Chairs, armchairs and sofas are featuring dramatic designs and they are bold, truly a style statement for your lounge or a relaxing corner in your bedroom. The variety hitting the stores is mind-boggling, although the key is to forget about trying to match it with your current suite, this is all about contrast.
Graphic prints are featured heavily, alongside the swinging sixties big impact tropical flowers, in fact flowers are the key trend this season, with large blooms and striking leaves placed on a subtle background colour. If your tastes are more traditional you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the array of striped chairs, from wide stripes epitomising the seaside feel to the thinner stripes perfect for the French traditionalist décor.
You may also notice the other trend this season, butterflies, nature is shouting out and the elegant winged creatures are being seen everywhere, from bedding to armchairs with beautiful fabrics and even wallpaper.
If there is just one thing this season to bring into your home, take a seat and add some sumptuous luxury to your bedroom or lounge.
Have you got walls in your home that look a little too spacey, as though they just need something to break up the width or height. There are some great ways to break this area into a cohesive mix with the rest of your room.
If you have lots of little bits you would like to display, but they would get overshadowed in a display cabinet, you can buy simple geometic shelving to create an eye-catching display area, arrange the shelves as the focal point of the wall and adorn with your knick knacks, you can even separate the shelves with a small picture or stencil around them for a more organic feel.
Develop a family gallery, choose a random picture of photos that have great memories, and depending on the style of your room, you can either have all matching picture frames or your style maybe a little eclectic, so a mixture of frames would suit and begin forming your gallery. You can arrange in a pyramid style for a more formal look, or graduate out from the largest picture frame to the smallest. This idea gives an instant impact, alongside happy times.
Words can be used on walls, from your favourite poem to a chorus from a cherished song, it also adds a personal touch and gets a conversation going. Simply stencil your chosen text onto the wall, you can buy various fonts and letters of the alphabet or you can print out from your computer. Make the letters contrast to the colours of your wall and the larger the letters, the bigger the statement.
There are other ideas to break a wall up, from displaying your ceramic plates to mirrors and large pictures, it all depends on your style, but there is no reason to be shy, make your statement!
If you thought wallpaper was just for walls, think again, there are many other practical and fun ideas you can use wallpaper for. Those left over pieces or samples can be put to good use especially in the bedroom, where you can create elegant bedroom screens to decoupage boxes for storing your personal items in. Not forgetting scented liners for your drawers, just spray the wallpaper with either your favourite perfume or scented water.
If your wardrobe doors have seen better days, you can use wallpaper for a new look, just measure your wallpaper to the size of the doors and apply wallpaper paste and stick. Make sure you paint the edges on the doors to match or contrast with your wallpaper.
One of the new ideas being used in the home, is using wallpaper in picture frames. Sometimes you would rather keep walls plain, but with the range of wallpapers about at the moment, with many in bold patterns, a simple picture frame with a sample of wallpaper could look like a work of art.
Just remember to keep your off-cuts, you might be able to think of new ways to use them.
It will soon be that time to spring clean the home from top to bottom, but if you feel this is more of a chore than fresh start to welcome in the warmer weather, then hopefully these tips will ease you into it.
It’s always good to have a plan and to be methodical when it comes to big cleaning jobs. Ideally you want to start from the top and work your towards the bottom. Use this same method when cleaning each individual room. Start at the ceilings and work down towards the skirting boards, this way any cobwebs or dust won’t fall onto newly cleaned areas.
Remember you don’t have to do it all in one day, you can spread in out over the week or over weekends and if you have other family members at home, get them involved. Give the kid’s a duster and they will merrily polish surfaces. They can even vacuum their own bedrooms leaving you the trickier jobs to attend to.
Make sure you have all the kit you need, from dusters, to new mattress protectors for the beds. There are some things that just seem to run out when you need them, these are normally bin bags and bleach. If you gather these things before you start, everything will run smoothly. Don’t forget there are cheaper alternatives than shop bought sprays. Lemon juice will remove hard-water marks and soap scum, white vinegar makes a great window cleaner and baking soda mixed with a drop of essential oil freshens up carpets in home, add lavender for bedrooms.
These little tips will get your spring cleaning off to a good start and make a chore into a family day in.
Sometimes there is nothing better than snuggling under a just clean duvet, but keeping it as fresh as the day you put it on, can be a bit tricky. These little tips will help keep your bedding and bed as fresh as a daisy.
Forget about making your bed as soon as you get up, you will trap moisture, the best thing you can do is fold the covers or duvet back and let it air, so that the moisture evaporates.
Bedlinen needs to be washed once a week or fortnightly at 60°, higher if your fabric can take it. If you use pillow or mattress protectors, wash those at least once a month to keep them fresh, try and wash them at a similar temperature or to the temperature the manufacturer states.
If your mattress smells a bit tainted, try a sprinkle of bicarbonate of soda on it, leave it for between 3 to 4 hours and then vacuum off. The soda will trap unpleasant odours that build up on the mattress. Don’t forget to vacuum pillows and blankets.
It may be a little chilly outside but it is the perfect time to air bedding, it helps get rid of bugs, plus there is nothing like that clean, vibrant outdoors smell.
February is that month that happens quickly and then suddenly you are thrown into March and out of the blue you realise you haven’t thought about spring cleaning or the little jobs. To pre-empt the start of spring you can get a few things done before February, this little check list should help to make it easier.
