I added the kids & baby sub category to the blog to help other first time parents. Not just because I wanted to give you a list of must have baby items, but I also wanted to help inspire other parents or parents to be that you don't need to loose your homes identity just because you've had a baby. And that highly practical and tasteful baby items do exist, and you don't have to succumb to a house full of brightly coloured plastic tat quite just yet.Read More
I've been dreaming about decorating our hallway and staircases for what feels like an eternity. We last painted the hallway over seven years ago when we first moved in. At the time we were poor first time buyers, and we chose a cheap blue/grey satin finish emulsion to cover the walls which I've hated ever since. It was one of those quick, rash decisions of 'oh its plastered now, let's just paint it'. Well, Let me tell you, never make rash decisions when choosing paint or wallpaper. This stuff's up there for the next 7+ years, so you have to love it, and paint isn't cheap.
After our loft conversion in February, we've been left with a trail of black dust on the walls throughout the two staircases, all the way through to the front door, so its never looked worse than it does right now.
Our hallway and stairs are narrow, and I mean super narrow. Its not even a meter wide, so its cosy and slightly claustrophobic, which makes it a bloody nightmare with the buggy and baby but thats a whole different story. *I think I screamed 'lets move house' in the first 4 weeks of Otis arriving, but I've calmed down now*.
I've also come to realise that this tiny space, is actually the biggest room in the house per square meter, which in turn makes it one of the most expensive to decorate. It might be narrow, but it is long! And we have three floors to cover, which is why its been a long time coming.
The vision and wallpaper...
I want to add more character back into the space since its the first room you see when you enter the house, so its got to serve impact. I'm planning on using the deco martini wallpaper in blush from Divine savages to do this. I've teamed up with the boys from Divine Savages to showcase one of their signature prints, and it should add some opulence and drama back into this drab grey hallway.
I'm planning on grounding the wallpaper against a dark bottom half, which will be painted in Farrow and ball Railings.
I recently added a dado rail half way up in preparation for the renovation. We added the dado for two reasons. One, it will save money on the wallpaper, as we can only afford to paper the top half. And second, it should elongate the spaces. Who am I kidding, it's still going to be the same width and length but a girl can try right?
Adding dado rail is an inexpensive way to add character back in to any room. We bought ours from Wickes for £4 per 2.5m, and then all you need is some no-nails glue, an angle cutter/saw, and maybe a handy dad like mine to do it for you. Cheers dad!
The hardware will be a combination of black and brass. Black plugs and switches from Dowsing and reynolds, a brass mirror from Made.com, and we've ordered a new brass coat hook from westelm. I'm going to wait until its complete to decide on art/ photography as I want pieces which are monochrome and simple to not draw too much attention away from the paper.
Founded in South East London in 2016 by husbands Jamie Watkins and Tom Kennedy. Through a shared passion for quirky interiors and styling they set out to do interiors their way and put their experience in fashion and design to create a new brand for the artistic shopper; a brand that mixes influences from classic prints, bold fashion and iconic modern design yet always with their signature Divine Savages twist.
If you like dark, maximalist, vintage inspired interiors which are on the quirky side, then start following them on instagram as they are definitely ones to watch for the future. To see their full collection click here.
And I'll be back on here in a few weeks to show you how it all went!
To see the full moodboard and details of the hallway plans, scroll to the bottom of this page!
1. Antique crystal chandelier, purchased from Ebay.
2. Deco 'martini' wallpaper, £140 per roll, from Divine savages
3. Colour Railings, Modern Emulsion paint, £78 per 5L, from Farrow and ball
4. MDF Dado rail, £4.99 per 2.4m, from Wickes
5. Black double toggle light switch, £24 from Dowsing and Reynolds
6. Black double socket £24.99, from Dowsing and Reynolds
7. Alana brushed gold mirror, £119, Made.com
8. Deco marble Coat Hook £69, From West Elm
9. Black and ivory stripe carpet runner, Price on request Spicers carpets
10. Haman rug runner £117, From Wayfair
Its June and my baby is already six weeks old. Where has the past month and a half gone? The good news is I'm back into the swing of things on the blog. Well, sort of.
Otis arrived on Monday 7th May at 12.10am, after a very long (48hour) labour which resulted in me having to being induced, and have an epidural, which wasn't something I had planned. It just goes to show that having a birth plan is great, but be prepared that it can all change. When you've been 6cm dilated for over 18 hours, with no pain relief, and nothings changing, you have to take the recommended advice. He was 6 days late (due date was the 1st May) and weighed a very healthy 8lb 7oz.
The past few weeks have gone by in a flash, as we're currently settling into our new life as a three, and getting to know one another.
There's so much more to having baby that I never understood before. Terms like engorgement, mastitis, and how your tits swell up like a couple of bricks after you've had a baby and continue to hurt if you're breast feeding/ expressing. How breast feeding can hurt and be fecking painful if the latch isn't nailed. The night sweats, the need for a padded ring to sit up at night, and how having a cot attached to the bed isn't practical when you've had stitches down there, and you need to slide down the bottom of the bed to go to the loo. And, just how long the recovery takes from an episiotomy. I'd say about six weeks actually.
The tearful moments. The crazy hormones that make you cry because your husband drank your favourite bottle of chablis that you'd been waiting nine months to drink (I don't think that was just the hormones), but couldn't, because you're on another round of antibiotics for the mastitis. Or, because you don't think you took enough photos of your baby as a newborn, and now he's six weeks old. Seriously, this has happened.
