Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Wakehurst fun & my new favourite necklace

Wakehurst Place, Sussex, Outfit post ››

Wakehurst Place, Sussex, Outfit post ››

Neil and I visited the beautiful botanic gardens at Wakehurst place at Ardingly in West Sussex about a month ago when the blossom was in full bloom. The same day I received a surprise wee package in the post and ever since we've been inseparable.

Meet my new lucky charm. A shiny silver wishbone necklace from JewelStreet by designers Astrid & Miyu.

I've never been one for costume or statement jewellery, always opting for simple white gold or silver rings and necklaces. Astrid & Miyu have a unique yet simple collection on JewelStreet's website, polished to perfection sterling silver at very affordable prices. My next purchase will have to be a pair of their shiny wishbone earrings to match. They're a steal at just £29.

For any upcoming birthdays, graduation presents or if you fancy treating yourself I'd recommend having a look at the website and Astrid & Miyu's offering. There's something for everyone for every budget.

Wakehurst Place, Sussex, Outfit post ››

Wakehurst Place, Sussex, Outfit post ››

Wakehurst Place, Sussex, Outfit post ››

Wakehurst Place, Sussex, Outfit post ››

Wakehurst Place, Sussex, Outfit post ››

Outfit: Necklace c/o JewelStreet, Sunglasses c/o GlassesShop, Dress c/o George Asda, Cardigan Urban Outfitters (a long time ago), Scarf - a present from my lovely in-laws-to-be :)

Photography all copyright of Neil William Shaw (Brighton Wedding Photographer)

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Step by step guide to make your home more colourful

I was inspired by Graham & Brown's press release last week, introducing popsicle colours to interiors. Think washes of watercolours married with strong statement fabrics. I love it. It's a particularly nice trend for the Summer months.

Here's how I'd introduce colour to a room step by step. I hope it helps you if you're thinking about redecorating. 

1. Choose 3 key, bright colours that complement one another 

And use these colours to guide your choices when you're out shopping for room accessories. Opt for materials, furnishings and statement furniture in these shades... but don't go overboard. Limit yourself to 30% of the room in these colours. 

You might notice the shades I've chosen resemble my blog design. There's something about these 3 contrasting shades that I love together, although I think it breaks every design rule in the book. Clarke & Clarke have some brave and beautiful fabrics for every home that continue to inspire me (see the pic on the right for an action shot). All of these shades are taken from their material collection and can be used for upholstering anything from cushions to sofas to curtains for a bold statement.

2. Next, find a texture or base shade that complements the colour scheme 

Think about neutral shades for this. Ideally a blank canvas paint you can coat on the walls in a muted tone that plays down all the bright colours yet brings them together. 

Valspar paint is a fantastic choice if you want to give your walls a fresh lick of paint. With over 2,000 pre-mixed colours, the choice doesn't stop there. If there's a fabric colour you want an exact match with, they can mix it identically for you. We recently painted our bedroom a matt, neutral 'Summer Gray' from Valspar's collection which was a dream to work with. I'll show you photos once the place is tidier ;)

Don't feel obliged to coat your room all one colour though, you could choose to wallpaper one accent wall for more texture to pastel colours. I love this Vintage Flock design by Kelly Hoppen for Graham & Brown. It's neutral enough to not clash with colours, and adds a bit more detail to the primary shades I've chosen. 

3. Invest in good quality furniture with changeable covers

I often find myself wanting to change colours schemes regularly particularly when I see how fast interior trends change. Furniture stockists like Loaf make it totally possible to buy an excellent quality piece of furniture with the ability to change the covers. Their range of materials are next to none. If I was on the market for another sofa, I'd ditch DFS and head to Loaf as my first port of call. Delivery is a million times faster than highstreet chains too, so you won't have to resort to camping chairs for 10 weeks like we had to when we bought with DFS. The classic button style Dixie sofa in Bahama plush velvet would look beautiful with contrasting cushions from Clarke & Clarke

4. Make a pinterest board of home furnishings you love in shades that work with the scheme

This is my favourite past time. Take a look at the board I made when I re-decorated my mum's bedroom. She loved the colour lilac, so I went mad on creams and purple tones to decorate her room with. George at Asda enabled me to redecorate her room in under £200, their homeware range is fantastic if you're working to a budget. 

The pro's of making a pinterest board of all your potential purchases is that Pinterest can alert you when products go on sale, so you can hang about and save pennies whilst getting creative. High fives all round. 

Some things I'd pin for this look:

Chevron throw - Oliver Bonas
Watercolour canvas quote - Graham & Brown
Pineapple candles - Oliver Bonas
Leila pouffe - MADE

I hope this has inspired you to add new colours to your rooms. I think it pays to be daring when you're redecorating. If it doesn't work out, it can always be replaced. 

Monday, 15 June 2015

Holiday memories: A fortnight camping in the Lake District

You know those holidays you'll never forget? Well this was mine. 

Love Holidays are encouraging people to share their memorable holidays and I thought I'd jump in on the action...

Neil and I have a mutual love for country breaks (and country living for that matter) and regularly like to get out of the city, whether it's a country walk in Sussex or a week away in Forest Holidays in Strathyre, Scotland - we love disconnecting to reconnect. The very first holiday we embarked upon as a couple was a fortnights camping trip visiting Penrith, Kendall and Windermere in the Lake District. Hills and fields as far as the eye can see, with frequent spells of showers and sun to excite and disappoint us as we assembled our tent in several campsites. I remember thinking, if he still likes me after spending 2 weeks make-up less in a shower-less and hairdryer-less tent, he's a saint. We had a lot of fun.

I'd never previously explored the UK so was pretty excited to be heading to one of the most beautiful parts of the country for an unforgettable trip. There was a lot of late night camp fire chats, beers in the sun (and rain), stargazing, walks and views across the lakes and the odd bike ride too (which sorta scarred me for life when I fell off and had to take a trip to A&E,  I can laugh about it now, see pic below for visual evidence). It definitely was a trip I'll never forget on every level.

We have so much beauty around us that sometimes if you're planning a summer holiday, you can forget your own doorstep - which can be a lot cheaper on the purse strings. I have a pinterest board of cottages and campsites I want to visit in the coming years - and that's just in sussex! I don't know where I'll find time to explore the rest of the UK. So if you're thinking about holidaying this summer and fancy a change from the mediterranean's sun, sea and sand, I won't think you're crazy for opting for the good ol' English climate. We did it, and will never regret.