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Clock this baragin!

31 Aug

Copper clock £4.99 B&M Stores (boxed)

A few weeks ago, I visited one of the country’s biggest B&M stores and wrote about it for the Daily Mail (you can read it here).

I confess, I’d never been to either a B&M Home (huge warehouse-like stores selling thousands of products) or a B&M Bargains (the smaller high street version) before. And I LOVED it! It’s a bargain-hunter’s paradise. You really can buy anything there, from food to furniture – and it’s all an absolute steal.

What I really liked though was the homewares section. Yes, there were the cushions, kitchenware and picture frames you might find in any high street shop, but there were also some brilliant designer-look bits at frankly criminal prices. Think mirrors with straps, copper cutlery, wire storage baskets and several amazing clocks. My favourite was this cool wall clock, above (available with either numerals or lines on the face). Not only does it nail this season’s copper trend, but it costs just £4.99. Yep, a fiver. Unbelievable!

Here’s the numeral version next to an almost identical Karlsson one, which costs £68 from Idyll Home; and an Acctim one, £40, from Debenhams. Can you spot the difference? Tricky, isn’t it?!

bmstores-301329-Copper-Wall-Clock-2 £4.99From L to R: Copper clock £4.99 B&M; Karlsson copper clock £68 Idyllhome.co.uk; Acctim copper clock £40 Debenhams

So, if you haven’t already paid a vist to a B&M Store, I think it’s, ahem, time, you made a special trip! Race you to the tills…

 

The Friday Find: All the fun of the fair-y cake

5 Aug Ferris Wheel Cupcake Holder, £4.99 Home Bargains

Ferris Wheel Cupcake Holder, £4.99 Home Bargains

Why display your cupcakes on a boring old plate or cake stand when you can pop them in a ferris wheel instead?!

Not only does this fairground-inspired cake display gizmo look fun, but it actually turns and what’s more, it’s just £4.99 (nope, that’s not a typo, it really is under a fiver).

Great for a child’s party or, erm, just a treat for yourself. You could even spray paint it a different colour or add ribbons or pompoms if you were feeling particularly fancy.

Available in-store at Home Bargains (www.homebargains.co.uk)

 

 

The Friday Find: Cactus makes perfect

22 Jul Cactus storage jars Howkapow

Cactus storage jars Howkapow

I’ve mentioned before (here) that I’m a huge cacti fan, so I’m glad to see they’re sticking around interiors-wise. And the latest cactus-shaped items to catch my eye are these quite frankly awesome glossy ceramic cactus pots, from Howkapow.com.

Designed and made in Amsterdam, and complete with hand-painted prickles(!), they’re ideal for storing jewellery, cookies, stationery… you name it, you can pop it inside.

The small (17cm tall) version is £12.95, the medium (19cm tall) version is £18.95 and the large (23cm tall) version is £24.95.

Available to buy now, if you want one, I’d look sharp if I were you, as they’re bound to be a succulent – sorry – success!

Medium Cactus Jar £18.95 Howkapow.com

The Friday Find: Look sharp!

27 May IMG_0607

IMG_0607

Why have a small, boring pencil sharpener when you can have one shaped like a robot?!

Pop your pencil into this friendly fella’s mouth, turn the handle on his back, and he’ll happily chomp away, storing the shavings in his tummy to be emptied later.

Not only does he do a great job, but he looks amazing too. And the best bit? He’s just £3 (yep, three quid!) from Tiger Stores (www.tiger-stores.co.uk), so I recommend you pop one in your basket… sharpish!

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Parrot fashion

23 Mar ARC050_1

ARC050_1

Sometimes it’s possible to take life – and work – too seriously. The tropical trend is going to be huge news this summer, so why use a boring biro when you can use a pen with a cheery carved parrot or cockatoo instead?

These bright little birdies are £3.50 each at Sass & Belle (Sassandbelle.co.uk), and there are four designs to choose from.

I’m going to tweet – sorry, treat – myself to the red parrot. How about you?

 

Hang it all!

25 Feb Desk pegboard (pic courtesy TheTreasureHunterUK.com)

Desk pegboard (pic courtesy TheTreasureHunterUK.com)

Back in May last year, I posted about lusting after a pegboard for my home office. A cross between a pinboard and a shop display board, pegboards are essentially flat bits of wood with holes in them, into which you push small pegs or clips to hold or hang stuff from.

Traditionally used to organise tools or products in shops, they’re now making their way into our homes and being used to tidy up stationery, craft supplies, jewellery and even kitchen bits…

You can make your own (and the talented Christine over at Sewyeah blog has an easy tutorial) but if you’re lazy/busy like me, you can buy one ready-made. Block Design (Block Design) have a good selection, in white, yellow, blue or printed with a world or UK map design, priced from £25 for a mini board to £60 for a large one.

I went the lazy route and bought a large white one, above, and I LOVE it! It makes me feel super-organised just by looking at it.

My top tip if you have a lot of stuff to hang is to make your own pegs. The boards come with a few, and you can buy extras, but they’re not cheap. I just got a long piece of dowel rod from B&Q for a couple of quid and chopped it into inch-long pieces with a hacksaw. You could paint the pegs if you liked, but I’ve left mine bare (as I say, I’m lazy!).

Feeling inspired? Here are some other ideas for using your pegboard:

Monochrome pegboard (pic by fabricpaperglue.com)

Above: Monochrome peg board by Fabricpaperglue.com

Workspace pegboard (pic by thedesignfiles.net)

Above: Workspace pegboard by Thedesignfiles.net

Craft room pegboard (pic by craft-o-maniac.com)

Above: Craft room pegboard by Craft-o-maniac.com

Below: Yellow peg board by Block Design

Yellow pegboard £25 (mini) to £65 (large) Blockdesign.co.uk

 

 

Kitsch’n’chic

22 Jul George Home SS15 bright retro kitchen farm fresh range

George Home SS15 bright retro kitchen farm fresh range

People can be a bit snooty about shopping for homeware in supermarkets, but quite frankly, they’re missing out. George Home at Asda (and at George.com) in particular has some brilliant accessories at the moment that are bright, quirky and absolutely BARGAINOUS.

I’m particularly excited by their Farm Fresh kitchen range (in the photo above). With retro styling, eye-popping colours and purse-friendly price tags, you could go wild in the aisles and still have plenty of change left for your weekly food shop.

My personal favourites? The cockerel tray £5, Rise & Shine mugs £5 for a set of four, Polka dot cake tins £7 for three and the wooden utensils £2 for three:

5054070515785

Also worth popping in your trolley is the Jones Lemonade bottle clock £12 (looks designer but is waaaaay cheaper), and the Milkshake tea towel £2:

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Anything flamin-goes!

17 Jun LIFESTYLE SHOT 4 Domingo the Fabulous Flamingo artificial bird £49 Rockett St George

LIFESTYLE SHOT 4 Domingo the Fabulous Flamingo artificial bird £49 Rockett St George

Above: Domingo the Fabulous Flamingo ornament, £49, Rockett St George

Last year, it was all about owls. But this summer, the birdie to watch is definitely the flamingo. Quirky, fun and unashamedly pink, flamingo-themed homewares are, ahem, flying out of stores. 

You don’t need to go overboard – just a set of fairy lights here or a cushion there will bring your room bang up to date and make you think of summer.

Here’s my pick of the best flamingo products to feather your nest with…

Below: Garden flamingos £30 per pair The Contemporary Home; Sommarfint glass 50p Ikea; Embroidered cushion £8 Tesco Direct

flamingos 1

Below: Shower curtain £15 Habitat; Lampshade £44.52 (various sizes and matching accessories available) Georgia Wilkinson; party lights £14.95 Dotcomgiftshop.com

flamingos2

Below: Flamingo duvet set £25 (and all other accessories) Very.co.uk

LIFESTYLE SHOT 2 Flamingo double duveet set £25 and all other products , Fusion range at Very.co.uk

Copper load of this!

30 Mar Dunelm Cleo Copper Pendant -ú19.99

Dunelm Cleo Copper Pendant -ú19.99

From high end stores to the high street, copper accessories are EVERYWHERE right now.

H&M Home, Habitat and Sainsbury’s have all got some lovely pieces, but my favourite find of the moment is this Cleo pendant shade from Dunelm (buy it here), with its designer looks and bargain £19.99 price tag.

It’d look particularly good in a hallway, letting maximum light shine through, and casting cool geometric patterns on the walls. And if you’re feeling really flash, why not make a feature of the lightbulb too and fit this fab Retro Bayonet Faceted Light Brown Bulb, £4.99, also from Dunelm (buy it here)?

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Turn over a new leaf in the bedroom

26 Mar

TREND Botanical - Marks and Spencer

All products in the above shot are from Marks and Spencer

The botanical look is huge news this Spring – gorgeous greens, fabulous fern, leaf and flower prints, lots of lovely natural wood and a splash of this season’s must-have metal, copper.

Marks & Spencer have nailed the trend with their showstopping Eve bedlinen (seen on the bed above, from £19.50). In grown-up green and black, it’ll make any bedroom look classy and is totally unisex.

Want to try the look above yourself? Here are my top tips:

  • Take your inspiration from nature with fern, leaf, flower, butterfly and insect prints on bedding and cushions. Try (L to R) the Butterfly cushion £7 George Home at Asda; the Butterfly cushion £19.50 Marks & Spencer; or the Spring Butterfly Green cushion £6 Matalan:

butterfly cushions

  • Black bedrooms aren’t just for teenagers. Create drama with a decadent feature wall painted in matte black paint. Just keep the walls, ceilings and curtains white, unless you like having a room so dark you bump into things in the night!
  • Bring the outside in and use plants like accessories. Dot them around the room, in pots on the floor and from the ceiling in hanging planters, like this bargainous Riskorn planter £6, from Ikea:

Colourcheck No Info: Jenny Söderström 

  • Go for pale, unpainted wood furniture to keep things looking as natural as possible. It’ll also help offset the dark walls and bedding. I like the copper details on this Range side table, £149 from Made.com:

Oak and Copper Range Side Table Oak Copper £149 Made.com

  • Create quirky wall art with artificial succulent plants. Glueing them in place would mean a replaster job when they came down, so attach a stick-on an adhesive disc plate-hanger (£1.64, Amazon.co.uk) to the back of each pot, and hang them from picture hooks or nails instead. These ones are £2.99 each from Dunelm:

Green Succulent Plant In Ceramic Pot £2.99 each Dunelm

  • A desk lamp is the perfect alternative to a traditional table lamp as it allows you to direct light where you need it most. Choose one with copper details – one of this season’s hottest trends; it looks great with black and green. I like this wood effect desk lamp, £20 from George Home at Asda:
  • Wood Effect Desk Lamp £20 George Home at AsdaChoose a lampshade in a natural material such as wood, raffia or wicker. The gaps in the shade will create a lovely dappled, forest-like effect when the light is switched on. Try the Mandy shade, £18, B&Q:

Lights By B&Q Mandy Bamboo with Inner Diffuser Light Shade £18 B&Q

Doggy style!

11 Feb

Billie butter dish £15 Cath Kidston

Love or hate Cath Kidston, I defy anyone not to have a soft spot for her new ceramic range. There’s not a flowery pattern in sight – just good quality white china with a cute little white terrier called Billie sitting on top. I’m particularly in love with the butter dish, £15, above; but he also sits proudly on a single tier cake stand (£25) and two sizes of storage jar (starting at £15 for the medium, below):

Billie cake stand £25 Cath Kidston

And while we’re at it, I also have a LOT of time for Cath Kidston’s Cranham range, printed with a bright-coloured ric rac pattern. I’m obsessed with the milk jug, £8, below; and there’s a matching sugar bowl, £7; plus a rectangular plate, mug/saucer, egg cup and cake stand too. Yum!

