HOW I TRANSFORMED OUR BATHROOM WITH WALLPAPER

Florence Broadhurst Japanese floral   wallpaper in pale teal;   Pink leopard rug   £84 from Cotswold trading,   Green vase   from   Mapstores  ; Waska   Wardrobe/ Storage   cupboard £589 from   La Redoute  . and pink velvet chair from   Homesense  , Bath painted in Coral Crush by   Valspar  .

Florence Broadhurst Japanese floral wallpaper in pale teal; Pink leopard rug £84 from Cotswold trading, Green vase from Mapstores; Waska Wardrobe/ Storage cupboard £589 from La Redoute. and pink velvet chair from Homesense, Bath painted in Coral Crush by Valspar.

HOW I TRANSFORMED OUR BATHROOM WITH WALLPAPER

I rarely talk about our family bathroom. It’s a great size, has a simple white victorian style sink, plastic roll top bath (we couldn’t afford a cast iron one at the time) and has a standalone shower. But to me it still looked unfinished.

With its all white painted plastered walls, our bathroom always felt like it was lacking that va va voom factor, especially when you compare it to the rest of our house.

HOW I TRANSFORMED OUR BATHROOM WITH WALLPAPER

I’m wallpaper obsessed and a true maximalist at heart, but our bathroom was the first room completed, and it seems to have been neglected in the planning of all the other levels.

 

First done eight years ago when we bought the house, we designed it quickly and went for a classic, timeless design – aka slightly safe and boring in my opinion. As the years went by, and my taste and braveness evolved so did my dissatisfaction with the white walls, and I decided that this room was in need of a refresh.

Florence Broadhurst Japanese floral   wallpaper in pale teal. Bamboo mirror from   QVC-UK  .

Florence Broadhurst Japanese floral wallpaper in pale teal. Bamboo mirror from QVC-UK.

 

Pink leopard rug   £84 from Cotswold trading;    Bamboo bath caddy from Klass Home   £22; pink faux fur slippers from F+F, and leopard print towel from   H&M Home.

Pink leopard rug £84 from Cotswold trading; Bamboo bath caddy from Klass Home £22; pink faux fur slippers from F+F, and leopard print towel from H&M Home.

I stumbled across Florence Broadhurst wallpapers a few years ago and loved her entire collection. Inspired by Florence’s life as a dancer living in and around Asia, with a particular interest in Japanese florals it was love at first sight for me.

After some clever researching (thank god for google), I discovered that the Florence Broadhurst collection and license had just been acquired by a UK owner, and was finally going to be more accessible for interior design addicts like me here in the UK.

Florence Broadhurst Japanese floral   wallpaper in pale teal. Bamboo mirror from   QVC-UK  ; Bamboo side table £90 from   Mapstores  ;   Pink leopard rug   £84 from Cotswold trading,   Green vase   from   Mapstores  ; and pink velvet chair from   Homesense  .

Florence Broadhurst Japanese floral wallpaper in pale teal. Bamboo mirror from QVC-UK; Bamboo side table £90 from Mapstores; Pink leopard rug £84 from Cotswold trading, Green vase from Mapstores; and pink velvet chair from Homesense.

 

Florence Broadhurst Japanese floral   wallpaper in pale teal. Bamboo mirror from   QVC-UK  ; Bath painted in Coral Crush by   Valspar  , Bamboo side table £90 from   Mapstores  ;   Pink leopard rug   £84 from Cotswold trading and   Bamboo bath caddy from Klass Home  .

Florence Broadhurst Japanese floral wallpaper in pale teal. Bamboo mirror from QVC-UK; Bath painted in Coral Crush by Valspar, Bamboo side table £90 from Mapstores; Pink leopard rug £84 from Cotswold trading and Bamboo bath caddy from Klass Home.

After procrastinating I decided on the Japanese Floral design in pale Teal as it’s a Florence classic.

Because the ceiling in the bathroom has been a mass expanse of white painted plaster, I decided that this was prime fodder to get wallpapered too. After all, the 5th wall is now an important part of any room design, and this rooms sloping ceiling was crying out to be wallpapered.

Florence Broadhurst Japanese floral   wallpaper in pale teal. Bamboo mirror from   QVC-UK  ; Bath painted in Coral Crush by   Valspar  , Bamboo side table £90 from   Mapstores  ;   Pink leopard rug   £84 from Cotswold trading.

Florence Broadhurst Japanese floral wallpaper in pale teal. Bamboo mirror from QVC-UK; Bath painted in Coral Crush by Valspar, Bamboo side table £90 from Mapstores; Pink leopard rug £84 from Cotswold trading.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Is this a special bathroom wallpaper? Have I coated the wallpaper?

Well the answer is simply no. As long as you have good ventilation – an extractor fan and a window for those really steamy days, then I have had no problems with our wallpaper.

Florence Broadhurst Japanese floral   wallpaper in pale teal. Bamboo mirror from   QVC-UK  ; Bath painted in Coral Crush by   Valspar  , Bamboo side table £90 from   Mapstores  ;   Pink leopard rug   £84 from Cotswold trading and   Bamboo bath caddy from Klass Home  .

Florence Broadhurst Japanese floral wallpaper in pale teal. Bamboo mirror from QVC-UK; Bath painted in Coral Crush by Valspar, Bamboo side table £90 from Mapstores; Pink leopard rug £84 from Cotswold trading and Bamboo bath caddy from Klass Home.

But for those a bit more sceptical or just less brave, then you can use a clear varnish to coat the wallpaper to harden it’s exterior, making it less susceptible to taking the odd splash of water and this will also help prevent the steam from making it peel off.

 How I painted our plastic Bath

And encase you wanted to know, because I get asked a lot how I went about painting our freestanding bath. I painted our bath in Coral Crush by Valspar. The bath is a plastic free standing bath from Wickes. To paint it, I gave it a light sand, then gave it three coats of Zinsser Bullseye primer and then used the matt finish from Valspar. The key is to make sure its well primed and I find Zinsser Bullseye primer amazing! As long as the surface is evening coated in this, then any paint will stick to it!

I’d love to know if you’re thinking about wallpapering your bathroom, and what design you were thinking?


WHY WE DECIDED TO RENOVATE AND NOT MOVE HOUSE

Amanda Cotton - House Lust Blogger

In September 2017 we started our biggest renovation to date; The loft conversion. Prior to the work starting we had thought long and hard whether this was what was best for us vs moving to a bigger house.

