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Back to school: top 10 picks for budding scholars

September 1st, 2015

If you’ve spent the summer running round, acting as an unpaid taxi service and preparing constant meals, you’ll be glad of a reminder that a return to normality is just around the corner. Send your children back to school in style with our pick of the top ten bright, practical, colourful accessories. From stylish notebooks to smart files, you won’t even mind if they end up scattered around the house.

1. Owl notebook, Helen Gordon

Printed owl notebook, £5

This cute, retro notebook features a repeating owl pattern and is part of the woodland animals collection, designed and created in the UK by Helen Gordon. It’s A5, and contains 96 pages for notes. £5, available from IN-SPACES.

2. Daisy A4 box file, Olive and Daisy

Daisy print box files, £28

These pretty box files in a fresh Daisy design will help keep desks tidy. Available in a choice of two colour ways: marine blue on cream or powder blue, they’re great for storing papers of all kinds. £28 from Hello Pearl.

3. Set of three ‘Britain’ rollerball pens, Milly Green

Set of three ‘Britain’ rollerball pens, £7.50

These fun and modern rollerball pens come in three quintessentially British designs – soldiers, corgis and bulldogs and London buses. Even better, they take standard Parker refills so they’ll never run out. £7.50 for a set of three from Milly Green.

4. Bright desk lamp, Rigby and Mac

Bright desk lamp, £29.95

Add a colour pop to a desk with this retro desk lamp, available in orange, yellow and green. The height can be adjusted, perfect for shedding light where it’s needed. £29.95 from Rigby and Mac.

5. Billy the Cat pencil case, Not Before Tea

Billy the Cat pencil case, £5.95

Perfect to keep all your favourite pencils, crayons and erasers together, this pencil case is made from strong oilcloth to protect the contents from accidental spills. £5.95 from Not Before Tea.

6. Navy Scottie dog school satchel, Becky and Lolo

Traditional school satchel, £16.50

This traditional school satchel is so cute, you’ll probably end up using it yourself! It’s water resistant to keep books dry, and easy to wipe clean. Featuring a magnetic closure flap, an adjustable strap and buckle and leather effect detailing, it costs a pocket-friendly £16.50 from Becky and Lolo.

7. Check board lunch bag, Marks and Spencer

Check board lunch bag, £14

Ready, get set, go! Make sure  lunch stays fresh and tasty in this lunch box. Thinsulate™ technology provides a lightweight insulation layer that is moisture resistant to keep sandwiches crisp. £14 from Marks and Spencer.

8. Children’s ‘on the farm’ backpack, Sophie Allport

Children’s ‘on the farm’ backpack, £19

This design of tractors, land rovers, sheep, cows, sheep dogs and chickens by British designer Sophie Allport will appeal to a range of ages. Made from practical matt oilcloth, it has a front outer pocket and a sturdy handle for hanging. £19 from Sophie Allport.

9. Oak trestle desk, Aspace

Oak trestle desk/table, £275

Nowhere for homework? This oak trestle desk is the perfect place. Made from solid oak, this sturdy piece of furniture will last for years. Matching chairs, bookcases and other bedroom furniture are also available in the same range. £275 from Aspace.

10. Weekly Times desk planner, Seeso

Weekly Times desk planner, £11.95

Struggling to keep track of homework deadlines and social engagements? Get their week planned with this Weekly Times desk planner. Designed to look like a newspaper, this A4 weekly organiser has 50 sheets in total including 30 week sheets for planning. £11.95 from Fox and Star.

 

A to Z of Bank Holiday shopping deals

August 31st, 2015

Fresh Design Guide to shopping deals

So it’s a Bank Holiday Monday here in the UK and, in typical fashion, the weather is dull, grey and rainy. We’re using it as a day to take stock, tidy up and think about home improvements and, with that in mind, a bit of homeware shopping too.

Lots of stores have Bank Holiday discounts on offer, so here’s a round-up of some of the places where you could score a deal on reduced homeware, furniture and electrical appliances.

Don’t dawdle too long though, most of these discounts end at midnight tonight (31 August 2015)

Aspace – 20% off everything. Use code BANKHOL20

Bensons for Beds – up to half price on beds and other items

BHS – up to 50% off lighting, bedding, cookware, towels, cushions, rugs, curtains and more.

Biscuiteers – get 10% off your first order of delectable designed biscuits using the code BANKHOLIDAY10.

