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…
Well folks, May Day weekend is almost upon us and despite the recent cooler climes we’ve all been exposed to over the last little while, I’m told that warmer weather is on its way, so I thought it was the perfect time for a brief garden-related post. Specifically, I want to share some ideas with you on how you can spend some time over the long weekend getting your outdoor patio area or yard summer-ready. As long as it’s been given a quick clean up and the boring jobs such as power washing slabs and giving the lawn its first cut are out of the way, these are the fun touches you can accomplish in time for your first al fresco soiree with friends or simply a glass of vino and a book on a clear evening. Aah, how I love summer!
In early 2016, Instagram changed its algorithm, i.e. the way it chooses to display your personal feed, so that rather than presenting users with a chronological list of posts (the whole point of the ‘insta’ bit!), the algorithm organises your feed based on “the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting, and the timeliness of the post”.
In a nutshell, Instagram now decides on what it thinks you’d like to see in your feed, a lot like the way Facebook has been operating for some time. Many Instagrammers, including myself, have been struggling with this new algorithm, noticing more people following then immediately unfollowing them (the sure sign an insta-bot is involved somewhere) and not seeing some of their favourite feeds appear at the top of the page, literally for months!
I recently read an Instagram post by a fellow blogger, Bee, who blogs over at Queenbeady, about how she’s plain fed up with all this fake-followers-on-Instagram business and she urged fellow ‘grammers to share their favourite feeds from any sphere of interest, be it homes and interiors, lifestyle, nature, food, gardening, anything. I discovered some fabulous accounts that I didn’t know existed, but I simply have too many personal favourites to share on one Instagram post, so I thought why not share my own favourites on the blog?
Keeping to the homes and interiors theme, here is a rundown of the Instagram accounts I think you should check out today, which I have organised depending on the interior ‘look’ you’re into… starting with modern country, moving to scandi, then onto a more eclectic mix of styles and finishing with coastal style.
…be prepared for a huge dose of pure loveliness and incredible home inspiration!
With Easter just a week away, all thoughts of Winter are now far behind us and Spring has truly sprung, with many of us refreshing our home interiors with new accessories and getting out into the garden for some much needed outdoor time. Perhaps you’ve swapped out the faux fur throws for lightweight colourful striped cottons or packed away the fairy lights with the onset of lighter evenings, but have you considered those little additional touches with a fun, Easter theme?
I was delighted to be invited along on an Easter Home Blog Hop by the lovely Carly who blogs over at A Cup Full of Glitter. Together, a handful of us have put together some Easter touches to our homes which we’d like to share with you. At the bottom of my post, you’ll be able to hop over to another super-creative blogger’s Easter home!
Now, I appreciate not everyone is as into decorating their homes for Easter as perhaps they are for Christmas or even Hallowe’en, but there is a fast growing trend for colourful Easter trees, wreaths and decorated branches becoming the norm in our homes. With a little thought and without having to step anywhere near a discount store’s Easter goody aisle, you can add some delicate, stylish, details to your home that welcome in the new Spring season and cheer things up a bit.
I was recently asked by TK Maxx to have a look at their Easter offering in the homewares department and as I always enjoy working with them, I thought I’d take a look. Needless to say, I had lots of fun choosing a few accessories that I will definitely be using in my own home this Easter and hopefully beyond… here are my favourite pieces which I want to share with you lovely people. (more…)
I recently took it upon myself to give our front door a new lease of life with a lick of paint. Since we moved into our house just over a year ago now, the door has been a shade of pale mushroom – not exactly an offensive colour, but just lacking in a bit of personality. So, I thought it was about time we added our stamp to the front of the house. Who doesn’t love a dose of kerb appeal as they approach their house from the street?!
I had always envisaged painting the front door a gorgeous, deep navy (i.e. something like this), however we are trying to stick to a budget whilst we go about updating and redecorating the house, so head ruled over heart and I resorted to using up a tin of another (still gorgeous) Farrow & Ball colour I had leftover from a little upcycling project I completed last year. The shade is called Stiffkey Blue, a pretty well known paint colour, thanks to the trend for ‘going dark’ in our interiors that’s all over Pinterest these days.
In typical Farrow & Ball fashion, Stiffkey Blue is described as being ‘naturally dramatic’ and is named after a north Norfolk beach where the mud is this particular shade of blue. Our house was built in the mid ’30s and the front door is original to it, so a lick of paint in what I would term a quite traditional, yet contemporary, shade, would be just what it needed to lift it a little into the present day. In addition, the face of our house is covered in a trailing ivy which turns a beautiful shade of russet red in late summer through to Autumn and I reckoned this shade of blue would look stunning against it – time will tell!
I thought I would guide you briefly through the steps I took to paint the door, because a good old DIY how-to is always helpful, especially at this time of year, when many of us are turning our attention to Spring jobs outdoors.
If you’ve been anywhere near a homewares shop or interiors magazine recently, you’ll have surely noticed the HUGE trend for all things tribal that’s been making its way from the catwalks and into our homes.
Fabrics are awash with African prints in earthy tones of rust, ochre and bronze, ceramics are emblazoned with painted tribal patterns ranging from Aztec to Ikat and texture is everywhere, with bamboo, rattan, roughened wood and hessian tying the whole look together. In fact, you could say this theme is more akin to a nomadic, world traveller trend, with inspiration taken from anywhere between the South American desert (think Aztec prints on woven throws) to the streets and souks of deepest Morocco (think intricately decorated brass lanterns and bejewelled frames and glassware).
So, with many stores on the High Street and the major supermarkets channelling this look through their Spring/Summer ’17 homeware collections, it’s easy to become carried away with it all and buy tribal/nomadic/ethnical everything, but like other super trends that have come and gone before, the trick is to choose wisely … only buy what you love, select pieces that will fit with your particular decor style and aim to buy items that can be easily swapped out when you become tired of the look. Oh, we’re so fickle, aren’t we?!
If you’ve been following the blog lately, you’ll know that over the past few weeks we’ve had the amazing opportunity of working with IKEA on their ‘Win at Sleeping’ campaign, which runs until the end of March.
The campaign is aimed at improving the nation’s quality of sleep by encouraging us all to make a few small changes to how we prepare for sleep. This can be anything from creating a calm, cosy and restful bedtime environment to adjusting our personal sleeping habits to ensure a full and undisturbed night’s slumber.
I met with IKEA back in February to discuss my own family’s sleep issues and they were able to recommend some strategies and products for us to try, with a view to helping us improve on several sleep-related areas. If you’d like to see the products we chose to try out, you can read up about it here!
Now that we’ve been using the products for a month, I wanted to update you on how we’ve got on, as well as take a quick look at some other IKEA products you might want to consider trying out yourself.