Tuesday, 23 October 2018


'Shelfies' have become a bit of a phenomenon in interior design thanks to social media. I guess they have always been around, but thanks to Instagram and Pinterest there is literally no escaping from them. When it comes to adding decorative items to your home, you really can't beat a well curated  shelf. I definitely think less is more. Don't be tempted to display all your items at once (it's much more fun to rotate them seasonally anyway). Keep it simple, but do pick different type of pieces to create some interest.

This month Wayfair challenged me to update a shelf with some stunning planters from Ivyline. In case you're not familiar with Wayfair, they are one of the world's largest online retailers of home furnishing and decor and I'm honoured to be part of their Home Experts community. Wayfair offer budget friendly finds to high-end products; they literally offer something for everyone! Now you may know that I haven't had the best luck keeping my previous plants alive (I only have one or two at the moment), so I was desperate to give it another go. Luckily Wayfair have a huge selection of planters to choose from which is why I was excited to team up with them in this campaign. 

When it comes to shelf styling I like to start with the larger items first and then work my way down to the smaller accessories. I knew that this hammered plant pot from Ivyline would be a real statement piece. I decided to pair it with the 'it' plant of 2018 which is of course a rubber plant. It's super popular and apparently easy to maintain which was good news to me. I placed a few books underneath it to give it a bit more height. I didn't want to introduce too many different colours to this shelfie. You don't want anything too colourful to distract from this stylish planter and the plant. I also like to place the taller items on the sides avoiding the center. I wouldn't worry about symmetry too much, but you'll definitely want to keep everything nicely spaced and balanced.

Now I do like to follow the 'rule of three' whenever possible as it seems to create more impact. Grouping your objects in odd numbers works particularly well if you have a long shelf. I love these stylish little concrete planters that totally soften the look. Although I picked three (almost) identical planters, I made sure that the middle one would be a different colour so it would stand out. I'm obsessed with succulents (they are easy to keep alive!) which is why they were the perfect choice for these planters. Mini cactuses would work nicely too. I placed the concrete planters on top of a marble tray. As you can probably tell, I really like using layers in my shelfies. The base layer in my shelfie is often a tray or a coffee table book.

I always make sure to include some scented candles and at least one personal item (ie. family photo) too to make the shelfie a bit more personal. Try to mix different decorative items together (candles, tea light holders, plants) but make sure that they have something in common; a colour or a style for example. Shelfies can be functional too but it's important to remember not to overcrowd them.

I really wish that I had looked into house plants years ago. I find them soothing to look at and it has been proven they improve air quality as well (which is particularly important if you live in a big city like me). I find myself less stressed and calmer around plants too. Plus when you have so many pretty planters available, decorating with plants has never been more fun. 

It feels like our home is one step closer to being a plant friendly zone and I promise I'm not done yet. In fact, I'm just starting. I just need to figure out where they are all going to go as the bigger plants may require some reshuffling of furniture. I'm also determined to keep our new rubber plant alive. I just feel happy looking at it. The pretty planter helps too of course.

Do you decorate with plants?

*Thank you Wayfair for sponsoring this post.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018


3 weeks until Halloween, which means it's time to start thinking about Halloween decorations and I'm not talking about plastic spiders and cobwebs (unless you're planning a kids party of course which in my book is the only exception!) Halloween is the perfect time to introduce some beautiful rustic autumn colours to your home.  This year I've decided to keep our Halloween decorations quite minimal. You won't find any spider webs or skeletons anywhere, although few glamorous skulls will be floating around the house. If you don't want to go OTT this Halloween, you'll be pleased to hear it actually takes very little effort to switch to Halloween mode. All you really need is fresh flowers, few pumpkins on the shelves and a gorgeous smelling pumpkin candle or two.

I'm a big fan of wreaths. I use them both indoors and outdoors, although you still won't find that many Halloween wreaths in the shops in the UK. My autumnal pumpkin wreath is from last year (discontinued) but this one is quite similar. The Big Door Wreath Company also stock some stunning wreaths but I believe they only have one or two left. The best thing is that all the wreaths are faux so you can use them year after year. 

I found the prettiest bouquet from our local M&S to match my faux wreath. The arrangement is not faux though, so you can't expect it to last for weeks. I love this faux flower arrangement from Laura Ashley too (plus it's more than 50% off at the moment). You could easily create your own DIY Halloween arrangement. All you need is some winter berries, leaves and flower dye. If you can't find the time to do it yourself, why not ask your local florist if they could do a custom Halloween bouquet for you?

Glamorous skulls are the way to go if you want to celebrate Halloween in style. I still think TK Maxx have the best selection of Halloween decorations in the UK. My gold skull is few years old now but I still love it. Plus, the gold detailing makes it look a lot more expensive than it was. 

Our giant monochrome pumpkin is also few years old now. It's made of wood and is definitely a statement piece. 

Our dining room Halloween decor looks quite minimal as well. I placed an old diamond skull and a magpie ornament on top of our wine glass cabinet to give the room that subtle Halloween feel. Halloween is also the perfect time to start decorating with vegetables (yes, that's right!) which is why I've placed some pumpkins on the shelves. Mini pumpkins actually last ages in room temperature, but I would hold off buying larger ones until closer to Halloween (or you'll have to store them outside).

The best way to add interest to an all white room is by adding a splash of colour. Orange is the ultimately Halloween colour for me which makes the whole process so much easier. Orange roses are always an elegant choice and last ages. I also like to get creative with my pumpkin arrangements and come up with new ideas every year. Check out Pinterest for some serious decorative inspiration!

