Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Favorite Things 29-11-16

DIY //
I love the hand-painted walls Kristen did in her hallway, and the rest of the space is gorgeous too. If you haven't already, go check it out on The Hunted Interior.

Style //
I've been eyeing these Paul Green high tops for months... they're not cheap, but they sure are cute.
And I took advantage of the Black Friday sales at Clarks and bought myself these boots. They're crazy comfortable.

Finds //
I'm pretty much in love with all of French Connection's rugs. I only wish they came in bigger sizes too.
Mosaic Floral Rug - £125
I just splurged on this gorgeous bowl - I think it might inspire a mini kitchen makeover.
I'm starting to think about giving our cramped entryway a little love too. This bench would be cute, if I could squeeze it in:

Property //
Have you seen Bert & May's Bert Boxes yet? They're stunning modular buildings, all decked out with gorgeous Bert & May encasutic tiling and reclaimed timber. This ex-display two room unit is on sale for £50K.

Other Stuff //
As much as it pains me to link to the Daily Mail, this Guess the TV Floorplan is kinda fun. The comments made me chuckle too - people get so enraged by such inane things! Here are some more TV floor plans, beautifully illustrated.

Friday, 25 November 2016

e-Design: A Calm Country Cottage Living Room

I've been working on an e-Design plan for one of the loveliest families ever. They've got two gorgeous kids, aged 4 and 2, and they wanted to carve out an adult space free from all the plastic paraphenalia that comes with living with small people.

The brief was a calm, clean, clutter-free area space with a traditional vibe, "typical of a Country Living feature." I pulled together a few photos that, I thought, summarised the look we were going for and sent this over:
They liked it - particularly the natural elements and the vintage pieces - but wanted a more kid and dog friendly sofa in a dark colour.

I put together a few mood boards, starting with this one:
1. Dusty Porcelain Wall Paint* // 2. Pendant - £18
3. Wall Sconces - £125 each // 4. Lamp:* Similar Base - £150 / Shade - £30
5. Chesterfield Sofa - £1708 / Pom-Pom Cushion - £30 / Lattice Cushion - £45
6. Similar Mirror - £65 // 7. Hanging Frames - £20 each (others are vintage)
8. Extra Large Jute Rug - £199 / Similar Blue Rug* - £154 // 9. Coffee Table - £330 (sold old)
10. Curtains* // 11. Chairs - £579 each / Ikat Cushions - £18 each
12. Chest*- vintage // 13. Mantle - DIY // 14. Log Basket
- TOTAL BUDGET: £3600 -
*Asterisk denotes exisiting pieces.

They already had the curtains, table lamp, and blue rug, so I pulled the colour palette from those. They'd also already painted the walls in a lovely shade of cream and installed high-end laminate flooring and a lovely wood-burning stove.

They largely liked this first mood board, but the only problem was that it was quite a bit over-budget. The total, minus what they already owned and any discounts we could get, came to just over £3600. Their budget was £2000-£2500, so I reworked it a bit and came up with a look-for-less version, using more of what they already owned, but keeping that splurge sofa, which they loved:
1. Dusty Porcelain Wall Paint* // 2. Pendant - £30
3. Wall Sconces - £45 each // 4. Lamp:* Similar Base - £150 / Shade - £30
5. Chesterfield Sofa - £1708 / Pom-Pom Cushion - £30 / Lattice Cushion - £45
6. Similar Mirror - £65 // 7. Hanging Frames - £20 each (others are vintage)
8. Extra Large Jute Rug - £199 / Similar Blue Rug* - £154 // 9. Coffee Table - DIY inspiration
10. Curtains* // 11. Slipper Chair* - $739 / Arm Chair* - £160 / Indigo Cushion - £8
12. Chest*- vintage
- TOTAL BUDGET: £2000 -
*Asterisk denotes exisiting pieces.

By reusing their exisiting chairs (budgeting for one to be reupholstered) and swapping the coffee table for a DIY version, we got the look easily within their budget, again accounting for any potential discounts. We lost the mantle, because they weren't sure their brick wall was strong enough to support it and they already had a lovely arched fireplace which was pretty enough to stand alone.

