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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Tuesday, 18 April 2017

THE LA REDOUTE RUG




I've been dreaming about a new rug for our living room ever since we had our milk bottle incident with my eldest daughter. Funnily enough, my Ikea Gaser rug post is the most read post in the history of my blog which I do find quite interesting. I guess there are a lot of people out there that can relate to our little accident. Decorating with children in mind can be hard - should I go for my dream rug or choose something more practical? These questions have been on my mind when I've been looking for our new rug and it hasn't been an easy task to be honest.

Berber style rugs have been on my radar for a while now. I just love the pattern and feel that they are the perfect complement to any modern or contemporary space. First I wasn't totally sure if a Berber style rug would suit my style. At one point I was going for quite an elegant and formal look in our living room and everything had to match. Now I'm all about mismatching. Don't get me wrong, I think it's important that the furniture and the accessories work together to create a cohesive look but it's actually visually more interesting if everything doesn't match.

I've been keeping an eye out for the La Redoute Afaw shaggy rug for a while now but every time it just suddenly sold out and well I guess I felt it wasn't meant to be. About a month ago I noticed the rug was back in stock (I literally kept checking the website every few weeks) and I thought I can't miss out on this opportunity again. Especially since I really wanted to get rid of our old rug that was too small and dark for my liking. So I finally ordered the rug online (and received 15% off which was nice) and I'm so pleased that I did because it has sold out again in white. You can still buy it in black in sizes small and large however. Would you believe this rug is so famous that it has its own Instagram account?! La Redoute also have some seriously gorgeous Berber style real wool rugs that are worth checking out. They look a bit too beige for my taste but it all depends on what you're after.

When the rug finally arrived, I knew I had made the right decision. I just love it. It feels amazingly soft and I love the pattern, although initially I thought I would have preferred a more consistent pattern. The rug looks exactly like on the website, if not better.



This time I went for the largest size available (200 x 290 cm). Our living room is a decent size and I didn't want to repeat the mistake I made with my Ikea rug. From day one I knew it was too small and it never really looked right. A lot of people think that a large rug will make the room appear smaller but it's actually the opposite, especially if you go for a light colour. Our new rug really sets the room and I wanted to make sure that I could place the furniture (especially the feet of our sofa) on the rug. A rug can totally make or break a room so it's really important to get the colour and the size right. And  for once I think I have actually nailed both. I think this rug looks amazing with dark grey furniture and silver accessories but the truth is it's so versatile, you could style it in hundred different ways if you wanted to.










You cannot really go wrong with this rug in my opinion. If you're still on the fence, I've listed some pros and cons that will hopefully help you in your decision making process.


Pros

  • Affordable
  • Comes in 3 different sizes and colours
  • Looks good
  • Doesn't shed
  • Easy to clean (hoover and remove stains from)
  • Feels soft and fluffy

Cons

  • Material does not look like 'real' wool
  • Funny smell for the first few days
  • Pattern could be more consistent (but this depends on your taste)

As you can see there were more pros than cons which is why I decided to keep the rug. I had some trouble deciding between this rug and the West Elm Souk rug rug (which would have been 4 times the price!)  and I was actually having second thoughts when I walked into our living room only to find a half eaten banana smushed against the rug. This was the work of our 16 month old but luckily it came off beautifully with a cloth, some hot water and few drops of fairy liquid. My children are allowed to have snacks in the living room, although milk on the rug is still not allowed for obvious reasons. I just love that I don't have to stress about this rug and that the girls can feel relaxed and comfortable in the living room (and not worry about messing up mummy's new rug).

Although I doubt this is our forever rug, I do think it is perfect for us at the moment considering our life style (ie. the fact that we have young children). Also, the La Redoute Afaw rug is simply gorgeous and let's not forget it is, without the doubt, the best value Berber style rug that I have seen out there.

Would you get your dream rug now or stick to a more sensible option until your children get a bit older?
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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

SPRING UPDATES





Can you believe it's Easter this week?! I swear every year it just creeps up on me. Last few months have been so busy that I have barely had any time to plan our Easter activities or food. I'll be doing all that this week so here's to hoping I will find everything I'm looking for on time for our Easter festivities. I started transforming our décor to Spring/Summer mode few weeks ago and it's looking a lot more colourful and brighter already. Obviously I'm not finished yet but it's getting there.

I've finally replaced our winter cushions with more summery ones from West Elm. I actually bought them few years ago but I adore them as much as the day I got them. I also love these cushions from Anthropologie. I'm kind of tempted to get them but I still love my old ones so I think I'll hold onto them for now. I also got the grey Moroccan style rug last year from H&M Home and they have a great selection of rugs again this spring.




I might not be a great gardener but I do enjoy the planting part. Little plants in containers are so easy to look after and they instantly make our decking feel cosy and welcoming. I recently planted these mini succulents into pots and I just love how they brighten up our decking area. Last weekend was the hottest we've seen this year, +25 degrees would you believe, so we've been spending a lot of time in the garden already and especially on our deck which I like to call our second living room during the summer months. We keep the double doors pretty much open all the time which means that random cats tend to just walk into the house. Is it just me, or does that happen to anyone else?



I like to go for colourful flowers during the summer months and although I love the look of tulips, they are a nightmare to arrange and seem to wilt very easily at the moment. I think tulips are ideal for Easter but I haven't been overly impressed with them this year so I'll probably go back to buying my favourite flowers, roses, after Easter. Prosecco Made Me Do it- candle is from Candelle and Co. How stunning is the packaging?! It's quite a strong scent though which means it's ideal for large halls or open plan areas.




I know I have been going on about storage baskets for quite some time but honestly I wouldn't be able to survive without them. Children's toys seem to be multiplying in our house and I think it's important to store them in pretty, but also practical, storage baskets. I spotted these Birkin Storage Baskets in a recent event that Habitat hosted and fell in love with them immediately. They are huge and go super well with our monochrome decor.


I'm still obsessed with gold this spring and I particularly love mixing gold and silver together. I think silver on its own can look a little cold so it's a good idea to mix things up with gold and brass to make it look stylishly effortless. I used to be all about silver, shocking I know, but I have a feeling that gold is here to stay (at least until the foreseeable future).


My gold tea light holder (below) is from Next and although it's been discontinued they have very similar ones available in metal at the moment.


I have lots of fun collaborations coming up on the blog which I can't wait to share with you very soon. I'm so excited that the weather seems to be improving and I'm hoping that we can finally start having regular barbeques and breakfast sessions in the garden. But first I have to get through Easter. We will be spending Easter at home and I'll be hosting a dinner for family which means there is lots to do, but it's going to be a lot of fun for the kids and for us of course. I guess the best part is that everyone will get a few days off work and will get to spend it chilling out with the family.

Have you started making spring updates to your home yet?

* Some of the items in this post have been gifted to me, but all opinions and thoughts are my own as usual.


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