Here it is (FINALLY!) the before and after shots of our wood burner being installed. Come meet my new best friend...Read More
I thought I'd write a bit about mine and Neil's story saving for our place and the cuts we had to make (and still have to) to acquire a big enough deposit to buy in the Brighton/Hove area whilst keeping maintenance costs of the property in mind.Read More
You've probably noticed if you're wandering through the Fifi McGee archives that one of my favourite ways to spend a weekend is on a country walk. Those walks often inspire colour choices I go for in my outfits (autumnal shades of oranges, reds and browns) and interior plans (mustard cushions, fur textures and wild flower arrangements.) Farrow & Ball, a company every period home owner should - and do - know about for their quality paint and wallpaper, recently launched a wallpaper collection back in September and I am head over heels for it. They too are inspired by their very surroundings.
The prints in their new collection were born from countryside scenes, hazy grasses and endless hedgerows in Dorset, the home of Farrow & Ball, the very place they craft and manufacture each sheet of wallpaper one by one.
Neil grew up playing as a kiddy in those very Wimborne fields, so the inspiration for the prints feel very close to us. Above (left to right) is Blostma, Hornbeam, and Feather Grass available in various other colour stories.
We've been looking for a fresh new look in our living room that's a little less "the previous owner" and a little more us, since the day we moved in. I always loved the Eating Room Red Farrow & Ball paint inside our alcoves (as seen) but felt like the colour story didn't quite match the Farrow & Ball Bone seen on the skirting boards (which run all throughout our flat).
In need of colours and textures in line with our personalities, Farrow & Ball's Hornbeam wallpaper seemed a really obvious choice for us with the connection between Dorset, and the inspiration we get from country walks. I saw the Hornbeam BP 5004 colour variation, took one look at it and said, "that's it". Something I've never ever done before. It's previously taken me days if not weeks of wallpaper samples to choose.
As you'll see from the photographs I'm sharing, I've incorporated our love for country walks in wellies, picnics and tartan blankets - a regular scene on our weekends. Choosing wallpaper prints that have a story behind it, and represents the places we love is really important to us. Bringing in prints, textures and looks that represent your personality, upbringing or memories is the only way you'll ever make a house a home.
Now, I just can't wait to start putting it all up on the wall and show you the finished result.
A little back story behind this post...
Farrow & Ball challenged me and fellow interior bloggers to create a country style vignette of our favourite past time, with one of their new wallpapers as a beautiful backdrop. This was my take on it :)
All of our creations will be shared on the Farrow & Ball pinterest really soon, where Charlotte Cosby, Farrow & Ball's Head of Creative will judge the best. One blogger will be picked by Charlotte to visit the Farrow & Ball factory in Dorset and see the process of everything being made, as well as visit some places that inspired the collection. I'm keeping everything crossed so I can take you with me for the ride <3
1. Use accessories from other rooms
2. Layer rugs you already own
3. Make use of furniture... even if it's not furniture :)
4. Eclectic means anything goes, so mix and match cushions or make new cushion covers for next to nothing
This post contains affiliate links. See our disclosure policy.
She has arrived. In September I spoke about my need for a new mattress. After a long google around (procrastination session) I realised the reason my sleep was a bit shoddy was because our mattress was so old and lumpy. I'd never really considered it before until it dawned on me, yep, we needed to shell out on a new mattress before my sleep will improve. I spotted Eve mattresses online and was intrigued, now I'm here to share my thoughts.
Why I opted for Eve
As I mentioned in my previous post, there were 5 core things that have led me to opt for an Eve mattress as opposed to a Dreams mattress - the brand we had before. I'll run through them again.
1. When I first hit up the website it quickly dawned on me that Eve sell only one mattress. The only one we will ever need, they say. It made me trust the design process fully. When crafting this mattress, their focus was on making every single part of it the best it can be, no shortcuts or things that were compromised because it had to cater for different materials or springs etc. It left me thinking, damn, this must be good if it's the only one they sell.
2. Eve is delivered within 5 working days. Brilliant, I thought. Only 5 more days of crappy sleep, no waiting around a whole 10 weeks like those darn DFS sofas. Speed is everything when I buy online. I also loved how I didn't have to cart it home from a shop, imagine the hilarity putting a double mattress on a roof rack the size of a 2p?
3. The price was in the right range for me. I didn't want anything too cheap. A mattress is an investment you'll be glad you considered heavily rather than rushing and having to spend the same amount again 3 years down the line. Similarly, it wasn't too expensive either. I've seen some that reach the thousand mark - say WHAT.
4. Eve mattresses are guaranteed for 10 years whereas we only had our Dreams mattress (the one before it) for 8. And even on reflection, I realise we should have replaced it a lot sooner.
5. I loved the sunshine yellow around the base. What a lovely thing to wake up to (when not covered by a valance sheet)
So we took the plunge.
After we put our order in, I only had to wait about 2-3 days for the delivery confirmation and was called by a lovely Eve representative to arrange a window to deliver the mattress in.
Really prompt delivery meant I had enough hours left in the day to potter around town to look around for bed sheets to adorn it!
