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

 

Plant

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

 

Repair

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.

Light

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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Curver Storage Solutions

It’s that time of the year (well, almost!) when spring cleaning starts to become a priority! I generally declutter prior to a spring clean, and this week I’m tackling our master bedroom. My wardrobe appears to be groaning with the amount of clothes hanging in it. I also have a huge number of things piled in the bottom of it!

Yesterday I went through all our clothes and had a declutter. I work on the principle that if you haven’t worn an item of clothing in one season, you are unlikely to the following year! Sometimes there are one or two exceptions to this rule, but generally I try to be a little ruthless!

Curver Storage Solutions

Having sorted through clothes, I moved on to the bottom of the wardrobe… Firstly, I opted for a complete re-organisation, and found new homes for many of the random things I’d been keeping there! Rolls of wrapping paper and gift bags have found a new home, and I’m determined not to buy anymore until existing supplies are used up! Other items needed to go back into the wardrobe, and I wanted some storage boxes to keep them tidy…

Whilst searching, I found the brilliant and stylish Curver brand. Design and innovation have always been the core values of Curver, established in 1949. Curver always seems to be ahead of the market, launching new stylish user-friendly products.

They have lots of great ranges, and I was drawn to their Knit range and My Style range. Their Neo range is cool too, especially if you are looking for something original and funky for a child’s room…

I’ve opted for the Medium and Small Faux Rattan Storage Tubs in Grey, and now have a super organised chic wardrobe.

Storage boxes don’t have to compromise on style, and I couldn’t be happier with my purchases! I’m wondering where in the house to go next for my decluttering and cleaning mission!

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NB: This is not a sponsored post and no products or payments were received.

Designs on Houseplants

I must admit that when it comes to being green fingered, I’m not always that lucky! I have much more success in my garden than I do inside my home! Having said that, I love houseplants! They are having a real revival at present and there are many super stylish ways to show them off!

For today’s blog post I thought I’d share with you some houseplant design inspiration. There are some amazingly creative ideas out there, and I’m keen to try a few myself!

Designs on Houseplants

My Pinterest board provides lots of inspiration, but here are a few of my favourite highlights…

Create a Small Vignette

I’ve previously extolled the virtues of creating small and interesting vignettes, and houseplants work well too! Grouping houseplants looks really effective and is beneficial to the plants, too. Keeping plants in close proximity to each other boosts humidity. This helps the plants stay healthier and thrive a bit longer between watering.

Image from ‘Fall for DIY’.

 

Think Vertical

Vertical gardens are becoming increasingly popular both inside and out! They are perfect if you are looking to add a wall feature. Palettes and old cupboard draws work well as they can be filled with various mosses, air plants and succulents. Air plants are the simplest and easiest, because they require no soil. Succulents require very little soil, so using shallow containers isn’t an issue! To maintain the plants simply spray with water as required!

Ladders can achieve a similar effect when propped up against a wall.

Image from ‘Organic Daily Post’
Image from ‘Burkatron’

 

Terrarium Style

Terrariums come in many shapes, sizes and styles. You can hang them or buy a table-top design.That’s what makes them great plant containers for just about any space. They also look super chic and can work in any interior design scheme, from country cottage to urban chic!

Image from ‘Garden Pics and Tips’.

 

Add A Little Detail

Whatever plants you choose or use, you want to show them off to their best advantage.This means thinking not only about where you display your plants to their best advantage, but also what you put them in! Containers come in all different shapes, sizes and colours – don’t be afraid to experiment and find something which suits the plant and the location it’s in! Even terracotta pots can look quirky and interesting!

Image from ‘What Olivia Did’.
Image from ‘Growing Spaces’.

 

Whatever you choose, and however you display it, have a little fun! And remember, houseplants are great for purifying and refreshing the air we breathe. They are also great for balancing humidity and improving concentration!

Happy styling!

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The Blush Edit: Cox and Cox

With spring in the air, blush and pink tones are everywhere, and Cox and Cox’s new collection is no exception! Blush works well as an accent colour. It is especially effective when combined with neutral wood tones, creams and soft silvers and greys…

The Blush Edit: Cox and Cox

Here’s a few ideas from Cox and Cox to tempt you to add a touch of blush to your home this spring…

Blush Dipped Vase

Made from high quality earthenware with a dip-glazed finish, this block vase has a textured unglazed base and a speckled finish blush top. Fill with a singular bud and sit on your mantelpiece, shelves or windowsill. It will really add a hint of colour to your home this spring.

Blush Dipped Vase

Rustic Candles

Set the mood for any occasion with this set of ten unscented candles, coloured in a soft shade of blush pink. Made using high quality wax that achieves a burn time of up to 8 hours per candle. Each bundle is tied with simple jute string.

