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Home & Interiors

Keep your growing family happy with these interior design tips

child playing with cameraWhether you’ve already got a few little ones, or you’re eagerly waiting for the pitter patter of tiny feet, here are some family-friendly interior design ideas to ensure your home is the ideal space for all.

Distractions are vital

Pricey trinkets and inquisitive children don’t mix. For that reason, it’s a good idea to place distractions around the house so that they’re not focused on playing with (and possibly breaking) your works of art. Create a specific space for children to unleash their energy, such as a playroom or a music room.   

Pay attention to fabrics

When tasked with designing a family home, a lot of design experts will swear by durable fabrics such as vinyl or faux leather that are easy to wipe clean. With children, spills are inevitable so you want to make sure that you can wipe them away as quickly and as easy as possible. You might also want to bring an outdoor rug inside, particularly in areas that see a lot of traffic such as the kitchen.   

Conceal utilitarian features

One of the most exciting parts of interior design is adding those thoughtful features that tie the room together. When you’re doing this, consider how much you can hide certain utilitarian features such as radiators and plug sockets. This will also help to keep wandering fingers at bay and improve the overall safety of your home.

Embrace their creativity

Praise your little Picassos by giving them their very own exhibition.child climbing on furntiure Instead of confining them to the fridge, invest in some fun frames and use them as décor in your living room, kitchen, or playroom. This might even be an activity you want to do together as a family.

Consider an open floor plan

An open plan living space is the ideal choice for those who are planning to grow their family. This openness allows everyone to spend time together, and it’s easy to turn two rooms into one by being mindful of the interior design that you choose. Coordinate the two rooms by choosing a neutral colour palette that you can then add splashes of colour to as you go along, and open up the space with doors from bi fold shop, so the transition between the two rooms is seamless.

Go further than pink or blue

While pink and blue are the colours usually associated with newborns, choosing a neutral colour palette for your first kids’ rooms will allow you more freedom when the next one comes along. Opt for colours such as cream, beige, and pale yellow and remember that lighter shades can help the room to look bigger and brighter than it really is.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Home & Interiors

Giving your bedroom a chic makeover

The bedroom is one of the most important rooms in any home. It’s where you relax after a long day looking after the kids, where you spend intimate time with your loved one, and where you recuperate and prepare yourself for the day ahead. Unfortunately, after a while, it’s easy for any bedroom to become cluttered, outdated, and unappealing.

If your bedroom isn’t the Instagram-worthy room you’ve been hoping for, now could be the perfect time to invest in a quick, simple, and cost-effective makeover. After all, changing the atmosphere of your bedroom doesn’t have to be a time-consuming or expensive process. A little rearranging, a good colour scheme, and even the right window dressings can make a world of difference.

 

  • Rearrange your furniture

 

Sometimes all you need to do to transform your bedroom from drab to fab, is to give yourself a different perspective. Look at where you currently have your drawers, wardrobes and bed, and think about whether they might work better at a different angle, or in a new configuration. You may be surprised at how easy it is to add charm to your sleeping space when you move the king-size bed into the middle of the room, rather than against the wall.

If you’re not sure how to rearrange things, try sketching out an idea of what your ideal bedroom might look like first. It’s worth keeping some cleaning tools on hand too – there’s likely to be some dust to clean up when you’re finished moving things.

 

  • Let there be light!

 

bedroom interior

Pic Credit: Pixabay

With your bedroom’s new layout showing off your furniture in all its glory, it’s time to think about how you can let light into the room. Window dressings can be complicated in a bedroom, as you want the perfect combination of something that keeps out the sunlight when you’re sleeping but lets plenty of rays in during the day.

Switching to shutters could be a great way to give yourself the best of both worlds in your bedroom. DIYshutters.co.uk has plenty of options that effectively block out light for when you’re snoozing, and also give you an extra level of privacy when you need it most.

 

  • Pick the perfect colour!

 

Colour is a vital consideration when you’re giving your bedroom a makeover. You’ll want something that demonstrates your unique personality but remember that going too bold with your shades could mean that you end up giving yourself a headache during those hours when you’re supposed to be getting plenty of rest. While there’s nothing wrong with having a passionate statement wall, it’s usually a good idea to keep most of your colours calm and neutral.

Remember, if you stick to soft shades and you want to add more chic style to the mix, you can always spruce things up with some colourful accessories, bedding, and throw pillows.

