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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.   The  bathroom refurbishment company have been and gone and now it back to the Kitchen.  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

 

Home & Interiors

Why It Pays To Regularly Inspect Your Plumbing

If you are a homeowner, you will most likely have the number of an emergency plumber somewhere on your smartphone which would be used whenever a problem arises, and with very expensive emergency call out charges, it is far wiser to have your plumbing inspected regularly. This is very much a preventative measure, and for those who think that it isn’t important, here are a few of the issues an early discovery can help with.

 

  • Leaking Faucets – That age old saying, “A stitch in time saves nine” could not be more appropriate, and any small leak in your water pipeline system will not magically fix itself, rather it will gradually become worse, and dampness will appear. You should check every month for leaking taps, and replace any that are showing signs of wear and tear. If you would like to fix it yourself, there are various plumbing supplies in the UK available at Trading Depot, and at trade prices, you really can’t go wrong.

 

  • Blocked Drains – It might typically start with a small blockage that doesn’t really affect the water flow, yet more and more foreign objects will attach themselves to the growing obstacle and eventually, you will suffer a total blockage. This can cause major damage to the structure, with plaster and timber affected, and this is why it is a good idea to run hot water in all the sinks which will help to unblock any partial blockages before they become an issue. If you like some help with this, there is a beginner’s guide to unblocking drains online which is full of useful information.

 

  • Minimal Repairs – There will be the odd washer or burst pipe, but with regular inspections, anything that looks a little jaded can be instantly replaced, and that will avoid more expensive repairs at a later date. If you know anything about plumbing, you can carry out any repair work yourself, and with online suppliers of all things plumbing, you can save considerably on the repairs.

 

  • Undetected Leaks – It isn’t always apparent that you have a water leak, as it might be underground outside the home, and over time, this can really cost you a lot of money as your water bill will be unusually high. If you have noticed your water usage creeping up, this could well be the cause, and one way to tell is to turn off all the faucets in the house, then check the meter – which should be stationary. Wait for 15 minutes, then check again, and if the second reading is higher than the first, then you have an undetected leak.

 

More and more homeowners are getting their wrenches out and tackling plumbing issues themselves, and with online suppliers of all the equipment, and online tutorials to help you, fixing your plumbing problems has never been easier. If you make a point of inspecting the entire system every month or so, this will go a long way towards ensuring that everything works as it should.

Note: This is a collaborative post
Home & Interiors

Make 2018 the Year You Invest in an Oil Monitor

You may know friends who use oil monitors, but you’ve always thought they were a bit of a waste of time – you know how much oil you bought and how much you have left. However, over the years you may have had an unpleasant surprise when your oil levels suddenly drop during a cold spell or, worst of all, someone’s stolen half your supply.

Modern oil monitors don’t just tell you what your levels are, they can tell you how much you’re using each day and alert you to perilously or suddenly low levels so you can take action in plenty of time.

home heating control

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Being able to see your levels is useful

Of course, this is the primary benefit, because if your monitor also looks at your daily usage it can tell you that you’ll run out in 15 days; this means you can head here to get a cheap top-up. You can also rein in your usage a bit if you’re burning through your supply a bit too fast.

You’ll be alerted to theft or leaks

Your monitor can sound an alarm if there’s a sudden drop in oil levels so that you can take action. Many thieves siphon off a small amount every few days, so if you don’t find a leak, you can put more security measures in place. If you do find a leak, you can get help before you lose too much oil and damage the environment.

Your boiler will never suddenly run dry and go into lockdown

You can set a limit on your monitor so that it alerts you to dangerously low levels. This is important not just so you’ll top up, but so you can avoid a boiler lockdown. This is a mechanism that prevents damage to boilers – running dry can let air into the internal workings – and while it does prevent any damage, it also means a call-out as well as a top-up.

You can keep an eye on your tank from a distance

You can look at your oil levels from your cosy bedroom; it’s also a lot cleaner than using a dipstick.