Blush Candles

Six Faux Peony Stems

Displayed in a Teardrop Recycled Glass Vase, this set of six artificial peony sprays have attractive large blush pink flower heads and dark green leaves on long stems. These beautiful, oversized peony’s will add a fresh botanical feel to your space. I’m a great lover of real flowers, and I love peonies. However, peonies have a short life and their petals drop quickly! These artificial ones are simply beautiful!

Blush Peonies

Glass Accessories

Crafted from coloured glass with brass accents, this collection of blush pink bathroom accessories works beautifully with a monochrome or industrial look. Part of an exquisite collection sourced from Denmark, this style is available as a small storage pot, toothbrush holder and toilet brush.

Blush Glass Accessories

Soft Wool Throw

This Soft Wool Throw is made from pure wool in a subtle shade of dusky blush pink. It is handwoven in the UK. Finished with elegant cream fringing, it drapes beautifully in your home. Perfect for warming cold shoulders on chilly spring days and evenings too!

Blush Throw

Happy blush shopping!

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Images from Cox and Cox.

This is not a sponsored post and no products or payments were received.

The Butterfly Dance: A Review

Keeping with my recent ‘Spring’ focus on the blog, I thought I’d share a beautiful new book which I received from Bloomsbury this week! My daughter, aged 6, fell upon it as soon as I took it out of the envelope! She somewhat prematurely thanked me for treating her – such was her enthusiasm for this beautifully illustrated book!

The Butterfly Dance: A Review

 

The Butterfly dance by Suzanne Barton - A review
 

Caterpillars Dotty and Stripe do everything together. They play, they eat leaves and do all sorts of caterpiller-y things. Then one day, after spinning themselves into snuggly cocoons, they wake up as beautiful butterflies! But soon they realise that, for the first time ever, they look different. Should Dotty only play with butterflies that look like her? And Stripe only play with butterflies that look like him?

This is a stunningly illustrated story about friendship and and being happy with who you are. It is by Suzanne Barton, the author/illustrator of Waterstones Children’s Book Prize shortlisted The Dawn Chorus.

Suzanne’s artistic influences include Japanese prints and illustrators she remembers from her childhood. Her artwork is a beautiful combination of collage, drawing and painting. With a love of patterns and prints, Suzanne often searches through vintage paper shops for inspiration.

My daughter loves all things butterfly related, and she is also very creative and artistic. The appeal of this book lies in the fact that so many of the images on this page could be mounted and framed. The story itself also contains some important messages about the nature of friendship.

Please see the Amazon link below to order your copy of this beautiful book!

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Spring Styling for your Home

Having recently read and shared Decorate with Flowers by Holly Becker, I’m definitely in the mood for a little spring styling! February is a tricky month to navigate! Some days tease us with a definite glimpse of spring, and others plunge us right back into winter!

Spring Styling for your Home

Spring is definitely around the corner though, and with this in mind I thought I’d share a few simple yet effective spring styling tips!

1. Treat Yourself to some Flowers

Fresh flowers are a joy at any time of the year! Now’s is the time to bring them back into your home! Give your vases a good wash to make them sparkle again, and choose spring pastels to give that seasonal appeal!

Cut flowers need fresh water daily, and a drop of bleach added to the water will maintain  freshness. Also, when you’re arranging flowers, strip the lower stems of leaves as submersion in water will turn them into a slimy pulp.

2. Style a Vignette

Apartment Apothecary launched ‘styling the seasons’ a few years ago and advocate setting up little vignettes around your home! Whilst having a spring clean you might come across a few items you’d forgotten you had (vases, candlesticks, holiday mementos, photo frames etc).

Use these to create a display on a shelf, mantelpiece, coffee table or any suitable space. It’s great to show off your treasures, get creative and style your home.you can have added fun by changing the look every few weeks too!

3. Change your Accessories

Sometimes it’s the smallest things which can make a big difference to a room! Simply changing the accent cushions or adding a new table runner can make a real difference! Maybe your plants need potting up with fresh compost and a new pot to show them off? maybe a new home fragrance diffuser or new candles will make you feel that a change of season is on the horizon!

None of these tips require a huge financial outlay, yet all of them can add a little freshness and colour to your home and help banish those winter blues!

Happy styling!

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Picture credits – flowers in bottles photo from Decorate with Flowers, throws image from Cox and Cox

Decorate with Flowers by Holly Becker: A review

What better way to cheer up a grey day than to think about decorating your home with flowers?! I have been meaning to write a review of Holly Becker’s Decorate with Flowers, for ages – and today I’m going to share this gorgeous book with you!

