trick or treat?

 

Yes it’s that time of year again!

Kids love it don’t they. If you are suddenly going into a mild panic because you have completely and utterly forgotten it is Halloween don’t worry. I’ve put together a few ideas that will help create some spooky interiors.

 

Tin Can lights

Get an old baked bean tin, something sharp to put the holes in for the words and then spray/paint it black and add a tea light!

 

 

 

Glow in the dark pumpkins

You will need white plastic pumpkins for these and then add some glow in the dark paint of use glow in the dark marker pens. DIY stores sell these plastic pumpkins or if you can’t find the white ones, it may work using the plastic orange ones you can buy from the pound shop. Glow in the dark paint will probably be needed if using the orange ones as the pens may not show up?

 

 

Window decoration

Make sure you scare the neighbours but making some simple cut outs from black paper. These are really effective!

 

 

No carving needed!

If you haven’t got time or just can’t be bothered with the mess then you could always opt for the ‘no carving needed’ pumpkin!

These still look really effective and then you can chop it up and make pumpkin soup on Saturday!

 

 

If you’ve left it to the last minute and you can’t find a nice round pumpkin, opt for a long ‘marrow’ shaped one and you can decorate yourself a few minions! (far too cute for halloween if you ask me!)

 

 

If you want to be really unpopular on your street you could do away with the sweets this year and give out the healthy option and decorate little satsumas…………but I can’t guarantee you won’t get splattered with eggs!

 

 

Have a great Halloween and a fantastic weekend :)

‘brick’ walls

Beautiful exposed brick walls can make a space look effortlessly amazing don’t you think? One day I would love to have at least one room in my home with a wall like this. I love the rugged look especially coupled with wooden flooring. In a room with amazing natural light it adds an enviable texture. We now have 2 loft rooms in our home and a wall like this would be fantastic.

 

 

 

 

But what do you do if like most of us we don’t have an actual ‘exposed brick’ wall?

Expose the brick yourself?

Well if your house dates pre 1950’s then you could consider chipping off what’s there and exposing the brick yourself? However, this requires a lot of work and there is not guarantee after all that as to the quality of the actual brick you are left with, plus, if you don’t seal it properly you will have a very dirty/dusty wall. Personally, I’m not sure I have the energy to try this. (if you have tried it and it’s been really successful let me know!)

Opt for ‘brick effect’ wallpaper?

You could opt for a brick wall wallpaper such as this one from Rockett St George. I ordered a sample of this wallpaper and it does look good……but I’m just still not sure. These types of wallpapers are brilliant but it still does lack the ‘texture’ you get from ‘real’ brick.

 

 

Faux brick wall coverings?

If you’re not prepared to put in the hard work of ‘exposing’ the brick yourself (i’m not!) and you are not 100% convinced with the brick effect wallpaper (i’m 50/50) …there are other options to consider like ‘faux brick wall coverings’ such as the one below which is made up of interlocking panels.

 

 

THJ solutions Ltd have a convincing faux-stone panel. They are made by using crushed marble and polyurethane and can be ordered in any colour or texture which is good. The panels are light and simple to install. Once they are up they don’t require any maintenance (result) and they are great for soundproofing (bonus when you live in a terrace like we do!) Also, because they are weather-resistant they can be used for an outdoor wall too – how cool is that!?

 

 

Well i’ve ordered their brochure so watch this space but at £65 a square metre I may have to consider the option of chipping away the current plaster as it may be quite a bit cheaper!

 

 

children’s rooms

It’s half term week (arrggh…I mean, yippee!!!)

With both kids off all week it’s going to require the normal juggling madness in order to keep on top of work and also look after the children. (fingers crossed the weather is kind as it makes for a much easier/cheaper week!)

As the children run around the home and create general mayhem, I thought I would post some fab images of cool kids rooms to cheer us up! (like I said in my post a few weeks ago……. these are not to make you feel inadequate….they are for inspiration!!!!!) You can dream of getting your rooms like this as soon as they go back to school!

I love this image as sometimes I think we forget to use wallpaper in our children’s rooms because often we feel they are ‘busy’ enough with all their toys etc but I think this wallpaper is amazing.

 

Quite a simple scheme here and even though there is a toy cooker and pram out ready to be played with, it doesn’t feel messy.

 

Great low storage for a child to be able to access but also to use as a seating area.

 

Such a fun ceiling I bet the children that live here love just lying on their backs and looking up!

 

Beautiful use of colours and you could quite easily just change the bed for when the child grows up and the room would be perfect for their older years.

 

Again, nice dark tones on the wall but the large wall sticker still makes the room ‘fun’.

