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How we transformed our garden with less than £100, and you can too!

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been deep cleaning the house and preparing the garden for summer. Okay, okay, yes it’s a little bit crazy that when business is booming and the wedding is literally days away we’ve decided to give ourselves all this extra work… But it’s really important that our house is lovely and clean when we leave it for our honeymoon, so when we come back we’re not coming back to lots of jobs to do.

We’ve had astroturf in the garden since I moved in 4 years ago, and I’ve never truly been happy with it. It never looked real and it was always wet and horrible (we live in England, why didn’t I think of this before!). The garden became a dumping ground in the winter and it ended up getting so out of control. One wet soggy day I decided just to rip the whole thing up and replace it with decorative stones. Little did I know how much of a job it was going to be but we’re FINALLY✨ getting there (not finished!).How we transformed our garden with less than £100, and you can too! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Why we chose gravel

Decorative stones can come in all different shapes, sizes and colours and they can play a variety of different roles in a garden from providing driveways to creating a unique garden border.

Gravel is easy to maintain, by topping up with extra aggregate if needed or if the area becomes dirty. There is also a range of colours and shapes to suit your home and outdoor space from traditional or creating a modern flair. Crushed gravel is ideal for pathways or driveways as the stones fit and come together.

It is a cost-effective and low maintenance way to decorate your outdoor space. Other than being cheap and low maintenance, there were two other reasons we opted for gravel, as opposed to alternatives such as patio:

  • Drainage – The use of decorative stone can be an ideal solution for drainage in your garden, pea gravel which contains small round stones are available in different sizes and colours. Pea gravel can provide decorative drainage for flower pots and beds.
  • Weed Control – Placing stones on a rockery or border can help prevent unwanted weed growth. It is ideal to remove any pre-grown weeds and roots before placing the stones, the stones will then create a barrier and prevent any regrowth of weeds or unwanted plants.

How we transformed our garden with less than £100, and you can too! | UK Lifestyle Blog

It’s pretty versatile, too. The use of decorative stones on a driveway is becoming increasingly popular and is a great way to add a personalised touch to your home. With an aggregate driveway, no matter how heavy your vehicle is you do not need to worry about damaging the material underneath the wheel, stones for driveways and paths are extremely durable and do not chip and crack with excessive wear.

Storage

We received this shed c/o Wayfair a couple of months ago, which was great because it’s something we really needed. We always wanted to put some type of storage underneath the decking but struggled to find something that would fit. Luckily we found this one, and with a bit of DIY, we managed to get it underneath the decking. The great thing is, we also have tons of room behind the shed to store bits and bobs, too without it being an eyesore.

As you can see, it’s still not finished. This is where we still need to do a ton of work like pressure washing the walls and floors, cleaning the kayaks and organising the shed a little bit more (perhaps put some shelving in there). But for now, it does the job and it’s had a decent clear out. These are always things we can do another time and at least now we know it’s only an afternoon job, rather than a mammoth task.

How we transformed our garden with less than £100, and you can too! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Landscaping

Honestly, who would know that going to garden centres and filling your garden with luscious plants and shrubs would be oh so satisfying? I love shopping but I never thought I’d care about getting my hands dirty in the garden to plant some flowers. It’s pretty addictive and there’s so much to learn about when it comes to gardening and it’s pretty cool to see them flourishing. My fiancée says I’m old before my time because I like to bake fresh bread instead of buying it at the shop and I get excited about going to the garden centre to get new bedding plants 😂

Buying plants can be mega expensive, so we’ve started with some plug plants and small bushes, as opposed to buying mature trees etc. It’s slow progress, even our Jasmine tree is almost 4 years old and it feels like it’s barely grown, but it isn’t in the best spot. We might end up investing in some more plants but for the meantime, this will do (especially as we’ll be on our honeymoon this summer and barely be able to properly enjoy it!).

How we transformed our garden with less than £100, and you can too! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Borders and Planters

Another good thing about decorative gravel can create an appealing border and can help protect plants from the attack of weeds. Using an aggregate with plants can help keep moisture into the soil the summer months. Depending which gravel you choose you can create different effects, whether it is natural or sand effect to blend in with other natural elements such as stonework and paving or black gravel to add a dramatic modern effect to your outdoor space, there is a large range that will suit any project.

