Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas!


Eat, drink and be merry :)

Claire x

Monday, 22 December 2014

Boho for Sueno

You may have recently caught sight of my finished almost-there master bedroom which I posted about a few weeks ago here. One of the pieces of furniture I really want to switch up in 2015 is the bed. We currently have a double, wooden bed frame (which may or may not creak slightly depending where you lay on it) and a pocket sprung mattress with a built-in memory foam topper. The bed frame we got for a steal, way back when we bought our house but we've outgrown it's size and style and so I'm looking for something a little more stylish and sophisticated. A week or two after my bedroom reveal and the new Boho collection of beds launched by Sueno was brought to my attention and I just had to share it. 

The well-established family run brand has teamed up with Royal Bohemia to create a capsule collection of six unique and beautifully made beds. The beds are striking and not for the faint of heart but as a centrepiece for a master bedroom, they will effortlessly steal the limelight. Each handmade bed is available upholstered in a range of 28 fabrics: Mink Linen, Rose Herringbone and Aubergine Egg British Velvet grabbed my attention.

The quality of the finish is reflected in the price as they start around £500 for a single and increase to £2000 for a kingsize depending on the style selected. In my dream world, (where I quite often like to retreat to) I'd wake up on Christmas day snuggled in a Kingsize Duke, ah bliss.

Aubergine Egg British Velvet
Head over to their website and take a look around. Let me know if a particular style tempts you.

Claire x

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Perfume Picks

How are you getting on with your Christmas shopping? i can't quite believe that there's only one week left before the big day. I think I'm almost there. I love buying presents but I'm not such a fan of the huge crowds of people. I'm definitely more of an online shopper where possible.

One popular Christmas gift which might prove difficult to buy online is perfume. How on earth do you know whether or not it's going to smell good?! It could be very awkward to pick your cool little sister a perfume that turns out to be eau-de-grandmother. For this very reason I thought I'd share my current favourites with you.  

My dream team

Left - Acqua di Gioia, Centre back - Versace, Centre front - Bottega Veneta,
Right back - Dior Addict, Right front - Miss Dior

Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum:
I wore this perfume on my wedding day and practically everyday of my honeymoon, so as soon as I smell it's captivating aroma I'm whisked back to very fond memories. It's a gloriously feminine scent thanks to it's floral hints but it has a deeper layer that comes from it's woody notes. I love it.

Acqua di Gioia Eau de Toilette:
This is my most recent perfume purchase. I think that it's probably more suited to the summer months as it's subtle and fresh thanks to lemon, peony and cashmere accents.   

Miss Dior Eau de Parfum:
It's impossible to go wrong with a Miss Dior perfume as I've not met one person who isn't a fan. It's young and lively bouquet makes it the perfect gift for your best friend or little sister. Plus, it's bottle is super cute!

Dior Addict Eau Fraiche:
This perfume's grapefruit base is what caught my attention. It's sweet but not sickly so. It's my go-to every day scent, especially in summer. 

Versace Woman:
An evening-wear favourite for me. The scent is rich and heavy so probably not to everyone's taste. I find it to be the perfect accompaniment to a night out, whether that be dancing with my girl friends or trying a new restaurant with the husband. 

I hope you find your perfect scent! Send any perfume recommendations my way, I'm always looking to find a new favourite.

Claire x


Friday, 5 December 2014

Christmas Markets and More

I'm lucky to live a 20 minute train ride from the centre of Manchester and so I can easily enjoy the best of both city and suburban living. One reason I love Manchester at Christmas time is the annual Christmas markets which completely take over the city's streets and squares. (Though I'm not sure whether I'm a fan of the markets dominating the main shopping thoroughfare  - bah humbug ;-)  The markets are in full swing at the moment and I've already made them a post-work destination twice. They're a quick fix to get you in the festive mood but can get extremely busy. If you go with the understanding that you might have to queue for your mulled wine, then you'll be fine. Also, if you don't fancy a Bratwurst then I recommend the chorizo sausage or the Lancashire hot pot, both located in Albert Square. 

Albert Square, Manchester
I've handpicked several blog posts from across the web that you might like to read:

A male GIFT guide over at Cup Of Jo.
This NYC APARTMENT before and after on A Perfect Gray. The kitchen!
Sound JOB advice from Hello Terri Lowe.
Cosy and neutral FASHION with Somewhere, Lately.

Don't forget to send me your blog links. I love reading new content. 

Claire x

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

My Perfect Christmas Table

We all want our Christmas dinner to be perfect. I'm talking a deliciously succulent turkey, crisp and fluffy roast potatoes, sublimely seasoned vegetables; the list seems endless. I've never cooked a Christmas dinner myself, so hats off to all those that have. I personally struggle with a regular roast dinner, so I'm not sure how I would cope with cooking the most important meal of the year. There's just so much to think about. One aspect of Christmas day that you can usually plan in advance, is the look of your Christmas table. 

