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!
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 we moved house almost a year ago, the first part of the house we decided to redecorate was the open plan kitchen/living room. Firstly, we had the existing oak units painted a light cream (Farrow & Ball’s Slipper Satin to be precise), then we laid a new wood laminate floor throughout the entire room and finally retiled the kitchen wall area between the cupboards and worktop. It has made such a difference compared to what it was like before! (Take a look back in case you missed it; I did a first reveal of the work last year here).
Over the past couple of months, we have been busy finishing off the room with softer touches such as window coverings and rugs. There are still some additions I’d like to make to add further warmth to the room, such as the introduction of more colour across cushions and textiles, however it’s definitely getting there.
At last I can finally show you the latest reveal pics! (more…)
In the penultimate week of the Great Interior Design Challenge competition, we saw a definite upturn in the standard of the designers’ talents, with plenty of creative and unique ideas being put into place in an effort to secure a place in the final week.
Last week I looked briefly at a handful of design elements employed by the competitors that I thought we could work into our own homes’ interiors. This week, just as the final stretch of the show gets underway, I’m taking a quick peek back at last week’s projects and some of the design ideas I particularly liked, including blue interior colour schemes, creative uses for wallpaper and making bespoke art for the home. There were so many different design techniques employed last week that I have had to just pick out a few.
Lets take a look!
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…
Firstly, a Happy New Year to you! It’s so good to be back here ready to share a fresh new 12 months of home interiors discoveries, challenges and projects with you.
So here we are in January – that long, rather bleak month which seems to stretch out to infinity with its cold, biting air and dark mornings. It’s also the time when we have finally taken down our wonderful Christmas trees and cleared everything cheerfully festive and sparkly back up into the attic for another year. The upside to this is that for many of us, ridding the house of tinsel and other excess dust-attracting décor gives us a welcoming, clean, refreshing feeling, however the lack of twinkle and greenery can also make our homes feel that little bit bare and less inviting than before. It’s for this very reason that I’ve decided to dedicate this first blog post of 2017 to giving you a few ideas on how you can fill that void left by the Christmas decorations in your home and embrace the season of winter throughout your interior décor.
Hello, I’m back!!
Where has November gone?! You may have noticed I have fallen behind with regularly updating the blog lately, however I haven’t been too far away, working on some writing and product styling jobs as well as working on the house, of course! (Does it ever end?! .. No, thought as much!)
If you follow my Instagram feed, you’ll know that I have been finishing off the kitchen/living area that we have been redecorating as a main priority since moving house back in the Spring, with new curtains now finally in place at our patio doors! I am just awaiting some dark blue roller blinds to be delivered for the other kitchen windows, which (fingers crossed!) should be here before Christmas… then I will do a second blog reveal for all you lovely people of how things are looking.
The other thing I have been considering recently has been wall art … not just in the kitchen, but around the living space downstairs, too. We really could do with injecting a little more interest and, dare I say it, personality, in the form of wall art and even some framed photos that we all seem to plan to do but never actually make a priority. That was why I was delighted to be given the opportunity by the lovely folk over at Posterlounge to review a selection of their art posters in my own home environment.
I popped along this past weekend to the annual Love Your Home Show, which was being held in Belfast’s Titanic Expo Centre set within the iconic Titanic Quarter of the city. ‘Love Your Home’ is Northern Ireland’s largest home event, showcasing everything the home lover will need, including interior design advice and inspiration, as well as a raft of home improvement products and services for you to peruse.
As I write a little piece for the Love Your Home blog each month, I thought I would share with you some of the things I really liked about this year’s show. Hopefully, like me, you can discover some of the existing, as well as new and upcoming local talent we are proud to have here in Northern Ireland!
We live in a decor age whereby wooden furniture has been loved and almost loathed in equal measures, some preferring it in its natural, raw state, whilst others will chalk paint or gloss everything in their path. I suppose when it comes to 1980s orange pine I don’t really blame them, however I do think there are some beautiful woods out there that should be left as they are to shine out as a statement piece in their own right. A perfect example is the walnut and glass china cabinet I have at home that originally belonged to my Great-Grandmother which I simply adore for the way it is. Ms Annie Sloan ain’t getting her hands on that baby!!
Essentially, the choice as to whether you paint a piece of furniture or not mostly boils down to your personal style preference; if you love the French country look then an oversized armoire painted in a dusky hue of Paris Grey will undoubtedly look the part in your home, just as a set of mismatched dining chairs painted in pretty pastel shades or an old china cabinet in a slick of bright green paint will guarantee a vintage style lover that quirky, eclectic look she’s after. Personally, I love wood for the warmth and character that it imbues, but painted pieces can add individuality and a sense of fun, too. And as I’ve shown before now, sometimes there’s a fine line between a trip to the dump and a gorgeously upcycled piece of furniture you can feel a little bit proud of!
For the purpose of this post, it’s all about renewing our love for wood, be it teak, walnut, mahogany or, dare I say it, pine… check out these awesome interiors for ways to work that wood baby…
You may remember some time ago, I wrote a post about the Danish culture of Hygge, a concept centred around celebrating the little things in life, most often associated with staying cosy during the long, winter months and enjoying time with friends and family, but also getting out into the fresh air in the summertime and having picnics or a simple glass of wine in the garden with a good book.
Well, it seems that the Scandinavians have got it right again with the Swedish culture known as ‘Fika’. According to Wikipedia, Fika is:
” a concept in Swedish culture with the basic meaning “to have coffee”, often accompanied with pastries or sandwiches”.
Sounds pretty spot on to me! However, you may be thinking “So what? Everyone can enjoy a cup of coffee”, but there’s much more to it than that. For the Swedes, this is an opportunity to pause your day, share time with friends or colleagues, much like Hygge, but essentially it’s a moment in which to leave the stresses of work behind you, unlike here in Britain or the US, where coffee is a fuel to be taken in short bursts at your desk or on the commute. I think whether you’re at work, in the middle of studying or in between school runs, everyone could do with practising the art of Fika.
And what’s Fika without the right equipment?! It seems many of the homeware retailers out there are embracing the trend, too; Oliver Bonas has dedicated a small collection of tableware entirely to Fika, and you can find an ever-growing number of Fika inspired cups, mugs and teapots in many stores across the country.
Here’s my pick of everything you need to take a little pause in your everyday life and embrace this longstanding Swedish tradition…