Hi! I’m Lissi, aka ‘Oxfordone’ over on Instagram. Mummy to our three year old daughter and wife to ‘Mr Oxfordone’ who often returns home to a total room renovation! I have been a primary school teacher for over ten years and when I’m not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my daughter as well as working on freelance projects and adventures in DIY! If there’s anything you want me to cover or you’d like to collaborate, get in touch here.

Me and my bright, bold home.

About me

How To Paint Arches

DIY

Arches had a big moment in 2019 and don’t seem to be going anywhere in 2020. Having been inspired by the masterful painting skills of @banyanbridges and @thistimeincolour I decided to paint my own mini mural when we redecorated the kitchen towards the end of last year and add an arch around my front door just recently.

The kitchen cabinets were neutral, the worktops were being replaced with a marble effect quartz and so I had to get my signature colour fix in there somehow. Where we had previously inherited a hanging pan rack, I created a coral arch intersected with a minty green rectangle, genius or bonkers, either way I love it! On top of this I planned to mount some open shelving, mainly for aesthetics but practical enough to store the dishwasher tablets at least!

Getting started, you will need

  • 2 pencils or a nail and one pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Long strip of card or piece of string
  • Laser level
  • Paint (I used a scrubabble paint for behind the sink so it can be easily wiped down)
  • Frog tape
  • A medium paint brush
  • A roller and tray

Measuring the arch

The first thing you’ll need to do is decide how wide apart you want your vertical lines coming down from the arch, this will give you the diameter of your circle from which you can find the centre point half way across (the radius- GCSE maths coming back to you yet?!) Attach your pencils to either end of your string or poke holes in your strip of card (I prefer to use card as it stays rigid when you draw your arch) and double check your distance between them is the radius you just measured.

Drawing out the arch

Holding one pencil firmly on the centre line of your arch, reach the other pencil up to where you want the very top of your arch (you may need to drop your centre pencil down the mid line at this point if you are too close to the ceiling) Holding both pencils firmly to the wall (it’s a good idea to get someone to hold the centre one still for you while you draw the arch, alternatively, you could tack a nail in and fill the hole in later) using the top pencil, press lightly to draw a semi-circle.

Using a laser level and frog tape (Always the green frog tape) find the widest points of the arch and use tape to create the vertical lines down to the ground pressing the edges down firmly.

Adding to your design

If you plan to add other shapes to your design, now is the time to do it, I used the laser level and frog tape to form my rectangles judging the height and width by eye (although I had done a mock up on my laptop to play with the positioning and size of the rectangle).  

Painting your mural

Using a medium brush and a steady hand, follow the curved line of your arch with your chosen paint, loading up the brush and spreading it out as you go. Fill the rest of the arch using a roller and to avoid bleeding under the tape of your vertical lines, use a roller here too. You can peel the tape off before it is totally dry at a 90˚ angle to the wall.

Stand back and admire your work, if anything doesn’t look quite right, now is the time to touch up. The best thing about this kind of DIY is that it can be done on any scale, using up left over paint and creates a huge impact! I’d love to see your arches if you give them a go, tag me!

Colour Psychology, finding your palette

Colour Psychology

When we moved in to our first home, we were terrified of using colour and painted everything 50 shades of grey. To me, using colour felt like something interior designers did, not first-time buyers. As we spent more time in the house, the grey felt less and less ‘us’ and we started to fill it with pieces that reflected our love of colour and gradually the grey was phased out and the colour crept in, on to the walls, the floors and even the bath!

I have always been a believer that our surroundings can impact our well-being and that colours around us can have a profound effect on our moods and actions. This is no more important than in the rooms of your home you wake up in, cook, entertain and relax in.

Colour psychology has long been used in marketing to subconsciously influence our buying habits but how can we use it at home to create the atmosphere and ‘vibe’ we’re after? If you’re a diehard neutrals fan then the thought of adding colour to your home can be a frightening thought, but start small. It can be as simple as a few accessories- think vases and candle holders, a bit more daring with splashes of colourful cushions and throws or a full-on colour explosion with a statement chair or wallpaper. Needless to say I am a fan of the colour explosion!

Colours can be roughly divided in to two groups, ‘warm’, reds, oranges and yellows and ‘cool’ such as blues, greens and purples or in colour psychology, four ‘seasons’ from Spring with it’s light bright hues though to Winter and it’s bright, intense colours. Individual colours and groups have both positive and negative associations and work well in different rooms for different people, so finding your personal palette and surrounding yourself with colours which make you feel good is key.

It’s easy to scroll though squares on Instagram wondering how effortlessly some people put colour schemes together, and while some are definitely gifted at this, the fool proof way to achieve the look you’re after is to use the tried and tested ‘Wright theory’ devised by Angela Wright in the 1980s which groups colours in to families echoing the natural patterns of the seasons and each personality has a natural affinity with one group. Read on to discover yours!

Starting with Spring, as you might expect, these are fresh, clean colours including bright yellow, green, red, blue, purple and coral. This palette is youthful and associated with warmth and motivation so would be perfect in a child’s bedroom or office space for example.

