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I’m busy on an exciting project – decorating my daughters bedroom on a budget so this guest post about creating a magical room for your daughter is just perfect timing. I think you will agree there are some great tips here!
When it comes to making your little girl’s dream of becoming a princess come true, where better to start than with her bedroom? We’ve put together a guide to turning a plain old room into something enchanting:
Choose girly shades, but in an innovative way
You may be tempted to plaster the walls with baby pink paint or magenta wallpaper, but why not give the room a more stylish edge that will let the extra special accessories you fill it with stand out even more? Consider going for a neutral colour like beige for the walls, with a grown-up edge courtesy of one feature wall in chocolate brown as HGTV suggests? Now have fun with bold curtains, bedding, lamps and rugs to give it that playful streak.
If it’s not practical to paint the walls, perhaps because you rent your home, why not hang a brightly-coloured piece of art in the centre of the largest wall? Even better, spend an afternoon creating a masterpiece with your little girl – she’ll love having her own work in pride of place!
Think long term
Choosing a simple but comfy white bed like one from the range here will allow you to go as wild or as subtle as you like with the rest of the décor, without it clashing with the central feature. It’ll also allow you to change the room’s style in the future, without having to change the bed.
Let her feel all grown up
Every girl loves a dressing table, so make sure it’s a feature of her newly-styled room. Match it to the bed for a neat and stylish finish.
Bring in the fairies
Fairy lights in the bedroom look fantastic for the festive season, but they needn’t just be for Christmas! Pink fairy lights around a bed, curtain rail or mirror will create a magical atmosphere that’s for a fairytale princess!
Image source: weheartit.com
If she’s not into pretty pink…
Not all little girls want a typically girly room: create something that is young and fun with a pop-art-inspired room. Think graphic patterned rugs, citrus-bright walls and a rainbow of cushions on the bed. White furniture and a white ceiling will ensure the look doesn’t become overpowering, and opt for curtains or blinds in light colours, to ensure the room still gets maximum daylight to keep it feeling fresh and inviting.
Image source: myhomerocks.com
Last week I was invited by Ekornes, makers of the famous stressless furniture, to visit the Grand Designs Live exhibition. Having watched Grand Designs faithfully for years I was excited to see what and who would be there. With over 500 exhibitors across all areas of interiors, gardens, home improvement, self-build, renovations and technology, I knew it would be a busy day! The show was absolutely buzzing, packed with people from all walks of life, young and old, from shoppers in search of the latest foodie gadget to couples actually building their own houses (with blue prints and all – jealous!).
I started off in the interiors section as this is after all, my biggest love. I adored walking the aisles and admiring the beautiful products and rooms sets. It definitely appealed to my expensive taste (I have a distinct knack of choosing the most expensive thing in a shop although strangely I’m actually hardly materialistic at all!). Saying this I could easily have spent a million pounds here and it was very enjoyable to do an imaginary shop with my partner and dream up our beautiful ideal home, down to which hot tub we would choose!
From the interiors section we moved onto the eco home area which was fascinating and inspirational and then onto self build where we let our imaginations run wild. Moving onto the gardens area which showcased a gorgeous array of luxury hot tubs, modern gazebos and small outhouses for guest lodgings. The food section was all about feeding yourself, trying new flavours and gadgets and was packed! We squeezed our way through to the kitchen and bathroom section which was all about the latest technology and luxury must haves.
As it was very much a visual feast, here is my photographic report featuring my absolute favourites from the show! Enjoy :)
This ship come bench appealed to my love of the coast and mermaids soul ;)
I have a cupboard very much like this in my house and I adore it. But now I want this one too!
Stressless office chair. You have NO idea how comfy the stressless furniture is until you have tried it. I swear it is made of dreams and bouncy clouds…
Love this way of storing firewood!
I’ve always liked storing books like this. Price tag was rather large on this bookshelf though :/
Amazingly fun kid’s bedroom. I’ve taken some inspiration from this and am planning on redoing Littlelish’s bedroom soon. Watch this space.
I am still a lot in love with geometric patterns
This would be amazing for Littlelish. Such clever, thoughtful design.
This is our new hot tub ;)
I thought this was a really interesting way of personalising glass. You could have anything set inside it!
