Spotted: x Living Etc

Imagine my excitement when joined up with my favourite interiors magazine to design a collection of design pieces with that extra modern edge? This summer’s isn’t the first collection but it’s the first that has been right up my street in terms of my own home’s decor and I’ve got my eye on quite a few pieces. Our master bedroom after being initially finished (i.e. no longer a building site) has languished at the back of the queue in terms of finishing touches and we’re on a renewed drive of enthusiasm towards getting the house more ‘finished’. And that includes those finishing touches. You can see our bedroom here.

As you can see, I was going for a grey and pink theme but really struggled to get the right shade of pink for what I wanted. We were still looking for a rug, cushions and throw, which I might have found in one go with this collection.

You can view all of the current x Living Etc collection here (including the pieces I have featured;) – Let me know what you think!


PS More of My House Here:
The Attic bedroom
The formal Lounge
The Kitchen

Driving me crackers…

Sorry. Festive pun. But I’m not sorry…

If I didn’t laugh right now I would cry, things are so unfinished in the house. I think a few people who have heard me say this have wrongly assumed it was a need for perfection that was stressing me out pre-Christmas, but in fact it’s a need for safety – we have children visiting and wires, boxes and heavy/breakable items (granite hearth propped up against a wall anyone?) everywhere wasn’t my idea of a relaxing Christmas for me, or I imagine their parents! We are so close to having the lounge finished but there will then be a gargantuan effort to tidy/clean in time for relatives arriving on Christmas eve. Then I might just curl up in a corner with Bea and let everyone get on with it!

Photography: Jemma Watts // Styling: Laura Sawyer // Styling assistant: Rosanna Johnson

Getting back to that pun… This year I decided it might be nice to DIY some crackers (because I have so much free time…) and I’m persisting with the idea dispute the chaos as it’s turning out to be keeping me sane whilst I’m stuck in with tradesmen, trawling the internet for little gifts and ideas. I was fully braced to completely DIY them after seeing a DIY featured in 91 magazine (the latest issue is out now!) and so I asked Caroline to share the stylists tips here…

Cracker Snap pulls were sourced from Ebay at £5.99, and you’ll need some toilet paper tubes. The stylist stuck a snap pull to the inside of a tube, filled the tube with presents, then wrapped the whole thing up in beautiful wrapping paper from Paperchase, and tied it off at the ends with ribbon from John Lewis.

How easy does that sound? Unfortunately in my disorganised state I hadn’t pre-collected the necessary loo-rolls and didn’t have time for snaps to arrive so I ended up with a DIY kit from M&S but I’m still happy filling them. I love that if you make your own you can label them for each individual person and gift accordingly, as well as tying them in with your table decor scheme. I’m planning on activities to keep the kids busy at the table, chocolate and treats for the ladies, with possibly a lottery ticket or something for the men. Crackers are always full of rubbish anyway, so why not fill them with stuff your family and friends will love and even tweak the jokes or motto’s into dinner games for between the courses?

Makes sure you check out the new issue of 91 magazine (there are some really great interiors and printables for Christmas in this issue,) and thanks to Caroline for sharing the crackers!


Triple Temptation: Brightening Baubles

Natalie Statement Necklace // Riviera Dream statement earrings // San Diego Statement Necklace

At this time of year I’m always super keen to get into spring trends and one of the biggest this season is (again) going to be pastels. The only problem is, in high winds, belting rain and temperatures struggling to reach 5 degrees, it feels a little impractical to be breaking out the palest shades never mind the risk of looking like a fashion fool.

My solution until the sun comes back and the temperatures rise a bit is to use accessories to channel the look, namely these J.Crew-esque baubles in candy brights and sorbet shades at high street prices. As usual it’s Accessorize that have the best selection of well priced and well designed pieces with all of these on my spring wish list.

What do you think readers? Can you be tempted?


Spotted: Ikea [Brakig]

Todays find is almost so good that I didn’t want to share it. With my serious double lust over geometrics and pastels, I was in near heaven when I saw the new (limited edition) Brakig collection by IKEA. The result of a collaboration between IKEA and ArtRebels, it’s bang on trend.

The range is only available in-store (Boo!) which is good news in some ways as my immediate thought was that it would instantly become ubiquitous and I’d be so disappointed. The range is wide with everything from storage boxes and trays to textiles, furniture and wallpaper.

Image via DoorSixteen

Did I mention the wallpaper? I’m currently considering a geometric design for one of our bedrooms and its not a million miles away from the Brakig white background multi-triangle design. I won’t say how much the design I was coveting is per roll, but I will tell you that IKEA’s version is yours for five whole english pounds. And whilst it doesn’t look handprinted, it isn’t thin or flimsy or shiny either.

Image via AnyaAdores. Triangle print wallpaper available in white or black, and geometric print pale coral or grey.

I’m now wondering if I should have snapped some up – I certainly didn’t realise it was limited edition or in-store only at the time. But then, there’s always a reason to go to IKEA right?


Friday Frock O’clock

Limited Edition Shimmer Stripe Dress, F&F at Tesco, £25

Yesterday, I was ruminating my choice of dress for the wedding I posted two outfits for last week with Gemma, and she sent me today’s frock. Those of you who know Gemma will know that she is Queen Of The Bargains and makes being on a budget effortlessly stylish. I know social events like weddings often cause a real problem for those of you trying to squeeze the pennies, or if in fact you just prefer to spend your money on something other than a new dress. Even if you’re not trying to save, everybody loves a bargain, and at £25 this dress is an absolute steal.

