MY MID CENTURY BEDROOM UPDATE

There’s nothing I love more about travelling than staying in boutique hotels, and when it came to updating our master bedroom, this is exactly what I had in mind. So when West Elm asked if I wanted to collaborate I jumped at the chance to create our own boutique vibe, in our Victorian mid terrace. Plus this is West Elm we’re talking about and a collaboration with them, is a dream come true for an interior gal like me.

We decorated this room fairly recently in February this year after the loft extension was completed, and although I went for Farrow and Ball railings paint again, I felt like it was lacking a wow factor with the old white bedside tables and a gallery wall which looked more cartoony than classic luxury. Plus throw in the fact that Otis had up until recently slept in here in a snuzpod cot, it was time to reclaim our grown up bedroom and hide away the changing mat and wet wipes.

I’ve attached a couple of previous photos to refresh your memory…

So the first thing I wanted to change up was the bedside tables. I chose for the Penelope bedside tables from West Elm as they’re part of their signature mid century range which has been inspired by 1960’s G-plan/esk furniture, but modernised with marble tops and metal handles. Personally I think these look much better against the dark walls, as the previous white ones stood out too much and looked cheap even though they weren’t cheap bedside tables.

   Penelope bedside tables   £349, West Elm,   Staggered glass table lamp   £99, West Elm.   Ombre Reactive glaze mug   £10 from West Elm,   Agate blue/ gold coasters   - pack of 4 £54

Penelope bedside tables £349, West Elm, Staggered glass table lamp £99, West Elm. Ombre Reactive glaze mug £10 from West Elm, Agate blue/ gold coasters - pack of 4 £54

I then chose the gorgeous staggered glass table lamps to accessorise the bedside tables, giving us more light for bedtime reading and nappy changing. One of my favourite hotel chains to stay in is the Soho house group, and what I love about their bedroom styling, is how they mix wall and table lights, so this was something which I wanted to do as well. There doesn’t have to be set rules when it comes to lighting and accessories make a room, so my theory is always more is more.

   Sunset lake rug   £499 from West Elm.

Sunset lake rug £499 from West Elm.

Another stand out piece in here is the gorgeous West Elm sunset lake rug. I originally thought this would look good in our kitchen, but once it arrived it was far too lovely to have baby puree chucked on it, so it moved straight up into our grown up bedroom and I think it looks gorgeous in here. My husband has been crying out for more rugs around the house, as our house has all wooden floors and can seem drafty, and this rug is not only super soft and comfortable to hop out of bed onto, but its really bloody pretty. Do you think it’s possible to be in love with a rug? Because I love this one. My only annoyance was I should have gone for the bigger size as this room could of taken the next size up. But thats my own mistake.

   Box frame bench   £499 from West Elm.

Box frame bench £499 from West Elm.

One of the most important factors of this makeover for me, was choosing materials which felt and looked comfortable but luxurious. I fell in love with the metal box frame upholstered bench from West Elm for its gorgeous brass frame and navy velvet upholstered seat. I also loved the dusty blush pink velvet luster deco bedspread from West Elm which I’ve used with an older blue velvet bedspread to get a layered look. These colours were so easy to mix together as they replicate the colours in the gorgeous sunset lake rug.

   Penelope 3 drawer dresser   £599, West Elm.   Nova table lamp   £129 from West elm

Penelope 3 drawer dresser £599, West Elm. Nova table lamp £129 from West elm

Then for a more practical approach, I chose the Penelope 3 drawer Dresser as our bedroom lacks storage as we’re in the loft and it fits perfectly under our sloping roof at the front of the house. Don’t feel too sorry for me though, we do have a dressing room for our clothes, but you always need more storage for those keepsakes/nicknacks, right? So I chose this dresser as it compliments the penelope bedside tables so well and even has the same marble top and curved wooden veneer.

   Modern Brass Candle holders   from £29, West Elm. Brass tray from H&M (old), Purple jewel glass vase by Louise Roe at   Heals  .

Modern Brass Candle holders from £29, West Elm. Brass tray from H&M (old), Purple jewel glass vase by Louise Roe at Heals.

my mid century bedroom update from West Elm
   Penelope 3 drawer Dresser  , £599 from West Elm.   Nova table lamp   £129, from West Elm

Penelope 3 drawer Dresser, £599 from West Elm. Nova table lamp £129, from West Elm

And then for the finishing touches I chose 3 round velvet cushions to dress the bed, two in Regal blue and one in blush pink to match the velvet quilt, two modern candle sticks in medium and large and the staggered glass floor light to match the side table lights. And for the real statement piece I chose the West Elm striking gilded wall art to go up on the wall bedsides the bed to finish off the boutique hotel vibe.

