This year marks the 10th anniversary of IKEA opening its very first store on the island of Ireland, based here in Belfast. To help celebrate the very successful past ten years of IKEA in Northern Ireland, I was delighted to be invited along to a media breakfast morning, which included a short tour of the store and a celebratory birthday breakfast (Scandi-style, with plenty of coffee and pastries, of course!)
During our store walkabout, we were introduced to some of the interior design team and product specialists who make up the 330-strong team of co-workers based at IKEA Belfast. They revealed the top selling products that have demonstrated how IKEA has had its part in ensuring we live a better everyday life here in NI, as well as a really fascinating insight into how life has evolved dramatically over the past ten years, with developments in technology, the rise in open plan living and a general move towards city-dwelling very much dictating how we live our daily lives at home.
Read on to find out what I learned about the shopping habits of IKEA Belfast customers!
I’m one of those people who impatiently await the arrival of autumn. The first fire of the season, leaves turning brilliant shades of red, orange and yellow, woolly socks and jumpers down to your knees – I love it all! On the home front, I also love taking the time to embrace autumn in all its cosy glory by bringing out the sheepskin throws, woven blankets and scented jar candles, filling up the log basket and adding seasonal foraged pieces such as pinecones and dried seed heads into large bowls or vases.
I was therefore delighted to be recently chosen to take part in an autumn home project as part of my involvement in the Home Experts Community at Wayfair.co.uk. They asked myself and nine other bloggers to take on an Autumn Colour Challenge, whereby we update an area of our home with some seasonal autumn colour to make it wonderfully inviting for the cooler months ahead.
Here’s how I got on…
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…)
As a way of nudging myself gently back into the usual weekly routine, I’ve been setting aside some time to sit down with a cuppa to watch this year’s Great Interior Design Challenge (GIDC), back on our screens this past week. With the show now into its fourth series, there have been a few tweaks, the most obvious being the introduction of new judge, renowned interior designer and all-round businesswoman Kelly Hoppen. She and fellow judge Daniel Hopwood are certainly already putting the contestants through their paces.
I’m hoping that as the weeks progress, we will see more genuine raw talent shining through as the contestants gain worthwhile hands-on experience and, in turn, confidence in their ability, so I thought it would be fun to share a weekly round-up of some of the better ideas they’re coming up with and look at how they might work in your own home (because let’s face it, a LOT of their ideas are very much for the TV screen and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in finding myself cringing when they get the stencils and gold paint out…).
Here’s a quick rundown of what they had in store for us last week…
Like a lot of people, we spent some time at the weekend putting our tree up and adding some festive touches to our home. As we hung our decorations and draped the fairy lights around, it occurred to me that we were formally welcoming the beginning of Winter in all its sparkling, glittering glory, and so, rather sadly, once again bidding farewell to Autumn and its lovely mild weather and beautiful colours.
For me, it’s important to welcome in a new season with some subtle tweaks to my home decor, be it cosy cushions in Winter or vases of daffodils in Spring. A few weeks ago, with Christmas still a distant thought, I started shopping for some decorative winter additions for the home. I was on a mission to choose some ‘Hygge’ friendly pieces to make the house warm and inviting to festive visitors and I found some gorgeous homewares from my favourite high street stores that I wanted to share with you. Hopefully it will inspire you to think about your own home decor this coming season!
Nothing signifies the end of a long, cold winter better than a bunch of freshly picked Spring blooms from the garden, so it’s no surprise that many of the High Street homeware brands are heralding the beginnings of Spring with colourful new collections featuring all kinds of fresh, floral prints, from tiny scattered blossoms to oversized painted blooms. It’s the definite trend of the moment!
Introducing a few floral accessories into your home is a fantastic and economical way to bring a breath of fresh air into your interior decor, whether it’s plump new cushions for the couch or a pretty set of tea towels in the kitchen.
However you decide to freshen things up, one thing’s for sure: it’s time to pack away those stag ornaments and chunky knitted throws and drag your home out of hibernation. Spring has sprung and with these gorgeous floral finds, you can make your home just blooming lovely…
Decorating your home around St Valentine’s Day can be a fun way to celebrate this centuries-old tradition, whether it means making paper hearts with the kids or planning a romantic evening in with your loved one. For me, St Valentine’s marks the early signs of Spring, when we can finally begin to leave the long Winter behind us and brighten our homes up with some fun home decor. I think it is the perfect time to dig out your heart embossed coffee cups and pretty tealight holders and show your home a little loving, too.
Here’s how to get the look right without overdosing on sugar pink…
Now that Autumn is well underway, and in preparation for the Winter months yet to come, it’s time to cosy up our homes. When the temperature dips towards freezing and that cold autumnal wind blows, there are fewer simple pleasures in life than coming home to a warm, welcoming retreat at the end of a long day, kicking your shoes off, wrapping up in cosy layers and enjoying the warmth and comfort….. However, we need to create this perfect winter hideaway first and sometimes it can be a struggle to bring it all together at a time of year that has its own added expenses, so here are a few ideas on how you can nail the Autumn retreat look for your home with a few key tweaks…
I have to admit I am rather excited that Downton Abbey is back on our screens this Autumn, but also very sad that it’s to be the last ever series! It is the epitome of autumnal viewing isn’t it? Dark evenings curled up on the sofa by the fire watching the latest scandals in the Crawley household – love love love it. For those of you who watch the series, you’ll know that Downton has steamed well and truly into the roaring twenties and we all know that this is the exquisite era which heralded the birth of the Art Deco movement in design and architecture. It is also one of the key looks around in so many of this Autumn’s homeware collections, so whether you’re a Downton fan or not, I’ve looked into some of the best places where you can find a little glamour and glitz to adorn your home Downton-style this season…
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…)