You will save fuel and carbon

You can get monitors to tell you how much carbon you’re sending out as well as how much oil you’re using. Knowing how much CO2 they’re responsible for is a wake-up call to many – they finally upgrade their boiler or fix the windows. Monitoring your oil usage can help you to save up to 15% on your spending each year.

Oil monitors aren’t as expensive and fiddly as they once were

Lots of people would like to install and use an oil monitor but they think that the cost of buying and fitting one is more than they’ll actually save. This isn’t true anymore as many modern tanks have sockets ready for the monitors to slot into. Other think that bunded tanks don’t work well with monitors, but with the right advice and the right monitor, there’s no difference.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Home & Interiors

Tips on adding some colour to your garden

colourful garden bench

Pic Credit: Sloane & Sons Garden Benches

I love my garden and I especially love it in full bloom, full of a gorgeous array of colours, however the weather this time of  year does not lend itself to that as much. The extent of adding colour for me often leads to the use of props, ornaments etc. My husband is a lot more experienced in this area so I leave all things garden related to him!  In fact he owns more garden equipment  that he knows what to do with!!! As crazy as it may sound this time of year is the ideal time to start laying the ground work for your winter garden and hopefully giving you a lovely colourful garden at what often is a cold dreary time of year.

Sloane & Sons Garden benches have produced a really useful guide that list the types of flowers that are the most hard wearing to help your garden bloom in Winter. The guide discusses the ten best flowers to grow for the Winter time.

My own personal favourite is Cyclamen.  There is something so magical about seeing them so colourful in full bloom while little else is flowering. Every year we opt for shades of pink and while they do take a little work and maintenance, really this it is worth it. They are also ideal for flowers beds and even indoors. I really love the garden and think taking the time to make it a relaxing space is so worth it regardless of the time of year. While it may take a little effort and research the pay off is so worth it.

Note: This is a collaborative post

Home & Interiors

Spring is in the air – can you guess the flowers?!

The last couple of mornings I can really notice the brighter mornings, there is definitely a sense that spring is on the way. I really love Spring time more than Summer actually, its symbolic of new beginning, new growth.

We start to see the first of this seasons flowers.  However much I love to look at flowers I am really terrible at knowing what exactly there names are.  When we plant our garden each year I leave that to my husband who has infinitely more knowledge in this space than I do.  Definitely the green fingered person in our house!

For fun we took this can you guess the flowers? Quiz in association with Rattan Direct. Suffice to say my results were pretty dismal and naturally his were pretty good.  Earned himself some bragging rights right there!!

So how well you do – click on the above link and let me know in the comments.

 

 

 

 

Note: This is a colloboration in association with Rattan Direct.

 

 

Home & Interiors

Enhance the Beauty of a Conservatory with Stylish Furniture

conservatory window

Pic Credit: Pixabay

The conservatory has come of age. With beautiful detailing that enhances the beauty as well as bringing increased energy efficiency to the space, a conservatory is a means of adding extra space to your home.

But no matter how you choose to use the space, you want it to have a stylish, yet functional interior. So how do you create a space that is effortlessly chic?

Creating the Perfect Conservatory Interior

  • Play with styles but make sure there are common elements that keep it connected to the interior design décor of your home
  • With so much natural light, colours take on a completely different tone and feel, experiment to see which colours really work
  • Accessories are key detailing features that can transform the space into something extraordinary, don’t underestimate their use in the conservatory
  • Consider materials and fabrics carefully as the light and heat can be problematic for some
  • Rattan is the perfect choice because it has all the right properties to withstand heat and light of the conservatory, as well as being available in classic, traditional and modern styled pieces

A Stylish Conservatory…

… is the end product you will have after reading this Guide to Stylish Conservatory Furniture. With handy hints and tips, it has everything you need to know about styling the space in your conservatory.

