The Elephant in the room

Just a little under 40 years ago whilst walking home with friends from school, we came across a group of boys one of them stood out to me, a tall beautiful blonde.  

The advent tree

It goes without saying I adore Christmas, certainly since having children it has become more magical.  Sadly this year we have

Botanics and Teal

The botanical trend looks set to continue into 2016 alongside all things teal.  So the combination of the two in this stunning luxury bedding set from Christy is sure to be a winner.

Food on the go with GoEat

Always coming up with innovative new products JosephJoseph have designed the perfect range for busy people.  

New Winter Warmers & Old Favourites

One thing I love about Winter is the dark nights, the excuse to curl up on the sofa with a glass of something and a good film.  So to discover Echo falls have a new range of red fusions and that I get to try them out ! 

The innovative new Leesa mattress

Not sure how much I believe in coincidence but hubby and I were recently discussing the need for a new mattress.  We have had ours for about 6 years and according to the experts you should change your mattress between 5 - 10 years.

Sorry can't wait .......

I've never been the most patient person.  If I want something, I have to have it now.  If I need to do something, I need to do it now !  This has had varying degrees of success in my life.

The perfect sofa!

I've been looking for the perfect striped sofa for a long time.  I had in my head exactly what I wanted, a relaxed deck chair striped look in blue and white to continue the beachy theme in my living room.  Something that was comfy

Stenvall Interiors

As well as adoring white all my adult life, I have also been totally in love with the design and style of the Nordic countries.   From discovering IKEA whilst serving in Germany in my 20's to the beautiful antique Mora clocks of Sweden,

Tips for Decorating with White

When people see my home for the first time they always exclaim "how do you keep it clean"  or "I could never have an all white home with my children" . 

ROADS luxury Candles

Advocating luxury craftsmanship and unique, exquisite scents, ROADS fragrances are extending their range of premium perfumes to include an equally luxurious range of candles.

Duckydora Autumn Dining

Autumn has arrived and this usually means heating on, wrapping up in coats and scarves and bracing ourselves for the cold.  We have been lucky to have a more gentle start to the season this year but today I can feel the nip in the air.

Trend - Decorating the house for autumn

Autumn is here (despite the glorious weather).  Always in the past one of those seasons for me that was just the in between stage from the fun of summer to the excitement of the buildup to Christmas in winter.

Winter Preparation - House and Garden

So Summer wasn't all that this year and now that its officially Autumn, its time to start thinking about cosying down for the colder months.  If you are anything like me,

Moda in Pelle AW15 Trend - Primal Craft

Lets face it, who doesn't love shoes !  So when Moda in Pelle contacted me and asked me to chose  ANYTHING from their new AW15 collection, there may have been dancing on

Front Door Makeover

How long have I been married ? and blogging ?  and how often have I reminded my husband to PLEASE take before photographs if he is going to embark on some DIY when I am out !

George Nelson Style Wheel Clock

The offer of a clock to review from Vita Interiors came at just the right time.  With our new kitchen /dining room complete,

Shopping the shops

Working full time in a "proper" job these days leaves me very little time to go bargain hunting. Having spent over £300 on new uniform, shoes and other

Boot Sale Treasure

Hubby is working today and I needed the car, so what else is there to do after dropping him at work at 6am, but pop along to the bootsale at Matford in Exeter.

It's finished ! The kitchen / dining room Renovation

 When we moved into this house ten years ago this month, life seemed like it couldn't possibly get any worse.  We had lost our main source of income, I was on maternity leave with six month old twins

Iconic Lights - Poul Christiansen Style Light

 I have to admit to having a bit of a "thing" about beautiful light fittings.  They really are the finishing touch to a room.  No matter how much time or money you spend on your home, if you don't get the lighting right it can ruin the overall look.

Art for art's sake

Art for art's sake, what does that line even mean ?  It is attributed to a Frenchman in the early 19th Century who adopted it as a slogan. The literal meaning of which goes over my head I'm afraid. 

Slim Pickings !

