Friday, 18 November 2016

I'M ON THE LAURA ASHLEY BLOG!







Just a quick note to say that I'm thrilled to be featured on the Laura Ashley Blog for the second time this year. I had so much fun styling our hall with some stunning Laura Ashley accessories. I'm absolutely over the moon with our hall 'mini-makeover'!

Head over to the Laura Ashley Blog to read the rest!
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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

NEW IN THE MASTER BEDROOM





It's been a few years since I did our bedroom before & after post so I thought it's worth sharing with you what we have been up to since. I've gone for warmer tones in the bedrooms and I love how upstairs feels so different compared to our downstairs monochrome theme. I'm a terrible sleeper, I really am. It takes me ages to fall asleep which is why I have gone for warm, soothing colours that hopefully help me to relax and unwind. I draw a lot inspiration from Style Me Pretty Living which feature some of the most beautiful and chicest bedroom designs I have seen.

I had been looking for the perfect wall art to go above our bed for quite a while when I stumbled across this tree canvas from Next. I love how it adds a bit of texture and colour to the room and I've been thinking about framing it in a gold/brass metal frame. I think it would make it stand out more but I haven't quite decided yet whether it's a good idea. What do you think?


Cushions can really lift the mood in any room. Bedroom is such a cosy place that you should not skimp on the cushions. I like minimalist furniture but when it comes to soft furnishing in the bedrooms I like to go for warm colours and luxurious materials. I adore velvet cushions because they feel amazing to touch and give a soft look to the room too. I decided to keep the cushions fairly neutral because I didn't want the colours to clash with the canvas art above the bed.




I don't think I could do without good size bedside tables. Scented candles, photo frames and small decorative ornaments look great on them. I've been thinking about upgrading our bedside lamps at some point. I'd like larger lamps that would highlight the painting above the bed too. There's actually a pretty funny story involving our bedside tables. We order two white bedside tables but they delivered one white and one beige table (very subtle difference) and it took us 3 years to notice this. Unbelievable, right? It was tricky to notice as the lighting is quite different next to the window and I just thought it made the table appear whiter than the other one. Annoyingly, after we spotted the difference it was all you could see. We ordered them 5 years ago from Paul Simon which has now closed down so we weren't sure if we could still get another one in white. We found an online supplier who still stocks this range so we got another table in white recently. So now they match but I still cannot believe I didn't spot the difference when they were delivered in the first place!



Is anyone else obsessed with hats? Let's face it, I won't exactly have many opportunities to use mine at the moment but I love hanging it up on the door or on the walls. If I ever have a large hat collection, I'd love to make a cool feature wall out of them!


Don't forget to have plants or flowers in the bedroom. Fake ones are absolutely fine. Just buy good quality ones that look as real as possible. This plant (below) is actually real. I don't really know what it is but it doesn't need a lot of water so it's ideal for someone like me who would forget to water it anyway.


Wall mountable cubes are perfect for a decorative display in the bedroom. I don't think wall shelving like this is ideal for storage though. It's important not to overfill them as they can end up looking cluttered. Also, make sure that the accessories you place on the shelves complement the overall colour and feel of the room.




I've always wanted a gallery wall in the bedroom and we used Command picture hanging strips to hang the Ikea RIBBA frames. I'm a keen photographer so it's a nice idea to showcase some of our family photos on the walls. All the photos on the gallery wall are black and white and I think the monochrome picture wall looks well in a room that is filled with such warm, neutral tones.


I'm nowhere near finished decorating this room yet. I have to admit, it hasn't been a priority for me but I'd like to get an arm chair next year to go in the corner opposite the bed. I'm also loving chunky knitted throws at the moment (notonthehighstreet.com have a good selection) but I'm slightly concerned that my mini-me's might destroy such a beautiful piece of art in no time. Hence, I haven't bitten the bullet yet! I 'd also like to some wall art above our TV. My husband insisted on having a TV in the bedroom but I think there are a lot mixed opinions on this. I never watch TV in bed but I don't actually mind having it there.

