Month: August 2015

Ways to make a rented property more like home

When you’re renting, you’re often stuck with the decor which can often be a mix of neutral shades and inoffensive yet non-descript rooms and it can be frustrating if you feel you can’t put your own stamp on your home. Don’t be downhearted if this is you, because there’s loads that can be done to add colour, style and personality without changing anything you’re not supposed to. Furniture, rugs, artwork, linens and accessories can completely change the character of a room so all is not lost but you do need to be creative with your thinking to make the room wonderful using the wall colour and flooring that’s already there. Having said that, it’s always worth asking your landlord if you can redecorate if you really really want to, as many are happy for you to do so (you’ll probably have to redecorate it back to the original before you move out) but if you can’t or don’t want to, here are some ideas to make your rental stylish, practical and gorgeous. If you look at the photos …

Get upcycling with my projects in the new issue of Style At Home magazine

I LOVE upcyling! Each month I’m lucky enough to spend a few hours turning rubbishy old things into gorgeous, useful and unique pieces for the “Revamps At Home” feature in Style At Home magazine (go grab a copy – it’s full of great ideas and inspiration for all things interior and at £1.99 it’s a complete bargain). The idea is that tired old furniture or accessories can be given a new lease of life with a little TLC. All the projects are do-able (by which I mean you don’t have to be a seasoned crafter or major DIY fan to complete them) and I love the whole concept or repurposing things or just making them lovely enough to want to have on display or use around the home. This month the colour scheme is a gorgeous mix of blues, yellow and grey that give the feature a summery, Scandi feel. The mag has all the instructions you’ll need to do the projects yourself (none are really expensive either so that’s a bonus too!) and if …

Get the Featherdown feeling at home – Rustic style living

My little family have just returned from a glorious week in Norfolk staying at College Farm, one of a number of locations of Featherdown Farm group. It’s a back to basics holiday and this is our fourth visit staying in one of the wooden floored, canvas-sided tents. If you’re used to camping it’s utter luxury because there’s running water, proper beds with snuggly quilts in crisp linen and your very own indoor loo so no traipsing through wet grass to get to the shower block. No electricity means oil lamps and candlelight are the only things that break the night sky. I love candles but only here do I have them as the soul source of light that I find unbelievably beautiful. Everything in the tent has s purpose and the style is rustic, unfinished, mismatched and vintage. It creates a relaxed, soulful feeling that’s warm and comforting. No tv, Internet, wifi or any of that. Just a purity that I would recommend to anyone who needs to escape a little, breathe deeply, enjoy their family …

Indoor plants – on trend but much more than that….

Many of us have a couple of small plants on a windowsill somewhere. They’re semi-ignored, given water every now and then and if we’re lucky, they keep growing despite the lack of attention. A huge trend at the moment is loosely termed “botanical” which is just that – using flower and leaf prints in fabrics, wallpaper and artwork to decorate your home. But rather than redecorate, I’d suggest that introducing more plants into our homes make them look softer, more welcoming, and give a room some soul (and you get right on trend without picking up a roll of wallpaper – bonus). Also, it doesn’t matter what style your home is, plants will “go” with your decor. Really contemporary styles may look crisper with architectural plants, although adding a “fluffy” plant to sleek modern lines is a lovely contrast too. So really, there’s no right or wrong to this, but do commit to it and have much more than a solitary plant on the kitchen worktop. We all know how much a bunch of fresh flowers …

Take a simple wooden box or crate and turn it into something wonderful for your home

Wooden boxes or crates. Bit bland, bit nothingy you say? Well yes some are and the best we can think of to use them for is to hold magazines or kick shoes into in a porch but what else can you do with this unassuming little thing? Lots, actually and as I like wood – it’s strong and sturdy, happy to be painted or have holes drilled – I thought I’d collate a few ideas together and I hope you find something you like. All these ideas are pretty straightforward and require minimum DIY experience and some are just about the decoration so no matter what your skill level, there’s something you can do. Where to get the boxes in the first place? Car boot sales or charity shops have been known to offer a few vintage treasures (I’ve picked up old wine boxes and a gorgeous 30 year old Australian fruit crate) and of course there’s always EBay, but if you want a few that match, or smooth contemporary versions rather than the old …