Why a calm interior is the most inspiring to style

Calm, relaxing interior mood board for bedrooms


I've been doing some client work on a really colourful office space these past few weeks. It's the most fun project I've ever been involved with, but also pretty draining in terms of the focus on vibrant colours - like I'm actually all coloured out. Planning for a really 'out there' atmosphere has meant that every time I work on it, I'm so in the 'vibrant' zone, that I end up knackering myself out. How is this possible? Ha.

It got me thinking. Calming interiors are really inspiring to style. It's like they aren't as needy as coloured spaces. You can throw any amount of soothing colours at a white wall, and it's so versatile that it just works, giving you the added freedom to change things when you want something different. 

It's Graham & Brown's very first National Wallpaper week this week (5th - 11th October) and throughout these 7 days they've been focusing on the 7 feelings of wallpaper. You know, the feelings great decoration evokes when you walk in to a room. Wallpapers have spellbinding power to rooms and transform not only the look, but the whole atmosphere too.

Yesterday looked at romantic rooms. Today, it's all about calm, relaxing looks. 

I thought I'd take this as an opportunity to do something different, away from the colour blocking needs of the office I'm helping design, and pull together a mood board reflecting calmness and serenity. 

*breathes a relaxing sigh*

Whites, greys, herringbone flooring, mixed with the odd geometric print and a splash of nature - I love you.

Graham + Brown have some swoon worthy calming wallpapers too, my fave of which is the Verdant Grey pattern that subtly brings the outdoors in. 

There are lots of fun events happening all across the country for National Wallpaper Week, including a quick masterclass in wallpapering at various B&Q branches. If there's one in Brighton, I'm signing up to learn some tips and tricks.

What do you think of calm interiors? Are you more of a vibrant, colour person?

Fiona xoxo

16 of the most beautiful doorways you need to see

16 of the most beautiful doorways you need to see ››

My love for doorways and photographing them accelerated when I was travelling across south Germany with my fiancé and our family. 

I lost count of the amount of pastel coloured doors with bikes left to balance outside I instagrammed on my travels there. Rothenburg was particularly photogenic. 

First impressions count, and a lick of paint with some freshly potted plants can add value to your home. Here’s a couple of things to think about if you're looking to revamp your porch….

1) Symmetry works.

If you have space to put a plant pot of shrub either side of your door, you're missing a trick by not.

2) Colour = personality.

 With the help of paints like Valspar, you can mix exterior wood paint in ANY colour you like. Don't pass up the opportunity for people to go 'wow' before they even step inside.

3) Lanterns add a traditional touch.

Consider this especially if you're living in a period property. They look great and solve a problem when you're searching for your keys in the dark. 

4) Climbing plants hide a multitude of sins.

If you can't afford to repaint the exterior of your home, or if you're renting and it's looking a bit dull, consider planting climbing roses around your door to give it a cottage frame :)

5) Finally, don't forget the power of door furniture.

People often forget that letterboxes, door knockers, key holes etc can all be replaced, and can breathe life and personality back into a door. It doesn't have to cost the earth either. Renewing your door furniture is a fast way to update your porch and wow anyone that knocks.

Scroll down for 16 beautiful examples…

And here is some recommended shopping to help you create a stunning doorway to your home… Click images to open.

Front door inspiration…

16 of the most beautiful doorways you need to see ››
16 of the most beautiful doorways you need to see ››
16 of the most beautiful doorways you need to see ››
16 of the most beautiful doorways you need to see ››
16 of the most beautiful doorways you need to see ››
16 of the most beautiful doorways you need to see ››
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16 of the most beautiful doorways you need to see ››
16 of the most beautiful doorways you need to see ››
16 of the most beautiful doorways you need to see ››
16 of the most beautiful doorways you need to see ››
16 of the most beautiful doorways you need to see ››
16 of the most beautiful doorways you need to see ››
16 of the most beautiful doorways you need to see ››
16 of the most beautiful doorways you need to see ››
16 of the most beautiful doorways you need to see ››

Read next: 10 reasonably priced home interior sites ››

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This post contains affiliate links but I would never recommend brands I don’t know and trust.

