August 11th, 2014
Wow, what can we say? We love this new range of furniture.
It’s the Spitalfields collection from Dunelm Mill and is oozing in rustic charm and contemporary industrial style influences. From the pallet style coffee table on wheels, to the simplistic open metal shelving, the set of chunky console tables and the wooden chests of drawers full of organisational opportunities, there’s much to be loved.
And if the rustic, salvaged looking wood wasn’t enough, there’s even a gorgeous trunk style chest of drawers with an inspiring quote.
Although it’s described as a living room furniture range, plenty of the pieces would work equally well throughout your home. The cabinets, console tables and shelving would look ideal in a home office or study and the chest in a bedroom, for example.
Best of all, with it being a high street retailer, the prices are reasonable. They start at £59.99 for a Spitalfields wall organiser or bar stool, rising to £299.99 for the large wide cabinet or five tier shelf.
We’d definitely suggest a good look if you’re into this interior design style as the collection has been nicely put together and is very attractive both in terms of style and price. Well done, Dunelm Mill!
August 8th, 2014
We’ve brought you some fun ice cube trays recently, but here’s one that looks good on the outside and serves a practical purpose on the inside too.
This nifty ice cube tray is designed in the shape of a polar bear. Unlike a lot of traditional design ice cube trays, this one is sealed. You place the water inside, seal it up and you won’t end up with an ice cube tray that sticks to the bottom of your freezer. Neither will you lose any water en route or find that your ice cubes have picked up the flavour of other items in your freezer.
When it comes to getting the ice cubes out, you can give the polar bear a bit of a whack, loosening the cubes inside, then pop off his nose and out they’ll pour. Voila, easy, convenient and perfect ice cubes!
The polar bear ice cube tray is £9.95 at Prezzybox.
August 7th, 2014
We love geometric designs and these stylish Adelaide coasters, new in at Anthropologie, are really fab.
They’re made of glazed earthenware and come in four funky shapes – including a lovely beehive, cube and hexagon design.
The coasters are sold individually, so you can choose your favourite shape to make a set, go for a mixed bunch or simply treat yourself to one. They’re a great design for a contemporary home, or would be a nice little touch of style to have on your desk at work. They’re £6 each.
August 6th, 2014
Why stick with plain hooks when you could have a funky one? Liven up your home with some of these fresh design contemporary hooks and hang your coat in style!
1. Squiggle metal cook rack, by The Metal House.
2. Mantosaure coat rack by Thomas de Lussac, available in red, orange, white or black from Bouf.
3. Giant peg hook. A lovely oversized clothes peg hook, available in a range of colours. Great for use in a hall or child’s room. Available from Net Deco.
4. Hang on to yourself coat pegs, designed by Genevieve Gauckler. A set of three is available from Made In Design.
5. Goldilocks and the tree bears coat hooks, by Heather Alstead Design. The set comes with three bear design hooks, plus a yellow G hook, and they’re available in matte off white or matte black.
6. Dart design coat hooks by Anthony Crisp for Suck UK. Made from polished steel and available from Red Candy.
7. Handjob hooks are available in eight designs based on message communications – thumbs up, point, shake, rock on, peace, OK, up yours and wave. They’re by Thelermont Hupton and can be bought from Clippings.
8. Pix hooks, 3D pixel design, by Thelermont Hupton, available on Bouf.
August 5th, 2014
Home accessories and furniture made from wire have been abundant for a while. Partly influenced by the industrial home trend and partly by vintage style pieces, wire designs can be simple or elaborate, practical or elegant and offer plenty of textural interest for a contemporary home.
Here are six of our favourite designs made from wire.
1. The industrial style wire wall rack provides useful storage space for displaying accessories or practical space for storing stationery, such as envelopes, paper and letters. It’s sold by Graham and Green.
2. Doesn’t this wire side table look effective? The Danish designed powder coated iron base is actually a basket and, although it’s topped with solid oak, that can be removed if you want to store things inside or change its use completely. The wire basket table is available from Holly’s House.
