Friday Style: Primark Jazzy Brights Home Decor

In my last post, I thought I’d create a new category for the blog (Dealing With Grime One Day At A Time), and thinking about it, I realised I wanted to do another, so here we have Friday Style. A short and sweet post about something that’s either caught my eye, something I’m loving at the moment, or an idea or trend I want to explore more.

This one was prompted by a recent trip to Primark, and also an article I read about current fashion trends. I’ve mentioned it a couple of times before, but a lot of retailers that are predominantly fashion, but also have homewares (think Primark, Next, M&S, Matalan, George etc.) will often showcase products that reflect current clothing trends.

One thing I was reading about with clothing for Spring/Summer is bold, bright colours. And I think it’s no surprise that we’re seeing some bolder home accessories out there. But what I especially loved were these two faux plant holders, the blue rhino, and pink elephant, with their little faux succulents. And why do I love them so much? Well, a little while back I painted these:

I just did these two. A pink elephant and a blue rhino. Can you believe it?! I love it when things like this happen. I saw the two faux planters online and was like, yes! I’m so ahead of the trends! Haha. I did try and find them when I went into Primark recently, but alas, they were nowhere to be seen :( I’ll keep my eyes out next time I’m in there though. They’re £6.00 each, and hopefully if  you like them, you’ll find them easier to get hold of than me!

So that’s it for the first Friday Style post! Hope you enjoyed. As ever, I would really appreciated it took the time to let me know what you did or didn’t like, and leave any suggestions for me in a comment below, and I’ll be back with another post soon.

For now, with love,
Ellen

Top Picks under £10: April

Hello sunshine lovers! Here in the UK, we’re having a pretty great start to April. Sure, there’s the odd shower and it’s not glorious every single hour of the day, but our corner of the world is warming up and I love it! The clocks going forward has made me feel like singing every evening, now that I can finish work and walk home in the daylight, and maybe have time for an evening stroll too. So excited for summer as well!

And so I think it’s no surprise that one colour on people’s minds is YELLOW. From mellow to eye-poppingly neon, there’s a shade out there to tone with almost every home, and with all those daffodils and tulips out and about, you can stretch your theme into the garden too. Plus, I saw this inspiration picture on H&M, and had yellow on the brain ever since!

So, for my bargain hunters, I’ve picked out another selection of my Top Picks unde £10 – here they are:

1. Desk Lamp in Bold Yellow – Wilko – £4.00
Yes, it’s cheap and cheerful, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be stylish. I love simple pieces like this – the practicality and affordability makes them great for kids rooms, but the bright primary colour works well on a simple design, and when placed in and amongst your pricier posessions, looks more like a style choice than a budget option.

2. Patterned Cushion Cover – H&M – £3.99
You all know by now that I love a H&M cushion. They’re affordable, there’s a million and one designs, and they look amazing. I especially like this one, because palm and tropical prints are still HUGE, and will be all year, and if that’s a theme you’re working on at home, although in a warm, mustard hue, the pattern of this cushion will work fantastically. If you’re working on a budget, always think about how you can fit new pieces and ideas into what you already have. That way you keep your core pieces and idea, but change it up easily for the seasons.

3. SMYCKA Sunflower – IKEA – £2.50
Ikea’s artificial flowers and foliage are usually fantastic. This is one of them. Yes, there are cheaper alternatives out there for faux sunflowers, but I personally think these ones are worth more than the price. Some of their artificial flowers are on a par with expensive, designer brands, but you have the luxury of choosing individual stems and putting a display together yourself.

4. Dylon Machine Dye Sunflower Yellow 350g – Wilko – £4.50
Another great way to easily add some colour to your existing items is to dye them. Of course, this will always work best on white, especially white cotton, but you can also get some interesting effects on patterned or coloured fabrics. Perfect for white bed sheets or towels though, these machine dyes are so simple to use, and I can’t recommend Dylon enough. This shade is also available in hand dye, and I have a full tutorial here on dip dying fabric for an ombre effect.

