10 commandments to live by when saving for a house

10 commandments to live by when saving for a house

I thought I'd write a bit about mine and Neil's story saving for our place and the cuts we had to make (and still have to) to acquire a big enough deposit to buy in the Brighton/Hove area whilst keeping maintenance costs of the property in mind. 

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A peek at Farrow + Ball's new countryside wallpaper collection + the one I've chosen

Country inspired Farrow and Ball wallpaper for the living room ››

You've probably noticed if you're wandering through the Fifi McGee archives that one of my favourite ways to spend a weekend is on a country walk

Those walks often inspire colour choices I go for in my outfits (autumnal shades of oranges, reds and browns) and interior plans (mustard cushions, fur textures and wild flower arrangements.)

Farrow & Ball, a company every period home owner should - and do - know about for their quality paint and wallpaper, recently launched a wallpaper collection back in September and I am head over heels for it. They too are inspired by their very surroundings.

A country walk ››


The prints in their new collection were born from countryside scenes, hazy grasses and endless hedgerows in Dorset, the home of Farrow & Ball, the very place they craft and manufacture each sheet of wallpaper one by one. 

Country inspired Farrow and Ball wallpaper for the living room ››

Neil grew up playing as a kiddy in those very Wimborne fields, so the inspiration for the prints feel very close to us. Above (left to right) is Blostma, Hornbeam, and Feather Grass available in various other colour stories.

We've been looking for a fresh new look in our living room that's a little less "the previous owner" and a little more us, since the day we moved in. I always loved the Eating Room Red Farrow & Ball paint inside our alcoves (as seen) but felt like the colour story didn't quite match the Farrow & Ball Bone seen on the skirting boards (which run all throughout our flat). 

Country inspired Farrow and Ball wallpaper for the living room ››

Country inspired Farrow and Ball wallpaper for the living room ››

In need of colours and textures in line with our personalities, Farrow & Ball's Hornbeam wallpaper seemed a really obvious choice for us with the connection between Dorset, and the inspiration we get from country walks. 

I saw the Hornbeam BP 5004 colour variation, took one look at it and said, "that's it". 

Something I've never ever done before. It's previously taken me days if not weeks of wallpaper samples to choose. 

Country inspired Farrow and Ball wallpaper for the living room ››

As you'll see from the photographs I'm sharing, I've incorporated our love for country walks in wellies, picnics and tartan blankets - a regular scene on our weekends. Choosing wallpaper prints that have a story behind it, and represents the places we love is really important to us. Bringing in prints, textures and looks that represent your personality, upbringing or memories is the only way you'll ever make a house a home. 

Now, I just can't wait to start putting it all up on the wall and show you the finished result. 

Country inspired Farrow and Ball wallpaper for the living room ››

A little back story behind this post...


Farrow & Ball challenged me and fellow interior bloggers to create a country style vignette of our favourite past time, with one of their new wallpapers as a beautiful backdrop. This was my take on it :)
All of our creations will be shared on the Farrow & Ball pinterest really soon, where Charlotte Cosby, Farrow & Ball's Head of Creative will judge the best. One blogger will be picked by Charlotte to visit the Farrow & Ball factory in Dorset and see the process of everything being made, as well as visit some places that inspired the collection. I'm keeping everything crossed so I can take you with me for the ride <3

The easy (cost effective) way to bring an eclectic vibe to your living room

Eclectic living room looks ››
Rug: Oliver Bonas, Candle: Home Sense, Frame: Oliver Bonas, Mustard cushions: Arlo + Jacob, Charcoal cushions: Oliver Bonas, Patterned cushions: DesignRaaga


I love my chesterfield sofa. 

But for the last couple of months it's looked a bit too, I don't know, traditional?

Sometimes I love the traditional vibe. Sometimes I want it to feel a bit more modern. Sometimes I just want colour.

It's the age old problem when decorating a space - you don't want to decorate it so much that you can't change it when you're bored. I decided to take an eclectic direction styling my sofa as it captures the colour elements I've wanted and it's easy for me to swap around when I want a different vibe. 
With little to no cash, I had to get creative. So I've shared a few simple tips to bring an eclectic vibe to any space on a budget.

Eclectic living room looks ››


1. Use accessories from other rooms

Cushions, small rugs and props that currently have homes in other parts of your house can be brought into the space you're wanting to style. Look for eclectic bits and pieces that you may have stashed away somewhere, or rehome an item from the bedroom to the living room to give it a new lease of life. Accessories are always an investment when shopping as they're easily moved, stored and swapped around when your mood wants something different. 