Curry’s – take advantage of lots of Bank Holiday mega deals.

Debenhams – up to 20% off throughout their home section, up to 60% off furniture and beds and up to half price towels.

Emma Bridgewater – 20% off online until midnight.

Feather and Black – get an extra 20% off summer sale items today, using code SALE20.

Graham and Green – get 15% off upholstery, plus get an 10% extra off their summer sale using the code EXTRA10.

Habitat – 20% off selected furniture, upholstery and lighting.

Homebase – Lots of offers, including one third of home, 25% off indoor furniture, 60% off all kitchen units and 60% off all fitted bathrooms. Plus, buy one get one free on all Dulux 2.5L emulusion paint.

House of Fraser – up to 70% off home and up to 50% off a range of big brands.

I Want One Of Those – get 3 for £20 on a range of gift ideas. Free next day delivery on orders over £40 using the code FNDD40.

John Lewis – 20% off Sophie Conran tableware, up to £300 off on selected TV brands, 15% off selected Silent Night and Sealy mattresses and lots more money saving offers on electrical items.

King & McGaw – get 20% off art orders over £20, using the code BANKHOL20.

LED Hut – get 20% off and free delivery on all orders, using the code BH20.

Lombok – lots of ‘spend more, save more’ offers on furniture, lighting and accessories.

Marks and Spencer – up to 30% off selected homeware and furniture.

Not On The High Street – free delivery on everything.

Oliver Bonas – 25% off selected glassware using the code GLASS25 (runs until 10/9/15). Plus, up to 75% off in the sale.

Photobox – get 30% off printed homeware, such as cushions, canvas prints or photobooks.

QVC – smarten up your home with a Today’s Special Value, or check out other Bank Holiday offers.

Red5 – freeUK delivery on all orders at the ultimate gadget shop.

Secret Sales – get free delivery on all orders today using the code FREEPP.

Shedstore – get up to 40% off selected sheds.

Soak & Sleep – up to 50% off bed linen, duvets and bedspreads, up to 30% off pillows and towels. Plus, get an extra 15% off today using the code BANK15.

Time4Sleep – up to 50% off beds.

Urban Outfitters – £10 off selected items. Free delivery when you spent £20, using the code HIGHFIVE.

Very – save up to 70% on selected garden furniture, 50% on selected home furniture, up to £350 on selected 4K TV’s and more.

Whittard – get up to 50% off in their tea clearance, plus free delivery on orders over £20 using the promo code SLEEK.

Inspired by feathers: Feather design ideas for your home

August 27th, 2015

Fresh design feathers

We love feathers and it looks like many designers do too! From wallpaper and wall decals, to ceramics, light shades and bedding, here’s a selection of feather designs to incorporate in your home.

1. Feather design wall sticker set – £20 from Spin Collective

2. White feather design cushion by Helmsley Home – £35 from Wealdenfairs

3. Mini Moderns feather design wallpaper in mustard (other colourways available) – £55 a roll from Brewers Home

4. Harlequin Limosa feather design bedding – from £15 at John Lewis

5. Mini Moderns feathers design lampshade – £75 from Illustrated Living

6. Threadless: Birds of a feather graphic design wall decal – £36.95 from Luckies

7. Handmade porcelain feather design dish – £25 from Karen Turner Ceramics

8. Feather design ironing board – £71 from Brabantia

9. Galison feather gilded journal, illustrated by Margaret Berg – £12 from John Lewis

Fresh Design blog reviews Kosha heritage feather bookmarks

Plus, check out the wonderful feather design bookmarks by Kosha that we featured previously.

Fresh Design Finds: Lovebird weather forecast clock from Loaf

August 25th, 2015

Weather forecasting barometer clock

If you’re fretting over the demise of the Met Office doing the BBC weather news, fear not – there’s another option available!

Invest in a Lovebird clock and you’ll not only get a great way to tell the time, but also your very own weather forecasting facility built in. Clever, huh?

At the top of the barometer clock there’s a window displaying the weather in words – like, ‘fair’, ‘very dry’, ‘stormy’ or ‘change.’ And at the bottom of the clock a nifty little weather scene appears.

Contemporary home modern barometer clock

The clock is handcrafted in Yorkshire by sibling designers Rob and Sarah. It’s available in two sizes (small and large) and three colours (black, blue and grey).