Cranham milk jug £8.50 Cath Kidston

Retro fabulous

6 Feb

Tesco SS15_052

Tesco Direct have been coming up with some fantastic homewares of late (see my bedroom makeover post from October here) but this season they’ve really outdone themselves. Their new Mid Century range combines two of my favourite things – bright colours and retro style – in one amazing new collection.

And what’s more, because it’s from Tesco, it’s absolutely bargainous!

Stand-out pieces include this designer-look Retro teapot, £10; set of espresso mugs with saucers, £12 for four; and matching sugar bowl and jug, £4 each…

Tesco Miami Coffee Table £79, Espresso Mugs and Saucers £12, Retro Teapot £10, Retro Milk Jug £4, Retro Sugar Pot £4

…the covetable geometric and bird cushions, £8-12 each, plus the Miami occasional table in sulphur yellow, just £29 (the matching white coffee table is £79)…

Tesco Direct Julianne Loveseat Felt Effect Pepple £399, Miami Occasional Table Sulphur Yellow £29, Pasadena Ceramic
…the tweet – sorry, sweet – set of bird cake tins, £10 for two…

Tesco Retro Bird Baking Tins 2 for £10…and the tactile red Palermo stacking chairs, £49 each; matching Palermo dining table (a steal at £149); and cheery yellow Thorpness pendant light £29:

Tesco Direct Palermo Dining Table £149, Palermo Stacking Chair £49, Thorpness Large Metal Electric Pendant £29

It’s all available online at www.tesco.com/direct and instore from now onwards. See you at the checkout!

 

 

Let it glow

3 Feb

 

Get-Lucky

I’ve been hankering after a large circus marquee style wall light for a while, and once our loft conversion was complete, I had the perfect blank wall at the top of the stairs to hang one on. Thing is, these kinds of lights are usually so darn EXPENSIVE.

So, I was chuffed to discover the range of bargainous oversized vintage lights at chic online homes boutique Oliver Hayden. There are five designs to choose from, including a question mark, a ‘Get Lucky’ arrow, a ‘Sweet heart’ heart and a tattoo-style star, plus a smaller ‘Love’ heart:

Large-Star-300x270

At £45 for the large versions and £25 for the small, they’ll make a statement without breaking the bank; plus unlike other more costly designs which need to be plugged in with an unsightly cable, these use batteries and have a discreet switch at the side, meaning you can hang them anywhere.

Mr Treasure Hunter and I treated ourselves to the Get Lucky arrow light, which now hangs – slightly cheekily, as my mum has pointed out – just outside our new loft bedroom:

photo (93)What I particularly like about it is that it looks cool whether it’s lit or not, and whether it’s day or night.

Fancy one of your own? They’re in stock now (buy the arrow light here) but do keep selling out. I’m assured Oliver Hayden re-stock regularly, but still, better get your name down pronto!

 

 

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!

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.

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

Any excuse to eat cake!

29 Oct

COUNTRY Orla Kiely set of 5 Cake Tins £37 Uniqueandunity.co.uk

A while ago I blogged about my amazing set of Orla Kiely cake tins – a set so gorgeous that months on, they still sit proudly in a stack on my kitchen worksurface, rather than hiding away in a cupboard.

Well, Orla has just released some new prints – available on everything from mugs to storage – and her cake tins have had a makeover too. What’s more, they’re just as AMAZING. At £37 for a set at John Lewis or Unique & Unity, they’d make a lovely gift and they’re fairly reasonable too, when you consider you get five.

I can’t think of a single better excuse to bake (or just buy) more cakes and biscuits!

PS: Not got room for five cake tins? Try the trio of storage canisters / caddy set instead, £25 from John Lewis (here) or Unique & Unity (here):

pear canisters by orla kiely

Bargain bedroom makeover

27 Oct

Wide shot bedroom (widest)

Kitting out a bedroom from scratch can be expensive – whether you’ve just bought your first place; have had an extension; are moving into new rented or student accommodation; or are simply giving a tired room a complete revamp. When you’ve got everything from bedding and cushions to accessories to think about, making somewhere look homely can mount up – fast.

The thing is, stylish, good quality yet cheap homewares aren’t always easy to find. Which is why I’m a huge fan of Tesco Direct‘s new homes ranges. The supermarket has really upped its game when it comes to interiors recently, and their collections for this Autumn/Winter are fantastic. There’s a contemporary country look with pale blue and natural wood; an Oriental collection with velvet, teal, hot pink and purple; an ‘Old Hollywood’ look with glamorous black, copper and gold; an update on the cosy cabin look with oranges and tartans; and my favourite, a monochrome Manhattan loft collection, with pops of red, black and navy.

So, when Tesco challenged me to make over the bedroom in my new loft on a budget, it wasn’t difficult. I set myself a budget of £350, with the aim of creating a bright, fun, friendly space where guests would instantly feel at home. This is the very boring room beforehand…

Bedroom before

And this (plus the pic at the top of this post) is the room after!

After shot

I decided to stick to Tesco’s recommended palette of black, white, red and blue, as it’s easy to add to – or change – as time goes on.

My top tips for a scheme like this:

–  Boost the impact of a patterned duvet set by pairing it with co-ordinating plain coloured pillowcases and sheets.
–  A chair is a big-ish investment, but will give your room a really ‘finished’ look (and provide somewhere for guests to sit/lay their clothes).
–  Storage boxes are a great way to keep clutter out of sight – choose patterned ones that go with the decor.
–  Combine a radio and alarm clock to take up less space on the bedside table.
–  Make your own artwork to save money – I bought two plain white frames, and got a local framer to make a mount with four apertures, which I filled with Pantone postcards.
–  Follow the geometric theme through elsewhere in the room, for example, in the pattern on the vase, and on the chair cushion.

Close up of bed cushion and artwork

And my top buys? The geometric duvet set (which Mr Treasure Hunter wasn’t at all convinced about beforehand, but now loves); the handy – and bargaintastic – bedside lamps, which look way more expensive than their £15 price tags; and the stylish grey fabric retro tub chair, which at £119 is far nicer and cheaper than anything similar I’ve seen elsewhere (it comes in other colours, and if you’ve got the space, there’s a matching sofa for £169 too!):

Close up side table

If you want to recreate the look, here’s my complete shopping list:

Geo triangle duvet cover and pillow set, double (also available in single and kingsize) £15. Twin pack housewife pillowcases in red royal (available in other colours) £3. Brooklyn desk lamps in white (also available in chrome) £15 each. Arai cushion in red (also available in blue) £10. ‘No place like home’ cushion £14. Retro fabric tub chair in charcoal £119 (also available in red or mocha – and there’s a matching sofa in each colourway too!). Lightweight knitted pouffe in red (also available in chocolateivory, lime or pink) £40. View Quest mini DAB+/FM radio in red (available in many colours) £59.95. White vase £10. Space dyed throw in grey £20. Black & white storage boxes from £3.50. Basic photo frames in white (11″ x 14″) £5.60 – all from Tesco.
TOTAL: £335.65

I also added a couple of items I already owned: Red Tvis rugs £4.50 each, Ikea. Travel Europe print by Robert Crampton £26.99 for 61cm x 81cm (prices start at £13.99 for a 20cm x 30cm print), Allposters.co.uk, which was framed by a local framemaker. Pantone postcard box of 100 postcards £12.78 Amazon.

PS: If you’ve made-over a room on a budget, drop me a line at thetreasurehunteruk@gmail.com – I’d love to see some pix!

bedroom with focus on chair

 

 

Create a cosy reading nook… on a budget

20 Oct

Dunelm happy cushion

In the corner of my office is a lonely sofabed. I’ve been meaning to do something with it for a while (other than pile papers and magazines on it):

Dunelm red before

Then Dunelm, as part of their #MyDunelmBag campaign, challenged me to show how you can makeover an area of your home for just £50, using only homewares available instore or online at Dunelm‘s webite.

Everything they sell is such a bargain, it wasn’t difficult. With £50 to spend, you can easily transform an unloved area like the above into a cosy reading nook. The ingredients? A ‘Happy’ cushion £9.99 (made of good quality fabric, with a hidden zip and sky-blue underside – a total steal!), supersoft Basketweave throw £17.49 (also available in red), cute owl table lamp £12.99, Folk floral barrel mug £2.49, Cosy Skandi side plate £1.99 and a 1L Kilner preserving jar (which I’ve used to store pens) £2.99. The only thing I added other than these was an old crate, which I used as a side/table/mini bookcase (although Dunelm also sell lovely white painted new crates like these from just £5.99 here).

And here’s the end result:

Dunelm red after2

It’s a friendly, welcoming space I actually want to spend time in. What’s more, the grand total came to just £47.94. Not bad, eh!

Feeling inspired? You can win a whopping £250 in Dunelm vouchers by taking photos of your recent Dunelm purchases and sharing them online with the #mydunelmbag hashtag on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram before the 28th October 2014.

Happy shopping/snapping!

 

 

 

 

Raise your glasses

7 Oct

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Why have boring clear wine glasses when you could have these lovely coloured vintage ones instead?

With a pleasingly chunky stem (so you’re less likely to snap them while washing up!) they come in a mix of dusky pastel shades – purple, teal, pink and grey.

A set of four costs £39.50 from Marks & Spencer (www.marksandspencer.com), and you can get matching vintage tumblers (for £35) too. Bottoms up!

 

Vintage Inspired Wine Glasses £39.50 for four Marks and Spencer

Blurred lines

3 Oct

Betty Jackson, Tripod lamp with Geo shade £65 Debenhams

Why stick to the straight and narrow when  you can zig zag instead? One of the cheeriest homes trends of the moment, zig zags – or chevrons as designers prefer to call ’em – are everywhere right now.

While my other half, Mr Treasurehunter, says they make him feel like he’s had one too many beers, I personally love them, and am lusting after a black and white chevron rug for my home office.

If you really, really, really wanna zig zag-ah (sorry!), there’s a huge array of different colours, widths and products out there, and a couple of chevron cushions or a chevron shade will not only brighten up your room, but your day too. Here’s my pick of the best:

Top: Lamp £65 Betty Jackson Black at Debenhams; Chevron wall clock £31.05 Shannybebo at Etsy.com/uk; Teapot £21.95 Zazzle.co.uk

Below: Chevron lampshades £2.99 each The Range (www.therange.co.uk)…

Chevron lampshades from the range

 

Below: Picture frame £16 Oliver Bonas; Fabric storage trays £32 for set of three, Living by Christiane Lemieux at House of Fraser; Vase £15 BHS; Duvet set £14 for a double Wilko

Duvet Set Black £14 for double Wilko

Below: Chevron print mugs £5 for four George Home at Asda Direct

Chevon print mugs £5 for four George at AsdaBelow: Towels from £9 Betty Jackson Black at Debenhams

 

 

Black by Betty Jackson towels from £9 Debenhams

Below: Mind the Gap tray £19.99 and Between the Lines cushion £39.99 London Transport Museum Shop (www.ltmuseumshop.co.uk)

Mind the Gap Tray £19.99 ltmuseumshop.co.uk

 

Below: Eileen rug £70.95 Joss & Main; Zig zags cushion £21.95 Zazzle.co.uk; Zig zag pouffe £150 Debenhams

Eileen Rug £70.95 Joss & Main

Below: Sabichi Herringbone throws (in plum or grey) £15 each, Very.co.uk

RRD-GBSPE-10205925

 

25% off at Habitat? Yes please!

24 Sep

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Visiting a stylish friend’s house the other week, I admired her brightly-coloured school-style dining chairs. “Habitat” she said proudly. And her oversized ceiling shades? “Habitat”. And her expensive-looking cushion? “Habitat!”

Habitat has been producing some lovely stuff recently, but if, like me, you have more of an Ikea-kind of budget, it can be just that little bit too expensive at times. So, I was very excited to get advance notice of a flash sale tomorrow, both online at www.Habitat.co.uk and instore (early birds can start shopping the sale prices from 7pm tonight online), where there will be 25% off EVERYTHING. There’s no need for a code – discounts will be deducted at the checkout.

