Tuesday, 20 June 2017

BAPTISM DETAILS


You may have noticed I've been taking a bit of a break from blogging this month. It wasn't intentional but somehow planning my daughters Christening and our family holiday in Portugal got in the way. It's been nice to take a bit of a break to be honest. I feel so much more recharged and full of new ideas/posts I can't wait to write about very soon. But of course I just couldn't resist to share some photos from my youngest daughters baptism that we had in May. I wasn't planning to feature it on the blog but since everything turned out so pretty I thought why not. But please don't judge me if everything isn't styled to perfection. I was the hostess after all and taking photos of the tablescapes was the last thing on my mind on the day.

Baptism is such a big event in my book that I always plan everything at least 2-3 weeks before. I order most of the party supplies online so I have to make sure that I have enough time to return them if they don't look quite like I had imagined. I always pick a theme or a colour scheme and this time I decided to go for gold. No surprise there, right? Gold is still a firm favourite of mine and I thought this might be my last chance to pick a theme before the mini decorators will take over planning their birthday parties etc. I think the key with picking any theme really is to mix it up a bit. If you choose a gold theme, don't feel like everything has to be gold. Pick colours that complement each other and the outcome will be a lot more interesting and fun.

So let's talk about the cake. If you're an Instagram addict like me you probably know already what drip cakes are, or at least know what they look like. Basically they are cakes with chocolate (or any other flavour) dripping on the sides. Drip cakes are very trendy at the moment and so versatile. I'm totally buying into the hype, I just can't get enough of them. A good friend of mine from Lottie Loves Cake is responsible for this beautiful creation. If you're wondering if it tasted as good as it looked the answer is yes. It tasted absolutely amazing! Honestly I got so many complements from friends and family and it has never happened before. It was a chocolate cake but I've never tasted such a wonderfully moist chocolate cake in my entire life. If you live in South East London and need a cake that is styled to perfection (and that tastes divine too!) she is your girl. The custom made cake topper is from Chibi Chi Designs.



I bought most of our party supplies from Party Delights and their stuff is really great. I'm obsessed with their Gold Polka Dot Range. It looks so chic and classy. I love that you can find matching napkins, cups, plates etc. I had to pop into Hobby Craft for a few missing things but luckily they seem to stock similar items. I really wish I'd have a gold runner but I couldn't find what I was looking for online so I had to get a bit creative very quickly. I decided to place four placemats together in the middle of the dinner table to create one long runner. You can see where they join close up but from a distance you'd never know. It's not perfect but good enough for me. Plus I love how the place mats from Chilewich serve double duty as a runner too. I'll definitely do this trick again.






Foil letter balloons are another big Instagram hit. They can be used for kids parties, weddings, christening parties or any big event really.  I love how versatile they are and of course I love the fact that I managed to find ones in gold. The letter balloons were from Party Delights and as you can see they are the perfect size for our dining room. Always check the size by the way. People usually find that they look smaller than expected but when you group quite a few letters together they make a big impact. The gold confetti balloons looked so classy but I totally forgot that latex balloons only really last a day or so. Annoyingly we blew up the gold confetti balloons the night before and some of them weren't staying up the next day. So ideally blow them up on the day if you can.




We decided to extend our entertaining area to our decking since the weather has been pretty incredible lately. I'm so glad we did because everyone seemed to prefer the decking. Our garden table is such a good size that it was ideal for a wine and canapé station.  I ordered the stainless steel Champagne Bowl from Ebay very last minute. It was such a bargain for £20  so I couldn't help myself. It's pretty big so it makes a great center piece too. It was such a clever call because it meant that the guests could help themselves and I didn't need to run to the fridge every time someone needed a refill. The Silver Lace Runner is from Amara. I bought it few years ago and it's perfect for formal parties. We ordered all the party food from M&S but sadly I don't have many pictures of the selection. Everything was delicious though! We went for a nice mix of everything; sandwiches, canapé, mini burgers, fruits, mini cakes etc.


