Tub chairs are a popular option for alot of people because they fit relatively easily into a room, as far as seating options go. They are a particularly versatile investment because they would work equally as well in a nursery or guest room as they do in the living room.
They can also be moved around easily too to fit in with changing layouts, such as if you decide to rearrange your furniture to create a fresh new look. Or they can even be positioned to create a more social atmosphere in a room when needed, such as having guests over for example. Great for this time of year!
Personally I think there is nothing better than having your own little space to curl up in and read a good book or chill in front of the TV.
They are stylish too; I mentioned in my recent post ‘How To Create A Cosy Winter Home’ that tartan is a great design choice for this season, so the one in this feature is perfect to create the look! Plus you can paint the legs to match your room, and the latest trends, too. There are several other lovely fabric design options too though, so do take a look at their website.
How can you create a stylish home that is also child friendly and safe for children? This must be a question that so many new parents have pondered over the years. You spend years developing your own individual style, perhaps collecting some stylish and expensive furniture along the way, then you decide to start a family! All of a sudden there are mounds of coloured plastic littering your room, as well as plastic safety corners cushioning every sharp, clean, line on your expensive furniture.
Of course changes are welcome, as the arrival of babies and children bring so much fun and joy to a home. Sometimes though it would be nice to retain a little bit of style whilst keeping your loved ones safe. It would also be good to be able to store all the paraphernalia that comes with having children away because an uncluttered home helps to have a healthy mind. Is this possible though?
By following these tips you will be well on your way to creating a stylish but child friendly home…
When you have children your choice of flooring needs to be as practical as possible. Solid wood flooring looks amazing but may get badly scratched by toys. Laminate is an affordable and stylish option which is very easy to clean and maintain. Carpets offer comfort, but has the disadvantage of being more difficult to clean, although you can apply coatings that will repel anything spilled on them.
Storage is the easiest and most important way to keep your home looking stylish and free from clutter. There are some fantastic, great looking storage options that can be used in living areas and bedrooms. You will probably need a lot of storage space, especially when your children are young. Ensure your storage options are safe and won’t topple if your curious toddler decides to climb.
There is a large choice of stylish furniture available, that is suitable for a child-friendly home. When searching for your perfect dining room table or coffee table, just make sure there are no sharp corners and avoid glass. When choosing a new sofa make sure it is easy to clean, either by choosing a fabric one, with washable covers, or leather. To avoid little fingers from damaging, or getting hurt by, your television or music system look at purchasing a TV stand with mount, which will keep wires, buttons and controls safely out of reach, as well as looking stylish.
Fabrics and accessories
The cost of having children often means that most of your spare cash is spent on them rather than buying new furniture for your home. A cheaper option for introducing on-style fashion to your interior is by using fabrics and accessories. Cushions, throws, curtains and artwork will go a long way to update your home. As fashion trends change annually you will be able to change your accessories on a regular basis without bursting through your budget. So even though you haven’t made any major changes, your home remains on trend.
Another fairly inexpensive way of updating your home is by repainting your walls in up-to-date colours. The cost of a tin of paint is not expensive and repainting a wall is easy to do. You could even get your child to help!
The nights are getting longer and the days colder, so now is a great time to create a cosy vibe for your home over winter. Here are some fab ideas to create that warm feeling inside…
Colours and Patterns
Choose gorgeous deep reds, lovely dark greens, sparkly silvers or strong shades of grey to give your home that beautiful winter feel. White also works well too, especially in combination with one of the above colour choices.
Checks and tartan are ideal for this time of year. They create a lovely cosy feel in any room of your home. Pick out red and green tartan throws or blankets to really perfect the look!
Another way to give your home that winter vibe you are looking for is through the scents that waft from room to room. Whether it is the smell of gingerbread, pine needle christmas tree smell or some other scent you love, pick whatever it is that reminds you of happy memories from winters past or generally gives you that warm glowing feeling about this time of year and replicate it at home so you can enjoy it throughout the season.
This winter choose thick chunky wool knits, soft fabrics and faux furs. Team them up with accessories from nature such as sprigs, cones and other woody type textures.
