It was when I recently caught myself standing at a garden centre checkout with a Maidenhair Fern proudly packed into my basket, that I realised just how much of a plant ‘obsession’ I have developed in the past year. Even as little as two years ago, I would not have been caught dead purchasing such an old-fashioned plant – the Maidenhair Fern, with its delicate showers of lacework leaves suspended from long, spindly stems, was the plant of choice for my grandmother’s generation, often found sitting on a bathroom window ledge or hall console table. It was not the choice of interior accessory that someone remotely youthful (even as remotely as I) would contemplate as a must-have in their home… and yet, here I am, pleased as punch with this most recent addition to my growing plant family.
Greenery of all shapes and sizes is really in the interior spotlight just now. In fact, no room scheme is complete without a plant tucked in there somewhere, so as someone who is firmly in Team Green, I wanted to show you some ways you can use plants in your own home to solve a common interior decor dilemma or simply to complete a room scheme.
It seems that our interiors are getting darker and darker, with more of us taking the plunge and painting our home interiors in dark, inky hues of indigo and blue-grey, be it our living room walls, kitchen units or in the bedroom. It’s a look that has certainly grown on me, however when recently thinking about our own bedroom decor, I’ve realised that no matter how much I love the concept of a decadently dark and elegant boudoir, I simply can’t bring myself to paint our lovely, light, south-facing bedroom in anything other than WHITE!
It won’t be any old Brilliant White, you understand… I’m pondering and pontificating over paint charts full of grey whites, blue whites, green whites, off whites and almost whites. In fact, I have come to the conclusion that this may actually be the hardest colour of all to pick for a room scheme!
Anyway, it got me thinking that I haven’t posted a ‘Take 5’ article on here for a while, so in an effort to help me settle on a shade of white, here are five all white rooms for you which are so lust-worthy, they’ll make you wonder why EL James didn’t name her book Fifty Shades of White Rooms…
Hello, hello! Ahhh, it’s so good to be back on here after my July break – we spent almost three weeks camping in France, some of which I tried to share via my Insta feed, however those of you who have had a similar kinda holiday will know how difficult wifi can be to search out!! Maybe that’s a good thing in disguise? It is however nice to be home again, back in our little bubble that’s home.
One thing we decided whilst we were away was that we needed to start thinking about our plans for our bedroom. It’s practically the only room in the house that we haven’t touched, however the bare floorboards (I took it upon myself to pull up the tatty old carpet some months ago – don’t even ask), jumbled together furnishings and partly wallpapered walls simply need to be tackled head-on! It’s reached the stage of no turning back, folks…
Which brings me to writing this post. I have a few ideas scrambling around in my brain about the kind of bedroom I want and three keywords keep popping back up: tranquil, light, scandi. So I figure this is where it’s at! Every successful interior scheme begins with a simple moodboard, often created and grown from something as simple as a few key words or singular item in a room, and I always find them a fascinating insight into the direction an interior project is headed, so I want to share mine with you, along with some interior inspiration gathered up from Pinterest and, of course, a look at a handful of always-so-covetable shopping items from my ever-expanding wish list (it WILL become a short-list, eventually, I promise!). Why not follow the planning process with me and hopefully I’ll be paintbrush firmly in hand come September!
With our recent hallway makeover painting and decorating completed, I’ve been turning my attention to all the extras that need to be decided on – lighting, rug, hall accessories, that type of thing, so I thought well, why not pull together a little wish list of products I have my eye on? Like most of us, budget is key, so in many ways this is a longterm wish list, however I’ve no doubt it’ll be nothing short of great fun scouring online stores, the humble high street and, of course, secondhand treasure troves for the ideal accessories to complete the look of what is an often overlooked, but centrally very important, room of the home.
I’ve been shopping from inside my home a little bit too; a habit I believe we should all get into, because after all, why shouldn’t an ornament, lamp or favourite chair not be moved around once in a while? It instantly refreshes a room or corner, allows you to be creative in finding new uses for a piece of furniture and (most importantly) it costs zilch.
Actually, I want to write a blog post solely dedicated to the art of shopping from within your own home, as it’s become trendy to stick to a capsule wardrobe and wear your old clothing in new ways, so why not transfer this line of thought to our home interiors, too? Keep an eye out for that one…
Anyway, back to the job in hand!
A quick round up ‘Take 5…’ post this week, as I’m currently researching rugs for our newly decorated hallway and thought I’d share a selection of looks on here that I’m loving at the minute. We painted our hallway wood panelling in an off white and brought the original oak floor back to life with a sand and wax job, so now I feel the space needs a pop of pattern or subtle wash of colour to add warmth and interest. I’ve recently been loving the whole ethnic / bohemian look when it comes to floor coverings and every time I open Pinterest it seems to be tempting me with a new take on the look. The one slight issue is that authentic Persian rugs cost an absolute bomb, however I think you can recreate a similar look with some great alternative styles, each with their own relaxed, boho vibe that I find so appealing.