Our West Elm Terrace Bar Cart is a relatively new purchase but I'm so pleased I got to use it outside too. Bar carts are so handy and a real must-have for parties. It was so nice to have a side table where I could store plates, cups, drinks etc. Honestly I don't know how we have managed without one. I'll need to write a separate post about this at some point but I'm still so in love with it which says a lot I suppose.





Entertaining Top Tips!

- Start the party prep at least 2-3 weeks early so you have time for returns or if you change your mind about the theme/colour (and so that you can avoid that last minute panic!)

- Pick a theme or colour but do mix it up with colours that complement each other.

- Most formal occasions these days tend to be 'informal'', especially if you are hosting a party in your own home. Don't be embarrassed to use paper cups or plates.  There are so many pretty designs and colours to choose from and it's the perfect way to add an accent colour to your tablescape. If you're having a garden party outdoor tableware is a great idea, although you'll still need to do the clean up afterwards.

- If something looks pretty but you know its not going to work on the day, don't buy it.

- Don't forget to cater for everyone  (kids, vegetarians, gluten sensitivity etc.) when you're shopping for the food. Also don't forget to take the weather into account. If it's hot people will want to eat something refreshing that isn't too heavy. It can be hard to plan this ahead but you can make some last minute changes to the menu on the day.

- Don't wear a white or a light coloured dress if you're the host. Go for dark colours or pattern. I guess this is pretty explanatory. You will have some spills and stains no matter what so it's just not worth the hassle in my opinion. You'll feel a lot less self conscious too when you know any possible stains won't be visible to anyone else.

- Prepare all the food the night before and and place the serving boards in the fridge so they are ready to go.

- Buy fresh flowers on the day or the night before. Alternatively buy cut flowers that tend to last longer like roses or lillies.

- Remember to enjoy the party and chat to your guests!

I hope you've enjoyed the tips and if I've missed anything feel free to add a comment.

Happy Entertaining!

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Monday, 22 May 2017

FEATURED ON STYLE AT HOME MAGAZINE!


I'm so thrilled and honoured to be featured on the Style at Home Magazine June issue. As much as I love getting interior inspiration online, there's nothing quite like curling up on the sofa with a nice cuppa and your favourite interior magazine, am I right? The thing I love about Style At Home is that it's full of stylish and (most importantly) affordable ideas that are so easy to implement in your own home.

I'm delighted to be part of their Home Stylist Team and you can read my comments on pages 40, 51, 67, 100 in this months issue. The June issue is full of advice and amazing real make-overs which are not to be missed. Also, I really enjoyed how Jane and Paul turned their garden into a summertime chill out zone. It reminded me how our own garden and decking area have become a second living room during the summer months and what a big difference it makes to have an extra room as part of the house.

The June issue is in the shops now so grab a copy and soak up the sunshine while it lasts!



PS. Don't forget to check out Style At Home Magazine online!
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Tuesday, 16 May 2017

SWOON EDITIONS - THE POP UP


Last Thursday must have been one of the warmest days this year and I thoroughly got to enjoy it as I made my way to the Swoon Edition press preview which was held in the prestigious Gallery@Oxo. I was really looking forward to the event because Swoon Editions have been on my radar for quite sometime now. You may remember that I bought my Cassius marble console table last year from them (read the review here)!

It was so nice to see the designs in person and talk to the design team who seemed so knowlegable and open about the ideas behind Swoon Editions. I was impressed by the quality of the furniture, but then again I knew the quality was going to be amazing based on the experience I had with my hall table. Honestly, the craftsmanship is far superior than many high street brands but the prices are just as competitive.

There's more to come from Swoon Editions too which I was pleased to hear. They'll be launching new categories soon and they will expand their homewares selection as well. You'll be seeing more mirrors and hopefully smaller home accessories which I cannot wait to get my hands on.

Here are my favourite picks!

Pero Round Mirror

Athena Table

Lots of stunning rugs.

Different fabric options.

Rombix Hand-woven rug

Sherborne Armchair

Ziggy Sideboard

Merano Armchair

Aero Shelving

Eliza Bar Trolley

Selection of side tables.