5. LACK Side Table – IKEA – £6.00
A side table. For £6. In beautiful, bright sunshine yellow. Perfection! For bold pieces that really add some impact, you can’t go wrong with IKEA. This, some cushions, a new piece of art and some flowers or so, and you can bring a whole room together with a new sunny vibe for pocket money. Alternatively, if you’re into upcycling, painting an old coffee table is another great way to add colour. My coffee table was £10 from a carboot, and is solid pine. It’s been white, it’s been turquoise and currently it’s cobalt blue. I love it!

6. Yellow Supersoft Throw – Primark – £4.00
I’ve mentioned this before on the blog, how throws may not seem perfect purchases for summer décor. But they are. You can buy them for the colour as much as for the warmth. Want to change up your bedroom? One of these super affordable throws over the bottom of the bed will inject that colour without changing your crisp white or soft grey or navy blue sheets. Themes can often be tied together with the most affordable pieces. Primark has some amazing homeware items in at the moment, so if you happen to be heading there, I recommend you check out their home section.

7. Pineapple Plate – George – £5.00
Do you find you entertain more in the Summer? I do. I think it’s probably those long, light evenings and sunshiney good moods that make want to put on a party. Whether it’s a Summer BBQ or just a little gathering with friends or family, I like to entertain and feed people! Upping your dining table game is just a little way to add some party spirit, so whether it’s something fun like this pineapple plate, or colourful pitchers and glasses, and simple coloured napkins, that extra little effort will have a huge impact for you and your guests.

8. Made in England Lemon Verbena Boxed Candle Glass – Wax Lyrical – £7.00
If you didn’t gather from my last Candle of the Month post, I heart Wax Lyrical. They’re an amazing English company, and their candles are fabulous. This perfect Spring/Summer scent of freshly cut lemons and zesty limes is gorgeous. I’ve never had a Wax Lyrical candle that hasn’t burned fabulously, and will always return to them.

9. Gold Standing Flamingo Light – Primark – £10.00
Still loving flamingos? I think everyone is. This light is such a fun accessory. Yes, it’s gold rather than yellow, but depending on your shade of choice, this works wonderfully with those warmer mustards and honey shades. And if you don’t like flamingos? This light also comes in an elephant design for the same price. If you are loving this distinct bird, check out my Top Picks post from February here.

So there’s your lot for this month. How do you feel about yellow? Do you have another Spring shade you prefer? And if you have a favourite place to shop for your bargain pieces, please do share in the comments below!

For now, with love,
Ellen

Top Picks Under £10: March

Wafting in like a gentle breeze on a fresh Spring day, aquamarine is the order of the day this time around. It’s both the gemstone and colour associated with March, and seeing as the weather here in the UK can’t really make it’s mind up, I think this pretty aqua hue is the perfect option to put a little Spring in your home whether the weather is playing or not.

Sure, the Sun will catch up eventually, but as Easter themed décor is in abundance in stores, you’re probably more than ready to freshen up your home a little and inject a little colour in a pretty, subtle way.

As far as pastel blues go, aquamarine is my kind of shade. It’s not as vintagey as duck egg, or as green as mint, but it’s certainly got that coastal feel that true sky blues don’t. It also works wonderfully with greys and whites, or tan and ivory, and minks and creams, so whatever your neutral pieces and most likely your sofa, this is a colour that will work with what you already have.

So here are my Top Picks at £10 and under for March 2017:

1. Riviera Escape Wax Tart – YankeeCandle.co.uk – £1.43 Currently on Offer

A fresh scent is the perfect way to add a little Springtime to your home. If the colour aquamarine had a scent, it would be this seasidey wonder. I mean, it has marine in the name… no wonder it seems just right.

2. Yankee Candle Sanremo Votive Holder – House of Harris Gifts – £4.99

No longer available at yankeecandle.co.uk, this votive holder is part of the same collection that the Riviera Escape tarts and candles came from. It’s still available at many other retailers however, including the one linked ablove.

