Last week I had the chance to go to Grand Designs Live and hear from Kevin McCloud himself, along with his panel of experts over breakfast. After gushing slightly that Kevin was only metres away we got down to hearing more about the pursuit of eco-conscious design for the home. It was really interesting to hear the panel share their reasons why they felt it of upmost importance to build greener houses or take measures to make our existing homes more eco-friendly. It’s something I don’t think a great deal about usually and probably shrug off responsibility, excusing us because we rent but it was crazy to even hear how much money you can save on your energy bills in the long run from making changes!
National Tile Week is back for it’s second year, running all this week (10-17th April) and to celebrate there will be various events to focus our attention on the best of British design and manufacture when it comes to the once humble tile. Tiles have definitely seen a massive growth in popularity over the last couple of years and if Instagram is a barometer then you’ll have notice capturing your pretty shoes on an even prettier tiled floor has become ‘total Instagram goals’ and even developed it’s own hashtag.
Do you have a silent home? I don’t think I noticed quite how important it was to fill the space with music until we didn’t really have a means to do so. Nick essentially studied sound in his Music Studio Tech degree so with him came a quite decent set of speakers but they getting old and would have crackly moments that would inconveniently disrupt the flow of songs, not to mention they were HUGE! I tried to ignore what massive eyesores they were but when we moved we decided we just couldn’t make them work in our new space. We were after speakers that would seamlessly fit into our home decor without compromising on quality. That’s where Sonos came in to lend a helping hand!
I’ve been gradually revealing our new flat to you guys as we’ve conquered each room one by one. The last room to the party is our guest bedroom which is still a huge novelty. We’ve never had a guest room since being married, always living in one bed flats. This meant we couldn’t really offer people somewhere to stay unless they were keen to embrace the blow up mattress on the living room floor and those more open minded of our friends and family certainly did.
It’s been such a treat thinking through how to make this space welcoming to our potential guests and I even went a bit wild and added some colour into the space. By colour, we’re still only talking muted green and a dusty pink but that’s about my threshold in my own home. We’ve already had three lots of people to stay and make use of this room and it’s been so nice for them to have their own space and somewhere comfortable to rest their head, particularly for our friends visiting from Texas who were with us for a whole week.
I actually prefer this room to ours in terms of the windows, light and views but we decided to keep our bedroom on the ground floor, away from our studio workspace. That way we can keep that work / life separation we were after and an added joy is the bathroom is opposite our bedroom, perfect for my pregnant bladder and all those pesky trips to the toilet in the night. Anyway, bladders aside it’s been nice for guests to have a space to themselves upstairs, so we’re not all on top of each other. In fact my 4 month old nephew slept peacefully up in our guest bedroom while my brother and sister in law partied away downstairs at Nick’s 30th last Friday.
Our studio workspace is without doubt the most revolutionary addition to our lives since moving. Ever since I quite my job and started my business full time I’ve been working from the dining room table. I’m sure there are many out there that can empathise with this newbie struggle, although when I was doing it I felt like I was the only one who didn’t have a lovely designated workspace, or even just a desk!! In our old teeny or shall we say ‘cosy’ flat, we had to make the choice between a dining table or a desk for me. There honestly wasn’t room for both and with us really valuing having people into our home for meals, it wasn’t really a choice.
Hooray! This has been a long time coming but I’ve finally finished our living room, and shot and edited all the photos. Those of you that have been following along may know that we moved flat in November, leaving our one bed Victorian terrace flat behind and jumping ship to a two bed new build flat. If you’d asked me previously I would have said confidently that I never wanted to live in a new build. I loved the character of older houses and despite their constant upkeep issues I couldn’t fathom the idea of making a cosy, comfy home in a clinical looking block of flats where each interior was a generic copy of the one next door. That was until I saw our little gem. After being told Nick’s new job would be full time from home back in September, we knew we needed more space and so I casually had a peek online and seeing the flat listed I couldn’t believe it was for real, particularly as it wasn’t up for much more than we were currently paying. Surely they had one of those fancy camera lenses that fools you into thinking a place is double the size? On first hand inspection we realised it was 100% for real! We fell in instantly fell in love and set to work on the rather troublesome process of trying to break our previous contract and time the move right. Might I add that all the paperwork and background checks that comes as standard in the London rental market make you feel like you’re literally buying a house!
