Statement lighting: Dexter 8 cube floor lamp

February 25th, 2014

Contemporary floor lamp

Isn’t this cube floor lamp stunning? It’s most definitely a statement piece of home lighting.

The design consists of eight cubes stacked and joined together, each with a light in it. It’s sculptural and eye-catching, as well as serving a practical purpose of providing light in a room.

Stacking cube design light

The Dexter lamps are made of steel and glass, and available in either a gunmetal or copper finish.

They look like designer lamps, but are amazingly being sold by Bhs. Top marks to them for fresh and contemporary lighting design!


Designed for dessert: Sagaform pink Spectra bowls

February 24th, 2014


Designer glass dessert bowl

We’re feeling a bit peckish and can’t help daydreaming about desserts…..and what better way to serve up posh puds than in these Sagaform dessert bowls.

The Spectra dessert bowls are designed by Ann Carin Wiktorsson and, although they’re described as pink, they’re really more of a subtle purple. The stem of the dish features a striking dash of red and purple, and the bowl itself is tinted with purple. As with all Sagaform products, it’s the colours that really make this glassware special and distinctive.

The dessert bowls come in pairs and are available from Debenhams, along with other matching glassware.


Fab Friday baking bargains

February 21st, 2014

Love home baking? Check out our selection of Fab Friday Bargains, all with a baking theme to them.

Make and bake your own bread

Fancy waking up in the morning and tucking into freshly made bread? A bread maker can make bread making an easy task for even the most un-seasoned bakers. This Panasonic bread maker is super slim in size, so perfect if you’ve not got space in your kitchen to accommodate a large machine. There are three loaf sizes available, plus a rapid bake options, and you can even time it so that you can wake up to a fresh loaf.

How to make cookies

Aren’t these biscuits rather nifty? They’re designed to sit on the side of a cup or mug. Have a go at making them, with the Bit On The Side baking kit. You get five powder coated cookie cutters, a recipe booklet and storage jar. It’s now £6.99 for the set, a saving of £10 off the original price.

How to make the perfect chocolate brownies

If you’re like me and never quite end up managing to cut chocolate brownies or other traybakes into identically sized pieces, then use this tin instead. The Masterclass non-stick pan has 12 square holes, so all your brownies or other cakes will be the right size and shape. Save 20% off the usual price.

Home backing offers

Never run out of cooling rack space for your freshly baked home treats – check out this for buy one, get on free on a Linea rectangular cooling rack. Other kitchenware items are also included in the offer.

Pancake ideas for children

With Shrove Tuesday approaching in a few weeks time (Tuesday 4 March), why not make some Pudsey bear shaped pancakes for your children instead this year? The silicone mould is shaped to make up to four bear head pancakes, or you could use it to make bear shaped fried eggs. The mould is now only £1.99.

Bathing beauties: Contemporary freestanding bath tubs

February 20th, 2014

When it’s cold outside, you’ve had a long day and you’re tired, nothing beats stepping into a nice warm bath and simply relaxing.

If you’d love to do have your bath time relaxation in style, then check out these luxurious contemporary style bath tubs.

Luxury bath tub

Wow, the Lagoon bath is a tub of beauty. The oval freestanding bath is blessed with depth, making it perfect for a long soak. And the egg shaped design, with taps in the middle, provides space and opportunity to share your bathing experience with another. Great for romantic, candle lit bath times. Available from the Bath Store.

Modern roll top bath

If you prefer straight lines and angles to curves in your bathroom, then take a look at the Apollo bath. It’s got all the appeal of a freestanding roll top bath, and a great depth to it, but the square angled design gives it a very modern feel. Available from Victoria Plumb.

Contemporary luxury hydro bath

If it’s the ultimate bath for muscle soothing that you’re after, then this hydrotherapy bath could be the answer. The Starck freestanding bath is part of the Hoesch collection and comes equipped with 16 jets. It’s large enough to really spread out in and is lovely centrepiece for a contemporary bathroom. Available from C. P. Hart.

New Zoology design wallpaper from Turner Pocock Cazalet

February 18th, 2014

Animal design wallpaper decor

Love animals? How about decorating your walls with this graphic animal print wallpaper?

It’s newly launched and printed by Turner Pocock Cazalet in a limited edition nebulous colourway. The Zoology design was first produced by Duro back in 1974 and designed by the architect Claes Kock.

Animal theme graphic wallcovering

In a doodle style, it features a brilliant range of animals, all cosied up and artistically arranged so they’re almost hugging each other. There are lions and bears, penguins and monkey’s, kangaroos, owls and elephants, plus many more. We promise you you’ll have fun spotting them!

Non gender specific wallpaper

The subtle colour is suitable for decorating children’s rooms, and it’s great as it’s non-gender specific. However, it’s a really fun and quirky design and we think it would be wrong to just confine it to children’s rooms!

The Zoology wallpaper is available from Turner Pocock Cazalet.

Kitchen kit: Purple themed kitchen accessories

February 17th, 2014

Accessorize your kitchen with purple

We’ve got to admit it: we’re rather partial to purple. And so, it seems are some of you.

After a couple of queries regarding where to get a purple kettle and toaster, we thought we’d gather up some of our favourite purple accessories and show you what’s on offer.