Some really fab kitchens. This one is by Miele and featured some pretty impressive technology. Made me realise how old school my kitchen is, but I love it just the same :)
Immense hanging tent!
I really adored the originality of this buckle table by Halo
I love the movement and elegance of this design.
Fascinating zero bills house. Food for thought indeed.
Fab way of displaying record covers by Art Vinal
Reborn paint. Totally natural paint.
I would love this office. Very, very me.
Not sure about the decor but I love the idea of a covered round table for dining al fresco with friends.
This room was designed with originality as the theme. I just love mixing and matching old and new and finding interesting peoples that appeal to your personality.
What about you? See anything that you fancy for your dream home?
Ekornes ASA is the largest furniture manufacturer in the Nordic region, owning such brand names as Ekornes, Stressless and Svane. The company’s vision is to be one of the world’s most attractive ergonomically designed suppliers of furniture for the home. Through their brand Stressless, they have one of the most famous furniture brands on the planet, while Ekornes and Svane are household names on the Norwegian market. The business concept of the organisation is to provide products that appeal to a broad audience in terms of both price and design; as well as manufacturing furniture that offers both excellence when it comes to comfort and functionality.
The Stressless recliner was introduced by Ekornes in 1971, developed to provide the body with the ultimate in comfort and support while sitting upright or reclined. This philosophy of offering comfort has been a commitment for decades and is a vital part of the pursuit of perfecting the ultimate seating comfort in the current range of recliners and sofas.
Recently I’ve been struggling a little with motivation. Motivation to write my blog, motivation to tidy up, motivation to get into action… In all fairness I am pretty tough on myself and do set myself quite high standards but anyway I’ve found myself in a bit of a slump. Maybe it is because the sunshine disappeared, maybe its because I am having trouble focusing, who knows? Yesterday I went to do a yoga class for the first time in ages and you know what? It made me feel fantastic. It got me thinking about the things that make me feel good and give me a sense of wellbeing. May it serve as a reminder to myself but also perhaps inspire some others out there :)
Joining my old yoga class yesterday felt great. I felt empowered, calm and centered.
2. Classical music
After leaving my yoga class I turned on the radio. Being in such a serene state meant no other radio station was listenable besides classic fm. Classical music really does something to me, to my brain. It’s especially wonderful when driving in the sunshine I find.
The sunshine makes me feel revived, it gives me energy and motivation. If only I could control the weather!
4. Being outdoors
Fresh air and nature makes me feel alive. It clears my head and helps me to relax.
5. Being kind
Doing kind deeds for others makes me feel good. Simple as that.
6. Spreading love
Sharing my joy, smiles and chat with even complete strangers makes me feel warm and reminds me we all thrive of love and togetherness.
7. One on one time
I treasure my one on one time with my daughter, our little conversations about everything and anything in the world. You also cannot beat one on one time with a good friend or partner, this makes me happy.
8. Fun time
Making time to do fun things, have fun and laugh. It could be as simple as a picnic in the park with Littlelish or going to a concert or gig with friends. These good times are what it is all about.
9. Making things with my hands
As a creative I love to make things and get a real satisfaction and sense of purpose when I work to create something with my hands.
10. Making love
Make love not war people ;)
What are the things that do YOU good?
I have taken so many beautiful pictures over the years, most are hidden away in folders on my computer, some make it onto facebook and occasionally they even make it into a frame!
Since moving into the new house I’ve decided that I want to be surrounded by more photographs. They capture happy times, memories and love and who doesn’t want to surrounded themselves with that?
One thing I have always loved but never actually done, is canvas printing. I don’t really know why! It is such an affordable way to create a big statement on your wall. Pictures of family and friends or beautiful shots of places you’ve been, give a talking point and that unique touch of your own personality.