Home & Interiors

Interior Design Trends whats going to be hot in 2018

Top Trends for 2018

We have just about entered the Christmas season and already im scouring Pinterest to make my wish list for our home renovations for 2018. We have been undergoing some major renovations throughout 2017 and this will continue with hopefully the final touches just left to do in 2018.  Often its the final interior design finishes that are the hardest to agree on. With this in mind im delighted to work with Sloane & Sons  to look at what is predicted to the big interior design trends in 2018.

interior design inspiration

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Over the last few years we have all been moving towards high tech homes where everything is interconnected, wifi enabled etc. However I am delighted to see one of the top trends for 2018 is the move back towards balance and simplicity. Enjoying views, chill out corners, or spaces to relax, unplug and unwind. I love it!

While I whole-heatedly embrace technology I also love the idea of the breather, the time out away from being so accessible.

Other predictions im loving for 2018 are dark wood flooring, tonal reds and simple furniture shapes – clean lines and curves. Now these are trends I can really get behind.  I love simplicity and elegance in interior design.

For more information on the above trends and details on how to incorporate them into your home see here

Note: This is a collaborative post

 

The Mamma Fairy
Home & Interiors

Hanging Abstract Wall Art and Making It Work in Your Home

Abstract art is a particularly sensitive style of wall art in your home. While there are some brilliant pieces out there from both emerging and established artists, you need to get the right one so that it doesn’t end up looking pretentious or out of place. When it does work though, it can make a room look so much better and different at the same time. In case you have an interest in the abstract, but can’t quite decide how to go about using it in your home for wall decoration, here are a few tips which should help with that.

Matching and Complementing

interiors picture abstract

Pic Credit: Pixabay

There are many ways to go about it, but we will deal with the matching approach first. This is when you are trying to match the wall art with the overall theme of the room; for example, a room designed in the minimalist color palette and theme will benefit from a piece of abstract art that isn’t too heavy on the hues. It can still have some color in it of course, but they should not be too vibrant or the piece will stand out, looking out of place. The key is to remember that we are trying to complement the décor of the room and enhance it with wall art here.

The Focal Point

A colorful room with a dominant hue or bold highlights usually needs at least one focal point and your next wall art could be exactly that. For example, imagine a dining room themed in orange, which has an orange-themed abstract piece hanging on the wall right next to the dining table. Not only will the art be complementing the décor of the room but it will also turn into a focal point for your guests to marvel at during dinner. The best part about using this approach is the fact that you can show off your wall art without looking like you are trying to.

Contrasting Approach

If you are particularly fond of the abstract and would not mind if it stood out like the clear and obvious focal point which you want it to be, then feel free to contrast your room’s general décor with the art on the wall. Vibrant colors in a minimalist, black and white room or an oversized, hypnotic piece covering almost the entire wall of the drawing room are good examples of the contrast approach. The role of the piece is simple here; catch the attention of the onlooker instantly and constantly.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that art has a way of calling to its patrons. It’s an expression of the human soul painted on a canvas, so the appeal is definitely the most important factor here. At websites such as FineArtAmerica.com which is the world’s largest online marketplace for art, you will find an extensive selection of pieces from contemporary artists around the world.

Just by taking a look through the different artists and their works, you will not only find what you are looking for but may even be spoilt for choice.

Note: this is a collaborative post
Home & Interiors

How to choose the right sofa

How to choose the right sofa

Think about it for a second. A sofa is one of the most important, and expensive purchases we make for our home. So it’s obvious, we need to give our sofa purchase some serious consideration. Especially, as your sofa is going to be part of your home for many years to come. It needs to be practical, fit the ambience of the room, and be durable. But let’s be honest, it’s the ambience that matters because if the sofa is hideous, we’re not going to buy, no matter how comfortable or durable it is.

 

I can’t offer any advice as to the style of the sofa because it depends on your personal preference, budget and style of the rest of the room. But what I can do is get some advice to help you with your decision with thanks to Dandelion Interiors. 