Wood features, especially dark wood, is great for setting the winter scene and completing a warm cosy look. Whether it is a beautiful wooden flooring, dark wood wall borders or rustic wood furnishings, now is the time to make them a prominent part of your overall look and really go out of your way to show them off!
Shutters are a quirky little feature that does wonders for transforming your home into a snuggly winter nest. They offer a wonderfully rustic yet still modern feel that works for just about any style of home. Direct Blinds have some fab cafe style shutters that let in some natural light whilst simultaneously shutting out the outside world to give a sense of comfort so you can snuggle up and hibernate inside in peace!
Finishing touches make all the difference when making over your home for winter. Fairy lights, cinnamon sticks, red berries, green sprigs of holly and decorated cones are all firm favourites for this season. Fairy lights in a mason jar have a stunning effect.
Check out my pinterest board for ideas on how to make these suggestions work in your home this winter…
Have you ever thought about how to renovate a house sustainably and turn your home into an environmentally friendly palace? This post is full of ways to renovate a home more sustainably, with ideas such as building essentials, materials, energy saving design ideas and eco friendly finishing touches.
Renovating your home can be costly. But it is not just the financial cost of renovations involved; it can take its toll on the environment too. Yet it certainly doesn’t need to be that way. Renovating your house whilst protecting the environment at the same time is achievable, and the result can be a beautiful eco-friendly home. So if you are looking to renovate your house sustainably, here are some ideas…
Choose tradesmen who are environmentally conscious. Insist that they do what they can to reduce waste or recycle, minimising the amount that ends up in landfill. It is also absolutely essential that anything that does unavoidably have to be disposed of (as a last resort!) is done so responsibly.
If you are looking for an eco house refurbishment specialist in the London area, Twickenham based company Unique Design and Build offers energy efficient and green solutions designed to preserve the environment, and save money too. They understand that people might not have time to devote to labour-intensive projects or have a definite idea about how to make their ideas into a reality but still want the best results.
When choosing materials, try to use natural whenever possible. Alternatively, use recycled or reclaimed materials. Certainly make sure materials are non- toxic. Also try to source materials as locally as possible too, because of the environmental cost of transporting it.
As suggested in a Telegraph article “choose wood-framed windows rather than UPVC or metal. They are easier to repair, more insulating, last a lifetime and are less polluting than the cheaper UPVC (unplasticised poly vinyl chloride), from which many domestic window frames are made, which emits toxic compounds”.
One of the key things to consider is insulation. Properly insulated walls, ceilings and floors help to keep heat in, which prevents wasted energy and also saves money. Fill cavity walls with insulation, otherwise they can be almost as wasteful as an uninsulated loft. On that note, ensure the loft is well insulated too! For all types of insulation, again use natural materials or recycled materials, if at all possible.
For heating up your home, underfloor heating is cost- effective and can be installed in older homes that are being renovated as well as new homes. Also, choose your boiler carefully. An energy efficient boiler that is regularly serviced will make a big difference to your energy bill… and the environment.
When designing your home, also try to allow for the maximum amount of natural light to reduce the need for artificial lighting. Install double-glazed windows, which are far more efficient at keeping in heat and therefore save energy, then team them up with thermal-backed curtains for even more energy saving.
For powering your home, rather than using fossil fuels, choose clean energy sources. It could well be a good investment to install solar panels for this. Alternatively, try to choose a clean energy company to supply your home.
Use water, rather than oil-based, paints with natural pigment as they are more environmentally friendly.
Choose secondhand furniture, upcycle or select furniture made from recycled materials.
Fixtures and Fittings
Swap regular light bulbs for eco bulbs.
Fit a water-saving showerhead. You will save more energy if you opt for an aerated or low-flow showerhead. Same goes for sanitary fittings too.
Select appliances with high energy-efficiency ratings.
Install a rainwater collection tank.
*Disclosure: This post is written in collaboration with Unique Design and Build.
As it starts to get more wet and muddy outside, having somewhere to store our shoes and wellies is essential! So it was handy to be sent a Songmics bamboo shoe rack to review.