Gravel is also a good way of adding extra drainage to your outdoor space and can protect excess water from building up and damaging foundations. Our hydrangea bush and border flowers are only just beginning to flower (and some haven’t even got that far), so I’m going to leave it a few more leaks until layering our pea gravel over these. We’ve started to do it for our rose bush and jasmine in the corner though, as these are a little bit more mature and I figure they’d be able to handle it.

How we transformed our garden with less than £100, and you can too! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Decking 

We had the decking put in when the house was built and although it requires a little bit of upkeep, I do love it. I’m always so surprised how much better it looks when it’s been pressure washed and been stained. This year we decided to go for a slightly deeper colour, teak. Every year we seem to opt to go a little darker to cover a multitude of sins but I actually prefer it being dark like this. We’re planning on pressure washing and staining the fencing and decking surrounding the gravel area, too which will bring it all together.

When we were talking to our friends and family about re-doing our garden lots of people said about getting more decking at the bottom of the garden, but there are a few reasons that turned us off it. Firstly, it’s waaaay more expensive and time-consuming to install, especially when you have a wonky shape garden like ours. Secondly, we liked the contrast that the gravel gives to the garden, instead of it all being one colour.

How we transformed our garden with less than £100, and you can too! | UK Lifestyle Blog

Cost breakdown

  • Bulk bag 800kg grey 20mm gravel £40 delivered from a local supplier
  • Colours teak matt decking stain 2.5L £20 from B&Q
  • Bedding plants, planters and shrubs £39 from a local hardware store

The thing that really transformed our garden here (other than blood, sweat and tears), was the gravel. So, if you are looking for a healthy-looking garden with low maintenance the use of decorative aggregate may be for you, it is easy to manage throughout summer and can create some stunning features in a garden adding colour and character. For landscaping projects, it allows you to keep the cost down as a decorative aggregate are cheaper than paving or other more extensive projects and you can enjoy your garden rather than maintaining it.

2019-04-12T16:49:57+00:00 April 12, 2019|Home Decor|

Tiny Home Hacks: How to Create a Spacious Bedroom

Many of us look forward to crashing onto a comfy bed at the end of a long, busy day. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary to which you can retreat to wind down and put your feet up. The last thing you want when you’re ready to hit the hay is to be confronted with a floor filled with shoes or chairs draped in clothes. If storage is an issue, clutter is taking over, or you’re trying to make the most of a compact space, here are some tips to create a more spacious, serene bedroom.

Tiny Home Hacks: How to Create a Spacious Bedroom | UK Lifestyle Blog

Opt for neutral walls

If you haven’t got a large bedroom, paying attention to colour is key. If you have a small space, opting for dark shades and prints can make the room look smaller. To create the illusion of a more spacious boudoir, stick to neutral tones, and use accessories or accents to add colour.

Dove grey, beige, and white work really well. If you do want to add interest, you can use cushions, lamps, vases and plant pots, candle holders, bed linen, curtains, rugs and frames to carry a theme and introduce new tones.

Invest in clever storage solutions

If you’ve become accustomed to a ‘floordrobe,’ now is the time to make some changes. Clutter can contribute to stress, and it detracts from the harmony and peace of the room, as well as affecting the aesthetic.

Tiny Home Hacks: How to Create a Spacious Bedroom | UK Lifestyle Blog

If you don’t have space for chests and wardrobes, don’t worry. Make use of wall space, and look into clever storage solutions, such as an Ottoman divan bed from The Sleep Station. With this kind of bed, you can store clothes, bedding, and towels underneath the mattress.

It’s also a good idea to have a clear out periodically, and to store clothes you’re not going to use in the months ahead in a loft or basement. If your drawers are full of jumpers and coats, and summer is approaching, for example, you can free up room by boxing them up until cooler climes arrive once more.

