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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!

 

 

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!

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

Get the look: Sweet Shop Shades

28 Jul

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

Main_Set_Styling_RT

Above: Me, working my (ahem) magic!

Football crazy

12 Jun

 

Table football game £12 Matalan

In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s some kind of big football competition starting today…

And as a result, it seems you can’t move for World Cup-themed stuff in the shops at the moment. However most of it is either pretty tacky or unlikely to have a place in your heart/home for much longer than the four weeks of the tournament.

I’m not a huge footie fan, but I do live with two boys (one big, one small) who are. So, in the spirit of fair play and all that, here’s my pick of the best football-inspired bounty out there.

Top: Table football game £12 Matalan

 Below: Football line lights £10 Next; Subbuteo bottle opener £11.95 Red5.co.uk (if you’re quick, you can get 10% off everything at Red5 by using discount code RED5WC14 at the online checkout before midnight tomorrow, 13th June)

football fairy lights and subbuteo bottle opener

Below: Football pitch rug £9 Asda

football pitch rug - £9 Asda

Below: Chawaii Brazil flip flops £19.99 Crocs (other nation designs available); Wooden supporters rattle £3 Matalan; Adidas Brazuca Top Size 5 Football £14.99 Argos

Chawaii Brazil Flip Flops £19.99 crocs.co.uk

Below: Finally, I love these cute kids t-shirts for ages 3-16 (£80£13) from Next. Surprisingly tasteful, choose from England, USA, Australia, Netherlands, Italy, Brazil or Spain. I want one of the blue Italy versions in adult size!

football_fever

 

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

 

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)

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)

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.

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 ]

Gorgeous geometrics

3 Sep

Flat Shots

This AMAZING – and very on-trend – geometric wallpaper is supposedly meant for children’ rooms, but I think it’s far too cool for that. Obviously if you papered your whole bedroom with it, it might give you headaches, but used sparingly – on a chimneybreast or in an alcove, or as a statement wall in a hallway or dining room – it would be a real showstopper.

If you’re crafty, you could even use it to paper the panels of a door or a chest of drawers; to cover books with; or as (albeit very expensive) wrapping paper.

It’s called Kaleidoscope, and it’s part of the new ‘All About Me’ range of wallpapers from Harlequin (www.harlequin.uk.com). It comes in four brilliant bright colourways – my favourite is the one at the start of this post – and costs a reasonable £30 a roll from Wallpaper Direct http://www.wallpaperdirect.com

Studio Product Shots

Also worth taking a look is the ‘Boutique Boulevard’ design from the same collection. In either a primary or a fab neon colourway, it’s far too fab to be wasted on the kids…!

Flat Shots

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

Colour me happy (part three!)

4 Feb

Pantone Spring colour predictions 2013

Last week, I revealed the top ten shades of 2013, as predicted by colour boffins the Pantone Colour Institute.

Today, in my last post on this subject, I’m picking out some great accessories from the  high street in the final three shades – Poppy Red (bright pillar box red); Linen (classy cream) and Monaco Blue (deeper-than-royal blue):

MONACO BLUE
From left to right: Swallow bird cushion £9 Asda Direct (direct.asda.com); Jolie table lamp £35 John Lewis (www.johnlewis.com); Linea Nautical Blue glass bathshop pot £8 House of Fraser (www.houseoffraser.co.uk); Japanese wave bowl £4.95 Dotcomgiftshop (www.dotcomgiftshop.com); Chunky knitted cushion £15 TU at Sainsburys (in store). 

Pantone Monaco blue

LINEN
From left to right: Owl lamp £10 (bargain!) Asda Direct (direct.asda.com); Coin storage box £3.49 Dunelm Mill (www.dunelm-mill.co.uk); Knitted pouffe Littlewoods £85 (www.littlewoods.com); Jam jar vase £10 Next (www.next.co.uk). 

Pantone Linen

POPPY RED
From left to right: House by John Lewis Tony task lamp £25 John Lewis (www.johnlewis.com); Linea tealight holder £12 House of Fraser (www.houseoffraser.co.uk); Retro Skittles alarm clock £20 John Lewis (as before); Large red tagine £35 House of Fraser (as before); Medium traditional lantern £12 John Lewis (as before). 