The shoe rack was really quick and easy to assemble. It comes in four pieces screwed together with 8 screws. It took 6 minutes to put together and that was certainly on the longer side of how long it would take your average person. This is a video demo of assembly…
The shoe rack itself is nice and sturdy. It looks great and is very practical; the bamboo is very easy to wipe down and keep clean. I also like the fact that it is made from bamboo, which is highly sustainable.
The shoe rack measures 70cm long x 25cm wide, which fits several pairs of shoes in a row. The height is 33cm, with the bottom shelf starting at 8.5cm from the ground and a gap of 18.5cm between the shelves. This leaves space for small, flat shoes (e.g slippers or plimsolls) or other items on the floor below the bottom shelf, normal shoes fit on the bottom shelf and then wellies or boots go on the top shelf.
The rack can also be used for other purposes too. For example, it makes a stylish bathroom organiser. It looks modern and neat so would fit well in any room. I love it!
You can be in with a chance of winning one of these fab shoe racks by entering the giveaway below. One lucky winner will be drawn randomly by rafflecopter after the competition ends. UK residents only. Competition ends on 25th November 2017. Other T&Cs apply.
*Disclosure: I was sent this item for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. The post contains amazon affiliate links. This does not cost the buyer anything extra, but I make a small amount from sales made via the link. Thank you.
8 frugal kitchen organization tips. How to organise your kitchen without spending a fortune. Interior design and home decor tips for getting your kitchen organised. Guest post by The Home Makers Journal.
It has started to get a bit chilly at night where I live, which has me in a fall cleaning frame of mind. More specifically, I’ve been yearning to get my house in order. Since I didn’t really feel like buying a whole bunch of organization products to get started, I decided to see what I could come up with that would satisfy my need to get organized without spending a lot of money.
Kitchen is used to prepare food stuff. So naturally hygiene conditions must be ensured while preparing food. Prolonged exposure of kitchen surfaces and items to dirt and dust may spoil the appearance and cleanliness of the kitchen. As a professional organizer, I am excited that I get to share both my love of organizing with you today, as well as the tidy, frugal ideas that I use to simply keep my sanity in my own kitchen.
Maybe you can use some of these solutions, too? Here we go…
Remove Cabinet Doors
Remove a few cabinet doors to have easy access to dishes. Contrary to what you might think, these dishes don’t get dirty simply because they are out in the open. They are frequently used and don’t sit still long enough to gather dust.
Use A Cookbook Stand
Use an ordinary plate easel as a cookbook stand. It keeps your book open, clean, and in view while you are creating your newest culinary masterpiece.
Use creativity, not cash
Frugal organizers think past the label and outside the box. Even when they must purchase an item to complete an organization project, they make creative use of common products like eco-friendly lighting in the kitchen.
Ever notice that the same item, say, a plastic box with dividers and a lid, can have three different prices when labeled as a box for fishing tackle, a box for small hardware items, or a box to hold cross-stitch thread? At home, the frugal organizer realize that the expensive plastic holders aren’t necessary!
Keep Only The Best
Keep only the best of your kitchen helpers. These are literally all of my casserole dishes and pie plates. I never need more than a few of these at a time. You can read more about kitchen cookware choosing tips on thehomemakersjournal.com
Store your utensils out in the open, in a pot, crock or ceramic pitcher, so that they will be easier to find and to use and to be returned after being cleaned.
Shop your home for baskets and bins
I sort of have a basket addiction. They come in handy a lot around our house, so when I needed a little more food storage, I put a couple of baskets from our living room to good use. They were only holding clutter anyway, which forced me to organize that little bit too. While searching our house for other baskets, I found a couple of wire ones to hold my cook books and Lola’s pet supplies too. And I repurposed a galvanized bucket sitting on a bookshelf that served a better purpose as a potato bin.
Fill the Sink
Always fill the sink with hot and soapy water before putting in the utensils. This will not only save the cost but also the wear and tear of your dishwasher. Other benefit of practicing this is that it will allow you to speed up your cooking process as you can wash and go without having to worry about a big pile of pans and pots.
Use of Lids
Making use of lids is also an innovative way of maintaining cleanliness in the kitchen. Lids of various containers can be used as a mat for jars and containers which contain sticky liquids. The reason behind it is that it helps to clean only the lids rather than cleaning the whole shelf. This eventually saves time and energy.