Right now I am lusting after pastels in every shape, shade and form and this frock reminds me of a tray of whipped gelato or the British seaside, a la Mulberry’s SS12 campaign. With the stripes and the shape however, it strays into preppy territory and you can bring it right up to date with the SS13 addition of metallic accessories, like the pretty model is wearing here. And for £25, why not wear it to the seaside?

Have a fabulous weekend readers!


Pastel Pretty

Pink room // Mixed pink patterns bedroom

I would say that when it comes to colour I have a fairly clear style. Give me bright, and lots of it. Although that would clearly be overwhelming in decor form, for the everyday backdrop to my life, I’m often drawn to more soothing palettes, more recently adding pops of colour to my neutral grey home.

Pastel room with copper accents // Blush velvet cushions

What I didn’t expect was to find myself drawn to were subtle pastel shades. For me, they hark back to the eighties, when every well decorated house had each room in a different shade of Dulux ‘A hint of’, in cornflower blue, and similar insipid shades.

Pink ottoman

Just before Christmas however, I noticed a trend in the interiors images I was pinning. Soft shades of blush, rose and shell pink, with muted tones and textural elements drew me in with their elegant yet modern feel.

Sugar pastels // Pink and green kitchen

Alongside a predominance of pinks, restful greens appeared and my favourites combined greys and rich metallic shades of brass and copper too.

Sage green kitchen

As it is such a departure from my usual style, I thought I would share some of my favourite examples of this new trend and see what you thought. Can you see pastel shades in your home?

Minty dining room

Let me know if you’re inspired by these images or if in fact you have already decorated in pastel shades?


Spotted: Zara Spring Drop

If you aren’t aware that Zara is possibly the hottest place to shop on the high street right now, then where have you been? Although my round up of the SS12 collections has been quiet for a while, that is because Zara has been saving the best until last and a week or so ago, it all landed with a thud online and in store at Zara.

Easily the fashionista’s favourite, it’s not hard to see why. I’m not doing my favourite picks from what’s in store because the turnover is so quick – in my experience with Zara it’s better to just hold your breath and visit frequently. But I couldn’t resist sharing these Look Book images because I am loving the neutrals and, you guessed it, those bold shots of colour.

It’s a little bit J Crew-esque with primary brights, a shot of neon, peachy faded brights and those statement necklaces. There’s a lot to be keeping your eyes peeled for in store. My other tip for scoring Zara goodness is to shop online. You’ll often find items online that never come into store, or are much later in doing so and of course, it’s much comfier shopping at your desk, and less time consuming for us busy ladies.

However, aside from the clothes, the one thing that Zara are really knocking out of the park right now on a super trend level, is their footwear. From perspex heels (made wearable for the office,) to pastels shades (with matching metal toe caps,) mirror-like metallics to chunky heels and summer ready sandals, there is something here for everyone and more often than not at a very attractive price point. Lots of the heels come in at around £29.99. I think I should be on commission!

So, have you spotted any favourites here? Or maybe you’ve already snapped up some Zara finds?

Drop me a comment below and share the Zara love,


Saturday Survey

Happy weekend everybody!

I’m having a relaxed one and hopefully spending some QT with Pete. We went to a wedding last night and now I’m nursing a bit of a sore head with a long to-do list to get started on! Later on my Mum and step-Dad are coming over – we’re treating them to dinner at Alberts for his birthday, then tomorrow I’m cooking Fish Pie for Mother’s Day and my sister is coming over.

This week it’s just one question for you, but first, five things from me to you :)

Five things…

Get 25% off at with code ‘GRAZIA25′until 27th March.

Kurt Geiger Ltd.

The new Dashing magazine is out!

A little sneak peek of my dining room make-over coming up on the blog next week…

And speaking of sneaky peeks, last month I shared a favourite corner in my home on Getting it Swoonworthy. It’s an antique scandanavian cupboard which I use to display my accessories, and you can peep inside it here.

My new nail crush? Neon and nude. Get it here from Nails Inc

Image Credit

Saturday Survey.
There’s really only one question on my mind this week, and it seems appropriate given that it’s Mothers Day tomorrow.

I’d like to know where you are in terms of having a family?

Are you…

  • Not in a relationship
  • In a relationship but not married
  • Married without kids
  • Thinking about starting a family
  • Already a parent

I hope it’s not too personal a question…

What are you doing and what did you get your Mum for Mother’s day?


Spotted: Warehouse SS12

Last season one of my favourite high street stores was Warehouse, without a doubt. It really had every trend covered at a great price point and didn’t lack quality, unlike other high street brands.

Image Credit:

So I was excited to see their take on the Spring/Summer 2012 collections and share them with you here. Last week, I was afraid some of you took me too literally when I shared Topshop’s SS12 collections. Throughout January I’ll be sharing other pre-season collections and hopefully you will see themes emerge and pick out some trends that you’ll be rocking come the warmer weather, whilst making sure that any early buys work for your Summer wardrobe too.

Image Credit:

I couldn’t see myself wearing what basically amounts to pastels when I started to look at early SS12 pictures but I’m starting to warm to them, especially the clever mixing of tones within one colour palette and the flashes of neon accenting.

Image Credit:

Sports chic is a trend that seems to surface regularly in fashion and I love this zippered nude top. The minimal details lend an expensive look to this trend.

Image Credit:

Always a fan of print, I’m already thinking about how I can make this work in my wardrobe – my money’s on a printed pencil skirt, made wearable with a colour blocked top.

Image Credit:

And lastly, the most wearable trend here I think. It’s got your occasion wear sorted, works for the formal office and feels the most familiar. Think Desperate Housewives and you’re there.

So, how are you feeling about this selection readers? I’d love to hear if you’re warming up to the trends and how you’ll be wearing them…