Blue Glass Thrift Shopping

I love blue glass. The colour when the light shines through it is mesmerizing. I’ve got three pieces here to share with you, one I bought a while ago, and two more recent purchases.

They’re all from thrift stores, or charity shops as we call them in the UK, and total bargains. The dish is beautiful, a vintage bon bon dish I think, with silver metalwork and cobalt blue glass dish. It was a mere 75p! I’m more of a silver than gold or copper person, and I love the way it contrasts with the rich jewel tone blue.

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The bottles were both £1 each from another store, and still a steal, I think. It’s hard to capture on camera, but the way the light shines through them is just lovely. The smaller one is a slim, sleek design, while the larger one has a couple of raised patterns on the front – I assume where it would have been labelled at one time. If anyone has any suggestions about what the bottle may be, I’d love to know.

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I like having the occasional browse around thrift stores. You can find some really lovely, unique pieces that would otherwise be difficult to source. You just have to be willing to take the time to really look. It can be easy to glance at a shelf of bric-a-brac, and think everything looks the same and that there’s nothing special there. But if you take the time to really look at the individual items, sometimes you can find a little treasure hidden away in all the other things that aren’t quite so lovely!

We’re making some slow progress with our living room, and a new idea has come about. We had originally been thinking of having a glass panel as a divider to section two areas, but the practicalities of what we wanted, in a custom colour wasn’t realistic, so we came up with an alternative idea.

I’m currently waiting for some samples of perspex to arrive; it should work in the same way the glass would have done, but will be a fraction of the cost and much lighter and more suitable. I’m hoping the blue option I’ve ordered will resemble the colour of this cobalt glass.

I can’t wait until we’re at the decorating stage with the room. I’m excited to get painting and decorating. There’s already been huge transformations so far, but until it’s clean and decorated, it’s hard to see the full impact of those changes. Plus, I’m itching to get all my decorative pieces in and around the place!

Well, that’s it for today, but I’ll be back really soon with June’s Top Picks under £10, so stay tuned for that.

For now, with love,
Ellen

White Marble and Silver Mini Haul

IMAG2020I’ve been a little quiet recently regarding working on the house, and that’s because it’s just going so slowly. We’re working away, as and when we can, and we’re definitely getting there, it’s just slow going.

We now have new lights in each section of the lounge, and we’re busy sanding and filling cracks and that sort of thing. Decorating seems a long way away. That’s not stopping me buying the odd bit here and there though.

So I’ve got a mini-haul, a few bits I’ve picked up at TK Maxx because I love them!

I was undecided on whether to go with silver or copper as the metallic accent in our living room, as I saw an absolutely stunning copper-coloured multi pendant light fitting that was utterly gorgeous. And I really do love copper, and rose gold, as the metallic element in a room. It’s been such a big trend in recent years, but I worry that it will become ‘so last year’ soon, and while I always say, go for what you like, not what you’re told is in fashion, I know that my tastes change pretty frequently anyway.

So I saw this beautiful bookend in bright, white marble with the brilliant silver detail, and the colour combination was winning. Knowing that I want bright white walls for the house, it made it clear to me that silver would be the way to go for any metallic elements that might feature in the room. (You’ll note, I haven’t mentioned gold at all, and that’s simply because it’s not really a favourite of mine).

IMAG2041I also found these coasters at TK Maxx, a very similar white marble, with a silver detail around the edges. I’d previously bought (about 18 months ago) some lovely white marble coasters and mats for my brother and his girlfriend when they moved house, and I really loved them, and wish I’d bought myself some at the time. What a great thing hindsight is! They are really similar to these ones, but without the silver detail. I do like these ones, but wish the silver was brighter – more like the bookend. If I see plain white ones, I may be tempted to get those too.

IMAG2035IMAG2033 Finally, I bought this fantastic trinket box with silver lizard decoration on the top. I love it! I’d seen it a few times, and told myself I didn’t need to buy anything else, but then saw it had been reduced, and was such a bargain, I couldn’t resist! At less than half the original price, it finally came home with me. It’s not quite as white as the other two items, but as they’ll be on display/in use in different areas of the room, I don’t think that matters at all.