2. Layer rugs you already own

Layering rugs is really on trend at the mo, and so easily achieved as long as you have a mix of rugs in your home that could potentially sit well together. I've taken a textured mink sheepskin rug from Oliver Bonas and layered it over our Persian rug from Wayfair for a cosy look. 


3. Make use of furniture... even if it's not furniture :)

Neil's got this lovely Marshall Amp that usually just sits in the corner of our living room. I really like the retro, eclectic look they have so yes - you guessed it - I claimed it as my own to stand in place of a side table we have yet to own. If you want a side table and don't have the funds to buy one (like me) try and get creative using stacks of books, stacks of magazines, a stool, a chair etc etc and don't just look around one room for the items... look all around your home and in charity shops.
Eclectic living room looks ››
Geometric coloured cushion: DesignRaaga, Monochrome patterned cushion: DesignRaaga


4. Eclectic means anything goes, so mix and match cushions or make new cushion covers for next to nothing

I absolutely adore my collection of cushions. I'll go as far to say it's not really a collection any more, it's more a problem. I have tonnes that sit under my bed (I can't find any better storage, any tips?) and my habit of buying them means they're all representative of different interior looks I've longed for in the past - that is, none of them match. Are you the same? Good news is this totally works for eclectic vibes. Get your old cushions out and stack them together even in the don't all look the same. Or recover your cushions in mustard and patterned fabrics. 

Just some punchy tips for you there. You might also fancy reading 11 things to add to your kitchen for a cottage feel ››

Knock 'em dead with your eclectic styling,

Fi xoxo

Meet our new mattress, Eve | Review

Eve mattress review

She has arrived. In September I spoke about my

need for a new mattress

. After a long google around (procrastination session) I realised the reason my sleep was a bit shoddy was because our mattress was so old and lumpy. I'd never really considered it before until it dawned on me, yep, we needed to shell out on a new mattress before my sleep will improve. I spotted Eve online and was intrigued, now I'm here to share my thoughts.

Why I opted for Eve

As I mentioned in my previous post, there were 5 core things that have led me to opt for an Eve mattress as opposed to a Dreams mattress - the brand we had before. I'll run through them again.

1. When I first hit up the website it quickly dawned on me that Eve sell only one mattress. The only one we will ever need, they say. It made me trust the design process fully. When crafting this mattress, their focus was on making every single part of it the best it can be, no shortcuts or things that were compromised because it had to cater for different materials or springs etc. It left me thinking, damn, this must be good if it's the only one they sell. 

2. Eve is delivered within 5 working days. Brilliant, I thought. Only 5 more days of crappy sleep, no waiting around a whole 10 weeks like those darn DFS sofas. Speed is everything when I buy online. I also loved how I didn't have to cart it home from a shop, imagine the hilarity putting a double mattress on a roof rack the size of a 2p?

3. The price was in the right range for me. I didn't want anything too cheap. A mattress is an investment you'll be glad you considered heavily rather than rushing and having to spend the same amount again 3 years down the line. Similarly, it wasn't too expensive either. I've seen some that reach the thousand mark - say WHAT. 

4. Eve mattresses are guaranteed for 10 years whereas we only had our Dreams mattress (the one before it) for 8. And even on reflection, I realise we should have replaced it a lot sooner. 

5. I loved the sunshine yellow around the base. What a lovely thing to wake up to (when not covered by a valance sheet)

So we took the plunge.

The setup

After we put our order in, I only had to wait about 2-3 days for the delivery confirmation and was called by a lovely Eve representative to arrange a window to deliver the mattress in. 

Fantastic. 

Really prompt delivery meant I had enough hours left in the day to potter around town to look around for bed sheets to adorn it!

Eve mattress review

The mattress arrived in a cardboard box that looked so small, I couldn't believe a double mattress fit inside it. It was SUPER heavy. I was sweating buckets just shifting it from our front door to the bedroom and unpacking it. Thankfully we have no stairs. I'd recommend getting the delivery men to bring it up stairs for you if you're planning on buying one. 

I unwrapped it all which took no time at all, popped it on the bed and rolled the memory foam mattress out which expanded before my eyes, to about triple the thickness it was rolled to. After a quick cuppa tea I popped out for a while, came back a few hours later and the Eve was looking full and beautiful on the bed.

Thoughts after 1 week's Eve sleep

I feel like it was the best investment of my time I've ever made getting this mattress. I once had really interrupted sleep, but from day 1 with Eve, I haven't woken up at all during the night (apart from when a fox started howling in our garden!)

Eve mattress review

The memory foam really works for me. I can feel it moulding to my sleeping position taking pressure off certain places that the previous mattress (a pocket sprung) didn't. I've discovered that if you share a bed with someone who moves a lot in their sleep, having a memory foam Eve mattress is a really good choice because you can't feel the bed moving. Well, not much anyway. It's sturdier than a pocket sprung mattress, but comfortable too. 