3. Boasting both a practical design and an affordable price tag, the round metal wire baskets can be folded flat when they’re not in use. They’re available in two sizes and are sold by H&M.
4. If you like your wire coloured, then the large storage basket is available in pale pink, neon coral, white or grey. It’s available from Berylune.
5. If you fancy a new fruit bowl or want a basket to serve bread rolls in when you’re entertaining, then this large wire basket is a good option. The chunky design is complimented with a useful handle, making it good for alfresco summer dining. It’s from Drift Living.
6. A lovely contemporary design, the wire fruit bowl is made using a single piece of powder coated steel wire that is sculptured into a bowl shape. It’s available in white, black or a lively green and can be purchased from Block.
July 31st, 2014
It’s been a while since I had a browse of the Next home department, and clearly I’ve been missing a treat. This house design collage frame immediately caught my eye and it looks like a great way of displaying photos, in amidst a few motivational messages.
The wooden frame has space to hold five photos of varying sizes, plus there’s a tiny shelf suitable for treasures or trinkets. It’s £45 and very nicely made.
Of course, I couldn’t help but then discover the coordinating house storage accessory. This piece is made from cardboard rather than wood, but it’s an attractive design and would work well used on a desk or to store small craft related items in (like threads, ribbons, scissors or buttons). It’s an affordable buy at only £16.
All other home accessories shown above are from the Next range too and can effectively be mixed and matched to create your own display. They’re all priced at £35 or under.
July 30th, 2014
Did you know this very popular phrase was made famous by the song ‘Sidewalks of New York?’ Written by lyricist James W. Blake and composer Charles B. Lawlor in 1894, it is often considered the theme tune for New York City.
Over at Lighting Majestic you can find an array of lights from the New York range designed by Sergio Sartorello to suit both a variety of budgets and any number of lighting needs. Produced by Sil Lux, an Italian manufacturer of exquisite lighting fixtures, the New York range is modern and simple and consists of a curved glass lampshade design with a lacquered grey aluminium frame and a number of colour combinations.
The New York table lamp has a grey aluminium frame with a curved lampshade over a circular base. The lamp emits a glare free light and would prove an eye catching addition, whether switched on or not, to any room. Its sophisticated design gives it a modern edge and therefore a versatility, making it suitable for either a household or commercial setting.
Also in the range is a stylish and elegant floor lamp. From a concave base, two stems emerge which connect with the lamp head to give the piece a crisp finish. The New York floor lamp would be a convincing presence in any contemporary home.
The New York range also includes both ceiling and wall lights. The ceiling light is of simple taste and has a gold leaf finish that borders either side of the light itself. The ceiling light would form an attractive centrepiece in a modern room.
In contrast, the wall light has a striking red border and a sleek, refined design. Similar to the other lights in the New York range, the light emitted is of a beautiful glow that is glare free.
By the twentieth century, to ‘trip the light fantastic’ had evolved into the commonly used and ever popular pun to ‘skip the light fandango’ a line that features in the song ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’ written by Procol Harum and lyricist Keith Reid in the 1960′s.
So will you trip the light fantastic?!
By Sarah Curtis
(Disclosure: This post is an entry into the Lighting Majestic blogger competition)
July 30th, 2014
(Photo credit: Shutterstock)
This summer, you might be looking at your bathroom and thinking that it’s in need of a freshening up. You may have grown tired of the current style, you might want something that suits your personality more, or it just might be a case of replacing fixtures and fittings that are no longer in their prime.
If it’s a modern bathroom you’re after, we have a few hints and tips about the things you can do to make the style achievable.
Tiles have long been a staple of bathroom design, and it’s easy to see why. They are easy to clean and water resistant and can add a truly unique feel to the room.
However, the days of shiny ceramic tiles are behind us. For a modern bathroom, it’s all about the matte finish.
