Tales of a Handy Husband…


When I met my husband Robert he worked in TV and was very much a self-confessed DIY-phobe. Since having our two boys and buying our own family-friendly business ( a children’s Soft-Play centre – more about that another day) he has developed not only some serious skills, but a burning passion for creating, fixing and building! Now I know a lot of you share my love of interiors and house-improvement so I thought I would show you a little bit of what he has been up to and spread the inspiration…

One of my favourite projects he undertook recently was the conversion of my horrid old crumbling cloakroom under the stairs into a gorgeous, spacious little nook of tranquility! Behold….

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I hope you will agree with me that it’s a seriously cute space – even though my photographs on the wall are squint! My bad…

So, it all began on a Monday morning in November at 8.30 am: Robert and his trusty side-kick Stewart got stuck straight in tearing out cupboard doors, knocking down the wall separating the cloakroom from the cupboard next to it and the scariest part – sawing through the wooden joist that may or may not have been holding up the stairs!

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Robert literally holding up the roof…or we thought perhaps he could have been anyway. Luckily everything stayed put.
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We definitely held our breath here…

Once the space was cleared, we had a decision to make. our initial idea had been to build a large seat with drawers underneath and a bespoke upholstered cushion (something along these lines)…

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…but a last minute flash of inspo determined that we would lose the feeling of ‘space’ we so desperately sought, so we decided to leave it open.


This new direction meant of course that the floor had to be matched and laid which was probably the hardest part of the whole operation. Once we had that down the very bumpy old wall was covered with some plasterboard and wallpapered. We chose a brick effect wallpaper from B&Q to cover a multitude of sins and it really did the trick.

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The final touches consisted of new wallpaper for the opposite wall – we went with a shimmery grey to add to the cosy feel, a gorgeous beaten metal stool from Zara Home and finally our favourite – the A light! A for Ashworth which is obviously our name or A for A-team if you prefer, I loved that show!

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Ladies Pass It on blog

Now, for those of you thinking ‘That is all very well and good but where on earth did you put all your STUFF?! Well, we put a wardrobe near the side door to our house for coats and school bags and we managed to squeeze some sneaky storage into the nook, like this… 

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Drawers for more shoes, hats, scarves and gloves and a little box for keys!
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Super slim shoe boxes from IKEA – genius!

The end result is a very airy yet cosy entrance-way, a very enjoyable view from other parts of the house and a cool place to sit whilst taking your shoes on and off and of course – take selfies. It has definitely become my favourite place to snap the kids when they’re looking particularly dapper! Of course we could have got someone in to do it and yes it would have been less rough around the edges but there is really something very cool about having done it yourself…not me exactly but you know what I mean.

Daylight view…and another Selfie.


Here are a few other ideas you could use to inspire your under-stair conversion. I definitely say go for it! The whole process only took 2 days.

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Next time, on Tales of a Handy Husband, I will be showing you how my handsome other half made me the perfect outdoor Party Bar for less than £20 and in 2 hours! Make sure you sign up to receive blog updates so you don’t miss!

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How cool is this outdoor Party Bar?!


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