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70′s style

The ’70s were an age of decadence and self-awareness in the UK and America. Society was becoming more aware of its surroundings and environmental concerns were being acknowledged. In this decade alone the Beatles broke up, America pulled its forces out of Vietnam, Microsoft was founded and Elvis was found dead. There was a lot going on – but, incredibly, not as much going on as you’ll find in these pictures you’re about to look at.

’70s style was all about pattern, boldness and making a statement. Here’s a few ideas that will inspire you to pull it off yourself…

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The kitchen

Clashing patterns and bright colours were a staple of the ’70s, following the more muted creams and blues of interior design in the ’60s. These kitchen tiles are a great example of mismatched brilliance – the colours are bright yet warm, giving the room a homely glow. I love the brown and orange colouring and contrast of the classic tiles.

70s kitchen

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The living room

Yellow and white was one of the most popular colour combinations in the ’70s. Obviously a splash of brown will never go amiss, and there are subtle slithers in amongst the scatter cushions and on the lampshades. Even the grotesque, scorched tree trunk table looks lovably clunky in this interior.

70s living room

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The bedroom

When it comes to nailing the ’70s look, colour scheme is integral. This is actually a modern apartment but the artwork is made to reflect art from the ’70s, and it’s bang on. Deep oranges, greens and browns sum up the period beautifully. And, to top off the look, a shag rug is thrown in the mix. This is the perfect blend of modern and classic – brilliant.

70s bedroom

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The bathroom

This style of vintage cabinet is a staple of the ’70s and really steals the show with this simplistic bathroom. As always, tiles are king with this look, and the floor tiles add just enough of a ’70s graphic element to make an impact without making the room look too busy. Perfection.

70s bathroom

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Inspiration post: Upcycle

Having come out of hibernation for the winter, I’ve noticed that more and more people are re-purposing old objects to create their own one-of-a-kind furniture. I love the idea of having a new project with the new season, so I’ve been coming up with a moodboard to upcycle my own furniture. Here are a few of my ideas… I’m not going to give away all of them cos everyone will steal them.

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Crates

It’s amazing how often these guys crop up when you’re on the look out for them – you can create all kinds of wonders. They’re perfect if you want to make a temporary seating area outside, or you can bring them in to give your home a boho feel.

cRATE REUSE

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Vintage suitcases

The things you can do with one of these! The possibilities are endless – you can create chairs you know – but I love how simple this idea is. You can find a simple black table and make it into something unique that has real character. You can pick one of these up from Etsy or at your local vintage shop.

Suitcase

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Chest of drawers

Didn’t see this one coming did you? This is so genius it amazes me I hadn’t thought of it before. If you’re throwing out an old chest of drawers, or if you find one in the street, you can save one and make it into a lovely vintage looking bedside table. It’s perfect for storing books or shoes, looks great and is basically free!

Bedside table

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An old ladder or door

Alright – I’m not sure if this is a ladder or an old cupboard door, but this would work well with both. With re-purposing old furniture it’s always a good idea to keep the original paint on – you don’t want it to look too squeaky clean. This is a brilliant storage idea and is a lovely way of filling up a bare wall in the living room.

ladder storage

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5 ideas for a beautiful nursery

Spring has sprung. The daffodils have poked their sunny heads out of the soil, the smell of freshly mown grass perfumes the air and lambs frolick in the fields.

This time of year embodies the spirit of new life, and what better way of celebrating this than preparing a nursery for your newborn? Whether they’re 6 weeks or 3 years old, these ideas will inspire you to get the paint brushes out and decorate for your baby.

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1.) Break the rules

Blue for a boy, pink for a girl, yellow for ‘tbc’ has long been the textbook colour palette for new arrivals. Aside from the fact that yellow is actually quite girly, there’s other ways of embracing a neutral nursery. Yellow, grey and white decor looks sleek and fashionable and doesn’t stick to any sickly cliche’s. I love how the zig zag fabric adds a boyish edge while the bows keep it girly.

White yellow and grey nursery

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2.) Show your clothes

Baby clothes are so cute and colourful, it’s a shame to keep them hidden away. Why not put them on show with an open wardrobe? The gold stencils add a bit of fun to the wall and the bright colours transform the room into a  baby haven.

