Category Archives: Uncategorized

Pet Bedroom Idea!!

Hey my fellow bloggers, it has been a while! #MyApologies….. So, anyways, a lot has gone on since my last blog post – the cats have calmed down and come around to the idea of the puppy dog (who aint so much of a puppy anymore!), we’ve decorated out the old pet play room (which used to be the office room if you remember?), and – guess what – we’ve purchased a brand new bed frame!

Firstly, I dunno what got into the cats causing a nuisance that time – I mean they are very well looked after!! I guess it was Angel’s fault – she likes to think she is the leader of the pack (so I’ll just blame her, lol!) …………. Anyhow, the wallpaper in the spare bedroom has stayed up and looks as amazing as ever – thanks to my DIY genius #BlowingMyOwnTrumpet! ………

Wallpaper

Oh, and the once pet play room/ old office room – OMG, you’ll never believe what it looks like now….. We’ve only gone and decorated the whole room out, fitted carpets and had a purpose built bed frame! What do you think? (see below pic)

Pet Bedroom Ideas UK

The 3 tier pet bed was custom built by a young guy from our local area – he did a fantastic job! The bed was Kelly’s idea, and it looks awesome (or as the pets say, ‘pawesome’). The pet bed is the style of a bunk bed. We needed a 3 tier bunk bed, for obvious reasons – ie: two cats and a dog!…… Each bed base is the size of a UK standard pillow, which acts as a mattress for our beloved animals. We bought x3 kids fleece throws off Amazon in kids themes such as Minnie Mouse, Toy Story and Sponge Bob…… The fleece throws make an awesome cover over their soft mattress, and make cleanliness a piece of cake (we just whip those throws off each week and give em a wash via the washing machine, and jobs a good en!)….. The three fur children LOVE their beds!

The wallpaper was a bargain, and was purchased from Wilkinson’s. We needed something that was going to fit in with two boys and a girl, and we loved the fun design. Wallpapering took no time at all, and in our opinion – it looks fantastic!

The carpet was purchased from a local store in town, Darlington Carpet Centre, located on Bondgate. We opted for an off-cut (due to the size of the room, and the fact we would have little waste (if any). It was extremely cheap and fit’s the purpose what it was meant for. The cats love the fact they have soft luxury carpet (of their own) to leap on to on a morning, and Hugo (the Chihuahua) – well – he doesn’t know any different!

 

 

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4th day of Christmas: We put up the Xmas tree!

So yesterday I finally got the Xmas tree up. I love decorating the tree, it’s so therapeutic! Behind every good Christmas tree there is a precision plan. Take ours for instance:

1). Assemble the Christmas tree, and place in the desired position.

Decorating your Xmas Tree

2). Plump out those flat Xmas tree branches – don’t be scared to go BIG with those mean fur branches!

3). Look at your pile of last years Christmas tree decorations and amaze yourself on those little cute Xmas decks you forgot you had!

Christmas Tree Decorations 2012

4). Unravel your Christmas tree lights and ensure they all work! We bought our new Xmas tree lights from Argos.  Once checked, arrange them on your tree. Tip: it’s far easier to arrange your lights when they’re switched on – as it’s easier to see where any dark areas of the tree are!

Christmas Tree Lights

(Please note, our lights flash on and off – hence half the tree looking ‘unlit’).

5). Once your happy with the lights, you can start to decorate your Christmas tree. Tip: it’s often easier to sort the Xmas decks in to matching groups, as it allows you to visually see how many of each decoration you have.  Our decorations are old.  Most of them are either from Marks & Spencer or House of Fraser, whilst most of the baubles were bought out of cheapness from various stores.

Xmas Tree Decorations 2012

6.) Structure and mix and match each area of your tree. Have fun decorating your Christmas tree, get the kids involved perhaps?! Tip: Do not place large baubles too near the top of your Christmas tree.

7.) Once you’ve used up all your Xmas tree decorations, stand back and admire!

Christmas Tree Designs 2012

Isn’t she beautiful?!

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Christmas Decks 2012!

Oh my good god! I am so excited for Christmas and I can’t wait to dig the Christmas tree out, let alone dust off last year’s Christmas tree decorations!  I’ve actually wasted no time in sourcing potential new Xmas decorations.  Let me know what you think guys!

