Archive for March, 2012

Handmade WildWood napkins by MollyMac

Friday, March 30th, 2012
Contemporary napkins serviettes

WildWood napkins

Any well dressed dining table needs to be finished off with some stylish napkins – and these WildWood design napkins are the perfect choice for a contemporary dining table.

Handmade by designer, MollyMac, the set of four napkins each features a different design, including birds and trees.

The designs are initially printed onto the 100% cotton fabric, then embellished with embroidery and applique.

A set of four mixed WildWood napkins costs £24. A matching table runner is available to complete the look.

Oak leaf Devon pewter bowl by Glover and Smith

Thursday, March 29th, 2012
Unique handmade British gift ideas

Oak leaf bowl and acorn spoon

This is the most exquisite handmade oak leaf themed bowl!

The pewter hammered bowl has two decorative oak leaves on each side and comes with a coordinating pewter spoon, with a decorative acorn on the handle.

The bowl is handmade in the UK, in Wiltshire by Glover & Smith, using lead free pewter. It’s safe to use with food and would make a very unusual bowl for serving olives, chutney or jam in, or you could simply have it out on a shelf as a decorative accessory.

The oak leaf Devon bowl is priced at £48.50 (with free p&p) from Glover & Smith – it comes boxed, so would be make a lovely gift or a treat for yourself.

Glover & Smith make a range of other equally nice items too, including tableware, spoons, bowls and jewellery, and all of their items are inspired by nature.

You can find out more details about their work by visiting their store on Not On The High Street.

Dormeo Octaspring Mattress: Invest in sleep perfection

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012
How to get a perfect night's sleep

Dormeo Octaspring mattress

How good is your mattress? We thought ours was reasonably okay and adequate, until we got the chance to sleep on one that infinitely improved our sleep and provided the perfect level of comfort and support – the Dormeo Octaspring mattress.

When Dormeo asked if we’d like to test their new Octaspring mattress, the idea of an excuse to do some serious sleeping sounded like the perfect opportunity!

Installing the Octaspring mattress

The mattress arrived a bit unexpectedly and we’d not had time to remove our old mattress, so the delivery men kindly informed me that it was really lightweight and easy to move, so we’d have no problem doing it ourselves. Quite frankly, they were fibbing (*** see note at end).

Our stairs are not straight, they’re twisty, and the mattress is by no means thin or bendy. Getting it up the stairs proved far trickier than expected, not to mention exhausting, and at several points we thought it had got stuck and we’d have to call for help with getting it any further.

But after a lot of huffing and puffing, we finally made it upstairs, got it onto the bed and collapsed straight onto it. It was when we came to move the old mattress down that we got our first insight into how different the Octaspring mattress really is.

The old mattress really was thin and floppy, proving no problem at all to manoeuveur back down the stairs. It was a complete contrast to the Octaspring, which was super sturdy and made up of layers of foam springs. Visually, there was no comparison between the two mattresses and the Octaspring was so much thicker and far, far more substantial than the old bog standard mattress.

As well as looking different and being specially made for the perfect sleep, the Octaspring proved to be so much more comfortable too. In fact, it’s a world of difference from our previous mattress.

I can’t begin to describe just how comfortable it is – it’s almost like you’re lying on a soft cloud that is fully supporting your body. It seems to mould itself around your body, giving you the exact amount of support you need, and you don’t get disturbed by someone else’s movement as they turn on the other side of the bed.

Octaspring mattress technology

Dormeo Octaspring mattress review

An Octaspring foam spring

Most mattresses are either made with metal springs (like our old one) or with memory foam. Springs help provide good ventilation, but can create uncomfortable pressure points. Memory foam on the other hand can be more comfortable, but lacks the ventilation, which can result in making you feel hot and uncomfortable.

In the case of the Octaspring mattress, designer Willy Poppe came up with the idea of creating the best of both worlds – blending together the two concepts to create a spring made out of memory foam. It’s a clever idea and from a sleep and comfort point of view, it really works.

Octaspring mattress range

There are five different mattresses in the Octaspring range.

They differ in the number of Octaspring layers they have (from one to three), in the number of Octaspring zones in the mattress (from three to seven) and in the depth of the mattress (from 18cm to 30cm), and are priced accordingly.

We’ve been sleeping on the Octaspring 8500, which is thickest at 30cm and has three layers of the Octaspring technology in seven zones.

Now we’ve tried the Octaspring, we’re fully converted and don’t ever want to go back to a flimsy, unsupported mattress again!

As we spend about one third of our lives sleeping, and lack of sleep is a contributing factor to various health problems, it makes sense to invest in something that will help provide the best night’s sleep possible. To find out more, visit

Dormeo Octaspring offers customers a 60 night risk free home trial, so you can try the mattress and see if it improves your sleep, plus they come with a 20 year guarantee. They’re also currently giving away two free Evolution pillows (worth £160) for orders placed before the end of March.

***In normal circumstances Dormeo’s ‘white glove delivery service’ promises to deliver the mattress directly to the room of your choice (you shouldn’t have to drag it upstairs yourself like we did!). If requested, they’ll also set it up, remove the packaging and take away your old mattress – definitely a valuable service.

Mr Perswall Fish Wish wallpaper

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012
Colourful geometric wallpaper

Fish Wish wallpaper

Who knew fish wallpaper could be so alluring?

From a distance, we didn’t realise at first that this wallpaper featured a fish design – it simply looked like an amazing rainbow coloured wall – but up close the design becomes apparent.