Decorate with Flowers by Holly Becker: A Review

This beautiful book starts with an introductory section covering trusty tools and equipment, and an overview of how to choose and prep flowers and herbs. This is followed by advice on choosing containers, and demonstrations on creating three step-by-step floral arrangements. These range from posy to big and blowsy in size!

There are then eight ‘flower stories’, which take you through a variety of home styles, showing you how to use blooms in every interior:

Natural – Evocative of a simple and relaxing day in natural country of tones of white, yellow and lilac.

Pastels & Neons – Feminine pastel shades with colour pops of dynamic neon.

Market – Floral prints and a colourful palette with a busy and zesty feel.

Happy Brights – Vibrant and contemporary styles with retro touches in geometric and bright primary hues.

Coastal –  Bright whites and cool sea glass tones, yellows & cream for a breezy and sun-kissed feel.

Neutral Pop – Chic urban designs in beige, with shades of lush classy purple.


Girly Glam – Fresh and flirty with a flair for mid-century vibrant glamour and gold.

Black & White – Textured and layered with a nod to Scandi chic, white and graphic black softened with natural greener tones.

The appeal of this book lies in the accessibility of the floral designs. However skilled or un-skilled you are at flower arranging, Holly and Leslie show you that it can be so very easy-to-do. They inspire confidence and demystify the technical aspects of creating designs.

Their enthusiasm and passion for all things floral leaps from the beautiful images within this book.

Happy decorating! You can click on the link below to purchase this book on Amazon.

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NB: This is not a sponsored post and no products or payments were received. 

A Guide To Finding Your Dream Duvet

I spend quite a lot of time in our bedroom as we have our home office in one area of the room. Once I’ve finished my computer work I often sprawl papers and books on the bed for a ‘wind-down’ read, sometimes sneakily climbing under the duvet for a few minutes too!

I love a huge comfy bed and think there’s nothing better for you than a great nights sleep! We all lead such busy lives and yet if I’ve had a good nights sleep I feel I can cope with almost anything…

A Guide to Finding your Dream duvet
I have recently started re-designing our master bedroom, and after buying some new bedding I decided to treat myself to a new duvet as well. The initial choice was bewildering and it took a while to come up with the one which felt right for us!

A Guide To Finding Your Dream Duvet

It’s great to feel warm and cosy when you get into bed, but over-heating will mean a poor night’s sleep, and feeling cold will more than likely prevent any sleep at all! The secret to buying the right duvet is to consider the tog and filling which works best for you.

What’s a tog?

Duvets are available in a variety of ‘togs’. Togs basically tell you how warm you will be when sleeping under the duvet. The lower the tog, the cooler you’ll be. So you need a lower tog for Summer (4.5 tog) and a higher tog in Winter (13.5 or 15 tog). If you prefer to stick to just one duvet all year round (as we do) choose a tog rating of around 10.5.

Remember to choose low togs for young children as they get warmer quicker than adults and older children.

Choosing a Filling

We purchased our new duvet from Slumberdown, and were super impressed with the quality, feel and comfort it provided. They offer a range of fillings including Hollowfibre fillings which are soft and comfortable and will add more than a touch of luxury to your bed. A Memory Foam filling tends to be super supportive. Climate Control duvets cleverly regulate your temperature so you don’t get too hot or too cold through the night. We actually chose Climate Control, and couldn’t be happier with our choice!

Feather filled duvets are naturally lightweight and wonderfully comfy. Plus they’re one of the best fillings at keeping you cool in summer and warm in winter. Finally, anti-allergy duvets inhibit dust mites, bacteria and fungus, some of the major triggers of night time asthma and allergies.

Our new Slumberdown Climate Control duvet is the best we’ve ever had! Now to consider some matching pillows too!

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NB: This is not a sponsored post and no products or payments were received.

La La Land Yellow

I recently had the opportunity to go and see ‘La La Land’, and have to say I absolutely loved it! I was somewhat apprehensive though as this film has received plenty of critical acclaim and many awards. Would my expectations be too high and would the film would disappoint? It didn’t!

La La Land is a musical… A glorious old-fashioned but curiously contemporary musical! It is a wonderful feel go film with many layers. I left the cinema with songs in my heart, and a few tears in my eyes! Colour played a vital role in the film, and everyone is talking about La La Land yellow.

La La Land Yellow

Posters for the film show Emma Stone dancing in a much-talked-about retro dress in a shade that we’re calling ‘La La Land Yellow’. Later, she is also seen carrying a yellow handbag too, and somehow this colour reflects her optimism and tenacity in world in which she lives. Hollywood is famous for it’s knocks, and Emma’s character has a fair few to deal with!

la-la-land-yellow

In our real world, psychologists acknowledge that injecting a little yellow zest into our wardrobes is good for us, too.

