The Next Big Thing To Talk About

Now that Halloween is over can we talk about Christmas? Well apart from those that celebrate Thanksgiving, but Im certainly starting to peek at the decorations out the corner of my eye every time I walk by a display.  Well to tell you the truth I will just come out with it, I’ve already bought my first 3 additions for the tree!  Im such a sucker for anything sparkly and Christmassy.  I asked my oldest son (who was 2.5 years old) last Christmas to choose a decoration for the tree, it was such fun watching him search, take one and then change his mind and then I tried to sway his decisions too, the first thing he picked out was a really funny looking little scraggly felt dog, I guess that is what gives the tree character, anyway we came home with a reindeer and a scraggly looking dog.  I will turn this into a ritual until the boys are older and don’t find picking out a tree decoration that fun anymore, which will only be a few years away I suspect.

Last year my tree was filled with white, grey and a touch of red, and then of course the odd pink, yellow and red knitted socks from great gran and a kitsch purple liberty ball that somebody gave us amongst a few other weird things that we feel obliged to put up but generally I like to have a theme going. So for every strange looking decoration I buy another three to overshadow the bizarre bits and the theme never gets lost.  As this is our last winter in the UK I will probably keep the white and silver theme going as Im sure summer Christmas’s to come will be filled with neon and colour.

So far I’ve found a garland of small wire star fairy lights, a wreath in a heart shape of painted white berry’s and a little grey felt tree with a bit of white embroidery on it.  Two of my favourite places to buy decorations from are Paper Chase and The White Company who are, for me, are the epitome of Christmas. They do it so so well!  And actually I must mention Waitrose too, as whilst I walk around doing my shopping I always manage to chuck one in as if Im throwing in the usual pack of apples (it doesn’t make me feel like Im actually spending extra on unnecessary extras as it gets lost amongst the food shop.

Paper Chase do amazing wrap and ribbons too, their decorations are especially fun and different which is where I will take Oliver and Adam to again for picking out their tree decorations this year.  I have gathered a few of my favourites below and put them into their themes. All decorations featured are picked from Paperchase, John Lewis, The White Company and Liberty. Never right off your local supermarket, Ikea or a little independent store where I have picked up many little trinkets along the way.

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The playful Neon Tree
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The rustic winter tree
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The Glamour Tree
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Winter White Tree
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Traditional Red, Green & White Tree

Well I won’t say Happy Holiday’s just yet but happy decoration hunting. Now we just need the trees to come out….(Big cheesy grin).

Had to share the Happy holiday’s caravan (below), one of the cutest I have come across which I might have to pop into my shopping basket next time!

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The heart and soul….

I think most modern families would agree that the kitchen is most definitely the heart and soul of the house.  With the crazy lifestyles we lead, its pretty much cook, sit, eat, clean and run off.  So with this in mind to maximise the rushed time together, the best idea, is to ensure your kitchen has a table and is a family friendly environment so everyone can enjoy themselves in the space.  This means probably a little kiddie friendly corner with mini table and chairs, a box of toys, a wall or an island side painted chalk board, perhaps a door to the outside and if you have the luxury of loads of space, potentially an island with stools as well as a big table with chairs (hmmm I love it when my mind runs wild with ideas).

The dining table in a kitchen these days serves as many things.  A homework table, an admin table (mine certainly piles up with all the paperwork I need to see to), a place to sit and drink coffee and of course a beautiful space for family and friends to sit and eat.

My pet hate however with having a dining table in the kitchen is when hosting a dinner party and all the dirty cooking utensils, pots and pans pile up around the kitchen, so its a good idea to either design the kitchen so the sink area is far from the table and if possible around the corner of the fridge for example, better yet in a separate utility room so completely invisible.

We are in the process of buying a house, a lovely old family home, HOWEVER, the kitchen is teeny tiny and is a galley type kitchen so no room for even a miniature kids table. Luckily there are two laundry/pantry style rooms on the one side and a dining room on the other, so hopefully (all fingers and toes crossed) we will be able to bash through all these walls and rather than have four separate rooms have one super large kitchen/diner.  And although Im not sure we will be able to do any work straight away, I still sit and dream up the perfect kitchen……  I love a contemporary space but Im a sucker for a bit of rustic-ness too, so I would love contemporary kitchen units with modern appliances but a large old style table, perhaps mix and match chairs, large windows and an extra large natural rug (from Coral & Hive, check out their page here). If there’s space in this design mix and match, then give me an exposed brick wall too.

Having a fire place in the kitchen really turns this into a warm happy place, however probably not necessary in hot countries!
Having a fire place in the kitchen really turns this into a warm happy place, however probably not necessary in hot countries!
Love all the light and the large island complete with chalk board of course
Love all the light and the large island complete with chalk board of course
I love the high cupboards and the ladder.
I love the high cupboards and the ladder.
A very classy kitchen
A very classy kitchen
I will take the dog too ;-)
I will take the dog too 😉
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Quite busy but looks a fun kitchen to be in.
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More of a breakfast nook, very casual, but inviting.

