My Tiny Indoor Garden by Lia Leendertz

If you have no garden and are thinking you are never going to have enough space to have your own or be able to grow your own salads look no further than My Tiny Indoor Garden. House plants are having a moment just now, we use them for styling so many projects, they are something we can all have and everyone wants to be in on the act. This delightful book by Lia Leendertz with beautiful images by Mark Diacono is packed with space saving indoor gardening ideas and even people living in the most restricted spaces can join in. It includes lots of ways to display flowers and plants as well as a wealth of tried and tested growing tips.


Before I go any further R&B have to declare an interest in this title and tell you team member Amanda Russell was one of the case studies featured. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty more case studies and very doable projects we want to enthusiastically immerse ourselves in.

Image1 - Photo credit to Mark Diacono

There’s lots of detail on plant maintenance and how to keep them in prime condition from the people growing the plants. There is a pretty succulent garden in a porch with a useful demonstration on how to take cuttings to increase your plant collection. Cookery writer Deborah Robertson shows us the secret of reinvigorating mint plants to keep them producing flushes of beautifully scented leaves. And who couldn’t linger over a fabulous multicoloured hyacinth jar collection, attractive with or without blubs in them.

Image2 - Photo credit to Mark Diacono

Full of beautiful images and information this book would have our shelf space for a long time even if Amanda wasn’t in it. It’s a great gift to take out again and again as well as being a reliable and in depth reference book.

My Tiny Indoor Garden

By Lia Leendertz

Published by Pavilion Books

Images Mark Diacono


Washi Tape Wall

Don’t we all love this tape for the zingy bright colours it brings into our lives? Get more brightness into your life by creating your very own stunning graphic wall art with washi tape.


You will need:

Squared maths book paper

0.5 roll Washi tape

Masking tape

Steel rule

Pencil and rubber



Work out your design on squared maths book paper, one square per X. Scale up the design, then with a pencil and ruler transfer small guide dots onto the wall, working from the center of the design out. Tear washi tape for Xs then stick onto the wall. When you have finished the design use the rubber to remove any pencil marks.


When you want a new image or a pop of a different colour just peel off and reapply.


Covered Chair

Learn to re cover your own chair this Autumn. We love this gorgeous leafy print, perfect for the new season.

You will need:


Chair fabric, we used fabric from vintage curtains

Pins, needles and thread

Safety pins

Cotton tape

Water-soluble pen

  1. When we spotted this down at heel cocktail chair in a charity shop, we knew we were onto a winner. The worn out, dowdy chair was transformed into an up to the moment statement chair with a new loose cover made from on trend vintage leaf print fabric. The hook and loop tape opening on the side seam makes fitting easy.

2. To make the pattern for each section of the chair cut a piece of calico, cut them large so there’s enough spare fabric for fitting, the lower edge of the chair will need more than you think necessary to allow for making a tape casing, so be generous.

3. Sew the calico cover together, leave one of the side seams half open. Fit the cover onto the chair, pin the side seam closed and adjust the fitting, taking it in to give a closer fit. Remove the calico cover from the chair, mark the sewn seams with felt pen as well as the centre line of each panel. Unpick the calico cover and pin onto your chair fabric. If you have a design on your fabric use the centre lines to position the pattern pieces on the design. Cut out the fabric, then mark centre lines and seams with a water-soluble pen. Sew the cover together, leaving one of the side seams half open.

4. Cut a 3cm bias strip from calico to bind the curved raw edges around the chair legs. Pin, and sew, turn the raw edge under by 0.5cm then turn the binding and sew in place. Sew hook and loop tape to both sides of the seam opening.

5. To make the tape casing, turn lower edges of the chair cover in by 4cm turn in the raw edge by 1cm then sew down close to the edge. Measure up for the tape, thread through the casings with a safety pin.



Wine Crate Side Table

It is hard to believe this side table is made from 4 wooden wine boxes, screwed together. We liked the designs so much we decided to give the boxes a wash of watered down emulsion so that the original design shows through.


You will need:

4 Wooden wine boxes

Some off cuts of wood

Set of 4 castors £7.14

White emulsion






Tape measure


Step by Step Instructions

  1.  Fit boxes together to make sure they are the same size and make a size you like, either low and wide for a coffee table or high and narrow for a side table.
  2. Add glue to the sides of the boxes that are going to be touching and stick them in place.
  3. Drill holes and screw the boxes together.
  4. Measure the depth of the crate and cut 2 batons from your wood off cuts to this size.
  5. Screw the two batons onto the base of the crate, this is to hold the castors.
  6. Screw the castors onto the ends of the batons at the bottom of the crate.
  7. Water down the white emulsion and paint the inside and outside of all the boxes.

Rug supplied by Flair Rugs –


Funky Deck Chair

Deck chairs with damaged seats are easy to source and replacing the fabric is straightforward. Make your own unique statement piece by putting together a new seat using scrap fabric.


You Will Need

·      Deckchair

·      Fabric and lace scraps

·      Firm fabric for reverse of seat

·      Dylon Dye

·      Trimming scraps

·      Scissors

Total price
£8.00 homestyle_maymakes1_8_N_052.tif

Step-by-step Instructions

1.    Erect the deckchair and mark the original seat fabric with the position of the top and bottom bar. Remove the fabric from the deckchair to use as a pattern for the backing fabric.

2.    Measure the length between the top and bottom bar markings on the fabric, add 3 cm for a 1.5cm seam allowance at each end. Measure the fabric width and add 3cm giving a seam allowance of 1.5 cm on both sides. Use the original fabric as a pattern for the backing fabric.