So when Your Image 2 Canvas offered a £50 voucher for me to review their canvas prints I jumped at the chance. I was only faced with the dilemma of which photo to choose, I have so many beautiful ones that I love! My gorgeous Littlelish would have to be the subject but now to sort through and find the perfect one…
I loved the recent photo I took on my phone with her fairy wings on, unfortunately the quality of my phone camera is not great so I had to opt for a larger image taken with a camera. This was on the advice of the extremely helpful and patient team at Your Image 2 Canvas who looked over the initial phone image I sent them and even tried to sharpen it. In the end I went for the beautiful picture I took at last years Wilderness festival. She looks so happy and pure with a little sparkly gold butterfly on her cheek. It was a high quality image and they quickly set to print.
The website where you place your order is extremely user friendly and has very clear instructions guiding you to choose exactly what size, depth, edging you would like on your canvas. You can also select if you would like it in black and white or sepia. I opted for a large coloured square (30 inches x 30 inches), deep canvas with the image wrapping around the edges. It cost a total of £58.99 which for an artwork of that size I thought was rather affordable.
Within a day (yes one day! If you order before 3pm your product is shipped for free to you the following day) my finished product was there waiting for me in the porch. Eeeek! I was so excited to see how it had turned out and I am pleased to say it is absolutely beautiful! The print quality and finish is perfect and I really couldn’t be any happier with it.
I’ve already had both the visitors that came to my house since yesterday ask me where I ordered it from! So if you are looking for some personalised wall art I can definitely recommend checking out Your Image 2 Canvas and the huge variety of options they have available. Thank you Your Image 2 Canvas!
A home is so important. It’s the place you spend most of your time, where you create memories. As an extremely visual/aesthetic person it’s only natural that when I am surrounded by beauty I feel happier (I guess this is the same for most of us). For me living in a beautiful home, in beautiful surroundings is one of the key things in life that makes me happy. As a creative, I also need it to be an inspiring place. The house we live in now is small and perfectly formed, just right for me and Littlelish. We have a country cottage kitchen and a lovely garden, both of which we spend most of our time in.
Although it is perfect for where we are right now, I dream about the future (because you’ve always got to dream haven’t you?), about where we will be living a few years down the line. I just love property and interior design and one of my favourite things to do is check out lush properties I may consider living in if I were a millionaire ;) It can’t just be me that does this right?
I have an absolute obsession with Georgian houses, they are by far my favourite. It’s something about the elegance and symmetry, they always seem so gracious and light.
So my dream house today is this little beauty on the market with Savills based up in East Lothian (Innerwick). I know I know I’m not really going to be up-footing it all the way to Scotland but this is a dream right?
Mansewood is a stunning, secluded, B Listed Georgian property which dates from 1726 with later additions in 1830. The magnificent Palladian front elevation has a central Doric portico and classic fanlight over the front door.
I’m sold! How about you?
The house looks like a lovely family property with 5 bedroom, 3 reception rooms, 3 bathrooms & shower room, plenty big enough for us! As would be expected in any period house it has a host of gorgeous period features like flagstone flooring, log burning stoves, open fires, a free standing roll top bath and a double Belfast sink (I have a Belfast sink in my house at the moment and I LOVE it!) An absolutely stunning sweeping stone staircase takes you upstairs. Oh my goodness just imagine the photographs I could take in this house, swoon!
Most importantly for me the house is light. I love houses flooded with light! It has high ceilings, amazingly large windows and I just love how the walls have been left very neutral and light, a perfect backdrop for gorgeous furniture and art. It also lets the beauty of the building really speak for itself i think :)
The modern and new have also been merged well in the house as it has a lovely contemporary kitchen, again with those luscious windows and a cool zinc roofed extension which I think works well.
The house also comes with an annexe, Dad that could be for you? And did I mention it has a walled garden (Oh I just love the magic of a walled garden), a productive kitchen garden AND fruit trees including plum and apple?
Yes this is most certainly my dream home! Anyone got a spare £620,000 for me?
Image source: www.increation.co.uk
Sometimes when you flick though slick interiors magazines it’s hard to imagine some of the rooms after five minutes with your little tribe. But with careful thought it is possible to combine a stylish home and a fun family life.
The first thing you need to consider is whether your space is to be shared with the children or dedicated to them. Bedrooms are clearly dedicated spaces, whereas living areas may be combined. If you have enough reception rooms it may be possible to have a family or kids room separate to an entertaining place strictly for adults only.
