Lego bricks, chalkboard paint, Barbie dolls. The decor in this creative home is as playful as it is personal

Eccentricities Fill a London Flat.

As with all good homes, a tour of this one-bedroom flat in East London is like walking inside the mind of its owner. Lego, typographic prints, Barbie dolls, taxidermy, train station signs and a giant teacup all sit under the same roof. It’s an eclectic mix, but owner Tom Chalet makes it work.

What’s even more impressive is that he did most of it by himself. “People don’t often think of me as the DIY type,” he says, “but it was pretty easy to do all of this alone. For one thing I had no budget, so I just decorated as I went along, using bits and pieces I’ve gathered over the past four years.”

You can draw in woodwork, compose music or create a menu with this fun decorating idea

9 Creative Ways to Use Chalkboard Paint.

I always like to keep an ideabook of clever chalkboard paint ideas going. It’s been three years since I used the collection for a story on the best chalkboard art on Houzz, and we’re due for an update. The longer a product like chalkboard paint is around, the more creative uses people find for it. Here are some of the cleverest uses I’ve seen around Houzz lately.

Chalkboard Paint

A chalkboard is great for jotting down notes and a great place for kids to draw, but they can be expensive. An easy and inexpensive way to make your own is with chalkboard paint! It looks like any other spray paint, but it dries to a chalkboard finish.

1. Pick out a piece of wood that is nice and smooth and thin enough to fit into a frame.

2. Make sure that you have plenty of ventilation and wear a safety mask when using spray paints. Paint the board with a primer, and let it dry thoroughly.

3. Spray the chalkboard paint back and forth evenly until you have a nice finish. Make sure that you don’t spray too much, or you’ll end up with drips! Then allow it to dry.

4. Once its dry, put the board into your frame and hang it up.

Painting tips & tricks

Rub petroleum jelly on the hinges and door knobs before you start to paint a door. If you get paint on them, they will wipe off easily.

To keep white paint from yellowing, add 2 drops of black paint to each Gallon of white.

When painting ceilings, cut a child’s rubber ball in half and put your paint brush in one of the halves to catch the drips.

An old pair of swimming goggles will protect your eyes from paint splatters and drips when painting ceilings.

When painting, protect your hands and face with moisturizer. Cleanup will be easier and the moisturizer will prevent paint from seeping into the pores.

To stop paint from dripping, punch a few holes in the rim of the paint can. When the brush is wiped against the edge, the paint flows back into the can. The lid covers the holes so the paint won’t dry out.

Before pouring paint from a can, cover the rim with masking tape. After pouring, remove the tape — the rim will be clean and the cover will fit tightly.

To remove lumps from paint: Cut a piece of screen to fit the inside of the paint can. Set it on top of the paint and let it float down to the bottom of the can. It will take all the lumps with it, trapping them at the bottom of the can.

When painting a room, dip a small card into the paint so that you have the exact colour with you and can match accessories in store.

When painting inside corners, trim the paint brush bristles to a V to save strokes and spread paint more easily.

When you poke a paint brush into corners or allow it to rest on the bottom of the paint can, the bristles curl and stray. To straighten natural bristles (not synthetics), try wrapping the brush in a couple of thicknesses of damp cloth and press gently with an iron. The steam and cloth binding do the job. Only light pressure is needed. Let the bristles cool before you unwrap the brush.

When painting old woodwork fill in the holes or cracks with a mixture of flour and some of the paint you are using. It hardens like cement and matches perfectly.