At the turn of the New Year, it can be a struggle to make our homes feel cosy once the twinkly lights and Christmas decorations have been taken down. For many of us, the January home can feel bare, a little empty and uninviting, yet at this deepest stage of midwinter, it’s more important than ever to create a warming, welcoming atmosphere in the home.
Embracing a little ‘hygge’ in our everyday lives does wonders for the soul, whilst encouraging us to huddle down and embrace, rather than fight, these sometimes murky and cold January days. It’s about making time for yourself, savouring something as simple as wrapping your hands around your early morning coffee, a quiet moment with a book, candlelight in the evening, a shared meal with friends and family, a long walk in the woods, wrapping up in a blanket by the fire… these are all feel-good moments, rituals and activities that are in everyone’s everyday, but we often take them for granted, preferring to focus on the bad weather, the cold evenings, the grey skies of January…
Making small changes at home can help ease your path through these long winter weeks, so whilst trying to create a hygge-positive ambience in my own home, I wanted to share with you some simple ways you too can benefit from this Danish way of living. To help me along, I have chosen a selection of pieces from locally-based company Murmur. Designed in-house at their Northern Irish studio, Murmur’s products and patterns are influenced by the simple aesthetics of Scandinavian and Japanese design. The brand’s relaxed, informal style, where every product works in harmony with the next, is built upon a design ethos whereby simple designs and textured finishes translate into beautiful, practical pieces that can be enjoyed and used in the everyday; a key element in the concept of hygge.
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!
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.
If you’ve been following the blog lately, both here and over on my Instagram feed, you’ll know I’ve been working with IKEA on their Win at Sleeping campaign. With the aim of helping us solve our sleep issues and, in turn, our health and wellbeing, the campaign is centred around what small changes we can make at home to improve our nighttime routine, sleeping habits and general sleep preparation.
As I talked about in my first post in this series last week, we have worked with IKEA to identify our own family’s sleep problems and in order to try to solve them, we will be trying out some IKEA products over the coming weeks. We were very excited to take delivery of the products at the beginning of this week and after lots of flat pack fun in the ensuing days, I can finally show you what we chose to try out in the hope of better sleep preparation and comfort ahead…
I don’t know about you, but these cold, dark mornings are making me feel really lazy and lethargic when it comes to getting out of my warm bed at the start of the day. I’ve also never been that good at getting myself organised and off to bed early during the week; the draw of on-demand telly whilst cocooned in a thick blanket on the couch, being my particular downfall. Who’s with me on this? Or perhaps you find yourself scrolling through Pinterest, searching for the answer to your dream kitchen cupboard colour – been there? Thought so. We are all depriving ourselves of wholesome sleep for every minute we waste on our tablets or phones when it’s past our bedtime, and in the morning when the alarm goes off, we pay for it.
I was therefore really excited to be contacted by the lovely folk at IKEA, asking me to work with them on their Win at Sleeping campaign, which you may have noticed recently on TV and in the press. It’s no secret that as a nation, we aren’t great sleepers, with many of us struggling to get a decent eight hours’ kip on a regular basis. The fast pace of modern life, along with the addictive pull of ever present smartphones and tablets with their stimulating blue screens, is certainly a major contributing factor, however many of our sleep problems have startlingly simple roots, such as inadequate sleep preparation, bad sleeping habits or a poorly organised bedroom environment.
IKEA are determined to promote better sleep for all of us and for good reason, too. There are countless benefits to be had from sleeping well, including better mood, raised energy levels, improved productivity at work and school, as well as positive health effects, such as improved memory, a sharper mind and lower stress levels. And the best thing about it? It only takes making a few small changes to guarantee ‘The Wonderful Everynight’ that we all need…
When I packed my bags and went off to uni all those years ago, I arrived into an empty shell of a student dorm room where the most personalising I did to the space was to make my bed up with my duvet cover from home and throw a few books and framed photos onto the shelves – and it pretty much stayed that way for the entire four years!
Roll on (ahem!) twenty years and I’m pleased to see that things have definitely moved on. Students renting rooms have a plethora of choice when it comes to shopping to customize that little square of space to call their own, from the mainstream movers such as Ikea with their low priced lighting and furnishing designs to the more individual and quirky styles found at the likes of Urban Outfitters and H&M. When it comes to dorm room decor, there really is no excuse to have to splurge out more cash than you have to – lighting, storage and bedding in particular can be picked up at very reasonable prices and in pretty cool designs; you just have to be a little creative in your shopping sometimes!
So, whether you’re a fresher student heading off to your first term at college, a newbie graduate renting for the first time or even a parent who’s looking for cool pieces for their teenager’s bedroom, I’ve been taking a look at how you can get the look for less…
Bringing your bedroom from the cold depths of Winter and into Spring/Summer can be easily achieved with some simple yet really effective updates to your bedlinen. After all, the bed is the focal point of any bedroom and it needs to look the part according to the season! So with Spring upon us, it’s time to pack away your heavy blankets and fur throws and update your look to something a little fresher.
Whatever your taste, there’s a bedding style out there for you; just take a peek at these top five stunning bedlinen trends and be inspired to make that transition to a clean new look and, of course, a restful night’s sleep!
In preparation for moving into our new home next month, I am on the quest for a new bed for my eldest daughter, H, aged 9. Unlike our last house, our children can now look forward to each having their own bedroom, which is new for us (and very lucky for them as I keep banging on at them!), however it does mean that we are one bed short at this particular point in time. My son, aged 7, will take the bunk beds and my youngest daughter, aged 4, is happy to stay in her toddler bed for another six months, thereby putting off that next added expense until then at least… but for now the focus is on H’s sleeping arrangements, which brings me to this post about day beds…
With the colder season already creeping in, there is nothing more welcome at the end of a long day trudging to and from school and work than crawling into a well made bed, wrapping yourself up under layer upon layer of snuggly, dreamy softness. The only thing is, there’s more to achieving that wonderfully luxurious and cosy bedroom than simply throwing an extra blanket over the bed, so here are some tips on how to create your perfect autumn/winter bedroom sanctuary… (more…)
I really am in love with the current trend for all things copper. From blush to rose gold, this pretty pink-tinted metal just about goes with anything and everything and it adds a luscious warmth to your interior scheme in a way that just isn’t possible with other cooler, ‘black’ metallics such as steel and iron. Don’t get me wrong, these big metals are equally fabulous and will stand the test of time in more ways than one, but for the moment I am lusting after those warm coppery hues.
A copper accessory, when paired with other softer decor pieces, will add a certain edginess to the overall look, such as a shiny copper pendant lamp sitting alongside a pale pastel blue sofa. Equally, it has the ability to soften the harsh lines and dark tones of a heavily industrial interior. Adding copper accents to an otherwise neutral interior will warm things up, though that said, it happily lends its rosy gleam to a surprising number of other colour schemes, including teal, black, monochrome, muted pastels and the classic all white. (more…)