My favourite thing about the mattress, aside from the colour obviously, is it's thickness. Our old mattress was pretty light and thin. We've kept the same bed frame and having the thicker Eve mattress has given a new height to the bed. I love it. It's about 2-3 inches higher than our old bed and I feel like it fits the frame in an all rounded way. 

My frame, by the way, is a standard UK double I purchased from Dunelm Mill about 4 years ago that's not selling there now. They sell the exact same for double the price in Dreams now. It's the Cadiz Bed Frame and I love it. 

Eve mattress review

Back to the mattress. See that polka sorta material on the top of it? It's a removable lining *hallelujah folks* the lining is machine washable! Genius idea. I haven't tried unzipping it all yet, but I think I'll wash it in a few weeks time as it has a very memory foam smell to it - as do all new mattresses. 

All in all though, I'm delighted with it and hope to have 10 more years worth of happy sleeps in it. Thank goodness this mattress exists! I've pimped out my whole bed since and got some really cushy things from Slumberdown to make it as cosy as it can be. A quilted mattress protector (which I'm yet to add to the bed to try out) and a new winter warm duvet and pillows for the cooler months coming in. I wanted the Goose down duvet as I've never had one and have heard people raving about them but alas it was a wee bit out of my price range. Absolutely dying to try Goose down though, how sad am I?

See my gorgeous bedding there by the way? It's from Bohzaar. A new bohemian brand I love which will be featured on my blog super soon so stay tuned if you're into boho interior looks, you'll LOVE their stock as much as I do. Oh yep, and in the background there you'll see my night time stash of Lindt chocolates on the bedside table. They've got limited edition orange chocolate truffles in for when I'm peckish around midnight. It happens.

What do you make of the new mattress then? Do you like the colour too?

Fi xoxo

If your home decoration plans are lacking something, turn to nature

Beautiful landscape art and console table from graham and brown


I'm a proud brand ambassador for Graham + Brown   which means that every month  I introduce you to Graham & Brown's home trends  offering ideas to help style your home with their range of wallpapers and home accessories.  They have spectacular ranges, all fantastic quality too - and their wallpapers are a breeze to work with.

Read about their vintage floral  Northern Rose trend, candy colour Popsicle trend,  their Precious trend and  their fun 60s Eureka trend.

This month we're looking at Horizon.  

A trend that sees tranquil colours and luxury textures introduced  inside the home. Horizon is all about  focal points in a room bringing the outdoors in and  it's  influenced by nature all around us - from lapping oceans and seaside themed interiors, to cosy wood and wicker rooms inspired by fields and forests.

Nature has a huge part to play in interior design, and if at times you're looking at a room (maybe in your own house or a clients)  feeling like something isn't quite sitting right, it's usually that there isn't enough nature inside it. Think about plants, silks, woods, wicker and texture when you're decorating and don't be afraid to add elements of outdoor detail. 

Brightly coloured meadow cushions from graham + brown

I try to introduce elements of colour and design from country walks Neil and I regularly go on. In our living room we have lots of wicker baskets and a bare brick fireplace we are soon to install a wood burner inside. Whilst in my bedroom, since it's been in the middle of a redecoration phase (see the before and after shots here) it's lacked a certain je ne sais quoi. So I've introduced these beautiful silk-like Meadow cushions to temporarily give the room more colour and life.  

They have a really beautiful piping detail of purple around the edges, and the watercolour splashes of purple and yellow remind me of evening light and country drives. 

Brightly coloured meadow cushions from graham + brown

If you're less of a country bumpkin and more of a city girl, Graham + Brown have some really iconic wall art that would suit more modern looks. From urban landscapes made from water colour to cute framed pug pictures (I love these), there's lots of ways you can bring nature in to a home if you aren't brave enough to go all out with nature inspired wallpaper. But of course, if you're on the market for a statement wall, you've got to check out the new Honolulu Palm Green print that is so on trend at the mo. 

It's National Wallpaper Week from the 5th-11th October so stay tuned for more G+B love really soon. 

Follow the fun on twitter: @NWallpaperWeek
#NationalWallpaperWeek


Bedroom makeover update: we need a new bed, pronto!

