Why I've stopped being too precious about my home




I could have virtually lashed out at someone the other day when I found one of the cushions to our suede-effect grey sofa had a big fat stain going across it. There it was staring at me in the face. 
If I sound to you like a spoilt brat, check out the colour of the sofa and you'll realise what a catastrophe this was... or at least it should have been!

I paused for a moment, got mad for about 2 minutes, then remembered my gigantic stash of cushions I adore but I've been struggling to store. 

It dawned on me how stupid it is getting wound up over a stain, and how precious I was being about our interior, especially considering I have more cushions collecting dust, never seeing the light of day. Every possession we own is to some extent replaceable. It's not worth the worry.

When Graham & Brown challenged bloggers to share how they would shake up their home by moving one of their most treasured possessions somewhere new, I immediately thought of the love I have for my cushion collection, and the little place I have to store them. 

My response to the challenge? I decided to give every last one of them away (to friends and family) to shake off some level of this hateful materialism I'm prone to. It was bloody hard letting go, but I feel as if my cushion addiction has somehow helped other people I know and love make their homes more lovely, and it's changed my interior too - I can now finally see the floor underneath my bed where they were once stored.

Hoorah! Thank you Graham & Brown.

Curl up, it's 4 sleeps until Christmas!



Can you believe Christmas day is almost upon us?

I've spent the weekend wrapping presents listening to cheesy Christmas tunes and drinking red wine way too early in the day. Feeling very festive indeed :)

Our front room looks a bit like Santa's grotto at the mo; we've gone all out on decorations, logs in the fireplace, bauble filled vases, the lot. It's looking really special, so I decided to keep the rest of my place looking less festive but still cosy with splashes of bright colours here and there so as not to take away from the christmas-chic room.

I thought I'd share our new bedding from Argos' range with you. I try to freshen up the look of our room quite regularly by changing the cushions, blankets and duvet covers, and over the past few weeks I just haven't been able to get enough of the colour mustard, so when I saw these cushions and knew they had to be mine.


Argos wouldn't usually be the first place I look for cosy bits and bobs but they've recently collaborated with Habitat and have the NICEST range of bedding available. Have a little look here. I think these cushions will look fab from Winter to Spring, and I paired them with some simple crisp grey sheets so the colour pops. 

What do you think? :)

They were bargains too! £12 each for the floral cushions £4.99 for the poppy red cushion, £7 for the Habitat geometric pillowcase and just £10.99 for the grey double duvet set crazy good value.




Spotlight on... LOAF.COM & a cosy cushion giveaway (worth £45!)

Spotlight on... Loaf.com | wonderful interior websites

Are you up to speed on my latest interior feature? Right, let's begin. 

Last time I shared the wonderful Folds story, and chatted to founder Emma Gurner all about her interior loves, which inspired me to so much. Next up is a company that's a prime spot for quirky home accessories as well as solid, reasonably priced furniture. Introducing Loaf, the place where all your interior wants are fulfilled!

Spotlight on... Loaf.com | wonderful interior websites

3 pack of churnie vases, £45


I am so excited to share the fabulous Loaf.com and with that it's inventor, the lovely Charlie Marshall :) I came across the site on my homeware hunts a long while ago now, and continue to visit and be inspired by their pastel furnishings, textured rugs and beautiful, period fabric sofas made for ample loafing. 

The attention to detail in all of their offerings online are next to none. The Loafers handpick only the finest craftsmen to make beautiful, long-lasting furniture that they'd be proud of to have in their homes and I love that stories of every one of their makers is feature on site so you can hear exactly how your bouncy mattress has been made and who by. This kinda stuff fascinates me. 

Spotlight on... Loaf.com | wonderful interior websites

Margot bed frame, £745

With Christmas fast approaching, I can't recommend taking a peek at Loaf's site enough if you're lacking gift ideas. If you can get someone's interior taste right, they can make a very sentimental touch depending on what kind of thing you go for. 

Some personal favourites I'm looking at for family and friends are Loaf's crisp bed linen, their magical mirrors, gorgeous brass vintage lamps to adorn desks, and aztec-inspired cushions and pouffes for creating ultimate snugsville. Read on for an epic cushion giveaway from Loaf!

They have it all. It's just insanely difficult not to see something you want for yourself and spend all your budget on that ;)

I'm delighted to introduce Loaf's founder and inventor, interior genius Charlie Marshall, who was happy to answer a few of my burning questions. It's an inspiring story the way Loaf came together, and I think you'll come away wanting his house... it sounds like the dream :)



Charlie Marshall, founder of Loaf.com

Hey Charlie, tell us a little bit more about you, what you do at Loaf and your passion for all 
things interior

I’ve always been passionate about design and all of my family is obsessed as well. I grew up on building sites developing one property before we moved on to the next. You’d find me with a copy of the builders’ favourite News of the World tucked under my arm and my top drink was builder’s tea and two sugars as a kid!