Firstly, I always think it’s a good idea to find those bold Xmas tree baubles in a Christmas bauble pack. These baubles pictured below are fantastic! Don’t you just love those purple baubles mixed in with cream and red baubles? With a price tag of £10 for 50 coloured baubles from Next, we think these Xmas tree decorations are a great find – wouldn’t you agree?

Other great finds we have come across whilst browsing trendy Xmas tree decorations include the following from Marks & Spencer.

M&S have a fabulous range of must have Christmas decorations. The Marks and Spencer Christmas Collection has a fantastic 3 for 2 offer across their range of Christmas tree decorations – you just can’t miss this one guys! Don’t you just think that the red and white knitted bauble is so cute?

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Halloween Themed Houses!

So guys, with Halloween 2012 fast approaching I thought what better chance than to show off my favourite Halloween decorated homes – ooooh, scary!

Firstly, to all my American followers, I would like to congratulate you and point out that no-one decorates a home quite like an American. I mean, you Americans always go one better and take festivity decorating to the extreme – and here at Home Desirable we love that!

Over in the UK, especially in my local neighbourhood, there always seems to be the appearance of lightless houses. Now I’m not quite sure if that’s because us Northerners are tight with our candy, or if we fear Halloweeners are going to harm us with their prop knives?

Anyways, after a while of searching Google images, I came across one UK home which puts the rest of us Brits to shame – Home Desirable was greatly impressed with this fantastic Halloween themed home, decorated to the max like a scene off some scary box office movie!

Any of you lovely bloggers go all out on Hallows Eve? Oh, please do tell!

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Blast from the past: London 1888

After reading a book yesterday, Jack the Ripper the Casebook, I was astonished by just how hard life must of been back in 1888. The United Kingdom has come a very long way since then, with many families living in spacious family homes. Even terraced houses are not as jam packed as they were back in 1888.

I read that back in 1888 the terraced town houses were crammed with people. People shared small rooms with many others, as a lot of the home owners rented out their rooms. These rooms were basically crammed with as many beds as the owner could fit in, and then rented out for four pence a night. Living conditions were horrendous, but I guess this was the norm for the lower class people of London during that era.

Many of the women back in those days had split from their husbands due to their out of control drinking habits. Drinking habits were very common back in those days, as many individuals seen this as a way of escaping their reality. Many women were once supported by their ex husbands, who had custody of their numerous children and who were paying them around 5 shillings per week. Obviously with a drinking habit this money was not enough. This resulted in many women turning to prostitution, and once their ex husbands found out they ceased paying their wives the weekly money.

Work in those days was very hard to come by. Job security was non-existent and the average wage back then was only £2 a week, even less when immigrants arrived. The majority of men would wait anxiously down at the docks trying to secure work from the gaffer of boats which would often arrive in. Fights would often break out as men were determined to be picked, and to be picked they had to ensure being at the front of the crowd.

The sheer smell and living conditions in Whitechapel East End London must have been horrific at this time. So much so that the upper class, which lived nearby, would often be reminded of such squalor depending on which way the wind was blowing.

With the advances in living conditions these days, I find it astonishing that people used to have to live this way – children, men and women just basically existing through their day-to-day lives, often living on the brink of starvation on a daily basis. I am so lucky and privileged to be in a full time job, with a nice home, food in my cupboards and happiness!

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Frank’s The Flooring Store Review: 0 out of 10 so far!

Hey guys, just a bit of an update regarding our bathroom. Where do I start?! Well, the bold bath towels washed extremely well and look fantastic in our newly decorated bathroom.

Bold Bathroom Designs

However, the flooring which was supposed to be ‘professionally’ fitted is diabolical! I mean, check out the ‘straight edge’ along our skirting board (pictured below)

Franks Factory Flooring Problems

We purchased the flooring from Franks The Flooring Store in Darlington. We were told by the staff that the flooring would be fitted by their recommended self employed floor fitters – who fit carpets and vinyl flooring on a daily basis. At this, we thought ‘great, the flooring will look perfect!’ We couldn’t wait for our bathroom to be completed, and looked forward to Saturday – the day our flooring was due to be fitted.