Baby clothes

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3.) Invest in fabric

I’m a huge fan of Vanessa Arbuthnott. Her designs are beautiful yet simple and look fresh in any environment. The below curtain fabric is from her Swedish collection and is called Dawn Chorus – Dusky Pink and Winter. It would look fantastic in a kitchen but I can also envision it looking wonderful in a baby girl’s nursery. You can buy this fabric by the metre from The Natural Curtain Company.

Vanessa Arbuthnott

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4.) Build a teepee

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of teepees. One of these is the perfect accessory to a child’s bedroom. They’re fun, inexpensive and stylish and will provide hours of entertainment for you and your child. You can make your own or buy them online for peanuts.

Child's teepee

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5.) Scatter cushions

Scatter cushions are always a great way to brighten up a room, and as your child grows up you can change the covers to accommodate their maturing tastes. These cute cushions will suit a boy or a girl’s nursery, and you can stitch them yourself, too.

Children's scatter cushions

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Accessory of the week: Staircases

We climb them at least once a day, but rarely spare a thought for them when it comes to redesigning our homes.

The staircase is one of the first fixtures to greet guests when they walk into a house, so it’s important not to overlook its potential.

From storage to modern art, this post will provide inspiration to transform your entryway and make your house talk of the town while you’re at it.

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Turn it into a closet

This brings a new twist to the idea of the ‘cupboard under the stairs’. This is a genius idea, creating useful storage space while maintaining gorgeous style. I love the wooden panel detail and the love seat – the perfect place to perch when you put your shoes on.

Staircase cupboard

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Go back to basics

Sometimes less is more, and if you’re looking to add a modern twist to your home then consider uprooting the carpet and sticking to the original wood. This is a great example of how the unfinished look can add some character to your space, and as long as you sand the floor well you won’t get any splinters! The wooden rail adds a touch of consistency, making it clear that this style wasn’t an accident.

Unvarnished staircase

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Embrace ombre

Adorable puppy aside, I absolutely love this look. It’s so simple and stylish and you can do it yourself! Not only that, but you can do it for free by ordering free paint samples online. It’s inexpensive and timeless – ombre won’t be going out of fashion any time soon.

Ombre staircase

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Wallpaper

Simple yet utterly effective – use wallpaper to decorate the rise of your stairs. You can match the pattern or make it ultra eye-catching by varying the patterns. You can even use scraps from old rolls so the patterns coordinate with others in the house.

Wallpaper staircase

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Get Ready for Spring

Next Sunday is possibly the most anticipated day in my calendar. It’s the day that the clocks leap forward and British Summertime officially begins.

Although the weather will probably remain at a chilly 5 degrees until May, my excitement is borne from the fact that the darkness is lifting. We can look forward to getting home from work and it will still be light; sit outside on the benches outside the pub with your pals; enjoy an evening stroll while watching the sunset.

Perhaps I romanticise summer a little, but hopefully this spring inspired post will get you excited too. Here’s some ideas for how to prepare your home for summer…

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 Add some colour

Investing in art and accessories is a great way to add a splash of spring to your home. This homeowner has coordinated the yellow sunshine art with the chair and lampshade – just a few small touches transform this space into a glorious spring cave.

Yellow accessories

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The new floral

It’s spring, so obviously we’ll all reach for the bright, floral duvet set. But maybe this time it’s best to think outside the usual floral box. The new floral is lifelike and massive. The looks has been nailed (literally) in this fresh, modern bedroom. Just grab some fake flowers and hang them to your wall – it’s easy to switch out and is bang on trend.

Floral wall

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Decorate with fresh flowers

It’s around this time that I’ll buy my first bunch of flowers of the year. Every time I do I wonder why I always wait so long to do it, as it’s incredible what a fresh bunch can do to a room. It’s an instant breath of fresh air into a room and you can play around with textures, colours and type too, as below.

Fresh flowers

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Seaside stripes

Nothing says spring like a trip to the seaside, and now you can bring that into your own home. Grab a fishing net and some striped curtains from The Natural Curtain Company and your space will become a spring haven. It’s impossible not to find this look refreshing and uplifting.

Seaside stripes

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Inspiration post: Loft extensions

It’s coming up to that time of year where the incessant need to re-vamp your home startes getting stronger and stronger. With the incredible recent weather (which I haven’t stopped babbling on about), homeowners will be starting to daydream about extending their houses.

The most popular way of creating more space is found in a loft extension. This post is designed to give a final boost and inspire you to finally get that loft extension sorted. Now let’s just hope the weather keeps up the good work.