Zabel Chest of Drawers

So many beautiful pieces, don't you think? If you're already a fan, or simply curious to see how the quality looks like in person, head over to the Swoon Editions Pop-up in the stunning Oxo Wharf to take a closer look.  The pop-up shop is running until 21st of May so there's still plenty of time. Sit on the sofas, touch the fabrics.. I bet you'll be positively surprised! South Bank is such a great spot for cafes and restaurants too so you could easily make a day of it.

For more information visit Swoon Editions Pop-Up
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Tuesday, 9 May 2017

SPRING BEDDING & DUVETS


I'm so glad it's already May, although I'm praying that the weather will start getting warmer soon. I'm definitely more of a summer/spring person so it's important to me that my home feels summery during the warmer months too. May is the perfect time to bring out colourful cushion covers, seasonal flowers and lighter textiles. My spring and summer accessories include pineapple candle holders, cacti tea lights and decorating the house with real pineapples of course. It's so easy to update your living room décor with few spring accessories but make sure you don't forget about your bedroom in the process. All you need is some new colourful or patterned bed linen and you're done. It's really that simple!

When the Yorkshire Linen Co. asked me to pick 5 of my favourite spring duvet sets from their new ranges, I was immediately up for the challenge. I do like to play around with patterns and colour this time of year but I still think it's important to stay true to your style. I hope you like my top picks!

1. SCANDI GEO MULTI DUVET COVER SET

This Scandinavian inspired duvet set is so much fun. The geo multi pattern will definitely make a statement in your bedroom. It's ideal if you want to inject a bit of colour to your décor without having to change anything else really. You could always have some bright flowers next to your bedside table to tie the look together.

Starting from £11.99

2. ANTINA NATURAL DUVET SET

The Antina Natural Duvet set is a great alternative if you like patterns but aren't so keen on bright colours. The bold geometric pattern suits most styles and makes a statement in a fashionable, but discrete, kind of way. I find the neutral tones very calming and relaxing too. There is something very autumnal about this bedding which means you will get plenty of use out of it once the summer has passed as well.

Starting from £11.99

3. BIANCA COTTON EMBROIDERED DUVET SET

I never thought I'd say this but embroidered fabrics are  really growing on me lately. There's just something so elegant and feminine about them. The Bianca Duvet set is probably my favourite duvet set in the entire collection. It's quite plain but the ethnic embroidery in grey gives the duvet a nice boutique look. What's even more amazing is that it is 100% cotton so you know it will only get better after each wash. Also, don't forget that cotton breaths well compared to synthetic fabrics which makes it a great choice during the summer months. If you like this duvet set, you'll also love the Embroidered Bedspread. Seriously though, how amazing do these two look together??

Starting from £45.50

4. BIANCA SPRIG COTTON PRINT BLUE

The Bianca Soft Cotton Duvet Set is also available in white featuring a water colour floral in ink blue. This duvet set looks so elegant but cute at the same time. It just has this timeless look about it. Blue is always a safe choice and in smaller doses like this it has a very calming effect. Style your bedside table with eucalyptus leaves and a scented candle for the perfect ambiance!

Starting from £22.40

5. WARWICK 200 THREAD COUNT

As much as I love colour during spring/summer, white bedding never really goes out fashion. The reason why this duvet set made my top 5 is because I think it's amazing value at almost 50% off at the moment. I love the striped satin detailing and the fact it's 100% cotton is obviously a massive bonus. The Warwick duvet set is also available in silver and taupe which makes it probably one of the most versatile duvet sets out there. By the way, I've noticed most manufacturers recommend you to wash your sheets at 40 degrees these days but I always wash mine at 60 degrees and I've never had any problems. I'm just not convinced that bacteria and dust mites will die at 60 degrees and as someone who suffers from pet and dust allergies I'd rather not risk it.

