Thursday, 31 January 2019 / Paris, France


2019 couldn't have started off better. I attended Maison & Objet, the most prestigious interiors and design trade show on the planet, in Paris few weeks ago in collaboration with Treniq. If you follow my Instagram stories you've probably seen my highlights from the event already. Maison & Objet is a major event for the global design community.  Even my taxi driver in Paris knew about the event and warned me that the city will be extra busy for the third week of January, especially since it was also Paris Fashion week. Of course I didn't mind. In fact, the more the merrier, although you should expect your hotel room to cost double what it usually costs for this reason.

Nothing really could have stopped me from attending this event. Maison & Objet has always been on my bucket list. It's such a huge trade show. There were 8 different halls showcasing everything from fashion accessories to homewares. It's also very much the place to be seen and to network in the industry. Maison & Objet is strictly for professionals, so anyone who is there is in the industry which makes the event so much more exclusive. There were a lot of buyers, designers and just head of major department stores there. It was truly the perfect place for me to get inspiration and mingle/network and that's exactly what I did during my stay in Paris.

Getting there was pretty stress-free too. I'm so lucky to live in London as Paris is only 2.5 hours by train  from St Pancras (to Gard du Nord). I didn't want to fly (and stay near the airport where the exhibition is) as I can't imagine going to Paris and not being able to experience the city. I lived in Paris for 4 months in my 20s, so it has always been a special place for me. I stayed in Saint Germain (which just happens to be my 'old hood') and luckily there was a direct train service going from Saint-Michel Notre-Dame (RER B) to Villepinte (where the exhibition was). Everything was so hassle-free and it only took me 35 minutes in the metro to get to the exhibition. Saint Germain is super close to the metro station (app. 5 minute walk), so if you're planning to attend Maison & Objet, this is the ideal location to stay in. There are lots of cafes, shops and nice restaurants in Saint Germain which will make your stay feel a lot more pleasant than staying in a hotel near the exhibition centre.

Now, let's talk about the event itself. What can I say, it was unreal. It was definitely the coolest interiors event I've ever been to. And I've been to quite a few! It was also the biggest and most international trade show I've ever attended. I knew it was going to be big but I really didn't expect to be walking 6 hours a day non-stop. All the halls were within walking distance from each other but there is so much on display that you will get distracted. I started off in Hall 6 and spent most of my time in the Unique & Eclectic section. I panicked a little when I realised all the other things that were on my must-see list and how little time I had left. I had made a plan beforehand and honestly without it I would have been a little lost. Plan what you want to see because you won't be able to see it all.

Like I said,  my favourite hall was the Unique & Eclectic section and I spent most of my time there. It was like a cross road of cultures from all over the world. The furniture pieces and the decorative objects (especially art) were unlike anything I've seen before. They had some really unusual lighting designs and they had even DJs playing music there. The vibe was out of this world and you couldn't help but get inspired as you walked from one stall to another. You can tell dark colour schemes are back. Lots of dark and bold colours were on display, replacing the neutral palettes of the previous seasons. Brass, gold and silver were used to create layered, eclectic spaces. Natural materials like wood and rattan were pretty predominant too. There were lots of irregular shapes and unsual designs that caught me eye. Feminine tones (especially blush and pink) seem to be here to stay (at least for this season). Also, velvet sofas are still very much in trend this season, although you may seem some bolder and more creative designs (which very much draw their inspiration from art deco; think of scalloped shaped furniture!)

Also, the What's New? sections were worth a look. 3 different spaces and 3 themes were presented to showcase seasons outstanding new products. I preferred the décor section of course which was organised to 3 contrasting atmospheres. Minimal Brutalist (natural & minimal), Luxury Graphic (luxurious and dramatic) and Ethic Arty (which combines different cultures). I loved them all for very different reasons. Items made by hand are huge this year. A lot of sustainable materials are used as well like clay, jute and bamboo, rattan, sisal, paper and glass. The handmade ethnic vases and sculptures were worth examining close up and I was so happy to see that wall rugs are back!