3.    Rub down the deckchair frame lightly using sand paper, then paint and varnish when dry.

4.    Round up all you scraps of velvet fabric and trim. Decide which fabrics and trim need dying, then dye in the washing machine following the manufacturers instructions. When the fabric is dry cut into strips and sew together to form the fabric for the seat, embellish with lengths of trim and lace.

5.    Right sides together sew the new seat fabric to the backing fabric. Turn right sides out, turn in the seam allowance at both ends, machine down. Sew channels on backing fabric, then position on chair using the doweling rods to secure.


·      Remove the strut supports from the frame before painting so they don’t get paint on them, when dry screw back in position

Fabric Canvas

With so many irresistible print fabric prints out there it’s a shame to restrict them to just soft furnishings, we transformed a length of this arty Villa Nova fabric into a covetable wall canvas.

HomeStyle magazine feature : Fabric CanvasMAY issue 2016 .Styling Amanda Russel & Juliet Bawden

HomeStyle magazine feature : Fabric CanvasMAY issue 2016 .Styling Amanda Russel & Juliet Bawden

You Will Need

  • Wood 24mm x 20mm x 2400mm £5.99 Homebase
  • Corner brace £4.29 Homebase
  • Screws
  • Black and decker electric drill
  • Fabric
  • Stapler
  • Command Strip £3

Total price

  1. Measure your length of fabric and decide on the size of canvas you want, you will need a 10 cm fabric overlap for turning and stapling onto the frame.
  2. Cut batons to length from wood strip. Using corner braces screw the frame together at the corners. Stretch the fabric over the frame, working from the centre out staple fabric in place to the back of the frame. At the corners cut off excess fabric and fold in for a neat finish.
  3. Hang canvas using Commandstrip


  • Use an vintage textile remnant to create a unique piece of artwork

HomeStyle magazine feature : Fabric CanvasMAY issue 2016 .Styling Amanda Russel & Juliet Bawden

Jungle Leaf Stencil Cupboard

We couldn’t resist this brown cupboard with its acres of storage space and handy stash busting shelves. Not pretty and not about to go anywhere when we spotted it in the charity shop, we knew it was a perfect canvas the big bright jungle leaf treatment.


You Will Need

  • Charity shop cupboard £40
  • Dulux Matt Emulsion dublin bay 4 £24.49
  • Dulux Matt Emulsion tarragon glory 4 £24.49
  • Dulux Matt Emulsion white £24.49
  • Paintbrush
  • Pencil and paper
  • Masking tape
  • Drafting film from art stores £5.00
  • Spray adhesive
  • Stencil brush

Total price



  1. Use a mild solution of washing up liquid and warm water to wash down the cupboard, make sure you remove all grease marks. Leave to dry, then rub down with fine grade sandpaper. Paint primer, you may need to add a second coat to cover the brown stain. Paint the exterior and interior with matt emulsion paint.
  1. Work out your design on paper then using a felt pen trace onto drafting film. Cut out the design using a craft knife. Spray the reverse of the stencil with adhesive and press into position on the cupboard door. Put about a tablespoon of emulsion on a disposable plate and using a stencil brush fill in the design. Leave to dry, then use a brush to add the leaf detail freehand. Turn the stencil over spray with adhesive and repeat on the other cupboard door. When dry paint the cupboard with a matt varnish


  • For a really long lasting paint finish strip the cupboard with paint stripper before painting.


Neon String Lampshade

Texture is very much on trend, as are fluorescent colours so we thought we would combine them in a hanging lampshade. We also managed to find some great coloured lamp fittings on line. So you can make this spectacular shade for a fraction of what it would cost in the shops.

String Lamp


You will need

Lamp frame from £7.65

Bulb holder and orange power cord £5.95

Florescent String, green, pink, yellow from £3 a ball =£9

Orange Flo spray paint by Valspar From £3.24

Paint brush

Total Price £25.84 You will have lots of paint and string left to use on other projects

Essential product Credits



String from Nutscene


String lamp 2


Step by step

  1. In an open area. Cover the floor and spray the lamp frame. Leave to dry. When dry turn the fame and spray any areas that aren’t covered.
  2. Wrap string, in clumps of colour round shade from top to bottom. Leave some areas completely open as it produces very interesting shadows when the light is on.
  3. Spray some colour into a jar and then paint it onto the outside of the fitting. Leave to dry.
  4. Push the fitting through the frame and hang in position.

Tips. If the string moves around too much then use a glue stick to anchor the start and finish of each colour.

Tiled Coffee Table

Take a cheap as chips high street coffee table and give it enviable style and originality with this easy project. Ceramic pens were used to add designs to budget white glazed tiles, easily sourced from any of the diy sheds.

Homestyle Makes 5-15

You will need:

Coffee table


Ceramic pen

Tile glue


Edging strip

Black paint

Paint brush


Panel pins



Choose two designs for the pattern on the tiles and then draw on with the ceramic pen. Leave tiles to dry.

Paint the table with black paint.

Arrange the tiles on the tabletop, keeping the design random, combine patterned and plain tiles. When you’re happy with the design take a photo. Tip: Use the photo as your guide as you stick the tiles in place with tile adhesive, we stuck our tiles snuggly against each other. Leave to dry.

To neaten the table edge cut a retaining strip from beading then secure with panel pins. Grout the table, leave to dry. Paint the retaining strip to match the table.