Five on Friday…

Being on holiday has given me the luxury of a lot more reading time lately and today I’ve rounded up a few of my favourite finds (and reads) this week.

Ikea’s new Stocksund Sofa looks sooooo much more expensive than it actually is from £515. It’s a brilliant budget savvy buy, particularly if you think you need a new sofa for Christmas guests! I particularly love the red!

Love the simplicity of this copper wall clock (from, £29) with it’s clean lines and on trend copper finish.

As the hype about Ebola continues to grow this map was a startling reminder of how out of perspective things are getting. It is still frightening and tragic that the spread could be better contained by simple hygiene and protective measures though. You can donate to the Red Cross Ebola Outbreak appeal here.

Love these free fonts inspired by space and Astrology. You know how I love my star signs!

I laughed aloud when I came across The Day The Crayons Quit recently. It’s a book for slightly older children, maybe 4-5 and up but its a perfect present for Christmas – very witty!

Happy weekend!


The white stuff…

Since we moved there are a lot of empty spaces in our house and although new furniture is more for ahem, finished rooms, I do find myself browsing for various pieces. Right now my focus is on the nursery and I’m working on a mood board to share with you soon but in the meantime, I want a sideboard for baby’s room. Long low and white with a hint of midcentury modern about it and equally at home against a patterned wall or in a serene airy space.

  1. Dumont buffet, West Elm £599
  2. Hemnes 8 drawer chest of drawers, IKEA £180
  3. 6 drawer Ercol chest, The White Company £945
  4. Milton 3 drawer sideboard, M&S £549
  5. Bess sideboard, Dwell £399

Whether this is a good idea or not I’m not sure, and I’m imagining putting a changing table top onto of this piece so I’m not necessarily looking for something so low as some of these are, but I love the elongated look and think drawers may well suit baby storage better with shelves for toys or books? I also like that in the future this would work well repurposed in another room.

Either way, I’d love to hear your thoughts and your favourites from my selection…


Must Have Monday: IKEA Lovbacken Table

Whenever I’m looking at inspiring interiors images online, I’m always drawn to more eclectic rooms, with a mix of mid-century modern, new, vintage and reclaimed or salvaged pieces. Trying to strike that balance is difficult, but even more difficult can be finding the right pieces. What used to be a simple case of choosing a sofa, armchair and TV unit, plus maybe a console or coffee table, is now so much more complicated as no chair is complete without a quirky side table, the right lamp must dress the console and layers of rugs, art and ‘found’ objects now all finish the styling of the room.

Fortunately I think the fun is in the finding, but not at the expense of having an unfinished room forever and then there’s the price tag attached to all these coveted items. So I was pretty excited to spot this Lovbacken side table in IKEA of all places.

Lovbacken is actually an updated IKEA design from 1956 and so it’s mid-century looks are in fact genuine. Cashing in on the fact that we all like a bit of history and a story with our design pieces, IKEA are reissuing it for the Autumn 2013 collection available now in stores.

The leaf shaped top gives it an unusual look and the rich tones of the poplar veneer (the original was rosewood) and dark legs are further enhanced by the brass tipped feet. All for just £40! I’m definitely going to be snapping one of these up for my living space, before they sell out – it’s causing quite a stir in design circles.

What do you think readers?


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.


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…


Real Rooms: Bex’s Study ‘refresh’

This afternoon it’s an office make-over for a newly married couple, which cleverly combines the colour of the moment grey, with holiday ‘finds’ and subtle splashes of orange. I love how it has all come together and I’m looking forward to hearing what you all think of it!

Take it away Bex!

This room was a bit of a dumping ground for a long time since moving in here three years ago, even more so with all of the ‘wedding stuff’ we had to store (boxed vases being the bulkiest items). We never really used this room to its full potential, especially given its good size. It had always had a daybed for extra guests, (useful when both sets of parents came to stay) and a desk for Nik’s computer, bookcases for all his textbooks and notes while he was still a student and a wardrobe which contained overflow from my own, oops, and some fancy dress items! The room was then added to with coats, wellies, boxes of things waiting to be sorted, a very underused exercise bike (aren’t they all!) and all the other bits and bobs we unceremoniously shoved in there whenever we had to tidy up the rest of the flat if guests were coming. It also housed my collection of framed prints that I used to sell at craft & design fairs around Scotland but have recently had little time for. (These have been re-homed for sale in a local cafe.)

All of the above resulted in this ‘before’ monstrosity…

All images courtesy of Bex Photo

Surprisingly, the plan to tackle this room was something I decided on honeymoon, where I was inspired to re-decorate using some of our African souvenirs as a starting point. This spurred me on through the boring sorting and organising of all that stuff as I started to think of how we could make the room useful and look nice, somewhere we would actually like spending time. It actually became the perfect project to keep me busy after all the wedding frenzy of the months before!

