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Home & Interiors

Why trays are a great styling accessory

Trays are a great styling accessory for the home. They are so useful for grouping items together to create a fabulous display. Several objects that can look messy when on show can look put together and well styled when placed on a tray. In addition, they can also protect expensive or easily damaged furniture from becoming scratched.

I like to display my favourite perfumes on my mirrored dressing table. Perfume bottles can be so pretty, making them perfect as decorative accessories. It’s also handy having them so easily accessible. Dan decided he liked this idea too, so he has added his favourite aftershaves to my perfumes.

I love the way perfume bottles look on my dressing table but I’ve been worried about scratching the mirrored surface when I place them down, mainly because it was an expensive piece of furniture. I decided I should find a tray to display them on.

I found this white and silver tray with a mirrored base in Homesense. As well as liking the design, this tray has got rubber feet, which makes it the perfect choice to protect my dressing table. It only cost around £10 too, so great value. At least if I scratch the mirror on the tray, it is much less costly to replace than the dressing table itself.

I love the way that Kimberley at Swoonworthy uses a gold tray on her coffee table to display some smaller items and a vase of flowers.

Random items may look a little messy on their own, but Kimberley shows that gathering them onto a tray can make for a well styled look.

Bree at ZDesign at Home also uses a tray on her coffee table, in which to showcase her vases and a beautiful box.

The plain white design of the tray combined with the white flowers means the blue and golds of the box and vases really pop.

Trays can be a fabulous decorative touch and there are so many different designs at every price point. Here are some of my favourites*:

Less than £15

Between £15 and £20

Over £20

 

*Affiliate links,  which provide me with a very small commission to support the costs of running this blog. The price of the product is in no way altered by this.

Home & Interiors Luxe for Less

A quick and easy way to transform your wardrobe

Living in a small house with limited room for storage means that I’m always on the lookout for new ideas to make the most of the space we have. I’ve always struggled with the amount (or lack of it) of hanging space there is in our wardrobe.

When I did my big declutter using Marie Kondo’s book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying*, I ended up folding lots more clothes up and storing them vertically. However, I still had lots of items that couldn’t be folded and so needed to be hung up. My wardrobe still felt cramped and like there wasn’t enough space.

Previously, I’ve always used hangers that are provided by shops when you buy clothes. I didn’t see anything wrong with using hangers that came for free. Why would I need to purchase something when I get that item for free all the time and they do the job just fine?

I first looked into getting slimline black velvet hangers some time ago now. Hearing that they were really good for saving space in your wardrobe meant that they really appealed to me.

I searched around trying to find some with good reviews. When I found these velvet hangers* with lots of great reviews from Amazon, I decided they were the right choice for me. At less than £20 for a box of 50, they sounded like fantastic value for money (plus, if you are a student, you can get 15% off!).

I was worried that slimline velvet hangers wouldn’t be strong enough to hold my clothes, particularly heavy jackets and maxi dresses. Whilst I wouldn’t risk hanging very heavy items on them, I’ve found that they hold my maxi dresses and all of my jackets perfectly fine. The only item I’ve decided it would be best to use an old hanger for is a heavy leather-style jacket.

According to Amazon, the hangers can hold up to 4.5kg, so they should be fine for most items.

They have swivel hooks so that they can be faced whichever way you want them to be, notched shoulders on each end for hanging straps, and a trouser bar. Amazon also sell the hangers without a trouser bar, but I preferred to have them so that I can hang my trousers on them too.

I’ve found the velvet means that clothes don’t slip off – they stay perfectly in place.

I took a really quick photo just before I changed the hangers over so I had a ‘before’ photo. I’m sorry that the quality is terrible! I felt I should include it to give you an idea of the huge improvement the new hangers have made.

And here’s how my wardrobe looks with the new hangers.

Using my new velvet hangers has transformed my wardrobe. No longer do I have a complete mish mash of hangers that looks messy. Instead, I have hangers that on the whole all match and that are the same height. The black velvet with chrome hooks provides me with a wardrobe that is much more appealing to the eye and rather chic! The velvet also makes the inside of my wardrobe look much more luxurious. In addition, I now have more space on my rail. No longer are clothes all squashed tightly together, which makes taking clothes out and putting them back much easier.

A super quick and easy way to breathe some space and luxury into your wardrobe for a tiny price. Luxe for less at it’s best!

 

*Affiliate link – provides me with a very small commission to support the costs of running this blog. The price of the product is in no way altered by this.