I’m becoming quite the collector of fluffy ‘stroke me’ cushions in our pad! I’m not sure how that happened but I’m sure you’ll agree it’s nice to break up a room by adding in some textures, particularly when most of the room is one colour, in my case all grey!
I think my DIY projects might be getting easier and easier folks!…or maybe I’m getting lazier and lazier? Even so, that means it’s much more tempting for you guys to have a go. This one takes all of about half an hour but looks the part, I’m sure you’ll agree. It’s so little work you could probably do it in your sleep and what’s even better is that you basically only need a jar lid, vinyl and and fish bowl!
Bathrooms are often neglected spaces. I don’t know about you but it’s usually the last place I give any attention in my home. As you’ll see below my bathroom was pretty bleak, particularly that very sad looking plant loitering in the corner! I recently decided to show my bathroom some love with the help of Habitat. I can’t go to great lengths transforming spaces in my flat as I rent but thankfully some simply additions and styling can give it the little lift it needs. Have a flick through my ugly before pictures and then see what I did with some products from Habitat.
Well June is never reliable for weather in the UK and this time round it’s proving its not so stunning reputation to be valid. One minute I’m putting sandals on the next, tights and a waterproof but regardless I always like June as its my birthday month and who doesn’t love a birthday.
Hi guys! That’s right, I’m bringing you another wood based DIY because as you can see I’m pretty pumped about discovering the best wood glue ever. There are yet more wood tutorials to come so hold off getting bored just a little bit longer! I promise to sprinkle some other ones in between.
If you’ve read my blog for a while you probably know that me and my husband are not home owners, shock horror! I used to believe the lie society likes to tell that you have to own a home before you even consider settling down. I found it very refreshing to move from suburbia to London and no longer feel that cultural pressure. London is so ‘out of this world’ expensive that there is no expectation that you’ll be buying yourself a pad any time soon, if ever. It’s fully acceptable to rent indefinitely even with…hold your horses, a family! Sure, if we had the enormous wad of cash needed for a deposit then it would make a lot of sense to hoist ourselves onto the property ladder but the expectation just isn’t there and for now we can take advantage of getting someone else to do and pay for the dirty work, with the freedom to move if our needs change at comparatively little expense.
I love where I live in Shepherd’s Bush but I have to say the area’s annoyingly slow on the uptake when it comes to cool and quirky cafes and eateries. Conveniently we live up the top end, bordering Chiswick which opens up an extensive array of options. If there’s somewhere new and exciting it’s nearly always near the High Road. I’d had my eye on what they were up to in the firestation for a while / stalked it a little on Insta (naturally), so when it came to opening week I was pumped to here there were still breakfast bookings and 50% off food! We took a very early, sunny morning walk to No197 Chiswick Firestation and spent the next hour and a half in a totally dreamy state.
The guys at Argos recently got in touch to see if I would share my top tips for choosing and styling a sofa and with updating our own sofas in the last year I have a little bit to say on the matter. Our home is totally open plan, bar a door for the bedroom and obviously the bathroom too. Our ‘hall’ kitchen, living room and dining room all flow into one another with no separation. This is a total bonus for a small or shall we say ‘cute’ flat like ours, giving the illusion of space, something you fight for in central London. This does however blur the boundaries between work and play for me as I set up shop in the dining room each day. Part of me likes not being shut away in another room but it does make it hard to clock off. All of this means we’re more deliberate with our living room area as we wanted it to be comfy and inviting with soft finishings and textures, nooks for cups of tea and space to store all our books for some time away from screens.
March is very nearly over but I’ve still managed to get in this month’s Styling The Seasons post. I actually shot this about 2 weeks ago but my heads been all over the place this month with work. Let’s just say it’s felt busy, but that’s how I feel most of the time so what’s new eh? I think that’s just life and we learn to have a threshold for more. Despite life being on the frantic side I’ve actually miraculously felt much more rested in the month of March. Nick and I have been keeping up our new bedtime habits which I’m sure has helped and the little blessing of the sun being up when my alarm goes off has done wonders! I’m always amazed at what a huge difference it makes.