Children's bedroom wallpaper murals

Made by Mr Perswall and part of the Hide and Seek collection, the fish wallpaper is marketed as a fun wallpaper for a child’s bedroom or nursery, but we rather fancy it ourselves!

The paper comes in the form of wallpaper mural panels (265cm high by 90cm wide), rather than rolls of wallpaper, and looks stunning on a wall.

Fish Wish is available from Wallpaper Direct for £65.

Creative recycled cassette tape lamps

Monday, March 26th, 2012

What to do with your old cassette tapesMake a lamp from old cassette tapes

Ever wondered how old, redundant cassette tapes could be recycled and put to use again? OOO My Design have put their thinking caps on and come up with these great designs for cassette tape lamps!

Contemporary home lighting ideas

A wonderful example of recycling, the box-shaped table lamp and pendant light are both made from old cassette tapes. There’s even a bit of storage space built into the lamp.

It’s a clever idea and even more so, as you can add your own tapes to the design if you wish or take some tapes out to play, to relieve those favourite tunes.

The cassette tapes lamp and pendant light are available in a choice of multicoloured or clear/transparent designs and costs £63 from OOO My Design on Bouf.

Fab Friday Bargains: Homeware Sale at Debenhams

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

It’s sale time at Debenhams and there’s up to half price on a wide range of homeware. Here are some of our top picks!

Designer bedding by Matthew Williamson

Celebration throw

Sales are a great opportunity to treat yourself to something you’ve seen and loved, but couldn’t afford before. For us, it’s the purple celebration throw from Matthew Williamson’s Butterfly range. It’s wonderfully eclectic, with its multicoloured and multi-textured design and will be great used and displayed on a bed. We’re pleased to discover it’s now reduced to half price!

Designer teapot for your home

Lisa Stickley teapot

If you’re anything like us, our teapot gets a lot of use, so it’s nice to update it once in a while. This Posie retro design teapot was created by Lisa Stickley and is now half price in the sale.

Designer glass and homeware by Julien Macdonald

Grey jewel wine glass

Wine glasses also get used a lot and, as breakages occasionally happen, it’s good to stock up on more…and even better when you can save money on doing so. These grey jewel stem wine glasses, which are part of the Star range by designer Julien Macdonald, have 50% off in the sale.

There are loads more fab bargains to be found, so have a browse of the homeware sale section at Debenhams. Let us know what bargains you find!

Chunky knitted pouffes on sale at Bouf

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012
Pouf occasional seat foostool

Chunky knitted seats

How often have you been in need of an extra seat?

When you’ve got friends or family around, or are entertaining at home, it’s easy to run out of space for everyone to be seated – which is where having an occasional seat, pouffe or footstool comes in incredibly handy.

These wonderfully stylish knitted pouffe stools are made in England from pure wool and stuffed with polystyrene balls to provide a comfortable seat. They’re available in a great range of colours – and they’ll even make you one to order in a colour of your choice if you wish – and they’re finished off nicely with a colourful button on top.

The large chunky knitted pouffes are available from Bouf, where they’re currently on special offer for £79 each (giving you a saving of £40.99 on the usual price).

The question is, what colour would you choose?

Quirky Storage Units from Fashion For Home

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Stylish shoe storage ideasShoe storage ideas

Are you bored of your bog-standard shelving, which is as aesthetically pleasing as storing your possessions in cardboard boxes? If you are looking for some delightfully vibrant and authentically retro shelving designs, you are on the right page!

This range of intricately crafted shelving can be used to hold a selection of items from shoes to books and magazine. You could even use this beautiful yellow sideboard’s top as a home for your television, while placing a vinyl or comic collection underneath.

These would all make for stunning centerpieces to any home. The great thing about product number one is that you can remove or keep as many of the drawers as you like, meaning you can change the appearance of your storage.  Product number two’s purple shelf pieces can also be rotated!

Modular shelving set Contemporary fresh design sideboard

These products and other beautiful shelving options can all be found on Fashion For Home.

Storage Product Ideas:

1. Box Base Set V Shoe Cabinet

2. Shoe Tree Set Z Shoe Rack White-Violet

3. Idaho Modular Shelf Set

4. Georgia Yellow Cardboard Sideboard

***This is a guest post from Fashion For Home***

Champagne cork side table

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012
Champagne cork handmade table

Giant cork table

Partial to a glass of champagne?

Here’s a different way of having more champagne in your life, in the form of a champagne cork side table!

The table is handmade from top quality natural Portuguese cork. It’s shaped like a cork you’d pop out of a bottle of a bubbly, only in a rather more giant size.

The top of the table is flat, so you can safely use it as a functional table for drinks, plates or even to stand a lamp on.

The champagne cork side table costs £110 (usually £120) from Impulse Purchase.

If you like the giant cork idea, then they also do a matching champagne cork stool or a Bordeaux wine cork stool.

TU red quilted throw from Sainsbury’s

Monday, March 19th, 2012
Affordable contemporary bedding ideas

Quilted throw

During the in between weather, when it’s too hot to have your thickest winter duvet on at night, but too chilly for your summer weight one, having a throw that you can use as an added layer helps solve your bedding issues.

This red throw is lightly quilted, so provides just the right amount of extra warmth for early spring nights that can still have a chill in the air.

The stripes of colourful fabric are made up of different textures and sheens, and it looks more expensive than it really is. The size (150cm x 200cm) makes it ideal for a double bed, but also suitable for using on a king size bed too (it covers the width, but not quite the length).

The TU red quilted throw comes very nicely packaged and wrapped up in coordinating ribbon and costs £30 from Sainsbury’s.

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