You spend A WHOLE THIRD of your life in bed

Can you believe that?! Add on more if like me, you use your bed for watching telly, working from home in your pjs or reading magazines. Then we're talking at least 50% of your life in bed ;)
For the past 6 months and actually since we started redecorating our bedroom (read more about our progress here and here), I've noticed my sleep has progressively worsened. It was only slight changes at first. I woke up feeling like I'd had 2 hours sleep instead of 8. But more recently, I've been waking up periodically throughout the night tossing and turning, finding it increasingly more difficult to turn off and drift off. 
I live the least stressful life possible therefore I couldn't brush it off as just a stressful phase. So I did a little bit of digging around online and discovered my bad sleep could be down to this single factor that I thought I'd pass on to you guys in case you're having similar sleep disruption like I was. 
Seriously, I'm 90% certain this is the reason my sleep has worsened. 
And if I'm wrong? Well there's only one way to find out.


If your mattress is more than 7 years old, it could be seriously effecting your quality of sleep

I read somewhere that having your mattress for over 7 years and/or if your mattress shows signs of general wear and tear it's time to invest in a newbie. Cue alarm bells ringing. Our mattress we bought new in 2007. It's a pocket sprung dreams mattress which has served us well in terms of comfort, but more recently it's decided to make pinging noises every time I sit down on it and in places you can feel its age. I initially thought it had 2 more years in it at the very least, but it wasn't until I stopped to think about what my sleep was like this time last year, that I thought, yep, it could be down to my uncomfortable mattress that my sleep is worsening. 

So as of now folks, I'm on the market for a new, comfortable mattress, and given we spend a third of our lives in bed (or half our lives if you're anything like me!) I'm ready to make a significant investment in the mattress we choose to purchase. I stand by "buy cheap, buy twice".  

I've been googling around reading reviews to suss out which mattress is best for us. Whilst I'm tempted to opt for a pocket sprung Dreams mattress again, I just can't justify having a mattress with springs at the risk of them going all lumpy a few years in, when memory foam seems to be a much safer bet moulding to your body better than a sprung mattress - and you don't feel your other half turning around as much when you're asleep.

My googling around brought me to a lot of talk about the Eve mattress online, and even though it can only be bought from their website (you can't actually try it out before you buy) I'm really tempted to go for it for several reasons. Let me share:

1. The company only make one mattress. That means they've thrown everything they've got into making the best mattress it can be as opposed to creating variations. 

2. It comes delivered in a box. Therefore no awkwardness trying to squish a mattress into a tiny Peugeot 107.

3. It's a reasonable price. Not too expensive, but not too cheap either, and it's made with care in the UK, meaning if we were to own one, somewhere our custom has helped an independent business continue to do work they love.

4. It's guaranteed for 10 years. In your face 7.

5. It's got the happiest, sunshine yellow lining I've ever seen on a bed and simply need to wake up to this on a daily basis.

What's not to like? 

Side note: I totally love their branding. 

I'm hesitant at the fact I haven't been able to try it out first though, it's not like how I'd usually buy a mattress, to a certain extent I feel like I'm taking a punt but luckily Eve offer a 100 day guarantee so that if you don't like it, I can return it free of charge. 

So that's where I'm at on the bedroom redecoration front. I thought I'd share my thoughts on it all as buying a mattress can be a pretty big investment especially if the company you're buying from has no clear refund policy. 

I'll keep you posted on our new Eve mattress once it arrives :)

F x

Ps, how cute are my new bed sheets? They're from Bohzaar's collection which I am hooked on. I love their Moroccan / folk pattern vibes. I'll be talking about their brand more in future posts :)
 

Eclectic favourites from the Home Sense A/W 15 collection

Eclectic interiors from the Home Sense A/W 15 collection



I've been eyeing up Home Sense's Autumn / Winter collection today. It certainly caught my eye. 

Think cottages, cosy fires, blankets + eclectic, mismatched (but in a cool way) patterns, and you're on to a winner. 

In my world, nothing beats winter interior styling. Layers, cosiness and autumnal colour are so inviting and homely. 

When I was creating my Define your interior style class, I worked on a number of different exercises to find the best way to come up with your unique, individual style. During the process, I discovered it largely came down to interests and passions. If you take a look around a home, it has to speak volumes about the way you live life and the things you love to do. Without that, a room feels clinical and empty. 

Eclectic interiors from the Home Sense A/W 15 collection

When I worked through the class (which you're welcome to download for free by the way) I discovered my style had a strong folk feel to it. I was drawn to autumnal shades, furs, small herringbone prints and thick knitted textures. Very similar to the route Home Sense have taken with their new collection this Autumn, hence me sharing it with you right now. 

A few favourites in particular:

- that embroidered stool, £39.99
- those traditional printed storage tins, from £4.99
- that red wicker chair, £24.99

I've heard there will be lots of Russian inspired Eastern folk prints and textures hitting the stores come September, so make sure you stop in for a look, I know I will be.

