Nicely done, Ikea, Singapore!
You’re likely to have come across this problem if you’re a renter (or not so keen on DIY): how do I decorate without having to do anything drastic? It might seem like an impossible task and it’s understandable that you’re desperate to give your home a retro makeover – and why wouldn’t you?
You may not realise it straight away, but there are so many things you can do that doesn’t involve making any major changes, or at least any that can’t be easily changed back, and no, they don’t involve paint.
From hanging artwork to washi-tape walls, there are literally hundreds of easy-to-do ideas that even those who hate decorating canachieve. Here are just a few simple ideas for you to try at home yourself.
Create a Feature Wall with Frames
From walls pasted with conversational-patterned wall paper to walls neatly painted with 50s inspired pastel colours, it seems the world has gone feature wall mad. Yes, these walls can add a kitsch charm to a room but unfortunately you’re likely to have a hard time convincing your landlord to allow you to do the same – some people just don’t understand your amazing taste! But fear not: a feature wall doesn’t mean that you have to go all out with a roll of wallpaper.
Collecting frames, especially frames that do not match, and filling them with anything from old love letters, black and white photos and even wallpaper samples and then hanging them from your walls can be a fantastic way of injecting colour into a wall and giving your home a more personal touch.
If you’re struggling to source enough vintage frames for this kind of project, then simple black frames such as those available in shops such as Ikea hung against white walls not only give your room an instant retro look, but is super striking too.
Try using frames in a variety of shapes and sizes too as this will create a strong vintage-inspired look. Luckily, small holes in your wall are easy to rectify – just make sure you double check with your landlord first.
This are two old photographs from the year we moved into our house. I'd made a Dallas Simpson gypsy kid wall, and another of general, 1970s' ugly art. All these prints are now stored under our bed as I ran out of room from my collecting.
Clever Wall Décor on a Budget
This clever little trick could not be simpler to do and will cost you next to nothing, great for those who have a tight budget to adhere to. Paper tapes are all the rage at the moment and are around £3-£6 brand dependent (it’s worth doing some research as some brands are much better quality than others), and can be used for a whole host of things from creating temporary wallpapers to hanging photos and postcards without damaging the walls. Take a look at websites such as Pinterest for ideas and inspiration – there’s plenty out there.
You might associate canvases with your high-school art classes, but they have made a comeback in recent years and are a great way to brighten up a room and will compliment your kitsch décor just perfectly. Whether you opt to design your own, have one printed with your favourite photos or artwork, or buy a pre-made design, there are plenty of options available.
Companies such as canvasrepublic.com have a fantastic selection of pre-designedcanvases available in a wide range of designs, so there’s something to suit every colour scheme and taste – you can even have them printed with your own photos too.
It’s easier than you might think to give your walls a retro look, even if you’re unable to paint the walls. Let me know your retro décor ideas on Twitter.
My lovely friend Laura invited us over to the huge new Poundstretcher and Pet Hut store that opened last month here in Bangor. She helps manage the quite frankly gigantic superstore, and Michael & I called over to check out the bargains.
We loved the Hello Kitty collection they have for your own little kitty cat. I want to buy the bed for Mrs Meow.
The collection also has pet bowl mats for just £1.99 to help keep your kitchen floor clean, as well as scratching posts and boxes.
There are lots of other designs if you want something more chic....
... or seafaring.
Or just silly.
The Pet Hut also has bargain pet foods, treats, and basics for all types of animal, even princess hamsters.
The Poundstretcher half of the store has a massive selection of groceries and homewares as well as toys, stationary, clothing, and seasonal products. Here are some fun items we spotted.
Lots of gorgeous, chunky wool as well as other crafting supplies.
A whole row of kitchen brights. Great to jazz up your parlour this dull autumn.
We found tonnes of great Christmas present ideas at super prices. These cuddly cushions were just £3.99
And these flapping slippers are only £4.99 compared to the tv advertised ones which cost at least twice that.
Cute reindeer print bobble hats, I wouldn't mind one myself but I have a notoriously huge head that doesn't fit normal person hats. Shush- it's a seriously ailment!!!
Super cute stocking filler hot water bottles. Perfect present for grannies. Reduced to £3.99
Very Cath Kidston without having to spend £25
There are lots of little gift sets too at great prices. Good presents for teachers, Sunday School leaders, aunties etc.
