Wednesday, 29 February 2012

What do you see when you look at things?

A splash of paint? stop:watch

Have you ever looked at something and then really taken a closer look at it, only to find something else appear in the thing you are looking at? Confused? Ok, have you ever lain down in the park on a sunny day, watching small clouds float by and though 'that one looked like a dinosaur' or 'cool, that cloud looks like a Mr Whippy!?  See where I'm coming from?

Gimme a hug. Shop Around.

I've been looking around the interweb today for all sorts of inspiring ideas and images and I came across this blog, which really tickled my fancy. Stop:watch is a blog created by a Dutch illustrator called Tineke Meirink. She must be on the extreme end of the 'looking at things a little closer' scale because if you check out her website, you'll see how she finds the funniest and cutest things within the most inanimate or objects, random spillages and even bits of tissue.

"I love trash" Shop Around

Take five, click here and be amazed. After this you'll never look at anything in the same way again..! There are even more to look at here.

Maybe this is could be an innovative way of dealing with minor scuffs, spills and cracks in your home...don't make and mend them, create art out of them! (just an idea, don't take my word for it, if you're dealing with major DIY concerns!)

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

New ways to decorate this Easter

Having bought some beautiful ribbon yesterday, I'm thinking about how to decorate for Easter.

Funky little egg faces

To gather my thoughts, I'm building up an inspirational board on Pinterest, where I'm collating all of the beautiful and creative ideas that other talented folk have come up with that I can use as a cue for creating my own.

Beautiful hydrangeas, moss & ribbon

Here are some of my favourites and if you'd like to see all of them click here. I will be regularly updating this board as well as all of my others, so why not follow Home Restyler on Pinterest and keep up with all the things that are making me smile!

White & silver Easter table styling

Easter wallpaper cut-outs
Any excuse to rearrange the home and try some new ways to decorate creatively!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Surprise appearance in Cornwall Life

Last year I was asked to contribute towards an article for a selection of Life magazines about 'moving or improving'. Little did I know that Sarah Beeny would be the key expert and I'm delighted to say that Cornwall Life included me as one of their South West local experts.

I had no idea until my husband was having his hair cut in Truro today and whilst flicking through the magazine found his wife's face staring back at him! Here are the Bathroom and Home Office sections of the feature.

If you would like to read more of this 'Move to Improve' feature you can buy back issues here and if you would like to follow my Great British Life blog click here

Love from the South West!

How to cheer up a rainy day

I woke full of the joys of spring today so decided to take a brisk early morning walk along the seafront...only to be blasted by what felt like gale force winds and soaked by what I would describe as bucket loads of rainwater. Ugh. So I thought I'd cheer up this grey, rainy day by quickly creating a bright and sunny looking centrepiece for my dining table.

This then inspired me to have a look around for some new and beautiful ideas for ways to inject some happiness into the home without spending much money. Here you go...

This cute idea comes from my favourite German website Living at Home. Such a simple idea; cut out some shapes of flowers, hearts or birds...from sample pieces of wallpaper, brush the rear side with a thin layer of wallpaper paste and stick them to your wall. If you go to your local DIY store, you can easily get free sample of wallpaper, so for the cost of a little bit of paste, you have a pretty wall decoration that is unique to you and your home.

Another way to add an individual look to your home is to stick 3D cut outs onto your lampshades, shelves or picture frames. Use either wallpaper or other pretty paper like Prairie Rose from Paperchase or Portobello Road paper from Hobbycraft to cut out any shape you like and stick them with a dab of glue or a few small stitches onto your chosen item. Lovely!

Get creative with coloured masking tape. There are so many things you can with this fab stuff, it's brilliant because it's removable and doesn't mark so you can literaly put it anywhere. This pile of beautiful tape is from A Pencil Full of Lead, a lovely website selling reworked furniture, handmade home accessories and textiles, prints and stationery. Do check it out!

Ideas for getting masking tape crazy;
  • Wrap it around empty jam jars and to make pretty tea light holders
  • Get creative & wrap various colours and lenghts of it around presents. I did this at Christmas and the gifts looked so pretty and unique

  • Did you ever cover your notebooks at school to try and make them a bit more interesting? You could do the same again now, but with receipe folders, address books, notebooks...cover the book in funky wrapping paper, then stick lengths of tape over it
  • Adorn lampshades and vases with co-ordinating coloured tape, to add a splash of colour to your living room or bedroom
  • Instead of using picture frames, stick your photos directly onto the wall and 'frame' them with coloured tape. How fab does this look?!
See, there are loads of things you can do for practically nothing and in just a few minutes, which will add a splash of colour and happiness into your home, whatever the weather!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Put your heart into your decor

I'm not a bah humbug or not romantic but Valentine's Day just doesn't tick my box. Over the years I've had all sorts of Valentine's experiences - the two most memorable being;
  1. unrequited love: the many years I desperately wanted the boy I was in love with at school to send me a card - he never did - hence much time feeling unloved,'depressed' and jealous of the girls who did get cards, flowers & cheeky snogs
  2. fear of growing old: the time a boyfriend took me out for Valentines dinner, complete with menu that included a rose and champagne 'for the lady', 3 courses, naff music etc...only to be sat in a restaurant with older married couples who not only hardly spoke to one another but who looked totally peeved at the fact that they had to even be there coupled with having to pay an inflated price for it. That night I made a note to self - never eat out on Valentines again.
We don't need to be told when to be romantic with our partners. We don't need to buy over-inflated prices for naff red roses, bog standard chocolates and 'cheap' pink fizz. We don't need card with words written by someone else to tell someone how much we love them. We can do it ANY DAY OF THE YEAR!

