November 7th, 2013
If you need to curl up with a hot water bottle, then you might as well do so in style – and deck your bottle out in one of these delightful owl hot water bottle covers.
The quirky and colourful designs are screen printed in Cambridge by Moonglow Art. The design is on 100 per cent cotton drill, and it’s lined with cotton for extra insulation. The cover is designed to fit a standard 2L hot water bottle.
The toughest choice is which colour to go opt for. The owl bottle cover is available in four funky colours – red, purple, orange and green.
November 6th, 2013
So often, nicely designed duvet sets seem to come at a bit of a price. Either you end up paying a lot more for bigger sizes, or you find a design you like and then discover that pillowcases cost extra.
Thankfully, this duvet set, from Marquis & Dawe, not only looks great, but has an affordable price tag too.
The design is called Lost Weekend and features a Parisian style village (more like a town, in the case of the king size version!) with lots of architecturally interesting buildings. The design is hand drawn in black and featured on a white background, but there are some red accents added to liven things up.
The duvet set comes with matching pillowcases and is available in single (£19.95), double (£24.95) or king sizes (£29.95).
November 5th, 2013
We love open-plan living – large, airy, light-filled spaces that combine a variety of functions, such as living/dining/kitchen. Despite the many advantages, though, one obvious disadvantage of open-plan living is that it can be hard to hide clutter, or create an intimate feel on demand.
That’s one reason why we love room screens – they’re an easy, portable way of dividing a room, and can be very versatile. Here’s our guide to how to use them in your home.
1. Screens in children’s rooms
Relatives visiting? Simply shovel all the clutter behind this screen, et voila! A tidy room. Screens in children’s rooms are also great for creating ‘dens’ or partitioning some individual space in a spared room. We love this bright printed screen from Arthouse, as the colourful design will suit a range of ages.
Priced at £75, for more details and a list of stockists visit the Arthouse website.
2. Bedroom screens
Create your own dressing room with this mirrored bedroom screen. It doubles as a full-length mirror, so you just need to add a corner hanging rail and a chair, both hidden by the screen. When placed opposite a window, it’s also great for reflecting light back into the room to brighten up a dark area. Priced at £399, for more information visit the Newton’s Furniture website.
3. Outdoor screens
Yes, really! This lovely screen, also from Arthouse, isn’t weatherproof but is ideal for short term use hiding a shed, compost heap or bins ready for you to hold the perfect garden party. Arthouse also do rose trellis and beach designs.
Alternatively, you could make your own all-weather version with some garden centre trellising and hinges, and, if you’re planning for your screen to be a fairly static addition to your garden, position some pots of climbing roses in front of it.
4. Living/dining room screen
Although it’s designed as a dressing screen, we think this solid carved wood screen from the French Bedroom would work equally well in a living room. In the winter, use it to create an intimate dining or sitting area, and help reduce draughts.
It would also be great for screening off the kitchen area to create a little privacy while you’re cooking, if you don’t want your guests to see the work in progress. Was £495, now reduced to £395.
5. Other uses and DIY screens
Screens around the home are always useful – you can use them as draught excluders, to temporarily divide a shared bedroom for guests, to block off an unused doorway or screen a pile of untidy belongings.
If you want to be sure of finding a screen to tie in with your décor, you can always customise your own. Start with a cheap screen, or if you really want to do it from scratch, create your own using a wooden frame filled with hardboard panels. Make at least three panels for stability, and four if you want a bigger screen. Next, you can customise it, and this is where you can really give your creative side free rein.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Paint your screen a suitable colour, and add a mural, stick on decals or use a stencil.
- Using a staple gun, attach sheets of curtain interlining all over the screen. Staple the fabric of your choice over it, attaching it only around the edges, and glue some braid over to hide the staples. This will give a slightly padded screen that you can use as a pinboard if you like.
- Use decoupage – cut pictures from magazines, paste them over the screen so that they slightly overlap, and paint the whole thing with varnish.
- Cover your screen with wallpaper.
- Get creative, and personalise your screen with sequins, feathers, shells or anything else that takes your fancy.
By Sara Walker
November 1st, 2013
From deep moody purple, to gem-like amethyst, aubergine and fruity plum, purple is a colour you either love or hate. If you’re firmly in the love category, then here’s a selection of Fab Friday Bargains for your home devoted to the glorious shades of the colour purple.
