Home Style

I have a fascination with styling homes and with interior design. I did want to be an interior designer for a while, but other interests took over! My love for interior design remains and on ‘Home Style’ I aim to share posts which feature accessories and styling ideas to help you make a house a truly lovely home.

Whether you’re looking for a particular accessory for a certain room, some styling advice or ideas on how you can update and freshen up a tired room, I hope my blog posts will inspire and motivate you! I feature some well-known brands alongside some newer and innovative designers you may not have heard of.

The Soap Co: An Ethical Brand

Every so often you find a company with inspirational products and an ethical stance to match. The Soap Co is one such company, and I was thrilled when I found them profiled in a recent copy of The Simple Things magazine.



The Soap Co. is an ethical luxury brand that creates sophisticated body care products to nurture and care for your skin. Based in East London, and with a traditional workshop in the Lake District (I so want to visit!), all their products are handcrafted in the UK by people who are blind, disabled or otherwise disadvantaged.

Their award winning packaging is, quite simply, perfect. It is minimalist, contemporary and environmentally friendly with locally sourced bottles and compostable soap wrappers. They have a very simple and very powerful ‘no compromise’ approach. This means they always strive for perfect products and exceptional customer service. At the core of their company is a desire to take care of their amazing employees who make everything possible.



Building on their commitment to handcraft products in the UK, they use only natural botanicals, nourishing vitamins and pure essentials oils. It goes without saying that there is no animal testing, and no use of parabens. Just like their fabulous branding, their ethics are black and white.

The Soap Co: It’s Black and White

We’ve all started to wake up to the devastating impact our use of plastics is having on our beautiful planet, and The Soap Co are always striving to reduce our impact on the environment. Their ingredients, bottles and labels wherever possible are sourced from UK. They have been inspired by Dame Ellen Macarthur’s Foundation (EMF) and their work to create the Circular Economy 100. Their philosophy, to design with more thought, is at the very core of The Soap Co.



Bottles are made from milk bottles and with a 45% lower environmental impact than regular PET bottles. The packaging film looks and acts like plastic but is made from renewable wood pulp. Sticky labels can all be composted, and their paper is both recycled and recyclable. Their glue is non-toxic and biodegradable. YES, YES, YES!

I have been trying their 100% natural bath and body oil collections. They are made in small batches by hand and are scented with pure botanicals. They lift your mood, detoxify your mind, and renew your emotional and spiritual balance. It’s a dose of pure indulgence, and I wouldn’t be without them now!

Please do pop over to their website, it’s truly inspirational and they have a story to tell! It’s a story worth reading and it deserves to be heard.

Carol xxx

Kitchen Cooker Style from Everhot

Some time ago I wrote a blog post on the gorgeous Teal Range Cooker from Everhot. It’s still an amazing colour and definitely a real statement piece. It’s one of these cookers which sits happily on my wish list! I love the retro yet very contemporary feel, and therein lies the appeal for me! At the moment though I’m rather torn, as Everhot have gone and introduced some new gorgeous colours!

Kitchen Cooker Style from Everhot

Yes, they’ve introduced the NEW Dusky Pink electric range cooker! The colour of country kitchens has continued its renaissance in the past year, and now dusky pink (one of this year’s hottest colour trends) follows the success of the Teal cookers. Here it’s been combined with dark blue, but it would look just a lovely with neutral colours!

Everhot Dusky Pink

If pink isn’t doing it for you, then Everhot’s NEW limited edition colour will make you ‘Fern Green’ with envy! The cooker is fresh, lively and sure to make a statement in your kitchen.

Everhot Fern Green

Everhot’s handbuilt cookers are the most energy efficient heat storage ranges on the market.  Using less than half the energy of comparable range cookers, Everhot cookers gently warm a kitchen using electricity, making them quick to switch on or off. They are easy to install, well suited to running off solar or other forms of renewable energy and, above all, great for cooking. With a wide choice of sizes and models there’s an Everhot to suit every kitchen.  Lower energy bills and the absence of any servicing costs only add to their appeal!

The first Everhot range was built more than 35 years ago at Coaley Mill in Gloucestershire. The aim was to develop an efficient heat storage range which would make use of the water turbine installed by the owner, Ossie Goring.  While Ossie still lives at the mill, his son, Guy, now runs the business. Everhot certainly move with the times though, and their passion for conserving energy has led to the whole company being carbon negative.