Top of my shopping list is the Zig zebra cushion, which will be just £9 (normally £12); closely followed by the sunny Blossom side table, £37.50 (normally £50); and the stylish jade Mia jewellery box, £22.50 (normally £30):

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Other top tips include their fab geometric bedding (top), and their gorgeous vases and candlesticks in this season’s “it” shade, copper:

COPPER_RGB

 

So, what are you waiting for? Set your alarms, and I’ll race you to the checkout!

 

A sticky subject

19 Sep

Taxi Finished taxi on wall

Wall stickers or ‘decals’ are everywhere. I’ve seen them in magazines, in shops, on Pinterest, on friends’ walls… they can look brilliant, and transform a room very cheaply, but I’ve always suspected they might be fairly tricky to apply. So, when it came to putting one on my little boy’s room wall, I thought I’d share the experience with you…

My son is OBSESSED with taxis, so I bought a new London cab design from a seller called rs201111 on Ebay.co.uk. It’s worth checking out Ebay for wall stickers/decals as you may be able to save tens of pounds compared to places such as Notonthehighstreet.com and bouf.com (who both have lovely designs too). Mine cost just £6.99 for a huge 58cm x 38cm sticker personalised with my son’s name. Not bad eh?

Now for sticking it to the wall…

1) Start by unrolling your decal (I recommend only buying flat decals – more on this later). The actual vinyl sticker part is sandwiched between a layer of thick white backing paper, and a layer of thinner application paper (which looks a bit like greaseproof paper you’d use for cooking with). Your first job is to place the decal on a flat surface, face down, and rub over the backing paper with a credit card to ‘activate’ the decal and make it stick to the application paper.

Taxi unrolled

2) Place your decal where you want it on the wall, and stick it down with masking tape on the top edge only. I used a spirit level to make sure it was completely straight, as I’m a bit anal about these things. It’s a bit time-consuming, but worth it to get it just right:

Taxi placing on wall

 

3) Now’s the first tricky part. Lift the decal up, using the tape as a hinge to keep the design in place. Starting from a corner, slowly begin peeling away the thick backing paper. The actual decal should still be stuck to the greaseproof-like application paper. If at any point any of the design is still stuck to the backing paper, you need to stop, rub the application paper onto the decal again, and slowly continue. It’s little areas – in this case, the lettering and the grill – that are most likely to cause problems, but if you’re careful and patient, it does work:

Taxi taking off backing paper

 

4) And the second tricky part. Lower the now-sticky decal back down, using the credit card or your hand to press the application paper onto the wall, starting in the middle and working your way outwards towers the edge of the design. Pay attention to any air bubbles or creases, smoothing them outwards to get rid of them. Finally, gently peel off the application paper. Your decal should now be firmly stuck to the wall!

Taxi smoothing onto wall

 

My verdict? It was indeed fairly time-consuming, so not something to be attempted in a rush. Also, despite my very, very careful application, I was left with a few tiny creases – the result of the decal having been rolled in the post. So, if you’re buying a wall sticker, my top tip is to ask the seller to post it flat, even if that adds a little extra to the cost.

Having said that, the end result (see pic at the very top of this post) looks great, and my little boy LOVES it. He’s now asking for a red bus on the opposite wall (“…and a fire engine, and a digger, and a car!”) so I have a feeling I’m going to become a bit of an expert at applying stickers by the time all his walls are covered…

Have you got any good wall decal tips? If so, I’d love to hear them!

Down to the wire

17 Sep

Oliver Bonas wire furniture lifestyle shot

If you haven’t been into Oliver Bonas for a while (or checked out their website, http://www.oliverbonas.com), it’s definitely worth taking a peek. As well as reasonably-priced bright and funky jewellery, fun nick-nacky type gifts and a neat range of flirty dresses, they’ve been making huge strides with their homewares recently.

My favourite of their new offerings has to be these cool iron wirework shelving units, available in several sizes and an array of colours, including neon brights, go-with-anything white, and this season’s must-have shade, copper. They’d work as everything from bedside tables to home office storage, and are definitely more exciting than the usual wooden or MDF offerings found elsewhere.

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Costing £65 (for a two-hole version), £85 (three holes) or £165 (huge nine-hole version), they’ll be available from mid-September – ie: any day now. I’m coveting a small two-hole version in orange, below, for my new study – how about you?

Orange Iron Storage Shelf £60 Oliver Bonas NEW SEASON

 

Sounds amazing

15 Sep

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As regular readers will know, I’m a sucker for anything retro, so I’m more a little in love with the latest addition to my home office – this ViewQuest Retro DAB+ Radio.

In lovely mustard yellow leatherette, with chrome and cream details, it’s a radio, clock, alarm clock and iPod/iPhone dock all rolled into one…

photo 2 (5)

You can choose between a model with a traditional Apple dock, or one with a future-proof ‘lightning dock’ (for iPhone 5s). It runs off the mains or batteries, and is so simple to use even technophobes like me can have it up and running within minutes. What’s more, the sound quality is great – even if, ahem, you’re only listening to cheese, like yours truly. I was given it to review for a magazine feature, and I’m properly impressed – not surprisingly, it’s also been given five stars by What Hi-Fi in their Sound and Vision reviews.

01_Retro_ColourGen_Red_lightning

Don’t like yellow? It’s also available in a rainbow of other shades, including red, pink, cream, pale blue, teal, brown, black and gorgeous emerald green, as well as three limited edition Emma Bridgewater prints. Quite honestly, I’m having to fight my other half over which room it’s going to go in – it’d look just as lovely in a bedroom, living room or kitchen as it would in a study.

Tempted? Check out the full range at www.viewquest.co.uk and buy one here for £99. Considering a similar retrotastic Roberts design would cost you upwards of £160 or more (and that’s without an alarm or dock), it’s practically a bargain!

13_Retro_EmmaB_Black_Toast_Lightning

 

Bathroom on a budget

9 Sep

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Showing my neighbours our new shower room the other day, one of them remarked, “Oooh, did you realise your handwash matched your bathroom cabinet?” as his girlfriend rolled her eyes heavenward. Erm, well, yes, that was kind of the point..!

Having just spent what seems like millions of pounds on a loft extension, we didn’t have a lot left to kit it out. So, when it came to doing the shower room, I was on a mission to save as much money as possible. The builders provided the basics (toilet, shower cubicle, sink and towel rail) but they were just that – basic. We managed to get much nicer designs – including a wall-hung sink which makes the space look bigger than one with a pedestal – for the same price as the cheap ones, from the very friendly staff at Bathroom Heaven (www.bathroomheaven.com), who, it turns out, are happy to match almost any other quote.

I knew I wanted grey metro tiles, but in such a small space, they couldn’t be too dark. Drawing a blank at all the usual places such as Topps Tiles, I eventually found the perfect mid grey ones at Tons of Tiles (www.tonsoftiles.co.uk). For an incredibly bargainous £14.50 per square metre, they come in all kinds of shades, and look amazing (in comparison, Topps’ ones start at £40.50 per sq m).

Colorcheck: Elin

As for accessories, I had a budget of £100 max. A good trick in a teensy room like this is to go for just one main pop of colour, to avoid overwhelming the space. My best buy was this metal Gunnern cabinet from Ikea, above. In a lovely teal blue, it has several adjustable shelves, and looks way more expensive than the staggeringly cheap £30 price tag. I found the perfect powder blue door hook to match for £3.50 from Theforestandco.com, below; a small white pedal bin for just £3 (!) at Wilko (www.wilko.com); and a little bamboo caddy for £6 in the sale at Sainsbury’s (John Lewis do something incredibly similar, here, for £20).

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Next, I took one of the cabinet shelves with me to John Lewis (johnlewis.com) to find the towel and bathmat (my husband thought I was a bit mad, but how else can you tell if you’ve got the right match?!). This lovely teal House Grid towel with steel grey trim was £8 and the ‘new steel’ grey bathmat was £10.

photo 1 (2)

Finally, as this is a guest bathrooom, I wanted to stock it with communal toiletries that not only did the job but looked nice too. Most aqua or teal-coloured bottles are for blokes, but the fab Method Waterfall handwash, £2.50 from Sainsbury’s is an exact match and does away with the need for a separate liquid soap pump; while these Aloe Vera ones from Marks & Spencer (marksandspencer.com), below, look suitably posh, yet cost just £3 each.

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My camera isn’t the greatest, but here’s the finished room, below. Not bad eh?!

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Like my neighbours, I can’t resist nosing around other people’s houses, so if you’ve redone your bathroom recently, send me some pix. I’d love to see ’em!

 

Bin somewhere nice?

3 Sep

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As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, there’s a distinct lack of good-looking wastepaper baskets on the market these days. For some reason, most of the bin designs out there are a bit, well, rubbish.

However, good old John Lewis (www.johnlewis.com) has addressed the problem. I’m after a bin for my office, and the new green wire one from their ‘House’ collection, £15 (above, left) is perfect. Okay, so the on-trend wire design may not be any good if you regularly throw away small things like paperclips, or anything that might spill, but it will look arty with crumpled up paper inside.

There’s a yellow version too, for £20 (it seems you have to pay £5 for the luxury of handles!).

Want one? You can get the green one here and the yellow one here.

 

 

On reflection

27 Aug

hanging-circular-mirror--30cm-£15 Matalan

Every season the high street gets better and better at bringing out reasonably-priced versions of designer homewares. I’ve been lusting after a mirror-on-a-rope for a while now, but they usually cost silly amounts of money. So, well done Matalan for creating this new little beauty (available here), above, which is a decent 30cm wide and costs just £15. Bargain eh?

I’m also loving this PS Table Mirror from Ikea, below (details here), which is perfect for a dressing table. As well as being a handy makeup mirror, it’s a jewellery stand too. Part of the store’s more exclusive PS designer range, it looks way more expensive than it’s £15 price tag.

ikea-ps--table-mirror £15

 

Make a date

7 Aug

 

kikkerland calendar box on its own

Ever feel you’re so busy you don’t know what day it is? Well, with this super cool gizmo you’ll have no excuse.

Designed by trendsters Kikkerland, it looks like some kind of mid-century board game, but is in fact a handy calendar. Just place it on your shelf/desk/mantlepiece or hang it on a wall; then turn the coloured knobs to set the day, date and month.

What’s more, the front slides off to reveal a secret little box for things you want to keep safe, such as your keys, tickets or even your phone. I fell in love with it the minute I saw it, and have just invested in one for my new desk.

The Kikkerland Calendar Box costs £16.80 from Fred Aldous – they’ve just sold out (I must have bought the last one!) but they’re coming back in stock any day and there’s a form on their site that you can fill in to reserve yours. Alternatively, several Ebay sellers have new ones for sale too.

Kikkerland calendar box with hand

Sofabed so good

5 Aug

sofa-bed-twingle-redas-sofa-red

Who knew sofa beds could be so expensive, unattractive and uncomfortable? I need one for my new study, but I’m short on space and everything in the shops is either way over £400, or pretty darn ugly.

Yes, Ikea do some decent ones, but most are either really long, or pretty pedestrian looks-wise. What I wanted was one that didn’t take up much space, looked nice when in ‘sofa mode’ and didn’t cost the earth.

The answer? I went to The Futon Company (www.thefutoncompany.co.uk). I admit, I’ve always been a bit biased towards futons, assuming they were a bit hippy-ish, so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw their range. As well as double sofa beds and single sofa chairs, they do a really sweet single sofa bed called a Twingle, top.