Put a fox on anything and I'll want it. These felt bags for £2.99 are a steal.
Lastly some kitschy Christmas decorations. They've a whole aisle of your usual tinsel, baubles etc at great prices, but these couple of items stuck out as I've never seen them elsewhere even at a higher price.
In love with these candy cane solar lights. Going to get myself some for the front garden and four of them for £5 is grand.
Lastly these 3D decorations caught my eye as they are so tacky and kitsch (sorry, Laura!) but in the best way. Proper, old school 1970s' style over the top Christmas. I love them.
Happy, shiny Santa.
Opening times, latest products and store finder all online at their website.
When it comes to styling your home, especially when you want to create a vintage, retro or kitsch haven, attention to detail is everything. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should lay your focus on the small things that finish off the look; there are plenty of larger things that require your attention too. One of the most important (and often most difficult) aspects to make sure you get right is the furniture, and from the bathroom to the living room there are plenty of rooms to fill with gorgeous pieces. Whether you’re adding to your beloved retro collection or starting from scratch, here are some tips to help inspire you into creating your gorgeous retro home.
Only Splash Out on Investment Pieces
As much as we all dream of filling every room to the brim with retro treasures, cost-wise it simply isn’t viable for the majority of us. Due to the current popularity of retro and vintage, you’ll often find that things most people were giving away a few years ago now come with an incredibly high price tag. For this reason, you should only splurge on things you love and that are truly worth the investment.
Whether it’s a kitchen sideboard in duck-egg blue or a mustard yellow 50’s Swedish sofa, take your time in sourcing items to complement your home and the décor you have no doubt already carefully picked out.
Remember to only invest in pieces that are well made and that will stay looking fantastic for years to come. Vintage pieces can often have their flaws, and, unless you have the knowledge to repair them yourself, you’re going to be stuck with something that looks great but could be totally unusable.
Don’t be Afraid to DIY
If you’re finding it hard to source the perfect piece of furniture, fear not: there are plenty of easy-to-do tutorials available online which mean that creating your own furniture could not be simpler.
Don’t be disheartened if you can’t find the coffee table you’ve been dreaming of; from simple ideas like changing the colour of your old sofa to more challenging ideas such as creating your own dining room table, there are plenty of inspirational guides available online for free!
Mix Old & New
It may not be something you’ve considered, but there are plenty of modern furniture companies that have fantastic collections of furniture you can mix with your truly retro pieces. The best thing about picking modern furniture is that often it is easier than you may think to give it a kitsch makeover.
From painting your dining room chairs in pastel colours to giving a bedside cabinet and book cases that ever popular shabby chic finish; whatever sweet theme you’ve picked out for your home you can make some simple changes to make sure your furniture matches too!
Hopefully this will help you see just how easy it is to get your furniture looking as kitsch as the rest of your home, without having to fork out too much of your hard earned cash to get this sought after look.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, giving your bedroom a sweet makeover is almost as exciting as Christmas, and no matter whether you’re eighteen or thirty-eight you’re bound to have plenty of ideas of how your dream room will look. If you’ve decided to give your bedroom a kitsch makeover, there are just so many options and ideas out there, especially if you do a little online research, and so the finished product may look nothing like what you had originally set out to create.
When it comes to decorating, especially if you’re considering kitsch and retro, it’s important to stick to your guns and not make decisions on a whim. Whether you’re planning a full bedroom makeover or you’re just looking for inspiration for a future project, here are just a few ideas to give you a little inspiration for a gorgeous bedroom makeover.
Size Doesn’t Matter
Whether your bedroom is spacious and airy or a tiny haven that rivals Harry Potter’s cupboard under the stairs, there is so much you can do no matter what size space you have to work with. It’s important to plan in order to make sure that things fit perfectly, from the bedright down to the trinkets you have on display. Measure up your room and decide what things you can (and can’t) fit into it and then go from there; this way you won’t be disappointed when the furniture you picked out just won’t go in.
The Perfect Colour Scheme
For kitsch or retro rooms, pastel colours and sugary shades of pink immediately spring to mind. Whilst these sorts of colours may work well if you’re decorating just for you, you may have a bit of a battle on your hands if you have to persuade your not-so-girly partner that they love these colours too. Don’t worry, just compromise. Picking something neutral such as white definitely doesn’t mean that your room will lack that retro charm, and you can add colour in other ways, whether it’s through painted furniture, brightly coloured bunting or even through organising your books in colour order. Plus, compromising on colour schemes now means you have leeway for getting your own way with other (more important) decisions later!
