Archive | November, 2014

Putting on the glitz

28 Nov

sequin cushions pillows

It’s almost December, so I’m going to get the ball rolling and start talking about Christmas. Every year, the shops are flooded with special ‘Christmas’ cushions – usually in red with festive slogans on – that are all incredibly cheery and Christmassy, but that also have an incredibly short shelf life. As soon as Christmas day is over, off they go to the loft/cupboard/blanket box for another twelve months.

Not so the sequin cushion. Nope, the sequin cushion – a thing of beauty – will look suitably sparkly all December; partytastic on your sofa over New Year; and if teamed with classy grey or white bedlinen, will give your bedroom a touch of glamour all year long.

The high street have cottoned onto this, and there are plenty to choose from at the moment. My two favourites are the silver ‘Glitzy’ sequin cushion, £12 from Isme.com (also available in red and black); and the on-trend copper sequin cushion, £12.99 from H&M Home (also available in pink and green), both above.

I’m also liking (from left to right, below) this ‘Luxe Large’ sequin cushion, £20 from BHS; this rectangular ‘Sequin Embellished’ cushion from Marks & Spencer; and this sequin number with a black background, £9.99, from H&M Home:

Sequin cushion £20 BHSAnd if you love the idea of metallics but think sequins are just a little too bling…how about this fantastic metallic silver cushion from Tesco Direct, below? It looks uber expensive, but will set you back just £10. Who can argue with that?!

MetallicCushion,£8 Tesco

PS: It’s awards season in the blogging world again, and I’m very excited to be nominated in this years’ blogging Oscars, the UK Blog Awards – in both the ‘Lifestyle’ and the ‘Most Innovative’ categories. So, if you enjoy reading this blog as much as I enjoy writing it, I’d be honoured if you’d click on the below links and vote for me. Voting takes literally seconds – you just enter your name and email address – and would make me incredibly happy!
To vote for me in the ‘Lifestyle’ category, click here:
http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/candidates/the-treasure-hunter-uk-2/
To vote for me in the ‘Most Innovative Blog’ category, click here:
http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/candidates/the-treasure-hunter-uk/
If you only feel like voting once, please vote in the Lifestyle category. Voting closes on 3rd December.
Thank you!

 

How to get a whole new bedroom for just £150!

26 Nov

photo 1 (3)

Argos is the store where you really can buy anything. It’s long had a reputation for practical items like kettles or washing up bowls – and at bargain prices – but it wasn’t necessarily the first place you’d think of going for great-looking interiors stuff.

Now, that’s changed. Thanks to a team of style-savvy buyers, the new in-house Heart of House range, and the addition of furniture and accessories from Habitat, you can pick up some fab homes bits that look way more expensive than their very reasonable price tags.

To prove this, Argos challenged me to revamp my main bedroom entirely with their products – and on a tight maximum budget of just £150. A boring blank canvas to start with…

photo (90)

…I wanted a fun, colourful scheme that would work with my existing charcoal grey world type map print from Bold & Noble (check it out here). So, to echo the global theme, I took a cheery grass green zebra cushion – just £12 – as a starting point, and based everything else around that.

Here’s the result:

photo (87)

It’s bright and cheery, fairly unisex (Mr Treasure Hunter hates florals!) and very easy to live with.

Want to recreate the look? Here’s my tips:

– Bring a monochrome scheme like this to life with just one or two punchy accent shades. I’ve gone for poppy red and my all-time favourite colour, grass green, which is big news for 2015, by the way!
– When mixing pattern, look for a common thread to tie everything together, whether that’s a shape or a shade. Here, the zebra stripes are echoed in the uneven lines on the duvet…