Our house was a comfortable two bed, one-bathroom mid terrace house, full of character and charm being built in the Victorian era. But we knew we ideally needed more bedroom space to be able to house my ever-growing clothing collection – I’m a fashion designer, and a spare bedroom for family to come stay/ work from home in.

Our loft extension, completed in February 2018.

Our loft extension, completed in February 2018.

We were on the cusp of starting a family (Our IVF was booked in for July 2017) and we were optimistic it was going to be successful, and that in a matter of months we could be a family of three.

Luckily everything went to plan and by the time the building work started in the September of 2017 I was two months pregnant with Otis.


Victorian Terrace loft extension

When making the decision on whether a build was better than moving, it came down to a few factors.

Firstly, we love where we live. We love our neighbourhood, the quaint Victorian street, our lovely neighbours and we love how close we are to the town centre and to Watford Junction, which is where my husband works, and I need to commute from so we didn’t want to move far.

The second was the financial side. We looked into how much it would cost to move vs stay and extend and the costs weren’t dissimilar.

To move to a 4-bedroom house close by we would have to Spend £20k+ on the stamp duty plus the additional costs of a much bigger mortgage as house prices in Watford vary for a 4-bed property from £500k-£1m depending on area. 

Plus, throw in solicitors fees, moving costs and we’re looking at an additional £30k+ and the stress of moving and trying to sell our house whilst trying to get pregnant.

Alternatively, if we stayed where we are and renovated, we could spend £40k-£60k on the build, add value to our house, and have less stress and still get to stay in a house we already love. So, it seemed like a no brainer.

Let’s not get carried away though, a build of any kind is still very stressful, and we decided to live through ours to save costs which was fine whilst it was only the two of us, but  I’m not sure I’d have the same outlook if Otis had already been born.

The beautiful victorian terraced houses down my street.

The beautiful victorian terraced houses down my street.

Watford high-street.

Watford high-street.

Once the decision was made, drawings were commissioned and submitted to the council, and the loft renovation started in the September 2017.

It took a long dirty 6 months until it was completed, the builders had fully disappeared, and we were left with a beautiful third floor – adding a large master bedroom, an en-suite bathroom and a fully equipped dressing room to keep me happy.

This left our remaining two bedrooms and family bathroom downstairs on the first floor completely untouched for Otis to have a large nursery/playroom and a spare bedroom for Granny to come stay when we needed help.

Beautiful victorian Terrace Houses down my street.

Beautiful victorian Terrace Houses down my street.

So how we financed the work. Because I’ll be honest, we didn’t have a spare £60k sitting around in a bank account if I’m honest.

We did however have £20k from inheritance and it felt right that this was invested into our home, so we just needed to finance the other £40k.

We did lots of research on loans vs Mortgages and we ended up using an online mortgage broker site called Habito which meant if we re mortgaged we could borrow from the equity which our house had already made.

 

In plain terms this meant that as we bought the house for £222,000 eight years ago, and at the time of re mortgaging in June 2017 the house was valued at £340,000 we could easily borrow £40K more which only put our mortgage re payments up by an extra £100 a month.

 

But what is Habito you ask?! Habito is a free online mortgage broker making mortgages easier - It’s uses technology to search the whole market - 20,000 products from 90,000 lenders - to match you with the best mortgage for your needs in seconds.  It’s online mortgage brokers then give you qualified advice, with no jargon and handle everything with your chosen lender.  This means you can get mortgage advice on your mobile, from the comfort of your own sofa on a Sunday morning (it’s mortgages experts are online ‘til 9pm Mon-Thurs and from 9-9pm Saturday and Sunday). - It helps first time buyers navigate the confusing world of buying a first home and it helps mortgagers save thousands a year!

 

As the stats prove that 58% of all UK homeowners could save £3,000 every year by switching their mortgage!

 

Now the works done, I can honestly say that staying put was the best thing for us and our family.

And a huge positive that has also come out of this is that our house has been recently valued at £560k which is an incredible £278k extra equity once you deduct the cost of the building work.

So, if you love where you live, why live anywhere else if you can just better your current home?

 

Habito are running a competition to celebrate their 3rd birthday over on their Instagram page for you & a friend to each win £300 to put towards your mortgage or home improvements. Head over to their page @Habitoloveshomes to find out more. The competition ends on the 5th August 2019.

This post is sponsored by Habito. All views and opinions are 100% my own.

CREATING A SUSTAINABLE KITCHEN WITH DUALIT

Dualit Classic   Kettle   and new gen   toaster  .

Dualit Classic Kettle and new gen toaster.

It's 5.30am at the weekend and my 14-month-old is full of the joys of spring. It's my turn to give the husband a lie in and I'm keen to get downstairs and start the day. Take on the world. carpe diem? or something like that. Anyhow, what better way to kick off the day than to make myself a cup of coffee and get that first caffeine fix using my new Dualit coffee bags.   

My Dualit   Classic Kettle

My Dualit Classic Kettle

Having tended to the wee man (not literally) and ensuring he is tucking into his brekkie (2 weetabix!!) in his high chair, I head to my Classic Dualit Kettle. Ah. There she is. In all her finery. What a beauty. It's not just the polished, stainless steel finish that shimmers in the early morning light that makes me love this kettle so much. It's the fact it's so darn quiet when the water is boiling. It's not like my old one that resembled a rocket launch every time I boiled it to make a cuppa. So, what makes it so quiet? well, the clever folk at Dualit have come up with a game changer patent; Whisper Boil Function. Don't ask me how it works, all I know is my quiet, serene, tranquil start to the day remains just that. By quiet, serene, tranquil I mean listening to bubba munch away on his weetbix and guzzle down his bottle of milk without taking a breather. That is the sound of one satisfied baby! 

Now the kettle has boiled (in under 1 minute) I pour the boiled water into my favourite coffee cup – A 70s retro paisley pattern and I enjoy the Dualit Coffee which give that intense cafetière flavoured coffee I love minus the fuss and time of using a cafetière. Time is precious with a 14-month-old on the loose and the less work I have to do the easier my life is. And did I mention the flavours? Today I am having the Dualit Sumatra Mandheling, but I’ve also had the Dualit Intense compostable coffee bags and the Dualit Decaf Blend. Game changer right there. These coffees are strong and rich in flavour and the coffee bags are all compostable making them more sustainable for the environment. They even come in recycled cardboard boxes which is refreshing in itself to not have wasteful packaging. Thanks’ Dualit for giving me a Barista style coffee ready in 60 seconds from my own kettle is an absolute revelation.

