can't see them. 

If you want, you could line the base to hide the nails. I did this with an ottoman that I covered, but depending on what your using it for, you don't need too. 




Today’s blog post is all about how you can re-create your own designer lampshade for a fraction of the price; let’s call it the House of hackney Hack! Even though it’s bound to get on House of hackney’s wick. Hackney… wick.. get it  (sorry, but I couldn’t help myself… taxi for Cotton). But as Oscar Wilde once said ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’, and if you learn anything from this post, it should be the knowledge that lamp covering isn’t that difficult and if I can do it, you certainly can.  So, let’s get started.

Read More



Sometimes all it takes is a little know how, arm grease and a good old DIY store to help pimp your dining table. I was hosting a dinner party when we accidentally scorched the table, leaving it with a lovely white mark, right in the centre.  I've googled tutorials on getting white heat marks out yourself with an iron and a damp cloth, but after years of ignoring all the scratches, dents and marks I thought it was time to take action. Spend less than £70 to re vamp, or get a new table. It didnt take long to decide which option to go with...

Read More



I love sharing home renovations with you. In my opinion there’s no better feeling, than the feeling of accomplishment when its all over and you can finally enjoy all the hard work and expense.  All of the blood, sweat and tears which have gone into a project, or in most cases, the bad backs, stress and sleepless nights. Especially if you’re doing the renovation yourself or project managing it.

When home owners Helena & Martin moved to Chalfont St Peter, they took on a new project; A four bedroom detached 1970’s house with tones of potential to be a beautiful family home. The main focus was modernising the home with new fixtures, fittings and decor. First up, the kitchen. 

Read More



I’ve been a little quiet on the blogging front for the last couple of weeks. But today I can finally share what I’ve been up to. I’ve been busy undertaking my first (self-taught) upholstery project.

A couple of months ago I purchased an old brown ottoman from a charity shop for a bargain £15, and as much as I love brown cord – I mean who doesn’t?, my obsession with Blush pink took over and I decided I could finally get that coveted pink velvet item into my house without breaking the bank. Heres how I did it...

Read More



How do you turn a blank canvas of a home into a house full of personality?  – by adding sixties design, a mix of vintage and Moroccan and South African textiles throughout, is how.

Welcome to Mel’s mid-century modern townhouse. 

Read More