photo 2 (4)
– It’s a myth that you have to spend a fortune on bedlinen. This ‘Dashes’ set is just £11.99 for a double duvet cover and two pillowcases, and looks way more expensive once it’s dressed up with cushions and a throw. Check out Argos’ other bargain bedding designs here and cushions here.
– Reversible bedding is a great idea, as you can change up your look in seconds. This set is white-with-black stripes on one side, and black-with-white stripes on the other.
– Forget white sheets – add interest with brightly-coloured ones instead, along with matching pillowcases. Here, I’ve gone for bright red.
– Hate your carpet? Give it a whole new look with an inexpensive rug. The one I used has a flat weave, is a decent 120cm x 180cm, and costs just £40. Argos have loads of other colours and textures too – check them out here.
– Desk lamps make perfect bedside lamps as you can direct the light exactly where you need it. The switches are also often more accessible than on table lamps…
photo 2
– Look for quirky-shaped bowls to use as trinket dishes beside your bed for storing little bits and bobs like rings and lipbalm. The dish I used is actually meant for souffles or dips!

And here’s my shopping list:

Dashes double duvet set (double) £11.99. ColourMatch poppy red double fitted sheet £7.99 for a double. ColourMatch poppy red housewife pillowcases £2.50 for a pair. Habitat Zig zebra cushion s £12 each. Red cotton throw £17.99. ColourMatch desk lamps in poppy red £5.99 each. Green Habitat Orrell rug £40. Jones by Newgate Rise and Shine alarm clock £14.99. ColourMatch smoke grey cotton cushion£4.99. Denby cherry red flower ramekin dish £11.99.
TOTAL = £148.42.

1471504_R_Z001A_UC1615980

 

PS: If you enjoy reading this blog as much as I enjoy writing it, I’d be honoured if you’d click on the below links and vote for me in the UK Blog Awards. Voting takes literally seconds – you just enter your name and email address – and would make me incredibly happy!
To vote for me in the ‘Lifestyle’ category, click here:
http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/candidates/the-treasure-hunter-uk-2/
To vote for me in the ‘Most Innovative Blog’ category, click here:
http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/candidates/the-treasure-hunter-uk/
If you only feel like voting once, please vote in the Lifestyle category. Voting closes on 3rd December.
Thank you!

Topper the morning to you!

24 Nov

like_sleeping_on_a_cloud_by_purplefairy456-d42a5pf

The best night’s sleep I ever had was in a hotel in San Francisco (the Hotel Diva). The bed was so comfy it felt like sinking into a cloud when you lay down. So, what was the secret … in-house hypnosis? Nap-inducing drugs in the air-con system? Nope. A mattress topper.

My bed at home feels anything but cloud-like. Although it’s fairly new and gets flipped/turned regularly, my uber expensive mattress from John Lewis already has more ups and downs than Taylor Swift’s love life.

So, rather than spend another small fortune on a new one, I’ve opted for the San Francisco solution and invested in a high tech Clusterfull mattress topper from The Fine Bedding Company (£85 double or £95 kingsize, view it here):

photo 2

The Rolls Royce of toppers, it looks like a thin duvet, with elastic straps at the corners to attach it to your mattress. It has lots of square internal pockets filled with ‘Smartfil’ fibres, which are apparently coated with a diamond-hard yet silky soft silicone, meaning they slide over  each other rather than getting squished together. The result? Supposedly super breathability (meaning you’re neither too hot nor too cold); snuggleability (!) and durability. The makers claim it’ll keep its soft, spongy plumpness for years.

photo 1

 

This all sounds impressive, but does it work? In short, YES. Easy to fit, I was expecting to feel some lumps and bumps from the mattress, but the topper filled them all. Now, it’s like sleeping on an entirely different bed. I used to find it hard to get back to sleep if I woke in the night, but now I drop back off again as soon as my head hits the pillow. My only regret is that I didn’t get a topper earlier!

