home decor

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Isn't it starting to feel like winter will never end? The Christmas decorations are gone and the house is feeling a bit blah. So I've been thinking about how I can cheer up the house, and I think some pastel kitchen accessories, glassware and tableware would help bring some spring into my house.

1. Pink Tablecloth - I love a tablecloth, and have one or two for each season. I had to throw a couple away recently because my children are animals and they wreck everything. So I prefer to buy inexpensive ones that are pretty but that I don't care too much about ruining. I love this blush pink, with the grey stripes on the edge keeping it from looking too girlie.

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Laura Ashley Has Me Thinking of Spring

Last week I headed to Chelsea to the Laura Ashley head office for their spring/summer17 preview. One of my favourite parts of blogging is getting to go look at lovely fashion and interiors. And I love Laura Ashley. I'm not overly girly, but I do enjoy florals and pinks. If I wasn't married and living with mucky children, I can imagine living somewhere full of flowery wallpaper, a pink armchair with candles all around. Hmmm.

For now, I am making do with lovely accents. I was especially taken with the blush. Even Husband can't argue with a little bit of light pink. And team it with grey for a cool, Scandi vibe. Speaking of grey, I saw some grey candles that looked fab. And only when I got close did I realise that they weren't real. Perfect when you have small children and you don't want to worry about them burning themselves.

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A Place To Write

I've been blogging for three years now, and until a couple of weeks ago I didn't have a proper place to write. We have a desk in the guest room, but as we've only renovated our ground floor, I don't like to be upstairs for too long (rest-of-house renovations should be happening in the next few months!!). So I have been writing on my laptop - on the sofa or at the dining table, which often isn't that comfortable. And obviously it isn't great, ergonomically-speaking. So I was beyond excited when my new desk arrived from Kit Out My Office.

First, I shuffled the living room around (I do this a few times a year anyway, to Husband's dismay) to make room for the desk. Then I kindly left the box that the desk arrived in for Husband to find. I am such a considerate wife, I know. Anyway, Husband put the desk together quite easily and I had an office space in less than an hour.

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Summertime in my Living Room

Now that the days are longer and the weather is (slightly) warmer, I've been trying to make the house feel less wintery and more summery. I've gotten new bed sheets, a new tablecloth and new dining chairs. But now my thoughts have turned to the living room. And I'm thinking of ways to make it lighter and brighter. Obviously there are lots of little touches I can make, but I'm also daydreaming of some big changes I can make.

I am desperate for a new sofa. Although we bought a new one when we renovated the living room, almost two years ago, it isn't that comfortable anymore. Plus the legs have never been that stable. Ugh. But I have seen some lovely leather sofas. The top right grey sofa, from Fishpools, looks so soft. And don't think me crazy for having my eye on a white sofa, but that corner sofa is so pretty. Corner sofas are so good for cuddling. And surely there is only a small chance that my son will write on it in permanent marker. Right? The sofa does come in other colours for people who are more practical.

I'll probably have to be more realistic, and will have to skip a new leather sofa and get some lovely accessories instead. I love cushions, and these coral-red bird cushions are fab. Not only are they bright, but they would work well throughout the summer and into winter. Another item that would work well all year long, are these copper vases. These are absolutely gorgeous and I think two or three displayed together would add quite the wow factor.

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AW16 Home and Fashion at House of Fraser

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to the House of Fraser autumn/winter 2016 press day. It is such fun seeing what is going to be in the shops and online in July/August. House of Fraser have really made me want the spring/summer to end. First, let's start with the fashion. There were so many gorgeous knits - all in an array of colours: grey, navy, pink, yellow, camel and burgundy. There was suede and lace and fur and leather. Oh my! Autumn/winter is my favourite fashion season, and I am dying to wear some of these beautiful, and cosy, things.

AW16 Home and Fashion at House of Fraser

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Updating the Kitchen with New Dining Chairs

I have slowly been decorating my house in a mid-century modern style. Slowly, because when we bought this house just over three years ago, we were faced with a huge amount of renovations. We haven't had the money to fix everything right away, so we have tackled the major rooms. The kitchen/diner was the first project. And I was happy with what we accomplished with such a small space. But I have been unhappy with the dining chairs for a while now. So when Lakeland Furniture asked me to choose some furniture from their website, I was thrilled to pick out some new chairs.

Our previous chairs had started out as lovely. I had sourced some fab original G-plan chairs, which I had upholstered in green to match the other green bits in the kitchen. I had only managed to find four, which meant that every time we have guests, we have to bring out some stools. Also, the chairs were never that comfortable. Plus, Dubz has drawn on them (and there were a couple of wees when he was potty training, eek). The chairs looked nice when we first got them (pics below right), but three years later and they were looking grubby (picture below left).

Mid-century Modern Dining Chairs

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After we had our living room renovated two years ago, we bought a new sofa to make the room feeling even new. We had previously had a leather sofa, but wanted something smaller and less bulky. But we still wanted plenty of room for sitting. We found the three-seater fabric sofa above and were thrilled. Once the sofa arrived, the living room felt 'complete'.

But lately I have been having serious feelings of dissatisfaction towards the living room. It just didn't feel right. So I decided to re-arrange our living room (I say 'we' but Husband did the heavy lifting while I managed). The main part of this re-organisation is the sofa. I liked that the sofa was the first thing to catch your eye upon entering the living room. But the room did not feel right. It did not feel cosy. I realised that the sofa was critical in making the living room feel homey.

