Create a bedroom worthy of your little superhero

April 26th, 2015

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kids' superhero-inspired twin bedroomimage credit: Classy Clutter

There are many things you can do for a superhero fan, from buying them the latest Marvel comics to purchasing cool superhero merchandise, such as these pyjamas. These gifts are sure to put a smile on their face, but if you really want to make them grin from ear to ear, how about transforming their bedroom into a superhero paradise by following these twelve creative tips?

Marvel comic strip wallpaperimage credit: Graham and Brown

  1. Put up comic strip wallpaper

Believe it or not, you can pick up comic strip wallpaper, as well as large wall murals and borders, featuring all of the best characters from sites like eBay and Amazon. Pick their favourite and get busy with the wallpaper paste.

Washi mural of urban skyline in kid's roomimage credit: Rebecca Dodge

  1. Use washi-tape to create an urban skyline

Every superhero needs a city to protect, use washi-tape (which can peel off easily later) to create a skyline across the wall. It will make imagining those epic throw downs with super villains much more fun for your little one.

superhero bunting by Noahs Ark & Crafts on Etsyimage credit: Noahs Ark & Crafts

  1. Comic strip bunting

Follow this super easy tutorial to create your very own comic book bunting to hang around the room; across the ceiling or along shelving.

kids' DIY superhero capesimage credit: Piece of Cake

  1. Capes and costume hangers

Screw hooks into the wall and decorate them with superhero capes and costumes, so your little one can easily choose who they want to be that day. If you want to get creative make your own capes that can be worn over normal clothing; use gold & red material for Iron Man, red, white & blue for Captain America in the famous shield design and bright green for the Incredible Hulk. Not sure how to make a cape? This tutorial is great for those of us who aren’t confident using a sewing machine.

George Home Superboy duvet setimage credit: George Home

  1. Opt for superhero bedding

What would a superhero bedroom be without the appropriate bedding? From Spiderman-themed sheets to Batman duvet covers, there are many designs to choose from online and in stores such as Asda.

'Pow' comic strip cushion coverimage credit: Catherine Lansfield

  1. Don’t forget pillows & cushions

Got some spare pillows or cushions lying around? Slip these into superhero-themed covers and you’ll be good to go!

Spiderman curtainsimage credit: Price Right Home

  1. Hang some superhero curtains

While blinds will keep out the light, curtains (especially the superhero kind) are a must-have for any budding crime-fighting, wall-climbing hero in the making.

Hulk wall lightimage credit: TruffleShuffle

  1. Light it up

Pick up a fun 3D wall light, which looks like your favourite superhero is bursting through the wall. With Spiderman’s face, Thor’s hammer, the Hulk’s fist and Captain America’s shield available your superhero can choose their favourite to have in the room. Check them out here.

Decoupage comic canvasimage credit: Mod Podge Rocks!

  1. Comic canvases

Put your artistic skills to the test and create some fun wall art. Paint graphic canvasses with designs like Captain America’s shield or Superman’s ‘S’. Paint brightly coloured comic-strip words such as ‘biff!’, ‘bang!’, ‘pow!’ and ‘zap!’. You can then hang them on the wall in a row or on along a mantelpiece. If you’re not confident about your painting prowess, découpage a canvas with strips cut out from superhero comic books.

Captain America cardboard cut-outimage credit: Starstills

  1. Life size superheroes

Your little superhero will love having a true-to-life version of one of his personal heroes in the room; whether it’s a life size cardboard cut-out of Batman watching over him from the corner or Spider-Man guarding the door.

superhero shelvesimage credit: b00gal00 b0utique

  1. Super shelving

Every tiny Spiderman or Thor needs somewhere to store their superhero manuals, aka comic books, so why not create some fun shelving using decoupage? Simply cut out pictures from comic books and magazines and use them to cover the shelves, apply varnish to each layer, wait to dry and then hang them up.

Batman searchlightimage credit: Pixgood

  1. Batman searchlight

Does your little one wish that they were the caped detective, pretending that their bedroom is Gotham City as they run around trying to capture the Joker and Bane? Then create their very own Batman spotlight, which doubles up as a great night-light. Here’s a really easy to follow guide on how to make one using a Pringles tube, card and an LED light.

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Charity Vintage: 50s kitchen cupboard

April 25th, 2015

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Vintage 1950s kitchen cupboard with drawers and painted red top

Homemakers Community Recycling* is currently selling this lovely little vintage, floor-standing 50s kitchen cupboard. Its ‘buy it now’ price of £30 is very fair but they’re open to offers. And, if your not local to Abergavenny and/or you’re not able to collect, they’re happy to arrange delivery with Abbey Couriers (who we’ve used in the past and are very happy to recommend).

We regularly feature 50s kitchen cupboards on our Charity Vintage series. They’re very popular, we love vintage free-standing kitchen units, they’re practical, attractive, built to last and importantly – very affordable! If you have a small or awkwardly shaped kitchen, pieces like this one are perfect.

*Homemakers Community Recycling helps reduce landfill within Monmouthshire and provides affordable furniture and household items for those in need

Gimme Five! Bookshelves

April 24th, 2015

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selection of modern bookshelves

We’re in desperate need of some new bookshelves. We’re great hoarders of magazines – we keep them for inspiration and for cutting up and using on moodboards.

Our ever-growing collection of lovely interiors and cookery books is dotted all around the house. We have them in almost every room; stacked up high in piles on the floor, on tables and on each side of the bed.