The amount of unwanted advice you get from other mothers. Mothers who had their babies ten, twenty, fifty odd years ago, when gripe water was actually made from alcohol and when smoking around a baby was OK. And this isn't just from the older mothers. The look or disapproving radio silence when you tell your mum friends about your parenting methods. Or, when you say you've bought a canopy for your babies nursery, to be told it will be the death of your child. Everyones an expert eh? But it will look great on instagram, yeah?
Every day is a life lesson in parenting, and if I've learnt anything, its that we're all just winging it like each other, and a mother should never judge another mother.
Now speaking of canopy's... Lets get back to the fun stuff.
In a totally pregnant woman, cliche kind of way. Two weeks before my due date, and at the start of my maternity leave, I decided to NEST. Well sort of. Our spare bedroom went from cluttered Monica cupboard, to room of my green dreams. I didn't even take before pictures as it was such a hell hole. A rail, piles of old unloved clothing, and a desk too big for such a small room that was covered in more unwanted clutter. Now its green, bright and airy and the clutter has vanished. And by vanished I mean I took it to the recycling centre/ charity shop. (Its not just hidden in a different room).Read More
The kitchen is the place where a family spends most of the active and quality time. There are
higher chances for the bathroom and the kitchen getting dirty faster than other places of a house.
Most of us feel that arranging things in a kitchen in a systematic manner is sufficient for the
quick makeover of a kitchen. But in modern days, most of the builders and residents like the idea of arranging and renovating a kitchen in a quick method that exactly fits the budget. If you are a property owner and wish to renovate your kitchen at an affordable cost, contemporary acoustic wall panels help you out faster and easier.
With the growth of your family, advanced technology, and your culinary skills, you can
update the environment of your kitchen accordingly by using adhesive wall tiles and other
To rejuvenate your kitchen and adopt advanced technology for this purpose, you can start with
the cabinetry. You can try new colors and panels to makeover your kitchen quickly in your
budget. You can renovate the cabinet doors, and door panels as a combination of glass and metal or you can use textured wooden panels as a part of rejuvenating your kitchen besides giving it a modern look. Painting the kitchen cabinets once again is helpful to make your older kitchen look renovated.
Add a backsplash to your kitchen on your personal choice. Changing the directions of furniture
to attract the attention is a new way to give your kitchen a modern look. Try the blends of
modern and traditional colours creatively and arrange wool felt curtains to make your kitchen the cynosure of your house. Try mix and match combinations while installing the backsplash in your kitchen to give it an innovative outlook no less than your living room.
Replace the old hardware in your kitchen to make it look elegant. Replace wooden handles of the cabinets with steel and sleek handles to give your kitchen a new look at an affordable cost.
Stainless steel bars are available in your budget whereas antique bronze handles give the cabinets more sophisticated look if you can invest more money in it. Try to install felt wall covering that matches your kitchen cabinets to add to the ambiance of the kitchen cabinetry and hardware. You can try new colours, designs, and sizes of hardware and wall covering panels unless you get a good combination to provide your kitchen with a modern look. However, antique bronze cabinet handles and wooden textured wall panels provide your kitchen a renovated look for a longer period of time.
New look by Wall panels
Decorate your old kitchen countertops with new kinds of wooden or granite panels. Glass panels will be available for you at an affordable cost. On the other hand, you can replace the laminates of countertops with granite or marble if it fits your feasibility range. Marble and granite can be cleaned easily as well. Cleaning the countertops and impressively arranging the things gains the attention of your guests. From wall art to various wallpapers, you can support the aesthetic design of your wall, thanks to the flexible nature of the modern acoustic panels.
Use adhesive tiles to give your kitchen an ambient look. Select bright or neutral shades instead of pale coloured ones. As kitchen tiles and floors are prone to dust and dirt and if you cannot clean them immediately, it may impact the elegance of your kitchen. Select dark or neutral shaded floor tiles if you cannot afford budget or marble if you want a permanent floor styling for your kitchen.
If you use wallpapers to decorate your kitchen, 3D wallpapers or panels are available that are
resistant to heat and steam. Some 3D wall panels can be subjected to cleaning and detergent
resistant wall panels are also available nowadays. Select a featured wallpaper of your choice and decorate your kitchen panel. This can be done at your budget. 3D wallpapers may cost you a few bucks more. However, you need not spend all your fortune to give your kitchen a renovated look if you choose to use 3D wallpapers to decorate your kitchen. These are known for durability and affordability as well.
You can create a custom wall of your own choice to rejuvenate your kitchen at your budget on
your personal taste and choice.
Arrangement of accessories
You can rearrange your kitchen accessories according to your choice to make your kitchen more attractive. You can display or place crockery and utensils in your cabinets neatly to give them a complete and quick makeover. This step can be taken without spending a penny from your pocket. If you have an unused dresser, you can turn it as a kitchen cabinet to display cups and glassware which helps to make your kitchen look more sophisticated.
Use of fabrics
Change the fabrics of tablecloths or refrigerator covers to natural ones like wool felt curtains
instead of using synthetic curtains. You can add the personal touch to these accessories if you
have time to sew new curtains and tablecloths on your own. Sometimes you may use floral print curtains or covers or sometimes you may use bold patterns to cover furnitures like refrigerator or dining table. Another thing you have to keep in mind is, the natural fabric may cause fewer fire accidents and are easy to clean up.