I randomly found my Pumpkin Harvest candle in TK Maxx few weeks ago. I had never heard of Californian brand Sand + Fog before, but I'm hooked now. It's such a gorgeous scent and a really generous size. The packaging looks divine and it was such a bargain for £8. In fact, I was so impressed I went back to TK Maxx and bought their White Pine candle few days ago. Believe it or not, now is the perfect time to start stocking up on Christmas candles!

Do you go all out for Halloween or keep it simple? Leave a comment or let me know on Instagram!

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Tuesday, 2 October 2018


I wasn't planning to talk about my allergies on the blog initially. It's quite a personal matter and also does not apply to everyone. But, I also felt that if the information I am about to share helps at least one person who is battling with dust allergies, it's well worth it.  

So, to give you some background I've known from a very young age that I am allergic to dust mites and all furry animals. I still remember the day my school nurse did the skin prick test (I was 10 at the time) and announced that I was highly allergic to all furry animals as well as dust mites. Just like any good mother, my mum launched into a cleaning frenzy and put all our bedding outside for 24 hours (luckily I lived in Finland at the time and it was -20 degrees outside, enough to kill those little buggers!) I even had to give up horse riding (I was gutted) but somehow convinced my father to buy me a pet rabbit. Well, I had my pet rabbit for almost 10 years with very little allergies or side affects, although now when I think about it, it probably wasn't the best idea. 

For many years I didn't have any problems. Well, technically that's not true. I've always been allergic to furry animals and got used to having a blocked nose pretty much all the time. However, something changed during/after my second pregnancy and my allergy symptoms came back worse than ever after I gave birth to my second daughter.  My doctor explained to me it was something to do with hormones and my body going into a bit of lock down. There is no real way to prove what really happened, but it was probably a combination of things that caused my allergies to worsen.

In case you are not familiar with dust mites, dust mites are microscopic bugs in the spider family. They feed off dust and moisture. Everybody has them in their home no matter how much cleaning they do, although there are ways to minimise them. Unfortunately some people, like myself, are allergic to the allergens and get various different symptoms. My typical symptoms are itchy eyes, blocked nose and sometimes breathing difficulties. I also developed blepharitis (itchy eye condition) during my second pregnancy which is particularly annoying as I'm a contact lens wearer.

I decided to take action and do all the little things that my doctor advised me to do in order to reduce them in our household. I really should have done these things a long time ago but I didn't know anti allergy bedding existed back then (it probably didn't).



I was very sceptical whether anti allergy bedding would make any difference and didn't want to spend a fortune in case it didn't work. I thought the John Lewis anti allergy range was good value and ordered their pillow, pillow cover, duvet and bed cover. The bedding was so comfortable and to my surprise I felt like it really did help to clear out my sinuses.


This applies to everything. Your bedding should be washed weekly in 60 degrees whether it's anti allergy or not. You should also wash your clothes in 60 degrees as the high temperature will kill the dust mites. If you cannot wash certain items like silk shirts, freeze them for 24 hours. Freezing kills dust mites but doesn't remove the allergens unfortunately, so it's not quite as good as wash in 60 degrees. You could also use the tumble dryer for 20 minutes on a high setting to kill the dust mites.


I'm not going to lie, I'm struggling with this one. We have carpets upstairs and this year we replaced our old carpet in the stairs with a wool one. If we ever move, I will make sure there are no carpets in the house. It will be wood flooring throughout.  If you need to have a carpet or rugs, go for low pile carpets that are easy to hoover. Natural materials like wool, coir and sisal repel dust mites, so they are also good materials for allergy sufferers. 


We have a Dyson but any hoover with HEPA filter will do. I haven't found my Dyson that great to be honest (it's too heavy and needs emptying very often), so I wouldn't really recommend this model to anyone, although it does the job.


Dust mites love high temperatures and moisture which means that good airing is important if you want to minimise them. I usually open our bedroom window first thing I wake up. I also leave the bed unmade for at least 30 min so the sheets get a good airing.


Use anti allergy medication as your last resort if you can. You could try anything from antihistamines to allergy jabs but in my experience drugs won't work on their own. You'll still need to use anti allergy bedding and stay on top of your dusting routine. I'm having to take antihistamines as well as use a nasal spray and eye drops which does seem a little excessive but it seems to work for me.


This one is common sense really but most people use a slightly damp cloth and you should really use a wet one. You don't want the dust floating around in the air which is why this is a must. Baby wipes or any antibacterial wipes are pretty handy too.


I bought our first anti dust mite spray out of pure desperation and didn't believe it would work. I do think it helped a little but you need to use it after you have cleaned your room properly. The bad news is that dust mites can travel from one room to another (especially if you have carpets) so you would need to spray each and every room in your home. I've only sprayed our bedroom and living room so far and I'm not convinced it's worth treating the entire house.


This is probably one of the most important points. The more stuff you have, the more dust there will be. I find decluttering quite therapeutic actually and I've been doing some regular trips to our local charity shop recently, but this is very much an on going process for me.

I know there are air purifiers in the market as well but personally I haven't felt the need to invest in one yet. I think anti allergy bedding and good dusting/cleaning routine is far more important. Anti allergy bedding helped from day one (my nose was substantially less blocked) but I noticed a much bigger difference after I did all the things I listed above. I still suffer from blepharitis and my allergies haven't totally disappeared (although I definitely sleep much better at night) but I feel like this was the step to the right direction. Nobody else in our household suffers from dust mite allergies which just goes to show it's not about cleanliness but just bad luck really. If you do suffer from dust allergies, try to do something about them now as they can cause some serious long term damage, like asthma. It takes serious commitment to fight them and you may never get rid of them entirely, but you can't put a price on being able to breathe through your nose, can you? 

I really hope this post was helpful and feel free to leave a comment or message me if you have any questions. Also, I'd love to know what things you have done to minimise dust mite allergens in your own home??

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