Home & Interiors

Living room updates: white walls and new TV unit

For a few years, we’ve had a black corner unit for the TV in our living room. I haven’t been overly keen on it, mainly because it’s completely open, which means you can see all the electronic equipment and cables. This results in it looking a little messy, and it also means that everything gets dusty. It’s rather annoying trying to keep it looking completely clean at all times.

Our living room also used to have an almond feature wall. We first painted the whole room almond, but we found that it made the room feel too dark for our liking, so we painted the room white and kept one wall as the feature wall.

Here is a post discussing our living room makeover progress from when we first moved into our home. We’ve made several changes to the room in addition to the white walls and new TV unit, so I’ll have to do a full room tour at some point.

I always seem to have a million blog posts I want to write and put out there. Maybe one day I will catch up?

I used to like traditional, classic décor, but over the last couple of years, I’ve found I much prefer the modern look. We liked the white walls so much that we decided to paint the feature wall white too. It makes the room more modern and bright and I’m so pleased we did it.

For a long time, I’ve wanted to find a TV unit that keeps everything out of sight, for a much more streamlined and minimal look. Because we’ve been hoping to move home, I’ve put off purchasing something because we wanted to get something that would fit perfectly in the new house. However, after finding out that we can’t move for a number of months, we decided to just take the plunge and get what we want.

I had previously thought about getting a cheap corner unit to LIY (Luxe It Yourself). However, I decided that I didn’t want a wooden unit. I had a new vision for my living room and that involved a super sleek, black and glossy TV unit to provide a modern and luxe look.

It took a long time of searching before I finally found the ideal piece. I found several that I liked the look of, but they all had bad reviews, with many people criticising the poor quality. This really worried me and put me off purchasing. I also saw that many units don’t allow for remote controls to work with the doors shut. I didn’t want to have to open up doors of a unit every time we want to use the TV/Xbox etc. I would much rather spend the extra money and invest in something that is really good quality and will last a long time that I love, rather than buying something cheap that I’m not completely happy with.

I think it’s often a good idea to make do with something until you find a replacement you truly love that you can invest in.

We chose the Alphason Element Series Cabinet* and the size is for TVs up to 60 inches. One thing I love about this piece of furniture is that you can attach another cabinet seamlessly onto it, so we can make it much longer if we like in the future. This makes it a flexible option for when we do eventually move house. I would quite like to have it as a long unit going across one wall with the TV attached to the wall above it, but we will see if that is a possibility when we move house.

The cabinet arrived flat packed in two huge boxes. It took Dan and I quite some time to assemble it but the instructions, unlike many we have used in the past, were very detailed and clear. Every part of the unit and every pack of screws etc were labelled with a letter, so we knew exactly what went where. The only issue we had when putting it together was there were 2 screws missing from one pack, but other than that, we had no problems.

I’m so pleased with how it looks. It fits really well in the living room, not taking up too much room depth-wise and providing plenty of storage.

The unit has three sections – the middle section has a DVD holder inside which you can take out if you don’t want to use it, but I kept it in. Both the right-hand side and left-hand side sections have glass shelves, which we made use of on one side to store both our TV box and Xbox console. We left the glass shelf out on the other side so that our router and storage device could be stored in there, alongside cables and gaming headsets etc.

It turns out that it matches our gas fire really well too, which I didn’t event think about when I ordered it.

All of our equipment and cables are now out of sight, which looks so much better. Everything will remain dust-free too and anything that saves time on cleaning is a win for me!

I’m so pleased with the quality. You can tell it’s very well made and it looks expensive. I’m really glad I decided to spend the extra money; it was definitely worth it.

I bought the Parlane gold candle holder a few weeks ago when I spotted it on sale at a local garden centre, and it looks super glam sitting on top of the unit. I’ve been slowly introducing a black and white theme into the room with touches of light brown and I would like to add a little more gold too.

We would like to replace the white storage unit and have that in another room. Because we are short on space at this house, it will stay there for now. I also want to put our wedding photos into bigger frames or maybe find some bigger artwork to put over the TV.

I always seem to have a to-do and to-buy list for our home that’s as long as my arm, but I think it takes time to figure out what your style truly is. When you’re starting completely from scratch in your first home, I believe it’s a good idea to gradually invest in items for your home that you truly love and that are great quality.

Now I know that modern, luxe and glam is the style for me, it’s full steam ahead!

