Thursday, 6 June 2013

My dream bedroom: Created by Laura Ashley

Hi guys,
This post is an entry to a competition being run by Laura Ashley on the quarter-life Tales of Annie Bean blog. The prize is a £1000 voucher to refresh a room in your house: definitely worth checking out!

Although it feels like we've been in our new house forever, because it already feel so much like home, we've actually only been living here for two months. And whilst I'm pleased with the progress we've made so far, we still have so much more to do. Including completely decorating our spare room! Before we moved in we painted it a lovely lilac shade called Ophelia Plum from the Crown Heritage range, then we proceeded to fill the room with the boxes that will eventually go in here. But at this point we have no bed, no auxiliary furniture, no anything! That's right! This room doesn't just need refreshing, it needs everything: a complete rescue! Here's how it looks right now:  photo spareroom_zpsc6ac2699.png  photo spareroom2_zpsf1f4d5ab.png But in my dream world, with £1,000 to spend in Laura Ashley (the perfect shop to create a calm and classic spare bedroom we would be proud to have our friends and family sleep in) these are the pieces I would choose to decorate it with:  photo dreambedroom_zps4d30521d.png
Thanks to the amazing sale and offers on the Laura Ashley website at the moment, everything on my wishlist can be picked up for less than £1000: leaving change to check out some of their great fashion offerings too. Everyone wins!

If you had £1,000 to spend in Laura Ashley what would you buy? And do you have a room in your house that is in desperate need of a makeover?

Love Tor xx

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Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Shopping: Ikea milk churn vases

Hi guys,
Just a quick mini post to sing the praises of my new Ikea milk churn vases (Ikea product name: SOCKER). I am currently using these for flowers to brighten up my living room. But if you have a country style kitchen they would also look great used for utensil storage too.  photo ikeavase_zps8660512a.png The two vases sit together, for simple space saving and (bonus points) they look pretty good paired too. The tall vase simple slips inside the wider vase. They also come in cream and red if the blue's not your colour. I'm slightly in love with this shade of blue, which is one of the reasons I made a beeline for these the second I saw them in store.

You can find the vases here on the Ikea website.

Love Tor x

PS- The Ikea sale started on bank holiday Monday (27th May) and is running until 23rd June. I'm itching to get down there and check it out - of course I will be reporting back!!

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Monday, 27 May 2013

Our New House: The master bedroom

Hi guys,
The starting point for decorating our master bedroom was that we both agreed we wanted it to be grey. Mike wanted grey teamed with red, for a London theme. I wanted a bang-on-trend grey and chartreuse. In the end we went for grey teamed with....grey. And a little beige. And lots of white furniture so it still feels bright and fresh.

Ultimately we wanted it to have a luxurious boutique hotel feel, and be a calm, baby-free place we could both feel comfortable and relax. Here's a quick before picture of what the room looked like when we moved in, just after we'd started our painting: photo bedroom1_zps50625e2f.jpg The room was very simply painted in a warm medium brown colour. And here's how it looks now;  photo bedroom2_zps294fd4a2.jpg
 photo bedroom3_zps11c784fd.jpg  photo bedroom4_zps6735ca3e.jpg We painted three of the walls in a warm grey (Shade 'Wishing Well' from the Crown Heritage emulsion range). We then papered the back wall which the bed sits against in a dark grey optical illusion wallpaper with a soft metallic sheen that we got on sale from John Lewis.

The furniture is all from Ikea. The Big Ben lamp is from the Ben de Lisi range at Debenhams. I've had two sets of new bedding from Next. And the bedspread was a massive bargain from TK Maxx. Three of the four cushions are from Homebase (the top one has Wilburs handprints on it and was handmade for me) and the throw at the end of the bed was from Primark for the ridiculously bargain price of £3.

I would like new curtains (I've just used the grey and white striped curtains we had in the bedroom in our old house, but they're a little light) And we still have three big pictures to add to the wall opposite our feature wall. But this is it; the first room in the house that we've finished decorating, and I'm pleased as punch with it!

One room down. Six more rooms to go.....

Love Tor x

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Shopping: In love with Rob Ryan

Hi guys,
For my birthday my little sister bought me the Rob Ryan 'This bell' vase. It was a wonderful present, because I love Rob Ryan prints, and already have a set of side plates. My next planned acquisition is a set of six mugs. I love the designs, the simple use of colour, the schmaltzy sentimental messages. Reading them makes me smile and they are the kind of designs that brighten up your day a little.

