Spotted: Nkuku

A little while back a friend on Facebook shared the link to nkuku, a lovely online home store with lots of tempting home accessories and some salvage chic furniture. Funnily enough, when I was away in Wales 10 days ago I found lots of pretty things to buy in a house shop in Hay-on-Wye, and happened to notice that they were all from nkuku too. It must have been fate…

One of the biggest lessons I learned over the last few years whilst doing up the last house was that as lovely as it is to decorate, it’s the finishing touches that make a room look ‘done’. It’s my resolution to not scrimp on those details this time around so I’ll definitely be taking a look at nkuku.

What do you think readers? Up your street?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Spotted: Magpie Miller

Right now, I’m on a real mission to get some key areas of my home sorted out and it’s lead me to re-investigate some of my favourite online stores. (Remember when I first featured Magpie Miller in 2011?) Magpie Miller recently shot their latest offerings for their spring/summer collection and I loved the styling so had to take a second look…


Credits: Products, Magpie Miller // Photography, John Day // Styling, Charlotte Love.

I love the curated collection that Elissa oversees, mixing salvaged and re-loved pieces with decidedly modern bright and beautiful finds like these gorgeous geometric shapes. I can just imagine these hanging in a baby’s room or as a decorative feature in a modern home.

I thought I would share some of my favourite pieces and invite you to look around the rest of the store. I’ve got my eye on a few things – how pretty is the oh la la print and the mint green moon screen print? Or these 1960’s ombre pastel glasses? I’m imagining summer cocktails…

What’s your favourite Magpie Miller find?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Bedside style…

This afternoon’s post is a bit of a rambling one, but you know what, sometimes you’ve just got to get it all out. Plus, I’m really looking forward to getting an opinion on what you guys like.

Our bedroom was redecorated a couple of years ago now (I’ll share it with you guys sometime soon,) and although I still like the original style, I’m kinda ready for a bit of a switch around. One of the things we didn’t change was the bedsides. We have some classic white IKEA bedsides which I like because they are tall, but I’m really not in love with any more. Trouble is, I’m struggling a bit to find something that I really like to replace them. So they have lived to fight another day.

Midcentury modern low wooden bedside // Tallboy // Crates // Wooden stool

Don’t get me wrong. I have had tons of ideas. First up, I wanted to add a touch of warmth to the predominately white room and thought about getting a salvaged item (like a couple of stacked crates,) or a piece of stylish second hand furniture. You know how hard it is to come across one of those though, right? I like the idea of repurposing something else, like a stool or chair and I also like seeing items of furniture that aren’t bedsides, being used in alternative ways. Like the tall boy above or, hello gorgeous console…

Console as bedside.

Unfortunately, my beside drawer is a hell-hole of items that I like near me when I’m in bed. Everything from receipts that were culled in the last purse clear out, to matches, sticky rollers for cat hair and hand cream. None of which are catered for in this storage-deficient beauty.

Blue bedside lamp // Acrylic (or lucite as they call it in the US) console as bedside.

I’ve thought about sticking with white and I particularly love the many single drawer bedsides like the one on the left above, or whilst I was browsing for this feature, I came across these acrylic ones which give a great illusion of light and space. Here we are again with the hiding the clutter thing though.

Silver leaf // Mirrored bedside

I already have a mirrored dressing table and as a result, I’ve been wondering about getting mirrored bedsides, but I’m just not sure if that’s a little too glamorous for my current tastes. I like to knock back the luxe look with a bit of rustic rough-about-the-edges-ness.

Luggage 

I’ve seen loads of stacked up luggage options (although most are Louis Vuitton and I really don’t love that logo,) but they don’t seem all that practical either – great storage, but can you imagine unstacking them every time you wanted to get in?

Blue bedside and navy walls.

Right now, foremost in my mind is adding some colour to the bedroom, so the idea of a coloured cabinet is very appealing. I love turquoise, but I’m not sure how I’m going to feel about it come the winter months. Will it look out of place and ill-conceived?

So, tell me readers what you have got, or what you’re lusting after and if you’ve got any advice for me. I’d love to hear what your thoughts are on my selection today too…

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Getting Pretty on the Cheap

This afternoon you’re in for a treat readers. Kimberly is back and with a bang. Her home was a huge hit when it was featured on FF a while back but now you get the real scoop, how she got it that way and without splashing too much cash. Thanks Kimberley!

Why hello gorgeous Florence Finders! I’m Kimberly from Swoon Worthy and I’m more than thrilled that Rebecca has asked me to fill in whilst she’s off on her travels. I’ve had the privilege of hanging out with you lovely lot in the past when Rebecca shared my home in progress a few months ago and I’m back again to share with you one of my most favourite topics: how to make your home gorgeous without spending bucketloads of cash.

It’s easy to think that in order to have a beautiful home, you have to have loads of money to throw at it. But who wants to spend more money than you have to? Why not save that cash for globe trotting, pretty shoes and going out with your mates? (See, when I put it like that, it sounds so much more useful, doesn’t it?)