One final thing, and in my book a crucial thing to note. The longevity, sustainability and value for money which this Classic Dualit Kettle has been so smartly designed.  It has a replacement element that ensures the kettle perpetually makes my favourite coffee. Having a replacement element means that when it does eventually fail (after all the use it gets in my house) you don't need to chuck the kettle out. You just order a replacement element from Dualit and connect it up and you're good to go and carry on getting that caffeine fix!

Dualit classic Toaster and New Gen Toaster.

Dualit classic Toaster and New Gen Toaster.

Alongside my kettle I have been using my Dualit 2 Slice NewGen Toaster to make mine and little Jimmy's soldiers in the mornings to accompany our coffee, bottles of milk and Weetabix. This toaster has been with us since we moved into our house 8 years ago and bubba was just a twinkle in our eyes. The toaster, like the kettle has been designed with a replaceable element so you are on to a winner. Plus, like the kettle design, the toaster is also a design classic; curved stainless steel, retro, timeless design which is yet to fail me in its performance. No one makes a kettle or toaster quite like Dualit do. Built to last a lifetime and more sustainable for all of us. I’m sure we’ll still be talking about their timeless, clever design for many years to come.

 

Now, to cease the day! (carpe diem).

 

This post was sponsored by Dualit, however all opinions are 100% my own.

 

Talking natural floor coverings with Kersaint Cobb

Kersaint Cobb   Floor Coverings - from Left to right; Providence Herringbone PC423, KC Sisal Panama, Morrocco Runner Colour Tetouan (stripe), KC Levana Herringbone, KC Morroco Runner Colour Oujda (Grey stripe), Top Middle- Boucle Artists in Colour Rembrandt 8043, Seagrass Basket Weave - Natural, (Bottom Right) KC Providence Herringbone in colour PC420.

Kersaint Cobb Floor Coverings - from Left to right; Providence Herringbone PC423, KC Sisal Panama, Morrocco Runner Colour Tetouan (stripe), KC Levana Herringbone, KC Morroco Runner Colour Oujda (Grey stripe), Top Middle- Boucle Artists in Colour Rembrandt 8043, Seagrass Basket Weave - Natural, (Bottom Right) KC Providence Herringbone in colour PC420.

If there’s one thing that makes a house a home, then it’s the flooring which we choose. My home wouldn’t have the same feel if I didn’t enjoy looking at, and walking on our flooring every day, and the decision process for choosing the right flooring can be more complex than just choosing the best-looking product.

Flooring is a big investment, so choosing the wrong floor type can have a huge cost implication, and likewise, no one wants to look at ugly flooring.

I’ve teamed up with flooring specialists Kersaint Cobb to give you some quick tips for helping you make that big flooring decision, and it might even open up your eyes to new options. In a world where we are being challenged to do the right thing and live in a more natural home, Kersaint Cobb seem to have that nailed.

From the softness and warmth of wool to the exciting textures of seagrass, jute, coir and sisal, the Kersaint Cobb range offers the variety and beauty of the natural world in which we live.

 

Go natural with Wood

This answers that first big question ‘laminate vs wood’. There is no question which one is best, and which will give you the return on the investment. Go natural or go home. It’s of course Wood. At Kersaint Cobb they offer a range of Solid wood flooring in 12 different designs from parquet to planks in natural oak. The range is available in numerous shades and have been sourced from the hills of New Zealand to the forests of Asia.

Kersaint Cobb   - Vie Maison, Rustique Fume priced from £71.99 per sq m

Kersaint Cobb - Vie Maison, Rustique Fume priced from £71.99 per sq m

The main advice would be to treat the Kersaint Cobb wood flooring with love, care and to use the Kersaint Cobb care kit to allow the wood to grow old gracefully. This is a product for life.

Kersaint Cobb   - Traditions, FHBO Farmhouse Brushed & Oiled

Kersaint Cobb - Traditions, FHBO Farmhouse Brushed & Oiled

Kersaint Cobb   -   Simply Oak,   Aged Oak SO23 priced from £60.99 per sq m (1)

Kersaint Cobb - Simply Oak, Aged Oak SO23 priced from £60.99 per sq m (1)

Want to add warmth and softness with Wool carpets

If you want to add warmth and softness, then look no further than using a natural wool floor covering. At Kersaint cobb they have a vast range of wool carpets to suit your needs. The renewable fibre can be as versatile as you want it to be. Warm and cosy under foot to feeling sumptuous and soft. The Kersaint Cobb Wool range consists of shades of warm neutrals and greys to statement stripes. There’s really something here to suit every area of your home.

Kersaint Cobb   -   Luna  , Seashell priced from £61.50 per sq m

Kersaint Cobb - Luna, Seashell priced from £61.50 per sq m

Kersaint Cobb   -   Chic  , Venice priced from £42 per sq m

Kersaint Cobb - Chic, Venice priced from £42 per sq m

Go Natural with Sisal

Did you know that Sisal is not only practical and durable but is also the hottest trend for carpets at the moment?

Its natural fibre takes vegetable dyes amazingly and at Kersaint Cobb you will find Sisal carpets in a host of beautiful, natural shades to suit your home. And, its antistatic quality means its super low maintenance. My fav is the Sisal herringbone for its subtle texture and pattern. Now just imagine this up the stairs… dreamy eh!

Kersaint Cobb   -   Big Boucle  , Noir priced from £48.50 per sq m

Kersaint Cobb - Big Boucle, Noir priced from £48.50 per sq m

Kersaint Cobb   -   Mini Boucle  , Amber priced from £45 per sq m

Kersaint Cobb - Mini Boucle, Amber priced from £45 per sq m

Go neutral with Seagrass Carpets

Are you a neutral lover? Well then look no further as the seagrass carpet range is made for you. This collection only comes in pale natural hues to represent its natural fibre.

So, what is Seagrass you ask? It’s a natural fibre which is harvested in a field and then spun and woven with care into the most natural carpet Kersaint Cobb have to offer. The thickness of the fibre is defined by the age which it was picked. The finer Seagrass fibres are harvested when the plant is much younger and vice versa for the thicker more heavy-duty weaves.

At Kersaint Cobb you will find six different designs in the Seagrass range which all come with a thin latex backing, meaning it will live and breathe in your home and the natural fibre will age gracefully in its natural state. 

 

Soft and golden Jute

Do you want your carpet to give your home that calm feeling? How does biodegradable and fully recyclable sound too? Jute carpets can certainly deliver all of the above. Its delicate appearance isn’t for those well-trodden areas but would be perfect for those quieter areas such as a bedroom or lounge. Plus being a natural material, it reflects the sun perfectly.

