Tuesday, 31 May 2016


I have been swooning over patterned rugs for a while now. We have a soft sheepskin rug in the extension but I've realised lately that it's not ideal for summer. It seems to gather a lot of dirt and grass and is quite difficult to clean. So I decided it was time to find something more suitable for the warmer months and I really didn't want to go near soft wool/high pile this time.

We have laminate flooring throughout the house so rugs are a big part of decorating for me. I love white walls but it means that I need to come up with other ways to inject a bit of warmth and personality to our décor. That's one of the reasons why I love patterned rugs. I'm actually a big fan of patterned cushions, blankets, tea towels, coffee cups - the list is endless. Decorating with patterns is a lot of fun actually. It's all about combining colour and print but I do make sure I don't over do it. I like to use maximum 2 or 3 patterns in a room and keep everything else in a solid colour. That's my personal preference of course.

When I started my rug search I had a quite a narrow criteria this time. Moroccan style rugs really appeal to me at the moment. I didn't want to go too crazy with the colours though. I had a light grey rug with elegant white pattern in my mind. There is so much choice out there these days but it was more tricky to find the right size as our room is quite long and narrow. I wasn't willing to spend a lot of money on it either as it will be only used for a few months.

Finally, H&M Home was the winner for me. H&M have recently impressed me with their home accessories selection. I haven't really bought many items from them before but I'm converted now! The collections are very trendy and obviously I'm not going to complain about the price either.

I absolutely love this pattern. It's so elegant and chic. I was hoping to find a light grey rug to match our sofa but this rug is a slightly darker shade of grey, although I don't think you really notice it thanks to the white pattern. It seems to have already sold out on their online shop but you can find a similar one here.

Once the rug arrived I realised I need to buy underlay for it. I got the anti-slip underlay for hard floors from amazon and it's perfect. Our floors are so slippery that unless you have furniture sitting on the rug, you will need some type of an adhesive to keep it in place. I've tried rug tapes but they are useless. Good quality underlay is the way to go and you'll probably find the best value in Ikea.

By the way, I seem to be obsessed with pineapples these days. I just love decorating the house with them. They are in season and a lot cheaper than buying a bouquet of flowers. They look pretty and summery and you can eat them afterwards. What's not to like! Just don't leave them in direct sunlight, they will not be happy with that at all..

So now our lounge is looking all summery thanks to our new budget-friendly rug. I think yellow cushion covers help as well and yellow roses are ideal for spring/summer. They really brighten up our neutral décor and bring a bit of sunshine indoors.

How do you decorate your home for summer? You don't always need to buy new furniture or accessories. Sometimes light blankets, cushion covers and flowers are enough to change the mood. Consider repainting your old furniture especially if it's something that you are thinking about getting rid of - it might look great in another colour! Have a look at 5 Easy Summer Decor Ideas that might make the transition to summer mode a little easier.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016


I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with oven gloves. I always go for the pretty ones but the minute I lift the dishes from the oven they get black marks and food stains all over them. Of course this means that I need to wash them pretty frequently and the colours start to fade quickly.

Proud & Co Kitchenware kindly sent me some of their new designs to test, after all I do seem to spend most of my time in the kitchen these days. I love a good design but what I love even more is an innovative design that offers you something that you don't already have.  We seem to spend so much time in the garden these days, mainly dining and barbequing, that these pretty oven gloves couldn't have arrived at a better time!

Proud & Co are a high quality kitchenware brand dedicated to providing innovation and elegance in everything they create . Their Silhouette Oven Gloves are heat resistant and dishwasher safe as well as incredibly stylish. It almost sounds a little too good to be true doesn't it.  The thing is my old oven gloves are not very heat resistant at all. They are 100% cotton and I need to put the dishes down pretty quickly or I will burn my hands. That's why I am used to placing the dishes on the kitchen counter within seconds they come out of the oven but wouldn't it be great if I didn't have to?

These oven gloves are definitely stylish and elegant. The beautiful pattern really differentiates them from any other rubber oven gloves that I have seen. The stitching is perfect and I honestly can't fault them. They look well made and well designed.

Proud & Co have recently added two new designs and colours (red and blue) to their collection and I must say that the new designs impress me even more. Don't get me wrong, I love the black and white pattern, but the red and the blue are very much on trend at the moment. If I had to pick my favourite, I'd have to choose the blue oven gloves. It's such a beautiful design and I just think they are perfect for the upcoming summer season. They also happen to match my existing tableware which is very handy. I'm loving blue at the moment in case you haven't noticed. Blue accessories feel so summery and remind me of the sea side.
There is no denying that these oven gloves are easy on the eye but I was positively surprised how comfortable they actually are. The grip is excellent and finally we have oven gloves that don't fall off. We have been using Masterclass oven gloves in the past but they are too big, even my husband agrees, and keep falling off. The Proud & Co oven gloves on the other hand feel immediately comfortable and I can get a good hold of just about anything.

