• Look What We Found……

    by  • Wednesday, November 25, 2015 • 0 Comments


    Add a touch of festive cheer into your home with this sweet, Christmas cushion, from Laura Ashley. Perfect for adding a bit of fun to a guest bedroom or for jollying up a sofa or armchair, it instantly conjures a feeling of seasonal nostalgia with its classic Christmas colours and snowy, alpine resort scene. Sure to be a family favourite year after year, be sure to grab yours now as with Laura Ashley’s current 30% off promotion, it costs just £28!

    For more festive gift ideas and finds, make sure you don’t miss our post next week as we reveal our Top 10 buys from Laura Ashley this Christmas.

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    Get creative this Christmas with an alternative Advent calendar!

    by  • Tuesday, November 24, 2015 • 0 Comments

    Whilst the joys of a traditional Advent calendar are not to be sniffed at (Ferrero Rocher before breakfast, anyone?) this December the high-street is full of brilliant alternatives to the classic chocolate-filled varieties. If you fancy doing something creative for a loved one this season, or just dodging the sweet treats altogether, here’s a round-up of some of the best alternative Advent calendar ideas:


    This stunning Christmas display box (£135, Bloomingville range, Out There Interiors) is made up of generous-sized cubbies to fill with your own treats. Experiment with dinky gifts such as candles, jewellery and biscuits, using any spare holes to display errant baubles and trinkets, then stand in the hallway to give guests a stylish welcome.


    To give your scheme a slightly more industrial vibe, opt for this zinc village Advent calendar (£62, Rowen & Wren). For a creative project this weekend, try writing 24 little tasks, such as, “Give a stranger a compliment” or “Get back in touch with an old friend”, then pop a gold coin under each note for when the challenge has been completed. A lovely way to spread a little Christmas cheer!IkeaIkea never fails to inspire when it comes to the holiday season, and this ingenious reworking of the Komplement hanger (£4.50, Ikea) is no exception. To make your own, number 24 Torkis pegs (£2.50 for 30, Ikea), then attach mismatched woollen socks to the hanger, before stuffing them with pocket-sized gifts for your little ones to tear into each morning.


    Count down the days to Christmas in style with a Nutcracker-inspired jewellery Advent calendar (£18, Oliver Bonas). Open to reveal an unadorned gold bracelet, then discover 23 compartments each containing a daily charm to attach to the chain.


    For an Advent calendar that gives back, Oxfam and ParcelHero have teamed up with 25 renowned artists to create a calendar of unique boxes filled with handmade gifts. For your chance to make it yours, head online to ParcelHero’s official eBay site – bidding ends on November 26th! All the money raised goes to Oxfam, so it’s a brilliant way to do a little bit of good this Christmas.

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    Get crafty this Christmas. Part one: Get your knit/crochet/stitch on

    by  • Saturday, November 21, 2015 • 0 Comments

    This Christmas I have adopted a ‘hand-made only’ rule to all the chrimbo gifts I shall be giving to nearest and dearest- mainly in an effort to save as much money as possible for 2016 (rather insanely a wedding and house purchase have been planned for the same year- *gulp*) but also because I am fed up with just buying ‘stuff’ and ‘things’, which no matter how much appreciated, at the end of the day, it’s just another top/CD/necklace/book/game to add to the pile and I refuse to add to the consumer craziness that is the Christmas spending spree. (sorry, mini rant over, everything else about Christmas fills my heart with glee!)

    But what I love about a hand-made gift, is that it brings happiness to both the giver of said gift, as well as the receiver. Well that’s if you love getting stuck into crafting, sewing, making and the like. If not, perhaps you know someone who does, so a crafty, DIY kit could make the perfect present, and once again bring joy to both parties. Out of the two, I am the former- I love making and creating and although I may have slightly underestimated just how many gifts I need to make this year, I’m determined to do the best I can and create something hand-made for all the family.

    This week I’m focusing on all things knitted, crocheted and stitched and I’ve found lots of great ideas to make yourself or to give as gifts.


    If you’re a keen knitter anyway, and you find yourself readily surrounded by wools and yarns, then knitting these cute baubles and stockings as gifts, will save you lots of dosh as the patterns start from as  little as £1.96. Plus they are the gift that keeps on giving as they can be used year after year and your receiver will always think of you when using them. 1. ‘Wesley Bobs’ knitting pattern, £3.75, by Ann Kingstone at Love Knitting. 2. Crochet Christmas baubles pattern, £1.96, by Jane Crowfoot at Love Knitting. 3. Festive Christmas stockings pattern, £2.50, by Janice Anderson at Love Knitting. 


    If you’re a bit of novice when it comes to knitting but you’re keen to learn, then these kits are perfect as they’re aimed at beginners and include simple step by step instructions. TOP: This block-colour cushion cover is perfect for adding a bit of fun and brightness to any home. Masley cushion cover knitting kit, £39, Stitch & Story. BOTTOM: If you know someone who loves to relax and unwind after a busy day of work, then these slippers will go down a treat. Lola pom slippers knitting kit, £28, Stitch & Story.


    A cactus that won’t sting you- physically or financially! Download the pattern, don your crochet needle and give the finished product to that wanna be green-fingered friend who has trouble keeping the real thing alive! Small cactus crochet pattern, £3.94, by Flying Dutchman Crochet Design at Love Crochet. 


