Wow, a whole year of the Home Life Project has passed and I’ve found it such a great motivator to take photos that I otherwise wouldn’t have. Often people assume that because I have a good camera and enjoy photography that I have stacks of photos, but real life often gets in the way and between household chores, school runs, home improvement projects and day to day life, I don’t stop to record things so I need a reason to make me do it!

Yesterday we were blessed with wonderful weather, but once again Jim was away for work. I managed to get a picture of all three of us out on the morning dogwalk by trying a trick a friend of mine often does of placing the camera on the ground on timer, it worked so well I did it again in the afternoon when we all went for another walk with my mum.


Next year I’ll be continuing this project regardless of how few or how many join the link up, but I’d love to hear thoughts from you if you have suggestions on how it could be improved. I’d like to incorporate video too (in an optional way) and I’m looking for suggestions, so if anything comes to mind leave it in the comments or (if it comes to you later) contact me on social media.

Home Life Photography Project

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  • December 5, 2016 - 9:10 am

    Robyn - Ahh, another fab month! I’ll definitely be joining in next year! I was thinking in regards to next year, about having a possible monthly theme? not for all photographs, but maybe just one photograph, you know how they have these 30 days of photography things? and your given a subject, everyone interprets it completely different. Just a thought anyway. Thanks for hosting Clare, its been so much fun to be a part of.ReplyCancel

There was a point about a week ago when I was ready to give up on trying to make our spare room makeover work and we even discussed changing round the rooms to put the bed in the study next door where there was more space, but I struggled on and having hit that low point, almost immediately everything started to slot into place.

The pine bed is now painted and a load of new bedding has been purchased for bargain prices taking advantage of Tesco clubcard points and Wayfair discounts in exchange for reviews. (I’ll share the full details on this when I do the room reveal) I found a couple of cushions in our local charity shop for £3 each which I’m recovering with fabric I already had and I talked Jim into allowing us to try out frosted glass film on part of the windows to hide the awful view and amazingly we both loved the result!


I also found a bedside unit for £6 which I did a complete transformation on sanding it down and painting it with the same tin of paint I had for the bed (which in itself was part of a swap with my sister)

The artificial light in the room was terrible, so we bought a new LED light-bulb for the overhead light which made a huge difference (and only cost £3.99) along with a new lightshade made from a lighter shade of fabric.

With all the white in the room, I wanted an injection of colour and found this gorgeous wool rainbow throw and an Orla Kiley cushion which the folks at Hurn & Hurn kindly sent us. (I also bought a Christmas present from them, their shop is fab!)


Then I went into the loft and delved into the boxes and boxes of pictures we had. I dug out all the ones with black frames, cleaned them up and found free printables to fill them with (again, I’ll share links in the reveal).

But even after all that progress, there’s still lots to do! I have to pick fabric for the curtains (though my brilliant mum has offered to make them up for me, hurray!) We need to provide some space for our guests to hang clothes, hang all the pictures in a gallery wall, take down the old horizontal blinds, make cushion covers and see if I can find someone who will 3D print the tiny missing part of the shower unit. If there’s anything left in the budget I also fancy some succulents on the windowsill to replace the ‘outside’ that we are now hiding from view.

We are on target to finish everything by the time our first guests arrive in mid-January and already the room looks more inviting  than our own bedroom (uh-oh, I see another makeover coming soon!)

At the moment I think I have spent about £150 on everything and curtain fabric will bring that to about £200, but we haven’t compromised on a thing. All the fabrics are new, the bed has a mattress topper and down duvet and our guests even have new towels and a bath mat.

If you want to see updates as the makeover continues, please join me over on my facebook page where I’m sharing things like the charity shop chest of drawers I have just bought!

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Those of you who follow me on Facebook might remember that I shared a photo of a multi-coloured duckboard door mat a few weeks ago and said what a great use of our left over tester pots it would be. Well in the end I decided the duckboard probably wouldn’t stand up to all the toing and froing in our house and so instead decided to try the same treatment on a £6 coir mat


Just to bring everyone up to speed, we are two thirds of the way through sprucing up the front of our house. We’ve already had the varnished door painted and built a deck under our veranda and next on the list is redoing the path to the front door. Our house may look new, but underneath the facade parts of it are 100 years-old and there is still a long list of jobs to do on the older parts of the house.

