Thomas Edison style Steampunk table lamp from Iconic Lights

September 12th, 2016

Done shaped exposed bulb table lamp in steampunk style

If you love all things steampunk style, then here’s a lamp that could provide the perfect finishing touch to your interior decor scheme.

The Thomas Edison style steampunk table lamp is sold by Iconic Lights. The light itself is simple and elegant in its design. The aged brass base and lamp fitting is accompanied by a plain glass dome that is placed over the top of the base.

But what helps transform this seemingly simple piece into an attractive and eye-catching light is the use of a well chosen bulb. In keeping with the theme, and paying tribute to Edison’s love of the incandescent light bulb, it make sense to choose an exposed bulb to go inside the dome. You get to see the intricacies of the light flowing through the bulb and the different patterns within the bulb design.

Elegant antique brass Thomas Edison steampunk table lamp. Great used in an industrial design room.

We tried it with a Squirrel light bulb (available from Iconic Lights) and the effect was lovely. It transforms what would be a rather ordinary and unexciting lamp into something special. As it’s encased in a pure glass dome, it does produce a bright light, so you probably wouldn’t want it too close to you (we had thought it might look nice on a desk, for example), but it’s excellent for bringing light into a dark corner.

With the evenings drawing in and darker autumn nights around the corner, this is a lovely lamp to lighten up dark evenings as the seasons change.

With a price tag of £30 from Iconic Lights, it’s very good value for money and an affordable way to have a feature light to use exposed bulbs with.  It definitely looks more expensive than it actually is.

If you’re looking for ideas on how you could create a steampunk look in your home, Iconic Lights have a great Steampunk Collection Pinterest board that’s full of inspiration.

(Disclosure: We were sent a lamp to review, but all views and opinions are our own)

Denim Drift: Dulux paint Colour of the Year 2017

September 6th, 2016

Inviting kitchen area painted with Dulux paint in Denim Drift, Cobalt Night and Borrowed Blue

Each year, various organisations pick out their predicted Colour of the Year. Dulux has just announced theirs as the gorgeous Denim Drift – a lovely blue-grey colour.

It’s a shade that will work in a variety of decor schemes, from kitchens and living rooms, to kids rooms and studies.

Contemporary living and dining room painted in Denim Drift, Borrowed Blue, Earl Blue and Sash Blue Dulux paint

In addition, Dulux have developed a beautiful tonal colour palette specifically to complement the Colour of the Year, featuring a spectrum of blues and complimentary blue-hued tones:

Blue colour palette that complements Dulux's Denim Drift paint colour

The colours complement each other so well and there are shades of blue included that are soft and soothing, as well as more dramatic and moody – something for everyone.

We particularly love how they’ve been used in this kid’s bedroom – what a cosy nook that looks!

Doesn't this look like a fab kid's room? It's pained using Denim Drift, Sash Blue, Cornflower Bunch and Marine Waters Dulux paint

Here’s what Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director at Dulux, has to say about using the colour ideas in your decor projects. “Creating a blue colour scheme is successful when you choose shades that work beautifully together.

This year the Colour of the Year, Denim Drift, has been teamed with a palette of blues which give you the confidence to get it right every time. There are ten blues within the palette, five of them, including Denim Drift, are muted and atmospheric and the remaining five are cleaner, brighter hues that pack more of a punch.

The whole collection has been designed to be used in combination across different elements of an interior from the walls to the furniture, furnishings and accessories.  You can turn the visual impact up with the brighter blues and down with the muted blues to suit the style and personality of a room and can be sure that none of them will ever look out of place.”

Gorgeous study painted with Indigo Shade, Denim Drift and Clock Face blue paints by Dulux

So, do you think you’ll be incorporating Denim Drift or any of the other blue hues into your decorating projects in the coming year?

How to develop a colour scheme for your bedroom

August 30th, 2016

How to update your bedroom decor, taking your bedding as your focal point

Do you want to liven up your bedroom with a new colour scheme, but aren’t sure where to start? Rather than decorating the walls first, then trying to find soft furnishings and accessories to match, one simple trick is to start with your bedding and work from there.

Whether you’ve got a favourite bedding set that you love, or want to start from scratch and invest in a new duvet, using your bedding as a starting point makes complete sense – especially as the bed is normally the key piece of furniture in the bedroom.

Analysing a duvet colour palette

Take the Linea Traveller print bedding set shown above. It’s got a pleasing colour palette that’s dominated by the rich shade of red, but there are also plenty of other colours involved that you can pick out and be inspired by.

There’s blue and lilac on the flowers and other parts of the floral design, a mustardy gold and a softer terracotta type red.

Think about how the colours could be used

Painting the walls is always a good way of transforming the look of a room and when it comes to paints that would work well with this particular duvet cover design, there are plenty of options. A bright red can be too dominating in a bedroom – you want to sleep, rather than feel too energized – so a picking out the terracotta instead would be better.

We love Dulux’s Curious Crimson paint colour, which would bring out the terracotta accents of the design. Even if you aren’t ready to have it on every wall, it would work really well used on the wall behind the bed.

