before as our wee guest bedroom which often became a dumping ground
I hadn't planned on creating a new workspace, it kind of just happened. One day, during lockdown, I mentioned how I'd like to work in our small guest bedroom as it's at the front so gets more sun, and wondered if we could swap them round. David wasn't overly keen and it did seem like a hassle/some top procrastination, but a week or so later we were looking for things to do and it suddenly seemed like a great idea!
This definitely marked the end of an era. Moving to a much smaller room meant packing up the side of my business I'd been falling out of love with to make sure there was room for all of the important stuff for moving forward. It was absolute chaos. I had instant regrets when both rooms were filled with piles of disorganised EVERYTHING. Why did I have so much stuff??
A day of work later and we had the layout of my new workspace! At this stage I decided I wanted to paint everything a muted green so I ordered a tin of Rust-Oleum Bramwell which we used on the desk, shelf and wicker chair. The chair was actually in the garage from when my parents were clearing out - it used to be in my nursery/bedroom growing up and has constantly changed colour. I covered the cushion with a fat quarter of gorgeous liberty fabric from eBay. I also found half a can of matte gold spray paint from a previous project in the garage, which David used to spray my old bright pink IKEA file shelves with. I love how they turned out!
My favourite mini DIY that happened was the clock. This vintage frame was used for displaying brooches and the hands were taken off an old clock which didn't suit the new space. Those, combined with some floral fabric, make a fun but practical addition to my wee gallery wall. The botanical prints are all from CowParsleyCo on Etsy. Keeping to the botanical theme, I treated myself to some custom coasters from Flower Resin - they are made with daisies, ferns, pink petals and gold leaf. So perfect!
Last but not least, is my lovely new pink velvet desk chair. I wanted to have a comfier space to sit as I'm so bad for going downstairs to work from the sofa in the living room. I can safely say it has increased productivity by 100%. It's my focus zone, but I can sit with my legs crossed and draw or cosy up with Daisy. I'd seen these in TK Maxx years ago and always wanted an excuse to buy one, but because it was during lockdown I managed to find a similar one on eBay.
Everything else we already had, it just needed a bit of reorganisation. I really love it and it's become a place I'm excited to spend time in. So cosy and inviting! As for the old studio, it's now a guest bedroom/gym/games room which makes for a much better use of space.
It might have been over 6 months since we finished our hallway makeover, but it still feels fresh and new every day! I'm so pleased with how this turned out, especially as it was the final piece of the puzzle in terms of making our home fully our own. I started a moodboard aaages ago, because I can never resist a moodboard, but since the hall was going to be quite a big job for us, we saved it until last.
some more details...
If you've seen any of my interiors posts before, you'll know we love to challenge ourselves to DIY, upcycle and thrift as much as possible. This has meant most of our makeovers were done on tiny budgets, but this is the first where we admitted defeat and paid to get the stair carpet fitted! Other than that, this was a classic team Jilly and David job - I did most of the tedious banister painting (Autentico Versante Matt in Menta) whilst David was in charge of tiling the floor. David also removed the old shelf/clunky storage heater that didn't do much, and put up our beautiful floating sleeper shelf (eBay £30). This turned out to be a much bigger job than expected as he wanted it to be super secure, but it's so worth it as it really opens up the space and adds character.
Meanwhile, I was rummaging through the house and garage to see what I could use to accessorise. I love this old spindly chair, but I'm not sure where it came from! We already had the drawers in the hall but they look much more at home in the new colour scheme, which is actually pretty neutral for us. I wanted the space to feel as light and airy as possible, so knew all the brown woodwork needed to be painted. The floor tiles were a big part of the inspiration for keeping it a more natural colour palette (£25.63m2 from Tiles Direct).
Originally we were going to stick with just mint and greens to add colour but the pink snuck in through some of the accessories as I felt it added more warmth when paired with cosy lighting and touches of gold. The frames were mostly from charity shops and feature a mix of my own illustrations and photos, with some Etsy prints mixed in. (Let's Dance from PrintPunkStudio / Elton John from CarrissaTanton / Blah Blah Blah from StelleDesignStudio / Work Hard & Be Kind from mboldnstudio).
The beautiful Weaver Green rug was an early birthday present, it's made entirely from recycled plastic bottles! The mirrors are vintage - the one above the chair belonged to my great grandmother and the other was only £10 from Fancy That?. The glass light shades also have a vintage look but are actually just cheap ones from eBay. I also found the seagrass baskets on there which add a nice contrasting texture. Finally, we wanted to add some plants but I've tried keeping them alive in the hall before with no luck - there's just not enough sunlight sadly. So I've cheated and got a few lovely artificial plants from IKEA which definitely bring some life to the space.
It's quite hard to write a post like this without it becoming a list of products sometimes! I hope you've enjoyed seeing our hallway makeover, I'd love to know what your favourite part is?
I'd had some bar ideas on my Garden Inspiration Pinterest board for ages now, but it just seemed like one of those never-going-to-happen projects. We've had this empty, unused corner of the garden which I decided would be the perfect spot for one so it was time to convince David. I showed him lots of examples and he said if I did a sketch of how I wanted it to look, mainly using the scrap materials we already had, we could do it. Yesss!!