Here’s a little slice of Sunday calm for you all. I’ve become increasingly doe eyed over the neutrals interior movement, craving a break from a harsher monochrome vibe to tones that are softer around the edges. I look at these images and instantly feel serene, conjuring up the idea of a soft, linen duvet in Summer (something I’ve only experienced on holidays I must confess). I love the addition of blush pinks, soft grey blues and the lightest of mint greens to lift the creams, whites and beiges. These muted hues marry perfectly together, giving enough contrast without all the drama.
Well we’re now in the full throws of January, back into routine and carting hot water bottles to bed feels less sparkly now the festive season is over. Thankfully I’ve broken back into things relatively gently which has made the transition much easier. It’s also given me a bit of space for planning, which involves some day dreaming and list making. I’m not the best planner past the month in hand. Thinking about the coming year as a whole seems overwhelming and in some ways scary to plan too much as so many things change over the course of time. I’m trying to have more of a framework for life and work though just to get a better sense of prioritising.
Hello!! I’m back from my little break and ready to crack on with some fun content for the new year! I don’t know about you but there’s something about the start of the year that sets me into full speed Spring cleaning mode! The appropriate season for the name never inspires quite the same amount of enthusiasm for the task as the transition between December and January. I felt like our flat was bulging at the seams before Christmas with any hint of order having been lost a couple of months prior. When I’m busy I get sloppy with organisation around the house and items that make there way into the home are shoved somewhere random to be dealt with later, ‘later’ being a fictional concept akin to unicorns and mermaids. Working from home adds to the amount we have to store with stock, postage tube rolls, papers, camera equipment, large background boards, endless props for styling etc etc. I think the big tell tale that something needed to be done was when I realised we’d spent 2 months carting a metre by a metre box full of tube rolls between our bedroom and the living room depending on when we had guests and when we needed to sleep. That along with my everyday technique of finding an outfit involving the release of my jumbled pile of creased clothes from the shelf into an enormous mountain on the floor (The ‘not so’ Lovely Drawer).
styling and images from Apartment Apothecary
I can’t believe it’s already day 5 of the 12 styled days of Christmas with West Elm. Hopefully you’re all enjoying a restful Saturday, perhaps even a cosy breakfast. If not then Katy from Apartment Apothecary is coming to the rescue to bring you some inspiration right away! I’m so happy to have her and that sharp styling eye of hers, onboard. She has a knack for pairing eclectic pieces as if they were made for each other and her soft colour palettes are oh so calm and soothing. Here’s Katy to tell you all about her Christmas table.
There’s a new DIY over on Sugar and Cloth for you guys to try out. This time it’s a patterned side table and it doesn’t involve any nails or screws (my kind of DIY). You can even mix things up and use it is a plant stand, why not eh? I’d like to mention at this point that the plant pictured no longer looks that green and I did in fact have to wheel it out to it’s grave today. Sad but unsurprising considering my track record with anything green. Oh well I’ll try again with a new victim. If you fancy finding out how to make this then just head over to Sugar and Cloth for the full tutorial!
Since arriving back from Budapest it very feels like it’s time to take the bull by the horns and throw myself head first into the run up to Christmas. I can’t live in denial any longer. To kick things off I’ve added a bunch of new products to the shop! I’m excited to reveal a new selection of prints, including a completely customisable print where you can decide on the phrase or sentiment, as well as the size and colours. Not only does it mean you can get exactly what you want, it also makes a great Christmas gift for someone special. There’s nothing quite like a personal touch. Find all of them right here.
A couple of weeks ago I got a little peek, along with some other lovely bloggers at a sparkly new product from British Gysum’s Rooms Made For You. The Lifestyle Wall was introduced to us by Channel 4’s George Clarke as ‘a total interiors game changer’ and so I was obviously left with high expectations, eagerly awaiting an explanation of how this magical product worked. I can safely say with the bar set high, I wasn’t disappointed. The Lifestyle Wall is the cream of the crop in plasterboard for your walls. At the mention of plasterboard I realise you may have just nodded off but this stuff can make your creative plans for every wall in your home a dream come true with it being easier, stronger, faster, cleaner and reusable. Why haven’t we all heard about this before?…well exactly.