While I was working on the design, they spotted some leather chairs that they liked, which were on major sale. Just to see, I mocked up one last mood board including those chairs and using a more neutral palette overall. The sofa's lighter, to balance out the chairs, but because it's done in stain-resistant velvet, it's still kid and dog friendly.
1. Dusty Porcelain Wall Paint* // 2. Pendant - £30
3. Wall Sconces - £45 each // 4. Lamp:* Similar Base - £150 / Shade - £30
5. Sofa - £1795 / Ikat Cushion - £18 / Pom-Pom Cushion - £30 / Lattice Cushion - £45
6. Similar Mirror - £65 // 7. Hanging Frames - £20 each (others are vintage)
8. Extra Large Jute Rug - £199 / Similar Blue Rug* - £154 // 9. Coffee Table - DIY inspiration
10. Curtains - £45 // 11. Leather Chairs£1000 each, on sale for £500 each // 12. Chest*- vintage
- TOTAL BUDGET: £3240 -
*Asterisk denotes exisiting pieces.

This one was over budget again, although not by as much, but at least gave them more food for thought.

I also drew up a couple of few floor plans to show how the floor plan might be laid out:

Their room has great bones, and I'm so excited to see how it all turns out. I'll definitely share some After photos if I can.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Christmas Gift Ideas for Women

My last gift guide of the season - this time, for the ladies. This lovely lot is a mixture of favourite things I already own (and highly recommend, obviously), things I'd really quite like to own, and a few that I think are just all-round great presents.
1. Things To Do Notepads - £18 // I'm a list maker, and these Anthro notepads are so pretty. I bought myself the white one, initially as a pretty prop for my One Room Challenge reveal photos, but now I'm using it every day. I love a good list, me.
2. Thinsulate Indigo Slub Pom Beanie - £20 // This cosy beanie hat is lined so it won't give you an itchy head.
3. Grey Wrap Cape - £65 // Basically a wearable blanket. And I do wear my blankets, so this might be a more practical alternative to that.
4. Madewell Hexagon Earrings - $18/£13 // These are some of my all-time favourite earrings. LOVE them.
5. Brass Pots: Tall - £60 / Round - £50 / Tapered - £40 // These are so pretty. I've found some great vintage ones on eBay lately though - just as pretty (if not more so) but not so pricey.
6. Native Union iPhone Dock - £50 // On my own Christmas list, for sure.
7. Victorinox Evolution Wood Swiss Army Pocket Knife - £46 // I have a pocket Swiss Army knife on my key chain and I use it daily. This one has a USB stick as well, although it's not as pretty.
8. Moroccan Wedding Style Blanket - £69 // Just as cute but much softer than the real thing.
9. Shibori Make Up Bag - £30 // Another one off my own wish list.
10. Madewell Discus Pendant Necklace - $30/£26 (on sale) // I own one of these and it goes with everything. Madewell has 25% off everything and free shipping this week for Black Friday.
11. Olivia Burton Hackney Watch - £75 // A perfect dress-up or dress-down watch.

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Friday, 18 November 2016

Christmas Gift Ideas for Men

I like to get all my present-buying sorted ideally by the end of November, so I can spend December enjoying the fesitivities rather than making it a stress-fest for myself. So far this year, I've done nadda...I must get on that!

Men are definitely the hardest to buy for. Here are a few ideas, in case you're stumped on what to get them.
1. Power Pack - £8 // I bought the pink version of this for my Mum. It's one of the more compact and affordable out there, and well reviewed.
2. Snow Peak Titanium Hip Flask - $160 // This guy has been on my gift guides for the last few years. It's pricey, but it's about the best hip flask out there, and the titanium won't affect the flavour of whatever's inside.
3. 36 Hours: USA & Canada - £25 & 36 Hours: Europe - £17 // There's a whole range of these New York Times travels guides out there. I feel like 36 hours is pretty much the perfect length of trip for a couple's getaway if you're leaving small kids with a babysitter.
4. Leather Tray - £33 // Perfect for coralling keys and change, these are handmade and can be monogrammed.
5. Engineer Scarf - £65 // J is a big fan of North Sea Clothing. This scarf is 100% wool and made in Britain.
6. Steam Gift Card // An obvious go-to for gamers.
7. Jumper - £70 // Who doesn't love a new sweater? (Comes in seven colours)
8. Senz Smart Umbrella - £24 // This innovative umbrella can withstand winds of up to 50mph without turning inside out.
9. Wooden Tray - £80 // I secretly want this for myself. It's so pretty.
10. Socks - £14.50 // Classic Christmas present. But really, who doesn't need socks? And they're cute!
11. Victorinox Pioneer Alox Swiss Army Knife - £27 // Just a really useful bit of kit.
12. Herringbone Blanket - £89 // 100% lambswool and comes in a bunch of different colours.