Geraldine Tan of @littlebigbell uses a clean, crisp Spring colour palette

Summer colours are cool and subtle, think muted hues of pink, lavender and cornflower blue, they have associations with being cool, calm and collected and so would be perfect in an open plan space or bedroom. I’m in love with the ‘Cleo’ Chaise from @honora_uk , try it with the ‘Tori’ cushion.

The Autumn palette brings us fiery, warm shades of gold, burnt orange, olive green as well as rich purples and warm blues. This grouping is intense, strong and is a great cosy palette for a living room or snug.

My lounge featuring the Honora ‘Sasha’ armchair in orange which works well in a rich autumn palette.

In Winter, the colours are cold and extreme (like the weather I guess!) and include black, both dark and light blue as well as magenta, yellow and turquoise, this palette is bold, commands respect and works well in an open plan space with lots of white as a base.

Paola Roder @Paola_roder uses white as a background to strong Winter colours magenta and yellow with plenty of monochrome accents.

So which palette resonates with you the most? I think my home would suggest Winter with Spring emerging! Having said all of this, if there is a colour or colour combination you love and it makes you smile, then go for it, make your own rules and most importantly have fun with it!

This post was originally written for @honora_uk and I was kindly gifted the Sasha Orange armchair and footstool pictured.

Tropical Guest Bathroom Makeover

Room Makeovers

This post was sponsored by British Ceramic tile who kindly provided the tiles for the project and Milton and King who provided the wallpaper.

I was so excited to start planning the guest bathroom transformation, it’s a room that’s only used when we have guests (or for the occasional indulgent bath) so could be fun and totally wild. It was a challenge as the space is in the eaves with irregular walls, ceiling and a ‘T’ shaped floor plan but most exciting of all was that it was literally carte blanche- whiter than white with zero personality, and not my style at all as you may have gathered! 

I began my search for a floor tile as the starting point for my scheme, I wanted a relatively large pattern repeat, and because we planned to keep the curved corner bath, I wanted big, square tiles for ease of cutting. The final things on my checklist for floor tiles were bold pattern and neutral colour, I wanted an eye-catching tile that would work with and not against the bold colours I love to use in my decor. I chose the ‘Henry’ tile with its larger pattern and subtle texture, I also loved the fact that it could be laid in different rotations to create either a star or box illusion pattern.

Next up was choosing a backsplash tile for around the bath and sink. I was looking for a white tile for this because I wanted to experiment with using one of my accent colours in the grout and wanted a good contrast. My search ended when I found the White Marble Hexagon tiles and fell deeply in love! This shape and detail of this tile are absolutely beautiful and I couldn’t wait to give it my own twist.

With the tiles chosen, I set about creating a mood board to try them alongside the accent colours I had in mind for this scheme; yellow, green and pink. The crisp lines of the hexagon tile popped against the emerald green I planned for the grout and the greys of the Henry tile stand up to my bold yellow and compliment my softer pink which I planned to use to paint the base of the bath. At one stage, the walls were going to remain white but when Milton and King got in contact, I knew exactly the wallpaper that would work in here and transform the space from bland to brilliant.

My mood board showing the tiles and colours I planned coming together.

 The first decision I had to make was which pattern to create with the Henry tile, as they can be laid in different rotations to create either a star or box illusion pattern. I went with the star pattern which definitely suited our floor space best and created a kind of path leading you up to the bath.

The Henry tile in a star pattern

 I used a dark grey grout to create a seamless pattern on the floor and then got a little more creative when it came to the hexagons on the walls. I had planned to use a coloured grout and pick out the green of the wallpaper and accessories I was using in there. I had a really vivid picture in my head of a really leafy green grout but when I couldn’t find what I was after off the shelf (and got funny looks for even asking) I decided to mix my own bespoke colour using white grout and emerald green acrylic paint which worked perfectly (although I’ll admit I had my doubts during the mixing process!)

Going rogue with the tiling, i made my own green grout!

Once the initial tiles were up, I had the urge to go rogue and add some irregular tiles cascading up and down around the ends of the bath. This was a risk because it was difficult to visualise the end result, and in order to stick the tiles to the wall I had to cut holes in the wallpaper and tap nails in to hold them up whilst the tile adhesive set so there was no going back! Luckily, my risk paid off and I love the asymmetry, especially as the bath is also an irregular shape.

Even though I already had plenty of pattern coming from the floor tiles and the shape of the wall tiles, I knew my beloved tropical wallpaper would work well too because the neutral tones of the tiles could support the bold colours of the paper despite the pattern clash. I could then add my yellow and green towels, green woven baskets for storage (toys!), cut green glass soap dispenser and plenty of plants to accessorise the space.

The final accent colour was pink and I really went to town painting the bath panel, the skirting boards, windowsill, shelves and cupboards before adding gold hardware and gold leaf to the base of the bath. I could never have dreamed this project would come together as well as it did but I learnt so much along the way and have really enjoyed creating a fun and original space that just makes me smile.