If you’re renting, you may find that your contract has certain restrictions on the changes you can make to your home – especially when it comes to major changed like painting. Unfortunately not everyone’s tastes will be the same as yours (they’re clearly just being silly!) and so convincing your landlord to let you paint your bedroom anything other than white is unlikely to be an easy task. Don’t fret, you can temporarily add some colour to your walls and create a gorgeous feature wall by using washi (or paper) tape in your favourite colours.
Clever Storage Solutions
As much as you love your treasured collection of trinkets and no doubt want the whole world to see them, one of the key things to making your room looking as kitsch as possible is to make sure you don’t overcrowd it by having everything on display at once. Yes, the small details matter, but choose carefully the things you want to keep out and the things you want to keep carefully stored away.
Picking out bedroom furniture is a huge decision and although you might think that you have to splash out on true retro pieces in order to have a retro-inspired room, you don’t! In fact, many modern furniture companies offer some beautiful furniture that will fit in with your chosen décor theme (and will most likely last longer than the original pieces do too).
It’s important you have enough storage space, especially if you’re stuck for space and so picking out pieces with plenty of drawers and cupboards is a great way of keeping your ornaments out of harm’s way. Mixing new and old is also a fantastic way of keeping down costs, too!
Hopefully this will help you to add plenty of personality and amazing kitsch ideas to your bedroom. Happy decorating!
Lidl NI are giving away £50 of vouchers every day until Halloween, but you'll need a laptop or PC as the game is Flash-based. I called into the Bangor Lidl store this afternoon to check out what fun, spooky wares they have in, as last year we had some ghostly shaped nuggets! The nuggets are back this year too, but my favourite product by far are the sausages with pumpkin prints through them.
There are lots of trick or treat supplies at great prices, and party supplies for next week.
The frozen section also holds some surprising Halloween themed treats.
There's also a selection of costumes for all ages, and home decorations.
There's been a lot of buzz on Facebook this week in various groups about the opening of Bangor's first proper burrito bar. Mex Elketo, newly opened at the services on the Rathgael Road has the fast, Mexican food experience that until now was only available a half hour drive away in Belfast.
Elketo is a healthy alternative to a regular takeaway, with slow cooked, pulled meats, nutritious beans & peppers and lots of fresh salsa. Their classic burrito is quite the belly buster, and it's up to you how spicy you dare go.
Is it just me who wishes they could get a big spoon and just eat all that fresh, colourful corn salsa?
As well as burritos their menu offers tacos, sides like sweet potato fries, freshly made tortillas with nacho cheese, and my favourite the burrito bowl, which is a big tub of meat, rice, peppers and salsa.
To test out the menu my husband tried the pulled chicken burrito and made it super spicy. Their house chilli sauce will blow your socks off.
I can't handle the heat as well as Michael can, so I went for the taco chip. Healthy, low-fat sweet potato fries topped with pulled beef, cheese and salsa. Absolutely delicious and big enough to take two sittings to eat.
The sweet potato fries are a must try. Call into Mex Elketo any day between 11am and 8pm (hours will be lengthening soon) and befriend Elketo on Facebook to stay up to date with offers, news, competitions and to find out when their exclusive app launches. (Search 'Mex Elketo')
A little peek at what Ikea is currently bring stocked with for Christmas 2014. Some items will already be in stock from 1st October, so get stocked up early. Being a red & white stripe junkie I'm thinking of making my present wrapping all brown parcel paper with red & white stripe cable string decorations this year. Classic.
What catches your eye? Check out the ranges here.
Loving the classic gold.
Plain green wrap with gold ribbon would look swell.
Adore these prints on parcel paper.
These doodles remind me of the Moomins.
Wine bottle boxes
IKEA also sell real Christmas trees at very reasonable prices in December, more on that when I know the date it starts. As for now, you can get a head start with buying your decorations.
I am useless at making gingerbread houses, but every year I give it a go!
Foxes and owls.
The bird houses are so cute. I think I'll buy a couple of packs and hang them outdoors all year round.
A young ambassador with his Ferrero Roche?
Hairy faced babies, what's to be frightened of??