We had a few items from our honeymoon which gave me the basis of what kind of style we wanted, including framing some of my own pictures taken on safari, so I started a Pinterest board for ideas and colour schemes (which inspired the grey walls/white furniture plan). We decided we wanted a modern room with white furniture to match the existing Hemnes Daybed and to set if all off against grey walls. We didn’t want to go too dark on the walls as the window is tucked into a corner and we didn’t want it to end up ‘dingy’. Moving the mirrored wardrobe helped to reflect some of the light back into the room rather than being wasted in the corner. We decided on a Valspar colour, Windswept, from B&Q. Since the room has been finished, I have also made a Pinterest board detailing some of the items in it and where they were from if you like the look of anything.

So here is the ‘after’ with our stripped back room…

All images courtesy of Bex Photo

I tried not to go for green accents again, as in most of our other rooms, so we decided to mix it up a bit more and we had a multi-coloured painting from the Masai market in Nairobi. We also purchased a Masai beaded necklace so I thought I would incorporate more orange into the room with some sunset pictures.

All images courtesy of Bex Photo

Luckily the orange colour worked well as most of the African safari pictures had an orange tint to them anyway. I really liked the thought of having them all black and white but decided to make it a bit different by leaving three of them in colour.

All images courtesy of Bex Photo

The frames were Neilson frames from Hobbycraft and were £17.99 each so it was pretty pricey all together but I’m really pleased with the overall result! Mounting and printing them ourselves saved money so it was approx £174 in total. I love the fact they look good but also remind us of our amazing time on safari on honeymoon.

All images courtesy of Bex Photo

The cushions were from M&S, The White Company (15% off thanks to FF!) and Slumber Slumber. Nik sold most of his old books and recycled his notes so we could downsize in the bookcase department. We replaced 3 bookcases just one from Ikea and filled the bottom shelves with cupboards to try to make it look less square and boxy, and to hide some of the uglier books. I took the old lime green file boxes my Mum had donated when she moved and painted them grey with left over wall paint.

All images courtesy of Bex Photo

The unusual string balls were bought by the side of the road in Nairobi and were the main inspiration for re-doing the room. Nik’s conditions when agreeing to buy three was that we had to know where we would put them and I convinced him on my ‘African honeymoon study’ idea. They’re supposed to be light-shades but I just removed the metal hangings from inside as I liked the way they were hung from the trees in bunches like this in Kenya.

All images courtesy of Bex Photo

I finally got round to framing our degrees and diplomas to keep them safe and out of the way. We didn’t want them to be too ‘in your face’ so we hung them high up along the ceiling. In retrospect I wish we had stuck the map a little lower but it’s difficult to judge when one of you is holding up a huge sheet of plastic to the wall.

The amazing map of the world wall sticker is also from and came with coloured dots to mark the places we’ve been. We now want to try and go to more places in the middle of the big black areas to make the dots more obvious and spread out – probably not the usual way to choose places to travel to but it could be fun! We’ve mostly stuck to the coast before due to our love of scuba diving but would love to try travelling in more different places in the future.

I hope you’ll agree it was quite a transformation! We now spend so much more time in there, I particularly love my new snug corner on the daybed where I can curl up under my knitted throw with a good book while Nik’s working on his computer.

I have been dying to share this with the Florence Findettes because I need a little help. We have decided to keep and display our large apothecary jars we used at our wedding but have no idea what, if anything, to put in them. Please help!

Great job Bex – I particularly love how you have managed to make all this things I always want to buy on holiday that then look out of place in cold grey england work so well together, particularly the safari photos and cohesive splashes of orange. The map is a great way to nod to the travel theme in a chic way and I love your certificates placed so high like that – genius idea!

Do leave Bex a comment if there’s something you like or if you want to ask her anything, I’m sure she’ll be around to help you out!


PS You can find Bex at her blog The Olive Dragonfly and on twitter @OliveDragonfly. You can also see more of Bex’s stunning photography on her photography website: Bex Photo.

Real Rooms: A White with Brights Office make-over

This afternoon, you’re all in for a treat. It’s a Real Room and, like Juliet who is sharing her office space with us today, I reckon office spaces are amongst my favourite to swoon over when collecting inspiration online. It’s fabulous seeing where creative people make the magic happen and how they express their personality and fuel their own creativity by decorating their workspace so I hope you enjoy looking at Juliet‘s (who is a professional photographer) office renovation.

I have a little confession to make, I am utterly addicted to seeing people’s workspace. However, not some boring corporate office, no, the creative type’s home office. There is indeed a new term for it, ‘Office porn‘. There I said it, I love a good workspace, I love discovering them on line, I love pinning them in Pinterest and I have an Inspiration board to prove it!