 

Coir

Coir or Coconut hair as I like to call it. Coir is the short brown fibres of the coconut husk, which have been soaked, spun and carefully woven into a rustic floor covering.

This carpet delivers that rustic outdoors feel into your home and is durable for those heavy wearing areas of your home such as hallways and stairs. Its natural material is perfect for protecting your floors from unwanted dirt making it low maintenance and is available in six different natural colours at Kersaint cobb from Natural to Matting light brown.

 

Carpet Runners

Are you after a carpet runner which is beautiful, yet sustainable? The runners at Kersaint Cobb are lovingly handcrafted from 100% natural sisal, which makes them hard wearing for stairs and hallways. They’re also made in 69cm widths with pre finished, hassle free edges, ready to fit most staircases. The range consists of beautiful stripes to bring splashes of colour into your home, yet still retaining a natural feel. The Moroccan Meknes in its beautiful natural tone with subtle red and neutral stripe would complement any home style.

Kersaint Cobb   -   Morocco Runners  , Tetouan priced from £68 per linear metre

Kersaint Cobb - Morocco Runners, Tetouan priced from £68 per linear metre

Kersaint Cobb   -   Morocco Runner  , El Jadida priced from £68 per linear metre

Kersaint Cobb - Morocco Runner, El Jadida priced from £68 per linear metre

Let me know if you have any questions about anything I have talked about here, I’d be happy to help if I can!

 

Thanks for reading and happy floor shopping.

A x

 This post was sponsored by Kersaint Cobb. All views and opinions are 100% my own.

OUR LIVING ROOM REFRESH WITH WEST ELM

After years of wanting to join the green sofa club, our day has finally come! Not only that, but we can now say we have a sofa that all three of us (four if you include the cat), can sit on together. .

I read in a newspaper recently that a modern day lounge now consists of a velvet sofa, a drinks trolley and a 70 inch TV. We might not have the huge Television, as I have this weird thing against huge TV’s, and am still contemplating how we can hide our 42inch, but we are guilty of the first two. So does that make me modern? Or am I just becoming an Insta cliche?

Our previous sofa was chunky, light grey and was slightly battered from the cat using the arm as a giant scratching post. To call it shabby was a understatement. It was also a sofa bed, which was purchased at the beginning of our interior journey when we only had two bedrooms and expected lots of guests.

In reality the sofa bed wasn’t made to be sat on daily, and had lost its springy-ness, and truth be told no one ever came to visit anyways. So I’m not sure what that says about us?

I longed for a much longer, luxurious sofa which bought an element of glamour and sophistication to our otherwise adult lounge. And yes our lounge can still be grown up, even with Otis around. Otherwise, why did they invent playpens? Plus I’m too stubborn to hide away our brass drinks trolley which I worked hard to own, even if it does mean I can’t leave Otis anywhere near it without supervision.

So here is our newly refreshed lounge, which I collaborated with the dreamy West Elm to create. It’s still adult, but the new sofa actually makes it more family friendly as we can all fit on it together now. I hope you like it as much as we do.

Our old chunky sofa-bed sofa has now been replaced with this longer, green velvet goddess named Drake from West Elm. He’s much bigger than our previous sofa, but actually makes the room feel bigger due to the sleeker frame which actually feels like it takes up less room. He’s super comfortable and even long enough to be stretched out completely if you want a little lie down. As you do.

I made the cushions a couple of years ago after visiting a House of Hackney sample sale. The printed velvet was a bargain in comparison to buying the actual cushions, so I went for the budget version and made my own.

A room can never have enough lights and I chose the West Elm staggered light as it’s sleek brass thin frame doesn’t take up too much room, and the white glass sphere pops against the dark walls. It’s a great reading light for this corner, and the large round base tucks neatly underneath the Drake velvet sofa.

My track record in keeping real plants alive isn’t good, so in this room I have mostly opted for faux greenery. Most of my faux plants are from Homesense and the little man vase is also from here.

Solid brass candle sticks are antique; Vases are from   Homesense.

Solid brass candle sticks are antique; Vases are from Homesense.

The brass candlesticks were inherited from my husbands nan. They’re Jewish ancestry, not that we’re Jewish, but they were gifted by a jewish relative many years ago and have now been passed down the family. I love the family connection and their timeless design. I’d pick these out if they were in design store, so I’m pretty chuffed that they have a family connection too.

I made the fringed lampshade a couple of years ago. I had lusted after one for so long, but couldn’t afford it, so decided to make my own. I wrote a previous article about how easy it was to make your own and luckily he’s stood the test of time.

I opted for the West Elm Distressed Arabesque wool rug from West Elm for this room. The dark mottled traditional pattern makes it great for hiding dinner stains…. jokes. We never eat in here, honest guv. But in truth I really struggled to find a rug that went in here without courting too much attention. I really wanted a rug which didn’t dominate the space, but yet filled it, adding texture and pattern but wasn’t the main focal point and I think this rug fits all of the above.

The shelving unit in this room is old and a nod to the industrial trend which I fell for hook line and sinker when we first bought this house. It now houses all my knick knacks and collectables, not forgetting my Pablo Escobar pineapple ashtray which was gifted to me by the legend that is Barbara Hulanicki.

As I head towards my forties I’ve become a bit of a vase collector. It’s the new lightbox, letter board fad for me. I can’t get enough of them and can’t seem to leave a store without buying one. The brass one above is a previous season West Elm one.

The brass drinks trolley is a still a favourite piece, which i’m reluctant to move out of the lounge even though our soon to be baby will be toddling around here.

(Our drinks trolley is sold out but West Elm do similar style ones).

Solid brass candlesticks are antique; Vases are from   Homesense   ;  Faux flowers are from   Homesense;       Brass plant pot     is from     H&M   .    Black Mirror   from   Wayfair    .

Solid brass candlesticks are antique; Vases are from Homesense; Faux flowers are from Homesense; Brass plant pot is from H&M. Black Mirror from Wayfair .

Plants and art; my two favourite things to pad out and accessorize a room. My tips when buying art is to really love it. Think about the longevity and don’t be afraid to move pieces around the house to give them a new lease of life. And regarding plants, choose ones which are easy to maintain and less hard to kill. Cheese plants aka Monstera deliciosa and Mothers tongue house plants need little watering and thrive in dark moody lounges like mine.

And a lounge can never have enough side tables. Especially now our baby needs the maximum floor space to crawl around. I chose the gorgeous brass martini table by West Elm for its timeless look, plus I love the huge dose of metallic in this room. (Its also light enough to move around depending on who needs a table.

And that’s it for our lounge refresh. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the pieces I chose and how I’ve styled them in our home. Please feel free to leave me a comment below. I’m off to go plan the next room thats in need of a little refresh!

West Elm Source list - Drake Green velvet sofa £999, West Elm ; Staggered glass floor lamp £199, West Elm; Martini side table in brass £159, West Elm; Distressed Arabesque Wool Rug - Steel £449, From West Elm.

This room refresh 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.

OUR SIMBA MATTRESS REVIEW (AFTER 2 WEEKS OF SLEEP)

I’m not the best sleeper. Okay, maybe that’s a lie. I used to sleep great. The years before we had a tiny human, I used to sleep for 8 hours solid a night. Now I’m lucky if I can get six uninterrupted hours in. So when Simba Sleep asked me if I would like to road test their hybrid mattress I jumped at the chance. Anything to help improve the quality of those six hours, right?

I decided it would be best to have the mattress in our guest bedroom. This is the room that Otis and I (our tiny human) co-sleep in when he’s having a bad night. Meaning, that hopefully all three of us will sleep soundly while still under the same roof.

Simba Mattress Review

So my first impression of the Simba Mattress is it comes in a box, which was unexpected for a mattress as it’s been vacuum packed within an inch of its life, so that this Double mattress can fit neatly into a reasonable sized box. This means if you happen to live in a house which has low head height on the stairs, and you struggle to get a mattress up them, then this is the mattress for you.

Once we took the mattress out of the box and took it out of the vacuum wrapper, the mattress started taking shape pretty quickly and expanding. They say to leave it for 3-6 hours to expand, and 72 hours to completely inflate, but for us within 3 hours it was looking like a deep comfy mattress ready to sleep on.

Now first thing I need to mention which I also didn’t know about Simba Sleep, is that they offer all of their customers a 100 night sleep trial. Which means if you don’t think it’s the perfect match, you can return it at any point within the 100 first nights, and they’ll even collect it for you. You can’t argue with that.

And Simba Sleep also offer a free service to remove your old mattress when they deliver your new one. I mean, thats super handy. Especially for a knackered mum like me, who doesn’t have a big enough car to take ours to the local recycling centre.

Simba Mattress Review

Now the non important stuff that comes with having a new mattress. The look. I say that because let’s get real. We all cover our mattresses anyway with pretty sheets and covers. So does it really matter what a mattress looks like? Well, actually it does matter. To me anyway. Have you ever felt ashamed if your guest was to strip the bed and see what they were sleeping on? As far as mattress’ go, the Simba sleep Hybrid Mattress looks pretty easy on the eye for a design obsessive like me. It has a zip-off, washable and hypoallergenic sleep surface cover which is soft to the touch and easy to clean. It’s blue zip and branding logo against the white quilted top of the cover and grey base are a match made in design heaven. And it looks pretty at home here in my Green spare bedroom.

Simba Mattress Review

So the important stuff -like what it’s like to actually sleep on. Well its its super comfortable. Being a responsive memory foam mattress I was worried I could get hot, but the cooling comfort layer is designed to tackle overheating and give you extra support. It also has conical springs to cradle your body from top to toe and minimise disturbance between couples. And the durable base has been engineered to give you pressure relieving support in all the right places. And I think I mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again. The cover can come off and be machine washed!

Simba Mattress Review

The verdict. The mattress is firm, but supportive in all the right places, and my body feels rested by the morning (well. as much as it can with a 8 month old baby). And as for thinking I would get hot. Even with the heating on, I sleep like a baby and wake up feeling cool and comfortable.

Would I recommend this product? I certainly would.

And if you’re in the market for a new mattress, Simba Sleep are offering you £75 off your mattress, by signing up with the Affiliate link here.

Simba sleep Hybrid mattress Review
Simba sleep mattress box which contains a double.

Simba sleep mattress box which contains a double.

And here’s a little video which my tiny human and I made. Because we couldn’t help but have a bit of fun with the branding. Just look how happy he is…

This Simba Sleep hybrid Mattress was gifted to me by Simba Sleep which makes this an #Ad. No money was taken to review the mattress. All views and opinions are 100% my own. I genuinely would recommend this product.

MY GUEST BEDROOM REFRESH WITH WEST ELM

Well hello there 2019. I hope you all had a lovely break and are all feeling rested. Now let’s get back to business.

I’m kicking off the new year off with a new bedroom revamp in the form of our guest bedroom. This is also my third collaboration with the wonderful West Elm who have become my go to favourite furniture brand.

This room was my ‘monica cupboard’ for years. A dumping ground for tools and old clothes. But 8 months ago with the impending arrival of baby Otis and spurred on by crazy wild hormones, I decided to paint our spare room in 30 degree heat, while also 40 weeks pregnant. The result was a haven of green painted walls with accents of metallic brass pops. The only problem was it lacked a little bit of love in the soft accessory department and I had never given it the time or attention to treat it to new bedding, luscious lamps and cosy cushions. Until now. Well, with a little help from West Elm that is.

I’ve started by re using my gorgeous West Elm penelope bedside tables in here (you might have seen them in my master bedroom update), as we can finally use two bedside tables instead of the single one that would only fit on one side of the bed previously. This room isn’t that big. Its big enough for a double bed, small bedside tables, chest of drawers and a desk. But that’s kind of it at a squeeze.

So here’s how I gave it a fresh update for our forthcoming guests in 2019….

The bedding is the main talking point of this room, and is what I think now gives this room a wow factor. Previously it has plain white cotton bedding which was lack luster and dull. I chose the West Elm washed cotton duvet cover and matching pillow cases in Regal Blue. That old saying about not seeing Blue and green together is so old fashioned and goes against everything I stand for. These colours should very much be seen together, and by using colourful bedding that matches with your walls, adds drama and more depth to any bedroom.

I also used a crinkle velvet duvet cover in Golden oaks from West Elm to layer between the cover, to break up the bold regal blue. I also used a waffle throw in horseradish from West Elm to add more layers and to style the bedroom.

I was inspired by a lounge image I saw which had reverse colours. Teal walls with a green sofa, and I knew immediately that this was the look I wanted to achieve in here.

No bedroom styling is complete without an array of plump cushions. I’m into the eclectic look, so I deliberately chose different cushions which would compliment each other, but weren’t too matchy matchy. I chose a Mongolian lamb cushion to mix up with a round velvet cushion in Green gables.