3. Jacquard-Weave Hand Towel – H&M – £4.99

As traditionally one of the smallest rooms in a house, a bathroom can be the most affordable to give a mini-makeover. You don’t have to replace all your towels either, just adding fresh, colourful hand towels which are the ones most regularly on display, are an easy way to begin to coordinate a theme or colour.

4. Drona Box (Blue) – IKEA – £2.50

A perfect fit for the Kallax shelving units, but also ideal in or on the wardrobe, or any other furniture, colourful storage solutions can be as pretty as they are practical, and these ones are a great size and value.

5. Dorma Hydrangea Stem – Dunelm – £7.99

I love hydrangeas, but fresh cut blooms can wilt quickly, and dried don’t always retain their beautiful colours, so artificial options can be a huge success when it comes to hydrangeas. These pretty blue ones from Dunelm are great quality for the price, and the colouring is so realistic. Love!
6. Decoart Americana Chalky Finish Paint (Escape) – The Range – £6.99

If you like upcycling, or are tempted to try it, chalk paint can be ideal. Perfect for that rustic look, but in a distressed, sea-weathered way, the shade ‘Escape’ looks perfect to tie in a coastal theme.

7. Supersoft Throw – George at Asda – Was £6.00, Now £5.00

Ideal size for an armchair, or to centre over the sofa, it’s nice to have a soft, lightweight blanket for when the weather is really grotty outside, and just the pretty pop of colour for when the sun starts shining. And for the price, it’s a very affordable way to add plenty of that pretty shade.

8. 2 Pack Knobs – H&M – £4.99

Whether you decide to go for painting your upcycled furniture or not, simply changing over the handles can really lift and modernize a piece. Whether for a sideboard or chest of drawers, these gorgeous shaped and colour door knobs are a quick and easy update you can do yourself in no time.

9. Mint Velvet Living Cushion – Primark – £5.00

Well, this wouldn’t be complete without a cushion, now, would it? Off to Primark for this beauty. Gorgeous colour, perfect price, what more could you want?

And there you have it, my Top Picks for this month. A post that’s come a little later than intended but that’s just how things go sometimes! Stay tuned though for another post coming shortly, and my Candle of the Month post which will be up at the end of the month.

For now, with love,
Ellen

Top Picks Under £10: February

14 feb_mood_board

Fabulous and frilly, fun and flirty, it’s time for my February Top Picks featuring flamingos!

Flamingos seem to be everywhere right now. At any price point, it’s an image that seems to be around every corner. So instead of an out and out sweet and lovey Valentine’s theme this month, I’ve put together a selction of fab, affordable flamingo themed products, all at £10 or less.

They can be cute and kitsch, really embrace a pastel pink or coral colour scheme, be wacky and retro, or tasteful and demure, or all out Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. But there’s a style to suit almost everyone, so it’s time to embrace the current trend!

1. Sass & Belle Flamingo Mug – Asos – £7.50
Available at various retailers, including Sass & Belle and Asos, this super cute chevron printed mug with flamingo handle will be sure to make you smile in the mornings. Coffee at the ready!

2. Printed Porcelain Plate – H&M – £6.99
There are cups and side plates alongside this kitsch little plate. Get tea-party ready and pop your scones and finger sandwiches on this fine bit of porcelain.

3. Flamingo Hiball Glasses (Set of 6) – George – £3.90
A total bargain at just £3.90 for a set of 6, these glasses are so sweet. The white stripe design works really well with the pink birds and they have a fun, tropical feel to them.

4. Light Pink Voile Curtain Panel – Primark – £.3.00
While we’re dreaming of warmer Spring days, we can at least get our homes ready for the coming months. Voile panels are great to add a little interest to your window décor, and this pretty pastel pink will tie in any flamingo theme you’ve got going on.