Choose bright colors of your choice as they are dust and dirt resistant. Dark colors like red,
yellow, or orange are proven to improve dynamism and appetite and help to motivate your work in a positive direction.
Installing modern lights above the ceiling and top and the corner areas provide an innovative
look to your kitchen at your budget. Prefer bright and ambient light in the dining area. Bright
lights are helpful to enhance a lovable and active environment in the kitchen. You can place
halogen lamps on the countertops to enhance the ambiance of the kitchen. These are available in your budget as well. However, take the help of a good electrician for this task to carry it out
The wall panels help to provide a sophisticated and elegant look to your kitchen, and you need
not spend a huge amount of money for this. They are available well within your budget and
completely change the look of your traditional kitchen.
This post was sponsored by Gypsum 3D.
This month’s pick of the best is all about coat racks and hooks. Yep, random I know. But sometimes it’s the little things which are the hardest to source, and it’s no secret that I’m into the detail.
In the lead up to decorating our hallway/ landing it got me thinking about the little details which I’ll want to add and a new coat rack was one of them. Then once I started doing my own research I thought I’d share my top picks with you lovely bunch.
We currently have individual hooks from Anthropologie which are lovely but were a nightmare to line up, and space out evenly which is why I’d recommend going for a fixed plate set like any of these.
The main thing to consider is practicality over style. Our hallway is less than a meter wide so we can’t have anything which includes a shelf as it will stick out too much… although I do love them. Definitely one for the next house!
**My favourites are number one and five. Both are from West Elm. The only thing that’s putting me off is West Elm’s customer care. After we bought a dining table and chairs from them, we had and are still having terrible service to replace a scratched chair. But annoyingly they do offer the most stylised versions of coat racks available in the UK.
My third favourite is number three, the three-piece brass and black hook rack from Cox and Cox. But with only three hooks its not a practical choice. Which is your favourite?
1. Geo Multi Hook, West Elm £59
2. Vintage style 5 hook, Rockett St George £35
3. Black and Brass Hook rack, Cox and Cox £40
4. Heritage shelf 6 coat hook rack, Wayfair £62.99
5. Deco marble Multi Hook, West Elm £69.00
6. Vitra Hang it all coat rack, Heals £225
7. Graham Hook Rack in Bronze, Anthropologie £88
8. Mid Century stained beech hooks in Natural, John Lewis £49
9. Industrial rack with mirror, Graham and Green £75
10. Heritage coat and hat rack in satin brass, door handle company £26.09
11. Five hook coat rack, Graham and Green £45
12. Lasso black 4 hook, Amara £25
13. Traditional vintage painted wood coat hook, Not on the high street £55
It’s week 40 of my pregnancy, and while we await the arrival of our little guy I thought it was about time I showed you around our loft bathroom and the inspiration behind the room. plus, I can't sleep as the little guy is on my bladder so my blog is my saviour right now. (When people tell you to get loads of sleep before the baby arrives I'm unsure if they remember the final few weeks of pregnancy as sleep is non-existent. But I'm digressing..
It’s been three months since the builders left and even though someone recently quipped that ‘Builders pain lasts longer than child birth’, I’m praying that there’s some truth in that statement.
When the project was in full swing, I was lucky to get away for a couple of weeks on a work trip in Seoul, South Korea where I came across the shop ‘Style Nanda’… AKA Style Manda due to my love of everything about this store for its mock laundrette, to its LA style pool café and hotel reception, payment desks.
I was particularly inspired by their use of blush pink walls, dark wood work and marble tiles on one of the levels of the store which I ended up sending back to my husband which the caption ‘let’s go pink’ and the rest is history. I also loved the bath full of flowers but thats inspiration for another time..
Bathroom sink unit HACK...
When researching bathroom sink units I became obsessed with marble/ stone top ones - check out Porter bathrooms for luxury inspiration, but I couldn't find anything under £2,000. I then found one from Bathstore which needed tweaking to be more inline with what I was after. Here's how I achieved the look...
1. The bathroom sink unit was purchased from Bathstore. It didn't come with a stone top, so I had piece of granite cut to fit which cost approx £60 from a local stone company, and then I asked the builder to fit it on top with the sink.
2. I painted the bathroom cupboard in Farrow and Ball off black as I didn't like the charcoal colour. I had to prime it first and then it needed two coats of the estate eggshell.
3. I changed the handles to be brass ones from Dowsing and Reynolds as I didn't like the silver ones.
4. I added a brass towel rail which I picked up in New York on a work trip last year and asked if the builder could fit it to the side.
And encase you wanted to know where anything else is from, I’ve attached all the details below.
The loft bathroom...
During the build...