 

I hope all of you with children off school have a good week and get your notebooks out ready with plans for how to change their rooms when they go back!

 

:)

Royal Doulton

When you think of Royal Doulton you often imagine quite ‘formal’ English tableware, figurines or the bunnykins sets we all had when we were younger!

 

Royal Doulton was originally based out of a factory in Lambeth, but much has changed since 1815 including factory closure and administration and the company is now owned by WWRD Holdings Ltd.

The image of this brand also seems to be evolving and you only need to look at the exciting ‘Designer collection’ to see that they now have a number of surprising partnerships including artists such as Pure Evil and Nick Walker.

 

Street art collection

 

Screen shot 2014-10-20 at 13.00.19

I particularly like the collections from Karolina Schnoor and Charlene Mullen.

 

Karolina is based in London and her ‘fable collection’ has beautiful bold, clean lines and her designs are influenced by folk art to create some truly delicate pieces.

 

 

Charlene is also London based and her work takes influence from the illustrations featured in her ‘Blackwork’ and ‘Scenic’ embroidered textiles. In bold monochrome and her signature ‘dash of red’ this collection makes a great statement for every day dining.

 

Royal Doulton may be steeped in history but it is anything from old fashioned these days and definitely worth looking at.

Have a great weekend :)

open the packaging!

Hello Wednesday.

Hope everyone is having a good week so far.

It was my birthday this time last week and I have to say I did extremely well on the present front this year and received some gorgeous things (thank you lovely friends and family :)

Amongst some of my thoughtful gifts were some luxury toiletries… Nordic Spa, Neals Yard, Ren skincare, Laura Mercier make for perfect treats and they always ‘look’ so lovely don’t they.

 

 

 

 

However, I don’t know about you but I have a tendency to ‘save’ things when I really LOVE them. You don’t want to start the really nice hand wash so you keep the old one from the supermarket there. Well, not this year! As soon as I opened my presents I opened the packaging too and put them all out – ready to USE! They are gorgeous, they need to be used and out on show!

This ‘bad habit’ of mine also extends to ‘new notebooks’, – (I’m 42 years old and I still LOVE stationery! What is wrong with me.) For my birthday I got some beautiful notebooks, pens etc and I am pleased to say that they are all ‘out of the wrapping’ and wait for it…….I’ve actually written in one of them. It’s progress!

New candles…….make sure you light them. They look much better a bit ‘used’ anyway!

Beautiful new mugs….don’t worry about breaking them, make sure you drink from them every day!

Gorgeous underwear, special clothes…..don’t ‘save it for best’….wear it!

What I’m trying to say basically is ‘enjoy’ gifts, don’t just save things for best. Take them out of their packaging straight away and display them around your home and most importantly – USE them.

 

 

 

 

…moving on….to keep or not to keep?

 

 

We’ve no intention of moving at the moment but that doesn’t stop me having a quick peek at what’s going on in our local area and what new properties are available. Love wasting a few minutes having a look around, putting a ridiculous budget into the search and having a dream….

However, I think we forget how stressful moving can be though and how much there is to go through if you have lived in a home for quite some time. After nearly 42 years in their house, my parents have decided to sell their home. For me, my sister and brother it’s going to feel really strange as this is the only house we’ve ever really lived in and it holds a lot of happy memories for us. I was there last weekend helping my parents sort ’42 years worth’ of stuff. As I opened every box or bag, I was instantly transported back to that time.

A bag of Garfields……..I loved Garfield!

Garfields

Garfields

 

What a good brownie I was!

brownies

brownies

 

My recorders and old books…..quite proud that I can still play a few tunes!

recorder books

recorder books

 

Don’t think I had seen this swimming bag for nearly 30 years but it was used throughout all of my school days and it’s still in one piece!

swimming bag

swimming bag

 

I’ve written about ‘decluttering’ lots of times on my blog and I’ve recently been helping a client do just this over the last few weeks. Last weekend was quite a good test for me though because I realised how much easier it is helping someone else declutter their belongings than it is actually sorting your own!

I’m not a hoarder and like I’ve said before, I do try and live to William Morris’s mantra of ‘have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’ but sometimes there are just ‘bits’ that you don’t really want to throw away but also, don’t know what to do with them.

Sorting these items also takes so much longer than you would expect too as each time you open a box you find yourself daydreaming back to that time and how old you were etc.

So what do we do?

What am I going to do with my brownies badges?

My old swimming bag?

