Adding Accessories to a Home

When you move into your first house, you think about all the big things you need—beds, a sofa, a television stand—but adding accessories to a home is what completes it.

I love my house, having renovated it all over a six month period, but it feels so bare and unfinished. It isn’t cosy because adding accessories to a home is what makes it cozy and comfortable.

So, what accessories can you add?

Artwork

I’ve been searching for some artwork to put above my fireplace. It is such an empty space, and a large piece of art will draw the attention away from our 50” monstrosity.

 

Adding accessories to a home

 

The problem is, artwork is expensive. Well the artwork, not so much, but the frames can cost an extra £100. This is why we’ve put off buying any house accessories until the wedding is over in 7 months time.

Art.co.uk have some wonderful pieces, from classics by Monet to prints, maps and abstract paintings.

Rugs

Rugs are another accessory than can be pricey, especially if you’re like me and want a huge one to cover your entire 8-person dining table. With wooden floor through the dining room and kitchen, it still feels a bit echoey.

I would love a rug to go over the wooden floor to soften it all up. I think I’m a bit apprehensive though, especially of crumbs and stains getting on the carpet!

dining table and chairs with rug

Don’t worry, those teal seat covers are GOING

Curtains and blinds

The only rooms we have proper curtains in is the bedroom. The bathroom, landing, lounge and kitchen diner don’t have them yet. Curtains and blinds are another expense that we’re not spending until after the wedding. Curtains will really help to soften the room, and can make the ceiling look higher when hung correctly.

Blinds can also be used to reflect light so we’ll be investing in some blinds for the landing and kitchen windows.

Lighting

I’ve been really fussy, more so than I thought, with lighting. I’m yet to find wall lights for the landing that I actually like, and we haven’t got a ceiling light in our lounge yet, only two lamps and a bare wire hanging out of the ceiling, which is demonstrated below.

 

living room with sofa and lighting

 

Again, these aren’t entirely a priority for me, but they transform the look of a room without much effort.

Adding accessories to a home can make a huge difference. You’ll be surprised what a rug or a picture frame can do. Have you ever experimented with your accessories, and did it make a difference?

 

 


 

This post contains some affiliate links which means I may get a commission from any purchases made. 

Mummy in a Tutu

How to Style Dark Walls in your Home

You’ve made the bold decision to use dark-coloured paint in your home, but now you’re wondering how to style dark walls.

I wrote a post quite recently about 2017 A/W trends, and I included dark walls as a feature that would continue to impress. But it got me thinking about how to style dark walls best. Dark paint is a bold look, and only certain rooms can hold it. This post will advise you on how to style dark walls to make them a standout feature, and not a dark, dingy space that you’ll regret.

Think through your decision

Are you the sort of person who gets bored with a paint colour after a year? Then a dark colour is not the right choice for you. You’ll need to really love it, from the day you put it on, to five years later. Take your time buying testers, and remember to buy testers from different brands, not all the same one. There can be a big difference in colour depending on which paint brand you go with.

Make sure it will match your current furniture

There’s no point painting a whole room, and then having to change all your furniture because it doesn’t match. If you’re worried, you can go with a dark grey as most things will go with this.

Take a look at this grey room from Mad About the House. The white floor and ceiling, combined with the warm red tones of the sofa and carpet and oak furniture means the room doesn’t look too cold or bare.

 

 

A surprising amount of colours go with navy blue as well, including green and pink. Just thoroughly consider your options. Use a colour chart if you’re unsure about which colours will go with what.

Make sure you have enough natural light

how to style dark walls in your bedroom

Photo credit: http://www.apartmentnumber4.com/

 

Unlike pale colours, light cannot bounce off dark walls. You need a large window in order to pull off the look, but note, that doesn’t mean your room has to be large to pull of a bold colour. This is a big misconception. It isn’t about the size of the room, but how you arrange the furniture, and the amount of light you’ve got.

In the picture from Mad About the House (further up the page) , they’ve painted their ceiling white, but also about a fifth of the way down the walls too. This gives the impression of a much higher ceiling and creates so much more light in the room.

You don’t just want tonnes of natural light, but also enough artificial light for the evenings, unless you want to feel like you’re sat in a cave. You’ll need lighting in all the corners of the room, and try to avoid just one ceiling light. Consider some wall lights and floor lights together so the lighting isn’t so much concentrated to one place, but spreads in an even glow around the room.

 

Photo credit: https://lovechicliving.co.uk

You’ll need some light-coloured accessories

With dark walls, you’ll need plenty of accessories that lift the room. This could mean getting some artwork with a light background to put on the walls.

Look at this image from Martina Gemmola:

 

 

The white in the floor and the white accessories such as the plant pot and the cushion lift the whole room. They become the focal point, so much so, that the shelving unit and sofa almost blend into the walls. This is an amazing demonstration of how well blue and green can work together. If that was my room, I’d be inclined to add a picture gallery above the sofa to help water down the navy blue walls.

I love a dark bookshelf that holds lots of white or light coloured objects and books, and I found this one from DesignSixtyNine.