Fancy giving your mattress a new lease of life? Here’s my topper tips…

– Think about synthetic vs natural fillings. While you can get luxurious-feeling toppers stuffed with feathers or down, a synthetic filling might be better if you suffer from allergies.
– Look for pockets. In some toppers, the filling is ‘loose’, meaning it can shift around inside. Over time, this can make for a very uneven surface to lie on. Pockets mean the filling is distributed evenly throughout the topper – and it can’t move.
– Prolong the life of your topper with a mattress protector. Many toppers – including mine, even though the filling is synthetic – aren’t washable, so putting a washable protector over the top makes sense. I got the Spundown Mattress Protector, from £30. Here’s how it looks on the bed:

photo 3

 

Right, after sharing all this, I think I need a little lie down. Sweet dreams!

PS: If you enjoy reading this blog as much as I enjoy writing it, I’d be honoured if you’d click on the below links and vote for me in the UK Blog Awards. Voting takes literally seconds – you just enter your name and email address – and would make me incredibly happy!
To vote for me in the ‘Lifestyle’ category, click here:
http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/candidates/the-treasure-hunter-uk-2/
To vote for me in the ‘Most Innovative Blog’ category, click here:
http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/candidates/the-treasure-hunter-uk/
If you only feel like voting once, please vote in the Lifestyle category. Voting closes on 3rd December.
Thank you!

The best slippers in the world (plus £5 off!)

21 Nov

photo 3 (3)

Chuck away your moccasins! Sling away your slip-ons! Because I’ve found the Holy Grail of slippers.

Choosing the perfect slipper is no mean feet, sorry, feat. A good pair needs to be snuggly and warm, yet hardwearing and – ideally – look good too. Most of the slippers I’ve owned in my life only meet a few of these criteria – slip-ons look a bit grannyish; mules lose their shape; while furry ones are cosy but you wouldn’t want a hot date to see you in them. A few years ago, I was given a pair of felt clog slippers that ticked all the boxes. They were so comfy – with a hardwearing sole – that I once wore them out to the supermarket without realising.

When they finally died – after three years of wear – I vowed to buy more. Only thing is, I couldn’t find them… until now. Say hello to Haflingers – the slippers to beat all slippers.

Made of natural (and very toasty) materials like felt, wool, leather and cork, they’re available from Shoegarden.co.uk  and there are over 70 styles, shapes and colours to choose from, including nordic patterns, cats, cherries, flowers, chunky knits and stripes. Many have thick rubber soles – so you can nip out to empty the bins without taking them off – and you can chose either backless, slip-on or more snug versions with a lip at the heel.

Haflinger_cherry_1024x1024

I’ve gone for the Grizzly Classic Clog in green, which has a lovely Scandi-style trim, and a cork and rubber sole. They’re so ridiculously comfy they seem to mold to your feet, and I’ve already left the house in them twice by accident.

photo 1 (3)

At £49.99 (prices range from £34.99 to around £59.99 depending on style), they’re admittedly more than your average department store-bought slippers, but considering they feel twice as snug and will probably last three times as long, they’re cheap at the price I reckon.

16940720_1024x1024

What’s  more, the lovely people at Shoegarden.co.uk have agreed to give all Treasure Hunter readers £5 off any pair of Haflingers – just enter the code TREASUREFOUND at the online checkout. Code is valid until 19th December 2014.

So, what are you waiting for? Get your hands on – and feet into – a pair today!

PS: Been converted to Haflingers? Send me a pic! I’m at thetreasurehunteruk@gmail.com

PPS:  If you enjoy reading this blog as much as I enjoy writing it, I’d be honoured if you’d click on the below links and vote for me in the UK Blog Awards. Voting takes literally seconds – you just enter your name and email address – and would make me incredibly happy!
To vote for me in the ‘Lifestyle’ category, click here:
http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/candidates/the-treasure-hunter-uk-2/
To vote for me in the ‘Most Innovative Blog’ category, click here:
http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/candidates/the-treasure-hunter-uk/
If you only feel like voting once, please vote in the Lifestyle category. Voting closes on 3rd December.
Thank you!