In the last 2 years of owning our home, we have stretched every last penny out of getting this place up to scratch (and still going). We have bargained, searched, learned loads of new skills and made bargain hunting into an art form. So I’m here to share with you my Top Tips for Getting Pretty On the Cheap. Let’s get started, shall we?

eBay’s “Saved Search” is Your New BFF

This is by far my top tip. Thrift shops around my way aren’t too great although you can of course find bargains if you persevere. Personally, I like to shop from the comfort of my own pyjamas and home, and the beauty of both the eBay website and the eBay mobile app is that I can do it anywhere. Learn what you are searching for and then don’t assume that everyone knows how to list items properly. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen things listed as ‘Shabby Chic’ that weren’t even REMOTELY in that genre. Consider searching common misspellings as well – so if you are looking for a chest of drawers, be sure to search ‘Chest of Draws’ as well!

Now, eBay has a little feature called ‘Saved Searches’ so if there’s something in particular that you are looking for, set one up. It will email you every day that there are new items listed that meet your criteria. I always have about 4 or 5 big ticket items that I’m looking for at any one time so it’s much quicker and more efficient to have eBay do the work for you and you’ll learn not only how often these items come up but also how much the going cost is.


I scored the vintage coffee table and white cowhide rug using Saved Searches and saved 50% on the cost of the rug (it was new) and only paid £30 for the coffee table.

For furniture, be sure to set your search results so that it only shows you items that you can reasonably drive to to pick up. If you know you won’t drive from Portsmouth to Leeds to pick up a tulip table, there’s no point in the search results bringing these ones up. Create your search specifically to your needs. At a bare minimum, be sure to enter Location (25 miles to my postcode works for me but you can go as near as 5 or 10 miles away) and the maximum price you are willing to pay. No point in the search bringing back items far above your budget and you’ll be less tempted to spend more than you intended.

Understand the Power of Paint

You’ll never feel more immediate gratification than painting a room. The impact a tin of paint can make is far greater than any cost to you. Bear in mind one thing however… cheap paints are a false economy. Spring for good quality paints and you can finish a room in two coats. Avoid the single coat stuff, it’s usually very thick and gloopy and it just doesn’t have the coverage nor does it go as far as the normal stuff. I tend to use Dulux the most often – it’s not as cheap as some of the own-brand paints and not as expensive as some of the higher end ranges but it gives brilliant coverage and Dulux will colour match to anything at all. The range of existing colours is truly never-ending.

The bathroom went from boring white to peacock blue – it’s saved me a bundle because I originally wanted to rip the whole thing out but this has bought me time to save before I look at a complete remodel. The full ‘makeover’ cost around £50 including the new hooks.

Learn How to Wield a Spray Paint Can

Spray painting is the perfect way to enliven any older piece or give something a new lease on life. I use it for any small projects, especially on those where I don’t want to see any brush strokes. Pretty much anything can be spray painted although bear in mind you may need a primer coat for things like plastics or anything with a glossy finish. In terms of technique, stand about 20cm back from your object and using steady strokes, move spray back and forth across the object, never resting it on any one place. A single thin coat is MUCH better than a single heavy one (think drips) so let it dry between coats and try at least one or two for even coverage. My go to spray paint? Montana Gold. It comes in lots of colours and is actually cheaper than the stuff you get in B&Q or Homebase. It also gives fantastic opaque coverage.

My vintage faux bamboo chairs were another eBay bargain – just £90 for four of them. They were an ugly dark green with beige seats when I found them but spray painting and recovering them gave them a new lease on life! The mirror was originally a grey wrought iron. Spray painting it gold and giving it an antique finish now makes it stand out on the bedroom wall.

Learn to Sew in a Straight Line

I know a lot of people are scared of sewing machines but honestly, with a few basic skills you can make so many things. Cushions, curtains and table runners? No problem. If you have a friend or relative that sews, ask for them to show you some tips and then just practise. There’s really something very satisfying about sewing your own soft furnishings and it’s not difficult at all!

After failing to find nice cushions in my red and white palette, I decided to simply make my own. Cost? £10.

Learn how to paint furniture

An old piece of furniture from eBay or a hand me down from a relative can be completely revitalised with a bit of paint. There are a million tutorials for painting furniture online, no matter what kind of a finish you would like. Do a search on Google or You Tube for lots of tips from lots and lots of bloggers. Preparation and oil-based primer is your friend here. Look for items that are in good overall condition and have good lines.

This chest of drawers total cost was around £55. It was originally an orange-y brown eBay find for £30. Painting it cost me another £25. The sideboard cost me £50. A coat of oil-based primer and a couple coats of white paint gave it a much-needed refresh.

Get Comfy With Basic DIY Skills

If you are not afraid to wield a tape measure, a hammer, a screwdriver and a drill, you’ll be fine. Depending upon others just doesn’t do in this age of women being able to do it as well as the guys. Again, if you are unsure, check out tutorials online – there are video tutorials and brilliant blogger step by steps everywhere if you look. Most importantly, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Honestly, if I can tile a kitchen, anyone can do it.


My boyfriend learned to plaster, lay underfloor heating and install lighting via the internet.