1. Shower Tray 1200 x 900 £188, Bathroom Village
2. Black metal shower screens £1,862.45 for 2 screens , Drench
3. Acme 200mm round shower rose and 358mm shower arm scuffed brass £360, Aston Matthews
4. Acme 3/4" concealed thermostatic shower valve scuffed brass £707, Aston Matthews
5. Carrera Marble tiles approx £150 per square meter, Decor Tiles
6. Acme 3-hole wall mounted basin mixer 190mm spout scuffed brass, £336, Aston Matthews
7. Geo bath towel £10 , Sainsbury's (now sold out, but other versions are available)
8. Avant-Garde large Knurled Knob £13.99 Dowsing and Reynolds
9. Savoy Gun Metal Grey single door unit (no top) £330, Bathstore
10. Terma Simple meteor black heated towel rail 1440 x 500 £279, Victoria Plumb
11. Stone Pendant £205, Tom Dixon
12. Real Deal brass trimmed 61cm £175, Loaf
13. Tavira 45cm Diameter Circular Countertop Ceramic Basin £49, Click Basin
14. Estate eggshell paint (for the woodwork) colour: Railings from £25, Farrow and Ball
15. Estate Emulsion paint for walls, Colour Pink Ground from £45, Farrow and ball
16. Etch tea light holder brass £40, Tom Dixon
17. Concrete toilet brush £12 (sold out but similar available), Sainsbury's
When it comes to kitchens, you need something attractive, durable, and of course able to withstand all the mess that comes with cooking. There are many options to choose from, from tiles to stone and wood, but which would be best in your particular home? In this post, Luxury Flooring & Furnishings provide their expert advice to ensure you choose the best style for your kitchen.Read More
When Wayfair asked if I wanted to be part of their latest home expert challenge I jumped at the chance. Celebrating the start of spring and all things greenery, this month's challenge is all about plant pots, and creating your dream planter of choice by giving one a bit of a makeover. As you might know already I blooming love a house plant so I couldn't wait to create my own pot for one, in my home style.
I decided immediately that I wanted it to be dark and have touches of metallic so first I chose the Gem Round planter by Sfeer Voor Jou (£27.99) from Wayfair's huge planter range for its gorgeous hexagonal shape.
And then this is exactly what I did, encase you want to do it too.....
1. To begin, clean your pot encase it has any dirt or grease. Mine was brand new so it didn't need a clean, but I'd recommend doing this if you were pimping up an old planter.
2. I then sprayed the entire pot black (inside and out). It's important to do this in a ventilated area, so I did it in my garden with a bit of cardboard to protect the table. You can see the difference below from wet to dry and how lovely the matt finish is!
3. I then used gold foil leaf along with some Mixton relief (a special glue) to start layering up the glue and the gold leaf gradually, spreading the glue in different directions with a small paint brush. **Top Tip** make sure the glue is almost dry and tacky before applying the gold leaf, otherwise it won't stick, and worst case can take off the black paint underneath.
After I'd finished layering up the gold foil, I primed the vase with a PVA glue to give the foil a protective shield, but you can also use a clear varnish if you have any around the house. You can layer as much or as little of the gold foil as you like. **Top Tip** be messy with the glue (Mixiton relief) so you achieve a more random look.
This DIY plant pot might not be to everyone's taste, but with the right colour combinations you can make something look more unique and more you. Go on, give it a go.
To achieve a similar look all you need is...
- 1 x plant pot
- 1 x small paint brush to spread the glue
- 1 x Can of acrylic spray paint in black (or any colour of your choice)
- 1 pack of metallic gold foil
- 1 tube Mixton relief (glue for the gold foil)
- PVA glue or clear varnish to seal the foil.
This post was sponsored by Wayfair. I wouldn't post anything I didn't agree with or personally like.
The wonders of nature, relaxation, and fitness – these things sound like a dream vacation in an obscure pricey resort, but they are also some of the things your garden can offer. The Telegraph reports that home gardens of all shapes and sizes have plenty of benefits for the everyday gardener – from alleviating stress and promoting self-esteem, to encouraging creativity and helping you burn extra calories. Gardens are a wonderful place to enjoy nature and relax, but they don’t have to cost a lot of money nor your sanity.
In truth, great gardens don't necessarily demand a big financial investment. Here are some reasons why maintaining your garden doesn’t have to cost the earth.
Your plants aren’t asking you to.
For starters, your plants don’t really need expensive bags of fertiliser. The Guardian recommends using common kitchen waste, along with grass clippings, chopped up stems, cardboard, and newspapers for a free, excellent compost. You can even use second-hand pallets or recycled materials to create your own compost bin.
In terms of your water bill, you can save up by using cooled cooking water used after boiling vegetables or old fish tank water, which are both free and nutrient-rich. You can even have a water tank to collect roof runoff and rainwater to use for watering plants.
Make sure to mulch your garden to prevent evaporation on hot days as well. This process is especially important for newly planted seeds, both as a way to reduce water loss from the soil and to stifle weed growth.
If you’re just starting out, it’s also a good idea to match your plants with the kind of environment you have and the amount of money and effort you can give. For instance, House Beautiful Magazine shares that the most cost-effective way to fill up flower beds is by investing in perennials that you can divide. Areas with water and drought problems would do well with plants such as red valerians, artemisia, and viburnums. Those that are susceptible to soil erosion would also benefit from cover crops like vetch, rye, and clover, or even ground covers like periwinkle and creeping junipers.
The right tools go a long way
When it comes to gardening tools, it makes sense to spend a little bit more on the stuff you need. It might be hard to pass up on a cheap shovel or spade, but those are also the ones most likely to break when you’re digging in rocky soil or after a winter of disuse. A great trick is to think about the cost per use – not per unit – of each tool you are getting.