 

  • Draw attention to the bed

 

The bed is the central and most important piece of furniture in your bedroom, so make sure it shines. When you’re changing the look of your room, take the opportunity to change the sheets, flip the mattress, and even consider treating yourself to a new throw. You could also add extra pillows that bring life to your bed when you’re not using it.

Don’t overlook the power of a great headboard. In any bedroom, a headboard can really help to bring all the elements of your property together in a unique and exiting way. If you can’t afford to buy a new one, you could always consider upcycling the old one with a new lick of paint or some beautiful fabric.

 

  • Add your finishing touches

 

Finally, remember that the little things can go a long way when you’re creating your perfect bedroom. Attractive bedside lamps and a few photos of your friends and family can help to bring warmth and personality to your room. The finishing touches you add will depend on your specific preferences. For instance, some people will want to go with a family-friendly look that features plenty of pictures of loved ones, while others will be prefer a romantic atmosphere with scented candles and luxurious textures.

Sweet dreams!

If you’ve been dreaming of the perfect bedroom, now’s the perfect time to take the plunge. With the tips above, you’ll be able to create your perfect bedroom experience in no time, without leaving your bank account in tatters!

Home & Interiors

How to Make the Most of Shrinking Living Rooms

No, you’re not imagining it. Living rooms are officially shrinking! According to new research carried out by LABC warranty, lounges in Britain’s homes are now 32% smaller than the equivalent properties in the 1970s. Separate research conducted by Cambridge University in 2014 found that new build homes in the UK are the smallest in Europe. So, what are we to do about the lost square footage and what’s the best strategy for living with smaller spaces? Let’s take a look at how to make the most of shrinking living rooms.

Clever furniture choices

Sitting room furniture

Pic Credit: Pixabay

When you don’t have a lot of floor space to spare, you need to be even choosier about the furniture you select. In fact, if your lounge is on the small side, you may actually have issues putting essentials like sofas in situ. Go too large and you may find you have to take your UPVC glazed window out just so you can get your sofa in your living room! I may or may not be speaking from experience here!!!  If you really need a larger sofa for lounging on, think about purchasing a two-piece L-shaped sofa that can be slotted together once in position so you can avoid awkward window removals! Many L-shape sofas can now be set up in right or left facing, so you can make the most of your room shape too.

Mounting your TV on the wall rather than on a stand is another commonly used space saver but if you want to get serious about reclaiming as many square inches as possible, it’s time to select stackable and multi-use furniture. Nests of tables are handy pieces that can be tidied away easily; footstools that double as storage space are a godsend when you need quickly clear up for a guest’s arrival too. Folding tables and chairs are great for creating a little kids’ play corner that can be stored away when not in use.

Blending and zoning

Even with smaller, cleverer furniture choices, some modern living rooms still feel cramped. After all, the living room tends to be the space where the family gathers together for activities. You might use the living room for watching TV together or as a space where the toddler plays with their toys or you may want to eat and entertain in your lounge. That’s a lot of demands put on a small space and a variety of different activities that require very different types of furniture. Many homeowners choose to alleviate this closed in feeling and accommodate different goings-on by blending and zoning spaces.

Fancy giving blending and zoning a go? Removing the wall between the living room and dining room will open up your space, but you may want to retain some element of separation. Floor-to-ceiling internal bifolds like these from Vufold will let lots of light flow through the space while giving you the option to close off into defined rooms. Alternatively, you could try your hand at simple zoning of your living room using separating furniture such as bookcases or other stylish options so that you have quieter nooks for play or activities like homework or reading.

Go digital

According to research by Which, 24% of UK homes now contain some kind of smart home device. I have written about this before, the Dada Fairy has become hooked on smart home features these days! Some of these gadgets will be cameras aimed at increasing security or central heating control systems, but many more are likely to be smart TVs or hubs like the Amazon Echo. These nifty devices do your bidding with a simple voice command, playing your choice of music or film, searching the Internet for you or even making a call. Along with being the friend of multi-taskers – these gadgets can also prove to be handy space savers in the living room. With TV and music on demand you can rehome your DVD or CD collection and claim back valuable storage and surface space in your living room. Of course, if you’re one of the rising numbers of people who has returned to buying vinyl records, it might be time to think about where your record player and record collection lives in your home.

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Home & Interiors

How to Create a Sumptuous Conservatory Interior

Your conservatory doesn’t have to be to be devoid of style and with the sunlight streaming in, you can create a sumptuous, luxurious space in the conservatory. Here are some fabulous ideas that are on-trend for the coming year.