Looking like a cute, almost Japanese mini sofa during the day, it’s just 150cm wide. You simply flip down one side to turn it into a daybed; or both sides to turn it into a single bed within seconds:

sofa-bed-twingle-fieldmouse-as-longchaise-lge

It comes in red, blue or ‘fieldmouse’ (beige to you and me). There’s an optional storage drawer that slots underneath, and you can even paint the wooden frame if you like:

colour-twingle-side-shot-green

At £279, it’s not mega cheap, but it is way less expensive than most other single sofabeds on the market; looks really unusual; and is a darn sight comfier as both a sofa and a bed than either the usual fold-out-foam models or metal-framed springy versions. I’ve bought one in cheery red, as it’ll look good against the white walls of my home office, piled with bright cushions.

The Futon Company don’t just sell chairs and sofas though. I was also really impressed by their range of good-looking but incredibly reasonable furniture and accessories. My faves? Below, clockwise from top left: the clever folding wardrobe, £49.95, which is great for a spare room; the designer-look coat hook, £14.95; and the stackable bamboo cube, £29.95:

bamboo-wardrobe-new-open-lge

 

 

 

Get the look: Sweet Shop Shades

28 Jul Pastels shoot - accent chair close up

Pastels shoot - main room shot with accent chair

One of this summer’s biggest trends, pastels are the perfect way to inject some light, life and colour into your home. But forget pale, wishy washy shades, this season’s pastels are brighter and punchier – think candy pinks, mint greens, sky blues and calming lilacs.

I was thrilled to style up a room for a feature in The Sunday Mirror’s Notebook magazine recently, showing readers how to get the pastel look. The brief? The sofa/armchair were to be from DFS, and everything else had to be affordable and from the high street.

The end results are above and below. To help you recreate the look, here’s my tips on being pale yet interesting…

  • Take a wow factor wall canvas or cushion as a starting point; then pick out colours from the print to use elsewhere in the scheme. The wall art I used is from Australian website Urban Road, who’ve recently started selling in the UK. Check them out for huge contemporary canvases at really decent prices:Pastels shoot - wall art close up
  • Contrast paler, chalky hues with splashes of bolder shades for a more contemporary feel:Pastels shoot - macaroonsPastels shoot - candlesticks close up
  • Pale pastel paint is a fresh alternative to white. Mix things up by pairing green and blue or pink and yellow on different walls.
  • Light natural wooden furniture in oak or ash will warm things up; then add a colour-popping metal side table or two:Pastels shoot - bowls close up
  • A grey sofa is a good investment. It will ground the room – stopping it from feeling too girly – and should work with almost any other scheme should you wish to redecorate in a couple of years’ time! I loved the retro-feel of the DFS Mira sofa and accent chair I used in the shoot.
  • Add retro accessories – an old skool radio (the one I used is a steal from Argos) or phone, or a vintage-style armchair will give your room personality:Pastels shoot - accent chair close up
  • Avoid colour overload by keeping curtains sheer; then add a white or neutral blind if you need more privacy.
  • Use flowers to accessorize all areas Go big and bold with pink or white blossom and catkin branches; or dainty and delicate with pastel freesias, peonies or tulips. The flowers you want not in season? Cheat with fakes from Bloom or John Lewis – these days they’re so well made you can hardly tell the difference unless you get up close.
  • Pale wood flooring will keep the scheme looking modern, while a pale candy-striped rug will help subtly define your seating area. The one I used is from an amazing website called CarpetVista – if you’re after a large rug on a small budget, they’re well worth checking out.

AND HERE’S WHERE TO BUY EVERYTHING…

Mira 3-seater sofa £999 DFSMira accent chair £669 DFSBen de Lisi set of two metal tables £95 DebenhamsWire table £75 Oliver BonasCotton stripe rug from £70.84 Carpetvista.comTuscany sideboard £159 Very.co.uk; Tuscany ready assembled large bookcase £199 Very.co.ukSpring Rain canvas from £64.34 UrbanRoad.com.auGeorge Nelson blue block clock £65 BluesuntreeWall print £19.50 for pack of four Marks & SpencerGreen scandiphone £41.95 bloomsburystore.comLavender patent pocket Filofax £28 Filofax.co.ukBamboo gloss lacquer bowls £5 (small) £12 (large) Oliver BonasBush Retro DAB Radio £69.99 ArgosAqua wire fruit bowl £15 DebenhamsSuperliving candlesticks from £17 each Northlighthomestore.comMaxi tealight holder £2 TescoBeehive throw in rose £49 Welshblankets.co.ukHerringbone throw in apple green £49 Welshblankets.co.ukBlue Brakig cushion £10 IkeaHeron cushion £20 Magpieline.comDiamond cushion £8 TescoBalloon cushion £8 TescoQuilted Diamond  Persimmon cushion £35 Nitin GoyalGraduate Collection Geo Pastels cushion £40 letitreign.co.ukDulcie frame £14 Oliver BonasSoy Wax scented candle no.3 £9.95 Dotcomgiftshop.comCockatoo on perch £16.95 Rigby & MacMeow storage tins £12 for three Magpieline.comLavender Knitted Pod £70 NextArtificial blossom and catkins £15 each Bloom.uk.com

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Above: Me, working my (ahem) magic!

Great Scot!

22 Jul

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If there’s one thing I love almost as much as cakes and biscuits, it’s homewares with cakes and biscuits on.

So, I’ve been seriously lusting after pretty much everything by Scottish designer Gillian Kyle (www.gilliankyle.co.uk). Taking her inspiration from the brilliant packaging of sweet treats such as Tunnock’s Teacakes, Caramel Wafers, Caramel Logs, Wham bars and Scottish fudge; as well as favourites such as fish’n’chips, oatcakes and retro Creamola foam crystals, her quirky, fun and colourful range includes everything from mugs and tote bags to coasters, aprons and ovenmitts (check them out at the bottom of this post). And, while it’s all reasonably priced, it’s also great quality – handprinted and made in the UK.

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However, it’s her red and white rectangular Caramel Wafer and round teacakes cushions, £36.50 each, that are my absolute faves. Gillian has very kindly given me one of her wafer designs for my new home office, above, and it really is a thing of beauty. In tactile, unbleached organic cotton, it’s filled with duck feathers (none of your synthetic nonsense here) and squishes just the right amount when you sit against it. At 32cm x 54cm, it’s a perfect size for an armchair or sofa, or would look cool teamed with a red throw on a plain white bedspread. I LOVE it.

The only problem is, I’m now tempted to get the matching coasters (£12.75 for four) to go with it!

Gillian Kyle coasters

Gillian’s stuff makes great gifts that you won’t find all over the high street. What’s more, if you know any Scots or Brits abroad, the teatowels and coasters are light, flat and easy-to-post without costing an arm and leg in shipping costs. To buy her designs, visit http://www.gilliankyle.com

Creamola mug gillian kyle

Above: Creamola mug £11.50, Delicious ices tea towel £5.70, Tunnock’s Teacakes round cushion £36.50

Fish and chips apron from Gillian Kyle

Above: Fish and Chips apron £19.95, Oatcakes tea towel £9.50, Victorian Lemonade tote bag £16

PS: Gillian is one of six finalists in the Glasgow’s Favourite Business awards, hosted by the city’s Evening Times (more info here). To vote for her, email businessawards@eveningtimes.co.uk stating ‘Gillian Kyle to win!’

 

Blooming lovely!

21 May

Dunelm Mill floral cushions

This week, London plays host to the Chelsea Flower Show. My dad’s a botanist, and so I was lucky to visit the show several times as a kid. I always loved walking round the imaginative gardens packed with every plant under the sun, and tents full of amazing arrangements.

So I’m loving the current trend – in both fashion and homewares – for fabulous florals. Forget girly, ditzy prints, it’s all about beautiful, blowsy blooms in bright, bold hues.

Adding florals is a great, cheap way to inject a bit of fun into your home – a couple of colourful cushions like those from Dunelm Mill above (L-R: Meadow Breeze, Florale, Gigli, all a bargainous £9.99 each) will look stunning against white bedlinen or on a plain sofa. Use them to make a statement on their own, or jazz things up further by adding unpatterned accent cushions or throws in contrasting shades.

Next have got a great selection of florals this season (L-R: Bold Chrysanthemum rug, from £70; Raspberry felt flower cushion £14; Square felt flower cushion £14; Elegant Hydrangea rug, from £95)…

Next rugs and cushions with flowers

 

…Then there’s the folk floral trend, which works brilliantly in the kitchen (L-R: Carolyn Donnelly Eclectic Flower Teapot £17 Dunnes Stores; Floral storage tins £6.99 each, Mollie & Fred)…

Gypsy folk floral homewares…and I LOVE these Japanese print Esmie handbound A6 notebooks, £13 each, from Berry Red:

Esmie handbound A6 notebooks £13 Berryred.co.uk

 

You can get floral bedlinen too (below right: Meadow Breeze duvet set, from £11, Dunelm Mill); and even plastic outdoor picnicware (below centre and left: At Home With Ashley Thomas melamine plates and plastic hi-ball glasses, both £16 for four, Debenhams):

Delicate floral homewares

Plus there are all kinds of other fun bits and bobs to be found – I like this amazing-smelling Cherry Blossom Handcream (£6.50, Pierrot et Coco); these Rose fairy lights (£12, Cargo Homeshop) and crazy Floral Sunglasses (£1.99, Home Bargains, also available in other colours):

Girly florals

Finally, why not go the whole hog and dress in florals too? I’m particularly lusting after these fab basketball shoes – cheaper than Converse and just as wearable for summertime (L-R: Floral t-shirt £24, Next; George at Asda Statement flower necklace £12 coming soon at Asda.com; Canvas basketball shoes £20, Next: Dalton Sunflower Shift Dress £24.99, Daisy Street, also available in orange/green; Floral Mac £28, Next):

Floral fashion from Next DaisyStreet and George at Asda

 

Hang on a minute…

15 May

l.blue-pegboard-large

I’m about to start on a loft conversion (a topic I’m sure I’ll bore you all silly with over the coming few months!) and the most exciting thing about it? It means I’ll be finally moving out of the desk in my spare room into my VERY OWN OFFICE!

And a pegboard is the very first thing I plan to put up in there. For those not in the know, a peg board is a handy way of storing things – it consists of a sheet of board with lots of holes in it, that you hang on the wall, then pop hooks into the holes to hang things off. Traditionally used in places such as garages or hardware shops, pegboards have been slowly but surely popping up in the homes of trendy folk for a while now, to hold everything from stationery, craft supplies and photos to jewellery and kitchen tools.

Dark-blue-pegboard-small

My talented arty friend Christine from Sew Yeah has two amazing pegboards – and I’ve been planning to make my own for a while. The idea is simple, you just get a sheet of ready-made pegboard cut to size from a timber merchant; add some wooden batons on the back; paint it whatever colour you like; then hang it on the wall (see Christine’s post about making them here).

Simple! Well, it would be if I ever got round to doing it. Which I haven’t. So, I was delighted to see that lovely homeware brand Rose & Grey (www.roseandgrey.co.uk) are launching a range of , erm, off the peg pegboards at affordable prices that are ready to hang, hooks-and-all!

pegboard-light-blue

Available in a choice of dark blue, light blue (my fave) or white, they include fixtures and fittings and come in two sizes: Small, £30 (30cm x 43cm with eight large pegs and four small pegs) or Large, £40 (59cm x 40.6cm with ten large pegs and five small pegs). You can get your hands on one from the 26th May…

Who knew getting organised could look so chic?!

pegboard-white-styled-2

 

Having a ball

2 Apr

Hanging Cluster 1000

How much fun are these beach ball lights? Far more exciting than your usual paper-style lantern, these are made from strong PVC with an airtight LED lighting compartment. Created by the former Head of Store Design at Habitat, they come flatpacked so that you can blow them up with a vacuum cleaner to get that firm, bouncy look:

Beach ball lights kids bedroom

Aimed at cool kids’ rooms, they look equally quirky in a more adult setting. Pop one in your downstairs loo, or hang a row somewhere unexpected, like the kitchen:

Interior Shot Beach Balls HIGH 2.7mb

 

Available in pendant and floor/tabletop versions, they’re not exactly a bargain at £90 each, but they will look fantastic, get you lots of admiring comments, and remind you of summer all year long.