Yellow is seen as an optimistic, life-affirming colour. It reminds us of sunshine and stimulates our mind, body and emotions. Yellow arouses the brain and help memory. so, with that in mind, here is my idea for injecting a little yellow into your daily lives too!

Whistles Matte Croc Leather Small Clutch Bag

Crafted from pure leather with a shiny croc texture, this yellow clutch features a chunky metallic zip top fastening to keep valuables safe whilst on the go. Ideal for storing your essentials, pair with day or evening outfits to instantly brighten your look.

whistles-bubble-leather-small-clutch-yellow_medium_03-2

There is a larger version too, perfect for packing those extra essentials! This clutch is definitely going on my wish list, especially as the medium size is a very reasonable £65.00!

Happy shopping!

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Beautiful January Blues

Having previously suggested ways to banish those January blues, today I’m celebrating them! Yes, todays post is all about beautiful January blues to enhance your home!

The trend for using blue accessories for the home shows no sign of disappearing, blue is here to stay!

Beautiful January Blues

A few designs and ideas to tempt you to add a touch of blue to your home…

Geo Bright frame – Oliver Bonas

Designed in-house, this navy blue frame features a geometric tile print on a distressed wooden frame. With a washed brushstroke paper insert, this photo frame can be used to display your photographs or as a piece of wall art. Mix and match with other frames, multi-frames and mirrors from the Geo Brights Collection. Price £14.00

1081817_oliver-bonas_homeware_geo-bright-frame-6x4-r10

Beaudesert Kitchen Napkin Set – Anthropolgie

Printed cotton and machine washable napkins with a super pretty pattern. Available as an apron, tea towel and set of 4 napkins. Price £32.00

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Karin Cushion – Grace and Favour Home

A modern, geomtric cushion made in Karin fabric with a white design on a striking blue background. This fabric is part of the ‘Gilda’ range, taking inspiration from Moorish tiling patterns.

This collection combines geometric and hand drawn elements to create a strong, yet calming look for the home. With a palette of soft grey and blue with pink highlights, it will fit in most colour schemes. This printed cotton cushion has been made in a Devon workshop.
Available in two sizes 38cm by 38cm or 43cm by 43cm. Price £35.00

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White and Blue Porcelain Bowls – Lilac Coast

Set of three white porcelain bowls with beautiful intricate blue flower design inside each bowl. Each bowl has a different  floral design.The bowls are sold as a set of three. Diameter 15cm by height 5cm. Price £28.50

original_pre-approval-white-porcelain-bowls-with-flower-print

If you can’t beat the winter blues, embrace them!

Happy shopping!

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How To Banish Those January Blues

I’ve always found January a really difficult month to navigate! I think it’s largely because it provides such a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle, twinkle and sparkle of Christmas. It’s odd really as I often find Christmas pretty crazy and actually like the peace and quiet which immediately follows Christmas. The house is calmer and clutter free and we get back into some semblance of routine.

How To Banish Those January Blues

January itself though seems to stretch on for an eternity and so this year I’ve come up with some strategies to get me through it and embrace all it offers… I hope you will find a few helpful ideas here too!

1. Plan for New Opportunities

January is about being kind to yourself. I’m not advocating you sit down and challenge yourself with formulating major or action plans for your life, business etc… It does, however, provide a new beginning and new possibilities. I intend to use some of January to ‘map out’ the things I hope to do and to achieve in the year ahead. A ‘Word of the Year’ is a good starting point if you feel in need of some focus!

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2. Find your ‘Hygge’

I know lots of people have jumped on the ‘hygge’ bandwagon, but the principles of hygge seem especially appropriate for those grey January days.

the-little-book-of-hygge

Hygge is essentially about taking care of yourself and giving yourself some cosiness, comfort and attention – what better way to start the year! I treasure my Little Book of Hygge (see Amazon details below) and will be turning to it for inspiration in the coming weeks.

january blues

3. Embrace Nature

Yes, January can be grey and cold, bleak and dull! It can also bring wonderful bright, crisp and sunny days and spectacular snowfalls in certain parts of the country. On those bleaker days it’s fine to embrace being indoors, cosy and comfortable. However, don’t forget to enjoy the beauty of a frost or snow covered landscape if we are ‘lucky’ enough to have them! Connecting with nature is a great way to put things in perspective!

how-to-banish-the-january-blues

Whatever you have planned for January, and however you approach it – I hope it brings you joy! Together we can banish those January blues!

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NB: Slipper image courtesy of The White Company

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