Disclaimer. I would have put this artwork above our bed, but we don’t have the ceiling height as we’re in the loft, but I still think it looks lovely to the side of the bed.

 Curva mirror from   Select mirrors   £99, Cat limited edition print from   Divine Savages   £45, cast iron radiators from the   Cast iron radiator company   ,    Staggered floor lamp     £199, from West Elm.

Curva mirror from Select mirrors £99, Cat limited edition print from Divine Savages £45, cast iron radiators from the Cast iron radiator company, Staggered floor lamp £199, from West Elm.

And that’s it for my mid century bedroom makeover tour. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the pieces that I chose and how I styled them. I’m off to go have a lie down in my own boutique hotel bedroom.

   Gilded wall art £299  , from West Elm.   Box upholstered bench in navy and gold  , £499 from West Elm.

Source list - Penelope Bedside Tables £349, West Elm; Penelope 3 drawer dresser £599, West elm; Nova Table Lamp £129, West Elm; Staggered glass table lamp £99, West Elm; Luster Velvet bedspread £129, West Elm; Round lush velvet cushion in Blush £39, West Elm; Round lush velvet cushion in Regal blue £39, West Elm; Agate coasters £64, West Elm; Modern Brass Candle holder £39, West Elm; Modern brass candle holder in medium £32, West Elm; Gilded wall art £299, West Elm; Box Frame upholstered bench £499, West Elm, Sunset rug £499, West Elm; Blue Velvet throw £140, Christy; Sateen white bedding from £50 , Christy; Curva long mirror £99, Select mirrors; Skye kingsize bed £699, Made.com;

This room makeover was generously gifted by West Elm. I was extremely lucky to choose the pieces that I love and I will cherish these for years to come. All words and opinions are 100% my own.

MY SHELFIE UPDATE {IN PARTNERSHIP WITH WAYFAIR & IVYLINE}

Shelfie with Ivyline

I’m quite partial to a shelfie. If you follow me on Instagram then you’ll know that I’m always faffing with my pots, vases and candlesticks to curate new assortments, and glazed ceramics are my current obsession.

So when Wayfair asked if I wanted to showcase some of their latest indoor plant pots from Ivyline, I jumped at the chance.

I’m always looking at new ways to update my shelves and fireplace mantels, so to be given the opportunity to dress my house plants in glossier, crackled effect pots was an easy win.

Our spare bedroom is painted in a dark rich green and has brass accents, so I chose three items which complemented these tones perfectly.

First was a large plant pot, called the Como cachepot in sage green which I filled with a large succulent, the second are two smaller pots which I planted two small cacti in, and the third was a brass Terrarium which I planted three small succulents in and covered with small garden stones. **Disclaimer : when putting your hand in a terrarium, choose succulents over cacti. Unless you’re extremely flexible at dodging the thornes**. These pots have a gorgeous crackled effect, and a raw ceramic edge around the top. I’m in love with the shades of greens and the textures between the glazing and natural look. I think the sage and teal colours pop beautifully against the wall colour in my spare room.

I then faffed about with the display of my new pots, moving them from the fireplace mantel to the top of the chest of drawers. For now they will live on the fireplace mantle. It’s a much brighter spot, and great for some natural sunlight (Plus, I can see it every time I walk past the room).

I’d love to know where your favourite spot for a shelfie is?

Shelfie update with Wayfair and Ivyline.
Plant pot from Wayfair/ ivyline
Yuan Terrarium from wayfair
Ivyline indoor plant pots
Shelfie with wayfair and ivyline

The potting process.

Wayfair products used for this post

Wayfair.co.uk is one of the world’s largest online retailers of home furnishings and décor and they offer value across a range of price points (from budget friendly finds to high-end styles) allowing everyone to bring their own vision of a happy home to life, which is why they are always one of my go to sites for all things home related. Just check out my latest rug purchase in this instagram post to see what I’ve been buying recently from Wayfair.

This post was sponsored by wayfair and Ivyline. All words and opinions are 100% my own.

HOW TO ADD CHARACTER INTO YOUR NEW EXTENSION

When we were planning our loft extension, I didn’t want the new extension to feel like an ‘extension’. I wanted it to feel like it had always been there and flowed with the rest of the house. Of course the exterior would always look slightly different and more contemporary, since slate cladded boxy dorma’s weren’t exactly a trend back in the victorian era. But, what was important to me was that the fixtures such as skirting and architraves all matched (or at least the best they could) to add that beloved character back into the new extension.

So here’s my guide on how you can add character into your modern extension..