If you’re going to use power tools rarely, it might be good to simply borrow from a friend or rent with a neighbour. However, for tools that you will use regularly, it pays to find the kinds of tools that suit you for the long run. Take lawn mowers for instance, which have multiple types that match specific dimensions of a garden like size, shape and terrain. Screwfix lists an array of lawn mowers with different features like engine, or battery power and cutting height in order to suit gardeners of every style and budget. Generally, it’s more cost-effective to buy a large and powerful mower that can help clear a big garden faster. Although, it’s also worth considering that smaller ones can fit into tight spaces, and this is where the shape of your garden comes into play.
Whichever tools you choose, adding a reasonable amount to invest in quality items that will last for years is better than having to purchase new, inexpensive ones relatively often.
There’s lots of character in everyday things
Adding character to your garden on the cheap is entirely possible with salvaged materials, too. Better Homes and Gardens shares that salvaged objects and found materials are a great way to add both a unique look and an interesting story to your garden landscape.
Image credit: Colin Poole
Things like old doors and windows look great as accent pieces, while salvaged drawers, milk crates, and even old mixing bowls can all be repurposed as planters or window boxes. Old mirrors can also bring out the best in small gardens and help redistribute natural light. These offer a great way to save money and recycle while also adding beauty and charm to your backyard.
With all of these budget garden tips and tools at your disposal, there’s really no need to break the bank on your backyard. Do you have other tips for gardening on a budget?
With just 7 weeks to go until the babe arrives, I thought it was time I shared our nursery plans.
We found out at our 20-week scan that we were expecting a little boy, so with that in mind I decided to have a bit of a think of what the little man’s nursery could look like.
I didn’t want to go for anything too childlike (I know that sounds ridiculous), but I knew I wanted it to be colourful and stimulating, mainly so the colourful plastic will go in the long run.
As much as I want to be one of those wooden toy mothers, I know the inevitable will happen, so just best to not be defeated in the end and embrace the colour. Or otherwise that stuff would just mess with my Feng shiu. So, colour was a priority above anything else.
I took inspiration from the usual Pinterest (link to my nursery moodboard), instagram and my love of indoor foliage, but also our little trip to Graceland last year. Did you know that Elvis had a jungle room? Yep a grown man had a room full of soft animal toys (and guitars).
We decided on a gorgeous jungle palm print wallpaper from Milton and King to be the backdrop of the room which is very Beverly Hills hotel. If you don’t know of Milton and King, then be sure you check them out as I found it so difficult to find something fun like this that wasn’t a full wall mural and that delivers to the UK. They have an exciting range of wallpapers which are all easy to install too by pasting straight onto the wall!
As the room has lovely panelling and a dado rail already, we're keeping this and just adding the wallpaper to the top. Below is a before a pic of the room, when it was a boring grown up bedroom.
I've also added a video of the wallpaper going up. I'll keep you posted with the progress. But for now, here's my moodboard. I hope it inspires you if your currently decorating a nursery, or preparing for a baby room.
1. Jungle palm wallpaper £198 per roll, Milton and King
2. Stokke sleepi bed in Grey £575, Stokke
3. Numero 91 Mustard canopy £91, Smallable
4. Grey ball pit £114, Scandiborn
5. Fox and cactus mobile £75.99, Etsy
6. Afaw berber style rug £269, La Redoute
7. Pirate bunny £19.50, Scandiborn
8. Riceberry luxe toy £25, Kidly
9. Lazy bear soft toy £19.50, Scandiborn
10. Noah the giraffe £45, Scandiborn
11. Melissa and Doug Large giraffe soft toy £79.99, Argos
12. Sleepy head of sweden £170 euro, Sleepy head
13. Grey cotton ball lights £32, Cotton ball lights
14. Toy storage sack with personalised letter £32 Clouds and currents
15. Stokke changing table in grey £349 for unit plus £169 for changing unit Stokke
Yay! We have finally moved into our new loft space, which means we can start cracking on with baby C’s nursery (moodboard entry coming soon). We still need to put pictures up and get new side tables, but it’s starting to feel like a bedroom.
We’ve gone for dark walls again and my love of the colour green against the dark grey hasn’t stopped at just the lounge.
As the wardrobes are in a separate dressing room, it means there’s more space to fill with a statement chair to add that little zing of colour.
I’d been looking for a chair for a while which didn’t cost the earth and then a few weeks ago whilst browsing in my local homesense, I found this little emerald beauty.
Priced at £179.99 it was a lot more affordable than the similar ones I’d been admiring on the internet, and did I mention that it’s covered in Green velvet! It’s a like a match made in emerald heaven and fits into the little snug of our bedroom perfectly.
If you’re looking to add a little chair into your lounge/ bedroom/ nursery or just have a corner in your kitchen to fill, then make sure you get down to homesense. And if my little chair hasn’t persuaded you, then hopefully these images of the other chairs on offer this week will.
Prices for chairs start at £49.99
To find your local homesense UK store click here.
Links to the items in the main picture
1. Velvet chair £179.99, Homesense
2. Walls-Railings, Farrow and Ball (Prices vary)
3. Mustard print cushion- Peonenden £90 House of Hackney
4. Cast iron radiator, cast iron radiator centre prices start at £9.99 per section.
5. Brass and iron planter stand, £12 Matalan
Are you are thinking of buying a foot stool to fill a space in your lounge? Or perhaps you’d like an ottoman for your bedroom? Before you take the plunge and spend a few hundred quid, maybe consider covering your own.