No matter what interior design style you like, in a space like a conservatory where you want to relax and enjoy the warmth and the view, sumptuousness and luxury are the key factors.

And here’s how you can achieve it…

#1 Informal, relaxed seating

When it comes to conservatory furniture you may have a fixed idea in your mind of what it would normally look like. But think outside the box and you will see that the range of conservatory furniture is much more than a boxy sofa.

As well as a deep sofa and armchairs, take a look at some more quirky ideas. From swing seats to garden rattan furniture, by using throws and scatter cushions, you can create an appealing seating area with a hint of the quirky.

#2 Consider the French look

The French look has many distinguishing characteristics, but its feminine, detailed appeal is something that many people find quaint and appealing.

Opt for a bistro style seating arrangement – a small round table with two or four chairs, usually in white metal but a wooden set would work too – and keep the walls white, using ditzy flower prints for throws, cushions and any blinds.

#3 Homely touches

For some reason, many homeowners take a very sparse approach to accessorising their conservatory, a complete contrast in some cases to the remainder of their home.  However, we are beginning to see the error of our ways. Maybe it was something to do with the strong sunlight bleaching the colour from materials and fabrics but with many conservatory furniture manufacturers taking this into account, there are now more accessories and soft furnishings to choose from.  Add homely touches such as coordinating throws with contrasting cushions. Don’t forget sculptures and silk flowers too, to soften the edges and give a luxurious feel to the conservatory room.

#4 Bring the outdoors in

The main reason behind a conservatory is to form a bridge between the interior of your home and your garden.   It makes sense to include plants in the conservatory but if you feel that an array of hothouse tropical plants and citrus fruit trees is a little too predictable, use the window dressings and a feature wall (if you have one) instead.  The large, leaf print wallpapers and materials that have been on-trend for the interior of the home for some time now and are still ‘in’ for 2018. And that means, choosing large print wallpaper and chic Roman blinds for the conservatory too.

#5 Focus on the windows

On one hand, you want the sun and daylight streaming in through the vast expanse of glazing in the conservatory but on the other, there are times when you could do with a little shade.

Ditch the vertical and horizontal blinds for this year’s must-have window dressing of Roman blinds. Individually made, they can be operated independently and give a fantastic streamlined, unfussy appearance to a conservatory.

And don’t hold back on colour or pattern as the blinds may be the only zing of colour in the space and with so much light to play with, it is hard to make the conservatory dingy.

#6 Make a style statement

The interior design of a conservatory can afford to be more relaxed. And it can also be the space that you indulge more of your style. An accent chair, for example, either in a statement colour, design or shape is an ideal addition that turns the conservatory from ordinary into extraordinary.

#7 A vibrant dining space

If you use your conservatory as a dining room, you will understand how the light plays with reflective surfaces but what about how it adds drama and depth to vibrant colours?

But colour isn’t your only friend in the conservatory, large, bold prints are too. Make the most of the dining table with a table covering in bold, vibrant coloured stripes – the on-trend colour schemes for 2018 range from understated ice cream pastels to cherry red and deep purple – with contrasting floral napkins.

No matter how big or small your conservatory, you can afford to have fun, relax the style boundaries and let your imagination go to play creating a sumptuous conservatory interior.

 

Note: This post is in collaboration with Rattan Direct who stock a range of conservatory and garden furniture made from beautiful rattan. With sumptuous cushions and soft furnishings, your conservatory will be a place of luxury.
Home & Interiors

Lights, Camera, Action….

Lights, Camera, Action or not as the case may be!! I know you are probably totally fed up of hearing about our renovation woes! We are very much nearing completion with the bulk of the structural work completed.  While we have had disagreements over some of the larger elements of this project a serious bone of contention has become the interior details and most specifically the lights/lighting.

I quite literally spend hours turning off lights in our house. The Dada Fairy and the kids cannot seem to master the art of turning off the light when they leave the room.  The house was completely wired in the new and the Dada Fairy insisted on tonnes of lighting both inside and outside. My neighbour was only half joking when he said to my husband one day you wont be happy until the house is visible from space!!