When the time comes in the hopefully not too distant future I will be sure to post pics of what the result actually turns out to be.  For now I will continue to day dream about my perfect kitchen layout.

X

outDOORS

I was sitting in the kids play room this morning, looking out into the garden thinking how much I dislike the door and windows in that room that lead out into the garden.  The only thing it has going for it, is the fact that it is all glass, so it brings in good light and we have good views into the garden, other than that, I would very much love to give the owner some ideas for when they decide to update.  It got me thinking that I actually have a door fetish, just to add yet another one to the list of fetish’s.  Is it a London thing? People looking at other peoples front doors all the time.  I know its not just me but all my friends and people I know are always taking pics of other peoples doors and front entrances.  I guess in London our houses are literally on the street, so are always on show, not only to the people that live on the street but every person that happens to be walking past to get somewhere else (which at this time of year is an obscene amount, with the Wimbledon tennis fans all about).

When we move into our own home (hopefully soon) I want to ensure that I pick the right doors for the house and ones that are not only attractive but that make the most of the space as well as feeling like I am bringing a bit of the outside in or visa versa.  Its great to be able to sit indoors but feel like you are out, I like open and airy spaces and I love to be able to see straight out into the garden.

Have a look at some door inspiration.

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xxx

Decorating the Abode

So like all of us Im sure, I’m pretty obsessed with Pinterest.  I just love scrolling and pinning everything I come across that looks rather heavenly, from the best kitchen counter tops, to tiles, to gardens and recipes, fashion and travel……  Basically every category. I pin away as though I am really going to be using every single idea at some point in my life, so it gives me that sense of happiness that it’s actually real, it’s really going to be mine! Do you feel like that?  I have got so many ideas going on in each of my boards that if I ever was going to renovate a home, I wouldn’t be short of ideas but I would be seriously struggling to come to a decision on what style to go with.  Hopefully I would find a recurring theme in my boards and that would show me what I seem to be attracted to.

But when it boils down to actually having to pick a design for your kitchen, a style for your bathroom tiles, the furnishings, rugs and light fittings how do we decide? Do I go with the blue and white, the all white with black accents, the charcoal grey and raw wood sort of industrial vibe or as plain and classic as possible so that you can avoid being completely sick of your entire house in just a year! You could get a decorator in to help and give advice but ultimately you need to know what you like and what you know you can live with happily.  Not to get too influenced by other people’s slightly off the wall ideas which may not suit your true personality.  I guess it also boils down to what you can afford, if you can afford to redecorate in a year or two again, then brilliant, definitely do whatever is trending now and go a bit crazy with different opulent pieces however if you don’t think you will be able to redecorate until further down the line then, call me boring, but I’m of the mindset that you should probably opt for the safe options, at least with more fixed decor like flooring and bathroom tiles and kitchen cabinets.  You can easily paint walls (although even that comes at quite a price these days) or change up cushions, reupholster sofa’s and chairs etc.

This is what I would call beautiful but safe…

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A little more adventurous with the charcoal accent wall and cushions (both easily changeable)…

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Beautiful but potential to get boring, that purple velvet could annoy me after a couple of months…

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Off the wall…. that leopard print rug…the glass panel with all the twirly patterns…its all to fussy for my taste

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OTT!

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Kitchens

Safe, this option would be very long lasting…and nobody could say a bad word about this…..

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Safe, long lasting but slightly more interesting…

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The dark teal coloured cabinets and dark green would have me wanting to change this kitchen up after a year

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Going for something this bright is dangerous, even if you do like it (not my thing)

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OTT! I don’t want to feel like I’m entering a night club when I head downstairs to make my morning coffee….

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However I am sure many of you disagree with me and what I think of the above, and that’s what makes us all so interesting and fun. Thank goodness for interior decorators and their bold tastes and brave ideas and thank goodness for choice!

I can’t wait for another decorating project, itching to get my hands into something big soon!

Hope you all have a great week and if you are in the throws of renovating have fun, hope it’s not too stressful and the outcome is totally awesome. X

Pics: Pinterest

Home Decorating

Open shelving is a great way to have all your gorgeous crockery on display. What’s the point in keeping it behind doors, especially as some pieces are used so seldom. It’s important to keep it all neat and preferably keep similar colour tones together for an organised and effective overall look in your kitchen.  Here are some pics of how to arrange an effective shelf display in the kitchen.

 

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I love a little reorganisation when I am getting bored of my displays, this is such an easy and economical way to make a statement in your kitchen. Ikea have some great shelving in all different finishes at great prices. Then all you need is a clever handyman (or you may enjoy a bit of DIY yourself, I love it) and voila all is left is to dig out your gorgeous pieces and display them.

xx

 

Pictures via Pinterest