Below I've pulled together my wishlist for my perfect Christmas table. Let's hope old Saint Nick has made note of how good I've been this year!

The table:
The foundation for any festive family meal is, of course, the table.
This pale solid oak beauty is the perfect base for my elegant and simple scheme.
I've long been a fan of mismatched dining chairs.
These three work well together thanks to their distinct yet vintage vibes.
1 / 2 / 3

My Christmas crockery upgrade would have to be to these perfectly imperfect white 'Wobbler' plates and bowls from Loaf. I don't want any distractions when it comes to surveying my piled-high plate of Christmas goodies.
The gold cutlery trend is a little too brash for my earthy and paired-back theme.
That's why these simply chic knives and forks from Zara Home hit the spot for me.
Elegant linen napkins can soften or smarten up any scheme.
These ones fit perfectly with my refined and rustic vision.
Place names:
I think I have enough creativity in me to replicate these name cards and they ooze with Scandinavian style. Follow the full DIY here.
I think I may have an unhealthy obsession with Craft paper. If an item is made out of, or wrapped up in, this lovable brown paper, I will most probably buy it.
Case and point are these delightful and eco-friendly crackers from Not On The High Street.

I have a thing for foliage filled tablescapes. The inviting and warm look that they effortlessly create is exactly what I want on Christmas day.
Just be extra careful where you place those candles!
1 / 2 / 3
What does your perfect Christmas table feature? Have you already thought about what it will look like? 

Claire x

This post was written in collaboration with Loaf.
Loaf stockist details: LOAF.COM / 0845 459 9937

Monday, 1 December 2014

Happy December

Hold on just a minute whilst I compose myself now that we're in the LAST month of 2014...

*breathes into a paper bag*

Thanks, I think I'll be ok now. 

December is here and that means full on Christmas preparation. I'm talking Christmas songs on repeat, at least one mince pie per day and mad dashes to the shops to pick up far too many presents. How do you plan on spending the festive season?  

Festive Greetings :)

Claire x

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Blush Tones

Source - unknown
I love Pinterest (yes, probably a little too much.) It's such a great source of inspirational images. I am always on the look out for new people to follow, so please give me a shout if you're part of the Pinterest community or know of any boards which are a must-see. 

I noticed a theme beginning to emerge with my recent 'liked' images and thought I'd share them here as they looked pretty darn good all brought together. Blush pinks, moody greys and soft lighting are just what the doctor ordered for my sometimes over-stimulated mind. 

How do you feel about these muted hues? What colour combinations are talking to you at the moment?

Claire x

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Home Is...In Ancoats

I mentioned last week that I was heading to Home Is In The North on Saturday so I thought I'd share how I got on. 

My mum and I arrived at Halle St Peter's quite early on in the day and there was already a fair bit of hustle and bustle. It's a gorgeous venue, I challenge anyone to walk through the door and not be a little bit gobsmacked at what you find. It's quite unexpected to step into a beautifully restored deconsecrated church in the middle of Ancoats, surrounded by old buildings and converted warehouses. Ancoats is on the up and it's great to see an area of Manchester with so much history being given a new lease of life. 

The thirty-something exhibitors had each created beautiful and enticing stalls. There were plenty of pieces catching my eye as we began to wander so we decided to do a recce tour of the room before any purchase decisions were made. The purchases I did make are going to be gifts and so I can't share them here (sorry!)

However, here's a glimpse into some of my favourites: 
Scented candles from Lomas and Lomas, wooden Christmas decorations from Double Thumbs Up, vintage furniture and homewares from Homeward, mugs and coasters from Northern Letters, notepads and cushions from Natalie Laura Ellen, unique ceramic vases from Knit Me A Stitch, cosy investment quilts from Lisa Watson and pretty much everything by Ink Inc (I was stood at their stall for so long trying to decide which little character was the cutest!). 

Ink Inc
Natalie Laura Ellen
You can see a full list of exhibitors here.

The event was fuelled by Ancoats Coffee, Tea with Tom, Rudy's Pizza and Fat Annie's Hot Dogs. All of which looked and smelt amazing. I had to stop myself from digging in as we were heading to lunch after the event. It took a lot of will power though! 

Sign up to The Social Butterfly mailing list to make sure you don't miss the next event. 

Claire x

Monday, 17 November 2014

Master Bedroom Reveal

This post has certainly been a long time coming. Our bedroom has been at this stage for a few months now and it is still by no means completely finished. However, I love it and wanted to share it as it currently is. 

We had been living with the room as it came when we bought our house coming up to five years ago. The walls were a pastel-like yellow and the beige carpet was the cheapest the vendor could get his hands on. We were using donated wardrobes, drawers and bedside tables which were all mismatched and falling apart. It was not a pleasant room to be in, never mind sleep in. You can take a peek into it's past here and here.