I don't know if its because I am no longer looking to buy stock to sell or because there just wasn't much around today, but for the first time ever I came away from the bootsale with hardly any treasure.  Not impressed having dragged myself out of bed at 5.15 this morning !

I did find this vintage crock bed warmer that had been painted white and given a pretty decoupage heart.  Lovely condition and a steal at just £2.  I'm going to use it as a door stop for my bedroom door which refuses to stay open.

How many times have I said this "I LOVE BUYING FROM MEN" Seriously !  THEY GIVE STUFF AWAY !  Next up this gorgeous Portmeirion Botanic Blue Jug.  Absolutely immaculate and soooo pretty.  50p !!! 50p !!! What was he thinking ! 50p !  I ALMOST told him to keep the change from the £1 !

So Pretty.  Looks lovely in my kitchen and there it will stay, oh yes it will !

I am always on the lookout for baskets or wooden crates.  I have a little obsession going on.  Snatched this huge log basket up for £4 !  Great for all the apples ready for picking at the moment from the old apple tree in our garden.

Going to keep this basket in the house, not sure what to store in it as we have no open fires in our home but love the Rustic look of it.  Its, clearly been around for a while.

So that was it !  Nothing else found today.  I was a bit reluctant to leave the bootsale convinced that I must be missing the treasure and that SOMEBODY must have something.  But, no after several trips around the market nothing else appeared so off home I went.

 As I needed to go food shopping I thought I would also pop into The Vintage Trading Centre on Marsh Barton.  I hadn't had my fix of bargain hunting and I usually find an unusual treasure or two in there.  I wasn't disappointed.  Found this little darling.

LOVE IT ! Solid wood vintage rack with immaculate ceramic and wood canisters for Tea, Coffee and Sugar.

So, all was not lost.

Maybe better luck next week (although hubby was pleased as we have just got the house decluttered ).

Recreating the Vintage Appearance of Your Period Property


                       image #Pinterest

Three Top Tips for Recreating the Vintage Appearance of Your Period Property

Period properties have a charm that simply cannot be emulated. The cumulative effect of a hundred or more years of rain dashing against the stones,

Video of the Utility Room Barn Door

My first attempt at adding a video to my blog.  I have no idea how to make it bigger so any advice would be gratefully received !  Please excuse the shocking Birmingham accent but do admire the amazing hand crafted skill of my husband.

Fenn Wright Manson Rosmarin Dress

Is there any better feeling than a beautifully wrapped parcel arriving in the post !  I was recently thrilled to be offered my pick of the Fenn Wright Manson website.  So many beautiful dresses, which one should I choose ?  I finally settled on the stunning Rosmarin Dress, white, of course.  It arrived super fast and beautifully boxed and wrapped in tissue.

The Rosmarin dress is made from vintage style luxury lace in a delicate floral pattern.  A classic shift style, it suits any shape.  It has a clever Grosgrain ribbon trim running down the front and around the waist which gives the dress a lovely silhouette and for someone like me who suffers from a lack of waistline, really nips you in and defines your figure.

I love the detail at the hemline .

Sheer sleeves with scalloped edging. Pretty and feminine.  The dress is fully lined and no hint of underwear showing through which is a must when wearing white.

This dress is perfect for summer events, days out or even weddings.  I think though you might need to add a touch of colour so you don't upstage the bride !  Its a timeless style that would also suit any age .  If you pop over to the Fenn Wright Manson website, it is currently also on Sale !

Thank you once again to the lovely people at Fenn Wright Manson for sending me this delightful dress.

The Utility Room Renovation - Finished

It's done ! Finally enough cash and time have allowed my very clever husband to finish the utility room.  You can see how it all began HERE and followed up HERE .  I am so thrilled with the end result and reckon we could give any DIY Makeover programme a run for their money. The utility room started life as an outside toilet and coal shed.  When we bought the house they were enclosed with  just a small conservatory tagged onto the back of the house.  We lived for ten years with a cold, damp space for our second toilet, a boiler that broke down all the time and nowhere except for our radiators to dry damp clothes.