 

 

Not only is the bookshelf a dark grey, but the walls are too. If you’re worried about the size of a bookcase or unit, this is a wonderful tip. Painting it the same colour as the walls makes it blend in. It almost becomes a part of the wall, making it much less imposing. The bookcase has been broken up with white and green objects. Look to the middle of the bookshelf on the far right; the spines of the books are all white, which really makes a feature of the shelf.

So there are my top tips on how to style dark walls in your house. Is anyone considering them? Or have you already got dark walls and love them?

 

 



Top Interior Design Trends 2017: Fabrics, Colours and Materials

Look no further for the Top Interior Design Trends 2017. This article will cover patterns, colours, textures, and designs that you need in your home this Autumn/Winter 2017.

Colour

There seems to be a clash of the colours at the moment. Bold and daring hues are in, but similarly, so are grey, white and soft pastels, so it seems at the minute anything goes. Rich jewel tones such as deep purple or emerald go hand in hand with softer pastels: the two will compliment each other splendidly.

Whether you prefer bold or muted, both colours are making themselves known. Earthy colours are on the horizon, so think terracotta, sand, cinnamon, olive green. These types of colours come from the huge influx of Scandinavian-inspired homes that are splashed all over blogs, Instagram, and Pinterest. More and more people are opting for minimalism and comfort in hygge.

In our panicked lives, we want our homes to be serene and calming which comes with warm neutral colours. It seems we want to return to the great outdoors within the comfort of our own home. These colours are enabling us to do that. When working from home, we want a peaceful home office that makes us feel productive.

More and more people are opting for dark, intense colours too. There are a lot of walls being painted navy blue or racing green, offset with white furniture and shelving to add light, and contrast the dark even more. Combine such colours with rich velvet sofas and warm metals such as copper and bronze, and we’re almost returning to the Edwardian era of interiors.

Copper jugs on a dining table

Outdoor living space with plants

Sofa on purple wall - interior design trends

Materials

Materials had to be In the Top Interior Design Trends 2017 list, but what kind of materials can we expect to be using in our homes?

Natural and raw materials are continuing to be a big hit, especially with the industrial/attic look. To achieve this, use plenty of reclaimed worn wood to give a rustic look, as well as dark metals including steel, bronze and copper. These always look incredible with a bare brick wall.

We’re saying farewell to glossy, high-shine finishes, and opting for the ‘pre-decoration’ look. If you’re brave enough, then use cement or plaster finishes on your walls. If you’re worried about the space looking bare, add some plants for a homey touch.

Something else that I’m seeing a lot of is velvet. Velvet in armchairs and sofas will make in appearance in our home-ware shops, maybe even some thick, warm velvet curtains. Velvet can look quite heavy, so make sure your room can hold it.

With Pantone announcing a rich green as their Colour of the Year 2017, we’ve seen an increase in earthy colours and green home accessories. But it hasn’t stopped with furniture, and plants are burdening everyone’s homes. But this is not a bad thing. I love plants, and they make our home healthier. Combine the plants with lots of natural wood for a basic return to nature.

Pair the theme of nature with bronze for a true outdoors and industrial feel. These stunning pineapple lamps from HomeSquare.com will truly stand out and be admired by many.

Pineapple lamps on table from Home Square

Design and Style

Just like with fashion trends, vintage is returning. In the near future, there will be a recreation of the 60s and 70s. Geometric patterns and loud clashing colours will be seen not just in furniture, but also in lighting and accessories.

But don’t be afraid to pair vintage with modern. This is a look that always works, especially if you add some timeless, classic accessories. The look need to be about adding your personal touch and design. With the number of new builds popping up, people are aspiring to make their house look and feel different to the other hundred on the block. The way to do this is go bold with your interior.

Patterned flooring and tiles has made a comeback in an incredible farmhouse-style way. The crazy patterns and colours are being paired with plain white, retro tiles, so these are huge Top Interior Design Trends 2017. See the picture below from Emily Henderson’s blog. She’s chosen these incredible blue, 60s-esque geometric tiles and put them with white tiles. She’s even completed the vintage/modern style with a sink vanity unit which she found at a flea market. She up-cycled it to create this stunning sink, and has finished the look with all gold, retro taps and it’s a classic example of how to combine vintage, modern and classic.

 

Top Interior Design Trends 2017 - 60s and 70s retro is back

Photo courtesy of interiorstylehunter.com/

Top Interior Design Trends 2017 - tiles and white

Photo courtesy of stylebyemilyhenderson.com

Blue sofa with throw, cushions and a pile of books

Fabric and Patterns

60s and 70s is making a return in fabric as well as in specific materials, so we’re adding them to the Top Interior Design Trends 2017 list. Imagine large geometric furniture pieces, in luxury black and gold, as well as the daring colours of the 60s such as orange and yellow.

As briefly mentioned above too, velvet is making a sure reappearance. It is such a flexible material: casual but formal, elegant, and it adds cosiness and warmth to a room. But don’t stick with traditional jewel colours like Royal Blue and Emerald. Why not go for a light pink velvet armchair?

