Sofa-so good

There’s actually been a bit of DIY going on here at alifetimeofdiy. I know! Shocker right? The front room which we use as our main room was one of the first ones decorated when we moved in 7 years ago and to be fair it was starting to look shabby.

The floor was replaced a little while ago and is still in good condition so we kept that as it was but the rest of the room needed painting and decorating. 

We also decided it was time to change our beloved settees. We’d had the one since we bought our first house together 14years ago and the other we bought second hand 6 years ago so they have both had good lives. We donated the one back to charity but the other one wasn’t in good enough condition for them so that was disposed of by the council after a few unsuccessful listings on freecycle. 

We bought our new settee in the sale (is there ever not a settee sale going on?) and we love it. It looked massive when it arrived though. It came in two parts and the first half was supposed to be the shorter end. That looked big enough! 

Then they brought in the second half! 

Wow! It seemed to take up most of the space. 

Although it may be because the rest of the room looked like this:

Thankfully it didn’t look like this for long. The room needed to be emptied so that we could finish redecorating. 

We’ve lived with the new settee for about 6 weeks now and we love it. The kids enjoy lounging on it and it’s really comfortable. We are really pleased with it even if it means our savings took a big hit. 

Stay tuned for the big “reveal” post. Please try not to get too excited lol! 


The carpet in the front room had to go. There was nothing *really* wrong with it if you don’t mind a bright red carpet that doesn’t hoover very well! It was a bit too much disruption for me to rip the whole carpet up so hubby decided to do it himself while I was away with work, bless him.

Helped by my little lady he pulled up the carpet to discover this:

Nice huh?

You’ll be glad to know that we were not planning on keeping this flooring. We had made use of a wickes sale about a month earlier and already had the laminate flooring stacked in boxes behind the settee.

Well where else would you keep them???

With little lady in school and a bit of time on his own, hubby managed to lay most of the new floor with enough work left over for little lady to have a little turn so she could tell me how she had laid the whole floor with daddy!

And the result?

A lovely new floor and a very tired little girl admiring her handiwork. 😀


Now the windows in the front room had no curtains and frankly we had no money to buy brand new ones. We live right on the main road, 2 doors up from the start of the village shops so we needed curtains. A friend had been given a pair of plain cream/off white curtains which she didn’t want so she offered them to us.

Lovely. Nothing spectacular but we now had something to preserve our modesty in the evenings while we sat reading/watching DVD’s in our pyjamas.

Every evening while shutting the curtains I would look at how plain they were and wonder what to do with them. Taking inspiration from our new (handmade of course) lampshade I took one curtain down and drew a rough design in pencil.

After rummaging around in my craft stuff upstairs I found some brown embroidery thread and started embroidering the design using a simple back stitch.

Being a SAHM to a little person, means I only have time to sew while he’s asleep and even then it has to compete with the hundreds of other jobs that need doing!

So a week and a half later, and a visit to the local craft shop to buy more thread, I had one finished curtain. It doesn’t look too shabby even if I do say so myself!

What do you guys think? Not bad for a pair of curtains that will cost less than £4 when finished!!!

Just need to find the motivation to finish the second one now. Hmmm…………..


After painting – a neutral white with the chimney breast as a feature wall in ‘mocha’ (using left over paint from another project naturally) – came the first job – the fireplace.

Hubby and I have dreams of sitting on a cold winter night in front of a blazing open fire. Smart dream with 2 young kiddie winks? Answers on a postcard please.

 What do we have in situ? An uncentered hole covered by a piece of MDF screwed to the wall.

Don’t you just love DIY-ers who can’t?

 So plan of action –

  • find a fire surround keeping with the Victorian-ish features of the room
  • get chimney swept
  • enlarge hole to make it more centred
  • buy grate for our lovely new open fire

 Easy right?


 It all started swimmingly enough. After a tip from a friend we visited a charity shop warehouse that sells all the furniture that is too big and bulky to fit in a normal high street charity shop. Hubby and I were in our element. The furniture was fabulous, okay some of it still smelt of mothballs, but the majority was in really good condition. The best thing about the shop was that it had links with the council which allowed families who could not afford furniture to exchange vouchers for say a settee or a dining table. Social conscience – check!

 After a good look around – for research purposes naturally 😉 we found the perfect fireplace for our room and it was only £30! We snapped it up. Maybe a bit too keenly though as while we were carrying it outside it dawned on us that it may be too big to fit in the car. Oops.

 A lot of huffing and puffing and jiggling and wiggling and rearranging and it was in. It may never come back out but it was in.

 Here it is. At home. In pride of place.           


 Oh and see that mirror? £80 down to £2.50 but that’s another story! Bit of stain on it and it’ll match perfectly.