3 ways to style a lamp: Part 1 (& amazing Loaf giveaway)

Loaf lamp, living room ideas for the home ››
Je suis in love with this little lamp.

His name is Gaston, and he can be purchased from one of my all time favourite home decor & furniture sites, Loaf.

I love the industrial-chic look he brings to our living room; his skeletal structure mixes really well with soft blankets and washes of grey, and the copper rust effect of his shade adds elements of warmth. 

Loaf lamp, living room ideas for the home ››

You might be wondering why the title of this post says '3 ways' when all you can see is 1, right? 

Here's the story. 

When Gaston first arrived in the post, I had absolutely no idea where to put him. I fell in love with him, like I do much of the Loaf site, at first click, and knew he had to be mine before I knew where he'd live in my home. 

I unwrapped him, popped him here, there and everywhere around the flat and just couldn't - and still can't - decide where he should sit permanently, he just looked beautiful everywhere.

Loaf lamp, living room ideas for the home ››

It got me thinking.

Should the things we buy for our home remain in the one place for years on end? 

I've decided to trial something. I'm going to switch Gaston's home around every season, styling him up in different parts of the flat, showing you guys how he looks and hopefully give you inspiration to have a switch around too. 

Will you join me?

Here's Gaston looking gorgeous beside our sofa, part 1. Come back in Winter to see him styled by our bed :)

Loaf lamp, living room ideas for the home ››

Loaf lamp, living room ideas for the home ››

Lamps give a 'complete' look to a room. If you're all moved in and feel as if your house still has that 'just moved in' look to it, think about ways you can dress up shelves, tables and stools with lamps and good use of light. 

Loaf have some really unique, industrial lamps at reasonable prices. My current faves aside from the handsome Gaston pictured, is the Loco floorlamp (which I wrote about in this post), the Domeo desk lamp, and Gilbert, Gaston's more androgynous brother.

Gosh, if I could kit my house out with just one home brand, it would be loaf. 

One can dream, right?

And guess what? 

Come autumn 2015, Loaf will no longer solely trade online.... *drumroll please* they're opening up a brand new Loaf Shack in Battersea, London. The press release with words from Charlie, Loaf's founder, got me very excited for snugsville.... grab a cuppa and read all about it here

I hope you have a house warming, Loafers!


Before you shoot off, get your entry in. 

The wonderful team at Loaf would like to give one of you lucky readers a £50 voucher to spend with them online. 

All you have to do is follow my blog on bloglovin' and enter via the rafflecopter below. There's lots more bonus entries to be had too, so get stuck in. 

The winner will be announced on 31st August 2015, you'll get an email from us if you've been picked. Please note that Loaf only deliver to the UK.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Photography all copyright of me // dark grey cushions c/o Urbanara // yellow piped geometric cushions c/o Tesco (only £3 each!) // cactus & vase from ikea // lamp c/o Loaf // Mirror, Oliver Bonas

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.

Quotes to live by for your home

Inspiring quotes to live by for your home ››

True story. 

I spent about 4 hours in one day looking for the perfect wall art for our bedroom. It had to be something that suits us both as a couple, something that suited the colours of our room and most importantly the words had to mean something when I looked at it a whole year down the line, I tend to lose interest in things after a few months.

I ended up finding nothing. Then I realised.

You can totally make your own quotes, get them printed on Photobox, and buy a cheap or second hand frame to hang it. 

It's a fraction of the cost for something that's perfect for you, and essentially hand made. 

Here's one I made earlier (above). I'm still playing around with quotes, photos and colours before I print and hang something though. It's so much fun and I'm learning a lot about photoshop & design.


The single most effective way you can add colour to a kitchen

The single most effective way you can add colour to your kitchen

Folks, I seem to never take photos for my blog in our kitchen unless I'm baking or when I want a wooden backdrop (our worktops are oak). 

I think it's because we don't have so much colour in the room. Everything is cream, white or sage green, which has a pretty 'country-chic' kind of vibe, but it never inspires me to take photos in there. Let's just say it lacks a certain je ne sais quoi. Know what I mean?

I came across Ulster Weavers website a short while ago. They stock the most colourful, vibrant kitchen accessories and linens that add instant personality to a blank canvas. 

The single most effective way you can add colour to your kitchen

The single most effective way you can add colour to your kitchen

I knew I didn't want to go down the route of painting to change the colour scheme in the room, so i thought why not add vibrant accessories to bring the space to life?

And guess what - it worked. 

Their Emily kitchen range really caught my eye. It's a sorta vintage take on hawaiian print and I thought the colours really worked in the room. They provide a very striking look to complement the wishy-washy colours I already have. 