I love how the image of the room is coming together in my head, and should use that as motivation to get on and get some DIY done so we can make some real progress! I’ll keep you updated though.

For now, with love,
Ellen

Simple Style: Chinese Ceramic Garden Stool

Surprise surprise, I’ve got Pinterest to thank for this one again. I’d never heard of the Chinese Garden Stool, despite recognizing the simple, barrel shaped, ceramic stool from so many home décor photos. Recently, I noticed a lot of the living room images I really liked on Pinterest seemed to have one, but it wasn’t something I found in stores.

And then TK Maxx got a couple in. One good thing about TK Maxx (Or TJ Maxx as it’s known in the US) is the wide variety of one-off pieces sourced from all over the world. I kept my eye on the stool for a little while, umm-ing and ahh-ing about whether I wanted to spend £40 on yet another piece of furniture we really didn’t need before our living room is decorated. My dear Fiance had actually ‘banned’ (i.e. politely asked) me not to buy ANY MORE FURNITURE before we finish the room.

Ooops. One day, I noticed the stool had been discounted, and I also had won a voucher for the place, so reasoning then that I would only be paying £20 cash for it, it came home with me. Insert smiley face here.

Image from wayfair.co.uk

Pretty much everyone since, including dear Fiance, has said the same when they’ve seen it. “What’s that, then?” I guess they are not very common in the UK, and in fact, when I googled them, the only options are upwards of £100. You can buy an identical one, the Safavieh Modern Ming Stool, pictured above, from Wayfair for £106.99 on offer from £114.99 at the moment.

Image from agkdesignstudio.com

I’ve seen so many of them styled online as side tables as above, but also as seating, lamp tables, in the bedroom, even the bathroom. For such a simple design, they are very versatile pieces, and I imagine I’ll be using mine as an end/coffee table next to the sofa or a chair in the living room once it’s finished.

And yet again, I’m very satisfied with my bit of bargain hunting!

I’ll see you soon for some more monthly inspiration too, so don’t forget to check back for that,

For now, with love,
Ellen

Candle of the Month & Yankee Candle My Serenity Collection Review

IMAG1663Hi,

How are we almost at the end of February already? Where is this year going?! I need to slow down!
Thankfully, with the help of some relaxing fragranced candles, I am gaining a few moments of peace here and there.

I bought three of the four scents from the new Yankee Candle My Serenity Q1 collection about three weeks ago now. And I’ve only recently burned one of them. Like I said, this month feels as though it’s flying by.

I passed up on Moonlight, as it just seemed too woodsy for me. On occasion, I can sometimes enjoy fragrances like this, but if I have to sniff something a couple of times to decide whether I like it or not, then the answer is usually no. When something smells enjoyable, you know right away.

So, I have only burned Serenity thus far, and as it’s about the only thing I’ve burned all month, it is certainly my ‘Candle of the Month’, but smelling the other two as they are, I’m really enjoying those too, and can’t wait to burn them also.

IMAG1672Peony is a gorgeous, delicate floral. Calming and pretty, and very very floral – but in a nice way. Lemongrass & Ginger is clean and fresh and probably my favourite of the collection. I always love fresh smelling things and the ginger comes across in just the right way – a hint of spice, but still a zingy fresh scent rather than a warming cosy one.

I was actually unsure about My Serenity when I smelled it cold. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it smells of. Warm, and soft and delicate. Fruity. Floral. And also sweetly creamy, but not in an overly gourmand way. It’s pear and orange, with tropical flowers and soft musk. I was worried the scent wouldn’t carry well, it seems so delicate. But how wrong I was.

IMAG1666 I purchased the votive / sampler sizes, and it can be nice to test fragrances out before commiting to larger jars, or if you’re like me, it’s nice to have something small enough to enjoy for a short time before you inevitably buy more!

IMAG1743I was really impressed though that the scent from a single votive was enough to fill the room, and even when not lit, I occasionally get a little pleasant whiff of it. There’s not a lot left at all now, so I’ll proabably burn the remainder and move on to one of the others, but I’m pretty impressed with the selection of Spring candles from Yankee, and already looking forward to what will come out next!