A bed so cosy you'll never want to leave the house again

Bedroom looks on fifimcgee.co.uk

You may have read my post "Do you have this problem too?" where I shared the story why I'm creating a little black book of interior stockists I love - I encourage you to go read it first and come back here to check out my next in the series, but if you can't be assed, just stick around.

I'm in need of a new bed. Check out our current one here and here.

It's okay, it's just a tad uninviting and doesn't go with our period traditional look throughout our home, it's too basic. 
We've recently revamped our room with a Summer Gray wash of Valspar paint and lots of white accessories (similar colour scheme above) so for a while now, I've been on the hunt for bedroom furnishings that sing to me in similar shades.

Just take a look at The French Bedroom Company's style and you'll understand why I feel like I've struck gold. Seriously.Every home furnishing, bed cover and accessory has that luxurious, fresh vibe that channels traditional with a modern touch, just the vibe I've been looking for in my bedroom.


Bedroom looks on fifimcgee.co.uk

The French Bedroom Company's website is going straight in my little black book of interior stockists. 

Bedroom looks on fifimcgee.co.ukOk so the beds are a little out of my price range, but as I mentioned in this post, similar to a sofa, a good bed is the next best investment you'll make in your life. It's worth splashing on one you love. Buy cheap, buy twice. 

I couldn't help but throw in my favourite item of the store. This ornate white stag head which would sit beautifully on a chimney breast or inside an alcove.

I always think 3D art like this is a brave choice for rooms, but having strong pieces and taking risks in decor with statement pieces pays off.

At just £40 it's a steal. Or go a little larger for £55. I'm seriously considering this to jazz up our room.

Not only do The French Bedroom Company stock beautiful beds, bedding and headboards, they do room accessories pretty damn well too. This is the place to look for statement pieces, from chandeliers to mirrors. Those pieces that everyone compliments when they enter the room.

So yeah, check out The French Bedroom Company if you're about to embark on a bedroom makeover.




Bring your living room to life... with a colourful sofa



So yesterday you may have read my post "Do you have this problem too?" where I shared the story why I'm creating a little black book of interior stockists I love - I encourage you to go read it first and come back here to check out the very first in the feature. 
Now, allow me to introducing to you a 100% British gem I recently came discovered on my internet travels.
Delcor

Delcor is an online furniture retailer with showrooms across the UK (including the beautiful city of Harrogate) who specialise in crafting made to measure chairs & sofas. 

If you're a long time reader of Fifi McGee you'll know my love for our chesterfield sofa, and traditional interiors. We live in a Victorian converted flat with solid wooden floors so I try to keep our décor in line with the period as best as poss. 


Delcor stood out to me because they craft British timeless designs that you can marry with modern material and striking prints. Where one would usually head in to an antique store or charity shop to buy second hand furniture and put up with the scratches and stains (although that's half the charm) it's relieving to hear there are designers still creating traditional classics with a modern twist. 

So if you wanted a brand new chesterfield-style sofa, you don't have to traipse through antique stores to compromise on one, and instead, get your own brand new. 


I particularly love the range of fabrics and colours on offer for every sofa design. With summer here to stay it's a refreshing update having a bright yellow statement sofa to open up a room. Come winter, thick knit blankets dull it down for a cosier feel. 

Yep, If my flat could withstand another sofa, the Chelsea sofa range in yellow would be mine. 

Price-wise considering the craftsmanship that's gone into every design, and the flexibility you get on fabric choices, it's value for money. An average 3/4 seater costs around the £1,500 mark, which might make you gasp. But it's a sofa, after all. It's worth investing in one you'll love for life. I'm a strong believer in buy cheap, buy twice. And that's exactly why I was happy to pay £1,700 for our Old Boots leather chesterfield sofa bed. Every day I love it that little bit more. 

And that concludes the first on my interior stockist list. If you're on the market for traditional sofas, dining room chairs or stools, pay Delcor a visit. There are some striking, quality pieces to be had.

