Happy Christmas

Apologies for the radio silence on the blog for the past couple of weeks. Just as things were getting into full swing, we suffered a family bereavement which kind of stopped play on this side of things.  It is of course a tough time of year to be going through something like this, but there’s a lot to be said for the comfort of spending time together as a family while we come to terms with our loss.  And there is no better reminder than having young kids around that life goes on.

So this Christmas Eve, my boys and I have thrust ourselves into a significant amount of festive baking and other preparations as we try our best to ignite some Christmas spirit.

I hope that you and your families have a very happy Christmas and enjoy some relaxing time over the holidays.

I’ll be back with more posts soon.  Thanks for your patience.

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The colour of the year (and design vetoes)

This week, the global authority on colour, Pantone, announced the Pantone Colour of the Year 2016. In actual fact there were two colours – Rose Quartz and  Serenity.

The Rose Quartz in particular caught my eye, with its subtle blush pink hue; very current, very mellow. Very restful in fact and perfect for a bedroom one might say.  With a bedroom that needs a complete overhaul in 2016, I could see this working alongside charcoal grey and soft chalk white with some copper accessories thrown in.

Now, here’s the thing. When we renovated our last house back in 2013, my husband (let’s call him Mr HH) gave me a pretty free reign when it came to the interiors choices. In fact, there was only really one guideline as far as I can remember and that was ‘no pink in our bedroom’. OK, it seemed fair – in the end we (I) went for a very stylish black and white wallpaper on one feature wall and a soft grey throughout. It worked; it looked great.

But now it’s time for a change. And I want pink. Call it Rose Quartz, call it blush pink, call it whatever you like but I want it. There, I’ve said it. So I broached the subject with Mr HH. It’s been almost three years I thought. He’ll have realised the house was so nicely done last time he’ll leave it in my capable hands I thought.

I thought wrong. It’s not just that the ‘no pink in the bedroom’ thing is still a thing, it seems like Mr HH now has other opinions. About interiors. Well, this is new. But not only does he have opinions about things, he now also wants to have 10 design vetoes during our new renovation project. I’m not quite sure how this is going to work.  Asking for 10 vetoes in return about where the new pipes get laid or where the fuse box sits doesn’t seem like a fair exchange.

So while I have a little head-scratching moment about how we revert back to the ‘I make all the design decisions’ way of working, take a look at a few ideas for putting together stylish pink bedrooms.

 

 

 

 

 

Winter warmers

When we moved into our new house in September, we were lucky enough to enjoy many weeks of quite glorious weather, which made the move itself very smooth and settling in much easier – what doesn’t look good on a sunny day, right?  But as we move into the winter months, the realities of the great task we have ahead are starting to set in.

Job number one?  A whole new plumbing and heating system.  It’s not that we’re without heating but what we have isn’t exactly brilliant.

Actually, make that job number two.  Job number one was to go and kit ourselves out with some cosy blankets to add a few layers of warmth until the work above is done.

And this is where I discovered faux-shearling blankets – the new favourite thing of everyone in this household.  Possibly the softest blankets we’ve ever had, not only are they keeping us toasty overnight by trapping in plenty of heat, the kids are dragging them out to snuggle in front of the TV and watch Christmas movies.  No home should be without one.  Here are some of my favourites…

 

6 of the best: copper

From Christmas decorations to cutlery, copper is most definitely one of the must-have colours of this season. It’s going to be a good twelve months at least until our house renovation is anywhere near finished, but I certainly plan to install a number of copper accessories.

My very favourite colour around the home is navy (more about that another day) but I think copper is the perfect colour to lift a dark tone like that and whether it’s shiny and reflective or a hammered finish, I think copper will become a bit of a timeless classic.

Anyway, here are my top 6 copper picks, hope you like them x

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The Christmassy home

With the children now old enough to take over the decorating of the tree (they really didn’t do a bad job this year), I now prefer the task of making the rest of the house Christmassy.

Now, we have some challenges this year – having only moved into our new house two months ago, we don’t yet have our ideal background to work with and so things are not as well coordinated as I’d like.  But, a bit of Christmas lighting works wonders to distract from some of our more ‘retro’ house features.  The latest addition to my Christmas collection is these brilliant cone trees, which I found at Sainsbury’s.  They’re battery operated, so no unsightly wires dragging around, and reasonably priced at £20 each for the large ones (shown here – I have two), with a slightly smaller version at £15.  There was a 25% off offer running when I bought them, so the large ones were just £15, which I thought was a good deal for something which can be used year in year out and work with lots of different themes and colours.

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I’m not the only one who’s partial to a little bit of reindeer decoration at the moment, and I love getting this trio out every year to make a simple and stylish Christmas display on my mirrored console table, which in our old house used to sit in a different room to the Christmas tree and helped to spread the festive feeling throughout the house.  I boosted the reindeer collection with these tealight holders last year, and they’re not only a lovely decoration in the lounge during December, but they can be added to the table to brighten up your Christmas lunch.  My next buy is going to be some Christmas-scented tealights to go in them.  Christmas is such an evocative time of year and stimulating all the senses only seems to make everything that bit more magical.

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Talking of decorations for the table, these lovely Nordic-inspired Father Christmas and snow angel decorations which I use on the mantelpiece are actually tree toppers but I bought them two years ago to decorate the Christmas lunch table and know that I will always be able to find a home for them somewhere every year. They’re made by the brilliant Gisela Graham who does fantastic Christmas decorations and can still be found online.  Our local garden centre, which does Christmas displays worthy of an afternoon out to see, seem to stock them year in year out.

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What are your favourite non-tree Christmas decorations?