My wish list just got longer!


The Rattan Revolution

When I think of rattan, I tend to think of decorative items such as baskets and plant containers. More recently rattan has been used for furniture, mainly due to its qualities. it is lightweight, durable, suitable for outdoor use, and (to a certain extent) flexible. Rattan is somewhat similar to bamboo, it accepts paint really well and does not splinter.

Interior designers have used rattan as an established and stylish material to add a natural and slightly rustic look to homes. This autumn it appears that our current love affair with rattan is simply growing stronger!

The Rattan Revolution

Many companies are featuring rattan in their autumn and winter collections, and also being as inventive as possible in the way it is being used. One of my favourite online retailers, Cox and Cox, have introduced a huge range of rattan furniture and decorative items for their new collection. Here are just a few of my favourites:

Rattan Cone Chair

Woven from natural rattan with a strong elegant metal frame, this new Rattan Cone Chair has been updated with a smoother, comfier shape and stronger finish. Perfect for a bedroom, conservatory or study!

Rattan Side Table

This stylish round coffee table is inspired by 70s Scandi, and will add a touch of bohemian style to any living space. Each piece features a flat top with gently curved sides and an open bottom for simplicity. This side table has a natural blonde rattan finish.

Rattan Table Lamp

With a Scandi inspired woven rattan base, this unique table lamp has a simple oval shape and natural cotton shade. It sits beautifully with a natural or white interior.

Rattan Christmas!

Apologies for mentioning Christmas in August, but it seems Cox and Cox are ahead of the game too! This year you can hide away those ugly tree stands with a rattan Christmas tree ring. Made from hand woven split rattan, this simple ring adds the finishing touch to any tree.

This year there’s even ‘faux Rattan’ light up stars made from weatherproof plastic designed to look just like real rattan! This large lit star decoration is perfect for creating a festive outdoor look. Each piece has a metal frame, woven with grey faux rattan and lit with 36 warm white lights.

To conclude, it would appear that every room and season is covered! Will you be joining the rattan revolution this Autumn and Winter?

Happy shopping!

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Introducing Home Monsoon

HOME by Monsoon is a new homeware collection that sets the tone for stylish, modern living with warmth, colour and personality. It’s exactly the kind of collection I’d expect Monsoon to launch, with super contemporary style and attention to detail. Designed exclusively in London, the range spans artfully-crafted furniture, plush textiles and thoughtful accessories. All of which will breathe new life into any living space.

There are gorgeous splashes of colour and glamorous embellishments on cushions, curtains and rugs. Monsoon have also made a real nod to the latest trends from bedroom to living room with copper home accessories and geometric mirrors. Whether you co-ordinate your soft furnishings or curate an eclectic mix, I think you’ll discover something for every room in this exciting range.

Introducing Home Monsoon

There are many pieces to fall in love with in this new collection. However, most of us don’t redesign entire rooms all at once though, so I’ve chosen a few pieces to breathe new life into existing room decor.

Velvet Cushions

Combining colour-pops and textures, the soft furnishings from Monsoon Home will make a statement, whether it be in your living room of your bedroom. These cushions, throws, floor cushions and rugs showcase plush velvet, pretty embroidery and on-trend tassels in designs. New cushions are excellent for providing an instant pick-me-up. I love the simple decadence of their velvet cushions as autumn and winter approaches.

Silver Velvet


Moroccan Candles

Candle create ambience, and their Moroccan candles are beautiful! I’m sorely tempted by these as we have a Moroccan light string at home, and I love the light patterns they create! Fashioned in a tinted glass jar, the Moroccan small candle has an inviting citrus vanilla scent.  It is topped with an ornate patterned metal lid – super pretty! 

Silver Moroccan Candle


Straw Baskets

Finally, beautifully handcrafted using a traditional technique, the straw baskets make for a stylish and practical addition to any home. The stripe detailing lends another contemporary finish too. The baskets come in black, pink, blue and white too!

White Straw Basket


There’s so much more to choose from, why not pop over and take a look! More items (including furniture!) are coming soon.

Happy shopping!

