happy little places

Friday, 18 December 2015

Hunker Down and Cosy Up

NEWS: These past few months I've got to know my sofa quite well. Mainly because I've been sitting on it for increasing periods of time. My recent inactivity has been brought on by a new and fantastic occurrence...I'm four months pregnant! My husband and I are both beyond excited about becoming parents. It will be, and has already been, a massive learning curve but we're ready for it :)

As amazing as this life changing news is, it has brought on a tremendous amount of morning sickness - I don't think I ever fully appreciated how debilitating morning sickness can be. I take my hat off to all the mammas out there. I think I am past the worst of it, thank goodness, so now I want to get to the crazy nesting and obsessive planning stage. Any tips on preparing for motherhood are most certainly welcome!

It has been a while since I graced these pages with my presence. I do apologise. As I've said before, I cannot guarantee I'll be back here with a regular schedule but I do intend to continue posting as and when I can. 

Right, let's get down to business and talk some interiors...

I love making my home as cosy as it possibly can be; especially when the weather is as cold as it has been recently. Goodness me, did someone say fluffy slipper socks?! I, for one, have definitely been living in mine. To help me snuggle down sofasofa.com kindly contributed to my cushion collection. My obsession with grey is still as strong as ever, and so their Cleo cushions in pewter were the perfect addition to my sofa party. 
sofasofa.com Cleo cushions in Pewter

The cushions are extremely plump and supportive as well as being a good quality. I feel that the thick, ribbed material makes them hard wearing so they wont be looking sorry for themselves any time soon, especially considering my current overuse of them.

Hands up, who'll be running round picking up last minute Christmas presents this weekend. I'm very nearly finished but I certainly have a lot of wrapping to do. 

If I don't manage to head back here before the big day, may I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a joyous New Year!

Claire x

Sofasofa.com kindly supplied the cushions featured in this post for review purposes. All thoughts are my own. 


Monday, 5 October 2015

Hot Off the Press: Interior Designer Interview

It's that transition time of year whether you're stalking the shops for a new winter coat or updating your interiors with cosy cushions and thicker throws. I do enjoy this time of year but the darker and colder mornings make it that bit harder to get out of bed. I'm one of those people who has to get up and out of bed as soon as my alarm goes off. None of this having several alarms going off at scheduled times apart. Oh no, bite the bullet and get out of bed before my body knows what it's doing. 

I know I've been in a blogging hiatus recently and for that I do apologise. I can't promise that I will fully get back into the swing of things but I will try my best to post as and when I have something useful to say. I definitely want to share our garden as after all the hard work over the summer it is looking rather splendid, even if I do say so myself. 

Anyway, first up I wanted to share a professional interiors insight with you. The work of Anna Palmer a professional interior designer recently caught my attention as she's teamed up with Bathroom Heaven and you might remember that our small bathroom is next on my hit list. So when the opportunity arose to interview Anna I jumped at the chance. Here's what we discussed...

Q. What are the upcoming colour trends that we should be looking out for?

A. Copper, with its rich, warm and inviting feel is very much in at the moment. It works particularly well in kitchens and bathrooms and can create a stunning focal point in an otherwise plain interior. Copper has found its way as a feature with a plethora of accessories, making it even easier to use this beautifully hued metal as an accent colour.

Grey is the new neutral these days and works well with pops of colour alongside. I have seen some wonderful grey interiors with accents of yellow.

Via Decor8 Photo from Angelica Gonzalez
Q. How would you go about decorating a small bathroom?
A. Any space will feel larger if it’s lighter and brighter so start off with choosing the colour of your tiles and paint wisely; anything too dark will absorb light and make the room appear smaller. Consider putting in a wall hung WC which ‘floats’ above the floor. Lighting can help create height and depth in a space. Achieve this by adding an LED lightstrip underneath a wall hung vanity sink unit and Illuminating above the sink and in the shower area with task lighting. Include a large mirror or mirrored cabinet to bounce light around the room and lights either side to create the appearance of more space in the room.

Melissa Davis 
Q. What are your top tips for injecting personality into a space?
A. I saw a painting at the entrance of a flea market I went to years ago with my sister. It really caught my eye but was a bit on the expensive side plus I didn’t want to be carrying it around for the next few hours so decided against purchasing it. On my way out it was still there but reduced to half price! I bought it and every time I look at it, even now, it gives me great pleasure and reminds me of the fun I had on that day with my sister. The things we put in our space should have a positive effect on us – buy what makes you feel good. It’s hard to explain sometimes why something makes us feel the way we do but it’s all linked the our personality.

Kiitos Marimeko
Use a side table to display unusual objects, your favourite coffee-table book or a beautiful ornament/bust. It adds a depth and wonderful interest to a room and gives a glimpse of you and what you like. Add a light behind to illuminate and help showcase your life. I have a friend who has a wall dedicated to displaying all his many books he’s collected over the years. He says he’ll never get rid of them because every time he needs inspiration he’ll look at a book and remember what he’s read, where he read it and how it made him feel. It’s a personal thing but one which give him great pleasure and is a link to his past.