I can't believe how it's turned out! It's just so real. I initially thought I'd just be getting a fold down pallet shelf or something tiny. In the end we used a bunch of stuff from our garage junk collection - 3 pallets from materials deliveries, trellis for the roof (from a bin store David made), osb countertop (leftover from a garage repair), and the roof posts and monoblocks were salvaged from a skip trip.
Of course, with David being a landscape gardener he was able to magic up a lovely patio base, then he constructed the bar using my drawing as a guide. I was in charge of the stools and all of the painting (so much painting). The stools were £12 because of a lucky voucher situation, and I already had foam to use for the tops leftover from another project. I covered the tops with this tropical leaf tablecloth (£6.99) which inspired the colour scheme. The paint cost £24 with lots leftover. The colours are Paradise Petals by Johnstone's and Seagrass by Cuprinol.
We did most of the work in a weekend, then I was just waiting for my solar lights to arrive to have fun with the styling. They look so pretty but sadly aren't working, so I've got to return them or I'd have taken a twinkly night-time photo. The other accessories were mostly just things we already had - the chalkboard frames are repurposed from my old tradeshow display. I did buy the floral garland on eBay though. Amazingly, in total we spent around £60!
I hope you like our DIY bar! We can't wait to have some friends and family round for cocktail nights! I'll share the rest of our garden makeover soon.
JillyJilly turned 6 in May. I didn't have any business Birthday celebrations as, truth be told, I'd fallen out of love with my business some time ago. I had been wanting to make some big changes but wasn't sure where to start or what I was actually aiming for, so it all seemed incredibly overwhelming and much easier to just ignore it. Despite business mentoring in the past, I'm rubbish when it comes to listening to my own advice!
I closed my shop at the start of lockdown. I was worried about sending parcels which were non-essential when the postal service was struggling. I was becoming very aware of making 'stuff' and the whole process - from supplies arriving in unnecessary plastic packaging, wasteful seconds etc. I was making more sustainable choices in other aspects of my life so I wanted my business to match up to this too.
After taking some time to reflect I decided to start over - rebuild, refresh, rebrand. So let me introduce you to the new JillyJilly! My new branding was actually inspired by my new workspace, we created this using existing bits and pieces with the help of some leftover paint. My old branding was pink, mint and lilac so it felt like a nice transition to a softer, nature inspired palette. The hand drawn typography feels a bit vintage, and I liked the playfulness of a reversible logo.
Since you're here, you've probably already noticed this is a whole new website. There's no longer a shop, though there will be a shop for the digital download products I'm working on. One of the main focuses now is design and photography services for indie businesses. I've spent time putting together examples of some of my favourite past projects, along with pre-priced packages for these services.
I'll be using the blog a little more as I've already got a few DIY projects to share - these were always the most popular in the past! I want to be able to share more personal content featuring the things I'm most passionate about. A mix of thrifty finds, upcycling, home interiors, adventures and my favourite small businesses.
I'm feeling so excited about my wee business for the first time in ages! It's so nice to be back.
What a strange year it's been, and we're not even half way! I'm not going to dwell on any of the details of the madness that's unfolded with this whole pandemic. Instead, now that David's returning to work, I wanted to make a gallery which shows a snapshot of our lockdown highlights. I took an extended break from social media and tried to stop watching the news, instead picking up my camera and bullet journal for some offline time.
Obviously there were lots of ups and downs, but we tried to make the best of the situation and enjoy the time that we could, even when things were scary and uncertain. By nature we're both quite bad at 'time off' so I made some bullet journal lists of jobs and activities to work through when we felt like it which definitely made it feel less overwhelming.
Luckily our garage was filled with lots of half used DIY materials (as it usually is) so we were able to tick off our list of wee jobs in the house and garden. One big job was switching around the guest room and studio, so I now have a new, cosier workspace (more on that later). I've been studying garden design to help with the future of Noble Landscapes, but this time meant David was able to get involved too. He did lots of cooking, including the *must do* lockdown bread making (we inherited a bread machine in March!) but also lots of seitan recipes. As for me, I've been learning to sew, beginning with pants of all things, which is something I've always wanted the time to get into.
We took turns to plan surprise date nights - a spa night and a speakeasy - definitely a highlight of the last few months. David had a lockdown Birthday so I organised a treasure hunt which got a little bit elaborate at 40 clues mixed with mini games. All of his presents and cards were hidden along the way - ending with delicious Doughnut Family treats.
Of course, we had lots of video calls with family and friends - including a weekly quiz Skype with my grandparents which is a lot of fun and something we'll make sure to do more in future.
I hope that lots of the good from this time will last, it certainly makes you think about what's important.
We are so excited to launch #MyDundeeChristmas - A Christmas themed social media challenged brought to you by the Dundee Etsy Team, Mafalda Media and JillyJilly. This challenge will celebrate the independent business community in Dundee and highlight how we can support them this Christmas.