1 – Choosing the right colour of sofa: Where to start

For your living space, the sofa is a focal point. So it’s logical. If you’re starting from scratch, and completely redecorating the entire room, start with the sofa first. Pick it’s style, colour and location, then decorate around it. When your sofa is a focal point of the room, we often go with vibrant colour, if we can, a luxury fabric. Or perhaps a colourful print.

If, on the other hand, your room is already decorated and you’re adding or changing your sofa, or you’d prefer your sofa to be part of the “supporting cast” rather than take centre stage, then choosing the colour becomes more complex and more important.

When choosing the colour of a sofa to fit into the style of a room, the first decision you have to make is whether you want to the sofa to be neutral to the existing colour palette or whether it will take an accented role.

Some designers, make a clear and easy choice. They prefer the sofa to match the colour on the walls of the room. They feel it unifies the room and gives a sense of space, making the room feel larger. This works well but can get a little complicated when it comes time change the colour of the walls, especially if you’re using a vivid colour rather than a variation of off-white. It’s probably why neutral sofas are the most popular colour.

2 – Going to the dark or the light side

Cow print sofa

How fab is this from Dandelion Interiors?

Once the decision has been made on whether you’re going to pick a neutral colour or an accented colour, then the next big decision is whether to go for a light or dark coloured sofa. This decision is going to be influenced by your flooring. Is it going to be floating on a sea of dark wood, or is it going to be nestled into a thick, coloured carpet?

Sofas are large and upholstered, and in most cases, the upholstery will absorb the light which can have the effect of darkening a room considerably. One trick, used by designers, when looking at which sofa to purchase, is to find a piece of material, a sheet or blanket perhaps, that is the same colour of the potentially new sofa, put it over the existing sofa and you can see how it works with the room. Does it absorb the light and darken the room? Give it a couple of days, and you’ll get a real sense of what to expect if you purchased the sofa.

The general rule of thumb. If you’re putting a dark sofa on a dark floor, wooden or carpeted, the sofar is going to disappear into the room. If that’s your preference, then try looking for a sofa with metal or wooden legs. They’ll help to visualise the space between the sofa and the floor, stopping it disappearing.  I see a lot of designers using a light coloured rug in front of the legs of the sofa, again to bring out the colour of the sofa instead of losing it.  Finally, if they’re not ideas that stirs your imagination, try a light wood or metal coffee table that will help to define the sofa and help the eye differentiate it from the floor.

If you’re a considering a light colour sofa, you’re going to have different challenges. The obvious ones are keeping it clean and tidy. Light sofas show wear and tear easily, and stains are very difficult to hide. There are a lot of visual advantages to a light coloured sofa, it helps to make the room feel spacious and light, but you need to think functionally first. For example, unless your dog is well trained, a light coloured sofa and a dog who sees it as a big doggie bed, is a recipe for disaster.

 

3 – What you need to know when picking colours.

You’ve done most of the hard work. You’ve made your choice between dark and light, about neutral or accented, you’re ready to pick an actual colour. If you’re not making your sofa a centrepiece for the room, then you’re likely to be picking a more neutral colour choice. It’s a good decision because they’re easy to decorate around and easy to redesign as the style of your room changes. After all, you don’t want to be married to just one style, trends and fashions change.

Using the right neutrals can be quietly stylish and attractive, and complement your room. These include beige, grey, taupe, and cream. No sofa is an island. A matte beige sofa is often dull but textured beige, on the other hand, with some monochromatic colour can be interesting and add something to the room. Don’t be afraid of the right tones of grey. It’s a colour that offers you a lot. It can be sophisticated, comfortable, cool or crisp, depending on the rest of the room.

You can incorporate the colour into your room regardless of its colour. It’s about the details. If you add accessories, prints, different materials around the room, little pops of colour, it will balance out the room nicely and make the sofa feel integrated. And these days, there are plenty of options to accessorise your sofa, regardless of your budget.

 

Note: Thanks to Dandelion Interiors for their fab advice this week.

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