Interior bargains #1: Storage for the bathroom

Storage ideas for the bathroom

Larger cotton crochet basket, £6.99 Dunelm Mill
Smaller cotton crochet basket, £2.99, Dunelm Mill

Well friends, it's been almost 2 weeks since I wrote my last post on here and it feels pretty good to be finally typing from Neil & I's headquarters in Hove.

We moved on the 15th May, to an empty shell of a flat and have since thrown all our energy into making it feel more like a home - in the uproar of cardboard boxes (cameras were in the bathroom, computers in the hallway) blogging has taken a massive back seat while we get ourselves sorted.

I thought I'd start a new series showcasing all the interior high street bargains I've been collecting before the move and thereafter. Hopefully if you're looking to move into a new place, or jazz up your current homes these posts might give you something to work on - for pennies a pop. We all love a bargain of the home interior variety.

Storage ideas for the bathroom

First up are these gorge crochet baskets I picked up from Dunelm Mill (my all time fave interior store in Sussex don't ya know). They're perfect for collecting the heaps of beauty products us bloggers seem to accumulate tonnes of.

Although I've steered away from blogging reviews of beauty products simply because I never have the time nor dedication to stick to trial skincare for any longer than 3 days - I'm just too faithful to my select favourites -  these baskets work really well if you have an excess of products to choose from and look lush in any bathroom. Open baskets allow you to root around and find the exact things you need, bypassing other products that might tickle your fancy too ;)

Storage ideas for the bathroom

Isn't the pattern just lovely? Hope you like my first in the series of home interior bargains. Lots more where this came from to come :)

Now go enter my giveaway! Not long left! 

Win this stunning tripod floor lamp from Alison at Home worth £175.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

A few photos from the ETC Home & Garden Show, Brighton

ETC Home & Garden Show in Brighton

This will be an exceptionally quick and photo heavy post from me, as I'm amidst a pile of cardboard boxes with clothes as far as the eye can see. I'm packing up for the big move next week; May has come around so quickly and I'm getting palpitations with excitement. This time next week I'll be blogging from Fifi McGee HQ (i.e my new flat) pinning home decoration ideas furiously.

On to the post. Neil & I received press tickets for the ETC Home & Garden Show the Sunday before last. We skipped away from the riots up by the station and got lost in all the interior stalls at the Brighton Centre. Seen a couple of things we want - a smeg fridge and a telly that probably costs more than the flat - but weren't that blown away with what was on offer.

However two very special stalls easily stole the show for me. I finally got to meet two crafty ladies who I regularly tweet/email but never met properly in person, Claire who runs Cat-a-Cake Creations and Claudia who runs Claudia Made This. The lovely twosome shared a stall at the event and it was easily the most photogenic corner of the exhibition.

Hence why it's the only part we photographed!

ETC Home & Garden Show in Brighton

ETC Home & Garden Show in Brighton

ETC Home & Garden Show in Brighton

ETC Home & Garden Show in Brighton

ETC Home & Garden Show in Brighton

ETC Home & Garden Show in Brighton

ETC Home & Garden Show in Brighton

ETC Home & Garden Show in Brighton

ETC Home & Garden Show in Brighton

ETC Home & Garden Show in Brighton

ETC Home & Garden Show in Brighton

ETC Home & Garden Show in Brighton

Before I go, have you entered my interior giveaway? Alison at Home are sending one of my readers this beautiful Colonial Tripod Floor lamp from their Heritage collection (worth £175!)


The giveaway is open to UK residents only. The very lucky winner will be announced on the 31st May 2014 12am and the prize will be delivered to your door a week after. Just in time for sprucing your home up after a spring clean :)

To enter, all you have to do is follow my blog on bloglovin and like my page on facebook, filling in the rafflecopter below.

A winner will be drawn and I will check for proof of entry. If that person has entered without following and/or tweeting I will choose another winner.