Flower Power

Don’t be afraid to scatter cheaper blooms around a room. I always have fresh flowers and have no problem buying £3 packs of roses or carnations from Tesco or Aldi – single blooms work better so you can throw a few blooms in various containers and group them randomly. Fresh flowers just add a natural touch, colour and texture that simply can’t be replicated any other way. Ever better? Grow your own and during the spring and summer, you won’t have to spend a dime!

All these flowers were from my own garden and the ‘vases’ are simply empty alcohol, vinegar and oil bottles! Cost? Free.

Give Yourself Permission for 1 Splurge Per Room

If you fill a room with only cheap disposable things, you may be less inclined to truly take care of it. Save your money for the really special stuff and when you are ready, go for it. There are certain things like sofas and bed linens that are a false economy. Buy the best you can afford and take good care of it. It’ll make a room that much more special to you.


The sofa has been our biggest splurge to date but after 2 years, I am still utterly and completely in love with it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my top tips today! Now it’s your turn! What are your best bargain ideas? Have you got a great eye for a bargain? Any favourites in the list I created? Anything you feel I’ve completely missed out on? I would love to hear your ideas for Getting Pretty On The Cheap and keep the blog warm for Rebecca while she’s gone.

Remember, if you want to follow along our adventures for Getting Pretty on the Cheap, come pay a visit to Swoon Worthy, it would be lovely to have you! And thank you, Rebecca, for having me!

PS Like the cushions? You can buy them here in Kimberley’s shop – Swoon Worthy Homewares

Found: Baileys Home and Garden

Last week, I wrote about my trip to The Drawing Room in Wales and promised you guys a peek into what we did whilst we were there. It’s such a beautiful area and there’s plenty to fill a weekend, depending on whether you are as lazy as we were, but that’s all coming at a later date. Today, I give you Baileys.

Baileys Home and Garden is an interiors store hidden away, near to Hereford and just outside Ross-on-Wye. Although I’ve known about it for several years (first spotted in Living Etc I think) I’ve never been in that part of the world. After traffic stopped us popping in last year on route to a wedding, I was absolutely desperate to pop in during our trip to Wales and we decided to make it our Sunday trip on the way home. (It’s actually about 1.5hrs south of The Drawing Room but closer to the motorway, so despite the detour, was quicker getting home from there than coming down originally.)


You can reach Baileys and purchase a selection of their stock online, however, I knew there was a much greater variety of things on offer in the store and was curious to see how it was all curated. Sally and Mark Bailey have written 3 books on styling your home and their salvaged, repurposed and rustic style is right up my street, so I was quite literally in seventh heaven.

Housed in Whitecross barn there are several large buildings which display their wares. You can find quite literally everything here from vegetable peelers, kitchen goods, ceramics and scented candles to sofas, antiques and 1930’s bathroom suites. The displays are quite overwhelming and I have to admit I actually went around twice, with a trip to the Tabernacle Tearoom in between, where we feasted on delicious sandwiches, heavenly cakes and washed it all down with old fashioned lemonade.

I left with a vegetable scrubber, tiny measuring cup for small amounts of fluids – (you know, those recipes that call for 20mls of milk etc,) 2 vintage milk bottles for displaying flowers and some galvanised trays for my office, but with plans to go back for more! I also loved the lighting selection. My only frustration was that so many of the salvaged items used to display their stock weren’t for sale!


So, have you visited Baileys, bought anything from there, or have I introduced you to somewhere new? I know so many of you reading will love their aesthetic!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS Head on over to Florence’s Amazon store to see the books…

Spotted: Inspiring Lighting

After last week’s stunning Kitchen make-over and an overdose of fashion pretty I wanted to get back to interiors and motivate myself to add the finishing touches to my affectionately titled ‘Grey project‘.  I’m a firm believer in surrounding yourself with as much inspiration as possible when you want to get creative… although not all of it will become part of your final project, it helps refine your own personal taste and make sure your vision is totally unique.

The problem with redecoration projects is, for me anyway, in the finishing touches and I really believe that these kind of things can’t be bought in a day if you want a truly unique look. So today I’m doing a round up of stunning lighting that has inspired me, one way or another, and hoping to give myself some salvage chic inspiration for my rooms.

So readers, do you love?

I hope I’ve brightened up your morning and do share if there is something you would consider doing in your home here.

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Win a Lee Broom decanter light with Heals

Just a short interlude to let you all know about a competition that I think is well worth entering.

Lee Broom won Designer of the Year at the 2011 British Design Awards. Already a favourite at Heals (who have previously worked with him in their Heals ReDiscovers collection, on the exclusive to Heals Architrave series) they’ve teamed up with Lee in celebration to offer one person the opportunity to win a Lee Broom decanter light from his collection.


Each light is sourced from vintage suppliers and antiques markets and transformed from the original lead crystal decanter into a repurposed light.

I think they’re gorgeous and the competition is only open for another 3 days so head on over to the Heals blog for more information and sign up to the Heals newsletter (at the bottom of the page on the left side) to be in with a chance to win!

Good Luck!
Rebecca
xo

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