Here are a few favourites… (more…)
It’s been a little quiet from me over the past fortnight, but there’s been a very valid excuse for my lack of presence! We have been redecorating our hallway, stairs and landing, which was always going to be our big project for this year (last year’s was the kitchen/living makeover), and so things were turned a little upside down around here for a few days whilst the painter was in. However, I am pleased to say I can finally share some pictures of the (almost) finished result with you – there is still carpet to be laid on the stairs at the end of the week but I couldn’t wait that long to show you around… I have never been known for my patience 🙂
In this age of social media and social sharing, it seems we can’t say we’ve truly enjoyed a meal without having shared it with our Instagram community or Facebook friends, taking perfect shots of our plates in the hope of capturing the moment and enticing the senses of others. As a blogger, I am a totally guilty party on this front, so I was really delighted to be invited along to my local IKEA store here in Belfast to learn some top tips on styling and photographing food and kitchen wares for that perfect Instagrammable shot. As a homes and interiors blogger, I haven’t worked with foodie styling that much in the past, however with IKEA’s gorgeous new Summer 2017 dining and kitchenware ranges in-store, I was excited to get to use their products whilst creating some Insta-worthy shots.
Local stylist and all-round Instagram guru, Eve Brannon, was on hand during the evening helping us create a Swedish ‘smorgasbord’, which is essentially sharing plates of tapas-style food which is enjoyed by family and friends together around the table, everyone helping themselves in true feel-good ‘hygge’ fashion. Eve showed us how to style the various ingredients on our own individual smorgasbords, all the while imparting some invaluable tips on how to make our culinary creations totally and deliciously ‘Instagram-able’, using food and serving ware which can all be bought in-store.
Another Take 5 post for you today, folks, and this week it’s all about the über-trendy sheepskin throw and how you can make it work hard in your home all year round. Many people consider sheepskin to be a strictly winter-only luxury, however it is an extremely versatile piece of home decor kit and more affordable than ever with plenty of faux options to choose from out there.
Here are some of my favourite ways to work sheepskin in the home and some tips on where to buy those key items…
Hello, I hope you had a lovely, restful weekend. I spent some time away with my mum and sister, but I’ve returned to my brood feeling really refreshed and ready to take on the major redecorating project in our home for this year – the hallway.
As you’ll probably be aware, our house was built in the 1930s and the previous owners thankfully retained many of the house’s original features, including picture rails, the front and back doors, leadlights and stained glass windows and the wood panelling on the hallway, stairs and landing walls. Over the past year, I have deliberated over what to do in the hall and whether or not to repaint the panelling, especially now that there is a definite trend towards darker, more cocooning surfaces, however we have decided that repainting the wood in a lighter colour is the way forward for us. It will completely transform the space into a lighter and brighter part of the house and modernise it without compromising on the traditional, elegant feel that the original wood panelling brings to our home.
We also need to recarpet the stairs and landing and source some nice new lighting and other accessories, so lots to think about. Thankfully, when we lifted the carpet up in the hall, we discovered a gorgeous and pretty much unscathed original wooden floor hiding beneath, so a light sand and dark stain should see that right. (Hopefully!)
I’ve been having a nosey around Pinterest for some hallway inspiration, so here are some favourite ideas I want to share with you. All these hallways have wood panelling of some kind, so it’s interesting to see how the owners have approached it.
I have been asked a few times to feature my garden on here and share some of what I have learnt as a (very much) novice gardener since we moved into our home last Spring. Now that a full year has turned around in the garden, I feel that I’m gradually getting to know the place and the plants that reside here, plus I’ve gained more confidence in dealing with the various trees, shrubs and flowers that I’ve come to recognise. A year ago if you’d asked me what a herbaceous perennial was, I’d have thought you’d taken up a new foreign language. It really was Double Dutch to me.
So, as it’s the height of the growing season now and there’s more green lushness and splashes of colour about, I thought it the ideal time to show you around. I suppose it’s a decent enough size for a suburban garden, which is perfect for us, as it’s challenging enough without being overwhelming and there’s plenty of room for the kids to play outdoors, too.
Final point: as a complete novice, I have always found gardening to-do lists and jobs for the month incredibly useful for clarifying and prioritising what I should be investing my time on outside, so I’ve written up a little list of jobs for May at the end of the post, if you’re interested. So, all that remains is for you to pull on your wellies and come for a look around!