I wanted to inject a new highlight colour into the room and decided on this gorgeous bright horseradish tone. i used it in the extra crinkle bedding in the golden oak tone, and also in the brighter waffle throw, and also in the West Elm alloy distressed rug which has hints of the golden tone with a neutral base.

I managed to even pick up a fake hydrangea in Homesense in a golden tone which also compliments these golden pops. You’ll spot him in one of the vases on the fireplace mantle.

Now let’s talk about lighting. I have a penchant for a good lamp, and when the evenings draw in I much prefer lamp lighting than main ceiling lights so it was important that this room also had bedside lights to cosy up the room for our guests.

I chose the the West Elm Green Metalized Glass table lamp which also has the handy feature of having a USB port in the back for those phone chargers, making the amount of leads less messy on their night stand. Gosh, I’m so considerate.

It also has a metallic brass base which is my metal colour of choice across my home.

My second lamp comes in the form of a Tala lamp. This little Obla oak touch lamp is a little piece of magic which has three different dimming settings. Now this isn’t from West Elm, but it was gifted to me by Tala who actually sell their beautiful bulbs on the West Elm UK site. I was lucky enough to visit the Tala head office this christmas with the West Elm team to see their efficial, super efficient workspace and learn about their recycled glass and how they’re doing everything they can to re plant trees each year for global conservation. Not only are they doing their bit for sustainability, but they’re also creating beautiful lamps.

And that’s it for my guest bedroom refresh. I’d love to know your thoughts on the pieces that I chose from West Elm. Do feel free to leave a comment below. Our guest room is now all ready for our first guests of 2019.

Product list - Crinkle Velvet Duvet Cover + Pillowcases - Golden Oaks £149 from West Elm; Washed Cotton Lustre Velvet Duvet Cover + Pillowcases - Regal Blue £149 from West Elm; Metalized Glass Table Lamp + USB - Small (Green) £99 from West Elm; Mongolian Lamb Cushion Covers in teal £69 from West Elm, Round Lush Velvet Cushions in Green gables £39 from West Elm; Penelope Bedside Table £349 from West Elm; Agate Bookends in green £24 (each) from West Elm; Alloy Distressed Rug £499 from West Elm; Bed (Old); Waffle Weave Throw in horseradish £39 from West Elm; Obla Oak touch lamp £155 from Tala; White chest of drawers from John lewis (Old).


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

CHRISTMAS IN HOUSE LUST

Happy December guys! I’ve withheld long enough, it’s time to go all christmassy on you and unleash the christmas decorations.

This year with the change in having a six month old baby who’s already doing 360 degree turns and is adamant about touching, not to mention gumming everything in sight, we thought it was best to leave the beautiful glass baubles packed away for another year, or century. This years key buzzword is SHATTERPROOF! So when Christmas Time UK got in touch and asked if I wanted to work with them this christmas, I thought it made complete sense to start again and try a new christmas colour scheme.

This year we’re shying away from *tradition* and we’re going all out on bright, playful colour. Plus, a lot of our house is painted in a dark inky navy (Farrow and Ball railings), so the pops of colour really stand out against our dark walls. I hope you like it as much as we do.

Here’s our little christmas house tour..

First lets make an entrance…. I chose the gorgeous circus door wreath from Christmas Time UK as it was fun and colourful and makes a real statement before you’ve even entered the house. The mix of glitter, shiny baubles and gold glitter ribbons mixed with pinecones gives a classic door wreath a modern look.

This year I wanted to experiment with the decorations so I have shown you two different looks in how to decorate your fireplace and staircase.

To create the rainbow christmas tree…

Let’s start with the our rainbow Christmas tree, as this features in both lounge looks.

Rainbow christmas tree
Rainbow christmas tree

I created the Rainbow christmas tree using all Christmas Time UK shatterproof plastic baubles.

I started decorating by first layering the tree with green cabled fairy lights. I don’t like anything too bright so I used a set of 200 warm lights from Wilko which I had from last year. I then started decorating the tree by starting at the bottom and working my way up to the top.

The bottom layer was all about PINK! I used Fuchsia Fashion Trend Shatterproof Baubles in size 40mm, Luxury Cerise Pink Shiny Finish Shatterproof Bauble Range in size 60mm, Luxury Cerise Pink Shiny Finish Shatterproof Bauble in size 80mm , Trio Of Shiny Pink Seamless Shatterproof Baubles - 65mm and Pearlised Pink Shatterproof Baubles 40mm.

The purple layer has a mixture of Purple Mixed Finish Shatterproof Baubles in size 30mm and Luxury Purple Shiny Finish Shatterproof Bauble Range in size 60mm

The blues- Blue Glitter Shatterproof in size 60m and then Aqua Turquoise Glitter Shatterproof Xmas Baubles in size 60mm.

The greens Emerald Green Fashion Trend Shatterproof Baubles in size 40mm and Green Glitter Shatterproof Xmas Baubles in size 60mm Lime  with a mix of  Emerald Green Glitter Shatterproof Xmas Baubles in size 60mm and Green UV Protected Shatterproof Baubles - Pack of 6 x 80mm £7.50 ; Luxury Lime Green Satin Finish Shatterproof Baubles in size 40mm.

Then the top has Copper Orange Glitter Shatterproof Xmas Baubles in size 60mm £8.50; Pearlised Pink Shatterproof Baubles - 18 x 40mm

All honeycomb, baubles and   over sized baubles   are all from Christmas Time UK. The goil foil tassel garland is from   Wilko  .

All honeycomb, baubles and over sized baubles are all from Christmas Time UK. The goil foil tassel garland is from Wilko.

The first fireplace look I created was created using large oversized baubles from Christmas Time UK and large honeycomb christmas decorations. What’s super lovely is my nan used to use decorations just like this back in the 1960’s before foil decorations were all the rage, so it’s lovely to bring that nostalgia back.

To create the fireplace Mantle Garland….

For the 2nd fireplace look I covered the mantle in 3 x lots of faux Snowy pine cone garland from The range which were £14.99 each. I loved how authentic they looked and I also mixed in one garland of snowey missletoe from The range at £10.99. I then used Luxury Aqua Turquoise Shiny Finish Shatterproof Bauble Range from Christmas Time UK to layer into the garland to give it a hint of colour.

s   nowy pine cone garland   (faux) from The range £14.99;   Luxury Aqua Turquoise Shiny Finish Shatterproof Bauble Range   - Pack of 6 x 80mm £6 From   Christmas Time UK;     candle sticks are antique.

snowy pine cone garland (faux) from The range £14.99; Luxury Aqua Turquoise Shiny Finish Shatterproof Bauble Range - Pack of 6 x 80mm £6 From Christmas Time UK; candle sticks are antique.