Skirting Boards

Our lounge had the original deep victorian skirting boards when we moved in, the 195mm kind, so this is something we wanted to replicate across the rest of our house as we started our renovation project. In hindsight we probably should have ripped the original ones out at the beginning, as we ended up sourcing the almost the exact same ones in MDF from skirtingworld and the time we spent sanding the trillion layers of paint off the originals could have been better spent on pinterest or in the pub. But, never mind. Lesson learnt.

And something which is a huge bug bear for me is that when we had our flooring laid, we had to have a horrible beading edge trim the old skirting boards to hide the expansion gap. Unlike the new skirting boards, which could sit ontop of the new flooring and hide these gaps. But unless your a pro DIY-er, how would you know these things!?

For the record I chose the 324 Skirting board in size 195mm from Skirtingworld.

 Loft landing.   Rug Runner   Wayfair £113.00, Wallpaper- Divine Savages   Deco Martini    , Plant Stand - Matalan, £6 -   shop here for similar  , Paint - farrow and Ball-   Railings  .

Loft landing. Rug Runner Wayfair £113.00, Wallpaper- Divine Savages Deco Martini , Plant Stand - Matalan, £6 - shop here for similar , Paint - farrow and Ball- Railings.

Architraves

Does your home have the original architraves? Or are you starting from scratch? It was the same story for us. Original architraves on the ground and first floor, which again had accumulated layers of thick paint over the past 100 odd years.

This is also something that can easily be ripped out and added back in if you have a good carpenter, and can still feel very much ‘characterful’ if thats a word. If you already have original ones and feel as though your monster to rip them out, I feel your pain, however you are NOT a monster. However having flush closing doors and beautiful architraves which emulate your houses period style is the way forward.

I chose the Victorian 1 MDF Architrave in 95mm width and 18mm thickness for our loft extension as these matched the old ones the best. If I could start the house all over, I would have these everywhere. But that’s another story for another day.

Dado Rail

If you know me, then you will know this is something I’m passionate about. We added a dado rail into our hallway to break up the wallpaper and paint. See previous blog post to read more on that. Top tip, choose a dado rail that looks most similar to your architraves to keep in with your homes period style.

 Loft landing.

Loft landing.

Coving

If you can afford it, and again its in fitting with your homes period, why not add that beloved coving back in. Find local coving/plaster specialists in your area who can make a mould to match your original.

Ceiling Roses

If you have the head height in your new extension, and the room calls for it, add a ceiling rose to your extension. But only if its appropriate. Many modern extensions have skylights, and feature lights which might not work with a ceiling rose. However, it’s something to keep in mind if you want to add in.

 Victorian style ceiling Rose in our lounge, with original victorian coving.

Victorian style ceiling Rose in our lounge, with original victorian coving.

Spindles / Handrails

We had lovely spindles on our original landing/banister. They weren’t the original ones, but they were beautifully shaped and fitted with our homes victorian style. When the new stairs went in for the loft we needed new spindles, so made the call to replace them all. This is something I would completely recommend. At the end of the day, consistency is key in any home, so choose new ones and choose ones which emulate your homes original period.

Brick Slip Tiles

When planning our loft we talked about keeping the original brick chimney breast wall as a feature. However, once the stairs went in, and I saw the original walls in all their jagged and dusty glory, I changed my mind. We did however consider using these old stock style brick slip tiles from UK feature walls though to achieve the same look. But in the end, we went down a different root and kept the walls plastered and painted.

Brick slip tiles are a great way to add character back in to create that old cottage, or loft apartment look without having to chip the plaster off the walls. The texture is just like real bricks and if you use a traditional mortar mix, the end result will look like its always been there. And, did you know you can also use brick slips on the outside of your home too? So you can say goodbye to the pebble dash/ plastered exteriors, and hello to old style bricks again. It’s definitely something to bare in mind if you hate the exterior of your home.

 Image credit from Pinterest

Image credit from Pinterest

This post was sponsored by UK Feature walls and Skirting World. Everything written is 100% my opinion.

RENOVATION UPDATE: HALLWAY TOUR (IN COLLABORATION WITH DIVINE SAVAGES)

hallway tour with divine savages

The hallway always felt like the smallest room in the house. It's only 90cm wide in some parts, and it's narrow width and steep stairs were bland and dusty from the loft conversion.

In turns out, this project was one of our biggest in terms of decoration and judging by the number of rolls of wallpaper we got through (11 rolls to be exact). 

I did a blog post back in June on our Hallway plans using the fabulous Divine Savages Deco Martini wallpaper in Blush, back with Farrow and Ball's Railings, separated by a Dado rail which my dad put in, and I can now say it's now finished. Okay, so technically I still want to add some more artworks and buy a carpet runner but for now, its finished. And what a difference it makes. 