5. Fresco Wallpaper Flamingo Hot Pink – Wilko – £10.00 per roll
If you like feature walls, you can really commit to Flamingo Fever with this fun wallpaper. It would really add some interest in an otherwise neutral room, and would work perfectly with pale greys.

6. Hemsta Lamp Shade in Pink – Ikea – £9.00
Also available in White, again this pretty pastel pink is perfect to compliment the flamingo pieces. Perfect for the bedroom, this would work perfectly on a silver lamp base for a glam look, or on a white or lgiht turquoise base for a sweet and soft look.

7. Flamingo Cushion Cover – Dunelm – £8.00
If you prefer bolder pinks, the details and reverse of this cushion are hot pink. Alongside the natural linen of the front, this would work beautiful with stark black and cream. A few more hot pink and linen accents and you could really jazz up an otherwise monochrome look.

8. Peony Bouquet – The Range – £3.49
For the price, these peonies are fantastic. Five full blooms for just £3.49, and the colour of them is just perfect.

9. Flamingo String Lights – Matalan – £8.00
Perfect for a little one’s bedroom, these string lights add a little colour and a lot of fun.

That’s just a little selection of what’s out there in those pretty pink hues and fabulous flamingo imagery. Sometimes it’s nice to not take your décor too seriously. At the end of the day your home is somewhere to relax and to enjoy, it doesn’t hurt to add some funkier details now and again, and with so much of offer out there, it’s never been so easy and affordable to achieve.

For now, with love,
Ellen

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Top Picks Under £10: November

11-november_mood_boardWe’ve had Halloween, we’ve had Bonfire Night, and now it seems the whole country is in Christmas mode. You won’t be ready to put decorations up yet (at least, you shouldn’t be!) but it’s definitely a good time to start thinking about them. A lot happens at Christmas. The more you can prepare in advance, the easier the festive period becomes, and decorations start popping into shops mid-October, and as something you can buy and put away for a month or two, there’s no reason not to get home décor accessories ticked off the list.

Besides, it’s so much less stressful than present shopping.

There’s so many themes to pick from these days, Nordic, Traditional, Vintage, Luxe, Retro, Metallics, Red, White, Blue, Gold Green or Pink, there’s a Christmas theme to fit every single taste.

I have to say I prefer more traditional tastes and colours – they just feel the most Christmassy to me. I do vary from one year to another, but it’s usually on a similar note. I like outdoorsy, rustic, traditional colours. Red, green, lots of wicker and berries and pinecones. Sometimes I may go for a slightly more metallic red gold and green look, or maybe more woodland with lots of animals, but that general idea just suits my personal tastes.

And so, along that theme, I have my Top Picks for the month of rustic Christmas décor. Think hessian and tartan, wood and green firs with red berries. There’s plenty out there to pick for this theme, and here are a few favourites I’ve noticed:

1. George Home Stag’s Head Ornament – George – £10.00
I really like this wooden stag head. It could also work well within a Nordic or Ski Lodge theme, but the carved wood effect (it’s actually resin) looks super rustic and outdoorsy.

2. 10in Mini Red Berry Wreath – M&S – £10.00
There are wreaths available within budget for this Top Picks, but for a lovely large outdoor one, you may want to spend a little more. For the price though, this mini one is super cute, and would make a great indoor accessory.

3. Tartan Decoration Set- The Range – £1.99
This set of 9 tree decorations are so cute, and a total bargain. I love tartan for this Christmas theme as it adds red and green but again, in a more rustic way. I think I’m going to have to pick some of these up, although I already have something very similar, so will check first that they don’t clash!

4. Tartan Tree Garland Reel – Dunelm – £4.00
I’m not a fan of tinsel. It’s one childhood Christmas decoration that I feel hasn’t really made a comeback. Some people still love it, and good for them – always go with what you enjoy. Personally, I usually just got for baubles on my tree, but this tartan ribbon garland would look super cute, and at £4.00 for 4 metres, it’s also a bargain. And doesn’t have to be limited to the tree!