1. Snap up this Rykiel Maison 100 per cent wool designer sunset flower knitted cushion, for half price
2. Invest in a gorgeous grape Kitchen Aid Artisan stand mixer, for £386.10 (normally £429)
3. Bring purple into your kitchen, with a purple Spectrum Collection digital microwave, for only £39.99
4. Get comfy in a 60s inspired Kubrick wing back chair in plum purple, for £349 (high street price £995)
5. Unleash the scent of plum blossom and fruit in your home, with a Voluspa Japanese plum bloom mini candle, now just £6.76
6. Indulge in some winter warmth, by investing in a Sonia Rykiel Maison sunset purple mohair throw, reduced to £117.50 (from £235)
7. Add colour and pattern to your sofa, with an Alvey aubergine purple patterned cushion, now £14.00
8. These Devon amethyst purple champagne glasses, at only £2.80, are definitely a good excuse to buy some champagne too
9. Create a passionate purple bedroom, with 20 per cent off the purple Antoinette bed linen from Julien Macdonald’s Star range
October 31st, 2013
Skulls aren’t just a spooky symbol associated with Halloween. If you love skull designs, here are four ideas for using them in your home decor.
1. Get skulls on your walls, with this dark and moody Midnight skulls wallpaper by Barbara Hulanicki. It’s £49.99 from Homebase
2. Prop open a door with a realistic looking concrete skull design doorstop, £58 from Graham and Green
3. Serve up dinner on a Masked skull swirl plate by Rory Dobner, £46 from Liberty
4. Or transform your cushions with these skulls and roses cushion covers, £18 each from TwentySevenPalms
Halloween might be over in just one night, but skulls could live on for longer in your home!
October 29th, 2013
A Bonfire Night party doesn’t have to revolve around charred baked potatoes, burnt sausages and discomfort – here are our top 10 picks for creating a November 5th celebration with a little flair.
1. Honey Tree: Personalised invitations
Let everyone know from the start that this is going to be a party with a difference. These stunning invitations are printed on high quality card and can be personalised with your choice of illustration, wording and font. Prices start at £1.95 per card from www.honeytreepublishing.com, minimum order eight cards.
2. Hunkydory Home: Bangers and mash cushion
This cushion makes us smile, with its bold, unequivocal declaration of love for British food. It’s perfect for giving your sitting room a bonfire night feel once the cold air has chased your guests indoors. Designed by Liz Foster and available from www.hunkydoryhome.co.uk, priced at £52.
3. Baker and Bell: Dutch oven
If you want your bonfire night fare to have that authentic outdoor flavour, what about this cast iron Dutch oven from glamping specialists Baker and Bell? You can use it directly on the fire, or suspend it with a tripod and chain. Priced at £82 for the oven and £37 for the tripod, it’s sure to see plenty of use after November 5th as well.
4. Alexander & Pearl: Metal stacking stool
The secret to a great party is making sure there are enough seats to go round! Solve a temporary seating crisis with these stylish metal stacking stools – they’re sturdy and waterproof for outdoor use, and when you’ve finished with them they can be stacked neatly away. £60 each from Alexander & Pearl.
5. Prezzybox: Mulled wine warmer
Combat the British weather on November 5th with this mulled wine warmer. Handing freezing guests a mugful on arrival will help any party get off to a good start, and the tealight under the stoneware jar will keep any remaining contents hot until required. Available from Prezzybox, priced £27.95
6. Broste: Danish handleless mugs
These handleless mugs are a Scandinavian design, created in Denmark. They’re specially designed so that you can wrap your hands round them and warm yourself up, so they’re perfect for serving mulled wine. Available from Very Nice Things, £4.50 each.
7. Just Slate: Blackstone platter
Made from natural materials, this stylish platter is the perfect way to hand round your party food, from baked potatoes to parkin. Complete with servers, it’s priced at £60 from Just Slate, Britain’s largest slate homeware producer.
8. Tinderbox: Baker and Bell
We’re really excited about this tinderbox, which is the stuff of fairy tales. So much more stylish than a box of matches, the kit contains everything you need to light your bonfire including a steel and flintstone. Do practice with it before November 5th, though, as striking the spark takes a little practice! Priced at £29 from Baker and Bell.
9. Annabel James: Picnic Blanket
This ‘kissing stags’ picnic blanket, with its striking modern design, is extremely versatile with its waterproof backing. Use it for table protection, as an extra impromptu seating area or just to wrap round yourself for extra warmth. Available from Annabel James, priced £35.95.