Dark blues, greys and even blacks will help to provide that modern feel. Finish it off with as much chrome and metal flourishes on the taps and shower fittings as possible and you’ve got a truly trendy bathroom.
Although perhaps a neglected feature of a bathroom, it is often the little details that make the biggest impact.
Having stylish taps can be a really simple way to get that modern feel in your bathroom. If you need some inspiration, check out the stunning designs of taps by Mira Showers.
Fitting cupboards for storage can be a really tricky task in the bathroom. Depending on the size of the available space, you might find it difficult to keep all of your toiletries, towels and other essentials in the room and out of the way.
This is why selecting smart furniture is a must. Place the sink on top of a small cupboard to make the most of the space. Consider long and thin cupboards that will fit with minimal fuss into the corner of the room. And don’t be afraid to add a shelf or two to make use of the space above your head.
To maintain the modern theme, crisp white or black gloss finished furniture is perfect.
(Photo credit: Bathroom by Jeremy Levine Design)
As mentioned before, the sink can be incorporated into the furniture. It can even be embedded in a cupboard and drawer unit.
However, if you’d rather it stands alone, consider a large metallic or glass bowl for the basin, perhaps resting on top of a table or cabinet. Remember to get stunning matching taps too!
This can often be the biggest challenge when it comes to fitting a modern bathroom. Just choosing material that is both practical and stylish can be a nightmare.
House to Home recommends a couple of great solutions, including full ceiling to floor mosaic tiles, textured rubber and patterned vinyl, among other great tips.
The bath is the centrepiece of the room. It offers the promise of relaxation and serenity at the end of a busy day, so you want to make sure it’s just perfect.
For a modern bathroom, it’s not unheard of to take a step back when it comes to the tub. A large, freestanding, period bath would not seem out of place among the more 21st century fittings.
However, dark wood paneled baths with gleaming metallic taps can also help to create that modern feel.
If you’re not a bath person, the shower is your sanctuary, and for your modern bathroom, the key might be to have the most space as possible.
Therefore, a stylish shower enclosure instead of a bath might be a great idea to open the room up a little more.
A sharp-lined, compact walk-in shower with modern looking taps and a glass door could really give your bathroom a little bit of an edge.
July 29th, 2014
One way of creating a streamlined look in your home is to have minimal clutter. But when your rooms are small or you’re short on space, this isn’t always easy to achieve. In order to ensure you have a place for everything, it helps to get creative with storage and think of ways in which you can get your clutter out of sight!
Living room storage ideas
(Image credit: House to Home)
Living room clutter typically involves teetering piles of DVDs, children’s toys, books, magazines or newspapers. It may not seem like your living room without these items being there, but tidying them up neatly can make all the difference.
If you’re short on space, opt for a coffee table with storage built into it. This could be in the form of drawers or shelves underneath. For the streamlined look, try and avoid a glass topped coffee table with shelves underneath it though, as any clutter will be instantly seen!
A stylish ottoman or pouffe with hidden storage space inside can be a great place for hiding away all your kid’s toys. It can also help you transform the space from play area in the day, to adult relaxation zone in the evening.
Bedroom storage ideas
Bedrooms can easily get overlooked when you’re thinking about storage – we often tend to focus first on the rooms downstairs that more people tend to see – but in reality they can be a great place to store unwanted clutter. The art is to think carefully about how you’re going to store things and try and hide as much as possible, yet still ensure it’s accessible.
Stuffing things under the bed only leads to chaos and untidiness, but Divan style beds, with drawers built into the base, are ideal for this purpose. The drawers are roomy and functional and, depending on the size of the bed you have, can offer multiple storage space. Often the drawers themselves are hidden when the bed is made, so no-one need know they’re there.
A blanket box is also useful in a bedroom, especially for storing spare bed linen, bulky winter jumpers or towels. It can double up as a useful seat and you can make it comfier by adding a few cushions.