Get yours at beachballlights.com

 

 

 

Animal magic

27 Feb

Abode by Magpie tins

British brand Magpie (www.magpieline.com) make some lovely things – from their gift-worthy mugs with different letters of the alphabet on, through to their cushions and tableware with 1950s-inspired bird prints. So I was really excited to see their new range – Abode – featuring four little animals in their natural habitats.

Inspired by geometric patterns as well as African and Scandinavian design, they’re fun, quirky and totally covetable.

Top of my wishlist is the handy set of three tins, £16, above. They’d work equally well in a home office or bedroom as they would in the kitchen. Get them here.

Other items in the range include these sets of two tea towels (£12 for a pair)…

Deer and mouse tea towels Abode by Magpie

…and the individual boxed mugs, which would make great gifts, £8.50 each…

Deer and woods mug Abode by Magpie

… plus a gorgeous boxed espresso set (a perfect wedding gift, £22.50)…

Abode by Magpie espresso set

…and set of four side plates, £20, which you could mix with white tableware:

Set of four side plates Abode by Magpie

PS: keep an eye out too for the fab placemats (£20 for four) and coasters (£10 for four) which are coming soon.

From catwalk to couch…

19 Feb

Leica S

It’s my favourite time of year – when all the shops start stocking up with their new Spring/Summer ranges.

And this year, more than ever before, the high street has taken its cue from the catwalk when it comes to deciding what looks the best-dressed homes are going to wear.

For 2014, the biggest trends are… Punchy Pastels (think brighter, candy colours rather than paler hues); Monochrome (with a pop of yellow, red or neon to give a bit more oomph – see Marks and Spencer’s new range, above); Metallics (including bronze, which is huge this year – see House of Fraser’s new range, below); Modern Romance (dusky pinks and lace); Global fusion (a melting pot of tribal patterns and ethnic-inspired nick-nacks); and Playful Prints such as cats, parrots and even goldfish.

PRECIOUS METALS LIFESTYLE SHOT bedstead, side table and all accessories Biba at House of Fraser 1

To find out more, read my guest post on the subject at the fabulous Wear and Where blog here – or buy the March issue of Glamour magazine (UK edition) which is on sale right now until the end of the month. Here’s a sneak peek:

photo (19)

Cabin fever

29 Jan

LIFESTYLE SHOT Cosy Contemporary NB PIX - ALSO AVAILABLE AS A 43MB TIFF

It’s cold, wet and frankly disgusting weather outside at the moment, so when it comes to decorating your living room, you need a cosy, comfy warm-feeling space you can curl up in and hibernate (but that will still look fresh and stylish in the summertime too).

This was the brief I stuck to when I created the above living room scheme which appeared in Notebook magazine (the very excellent supplement that comes with the Sunday Mirror) last  weekend.

It’s themed around the stunning Nasturtium fabric from designer Julia at Winter’s Moon (visit her website here)…

Made in Britain-Cameo-05_RT cushion close up

Purple, blue and bright orange might seem odd colours to throw together, but they work brilliantly well, adding zing and life to neutral walls and furniture. Using the lovely cushions and lampshade from Julia’s range as a starting point, I used other accessories to pick up the colour theme, including purple curtains, accent cushions and a radio; and orange flowers, accent cushions and a throw to transform the armchair:

Cosy Contemporary Made in Britain ARMCHAIRI also can’t resist a feature wall, so I faked a log cabin look with wood panel effect wallpaper. And as this look is all about bringing the outside in, I added some nods to nature with a fun foxy cushion, a basket of real logs, a stag’s head wall hanging, and a ‘nest’ print from one of my favourite design teams, Bold & Noble:

Cosy Contemporary Made in Britain CUSHIONS

Cosy Contemporary Made in Britain SIDEBOARD SCENE

I’m really pleased with the way it all turned out, and what’s more, everything used in the shoot, from the furniture, wallpaper and curtains to the log basket, rug and teapot on the table was made in the UK.

GET THE LOOK!

Want to recreate this look? Here’s where to buy everything you see in the room (plus, if you scroll down, I’ve got some suggestions for cheaper versions of some products for those of you on a tight budget!):

Cocktail 4-seater sofa, £1598, Cocktail accent chair, £898, and Cavendish furniture, from £149, all DFS (dfs.co.uk). Polycotton rib pencil pleat Curtains in cassis, from £50, Roberts Revival radio in ‘cassis’, £159.95 and Scion Mr Fox cushion £40, all John Lewis (johnlewis.co.uk). Windowpane check pure new wool throw in tangy orange, £40, woolblanketonline.comLarge square Nasturtium floral cushion, £56, Rectangular Nasturtium cushion, £48 and Bell bottom table lamp in orange with Nasturtium shade, £134, all Winter’s Moon (wintersmoon.co.uk). Large vase, Sophie Conran for Portmeirion, £41.60, Portmeirion (portmeirion.co.uk). Purple and orange ‘Soho’ cushions, £26 each, Heal’s (heals.co.uk). Handknitted teal throw, £160 and Oval basket shopper, £52 both Make The Most Of (makethemostof.co.uk). Sisal rug, £385.70 Crucial Trading (crucialtrading.co.uk). Heather teapot, £58 and mugs, £10.50 each, Denby (denby.co.uk). Circular slate cheeseboard (used as tray), £16, Grey and Echo (folksy.com/shops/greyandecho). Round slate coasters, £22 for four, Just Slate (justslate.co.uk). ‘Nest’ print, £43, Bold & Noble (boldandnoble.co.uk). Cardboard stag’s head, £15, Oh Bother Design (etsy.com/uk/shop/OhBotherDesign). Artichoke candle holders (used as bookends), £24 each and Cream serving dish with yellow rim, £18, all Velvet Dash (velvet-dash.com). Timber wallpaper in ‘limed’, £69.90 per wide roll, Andrew Martin (andrewmartin.co.uk)

BUDGET ALTERNATIVES:

cosy cabin get the look for cheaper

[Above, left to right, top to bottom] Tuscany sideboard £149 Very.co.uk. Spectrum DABFM Digital Radio £29.95 John Lewis (johnlewis.co.uk). Fox cushion £28, Howkapow.comThe Hamptons chunky knit throw  £18.39 Dunelm Mill (dunelm-mill.com). Chenille cushion £8 BHS (bhs.co.uk). Jute natural rug from £35 Next (next.co.uk). Retro ceramic lamp £14 Wilko (wilko.com). Oslo nest of two tables £49 Isme.comPurple teapot £6.48 kitchenhomeware.co.uk. You’ll also find great wood panel wallpaper for around £20 a roll at B&Q (diy.com) and Wallpaperdirect.co.uk.

Guess Who’s doing the drying up?

27 Jan

Guess Who tea towel £7.95 prezzybox.com

If there’s something I love as much as cushions, it’s teatowels (I know, I don’t get out much!). So, when I saw this little beauty, printed with all the faces from fab retro board game Guess Who? for £7.95 at Prezzybox.com, I just couldn’t resist adding it to my collection.

Why? Maybe it’s because it was the only game I ever beat my little brother at (okay, so I admit I had to cheat…); or maybe it’s because the eight-year-old me used to want a natty green beret like ‘Maria’. Either way, it’s going to look fab in my kitchen.

Perhaps I should buy my brother one too, to rub his face in it – sorry – dishes with it?

Initial thoughts

10 Jan

Marks and Spencer F cushion It’s been a while since I saw something and bought it immediately, but the moment I spotted these alphabet letter cushions from Marks & Spencer (www.marksandspencer.com), I loaded up my online shopping basket quicker than you could say (or should that be ‘spell’) OMG. They are, quite simply, AMAZING. Not only do they look stylish and fun, but they’re just £10 each. Yep, you read that right, just a tenner each. Which means you can treat yourself to one with your initial on without feeling guilty at all…

Marks and Spencer J cushion…or go crazy and spell out a whole world on your sofa without breaking the bank (well, not spending an absolute fortune, anyhow).

Their simple design means they’d suit almost any kind of decor, and they’d make an absolutely perfect present, particularly for a wedding (you could buy two, one with the bride’s initial and one with the groom’s).

Race you to the checkout!

Marks and Spencer initial letter cushions

A little bit of Glamour

7 Dec

Glamour magazine UK January issue

Do you have a small room or flat you want to spruce up? Got a little space but big ideas?

Then buy a copy of this month’s Glamour magazine (January issue – Rihanna on the cover). It’s got a really useful three-page feature full of tips about how to make the most of your home, no matter how tiny.

Of course, I’m a bit biased, as I wrote it (!), but still… it’s very handy, it’s just £2, and it’s on sale now!

My YouTube debut!

3 Dec

Styling the shoot for First Direct

Last week I posted about a styling challenge I did for online bank First Direct to inspire people buying their first ever home.

Well, they’ve just released a short video full of tips with some behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the three bloggers involved (including yours truly making my on-camera debut!).

Watch it in all it’s glory on YouTube here…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuLYON3kasA

or on the First Direct Facebook page here…

https://www.facebook.com/firstdirect

 

 

Do you remember the first time?

29 Nov

Main mood wall cropped

Buying your very own home for the first time is nerve-wracking but brilliant. Once you’ve got the keys, you can do whatever you like – knock down walls, put psychedelic wallpaper everywhere or paint the whole place pink if the whim takes you – without worrying about losing your deposit because you’ve put a picture up, or didn’t stick to a magnolia colour scheme.

The only problem is, with such a huge blank canvas to put your stamp on, where on earth do you start? Particularly if, like most first timers, you’ve sunk every penny  you own on the deposit.

That was the conundrum given to me and two other interiors bloggers (Caroline from Patchwork Harmony and Carol from Dear Designer) by uber friendly online bank First Direct.  They challenged us to create a 3D moodboard wall to inspire people buying their first ever house or flat. I had a whale of a time sourcing, buying and borrowing props in a rainbow of bright colours; and then spent a fun afternoon creating the wall in an East London warehouse, with the help of the super lovely First Direct team. You can see the results above and below…

Jenny Wood Gallery (2)

The idea behind my mood wall was show that decorating your first home should be fun – and shouldn’t cost a fortune. So, everything I used is available on the high street or online, and has an affordable price tag (it’s all listed below – be warned, it’s a looooong list!). I also wanted to show that you don’t have to play it safe. Even if you go for a background of plain or neutral walls, you can still inject some personality into your scheme with pops of bright colour or by experimenting with an eyecatching feature wallpaper.

Styling the shoot for First Direct

Want to see more? You can see the other bloggers’ efforts on the First Direct Facebook page, and view a video full of tips (including an interview with me – eek) here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuLYON3kasA. And if you’re thinking of investing in bricks and mortar for the first time, you’ll find loads of useful advice from First Direct here.

Good luck!