5. Hessian Stag Christmas Stocking – Matalan – £6.00
Hessian – check. Tartan – check. Stags – Check. This just screams rustic Christmas. I adore it.

6. 8m Hessian Jute Roll – B&Q – £6.00
This would also look great draped around the tree. Or to make your own bows from. Or to tie around your dining chairs, or twirl around fireplace garlands. If you’ve found the perfect green wreath, that just needs an extra touch, items like this are perfect to add that rustic charm.

7. 3 Pack Red Berry Tree Picks – M&S – £5.00
Along with the jute roll, these berry picks are perfect to add into plain wreaths and fireplace garlands, onto presents and other decorations to add a little colour and texture in a lovely natural (at least in style) way.

8. Rattan Noel Hanging Sign – Wilko – £6.00
Adding little signs and decorations around your home really adds to the atmosphere. This small Noel hanging sign would be perfect in the hallway or kitchen, to continue your chosen theme around the house.

9. Red Flocked Bell with Floristry Detail – B&Q – £3.00
There are so many baubles that fit this theme and come in under budget. Literally, hundreds. But I chose this one for my Top Picks because it ticks so many boxes – the colour, the flocked finish, the design, the little needles and pine cone detail. Perfect.

So there’s just a little taster of what’s available for this Outdoorsy Rustic theme. I can’t wait to share photos of our décor this Christmas. There haven’t been a lot of house updates as progress has been slow, but it should all come together for Christmas, and I can’t wait to share.

There will be more Christmas posts coming up, so stay tuned for those.

For now, with love,
Ellen

Top Picks under £10: September

9 september_mood_boardThe kids are going back to school, the sun is setting earlier, and the rain seems more of a probability than a possibility. Yes ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached September.

I love September, however. I think it’s a very noticeable, change-in-the-season kind of month. Despite it still actually being late Summer. All those ahead-of-themselves shops have started stocking Halloween goods (so excited!) and you just have that sense that Autumn’s on it’s way. Whether you’ve been on your Summer holiday yet or not.

I also think, that similar to a walk in the woods after a good rainfall, September just has that fresh earthy smell about it. Probably due to the rain again though. Oh well, wellies at the ready.

With the school season starting again though, whether you have children or not, I always think September seems a great fresh start in the organizing stakes. The shops are rife with folders and organizers, buckets and totes and boxes galore. So what better theme for this month’s TPUT (That’s Top Picks Under Ten to new readers) than some affordable home organizing goods.

I’ve also grouped these because of the colour as well.  On browsing online over at House Beautiful last week, I came across the Sherwin Williams Colour Of The Year 2017 article. There, you can read about Poised Taupe, the it colour in wall paint for 2017.

But isn’t it so now?! Yes, neutrals and natural shades will always be en vogue, but again, after the brights and freshness of Summer, don’t we just love taupes and greiges and mushroom and beiges come the latter sector of the year? I do. I’m wearing taupe, I’m painting my nails with taupe. I’m enjoying being a comfy, cosy, relaxing taupe blank canvas. I blend in with my latte.

Back to the point, however, and here are my top ten picks at ten pounds and under for neutral toned home storage:

1. Home Love Heart Wooden Carved Drawers – George – £8.00
This could be ideal for jewellery in the bedroom, or for keys and bits in the hallway. And it doesn’t get much more neutral than wood!

2. Mesh Single in Tray Silver Effect – Wilko – £2.75
Another multi-room piece, obviously perfect for a desk or in the office, but again, could work in your hallway for letters and leaflets to keep them altogether. Plus, a bargain price!

3. Byholma Basket in Grey – IKEA – £6.00
This handwoven rattan basket comes in three different sizes, so you could go for an easy coordinated look for a room. Oh, and obviously, Ikea is pretty much the king of small storage shopping.