Mid century modern furniture is also still very much in demand thanks to its timeless sleek lines and organic shapes. You'll see more dark colours this year, like dark stained wood.

I'm so happy that bohemian and tribal designs are still going strong. Cultural influences seem to be a big part of it this season and I also love the use of natural fabrics. People are looking for eco-friendly options which is why it's important to introduce sustainable, natural materials to soft textiles and  furnishing. Rattan has been one of my favourite materials for the past 5 years and I love that it's now used literally in everything from laundry baskets to lighting. Natural rugs are also bigger than ever.

The home fragrances section in hall 3 is also worth mentioning. As a self-proclaimed candle addict I was in scent heaven. I thought my scent knowledge was pretty vast, but I spotted quite a few new brands too. Those gigantic home diffusers smelled amazing. Unfortunately there was no way I would have been able to sneak one into my handbag.. Maybe next time!

I hope you've enjoyed my Maison & Objet highlights. It is impossible to cover everything in this piece, so I thought I'll focus on the things that stood out for me most. The whole experience was amazing and I want to say a massive thank you to Treniq for sponsoring my trip there. I felt so lucky to be there and I was so inspired and full of ideas afterwards. I literally wanted to redecorate our entire house all over again. Nah, just joking! But it was nice to see how certain trends are evolving at the moment. The bohemian trend has never looked more glamorous and I truly believe that sustainable interiors and eco-friendly living are the future. Maison & Objet is a semi-annual event and the next one is in September. I would say it's definitely worth a visit, especially if you're running a small business. You will get so much information on the latest trends and products and it's also a great way to present your products and knowledge to a bigger audience. Plus, of course there's the little thing that the event is held in Paris. Need I say more..

* This is a collaborative post with Treniq.


Tuesday, 15 January 2019 / London, UK


It's been ages since I've done a gadget review, so I thought I'll introduce you to a new app and device that has been a bit of a game changer in the Mornings for us. My husband bought me the Tile Sport & Style Key Finder  as a Christmas present and although I was sceptical first, I don't think I could live without it now.

I find Mornings absolutely hectic with two children and two different school drop offs. I know it's mostly my own fault. I could be more organised in the Mornings but when you're multi tasking mistakes happen and things get lost. Also, my 3 year old daughter likes to occasionally 'play' with the keys which doesn't help. I'm definitely not a Morning person either and usually I start to properly function after the second cup of coffee. So as you can see, any additional help we can get is very much appreciated.

I've been using my Tile key finders for 3 weeks now and I'm very impressed so far. I use the Tile app on my phone to locate my keys most Mornings.  All I have to do is to use the app on my phone to locate my keys and then follow the sound (which is pretty loud by the way, much louder than my phone ringtone). You can also use the Tile app to find your phone (even if it's on silent) if you have your keys which is very handy. All you have to do is to press the tile logo twice and make the tile sound off (as long as it's  within 200 foot Bluetooth range that is). I just love that they are so easy to use and look so stylish. You'll have to pay extra for the gold/white tile but I think it's totally worth it. I do wish they would launch new colours and styles in the near future. Gold, silver and monochrome would look lovely!

I've never used this device outside the house but it seems to work perfectly in our 5 bed semi-detached house. Currently I have two tile devices (one sport and one style tile) and I use them mainly for the house and car keys (sometimes for my purse). A lot of people attach one to their luggage too, so when you're at the airport you roughly know when it's coming out or if its been lost. I could do with more tiles but I'm not going to buy them just yet. I'll wait a few months to see how long their battery lasts as their battery replacement scheme is supposed to be quite expensive (it's like getting a brand new tile, so not exactly cheap). Then again, it might be worth the cost if you have a busy household like ours. If you're super organised all the time, you probably don't need one but we've got so many keys and phones in the house that honestly these devices are making life so much easier for all of us. 