Soooo… With the path still looking a little errr.. Bare? Ugly? Something! I thought an outside doormat would be a great way to spruce things up. The process was pretty simple, literally took about 20 minutes from start to finish and was great fun. I begun by using masking tape to section off randomly spaced stripes. I deliberately didn’t want to make them even, in case they turned out not even (if you follow the logic!)


The Little Greene paints were water based which meant that I could wash the brushes easily between colours,, the Dulux ones were not, so rather recklesly I just wiped the brushes off on kitchen roll between colours and miraculously got away with it.


The end result isn’t perfect by any means, but it does really make me smile every time I open the door! It’s a rather joyous riot of colour that makes me think of all the shades we nearly painted our door…


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November is the time of year when we head to West Wittering beach for a winter dog walk and an annual beach photo. After many years of moving round postings and rarely staying in the same place for longer than 18 months we started this tradition as a way of capturing change in Theo, but also consistency in our lives.

I can’t quite comprehend that in January we will have been in our home for 4 years. Time has flown by and it is so lovely to see Theo so settled here, greeting our neighbours by name and feeling confident in the familarity of his environment.

Here are the first two photos that started our tradition, Theo at the age of 2 and 3…


And here he is last year and this weekend. He’s definitely started to shoot up and is looking noticeably long and lean. I love his casual confident pose!


When we took the photo last year I had expected (or hoped!) that Alice might be able to stand beside him for the photo this year, but although she’s taking a few steps we had to settle for her staying in the back pack. If this photo is anything to go by getting both of them to look at the camera for the next few years could be tricky!


So just like Theo she’ll have to wait till the age of two before she can start her own annual photo tradition! Of course the beach is always a great spot for some photos, so I couldn’t resist taking a few more…


And a rather rare family selfie. It may not be the best of shots, but I fear that without iPhones wed have about one photo a year of all of us!


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A few weeks ago a charity shop opened around the corner from my house in a newly built unit. There was a bit of uproar in the village as the developers had promised local people a convenience store and instead signed the shop lease over to a local hospice, but quietly I was a little excited by the news and when it opened I was not disappointed.

It’s proved to be a treasure trove of bargain finds from designer wellies to vintage jewellery, children’s clothes and furniture and I’ve somewhere local to donate my own stuff to a charity who need to raise £20,000 a day to keep going.


Last Friday I stopped in to discover the manager had created a little corner purely for furniture in need of some TLC and there I found a unit which I thought would make a great bedside table for our guest room.

It was pretty ugly, the varnish was flaking off it but it was only £6 and I couldn’t resist the challenge of overhauling it.


I had to wait till the following morning to pick it up in the car and barely got a couple of feet in the door before I started attacking it…


I took the door and hinges off and filled the holes with wood filler, there was one particularly stubborn nail which Jim had to use some brute force to evict, but we got it out eventually. I had been planning to paint it with chalk paint until I discovered just how easy it was to get the varnish off, it literally took me 5 minutes to do all the sides and the drawer front.

The top was more of a challenge as the varnish was coming off in big flakes and the whole thing needed to be taken back to the plywood underneath. I managed to remove the flakey varnish with a wallpaper scraper.


When it was back to the bare bones I painted the whole of the outside with three coats of the white multi-surface paint I used for the bed (more on that when I do a whole room reveal) and painted the inside with Annie Sloan Provence chalk paint. The door knob is one which came off a built-in cupboard in the old bungalow that my parents demolished to build their house. I’ve had it for 10 years waiting for the right project…


On top of the initial cost of the unit, I used a very small amount of paint which I can’t even measure as a fraction of a tin, so the whole thing cost next to nothing to do.

The only problem now is that we could really do with a second one of similar proportions on the other side of the bed, so I shall have to keep an eye out. Meanwhile I’ll update you on the room makeover next week, when you’ll see there’s already been some big changes!

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