4. Marble Print Pop Up Storage Bin – Primark – £3.50
Whilst a pop up laundry or storage bin isn’t going to be everyone’s style, I can see these selling out fast for university students moving away for the first time, and for teens everywhere. They don’t have just be for laundry either, they could be for soft toys, clean clothing, and I’ve definitely seen them to store wool in craft rooms. Like the rest of the internet, I LOVE the marble print.

5. New Naturals Heart Storage Box – Wilko – £6.00
This is one from a whole new range called New Naturals at Wilko. Everyone is on trend with this for this Autumn. An alternative to the first item, I adore the colours in this one, and it’s one of my favourites of the nine pieces.

6. Felt Storage Basket – H&M – £9.99
This is one that is just as stylish as it is practical. Plus, the neutral grey would fit in with almost any existing colour scheme you might have.

7. Grey Rope Basket – Primark – £8.00
It’s back to Primark, and another of my favourites here. Just look at that chunky texture! Divine.

8. Svira, Box with Lid – IKEA – £10.00
I did say Ikea was the king of small storage. These would work perfectly in or on a wardrobe, and there’s also a matching shallow but wider box, ideal for under the bed or bottom of the wardrobe.

9. Chalkboard Crate – Dunelm Mill – £5.99 – £9.99
And to finish off, I’ve chosen this wooden crate with chalkboard panel. There’s something about chalkboards that makes me think of kitchens, so I imagine these lined up in a pantry. Of course, they could also be perfect for a child’s room, allowing you to label up the boxes and give them a helping hand when it comes to tidying.

So there you have it, nine affordable small storage solutions to help you get a little more organised around the house, while still having a fabulously stylish home. If you’ve got any storage solutions, hints or tips, please let me know below. If I get enough responses I’ll compile your suggestions into a blog post to share with everyone.

For now, with love,
Ellen

Top Picks under £10: July

7_july_mood_boardFollowing on from my last post, here’s the Moroccan inspired bargains I’d promised. To be honest, there were lots of options online that fit into budget – for example, I’d already included an orange silk effect cushion from Wilko’s before switching it out for the Ikea one, as I wanted to include the paints from Wilko too.
There’s also a lot of options when it comes to lanterns at this time of year. There’s even a couple of different designs in Poundland if you want to make a very affordable, non-committed nod to the trend. Hot pinks and purples are usually available year round too, so you’ll have no trouble sourcing cushions covers, vases, and other decorative accessories. If this is a style you love, and you have money to spend, go all out – velvet boudoir chairs, leather poufs and luxurious rugs and chandeliers will add the luxury that this style oozes.

But if you’re like me, and you love a bargain, keep reading for my best buys at ten pounds and under.

1. Wilko Statement Matt Emulsion Paint Vamp 1.25 – Wilko – £9.00
If you’re loving this trend, go all out and give yourself some colourful walls. Whether it’s one in every shade, or just a single focal wall, this rich purple tone is simply divine.

2. Metal Lantern – H&M– £7.99
This small cut-out patterned metal lantern adds just enough contrast to all the soft velvets and silks that the trend commands.

3. Pink Patchwork Tassel Cushion – Primark– £7.00
You’d be forgiven for thinking this actually costed four times the price. Hot pink, check. Patchwork, check. Tapestry details, check. Tassels, check. What more could you need?!

4. HENRIKA Cushion Cover, Orange – Ikea– £5.00
I love the stripes on this. With other items, this could look very different. With some pinks, purples and golds, it looks opulent and just right for that eastern vibe.

5. Moroccan Argan Oil Small Jar – Yankee– £8.54
Set the mood with this exotic aroma of patchouli and sandalwood with Argan oil. And on the plus side, the colour of the wax is simply beautiful!

6. Wilko Matt Emulsion 2.5L, Warm Days – Wilko– £10.00
As I described in my Moroccan inspiration post, the Moroccan style suits summer time so well, so what better than the aptly named ‘Warm Days’ a sunny, gold orange emulsion.