 Ceiling Light -   Homesense   £29.99, Wallpaper-   Divine Savages   Deco Martini Blush £140 per roll, Paint- Farrow and Ball Railings, Rug Runner-   Wayfair   £99, Brass mirror-   Made.com  £99, Coat Hooks -    West Elm  £69. 

Ceiling Light - Homesense £29.99, Wallpaper- Divine Savages Deco Martini Blush £140 per roll, Paint- Farrow and Ball Railings, Rug Runner- Wayfair £99, Brass mirror- Made.com £99, Coat Hooks - West Elm £69. 

Lets just take a minute to appreciate the fringed beauty of a light hanging in the hallway. Not only was it only £29.99 from my local homesense, but it's also bang on trend according to my recent living.etc magazine

 Mirror-   Made.com   £99, Divine Savages -   Deco martini Blush   wallpaper £140 per roll

Mirror- Made.com £99, Divine Savages - Deco martini Blush wallpaper £140 per roll

Amanda Cotton selfie

Before we started work, the hallway had previously been painted in light grey emulsion. It was dull, dusty and lacked spark. As we've renovated our victorian house, we've tried to keep a lot of the original features of the house, and where those features had been ripped out, we've tried to  add them back in.  We had a coving specialist replicate the original coving of our lounge throughout our hallway and landing, and my dad kindly put the dado rail up for us to add more character. 

Oh and the corbels you see in the square archway in the entrance hallway, well they were added in to also add some more character. (Purchased from Ebay, and held up by some no nails glue). 

We kept all the original victorian doors, which we had dipped and stripped and re hung. In hindsight, we probably should have replaced them all so they fit better. Upstairs in our loft we went with new painted fire doors with brass handles and these all look amazing, and fit great. If we knew seven years ago that we would go into the loft then we would have done things differently. But hindsight is an amazing thing, eh? 

**Personal Disclaimer** Dark colours can make spaces feel small. Since our hallway's been finished it feels more cosy and characterful. I think you should always decorate a home for you, and not worry about what others think. Stop worrying about whether you are 'adding value'. The added value is knowing that your living in the home of your dreams. 

The floor below is the first floor, which leads to Otis' nursery. We then have a second set of stairs to our converted loft. Two staircases + 3 floors = 11 rolls of wallpaper + a tone of Farrow and ball paint. 

Hallway with deco martini wallpaper and dado rail

As we enter the loft, you'll notice the change of painted doors which I mentioned before. 

The paint as I said is Farrow and ball Railings. We used Modern Emulsion for the walls and Estate Eggshell for the woodwork. We bought most of the paint from Paint depot which always has a 10% discount code for new customers and free delivery... every little helps and all that. You're welcome. FYI, this is the cheapest I've ever been able to find Farrow and Ball paint and I have searched the internet high and low!

I'm not advertising Farrow and ball, but I  think the positive points of farrow and ball are that its factory mixed, which means if you need to top it up, or buy more it should in theory match as its not mixed in one of those machines which have just made up a red, when you want a green. If you catch my drift. Plus I love how it goes on and how the colour is so deep and only requires 2 coats for dark colours, unlike other paints. 

   Modlo   lampshade £69, floor lamp stand £28-   Iconic lights

Modlo lampshade £69, floor lamp stand £28- Iconic lights

And now onto the wallpaper. oh the wallpaper of dreams.  The Deco martini blush/ blue wallpaper is from the talented guys at Divine Savages. It wasn't free, but it was discounted by them to allow me to do this. Afterall, I needed 11 rolls, and I'm on maternity leave. Thank you lads! I'll forever be in your debt. 

And to quote Darren the decorator "It hangs like a dream". Its heavy, thick and feels expensive, plus I love how it feels in keeping with the era of the house, even though the house is Victorian and the print is more 1920's styling. Plus I love the shades of blush pink mixed back with the blues and dark grey. It fits perfectly with the railings paint.  

   Dowsing and Reynolds   black & Brass toggle switch £24.99

Dowsing and Reynolds black & Brass toggle switch £24.99

I chose black/brass metal toggle switches from Dowsing and reynolds which worked perfectly against the wallpaper. I then bought cheaper black metal plug sockets from Amazon to blend with the railings paint. 

One conundrum we did face was an unusual angle in the wall, which goes from the loft to the ceiling (below right pic).  Due to the complexity of trying to wallpaper over it, and seeing the wallpaper shooting off in strange directions, Darren the decorator suggested painting it, and wallpapering above and below.  I love how something unexpected ended up being a little added feature.  

We added accents of brass with accessories, such as this pendant glass bulb ceiling light from John Lewis.  I also bought a brass trimmed round mirror from Made.com for the hallway and a brass coat hook rack from West Elm. 

 Brass and glass Pendant light from   Johnlewis  . 