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.....


a Rafflecopter giveaway

How to enhance your home with simple lighting

How to enhance your home with simple lighting (and WIN a tripod floorlamp worth £175!) ››

I've gone and dedicated a whole pinterest board solely to lighting ideas around the home. For me, lighting is such a crucial aspect in interior design to get right. It instantly sets the mood of your home and it can give you a creative outlet to experiment with different looks, knowing that if you do anything wrong it's easily fixed.

Experimenting with lighting can drastically change a room from calm, cosy and romantic, to energising and vibrant. And that's just from opening the curtains. 

I've come up with a few tips to accentuate light in all different spaces. These are just a few things I'll be thinking about when I come to move in a few weeks time. Oh and there's an absolutely FANTASTIC giveaway courtesy of the beautiful Alison at Home online interior shop. I've honestly never been so jealous. I want to keep it all for myself.

First up here's some tips for lighting your space....

How to enhance your home with simple lighting (and WIN a tripod floorlamp worth £175!) ››

Hang mirrors to introduce an illusion of natural light - Great tip for those living in darker houses or basement flats. Focus on hanging mirrors opposite windows so that they let the natural light bounce both sides of the room. If you're living in rented accommodation and are a little reluctant to drilling walls, go for smaller dressing table mirrors resting against walls. I adore this Alison at Home Hartnell Bevelled Edge Mirror on this trestle table. It's really nice to play around with various heights if you're going for more than one in the room. 

How to enhance your home with simple lighting (and WIN a tripod floorlamp worth £175!) ››

For smaller windows, opt for sheer materials - If you aren't blessed with humongous windows the length and width of walls, make the most of the light you do have by hanging sheer curtains. Go for fabrics like voile or muslin, that will naturally let the light flood through and depending on what colour you choose, reds/oranges will add more warmth to the room.

How to enhance your home with simple lighting (and WIN a tripod floorlamp worth £175!) ››

Quirky candle holders are a win when you're entertaining - Apart from the obvious 'oh LOVE the candle holder, where's this from?' chat you're sure to conjure up (everyone loves a bit of candlestick compliments), lighting candles are a nice way to let guests know you've gone to a tiny bit of effort and sets a really welcoming tone. This fabulous owl candle stand is such a great focal point on a large table or mantelpiece. 

How to enhance your home with simple lighting (and WIN a tripod floorlamp worth £175!) ››

Dot 'task lighting' accents around the home - Task lighting is the light you need to do a specific job, bedside lamps for reading, desk lights etc. Dotting all sorts of lamps, uplights, downlights, candles and lanterns across your house, gives a really nice insight into how you use the space, adding lots of character and texture to your home. A personal fave of mine are 'reading corners'. I love armchairs placed next to floor lamps with lots of blankets to provide the perfect spot to read or sit on your laptop.

This leads me on very nicely to what you've all been waiting for...

Win your very own Colonial Tripod Lamp (worth £175!)

How to enhance your home with simple lighting (and WIN a tripod floorlamp worth £175!) ››

Alison at Home have been insanely generous and are offering my readers the chance to win one of their eclectic Colonial Tripod Floor Lamps from the Heritage collection, worth £175! 

The giveaway is open to UK residents only. The very lucky winner will be announced on the 31st May 2014 12am and the prize will be delivered to your door a week after. Just in time for sprucing your home up after a spring clean :)

To enter, all you have to do is follow my blog on bloglovin and like my page on facebook, filling in the rafflecopter below.

A winner will be drawn and I will check for proof of entry. If that person has entered without following or tweeting I will choose another winner.

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.....

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you're based in or around London, be sure to check out Alison at Home's pop up concession at House of Fraser on Oxford Street from May 12th! 

Spring pastel interior ideas for the bedroom

Pastel interior ideas for the bedroom ››

I mentioned in my last interior post '10 reasonably priced home interior sites' that when I move into my new place, I'll be decorating Neil & I's bedroom with a pastel scheme. Not too feminine but still pulling off the hotel-chic, crisp white bedlinen look I love. Like every other over-excited homebuyer I've been pinning all hell out of inspiration for bedroom decor and have since tried finding items to create the look without breaking the bank. 