 

*Affiliate link – provides me with a very small commission to support the costs of running this blog. The price of the product is in no way altered by this.

 

Home & Interiors Luxe for Less

Luxe for less: new home accessories from Matalan

When my favourite scented candle ran out, I made a trip to Matalan to replace it. They didn’t have the coconut and vanilla candle anymore (sob) but I found another candle I liked the smell of.

The Calm Fragranced Jar Candle has a sparkling citrus and sea salt scent. It has a wooden wick, which provides a crackling effect too.

Blue doesn’t really match the colour of my living room, but I mean who cares really. It’s a great size scented candle for the price.

I had a look at the rest of the homeware section and found several nice items; all good quality and all for a great price too.

This Ombre Effect Glass Hurricane Tealight Holder is possibly my favourite out of everything I bought.

I love the cut glass effect that gives it a glam feel, and when a tealight is lit inside, the cut glass detail throws out beautiful shapes. The perfect romantic vibe for a cosy night in.

I’ve been eyeing up these Heart Embossed Tumbler Glasses for quite some time and decided to finally buy one. I drink lots of water throughout the day, so I’m always on the lookout for glasses that are a decent size. I bought some Villeroy and Boch Boston tumblers* while we were on holiday in France (that I still haven’t photographed to show you!), which I adore. These Matalan glasses were a little larger, so very useful for filling up with water for every day.

This tumbler is a really good size and it is really heavy so it feels like good quality. I’m also a sucker for anything with a heart on it, so I love that detail.

Dan has been wanting a clear latte glass for a while, so we picked one of those up too.

The drinks made from his Nescafe Dolce Gusto coffee machine* fit perfectly and a caramel hot chocolate does look very tempting in his new glass mug! (If you have a Dolce Gusto machine, you’ve simply got to try the Caramel Chococino pods* – they are utterly delicious).

I also bought a Salter handheld spiralizer, which has proved to be really easy to use and a great way to make vegetable noodles. I didn’t want something that would take up too much room in the cupboard, so a small handheld version was a good idea, and great value for money too.

I’m impressed with the quality and prices of home accessories at Matalan –  a great place to find new additions to your home for a very reasonable price tag.

 

*Affiliate link – provides me with a very small commission to support the costs of running this blog. The price of the product is in no way altered by this.

Home & Interiors Luxe for Less

How to make your home feel luxe for less

For me, having a home that I adore is so important. We spend a great deal of time here: it’s where we wake up and get ready for the day ahead, where we sleep for hours every night, where we eat meals and spend family time and, for some of us, it’s the base for our work.

It’s where we should be excited to return to every day, a sanctuary, a place to relax and enjoy.

This is why I’m all for investing money in making your home as fabulous as it can be. Sometimes though, when you get your first home or you’re saving up for something else, you need to be careful how much you spend on your home, I get it, and there are plenty of ways to make your house more luxe for less.

 

SHOP AROUND

My favourite thing to do is to shop around for good quality items at affordable prices. Sometimes it pays to be patient and to take your time researching where to buy when you have a particular piece that you would like to buy.

There are so many shops that have sales on homeware and you can often make a great saving. Next have a nice variety of good quality furniture and accessories and their sales can produce wonderful finds. I’ve purchased several decorative pieces from them over the years, as well as more useful items like laundry baskets, and I find their sale prices can provide excellent value for money.

I happened to spot this canvas from B&M last week in a clearance section and loved the pretty flower detail and the colours. It’s only small but when I saw it had been reduced to just £1.99, I thought it was an amazing price for a lovely piece of artwork. The colours go so well in our spare room, but it’s a little small for the wall I’ve placed it on temporarily, so I need to think where it’s permanent home can be.

One of my recently discovered finds is Homesense, a sister company of TK Maxx. We don’t have a Homesense store nearby, but after seeing so many lovely items people find there, I made the trip to the closest one when on a day out. The items they stock changes regularly and they often only have 1 or 2 of many pieces, so it’s really pot luck as to what they have in store when you visit! I’ve found the prices to be such good value though. I also quite like to rummage a little – it’s like a treasure trove and you never know what you’re going to find.

I’ve been looking for a nice tray for my perfumes and Dan’s aftershave for quite some time and I recently found this mirrored tray with cream edging at Homesense, which is a perfect fit and looks lovely on my dressing table. I think it was less than £10 too.

Sometimes you don’t even have to shop for new items, which leads me onto my next point.