Pantone poppy red

 

Colour yourself happy (part two!)

1 Feb

Pantone Spring colour predictions 2013

On Wednesday I introduced you to the hottest ‘it’ hues of the year, as predicted by the experts at the Pantone Color Institute (they’ve got a cool job, haven’t they?!).

Today, I’ve picked out some fab new homes bits in three of my favourite shades – Lemon Zest (fun, sunshine yellow); African Violet (stronger-than-pastel lilac) and Grayed Jade (a lovely minty teal-y green):

LEMON ZEST
From left to right: Bone china scallop mug £10 The Richard Bramble Collection (www.richardbramble.co.uk); Bubble knit throw £40 Next (www.Next.co.uk); Linea Tropical Pineapple lamp £40 House of Fraser; Vintage by Wayne Hemingway coffee storage tin £7 John Lewis (www.johnlewis.com); Linea Urban Tribe Stripe Vase £25 House of Fraser (www.houseoffraser.co.uk).

Pantone Lemon Zest

AFRICAN VIOLET
From left to right: Gertrude cushion £36 Home and Kids (www.homeandkids.co.uk); Multi photo frame £7.99 Dunelm Mill (www.dunelm-mill.com); Optic tea light holders £15 for a set of 3 Marks and Spencer (www.marksandspencer.com).

Pantone African Violet

GRAYED JADE
From left to right: Chunky knit cushion £14.99 Dunelm Mill (www.dunelm-mill.com); Personalised vintage apple crate £34.99 Getting Personal (www.gettingpersonal.co.uk); Terracotta jug £15 House of Fraser (www.houseoffraser.co.uk); Wooden bird cage £8.99 Dunelm Mill (www.dunelm-mill.com); Linea Curiosity teacup and saucer set £10 House of Fraser (as before); Big Ben cushion £7 Asda (direct.asda.com); LSA Firo carafe and tumbler £16.99 Beautiful Homes Direct (www.beautifulhomesdirect.com).

Pantone Grayed Jade

Colour yourself happy (part one!)

30 Jan

Pantone Spring colour predictions 2013

Every year, colour experts, The Pantone Color Institute, visit all the fashion shows and observe global trends. They use this information to collate their predictions for the next year’s hottest hues. These are the colours that’ll be everywhere – from clothes to homes accessories in the coming months.

For 2013, they’ve predicted a rainbow of stronger-than-pastel shades, above. Aren’t they pretty?!

The high street has already started to catch on, and there are some fab new colourful bits and bobs in the shops. To celebrate, I’m going to show you my picks of the best over the next week or so, starting today with Emerald (the overall ‘it’ colour of the season), Tender Shoots (a lovely fresh green), Nectarine (a peachy orange shade) and Dusk Blue (sky blue)…

EMERALD
From left to right: Apothecary bottle £19.50 Conran for M&S (www.marksandspencer.com); Non-slip chopping board £8 M&S (as before); Small glass vase £9 TU at Sainsburys (in store).

Pantone Emerald

TENDER SHOOTS
From left to right: Ingrid pendant shade £15 Littlewoods (www.littlewoods.com); Hourglass £8.99 Dunelm Mill (www.dunelm-mill.com); John Lewis Summer Brights tableware £4 – £5 (www.johnlewis.com); Personalised mug £9.99 Getting Personal (www.gettingpersonal.co.uk); Loop cushion £27 Littlewoods (as before).

RRD-GBSPE-4393457

NECTARINE
From left to right: Orange rustic knit cushion £22 Next (www.next.co.uk); Ross Lovegrove style Supernatural chair £39 Cult Furniture (www.cultfurniture.com); Hummingbird votive candle holder £3 Asda (www.asda.com/direct).

Pantone Nectarine

DUSK BLUE
From left to right: Basis jug by LSA £20.50 Beautiful Homes Direct (www.beautifulhomesdirect.com); Bookend

DUSK BLUE Verona Desk Quarto Week to View (Aqua), £19.29 - Letts

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