7. Pink Bubble Jar Candle – Primark– £4.00
This is another one that just looks right. I’ve had a few scented candles from Primark and been pleasantly surprised. But it’s the containers that make them such bargains. Once you’ve burned the wax, you have a pretty jar you can clean out and use for anything from pens and pencils, makeup brushes, craft supplies or even your toothbrush. This pink glass jar candle is no exception.

8. Eastern Lantern – Wilko– £10.00 reduced from £15.00
Just fitting into the budget here, a beautiful,  colorful lantern. TK Maxx is also an excellent place to purchase these lanterns – they have them in an array of beautiful colours, and multi coloured ones too if you prefer. But if you prefer to buy online, this Wilko one fits the bill nicely.

9. Chartwell Plain Hot Pink Pillow Case, Pack of 2 – B&Q– £5.00
And lastly, something for the bedroom. The colour of these pillow cases is gorgeous, and if you don’t want to replace your whole bedding, adding a vibrant sheet & pillowcases, or bedspread and cushions o can update your existing linens.

So there you have a small selection of some of the fantastic items on offer at the moment for the Summer months. You can’t guarantee the weather, but you can guarantee yourself a great looking home. Add some colour, light a good-mood scent and imagine yourself somewhere warm. And if you do get the weather, get outside and start partying!

For now, with love,
Ellen

 

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Top Picks under £10: June

6 june_mood_boardWe have some proper summer sunshine! I am so excited, it’s a beautiful day today and I always feel ten times better when the sun is shining!

June is my birthday month, and so while I was originally going to do some summery, picnic-esque outdoor bits for this month’s Top Picks, I decided to be a bit more self indulgent and go with a theme that was more ‘me’. So I’ve opted for more of a Summer Boho vibe.

Bohemian is a style that really flourishes in summer, just think of gorgeous, vintage styled festival looks and modern takes on 70s trends. There’s something about the carefree, spirited nature of it that suits sunshine days and balmy evenings.

With the huge botanical trend that were also seeing in fashion and décor at the moment, there’s great opportunities to create those Boho Luxe ideas that glisten with jewel tone greens and drip with gold. Not that we don’t still love the natural, earthy pieces – you need both for the accents to really pop.

I had to limit my selection somewhat here, what with my imposed budget, but these would be great pieces to add in alongside some larger and more luxurious items. Rattan peacock chairs, and macrame wall hangings and plant holders, please.

1. Wilko Faux Mongolian Cushion Natural– Wilko – £5.00
Something about soft, fluffy cushions and rugs looks so right when recreating those seventies styles. And as this is a complete cushion & cover, for a mere £5.00 you cannot go wrong.

2. Ceramic Birdbath Bowl, Green– BHS – £10.00
Well, sadly this one probably won’t be around for too long what with the demise of BHS. I’m so sad to see another British store disappear from the highstreet. While it wasn’t a place that drew me in in terms of fashion, I will definitely miss this store for it’s homewares and Christmas gifts.
Back to the item in hand, it’s gorgeous, the colour and finish are lovely, so snap it up while you still can.

3. Gold Trivet – H&M – £7.99
Something about the design of this one really drew me in. It’s technically a trivet, so ideal in the kitchen, but I think it would also make a pretty plant stand for a pop of metallic luxe.

4. Succulent Potted Cactus – Dunelm – £4.79 reduced from £5.99
If you’re not green thumbed, fake it. Terrariums are beautiful, but if you’re on a budget, small succulents in individual pots work great too. This one, in it’s square white pot would certainly fool a few people.

5. White Hanging Cow Skull– Primark – £3.00
Generally, I wouldn’t be a fan of an animal skull – I prefer to represent animals in a more, ‘alive’, manner. BUT, that said, this obviously fake (and fabulously affordable) little piece is very pretty. And just suits the whole look so well. 