I’m focusing on creating the magic of the business working closely with our in-house designers to create pieces that are unique, look great and aren’t going to blow the bank for our customers.

I travel a fair amount and interiors inspiration comes from all over. It can be anything from an antique French bed at a Parisian flea market or a cool, retro sofa in a Berlin hotel room.

How did you come to opening up your own online store?

Frustration really! Having lost a whole Saturday trying to buy a bed, I decided to make the shopping experience as hassle free, affordable and as speedy as possible. So two years, 187 mattress factories and some seriously comfy beds later, Loaf was born. The idea is that we’ve done all of the testing so that the customer doesn’t have to.

We’re now a one-stop shop for the whole home and excitingly we’re planning our first retail destinations called ‘Loaf Shacks’.

Tell us a little bit about your home, what's your most loved interior possession?

My wife and I have a big living, kitchen, dining and playroom rolled into one. The ground floor space is on one level and forms a ‘U’ shape around the house. It’s perfect for the kids to whizz around on their trikes. The rooms have high-ceilings, light wooden Dinesen floors for a clean Scandi look, neutral mid-century furniture, pops of colour with quirky ethnic pieces, a colourful striped ‘Finca’ rug and a giant magnetic blackboard. My favourite design is our Crumpet sofa just because it’s so
darn comfy! I ordered it in a large so that me, my wife, and our two kids can all loaf about on there together.

What are your best tips for decorating a home?

Keep the basics clean and simple. At home we’ve gone for a palette of off-whites, which is livened up with pops of colour including statement furniture pieces and vibrant textiles. A geometric patterned or textured piece is a great way to easily update a scheme. Is the lighting right? Opt for a warm glow rather than stark white light. Side or floor lamps give a nice cosy feel.

What's your favourite home look for winter?

Winter is the time to hunker down and cosy up. At home we add really soft woollen blankets to the end of the bed and throw them over sofas for an inviting, layered look. I love a brightly patterned rug in front of the fireplace adding warmth and some contrast to a room. Oh and a log fire!

Spotlight on... Loaf.com | wonderful interior websites

Loaf are feelin' festive and would like to give one of you lucky readers the perfect gift this Christmas, your very own embroidered 'Hiccup' cushion (worth £45) with the prettiest pastel shades that will make a wonderful addition to your room, or perhaps a loved one's couch?

The giveaway runs FOR ONE WEEK ONLY, ending on the 16th December 2014, so you'll receive your new cushion just in time for the festivities to begin.

All you need to do is enter via the Rafflecopter below.

Go ahead, you never know you might win :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway is open to UK residents only. The very lucky winner will be chosen at random and the giveaway will end on 16th Dec 2014 12am.

To enter, you must follow my blog via Bloglovin or GFC and like my page on facebook. A winner will be drawn and I will check for proof of entry. If that person has entered without following or liking my page on facebook I will choose another winner and email you directly to post it on.

There's lots of bonus entries on there too, so fill your boots and good luck! I'll just go crawl into my envious cave.....


Spotlight on... FOLDS (& epic Interior tips from Founder Emma Gurner)

Pssst. It's a new feature around these parts. Getting your hands on unique interior finds, whether as a gift or to give your home the wow factor, can be tough to come by with all this crazy competition in the online world. High street stores are an option, but never provide that real unique gem that people instantly compliment.

I'm on a mission to introduce to my readers some of the chicest online interior stores out there, the stores that aren't on the highstreet, that will provide you with go-to outlets for lovely things for your home, christmas gifts or simply somewhere to click for inspiration.

This week, I'm introducing FOLDS and chat to their delightful Style Director Emma Gurner :)


Interior: Cushions & cosiness

Fluffy cushions, Folds

Online interior boutiques that have a strong focus on your lifestyle tick boxes for me. When you visit a site where page after page is stocked with beautiful collections you can work into your home and the way you live, browsing accessories that are easily styled and are sure to be loved, that's what I look for when shopping online for interior bits, and Folds thrive in this. With designs sourced from all around the world, there's a strong mix of patterns, textures and products on offer to suit every lifestyle. 

Whether you're looking for cosy layers this winter, or detailed patterns to add a focal point to your rooms, Folds' cushion offerings in particular catch my eye on every visit. Remember I told you about my cushion obsession? Well, Folds are experts in sourcing intricate detailed, geometric & cosy designs to fit your lifestyle and look. Just check out the stunning watercolour-esque  hand ilustrated Sky Siouki prints

Interior: Cushions & cosiness, winter interior looks

Whilst items might not seem cheap from the outset, once you meet the designers, hear about their intricate approach and all the hours gone in to crafting you the perfect cushion to suit your room, you realise what a bargain they are. And what a stunning gift they would make. 