Be Gone Clutter
As this isn’t a full spring clean, try to focus on getting the kid’s rooms de-cluttered. Although Christmas may seem an age ago, older toys will have been thrown aside to make way for the new, if you find there is a pile gathering dust in the corner, it’s time to get them down to the local charity shop or sell them online.
Hide What Can’t Be Thrown
Ah is this the cheats way of doing it you may ask, well not really, this is the time to get your storage solutions in order before your big clean up operation. You could think about using a bookcase and doubling it up by buying canvass drawers in bright colours interspersed amongst books.
Get Your Seeds Ready
The garden will soon be crying out for attention and it will be best to get some seeds sprouting on the windowsill, a great way to get kids involved with the garden. They’ll love to check to see what is happening everyday. If you are unsure about growing seeds bring a bit of the spring time feel into the home with bright coloured vases, housing spring flowers, such as tulips and daffodils. Or a pot full of budding crocuses.
A good time to make sure your pets have had their flea treatment is now, as the weather can warm up quickly and this can lead to an outbreak of the dreaded pest. Also it’s worth investing in new bedding for your pet, luckily there is such a wide choice of fabrics now, there is bound to be something match your new spring decor.
A few little ideas to move towards the big to do list that besets all of us by the time those daffodils start to raise their yellow trumpets.
Trying to provide an inspirational space that makes your child proud to invite their friends into, allows you to show guests around without visibly cringing and creating a space that is eminently practical, almost seems an impossible task.
Hopefully these tips will help to reduce the enormity:
- Storage is key – it’s amazing what a tiny baby needs, and as they get bigger so do the toys, so think shelves, boxes and units. Even if you have a small box room, that can’t take much furniture think about wall shelving and perhaps having one larger wardrobe that houses everything rather than a chest of drawers and smaller wardrobe. Or look at Cabin bed solutions that integrate storage into the bed by raising the actual bed upwards. Kids love it because it has all the benefits of being on a top bunk without having to share, and most cabins come with a wide assortment of desks, drawers and wardrobes already integrated.
- Allow the bedroom theme to be as eclectic as your child. The wonderful thing about children is they go in and out of trends daily, so go for a blank canvas wall colouring and let the pictures, motifs, accent walls, curtains and bedspreads take care of the Superhero, Thomas, Barbie or Hello Kitty themes. That way you won’t be redecorating every five minutes. And your child individualises their bedroom by their eclectic mix of themes.
- Window treatments with a bit of forward thinking can grow with the child. Go for something more generic rather than themed or very ‘of their age’ and you can afford to spend a little more. Bright stripes or spots or gingham will transcend ages well. Obviously make sure you avoid cords with small children.
- Consider the uses of the room well before you start. Is it a playroom as well as a bedroom? A study area? If the child is young will you need a daybed to sleep on when those inevitable nights they don’t want to sleep on their own set in? Where are your plug sockets, light switches, heating sources? It’s almost worth jotting a plan on a piece of paper to start with. You’ll save yourself time in the long run.
- And finally – include your child. Kids are naturally creative and love to be included. Discuss their favourite themes. Let them select their bedding or pictures. Make them feel it’s their own special space and they helped to create it.
We’re all looking for ways to save a bit of cash these days, and the trend for all things home-made from Cards to cushions, has given us not only a feel-good factor (that card would have cost me £2.50), but also lets lose our creative inhibitions.
So go for it – have fun sourcing crazy buttons, buy a cheap hat and jazz it up. Or take a course in beading and make everyone necklaces and bracelets for Christmas. Extend your creativity to your furniture and move things around. Don’t be afraid to completely re-plan your space according to how you best use it. If you have a large open plan area at the back of the house and a smaller dining room at the front which nobody ever really uses, why not change this into a cost lounge space to retreat to in the evenings, or a cinema room? Accessorize each individual area in a room – from a shelf, to a fireplace, dressing on sofas etc. You will be amazed how different a room can look when you toss a string of pearls over a dressing table mirror, add a few antique books to a dressing table and a put some dried roses into a glass bottle that you’ve up cycled.
Enjoy your home, the more you individualise it the more it will be a true statement of you.
Summer has sadly been and gone and we are in the long bank-holiday less run up to (dare we say it) Christmas. So it’s time for a big sort out in your home office. Anything requiring action – letters, bills etc. store in an on trend vintage style tray – wire mail boxes are very now. Fix a wall of panel pins in the wall above your desk and hang retro metal bulldog clips straight out of the 80′s, perfect for those to-do’s lists, receipts and pictures. You’ll be amazed what a design statement a bin makes – from bright colours to odd shapes, with or with lids, whatever takes your fancy.
Invest in a good office chair – one that looks great and is fully adjustable. It will last you a lifetime and from a back perspective is worth every penny.
Make sure you have plenty of storage – files, boxes etc, and file in subject and date order so you can easily find what you are looking for. Keep records for up to 6 years and shred anything older. Store your most important documents – passports and birth and marriage certificates in a fire proof box.
Now sit back and enjoy your hard work.
As the world cup grabs our attention, it would be fairly safe to assume, that we want to be comfy watching England play, even if our nerves don’t hold up well under the pressure.
Big sporting events tend to gather everybody around the TV and sometimes there just doesn’t seem to be enough room for everyone to sit down. A great idea is to invest in some bean bags, ideal for kids to flop on, freeing up the sofa for the adults.
Once the beanbags have served their purpose, then they are great in kids bedrooms, not forgetting their comfortable and cosy enough to go into adult bedrooms. They come in a great range of colours, so choosing one will be easy.