Archive for May, 2012

Create a living wall with Woolly Wally pockets

Thursday, May 31st, 2012
Create a vertical living green wall

Create a living wall

If you’re got a bare wall in your home, garden or conservatory, then what better way to liven it up than creating your own living wall?

This amazing wall looks super effective, but is surprisingly easy to achieve. It’s created using a series of Woolly Wally Pockets – special pockets made out of recycled plastic that you can use as planters.

The pockets are the perfect size for small plants, such as fragrant herbs, providing ample space for each plant’s root system to breathe. You can put the pockets together to form a large living wall art panel on a wall, or just use a few of them to create a small design.

The Woolly Wally pockets are a great idea! They’re sold by Garden Beet, with prices starting at £29.99.

Okko LED bird alarm clock

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Wake up to bird songQuirky contemporary alarm clock

What’s not to love about waking up to birdsong?

This entertaining LED alarm clock won’t exactly give you a blackbird chirping away outside your window, but you do get a bird singing and moving by your bed as part of your morning wake up call.

It’s a quirky alarm clock that can make waking up in the morning a little bit more fun.

Available in white, black or red, the Okko alarm clock is normally £30, but is currently reduced to £21 at Habitat.

Fresh Finds: Bargain garden parasol

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Affordable garden parasol shadeBudget contemporary garden furniture

A garden parasol is essential for ensuring you have much needed shade on hot days, and helps reduce the risk of getting sunburnt if you’re sitting outside. If you haven’t got a huge budget to spend on a garden parasol, then these two options are currently available for under £40.

The parasol poles are made from FSC eucalyptus wood, work with a pulley system and have added UV protection included in the canopy.

Available in lido blue or coral, the parasols currently cost £39.20 each from John Lewis.

For more garden shade ideas, check out our guide to five of the best garden parasols.

Perfect picnics: Matilda tableware from Zara Home

Monday, May 28th, 2012
Melamine picnic tableware

Melamine tableware

As picnic weather is now in full force, here’s some pretty tableware to liven up your picnic or outdoor dining experience.

The Matilda tableware, in summery shades of pink and white, is made from long-lasting melamine.

The mix and match range includes dessert plates, bowls, tumblers and dinner plates, with the items being sold in sets of six and prices from £5.99.

This fresh contemporary tableware range is available to purchase from Zara Home. A matching laminated tablecloth is also available.

Gas Fires from Manorhouse Fireplaces

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

When it comes to finding gas fires in the UK you have an impressive range to choose from, especially from Manorhouse Fireplaces. Gas fires are able to produce an impressive amount of heat and they’re not as complicated to install as you may think. All gas fires must be fitted by a qualified engineer, but since an air vent isn’t always needed you can be sure of finding the right gas fire for your home.

Modern and contemporary gas fires

For example the Kalahari HE doesn’t need an air vent, and with an efficiency level of 78% you can be sure of getting plenty of heat from a stunning gas fire.

Gas Fires

Many gas fires offer an even higher level of energy efficiency. The Revolution Balanced Flue model is a great example, hitting highs of as much as 94%. This proves that a gas fire can be thoroughly modern in looks and efficiency at the same time. When coupled with modern gas fire surrounds you will be impressed by the good looks these gas fires can give you.

Gas fire for a contemporary home

Gas Fireplaces

The great thing about gas fires is that they come in both modern and traditional designs. The Logic Convector is a wonderfully traditional model offering a simple yet elegant design that would suit many locations.

But of course if you love the look and feel of a real fire you may think you cannot get it if you opt for a gas fire. Not true – the Vento Classic 65 is designed to look like a real fire, with a ceramic glass front that is virtually invisible. This provides safety, warmth and that old style open fireplace look that is hard to beat.

Fresh design gas fires

Whatever you want from a gas fire it is easy to see that you can look forward to just the right kind of gas fire for your home. Whether you have a suitable chimney or you want something that does not require a vent, you are sure to find just the right look, design and practical nature you want. You can indeed take a step closer to buying an energy efficient gas fire.

***This post is in association with Manorhouse Fireplaces***

Fresh design finds: Three dream day beds

Friday, May 25th, 2012

We love a good day bed.

They’re comfortable, relaxing and a great alternative to a sun lounger for using outside. Here are three well designed and gorgeous looking dream day beds!