And I just can't get enough of this picture from the homepage of the Rob Ryan website. If I could make my office look exactly like this one, then I would be a very happy young (or not so young!) lady:
 photo robryan1_zps11f73cc0.png
I turn thirty on my next birthday (gulp). And I already know what I want to mark the big occasion: A huge Rob Ryan papercutting of my very own to hang with pride of place in my living room. Of course, given I know my husband doesn't have a spare £7,000 knocking around in his bank account, I know that's a pipe dream. But it's a very good one! And I'll settle for a smaller screen print instead (hint: I like this one!)! Or some mugs, egg cups, tea towels, and I think I've just decided how I'd like to tile my kitchen....
 photo robryan2_zpsdb3c6e9a.png All of the selection above are available from the Rob Ryan Etsy shop. If I could have it all, I would!

Love Tor x

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Sunday, 19 May 2013

Project: A windowsill herb garden

Hi guys,
One of my home mini projects for this weekend was to create a little herb garden on our kitchen windowsill. I love having herbs growing in the kitchen: it means your kitchen always smells lovely, and it really makes a difference to your cooking when you can add fresh herbs (even a bowl of pauper's pasta tastes like a treat with some fresh basil in it!)
 photo herbgarden1_zps90b83d5c.png  photo herbgarden2_zps262acc78.png You can pick up very affordable herbs plants from your local garden centre or from a chain DIY shop like Homebase or B&Q. Or, if you like to bag a bargain (like me) and you live near a car boot sale, have a look there. There are always stalls selling plants and flowers at this time of year, and I picked up each of my herb plants for just 50p each at our local boot sale this morning.

The indoor planter pots were from Matalan for just £3 (available to buy here) and the fork markers were a present from my mum and dad (brought all the way back from an antique shop in America).

The other jobs on my hit list for this weekend are to paint our entrance porch, build our new garden furniture, and finally unpack the last boxes in our bedroom: admittedly, buying a few plants and pots was the easiest job on the list, but at least I can say I've achieved something other than watching Eurovision this weekend!

Have you done any projects in your house this weekend? I'd love to hear all about them!

Love Tor x

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Our New House: The before pictures!

Hi guys,
Sorry for the long gap between posts. With looking after Wilbur, and the (frankly confusing) process of buying our first house, there hasn't been much time to drool over gorgeous interiors. But we did it - we are now officially homeowners and we moved in last week!

There's plenty of decorating, unpacking and repair work to do. But for now, here's what the house looks like before the process begins:
 photo newhouse1_zpsfaed15df.jpg  photo newhouse4_zpsdc1e9b77.jpg  photo newhouse2_zpscc2f6e15.jpg  photo newhouse3_zpsde714590.jpg  photo newhouse6_zps73ab4623.jpg  photo newhouse7_zpsd2f6038e.jpg
So what have we got? Well it's a three bedroom house with an entrance porch, large open plan living/dining area (with gorgeous bamboo floors) and a frankly disgusting kitchen downstairs. Upstairs are three bedrooms (2 double and one single, which will become my office) and a bathroom. Out back we have a garden big enough for BBQs and a veggie patch, and a garage.  Our own little patch to call home!

I'm planning on adding wallpaper feature walls to the master bedroom and living room. Every room in the house needs painting. The doors and windowsills need stripping back and varnishing. The stairs are going to be power cleaned and painted. And the kitchen needs updating without spending too much money. And that's just my job list for the next month!

Over the next couple of months I will be posting hundreds of posts inspired by our new house: room makeovers, shopping wish-lists, and no doubt curses about how hard all this DIY is. I can't wait!

Love Tor x

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Monday, 11 March 2013

Primark's Home range for SS13: New arrivals

Hi guys,
Making your house look nice, and making your stamp on your living environment doesn't have to cost a fortune. Back when I was a student or starting my first post-uni job, and flat broke, I still wanted my rooms/flats/houses to look as nice as possible. To be places I wanted to go back to at the end of the day. And to reflect my personal tastes.

Luckily, thanks to shops like Primark and their homeware ranges, that's an attainable goal for almost everyone. Buy a new throw for £3 and a couple of £5 cushions and your bed will immediately look more inviting. Toss a floral towel (instead of that white one that's gone grey!) over the back of your chair, and instead of looking untidy, you'll look like you're making a style statement.

£20 spent in Primark can freshen up any room: affordable for even the poorest of student. Here are my picks from the lastest new arrivals that you will find in store right now:
 photo primarkhome1_zps1d268466.png Square votive candle, £2.  Patchwork cushion, £5. Jade floral towels, £1.50- £9.
Love cushion, £5. Patchwork hearts cushion, £5. Chick shower cap, £1.50
Patchwork throw, £15. Cupcake doorstop, £5. Cupcake kit, £2.

I actually really like the look of those jade floral towels. And I know my cupcake obsessed sister will just love that cupcake doorstop! Have you picked up any Primark homewares? Do you have any tips for styling your space on a very tight budget? I'd love to hear them!

Love Tor xx