Wayfair Home Expert Challenge: The Midas Touch: Gold Trend

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You don’t have to have seen too many photos of my home to know that I absolutely love a bit of gold!! It’s the perfect accent to, I think, all colour schemes! From the dark blue in my dining room to the pastel pink and grey scheme in my bedroom, I can’t resist a gold accessory or two.

So it’s no surprise that I was just a tad excited about the latest Wayfair Home Expert Challenge which was to style one of three fabulous Safavieh gold side tables!

It just so happens that I have been after the perfect side table for my living room for quite some time. When we first moved in I put two upturned crates in the corner just so I had somewhere to put my cuppa. Two years later and they were still there! They bugged me every time I looked at them, they were just far too ‘rustic’ for the look I was going for. I wanted something more striking and elegant.

Enter this beauty from Safavieh at Wayfair – isn’t she gorgeous?! Simple but striking, it was love at first sight! I chose to style my table with this fabulous House Doctor vase and some giant faux hydrangeas, both also from Wayfair.

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What do we think?! Slightly better than the crates, right? For more gold table inspiration check out these images from Pinterest below. Gorgeous or what?!

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Image via theeverygirl.com
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Image via The Glitter Guide
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Image via ohmydearblog.com

 

This post was sponsored by Wayfair and Safavieh but the words and opinions are 100% my own. 

Soak&Sleep: How To Refresh For Spring

 

As Spring approaches, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has started thinking about how they are going to refresh their home in preparation for the new season. For me, there could only be one place to start…with my bed of course!

I am one of those people that absolutely loves and needs their sleep (is there any other kind?!) – at least 8 hours a night if possible please. If I haven’t slept, you will know about it. Either because I will tell you, or because my zombie-fied, pale grey face will give me away!

With less than a month to go now before we welcome our new arrival, the panic that I might not be getting my 8 hours a night is starting to set in. So over the last few weeks I have been on a mission to find the perfect mattress, pillows, duvet and bedding to help give me the best chance possible of getting at least some sleep, even if it’s not quite 8 hours worth!

During my mission I called in the help of the very lovely Sarah Smith, Head of Buying at Soak&Sleep. If you’ve never heard of Soak&Sleep, then where have you been?! They offer everything you could possibly need to create the most sumptuous and relaxing bedroom and bathroom environments. Their website provides extensive expertise on all things sleep related as they aim to help you find the perfect products for your individual sleep needs – sounds good right?

Even better, is that today Sarah is going to share with us her top tips on how you can refresh and update your bedding for Spring. So enough of my waffling and over to Sarah…

interiors and still life images by kristy noble photography in London
Get the basics right 

We spend a huge portion of the day in our beds, so updating the basics each season in order to get the best night sleep in all weather is key – after all, you wouldn’t wear a thick, heavy coat in the summer so why would you sleep with the duvet equivalent in the warmer months? A great option is to opt for an all seasons duvet – this is made up of two separate duvets that can be fastened together for winter, or used separately for summer and spring / autumn. Made up of a 4.5 tog (for warm weather) and a slightly more snug 9.0 tog, it’s the perfect solution for year-round comfort.

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Refresh your bed

There’s nothing like a spring clean to set you up for a new season. We advise that you wash your pillows and duvet at the start of each season (or at least every six months) to keep your bedding as fresh and bouncy as possible. All of our products come with easy to follow washing guides, but as a rule of thumb most pillows and duvets can simply be popped into the washing machine at 40 degrees or even better to get them professionally laundered. If opting for the at-home wash then be sure to dry everything thoroughly, and include a couple of tennis balls in the dryer with them to ensure the fillers are plump and well-aired throughout.

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Keep it protected

When investing in the right bedding basics, it makes sense to keep them protected. We see mattress / duvet & pillow protectors as a staple for keeping your bed in tip top condition. Whether protecting from accidental spills, bugs or simply daily grime and sweat, a protector offers a barrier for your bedding that can be easily washed and freshened for year-round cleanliness. With spring and summer in mind opt for a natural material protector to keep your bed as breathable and cool as possible.

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Choose the right sheets

Spring, and especially summer, are the warmest months so it’s important to choose bed linens that allow your body and bedding to breathe. 100% cotton is breathable and will allow air to flow, avoiding a sticky night’s sleep. My favourite though is Pure French Linen; indulgently soft and gorgeously crumpled, it’s the ideal bedding for a relaxed and inviting bed. Cool to the touch and up to three times more absorbent than it’s cotton cousin it’s a no brainer for staying cool and comfortable when the temperature is on the rise!