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Scents from Skye

I’ve made no secret of how much I love using candles and fragrances to create ambience at home. Whether it’s winter hygge comfort or summer freshness, there’s a scented candle for every season. I love the way scents evoke memories, there is very little in this world more memorable than a scent… With this in mind I was delighted to recently discover The Skye Candle Company.

Isle of Skye Candle Company

The Skye Candle Company

The Skye Candle Company have the most amazing range of scented candles and diffusers. After finishing a gap year in Canada, founder James Robertson started working for a soap company based in the main village on Skye, Portree. Discovering a flare for mixing scents and having a passion for natural products he started the Isle of Skye Candle Company.

Isle of Skye Candle Company

With help from family and friends, James then renovated the bothy based on his uncle’s croft in Braes, and turned it into his candle making workshop.It even had an authentic grass roof and wood burning stove! Since then the company has gone from strength to strength. Demand for Skye Candles is at an all time high, resulting in a new workshop being opened in Broadford, Skye. There are now 5 shops and a thriving online business!

Scents from Skye

I’m a great vanilla fan for autumn and winter. I love the warmth that the scent of vanilla brings to a room! This summer, however, I’ve been tempted by some new fragrances…The Skye Candle Company’s Scottish tumblers first caught my eye. I couldn’t resist the combination of Heather and Wild Berries  – currently my favourite scent at home! It’s the mix of blueberries, blackberries and raspberries that give it a distinctly warm feeling.

Next on my summer list is Scottish Bluebell followed by Raspberry and White Ginger for autumnThis rich fragrance marries the delicious scent of Scottish raspberry with the warm spices of white ginger and a touch of cinnamon bark. These scents are then balanced out with a hint of my favourite – sweet vanilla.

There are also some super cute travel containers and Air Freshners too, both of which now enable me to take my favourite scents with me when I travel!

Isle of Skye Candle Company

I love the authenticity of The Skye Candle Company as a brand, the gorgeous packaging and simply amazing scent combinations!

If you want to find out more, then do pop over to their website – there’s an awful lot to tempt you…

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The Art of the Natural Home: A Review

In our increasingly complex and fast-paced world, many people are seeking a simpler, paired down lifestyle. Interest in sustainability, natural products and mindfulness are now high on people’s agendas, and rightly so!

Time always seems to be at a premium, yet more and more people are taking the time to create their own homemade products using simple, natural ingredients. The Art of the Natural Home is very much rooted in these beliefs.

The Art of the Natural Home

Taking inspiration from her grandmother’s generation, Rebecca Sullivan has put together a beautiful guide to caring for yourself and your home. Traditional methods are brought alive with stunning contemporary illustrations by Nassima Rothacker. Nassima is an Australian photographer with a creative focus on food, travel, interiors and people. Her photographs bring to life each method, perfectly updated to suit the modern home.

Rebecca Sullivan’s journey began with a mission to master and preserve the skills of her Grandma Lil’s disappearing generation. Her Grandma won medals for her Victoria sponge cake and Rebecca was determined that the recipe, and her Grandma’s skills would not be lost.

As Rebecca points out, Lil’s generation cooked from scratch because they had to. They ate local, seasonal food and abhorred waste. Our processed foods and supermarkets have made life easier but they also resulted in the loss of Granny Skills. Convenience therefore won the day and people no longer learned how to cook. What followed was not only a loss of recipes and technique but, sadly, a loss of confidence.

The Natural Home

The first part of the book is dedicated to the Home, and covers cleaning products for every room, ideas for pickles and preserves, and tips on everything from natural laundry treatments to how to grow your own cocktail garden. I am already drying rose petals for a potpourri, and am tempted to try the infused flower salts!

Natural Health & Beauty

The second part covers Health & Beauty, and includes bath salts, make up, serums, perfumes and even beard oil, as well as healing remedies such as burn salves and herbal teas. The coconut and orange shampoo sounds divine!

To conclude, The Art of the Natural Home is quite simply an inspiring book! It is therefore a must for anyone interested in living a simpler, more ‘natural’ and holistic approach to life.