Maximise natural light

Light always makes rooms look more spacious, so make the most of every drop of natural light. Open the curtains wide, use mirrors to bounce light around the room, and opt for light walls and floors.

Tiny Home Hacks: How to Create a Spacious Bedroom | UK Lifestyle Blog

Embrace the minimalist vibe

Nothing eats up space like clutter. If you have a bijou bedroom, consider embracing the popular minimalist vibe, and keeping things simple. Don’t cover every inch of the walls in prints or frames or hide every metre of floor space under rugs.

Choose a basic colour palette and don’t go too crazy with accessories. Opt for understated patterns and prints like spots or graphic lines if you’re adding a couple of cushions to the bed, and use simple touches like plants and mirrors to add a homely feel.

If you long for more space in the bedroom, but you don’t have the option of extending or converting an attic, hopefully, these simple solutions will make all the difference. Freshen up the room with light tones, innovative storage options and effortless, chic decorative touches.

2019-04-03T18:29:54+00:00 April 3, 2019|Home Decor|

How to: Create a Relaxing Bathroom for Self-Care Weekends

Is there anything more relaxing and indulgent than a hot bubble bath at the end of a hectic day? If you’re in the midst of renovating your house, or your bathroom is crying out for some TLC, revamping this space could play an instrumental role in promoting self-care and creating a serene, tranquil home. If you dream of a luxurious bathroom to kick back and chill out, here are some tips to take on board.

How to: Create a Relaxing Bathroom for Self-Care Weekends | UK Lifestyle Blog

Give your bathroom some TLC

Do you long to create your own version of a boutique hotel bathroom at home, or are you looking to upgrade your current suite to add a touch of decadence? If so, you don’t have to spend a fortune or overhaul the entire room to achieve spectacular results. Adding carefully-selected bathroom luxuries could make all the difference.

If your room is lacking a focal point, or you’re keen to go all-out and make a statement, a beautiful freestanding bath can create a centrepiece for a room with serious style. Opt for a simple, chic modern tub or channel a romantic, vintage vibe with a roll top bath with clawed feet. Once you’ve chosen a bath, you can run with the hotel theme and add double sinks and an oversized, rain shower head.

Create a tranquil vibe

Many of us are used to living our lives at a hundred miles per hour, and we crave a moment of downtime to pause, reflect, and relax. Your bathroom should be a tranquil space that allows you to unwind and enjoy a well-earned time out. If you’re stressed out, you’re tired, or you feel like you’ve been swimming against the tide or spinning plates all week, retreating to the bathroom for a hot shower or a leisurely soak in the bath could be just the tonic.

How to: Create a Relaxing Bathroom for Self-Care Weekends | UK Lifestyle Blog

To create a peaceful, calming vibe, opt for low-level lighting, choose neutral tones for the walls and add candles and plants. Use wall-mounted shelves or cupboards with drawers to prevent clutter, and add soothing aromas using diffusers or scented candles. You could also place a freestanding speaker inside your bathroom and create a bespoke bath time playlist.

Finishing touches

Once you’ve chosen colours for the walls, and you’ve selected a bath, a shower unit and sinks, it’s time to elevate the design of your bathroom to the next level with accessories and finishing touches. You can add colour or use details and accents to carry a theme.

If you’re a fan of the understated, Scandinavian vibe, for example, stick to a palette of white, grey, and black, and add plant pots, a stylish, printed bath mat and matching granite toothbrush and toilet brush holders. If you’re on a mission to create a romantic Parisian bathroom, complement a roll top bath with a vintage mirror, vases of fresh flowers, and an ornate, decorative vanity unit.

How to: Create a Relaxing Bathroom for Self-Care Weekends | UK Lifestyle Blog

If your bathroom isn’t quite cutting the mustard, and you’re looking to design a luxurious space that promotes self-care and relaxation, you don’t have to blow the budget or have years of experience in interior design to achieve a stunning transformation. Create a focal point, think about the styles and themes you like, and use finishing touches and finer details to produce a personalised space that is both stylish and serene.

2019-04-03T16:42:58+00:00 April 3, 2019|Home Decor|
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