The mattress arrived in a cardboard box that looked so small, I couldn't believe a double mattress fit inside it. It was SUPER heavy. I was sweating buckets just shifting it from our front door to the bedroom and unpacking it. Thankfully we have no stairs. I'd recommend getting the delivery men to bring it up stairs for you if you're planning on buying one.
I unwrapped it all which took no time at all, popped it on the bed and rolled the memory foam mattress out which expanded before my eyes, to about triple the thickness it was rolled to. After a quick cuppa tea I popped out for a while, came back a few hours later and the Eve was looking full and beautiful on the bed.
Thoughts after 1 week's Eve sleep
I feel like it was the best investment of my time I've ever made getting this mattress. I once had really interrupted sleep, but from day 1 with Eve, I haven't woken up at all during the night (apart from when a fox started howling in our garden!)
The memory foam really works for me. I can feel it moulding to my sleeping position taking pressure off certain places that the previous mattress (a pocket sprung) didn't. I've discovered that if you share a bed with someone who moves a lot in their sleep, having a memory foam Eve mattress is a really good choice because you can't feel the bed moving. Well, not much anyway. It's sturdier than a pocket sprung mattress, but comfortable too.
My favourite thing about the mattress, aside from the colour obviously, is it's thickness. Our old mattress was pretty light and thin. We've kept the same bed frame and having the thicker Eve mattress has given a new height to the bed. I love it. It's about 2-3 inches higher than our old bed and I feel like it fits the frame in an all rounded way.
My frame, by the way, is a standard UK double I purchased from Dunelm Mill about 4 years ago that's not selling there now. They sell the exact same for double the price in Dreams now. It's the Cadiz Bed Frame and I love it.
Back to the mattress. See that polka sorta material on the top of it? It's a removable lining *hallelujah folks* the lining is machine washable! Genius idea. I haven't tried unzipping it all yet, but I think I'll wash it in a few weeks time as it has a very memory foam smell to it - as do all new mattresses.
All in all though, I'm delighted with it and hope to have 10 more years worth of happy sleeps in it. Thank goodness this mattress exists! I've pimped out my whole bed since and got some really cushy things from Slumberdown to make it as cosy as it can be. A quilted mattress protector (which I'm yet to add to the bed to try out) and a new winter warm duvet and pillows for the cooler months coming in. I wanted the Goose down duvet as I've never had one and have heard people raving about them but alas it was a wee bit out of my price range. Absolutely dying to try Goose down though, how sad am I?
See my gorgeous bedding there by the way? It's from Bohzaar. A new bohemian brand I love which will be featured on my blog super soon so stay tuned if you're into boho interior looks, you'll LOVE their stock as much as I do. Oh yep, and in the background there you'll see my night time stash of Lindt chocolates on the bedside table. They've got limited edition orange chocolate truffles in for when I'm peckish around midnight. It happens.
What do you make of the new mattress then? Do you like the colour too?
You spend A WHOLE THIRD of your life in bed
If your mattress is more than 7 years old, it could be seriously effecting your quality of sleep
Je suis in love with this little lamp.
His name is Gaston, and he can be purchased from one of my all time favourite home decor & furniture sites, Loaf. I love the industrial-chic look he brings to our living room; his skeletal structure mixes really well with soft blankets and washes of grey, and the copper rust effect of his shade adds elements of warmth.
You might be wondering why the title of this post says '3 ways' when all you can see is 1, right?
Here's the story.
When Gaston first arrived in the post, I had absolutely no idea where to put him. I fell in love with him, like I do much of the Loaf site, at first click, and knew he had to be mine before I knew where he'd live in my home.
I unwrapped him, popped him here, there and everywhere around the flat and just couldn't - and still can't - decide where he should sit permanently, he just looked beautiful everywhere.
It got me thinking.
Should the things we buy for our home remain in the one place for years on end?
I've decided to trial something.
I'm going to switch Gaston's home around every season, styling him up in different parts of the flat, showing you guys how he looks and hopefully give you inspiration to have a switch around too.
Will you join me?
Here's Gaston looking gorgeous beside our sofa, part 1. Come back in Winter to see him styled by our bed :)
Lamps give a 'complete' look to a room. If you're all moved in and feel as if your house still has that 'just moved in' look to it, think about ways you can dress up shelves, tables and stools with lamps and good use of light.
Loaf have some really unique, industrial lamps at reasonable prices. My current faves aside from the handsome Gaston pictured, is the
Gosh, if I could kit my house out with just one home brand, it would be loaf.
One can dream, right?
And guess what?
Come autumn 2015, Loaf will no longer solely trade online.... *drumroll please* they're opening up a brand new Loaf Shack in Battersea, London. The press release with words from Charlie, Loaf's founder, got me very excited for snugsville.... grab a cuppa and read all about it here.
I hope you have a house warming, Loafers!
I could have virtually lashed out at someone the other day when I found one of the cushions to our suede-effect grey sofa had a big fat stain going across it. There it was staring at me in the face.
If I sound to you like a spoilt brat, check out the colour of the sofa and you'll realise what a catastrophe this was... or at least it should have been!
I paused for a moment, got mad for about 2 minutes, then remembered my gigantic stash of cushions I adore but I've been struggling to store.
