Five on Friday

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{Where I spend most of my weekday mornings – working away at the computer while enjoying a takeaway latte and a bowl of granola.This last week I have gone swimming before work twice and I really hope I can keep that up as it has made a real difference to my energy levels. I’m also loving my new boxes from House Doctor as they make it so easy to keep the desk tidy}

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{I snapped a quick picture of the kids at school pick up earlier this week when the weather was still sunny. It is so rare for them to sit still long enough for me to capture all three. If you’re wondering why Clemmie is wearing a rosette, she insisted on putting it on after we read a book about a pony princess.}

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{Casper won the best Beaver Scout of the term award for being well behaved and selling the most programmes for their annual fair. I don’t know who was most proud – him or me!}

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{Despite having two older brothers, Clemmie is very girly. When I painted my toenails with my new blue OPI polish, she insisted I do hers as well!}

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{I bought this cute fashion stamp set at the V&A last Sunday. If you receive a card from me in the near future, expect to see some of these stamped inside.}

My husband has taken the boys out to the theatre tonight (Casper was given the tickets for being the top programme seller at Beavers!) so it’s just Clemmie and I at home. Very quiet for a change! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. X

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Interior Inspiration: A Place for Everything…

…and everything in its place. Oh, how I wish that could be my motto! I really hate spending any more time than necessary searching for things, whether they are vitally important, like passports and tax returns, or more trivial, such as a favourite lipstick or scarf. With five family members and too little storage space, I sometimes feel that I am fighting a constant battle against STUFF. However much I try to clear out and give to charity shops, sell on eBay or just shove into the loft, there just doesn’t seem to be any respite.

The main problem areas are the kids’ rooms and playroom as well as our bedroom, which also serves as my office. I get sent a lot of press releases and look books which I print out (not the most Eco friendly way of working I know, but I like to be able to underline key passages and make notes in the margins) so at the end of the day my desk is often a sea of papers.

And as anyone with kids knows, however much you encourage them to tidy their room before bedtime by the next morning it inevitably looks like a bombsite again. After we spent hours sorting all his Lego into different boxes by colour, Cameron’s room is not too bad but both Casper and Clemmie still have a tendency to empty out every single toy on the floor when they’re playing.

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The answer, for me at least, is lots of spacious storage boxes that you can quickly scoop all the toys into. Zara Home has some of the best kids’ storage solutions on the high street, like these boxes on castors. The boys have one each in white and I’m tempted to get this girly one for Clemmie’s dolls and soft toys. The little suitcases are also from Zara Home and are perfect for smaller bits and pieces, like toy cars or dolls’ accessories. Danish House Doctor is one of my favourite brands for homeware and this striped basket to hang on the door handle is really cute. I think one of these on each of their bedroom doors would be great for dumping toys and other paraphernalia in after doing the ‘downstairs sweep’ while they’re all in bed, ready for them to put away the following morning. I also like these storage baskets in the bottom row of the picture (l-r) from Ferm Living (another Danish brand, what is it about the Danes and interior design?), The White Company and H&M (which also has a great range of affordable storage solutions).

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For the home office, House Doctor again has some of the best and most stylish accessories, like these Creative Play storage boxes (bottom row, middle picture) which I ordered today from Design Vintage to store all my work papers in. The nifty wall storage unit is also by House Doctor, as is the rustic wire letter tray (in the bottom left picture) and the magazine files (top right). The white lacquer trays (from The White Company) are perfect on a dressing table or on top of a chest of drawers to hold jewellery, candles or makeup. And one can never have too many baskets – I use them to store everything from shoes, hats, scarves and gloves to all the chargers and headphones for phones/computers/iPads as well as the kids’ paints and craft materials. I usually buy mine from Ikea but this one from The White Company has a lovely washed grey finish.

 

Interior Inspiration: Mad for Marble

A beautiful material that has been used since ancient times, marble is in my opinion the most elegant of stones – smooth and cool to the touch, it simply oozes luxury when incorporated into an interior design scheme. My other half has rejected my suggestion of a marble countertop for our kitchen on the grounds that it is too showy, expensive and impractical and I probably have to agree on the last point. Because of its tendency to stain and scratch, marble countertops in kitchens and bathrooms is not always the most practical choice. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t indulge in a few choice marble accessories around the house.

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{A classic tulip dining table or a marble top coffee table like these ones by House Doctor and Asplund would be lovely but, failing that, any of these accessories would fit nicely into our home as well. Marble trays by Hay, chopping board by House Doctor, kitchen utensil holder from Crate & Barrel and marble candlestick by Menu at Royal Design}.

Interior Inspiration: House Doctor Spring 2014

The house is looking quite bare now that the Christmas decorations have been taken down and packed away for another 11 months. So what better time to give your home a little facelift as we move (slowly but surely) into spring? The new catalogue from Danish brand House Doctor, aptly named Everyday, features a beautiful collection of furniture, lighting and decorative objects. Some new lampshades and cushion covers along with a bit of greenery in the form of potted plants and fresh flowers would spruce up my home no end.

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Add a Scandinavian Touch to your Home

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As some of you may have gathered by now, I am a big fan of Scandinavian design, both for the wardrobe and the home. So you can imagine my excitement this week when I discovered a new interior website stocking beautiful vintage pieces as well as some of my favourite Scandi brands, including House Doctor, Tine K and Ferm Living. Design Vintage has a store in Brighton as well as an online shop selling all manner of wonderful things to spruce up your abode.

Here are some of my favourites:

1. Industrial desk lamp by House Doctor DK, £150

2. Pink Bambi bedding for a cot or cot bed from Scandinavian designers By Nord, £44

3. Set of three large storage boxes by Tine K Home, £35

4. Zinc wire mailbox by House Doctor, £14.95

5. Dragonfly porcelain votives from Bloomingville, in three different designs, £8.95 each

6. Dark grey and white tie-dye cushion by House Doctor, £35

Let the Christmas Countdown Begin

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Only five weeks to go until Christmas and I for one Can. Not. Wait. There are so many things to look forward to – putting the decorations up, buying and wrapping the presents, the school Christmas concerts, our village Christmas fair, all the yummy food… I could go on and on, and no doubt I will be doing just that, right here on this blog, over the coming weeks!

The boys have been busy writing their letters to Santa this week. Casper has rather optimistically asked for a Play Station, an X Box and an iPod so I had to explain that it is unlikely he will receive everything on the list. For the first time Cameron has been expressing doubts about the existence of Father Christmas (he is ten so I guess it is to be expected..) but he is under strict instructions not to voice these in front of his younger siblings unless he wants to find an empty stocking on Christmas morning! He didn’t want to take any chances so his letter is also winging its way to the North Pole as we speak…

Nothing beats the magic of Christmas morning even if it does tend to start at the ungodly hour of 5am in our house. This year we’re actually away on Christmas Day (it’s my dad’s 70th birthday on the 25th so we’re going to stay in a country hotel for three nights) but that won’t stop me from decking out the house in its festive finery. I love these inspirational pictures from Danish brand House Doctor, especially the big paper stars and the illuminated snow sign.

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