The single most effective way you can add colour to your kitchen

The single most effective way you can add colour to your kitchen

I urge you to take a look at Ulster Weavers' collections, all of their prints are hand made in the UK with some of the designs commissioned by artist Kelly Hall who is based just a skip and a hop away from Brighton, drawing all her vintage designs in her studio in Lewes. 

The one lesson I'll take from this, is that you certainly don't need to throw all your energy to repainting a kitchen to add colour to it, just invest in some striking kitchenware and you'll feel inspired again. 

The single most effective way you can add colour to your kitchen

Visit ulsterweavers.com and check out the range of fabrics they have to suit every kitchen.

Emily styled apron, £18
Emily double glove, £13 

Do you have this problem too?


Okay, so tell me whether you're the same.

You know the exact look you want to achieve in your home, you set up a Pinterest mood board of ideas and go about planning colour schemes, home furnishings and piecing together ideas. But when you come to buy the products to make the vision a reality, something doesn't click. 

I have this problem all the time. It takes me a long time to bring the ideas to life. I'm not sure what holds me back. 

Is it the fear of buying the wrong things? Is it the budget being spread too thin?

One way around this I've recently learned (listen up budding interior consultants and stylists) is to build up your little black book of stockists you love. 

You know what I mean, those brands you turn to where you're sure to find exactly what you're looking for. Or what your client is looking for. 

It makes dreaming up new decor a breeze because you know exactly what's available to you and where to source things. 

I've decided to share posts on new or current stockists I turn to. It'll be a quick introduction to the stuff they offer, a snippet of my favourite products from their ranges and what kind of prices you can expect to pay so we can build up our wee list together. 

If you want regular updates as I announce them, sign up to receive email alerts straight to your inbox up there in the yellow bar or follow me on bloglovin :) 


 

Every home needs a persian rug

Cheap persian rugs on Wayfair

And as it turns out, Persian rugs don't have to be ridiculously overpriced. 
Whilst saving up to move into my own flat, I vowed that once the estate agent handed me the keys (one of the happiest moments ever) there were 3 things I needed to have within the first year of owning to make the place feel truly mine. The first, a chesterfield sofa. The second, an open fire. The third, a Persian rug. That was our to-buy list and ever since Neil & I haven't taken our eye off the vision.

Styling a persian rug in the living room
I love traditional, cosy living spaces. Prior to moving in, every time we went to a country pub together we'd sit as close as possible to the fire and chat about the similar look we want in our home. You'd probably imagine chesterfields, fireplaces and persian rugs don't usually come cheap especially when you have to fork out on opening up the chimney breast and installing a flue. It's in the works and has taken a fair while to save for, but it'll happen, and our Chesterfield sofa sorta just happened too. Amazingly we got lucky with this persian rug. 
Once we settled in to our flat, got some funds together and started looking around for the perfect rug for a cosy feel we began to think a persian rug was seriously out of sight price-wise. The nicer patterns tend to sell for upwards of £700 and we even saw rugs that crept into the thousands. I just couldn't justify the spend. 

Styling a persian rug in the living room Until I found myself on Wayfair UK that is. Wayfair just made my interior vision a whole lot more attainable. Think quality craftsmanship with Ikea prices, it's the dream store.
I saw this beautiful Barefoot Artsilk medallion persian rug and gasped at how perfect AND reasonably priced it was. £80 for a 2m x 1.3m rug, the perfect fit for our living room, I couldn't quite believe my luck. 

It has cream coloured tassels, it's low pile, very thin, has a non-slip grip underneath and is the exact pattern I have been on the market for - yes it ticks every box in the book. 

Wayfair, this is just the beginning of a big interiorsy love affair. I'll be back to kit out the rest of my place. 


3 useful storage solutions for small bedrooms

Storage solutions for small rooms ››

What our bedroom looked like 3 weeks ago (being redecorated as we speak)

If you live in a converted flat like I do, you'll know just how precious every inch of space in your home is. Our bedroom is undergoing a mini-makeover, we're painting, changing the colour scheme and home furnishings for a cleaner feel which I'll reveal parts of once it starts to take shape and part of the transformation we're going for will work on the level of storage we have. 

I thought I'd put together storage ideas for those with smaller rooms. Some we've considered but budget is too tight, others we'll be implementing now or later on once I've firmed up decisions on what to buy. 

I hope it helps you if you're in the middle of home improvements!

