I was going to post this as a Friday Bargain, but as it turned out I spent all of yesterday evening up a stepladder, spraying my face with paint as I glumly rollered the ceiling. Oh, the glamour.
We’re redecorating three rooms in the house at the moment. It started, as these things often do, with a modest plan – in our case, to move the door of a fitted cupboard in the main bedroom – and snowballed into a neverending DIY saga that has drawn the guest bedroom and the bathroom into its clutches. Right now half the house looks like a junkie squat: cleared of belongings and radiators, with bare plaster walls and for added effect, a mattress on the floor of one of the bedrooms. The other half of the house is piled high with furniture and the aforementioned belongings, and looks like Mr Trebus’ house from that Life of Grime documentary series. Remember Mr Trebus? He was the elderly gent with a hoarding issue, who ended up living in 10 sq ft of his five-bedroom Victorian villa. And climbing in through the window. And not knowing where his television was.
Everything is taking a lot longer than I would like; that, I suppose, is the disadvantage of working around the local plasterer’s scheduled and doing the rest of it yourself in the evenings and at weekends. But when it is done it will all be worth it. When we moved in the house was coated from top to bottom in blown vinyl wallpaper in a retching fetching shade of yellow. I will free the house from that wallpaper!
I’m slapping up brand new fancy wallpaper on a couple of the walls in the two bedrooms. Like many British women between the ages of 18 and 50, I have a thing for Cath Kidston and her pretty, retro-chic home furnishings. I was going to write “between the ages of 18 and 80″, but that’s not quite right, is it? Because women over 50 – like my mother - shriek at the prices and are unable to summon the requisite nostalgia for a bygone period filled with warm British sunshine, pretty English roses and floral ironing board covers. What with them having been there, and all.
The problem with Cath Kidston stuff is that it is very, very pretty – but it’s not exactly on the Thrifty radar. Sixty pounds for a stripy bed sheet? Erm, I think not. I’d picked out two different wallpapers, but they were £22 per roll. It could be worse – but it could be better!
So I compromised – and made a great discovery. A UK wallpaper company called Eden makes a range of papers called “Millie”. The designs are very (coughs) similar to Cath Kidston’s – but they’re almost half the price! The mail order site wallpaperdirect sells them all – you can see them here - for £13 a roll. Best of all, they do the blue polka dot wallpaper (aka “Blue Spot”), which Cath Kidston has now discontinued.
Focus DIY stores also sell some of the Millie wallpapers, such as the “Millie Blue” (above).
I say “compromised”: sadly, there isn’t a Millie version of the Cath Kidston Cowboy design upon which I have set my heart. I’m still deciding what to do about that one.
But I bought two rolls of the “similar-to-Blue Spot” design from wallpaperdirect, and they arrived two days later. It’s good, thick paper. Now I just have to hang the damned stuff… Yikes!
UPDATE: I don’t know if you noticed, but this is a post from 2009. (Yikes – where did the time go?) A Miss Thrifty reader, Tania, got in touch to let me know that Wallpaper Direct no longer stocks the range of lookylike wallpapers. So it was time for a 2012 version of this post, with up-to-date stockist information. Click here to see all the latest Cath Kidston lookalike wallpapers, from as little as £8.99 a roll. Miss Thrifty at your service…