Where to buy everything…
Kaleidoscope wallpaper by Harlequin, £30 per roll, Wallpaper Direct (wallpaperdirect.com)
Clock, £10, TK Maxx (tkmaxx.com)
Owl cushion, £14.99 Dunelm Mill (dunelm-mill.com)
Purple, green, orange and yellow cushions, £6 each, Matalan (matalan.co.uk)
Grey pouffe, £47, Very (very.co.uk)
Micro loop bath mats (on floor), £8 each, Matalan (matalan.co.uk)
Large industrial wirework shelf, £49.95 Live Laugh Love (livelaughlove.co.uk)
[ON SHELF]
Picture frame, £1, Poundland
Hello Sunshine postcard, 60p, Paperchase (paperchase.co.uk)
Origami crane light, £8 Cubic (cubicuk.com)
Owl candle, £3, Matalan (matalan.co.uk)
Teal canister £2, Tiger Stores (tigerstores.co.uk)
Pencil sharpener desk tidy, £15, Suck UK (suck.uk.com)
Sharpie markers from a selection, Amazon.co.uk
Solar Queen, £16.99 Play.com
Melamine bowls find similar at Nettle Green (nettlegreen.co.uk)
Mug from a selection, Achica (achica.com)
Chinese man pot junk shop find
Russian doll measuring cups, £6.24, Tesco Direct (tesco.com/direct)
Gibraltar highball glasses £2.50 each, HOUSE by John Lewis (johnlewis.co.uk)
Plastic boxes, from a selection at Paperchase (paperchase.co.uk)
Ceramic owl decoration, find similar, £5, from Red Berry Red at Notonthehighstreet.com
Tea towels, £3 for three, Wilkinson (wilko.com)
Star cookie cutters, £4 for pack of five, Sainsbury’s (sainsburys.co.uk)
Set of measuring spoons, £2, Tiger Stores (tigerstores.co.uk)
[ON WALLS]
H.O.M.E perspex letters, £6 each, Oh Bother Design at Etsy (etsy.com/uk/shop/OhBotherDesign)
Large picture frame junk shop find, sprayed in Plastikote yellow gloss spray paint £6.99Amazon.co.uk
Bunting, £1 for 10m, Tiger Stores (tigerstores.co.uk)
Lanterns, £3 each, Tiger Stores (tigerstores.co.uk)
[ON WHITE BOX]
Trimphone telephone, £42, I Love Retro (iloveretro.co.uk)
Orla Kiely ‘Stem’ salad bowl, £25, Unique & Unity (uniqueandunity.co.uk)
Elephant watering can, £8.50 Ebay.co.uk
Silicone trivets, £2 each, Matalan (matalan.co.uk)
Soda siphon junk shop find
Queen Duck, £7.99, Just Ducks (justducks.co.uk)
Street sign, made to order, Oh Bother Design at Etsy (etsy.com/uk/shop/OhBotherDesign)
[ON STOOL]
Bekvam step stool, £11, Ikea (ikea.co.uk), sprayed in Plastikote yellow gloss spray paint £6.99Amazon.co.uk
Morphy Richards toaster, £34.99, Dunelm Mill (dunelm-mill.com)
Happy Girl yellow Kokeshi doll, £20, The Japanese Shop (thejapaneseshop.co.uk)
Giant pegs, £3 each, Tiger Stores (tigerstores.co.uk)
Metal hut tealight holder, £2.50, Matalan (matalan.co.uk)
Plant and pot, from a selection at Homebase (homebase.co.uk)
Elephant creamer jug, £3.25, Rigby & Mac (rigbyandmac.com)
[ON FLOOR]
Books, from a selection at Amazon.co.uk
Sabichi zigzag throw, £12, Very (very.co.uk)
Tenshi Tetsubin cast iron teapot, £30, Exotic Teapot (exoticteapot.co.uk)
Musca table lamp, £19.98, B&Q (diy.com)

My headshot cropped

The only time it’s good to be shelf-ish!

20 Nov

Kitchen rack 1

If, like me, you have a lot of lovely tins, quirky mugs, fun gadgets and kitsch knick knacks in your kitchen, it can be a shame to hide them away.

However, kitchen storage can be tricky, especially if you’re on a budget. You can fit one of your units with glass doors, but this often looks a bit twee; or you can pop things on shelves, which works fine, but doesn’t look particularly stylish.

This is why there has been a blank wall in my kitchen for over a year now…

blank kitchen wall before storage

Pictures didn’t look right (and got all steamed up); I already had a clock on another wall; and I didn’t want a full-on unit as it would have made the place feel too cluttered. I needed some kind of shelving unit that was both practical and that looked cool; where I could display my fun bits’n’bobs and also reach things when I needed them.

I found some great options online, but they all cost hundreds of pounds. Then, while doing a photoshoot recently, I came across interiors website http://www.livelaughlove.co.uk. They sell all kinds of unusual vintage and shabby-chic homes accessories – including doormats, picture frames, tins, jugs, hooks and metal signs – as well as some great, affordable storage options.

It was here I found the answer: the designer-look ‘Large Industrial Wirework Shelf’. It’s big enough to hold a decent amount of stuff; yet the see-thru nature of the wirework means it doesn’t take up too much space visually. It fixes to the wall with just two long screws (simple for even a DIY dunce like myself) and at a reasonable £49.95 it’s way cheaper than anything else similar I’ve seen.

The very kind people at Live Laugh Love gave me a shelf to keep after my shoot and now it has pride of place in my kitchen:

Kitchen rack 3

You wouldn’t just have to use a shelf like this in the kitchen though. It’d work well in a bathroom (see below); and if you wanted to make it blend into the wall even further, you could easily paint it with white radiator paint; or use a coloured spraypaint to make it stand out (try PlastiKote Twist’n’Spray, from DIY shops and Amazon.co.uk which sprays onto almost any surface).

BATHROOM Wirework shelf £49.95 Livelaughlove.co.uk

So, a huge thank you to the folks at http://www.livelaughlove.co.uk – I’m definitely adding the site to my list of great Christmas shopping destinations. And if you’re having a browse, here’s my pick of the other fab stuff they sell…

Live laugh love pigeon hole

Above: Rustic Wooden Six-Section Pigeon Holes, £29.95 (a great alternative to the wire shelves)

Live laugh love Merry Christmas grossgrain ribbon

Above: Fabric Ribbon, £2.95 for 3m; Antique Glass Filigree TeaLight Holders, £2.95 each

live laugh love knot doorstop

Above: Rope Knot Doorstop, £14.95 (a BARGAIN for something like this!); Vintage Glass Cake Stand, £9.95

Live laugh love general store storage

Above: General Store Jute Storage Bags, £3.95 – £8.95 depending on size; Days of the Week Decorated Pegs, £3.95

[Disclosure: I was given the wirework shelf  from http://www.livelaughlove.co.uk that appears in this review]

The future’s orange

1 Nov

Lifestyle shot from John Lewis

Pic courtesty of John Lewis (www.johnlewis.co.uk)

I recently wrote a trends piece for Closer magazine about Autumn’s hottest shades, as predicted by world colour experts, The Pantone Color Institute. There are some lovely ones – a deep Greek sea blue; a calming sage green; a spicy hot red… but my surprise favourite has to be ‘Koi’, a cheery bright orange.

Pantone colour predictions Autumn Winter 2013

It’s not a colour you’d automatically think of when buying things for your home, but while it can look too kitsch if splashed over an entire room; a few pops of orange in a plainer white or grey colour scheme can look really cool indeed.

To prove the point, I’ve found a whole host of lovely orange accessories that will add instant wow factor to any room, and that won’t break the bank price-wise. Which one is your favourite?!

ORANGE Fox sculpture £18 Littlewoods

Fox sculpture, £15, Littlewoods (www.Littlewoods.com); Fan lampshade, £36, http://www.Hunkydoryhome.co.uk; Linnell table lamp, £69 Marks & Spencer (www.marksandspencer.com)

ORANGE Cushion £18 Next

Shaggy cushion, £18, Next (www.next.co.uk); Essentials orange pyramid kettle, £25, BHS (www.bhs.co.uk); Bonjour! print £35, http://www.howkapow.com
orange selection one

Musca table lamp in ‘squirrel’, £19.98 B&Q (www.diy.com); Trimphone, £32, http://www.zincandco.com; Orla Kiely pots and jars, £20 – £23 each, http://www.Onebrowncow.co.uk; Jasper dining chair, £39, John Lewis (www.johnlewis.co.uk)

orange selection two

Digital radio, £49.95, John Lewis (www.johnlewis.co.uk); Mod tealight holder, £10.50, Habitat (www.habitat.co.uk); Linea Egyptian cotton towels, from £8, House of Fraser (http://www.houseoffraser.co.uk/Linea+Egyptian+cotton+towel+in+orange/EGYPTORANG,default,pd.html)

Wool you still love me tomorrrow?

18 Oct

Bronte star cushion grey

For my recent styling challenge (see Wednesday’s post) I got to borrow lots of lovely home products to use as finishing touches.

The pieces that got by far and away the most ‘Ooohs’ and ‘Aaaahs’? The absolutely beautiful cushions and throws kindly lent to me by British company Bronte  by Moon, a Yorkshire wool mill that’s been going since 1837 (www.brontebydesign.co.uk).

Made from Pure New Wool, Mohair and Merino Lambswool, everything they make is soooooo soft and snuggly, it’s perfect for cold winter nights. There’s a HUGE range of styles and patterns available – not just a plethora of checks and tartans, but also stars, spots and stripes. Many of the throws are reversible, too.

Bronte mohair throws

Bronte check purple cushion

While they’re definitely not cheap (between £69.95 and £150 for a throw; and around £49.95 for a cushion); from the little button and tassel detailing on the cushions to the fancy ribbon labels on the throws, they look and feel a million dollars. It was with great sadness that I had to package them up and send them back after the shoot!

Bronte spot throws

Still, at least I know what to ask Father Christmas to bring me. Who knows, he might even fancy one of the Nordic snowflake designs for his own pad…!

PS: Like the look but on a budget? Bronte by Moon also make supersoft merino lambswool scarves, £25 each, in a rainbow of colours and patterns, like the one below. You could even sew one into a long cushion yourself…!

Bronte scarves

Sofa so good!

16 Oct

FrenchConnection2-4842_RT finished room low resOne of my absolute favourite colour combinations at the moment is mustard or ochre yellow with grey – it’s fresh and fun, yet stylish and suitable for all seasons. So, when the nice people at DFS set me a styling challenge last week, I knew exactly what look to try.

I’d been invited to work with the classy new range of sofas designed by French Connection for DFS (http://www.dfs.co.uk/french-connection/results), to celebrate the fact they’re available at 62 stores across the UK from this month. There are four designs to choose from, and the one I picked, ‘Flint’, is a beautiful soft, chic grey – the colour of the moment – with clean, modern lines and lovely squashy cushions.

Starting with a blank room – apart from the grey sofa, plus a matching armchair and two tables – my challenge was to show that if you’ve got a good statement piece of furniture, it’s incredibly easy to turn a so-so space into a ‘Wow’ space with just a few accessories, and on a high street budget. The great thing about this colour scheme is that it’s very forgiving – any tone or shade of grey and yellow will work together, so you honestly can’t go wrong!