Brass and glass Pendant light from Johnlewis

So I think that's pretty much everything. I love how we've gone from drab to fab in this space. The Divine Savage Deco martini wallpaper adds a wow factor, and I think it's important to add some drama to the entrance of your home since its the first thing people see. And lastly, I love how the print snakes through the centre of the house and links all the levels.  This was an important factor after our loft extension, as we wanted the new spaces to blend with the old and this wallpaper has really helped merge them together and become the heart of the home. 

OTIS' STOKKE 'JUNGLE' NURSERY

This is finally happening! I'm finally sharing Otis' finished nursery. Okay, technically it will never be finished because a room never is, and that's why I bloody love interiors. But this is where it's currently up to so far.

 Wallpaper-    Jungle palm by milton and King ,  Gold canopy from     Molly meg

Wallpaper-  Jungle palm by milton and King, Gold canopy from Molly meg

When I started looking at nursery furniture, all I saw were rectangular white cots and white changing tables. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with white nursery furniture, but I just wanted to be more excited by the offer. After all, interiors are my thing, and I wanted bub to have something a bit different.

Stokke sleepi cot bed in grey

So let's start with Otis' cot. This is the Stokke sleepi bed in Hazy grey. What I love about the sleepi cot bed range is that its one of the only cots that can transition from newborn baby to toddler by adding the extension kits. We've gone straight to the 'middle' size, but it's good to know I can extend it and take the middle panel out when Otis gets bigger and can climb in and out of his bed himself which means I shouldn't have to buy another new bed for another four/five years. How many other cot beds can take a baby from infant to childhood?

The stokke sleepi doesn't compromise on style or quality. The 360 degree cot bars mean it's easy to see Otis from every angle and the lockable caster wheels makes it easy to move to clean around, although you don't need to add the wheels. The cot can just sit on the floor on the frame and the sleepi has four mattress height positions to choose from. We currently don't have it on the lowest,  but we'll soon move it down once Otis can pull himself up. 

It's style, longevity and quality make this a perfect cot bed which should see Otis through to his childhood years.  The sleepi cot bed is available in three colours; white, grey and natural. 

Now let's talk about the changing table/ dresser which is also from Stokke. These come as two separate pieces.  The home dresser is handy storage for all of Otis' clothes, spare nappies and blankets and the soft close features on the drawers means you shouldn't wake up baby.  The style and colour compliments his sleepi cot bed and is also available in the same three shades of hazy grey, white and natural. 

The top home changer can be added to make it a changing table, but also easily removed to leave the dresser in perfect condition. 

Extension kits and bigger mattresses are all available on the Stokke website. Click here to view. 

 Leopard rug is from   Cotswold trading £149.99

Leopard rug is from Cotswold trading £149.99

 Lion and Elephant felt heads   by Fiona walker London. 

Lion and Elephant felt heads by Fiona walker London. 

**Otis and I were very kindly gifted the cot and changing table from Stokke for his nursery. Regardless of this, I would still recommend these items and would purchase them again.** 

MY MUST HAVE *NEWBORN* BABY ITEMS

As Otis is approaching the 3-month mark, I thought it was time I shared my must have baby items. I’d be lying if I said I couldn’t live without any of them, as I’m pretty sure people made do without all of these items years ago, but for me they made my job a hell of a lot easier and got us through that fourth trimester.

When you’re expecting everyone will give you their advice. Most of which I took on board. The only mistake I’ve made is on the buggy front. We bought the Icandy orange which is super sturdy, but it’s also heavy and bulky and takes up far too much room. I know, I know, everyone told us not to get such a big buggy and I should have listened. So with that in mind, I thought I’d share my top items so you can get prepared. 

1. Sleepyhead Deluxe

Otis loved his sleepyhead so much I even wrote a separate article about it being a parenting must have item for a newborn. This portable mattress was brilliant to use all over the house and to take with us when visiting family. It comes in snazzy prints too, so its interior friendly for that mum who doesn’t want to loose their style identity. The snuggly bumper design kept Otis cosy and he could use it from birth, and he's still using it now for afternoon naps. I didn’t get a moses basket, and in hindsight I’m glad I didn’t as they’re not in them for long, and I would have just ended up putting the sleepyhead inside it anyway.

The only downside is the size, but that goes for most baby stuff. Otis is only 11 weeks and he's starting to out grow it, so I might have to invest in the bigger size sleepyhead. **Otis is top of the centile, so I think most babies would be fine to use the deluxe up 8 months if they're smaller.  