Personalised Santa sacks   are from   Love struck interiors  . Prices range from £15-20 each;   Snowy pine cone garland   (faux) from The range £14.99;   Luxury Aqua Turquoise Shiny Finish Shatterproof Bauble Range   - Pack of 6 x 80mm £6 From   Christmas Time UK;     candle sticks are antique.

Personalised Santa sacks are from Love struck interiors. Prices range from £15-20 each; Snowy pine cone garland (faux) from The range £14.99; Luxury Aqua Turquoise Shiny Finish Shatterproof Bauble Range - Pack of 6 x 80mm £6 From Christmas Time UK; candle sticks are antique.

Personalised Santa sacks   are from   Love struck interiors  . Prices range from £15-20 each.

Personalised Santa sacks are from Love struck interiors. Prices range from £15-20 each.

This year I also tried out two looks on our staircase. The first was going all out bright and colourful with a selection of honeycomb decorations from Christmas Time UK. I mixed a range of 30cm, 20cm and 10cm honeycombs in shades of purple, pink, red and navy to create the below look.

I also used a faux pinecone garland from John Lewis and some battery mouldable warm lights from wilko to wrap around the banister to give it a more festive feel.

All honeycomb decorations are from   Christmas Time UK  .

All honeycomb decorations are from Christmas Time UK.

For my second christmas banister look I decided to use the navy honeycomb decorations from Christmas Time Uk with the same garland and mouldable fairylights, but this time I mixed them with a selection of gold paper decorations from Amazon.

Navy and Gold christmas decorations

Both looks are bold, but for me the navy and gold just feels more christmassy so this is the look that is staying.

How will you be styling your home this christmas? I’d love to hear your thoughts on what I’ve done.

Source List - All of the baubles are from Christmas Time UK

Fuchsia Fashion Trend Shatterproof Baubles - £3 Pack Of 16 x 40mm; Emerald Green Fashion Trend Shatterproof Baubles - £3 Pack Of 16 x 40mm ; Purple Mixed Finish Shatterproof Baubles - £4.75 24 X 30mm; Luxury Cerise Pink Shiny Finish Shatterproof Bauble Range - Pack of 18 x 60mm £10; Luxury Purple Shiny Finish Shatterproof Bauble Range - £10 Pack of 18 x 60mm; Luxury Cerise Pink Shiny Finish Shatterproof Bauble Range - £10 Pack of 6 x 80mm; Blue Glitter Shatterproof Pack of 18 x 60m £8.50; Aqua Turquoise Glitter Shatterproof Xmas Baubles - Pack of 18 x 60mm £8.50; Green Glitter Shatterproof Xmas Baubles - Pack of 18 x 60mm Lime £8.50 ;  Emerald Green Glitter Shatterproof Xmas Baubles - Pack of 18 x 60mm £8.50 ; Trio Of Shiny Pink Seamless Shatterproof Baubles - 65mm £6; Copper Orange Glitter Shatterproof Xmas Baubles - Pack of 18 x 60mm £8.50; Green UV Protected Shatterproof Baubles - Pack of 6 x 80mm £7.50; Pearlised Pink Shatterproof Baubles - 18 x 40mm £5; Luxury Lime Green Satin Finish Shatterproof Baubles - Pack of 18 x 40mm £7; Luxury Aqua Turquoise Shiny Finish Shatterproof Bauble Range - Pack of 6 x 80mm £6; Luxury Electric Blue Shiny Finish Shatterproof Bauble Range - Pack of 6 x 80mm £6.

Circus Christmas Room Decoration Collection - Door wreath - From Christmas Time UK £30.

The Honey comb decorations are all from Christmas Time UK- Blue Flame Resistant Honeycomb Paper Ball Hanging Decoration - 20cm £3.50 each; Purple Flame Resistant Honeycomb Paper Ball Hanging Decoration - 20cm £3.50 each ; Light Blue Flame Resistant Honeycomb Paper Ball Hanging Decoration - 20cm; Green Flame Resistant Honeycomb Paper Ball Hanging Decoration - 20cm £3.50; Green Flame Resistant Honeycomb Paper Ball Hanging Decoration - 30cm £6; Purple Flame Resistant Honeycomb Paper Ball Hanging Decoration - 30cm; Blue Flame Resistant Honeycomb Paper Ball Hanging Decoration - 30cm £6.

Large oversized baubles are all from Christmas Time UK.

Personalised Santa sacks are from Love struck interiors. Prices range from £15-20 each.

This blog post was sponsored by Christmas Time UK. Even though all the baubles were gifted to me, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. I wouldn’t recommend anything I didn’t use and love.

*** AND IF YOU SPEND OVER £50 AT CHRISTMAS TIME UK, THEY WILL GIVE YOU 10% OFF WITH CODE 10OFF***

MY DINING TABLE UPDATE WITH WEST ELM

I thought it was about time our lovely concrete top dining table finally saw some dinner party action since we had Otis, so last weekend we threw a diner party for some of our friends and American family in celebration of thanksgiving, aka our friends giving feast. And not only that, for the occasion I worked up with my favourite American brand West Elm for our second collaboration, to decorate our already owned West Elm Tower dining table in their lovely dinnerware plates, glasses and accessories.

It certainly gave me all the hostess with the mostess vibes.

Tower concrete top dining table    £899 , West Elm;   Orion Blue rug   £499, West Elm.   Blue frame wire dining chair   £199, West Elm.   Round velvet cushion     £39 on the chair from West Elm.

Tower concrete top dining table £899, West Elm; Orion Blue rug £499, West Elm. Blue frame wire dining chair £199, West Elm. Round velvet cushion £39 on the chair from West Elm.

Orion rug   £499 from West Elm.

Orion rug £499 from West Elm.

I rarely snap this room. Mostly because I hate the ugly UPVC doors which are in the back of the room, but I suppose they’re not so bad, and I bet you didn’t even notice them from looking at all the shiny bits on the table. So let’s talk about those items, and how West Elm helped me make this our most memorable dinner party to date.

I chose the organic washed cotton runner and napkins in Graphite to set the tone and then layered the West Elm 5 pc brass cutlery set for each person.

I personally think the brass pops lovely against the dark grey and they also contrast great with the grey concrete table top, while still picking up the hints of brass on the table legs. Oh yea, this dining table even has brass legs.