Hall and entranceway storage
(Image credit: House to Home)
If your hall is narrow, or you’ve only got a small entranceway through your front door, this area can easily become congested. Piles of shoes, umbrellas and coats aren’t attractive and don’t make the best first impression to visitors, not least when you have to squeeze carefully past them.
To tidy up your hall, think about ways in which you could organise your clutter more effectively. Invest in a wall mounted coat rack to hang coats on and a shoe storage cupboard or small rack to organise your shoes. If you’ve got room, you could also consider a freestanding coat rack.
***This post is in association with Carpetright***
July 29th, 2014
We love iced drinks, and with a little creativity the ice can become a focal point rather than an afterthought. Here are a few ideas to try.
Grace clear drinks like gin and tonic or Pimms with these pretty floral ice cubes. You’ll need a range of edible flowers – borage works particularly well as the flowers are a very attractive blue, but thyme or basil flowers, marigold petals and shreds of mint and lemon balm leaves will work too. Wash the flowers and put them in a square or shaped ice cube tray. Freeze, turn out into a plastic bag and keep in the freezer until needed.
Iced coffee is delicious, but watery, diluted coffee is less so. Make some coffee ice cubes, and use them to chill your iced coffee so you get the temperature without the dilution. Make a quantity of fresh, strong, black coffee, leave it to cool then simply fill the ice cube tray and freeze.
Make the ice cubes into a component of the drink. Perfect for adding to gin and tonic, brandy sours or just mineral water or lemonade, these ice cubes taste as good as they look. With a sharp knife, cut strips of zest from a large, washed, organic lemon, trying not to take any of the pith. Repeat with two organic limes. Peel and finely chop a one inch piece of root ginger. Divide everything between the ice cube trays, top up with water and freeze.
Freeze fruit into ice cubes to serve with lemonade, soda or fruit punch. Fruits that work well are blueberries, strawberry chunks, diced melon, cubed pineapple, orange segments and apricots. Avoid anything too over-ripe or soft, such as raspberries, as they’ll disintegrate as they thaw.
Fruit juice such as apple, orange or pineapple, fruit squash or water with a few drops of mint or orange flavouring added are all perfect for adding to a fruit punch, and children can eat them as mini ice lollies as well.
Put a few tablespoons of chocolate syrup into a pan, and add at least twice the quantity of water. Gently heat together until fully combined, then cool and freeze. This also works well with other syrups such as caramel or Amaretto, and these sweet flavoured ice cubes are great for adding to iced coffee.
Ideal for a child’s birthday party or a kitsch summery lunch party are coloured ice cubes. Add a few drops of food colouring – pink works well – then freeze as usual. You could also add a slice of strawberry or cube of cucumber for a three dimensional effect.
Top icy buys
1. Giant ice cube tray, Hunter Gatherer
Make a statement with this giant ice cube tray
This outsize tray makes large 2″/4cm blocks of ice, which melt more slowly than standard-sized cubes. Made from silicon so the blocks are easy to remove, the tray costs £12.75 from Hunter Gatherer.
2. Nuts and bolts ice cube tray, Whisk Hampers
Sure to raise a smile are these nuts and bolts ice cubes, ideal for the worker in your life to enjoy in that end-of-the-day drink. £5.95, available from Whisk Hampers.
3. Gin and titronic ice cube tray, Maiden
Of all the novelty ice cube trays we’ve seen, we love this ‘gin and titronic’ set. With four icebergs and four ocean liners, your ice cubes will be the talking point of the party. £8, available from Maiden.
4. Pea pod ice tray, Red 5
This neat little pea pod ice tray makes perfectly round ice ‘cubes’, ideal for use with our recipes. £9.95, available from Red 5.
**For more great icy ideas to help you keep cool this summer – including ice cream makers, ice cube makers and ice lolly moulds – check out our Ice Cool collection on eBay.
By Sara Walker
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