Not only will it be better for the environment, but also much more cost effective and could save you hundreds, not to mention the self-satisfaction it brings you. Ok..so what I REALLY mean is total smugness!!
So where to start, well ebay is a good place, so are car boot sales, gumtree or even vintage flea markets. I bought my one below from Kempton antiques market for £20.
Find a shape and a price you like and remember that anything is possible so don’t be put off by the print or fabric. As long as the legs are sturdy and the frame isn’t riddled with wood worm you can cover anything.
Once you have a frame then all you need is the fabric. Velvet is a favourite of mine and is still up trending and you’ll find plenty of online merchants willing to give you a deal. If you do go for a velvet maybe choose a cotton one. They're more mat, clean and more in keeping to what you would find in the shops if you were to buy your own velvet stool. Alternatively jacquards, and heavy canvas fabrics are also good, just make sure they are hardwearing and don't contain any stretch.
What you'll need;
A foot stool to cover
Nail gun and spare nails
pair of scissors
(and an extra pair of hands can come in handy if your new to this).
DIY Upholstered footstool
1. First buy an old footstool that's in need of a makeover. (As I mentioned before, I bought mine from Kempton market for £20).
2. Strip it back. If you find its actually not antique (like me) and it's made of PU, then keep this as its a smooth base to cover over. Yep mine looked lovely and french but it was probably just from DFS... Good job I only paid £20 for it!
3. Start with the base. Measure and cut a piece of fabric that fits around the base. If you're using velvet decide if you want the fabric pile up or pile down. Pile up will make the colour look brighter.
Then using the nail gun, nail the fabric inside. For the ends, fold the edges in for a smooth, clean look.
At the base fold the fabric in to create pleats. Then pull teh fabric tight and staple. Use the hammer to knock in any nails which haven't gone in fully.
4. Then for the top, unscrew it from the base and lay it on top of the fabric and cut around, allowing an extra 5cm seam allowance to pull it over. Then pull tight and use the nail gun to secure. Hammer down any nails that are sticking out.
And thats it. One finished footstool. The nails are inside and underneath so you can't see them.
If you want, you could line the base to hide the nails. I did this with an ottoman that I covered, but depending on what your using it for, you don't need too.
Just when one project ends another one begins. This time it’s our guest room that’s in need of a refresh and the first thing on the list is a new pendant ceiling light. Last time we decorated this room we bought an industrial light which had a huge hood and was rubbish at actually giving off any light (those lights are great for kitchens FYI.. where you have several over the dining table or kitchen counter, but not for a bedroom). In the end my husband took the hood off and we’ve just had an exposed bulb hanging from the ceiling for the past six years so this time I want something much more WOW!
I’ve given myself a healthy budget of £200 to find the ultimate statement light. Which should be easy right? Sure… have you seen my taste? I’m THAT girl… baked bean budget, champagne taste but I love a challenge and I love showing you new websites that you might have never thought of looking at.
From a trend point of view, I’m all about the fluffy feather and paper lights at the moment that keep a room looking wafty, cool and feminine. But I do still like the harder edge metal frame ones, plus these give off maximum light while still looking nice.
Here are my top picks of statement lights on the high street/internet all under £200, and if you want to know which one I went for, you'll have to read below.
5. Dexter Sputnik Pendant from Marks and Spencer £199
7. Huxley pendant light from John Lewis for £195
I’m going for the feather light from Lights.co.uk. Not only is it way under my budget at £56.90, it also ticks one of the key trends at the moment to bring some texture into our home. It will also make a change from all the brass and hardware I have going on at House Lust HQ.
What’s your bedroom light style?
What’s your view on Valentine’s day? Are you a super sentimental type, or do you think it’s all a load of hype? I fall somewhere down the middle.
I don’t need a day to tell my husband how much I love him, but I do like that it reminds us to slow down, write some lovely words and appreciate one another….. AND if Mr C chooses to buy me some flowers that day OR any other day *hint hint then they won’t go unnoticed.
When it comes to cards I’m not into teddy bears or gushy, soppy ones. I like a card to be blank inside so I can write my own words. This is why Clouds and currents personalised ones stood out to me, especially the cactus themed ones for obvious reasons (you know I’m a plant lady right?).
I’ve bought my husband the ‘You had me at Aloe’ Valentine’s day card and for a while Clouds and currents are offering you all 10% off everything on their site if you use the discount code 'Houselust' at the checkout.
Clouds and currents specialise is gorgeous personalised gifts from cushions to aprons. So even if you’re not a soppy type but you know a friend who is, why not treat them to a personalised Apron or a set of cushions for that newly married couple you know?
Love should be in the air all year round, and not just for Valentine’s day!
10% OFF EVERYTHING AT CLOUDS AND CURRENTS
WITH DISCOUNT CODE : HOUSELUST
As much as I love the latest fad trend, it’s also nice to add something more unique and individual into your home to mix up your style. Shopping online and on the high street can get pretty repetitive and samey if you don’t know where to look for newness, so it was so refreshing to be introduced to a brand I’d never heard of. Today I want to introduce to you Sarah Boddy.
Sarah has created a range of unique homeware from her own drawings, drawing inspiration on her Leicestershire country life surroundings, including her own flock of chickens. The range includes stationary, homeware essentials and even wall art inspired by the same collection of country animals which have been beautifully hand sketched.