Being an all white dining table, it means I can really have fun with the highlight colours switching between blues and greys, and the Orion rug from West Elm, really helped pull all the colours of the dining room chairs and linen all together.

Organic washed cotton runner     £19 from West Elm,   Organic washed cotton napkins   £4 each from West Elm.   Half circle metal vase   £49, West Elm

Organic washed cotton runner £19 from West Elm, Organic washed cotton napkins £4 each from West Elm. Half circle metal vase £49, West Elm

I then chose the West Elm Metallic charger plates as the base for the plate layering. I love a charger plate. They’re so much more sophisticated than any placemat, and not only are they decorative but they’re also great at stopping the heat mark your dining table. I then chose the reactive glaze dinner plates and pasta bowls and the gorgeous West Elm constellation salad plate as a middle layer plate for the 3 courses. This little plate was a real hit due to its striking design as its a work of art in itself.

We chose to to do a self serve menu using the reactive glaze large platters to hold the different courses. And it was all about the glassware for this table setting and the stunning agate blue/ gold coasters bought a touch of luxury, so I chose the stemless water and shorter wine glasses. These glasses are beautifully edged with metallic gold around the rims so these pull on the pops of brass from the metallic chargers and cutlery.

Reactive Glaze dinner plate   £12 each from West Elm.   Reactive glaze pasta bowl   £12 from West Elm.

Reactive Glaze dinner plate £12 each from West Elm. Reactive glaze pasta bowl £12 from West Elm.

Our brass drinks trolley was purchased years ago and this was great to hold all our alcohol and to be a little self serve drinks station, I chose the West Elm brass wine cooler and icebucket to compliment the drinks trolley, and I already owned the West Elm Deco brass barware collection for mixing up cocktails and shorts. It’s these details that add glamour and sophistication to any dinner party/ christmas table and we’ll certainly be using them over the coming months as we entertain guests for Christmas drinks.

Reactive glaze dinner plate   £12, West Elm;   Metallic charger plate   £29 each, West Elm.

Reactive glaze dinner plate £12, West Elm; Metallic charger plate £29 each, West Elm.

Brass wine cooler    £49  from West Elm

Brass wine cooler £49 from West Elm

The centre of the dining table was decorated using the West Elm Half circle metal vase in brass. The flowers are artificial sprayed gold from John Lewischristmas decoration range and I also chose the West elm large and medium Modern Brass candle holders and the Large glass hurricane which is also in brass, so it all tied together nicely. I love layering candles and using different height candle sticks and hurricanes. It definitely gives the table decor more dimension and makes things more interesting.

Mongolian lamb cushion 41cm x 41cm   £69 from West Elm. Orion

Mongolian lamb cushion 41cm x 41cm £69 from West Elm. Orion

The red wine was decanted into the West Elm glass wine holder with wooden stopper, which prettied up the table, and the great thing about this holder is it can hold two bottles of wine, which is always a win win with me.

Brass ice bucket   £69, from West Elm.

Brass ice bucket £69, from West Elm.

Orion Rug   £499,  from West Elm,   Tower dining table   £899 from West Elm.   Grey Lenox dining chair    £249 from west Elm

Orion Rug £499, from West Elm, Tower dining table £899 from West Elm. Grey Lenox dining chair £249 from west Elm

We bought our West Elm Tower dining table and dining chairs last year as an investment purchase, and they were worth every penny. At first I was scared about how to treat the concrete top, but after it arrived we soon realised that the concrete had already been pre treated, so it was ready to go and nothing (so far) has ever penetrated through into the concrete. Basically what I’m trying to say in a not so fancy way is, you can just wipe any mark or spot of grease/ dirt off and it never marks it, so it’s still really practical and looks really nice too.

Blue Reactive glaze vase   £79 from West Elm;   Brass ice bucket   £69, from West Elm;   Brass wine cooler    £49  from West Elm

Blue Reactive glaze vase £79 from West Elm; Brass ice bucket £69, from West Elm; Brass wine cooler £49 from West Elm

Blue Reactive glaze vase   £79 from West Elm. Drinks Trolley old Marks and spencer. West Elm do similar;   Deco barware set   £79, West Elm

Blue Reactive glaze vase £79 from West Elm. Drinks Trolley old Marks and spencer. West Elm do similar; Deco barware set £79, West Elm

And lastly the menu, because no dinner party is complete without talking about the food. We did camembert rigatoni pasta to start, a Italian salad with panettone croutons and a beef wellington for our main. Desert was my signature chocolate mousse and coffees to finish. All accompanied by all the drinks! My favourite Chablis for the white wine drinkers, a Rioja for the red and of course, plenty of prosecco. Chin Chin.

Constellation salad plate £12   each from West Elm.   Agate blue/ gold coasters   £64 for a set of 4 from West Elm.

Constellation salad plate £12 each from West Elm. Agate blue/ gold coasters £64 for a set of 4 from West Elm.

This dinner party has got me all excited for Christmas now. What did you think of my table setting, I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas on how to revise this for Christmas.

Source list - Constellation salad plate £12 each , West Elm; Gold Cutlery set 5 pcs £34, West Elm, Large Oval platter £39, West Elm; Reactive Glaze pasta bowl £12 each, West Elm; Reactive glaze dinner plate £12, West Elm; Organic washed cotton table runner £19, West Elm; Organic washed cotton napkins £4 each, West Elm; Modern Brass candle holders from £32, West Elm; Tower dining table £899, West Elm; Lenox grey dining chair £249, West Elm; Wire frame dining chair £199, West Elm; Orion blue Rug £499, West Elm, Stemless glassware - Water glass £7 each, West Elm; Stemless wine glass £7, West Elm; Glass wine bottle with wooden stopper £34, West Elm; Gables large round velvet cushion £39 from West Elm; Large glass hurricane £59, West Elm; Hipped Glassware £6 each, West Elm; Agate Coasters £64 for a set of 4, West Elm; Chelsea brass Ice bucket £69, West Elm; Chelsea brass wine cooler £49, West Elm; Deco barware set £79, West Elm; Reactive Glaze large vase £79, West Elm; Half circle metal vase £49, West Elm; Metallic charger plate £29 each, West Elm; Mongolian lamb cushion 41cm x 41cm £69 from West Elm; Blue Reactive glaze vase £79 from West Elm; Hayle large round mirror in champagne £199, Select mirrors; Brass drinks trolley, Old Marks and Spencer; 3 Industrial pendant lights £69 each, Industville; Paper honey comb decorations from Christmas Time UK.


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. Thank you West Elm for making for making my dinner party of dreams come true.

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