Confused about whether you’re in need of a new mattress? It’s something that often gets forgotten for years at a time, and the signs that you may need a new one can be put down to your own health problems when in fact it is the surface you’re lying on for at least 6-8 hours per night.
Though the general rule is to change your mattress every few years, many people find themselves feeling unsure about the exact point at which they need to do so. Some may feel that changing their mattress isn’t really required unless it’s obviously damaged in some way.
If you’re feeling unsure, below are the top 5 signs that it’s time seriously consider investing in a new single mattress or double mattress:
You’re sleeping badly
Since our bed is where we sleep every night, it’s natural that our mattress will have an effect on our sleep quality. Poor sleep can have an impact on our mood and energy levels for the whole of the next day. If you find yourself tossing and turning more often than not, your mattress could very well be the cause of it.
Some people assume that bad sleep can only occur in older or damaged mattresses but this isn’t the case. If you have purchased a mattress that isn’t a good fit for your body type or sleeping position then it may be the reason you’re not getting a good night’s sleep. It doesn’t necessarily reflect on the quality or age of the mattress, it may just not be a good match for you.
Being well-rested is too important to not invest in. If you’re sleeping badly, it may just be time to start your hunt for the perfect mattress.
Your mattress looks or feels worn out
It’s important to monitor your mattress closely and regularly to check whether it is deteriorating in any way. When you change your bed linen is a good time to do so. Inspect the mattress closely for any signs such as lumpiness or a sagging in the middle section.
If your mattress is quite clearly worn, it’s unlikely to offer you the support you need. It’s time to begin the search for a new one before it starts negatively impacting your sleep.
Your mattress is more than 5 years old
The general consensus is that you should look into investing in a new mattress every 5-8 years. An exact time can’t be given as this purely depends on the quality and durability of your current mattress. Some can even last up to 10 years, while others struggle to make it to the 5 year mark.
If your mattress is more than 5 years old, we’d suggest you start closely monitoring it to check for any possible decline. It won’t happen exactly on its 5th birthday, but you may start seeing wear and tear after this time.
You’re sleeping better in other beds
Many people don’t even know how great their sleep could be until they spend a divine night snoozing peacefully on a different bed and realise the importance of a mattress. Once you’ve had this experience it can be hard to go back. If this has happened to you, investigate how much it might cost the get the mattress that you had such an amazing night’s rest on.
You’re frequently waking up with aches and pains
Those of who are waking up stiff and sore more often than not need to look into getting a new mattress. Many people blame sitting in an office all, or a strenuous workout they may have done for their daily aches. You’d be surprised to find how often the mattress can be a cause of it.
This could because the structure of your mattress is in decline and it is not offering enough support. It could also be the case if your mattress is too firm or too soft for your specific needs. Either way, it definitely needs to be explored further as a new mattress may just offer you some much needed relief.
Visit Bed Mattress to view a high-quality range of luxury mattresses by Sloane & Sons. Pocket Sprung and Memory Foam mattresses are both available with free UK delivery and a 5 year guarantee. Find out more about the full collection on the website.
*Disclosure:This post is written in collaboration with Sloane & Sons.
LED lighting is an eco friendly lighting option for the kitchen and the rest of your home. LED lighting saves energy and is environmentally friendly. Find out how you can brighten up your kitchen, and the rest of your home, with LED lighting.
Kitchen lighting needs to be able to do a multitude of things. It must be bright enough for you to practise your culinary skills, without casting shadows. It needs to be relaxing, for those meal time chats, or when you are entertaining. It should look stylish, and not get in the way of those frantic family moments that the kitchen seems to be at the heart of. Lastly, it should be eco-friendly. We’re all too aware of the effects of energy consumption, so how can we work to reduce it with lighting?
LED kitchen lighting is the easiest way to reduce your energy consumption. They use up to 90% less power than other types of bulbs such as halogen and fluorescent. They use less of their energy as heat, instead using it as light, so you get a bright light at a much lower wattage than a halogen bulb by comparison. They also have a longer lifespan of up to 60,000 hours, meaning that they last over seven years without needing to be replaced. LED bulbs can also be recycled in the traditional manner, unlike fluorescent bulbs which must be treated as hazardous waste. Whilst LEDs may seem expensive initially (their cost is being reduced as more bulbs are introduced to the market), you will make the money back from your electricity bill! Plus, if you have children or you are concerned about safety – LEDs are almost cool to the touch, meaning that there is less risk.