Starting from £21.99
I know that finding the right bed linen can be hard but try to have a bit of fun with it. Obviously go with your instinct but my top tip is to go for a duvet set that's different from your old one. It will be so much more fun to rotate them! I always end up buying similar duvet sets, which is not always a bad thing I guess, but I've decided from now I'm going to try to be a bit more adventurous. I wouldn't go too crazy in the guest room though. I think it's better to stick to white cotton linen that most people will appreciate. You really cannot go wrong with Egyptian cotton if you do decide to splash out. Also, don't forget to check out the rest of the king size duvet sets in Yorkshire Linen's new range. Whatever your style and budget, there's something for everyone.

I'd love to know which duvet set was your favourite? Leave a comment below or let me know on Instagram!

* Thank you Yorkshire Linen Co. for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own as usual.

*Images credited: Yorkshire Linen Co.
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Friday, 5 May 2017

MY HALL MAKE-OVER PART 2 - THE LAURA ASHLEY BLOG






Happy Friday! Today is a special day for me because well obviously it's Friday, and we all love that, but I'm also talking about our hall make-over part 2 over at the Laura Ashley Blog. I did a little hall make-over with Laura Ashley few months ago which totally transformed our hall. However, I felt like something was missing and that I wasn't quite finished decorating our hall yet. I've been meaning to replace our old hall light for quite sometime but just couldn't find what I was looking for. Well, that's until I saw the gorgeous Zaria Pendant in our local Laura Ashley store and fell in love with it immediately.

Head over to the Laura Ashley Blog for the Full Reveal!

* This post was in collaboration with Laura Ashley.
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Wednesday, 3 May 2017

BLOGGER'S PICKS WITH WAYFAIR

Can you believe it's already May? Last month I did my first decorating challenge with Wayfair and this month Wayfair asked me to pick six of my favourite products from their website. What a challenge, right? Wayfair's product offering is huge so it took me a good few hours to find my favourite pieces in the end. I hope you like the selection as much as I do! My blogger's picks will be also available at www.wayfair.co.uk so head over to their website to take a closer look.

1.  CLAYTON WALL MIRROR

Round mirrors are very popular at the moment.  I'd like to add a bold statement mirror like this to our bedroom. The Clayton Wall Mirror would also look great in a hall or above a pretty bar cart. I just love that gold accessories can quickly transform any room from drab to fab.




      


2. BETTY MIDCENTURY SOFA

I'm a big fan of Midcentury Modern Style. The Betty Midcentury Modern 3-seater sofa oozes elegance and simplicity. I find that simple, minimalist sofas look stunning with patterned and colourful cushions. Could you imagine how amazing this sofa would look with some geometric cushions and a soft textured throw?
Betty Mid-Century Modern 3 Seater Sofa


3. CHAMPAGNE BUCKET

Champagne ice buckets are ideal for summer barbecues and parties. I'd love a large one that can hold more than just one bottle. This champagne cooler holds 5 bottles which is so handy when you're entertaining a large group of people. Party goers will love that the bar is nearby and that they can help them selves. Don't forget it also saves a lot of time if you're the host as you don't need to run to the fridge every time someone needs a refill.



4. LUCA BOWL PENDANT

I can't get enough of beaded chandeliers at the moment. The Luca Bowl Pendant looks glamorous and rustic at the same time. These type of chandeliers suit almost every room. They are definitely more understated than traditional chandeliers. Perfect if you are going for the Boho Glam Look!


Luca 3 Light Bowl Pendant

   


5. C'EST LA VIE ART CANVAS BY RUNWAY AVENUE

The right art can either make or break a room. I'd choose a piece you truly love but bear in mind the existing colour scheme and the style you're going for.  Large canvases like this are great on their own but you could easily have them as part of your wall gallery too.


Outdoor area rugs are a must-have during the summer months. We installed a timber decking last year and I'd love to get an outdoor rug that's durable and easy to clean. I'd go for a patterned rug like this as it will add texture to your outdoor living area. And let's face it, an outdoor rug will instantly transform your garden area to a second living room so everyone should at least have one in my opinion.