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Sarah has very kindly helped me to find the perfect bedding to suit both mine and the hubby’s individual needs – which was no easy task I tell you, as we are very different sleepers! My body temperature rises to over 100 degrees as soon as my head hits the pillow (or at least it feels like it does anyway!) while Chris can often be found sleeping in thermal socks, joggers and a sweatshirt – with the hood up…in Summer! He sleeps flat on his back and me only ever on my side, so finding the right products to suit us both was tricky but of course Sarah was able to do so! I’ll be revealing my beautiful new bedding and which products were chosen for both Chris and I in another post very soon.

But for now, I think it might be time for a nap :)

 

Statement Wallpapers

Last week I shared my downstairs toilet makeover and received a lot of love for my statement wallpaper. For some reason, and I’m still not exactly sure why, up until this point I hadn’t used any wallpaper anywhere in my house! Disgraceful! I decided that the downstairs loo was the perfect place to go for something really quirky and bold, and now I’ve gone for it in one room it’s left me wondering where else I can use wallpapers in my home.

Today I have teamed up with Wallpaper Direct to bring you just a few of my favourite papers and ideas on where I would use them and how I would style them.

Botanicals

I can’t get enough of the botanical trend and there are so many fab papers out there along this theme. I just love this pressed flower design by Eco Wallpaper. I think it would look fab in a living room paired with a battered old leather sofa and accents of rustic wood and rattan. And of course not forgetting some matching pressed flower artwork!

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Geometric

If florals aren’t really you’re thing then how about opting for a contemporary geometric design. This striking Cole & Son paper would certainly give you the wow factor if used in a hallway teamed with mid-century style furniture and lots of plants!

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Starry Night

Ever since I saw the fabulous Daniela from The Great Interior Design Challenge wallpaper the ceiling in her fab Palm Spring inspired room,  I have been desperate to borrow (ok, steal!) the idea! Wouldn’t this starry paper look gorgeous on the ceiling of a nursery? And it just so happens I am working on a nursery as we speak…how perfect!

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Florals

This House of Hackney wallpaper has got me wanting to completely start again with my bedroom. It’s just the most beautiful, romantic, dreamy looking wallpaper I’ve ever seen – I absolutely love it! I would pair it with jewel colours and lots of luxurious textures! Now, pass the paste brush!

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So what do we think? Have I inspired you to be brave with papers? Or perhaps you have already been! I’d love to see your statement papers so tag me in your pictures on Instagram using the hash tag #paperoveratkates

My Bathroom Makeover

If you’ve been bored by my constant moaning on Instagram over the last few weeks then you’ll be pleased to hear that the bathroom is finally finished! Yay!

BEFORE

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AFTER

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It actually hasn’t taken that long at all but when you’re without a shower and having to go downstairs to the toilet 3 or 4 times a night (it’s fun being pregnant!), 4 weeks can feel like a very long time. Getting it done in the first place was a bit of an impulse decision. The bathroom was not to our taste at all, but as I’ve talked about previously we found it hard to justify spending the money. Anyway, I’ve waffled on about that already – we decided we were going to go for it and that was that – before we knew it the house was covered in dust and the nursery project was put on hold while it housed all the builders tools and a complete bathroom suite!

We found a builder based on a friends recommendation and he gave us the option of starting straight away (and I’m talking within a few days!) or not until March (which is obviously not ideal as that’s when the baby is due!) so we went from coming around to the idea of getting it done to having to order a suite, floor and tiles etc ready for work to begin that very week. It was a bit of a panic I don’t mind telling you, I mean I hadn’t even started work on a mood board yet and all of a sudden I was being asked to make sure we had something ready for the builder to fit in a few days. I think a spent a complete weekend on various bathroom websites making lots of different mood boards until I finally  narrowed down what I wanted. Luckily we managed to order everything in time and work began. We had a few issues along the way as is so often the case in old houses but 4 weeks down the line and it’s done. And here it is!

Traditional Style

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In keeping with the period of the house, I went for a traditional style suite. The basin took a bit of persuasion as the hubby was worried about having no storage but I managed to win him round. We ummed and ahhed over a high level traditional toilet but in the end opted for this smaller style as it left room for a cabinet above. I found the cabinet one of the hardest things to choose. I was adamant I didn’t want a modern/mirrored style so spent hours trawling eBay for an antique cupboard that we could paint. Eventually I found one, it’s a little on the small side but I’ve decided we are just going to have to be more strict with our toiletry collections (hubby – I’m talking to you here!).

We also found it tricky to decide on a shower screen or curtain but in the end once everything was in, we decided that a curtain suited the scheme better. I bought this one from H&M so that we could use the shower straight away but thinking that I would replace it eventually, but actually I’ve decided I really like it!