Fresh design contemporary garden day beds

Dune day bed

The Dune day bed, by Barlow Tyrie, is an elegant piece of furniture for a contemporary garden. It’s made from hand-woven resin fibre which is weatherproof and has plenty of space to curl up on. It’s available from John Lewis.

Fresh design daybeds

Atlantic day bed

A lot of daybeds tend to have rounded cover shades, but we love the look of this Atlantic Daybed, that’s produced in a tipi tent style. It’s from House of Fraser.

Contemporary outdoor day bed

Padstow day bed

Compared to the two other options, the Padstow day bed is somewhat more affordable, but is still equally well styled. We particular the addition of some hidden storage, so you can stash away your suncream, shades, books or magazines. This one’s available from Tesco.

Pakhuis Oost Red Beetle cushion

Thursday, May 24th, 2012
Designer cushions for a modern home

Car cushion

Shaped cushions – you either love them or hate them…

But if you’re a fan of classic designs, what’s more iconic than the VW Bettle car design?

Here the design has been morphed into a cushion, so you can celebrate your love of old cars at home. Designed by Amsterdam based Pakhuis Oost, the 100% cotton cushion depicts a bright red VW beetle car.

The cushion is priced at £29.95 from Bloomsbury & Co, but you can get 20% off all full priced items using the code, ‘DIAMOND2012′ until midnight on Monday 28th May 2012.

Using blinds to create the perfect conservatory environment

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Fresh design conservatory The conservatory is a great place to sit and relax, absorbing the bright sun while being shielded from wind and the occasional rain shower. However, on hot summer days, it can quickly become something more akin to an oven. If you’ve been enjoying a day out, the heat can build up in your conservatory to such a degree that it is uninhabitable when you get back.

The best way to avoid this situation and get the most out of your luxurious extension is to – where possible – keep the sun out while you are away. In this respect, curtains will do the job excellently, but blinds offer far more versatility, don’t have to plunge the space into blackness, and are usually more cost effective. While for some, the idea of blinds reminds them of staid office buildings and schools, there is now a great range of effective, made to measure blinds out there that will suit any taste.

What style you choose depends on personal taste, as well as how much control you want to have over the amount of light you let into the conservatory and the temperature you want to maintain. Specialist solar control blinds will cut out harmful UV rays, effectively acting like sunglasses for your window. The added bonus is that this material protects any fabrics from fading.

Solar control blinds typically come in the roller pull-down style, but this is not to everyone’s taste. Another option is the Venetian style, which allows you to moderate the amount of sunshine that comes into the room and the angle of the rays quickly and easily.

Whichever style you choose, just remember that it’s worth paying that little bit extra to get high-quality made-to-measure blinds that are individually measured and expertly installed on side windows and roof panels. Your conservatory is a valuable space, so you’ll want a bespoke service that will allow you to relax and enjoy the summer.

***This post is in association with Direct Blinds***

Charcoal kettle barbecue for outdoor dining

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012
Affordable budget kettle barbecue

Compact kettle barbecue

There are some swish and stylish barbecues on the market, but if you don’t have a massive budget to spend, there are plenty of more economically priced, and smaller sized, barbecues available.

This charcoal kettle barbecue is one good value, affordable option (and even more so at the moment, as there’s an additional 20% off!). It’s made from porcelain enamel with a chrome plated cooking grill, drip tray and lid.

You do need to do a bit of self-assembly, but it’s a nice compact size  and is perfect for a budget barbecue.

The charcoal kettle barbecue is usually priced at £32 from John Lewis.

Best of British Union Jack deckchair and beanbag

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012
Contemporary garden furniture and chairs

Relax in a deck chair

The sun is out – hooray – so it’s time to relax in the sun after work.

You can’t beat a good old traditional British deckchair and this one has been given a contemporary twist with the modern colours used to funk up the Union Jack design.

Contemporary garden bean bag seat

Garden bean bag

Or, for a more relaxed seating choice, how about the same lively design on a bean bag? (Actually, we rather fancy lounging on the deck chair with our feet on the bean bag – bliss!).

The Best of British deckchair costs £39.99 and the Union Jack bean bag is priced at £22.99, both from Homebase.

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