At some point in your life, you’ll probably have heard someone tell you to ‘turn the big light off’, usually followed by ‘it’s like Blackpool Illuminations in here!’ Despite living just outside London, I remember my dad still used this phrase – not that we had ever actually visited Blackpool, but he assured me that was what it’s like! 😉 Although this might sound like nagging, it’s actually the best advice you can have, in terms of reducing your energy consumption. Do you need to have the main light on, or can you make a nice, relaxing atmosphere with a lamp?
Best Styles of Kitchen Lighting
If you’re inspired to try out LED lighting in your kitchen, here are some ideas to get you started:
For a bright functional light, try undercabinet lights. You can install them above your sink, chopping board and other surfaces you need to use. Just remember to place them near the front of the cupboard, or you might get shadows making it harder to work safely and effectively.
For an atmospheric dining experience, try hanging a pendant light over your table or island. Bonus points for installing it with a dimmer switch – bright for eating, darker for afterwards!
Recessed spotlights always look really stylish, and if you purchase LED ones, you’ll hardly ever need to replace them – so you can put that ladder away!
Would you try using LED lighting, to save money and be more eco-friendly?
Maximise space with these five top tips for dressing a smaller room…
Space can be at a premium. From car parking outside your home, to garden space, and space in individual rooms. Not having enough room can mean that we feel hemmed in, and make the area full and cluttered. But with these ‘space-saving’ tips you can have a stylish and open feel to a room. It is all about colour and choosing furniture carefully, so that it blends and works well together.
Lighter Impact Furniture
This may be a phrase you have not come across before, but it is a concept that is all around you. To maximise space in a room, you need to show as much floor space as possible. And this means choosing furniture that is not block like, but lighter on its impact on, and in, the room. For example, consider the wingback chair; iconic in shape and style. You may think the wings make it feel big and cumbersome in a smaller living room. However, it doesn’t and that is because there is a gap between the floor and the underside of the seat. It appeals to the eye because it does not close down the floor space. Simple when you think about it – try it!
Neutral Tones and Colours
A small space may not be the place to experiment with dark, moody colours and tones (but we will take a look at this concept in a moment…). So if you crave space and light, then the answer is lighter, neutral tones throughout. That includes the walls, the ceiling, and the floor. Avoiding dark colours means light is not absorbed by the room but reflected within it. And this goes for furniture too. However, it doesn’t mean that patterns are out of the question. But use darker colours sparingly in the fabric, keeping fabric choices light and airy; perfect for making a room feel and look bigger.
A Dash of Dark Colour
Interior trends come and go. And when trends dictate darker colours, it can be hard to ignore. But small spaces and dark colours are not natural bedfellows: dark colours soak up light, leaving precious little for the remainder of the room. It can draw a wall or ceiling into the space; unless that is the look you are opting for, it is not a welcome effect of using dark colours. So when you want to add a pop of colour, use it sparingly. For example, in the bedroom, opt for a large, dark coloured fabric headboard and offset this with the rest of the room in light, neutral but complementing tones. In the living room, you could add a dark coloured armchair or two, or maybe add a burst of colour with a rug. Think smaller portions of dark colour rather than a whole feature wall.
Clever Furniture Choices
As already mentioned, furniture choices play a large part in how well dressed a room looks. Not opting for block armchairs and sofas that meet the floor helps the feeling of space by maximising the floor space. Choosing low impact furniture helps create a sense of space too but this can cause practical issues that need to be taken care of. In a small space, wall-to-wall furniture seems to ‘just happen’ because, after all, you need storage space. But be clever in your choices of furniture and opt for ones in which there is storage included. For example, forsake the sideboard for hiding away clutter with an ottoman coffee table. And when you do choose additional furniture, such as shelving units for example, keep the overall design ‘open’ so that it doesn’t feel like it is closing down the space.