Saturday came and the floor fitter finally arrived. He came in to our home with a young male and wasted no time in un-rolling the flooring – and scratching a huge scratch down our newly glossed bathroom door (see image below) in the process. Kelly and I just sat and observed.

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At first the guy seemed quite chatty and Kelly and I just left him to get on with the job, without any distractions. Minutes passed until all of a sudden the guy huffed and puffed and stated that the mistake he made whilst cutting the edge of the flooring along the skirting board was due to silicone being there. This was nonsense, as who in gods name puts silicone along the bottom of a skirting board?! Exactly!! I mean, do you guys see any silicone along our skirting board in the picture below? I thought not.

The guy became miserable, moody, unprofessional and his finished service proved blatantly that he was inadequate at finishing the job to the standard we had expected. He spent a total of around fifteen minutes laying the flooring, he didn’t bond the flooring with the spray glue along every edge, he scratched the flooring with his blade at least three times in two separate directions (see picture below)

Frank's The Flooring Store Darlington Scratched my Flooring

and he complained repeatedly about silicon which wasn’t even there (which is funny because the edging around the toilet, which is siliconed, looks absolutely fine – as shown in the picture below!).

Franks Factory Flooring North East

He also cut the vinyl along the side of the bath and left it flapping over the raised screw head caps which hold the floor trim on along the outer part of our bath (the plastic caps are raised by at least 2mm!). And also, to top it off, they left the plastic wrapping the flooring came in at the bottom of our communal hallway stairs – luckily no residents slipped or tripped over it, as Kelly and I would not of been held responsible.

He finished the job and just left without speaking to us, leaving the young male to collect the floor fitting charge from us. Kelly and I looked at the flooring which over lapped the bath trim plastic, and I said, “What is that!? I am not happy with that over lapping raised screw caps, it looks a complete state!”. The young male replied, “Oh, he wasn’t sure if you wanted it over the plastic or cut around it. I can get him to come back in if you like and sort it?”. I replied, “Your going to have to!”. Whilst the young male went out, I had told Kelly that I planned on ringing Franks The Flooring Store, as there was numerous faults which I was extremely annoyed about.

The guy came back in to our home, charged passed us with a face like thunder and spent not even a full minute cutting our flooring around the plastic trim. As a result there was three more untidy jagged edges, one of which is shown below. (And also, when he actually did use the glue – he got it EVERYWHERE!)

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The guy then just left again! I was fuming at the level of appalling customer service we had been given. I asked the young male how much he wanted. The young lad replied £35.00. Kelly paid him the money, to avoid any confrontation.

The fitters had left and I contacted Franks The Flooring Store to address my issues with the service and finished result. The guy from Franks was extremely helpful and advised me that somebody would be out to assess the flooring on Monday.

Monday came and I had a missed call at 16.35ish (baring in mind the floor fitter was due at 16.45 onwards, and Kelly had arranged to leave work earlier to be home in time). I rang back only to find that the floor fitter was not coming, as his jobs had been cancelled. Apparently the floor fitter will be attending to assess the situation this evening, so I will keep you all posted in the very near future.

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DO NOT leave the washer unattended!

Saturday was a bizarre experience! I had been rushing around with Kelly in the hope of buying a new wash basket for our bedroom. I love purchasing new things for our home, and a linen basket was a top priority.

We had already been down town for an eye test, and we had forgotten to buy a wash basket and had to come home as Ruebec (Kelly’s mam’s dog) was staying over. I felt it unfair to leave him for any lengthy time.

When we arrived home, we awaited Kelly’s mam returning from her short break. Ruebec was extremely excited, as we had told him his mum would be coming for him soon – god love him! Anyways to pass the time, Kelly and I began cleaning the full flat. We both have OCD, so as you can imagine this was a lengthy task. Kelly had put the washer on, and at this point it was almost on its final spin. I was in the bathroom with a cloth in one hand and bleach in the other. All of a sudden I heard a crash/ clattering sound, and I noticed our two cats scarper out from the kitchen. Kelly investigated and shouted, ‘MAM, the washer is on fire!’. Of course, her mam wasn’t in the flat – she meant to shout for me but was in so much shock and fear that she shouted for her mum (bless her). I dropped my cloth and bleach and ran in to the kitchen. The noise was horrendous! There was sparks inside the drum, and the Hotpoint washer machine had moved significantly out from the wall due to all the vibration. I was shocked and thought, ‘this thing is gonna burst into flames!’. I had no alternative but to switch the washer off at the wall – which luckily solved the problem!