    A perfectly modern cross stitch craft kit to make for gin and tonic lovers in your life! This kit contains the fabric, threads, embroidery hoop and needle so you have all you need to make a special gift, for a special friend this Christmas. ‘More Gin Please’ cross stitch kit, £8.95, by The Make Arcade at Etsy


    Pom pons are so easy to make and very addictive. Using these clever little devices from Clover, they literally take minutes to make and in no time at all you’ll find yourself with a whole fleet of fluffy balls. I love the idea of creating this fun and alternative Christmas wreath- the perfect gift for a youngster to hang on their own bedroom door. Head to the Hobbycraft blog to find out how. Clover Pom Pom maker (35mm & 45mm) £5.90, Hobbycraft. 

    Another way you could use your little pom poms is to make a super fun garland. Simply make your poms in your chosen colours and sizes, then thread them onto bakers twine, and voila! Here’s one I made earlier this week, ready to give to my 2 year old nephew for his room!


    None of these ideas float your boat, but you know a friend who’ll go wild with excitement at the thought of getting stuck right in? Then maybe this round up of crafty, DIY gifts will make their Christmas (and yours!) a cracker.



    1. Learn to crochet cushion kit, £42, Mrs Moon. 2. Make a pair of knickers kit, £14.95, The Makery. 3. Traditional wooden knitting dolly set, £3.95, Dotcomgiftshop.  4. Knit your own cushion set, £25, Marks and Spencer.  5. Buttonbag sewing kit suitcase, £22.95, Cuckooland.  6. Knit your own scarf kit, £20, Laura Ashley 7. Butterfly cross stitch kit, £14.99, by Floss and Mischief at Etsy.   8. Finn sewing kit, £22.95, Pippa Blue

    Well I hope you enjoy making, creating or just purchasing some of these crafty Christmas ideas this weekend, I will be looking into the next lot of DIY gift ideas, so check back in next week to find out how I get on making my own candles (cue long evenings spent playing with warm wax!)  and other home-made projects I discover online.

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    Get a personal home shopper with House to Home’s Product Finder

    by  • Thursday, November 19, 2015 • 0 Comments

    I love a statement rug; apart from adding warmth to hard flooring, it can give an otherwise plain room an extra dimension of colour or pattern and pull the room together for a complete, finished look.




    So, feeling inspired by Ideal Home’s beautiful room shots and the rugs above; I thought I’d put House to Home’s brand new Product Finder to the test and see how quickly I could find similar rugs.

    It was really simple and I found some almost spot-on matches! I just went through the search options by: ‘Product’ and ‘Budget’ and found this gorgeous geometric for a bit of a bargain. I then scrolled through the ‘Latest Rugs’ and amongst many other covetable designs, found this square patterned look-a-like.



    Elements Geo Cotton Dhurry Rug, £70, Dunelm; Frankie Modern Rug,  £100, Plantation Rug Company range at Houseology


    This is where the new House to Home Product Finder comes into it’s own. You don’t need to spend hours flicking back and forth from various brand websites to find what you want. The Product Finder Experts have collated and edited their picks of some of the best options of furniture, home accessories, lighting and appliances from a huge selection of retailers. To get straight to the product you want, you can simply narrow the search options down by Colour, Style, Room and Product.



    Next time you’re on the hunt for the perfect piece of furniture, get to it super fast with Product Finder; that is unless you get drawn into the plethora of Expert Edits and you’ve racked up a very long wish list before you know it!

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    Trend alert: add a natural touch with wood grain

    by  • Tuesday, November 17, 2015 • 0 Comments

    With all the dark colours of winter’s palette, it’s refreshing to find a trend that brings a little life and nature back into our schemes. Wood grain is not only beautiful to look at, but really easy to work in – keep it modern by choosing either a permanent statement, such as a herringbone floor or bold wallpaper, or go for a subtler approach with occasional accessories.
    Topps-TilesSuitable for pretty much any room in the house, these wood-effect tiles from Topps Tiles are actually made from porcelain. Available in either a gloss or polished finish, mix and match different colours for a modern vibe, or stick to just one shade for a more traditional feel. Great for a luxury look that’s hard-wearing and easy to clean!

    Nayara polished chalk tiles, £69.72 per sq m, Topps Tiles

    Ella-DoranThis vibrant wallpaper from Ella Doran (above) is not for the faint-hearted, but brilliantly good fun if you’re feeling bold. The large-scale exposed grain is digitally printed for striking detail, and the paper has a textured finish for an authentic look. Available in pink or blue.

    Wood grain pink wallpaper, £150 per roll, Ella Doran

    West-ElmThese subtly patterned towels from West Elm (above) are a really natural way to add the trend to your scheme. Choose from white or grey, then team with a simple palette and touches of real wood for an organic feel.

    Organic wood grain towels, £4 each, West Elm

    Love the idea of trying out the wood grain trend at home? Here’s where to shop the look:

    1. Etch tealight holder, £50, Tom Dixon range, Houseology2. Mixed texture print cushion, £7, George3. Woodland drum shade, from £35, John Lewis4. Large throw in Woolywood Brown, £200, Donna Wilson5. Humbolt square canister, £80, Pigeon & Poodle range, Amara

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