Let it glow

19 Nov

A shaped marquee lights

One of these on-trend letter lamps will leave your pocket a lot lighter…

Yep, the one on the left is £245 from Goodwin & Goodwin (get it here – also available in every letter up to Z), while the one on the right is just £30 from George Home at Asda Direct (get it here – unsurprisingly they keep selling out, so you may have to sign up for a restock notice…)

So, grab yourself an A-mazing bargain now!

PS: It’s awards season in the blogging world again, and I’m very excited to be nominated in this years’ blogging Oscars, the UK Blog Awards – in both the ‘Lifestyle’ and the ‘Most Innovative’ categories. So, if you enjoy reading this blog as much as I enjoy writing it, I’d be honoured if you’d click on the below links and vote for me. Voting takes literally seconds – you just enter your name and email address – and would make me incredibly happy!
To vote for me in the ‘Lifestyle’ category, click here:
http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/candidates/the-treasure-hunter-uk-2/
To vote for me in the ‘Most Innovative Blog’ category, click here:
http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/candidates/the-treasure-hunter-uk/
If you only feel like voting once, please vote in the Lifestyle category. Voting closes on 3rd December.
Thank you!

Grin and bear it

18 Nov

Mel Yates_G&G Autumn 14_10242

Why have an ordinary, boring side table when you can have a bear or a tiger?!

HOMES ED LOVES Polar bear side table £125 Rockettstgeorge.co.uk (cut out)

Perfect for holding up the bear – sorry, bare – necessities, such as a lamp, pile of mags, or just a cup of tea, these friendly fellas will look right at home next to a sofa or bed, and inject a huge dose of quirky fun into any room.

They’re a decent size (53cm tall and 33cm wide), and made of moulded resin.

Want to adopt ‘Tyson’ the tiger? He’s £125 from Graham & Green (here)…

 

kqe2576_m3-lr-ls

…while ‘Benny’ the bear and ‘Petri’ the polar bear are both £125 each, from either Rockett St George (here or here) or Graham & Green (here or here):
eac7325_lr_ls_1

PS: It’s awards season in the blogging world again, and I’m very excited to be nominated in this years’ blogging Oscars, the UK Blog Awards – in both the ‘Lifestyle’ and the ‘Most Innovative’ categories. So, if you enjoy reading this blog as much as I enjoy writing it, I’d be honoured if you’d click on the below links and vote for me. Voting takes literally seconds – you just enter your name and email address – and would make me incredibly happy!
To vote for me in the ‘Lifestyle’ category, click here:
http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/candidates/the-treasure-hunter-uk-2/
To vote for me in the ‘Most Innovative Blog’ category, click here:
http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/candidates/the-treasure-hunter-uk/
If you only feel like voting once, please vote in the Lifestyle category. Voting closes on 3rd December.
Thank you!

 

Please vote for me!

17 Nov

unnamed

It’s awards season in the blogging world again, and I’m very excited to be nominated in this years’ blogging Oscars, the UK Blog Awards – in both the ‘Lifestyle’ and the ‘Most Innovative’ categories.

So, if you enjoy reading this blog as much as I enjoy writing it, I’d be honoured if you’d click on one (or both) of the below links and vote for me. Voting takes literally seconds – you just enter your name and email address – and would make me incredibly happy!

To vote for me in the ‘Lifestyle’ category, click here:
http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/candidates/the-treasure-hunter-uk-2/

To vote for me in the ‘Most Innovative Blog’ category, click here:
http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/candidates/the-treasure-hunter-uk/

If you only feel like voting once, please vote in the Lifestyle category. Voting closes on 3rd December.
Thank you!

 

 

The last unicorn

13 Nov

unicorn dish

Now, I realise no-one needs a porcelain jewellery dish with a unicorn in the middle, but seriously, just how lovely is this? You can place chains and earrings in the dish part – so the unicorn is dancing in a sea of gold and silver; and pop rings on his horn.

At £9.95 from Sass and Belle (here) he won’t break the bank either. A lovely gift – although I bet if you buy one you end up keeping him for yourself!