We've created a list of festive prompts for you to use to share your brand's story and favourite things about Dundee this November. We'd love to see you all get creative and share photos every day - remember to use #MyDundeeChristmas and follow your hosts @etsydundee @mafaldamedia and @jillyjillydesign!
We also have some fab special guest hosts - on the highlighted days there will be prizes up for grabs by local businesses who will pick their favourite photo of the day. From coffee shops to candle makers, if you're a small business owner share your story and encourage Dundonians to keep it local this Christmas.
We'll be sharing some ideas for how the prompts can be interpreted along with social media photo tips and more over the coming weeks so check back soon! In the mean time, download your planner and spread the word!
It's nearly here! The Fun A Day Dundee 2019 exhibition starts next Friday, the 5th of April. If you saw my previous post, you'll know that my project was to spend more time having fun with bullet journalling. I'll have a copied version of my journal on display along with some free blank pages you can take away to fill in yourself. I've also designed the poster for the exhibition and will be there helping out. You can find out more about the exhibition below and at the Facebook event page here.
"This exhibition will feature around 70 people local and outwith of Dundee, in a wide and wonderful variety of mediums. We have crochet, photography, songwriting, performance, photography, painting, sculpture, mixed media, stitching, collage, knitting, film making and much more! Participants ages range from under 10 years old to over 60 years.
This year we have live music by Mark Urban on the opening night, including our usual 'sweet shop' stand, and art workshops over the weekend to fix that crafty itch once viewing the exhibition!"
Hope to see you there!
Last month we went to Berlin for the week of my Birthday. I thought I'd write a quick blog post and share a few of my favourite photos as I took a break from social media while we were away for a change!
When we were planning our trip we were mostly excited about food as Berlin is known for being super vegan friendly. We had found loads of places that we hoped to go including Veganz (the vegan supermarkets) and Brammibals doughnuts.
We were very lucky with the weather as it was mild and dry the whole week, which was perfect for exploring the city. It's definitely somewhere you need to make the most of public transport as Berlin is giant! We managed to find a few flea markets, lots of vintage shops and so many lovely cafe/bars with vegan cake. There are so many different areas which are great to wander around as there's such a mix of things to see that you never know what will be around the next corner.
I'm taking part in Fun A Day Dundee this January! Organised by the fab Sam Baxter Art, the idea is that you choose a fun project to work on every day throughout the month. For mine, I've decided to get organised with my Bullet Journal - not everyone's idea of fun but I find the process super relaxing. I didn't have much time for it on the run up to Christmas so it's nice to get back into it. Each day I've been working on new spreads, or continuing pages from last year (like this bookshelf and films to watch). I might even try some timelapse videos of drawing them!
I've had quite a lot of people on Instagram asking where I got my journal/if it's available to buy (it's not) so I've decided to make some printable downloads of my favourite pages. I've just finished creating this bookshelf printable that you can download for free now! The way I use this is to colour a book in and write the details each time I finish reading a book but you could equally use it by filling it with all the books you'd like to read then colouring them in as you've finished them. I'm sure there are other ways too!
Download here > Bookshelf Printable
Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear any feedback and see it in use! If you share on Instagram make sure to tag me @jillyjillydesign
I've included multiple versions - black and white, colour, dotted background, plain white background, title, no title. This should print best at A5 size.
Before - Photograph by Douglas Gibb Photography
Happy new year! It's been a while but since we've just finished our mini kitchen makeover I thought it would be a nice post to start the year. It's now been over 15 months since we moved into our house, the kitchen wasn't top of the DIY list as it wasn't too bad, just a bit plain. We wanted to give it a cheap and cheerful revamp and since David had time off after new year, what better time to go for it than the holidays??
The original kitchen was in good shape (apart from a couple of wee joinery bits that David fixed) so after a deep clean and light sand we were ready to paint. The paint we used is Autentico Versante Matt in Antique Rose which was £26.95 for 1L - we had leftover after 2/3 coats. Autentico says it's ideal for kitchen cupboards and that its 'built-in moisture membrane and UV filter makes it water resistant and prevent colours from fading'. It's only been on a few days but I love the finish so hopefully it stays that way!
To finish them off I chose some ceramic cream and gold drawer knobs which were from TK Maxx, I think they were £5.99 for 6. Of course, we have 13 kitchen cupboard handles but luckily I had a spare from another piece of furniture we upcycled last year!
I spent a while looking at various options for the tiles and couldn't decide, so opted for tile stickers which are a much more affordable and less permanent solution if I change my mind anytime soon. These were from Wall Genie on Etsy and were just under £40 for three packs of 30 so I could have the mix of colours I wanted and some spares. I ordered a sample at the start of October and stuck it on to see how durable it was, and found no issues at all. They were a little fiddly to apply perfectly, especially around the sockets, but real tiles would've been much worse!
Finally, we added to our vintage plates wall by hanging some diagonally up from the ones we hung when we moved in. I'm so pleased with the end result and it feels like such a happy space now.
Behind the scenes, DIY projects, news and more from JillyJilly.