Who knew  choosing light fittings would be so difficult. We are poles apart in terms of what we like. He likes the almost industrial vibe im more in favour of warm cosy type fittings. He wants tonnes of light in rooms. I can see where he is coming from as living at the end of a hill our house can be quite dark.

lightbulb

Pic Credit: Pixabay

For me however lights are a lot more than just that, lighting can transform a room. Also for me the energy efficiency of the bulbs is key. Our bills previous in Winter could top 300 however after the initial outlay on the LED bulbs we have noticed a marked improvement.  Our November/ December bill for last year was only 120 for 2 months.  For us it has been totally worth the initial outlay. Once we have all in place, ill be looking into the smart home features like the Philips Hue. My sister has this and finds it brilliant.  Being able to turn on and off lights from an app on your phone, no more running after the boys to turn off lights!!

Because my husband often works from home, he is very aware of the lighting needs in areas of the house, for example task based lighting, ambient lights and general lighting.   Who knew there was so much to consider!

One other item that I was indifferent about was a sensor light out in the garden.  This has been a great addition as it illuminates the area very quickly.  As we are often away the motion sensor light is another device which will hopefully help protect the house for unwanted guests! While no light will keep a thief out it will hopefully create the illusion that somebody is home. Separate to that, its great when you pull up outside late in the evening the drive is lit up instantly.

If you do have any pictures of your inside lights I would love to see them. I have been searching on line for weeks now for inspiration but we still cant agree. We are getting there though and when we do ill be sure to update this article.

 

Home & Interiors

How to Choose a Rug that Perfectly Matches Your Flooring

Looking to buy a rug but are unsure of where to start? The first thing to consider is how well it matches your floor. When you find a nice match, the entire room looks so much better, with improved décor that really enhances the space and works well together.

Yet it’s not easy to find the right rug for every floor. Many assume you only use rugs on laminate flooring, but rugs work amazingly well on virtually every type of flooring – even carpets! So, it’s important to think about the type of flooring you have and how to find a rug that matches it well.

There are a few things to consider, with size and shape being obvious places to start. However, to ensure you get the perfect match for your flooring, you want to think about a few more things, including the colour and pattern and how it works with the floor.

Other important considerations to make include the texture and overall style of the rug – choose wrongly and the rug won’t look that great at all.

Check out this infographic from Land of Rugs for all the help you need to choose a rug that perfectly matches your flooring! Land of Rugs have also kindly offer 10% of code for Mamma Fairy readers simply input blogger01 at the checkout.

Note: This is a collaborative post
Home & Interiors

Garden make over time

Pic Credit – Pixabay

I have written about our ongoing renovation project which is finally drawing to a close. The focus now is getting the outside space in good shape too. I love chilling in the garden, cup of coffee in one hand and newspaper or book in the other. I find there is something therapeutic about being outside.

We are starting with pretty much a very blank canvas so things can only improve 🙂

Having built an extension we don’t have a huge amount of space left  therefore we need to be clever about what we do with the space we have.  Key for us both is a safe outside space for the kids to play too. I would love some new garden furniture, they want a playhouse or climbing frame! Given the space constraint one may have to give. I have totally fallen for the rattan furniture, I think there is something very elegant about it. They have totally fallen for a raised playhouse with a slide and climbing frame!

I have romantic notions of a garden in full bloom with an immaculate lawn! He wants to pave it all to keep it low maintenance. I fear I may loose that battle. While I have no doubt we will have some planter beds my notions of dramatic  beds of colourful arrays of flowers will have to wait another while.

One thing we both agree on is lights for the garden, solar lights would be ideal as we have the early sun in the back of the house giving them plenty light for the evening.  I love sitting out at dusk with the lights on always makes me feel like im on holidays! If only!! Another item we both agree on is a bbq – while neither of us are at Michelin star quality we love to host and would love noting more the summer party out our newly renovated back garden.

The kids showed little interest (their own bedroom aside) in the interior renovations but they are very keen to get involved in the  planning and designing of the outside space. I think that is crucial for the success of any garden particularly on with as limited space as we have is to keep the needs of all of the users in mind and try to compromise.

Ill be sure to share some before and after pictures here when it is all done. When being the operative word!! Sorry Dada Fairy! If you have any inspiration do send it my way.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post

 

 

 

Home & Interiors

It pays to be energy efficient

You might be a homeowner, a private or social tenant, you might live at home with your parents or you might be a student. No matter how you live, we are all responsible for how much energy we consume and use on a daily basis. So, it’s up to everyone to work together to try and reduce our energy bills and make our homes more energy efficient.

Here you’ll find a few helpful ideas of how you can make your home the most energy efficient on the street!

Your supplier

If you’re fed up of paying over the odds for your energy bills or you think you could get them cheaper then head to an online comparison site or check out this website to see what you could save. You could also look at updating or upgrading your boiler to a newer, more energy efficient model.