For now, with love,
Ellen

Dunelm Mill Haul

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Hi,

When we moved into our new house in November, we knew it would be a while before we got around to replacing a lot of things. Although very outdated, and in some cases a little shabby, every room has carpet, curtains and lampshades at least.

Sadly the living room curtains were in such a state, we took them down immediately, and as we’re still working on the room, have not yet put anything up. In the master bedroom, we have been making do with the faded-around-the-edges, golden orange toned monstrosities that are hanging there. Once upon a time they were probably very nice curtains. They look well made and the lining still does a good job of blocking the light, despite being torn to shreds in areas.

The curtain track however is not so great and the gliders and hooks (those that aren’t missing or broken) are brittle and make drawing the curtains at the start and end of each day a bit of a pain.

Once we finish with the living room and look at decorating the upstairs, we will replace the curtain track with a metal pole, and rings. We could have done that now, however we’re not really supposed to be spending on the upstairs until the downstairs is finished.

So for now, I bought some new curtains, hooks and gliders and will give the old track a good clean and hopefully it will bring a bit of freshness into our room.

After hours of searching online, I decided Dunelm Mill was our best option, as it had a good variety of pencil pleat curtains (my favourite, regardless of whether you’re using a pole and rings, or track) and also a decent selection in the size we needed – 90″ wide, by 54″ length. In actual fact, I could probably shorten them a touch – the current curtains are around 47″ long and work well, but I’ll keep them full length until we decorate, choose a pole and settle on the height of it above the window.

My fiancé particularly wanted blackout curtains, and I wanted something in a light, neutral colour. I ummed and ahhed about making my own, and even picked out a nice linen fabric, but it worked out significantly more expensive, so didn’t seem worth it, considering the time involved in making them as well.

I decided to order online, thanks to the 7% cashback through Quidco, and added a few more bits too, partly for the free delivery, partly because I like shopping! I forgot to add a lampshade we’d talked about however, and so ended up going into store that evening anyway to pick it up, and luckily found a better (and cheaper) alternative.

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 The curtains are the Solar Black Out Pencil Pleat Curtains, and I chose the shade Biscuit, a neutral light beige colour that’s neither too warm or to cool toned. I added some gliders and curtain hooks too. The curtains had a £10 discount on them, making them £39.99 instead of £49.99, and even the gliders had a 20% discount, making them £1.59 instead of £1.99 each.

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Here’s the light shade. Originally, I was going to order a string effect one, as I like different textures and the natural effects they can create, however, whilst looking quite natural and golden online, in reality it’s a deepish brown shade and looks more like a paper twine than a true string rope effect. Luckily, as I’d forgotten to order it, and hence went into store, we found this out before purchasing, and instead I went for the cream metal Galley Pendant, a shade I’d seen earlier in the year. That was a steal at £6.39, down from the original £12.99 that I’d very first seen it at.

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I also added a couple of these Tex Weave cushion covers, as again, online they looked to have a very natural, almost jute look appearance to them. Whilst they are very nice, I do think I’ll return them, as in reality they are more of a chenille effect fabric, and despite being well made and expensive looking, don’t go with the natural style of décor I have in mind. They were £4.99 each.

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Lastly, I got this beautiful shell decoration. I’ve seen almost identical ones in TK Maxx for around £7.99, so thought this was a bargain at £3.99. It’s a good size, and will be a lovely display piece.

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I was really impressed with the delivery service too. I received text updates letting me know when my parcel was due, and it arrived just two days after I ordered it.

Except the cushion covers, I’m really pleased with everything, though am yet to properly open and hang the curtains (although I did see the demo pair in store, so know I’ll be happy with the quality). Again, the cushion covers are nice, just not to my taste, so my only negative about the shopping experience was how the pictures online didn’t always do the item justice.

I’ll most likely do a review on the curtains once they are up, and keep you updated with other house going-ons as and when they happen.

For now, with love,

Ellen