The material seems also very heat resistant. I have not burned my hands once and I've actually waited to see how long it takes before I can feel the heat through the rubber part. After 10 seconds the oven gloves feel warm but they still don't feel too hot. The rubber on the side of the palm makes sure that you don't drop the dishes which is great especially when handling smaller items. However, you are not supposed to apply direct heat on the rubber part. My husband used them when we were barbequing and touched a hot metal food holder (literally straight from the grill) and it left marks on the side of the palm. Barbeque/grill tends to be a lot hotter than a normal oven so that's why I think we will mainly use these in the kitchen/with the oven.

These oven gloves are also easy to wipe clean although they don't gather dirt that easily. I've washed them in both dishwasher and washing machine and they look brand new afterwards. I don't actually think you need to wash them that often but I still wanted to see how they hold up.

I have to say that even though I was a little sceptical first, I am impressed and so is my husband. There is no doubt that these are the best oven gloves we've had in this household but I've only used them for a few weeks so I cannot say how the material will hold up in the long run (although it's looking pretty good so far). I love that they are so pretty that you can even leave them on the dinner table and they will not look out of place. In fact, I think they will be quite a conversation starter especially amongst the ladies.

I actually wish they had more accessories to match the beautiful pattern. Imagine a matching apron and a tea towel. How beautiful would they look together, right? It would also make sense  to sell these oven gloves as a set of 2 rather than individually. I think most people will want two oven gloves and even though you can of course purchase two, it would just be a bit more convenient from a customer point of view.

So if you're looking for new oven gloves for yourself or as a present I can sincerely recommend these. Proud & Co are pretty sure that you'll be just as impressed which is why they offer a 30 day money back guarantee if you're not happy with your purchase.

* This blog post was in partnership with Proud & Co Kitchenware.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016


I'm still furnishing and accessorising our new garden/decking area but I couldn't resist sharing some before and after pictures. I can't believe our landscapers are finally finished! It's always stressful no matter how much planning you do. Especially if you are a perfectionist like me. Well, there's always few things that I would do differently but I am definitely loving our new outdoor living area. It's so much more than a garden now. It's our new favourite place to hangout and socialise and it feels like part of the house.

Here are the before and after pictures!


You can see our old extension in the fifth picture. What a change, right? The new extension and the raised decking really make the outdoor space feel like another room in the house. It's nice the way the oak flooring flows into the garden and how the trees make it feel secluded and private. I love a natural looking garden. Even though I am a fan of contemporary design, a leafy garden brings texture to our house in my opinion. It's almost like our new extension invites the nature indoors through the glass and the double doors. I can definitely see myself throwing a few barbecue parties here and dining with the family.

We used Plantazia Landscapes to transform our old garden and driveway. The driveway was actually a much bigger job but it made sense to do them at the same time. The timber decking was relatively quick to install. Our landscapers also laid a new lawn and installed railway sleepers on the sides so the garden would feel nice and structured. It definitely took a long time to get rid of the old pavement blocks but once the diggers were gone it was all very straight forward. You can read more about it in my last garden update. The builders pretty much stuck to the agreed schedule but their attention to detail let me down in the end. I had to check the work everyday and ask them to fix things that had gone wrong. I guess this is pretty normal in most building/renovation projects though. I would still recommend Plantazia but you definitely need to be onsite everyday to see the progress. Too many things could have gone wrong if I hadn't been there!

We have been literally living in our garden for the past few weeks. The weather has gotten warmer and I've spent so much time outside that I even managed to catch a cold. I guess the cold winds finally got me. We've had quite a few barbeques already and the kids are demanding to have their breakfast outside, on a good day that is.

You might have noticed that the grass and the weeds are getting a bit out of control. We won't have our gardeners in for another 2 weeks so it will look a bit messy but I'm hoping that this time we can maintain our garden looking nice and neat. The trees need pruning and I also need to find someone to oil/preserve our decking. We realised pretty quickly that it will need to be treated as it absorbs liquids quite easily. I managed to pour some sun lotion on it already but swiftly got it out with a power hose. I might not be so lucky next time though!

So, what do you think? Does our outdoor living area flow with the rest of the house? I'm very excited although there's still a lot of work to be done. The shed needs to be painted (probably black) but I'm not in a hurry. I think we all just want to take a bit of a break from the renovation works for now and enjoy our new outdoor living space. Let's hope the warm weather continues!

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