What's your preference? Would you have TV in the bedroom - yes or no?

Bedspread La Redoute
Cushions Laura Ashley
Cube Wall Shelving Homebase
Gallery Photo Frames Ikea UK
Tree Wall Art Next (similar here)
Bedroom Furniture Paul Simon (same range sold here)

* Some of the items in this post have been gifted to me.
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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

LAURA ASHLEY PRESS SHOW SS17






I love attending press shows. They're great for gaining new inspiration and getting a sneak peek of what's coming next in the interiors industry. I went to Laura Ashley's spring/summer 2017 press show last week which is one of my favourite press previews to attend as they always manage to surprise me and bring out new lines that are more divine than ever. The new collections were absolutely beautiful. I know I say this everytime, but this is  probably my favourite collection to date. It's definitely their 'chicest'  collection to date!

I adore the way Laura Ashley mixes traditional and contemporary styles together for a such stylish and sophisticated look. I loved all the brass, beautiful greys and luxurious velvets at the press show. Classy interiors never go out of style and that's where Laura Ashley really excels for me. Their homeware collections are always so elegant and stylish which is why I am a massive fan of the brand.

Accessories really make a home in my opinion. They add the finishing touches to each room and are an inexpensive way to update your seasonal decor. I loved all the new collections at the press event but the Natural by Design Collection was probably my favourite. The neutral colour palette really appealed to me and the details were just stunning. The cushions and the textiles were beautiful and I was so inspired that I have started planning my next make-over project in my head already.






The Mulroy Antler Lamp (below) was my favourite piece in their new lighting collection. It's also available in a chandelier if you want your lighting to match - it's so chic and elegant!



The throws and the blankets were out of this world. You need to go and check out their blanket and rug collection in person to truly appreciate the texture in my opinion. They feel luxurious to touch and I cannot wait to curl up on the sofa with one of these throws. By the way, how fabulous are those decorative paper flowers? They are made from Laura Ashley wall paper and looked amazing on the walls. You cannot buy them but they would make a great DIY project, don't you think?







How amazing is this grey sheepskin rug? I'm not sure if they do it in a larger size but if they do, I might just have to order one for the house.


I'm a big fan of rattan and I love using my rattan baskets to store magazines and throws/blankets. Rattan has made its way indoors in the last few years and luckily I don't see its popularity slowing down anytime soon. I love the way it adds texture and a natural feel to any space. Rattan baskets are great for storage but I had never thought about rattan on the walls. The Rattan Woven Basket Wall Art can make any room feel summery and it also matches the storage boxes nicely. It has definitely given me some new ideas on how to decorate our lounge.




I personally love a bit of retro style with clean modern lines. The Chestnut Book Case is quite a statement piece on its own. The brass terrariums and candle holders are very trendy and can be used to store jewellery or succulents.



The Garrat Chestnut Drinks Cabinet is also a must-have now that the festive season is approaching. When your wine glass collection is this beautiful, why would you want to hide it?



I do love mirrors. I wouldn't mind adding a gold mirror to our collection at some point and I think this art deco style mirror looks striking against the wall paper. I'm not a massive wallpaper fan but this patterned wallpaper might have just converted me. You couldn't really pick a more sophisticated and elegant pattern in my opinion.



And now, last but not least, I'm excited that the popular SET of 3 LED Candles will be also available in elegant grey very soon. LED candles are a godsend in a house with children or pets. They are much safer and you don't have to worry about candles burning out again. These candles will be on my shopping list in 2017 for sure.


The new collections should be landing in the shops in February so do pop into your nearest Laura Ashley store to have a closer look in the new year. As much as I enjoy shopping online, I also love to see and feel the products in person. I guess it's a good excuse to get out of the house for some 'me time' if nothing else!

