Sunday, 30 September 2018

Upcycling a Chest of Drawers with Door Furniture Direct


Readers, hello! I’ve failed miserably in blogging my way through September, sorry about that! It’s been a busy month, with a couple of weddings, catching up with friends and spending the rest of my time doing some upcycling.

As you’ve possibly seen over on my stories on Instagram, I’ve recently collaborated with
Door Furniture Direct, on an upcycling project and thanks to them, they really helped me finish my upcycle on this old chest of drawers.  

Ikea malm upcycle unit in grey what claire did

We bought the unit 5 years ago, when we bought our first place and as it’s always lived in the spare room, we never really gave it a second thought. The spare room has always been a bit unloved, but we’ve recently done a whole makeover – painting this chest of drawers, the wardrobe and doing the walls and soft furnishing, but that’s another post that’s coming soon.

door furniture direct rose copper knobs 32mm

Today I’m chatting just about the Malm unit upcycling, which features these amazing rose copper knobs from Door Furniture Direct.  I was allowed to pick anything I wanted, up to the value of £30, so managed to get 6 of these for my project. The unit was painted in Anthracite grey furniture paint by Rustoleum and then varnished with a matt varnish to protect it. 

ikea malm upcycle in grey with copper handles what claire did


As most of you will know, the Malm units don’t have pre-drilled handle holes because of the top opening, so I had my first drilling experience (no jokes at the back please) trying to measure, find the right drill size and then drill 6 holes, in equal positioning, across the 3 drawers.   The drawer knobs were really easy to fit and came with screws etc, so all I had to do was drill through, push the screw through from the back and then tighten the knob on the front of it. 

ikea malm upcycle in grey with copper handles what claire did


If you are considering your own upcycling project, if I can manage to drill and add drawer pulls, then anyone can do it.  My painting tips from my bathroom upcycle still apply – use a shellac based primer (one coat) before you start, 2 coats of paint and at least 2 coats of varnish to make sure it doesn’t chip or damage.

And when it’s becoming really important to think about what we throw out and what we keep, could now be your chance to show some love to some old furniture and make improvements? And for those of you who are interested... this is where I started... 



Disclaimer – I was gifted the rose copper oval cup knobs from Door Furniture Direct in exchange for a post on my blog. Any opinions expressed are my own.


Sunday, 23 September 2018

Microwave Cooking… It’s Not The Enemy!


Readers, a slightly different post for me tonight, as I wanted to chat about that thing that sits in the corner of our kitchen, has several settings and a digital clock on it.  It beeps after a few minutes… yep, it’s the microwave.

Microwaves get a bit of a bad press, but to coincide with the launch of Panasonic’s new range of Combi Microwave Ovens, I’m sharing 5 reasons why microwaves aren’t the devil’s cooking equipment.

Great tool on the Panasonic website - providing specs and dimensions, to help you plan your kitchen space!
Image Credit: Panasonic

1. It’s a time saver

Tight on time?  The microwave can be your friend.  I’m not a massive advocate for ready meals, but the microwave (or combi oven if you’re fancy) allows a meal in minutes solution, when you’re late in from work, dashing between appointments etc. Leading me to…

2. It’s all about what you cook in there

Thing is, you genuinely don’t need to fire frozen microwave meals in there.  Honestly.  I’m a huge fan of re-heated leftovers in the microwave. Or my other favourite is the baked potato trick.  Stick it in for 8-10 minutes depending on size and then finish off in the oven for a 5-10 minutes for the crispy skin effect.  It’s a lot quicker than putting a raw potato in an oven. Trust me.

 

3. Batch cooking and freezing

If you’re like me and love cooking, but are often time pressed, Sunday is a great day to lock yourself in the kitchen and cook away.  Tupperware becomes your best mate and you can cook up, batch up and freeze your home made creations, ready for reheating.

4. The power of de-frost

And to number 3 – my point above – once you’ve made all these cracking batch dishes, you’ll be able to hit the defrost function and speedily defrost those leftovers. Word of warning though – don’t do it with raw meat that’s frozen. Do the whole “leave in fridge for 24 hours” thing with that.
The defrost function is great for bread and rolls to… or if you’re in a hurry for your ice cream, 20 secs on defrost will get the spoon in the tub quicker.  Just saying.

5. The microwave mug cake

And the holy grail of PMT induced cooking… cake in a hurry. I’ve got an old recipe on my blog (apologies about the photos – it was a hurried post) that shows you how to make a cake in a mug, in the microwave.  Get it bookmarked, one day you’ll thank me for this speedy sugary treat.




Disclaimer: this post is sponsored by Panasonic. Any opinions expressed are my own.