It dawned on me how stupid it is getting wound up over a stain, and how precious I was being about our interior, especially considering I have more cushions collecting dust, never seeing the light of day. Every possession we own is to some extent replaceable. It's not worth the worry.
When Graham & Brown challenged bloggers to share how they would shake up their home by moving one of their most treasured possessions somewhere new, I immediately thought of the love I have for my cushion collection, and the little place I have to store them.
My response to the challenge? I decided to give every last one of them away (to friends and family) to shake off some level of this hateful materialism I'm prone to. It was bloody hard letting go, but I feel as if my cushion addiction has somehow helped other people I know and love make their homes more lovely, and it's changed my interior too - I can now finally see the floor underneath my bed where they were once stored.
Hoorah! Thank you Graham & Brown.
I spent about 4 hours in one day looking for the perfect wall art for our bedroom. It had to be something that suits us both as a couple, something that suited the colours of our room and most importantly the words had to mean something when I looked at it a whole year down the line, I tend to lose interest in things after a few months.
I ended up finding nothing. Then I realised. You can totally make your own quotes, get them printed on Photobox, and buy a cheap or second hand frame to hang it.
It's a fraction of the cost for something that's perfect for you, and essentially hand made.
Here's one I made earlier (above). I'm still playing around with quotes, photos and colours before I print and hang something though. It's so much fun and I'm learning a lot about photoshop & design.
Okay, so tell me whether you're the same.
You know the exact look you want to achieve in your home, you set up a Pinterest mood board of ideas and go about planning colour schemes, home furnishings and piecing together ideas. But when you come to buy the products to make the vision a reality, something doesn't click.
I have this problem all the time. It takes me a long time to bring the ideas to life. I'm not sure what holds me back.
Is it the fear of buying the wrong things? Is it the budget being spread too thin?
One way around this I've recently learned (listen up budding interior consultants and stylists) is to
build up your little black book of stockists you love.
You know what I mean, those brands you turn to where you're sure to find exactly what you're looking for. Or what your client is looking for.
It makes dreaming up new decor a breeze because you know exactly what's available to you and where to source things.
I've decided to share posts on new or current stockists I turn to. It'll be a quick introduction to the stuff they offer, a snippet of my favourite products from their ranges and what kind of prices you can expect to pay so we can build up our wee list together.
If you want regular updates as I announce them, sign up to receive email alerts straight to your inbox up there in the yellow bar or
What our bedroom looked like 3 weeks ago (being redecorated as we speak)
If you live in a converted flat like I do, you'll know just how precious every inch of space in your home is. Our bedroom is undergoing a mini-makeover, we're painting, changing the colour scheme and home furnishings for a cleaner feel which I'll reveal parts of once it starts to take shape and part of the transformation we're going for will work on the level of storage we have.
I thought I'd put together storage ideas for those with smaller rooms. Some we've considered but budget is too tight, others we'll be implementing now or later on once I've firmed up decisions on what to buy.
I hope it helps you if you're in the middle of home improvements!
You can just about see in the photo above, Neil and I have a chimney breast and alcoves in our room which I love but it sorta means we can never switch around the furniture. The bed can't really go anywhere else. We thought about installing built in wardrobes in each of the alcoves to make use of the awkward space. Places like
fit bespoke furniture just about anywhere, including loft conversions with slanted ceilings. Whilst we haven't ruled this out, it's definitely an investment and we need to be dead certain on the style of the cupboards before committing. I love Hammonds' range of stylish to vintage looking furniture fittings though, so if you're considering built in cupboards, check out their offering.
This includes under bed storage, vacant space inside wardrobes, and hooks behind doors for coats or your ever increasing stash of cardigans. I have a nu-vintage cream bed frame which we're keeping, with a lot of empty space underneath so in the next few weeks I'll be looking to purchase some wheeled drawers (preferably some that don't scratch wood floors). If you have any recommendations, hit me up.
I also bought some
on a recent trip to ikea to store all of my winter clothes during summer, which will sit just underneath the hung 'in season' stuff in my wardrobe, you know that awkward space under hung clothes? There. I plan to swap the clothes around come winter.
I could dedicate a whole 50 pin pinterest board to my love of shelving. In fact, I think I might start one. When done right, shelving is really useful for storing books, photographs, cacti collections or jewellery trees. If you have high ceilings it's worth considering how you can make use of the wall space for storage, and shelving is a great way. For us, it's a toss up between built in wardrobes or DIY shelving in the alcoves, and given we're book hoarders, I think the latter might be a better more temporary option whilst we save and make the decision on built in styles we like. Shelving arrangements are a whole separate post, I'd just love to have open space for framed typography, plants, ceramic pots and trinkets. We have such a small amount of shelf space in our house.
I hope this has give you some ideas, follow my
for more home inspiration :)
Ps, just in case you didn't know, I'm trialling a little thing in October. Every day at about 9am (well, whenever I can muster up the energy) I'll be sharing a DAILY HOUSEPIRATION link/image on my facebook page to get inspired. If you fancy cheering up your newsfeed with some home love, give my page a like and get daily snippets of home ideas :), go ahead.
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