Top row:

Swan plum four slice toaster – £29.20 from Asda direct

Five piece Morphy Richards kitchen tool set – £23.10 from Amazon

Morphy Richards plum pyramid accents kettle – £49.50 from Sainsbury’s

Middle row:

Le Creuset cassis tea for one stoneware teapot and cup set – £28 from Debenhams

Set of purple designer dish cloths – £8.50 from Jangneus (various designs available)

Wesco indigo salt, pepper and spice grinder – £47.95 from Amara

Bottom row:

Pantone violet 7672 mug – £7.95 from Dot Maison

Purple Spectrum Collection balloon whisk – £3.99 from Dunelm Mill

Purple Spectrum Collection box grater – £3.99 from Dunelm Mill

Spotted any other lovely purple accessories? Share your favourites below.

Something sweet for Valentine’s Day

February 13th, 2014

If you’re planning a special meal for the one you love on Valentine’s Day, these super-easy puddings will draw gasps of admiration, yet they’re (almost) foolproof to make. Even better, you can make them the day before so that you can concentrate on creating the right romantic atmosphere rather than slaving over a hot egg whisk. Here’s what to do:

Quick and easy rich chocolate mousse

For two people, you’ll need:

  • 120g good quality dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa solids. It’s worth buying the best you can find.
  • 2 eggs
  • tablespoon of brandy, Cointreau or orange flavouring (optional)
If possible, take the eggs out of the fridge half an hour before you want to use them, to let them come up to room temperature. This gives greater volume when you beat them.
Carefully separate the eggs, putting the whites and yolks into separate bowls. Set aside.

Break the chocolate into small pieces, and put it in a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds on a low power setting, then remove and stir. Continue to microwave the bowl in 30-second burst until the chocolate is fully melted. Add the brandy or flavouring if using, and mix until fully combined. Let the mixture cool a bit, then beat in the egg yolks.

Using an egg whisk or food mixer, beat the egg whites until really stiff (they should stand up in peaks). Using a metal spoon, carefully fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, trying to keep as much volume as possible. Spoon the mixture into two glasses or dishes, and leave in the fridge to set for at least half an hour. Decorate with cream or chocolate shavings.

For serving in style, we love these Katie Alice ramekins, £10 for a set of two from the English Table.

Katie Alice ramekins

Accessorise your perfect pudding with this cute heart-topped spoons, which are the ideal size to complement the dish. £17.99 for a set of four, available from My Gift Tree.

Heart-topped teaspoons

Heart-shaped shortbread biscuits

For a few extra brownie points, serve these biscuits with the mousse or with coffee afterwards. In addition to a heart-shaped biscuit cutter, to make four to eight biscuits depending on size you’ll need:

  • 125g butter (not margerine)
  • 55g caster sugar
  • 180g plain flour
If possible, leave the butter at room temperature for half an hour to soften. Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees celsius.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together, then add in the flour, working it in until completely combined (you may have to use your fingers for this bit). Turn the dough onto a floured surface, and roll it out to about 0.5cm thick.

Using the heart-shaped cutter, cut into biscuits and carefully transfer to a greased baking tray. Bake for around 15 minutes until the biscuits are tinged a very pale golden colour, no darker.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool, then sprinkle with icing sugar before serving. Alternatively, decorate with drizzles of white and dark chocolate. These can be made three or four days in advance and stored in an airtight container until needed – don’t forget to hide them, though!

Cookie cutters

For perfect results, we love these heart-shaped cutters, £4.99 for the set from the Oak Room. Made from stainless steel with a moulded red top to protect your fingers, they’ll last for years to come.

For maximum impact, arrange your biscuits on this beautiful cake stand, designed by Ukrainian designer Nina Jarema. Available from Cloth Ears, priced at £24.99.

Nina Jarema cake stand

House rule helpers

February 12th, 2014

How to set rules for your house

Do you need a little extra help enforcing the rules in your home? Maybe these three pieces – a rug, wall sticker and cushion – could help with their subtle prompts and hints!

House rules rug runner, two sizes available, £40 to £60, Next

House rules wall sticker, available in a choice of colours and sizes, from £12, Abode Wall Art

House rules cushion £12, Next

Perk up your wall with a motivational wall print

February 10th, 2014

Words to inspire and motivate

What are your thoughts on motivational wall prints?

Whilst most people won’t want to plaster all their walls in motivational sayings, having the odd one can lift your spirits, spur you on and make you smile on a crap day.

In terms of a good range of choice, Hope and Love have ideas for all tastes. Their wall art prints include inspirational phrases, quotes from films and favourite song lyrics. Plus, if you can’t find anything that quite appeals, you can choose your own words to have printed.

We rather like these four:

Hakuna matata, from the Lion King

Make today ridiculously amazing

Live, laugh, love

Stay weird typographic art print

All the prints are £17 each and you can choose the colour you’d prefer.

Fresh colour: Add a passionate spark of red into your home

February 6th, 2014

Fresh design red home accessories

It’s a lively, energising and uplifting colour – if you want to inject a bit of passion into your home, then why not consider adding some red accessories, furniture or decor?

If you’re not yet ready to go all out with red decor (too much red could be overpowering), then adding touches of it can be a good alternative. Think about whether you could change the colour of the cushions on your sofa, add some red accessories to your kitchen or update your lighting to adds pops of red into a room. If you’re a bit more daring, then you could even invest in a piece of furniture in rosy red.

Here are some ideas to get you started on a love of red:

1. Salt & Pepper red barista teapot, £40 from Red Candy

2. Carrie petite sofa, £799 from John Lewis

3. Scion zigzag dhurrie cushion, £45 from John Lewis

4. Red pendant lamp, £69 from Idyll Home

5. Lotus flower design table lamp, £24.99 from Edition Design Shop

6. Falcon enamelware pillarbox red pie set, £55 from Heal’s

7. VW Beetle car vinyl wall sticker, £10.95 from Oakdene Designs

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