Wake up and smell the coffee: 10 must-have coffee machines

November 28th, 2015

Make your own gorgeous coffee at home, with a coffee machine

If a coffee machine is top of your wishlist this Christmas, look no further!

We’ve rounded up some of the best and most stylish coffee machines on the market…and there’s something for all styles, tastes and budgets.

1. For the style conscious coffee drinker

Magimix Nespressoc Citiz and Milk 11307 chrome coffee machine


Magimix Nespresso Citiz and Milk 11307 chrome coffee machine, exclusive to Debenhams – now £150 (was £220)

2. For fans of pod coffee

Krups Dolce Gusto KP120140 Mini Me play and select white/grey, exclusive to Debenhams


Krups Dolce Gusto KP120140 Mini Me play and select white/grey, exclusive to Debenhams – now £50 (was £100)

3. For a compact kitchen


Krups Nespresso Pixie red coffee machine XN301540

Krups Nespresso Pixie red coffee machine XN301540 – now £140 (was £190)

4. For the serious coffee aficionado

Delonghi Magnifica S ECAM 25.462.B bean to cup coffee machin

Delonghi Magnifica S ECAM 25.462.B bean to cup coffee machine – now £529.99 (was £829.99)

5. For coffee shop style drinks

Nescafe Dolce Gusto Melody three coffee machine


Nescafe Dolce Gusto Melody three coffee machine – now £38.99 (was £99.99)

6. For the hot drink fan


Delonghi Dolce Gusto Jovia EDG250.B hot drinks machine

Delonghi Dolce Gusto Jovia EDG250.B hot drinks machine – now £40.99 (was £69.99)

7. For the high end gadget fan

Krups Espresseria fully automatic EA8150 bean to cup coffee machine

Krups Espresseria fully automatic EA8150 bean to cup coffee machine – now £300 (was £500)

8. For the contemporary designer kitchen

Sage by Heston Bluemental The Dual Boiler BES920UK

Sage by Heston Bluemental The Dual Boiler BES920UK – now £1079.99 (was £1199.99)

9. For the frothy cappuccino lover

Krups pump espresso coffee machine XP5620

Krups pump espresso machine XP5620 – now £125 (was £200)

10. For the coffee capsule king

Krups Nescafe Dolce Gusto Oblo coffee capsule machine

Krups Nescafe Dolce Gusto Oblo coffee capsule machine – now £45 (was £90)



Fab Friday Bargains: Home gifts and Christmas decorations

November 27th, 2015

So the new tradition to include the UK in the Black Friday deals continues and this year there are plenty of savings to be had on home and Christmas products.

We’re pleased to discover that this year one of our favourite online retailers has got in on the action. There’s up to 50% off over 3,000 products at Not On The High Street, including plenty of unusual or slightly quirky gifts.

It’s good news if you’ve got a tight Christmas present budget, or have been hankering after something yourself for ages. Here are some of our top Fab Friday bargain picks.

Home gifts

Fab Friday Bargains from Fresh Design Blog: Half price home gift ideas

Top row, from left to right:

Zig zag copper bowl – £14.97

Solid slate tray with handles – £11

George rug – £124.50


Middle row, from left to right:

Personalised family ‘Believe and love’ cushion – £15

Large milk carton shaped glass jug – £8

Set of eight porcelain tea light holders – £26


Bottom row, from left to right:

Antique copper storage basket – £17.50

Large tetra cushion – £24

Geometric copper band vase – £12.47

Christmas decorations

Fab Friday Christmas decorations for half price

Top row, from left to right:

Snow covered decorative Christmas tree – £21 (30% off)

Copper handpainted Christmas baubles – £11.60 (20% off)

Christmas tree jar – £22.75 (35% off)


Middle row, from left to right:

Iridescent table top Christmas tree – £6 (50% off)

Mahogany wreath – £18 (50% off)

Rope ladder alternative Christmas tree – £26.25 (25% off)


Bottom row, from left to right:

Star Brussel sprout wreath – £19.50 (50% off)

Set of glass copper Christmas baubles – £12.50 (50% off)

White Sparkly Christmas wreath – £26 (50% off)

Christmas gifts: George Asda Secret Santa

November 26th, 2015

George Secret Santa 2015: Goodies revealed

Christmas has come early, with the arrival of a box of goodies from George at Asda.

I’ve been taking part in the #GeorgeSecretSanta arranged by Talented Talkers and, a few weeks ago, spent an enjoyable time following my mystery gift recipient across her social media channels and shopping for some goodies for her. As I’m rather partial to shopping, it was great fun and, for me, really highlighted, how your budget can stretch much further when you buy gifts from Asda.

Whoever chose my gifts did a brilliant job. All the items are very colour-coordinated and lovely!

I was lucky enough to receive:

Gorgeous Christmas gift ideas from George @ Asda - where your budget goes further.

* A contemporary picture frame with ‘love’ pegs, that you can clip photos onto – I love the fact that you can easily change your photos when you wish, without having to open up the back of the frame.