Storage solutions for small rooms ››

You can just about see in the photo above, Neil and I have a chimney breast and alcoves in our room which I love but it sorta means we can never switch around the furniture. The bed can't really go anywhere else. We thought about installing built in wardrobes in each of the alcoves to make use of the awkward space. Places like Hammonds UK fit bespoke furniture just about anywhere, including loft conversions with slanted ceilings. Whilst we haven't ruled this out, it's definitely an investment and we need to be dead certain on the style of the cupboards before committing. I love Hammonds' range of stylish to vintage looking furniture fittings though, so if you're considering built in cupboards, check out their offering. 

Storage solutions for small rooms ››

This includes under bed storage, vacant space inside wardrobes, and hooks behind doors for coats or your ever increasing stash of cardigans. I have a nu-vintage cream bed frame which we're keeping, with a lot of empty space underneath so in the next few weeks I'll be looking to purchase some wheeled drawers (preferably some that don't scratch wood floors). If you have any recommendations, hit me up. 

I also bought some pretty storage boxes on a recent trip to ikea to store all of my winter clothes during summer, which will sit just underneath the hung 'in season' stuff in my wardrobe, you know that awkward space under hung clothes? There.  I plan to swap the clothes around come winter. 

Storage solutions for small rooms ››

I could dedicate a whole 50 pin pinterest board to my love of shelving. In fact, I think I might start one. When done right, shelving is really useful for storing books, photographs, cacti collections or jewellery trees. If you have high ceilings it's worth considering how you can make use of the wall space for storage, and shelving is a great way. For us, it's a toss up between built in wardrobes or DIY shelving in the alcoves, and given we're book hoarders, I think the latter might be a better more temporary option whilst we save and make the decision on built in styles we like. Shelving arrangements are a whole separate post, I'd just love to have open space for framed typography, plants, ceramic pots and trinkets. We have such a small amount of shelf space in our house. 

I hope this has give you some ideas, follow my pinterest boards for more home inspiration :)


Home tour | A sneak peek inside our humble abode

Home tour | A chirpy Brighton flat with a country edge

Interior friends!

My flat in Hove has just got a big feature on Direct Blinds' blog. If you fancy a look inside room-by-room, head on over to read their 'Inside my Home' feature for a nosey. 

Be sure to let me know what ideas you've had on decorating the place. We're in need of lots of inspiration (particularly for the bedroom) and I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for having me Direct Blinds :)


Credits: Photography all mine, post written in collaboration with Direct Blinds

Affordable ways I'm updating my bedding for Spring

Spring bedding interior looks

I've got three main bedding looks I'll be alternating for a Spring feel.  

1. A crisp, grey palette with accent patterns for a minimal look (and Lindt chocolate bunnies to jazz it up, ha!)
2. Something a little more retro (and unusual for me) to give a focal point to the room.
3. And a spring green, brushed cotton gingham for a floral, girly look. 

We've not lived in our flat in Hove for long, less than a year, so we haven't yet got round to decorating every room the way we want it. In fact, we've just (kinda) finished the living room so we're slowly but surely piecing ideas together for how we want to decorate our bedroom next. Hoping to share some of our ideas on here in coming weeks with before and after pictures :)

For now though, I switch up looks by changing the bedding. I guess it's a temporary way for me to make an unfinished space look more appealing, and doing this buys me some time to think about how I want it to look once we redecorate. I can also experiment with colours and soft furnishings to see what works. 

Anyway, I found some really impressive and affordable bedding options to fulfil my 3 spring looks I want to achieve, so I thought I'd share them with you.

Spring bedding interior looks

 1. Crisp greys & accent patterned pillows

I've always loved the minimal look for bedrooms. My dream pinterest bedroom would be filled with grey textured duvets, white furry blankets and earthy tones for a clean backdrop to floral cushions. 

The bedding above is my failsafe, it's the same I've had for a while. M&S stripe duvet set with aztec pillowcases from Primark (a bargainous £3 for a pair) and my favourite herringbone blanket - I love Primark for the odd interior find. 

It's light, airy and perfect for Spring. But for the times I want a bit more colour, I'll opt for the following two.

Spring bedding interior looks

Spring bedding interior looks

2. Warmer hues & a retro vibe

I'll let you have three guesses where this bedding set is from. The colours resemble the trend Anthropologie are going for this season (burnt orange, duck egg & navy blues) yet this set is a fraction of the cost. 

It's straight from Aldi's new 'Specialbuys' Bedroom range (in stores 12th March while stock lasts). At just £12.99, it's a lot cheaper than the bedding I've bought in M&S (above) and Home Sense (below) and arguably looks the nicest of the three. What do you think?

To introduce yet more colour, I've popped on a purple fitted sheet, also from Aldi's specialbuys range (just £4.99) - I feel like the first look is so bland in comparison, but it's great to have versatility. 

I plan to purchase some round and rectangle orange and blue cushions to sit by the pillows.