Wall coverings are slowly replacing paint. You’ll find them draped over walls in rooms that use a lot of deep reds and dark woods. This mysterious style comes from North African and Indian influences, and even the Middle East too. The patterns are normally intricate and beautiful, and can easily be hung to transform the look of your room.

With earthy themes that we’re seeing a lot of popularity with, we can expect jungle-themed wall paper, prints and art work to be introduced. Forget your bright yellows or oranges with this particular style. You’re looking for moody and dark. Add some plants around your home to really make you feel like you’ve brought the outside in.

 

 

Our Top Interior Design Trends 2017 include all sorts of characteristic styles and a huge variety of fabrics, colours and designs. This is the year of go bold or go home. Make the most of it.

Easy and small changes to transform a room

 

If you find yourself getting bored of your interior, you can implement some small changes to transform a room and your living space.

Curtains

Don’t be afraid to go for long curtains, even if you’ve got a small room. They’ll give the impression of a heightened ceiling and even of a bigger window. Take a look at this for instance:

 

 

small changes to transform a room - buy new curtains

 

This illustration also demonstrates where the curtain pole should go. Don’t make the mistake of putting it too close to the window frame. Measure it before you order your curtains, otherwise your curtains will either be dragging on the floor, or a couple of inches too short.

Artwork

It’s so easy for walls to look bare. Lack of artwork will also make your room feel empty, even if you have lots of furniture and other accessories.

Artwork should be placed at a height of 57” from the floor to the centre of the piece. This is supposed to be an average eye level. It means you’ll stop putting your artwork too high or low, which can look out of place.

Read this great article from Apartment Therapy about how to not mess hanging artwork up.

 

 

 

Lighting

One ‘big light’ in the middle of the room works, but for a better aesthetic, choose lots of smaller lamps. But them in the corners of the room, on end tables, etc. It makes the room feel cosier yet bigger at the same time.

 

 

 

Rugs

I love a rug, but so many people get their sizing wrong. Yet another illustration to make your rug look amazing, and buy the right size!

 

 

Either all or most of the feet of the furniture need to be on the rug. If you’re getting a rug for your dining room, all the feet need to be on the rug, even when you pull the chairs out to sit on. That’s an important point, hence it is in bold. This is a great small changes to transform a room, as it adds new texture and depth, especially if you have one large area of wooden flooring.

To me this just looks wrong:

 

 

But THIS:

 

small changes to transform a room

 

….is spot on.

 

Plants

Plants are all ‘in’ at the minute. They’re appearing hanging from people’s ceilings, on their bathroom window sills and chilling on bookshelves. Not only do they add some colour to a room, but they’re actually great for a healthy house. They improve the air quality so you can sleep better and be more productive.

Plants that like damp environments are aloe-vera, orchids, and ferns, so these are ideal for the bathroom.

 

 

 

In my new house, I have none of these the above. We’ve currently got a pair of curtains masking taped to the window in the living room The kitchen diner doesn’t even have that, but it’s not too bad because the back of our house is quite private.

We’ve obviously got some lighting, but our main light in the living room is a temporary single spot light, until I find one I like. Our landing doesn’t have any wall lights, because I can’t find any that I like. Maybe I’m just fussy, but I don’t want to buy something for the time being, to have to get rid of it in two months’ time.

These small changes to transform a room are all relatively cheap, and easy steps that you can use to make a difference in your home. Is there anything else you’d add to the list that you’ve tried before?

Let me know!

What is Hygge? And why is everyone talking about it?

If you haven’t heard of hygge, you may have been living under an online rock.

Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is the newest craze that has swept the Great British nation all the way from Denmark. Hygge embodies a feeling rather than a word and it cannot be specifically translated.

It is the feeling of being utterly comfortable and cozy. It is is more than likely that you’ve experienced it without ever knowing it. Getting into your pyjamas with a cup of tea after a long day at work is hygge.

Speakers of Danish will know that ‘hygge’ is added to the beginning of simple words: a hyggekrog is a small corner or nook where you can cozy up – perhaps an armchair or a window seat.

Anything you associate as comfy or cozy is more than likely a huge part of hygge: candles, fireplaces, blankets, hot drinks, even rugs and curtains.

hygge fireplace

Also included in this feeling is food. A warming chocolate brownie, or some stodgy home-made casserole can make us feel warmth and satisfaction. Add some candles to your dining table and revel in the comfort.

Throws, blankets, cushions, rugs and curtains help to create coziness. Soft furnishings, funnily enough, soften a room. So grab your biggest jumper and a blanket, get the fire going and settle down to a good book or film.

Danes are amongst the happiest people in the world, and it’s not difficult to see why. All of these images convey comfort, happiness, warm winter nights and contentedness.

How can you embrace this new craze?

As mentioned above, it’s all about soft furnishings and luxury accessories, such as candles and reed diffusers. Enjoy some comfort food and drink all the tea and coffee you can manage. These candles from Trouve have been designed in Denmark especially for the occasion.

Hygge encompasses the ‘simple things’, so even having a 30 minute bubble bath, or a read of a book chapter before bed will have you feeling relaxed.

Will you be taking part in this 2017 craze?