* A set of two Darcy cups and saucers – the name of which keep reminding me of Pride and Prejudice.

* A set of three butterfly themed tea towels – these will be really useful and will be put into action over Christmas.

* An R throw – fabulously soft and snuggly and perfect for the winter months. I’ll be curling up underneath it on the sofa.

* An Always Time for Tea box – I love the lace trim on this and it will be ideal for storing my collection of different teabags in.

* A framed chalkboard – the frame makes this an elegant design and a touch above a plain chalkboard. This will be used for reminder notes in either the kitchen or office.

George Secret Santa gifts Christmas 2015 ~ Fresh Design Blog

Thanks very much to Talented Talkers for inviting me to take part. I’m looking forward to seeing the reaction of my gift recipient when her parcel arrives.

Having had the experience of shopping the George range at Asda, I’ll definitely be buying Christmas gifts there again. In fact, rumour has it there are a few things lurking in my online basket already…

(Disclaimer: This items were gifted, but all views and opinions are my own).


Come Dine with Furniture Village…and win a dining table and chairs

November 26th, 2015

Elegant Emily dining table from Furniture Village

What would your dream Christmas dinner party be like?

That’s the question being posed by Furniture Village, as part of their ComeDineWithFV competition, where you could win an Emily dining table and a set of four crossback chairs worth over £1600.

To enter, all you need to do is follow their competition guide and put together a Pinterest board highlighting your dream dinner party.

Here’s a glimpse of what ours would be like:

Follow FreshDesign Blog’s board Dining with Furniture Village on Pinterest.

The theme

A good dinner party needs a theme and ours would be gold and white. The Compton extending dining table from Furniture Village is a lovely piece of wooden furniture and the four slatted chairs the set comes with look comfortable. The fact that the table could be extended is ideal for a dinner party, as you could make it bigger to accommodate more guests or have extra space to use for serving dishes and food.

We’d dress the table with a white tablecloth, then have a gold table runner going down the length of the table. Gold and white linen napkins would be laid at each of the four place settings, along with place name cards to indicate who should sit where. We like the idea of the DIY gold leaf place cards for a rather different approach.

Our ideal china would be white and gold – white plates with gold rims look stylish and elegant and the look can be enhanced by placing gold charger plates underneath smaller.

Having the right glasses ready for the drinks and all the right cutlery is of course essential, but so too are the finishing touches.

Dinner parties by candlelight are fabulously atmospheric, so we’d use candles in the centre of the table, with a few in lanterns or hurricane glasses. Small vases of flowers or green foliage – well out of the reach of naked candle flames – would complete the look.

As it’s Christmas, we’ve got to include some crackers too, plus a few other decorative touches around the room, such as a hanging bauble wreath or a bowl full of twinkly baubles.

The guests

In terms of our special guests, the focus would be on enjoying a lighthearted evening, with good company and plenty of laughs.

So our three invited guests would be Ant and Dec, for their humour and ability to give the lowdown on what really goes on during I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here (and the contestants, of course) and Nigella, as we know she loves food and her dinner get-togethers on TV always look relaxed and laidback (and maybe she could give us some cooking tips too!).

If you fancy trying your luck at winning an Emily dining table and four chairs, then enter the ComeDineWithFV competition today!

Chairish challenge: From White to Bright

November 25th, 2015

Accessories and furniture to brighten up a room

The lovely folks at Chairish recently challenged us to take one of their fab accent chairs and use it as a focus to turn a plain white room into a bright room.

We chose a pair of mid-century tufted robin’s egg chairs in a lovely shade of turquoise blue. Taking influence from the Fresh Design Blog colours, we’ve primarily added colour to the rest of the room through the use of bright pops of orange and turquoise blues.

The wallpaper is the Scion Taimi wallpaper in sulphur and tangerine, which would certainly add some bold colour to the wall. There’s a matching Scion Taimi cushion, along with a diagonal zig zag cushion in a punchy orange, and a lovely cosy plain wool throw to snuggle up under in a chair.

Furniture can be colourful too, as the Donald wood handcrafted chest of drawers and Hector wood coffee table prove. We like the way the wood matches the legs of the chairs.

The shelving unit, with its colourful patterns set into each of the shelves, ties in perfectly with our colour palette. And the room is finished off with a factory style pendant lamp to shine light across the room.

If you’ve not come across Chairish before, they’re a specialist site that allows design lovers to buy and sell vintage furniture, decor and other accessories. Their shop features curator-approved treasures and is packed with inspiring ideas to choose from.


Tandem wallpaper collection by Natasha Marshall

November 24th, 2015

Contemporary Tandem wallpaper collection by Natasha Marshall

I’ve recently discovered the Tandem collection of wallpaper designs by Natasha Marshall and love them.

These four designs are all available in a variety of colours and, between them, are soothing, calming, zesty and uplifting.

From left to right, top row to bottom:

The colourful and punchy Flip 

The geometric stem design of Shoot

The wavey vertical lines of Drift

The graphic floral Pompom

These designs and more from the Tandem collection are available to purchase from WallpaperDirect.

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