Check out what I found. Turns out Tesco and George at Asda are an absolute haven for cheap and cheerful pastel looks.
Pastel interior ideas for the bedroom ››


I have one of those nu-vintage white frame beds that's looking a bit too basic at the mo and think something like this chevron print duvet adds a fun focal point for the room. Not 100% on buying these or just crisp white/embroidered, but might pick some up for spares.

Pastel interior ideas for the bedroom ››
Wood and wicker laundry baskets, from £29.99, Zara home

Did I ever share my serious OBSESSION with all things wicker? I think it's the country bumpkin in me. I'm expecting at lease two or three wicker accents in every room. These are roomy enough for two people's dirty laundry so I'm snapping them up!

Pastel interior ideas for the bedroom ››

Pastel pink flannelette bed sheets, from £8.99, Dunelm Mill

Pink bedsheets are so 90s it hurts my eyes, but how cute eh? I've already bought the brushed cotton/flannelette set from Dunelm and they're great quality. Might go all out and stock up on blue too.

Pastel interior ideas for the bedroom ››


This will fit beautifully layered at the end of the bed, and makes a handy quilt to have around on those drunken nights when your bezzy passes out on the sofa ;) I actually saw the exact same quilt from Next retailing at £50... the George one might not be as great quality but screw it. Bargain.

Pastel interior ideas for the bedroom ››
Decorated knob (Pack of 2) £7.99, Zara Home

We're buying the biggest wardrobe you've ever seen for our bedroom, and while part of me wishes I could find a second hand, more solid piece of oak furniture rather than brand new MDF-type furniture, there's just nothing else out there. To take the modern edge off I plan to switch the wardrobe door handles so they look a little less contemporary. A great way to cheer up dull furniture for dirt cheap.

Pastel interior ideas for the bedroom ››

Teal Toile Cushion, £12, Next

Watercolour-esque cushions like these would look beauts on plain white bed sheets with 4 different complementing blankets in all sorts of textures. I love how these are also pin-striped on the reverse side so you can switch it up.

Pastel interior ideas for the bedroom ››
Teal Knit Cushion, £14, Next

I'd pair the above cushions with these waffle knit bad boys. The colours are perfect together and similarly with wicker baskets (above) waffle knit makes me go weak at the knees. Pah.

Pastel interior ideas for the bedroom ››

Aimee Bed Linen, starts from £20, Cologne & Cotton

I realise even by just buying the pillowcase I would blow the budget in one sitting, but bedsheets couldn't get any more perfect than this Aimee range from Cologne & Cotton. Simple, excellent quality and delicate detail. Gimme! 

Pastel interior ideas for the bedroom ››

Lolita lamps, too-expensive-to-advertise?, Nika Zupanc

It never sits well when products are left unpriced on posh sites but these lamps/lightshades are so adorable I wanna cry. If you see any similar. Hit me up asap.

Pastel interior ideas for the bedroom ››


Anything that's designed to wake me up with an alarm that resembles a foghorn doesn't constitute any more cash than around £3. This little thing looks deceivingly cute, but I bet it's at risk of being thrown across the room at 7am. 

Join me over on pinterest to have a nosey of all the interior stuff I'm pinning. It's pretty addictive. I could easily get lost for a whole day on doing this....


What colour shall I paint our new front door?


I took another trip to our new place to measure up last weekend, and kinda fell in love with it all over again. We should be *keep all your fingers and toes crossed* exchanging contracts some time in early May, ready for a spring move around the 15th. I'm unbelievably excited. So excited that it periodically dawns on me how I'm soon moving out into my own flat, which cues me running around current home doing the Beyoncé booty shake. 

The front door currently is white, so I'm dying to get my paws on it and give it a good boot of colour once we're in. It's the first thing people will be welcomed with when they come to visit, so I want it to have a bright, eccentric edge. Swaying towards cherry tomato/canary yellow for pure wow factor. 

What do you reckon?

come let me know what you think on my social channels...