Erika Brechtel
Q. What are your favourite resources for inspiration?
A. Google is great for sourcing images and I use Pinterest to collect them and store on one of my many boards I have created. It’s also important to see products, if possible, before buying so I find myself in many a department store which are great places for inspiration. I travel by push-bike in London and I find myself stopping far too often to look into large window displays! It’s all very tempting…

Great tips! A big thank you to Anna for answering my questions and being a part of my blog. I hope you all found what she had to say helpful. 

Claire x


Friday, 31 July 2015

How Do You Like Your Espresso in the Morning?

Presented in a cute and colourful espresso cup, of course! 

Well, actually I can't really drink espresso, as strong caffeine has been known to send me a little loopy. (Give me a cup of Yorkshire tea any day.) My husband, however, loves the stuff and now has a selection of suitably dinky espresso cups to choose from. He received them as a gift from my Mum for his recent birthday, and they are the perfect addition to our kitchen. Just look at them! They're from the House range at John Lewis, unfortunately I couldn't find them online but they have an equally as attractive Le Creuset set on offer at the moment. 

Are you team coffee or team tea?

Claire x

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Garden Revamp 4.0

Back again with another small garden update. The concrete foundations have been laid and the wall is on its way up. Hurrah! It's really starting to take shape and I can get a better feel for the area I will eventually be filling with beautiful plants. 

We're currently two dense bricks deep and fingers crossed that the whole structure will be completed this week. (Let's just hope the weather predictions of heavy rain are incorrect.) We're very lucky that we've been able to borrow a lot of the bigger tools from friends and neighbours. Things like the cement mixer and angle grinder, it means that we don't have expensive deadlines if we take a little longer than if we'd have hired them. It is definitely worth asking around, you never really know what your friends have in their garages! 

Once the flower bed structure is up we will be looking at rendering the walls that I will eventually be painting a lovely dark grey colour. I want to jump to the finishing-touches phase but I must be patient. 

Claire x

Monday, 27 July 2015

Croatia Photo Diary

We've been home for over a week and slowly getting back into the swing of things at our respective workplaces. Our holiday provided the most perfect time to relax and unwind, so much so that it has taken me a little longer than usual to get my head back into gear. 

This holiday was very last minute for us but it turned out to be just what we wanted. Lots of time to chill out and dip into the beautiful Adriatic Sea, delicious food and drink, kind and friendly locals and hotel staff and stunning surroundings with the opportunity to explore as much or as little as we wanted. Ah, typing about it is sending me into a holiday dream-like daze. Anyway, I wanted to share a snippet of photographs from our time away in Croatia. I say 'snippet' but I'll let you be the judge of that after you've scrolled down for 10 minutes ;)

I love getting inspiration and a feel for someone else's holiday so I hope that you enjoy this post and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask away in the comments section below. 
Beautiful sandy beach with crystal clear waters
An afternoon wine tasting // A little blue boat bobbing along // Sunrise
Cute little boat and a gorgeous sunset
Koločep port by sunset
Palm trees & pink blooms // Green succulent-like bush //
A sweet cacti & succulent garden
Stradun in Dubrovnik Old Town by day
Bell tower in Dubrovnik monastery
Dubrovnik Old Town
Dubrovnik coastline
Stradun in Dubrovnik's Old Town by night
Locally caught fish (it's name sounded something like Loca) //
Black & white cuttlefish risotto // Tomato & mozzarella salad //
Sea bass // Bruschetta
Island life

Have you enjoyed your summer holiday yet or have you got one planned for the future? Where are you going or where have you been? Have you ever tried Croatia?

Claire x

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Pinch, Punch

Good day to you, and welcome to July! 

We're over half way through the year, can you believe it? There's something that I want to be open and honest with you about and it's that I am currently dramatically failing at achieving any of my 'Home Goals' that I shared way back in January. Other things have stepped in and taken priority or we've just not had the time or funds. I'm certainly not going to beat myself up about it because I'm very happy in our home, however it may come, and that's what's important to me. 

Anyway, summer is apparently here and I am definitely a fan of the warmer months and really want to try and make the most of being outside. We've even got a last-minute getaway booked for my husband's 30th birthday to look forward to next week. I'm rather excited! 

I also wanted to let you know that I was back over on the Object blog the other day, if you fancy heading over for a quick read. I'm discussing decluttering techniques for a healthy house and mind. 

Have a happy hump day! :)

Claire x

Monday, 29 June 2015

Garden Revamp 3.0

Hello, I'm here with a little garden revamp update. The weather has been a little off lately which has slowed us down a tad but we're making progress, even if it is slow and steady. 

My extremely hard working husband has dug out the foundations in preparation for the building of the raised flower bed. The foundations have to cover a larger footprint than the actual structure itself, this is to provide sufficient support and hopefully prevent any unwanted movement. The digging and shoveling were no easy tasks as the ground is full of roots and rocks, so hats off to him because I'm sure it would have taken me days (or longer!) if I were to attempt it on my own. 
Looking from the back of the garden towards the house
Foundations dug for the raised flower bed
With the foundations in place we've been busy ordering the next lot of supplies (concrete and bricks) that should be delivered this week, and with a heat wave apparently on its way to the UK hopefully we'll be able to get lots done. It's a shame we won't be enjoying the heat wave relaxing in our garden because as you can see it is definitely resembling a builder's yard more than an oasis of peace and tranquility. 

Must. Remain. Positive. ;)

As always, let me know your thoughts or whether you have any tips you'd like to share. 

Claire x
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