Don't forget, Laura Ashley also offer an interior design service if you feel you need a bit of help with a specific room or simply want to showcase your home to look its best. You can find more information about the design service here.

For more information visit www.lauraashley.com
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Tuesday, 1 November 2016

STYLISH KIDS BIRTHDAY PARTY





My youngest daughter turned one recently and I decided last minute to organise a small birthday party with close friends and family. Since our adults/kids ratio was 50/50 I thought it's best to keep it classy. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against kiddy parties (I'm in awe of people who manage to host 10+ kids in their home) but I realise that it won't be long before my daughters will want themed birthday parties, so I might as well make most of it for now and throw a party that mummy will like too!

I'm usually very organised when it comes to party planning but this time I had left it late. We had ordered the food but I hadn't thought about decorations, colours or tablescapes. There was no time for online shopping so I drove to our nearest Hobbycraft which has been a godsend in the past when it comes to home-made decorations and crafts. I wasn't sure what to expect but their collections really surprised me. I was very much spoiled for choice.

The Pink Ombre Paper Cups and Plates were my favourites. They are the perfect shade of pink and the gold embossed text makes them look very chic and stylish. I also loved the Gold Foil Polka Dot Range and I couldn't pick between the two so in the end I decided to get both. I felt it might be a little too predictable to just stick to one colour so why not mix it up a bit. Luckily metallics and pink are a match made in heaven. I do think that plastic or paper plates are a necessity with kids. The best thing about paper tableware is that you don't have to worry about doing the dishes afterwards. I also like that you can get a new set for each occasion. It would be a bit boring to use the same plates all the time, don't you think? I'm also a big fan of paper straws and the Gold Polka Dot Paper Straws went perfectly with the pretty silver/pink theme.




A nice table cloth is an absolute must for parties in my book but I didn't want to go for a white one. I guess it's pretty obvious why. Kids are messy and the stains will show very quickly. So if you don't want to get a paper/disposable table cloth, just go for cotton but choose a colour that is few shades darker. Stains won't show as much and it will definitely make your table look smarter. I also placed the Chilewich Lace Runner in the middle to glam things up a bit and I love the way the design adds a bit of texture to the table setting. Of course my tablescape wouldn't be complete without some pink flowers. Fluffy pink roses are always an excellent choice for girls and I mixed two different bouquets to get a bit of variety in our flower centre piece. It's also a cost effective way to make yourself a statement bouquet as small flower arrangements tend to be a lot cheaper than one large one.



I mentioned before that half of our guests were grown ups so I wanted to cater for them as well. I made sure the table was filled with some savoury nibbles and macarons to keep the adults entertained. We got all the party food from M&S and their selection is pretty impressive. I'll be using them for our next party for sure. Funnily enough, the kids ended up eating all the macarons before adults got to them!




You cannot have a birthday party without a pretty cake, right? I enjoy cooking but unfortunately baking is not one of my strongest skills. It's just too much pressure when it comes to birthdays and I know I could never make it as pretty as I'd like. Luckily, M&S have a great selection of celebration cakes and I think the Number One Cake is one of the cutest I've seen. It's quite a large cake so it makes a great center piece for your table setting. I always use my 3 Tier Cake Stand when entertaining and I honestly don't know how I could cope without it. Our table is quite narrow so it's ideal if you haven't got a lot of room or a side table to use. I also love my Iittala Kastehelmi Cake Stand. The sparkly glass droplet design is timeless and beautiful in any setting.






I think the sweetest thing about organising the birthday party was how involved my eldest daughter wanted to be. She loved the decorating part and picking up the accessories with me. She also has the most amazing attention to detail so I must have brainwashed trained her pretty well! I also love how honest kids are. If something doesn't look quite right, they are not afraid to tell you. I can't wait to start decorating the house for Christmas soon. Not long to go now!

What's your take on kids parties? Do you enjoy or dread organising them?
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