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Living on the Wild Side with the Leckford Estate

I have made no secret of my love of the outdoors, and of gardening! I would love a cut flower garden so that I could grow and enjoy flowers all year round! This is an achievable goal, if I plan it properly! Maybe one day, if we have a bigger garden, I’ll be able to fulfil that dream!

In the meantime I’m having to remain content with bringing flowers into the home as often as I can. I’m also embracing the recent trend for all things botanical in home decor ranges!

Nature inspired prints and accessories are everywhere, and it’s a trend I love! I’m not overly confident with big and bold prints, so have been searching for some more delicate floral accessories…

Clean and Fresh Looking Leckford Duvet and Pillowcases


Living on the Wild Side

John Spedan Lewis (Mr ‘John Lewis’ himself!) purchased Leckford Estate in 1929 and it remained his home throughout his life. John Lewis and Waitrose have farmed continuously at the estate for over 87 years. The estate produces the very best quality food, with the sole aim of working in harmony with the environment.

in addition, the Longstock Park Water Gardens were added to the estate in 1942, and since then the gardens have been nurtured and developed to become famous water gardens. John Spedan Lewis spent much of his later life in these gardens and whilst the gardens remain true to his time, the landscape has evolved so that it remains a vibrant, tranquil and beautiful place to visit.

Super Pretty Longstock Curtains


The fresh, airy and colourful surroundings are captured in the new Leckford Country Collection, a fresh and updated take on classic florals. The colours are inspired by flowers – neutrals, darks and brights working seamlessly together in a modern delightful way.

Contemporary and Stylish Leckford Tableware


So to sum up, I’m a complete convert and tempted by both the Leckford tableware and Longstock home furnishings too! I can feel a shopping trip coming on!

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The Joy of Fresh Bedding and Bed Sheets

I do love fresh bedding! There are many evenings when I literally can’t wait to slip into bed, especially if I’ve had a hectic day! I always think that one of the best things about returning home from a holiday or weekend away is getting to sleep in your own comfy bed again, surrounded by familiar objects.

Slipping into a freshly made bed is guaranteed to provide comfort, soothe the mind, and help with a restful night’s sleep – whatever kind of day you’ve had!

Refreshed and relaxed!


The Joy of Fresh Bedding and Bed Sheets

Here are a few top tips I’ve picked up to ensure I keep my bed feeling fresh and inviting…


Invest in the best mattress you can afford. A mattress with proper support will mean that you automatically sleep better and avoid potential back and hip discomfort. If you can’t afford a new mattress then add a mattress topper to increase comfort and transform the way your bed feels.

Duvets and Pillows

Spend some time searching for the right duvets and pillows, there are so many types to choose from! A little research and a good deal of prodding and testing in shops is essential to find what works for you in terms of support and comfort! I’ve already extolled the virtues of my climate control duvet from Slumberdown, and I wouldn’t be without it now!

Keep it simple!


Bed sheets

Buying new bed sheets or simply changing them is akin to giving yourself an instant present! Smooth, fresh, clean sheets; combined with ambient lighting and a good book/magazine can help your day end on a brighter and more relaxing note. Email

There are lots of options for bed sheets, from Egyptian cotton, to brushed cotton flannel and linen. Choose the one that feels best on your skin and be willing to experiment! I love the colours of the Egyptian Cotton bedsheets which can be found at Yorkshire Linen.


A throw adds a touch of softness to the foot of the bed, and can be especially useful when you’re sitting up in bed to read on a chilly night! You can also swap throws according to the season to give your bed and bedlinen an instant fresh update!

A Few Treats…

If you have wooden or laminate flooring, invest in a soft bedside rug. Comfort is essential when you need to get up in the night or early morning, and there’s nothing nicer than stepping onto a soft, warm rug!

Keep some extra pillows on hand! Extra pillows can be used to ‘dress’ your bed once it’s made for the day, but they’re great when you want to read in bed too! Use a spare seat or basket to store your extra pillows during the night, before climbing into bed. I love Cox and Cox Occasional Chairs, and dream of buying their Grey Woven Tub Chair for my bedroom!

Grey Tub Chair


Finally, dust and declutter your room. You need to relax free from distractions, and the area around your bed should only feature what you want close at hand while you’re in bed!

Your bed really can be a please of retreat and relaxation! What are your ideas for fresh bedding and a relaxing bed and bedroom? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks!