Sleepyhead deluxe in night falls

2. Baby bath- Stokke Flexi Bath with Support

We’re lucky that we have a bath in our house, but the idea of putting a tiny new born in a giant roll top bath scared me so the Stokke foldable flexi bath with support has been briliant. We place the flexi bath inside our bath to wash Otis and the back support is cleverly designed to clip onto the edge of the box. It keeps Otis comfortable and relaxed, and saves you having to hold onto your baby. Its foldable design means it’s portable to take to the in-laws for his first sleepover so he hasn’t got to change what he’s accustomed to, and as its foldable we’ll definitely be taking it on holiday come September.

Stokke® Flexi Bath® Bundle Tub with Support

 

3. Baby Bjorn- Bouncer Bliss

I’ll be honest, the baby bjorn bouncer bliss was a game changer. Around 4-6 weeks Otis was becoming more alert and wanted to sit and look around without the constant need to be held and cuddled. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the new born cuddles like everyone else, but a girls got to shower now and then, and being able to put Otis in the bouncer while he watched me meant we could leave the house before 9am occasionally. The mesh fabric has also been ideal for this hot weather making him feel more airy. 

Baby Bjorn bouncer bliss

4. Baby Bjorn- baby carrier one 

No this is not an advert for baby Bjorn products. I paid for this carrier and it was, and still is the best £139 I spent. This carrier has enabled me to sterilise bottles, put the washing out and walk to the shops while keeping Otis near to me. It says it’s from birth to 3 years, and luckily Otis is quite a chunky baby, as the only downside to this carrier is that it’s not really suitable for small/ new-born’s and is better suited for babies 6-8 weeks + depending on their size. The positive is you can wear your baby in multiple positions facing you, front facing and on your back and its extremely comfortable due to the waist and shoulder straps which help distribute the weight.

Baby bjorn carrier one

5. Pram- Icandy orange

This one’s controversial. You need a pram, there’s no question about that. But which one? I bought an icandy orange. Its sturdy, safe and has a huge shopping basket underneath. It’s also almost £800. Do I regret buying it? Yes. Do I wish I had listened to everyones advice, of course. If you live in a city or a house without a driveway, or have a narrow hallway like us, then this pram is not for you.  It weighs a tone and takes up too much space. I’ve been advised by a lot of you on Instagram that the best buggy around is the baby zen yo-yo. Its foldable, light weight and even has a new born basinet attachment and it cost's less than £550. Lesson learnt. 

Icandy orange pushchair

6. Maxi Cosi Cabrio fix carseat

I'm not saying you need to buy this exact car seat, but you will 100% need to buy A car seat before your babe arrives. Hospitals won't even let you leave without one, so make sure this item is top of your list to buy. (That goes for you car less folk too). 

We bought the maxi cosi cabrio fix and the 2 wayfix iso base. You don't need to buy the iso fix base, but it does means Otis' car seat just clicks in and makes things much easier, than having to worry about car seat straps. 

The cabrio fix is affordable and well rated and is also one of the lightest car seats on the market.  You have no idea how much you'll appreciate having a lighter car seat until your baby is over a stone and you have to walk to your car. 

We bought both the car seat and the base at the baby show with our icandy pram and managed to save £100 off the total package. Shop around and definitely don't buy second hand when it comes to the base or the car seat. (for other items second hand is fine, but car seats aren't recommended).

** The toy attached to the car seat has been the best £7.99 spent. Its by Bright starts and was bought from Amazon.  Otis only started paying more attention to toys from approx 10 weeks old, but now he loves this.  **

BuyMaxi-Cosi CabrioFix Group 0+ Baby Car Seat, Sparkling Grey Online at johnlewis.com BuyMaxi-Cosi CabrioFix Group 0+ Baby Car Seat, Sparkling Grey Online at johnlewis.com BuyMaxi-Cosi CabrioFix Group 0+ Baby Car Seat, Sparkling Grey Online at johnlewis.com BuyMaxi-Cosi CabrioFix Group 0+ Baby Car Seat, Sparkling Grey Online at johnlewis.com BuyMaxi-Cosi CabrioFix Group 0+ Baby Car Seat, Sparkling Grey Online at johnlewis.com BuyMaxi-Cosi CabrioFix Group 0+ Baby Car Seat, Sparkling Grey Online at johnlewis.com BuyMaxi-Cosi CabrioFix Group 0+ Baby Car Seat, Sparkling Grey Online at johnlewis.com BuyMaxi-Cosi CabrioFix Group 0+ Baby Car Seat, Sparkling Grey Online at johnlewis.com BuyMaxi-Cosi CabrioFix Group 0+ Baby Car Seat, Sparkling Grey Online at johnlewis.com BuyMaxi-Cosi CabrioFix Group 0+ Baby Car Seat, Sparkling Grey Online at johnlewis.com BuyMaxi-Cosi CabrioFix Group 0+ Baby Car Seat, Sparkling Grey Online at johnlewis.com Maxi-Cosi CabrioFix Group 0+ Baby Car Seat, Sparkling Grey

7. Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine

I had a nightmare with breast feeding. Bad latch, posterior tongue tied baby, blocked nipple (they call it a bleb), bleeding nipples, mastitis and a toe curling pain each time Otis latched on. Pretty much everything that could go wrong, did. Was I  going to let it get me down, hell no! Otis is a big baby. Born between the 75%-91% centile at birth weight,  he wanted a LOT of milk. They say feed on demand, and I was feeding all the time. I breast fed for 3 days,  expressed for 6 weeks and combination fed with breast milk and formula. Then after our 6 week Dr check up at 6 weeks I quit the pump. I had my life back. I was able to leave otis with my mother in law for the night, I didn't have to pump in the night and day and be glued to a socket and otis started sleeping for longer stretches. The perfect prep machine makes the perfect temperature bottle. You just add water, select how many oz's, press the big dial and add powder, shake and its done. First it filters water, then it adds an initial hot shot of water which kills any bacteria present in the formula and helps it to dissolve. If you're planning to give any formula in the first year, then invest in one of these.  

Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine

8. Tiba and Marl baby bag

I'm not saying you need to buy an expensive baby bag, but you will need a bag dedicated to your babe for all the nappies, wipes and bottles that you need to carry around. 

I chose a Tiba and Marl backpack as it was the nicest bag I could find, which didn't compromise on style. It's handy insulated compartments keep the milk warm, and the foldable changing mat is super handy for changing Otis while we're out and about. It also comes with a separate purse to keep your phone and keys in so you don't need to take another handbag out with you.

I wear it on my back, or on the handle bars of the pram, or even place it in the basket if its not full of my shopping. 

It's also big enough to hold my laptop. Not that I get to do much blogging these days when Otis is awake. 

Tiba and marl baby changing bag.

9. Snuz pod bedside crib

We first bought the chicco next to us cot, but as soon as we assembled it we didn't feel it was very secure so we returned it and bought the snuz pod. The snuz pod is £199, so £30 more expensive than the chicco next to you cot, but it's worth every extra penny. The wooden frame feels sturdy and the frame even rocks sightly when baby moves. The zip front means you can pull the side down for easy access when feeding if you have the cot attached to the bed. Just to note, I did have the cot attached to our bed, but after my episiotomy I asked my husband to change sides with me as it was super painful to slide out for bed to go to the bathroom in the night. Plus I ended up not breast feeding anyway, so I've since detached it from the bed. **Top tip, buy a basket to keep your nappies, wipes, creams and nappy bags in to keep tidy**.

Snuz pod baby cot

10. Medela Swing breast pump

The breast pump is something I regret not buying upfront before Otis arrived. It just meant I had to send the husband to Mothercare to buy it when Otis and I were fresh out of hospital and he returned with the not only the most expensive pump, but the double version which came with an eye watering price tag. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating but I didn’t realise these things can cost up to £180. Whether you choose to breast feed or not, no one can prepare you for the engorgement of your breasts on day 3 post-natal. The Medela swing pump was brilliant. It’s hospital grade so you can’t fail for its quality in pumping. My advice would be to shop around. You can buy them second hand and sterilise the bottles and funnel yourself. I’d also recommend buying the hands-free bra off amazon to free up your hands while your sat next to the plug socket. Those 15 minutes per boob is precious time to yourself.  

 

medela swing breast pump

11. Stokke changing table

I was only going to write 10, but I had to include our Stokke changing table. We keep ours in Otis' nursery on the middle floor of our home, but we also bought two cheaper changing mats so we have one on each floor- trust me, you'll need them! 

This handy dresser is great for storage for all his clothes and the side compartment gives me easy access to all the nappies, creams and wipes. 

I dress Otis on this every morning and dry him off after bathtime in the evening and get him ready for bed on it. 

The top changing part comes separately from Stokke, which means I can use the dresser without the top once Otis is bigger. 

 

Stokke grey changing table

Oh, and One last thing. You're going to need plenty of memory on your phone, so get clearing those old photos NOW and get ready for the baby spam! 

THE SLEEPYHEAD, AND WHY EVERY NEW PARENT NEEDS ONE

THE SLEEPYHEAD, AND WHY EVERY NEW PARENT NEEDS ONE

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

MY HALLWAY PLANS - IN COLLABORATION WITH DIVINE SAVAGES

 Hallway inspiration. Image from Pinterest. 

Hallway inspiration. Image from Pinterest. 

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...

Divine Savages, deco martini blush 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. 

About Divine Savages 

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! 

 Before shot of the entrance hallway. 
 A before shot of the first floor landing. 

A before shot of the first floor landing. 