A room feels cluttered when the eyeline seems cluttered. And it feels small when the ceiling appears not too far from the top of your head. The feeling of space in a room comes from vision, not necessarily from the physical dimensions of the room. And that means tricking the eye into thinking there is more space than there actually is. Do this by magnifying and emphasising the height of a room. There are many ways of achieving this, but the traditional design ideas still hold water:
Light colours on ceilings – stick with brilliant, clean and crisp white if you can, or if that feels too stark, use a light shade of cream – but no darker.
Hang curtain poles just below the ceiling – the long swathes of fabric will give the instant appeal of the room being tall and the room spacious.
Vertical stripes may seem obvious, but they work – choose a muted striped pattern for wallpaper and if you don’t think it will work throughout the room, use it on one wall for a striking effect.
Sloane & Sons have a range of chairs that give any room, large or small, massive appeal. Traditional and iconic, the winged chair is a piece used in modern interior designs too and is ideal for use in a small living room or bedroom.
*Disclosure: This post is written in collaboration with Sloane & Sons.
Despite only having one child, and being minimalist myself personally, I find we do still seem to have our fair share of stuff! I think that is down to a combination of reasons; we are home educators, so perhaps by nature we do need more things at home for that purpose. Plus we also spend more time at home than many people because of Squiggle’s needs. But whatever the reason is, a messy house is no use to anyone! I hate wasting time looking for missing things, life is much easier when our home environment is tidy and well oganised. Less distractions and less stress!
Bedrooms are especially essential to be tidy and organised. I feel that it is much easier to get restful, good quality sleep in a calm, cosy environment; it helps my brain feel relaxed and able to switch off. Too much clutter visible in the bedroom is not conducive to good sleep!
That’s why I am pleased to be taking part in Bed Guru’s #StorageForTheWin campaign by sharing my organisation and storage tips for your bedroom. Online bed retailers Bed Guru are sleep experts; they understand that everyone has different sleep requirements and feel it is their obligation to ensure that everybody gets a goodnight sleep! They also have a fab competition running to win an ottoman divan bed base – more info on that below!
Top Tips To Declutter
Ok, so first things first. If you want a neat and tidy bedroom then you need to get rid of the clutter! It is far easier to get organised – and stay that way – if you don’t have too much stuff to stay on top of in the first place. Here are my suggestions for effective decluttering:
• Sort everything into piles (e.g. tops, shoes, bedding and so on…)
• One pile at a time, go through each item in the pile. Consider if it is important and still useful to you. Only keep the things that you really need and/ or truly matter to you.
• For the items you do not plan to keep, organise them into piles of recycling/ upcycling, charity/ pass on to someone else and things to sell (if you so wish – otherwise these would also go in the charity pile).
• For items to keep, the next step will be to consider how and where to store it! (See below).
Organisation and Storage Tips
• Only store things in the bedroom that belong in there; it is meant to be a peaceful sanctuary for restful sleep, not a storage room!
• Shelves are useful for keeping smaller items that you would like to have out on display. Shelves above the bed, or corner shelving, maximises use of space most effectively.
• Wardrobes with sliding doors are great space savers. You can use boxes within the wardrobe to make best use of all the room available. Alternatively, choose a wardrobe with extra rails, drawers and/ or shelves built in. Or do both!
• Find bedroom furniture that can be used for multi-purposes. For example, drawers or wardrobes that also serve as a bedside table.
• Use drawer dividers to organise smaller items effectively.
• Divan bed bases are a great way to store stuff in the bedroom out of sight without taking up any extra space for storage. Ottoman divan bed bases are especially great because they have a lift up opening base, with the help of gas pistons. This type of divan can store heavier items than the typical sliding drawer version because the bed base is supported by the floor. Some styles of Ottoman even open from the side so can fit snugly into tighter gaps; perfect for smaller bedrooms.
Win An Ottoman Divan Bed Base
As I mentioned above, Bed Guru are giving one very lucky person the chance to win an Ottoman divan bed base, so do pop over to their website to enter! With a choice of 19 fabrics, this awesome side opening storage bed will help you to organise your bedroom perfectly!
Find more storage and organisation tips, and share your own suggestions too, using the hashtag #StorageForTheWin on social media.
*Disclosure: This post is written in collaboration with Bed Guru.