 

LIY (LUXE IT YOURSELF)

There are so many ways you can update furniture and other items you already own that are much cheaper than buying new, and the change can be just as dramatic.

A fresh coat of paint is one of the easiest ways to transform a piece of furniture. We had an old storage unit in our living room that was looking very tired and old. We painted it white, added some seagrass baskets that fit perfectly to store items out of sight and then accessorised with a glass table lamp, a cream clock, some fresh flowers and candles. It looks like a new piece of furniture and just for the price of a tin of paint.

Switching drawer knobs and handles from the ones they came with is another easy way to really glam up an old piece of furniture. When we built a cupboard in our spare room, we used the doors and drawers from an old desk and wardrobe and replaced the mismatched handles with a new set of matching good quality handles.

Spray paint is another great way to bring new life into something old. I’ve spray painted various items in my home, including my BBQ! I’ve also sprayed various decorative accessories gold and silver to glam them up a little. I’ve seen people spray paint all sorts of things from furniture and vases to lamp bases and even lamp shades!

 

FINISHING TOUCHES

There are little things you can do to make a home feel cosy and luxurious that cost very little.

Candles can be super cheap and they instantly add a touch of luxury when dotted around a room in the evening, bringing a warm glow. One of my favourite things to do on a cold Winter’s evening is to watch a film surrounded by candlelight with a mug of hot chocolate – bliss!

Something that I now regularly treat myself to is a bunch of fresh flowers. I used to feel they were a luxury item I shouldn’t really spend money on every week, but when you can find small bouquets for just a few pounds in the supermarket, it seems like a very small cost for something that brings me joy to look at every day. I now have flowers in my living room every week.

Choosing small things that bring you joy that you use every day can make a big impact to how luxurious your home feels. Using a mug for your tea or coffee every morning with a quote that speaks to your soul is going to be an amazing start to every day. I found this mug when I was browsing the home department at Next the other day and nearly bought it. Classy and fabulous – a perfect combination.

I picked up this gorgeous glass bowl on my last trip to Homesense for around £8 and I use it to store my cotton wool in the bathroom. Glass bowls and pretty trays are a great way of storing small items around the home that you can find quite cheaply and they also add a touch of glam to any room.

I love Molton Brown handwash, but it certainly isn’t cheap. I’ve found a great way to make washing your hands just as luxe without the price tag is to buy a handwash dispenser and use much cheaper handwash, that does just as good a job of cleaning your hands. I’ve seen many lovely dispensers for less than £10 and they can really finish off a bathroom well. I got mine for around £4 in a sale at B&Q a few years ago, but I would love to find a more glam one, so I’m definitely on the look out!

 

There are so many ways to bring a touch of luxe to your home for less that can make all the difference.

 

 

Home & Interiors

Throws for cold nights

*Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post. All views are my own.

It’s that time of year again. It’s getting really chilly in the evenings and one thing I hate about Autumn and Winter is being cold in bed.

I was so lucky last Christmas to receive a beautiful new throw from my parents.

Grey throw with white snowflakes

A grey throw adorned with white snowflakes, it is the perfect addition to our bed to keep my feet warm through the colder months. It matches my grey and white bedding and adds a nice decorative touch to our bed, as well as being very practical.

Grey throw with white snowflakes

I love throws and they can be so versatile – providing an extra layer of warmth for beds, the perfect item to get cosy under while sitting on the sofa watching a good film, and even as a comfy cover for sofas and chairs. We have white throws on both of our sofas in our living room to protect them from our pets as well as making the room look homely.

I think sometimes it’s nice to spend more money on certain items and buying a really good quality throw that will add a lovely decorative aspect to a bedroom as well as warmth means that I tend to purchase more luxurious throws.

The throw on our bed was from John Lewis, and they always offer a good selection of throws, like this Emma Bridgewater Love Letter Print Throw, made from merino wool.

Emma Bridgewater Love Letter Print Throw

 

emma-bridgewater-love-letters-throw

 

Yorkshire Linen *provide a range for both adults and children with varying price points.  Yorkshire Linen have stunning Kylie Minogue throws with matching bedding from her range. I have been debating changing to plain bedding, and pairing it with one of these throws would certainly make for a glamorous bed.

kylie_eva_oyster_final_small_3

eva_oyster_throw

The Kylie Minogue Eva Oyster Throw – soft oyster satin and silver sequins create a stunning design.