Spring bedding interior looks

Spring bedding interior looks

3. Gingham & pastels

This final bedding set, I LOVE. It comes with it's imperfections though, but I've been on the lookout for a small gingham checked brushed cotton bedding set for so long now, and when I found this in Home Sense (it's actually by Helena Springfield) I knew it had to be mine. 

The set came without pillows, so I had to purchase a pack separately. I stupidly thought there were 2 pillows in one pack, got home only to find there was just one in each, now I'm devastated to have 2 mismatched pillows, but I guess you can tell whose side is who's. I'll forever be on the hunt for the matching pair.

Helena Springfield bedding sets tend to be around the £45 mark for just the duvet cover, but in Home Sense I got this for £24.99 and each pillowcase £2.99 each. Bargains. I love this bedding so much. It really doesn't wash well though, it's slightly bobbly on the reverse, and even when I iron it it still looks creased. 

So as a round up, if you're looking to update your bedding on the cheap for Spring, I'd say:

- First head to Primark. Pick up some patterned pillowcases in pastel colours, and cushions!
- Secondly consider bright statement sheets, Aldi's range are even cheaper than Primark's.
- And lastly, look around for reduced brushed cotton sets. Home Sense is the best for luxury items at reduced prices, but if you're more of an online shopper, I recently discovered good quality bedding from Yorkshire Linen that are super cute and affordable. 

Hopefully next time I blog about my bedroom, I'll be able to tell you some of the concrete plans we have to brighten up the space. 

Can't wait :)


Credits: Photography all mine, post in collaboration with Yorkshire Linen (content 100% original)

Interior Bargains #8: The perfect Herringbone blanket


Grey/White Herringbone throw £10, Primark

Hallelujah. It's a miracle. I've knabbed myself a herringbone blanket that looks the part and didn't cost the best part of £90 like all the others I want online.

Not sure if you know of Bronte throws? Non? Well I've had my eye on their soft, pastel grey blankets since forever. There's something very traditional and 'farmer-chic' about them that I've fallen head over heels for. 

Whilst I save up for a much better quality, thick Bronte version to call my own and keep me warm on wintery nights, I picked up this rather bargainous stand-in for only a tenner. It certainly looks the part, although there's about as much heat in it as a cat in an igloo. 

I love the delicate grey print, the white tassels and the way it effortlessly tosses over the new love of my life (Chesterfield sofa) giving it a wintery feel. Shame it's very thin, but in this case, I don't mind channelling style over substance. 

What do you think? The blanket comes in lilac and green too (at least if I remember correctly).... Let me at 'em!



Ps, just in case you didn't know, I'm trialling a little thing in October. Every day at about 9am (well, whenever I can muster up the energy) I'll be sharing a DAILY HOUSEPIRATION link/image on my facebook page to get inspired. If you fancy cheering up your newsfeed with some home love, give my page a like and get daily snippets of home ideas :), go ahead.

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Insanely good news! (one of those life lately posts)

Insanely good news! Finally bought a home! Read more:

It hasn't quite sunk in yet, that yesterday we finally exchanged contracts and purchased a home. We actually bought a property. How crazy is that. Something I thought would be at least another 5 or 6 years away, happened yesterday.

I'm officially about to become one of those 'umm, Hove, actually' ladies, and aside from having my own blank canvas to decorate, I think I'm most excited about trying a whole new array of takeaways. Life. Is. Good. Yippeeee!

I've set a few new-home resolutions I wanna share, in the hope that if I write them down here, I'll have to commit. 

Here's a few things I wanna do more of once we move in on Thursday:

  • Check out all Hove's tea & cake offerings and share more on this blog. Small batch, Ethels Kitchen, Maroccos, I gigi, V & H Café, the list goes on... I'm comin' your way.
  • Runs along la promenade. Let's be realistic, will probs turn into strolls with a stop off for ice cream, but still, spending more time at the beach is a must :)
  • Trial some home DIYs. I've bought my first can of spray paint for my first project - blates inspired by A Fab Life.
  • Learn some tips and tricks in photography. Now that Neil & I are living together, what's his is mine (lols) and therefore all his camera gear is mine for playing around with (he'll be shaking his head if he reads this). Early June, me and a few Brighton bloggers are heading to a photography masterclass to experiment more with our DSLRs and interior photography is on my radar. Can't wait to learn more.
  • Begin the Blog Life e-course by Elsie & Emma of A Beautiful Mess. It sounds like the perfect opportunity to learn more about brand identity, optimising traffic and building readership. Not just for this blog, but my marketing career too.

Wish me luck! 

Now go enter my giveaway. Win this stunning tripod floor lamp from Alison at Home worth £175!



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