The recessed floating shelves in our sitting room are mainly given over to displaying our collection of vintage pottery and enamelware. Even this is interspersed with little stacks of books here & there! We like free-standing shelves as we’re always rearranging the furniture to give new purchases a temporary or sometimes permanent home!

We like modern, sculptural, minimalist but striking bookshelves that look like works of art in their own right. The Ptolomeo bookcase is great because it makes use of often under-utilised vertical space. Our favourite though, is the bright yellow SD2.o; unusual, asymmetric and with a sense of fun!

  1. Vitra ESU shelf 4OH By Charles and Ray Eames: £2,108, Heal’s
  2. SD2.0 Shelves limited edition Factory Yellow by Andy Murray Design: £350, Bouf
  3. Loki 5-shelf bookcase: £195, Habitat
  4. Polygon shelving unit, walnut: £299, MADE
  5. Ptolomeo bookcase by Bruno Rainaldi: £1,095, The Conran Shop

Cakes & Bakes: Coconut brownies

April 23rd, 2015

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stack of home-made coconut brownies with mug of coffee | via @hisforhome #recipe #chocolate #brownies

Justin and I share similar tastes in a lot of things, desserts are not one of them. He prefers lemon tarts & drizzles – cream cakes too. I adore chocolate fudge cake, death by chocolate, chocolate brownies… you get the picture! We do occasionally have common ground; we both like carrot cake and baked vanilla cheesecake.

coconut brownie ingredients | via @hisforhome #recipe #chocolate #brownies

Last week I was lamenting his lack of love of brownies when he said, “Coconut brownies might tempt me.” That was all the encouragement I needed to whip up a batch.

coconut brownie dry and wet ingredients | via @hisforhome #recipe #chocolate #brownies

I made it with cocoa instead of the usual dark chocolate and used less butter than would be usual as I wanted a dryer, less dense and chewy texture.

coconut brownie dough | via @hisforhome #recipe #chocolate #brownies

He hasn’t said whether he liked it or not. All I know is that it didn’t hang around for long! :-)

sliced home-made coconut brownies | via @hisforhome #recipe #chocolate #brownies

Click here to pin the recipe for later

Coconut brownies
Yields 9
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Cook Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 75g/2½oz cocoa
  2. 75g/2½oz dessicated coconut
  3. 150g/5⅓oz caster sugar
  4. 50g/1¾oz plain flour
  5. 1tsp baking powder
  6. pinch of salt
  7. 175g/6oz butter
  8. 3 eggs
  9. 1tsp vanilla essence
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF/Gas mark 2
  2. Grease a 20cm² / 8inch² cake tin
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and make a well in the centre
  4. In a small bowl, microwave the butter for about 15-20 seconds to just liquefy but not cook. Allow to cool slightly
  5. Lightly whisk the eggs in a measuring bowl before adding the vanilla essence
  6. Pour the wet ingredients into the well of the dry ingredients and combine well using a spatula
  7. Pour the batter into the greased tin and bake for 25-30 minutes
  8. Allow to cool in the tin before slicing into squares
  9. Can be stored in a cool place in an airtight container for about 3 days
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Everything you need to know about building your dream home

April 22nd, 2015

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The Glen self build by Reid Architectsimage credit: Reid Architects

Did you know that almost 20,000 people a year in the UK fulfil their dreams and construct their own homes? The website Self Build suggests that as long as you follow some basic guidelines this vision can become a reality for all.

Regent Road self build by architecture:mimage credit: architecture:m

Start with a legal search

The budget is always important, but so is the availability of your chosen building site. You may have seen the most desirable plot of land in the world, but it’s no use starting to dream of house building until you have verified that the land can be used for building purposes. If you’re planning to build overseas, then you should use the services of Vanner Perez Notary Services who can offer translation as well as legal services for land and property purchase overseas.

Wedge House by Soup Architectsimage credit: Soup Architects

Set a realistic budget

Don’t just take the cost of the build into account. It’s a good idea to remember that very few building projects run to plan, so, if possible, include contingency funding within your budget. You’ll also have to include the cost of a good architect, planning permission fees with the local authority, as well as your own living expenses while the project is ongoing.

If you’re a good organiser, then by all means take responsibility for project management yourself. If you feel at all uneasy about this role, then appoint a manager for your self build. This appointment could save you money, and you’ll be confident that all aspects of the project are being completed to your satisfaction.

passivhaus self build by Forrester Architectsimage credit: Forrester Architects

Getting a mortgage for your self build

You can’t build your own home unless you have the financial means in place. Special mortgages for self builds are available but you’ll also need to have funds or savings of your own in order to get the project started. The Build Store website is an excellent resource for accessing building societies and other information concerning finance and self building.

The most popular type of mortgage is the ‘advanced stage payment’ that will release the funds before the build starts so that you can get going with the job. Funds will continue to be released at regular intervals throughout the project. The ‘arrears stage payment’ mortgage only allows money to be released after each stage of the build is completed. This might not be such a good option if your workforce needs money in advance in order to proceed with the build. You’ll have to prove that you’re able to maintain the mortgage payments whilst the project is in progress.

New House, Stow self build by Jefcoate Anderson Architects Ltdimage credit: Jefcoate Anderson Architects Ltd

Enjoy your project

Despite worries about finance, builders and a thousand and one other niggles, building your own dream home is rewarding. You’ll end up with a house that you have planned to suit your tastes, and your family’s needs. Many self builders have slashed their utility bills by designing an eco-friendly property; others have created innovative gardens around their new home. The possibilities for creating the house of your dreams are endless. Once the project is completed you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy the benefits that come from building your dream home.

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