 Freestanding Bath

I was desperate to get a freestanding bath in there somehow and when one plumber that we asked to quote told me there was no way it was going to be possible in such a tiny room, I became even more determined – even if just to prove him that he was wrong! So Mr Plumber, if you’re reading (very much doubt that he is but you never know!) you were wrong ha! I found this fab shower bath which basically acts as half freestanding and half normal bath?? (Is there a name for the other kind??) It’s on the short side I won’t lie, perfect for me at 5ft nothing, not so much for Chris (or anyone over 5ft I would say!)

Patterned Tiles

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I think I must have ordered about 10 different floor tile samples – I knew I wanted some sort of pattern but for some reason found making a decision really difficult. Originally I was going to go for a geometric print but in the end opted for something more traditional. I am so pleased with these Deco tiles, they were much more reasonable than some of the others I considered and I think are perfect for the room! Lots of people have been asking about me about grout too – and actually it can really change the look of tiles! We used Ardex Stormy Mist for the wall grout and Cast Iron for the floor.

Woodwork

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Again, in keeping with the traditional style of the house I asked the builder to add a skirting board back into the room. For some reason, he thought that was mad and tried to talk me out of it on several occasions but I’m so glad I stuck with it. I think it really helps finish the look. I only wish I had added coving as well! The skirting and other woodwork is painted in Farrow and Ball’s Railings, I’ve been desperate to use this colour somewhere in the house and finally managed to get it in there somewhere!

Accessories

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I decided to add some rustic wood accents into the room just to soften the overall look. I found this great floating shelf on eBay and thanks to the power of the Instagram community, managed to get my hands on this fab vintage milking stool. I also treated myself to some lovely Meraki products which yes, I’ll admit – were bought for the gorgeous apothecary style packaging but actually are so lovely to use! Then I went a bit crazy in the garden centre with plants and cacti – I’m hoping as they are all less than 2ft from the bath I will actually remember to water them for a change!!

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My New Downstairs Loo!

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I’ve always said that when we eventually got around to decorating the downstairs toilet I would go for something quirky and perhaps a bit braver than in the rest of my home. I think the downstairs loo is the perfect room to go for something really different and creative!

This is how it looked before. Yep, you guessed it – floor to ceiling blue again! The previous owners definitely had a thing for blue tiles!!

I had my heart set on a statement wallpaper of some kind. I spent a lot of time browsing Pinterest for inspiration and decided I wanted to go with some sort of combination of a Gentlemen’s Club and a dog theme! SO imagine my delight when I came across this amazing paper from the Graduate Collection at Wallpaper Direct. It combines the two looks perfectly and is definitely the statement I was after! Dogs, in hats?! What’s not to love!!

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As it is quite busy, I decided I would use it only on half of the walls and pair it with some traditional style panelling. You can buy panelling kits from several websites but they are pricey, even for such a teeny room it was working out at over £500, so instead we decided to fake it! I actually remember seeing the idea on The Great Interior Design Challenge either last year or the year before. I found a great website selling traditional style skirting and rails. I went for a large skirting and detailed dado rail combined with some simple rails to make the panel effect. The walls and woodwork were painted in Farrow & Ball Off Black. (I told Chris I’d chosen grey so was a bit nervous for him to see it and realise it was black – but luckily he loved it!!)

We went traditional again in here with a low level toilet. However when it came to the basin I simply couldn’t find a traditional style that was small enough so had to go for something a bit more modern than I would have perhaps liked.

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I’ve always had a thing for parquet flooring so when I came across this parquet effect vinyl I couldn’t resist. It really adds some warmth into the room and is a great alternative to tiles. I have tonnes of it left so I’m determined to use it somewhere else in the house…

To add more of the Gentlemen’s Club theme I accessorised with this great bowler hat style light and a vintage shoe last toilet holder.

So what do you think? I’m so pleased with how it’s turned out! It’s exactly as I imagined!

Getting A Balance

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One of the most important things to bear in mind when designing any room is to aim to get a balance of aesthetics and practicality. It’s all well and good having a beautifully styled living room but if you don’t have enough storage, or somewhere to put your feet up and a place to rest your cuppa, it’s just not going to work as a home.

I’ve been aware of this more than ever while planning the nursery. Of course I want the room to look beautiful, but I also really want to make sure that I create a fun space for my little boy that gives us everything we need too.

Continue reading “Getting A Balance”

Pantone Colour of the Year: Greenery

I don’t know about you, but I was desperate to get my Christmas decs down pretty much as soon as December was over. For some reason they just look messy once Christmas Day is done – don’t you think? However, since losing the tree I am feeling like my house is seriously lacking in something, and I’m pretty sure that something is greenery!