Courtyard Terracotta/Bone Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug




Did anything catch your eye? Feel free to leave a comment and do check out www.wayfair.co.uk for some serious interior inspiration.
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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

NEW GALLERY WALL WITH WAYFAIR


I mentioned a while ago that I'm a member of Wayfair's Home Expert programme (still feeling pretty excited about that!) and this month Wayfair challenged me to create a gallery wall in our home in collaboration with the Art Group. I got to choose three of my favourite prints from the Art Group and incorporate them in my new gallery wall. I also got to pick few extra prints from Wayfair to complete the wall. Honestly, this challenge couldn't have arrived at a better time and I'll explain to you why very soon.

Everyone seems to be into gallery walls at the moment. They are all over interior magazines and Pinterest and there's literally no escaping from them. Luckily I'm a big fan of them too. We have two gallery walls upstairs but I felt we really needed one downstairs as well. I find gallery walls incredibly mesmerising and I could stare at them forever. They tell a lot about the person living in the house too which is why I think they are particularly addictive. I didn't want this gallery wall to be too symmetrical but it had to go well with our colour scheme and the overall feel of our dining room. You probably know how obsessed  I am with monochrome décor and gold accessories. Well, let's just say it was easy to pick the colour scheme for our gallery wall too!

I created a little mood board in Photoshop before I ordered the art because I wanted to be 100% certain with my selection. I also think it's really important to put all the art on a flat surface, like bed or a floor, so you can really see what they are going to look like on the wall. I placed the largest art piece, the gold palm canvas, on the right side, avoiding the middle section so it wouldn't dominate the entire wall. I made sure that the second largest print was on the left side, just to balance things out. Then I just kind of played around with all the other prints to see which layout was visually most appealing. I think I must have spent half a day reshuffling them until I was happy.




Then I made some cutouts from bin bags. Classy I know, but they totally do the job. I placed them up on the wall  so that I could see where each print would go, which also came pretty handy in the hanging part. Luckily my husband volunteered to hang them up (well he didn't really have a choice, did he?) and we used adhesive hooks and strips for all the other prints except the large gold frame which was too heavy.



So the reason why this challenge couldn't have arrived at a better time is because I actually had a big blank wall in my dining room. In fact, I've had a big blank wall in my dining room for 6 years now. I'm kind of ashamed to admit it, considering I'm an interior blogger and all, but I just couldn't decide what to put up there. Also, we used to store baby equipment in this corner but now that my youngest daughter has grown out of them, I'm so glad to see them go and I can't wait to make this room feel a bit more grown up and glamorous.



So here's the big reveal! What a difference, right? I'm so pleased with the outcome. Our new gallery wall has glammed up our dining room beyond my wildest dreams. The Gold Palm Canvas was a bit of a risk but I love the fact it's big and bold as this room really needed bit of oomph. I also wanted to make the wall a bit more personal and these London cityscape prints (London II and London III by Susie Brooks) by Art Group caught my eye immediately. I didn't want it to be all monochrome either so when I spotted the gold framed prints (NY Framed Graphic & Everyday 2016 Illustration) from House Docktor I knew they'd go perfectly with our glamorous gallery wall. The Fika Print completes the wall nicely. I love abstract art and our gallery wall totally reflects that. I also added some of my old framed prints to the gallery wall but I only used 9 art pieces in total.










Tips!

1. If you're going for an unsymmetrical gallery wall mix at least 3-4 different types of frames/art to give it a collected look.

2. Preparation is everything. If you want to be 100% happy with your wall use Photoshop (or any similar software) to create a mood board first and then place the art on a flat surface like floor or bed before hanging it up.

3. Use cutouts from bin bags to help you visualise what the wall is going to look like. This will be especially handy in the hanging part. Remember to use painters masking tape so the tape doesn't damage the paint work on your wall.

4. Don't be afraid to go for one statement piece that's bigger than the rest.

5. Don't over think it. Trust your instincts and have fun with it!

Our dining room feels so much more glamorous now thanks to our new gallery wall but I have a feeling I'll be adding more art to it at some stage. I don't think gallery walls are truly ever finished. Next I'd like to add some smaller prints or wall ornaments to our wall display and I  cannot wait to see how it will evolve with time.

I'd love to know what you think! Are you a fan of gallery walls?


*This post was sponsored by Wayfair. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own as usual.
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