Vincent from London interior designer Increation says he has clients from both camps; “some are happy to have spaces dedicated for the children in their lives and like to keep them separate from the ‘good living room’ and the ‘nice furniture’, whereas others like to have the whole family involved in every room.”
A dedicated space for kids can be great fun to design and live with. Bold bright colours teamed with clever materials and storage make it easy for the kids to please themselves, but still have a cool room to share with friends and family.
Image source: www.pinterest.com
Bedrooms can be really fun to design for kids, as unlike adult bedrooms they are so much more than a place to rest. In smaller kids’ rooms the range of beds that share the floor space with seating, study room or clothes storage is now huge, and the climb up to the high bed makes bedtime into an adventure they are keen to take part in. Such a piece of furniture leaves more floor space for play or seating depending on the child’s age and there is a huge market in play mats and seating to suit a vast range of themes.
Image source: www.pinterest.com
Dedicating a downstairs room for little ones is also great fun. Clever hideaway bespoke storage can be installed in simple white to last through the different ages and phases they will pass through without major redesign every few years. Deep sliding drawers that hold Lego today can be the computer game storage of tomorrow.
Image source: www.pinterest.com
Bean bags and soft furnishings can be scattered around large storage boxes for toys which can be converted to a coffee and chat area for pre teen girls later on, by replacing or updating fabrics used. Carefully designed book cases will grow with the children too, as their reading habits change and cool shelves with lots of different spaces and levels can be used to display any number of other things if they don’t turn out to be big readers.
If you need or want to have a room for shared family use, you don’t have to miss out on the fun. You can decide to embrace the child friendly look and centre your design around it, or use clever materials and furniture to minimize the children’s effect on a room.
Image source: www.pinterest.com
For example, to embrace the look you could choose some of this season’s bright limes, yellows and blues with easily washable fabrics and throws to build up a great colour palette that will mean toys and books that are left lying around don’t look too out of place. You can choose some classic artwork either direct from children’s literature – think Quentin Blake or Oliver Jeffers -to tone with the colours and bring a sense of mischief to the room. For older kids, bolder colours and some comic strip or pop art like Roy Lichtenstien could team with smooth white walls and large windows for a studio look to wow visitors of all ages.
Image source: www.pinterest.com
Again, clever storage is a must. A smooth wall of fitted units can hide a multitude of sins and there are many tables, stools and chairs on the market, which hide away more goodies! Make sure too that all flooring and furniture can survive hard knocks unless you are going for the rustic or distressed look, which could fit nicely with the latest trends for natural materials.
Image source: www.howstuffworks.com
Todays guest post is all about building your own treehouse! A subject very close to my heart, I have a small obsession with treehouses and would love to have one, um I mean build one for Littlelish ;) First I need a house with a suitable tree in the garden!
A treehouse, as many parents know from firsthand experience when they were children, is a brilliant place for young ones to play and explore – and is an excellent project for the entire family to experience together!
If you’re keen to get going with a treehouse project of your own, here’s a handy guide to getting started with your project.
Choose the perfect tree
The quest to construct the perfect treehouse begins with choosing the right tree. You will need to make sure that the tree you select is strong and healthy – this will help you build a safe and solid foundation for your structure.
Look for trees where the lower branches (the thickest and sturdiest ones) fork out into a defined Y or U shape, as these are likely to provide the most support. It’s worth knowing that beech and oak are among the strongest trees and could provide plenty of structural support.
Image source: www.popularmechanics.com
Designing your treehouse
Just as a real-life builder would never jump into construction on a house without a blueprint, you shouldn’t start building your treehouse until you know exactly what the plan is. You don’t have to be a great designer to get going with this part of the process. Remember that treehouses are built from the ground up, so you’ll begin with the deck (which requires the most support) and then up from there.
Whether you choose to add a simple railing or make elaborate changes like adding walls, windows or a tower, the base is largely the same – so you can always build on your plans later.
Image source: www.dezeen.com
Height and other considerations
One important thing you’ll want to think about during the design stage is how high up from the ground you will want your treehouse to be.
If you’re building your treehouse with young kids in mind, it’s essential to think about their safety – and remember that what (or who) climbs up can just as easily fall down. This is why it’s a smart idea to keep your treehouse at a relatively low height – under a metre from the ground is usually a sensible idea for very young children.