So it’s really quite fitting that Pantone chose this very shade as their 2017 Colour of the Year. What a great excuse to add some green back into our lives and get us ready for Spring. I’ve teamed up with Wayfair to show you the best ways of adding this trend into your homes.

Continue reading “Pantone Colour of the Year: Greenery”

Bathroom Plans

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We’ve battled with the decision on whether to update the bathroom for the last two years. There’s nothing actually wrong with it, in that it’s less than 5 years old and everything works, in fact it was the most recently decorated room in the house when we moved in. But frustratingly, it’s just not to our taste…at all! However, we’ve found it hard to justify spending the money to re-do it simply because we don’t like it.

However, now that we have a little one on the way I can’t help but feel that it’s now or never. I can’t see us finding the time (or the money!) after the baby is born and so we’ve just decided to go for it! We are up against it time wise though! I am due at the end of March and really don’t fancy bringing home our new little bundle of joy while we’re in the middle of some major DIY work – so I’m really hoping we can get it done in good time before the bubba arrives.

Continue reading “Bathroom Plans”

Home Gifts as Chrsitmas Presents

livingroom.jpgIt’s about this time of year that panicked friends and relatives start begging you for Christmas pressie ideas! Fortunately for them :) I always have a list as long as my arm of things I would quite like but haven’t gotten around to buying myself. These invariably, are all house related items (of course – what else?!) and I find this doesn’t always go down well. So that’s led me to ask, are housey things acceptable Christmas presents?

Last year, Chris bought me (along with lots of other lovely things) a rug for the living room. It was actually very sweet of him, the rug had been sold out for weeks leading up to Christmas and I was desperate for it. He managed to track one down in a store somewhere far away, bought it for me and snuck down on Christmas morning to put it out while I was still asleep. I was thrilled. But when people asked what we had bought each other and I excitedly told them he’d got me a rug, it was met with “oh dear, so I take it he’s in the dog house?”

He wasn’t, of course. But so many people seemed to think that that was not an acceptable gift for a husband to buy his wife. Whenever my mum begs me for ideas and I send her links to cushions and bedding, she’ll reply with ‘I need better ideas please. Things for you.’ But these are things for me?! Nothing makes me happier than new cushions and as for new bedding, well that makes everyone happy doesn’t it?!

I see nothing wrong with getting things for the house as gifts. I honestly prefer them to clothes  or make up, neither of which excite me like they used to. So why are people reluctant to buy them? As I’ve been shopping this year, I have found myself wary of buying people things for the home, perhaps they don’t get as excited as I do and do see it as a boring present?

What do you lovely people think? Would you be upset if you found a new rug waiting for you on Christmas morning? And do you think twice about buying people things for their homes?

 

What are you doing for Christmas?

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It’s the question that everyone gets asked several hundred times a day at this time of year. ‘What are you doing for Christmas?’ With less a month to go, I feel a little anxious to tell you that we still don’t know!

I tried to get ahead of the game this year by bringing up the subject several months ago, but as you can see – it hasn’t got me anywhere. Ever since we bought our first house almost 5 years ago, I have been desperate to host Christmas. I don’t know if you can tell by my abundance of decorations for all occasions, but I absolutely love hosting. I love the preparation of getting the house ready and for some strange reason (must be the Greek in me!) I love fussing over my guests – fetching drinks and making sure everyone has eaten too much!

Unfortunately, I don’t actually enjoy cooking all that much, but luckily Chris is a dab hand in the kitchen and actually seems to enjoy it – it takes a lot more to stress him than it does me, I could quite easily throw a paddy about my sprouts not turning out how I imagined! (Why does nothing ever look like it does in the cookbooks? It can’t just be me?!)

With Chris covering the cooking and me on decorations and drinks, we’ve got it covered between us. So why five years later have I still not managed to get everyone to ours for the day?

The past few years we have alternated between spending Christmas day with my family one year and Chris’ the next, but this year we are hoping to spend it all together. We just can’t decide where. My family are on the large side (as in the number of people not the size of the people!) which means my Mum sometimes has up to 20 people for dinner. The thought of cooking for 20 might actually even scare cool-headed Chris. Plus even if we thought we could manage it, where would we all sit? At best I can probably fit 8 around my table, maybe 10 if I bring in the outside table and get a couple of emergency chairs from the loft!

So my question is how do I offer to host but restrict it to 8 people only?! Can I really do that? Or shall I just embrace the fact that I’ve finally got my chance to host and just cram us all round my little table?

While I stress over that for a few more weeks before it ends up being too late and we miss out again…why don’t you lovely lot tell me how you’ll be spending your Christmas’?