My old 7 inch records? (I don’t even have a record player)

Well, I decided to be practical for some bits. Like my GCSE art folder. Most of this went into recycling. What am I going to do with sheet after sheet of quite average drawings? I decided to keep one as a memory – that will do. The key is not to keep everything. My kids bring home school bits and bobs all the time and we would be swamped with the stuff if I didn’t throw some away. Just keep the odd bit and sadly some of it needs to go.

Displaying album covers

I’ve got a few albums that mean a lot to me so I’m going to frame a some of these for my study and the rest I will keep on the basis that I invest in record player. If I don’t buy one then the rest will go to charity. Otherwise, what is the point. (unless you have some absolute collectables in there and obviously make sure you get a good price for these)

 

Books – there were so many books! I selected a few favourites and will keep for the children and the rest can be enjoyed by others as we give to charity.

Collections – Sometimes people have collections or special bits of memorabilia. These can look quite effective if shown as a display. My daughter loved Sylvanian families for a long time but now she no longer plays with them I’ve put them in a vintage style display case (found from eBay) so that they remain ‘dust’ free but still part of her little world. These images below show how you can make some really interesting displays from great collections.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I mentioned on a post last week about mixing old and new in the home and also personal items. Some of my bits can be placed around the home to add that ‘personal’ touch but they will be limited otherwise it could start to look a bit of a mess. Certain things that you really can’t bear to throw away should just be kept somewhere safe in a little box but not necessarily out on show. I will use the swimming bag to house my recorders so they are kept safely and I get to keep the bag too.

The jury is out on the Garfields….. my daughter has her eye on them and wants them in her room! I will have a go and see if I can make an attractive collection out of them but I think it’s going to be tough!

stick at it !

Hello Friday! Nearly the weekend everyone….woo hoo

It was our wedding anniversary this week and we celebrated with a lovely meal out because, let’s face it, anyone in a couple knows that it’s not always ‘easy’ or ‘fun, fun, fun’ all the time and it does take patience and love to ‘stick at it’ sometimes so being together should be celebrated.

‘Sticking at’ or ‘committing to’ anything these days can be hard and personally, I believe social media in particular can make family life and life in general really hard sometimes.

 

images-2       images-1       images-3

 

In a world that is dominated by Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Blogs (ooopps sorry!)…there is just so much exposure all the time. For this reason, I came off Facebook a few years ago but rejoined this year when I set up my business. Social Media is out there and it is here to stay and I don’t think there is any advantage in fighting ‘against’ it as in many ways, especially for small businesses like mine, the benefits can be great. Using this form of marketing I can reach a greater audience and it improves my marketing opportunities. However, I think it’s about being in control of this social media and not getting too carried away by what you see.Our new way of living means we are able to view peoples lives literally the minute it happens, whether that be via a twitter posting or location posting on facebook. It’s crazy.

Look, I am part of this ‘social media’ world and yes, I post photos of my family and my home and what I’m up to. However, what I think we all loose sight of is that we forget most people only post the ‘best bits’, such as celebrating anniversaries, their families achievements, their new kitchen, and it creates a great deal of ‘pressure’ as you can’t help but compare these amazing lives to your own.

I am waffling away here but my point does have a link to interiors! Not only do we have sites such as http://www.houzz.co.uk and unboxed (via http://www.made.com) where people are more than happy to put up snaps of their new extension etc for us all to see but we also have these images of ‘perfection’ each time someone posts to all the various social media. I think these images can sometimes make people feel that what they see if totally unachievable. We need to work hard to remember that these snapshots don’t show the whole picture.

 

my bathroom

my bathroom

 

bathroom mess 2

my bathroom

 

Regular readers of my blog will know that I had a problem with the radiator in my bathroom a few months ago and water flooded through the floor and kitchen ceiling. Well, the water supply has been taken off this radiator and in order to access the pipe we had to smash through my travertine floor tiles which then revealed that actually the ply floor is not thick enough and that also the shower is leaking. Great!

We also had a problem with accessing the taps in the bath and had to smash the side of these tiles out too…so basically the bathroom is not looking that great. We keep saying we are going to sort it out but finances and time has just not allowed at the moment and the months just keep passing.

My point is that I don’t post images like this on my blog or facebook etc even though this is what my bathroom looks like. Everyone is the same.

I am not against social media at all as there are many brilliant elements to this way of communicating. However, when it comes to interiors, I just want to remind you that we shouldn’t all get too carried away by all the images of ‘perfection’.

 

 

I love posting great interior shots on my blog and facebook and I will continue to do so as personally, I could look at these amazing images all day as they give me the motivation to stick at it and try new things in my own house. Just remember though that all these glossy images should be seen as ‘inspiration’ and not pressure to seek perfection.

 

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend :)