Canadian man cave, office edition – progress!

There’s been a bit of headway with the Canadian man cave office I’m designing for my broseph and I thought today I’d share some of the progress we’ve made. For a little reminder, you can see the before pictures here!
We first had to decide on a colour for the walls. I’m a huge fan of grey, but too dark of a grey would have been harsh in here. 

I had some Crown Paint test paint pots from when I repainted our living room years ago, so I thought they would be a good starting point. As it turns out, Crown Paint’s swan’s a swimming was a great fit [you can see it in the above picture: far left swatch as well as top right swatch]. My phone picture doesn’t do it justice, but it’s a warm, frothy latte-grey hue. Accompanied by some serious tunage, broseph and I painted his office in one afternoon and moved his furniture to better suit the space. 

I hung up an old map of Canada we had as well as my brother’s flag. As a temporary lighting solution, I hung up an IKEA Jara giant shade, but I’m not in love with it. At the moment I’m thinking B&Q’s angular Colours Tuck or Colours Keynes ceiling light for a serious statement. I’m unsure if we’ll hang curtains or not [there are wooden blinds in place already], but at the very least there’s a skylight that needs a blind [possibly a blackout blind] that we’ll be ordering from
I’d like to get more artwork and personal items up on the walls too. We have yet to do anything with the largest wall in the room [which is to the right of the above picture], and I’ve been brainstorming some better ideas for wall storage, so the shelves will be changing. But for a better and sleeker not only look, but layout. 
There are of course loads of DIYs and upcycling in the room that I’ve been documenting as we go, as creatively and cheaply as we can. I’m hoping to have the office ready for my broseph for the new year because everyone loves a fresh start after the holidays and he deserves a great one. 
I’ll be staying with my family for a couple of days over Christmas so I have no excuse. That is, unless Netflix and a bottomless tin of chocolates aren’t within reach! xx A

Hydrangea Girl has changed to The Interior DIYer!

I shared on Facebook over the weekend that I’ve wanted to change the name of my blog, Hydrangea Girl, for some time. It all began back when the lovely Maria and I attended Blogtacular earlier this year and one of the speakers asked, “does the name of your blog describe what you do?” and crap. No, it doesn’t. Like, at all. Maria and I both turned to each other and nearly cried. 

Over 4 years ago when I first created my blog under the name ‘Hydrangea Girl’, it wasn’t anything other than a ridiculous blog I wrote that my mom occasionally read maybe twice a month. I didn’t expect anything to actually happen here. 

In more recent months, I’ve been doing a lot of reading and taking e-courses about how to make more out of your blog; in a bid to make what I do a bit more legit. So for me, the most obvious and first step was to rebrand / upcycle my blog. And here is my thought process, in case you’re curious … 
Hydrangea Girl has absolutely nothing to do with interior design or DIY. No arguing there. 
– The amount of people arriving at my site looking for gardening tips was worrying.
– On the rare occasion that anyone would ask me in person what my blog was called, I was too embarrassed to say Hydrangea Girl.
– I’m almost 30, so I can’t really get away with Girl anymore. As much as I’d like it to, Photoshop does not work in real life. 
– I couldn’t get a consistent handle on all my social media sites. It was messy. For example, on Twitter I was @HydrangeaGirI – ending in a capital ‘i’, because the original was already taken. On Instagram I was alex_hydrangeagirl. And for someone who likes order and for things to match, this was chaos. I was one step away from foaming at the mouth. 
And most importantly of all … 

– If I’m to take myself seriously and approach companies and people for work, how are they going to take me seriously under the name Hydrangea Girl, when I can’t even say it out loud. 

And that’s when I got serious and eventually brain-stormed The Interior DIYer. It marries the two things I’m most passionate about, is pretty self explanatory, might boost my SEO, and [to me] it’s a bit of a play on the words ‘interior designer’. 
There was a tough 5 hours yesterday when husband and I were working on changing the URL and I was close to tears and we nearly lost everything. But don’t worry, it was nothing a couple of G&T’s couldn’t fix. I’m still working on some final tweaking, so please excuse my site over the next while if it looks a bit hairy. 

Thank you guys for all your support, and I hope you like the new name. It’s still me 🙂 xx A

New old desk

For a while now I’ve been a bit over our home office. I’ve wanted to mix things up and more importantly, make our apartment a bit less IKEA-y. Don’t get me wrong, I heart IKEA, but thanks to our landlord’s [IKEA] furniture that we can’t change, our apartment was starting to look a bit like a catalog. So out with the new, and in with the old.

I wanted an older and darker desk with more character, so I took to the internet. I sold our IKEA desk within a couple of hours and that same evening I found a pretty sa-weet mahogany desk. It was petite, compact and fill of pretty. I even haggled it down to the same price that I sold our IKEA desk for, making it a direct swap of IKEA for mahogany! Not bad … 

My grand ideas for this small space kept bringing me back to Christine Dovey’s, aka Bijou and Boheme’s, basement makeover. There are no words. It’s just insanity. I’ve yabbered on about Christine many times before, so I’ll keep my drooling to a minimum today. But there’s something I just really adore about the dark accessories, white walls, old school painting and gold accents going on. A perfect mix of old and new. So ideally, I’d love if I could work the following into our new office space …

Include our existing upcycled charity shop lamp. I’ve had a hankering to update it a little by adding MOAR DANGILY TRIM Done! 
– Add some more teal candles from Tiger [you cannot go wrong with 2 candles for €1], as well as adding another metallic antler candle holder, similar to the one on our living room shelf
– A giant piece of art of some sorts. Kinda old and maybe kinda new and I might even try my hand at something. This section is a bit up in the air. Can you tell?
– The moment we got the desk, I wanted to change the door knobs. They don’t look too bad below, but the current hardware is in no way in keeping with our living room [our office sits in the corner of our living room]. I’ve spent a couple of days searching for some yummy knobs [oh dear god, hello SEO!] in hardware stores to glitz up our desk, but no luck. Going completely against my ‘less IKEA look’, I spotted these ORRNAS  door knobs on the IKEA website and I like what I see. Bringing a little bit of IKEA back in is okay, right?

– I would just die if I could have a black ghost chair. Or dark grey. I’m not picky

At the moment the chair I’m using I found abandoned on the side of the road. It’s a lot less dirty than it sounds, trust me! If the whole ghost chair thing doesn’t work out [which let’s face it, probably won’t because of €€€], I’d contemplate reupholstering my skip-chair in black velvet. It seems like it would be a fairly straight forward job, the only thing deterring me at the moment is the thought of all the cat hair.

Oh and before I forget, above is a better picture detailing the top ‘drawer’ in our new old desk; it folds down revealing a rolling shelf that I use for my keyboard and mouse, and when the desk isn’t in use, we store our laptops in there. Out of sight, out of mind. This little desk isn’t just a pretty face, and I couldn’t be more smitten.

xx A