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Mother’s Day Gift Edit – The White Company

Mother’s day is fast approaching! For todays post, I thought I’d take some gift inspiration from my favourite shop – The White Company.

Mother’s Day Gift Edit – The White Company

I love the paired down elegance of all their ranges, but thought I’d focus on gifts for Mums who love their home and enjoy a little home styling too!

Small Captured Glass Lantern

These glass lanterns were the first thing to catch my eye. Handmade in India, this striking glass and iron-framed hurricane is ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. Perfect for holding a pillar candle, place on your dining table, garden path or by your front door with their collection of Large Captured Glass Lanterns, too.

Gorgeous Handmade Glass Lantern


Organic Mercury Tealight Holder

This lovely tealight holder features has the hugely popular mercury finish. Countless brush strokes are used to enhance the glimmering aesthetic when a tealight is lit inside. This will look beautiful on any dressing table or coffee table!

Shimmering Mercury Tealight Holder


Rose Candle

The White Company Rose Candle comes in a white porcelain holder, which gives a soft-diffused light. The candle comes with a matching white porcelain lid to protect the candle when not in use, and to keep the fragrance pure. A gift box detailed with beautiful hand-drawn illustrations will accompany your purchase of this lovely candle! Perfect for adding some dreamy scented fragrance around the home, and creating a soft ambient light.

Softly Scented Rose Candle


Silver Easel Photo Frame

White Company frames are plated with 1 micron of silver plating – twice the amount that’s typically used! A tarnish-free finish is applied, so they hardly ever need cleaning. A thick card mount really sets off any photo, and the frame comes in a silver-foiled gift box.

Elegant Silver Easel Photo Frame


Small Bottle Vase – Natural

Finally, this bottle vase gift idea is handmade in the UK by an individual artisan, and is truly special. Crafted from neutral-coloured stoneware clay, each unique bottle-shaped design showcases slight variation. Finished with a robust British glaze and fired under extra-high temperatures, one vase takes three days to create. This small and dainty vase holds a single bud or delicate sprigs from the garden. It looks pretty when styled on the bedside table, dressing table, coffee table and beyond.

Artisan Silver Bottle Vase


Happy shopping!

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NB: All opinions and selections are my own, and no products or payments were received.

SS17 at South Aylesford Retail Park

How do you go about approaching a new interior design project or update? I tend to start with magazines, catalogues and my Pinterest account… All offer plenty of design inspiration, and from there I can identify a style or colour scheme I like… It’s then about sourcing the right products, whether they’re paints, carpets, furniture or accessories…

Nothing beats seeing those items for real, rather than online, and so shopping for items and seeing if they look as good as they appear online is essential for me. I visited South Aylesford Retail Park last weekend, and it had everything I wanted within easy walking distance! It’s great for big design projects (kitchen, bedrooms etc…) and also for simple seasonal re-vamps…

SS17 at South Aylesford Retail Park

My visit last weekend was all about seasonal re-vamps, and it was fascinating to see the new SS17 trends at South Aylesford Retail Park. There were plenty of creamy and chalky paint shades, perfect for a spring boost!

Floral motifs and soft, natural hues are filling the stores this season. They are predicated to be the biggest interior style influence with shoppers in and around Maidstone and Kent. Homebase has a vast array of on-trend, sophisticated Superfresco wallpapers.

Soft hues and cream furniture…


Oak Furnitureland embraces the trend with designs which provide a rustic retreat style charm to transform the home. Opt for a subtle statement with Wren Living’s Country Cottage Natural Oak and Painted Small Dresser (£594.63) and Country Cottage Painted Dressing Table Mirror (£69.00).

Subtle home interior design…
Style and comfort!


Visiting South Aylesford Retail Park

Located only four miles from Maidstone town centre, South Aylesford Retail Park has a range of popular home decor brands. There’s also a Costa Coffee, perfect if you want a break from shopping!

There’s an M&S Foodhall, and the park is also located opposite Sainsbury’s – really handy for some last minute food shopping!

There are over 500 car parking spaces, providing easy access to the shops. South Aylesford Retail Park is open 7 days a week, with most stores open until 8pm.

What are you contemplating for Spring 2017? I’d love to hear from you!

Happy shopping!