The Lovebird weather clock can be ordered from Loaf. It’s a brilliant design and we love it!

Embrace the terrarium trend: Indoor gardening made easy

August 24th, 2015

Terrarium trend makes gardening easy

One of the interior design trends we’re loving at the moment is the return of the terrarium. These unique containers, which are often modern and contemporary in design, provide the perfect place to create a mini garden of plants to hang or display in your home

They’re a great way of bringing the outdoors in, especially if you don’t have a garden, and can be used with very low maintenance plants that even the non-green-fingered can have a go with.

We love succulents such as Sempervivums and these work perfectly in terrariums, but you can also plant ferns, small flowers and cacti in them. For the ultimate in ease, try opting for air plants.

5 top terrariums

How to use the terrarium trend in your home interior

1. Featuring two of our current favourite interior design trends – copper and geometrics – this hanging terrarium and air plant from Adorn Homeware is ideal. It’s handcrafted and based on Scandinavian style and design. It’s £30.

2. The Urban Botanist are specialists in terrariums and have a brilliant selection of products available. We like their modern Skyline range, which includes this globe design. It comes fully assembled with a plant included and can be hung or placed flat on a surface. It’s priced from £29.95.

3. The design of terrariums can be very eye-catching, like this diamond-inspired planter from Urban Outfitters. It’s made of iron and glass and finished in gold. It’s available exclusively online for £35.

4. Even the tiniest space can become home to a few plants, as this lightbulb terrarium demonstrates. It comes with air plants – plants that live and grow with no soil or roots – and is £18.50 from Dingading Terrariums.

5. There are some really funky shaped terrariums available, like this cube one from West Elm. It’s made of glass and copper and is designed to enable the containers to be clustered together in different formations. It’s priced at £44.

Check out some more terrarium inspiration on our Pinterest board.  Or if you fancy having a go at making your own terrarium, Ikea have a useful step-by-step guide.

Ikea guide to creating your own terrarium

They say it only takes one hour to do and is fun for all the family, so it could be ideal for a rainy day in the summer holidays!

5 reasons to choose a leather sofa

August 24th, 2015

Why buy a leather sofa?

Are you thinking of investing in a new sofa? There’s a huge range of styles, designs and upholstered finishes available, but one popular choice is to opt for leather. Here are five great reasons why a leather sofa could be the perfect buy for your home.

1. Luxury style and finish

There’s something luxurious about leather. It’s soft to touch, smooth to sit on and oozes style and sophistication.

A 100% leather sofa is the ultimate in comfort. It may seem expensive, but it’s a great investment to make and one you’re sure to love and enjoy for many years to come. Whether you’re fond of ultra modern sofa designs or classic contemporary styles, there’s likely to be a leather sofa out there that would look right at home in your living room.

2. Durability

If you’re concerned about durability, then leather as a sofa finish works perfectly. Leather is naturally a tough and durable fabric. It can withstand wear and tear, spills and scratches well (as long as you do wipe off spills etc, of course). In fact, it can be a good and durable choice for a family home.

3. Longevity

A good quality leather sofa that is loved and well cared for can last a long time. The colour of the leather shouldn’t fade, but it will evolve. The more you sit on and use the sofa, the softer the leather will become.

4. Comfort

Comfort is of course a top priority with a sofa. The soft nature of leather adds an extra element of comfort to a sofa that makes it appealing to sit back and relax on.

Leather is a natural fabric too and as such it absorbs oils from your skin and softens even more over time. In the winter, sitting on a leather sofa is cosy and warm, yet in the summer it can be cooling against your skin – so it’s perfect all year round.

As with buying any sofa, it’s a good idea to check out various options before you buy – try them out for size and comfort and see which one suits your needs the most.

5.  Easy to care for

If you thought that buying a leather sofa would entail a lot of delicate upkeep, then think again. A leather sofa is relatively easy to maintain.

If it becomes the victim of accidental spills and stains, gently wipe them off with a damp cloth. Pet hair and dust can be removed by regular cleaning with a duster, vacuum cleaner or soft brush.

To keep the leather in tip-top condition, avoid using any silicone based polishes or wax on the fabric. Specialist leather cleaning products are available – be guided by the product care information that comes with the sofa you buy.

(Image credit: Newport large leather Chesterfield sofa from Furniture Village)

***This is a collaborative post*** 

 
 
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