It is also worth bearing in mind that very tall or very elaborate treehouses may require planning permission from your local authority – if you are in doubt, contact your council to find out more information.
Image source: www.greglunger.com
Be smart about building materials
Now that you have a plan in place, it’s time to assemble your building materials – these will vary depending on the scope of your project. The most basic tree houses might be made out of scrap lumber, while more elaborate structures might require a specific type of wood. If your treehouse will include a roof, opt for pressure treated material.
You will also want to make sure you have the right tools for the job. Many DIY-ers recommend utilising some sort of pulley system to get the materials up in the tree, and of course you will need a sturdy ladder too.
Click here to find out more about hiring compressors and other useful pieces of equipment from Speedy Services to help get the job done – and remember, don’t be shy about asking a handy friend for help with this type of project.
We have some issues, already for quite some time with Littlelish and preschool. I’ve tried to ignore them in the hope that it is just a phase and they will pass but Littlelish says she hates preschool.
When I asked her today why she hates preschool she told me it was because she “already knows everything that is important in the world”.
“Mummy I know about listening, about holding hands when you are told to, about being kind, about playing with others.”
What’s more she said she hates the activities at school, she hates writing, she hates reading… Quite frankly it’s leaving me a bit worried. Especially with her starting school this September.
There is no doubt that Littlelish is an exceptionally bright little thing. We’ve known it since she was small. I know all parents think their child is bright but Littlelish really is. She can sound out 3 and 4 letters words which means she is already reading basic books. She can spell and write short words too. Her vocabulary is outstanding for a child of 3. She uses words like captured, injured and gulp on a daily basis and if you ask her the meaning of some really grown up, complex words she will be able to tell you without hesitation. She also speaks Dutch and can translate between the two languages. She is really into science in a big way and will be able to tell you all about gravity and earthquakes if you ask her.
I’m sure it’s all linked with her being highly sensitive and we are really just trying to understand it all and figure out the best way, as parents, to deal with it. I’m very much led by her and what she wants to do. I never force work or activities upon her (nor could I, she is so strong willed). Mostly she likes to be social, play with her friends or make up imaginative games. Sometimes I feel guilty, that I should be pushing her more, to develop her obviously very capable brain but then I think she is so little, knows so much already I’d rather just let her have fun and relax. After all she will be at school soon enough.
Yesterday we found out which school Littlelish will be joining in September. It’s a wonderful, small school with a very warm, friendly atmosphere. I’m hoping it will suit her sensitivities well. But I’m also so nervous about how she will take to a full day spent on learning activities. Especially as many of the initial activities, phonics, numbers etc are things she has known for more than a year now. I’m hoping to goodness they are prepared to work with us on providing activities that will stimulate her and not leave her feeling bored and uninspired.
Which is exactly how she seems to be at preschool at the moment, not being challenged by her peers or teachers is really getting to her. She has even started to occasionally speak like a baby again which as I just read in this excellent article (about young gifted children at school) is often the case when trying to fit in with their peers. Littlelish is a child with a true love of learning, I really hope we can give her the education she deserves when school time comes around!
Image source: jamesgalindo.com
Today’s guest post is about something close to my heart – ART! I absolutely love art and would love to be able to invest in some pieces one day. One of my favourite painters is actually a friend of mine, James Galindo who I met while travelling in the USA. I would so love to invest in some of his work!
If you are interested in investing in fine art, check out this how to guide.
Investing in fine art requires knowledge, the ability to diversify and a bit of patience.
Fine art investment has always been a bustling, relatively healthy industry, but since the global financial crash of 2008, it has undergone something of a transformation. New investors are emerging on a regular basis, making the purchase of art more competitive and lucrative.
How popular is it? Well, take for example the fact that 20 per cent of all registered bids at Christie’s in 2012 came from new buyers. This demographic is varied, but what they all share is an understanding that as far as investments go, in the twenty first century, art is up there with the best.
A work of art doesn’t lose value like stocks and bonds, is beautiful to look at and remains relatively robust in the face of economic uncertainty and crises. All in all, investing in art is a very, very good bet.
