How to Make your Stairs a Feature

Stairs can take up a lot of space in a room, but they don’t have to be boring: you can make your stairs a feature space.

Stairs are a necessity and not really something we choose to put in our house. They’re a way of us getting from the downstairs to the upstairs. But rather than thinking of them as a useful-but-not-needed tool, make your stairs a feature and turn them into a statement.

Use a glass balustrade

I recently did a post about making your hallway appear bigger and lighter. A hallway is a long and narrow space that often doesn’t get much natural light thanks to all the doors that come off it. If you don’t want to stain your stairs for fear of making the space darker, you can install glass balustrades such as the ones from Cheshire Mouldings.

They can be used in such a way to make your staircase appear as if it’s floating. The glass will make the staircase blend in with the wall more seamlessly. The glass also lets much more light through and reflects it, making your hallway appear lighter too.

make your stairs a feature with a glass banister

Install a runner

This is the sort of task you can do yourself and can be reasonably cheap. If you have wooden stairs already, the runner can be stapled in place. Just remember that your stairs won’t be perfectly straight, so measure the width properly all the way down. Otherwise you’ll have a wonky runner.


stairs with runner


Runners draw the eye up the stairs, so they can create an illusion if you have a small narrow hallway of it being bigger than it really is.

Use wallpaper on the stairs

floral staircase with wallpaper

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Wallpaper is a fun and easy way of adding some colour and pattern to make your stairs a feature. It’s easy to apply, is relatively cheap and can look amazing. See how Sarah’s used the floral pattern in the stairs above which adds bright yellows and pinks to stairs that might otherwise be brown and white.

Use different colours and woods

Don’t just stick to one type of colour or wood. A deep mahogany looks lovely with white spindles, which is what Christine has done from Little House on the Corner

white and mahogany staircase

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They lovingly restored their falling apart staircase and made it look incredible.

There are so many ways you can change up your stairs. They don’t have to be plain, but can be seen as a piece of artwork that brightens up your house. Make them a statement!

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?


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


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.


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

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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:

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?



5 Designer Tips for Styling your Coffee Table

A coffee table can so easily become a place where you leave your empty mugs and remote controls, but I’m here to help you out with these 5 designer tips for styling your coffee table.

A coffee table needs to make a statement. When you think about the furniture that you might have in your living room, your sofa and coffee table are the focal point. They sit in the middle of the room and attract the most attention. So don’t let your coffee table become a sad place for empty mugs. When you’re styling your coffee table, you want to create a piece of artwork that will bring the whole structure of your living room together.

All of the below are elements you need on your coffee table to complete the piece. Take one out, and the look won’t work the same. So if you don’t want to have to call in the Santa Monica interior designers to help you, follow these tips for styling your coffee table.

Use a tray as a foundation

You need to create a solid foundation for the table. I know, you’re thinking, But the table is the foundation? It is, but everything needs to be layered correctly. A large bowl works just as well as a tray, like this one from Shea at Studio McGee:


styling your coffee table with ornaments and books


See how the dark wood of the bowl stands out against the light coffee table and the light coloured books she’s used to decorate.

A tray is also very useful when you want to clear the coffee table quickly. Just had a big parcel arrive and need somewhere to put it quickly? Any items in the tray can be lifted off quickly and with minimal damage.

Add height and layers through ornaments

Getting an ideal coffee table style is all about height and layers. A flat coffee table won’t do any compliments, and will look worse than if you left it empty. Kimberly from Swoonworthy has achieved this height perfectly.


white, gold and pink themed coffee table styling


Note that she has a tray with ornaments on that are at varying heights. She’s also raised the gold birds by putting them on a pile of books. The table looks well balanced and definitely not overcrowded. She’s even got a mug on a coaster in the picture. It’s stylish and you can see the gold, white and pink theme runs through the rest of her living room. This is also key. You need to match the style of the coffee table with the rest of the room, otherwise it’ll look disjointed.

