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.

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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.

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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?

This post was brought to you with VELUX. 

There’s No Place Like Home


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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 watches-of-switzerland.co.uk .

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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 http://lampcommerce.com/en/catalogue/brands/metallux/onda-table-lamp is so unusual and ideal if you’re looking to revamp various rooms in a thrifty way.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

Bringing Spring In

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There’s something so glorious about those first days of Spring. There’s nothing like feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin after a long, dark winter, or the promise of daffodils and snowdrops poking their heads out of the green grass. As soon as I see their cheery faces bobbing along at the side of the road my spirit immediately lifts: it’s pure balm for my soul.

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I’ve made some changes for Spring in our house ­‐ after the little bedroom makeover I did a few weeks ago week I took to brightening up our living space. I bought a couple of new cushions in some bright colours and switched out our floral storage boxes for fresh white ones. I appear to be completely addicted to rugs and have added a new one in green, pink and yellow. One pre‐requisite for all my floor coverings is that they must be machine washable: they all get chucked in the wash every few weeks to get rid of pen, chocolate and the remains of chewed up raisins. I love IKEA for these cheerful options that will see us through the mucky weaning years!

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This effect that Spring has on me is one of the reasons I always like to bring colour and life into my house. Colours and new moods make me stop, think, and take a look out the window at new life and a new season in my garden and surroundings. It makes me think about the beauty there is to be found in my home, in our little corner of the world. Soppy much?

I display loads of different things ­‐ fairy lights and tealights -­‐ in Mason jars but I’m starting to keep an eye out at charity shops and vintage stores for different pots and containers which is how one of my favourite bloggers, Little Green Notebook, likes to make a display with. She posted about spring in NY over here, total Wanderlust.

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I’m also a big fan of the traditional Spring clean to kick start the new season. I swear by taking a black bin bag when you’re in a ruthless mood and wandering the house chucking anything that is broken, no longer useful or hasn’t been used in six months. I then take a basket and place in it any objects that don’t belong in the room they’ve found themselves in and return them to their rightful place: hey, presto! You will immediately feel lighter, less cluttered and more organized. I really believe ‘tidy house, tidy mind’.

Have a gander at my friends over at Glade: they’re shaking things up with their new Spring collection. How do you like to kick out the gloom and the grey?

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Thank you to Glade for partnering with More Than Toast this spring :)

Manning Up In The Bedroom

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It’s still weird for me to consider that before I moved to this house I’d never lived on my own. There was my room at my University halls of residence but that doesn’t count because when your single mattress is covered in a thin layer of plastic and your carpet smells like horses… it doesn’t make one feel particularly house proud, that’s for sure. Every other place I’ve lived in was shared with a man, meaning I had to take things like their opinions into account when I was decorating. Ugh. Such a drag. IMG_1437

So when I first became single I was like a woman possessed, interiors-wise. I wanted ALL THE PINK, ALL THE FLORAL STUFF, ALL THE FAIRY LIGHTS. I wanted anyone visiting the house to know, hey, no boys live here (apart from Hux, who spends most of his time these days asking for hair clips to be put in his hair). My house, it kind of looked like a fairy princess had visited and vomited all her girlyness all over it.

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We’ve lived in my new place for nearly six months (holy hell how did that happen?) and as the days went on I found myself getting more and more antsy at the amount of pink stuff that was in my house. Yes, I liked the fact that I’d been showing that side of my personality through the medium of interior design but really? It just didn’t feel like me. Let’s be honest, a woman who uses the word ‘vomit’ as much as I do in her everyday lexicon (see paragraph above) probably should not have flowers plastered all over her bedroom. Plus it might be nice to have a man around here at some point in the future and I don’t want them or Hux feeling like this is a boy-free twinkly flower-filled zone.

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And so I’ve spent the last couple of weeks making subtle tweaks to the house. Starting with the bedroom! I’ve got rid of the overly feminine rose-print sheets; I wanted to take things back to basics and get some plain white bedlinen. This set was the dream – the black piping is so chic – but £100 for sheets right now? Not gonna happen. So I went for a happy medium, IKEA bed linen from the slightly pricier range, and I love them. It’s amazing how much calmer I find the bedroom now I’ve switched the sheets out.

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I also added a black and white blanket (IKEA once again) to the foot of the bed to toughen it up a bit; there’s no way I’m parting with my bedknobs and broomsticks-esque bed no matter how girly it is.

I wanted the decor to remain plain with some colour pops so I added in these Horses Kissing pillowcases from Urban Outfitters which I adore (and were in the sale!): they’re the only horsey thing in this house though, lets be clear… no whiffy carpets.

I brought my shelves upstairs from the laundry cupboard: these are used to store paperwork, magazines and shoes. The stool was moved from the other side of the bed (Freecycle bargain) and my awesome orange lamp switched with my white one to bring yet more colour to the room. My old bedside table is now carrying out the completely useless purpose of holding all my perfumes, a candle and an orchid. What? I might not want to be super girly any more but I’m still human.

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The only thing I’m not sure about are the curtains. I’m considering switching them out for a blind so they’re not so, you know, lacy…but I kind of enjoy the light these curtains let in. I still dream about the windows in the house I grew up in – if you’ve ever gone to sleep with the sound of rain on a VELUX® window you’ll know what I mean – it’s what white noise is to a grumbling newborn. Blissful, and with none of the worries that come with deciding which curtains look best. Remote control blinds are where it’s at: you heard it here first.

IMG_1469I love my bedroom now. Love love love it. It’s just the right size for me and all my bits, the walk-in wardrobe still thrills me each and every day and barring the few times I am hungover I wake up happy every single day here. It’s a sanctuary, a calming place for me to come to drink chamomile tea and watch three episodes of Desperate Housewives. Because what more do you want out of life?

QUESTION TIME: the pictures in this post are making me think I should iron my pillowcases. The one time I ironed my pillowcases I got neck ache because I was worried about sleeping on them too hard and creasing them up. Is pillowcase ironing A Thing I should be getting on board with? 

Thank-you to VELUX for partnering with More Than Toast and making my needless interior upgrades possible :)