Kylie Lazzaro bedding

Kylie Lazzaro throw

The Kylie Minogue Lazzaro Black Throw adorned with bronze, copper and black sequins would make such a statement in any bedroom.

I may have to use my snowflake throw for cosy evenings on the sofa and invest in a new throw for our bed. Well, a girl can never have too many throws!

 

Home & Interiors

Bathroom reveal

This bathroom reveal has been a long time coming! I’m so excited to finally share with you all how our finished bathroom looks. It’s one of the rooms I’m most proud of, possibly even my favourite. We’ve done so much work to it over the years and so to be completely happy with the end result is so satisfying.

When we bought our house, the bathroom was hideous.

Bathroom before

It felt tiny and dark and gloomy and not somewhere I enjoyed spending any time in whatsoever. We knew we needed to brighten the space up and to make it feel bigger.

You can read about the progress we made on our bathroom for the first few years after we moved in here.

And here it is today in all it’s glory.

Neutral bathroom with porcelain floor

I genuinely can’t believe how much bigger we’ve managed to make the room look. It feels so much brighter and lighter too, mainly thanks to the neutral colours and the floor tiles, which are super shiny and mirror the light from the window.

The porcelain floor tiles are one of the most recent changes to the room. We put some laminate flooring down when we moved in that we got for a ridiculously cheap price, but we knew that it would need replacing at some point. I had always wanted to tile the floor. These tiles were pretty expensive, but because the bathroom is small, it didn’t work out to cost too much because we didn’t have to buy a large number. Dan tiled the floor himself, which also helped to keep costs down. I think they’ve made such an impact, giving it a touch of luxury. My sister-in-law said they made her think she was in a hotel!

Neutral bathroom

 

Neutral bathroom with porcelain tiles

I love the way my bright pink shower cap with white polka dots lends a pop of colour and fun to the room! I find that hanging it on the hook on the back of the door helps it to dry out quickly too.

For quite some time after installing our new bathroom suite, we used the plain white bath panel that came with the bath. However, I never really liked the look of it. It looked cheap (probably because it was!) and when you have a small bathroom where finding extra space is a priority, the fact that it stuck out past the bath a little was irritating me. I wanted to create a much nicer looking panel that was flush with the bath.

I asked Dan if we could attempt to create our own panel for the bath and tile it with some small white tiles. He agreed to have a go and I’m thrilled with how it turned out.

Shelf in bath panel

I had seen some images on Pinterest of shelves being created for a little extra storage and as a decorative detail in some bath panels, so we thought we would give it a try and I’m so glad we did! Dan was able to create the small shelf across the long side of the bath. We were worried it would be too small to fit anything into, but it turned out we could create one large enough to fit miniature bath products in.

As well as creating a place to cleverly store some mini products and to add some interest to the bathroom, it has also helped to add to the sense of spaciousness we were aiming for when you walk into the room.

Not being done at managing to make the shelf in the long side of the bath, Dan felt he could create an even bigger shelf in the smaller side of the bath panel, next to the sink.

Shelf in bath panel

This turned out to be a fantastic idea! As you can see, the shelf is able to fit quite a number of products inside, which helps a great deal with storage in a small bathroom. Considering this space is usually covered up with a bath panel, it seems like such a waste to not exploit it in small bathrooms.

I finally have a bathroom I love spending time in, that feels modern and bright and spacious.

Home & Interiors LIY (Luxe it Yourself)

Garden update: painting our brick wall white

We built a brick wall in front of the lawn when we replaced our patio, which you can read about here.
Garden-with-wall-and-patioWe were really pleased with how the brick wall turned out, and with the improvement it made from the concrete slabs that it replaced.

I’ve been admiring white walls in gardens on Pinterest for quite some time – I love the bright modern look they provide. I was concerned about painting our brick wall white because the dog and cats are always walking over it, so I was worried that they would scratch the paint off easily, but I thought it was worth the risk!
white-colours-masonry-paintWe chose this Colours Masonry Paint in pure brilliant white from B&Q, which is designed for exterior walls.

First of all, we moved the gravel away from the front of the wall. When the gravel had all been moved, we gave the brick wall a thorough clean, choosing a nice summery day so that it would dry quickly, so that we could begin painting.

painting-brick-wall-whiteWe gave the wall two coats of paint. The paint requires 4-6 hours of drying time before it can have a second coat, so we made sure we started painting early in the day, so we had enough time for the first coat to dry before we painted it again.
first-layer-of-white-paint-on-wall

brick-wall-painted-whiteWe painted the wall about 3 months ago now and the paint has lasted really well so far, even with our pets running all over it. There are a few areas where the paint has chipped off, but it isn’t very noticeable and can be quickly patched over.