I'll get to the fun stuff next - the girls' gift guide (AKA pretty things I want for my own self) is coming up. Stay tuned.

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Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids

On Monday, I visited the kids' school to talk to Year One about blogging, because they're learning about the media this week. I promised to post something they'd find a little bit more interesting than my usual, as they put it, "here are some wonderfully cosy cushions" content.

So, Year One, this is for you (and anyone buying for small humans this Christmas): a round up of some awesome toys to include on your letters to Santa! My resident experts (age seven and four) already own most of what I've listed here, so we know it's good stuff.
1. Stomp Rocket - £13 // An air powered rocket launcher that lets you blast rockets into oblivion. Or your neighbour's garden.
2. 7-in-1 Spy Sleeve - £18 // We don't actually own this one yet, but with a telescope, torch, digital watch, compass and notepad, I'm sure it'd be a hit.
3. Snap Circuits - £22 // This is probably one of the best toys ever. You can build electronic circuits to do all kinds of cool stuff - burglar alarms, lights, sirens, even a helicopter. We also have the Snap Circuit Rover, which is a remote control robot version, and is equally as fun.
4. Play Kitchen - £59 + Utensils - £2.50 // This is one of the cutest, most affordable, and easily customisable play kitchens out there.
5. Backpack - £22 // Because small people enjoy collecting and carrying stuff around, in my experience.
6. Nerf Blaster - £14 // The boys in our house are big fans of Nerf wars. The girls...not so much.
7. Smart Watch - £43 // Another favourite toy: you can take photos, play games, record sound, and probably a load of other things that I don't know about. Sebastian loves his. There's also a pink version (£30).
8. Stripey Pyjamas - from £8 // On Christmas Eve, the kids get to open one present - a pair of new pyjamas. It's a sweet tradition, and means they wake up on Christmas morning looking extra cute.
9. Star Pyjamas - from £8 // Even cuter if the pyjamas co-ordinate!
10. Rubber Band Gun - £9 // This is very similar to one Eleanor bought with her pocket money. It's handmade and, as the victim of multiple shootings, I can promise that it doesn't hurt (much).
11. Knight Helmet Hat - £8 // To keep all the mini warriors toasty.
12. Funtainers in blue and pink flowers - £14-£16 // Easy-to-open, insulated water bottles with minimal plastic.
13. Snood - £12 // Snoods are so much more practical for kids than traditional scarves, I think. I love the pom-poms on this one! There's also co-ordinating gloves, ear muffs, and a hat.
14. Digital Camera - £50 // A bomb-proof camera, easy enough for a three-year-old to master. Bonus for the grown-ups: you'll find considerably less photos of tiny feet on your iPhone.
15. Roman Sword  - £4.45 // Sebastian has quite the weaponry, but this cheap sword is a favourite because the scabbard has belt loops, and it's lasted well through extensive battles.
16. The Elementia Chronicles - from £4 // If you have a Minecraft fan in your life, there's a good chance they will love this book series. Sebastian read the first one cover-to-cover in three days - it kept him busy for hours!
17. Quadro - from £105 // A self-assembly climbing frame/house/slide/boat/plane/whatever else you can think of.
18. Me Reader - £18+ // A set of books that comes with a tablet so pre-readers can hear the story independently. My little ones loved theirs. This one is Disney Princess themed, but there are also Paw Patrol, Marvel Heroes, Frozen, Disney Junior, Thomas & Friends and lots more.
19. Double Jogging Stroller - £30 // Eleanor has a different version of this stroller, and it's great - well-made and foldable, and can fit twin babies.

Bonus - I just stumbled across this doll house and it is amazing - a gold bean bag, hanging plant holder, macrame wall hanging, killer lighting...I mean, okay, I want it myself.

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