I managed to capture some reasonable photos the other day, thanks to a bit of good morning sunlight. I have plenty of ideas for finishing the room off properly and I know it's something that will come with time and money. I've captioned each photo with my ideas for adding to the space. Feel free to comment with your suggestions too.

This is a photo-heavy post, you have been warned ;)...  

I want to add a large table lamp to this set of drawers to add a bit 
more interest and warmth, especially through these dark winter nights.
I'm going to create a display of my perfumes on a tray atop this set of drawers. 
However, I am yet to find one which fits the bill.
This print will eventually be hung alongside a selection of prints 
in a mini gallery-style area above the chest of drawers.
I can picture a selection of vintage-style mirrors above the fireplace 
and a striking vase on the hearth with pillar candles for extra interest.
We are extremely fortunate to have a beautiful cast iron fireplace
already in-situ. My husband gave it a good clean and spruce up.
We need a rug for this large free area of floor space, perhaps a sheepskin 
or something equally as fluffy and cosy?
I love the look of crisp white bedding but I may switch it up to something 
a little more interesting in the future. New sheets are a must. I cannot wait to start accessorising with pillows and throws.
The bed will eventually be replaced with a king size ottoman bed 
with an imposing tufted headboard.
I have more vignette-style plans for the bedside drawers. 
I already know which coffee table books I want lined up on my side.
Bella loves the new bedroom and, as you can see, 
she was thrilled to make her blog post debut.
I adore having a full length mirror after suffering four years without one.
I've previously shared how happy a cocktail chair in the corner of our bedroom
would make me. I'm still hoping that my dream comes true (fingers crossed!)

There you have it. Our master bedroom in all it's glory (or almost). It is now a pleasure to be in our bedroom and we are both really happy with how it turned out. 

Do you have any tips or ideas for finishing touches? Please let me know what you think. 

Claire x

Drawers - Ikea
Jewellery box - Zara Home
Photo frames - Zara Home and Jasper Conran
Print - Nordic Design Collective
Wardrobes - Ikea
Bedding - Matalan
Bed - old
Bedside tables - Fads
Bedside lamps - Dunelm Mill
Mirror - Ikea
Curtains - Terry's Fabrics
Paint - Farrow & Ball Dove Tale and Dulux Nutmeg White


Thursday, 13 November 2014

Round Up

If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen I was at the Courteeners gig over in Leeds on Tuesday. I'd never seen them live before and they pretty much blew my socks off. They've mentioned a few times that they'll be returning to Manchester in the summer and so tickets for their highly anticipated home-coming are definitely recommended by this fan.  

Here's a little round-up of blog posts that have tickled my fancy recently:

Recommended READING by Erin at Elements of Style
Get your festive BAKE on with Design Love Fest
Handbag FASHION heaven over at Franki Durbin
A beaut of a kitchen INTERIORS inspiration from Style Files

Please comment if you've got any blog posts you think I should take a peek at :)

Claire x

Monday, 10 November 2014

Home Is In The North - 15th November

If you're here reading my little section of the internet, then there's a good chance that you quite like interiors just like me. If that is the case and you live in or around the Manchester area, there is an event coming up which is a must-visit. Home Is In The North is a unique interiors showcase and shopping event and the brainchild of Rachael Adams from The Social Butterfly

The first ever Home Is In The North took place earlier this year. It was the perfect mix of northern designer-makers, craft workshops and great people all wrapped up beautifully in the elegant Halle St Peter's ex-church in Ancoats. 

The November edition is set to be just as full to the brim of interior updates and nifty gift ideas. I'm delighted to see that there are a number of returning exhibitors but I'm also excited to check out the new additions. You can view the full line up here.

So, what are you up to this Saturday 15th November? Doors open 11am-4pm. Tickets are £3.50 and can be bought in advance here. It really is worth the wander. 

See you there!

Claire x

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Knitted Pouffe

My living room is, what some estate agents might call, 'bijou'. The majority of floor space is filled by two loyal sofas (a three-seater and a two-seater) and a good sized footstool, which our little puppy, Luna, likes to claim as her own. 

Marks and Spencer
Nordic House
However, over the Christmas period when we have family and friends over there can sometimes be a shortage of pews. In an ideal world my 'emergency chairs' would not be the current cheap plastic ones from a well known Scandinavian store. Oh no. Instead I would rather my nearest and dearest perch on a very on-trend grey knitted pouffe. Granted, they wouldn't be comfortable for a long period of time but, oh my, they do look the part. They have so many stylish uses! Footstool, seat, perfect spot to place a tray and create a cute vignette. 

Above I've rounded up some inspiration shots, mixed in with some links to shops why you can buy these versatile beauties.


Claire x
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