The handmade (by hubby - post to follow) Barn door slides open to reveal a great space for the washing machine, hanging space for socks, pants,smalls etc and storage of laundry basket and washing powders.  This used to be the entrance to the first outside shed and housed our old boiler.

We decided to take up the old wooden flooring and lay these beautiful slate grey tiles from Homebase.  Running the tiles through into the utility room makes for a much more stylish and seamless look.  These were budget tiles (you can see details in the previous posts) but they are really good quality and are a dream to keep clean with dirty feet coming in and out of the garden all the time.

The view through the door !  I LOVE IT ! My hubby did an amazing job. New toilet ! We now have 3 toilets.  That should be enough with four men in the house.  The shelving is from IKEA and the black and white photo art I made myself.  See the post on how easy it was HERE

It was really important to me to make the most of the small space.  A priority was to have somewhere to hang washing to dry when the weather was bad.  With my almost finished new kitchen dining room I did not want to go back to having wet clothes draped all over radiators around the house.  We found this fantastic modular system again at IKEA that you can build as many or as few shelves, baskets rails etc that you want.  Its perfect for what I wanted to do.    Because its a small space I wanted to make good use of as much of the wall space as possible, so put the broom and dustpan and brush on the wall.  The bag from The White Company holds old towels and rags for cleaning the floor and shoes .

Another thing that irritates me is chargers and plugs in EVERY socket around my home so insisted we had what we now call a  "charging station" ha!  Plug sockets and a shelf but it did the job.   It didn't take long to train them all to put their phones and tablets on charge in the Utility room.

Loads of storage baskets for balls and smelly shoes.

The new boiler is boxed in and has its own magnetic catch door for easy access.

That's it !

 All finished and an absolute dream of a space now.  

Damsel in a Dress - Summer 2015

At the beginning of June it was my birthday.  These days I tend to not want to think about birthdays that  much as A. my family are not that great at recognising it as a day to spoil me and perhaps give back a little for all I do for them throughout the year and B. being over 50 is a really scary though when in my head I am still 21 !  So it was an absolute thrill to receive an email offering me a dress from the beautiful collection that is  Damsel in a Dress !  I first came across this classic brand several years ago when I was offered an opportunity to be dressed for the MAD blog awards final, so I knew I was in for a treat. 

I tend to be a little conservative in my clothes these days but on seeing the gorgeous array of choice on the Damsel in a Dress website I just had to go for some bright, summery colour.  I absolutely loved this Lavender Fusion dress and although it was sleeveless (not a style I usually wear ) I told myself I could always throw on a cardigan if necessary.  I was not disappointed when it arrived, beautifully packaged in its own box.

 Shocking photo !  Apologies I am still suffering from a dreadful lurgy that will just NOT go away after two weeks and my photographer was a very reluctant 10 yr old !  It is a lovely dress I would say slightly larger than the standard size.  I wear size 14 at the moment and could probably have got away with a size 12 in this make.  It is though, perfect for me as I no longer like to wear clothes that cling to every lump and bump, a classic shift shape. 

The fabric is 96% cotton and 4% elastane which means its both cool to wear and also has that little bit of stretch to maintain its shape.  I'm not sure if it would have been helpful if it had been lined but then if it had been, I probably wouldn't have been able to wash it.  Its such a great bonus when you find a beautiful dress like this one that you can actually wash.  Definitely adds to its affordability .  Talking of price Damsel in a Dress is in the mid luxury category with this dress retailing for £129 .  Perfect for a special occasion but then also a style and colour you could wear again and again afterwards.

Being a quality brand the attention is in the detail.  I love the zip pull !  Also very astutely they have added pockets to this dress which really adds to its versatility.  I'm thrilled to bits with this dress and would highly recommend you pop over to their website for a browse.  A great choice of special occasion and daywear to suit every age and shape.

Many thanks once again to the lovely people at Damsel in a Dress.