Here’s the room before…

FrenchConnection2-before low res

And here it is just two hours later, with me chilling out on the extremely comfy be-cushioned sofa…

FrenchConnection2-4845 Jenny chilling on sofa low res

I borrowed some amazing accessories for the shoot, including this lovely cast-iron Japanese teapot and cups from The Exotic Teapot (which come in a rainbow of other colours too and would make a great present for any tea fans)…

FrenchConnection2-4862 teapot low res

These fab ochre-yellow cushions from Next, and yellow/grey fabric from cool designers Scion (made into cushions and blinds for me by the lovely people at The White Room sewing cafe in London)…

FrenchConnection2-4858 cushion detail low res

And this supersoft star cushion from Bronte by Moon (more about this in Friday’s post) and unusual Orla Kiely Stem bowl from Unique & Unity…

FrenchConnection2-4849_RT armchair and bowl low res

You can read more about this scheme in the lifestyle section of http://www.BT.com later this week. For now though, I’d love to know what you think of the makeover, and what theme you reckon I should tackle next time – leave a comment below or email me at thetreasurehunteruk@gmail.com

Want to recreate the look yourself? No problem! Here’s all the prices and details you need:
French Connection ‘Flint’ 4-seater sofa £1098 and armchair, £749 (buy both and get a matching storage footstool worth £249!) both DFS (www.dfs.co.uk); Alang floor lamp, £45 Ikea (www.ikea.co.uk); Grey knitted pouffe, £30 Matalan (www.matalan.co.uk); Meribel shaggy rug, £34.99 Dunelm Mill (www.dunelm-mill.com). ON SOFA: old gold check throw, £79.95 Bronte by Moon (www.brontebydesign.co.uk); plain Harrison cushion, £12, grey and ochre boucle knit cushion, £16 and buttons cushion, £14, all Next (www.next.co.uk); patterned Woodland fabric, Scion (for stockists and prices, visit http://www.scion.uk.com) made into cushions and blinds by The White Room SE4 (www.thewhiteroomse4.co.uk); ON WALLS: Bee Kind print and Trees Around Britain print, both £43 each, Bold & Noble (www.boldandnoble.co.uk); Ribba picture frames, £16 each, Ikea; Extendable curtain pole kit, £7.99 Argos (www.argos.co.uk); Merete curtains £30 a pair, Ikea. ON COFFEE TABLE: Kew bamboo round tray, £16 The Orchard at Notonthehighstreet (www.notonthehighstreet.com); Tenshin teapot, £30, cups £7 and teapot stand, £8 all The Exotic Teapot (www.exoticteapot.co.uk); Orla Kiely Stem salad bowl, £25 Unique & Unity (www.uniqueandunity.co.uk). ON SIDE TABLE: Tony task lamp, £25 John Lewis (www.johnlewis.co.uk); vase £12 Marks & Spencer (www.marksandspencer.com). ON CHAIR: Scion lace cushion, £35, John Lewis; star cushion £49.95 and luxury mohair throw, £79.95 both Bronte by Moon.  Mongolian faux fur cushion (on the floor), £8 Matalan.

To dry for

11 Oct

Marks and Spencer new 2013 Autumn Winter tea towels

If there’s one thing you can’t ever have enough of in your house (apart from cushions, of course…), it’s tea towels. They’re a such a quick, inexpensive way to update your kitchen, and what’s more, if your other half keeps using them to dry oily roasting pans like mine does (grr), you’ll find you need new ones on a regular basis.

M&S tea towel bohemian doll £4

You can spend a fortune on posh drying-up clothes (as my mum calls them), but I’ve found a cheap, fab new source for mine – good old M&S http://www.marksandspencer.com. Not only do they have some brilliantly bright and cheerful designs, above, but they’re just £4 each; or £9.50 for a co-ordinating set of three.

Don’t mind splashing out for something more quirky? Visit the puntastically-named webshop http://www.todryfor.com for a selection of fun, clever designer tea towels – like the selection below, £7.50 to £12 each – that make a thoughtful, envelope-friendly gift.

Cable cars tea towel £8.50 todryfor

Get your colouring pencils out!

7 Oct

482144-Pop-Kitchen_0005_lowres

I love a good competition – and this one is particularly brilliant. Brabantia, makers of upmarket pedal bins and kitchen accessories, have launched a contest to create a new design for their tea/coffee/sugar canisters.
The prize is a VIP trip for two to the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan (a swanky design show); but even more excitingly, you get to see your design adorning everything from biscuit tins to bread bins all over the world.
To enter, simply follow the instructions at http://www.brabantia.com/design. For inspiration, Brabantia ran a competition to design a pedal bin a while ago – the winning patterns are above and below.
Art and design not your forte? You can still have fun browsing the entries and voting for your favourites at the same address.

482120-Kitchen-Collage-MOOD_lowres

Think pink

30 Sep

Pink Bobble Knitted Cushion £12 Sainsburys

I’m not hugely into girly pink. So when Breast Cancer Awareness Month comes round every October, I usually try to donate in ways other than buying the deluge of pink items the shops come up with to raise funds.

However, this October, I might make a tiny exception for this pink bobble knit cushion from Sainsbury’s, £12. I love a cosy, chunky knit, and the little bobbles look a bit like cherries.

The cushion, plus a whole range of other limited edition pink/heart-themed homes bits and bobs, is on sale from today until 29th October in Sainsbury’s stores and online at http://www.sainsburys.co.uk. Ten per cent of all sales will go to Breakthrough Breast Cancer http://www.breakthrough.org.uk

NEWSFLASH! 25% off at Habitat today

26 Sep

Habitat homewares shot

As a big fan of Habitat (www.habitat.co.uk), I was very excited to hear they’re having a flash discount day today (26th Sept) – 25% off everything in-store and online until midnight with code EM25. There’s also free postage for anyone spending over £50 on home accessories (smaller non-furniture items).

It’s the perfect excuse to treat yourself to something you might not have dared splash out on at full price.

My top tips? The Oken folding table in gorgeous sunny yellow (was £35 – now £26.25 with discount); a funky retro set of three Freda tea towels (was £12 – now £9); an on-trend grey geometric Seam vase (was £12.50 – now £9.38); the friendly Errol owl cushion (was £35 – now a more reasonable £26.25); one of the sweet dip-dye Marne jugs (the small yellow version was £5 – now £3.75); or the stylish Alto red steel 32L bin (was £28 –  now £21).

Happy shopping!

Habitat Oken side tables group shot

Habitat Freda tea towels set of three retro

Habitat seam vase

Habitat Errol cushion

Habitat marne jugs

Habitat Alto 32L steel bin

From Catwalk to Cushion!

23 Sep

D&G high church. Angel sisters £17 Very.co.uk. Oxford damask jacquard cushion £19.50 M&S. Peacock princess £20 Littlewoods.comHIGH CHURCH ON THE CATWALK: Dolce & Gabbana
HIGH CHURCH CUSHIONS: Angel sisters £17 Very.co.uk. 
Oxford damask £19.50 M&S. Peacock £20 Littlewoods.com

What’s in vogue interiors-wise is often what’s also in Vogue clothes-wise.

Each season, buyers from high street stores scour the fashion shows in London, Paris, New York and Milan for hot new trends they can translate into stylish homeware ranges . The best thing about this? While updating your wardrobe with a new coat or handbag can be expensive; you can bring your home bang up-to-date for just a few quid with a couple of well-placed cushions.  

So which designs are hot this Autumn/Winter? I’ve done the hard work for you – here’s my guide to the coolest cushions going and the catwalk looks that inspired them. What’s more, most cost under £15 each, and none cost over £35. Bargain!

New tartans and checks

TARTANS ON THE CATWALK L-R: Celine; Vivienne Westwood; Emilia Wickstead
TARTAN CUSHIONS (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT): Blue check £12 Sainsbury’s. Green check £12 Sainsbury’s. Lamego tartan £11.98 B&Q. Green woven Archie £16 Next. Check £7 Asda. Tweed woven £12.99 Dunelm Mill.

cosy wool Alexander Wang. Recycled wool £19.50 greenandpresent.co.uk. Eliot knit in steel £20 John LewisCOSY WOOL ON THE CATWALK: Alexander Wang
COSY WOOL CUSHIONS: Recycled wool £19.50 http://www.greenandpresent.co.uk. Eliot knit in steel £20 John Lewis

Pink trend. bella quilted £10 B&Q. pink cotton square £5.95 Debenhams. pink heart button £10 sainsburys. pink mongolian fur £35 BHS.PRETTY IN PINK ON THE CATWALK:  Pretty much every designer going!
PINK CUSHIONS (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT): Bella quilted £10 B&Q. Pink cotton square £5.95 Debenhams. Pink heart button £10 Sainsbury’s. Pink Mongolian fur £35 BHS

Tom Ford leopard print. Animal print chenille £15 M&S. Animal print £4 Asda.LEOPARD PRINT ON THE CATWALK: Tom Ford; Moschino Cheap & Chic; Burberry Prorsum
LEOPARD PRINT CUSHIONS: Chenille £15 M&S. Animal print £4 Asda

Junya Watanbe patchwork. Little home stars and stripes £15 John Lewis. Colours divino patchwork £9.98 B&QPATCHWORK ON THE CATWALK: Junya Watanbe
PATCHWORK CUSHIONS: Stars and stripes £15 John Lewis. Colours Divino patchwork £9.98 B&Q

furry Roberto Cavalli. grey luxury faux fur £7.99 dunelm mill. grouse slate faux fur £12.99 dunelm mill. textured silver £7 AsdaFUR EFFECT ON THE CATWALK: Roberto Cavalli
FURRY CUSHIONS: Grey luxury faux fur £7.99 dunelm mill. Grouse slate faux fur £12.99 Dunelm Mill. Textured silver £7 Asda

Rich reds JW Anderson. red felt floral £12 sainsburys. red knitted £18 Sainsburys. jumbo courduroy £15 very.co.uk. pinch felt cushion £25 Next.RED ALERT ON THE CATWALK (L-R): Dolce & Gabbana; JW Anderson
RED CUSHIONS (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT): Felt floral £12 Sainsbury’s. Knitted £18 Sainsbury’s. Jumbo courduroy £15 Very.co.uk. Pinch felt cushion £25 Next

Milan trends 8TWEED IS GOOD ON THE CATWALK; Dolce & Gabbana
TWEED CUSHIONS: Grey tweed mustard piped £12.99 Dunelm Mill. Grey herringbone £20 House of Fraser.

bright florals Rodarte (L) Oscar de La Renta (R). Autumn floral £9.99 dunelm mill. Blaise poppy £9.99 dunelm mill. Linea by Collier Campbell rose £30 hofBRIGHT BLOOMS ON THE CATWALK (L-R): Rodarte; Oscar de la Renta
BRIGHT BLOOM CUSHIONS: Autumn floral £9.99 Dunelm Mill. Blaise poppy £9.99 Dunelm Mill. Linea by Collier Campbell rose £30 House of Fraser.

Dogtooth Tommy Hilfiger. Dogtooth check kidney pillow £24 etsy.com uk shop nonatextiles. Majestic dogtooth cushion £20 furnish.co.uk. Dogtooth cushion £11 Very.co.ukDOGTOOTH CHECK ON THE CATWALK: Tommy Hilfiger
DOGTOOTH CHECK CUSHIONS: Dogtooth check kidney pillow £24 http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/nonatextiles. Majestic dogtooth cushion £20 http://www.furnish.co.uk. Dogtooth cushion £11 Very.co.uk

Fairisle knits Kenzo. Snowflake £12 very.co.uk. heritage fair isle £12 M&SFAIRISLE KNITS ON THE CATWALK: Kenzo
FAIRISLE CUSHIONS: Snowflake £12 Very.co.uk. Heritage Fair Isle £12 M&S

Marios Schwab velvet red. christopher kane velvet blue. VIP lounge £19 Very.co.uk. Florence kingfisher £19 Very.co.ukVELVET ON THE CATWALK (L-R):  Marios Schwab; Christopher Kane
VELVET CUSHIONS: VIP lounge £19 Very.co.uk. Florence kingfisher £19 Very.co.uk

One room, two new looks!

18 Sep

While I regularly write about homes for various magazines and love trying out new looks in my own home, I don’t usually get to actually style rooms professionally… until now.

I recently completed my first ever styling challenge for Closer magazine (www.closeronline.co.uk). The brief? To style one plain room in two completely different ways in one afternoon, using only bargainous high street accessories.

it was a lot of work, but a lot of fun, and the results were published in last week’s issue. Now it’s no longer on sale, I thought I’d share the pictures with you, along with the details of where you can buy everything in each shot.

Which is your favourite? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

THE ORIGINAL, PLAIN ROOM…

Bare room before

TRANSFORMATION ONE: BRIGHT BLOOMS…
Fun florals mixed with eye-popping shades = a happy home!

