Tried and Tested: Scented Candles

scented candles

Scented candles: my new obsession. Or actually a not-so new obsession, as I’ve been burning the scented little lovelies for years and years and years, but an obsession that’s grown as time goes on. Though not this winter, because weirdly there’s something I find a bit odd about burning scented candles at Christmas time.

Bear with me on this one.

For me scented candles mean spring time, floral scents; they’re uplifting with promises of sunshine and daffodils, not cosy days on the sofa under winter blankets. I love them in my lounge, in my bathroom, in my bedroom – every room of the house from Spring (yay!) to Autumn. While I’m working, relaxing, or taking one of those loooong baths that happens once in a blue moon.

Scented candles are one of the best bits of being a grown up. I love them.

Here are my favourites… burn and be merry! Though don’t burn unaccompanied, obviously. Or near curtains. Or children. You know the drill.

scented candles - Diptyque

Arguably the most blogged about candle, Diptyque hails from Paris and creates some of the loveliest room scents you will ever sniff. I adore the Baies and Vanilla varieties, with Baies being their bestseller (I’m not surprised, it’s divine). Light one of these on an evening and you’ll enjoy a scent that will last a couple of days.

Get yourself down to Liberty where you can sniff them all (I often used to retreat to the Diptyque counter after work) or buy online. Maybe not a snip at £40 but they truly are the most elegant and beautiful smelling candles I’ve ever come across.

scented candles - cowshed

I adore pretty much anything the Soho House group touches: Shoreditch House, Soho House, Dean Street Townhouse, Pizza East, Cowshed Spa. Their products are truly not to be sniffed at (please excuse the pun…) and I love how the scent of their products takes me back to their venues.

Their hand wash and hand creme in particular is marvellous with a long lasting calming scent – you’ll always find it atop my bathroom basin. I’m also a fan of their Grumpy Cow uplifting candle (£30). I’m yearning for their amazing food and brand of relaxation just thinking about it…  will someone please take me to Babington House?

(sidenote: please reassure me you also have a Tangle Teezer in each room of your house?)

scented candles

I cooked a brilliant three bird roast one Christmas from Daylesford and have always rated their food, so who’d have thought they do such amazing candles as well? I picked up their Fig Leaf variety for half price with my Ocado shop this week so it was a total bargain, too. The scent may not be as sophisticated as Diptyque but it’s strong and it marks. Top marks, Daylesford.

Have I missed any? Which scented candles do you rate?


Marsala In The Home

I love colour. Which is a pretty silly statement as everyone in the whole world loves colour, am I right? I imagine “I don’t like colour” doesn’t get uttered very often, ditto “god, isn’t black so uplifting?” or “I really love what you’ve done with the grey in this room”.

So yes, colour = good, 99% of the time.

I sometimes worry that I misjudge the colours in my home. As a summer person I find I am drawn to light colours – white plays a big part, as does mint green, light blues, pinks and yellows. I tend to shy away from the darker hues that invoke cosy and warm memories of winter; the fewer reminders I have about this season the better. But I wonder if this gives a more childlike, less sophisticated feel to my house. We’re all zig zag carpets and star print cushions… uni student vibes.

In 2015 the colour of the year is Marsala – a gorgeous shade of deep raspberry that’s having me re-think my living space. This isn’t burgundy – a colour that immediately makes me think of Christmas time – but is slightly lighter and more fun. It’s starting to make me consider my aversion to deep hues.

I’m a huge fan of changing the look of a room with small touches – cushions, rugs, carpets – which means a quick makeover can work out relatively inexpensively. Here’s my 2015 Marsala shopping list:

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This Paris Red rug gives a hint of Marsala without being too overpowering. I love patterned rugs for giving a bit of interest and this one from Carpetright is perfect. It starts at £49.99.

Who doesn’t love a Roberts Radio? This one might have a vintage look but the colour will bring you bang up to date. From £160, BoConcept.

IKEA have totally mastered the art of the cushion cover and I love the pops of Marsala in the new DVÄRGPALM, £4.

If you really want to go all-out on your Marsala the Super Regent Twist carpet from Carpetright is a good way to go. £32.99 m2.

I can’t get enough of flowers in my living space and this engraved look vase would be perfect – £79 from BoConcept.

Will you be adding some Marsala to your home this year?

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The Dream Home: Au Natural

One of the best things about my job with IKEA Family Live is the fact that I get to look at beautiful homes each and every day. I’ve always had an interest in houses – not so much in interiors but in crafting a home out of the space I live in – and being paid to work with beautiful spaces seems to suit me down to the ground.


Minimalist kid’s bedroom via IKEA Family Live

We’ve been in our current home about 8 months now (how did that happen?) and I’ve been thinking a while what our next steps will be. I love the house we’re in at the moment, it’s small but perfectly formed ;), but I know it’s not our forever home. I want my kids to grow up with more of an outdoorsy lifestyle than we currently have but until I’ve saved up for my Spanish beach bar I’m reflecting that in my interior tastes.

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Monochrome living space with natural wood accents at Style Me Pretty

Right now I’m wild over the influences of nature: aged wood, muted colour palettes, greenery. White walls that will be uber practical with mucky fingered kids, I’m sure…

05374e7818fbbdb3967f5c589eded8b5Bright and light kitchen via Dwell

Slate tiles and light upon light upon light, with a little help from VELUX windows. I want my home to always feel beautifully happy and sunny inside, even in the dead of winter.


To-die-for Californian home at A Cup Of Jo

This natural wood headboard in the bedroom of one of my favourite bloggers is still my most favoured item in the last couple of months; it brings such character and warmth to the room and is a piece that will last forever. Want!

What’s your dream home currently looking like?