6. Scented Candle In A Box– H&M – £4.99
A great example of how well that rich green and pale neutral works so well together. And I love the leafy design on the top of the box. You can’t beat a candle that doubles up as a trinket box once you’ve used the wax.

7. SOARÉ Place Mat – IKEA – £3.50
This is what I mean about mixing earthy, natural fibre elements with those more luxurious ones. This water hyacinth braided table mat is the perfect base to accessorize on. Use them as placemats, but also as centerpieces on which to add candles, plants and other decorative fancies.

8. MUSA BANANA– IKEA – £8.50
Sticking with Ikea for a moment, they have some great plants if you do like some real greenery. This tropical banana plant will fit in just right with your summerscape.

9. Rose Gold Foil Cushion– Primark – £5.00
And last but not least, another hit of metal in the form of this metallic foil cushion, from Primark. Another great piece, another great price.

There’s so much out there as well that would work with this look. Photo frames in white wood or gold toned metal would both work. Wicker and bamboo storage boxes, richly printed textiles in emerald and jade, linens alongside sheepskin effects. It’s about mixing it up and creating a harmonious balance. You know, carefully cultivating that ‘oh, this old thing?’ just-thrown-together look. Except it is really is as easy as just throwing it together.

My number one tip though? If this sun is shining, get out and enjoy it. Shopping can wait: make the most of Summer.

For now, with love,
Ellen

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

Top Picks under £10: May

As I mentioned last week, we had a few glorious days in Crete, and that’s where this month’s inspiration has come from for my Top Picks under £10 for May. Whenever I think of Mediterranean décor, I think of blue and white. I love the contrast of rich cobalt against clean white, and I’ve mentioned many times before, once we get to decorating, I’d like to go for a blue and white theme throughout.

Needless to say then, that not only are these my ‘top picks’ for the month, but I literally want to buy them all! Especially the placemats and cushion from IKEA, the entire Sommar 2016 range is beautiful, and there are so many bits I can see really fitting into our home.

So without further ado, here we go.

may_mood_board1. Sommar 2016 Place Mat (4 pack) – IKEA – £4.00
I can’t wait until I can get my hands on these. I just love that brushed ink design.

2. Cork and Ceramic Bath Accessories – George – £3.00 & £5.00
For just £8.00 you can buy this perfectly coordinated tumble and soap dispenser. They look great together!

3. Sea Salt & Driftwood Fragranced Round Candle – Next – £6.00
Featuring “oceanic notes at the top, followed by lily that blossoms towards white musks and precious woods.” this not only smells lovely, but looks fantastic.

4. Large Square Glass Hurricane – Matalan – £10.00
I actually featured the green version of this is March’s Top Picks, and this blue one is possibly even prettier. Plus, lanterns always make me this of Summer and warm evenings.

5. Sommar 2016 Cushion Cover – IKEA – £6.00
Ahh, this cushion cover! I love love love it. There are more in the range too, I suggest you check them out!

6. Royal Doulton Pacific Brush Mug – Dunelm – £5.99
Another fabulous, brush stroke effect piece. Part of the Pacific range, there’s some gorgeous designs and pieces.

7. Patterned Cushion Cover – H&M – £3.99
Another Top Picks, another H&M cushion cover. Can you blame me though?

8. Luxury Cotton Non Slip Bath Mat – Dunelm – £9.99
The Greek key design in this bath mat is perfect for that Mediterranean vibe, and the royal blue colour looks luxurious.

9. 16 Piece Blue Coloured Plastic Handle Stainless Steel Cutlery Set – The Range – £5.24 reduced from £6.99
Lastly, another glossy blue piece. These would be perfect if they had glass handles (I adore blue glass), but for the price you can’t argue, and they still look the part.

So there you have it, a variety of blue and white pieces, under £10 to help create that Summer look. Speaking of which, I am so so so happy we finally have had a spot of sunshine here in the UK, it’s been glorious this past couple of days and I can definitely feel some summery décor ideas happening.

For now, with love,
Ellen