The homeware collection includes oven gloves, aprons, tea towels, placemats, glass coasters, chopping boards, egg cups, glass worktop savers and cute teapots all designed with one of Sarah's trademark sketches.
My favourite sketch in the collection is the flamingo range. I've got the flamingo glass worktop saver which I keep on show over my oven when its not in use and it acts as a little piece of art in my kitchen, but I also love the bee collection . Now I’m guessing there aren’t many flamingos in Leicester but I blooming love a flamingo so this print definitely caught my eye since I love anything kitsch.
The prices at Sarah Boddy are certainly affordable; egg cups at £7, mugs at £11 and glass work top savers at £24. The perfect prices for gifting. It's a great website to grab some gifts for that friend who loves something a bit quirky. I love that Sarah's designs are timeless and will fit with any kitchen style – not just your typical country/ shaker, although they would look pretty gorgeous in a country kitchen above an aga, I also think they work well in industrial kitchens like mine.
Here are my six top pics from Sarah Boddy. (Including my flamingo worktop saver).
MY SIX TOP PICKS
This sponsored post was in conjunction with the lovely people at Sarah Boddy. I would never consider promoting a product that I didn't love and wouldn't have in my own home.
Ding dong, the builders have finally gone! The keys are back and the doors are locked. Am I sad to see them go? Errr... definitely not!
Finally, we can get back to some normality and I can get back to some serious blogging.
The bathroom is finally finished (I had to wait a month for my builder to fit the gold toilet flush), and I can finally get faffing!
With our budget mostly blown on the actual build, I have been looking at affordable ways I can accessorize our new bathroom without spending a fortune. Did you know that Sainsbury’s has a gorgeous and extremely well priced homeware range? Well I didn’t. It was only when the girls at work were telling me about their fab finds that I started getting major fomo and realised I needed to head straight to my nearest store (my nearest large Sainsbury's store is in London Colney).
That’s where I found these gorgeous stone bathroom accessories; a Toothbrush holder (£10) , soap dispenser (£12), storage jar (£12) and a matching toilet brush (£20). I’ve never been so excited to buy a toilet brush holder before. Plus, all the metal trims on the stone bathroom bits are in brass so it’s right up my alley and gives my new pink bathroom an industrial edge. And if industrial isn't your thing then check out their other ranges. There's pretty much something for everyone- just see for yourself below in my Get the look.
It didn't stop there either, I also splurged on a couple of geo jacquard grey bath sheets for a bargain £15 each to bring some pattern to my plain bathroom, a gold and green tray and a gold cocktail shaker.... Obviously, not for the bathroom but just because everyone needs a cocktail shaker right?
I can’t wait to see what Sainsbury's home bring out next!
GET THE LOOK
After 5 months of building work, our loft extension is almost complete. Hello third floor!
Extensions are the perfect way to get that much needed space without having to move, and although I’m happy with the final outcome, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing.
If you follow me on Instagram then you might have seen the two broken lights which were dropped by the builder and electrician (one from John Lewis and the other from Tom Dixon), after I ironically joked with the electrician to make sure he wore the white gloves provided with the Tom Dixon light.
It turns out you should never joke about these things, as a day later we got a watsap from the builder starting with ‘sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the electrician had an accident in your bathroom today’. Obviously my first reaction was shit, I hope the electrician didn’t die in there, I’m still yet to have my first shower. But then I read on ‘the electrician dropped your marble Tom Dixon light’. Que many FOR F*CK SAKEs!!!!! Then a month later the same thing happened when we asked the builder to shorten a chandelier over the stairs. What are the chances!!!?
Then came the poorly wired light switches which didn’t work two ways because my builder decided to change the light switches himself instead of getting the electrician back in (*She gets out the dummies guide to electrics for the builder and begs him never to touch the electrics again!*). The hot water tap which took 5 weeks to diagnose that it just needed a new restrictor on the valve. The radiator valves which went missing and had to be replaced. Luckily I had proof that they had been delivered so the builder had to buy new ones. (always keep invoices and emails). To the dirty grout on my newly grouted marble floor, because not one of the tradesman used their common sense to take their shoes off each time they did work in there.
Not to mention the false promises; ‘any damage to existing rooms will be fixed as new’, to the ‘at the end I’ll give the loft a builders clean’. Which turns out is just a spray and a mop and basically your own man power. Cheers guys.
But don’t get me wrong It’s not all been bad. The actual build has been amazing. The roofing and external tiles are brilliant and the decorating looks good once we finally got there with the decorator.
This is why building work is stressful and I wasn’t even project managing it. For those considering an extension I’ve compiled my list of do’s and don’ts to consider before taking the plunge and letting a tradesman come into your home. And if I’ve learnt anything then a good builder will take their shoes off before entering your home. A bad one won’t. It's called respect and if it isn’t there from the start then it probably never will be. Good luck!
- Read up on your local council guidelines regarding permitted and restricted permitted development in advance of having drawings done.
- Get recommendations of builders from your architect. Likewise, if you know a good builder, chances are they can probably recommend a good architect.
- Get at least three different quotes to compare prices.
- Go on recommendations
- Once you’ve short listed your builders, get recommendations of previous work and go see it. Ask yourself, is this the finish I want? If it’s not, then it might be a sign that the builder isn’t for you.