Here are a few things to consider.
Knowledge is power
One has to know about art. Investment in this industry is a serious business and it pays to be informed. For example, while post-war and contemporary art is currently enjoying a boom period at auction, you still need to approach buying in a shrewd manner.
Mark Rothko is one artist seeing a lot of activity, but even this abstract expressionist had works which were less than brilliant. Spotting which ones have real artistic and financial value is a skill. Where knowledge is lacking, it is best to get counsel of experts, who can point you in the right direction.
Image source: wikipedia
Expand your horizons
Buying art as an investment as opposed to developing a collection for pure passion means you have greater freedom to acquire works that may not directly appeal to your aesthetic sensibilities. The result is a diverse portfolio, one that will always hold its value, but also allow, when it comes to selling works, the ability to respond to trends and moods in the market.
Again, it comes down to information, how well versed you are in spotting developments, what kind of contacts you have and how much you are involved in the world of art both personally and professionally. It helps to know that Jean-Michel Basquiat is a serious investment at present, while it also pays to start making inroads into the Middle East. It’s not just money that is currency in art: information matters.
Image source: wikipedia
Take it nice and slow
Investors need to appreciate that art is a long-term game, one where patience is a virtue. It’s not at all unusual for people to hold onto works for an extended period of time, anywhere between five to ten years.
A work might be a commodity in pure financially sense, but, because its origins are artistic, there’s an unwritten rule that it shouldn’t be treated casually. Buying and selling works of art like hotcakes is not advisable.
For example, Will Ramsay, the founder of the Affordable Art Fair, has said that it doesn’t work to “flip it quickly”, as investors will quickly lose the respect of galleries and museums. It’s about tact.
You have to be able to present yourself as being serious, with, for example, an understanding about fine art storage facilities, provenance and art techniques. If you’re seen as being much more than just an opportunistic buyer, you will be able to win the trust of the art world’s most powerful individuals.
As far as financial pursuits go, art investment is certainly out there as one which is fun, interesting and grounded in beauty. Come rain or shine, a work of art will always sell. Sit back, enjoy it and when the time is right, it’ll go under the hammer for quite a price.
When I was hosting my pinterest party I pinned a recipe for 58 calorie chocolate muffins that I thought we could try. They were pinned from this site but apparently originally it came from Dashing Dish (although I couldn’t find them on there). Dashing Dish may just be my new favorite website btw. It’s amazing and I will definitely be trying some recipes from there soon.
We didn’t get round to making these on the night (you missed out girls!) and so I have just used the ingredients I bought to make them with Littlelish. The recipe was ridiculously easy, basically you throw everything together in a bowl or a blender, mix and pop in the oven!
Here is the ingredient list:
- 1 and 3/4 cups of oats (I used porridge oats)
- 3 egg whites
- 3/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa
- 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (or regular plain low fat yogurt)
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup hot water
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbs stevia
- 1 cup of dark chocolate chips
And the steps we followed to make them:
- I greased the muffin tin using butter (probably added a few calories but nevermind!). You would be better off using paper muffin cases if you have them. I didn’t ;)
- I only have a hand held blender (I know, poor me, I agree!) so I used this to grind the oats down into a fine powder – they pretty much flew everywhere so a blender would be better.
- I then added the remainder of the ingredients (apart from the chocolate drops) and Littlelish mixed them all together with a wooden spoon.
- We then carefully poured and mixed in the chocolate drops and spooned the mixture into the muffin tray.
- We baked for 15 mins on 200 degrees.
They came out of the oven moist, soft with gooey melted chocolate in them. They are divine and I ate 2, which totally and utterly defeats the object of making low calorie muffins but whatever! Note: you are supposed to spread this mixture out over 2 muffin tins to make 24 small muffins of 58 calories. I only used one muffin tin and made nice big muffins which are presumably then 116 calories but that is still pretty good!
Let me know if you try them and what you think! xx
- I’m a freelancer in creative marketing with a background in design and styling but when I'm not working I'm doing the most important job in the world, being mummy to my beautiful little girl! I love to create and craft and have a passion for colour and beautiful detail. This blog is all about my life, my amazing daughter, my inspirations and creations!
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