I was also worried that the wall would get dirty quickly, but I haven’t found it to be too bad and any dirt is easily wiped off.

white-brick-wallThe dog clearly wanted to show everyone his rear end in this photo – I do apologise!

I’m so happy with how the wall looks painted white in our garden. So far, the paint has fared really well and I love the way the white contrasts with the deep green of the lawn and the gold gravel.

Home & Interiors LIY (Luxe it Yourself)

Barbecue spray paint makeover

A few years ago, my mum and dad bought us a charcoal barbecue as a gift. When we got our house and had so much work to do to improve it, buying a barbecue just wasn’t a priority, so it was such a nice surprise to receive one. We really enjoy having barbecues in the summer with some salad and crusty bread yum!

We have debated swapping to a big gas barbecue many times, but I like having a charcoal one and when there are so many other things for the house and garden we want to spend money on, it seems silly to buy something so expensive when the barbecue we have works perfectly fine.

Although it does the job, it was looking a complete mess and it had started to go rusty in places, as you can see in the photo below of the bottom part of it. Oh such a glamorous photo!

BBQ-before

We decided to try using some spray paint on it to see if that would make it look a bit better, to see if we could improve it’s appearance, rather than throwing it away.

We used Rustoleum Stove & BBQ Paint, which we thought would be perfect, considering it’s specifically for barbecues, so it can resist high temperatures. We decided that black would make a nice change from silver.

BBQ-spray-paint-Rustoleum

We gave the whole barbecue a really good clean and then Dan separated the smaller parts of it out onto cardboard, and started spray painting.

Spray-painting-BBQ-parts

We wrapped kitchen roll around the wooden parts of the handles, so that we would paint just the metal part and not the wood.

Spray-painted-BBQ-parts

We left it all to dry in the sunshine and then gave everything a second coat.

And here’s how it looks after it’s spray paint makeover.

BBQ-spray-paint-makeover-after

We had already tried out the newly painted barbecue by the time I got round to taking these after photos and the spray paint held up perfectly fine, which is a good start!

BBQ-spray-paint-makeover-after-2

I was battling the sunlight, so apologies that the second photo isn’t as clear as it could have been. However, hopefully it shows the huge change that just some black spray paint has made to it’s appearance.

The spray paint canister does say that it stops rust, so I’m hopeful that this will be the case. The wooden handles aren’t looking too impressive and the legs are a tad bit bent but, other than that, it looks pretty much good as new!

We’re really pleased with the results and it was so much cheaper than buying a new barbecue.

Home & Interiors

Living room makeover progress

Our living room has been on quite the journey over the years. A never-ending journey that still isn’t complete. We edge nearer all the time but never seem to quite make it! 

Let’s start at the beginning. (You can see the before photos for all of our house here.) Back in 2011, when we first purchased our house, the living room looked like this.

A real dream of a room!

We began work right away, working long days and late into the evening, trying to make a dent in the huge project we had started. And wondering what the hell we had gotten ourselves into!

A comfy and inviting living room seemed oh such a long way away at this point, let me tell you.

But, we got there. 

Eventually.

We cleaned the place to within an inch of it’s life. We painted everywhere. We replaced the wiring, radiator, fire, curtain pole, curtains and light fitting. We put new flooring down. We actually had a room that I was happy to spend more than 5 minutes in.

And then we filled it with any random pieces of furniture we could lay our hands on.

Here it is in all it’s glory with magnolia paint and lots of random furniture (and 3D puzzle! Bit of a 90’s throwback there. Not sure if they are still a thing!).

The cats sometimes used to sit inside that scratch post with their little head poking out and they looked so cute! My Mum used to think it was hilarious!

As is blindingly obvious, these photos were taken in my pre-blogging days. Nice addition of a boxed-up barbecue and charcoal there to complete the look! Proper Instagram fodder!

Typically for a first-time buyer (I’m presuming), we ‘made do’ for quite some time with old items that had probably seen better days – the curtains were from my old bedroom at my parents’ house, as was the blue rug. The radio under the stairs is perched on an old bedside table until we could find something better to put it on. Oh the joys of buying your first home!

But we persevered and constantly moved pictures and ornaments and furniture and basically everything in the room around until it looked a damn sight better.