Cherished Gold, Dulux’s Colour of the Year for 2016, would tie in well with the mustard in the duvet cover and is ideal combined  with terracotta. If you’re up for trying something different, you could even try Cherished Gold on the ceiling – imagine that view from your bed!

So we’d use terracotta and mustard as the two key colours, then use a hint of blue as an accent colour. Here’s how we’d put it together with the paint and accessories:

How to create a terracotta and mustard colour scheme

See how well it goes with the design from the pillowcase? All items are available House of Fraser.

There’s a rug for the floor, three individual vases of various shapes and textures, a pair of candle votives and a set of three wooden houses, each featuring one of the colours on the roof. You don’t need masses of accessories to help tie a scheme together – just a few select pieces will suffice. We’d add in some curtains or maybe a roller blind, plus some flowers and, voila, the room is complete.

What do you think? Is it a colour palette you’d decorate with?

(Disclosure: This is a collaborative post)


Take your walls to a new level with wow factor wallpaper

August 25th, 2016

Could your walls do with a completely new look? Why not take them to a new level with these fab designer wallpapers that are bursting with wow factor?

Studio job NLXL archives black and white withered flowers wallpaper  Contemporary colourful withered flowers wallpaper from Studio Job and NXL Archives

The withered flowers wallpaper is available in a classic black and white or colourful options. It’s produced by design company Studio Job in conjunction with creative wallpaper manufacturer NLXL. The result is their stunning Archives wallpaper collection.

They’re quite ‘busy’ designs, but will provide you with plenty to look at. It’s amazing how different the coloured version looks.

Stunning Feathr Firefly wallpaper in blue, designed by Chinese artist Yuexin Du Contemporary designer Feathr Firefly wallpaper in a refreshing shade of mint green

The Firefly Feathr wallpaper is created by Chinese artist Yuexin Du. The inspiration behind the design is her memories of summer nights in her childhood and particularly dark forests filled with the light from fireflies.

The mosaic design on the wallpaper is really effective and incorporates the idea of light and movement. We particularly love the blue design, which is very reminiscent of night-time colours. The refreshing mint shade is a bit more like early morning light in the forest to us, but still produces a lovely effect.

Stunning contemporary wall mural designs from Mr Perswall.

We’re already fans of Mr Perswall’s designs, but some of these designs have got us swooning! The expressions pieces are a cross between wallpaper and wall murals, as they’re produced in single panel format. What makes these special is that you can also have them created to your own bespoke size. So if you’ve got an odd shaped wall, you don’t have to worry about wasting wallpaper.

The Wilderness design, with its fiery copper and emerald green accents, says ‘autumn’ to us, but you may well see it in a completely different light. Either way, it’s stunning and a very different design from standard wallpapers.

The Wallpainting and  Ageing with Beauty pieces both bring elements of texture and natural effects to your wall. Or for something different, you could opt for the Abstract design (admittedly, you could just throw paint at your wall to create a similar effect, but at least this has turned out nicely!).

Mexican mix: ideas for creating an Aztec-inspired decor

August 23rd, 2016

Could you bring a taste of the Aztec style into your home?

It’s not that hard to do. In fact, Aztec-inspired look is one of the current trends and, in terms of home decor, it uses strong geometric patterns, texture and bright colours.

So who were the Aztecs?

The Aztecs were a nomadic tribe, who settled in north Mexico in the 13th century. They had a sophisticated and intricate social, political, religious and commercial culture, and for two hundred years, they practically ruled central Mexico.

In the 15th century, the civilisation was overthrown and dispersed by the Spanish but elements of their culture continued – in fact, the words ‘chocolate’, ‘avocado’ and ‘tomato’ are of Aztec origin. Who knew?!

Art was central to Aztec culture, and took inspiration from two main sources – nature, and religion.

Common themes are jaguars, ducks,  snakes, deer, jaguars and dogs, as well as plants and trees. Gods were also often depicted (sometimes as animals), as well as warriors in all their finery. Shapes were sharp and geometric, and colour was bold and bright, often clashing primaries such as blue and red.

How to use the Aztec style in your home

Achieving an Aztec-inspired look is all about colour, pattern and texture.

Choose a natural, neutral look on walls and ceilings, using materials such as wood, stone, rough plaster and paint in warm shades of grey, off white and sand.

Then, add blocks of bold, bright colour using rugs, lamps, chairs and cushions.

With colours and patterns this strong, it’s best to keep a neutral background and work with just a few statement pieces, otherwise the finished effect may give you a headache!

Here are our picks:

1. Aztec armchair, Lime Lace

Aztec print armchair, Lime Lace

This stylish Aztec armchair has been upholstered in natural jute with a contemporary geometric deep blue Aztec design, handwoven using the traditional skills of artisans in Rajasthan. Finished with brass stud detailing, it has hand turned legs from made from sustainable mango wood. This chair is ideal for adding texture and pattern – add a couple of plain, bright cushions to finish the look. £995 from Lime Lace.