Stop being on standby

Many of us are guilty of leaving the TV on standby – it’s easier to just switch it back on again, right? But many appliances can be safely switched off at the wall without having any negative effect on their programming or settings. Switching everything off properly can actually save you around £30 a year!

Just be wary of switching off any recording devices!

In the kitchen

The kitchen is a hub of electrical activity with lots of gadgets and helping hands at the ready. But if we use these appliances carefully you can actually save around £36 a year.

  • If you’re washing a few cups and plates, fill up a bowl of water to wash them, rather than using a running tap.
  • Making a cup of tea? Only fill the kettle up with what you’re going to need.
  • By cutting back on one washing machine load a week, you can save money throughout the year.

Cut the shower time short

We all enjoy a hot shower in the morning. It gets us ready for the day ahead. But the cost of running your electric shower is enough to give anyone a rude wake up call. If you opt to spend at least one minute less in the shower every day, you can cut at least £7 from your energy bill a year. Doesn’t sound like a huge amount, but I’d be more than happy to have an extra £7 in my purse!

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Home & Interiors

Top Interiors Blogs for some #syleinspo

funky chair

Pic Credit: Pixabay

I have spoken at length about our renovation projects, thankfully they are drawing to a close which can only mean one thing! It is time for the fun part….designing the interiors. I am one of  those people who pour of beautiful pictures on Instagram accounts and Pinterest. I love creating mood boards and wish lists that contain items way out of budget. I have serious envy of those stunning interiors. Unfortunately I am not a creative type person so I rely on those far better at it than me for inspiration.

Thankfully in order to help me in my quest Sloan & Sons have produced a really useful guide which list the Top 32 interior blogs of 2018.  I’ll admit there were blogs on that list that I have never heard of before. Its not a word of a lie when I say I have quite literally spent hours pouring over stunning interiors shots wishing I could just win the lotto!

If you looking for some new interior blogs to follow, I have totally fallen in love with Design Hunter. The blog itself is crisp and cool, the posts equally so.  Don’t just take my word for it have a nosey. One word…..stylish! Another new blog for me was Rose & Grey  another blog with lots of informative content and swoon worthy pics.

Are there any blogs not on that list you think should have been? Would love to hear in the comments.

Note: This is a collaborative post however I retain full editorial control.
Home & Interiors

Kitchen extension update

As I have shared a number of times on the blog we are still running quite a major renovation project.  We took on a  mammoth of a 1970’s house which needed total renovation both inside and out.  While I am excited to see the finished product, its been a very stressful couple of years with a number of wobbles along the way.   One of things which was always on my wish list was a big bright and airy kitchen area. I always had visions of having extended family over for lazy lunches and chats around a large kitchen table.  However living at the bottom of a hill surrounded by beautiful but really tall trees, means we get very little natural light and the light we do get comes in the evening time resulting a dark uninviting space.

Roof Lanterns

roof lantern

Pic Credit: Direct Bi-fold doors

We engaged the assistance of an architect who worked with my husband to come up with the best solution given the constraints we faced.  What was decided after much deliberation and google searching was a flat room with a roof lantern. Ill admit I hadn’t heard of nor had I considered a roof lantern prior to this. I suppose my gut feeling was that these feature or statement pieces were for much larger grander projects.  Thankfully over multiple cups of coffee around a make shift table I finally saw sense and decided we would stretch the budget and go with a small size roof lanten.

If your not sure what im taking about see picture opposite of some stunning UK made roof lanterns.  It was totally worth pushing the budget, it floods  the extension with absolutely tonnes of natural light from all angles.  We opted for the triple glazing option due to the proximity to a main road way to minimise the road noise. I expected the frame to be cumbersome and obtrusive  looking. They really aren’t, I suppose improvements in materials and engineering have meant that they can be slimed down so much.

Durability

During the recent “best from the East” or Storm Emma, we has quite significant falls of snow and I was a little concerned about the durability of the glass in such conditions as I dont think any of us expected quite as much snow. I had visions of them collapsing under the weight of such significant sow. I can happily attest to the fact they are still intact and in place and the snow didn’t seem to do them any damage. They retain the heat well in Winter and from what I have experience so far they regulate the temperature well in Summer time.

If like me you are unsure, do go and see them. I know our architect has asked if one of his new clients could have a look a the roof lantern as she is unsure how it would work. Im happy to oblige as I really didnt appreciate them until I saw it in position.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post