We moved the sofa to the wall closest to the door (we didn't have the option of too many walls due to a window on one wall and the telly and its cables/wires on another). We have spread the furniture around the room. I have also reduced the amount of toys we keep in our two green baskets as they were overflowing. The baskets now fit on the bottom two shelves of the cabinet which helps make the room feel less cluttered. Part of the issue has been that our fabric sofa looks a bit tired. In hindsight I feel that leather sofas are so much better if you have young children (easy to clean and don't look so sad and rumpled quickly).

And I am so pleased with the way my living room now looks. The sofa makes so much more sense on the side wall. I no longer feel like all the seating is pointed at the television. The furniture is distributed more evenly around the room rather than being on just one wall. So how do you like my 'new' living room?

Is Your Sofa The Heart of Your Living RoomIMG_9897IMG_9650IMG_9665IMG_9657IMG_9678

 

 

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My Guest Bathroom MakeoverWe bought our home about two and a half years ago, and the only reason we could afford to buy in our area is because the house was mostly a wreck. The only room that didn't need major work is the ensuite bathroom in the loft conversion. As it is the guest room, and on the second floor, we do not use this bathroom very often. But every once in a while I go up there and look at it in dismay. It is just not to my taste. It is so beige and blah. So I decided to see if I could give it a mini-makeover for just £70.

BEFORE:

My Guest Bathroom Makeover

As you can see, the bathroom is quite neutral. Unfortunately, I am not a fan of cream. I like things white and bright. And I prefer things squarer shapes. And look at that sad, and dying, plant. Ugh. It's not the nicest bathroom for guests. The main problem with this bathroom is that there isn't a bath screen on the tub. It's fine if you are having a bath, but most guests have showers which makes the bathroom very wet. So we decided to install a bath screen and add some nice accessories. We can't afford to do anything about the tiles, but I have tried to brighten up the room.

AFTER:

My Guest Bathroom MakeoverMy Guest Bathroom MakeoverMy Guest Bathroom Makeover My Guest Bathroom MakeoverMy Guest Bathroom Makeover

My Guest Bathroom MakeoverThere is quite a bit of green sprinkled throughout the house, and I wanted to bathroom to also have green accents. I replaced the tiny blue bathmat for a large green mat from Ikea. It is super soft, and was a bargain at £5.99. I popped into my local Homebase last week and found a lovely little plant to cheer up the ledge. I had an old green pot that wasn't being used. While at Homebase, I also picked up some fluffy white hand towels. I love white towels. It might not sound practical, but I do.

Last, but certainly not least, we put in a bath screen. I had expected the screen to be much more expensive than it was. It was priced at £54.99, but is now on sale for £43.99. It looks to be of a very good quality. The screen arrived last week and Husband (who works in an office but likes to give DIY his best) put it up on Saturday without any problems. The bathroom looks so much better now. I wish we had done our mini-makeover sooner. What do you think?

 

We were reimbursed by Homebase for our purchases, but all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

 

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Modern living room by Clorofilia

Ooh, this living room. Isn't it gorgeous? I've been scouring the internet for home decor ideas for my living room, and I thought I would share some of my favourites. We bought our current house two and a half years ago, and in that time we have renovated about one-third of it. But even the rooms that have been done, like the kitchen/diner and the living room, are not finished. You see, I'm a bit indecisive. So the house is taking even longer to be styled than they were to be renovated.

I have an eclectic style. I love modern but I also love vintage. Husband loves all things modern. We decided on a mid-century modern theme for this house. Some things are old, some are new. But everything is functional, and works well for a family with young children. The furniture is solid. Hard-wood floors can be mopped and cleaned easily. We are keeping things more minimal than we'd like (less furniture to climb), but as the children get older then we can update the look. I love grey and yellow and brown and pink and green. These are the colours that I am trying to weave around the house.

I adore the look of a feature art wall. We have several framed art prints that we are holding onto until we have a decent amount to display on the wall. They add such flair to any room, but I want one for our living room. And I would like to get a monochrome rug for the living room floor. Monochrome looks gorgeous in a modern room, but then so does bright colour. And it looks lovely to incorporate both. Do you have any tips for a fabulous modern living room? Do you use any accent colours in your home? How do you feel about an art feature wall?

Sundown, Widemouth Bay, Cornwall : Modern living room by The Bazeley Partnership
Limit : Modern living room by Prestigious Textiles
Amazing 1930s house transformation : Modern living room by Holland and Green

 

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You know how it's almost Christmas, and I should be buying presents for all the people I care about? Well, I'm more than halfway done. But sometimes I get distracted. And then I get myself a present. Accidentally. Although, if you get something for the house, then it's a gift for the entire family. Technically.

Christmas shopping for me

Case in point, these cheetah bookends. I mean, come on! How gorgeous are these?! I am slowly (VERY SLOWLY, according to Husband) decorating our home, which we are in the process of renovating. And I thought these ceramic bookends were so gorgeous and stylish. But they look even more amazing in real life. I found them on StreetHub, which is is an online retailer that feature loads of independent shops. So instead of going to several shops looking for that unique item, you can look online.

The bookends are from Rigby & Mac in East Dulwich.  I do not have the time, or inclination, to drive around London and scour eBay looking for bookends, so I'm pleased to have found this website. I visit charity shops and vintage fairs, but sometimes it is so frustrating spending so much time shopping without finding the item you want. Where do you shop for your home? Where do you source unique items from?

Christmas shopping for me Christmas shopping for me