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How To Add Instant Curb Appeal

I always think that the first impression you have of a property is the most important. A first view of a house is a little bit like a first handshake, it sets the scene! The inside of the property is more like a equivalent to the human voice, it’s where the initial impression deepens and character emerges!

Whether you are trying to sell your house, or just ready for a spring refresh, achieving some instant curb appeal isn’t as hard as you’d imagine!

Here are a few quick and easy top tips for adding curb appeal to any property…

How To Add Instant Curb Appeal

Clean and Tidy

1. Keep your front door in immaculate condition. It might benefit from a new coat of paint or simply a good clean, but a shiny and well-maintained front door always creates a good impression. Don’t forget to clean and polish door fixtures and fittings too!

Image from First Sense Blog


2. Clean all hardware surrounding your door – postboxes and outdoor lights all look better for a polish!

3. Make sure that if you have a front garden you have a clearly defined path with easy access to your property. Now is a great time to trim bushes and tidy plants before they start to flowers and spring into life! Ensure paths are swept and that the last of the winter leaves and debris has been swept up.

Image from Interiors by Studio M



4. Create an instant garden beside your door. We have a deep blue plant pot (rather large!) which has an azalea planted in it. It’s glorious in May and June and remains a healthy green bush for the rest of the summer. We keep it watered and give the glazed pot a wipe from time to time, but other than that it’s very low maintenance!

Everyone loves to see a little greenery and planters can look really attractive. Choose something which suits the style of your property – from urban chic to country cottage! You can buy ready planted pots from local garden centres and window boxes too.

Image from The Fox & She Blog



5. Install some outdoor lighting to give your home a welcoming appeal. If you aren’t able to use lights which require wiring, install some solar fixtures as an easier alternative! Solar lights are not as bright or as reliable as fully wired lights. They do, however, come in a great selection of shapes and sizes and can often be moved around to create different effects.


6. Make sure that the front exterior to your house looks well-maintained. Check gutters and pipes to see if they need a clean or replacing. Consider an exterior face-lift with a fresh coat of paint if your home is looking a little tired and dated.

Spring is the perfect time to give your house some curb appeal! Do you have any projects in mind? I’d love to hear from you!

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It’s a Shed Thing

Last week I actually ventured into our shed… It was the first time in ages, and I was struck by what a cool space it is! It’s bright and has some lovely light coming through the window! At present it’s full of our children’s garden toys, and a few odds-and-ends which I’m never sure where to store!

It’s a Shed Thing

We do, however, have grand plans for our shed, once we’ve worked out a few logistics! Storage issues seem to be a big theme for my life (and this blog!), but I’m determined to crack them and turn our shed into something a little more creative! Ideally I’d love a small summer playroom and relaxing space for the family. With this in mind I thought I’d share some cool shed design tips with you… After all, it’s good to dream!

Image from Home Bunch Blog


Declutter and Clean

As spring approaches, now is a great time to start some decluttering. Garden sheds invariably turn into dumping grounds for all things damp and dirty. They can quickly become the domain of the garden spider! Spring is a great time to reclaim the shed as your outside room and it’s best to begin with a sweep, declutter and a spring clean!

Image from Pinterest


Painting Interior and Exterior

We have already made a start, and painted the exterior of our shed a lovely pale green shade from Cuprinol called Willow. The inside walls are painted white. The white paint has made a huge difference to the light, and it works as a perfect backdrop for whatever you decide to use your shed for!

Image from Desire to Inspire Blog


Utilise Space

Sheds are invariably small spaces, so consider how you use the space along either side, leaving enough space in the middle to move from the front to the back of the shed. It’s a bonus if you can create adequate storage space under shelves and units too! If your shed is going to be a space for children as well as adults, make sure everything is easy to put away and keep tidy!

Room Comforts

If designed correctly, there is no reason why your shed can’t become an additional room – ready to use throughout the year. As with all rooms, think about practical flooring, lighting and heating. This will make a great difference to the feel of the room, and also to how often you are able to use it!

Image from Angel in the North Blog


I can’t wait to start on our shed (again!) this spring, and will keep you posted!

Do you have a cool shed? How do you organise it? Or maybe you too have a dream shed in mind… I’d love to hear from you!

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