 The second set of stairs leading to the loft bedrooms. 

The second set of stairs leading to the loft bedrooms. 

 

 

The moodboard 

Hallway moodboard

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

INTRODUCING OTIS ....

 Otis William Cotton - 0 days old

Otis William Cotton - 0 days old

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. 

 Otis William Cotton - 2 weeks old. 

Otis William Cotton - 2 weeks old. 

ADDING PINK WITH PRINTS (IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CUEMARS)

ADDING PINK WITH PRINTS (IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CUEMARS)

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

A QUICK KITCHEN MAKEOVER

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.

 Photo credit: Pinterest 

Photo credit: Pinterest 


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
kitchen accessories.

 Photo Credit : Pinterest 

Photo Credit : Pinterest 


Kitchen cabinets
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.

 Photo Credit : Pinterest 

Photo Credit : Pinterest 


Personalised touch-ups
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.


Hardware
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.


Floor designs
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.


Wallpaper
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.

 Photo credit: Pinterest 

Photo credit: Pinterest 


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.


Lighting
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
safely.

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

COAT RACKS- MY PICK OF THE BEST

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?

Coat racks- my pick of the best

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

INTERIOR UPDATE: LOFT BATHROOM

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 Inspiration... 

Style Nanda, Seoul - South Korea
Style Nanda - Nanda Laundry. Inspirational store in Seoul, South Korea.
Style Nanda, Seoul.
Style Nanda, inspirational store in Seoul, South Korea.
The LA style pool side cafe at Style Nanda, inspirational store in Seoul, South Korea.
Style Nanda, inspirational store in Seoul, South Korea.
Style Nanda, inspirational store in Seoul, South Korea.

The loft bathroom...

IMG_4061.JPG
Stone top bathroom unit
Farrow and ball pink ground and railings marble  bathroom
Carrera marble tileS,  Acme shower from Aston Matthews and Black metal shower frame from Drench
Farrow and ball pink ground bathroom with black radiator
Farrow and ball pink ground bathroom, aston matthews taps and loaf mirror
Farrow and ball pink ground bathroom and RAK toilet.
Terma black heated towel radiator

During the build...

Loft conversion bathroom
BATHROOM MOODBOARD

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

WHICH FLOORING OPTION IS BEST FOR YOUR KITCHEN?

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

DIY PLANTER MAKEOVER WITH WAYFAIR HOME EXPERTS

DIY PLANTER MAKEOVER WITH WAYFAIR HOME EXPERTS
DIY PLANTER MAKEOVER WITH WAYFAIR HOME EXPERTS

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. 

Gem Round Plant Pot by Sfeer Voor Jou

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. 

DIY Metallic planter

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...

DIY KIT - WAYFAIR BLOGGER CHALLENGE
  • 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. 

 

 

DIY PLANTER MAKEOVER WITH WAYFAIR HOME EXPERTS

This post was sponsored by Wayfair. I wouldn't post anything I didn't agree with or personally like. 

WHY MAINTAINING YOUR GARDEN DOESN'T HAVE TO COST THE EARTH

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.

GARDEN

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.
 

COMPOST, GARDENING

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.

salad-water-garden-plant.jpg

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

garden tools

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.
 

garden-grass-meadow-green.jpg

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.

Colin-Poole-Upcycle-Drawers-JPEG34-920x920.jpg

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?

MY NURSERY PLANS

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.

Nursery inspiration

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).

Nursery inspiration

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. 

Panneled wall 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.  

NURSERY MOODBOARD

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

CONVERSATION CHAIRS AT HOMESENSE

Homesense green velvet chair

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

DIY UPHOLSTERED FOOTSTOOL

DIY Upholstered footstool
IMG_4733.jpg

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

Hammer

Screwdriver 

(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). 

DIY UPHOLSTERED FOOTSTOOL

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! 

DIY UPHOLSTERED FOOTSTOOL

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. 

DIY UPHOLSTERED FOOTSTOOL

AFFORDABLE STATEMENT LIGHTS UNDER £200

Fluffy light bedroom

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!  

wicker bedroom light

 

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.

Affordable statement lights under £200

1. Fluffy Ducky pendant from www.lights.co.uk for £56.90

2. Wicker lamp shade from Made.com £59

3. Nook copper pendant from Made.com £59

4. Endon Lighting Orta 9-Light Geometric Pendant from Wayfair £185

5. Dexter Sputnik Pendant from Marks and Spencer £199

6. Fiona pendant light with ruched lampshade from www.lights.co.uk for £49.50

7. Huxley pendant light from John Lewis for £195

8. Walnut pendant light from John Lewis £120

9. Oval pendant lamp Jilla made from metal from www.lights.co.uk £63.90

 

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?