We had to go out and buy a brand new washer, with delivery for Sunday – as the washer was out of warranty and we weren’t willing to be without a washing machine all weekend, plus neither of us could take time off work to await delivery through the week. We browsed Currys and Comet for their deals. In the end we took another trip across town and looked in store. We opted for this black 7kg washing machine. Although it isn’t Hotpoint like our old one, which actually lasted us years and served us well, it was a brand new washing machine which came with a manufacturers warranty. It was also well within our budget, and we both agreed it was the better buy out of any on the shop floor.

Kelly and I were both shook up by the ordeal. Imagine if we’d popped to our local shop? This incident could of been far worse! Has anything like this ever happened to you or anyone you know? We’re they as lucky as us?!

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Tindale Towers: North East Mansion!

 

Living in Darlington there’s only a handful of luxurious houses around. This mansion is certainly famous in our local area for its Hollywood glamour, and location. Built on once a drab North landscape, this house was designed around the inspiration of beach houses which owners Mike and Jules (owners of Keen Replicas) saw in Florida and the South of France.

Tindale Towers has appeared on I Own Britain’s Best Home, as well as being the star of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors annual Renaissance Awards at the Civic Centre, Newcastle.

Personally, I love this family home. The fact that this huge house is located between a bypass and a scrap yard would not deter me from living inside it – this place is awesome!  This home boasts originality and exceptional design, no wonder its on sale for £3m.

 

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Top 10 things before renting a home!

As you all know, Kelly and I have been desperate to move from our rented accommodation. If you’re in our shoes and are thinking about renting a new (or old) home, our list of “Top 10 Things to Think about Before Renting a Home” can help to get your search off to the right start. Whilst the number of bedrooms, condition of the kitchen and bathroom, and size of the yard are important, there are other key things to consider before you start renting a property.

Location:

For us, this is the deciding factor on any property we rent in the future. You can live with practically any imperfection in a home if you love the neighbourhood and your neighbours. I mean you can change almost everything else, whether it is with a lick of paint or new carpets. But, once rented, you can not change your home’s location – unless you’re willing to pay out in admin fees again! When you go rented house hunting, consider any potential home’s proximity to your work, the neighbourhood, how the home is situated on the plot, ease of access, noise from neighbours, traffic, crime statistics, and access to local shopping amenities, schools, and public transport.

Situation Factors:

Beyond location look at the particular site of the home. If the home is on a main road, will this cause a problem getting your car off your drive? Do neighbours windows appear to look directly in to the potential home? If there is a garden, is the garden suitable for children, pets, gardening, and other uses? Is the access to the property safe – i.e driveway elevation, stairs up to (if any) the front door?

The Neighbourhood:

If your like Kelly and I, and have had a really bad experience with noisy neighbours, make sure the neighbourhood meets your expectations, not just the home – after all, what will your visitors think, first impressions count! A good idea is to check out potential neighbourhoods on a week night and especially on weekends – as weekends are renowned for neighbours partying etc. Also, seen as I have OCD, it’s a good idea to consider if the neighbours gardens and driveways are well kept – who wants to be living next to a scrap yard?! Another thing to consider is if the neighbourhood is safe enough for people to walk, run, or bike around.

Curb Appeal:

The appearance of your home says a lot about you – whether it’s rented or not. Your home should reflect your lifestyle. If you live a laid back life then you may not wish to live in an old formal Victorian style home – most probably you want something simple and modern, with all the modern luxuries. Take in to consideration the exterior of the property – a brick home is easier to maintain than a pebble dashed home (which from my experience leaves pebble dashing on your front door step every morning, resulting in the must have investment of a quality broom!) Also, consider the roof – is it in good condition. Is the landscaping attractive and are the sidewalks leading to the home safe?