Bright florals makeover

Bright blooms room scheme products

Where to buy everything:
Watercolour floral triptych canvas £39.99, Chrome Curva lamp £29.99, both Argos (www.argos.co.uk). Floripop prints £16.54 each Visual Philosophy (etsy.com/uk/shop/visualphilosophy). Rug £49.99 Dunelm Mill (dunelm-mill.com). Blue pod pouffe £75 Next (www.next.co.uk). Kilo white side table £25, Oken yellow side table £35 both Habitat (www.habitat.co.uk). Sapporo round side table £49 M&S (www.marksandspencer.com). ON TABLES: Lamp £29 Wilkinsons (www.wilko.com). Photo frame £19, Trinket box £25, pink flower candle £8 all Matthew Williamson at Debenhams (www.debenhams.com). Tealights £1.50 each Cargo (www.cargohomeshop.com). Matilda yellow bowl £12, Hugo blue vase £15 both Habitat. Green tumbler £1 Wilko. Hamilton teapot £22.50 M&S. Tin mug £7.50 Jasmine White (www.jasminewhitelondon.com). ON CHAIRS & SOFA: Chenille throw £20, Green, Red, Yellow and Purple cushions £8 each, all BHS (www.bhs.co.uk). Embroidered floral cushion £19.50, Saffy embroidered cushion £25 both M&S. FIREPLACE: Tea glasses £17.95 for six The Handpicked Collection (www.handpickedcollection.com). Floral jug £15 BHS. Pom poms from £3.10 each The North Pom (www.thenorthpom.co.uk). Russian Doll cushion £12 M&S. Satin cushion £22 Debenhams. Purple cushion £8 BHS.

 

TRANSFORMATION TWO: WOODLAND RETREAT…
Snuggle up in style with foxes, fur, chunky knits and cosy colours

Cosy Woodland Retreat makeoverWoodland theme living room favourite products

 

Where to buy everything:

Autumn Path canvas £29.99 Art.co.uk. Fox and Stag prints £29.95 each RawXclusive (www.rawxclusive.com). Tripod lamp £29.99, Bookcase £14.99, Coffee table £14.99, Side table £9.99, Curtains from £21.99 all Argos. Natural pouffe £57 Isme (www.isme.co.uk). Pod pouffe from £75, Jute rug from £35 both Next. ON BOOKCASE: Candelabra £20 Sainsbury’s. Fox sculpture £18 Littlewoods. Dominoes £18 Next. ON SOFA: Cream check throw £18 Sainsbury’s (www.sainsburys.co.uk). Darcy fur throw £59 Isme. Bird & leaf cushions £12 Isme. Tweed cushion £12.99 Dunelm Mill. Acorn cushion £12 M&S. Fox face cushion £17.99 The Oak Room. Check cushion £10 Sainsburys. Knit cushion £25 Debenhams. ON CHAIR: Knit throw £30 Matalan (www.matalan.co.uk). Fur cushion £19.50 M&S. Fox cushion £15 Littlewoods (www.littlewoods.com). Check throw £15 Sainsbury’s. ON COFFEE TABLE: Mug £9 RawXclusive. Bowl £8.39 Nisbets. ON SIDE TABLE: Book-shaped boxes £18 for three Next. Owl £6 Wilko. FIREPLACE: Photoframe and Owl candle both Debenhams. Candlestick £10, Vase £12, “&” ornament £8 all Wilko. Star £3.95 Dotcomgiftshop.com. Lantern £28 Cargo. Lamp £28 Next. Basket £8.80 Wilko. Fair Isle cushion £12, Zig zag throw £35 both M&S. Brown throw £12 Very.co.uk. Knit cushion £12 Matalan.

[ Photographs by the talented, patient (and very lovely) Liz Gregg http://www.lizgregg.com ]

Tray chic

10 Sep

maria-dahlgren-dolores-colores-tray Howkapow £35

Not only has online store Howkapow (www.howkapow.com) got a great name, but they’ve also got great taste. They specialise in colourful, fun, quirky, well-designed products – I covet much everything they sell…

The best things in the shop though, in my opinion, are the new trays, £18-£35. Forget boring brown wooden versions, these are bright and cheerful with such pretty patterns you could almost hang them on the wall as art when you’re not using them.

maria-dahlgren-harlekin-tray Howkapow £18

Other goodies worth checking out include their cute fox and cat cushions, £28 each; blowball brooches, £15; retro ‘Bonjour’ print, £35; the sweet acorn-shaped salt’n’pepper set, £25; and the funky Kaleidoscope tablemats, £35 for four.

fox-cushion-orange-robin-mould £28 Howkapow

blowball-brooch-teal-snug £15 Howkapow

eduardo-barba-bonjour-print_1 £35 Howkapow

acorn-salt-pepper-pots-bliss £25 Howkapow

kaleidoscope-tablemat-set-fun-makes-good £35 Howkapow

PS: LIVE OUTSIDE THE UK? Have no fear – Howkapow reassure me they ship internationally! See their site for details.

Foxing clever

29 Aug

Dunelm Mill felt fox cushion £12.99

They might give chickens nightmares and make a nighttime noises that sound like someone being tortured, but this Autumn, foxes are definitely ‘in’.

Of course, the foxes that are popping up on cushions, mugs and prints at the moment are the cute, cosy kind – glossy russet coats, big bushy tails and jaunty little faces. And even though a fox once stole one of my shoes and then pooed in the other, I have to admit, even I’m kind of liking them.

They’re an easy way to bring your home bang-up-to-date. Pop a cushion on an armchair, or a print on an unloved bit of wall and hey presto, you’ll look as cunning as a fox who’s just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University (one for the Blackadder fans there).

So, in an attempt to make friends with my former foes, here’s a round-up of my favourite foxy finds…

Above: Felt Fox Cushion £12.99 (yes really!), Dunelm Mill http://www.dunelm-mill.com

Below: Fox art print £25 Marks & Spencer http://www.marksandspencer.com

M&S Fox frame art £25Cushions (clockwise from LtoR): Fox accent cushion £12 http://www.Isme.com, Fox tapestry cushion £14 Next http://www.next.co.uk, Linea fox cushion £25 House of Fraser http://www.houseoffraser.co.uk, Fox face cushion £16.99 LS Prints http://www.lsprints.co.uk 

Isme.co.uk fox accent cushion £12Fox sculpture ornament £15 http://www.Isme.com

Isme.co.uk fox sculpture ornament £15

Midnight Foxes giclee print £30 Culture Label http://www.culturelabel.com

midnight fox giclee print culturelabel.com £30

Friendly Fox cushion £17.99 The Oak Room http://www.oakroomshop.co.uk

The Oak Room fox cushion

Rusty the Fox doormat £19.95 and tin of plasters £3.95 (other products also available in this range) http://www.dotcomgiftshop.com

Rusty the fox doormat £19.95 Dotcomgiftshop

Sew Your Own Fox tea towel £12.50 Culture Label http://www.culturelabel.com

culturelabel sew your own fox_tea_towel £12.50

Old School Czech label notecard with fox £2.50 Present and Correct http://www.presentandcorrect.com (would look great framed!)


presentandcorrect.com foxy notecard

DON’T FORGET!
Like reading this blog as much as I like writing it? Then please vote for me in the Cosmo Blog Awards by clicking on the link below. I’m nominated in the ‘Best Interiors Blog’ section sponsored by NEXT. voting closes this weekend, 31st August. Thank you!
http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/blogs/cosmo-blog-awards-2013/cosmo-blog-awards-2013-shortlist-vote-here

This Asda be seen to be believed!

27 Aug

Asda modern memories main v2 (RT)

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘Asda’? Groceries, supermarket checkouts, or people patting their bottoms suggestively to make the change in their pocket jingle?

Well, now you’d better add ‘gorgeous, bargainous homewares’ to that list, as their new Autumn/Winter collection is, quite frankly, AMAZING.

There are five key looks this season. Winter Mist is shabby chic with a cosy twist (think soft heather and silver, chunky knits and snowy stags); Monochrome is themed around vintage Parisian photographs with classy Georgian house-print bedlinen; Noir is dark and dramatic butterflies and florals shot through with gold; and Bootcamp is reds and neutrals with an industrial feel (think typography, maps, wood and hessian details).

But my absolute favourite trend is Modern Memories. Quirky and fun, it mixes mid-century fifties styling with graphic and animal motifs for a bright, modern take on the retro look.

Asda Modern memories Bedroom MainV3a (RT)

What’s  more, it’s all absolutely as cheap as chips!  In the pic at the start of this entry, the geometric teal rug is £40; the designer-look white geometric vase is £12; the cushions are (LtoR) £11, £9 and £7; the squirrel ornament is £6; and the squirrel mug is £2.

In the bedroom pic above, the origami double duvet set is a mindboggling £11; and in the kitchen pic below, the Tea, Coffee & Sugar canisters are £3.50 each; the Biscuit tin is £4; the Cake tin is £6; the bread bin is £10; the tea towels are £1 each; the pear glass worktop saver is £3.50; the hi-ball glasses are £3 for four (crazy eh?!); and the set of three pear nested canisters is £4.

Race you to the checkout!

Asda Modern memories kitchen v3 (RT)

Asda Modern memories bathroom accs CO (RT)

Origami style soap dispenser £5; tumbler £3; soap dish £3. Milk carton jug £5.

ASDA AW13 Modern Memories Wonderful Life Cushion

Wonderful Life cushion £11.

DON’T FORGET!
Like reading this blog as much as I like writing it? Then please vote for me in the Cosmo Blog Awards by clicking on the link below. I’m nominated in the ‘Best Interiors Blog’ section sponsored by NEXT. voting closes on 31st August. Thank you!
http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/blogs/cosmo-blog-awards-2013/cosmo-blog-awards-2013-shortlist-vote-here

Bin somewhere nice?

19 Aug

Next jute laundry hamper

Stylish laundry basket. Those aren’t words that usually go together – most laundry baskets, linen baskets or ‘dirty boxes’ as my mum calls them are boring Ali Baba style wicker affairs, garish tall plastic baskets or wooden boxes pretending they’re something more glamorous, like, erm, a stool.

So it’s nice to see the folks at Next have addressed this issue. I really like their new rectangular Laundry Hamper, above. It’s simple but effective. Made of strong jute over an inner frame, it’s 56cm high, with a lift-up lid, and would look subtly classy in either a bedroom or a bathroom. Oh and it’s only £20.

Of course, whether or not it’ll encourage the messy person in your house (there’s always one) to put their dirty socks somewhere other than the floor is a different matter entirely…!

Next laundry hamper in situ

DON’T FORGET!
Like reading this blog as much as I like writing it? Then please vote for me in the Cosmo Blog Awards by clicking on the link below. I’m nominated in the ‘Best Interiors Blog’ section. Thank you!
http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/blogs/cosmo-blog-awards-2013/cosmo-blog-awards-2013-shortlist-vote-here

One day my prints will come

16 Aug

Visual Philosophy Russian cockerel print

There aren’t enough walls in my house for all the prints I’d love to own, but after discovering a little gem of an online store called Visual Philosophy, I might have to make some space sharpish.

Inspired by “…Mid-Century Modernists, Scandinavian design, typography and retro graphic design”, the Oxford-based designers have created a lovely range of colour-popping prints that are available in various sizes – they’ll even customise them with different shades or words if you ask them nicely. Perfect for present ideas, I’d say.

Everything’s priced individually, with discounts if you buy more than one, but as a guide, you can expect to pay around £16.95 per unframed A3 print, or £23.18 for a trio of A4 prints. The store runs through Etsy at

http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/visualphilosophy

My absolute favourites are Russian cockerel, above, and the kitchenalia prints (immediately below) – I can just see one of them sitting above my bread bin!

Visual Philosophy on Etsy set of three kitchen prints

Visual Philosophy on Etsy are we having fun yet print

Visual Philosophy on Etsy set of three bird prints

Visual Philosophy on Etsy children's print

Visual Philosophy mid century modern coffee print etsy

DON’T FORGET!
Like reading this blog as much as I like writing it? Then please vote for me in the Cosmo Blog Awards by clicking on the link below. I’m nominated in the ‘Best Interiors Blog’ section. Voting closes on 31st August. Thank you!
http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/blogs/cosmo-blog-awards-2013/cosmo-blog-awards-2013-shortlist-vote-here

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