I really want to do more gadget reviews this year. It's so hard to get non biased reviews these days which is why I always turn to internet before buying a product. I only recommend products on the blog that I would genuinely buy myself. I always try to give pros and cons too but I don't really have too many cons for this product yet as I've been only using it for few weeks. Maybe the battery life and the expensive replacement scheme is the biggest drawback (but you should get at least 1 year out of them). Then again, the app and the maps are super helpful which kind of makes up for the cost a bit. 

If you're familiar with Tile, I'd love to know what you think! Has it been a godsend or something that you could live without? Leave a comment below or let me know on Instagram!


Tuesday, 1 January 2019 / London, UK


Wow, what a year it's been. Although I try to not make any new years resolutions, I do think it's nice to reflect on everything that's happened in 2018 and learn from it all. A lot of good things happened in 2018. I think the fact that I'm still blogging after 5 years probably speaks for itself. I really love it  and it's the perfect creative outlet for me in the middle of our crazy busy family life.

I was nominated for an Amara interior blog award again last year and this time in the most suitable category I could have ever imagined; photography. I also worked with some amazing companies last year. Especially lots of new, smaller business which I love as you can really get to know the people behind the products. My freelance photography also kept me busy and I've even expanded my photography skills from interior and product photography to food photography last year which I'm very excited about. I think it's important to try to get out of your comfort zone every now and then and try something new. Otherwise, how else will you ever grow? The end of last year was incredibly busy for me in terms of blog work and I'm really grateful for that. I never imagined I would have work lined up for January in November so in a way it has really been an amazing few months.

Of course everything hasn't gone entirely according to plan this year. That would sound a little too good to be true, right? You probably know I'm talking about our bathroom renovation. I promised to write a separate post about the challenges but I haven't done it yet, sorry I will very soon. I have never ever had a house renovation project that has given me so much anxiety and sleepless nights. And all because I chose someone I didn't trust 100% for the job. I guess he did a good job (I mean the standard of his work was good) but he didn't finish it and I had to hire another person to finish the whole reno in the end. I swear, I'll  never hire another cowboy builder again. Then again I didn't know he was a cowboy (he was highly recommend by our plumber and I checked all his references) but I should have trusted my instincts. If something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. Our new herringbone carpet installation also taught me a lot and although I love our wool carpet I'm pretty sure our next house won't be carpeted at all, but that's a whole different blog post again.

Last year was also quite hard (personally) due to a family members illness and it has definitely taught me not worry about the little things. There is more to life than working, success and meeting those never ending deadlines. Yes all those things can improve your personal/professional fulfilment but I don't think they make you happy long term. Good health, being surrounded by family and friends will make you far more happy.  Having said that, I think it's important to have some kind of a plan. Plans help me visualise the future and stay calm when things are hectic. I try to be realistic these days though and be more kind to myself. We are all doing an amazing job right now and should remember to stop and celebrate the present too. I truly believe that if you're grateful for the present, more good things will come to you in the future too. Also, if you haven't read the book Secret yet, I would very much advice you to give it a chance. I'm not saying I live and breath it 100% but it does proof a very strong point and can totally change your outlook on life.

Anyway, I have lots to look forward to this year. I have an exciting work trip coming up later this month and I cannot wait to tell you more about it very soon. It's my first ever work trip abroad with my blog and I feel very proud about that. I'm hoping to work with some old and new clients as well and just continue to work hard. But, I will try to have a better work life balance this year. I say it every year but it's something I really struggle with (especially because I work from home).

I also want to thank YOU for reading my blog and/or  following me on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I hope that I can continue to give people useful tips and inspiration and basically just help people to avoid making the same renovation mistakes that I've made in the past. You're welcome!

Now tell me, did you make any New Year's resolutions?

Happy New Year everyone!

PS. Most of the photos in this post are from Christmas but I couldn't resist sharing them..

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