Image Credit: Juliet McKee Photography

So anyway, I recently had the audacity to turf my youngest child out of her room and claim is as the heart of my business 🙂 Don’t worry, she’s fine and happily sharing bunk beds with her big sister in a room twice the size. For 4 long years I had ‘holed’ up in the corner of my dining room. It was cramped and lacked storage space, the room was a clutter and so was my brain. Clearly something had to change. Photographers like me can spend a great deal of time at their desk; making phone calls, emailing, planning, editing, blogging, and the odd bit of social networking – of course. For me this environment needs to be light and airy with plenty of fresh air. A comfortable seat is a must along with a desk that’s the correct height, ignore these and you’ll be well on your way to developing a very uncool ‘Dowager’s Hump’!

I decided white walls would provide a good blank canvas, with bursts of colour being provided by accessories. I couldn’t resist hanging the tissue paper pom poms left over from my daughter’s birthday party for some instant colour.

Image Credit: Juliet McKee Photography

My desk lamp is a combination of a lamp bought from Tesco sale with a custom shade bought on line. I love Amy Butler’s glorious ‘Bliss’ fabric and the way it clashes with the green lamp base. The little storage draws are really useful for lip salve, tape, memory cards and all sorts of little knickknacks I usually mislay. I would love a beautiful Mac, it would look so sexy on my desk, but for now my Iilama monitor does a great job. My Harmon/Kardon speakers are also see through providing great vibes while I work yet taking up little visual space.

Image Credit: Juliet McKee Photography

The best thing about the room is that it looks over the garden! Being south facing it’s a very bright room. This was my first attempt at fitting a blind. (It’s fine as long as no one hangs off it!).

I created the word art for these Ikea frames in Photoshop, I’d just seen Julia Roberts interviewed by Oprah on her role in Eat Pray Love and they seemed the perfect inspiration for me, with a little bit of customization.

Image Credit: Juliet McKee Photography

I now have loads of storage for paperwork, books and equipment. Everything has a place and my brain as well as my office is now less cluttered.

Before the makeover the room was the quintessential pink girlie nursery and I loved it, but time moves on and I think it’s important to use the space you have creatively. I know for a fact that I am so much happier in my work now I have this room to work from, it was the right thing to do.

Get the look:

  • Desk, book shelves, pinboard, grey filing cabinet, white frames,white storage files and boxes, all Ikea.
  • Pink and blue storage boxes on shelf; W H Smith.
  • Chair; Dwell.
  • Lamp base: Tesco.
  • Lamp Shade; ShadyLady.
  • Black and white Vintage frames; Ebay.
  • Mini desk draws, Wilkinson.
  • Files, Tesco.


So what do you think readers? Do you have a home office space? Are you a fan of white with brights decor?




Shed some Light on it…

Well good afternoon! After all the excitement of this morning’s launch, lets settle down to some of the fabulous finds you can expect on a regular basis. We’re getting straight to the good stuff (or some of my favourites at least!) …Interiors.

I enjoy lighting so much that instead of over indulging and having rather too many lamps and statement lights, I am caught in a quandry of indecisiveness. Our dining room has been the subject of much ‘lighting’ discussion, many a walk around a lighting department and 5 years on, we are still with the same pendant shade. ( – a tin punched lantern bought in the souks of Marrakesh but now slightly rusty. Nice.)

Today, I thought I’d do a round up of task lighting, inspired by this stunning salvage look creation (Teak and Brushed Aluminium desk lamp) from Cox and Cox. You might have seen it adorning the front of their Autumn catalogue. As I searched I found quite a few, including a bargain from Laura Ashley with a similar look and some very utilitarian clamping lights from Plumo

*Teak and Brushed Aluminium desk lampCox and Cox, Cream enamel and wood lamp – Laura Ashley, Utilitarian Clamp light – Plumo.

Of course, no round up of task lighting is complete without the design classic that is the Anglepoise. The 1227 is the one I’m referring to, but I love equally the slightly retro, jewel bright glass shaded 1228. It’s inspired many a reproduction and you can even get a similar look from stores like Ikea.

*Blue Work Lamp – Ikea, Anglepoise 1227 in Cream – John Lewis, Anglepoise 1228 (with blue shade) – John Lewis.

I do rather like a bit of a retro feel to a desk lamp, and the blue one below has an air of late fifties design about it. Traditional lamps don’t look out of place even on a modern desk (Ikea coming up trumps here again) and this white lamp would be just as at home in a sleek all-white scheme as a rustic home office in the garden shed.

*Penelope Task Lamp in Slate – John Lewis, Hector Table lamp – Baileys, Nickel work Lamp – Ikea.

King of Quirk, Graham and Green make a couple of bobby dazzlers if you want something really different.

*Teacup desk lamp and Reclaimed Tap lamp

Not given your desk lamp a second thought? Or have you got a special piece to share? Drop a comment in the box and do let us know!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...