It was now the paint that needed to be changed. Dan has something against magnolia paint. I’m not sure what exactly, but he was adamant the magnolia needed to go, so after a few years of him telling me he had had enough of the walls being magnolia, I eventually gave in and started the search for a new colour.

We settled on almond, which we used to paint the whole living room. However, we found that having the whole room this colour made it feel a little dark for our liking and I regretted painting every wall, rather than leaving 3 walls magnolia. 

After great debate, we decided to paint 3 of the walls white and leave the one wall as a feature wall. This made such a difference to the brightness of the room.


We no longer had a rug in our living room thanks to our very naughty  cat who decided to use the last one we bought as his litter tray. He was not in my good books for quite some time after ruining a brand new rug!

When my parents no longer had space for one of their rugs at their home, we thought it would be nice to have it in our living room rather than seeing it go in a skip, which would have been such a waste. So here it is, thankfully cat wee free. For now. And it better stay that way! Oh the joys of having pets.

We had been wanting new curtains for a long time, and my parents very kindly bought us some new ones for Christmas, which went really well with our almond feature wall. However, after we received another pair of curtains, these ones have since been moved to our bedroom now. I am so behind with this blog, let me tell you, I need to get a shift on!

The cats have pretty much ruined our sofas by scratching at them at any given opportunity, even though they have a scratch post (why walk all the way to the scratch post when you can sprawl across the sofa and scratch at the same time?!) so we cover them in throws, in a desperate attempt to minimise further damage. It’s a good way to keep the sofas clean too because it’s easy to wash the throws regularly. 

We want to get a bigger white throw to replace the cream one on the sofa under the stairs, but it does the job for now.


The storage unit was given to us by my Father-in-Law and we painted it white. You can read about how we transformed it here.

My parents recently decided they no longer wanted the round glass table and we thought it would fit perfectly next to the sofa under the stairs, which it does! Now Dan has somewhere to put his drink down, so he is happy. He is easily pleased!

We have made several more changes to the room since I took these photos, so I will write another post showing our living room in it’s current state. I’m hoping to do this within the next few weeks, but judging by my snail-like progress with this blog, weeks may turn into months!

Home & Interiors LIY (Luxe it Yourself)

How to make your tile grout look like new

We have found that over time, the white grout over our bath tends to blacken, which certainly isn’t a good look. 

How-to-make-tile-grout-look-like-new

I definitely like to show you the good, the bad, and the ugly. And ugly that definitely is!

We have a shower over the bath, so I think that mould likes to grow due to the water hitting the tiles at the side. Cleaning, even with mould remover, doesn’t completely get rid of the discolouration, so we decided we needed to use something to brighten the grout up again.

We used Ronseal White Grout Pen, which we got from B&Q. 

Ronseal-White-Grout-Pen

First of all, I cleaned the grout and tiles and then left them to dry. 

After shaking the grout pen, you literally use it like a normal pen. It does say not to be too heavy handed because the paint will come out too fast and overflow, which I can imagine would happen, because the product does come out really easily and quickly.

Using-Ronseal-White-Grout-Pen
If you get any of the product on the tiles, just wipe it off with a damp cloth. It does require a steady hand to keep within the lines of the grout and after leaning over the bath doing it for a very short amount of time, I had to get Dan to help me out to finish it off!
How-to-make-your-tile-grout-look-like-new,-the-results

As you can see, our grout looked as good as new again. It does say to leave it to dry for 24 hours, although I left it for about 21 hours before having a shower, and I didn’t have any problems.

We have used this pen before, and we found that the grout stayed white for quite some time.

So much quicker and easier than replacing the grout!

Home & Interiors

My favourites: pineapples

Okay, so I seem to have got a little bit of an obsession with the whole pineapple trend. Pineapples are everywhere and I can’t get enough of them!

They remind me so much of the summer and sipping Pina Coladas on a golden beach somewhere while the sea waves gently lap across the sand. Oh how I can dream!

There are so many pineapple goodies out there and here are some of my favourites:

Pineapple bottle stop – Oliver BonasPink pineapple tealights – John LewisCandle in a ceramic holder – H&MPuerto table lamp – Marks and SpencerPineapple trinket dish – Oliver BonasPineapple ceramic knob – Graham and GreenPineapple LED line lights – John LewisDar Lighting pineapple table lamp – WayfairCoral pineapple cushion cover – Etsy

 

Altogether now: if you like Pina Coladas…