2. Matrix MAX 23 Cuzzo Sienna rug, Kelaty

Aztec design rug, Kelaty

Make a statement with this bold, eye catching woollen rug, hand tufted in India. The bright colour and strong, geometric shape are perfect for creating an Aztec feel. This rug will work perfectly against a neutral floor such as natural wood. Available in different sizes, prices start at £142 from Kelaty.

3. Set of three woven baskets, House Doctor

Set of three woven geometric baskets, House Doctor

Dip your toe into the Aztec trend with this set of three geometric black and natural woven baskets with black handles.In three different sizes, they’ll find a range of uses around the home from waste paper baskets to laundry or log baskets. £48 for the set, available from rigby & mac.

4. Geometric luxe black and ivory throw, The French Bedroom Company

Geometric black and ivory throw, The French Bedroom Company

This blanket is a modern take on an ancient idea. With a strong, monochrome, geometric pattern, it will make a statement without taking over the room. It’s heavy weight and would drape nicely over a bed or sofa. Made from 100% cotton, it’s also machine washable. £99 from The French Bedroom Company.

5. Pop vase, Kelly Hoppen

Bright Pop vase, Kelly Hoppen

This vase from interior designer Kelly Hoppen combines a simple shape with a graphic design and bright colours. Use it to lift a dark corner of the room, or add a pop of colour to a monochrome design. £25, available from Kelly Hoppen.


Quinn contemporary corner ladder style bookcase from Matalan

August 18th, 2016

Did you know Matalan sells furniture? It’s online only at, but they sell a good range of furniture that’s stylish, on trend and affordable.

We’d never experienced Matalan furniture before, but were sent a corner bookshelf in oak, from their bestselling Quinn range, to review. The style of the piece is inherently contemporary – it’s based on the popular ladder design – and it’s an attractive and functional piece of furniture that could effectively be used in a variety of different rooms.

The Quinn corner bookcase arrives in two boxes – one long, large one which contains three vertical pieces of wood, and one square one, which contains four shelves in graduated sizes.

You also get the super essential instructions, all the screws, dowels and fittings you need, plus a little Allen key to help you put the whole piece together. So there are no worries if you haven’t got a tool kit on hand, as you can assemble it without the need for any other tools.

Unboxing the Quinn corner bookcase in oak. Affordable flat pack furniture from Matalan.

Once unpacked, the wood seemed to be of a good, sturdy design and the oak finish a lovely warm colour.

Assembling the flat pack Quinn bookcase

Is it easy to put together? Well, it seemed to be…

The doweling rods were easy to insert into the shelves and the shelves initially seemed to fit well into the uprights. It could be put together by one person, but we found it useful to have two of us.

How to build the flat pack Quinn corner bookshelf from Matalan.

One shelf though seemed to be missing a screw hole, so couldn’t be as securely attached as it should be. When everything else was screwed together it looked finished, although we somehow ended up with a slight gap at one side at the very top.

As it wasn’t really the perfect, nicely aligned finish we’d hoped for, we took it apart and did it again. Sadly, that didn’t really rectify the problem. Whether it was something we’d done wrong, or perhaps that the upright piece of wood wasn’t quite cut to the right size at the top, we’re not sure.

Here’s an image showing the gap on the right hand side – it’s not a major issue, but something that could be annoying in the long term, knowing it’s there and not quite perfect.

The tiny top shelf of the Quinn bookcase provides just enough space for a small ornament

The gap issue aside though, the finished bookshelf is a lovely contemporary design and definitely fits into the ladder style shelving trend.

It’s nice that it’s a corner design and can fit into a spare gap. It also felt reassuring that it was going in a corner, as it didn’t feel 100% sturdy when standing (it might be better, for example, if you screw it to a wall for super security).

Styling the Quinn corner bookcase

The bookcase would work well in a living room, dining room, study or even a small space in a hallway or on a landing.

In our case, it fitted perfectly in a corner of a bedroom, against the side of a similar coloured wooden wardrobe.

Got an awkward corner to fill? Try the Quinn corner bookcase in a stylish ladder design.

There are five shelves in total, each a different size. We used the bottom shelf for books, and the others to display vases and other decorative accessories.

Of course, there’s not a lot of scope for storage on the smallest, top shelf (just room for a small owl), but the lower shelves do provide ample space – in fact, more space than we’d anticipated.

The bottom shelf is a brilliant height and width for large hardback books. We could have easily filled all the shelves with books – as you can see, the other shelves are quite deep too and could easily accommodate more hardback or paperback books:

The shelves on the Quinn corner bookcase are of a good depth and provide plenty of storage options.

It’s a really elegant and functional piece of furniture. In terms of value, it’s pretty good too – the original price was affordable at £79, but it’s currently reduced to £59 in the sale, so an even better buy.

Modern corner ladder style bookcase - perfect to store books or display accessories


If it’s a style of furniture you like, there are other coordinating pieces in the Quinn range, and options in a white finish too. One nifty aspect is that other pieces can be joined together if you wish. There are spare screws provided and easy-to-spot connecting points on the Quinn bookcase.

It was good to see the value and options that Matalan furniture provides and it’s definitely something we’ll be exploring again in the future.

(Disclosure: We were sent the Quinn bookcase to review, but all views and opinions are our own). 

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