With the chilly Christmas around the corner, Neil & I are loving thick knits, heavy fur and herringbone for ultra cosy times, and when 2 of Folds' sumptuous fluffy pillows arrived on our doorstep, packed with warm duck feathers, we couldn't wait to chill out with them on our Chesterfield. 

Interior: cushions & cosiness, folds winter interior looks

But of course, textiles aren't the only things Folds excel at sourcing. They sell some of the quirkiest lamps and lighting, for that sought after 'industrial chic' look. I simply LOVE this simple iron table lamp, that would look great with a quad loop lightbulb. As well as their strong collection of quirky furniture sourced from all across the globe.

I was delighted that Emma Gurner, Folds' Style Director and interior design consultant took the time to answer a few of my burning questions about her love for homeware. I was so inspired by Emma's (and her business partner Suzi's) approach in building their business, and the passion that drives their decisions. 

Here she is :)...

Interior: cushions & cosiness, folds winter interior looks


Hi Emma! Tell us a little bit more about you and your passion for all things interior

My passion for all things interior began about 15 years ago when I landed a job working at BBC Good Homes magazine. My career continued as an interior stylist from then onwards. Now 15 years and 2 children later, I felt it was time to begin my own company and so Folds was born!

How did you come to start your own online store?

I met my business partner Suzi through our children at nursery. With her knowledge of running a business and my creative input we were able to begin our exciting new venture. The website came about after almost a year of private sales and market research. Despite having a low budget we were able to build our own website using a template and are slowly adding to the website as our business grows.

What's your most loved interior possession?

My most loved interior possession is my copper unit. I designed it myself and painstakingly treated copper sheeting to give it a weathered look. The unit provides a wow factor to the space as well as being a very practical piece of furniture!



What tips would you give for readers just starting out in decorating their home?

I think pinterest is a wonderful tool now available to collect images that you love and to create mood boards. It is a great starting point for getting inspired.

What's your favourite home look this season? 

I love feature lighting and the multi-arm pendant lights are big news at the moment! Like this Five light adjustable pendant, £230. 



If you haven't yet paid Folds a visit, I strongly urge you to take a peek at the collections and start a house-piration pinterest board right away! 


Also follow Emma's journey with Folds on her twitter (she has just got the most adorable little puppy, I can't keep my eyes off her tweets!) 

How to spruce up your student home with just £20 | Back to Campus




As jealous as I am that all you student folks are on your long summer holidays at the mo, I'm not so jealous about you having to up sticks from your cushy, the-fridge-is-always-full-of-nice-food, family home to student accommodation at the start of the academic year.

I suppose student homes don't have to be bare walls and mouldy curtains, though. With the right high street finds, it's really easy to pimp out your shared space or halls on a budget. HomeSense (possibly my favourite home store on the high street) challenged me to put together ideas for sprucing up a student house with just £20 to spend and here's how I got on.

Jesus, there was a heap load of nice stuff to buy at cheap prices. I thought this was going to be difficult but I ended up having to leave loads of stuff I wanted behind!

Make it cosy with cushions


Cable knit duck feather cushion, £11.00, HomeSense

What do all the enviable bedrooms you see on Pinterest have in common? Yep, they have a stack load of gorgeous mis-matched cushions dotted as far as the eye can see. The single best way to make a room look more homely when you're far from family in your uni days is to stock up on soft cushions. Don't be afraid to layer up pattern and different textures, and go overboard! This one I picked up in HomeSense is packed full of duck feathers and makes a lovely addition to my ever expanding cushion collection. Dunno where I'm gunna find place for them all...

Get sophisticated with candle stick holders


Silver plated candle stick holder, £5, HomeSense Sale

If you're doing an evening soirée and would rather avoid strongbow-fuelled house parties, opt for more sophisticated homely look with cheap candle stick holders. They look great as a centrepiece at dinner or for jazzing up console/bedside tables. This one was just £5 in the HomeSense sale... one of those purchases where you palpitate with joy when you see the price, and dart to the till point.

Be creative with storage


Pastel orange bowl, £3.99, HomeSense

You've probably seen the beautiful Moroccan-inspired pattern bowls trending in interior land at the mo. They're a great addition to your bedside table.  For me, my pet HATE is seeing random bits and pieces all over window sills, shelves or desks. Y'know those things that you obviously don't wanna throw out but they just don't have a home anywhere? Like jewellery, plectrums, coins, matches, lighters... the list is endless. Well fear not OCD friends. Pick up some patterned bowls and cram the lot inside to make a house look spick & span in seconds.

Reckon I did well? Quite a lot of stuff for £20 I think. And if you have a whole house to fill, you could always keep £20 aside every month to go wild and add to your interior collections. It's always a slow process making a house look like a home, especially if you're on a tight budget, but I definitely recommend starting at HomeSense when you're on the market for unique finds.

Disclaimer: HomeSense gave me a gift voucher for this post but I wasn't obliged to write about them nor the topic. All my own creations :)