10. Lily and Lime: Lantern
When it’s time for your guests to leave and negotiate a dark garden path, this bargain miners’-style lantern will be invaluable in helping them get to the gate safely. Several lanterns dotted around the garden will also help illuminate eating and seating areas, and add a little extra ambiance. Available in a range of colours, priced at £10 from Lily and Lime.
By Sara Walker
October 28th, 2013
Many people perceive that it is expensive to mount a sculpture or a piece of painting on a pedestal or on a wall respectively. The artwork must not be a Picasso or a Da Vinci for it to attract attention of the intended audience. Collecting pieces of artwork is a process that can be successfully implemented on a budget.
Artists collect handfuls of original pieces that they purchase from extremely low budget either online or off streets. Art collection for many is expression of wealth or wisdom. There are specific portraits that one would hold dear or even paintings that give expression of self. Many art collectors find themselves at crossroads on how to grow an entire art collection if only one piece summarizes the feeling they have been yearning for.
Elements of growing an art collection
Growing an entire art collection requires one to see the value of an original piece of artwork. However, choosing an original piece depends with collector’s priorities; choice is not affected by price, location or an artist’s name but joy that the artwork brings each day to the collector. The wisdom in art is intended to transform people’s lives, those who closely safeguard the intention of the artwork.
It is easy to grow your collection of original art via Saatchionline. The online magazine has a variety of galleries that aid artists to be discovered through their pieces as they discover art. Filtering of artwork in the online portal can be by subject and style or price. One of the common mistakes people make when they try to grow their original collection is to distrust their own tastes and purchase according to artist’s names.
It is very easy to dismiss certain artworks quickly if they seem to be out of the collector’s comfort zone. Advanced art collectors do not judge but take ample time to familiarize themselves with the art, discuss it with colleagues, observers or makers and take notes of the notions that linger after viewings are past due.
The essence of having an art collection
There are two factors that an art collector must take keen interest in. First, the message or lasting impression that the piece of art leaves to the intended audience.
Second, the innovative or technical advances that are harnessed to create a wonderful piece is another factor to consider before making purchases. Burgeoning collectors have turned to emerging artists that are less costly and more relevant to the contemporary society. It is of the essence to go always for quality since pieces of art that are in excellent condition are more desirable.
October 26th, 2013
With the best will in the world, finding ideas for gifts for men can sometimes be tricky. Either they don’t know what they want, or the only thing they can come up with is way out of your price range.
If you’re beginning to rack your brain and wonder what on earth you’re going to get the men in your life for Christmas, then here are some home-related present ideas, all at super bargain prices.
From the top row, left to right…
Tetris alarm clock, now £16.09 (was £22.99), from Firebox
LG 32” Smart LED TV 32LN578V, now £329 (was £549), from Currys
Joseph Joseph retro camera design chopping board, now £8 (was £18), from Urban Outfitters
Black rechargeable corkscrew, now £20 (was £25) from Debenhams
Spanner design cutlery set, now £19.40 (was £40), from Graham and Green
Leather book case for Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1” now £6.95 (was £34.95), from John Lewis
Marlin fish design key hook, now £10.23 (was £18.95), from Graham and Green
Morphy Richards 3.5L slow cooker, now £25 (was £50), from House of Fraser
Precision chopping board, now £9.99 (was £19.99), from Culture Vulture Direct
October 24th, 2013
From a distance, the decor in this room doesn’t look all that extraordinary.
But up close, the wallpaper design is revealed to be somewhat different to the norm….
Yes, it’s a spider design wallpaper!
Realistically, seeing these eight legged creatures all over your wall is unlikely to be everyone’s cup of tea, but for some more unusual decor, it certainly hits the spot.
Rather aptly named Irrational Fear, the spider wallpaper is from Dupenny.
If you’re getting creative and decorating your home for Halloween, they also sell A3 sized samples of the wallpaper for £6 – ideal for seasonal home decor creations.
October 22nd, 2013
Cheese? Yes, please!
All our favourite cheeses and more are featured on this cheese design tea towel from the Old English Company.
Reminisce about your cheese favourites as you dry the dishes….then perhaps give in to the temptation of a cheesy snack after.
The screen printed cotton tea towel is handmade in Britain and costs £9.