 

Admit one (into your house)

11 Nov

Cinema ticket doormat

Doormats, let’s face it, are usually pretty boring. After all, there’s only so much you can do with a rectangle shape. This rubber one, however, is thinking a little bit outside the box- and I think it’s pretty awesome.

In the shape of a cinema ticket, it’s perfect for a film fan (or anyone bored of run-of-the-mill mats) and shows guests you’ve got a sense of humour before they’ve even crossed the threshold. Just don’t be surprised if they start demanding a giant vat of Coke and a tub of popcorn.

Get yours from The Gift Oasis for £22.99 here.

It’s a mug’s game

9 Nov

alphabet letter mugs £2 each Matalan

Giving a gift with someone’s initial on always seems that little bit more personal, and over the years, I’ve given many a letter mug to friends (often packaged with a fancy box of tea or coffee) as a thank you or birthday present.

Thing is, these mugs usually cost around a tenner each. So when I saw these fab alphabet mugs from Matalan for, wait for it, just £2 each, I got more than a little excited. At that price, you could even splash out on a set of several for a family; or buy a pair for a couple.

Obviously the popular letters are bound to get snapped up first, so if you want one (or several) better get yourself down to Matalan or visit their website pronto.

letter a mug Matalan £2PS: Love the idea but not got there fast enough? Oliver Bonas do almost idential alphabet mugs for the more pricely sum of £10 each, here. In fact, they have a whole range of alphabet stuff, from candles to washbags – well worth checking out.

 

From Catwalk to Cushion (part 2)!

4 Nov

catwalk to cushion 1

Above:
FOLK Catwalk – Temperley London/Cushion – Matthew Williamson at Debenhams £28.
STRIPES Catwalk – Sass & Bide/Cushion – Ikea £4.

One of my favourite ever posts on this blog has to be ‘From Catwalk to Cushion’ (from September 2013 – read it here).

Earlier this month, I was asked to recreate it for Notebook (the magazine published with the Sunday Mirror) as part of their recent Homes Special. The idea was to find cushions that were inspired by the Autumn/Winter 2014 fashion runways.

Well, I LOVED researching this piece so much, I thought I’d share my catwalk/cushion comparisons with you. So here it is, ‘From Catwalk to Cushion’ Part 2. Enjoy!

Catwalk to cushion 2

GREY Catwalk – Christopher Kane/Cushion – H&M Home £14.99.
ROSES Catwalk – Giambattista Valli/Cushion – Wilko £7

Catwalk to cushion 3

METALLIC Catwalk – Antonio Beradi/Cushion – H&M Home £12.99
LEOPARD Catwalk – Sportmax/Cushion – Tesco Direct £16

Catwalk to cushion 4

COLOUR BLOCK Catwalk – Tsumori Chisato/Cushion – Ikea £7
FOXY Catwalk –  Dolce & Gabbana/Cushion – Dunelm £12.99

Catwalk to cushion 5

PURPLE Catwalk – Prada/Cushion – Wilko £8
INDIGO Catwalk – Temperley London/Cushion – Sainsbury’s £16

Catwalk to cushion 6

CHECK Catwalk – Tommy Hilfiger/Catwalk – Homebase £11.99
ZIGZAG Catwalk – Issa/Cushion – Zazzle £25.95

Catwalk to cushion 8

TWO TONE Catwalk – Emanuel Ungaro/Cushion – Very.co.uk £15
BLUE Catwalk – Richard Nicoll/Cushion – Wilko £6.50

Catwalk to cushion 7

WOLF Catwalk – Antonio Marras/Cushion – Tesco Direct £8
FURRY Catwalk – Prada/Cushion – Dunelm £7.99

Catwalk to cushion 9

EMBROIDERED Catwalk – Temperley London/Cushion – Dwell £49
BUTTERFLIES Catwalk – Valentino/Cushion – Marks & Spencer £19.50

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