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There’s No Place Like Home


In my new job as Freelance Digital Editor for IKEA FAMILY LIVE Magazine I’ve been thinking a lot about the role of home in our lives (which luckily for me means lots of times on interior blogs and Pinterest). My thoughts always return to my own current living situation, how happy my home makes me and what I can do to make it lovely.

Looking back, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you how many times I’ve moved home in the last ten years. It’s actually insane and I’m a little bit ashamed to admit it.

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3 Ways to Get Organised (Stylishly)

If you’re not a natural organiser then make sure your little jobs get done by appealing to your stylish side. There’s always a way to make life’s small jobs much more exciting and interesting. Invest in beautiful organisation tools that keep you excited about doing the pesky jobs  that you keep on putting off. Here’s our shortlist of the most gorgeous products to keep you on track and on time. From covetable stationery to luxurious timepieces, there’s something for everybody on this list.

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Jotting things down is the best way to make sure that your plans run smoothly. It’s a good way to keep on top of the list of ideas for your business, work, home, kids’ lives or study plans. We love colourful multi packs from Moleskine, available in all sizes from the sketchbook sized right down to the pocket version. They come in every colour of the rainbow. From classic black to sunshine yellow and orange, this brand has really expanded their offerings to appeal to everyone. If you like something a little bit less minimalist and a bit more fashionable, check out the cloth coloured notebooks from Liberty and Quadrille publishing. These handsome books would make excellent displays on a shelf or mantelpiece, but thankfully they’re filled with high-quality notepaper and bound with classic Liberty print art fabric to make sure that your handbag stays stylish.

A reliable timepiece

Even if you don’t like wearing watches, then get into the habit. Wearing a watch shows people that you can turn up on time, and that you are always thinking about where you need to be. The right watch can also be a wonderful fashion accessory. You might be tempted to just choose the cheapest brand on offer, however you might save yourself money in the long term (cheaper watches tend to rely on battery power) by going for a more expensive watch powered by motion. One that’s sure to make a statement is the Omega watches Masters series 660. Wearing a chunky masculine watch is actually the height of fashion for women right now. We love the 660 model for its beautiful inky blue dial. It’s available online at .

 Trendy tupperware

We think you might save money on store bought lunches if you had a nifty lunchbox to bring your lunch with you instead. The PackIt lunch bag has special compartments dedicated to keeping hot food hot and cold food cold. This will take care of any unpleasant changes in texture or smell by the time you get to lunchtime. If you’re more worried about keeping food separate from each other (you might be one to bring a selection of salads or dips), then try Bento and Carry, a very popular retailer of Bento boxes in all sizes, shapes and designs.

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These are just a few ideas on getting a little more organisation (and therefore clarity) into your life. We hope you found them useful. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on life organisation, this article is purely about the little luxuries, which make keeping to a schedule more fun. You could also try out home-made ideas, or incorporate a no-buy into your resolution to turn over a new leaf. If it helps us get things done then it must be a good thing. If you have any organisation must-haves of your own then please share them in the comments.

4 Perfect Summertime Decorating Themes

Summertime is just around the corner! I’ve had a pretty darn good spring clean recently, updating many rooms with the fresh spring/summer vibes in mind. Airing out your room ready for this time of year is always a pleasure.

As well as decluttering the cupboards, redecorating your home can cleanse your mind and soul as well, helping you to organise your thoughts and prepare you for a new season ahead. Freshening up your home with some delightful extras that inject some life after a gloomy winter is the perfect way to perk you up. Spring colours like pale yellows and blues as well as crisp clean whites can make your day seem so much brighter, not to mention buying fresh flowers from the local florist to epitomise the sunny months ahead.

Rather than opting for this usual colour palette and summertime themes, I was after something a little different this time round. Here are four key trends you can use to update your home for summer:

Light Up!

Winter calls for warm lighting, perfect for cuddling up to during miserable evenings. Spring and summer, on the other hand, allows you to experiment much more. I love using cheap yet stylish paper lanterns for barbeques and breezy evenings, but you can also bring the outdoors, in. This is so unusual and ideal if you’re looking to revamp various rooms in a thrifty way.


Aquatic Allure

Fresh blues and tropical greens symbolise holidaying on the beautiful beaches from around the globe and these colours will perfectly complement your light and breezy home, especially if you’re prone to using white. The contrast between the bright white and bold blues is so striking, it gives the perfect beach house look. Complete this style with beachy accessorises like shells and pebbles. You could even transform pieces of driftwood into works of art if you’re feeling particular crafty.

Flirty Florals

Strong floral prints, leading more towards the Art Deco persuasion, are extremely popular this season. By keeping to a limited palette of a maximum three colours (two preferably), you can easily create a bold and fun look. Transfer this style throughout each room in your home, but remember to make some subtle changes by varying colour and styles as to not overpower. And of course, summer means flower power! Whether you pick them fresh from the garden or buy them already perfectly presentable from the florist, they make a huge difference.


Moroccan Magic

Despite the expected sunshine (this is meant to be one of our hottest summers in recent years) you will need to be spending those evenings cuddled up indoors to avoid the chill. Inject a little Moroccan magic in the form of giant cushions, fragrant candles and low rustic tables for evenings chilling out with friends. Complete with some dim atmospheric lighting and authentic Moroccan cuisine for a taste of paradise.

Whilst the winter is all about deep and earthy tones to banish the cold and keep you snuggled indoors, during the warmer months, you can experiment so much more with colour and fabrics. The main trend this season is to bring the holiday to you and your home. From exotic Moroccan textures and patterns to cool, refreshing tones that remind you of turquoise waters and white powdered sands, let’s accompany our apparent hot summer for 2014 with thoughts of the Mediterranean and beyond.