Make use of plants and foliage

Plants add some fresh greenery to the coffee table, and to the rest of the room. They lighten and brighten, and can also be used to achieve varying heights. You can do this by opting for some small succulents or cacti, or go bold with a tall plant such as an orchid.

I love trailing ivy so this is how I’ve styled mine at home.

home coffee table


I love the way it drapes nicely over the books. The books I’ve used are interior design/home books that have nice brightly coloured spines. I’ve got a bowl on the table, and of course the look wouldn’t be complete without some candles.

Plants are also good for your home, and help to purify the air. In a space such as a living room, which we spend a lot of time in, this is an added bonus.

Stack some books to add height

When you’re styling your coffee table, reading material is a must. It adds height to the table, something we’ve discussed is very important. It also shows your guests what your interests are, and could be a talking point. It’s best to add some sort of ornament on top of the books, so they taper off into a pyramid point. Put the biggest books at the bottom and the smallest on top. Then add an ornament for that final bit of height and the tip of the pyramid.

See this example from Lark and Linen.


white styled coffee table with plant and books


The books are in size order with the largest at the bottom, and then she’s placed a tall and more narrow ornament on top.

Don’t forget that books can also be stacked on the floor at the base of the coffee table, like this example from The Every Girl

books underneath living room coffee table

Again, the books are all varying height, and stacked in size order to add to the aesthetic.

Pile of coasters

A coffee table still needs to be practical. A pile of coasters either placed in the tray, or set in one corner makes it easy to put a cup of tea (read: glass of wine) down in the evenings.

The most important tip is that you need to leave some space. Don’t over clutter the table. You still need a place to put your mugs and TV remotes so the coffee table is still practical for your everyday needs.



Combine those tips for styling your coffee table to make a statement of your living room. I’d love to see photos of your coffee tables, so send them over!

All pictures have been sourced and credited.



Mummy in a Tutu

Before and After: The Living Room Reveal

I’ve been waiting to do these before and after reveals for so long, and now I can announce the living room reveal!

I wanted to get all the rooms straight and tidy before I posted any pictures. The living room was the second biggest job in the house.


This was the photo taken for the estate agent’s website. As you can see, the carpet was dated, and was worn thin in a lot of place. They had so much furniture crammed into the room that it made it feel very small. That sofa, which doesn’t look too big, was huge. And they had that armchair in the corner blocking the majority of the doorway into the dining room.

As you can see, the estate agent’s made the room look a lot bigger. Sorry for the awful picture quality too. At the time of buying the house, I hadn’t thought I’d be starting up a blog and might need good pictures!

I still can’t get over those French doors. They are meant for an external wall, but had been put inside and were frosted glass.

Yep. frosted glass French doors inside a house.

There were wall lights literally everywhere you looked, and furniture crammed into every corner. Notice the huge hi-fi in the corner. To the left of the armchair closest to the camera was a huge grandfather clock, and behind that, a huge sideboard/cabinet.

The Living Room Reveal: After

living room reveal

We removed (pretty quickly) those ugly French doors and decided to leave downstairs open plan. We did consider glass bi-folding doors, to shut the living room off at night, but decided against.

As you can see, we haven’t bought a proper ceiling light yet.

There’s still so much to do to this room. I want a large oak beam to sit as a mantle piece, and then some artwork on the chimney breast.

I would like shelves above the armchair for books and photo frames.

The room is flooded with light all day, and is so lovely to sit in.

You can read all about our completely free fireplace. I absolutely love this little section of the room. Eventually my mantlepiece clock will have an actual mantle to sit on.

This is the view from the kitchen diner into the living room. Our curtains are temporary! They’re stuck up with masking tape for the time being. Until we can afford some made-to-measure curtains. I have my eye on some from Laura Ashley.

I think my little reading chair is my favourite corner of the room.

So there’s my big living room reveal. Seeing the changes laid out like that make me realise how hard we’ve worked to reach this stage.