Tuesday, 13 October 2015

House Buys For Autumn

Having been a proper homeowner for almost 11 years I've come to the realisation that a home is never really 'finished'. Aside from all the boring maintenance stuff - attending to ceiling cracks, treating mildew and the almost daily task of removing grimy fingerprints from walls - I'm a habitual 'tweaker' when it comes to interiors; if I'm not reconfiguring picture arrangements (and upsetting my other half by knocking more holes into the walls) I might be colour coding the book shelf or reorganising cupboard space in a usually futile attempt to free up room for the piles of clutter that seem to multiply daily in all corners of the house. 

And if I'm not doing that I'm usually faffing about on Pinterest or googling the instructions for chalk painting furniture (more of that in a later blog...Annie Sloan's legendary paint has been purchased and a bedroom overhaul will be commencing soon)

The thing is, my home is a bit like fashion for me - it's a way to inject just a bit of creativity in my very ordinary daily life. And it's quite fun learning skills along the way (a bit of upholstery here, a bit of upcycling there) to help you achieve a new look on a shoestring. It's my belief that the most interesting, stylish homes are born out of slim budgets, and that often the most expensively furnished ones can be the most soulless.

At the moment, my home feels a bit tired and a little unloved so I'm looking forward to getting that chalk paint out and sprucing it up with some new additions here to help me enjoy it again. Here are some of the things I've got my eye on...

Good old BHS always has some gems in its lighting department. This beautiful light reminds me of one I saw in Anthropolgie a while back for nearer the £1000 mark. It's still not cheap but BHS have almost constant sales and at the time of writing, this light was available at almost 25% off. The light also comes in a deep teal colour and reminds me a bit of Abigail Ahern-style interiors. If I had higher ceilings I'd buy this.

Buy here

Another high street store that has some really unusual things amongst the more pedestrian stuff. I recently bought some very chic white bedding for a fraction of the price of The White Company and the quality is excellent. I'm considering buying this to offset the pine furniture I'm renovating with antique white chalk paint for our bedroom, but it would look equally at home above a living room mantlepiece. 

Buy here

I have an irrational addiction to cushions. They just make me happy, and none more so than the beautiful, reasonably priced cushions from Bombay Duck. I've bought several lovely pieces from their collection already and am tempted in particular by this colourful beauty - the nearest I'll get to Mexico for the time being...LOVE.

Buy here

I once bought a Diptyque Candle and I got told off about it...cause spending £40 on a bit of wax in a jar (even if it's a very lovely jar) is a bit daft when you think about it. There's nothing to feel guilty about here - £6 for a very stylish candle that will look most sophisticated on your mantelpiece and add a nice warm, scented glow to your room on a cold winter night. 

Buy here

It's pink, very kitsch and not for everyone...but I kinda like this lamp. Some of the pieces in the Matthew Williamson Butterfly range feel a little contrived but in amongst the rather obvious stuff there are some nice things to inject a bit of colour into jaded homes. There are some more subdued pieces in the current range too - these peacock bowls are rather nice and - given my addition to cushions - I was drawn to this number too.

Buy here
Grayson Entryway Table, £180 - Urban Outfitters

A great place to shop for unusual homewares online. I bought a zinc-topped industrial-style cabinet for £170 in the sale here a couple of years back which sits in our playroom and has lots of drawers for various kids stuff, iPads, and random bits and bobs. This console table is a really reasonably priced addition to a hallway and gives homes a rough-hewn vintage look without the effort of trawling a million reclamation yards or antique fairs. I also love the simple functionality of these storage cupboards, a steal at £65.

Buy here

Chalk Paint, Annie Sloan - £18.95 per pot

You've probably heard about this miraculous stuff - pretty, chalky paints that you can apply direct to your furniture without loads of laborious prep. I'm going to be giving my old pine bedroom furniture a makeover with the stuff soon and shall report on whether it lives up to the hype. Priced at just under £20 a pot, giving furniture a paint job saves the huge expense of replacing everything. I am planning to invest in a new bed and mattress, though, and saving on furniture costs will make that much more feasible. 

Buy here


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