I’m Hi folks! I’m really excited to reveal my DIY as part of the Voyage wallpaper challenge. Let me introduce you to Voyage and their ultra gorgeous range of patterned wall art, hand painted and digitally printed on non-woven paper.I fell particularly hard for their new ‘Iridescence’ collection in the Voyage Studio Line range in all its dreamy watercolour glory. I picked the Jadu Grenadine design, inspired by the effect that light can have on colour to create a dramatic shimmering look and feel. When the roll arrived it was even more beautiful and vibrant in real life than in the pictures. The design manages to hold such an array of colours without looking gaudy.
Hello all! Here’s my over optimistic contribution to the August Styling The Seasons posts. When I look at these shots they look so bright and Summery and then I just turn my head slightly to the window and see a whole different story unravelling outside. Enough moaning though as all the Saturdays in August so far have been sun filled and that’s all that really matters for the majority of us out there.
Happy hump day! I’m bringing you an easy but effective DIY idea to fill some space on your wall. I do love myself some statement wall art and this only requires minimal supplies, so why not eh? Try hanging it with a cluster of other lovely wall prints or prop up on a shelf to add a pop! This project really will make you feel like you’re back in primary school, splattering paint all over the place and cutting paper strip brings back the nostalgia of making paper chains. I think it somewhat therapeutic actually! I’ve even made a little downloadable template to make it really simple…simple enough for primary school some might say.
Mount it in a plain black frame for maximum impact and match with other art from your home. I used to be all about white frames but the more I work onto white backgrounds the more I realise how well a black frame can finish off a piece. In all honesty I probably have enough white in my flat as it is (you may have noticed *blush*).
OK, let’s talk about my sofa. No joke, it’s been bothering me for quite a while now, in all it’s brown and bulky glory! Whenever I walk into the living room each morning it offends my sleepy eyes without fail and I really have been longing for one that actually fits in with the rest of our aesthetic or at least doesn’t look like such an imposter. Don’t get me wrong, I was very thankful to inherit a free sofa when we got married and it’s withstood some serious wear and tear along with numerous spillages but try as I might I just can’t learn to love the deep brown colour and chunky style.
I’ve never done a candle DIY before people! How did that happen eh? Well this little number is here to put that right and it all stemmed from a trip to Homebase where I discovered this crazy new spray paint which creates a stone effect. It may not actually be new but it was new to me and as you may be well aware of I’m a spray paint fiend so this find was like uncovering a new sparkly jewel! You can buy this in pebble (which I used) or grey stone or even granite . At first I thought I could make rustic planters and then I remembered that I’ve kind of over done it on the plant front recently and you deserve a break along with something new.
These candles are made with soy wax and scented with my husbands prized coffee beans ground up. He’s a coffee nutter and so much kit our kitchen sometimes looks like a science lab but even though I’m not big on coffee, I do (along with everyone else in the world) love the smell of it! Cement style coffee candles were born and I hope you appreciate that pleasing alliteration right there.
Greetings from rainy London! I’m bring you a little sprinkle of cuteness this Thursday in the form of my next DIY contribution for Sugar & Cloth. I don’t really eat eggs so I’m not joking when I say I hadn’t even thought about egg cups since I was about 5 but it’s only a matter of time before everything I can possible think of turns into a DIY project! This little ladies are so easy to make and you can find out how over on Sugar & Cloth. While you’re at it check out all her other gorgeous DIY projects. There’s a black hole of inspiration over there!
This idea has been bubbling away for a while now but it’s been put to the side on a number of occasions. Everyone loves a hanging planter right? I’ve made and owned various such hanging delights around the house but really wanted to create a tiered version so I could hang three plants at a time. You could actually go wild and add even more tiers but I decided to give start of with three. This baby now sits pride of place in our bedroom replacing our previous planter friend. It had to make way for this superior good looking number…poor thing.