Bit what I DO love is all the hearts (yes I am a bit of a heart fanatic when it comes to interior accessories) so today here are some beautiful ways with hearts... 

Hang heart inspired artwork on your walls - Jim Dine. So real & emotional.

Get creative with edible hearts - as a runner or as a necklace perhaps?
Get cuddly & cosy with silver, sparkly hearts

Eat your breakfast off a wooden heart

Hang hearts from your doorknobs

Eat pudding to your hearts content
Hang heart inspired wallpaper on your walls - Loved Up by Nono

All this talk of hearts has made me smile...see I'm not a anti-romance girl at all, I just like to embrace it ALL year round!

Happy Valentines!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Add a splash of springtime colour

I'm sat at my PC, looking out of the window and if it weren't for the fact I'm wearing my thermal socks, 3 jumpers and a woolly scarf, I'd be forgiven for thinking it was a warm day out there. The sky is a hazy blue, the sun is shining and I can hear birds tweeting and a lawnmower cutting grass. Look/sounds like a warm spring day to you? Thought so!

The fresh fragrace of spring courtesy of Designers Guild's lime flowers, mimosa & rose candles

I've spent a few hours this morning researching and writing an article for Devon Life's April issue, which is all about 'bringing the outdoors in' and I am just so delighted with all of the beatiful new collections that both designers and high street retailers have brought out for this spring/summer. So without further ado, let me inspire you with the first big trend this coming season;


Hooray, yes yes, I LOVE colour. I love all the colours of the rainbow and this spring you have the pick of the bunch. From neon brights to pastel pales, the choices are endless.

The John Lewis Playnation range injects some much needed fun into our homes. Celebrating colour, the palette utilises a core base of neutrals in conjunction with chalky pastels and pops of acid brights. The look combines a mid-century sensibility with a subtle hint of 60’s retro; practical pieces of storage sit alongside playful flourishes, such as animal motifs and vibrant textiles. The collection also includes stacking candlesticks and fun fabrics, featuring painterly effects and zingy floral prints. What do you think? I think it is brilliant, any excuse to inject some colour into your kitchen or dining room...go check out the range..

Well, what can I say?! For all lovers of colour, whether you prefer graphic prints, stripes and bold statements or if pretty butterflies, flowers and all things nature are more your thing, at these prices H&M has yet again come up trumps. Click here to view all the products in the range.

Marks & Spencer, Laura Ashley (more on them to come in a blog coming soon), BHS, House of Fraser, Anthropologie...all of the High Street retailers really have come up trumps in terms of offering bright, cheery and uplifting ranges this season. Go on, indulge yourself!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Hive-like interiors

Two things have inpsired me to write this post today;

1. My daughter has been making me sit and watch the most adorable programme before bed recently. It's called The Hive and it's all about the Bee family (Pappa Bee, Mamma Bee, Buzzbee, Rubee and little Babee) who live together with their friends and relations in the Hive. It's actually a great excuse to snuggle up with her on the sofa and follow the fortunes of this cute little buzzy bunch. And I am 99% sure I saw a bumble bee in my garden yesterday...despite it being only +1 degree!

2. I came across London based design studio and felt specialist Hive's self-adhesive felt wall tiles. These colorful and modular tiles can change a room's colour scheme without the need of a paintbrush, adding a punch of color and texture in an instant.  The tiles come in a wide variety of colors from neutral to bright and colorful, with two designs to choose from — 'Wave' or 'Honeycomb'. Available from NotOnTheHighStreet for £26 for a pack of six.

So despite the fact that I am actually not particularly fond of any kind of flying insect, I put 2+2 together and realised that this theme is bang on trend...ok, it lateral thinking terms maybe but still...Moorish is where it's at currently. Do you get where I'm coming from? No? Ok, its the similarity between the geometric, hourglass shapes of moorish patterns and bee hives. Here's what I mean...

Alhambra Palace Autumn, Fired Earth
Fired Earth's striking geometric and retro influenced wallpaper design comes in a choice of modern colour ways combined with metallic. Inspired by the Spanish palace, the intricate designs will create real impact and turn heads, whether used sparingly in the living room or in the entrance hallway to your home.

Perfect for a traditional mediterranean feeling bathroom, these Fired Earth Bahia hand made, hand decorated, glazed terracotta tiles have uneven edges, an undulating surface and are hand-antiqued and distressed to give an aged appearance.

Jane Churchill Solano fabric

Available in six springlike colourways, Jane Churchill's beautiful embroidered Solano fabric from the Mayflower collection is a light cotton and viscose mix, great made into a blind or curtain for your kitchen window.

Contzen Design rug, Modernrugs

How about this for a modern take on the hive? This distinctive, bold, monochrome 'Contzen Design' rug by German interior designer Lars Contzen is available in 3 sizes from ModernRugs and would make a huge statement in a contemporary, minimalist, design-inspired home.

So, now do you get my drift?! A look that is not everyone's taste, but there are certainly many variations of the theme, so maybe you'll find one that is in keeping for your interior style?