Size and Floor Plan:

You may walk in to a potential rent property and think WOW this is amazing, but have you considered the size of the living area and floor plan – is it capable of fitting your sofa in? Are the bedrooms big enough for that king size bed (if you have one)! Also, consider if it has an en-suite with a bath and over bath shower, do you really need the luxury of an en-suite of this size when the main bathroom is adequate – added luxuries like these cause more cleaning! A large home can give you that all important extra space you’ve always wanted – but remember, you’ll pay higher heating bills and have higher taxes. Also, such a property will take more furniture to furnish and money to decorate. The best way to consider the size and floor plan is to think about how the new home space will be used and whether it will fit your lifestyle now and in the future.

Bedrooms and Bathrooms:

It is important when looking to rent a home that you consider how many bedrooms and bathrooms you really need. We advise that you only look at homes that meet your criteria, as it would be a shame to fall in love with a cosy, charming home that just isn’t big enough! Also, remember that an extra bedroom is always a plus and can always come in handy as it can be used for a home office or guest room.

The Kitchen:

If, like our home, the kitchen is the heart of your home, don’t settle for a home with a kitchen that just won’t work. You need to ensure that the potential rented property has sufficient work top space. It would be disastrous if you decided to rent a property, paid all those admin fees and then realised that by the time you had put your microwave, kettle, tea sugar and coffee canisters out that there was no room to prepare your Sunday dinner veg!

Closets and Storage:

Older homes tend to have small wardrobes and not a lot of storage space. If your like us and have lots of clothing, sports equipment, out-of-season clothes and holiday decorations, be sure you know where it will all go in your new rented home. Newer homes tend to have bigger storage spaces and built in wardrobes. Remember, you can always add storage space – but this may mean you have to sacrifice living space in your rooms.

Windows and Lighting:

The question is, do you love a bright room or do you love privacy? When looking at a potential rented home remember to keep light and sunshine in mind, as well as air ventilation. It’s no good if your a curry lover renting a home with no kitchen window! Also look at the locations of electrical outlets and fixtures – will they accommodate your lighting needs?

Finishing Touches:

Some times the simplest home looks spectacular because of the installation of mod cons, hardware and a possibly a fireplace. If these elements are important to you, look for them while house hunting or be ready to add them after you move in – if your landlord approves of this of course! If you keep these specific elements of a home in mind, your rented house hunting will be more successful, and you’ll likely end up with the rented home of your dreams – whether it be a house or apartment!

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Luxurious apartment: what a disappointment!

Well, as you will all know, Kelly and I recently ventured off ‘the Bronx’ to view that luxurious apartment I was blogging about. Here’s how it went!

First impressions were great; it was situated at the end of a lovely street which consisted of some huge privately owned houses. Kelly and I thought the apartment at the Gatehouse was going to meet all our expectations and more, but in true fashion we were highly disappointed! The main entrance to the apartments was drab, dull and very unappealing – but we thought it’s only the main entrance after all. We went through the front door of the apartment to find quite a wide space, which was something I wasn’t expecting. The carpet was filthy, but that’s nothing a rug doctor wouldn’t have sorted out. Straight away I noticed there was an alarm fitted, which I thought cool – as we haven’t got an alarm in our current flat. As we walked in to the living room I was gobsmacked at the size of the place. It had the same filthy carpet, but the size and potential of the room was awesome!

Sadly, as we entered the kitchen Kelly noted there was no window – which meant there’d be no chicken curry for us in a hurry! To my further disappointment, I walked in to the bedroom and was very disappointed at how tiny the main bedroom was. There was not a chance I was going to fit a king size bed in there, let alone anything else. Seriously, I am not exaggerating – the main bedroom was the size of a shoe box!

At this point, Kelly was well and truly heart broken and said there’s no point seeing the rest. I, however, wandered in to the second bedroom – which was actually no smaller than the main bedroom. I was not impressed. The bathroom however was lovely; all it needed was my OCD in there with a good old bottle of bleach!

Over all we were disappointed, and felt we had been mislead by the estate agents who claimed it was a ‘luxurious apartment’. Luckily for us, we’re like a rubber ball and bounce back – so today we are set to look at an apartment which I know is luxurious, as I have been to view it several years ago. My only hope is that its last tenants have treat the place with some TLC. I will keep you guys posted!

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