- Make sure you know the difference between a quotation – a firm price and what you can expect to pay for the specified works – and an estimate, which is much less specific. Always try to go for a fixed price contract.
- Check that the builder has relevant past experience and a good trading history; that he has an office address and that he is able to offer references; and that he has third party insurance.
- Read your builders contract. Make sure they haven’t missed anything off which you discussed.
- Ask your builder to give you a realistic project and payment schedule.
- Make sure you have the money quoted plus at least £2k extra encase your builder decides to bill you at the end for extras.
- Make it clear with the builder from the beginning that any extras are outlined throughout the project and new contracts are signed.
- Put structural works before cosmetic and aesthetic improvements and work from the outside of the house inwards.
- Pay attention to the style of the windows.
- Aim to get the shell weathertight as early as possible.
- Get a porta loo for the garden if you don’t want builders using your own. Remember this build could go on for months.
- Take photos of your house before the work starts encase any internal or external damage occurs throughout. You may need them to prove it wasn’t there before.
- Be afraid to challenge the first contract if things are missing which you discussed.
- Be bullied into paying for things which they break or loose. Keep emails of orders to stock check
- Pay for any work in advance.
- Change your mind or change things throughout the build. This will only add to the final cost.
- Be afraid to lay out ground rules. Ie take their shoes off when they come in. Where can the builders take their breaks? Have lunch? can they use your kitchen to heat up food etc.
How was New Year’s Day already a week ago?
This year’s already getting off to a flying start (I’m already 7 days late with this post for a start), but before I go all spring mode on you, I wanted to go back a week and share my New Year’s Day table.
For me, New year’s dinner is up there as another important day to gather some of our nearest and dearest family and toast the new year with a prosecco fuelled lunch. On the menu, this year was an 80’s family classic; prawn cocktail to start, followed by a beef wellington with trimmings.
This year I was kindly given these gorgeous sea green plates, bowls from the Denby Greenwich range and beautiful crystal glassware also by the lovely folks at Denby. So, what better way to show them off than with a small fam-a-lam dinner while the Christmas foliage is still out.
I’m a massive fan of British design and have been a fan of Denby pottery for years. Just like the prawn cocktail, Denby is also a family classic having grown up with my parents having denby dinner plates when I was a child.
Made in Derbyshire, denby has been making pottery for over the last 200 years and their range still offers some old classics like the Halo collection which has a beautiful ombre effect to some more modern shapes and colours like the Deli collection in pretty pastel tones with red rims.
Denby pride themselves on their craftsmanship and it really shows in their products. These sea green plates and bowls have such a strong personality, they were the big talking point around the table when everyone’s use to seeing run of the mill white tableware..... Oh and even the cat joined us at the table, but I think that was probably because of the Beef!
(To see all of the plates, bowls and glasses in more details, click on the links at the bottom of this post).
And if you're quick you can make the most of the Denby winter sale, with up to 40% off. (As of January 2018... Happy shopping!
GET THE LOOK
*This post was sponsored by Denby. All words and opinions are my own.*
And just like that it was 2018! Happy new year folks! Is it too late to say it on the 3rd January? oh god I said it anyways. Has anyone made any new year’s resolutions or better yet, broken any?
Mine for 2018 is to definitely blog more. I’ve been a bit AWOL recently. It’s a long story and I’m sure I will write about it soon in more depth, but two big things have been happening recently. The first was a major renovation project in our loft. Ok, so those who have or haven’t had their lofts converted are all shouting.. that’s not major! But, I can’t even begin to talk about the stress and mess, not to mention the wrecking of what was a perfectly nicely decorated two bed terrace house, which has now become a slightly chaotic four bed terrace. Whoop whoop!
The second thing is that I’m pregnant! I will talk about this more another time I promise, and I’m not using it as an excuse but I’ve been blooming knackered and poorly and in the early days of my pregnancy my work decided to send me to seven different countries, so when I wasn’t on a plane I just wanted to curl up on the sofa or in my bed.
But now, lucky for you guys, I’m pretty much grounded (well not quite as I'm only 23 weeks preggers), but I certainly won’t be travelling for anything work related for a while so hello House lust.. I’m back!
Let’s get 2018 off to a corker with me talking about an old favourite of mine; Be and Liv. You might remember me talking about Be & Liv last year and their funky Finnish designed cake stand- see link.
My new favourite of there's is the Blossom light. A bendy brass work of art, this beauty comes flat packed so you can enjoy the assembly as part of the experience.
Plus, you can hang it from the ceiling or use it as a side lamp it’s that versatile. Either way you still get that warm glow from the fine laser cut perforated holes in the bendy metal frame work. And did I mention how easy and most importantly fun it was to assemble? Just see my pics below. I’m rubbish with flat packed furniture, but this has been so well-crafted assembly is a breeze when everything just slots together perfectly.
At €249 the Blossom lamp is worth its price tag to have something so unique and quirky, yet still feel substantial in its weighty metal frame.
My gorgeous blossom lamp is currently sat in my lounge on my marble top side table, reflecting perfectly against my dark walls. I have big plans for this little lamp in 2018 to cosy up our new loft space. Plus, with an Edison light bulb you can really get that warm glow that’s really needed at this time of year. It's a new design classic of the modern age.
How do you get that cosy warm glow at this time of year?
Here's how to assemble.. as shown by Be & Liv.
To buy your own Be & Liv Blossom lamp- click on the link below.