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!
In a bid to blog a little more frequently for all you lovely readers, I’m going to intersperse longer content-heavy posts with some briefer, snapshot-style inspirational posts looking at key areas in the home that have particular design looks or decor tricks that have worked that you may wish to recreate. Today I’ve gathered five inspiring interior shots where indoor plants just make it all work. After all, we’re being blessed with some fine May weather at the moment and spending lots more time in our gardens, but why not bring a little lush greenery into the home, too, for those days when it all clouds over but we still need some sunshine inside our four walls.
I’ve also added some notes on how to recreate any of the looks for yourself… so, enjoy browsing!
May has arrived in all its glory here and across the country, patio tables and chairs have been dusted down, or in some cases, entirely stripped and repainted (you can get carried away when the sun shines), and friends invited over for impromptu barbecues and drinks in the garden. It’s fabulous!
I was planning a patio tidy up myself recently, when Amara Living got in touch asking me to take a look at some of their summer dining collection. As a blogger, I had initially heard of Amara as they host the IBAs (Interior Blog Awards), however if you haven’t come across them before, they are an über stylish homes and lifestyle store, housing over 300 of the world’s most luxurious home fashion brands, including Orla Kiely, Missoni Home, Ralph Lauren, HAY and Bloomingville, to name but a few. Amara have evolved since their inception in 2005 to build on their brand and product range, however quality of service and luxury style remain at their core and their website definitely reflects this.
Here are some products I want to show you in all their summery loveliness…