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Let in the light

I love the idea of having an entire wall of window. This is something that not many people can do – especially if you live in London – but if you happen to live in a sparse area it would look fantastic. A perfect summer haven.

Loft window

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Dream Bathroom

Loft extensions don’t need to be limited to just bedrooms. If you’ve got the space, why not create your own dream bathroom? I love this statement bath and the natural light that pours into the room.

Bathroom loft

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Create a lovely nook

I love the idea of putting a bed in this nook. If you’re strapped for space, this is a fantastic idea for a spare bedroom. Just add some bright accessories and some classic Roman blinds and it’s a perfect guest room.

Bed window

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Make use of levels

Taking advantage of the use of multiple levels is a great way of making  your extension seem more spacious while adding character at the same time. This leaves space for a vintage-style sink which gives the room an authentic feel.

stairs loft extension

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Stars and Stripes

by: Alice | March 12, 2014
Posted in Colour schemes Fun Stuff Interiors and Ideas

I’ve always been intrigued by American style and culture. While the British spend half their time moaning about the weather and the other half moaning about how horrific the government is, American’s have a sense of patriotism that we can barely fathom.

This is reflected everywhere – in the streets where you can see American flags flying proudly outside homes, to passports where the stoic eagle looks over the horizon.

This post is inspired by all things America and hopefully will inspire you to bring a dash of American décor into your home.

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Eagle

The bald eagle was chosen as an emblem of the United States because of it’s strength, long life, majestic looks and because back then it was thought only to exist in the US. Now the bird has become synonymous with the country. Not only that but it adds a little extra ‘awesome’ to any room you put it in.

Eagle

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Taxidermy

Admittedly this style isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I can’t help but think of a secluded chalet in the middle of nowhere, Wisconsin when I see taxidermy. Or, as modelled here, in an uber-trendy loft in Brooklyn, NY.

Taxidermy

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Native American

America was occupied thousands of years before Christopher Columbus landed in New England. The symbols of Native America carry a lot of meaning and adds immediate character to any space- from dream catchers, to head dresses to tribal stripes. This image shows a dream catcher in the top left corner, but paired with the Navajo print rug and maps of America, the room looks modern with a nod to America’s past. Husky optional.

Native American decor

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Cowboy

The cowboy is also intrinsically linked to America’s history. They are a symbol of America as they represent a spirit of independence and self-reliance. The cowboy is a legend of America, and to add some cowboy art into your home will immediately give the effect of authentic, courageous America.

Cowboy

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Country Kitchens

Whenever I visit friends or family in the country side, I find that everyone is inexplicably drawn to the kitchen. When it comes to country houses, the kitchen is undeniably the heart of the home where you eat, drink and socialise.

I wanted to focus this post on country kitchens because it’s possible to bring that warm, inviting style into town houses too. As spring is approaching it’s time to come out of hibernation and start socialising again, and re-decorating your kitchen is a great place to start.

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The Table

The table is the social pinnacle of the kitchen. That is where you’ll all be when it gets to 1am on a Saturday night after dinner, so it’s important the table is spacious and welcoming. I love the mismatched chairs in this country-style kitchen and the big, rustic table.

Country Kitchen Table

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Windows

Accessories and window treatment add a lot to a room. Plain blinds give a more modern feel to a room, while curtains  or shutters can make a space feel much more traditional. These curtains in Old Blue from The Natural Curtain Company (of course) are the perfect accessory to a country kitchen because of the classic pattern. The gathered pleat allows for a much more relaxed look.

Country curtains

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The Island

One of the best things about big, open plan country kitchens is having an island where you can sit and chat to the host while they cook/clean/drink. It’s also a place where you can muck in and help chop and peel, and gives a very homely feel to a space. So when possible, opt for an island.

Country kitchen island

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The Aga

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it a few more times after this – Agas are the best*. They’re an incredible source of warmth in the kitchen, but they also give an incredibly welcoming feel. I love this country kitchen because the pots and pans are mismatched which makes the place feel relaxes, and the Aga is the most 70s colour I’ve ever seen. Love it.

Country kitchen aga

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*Note: Agas are the best when it comes to cooking roast potatoes, but they are not the best when it comes to the environment. But as Mary Berry eloquently puts it, “I know of so many husbands who say ‘Good God, this is costing a lot of money, but our house would be unhappy without it. It’s at the hub of the home: our children did their homework by it, my husband dries the dogs on it, I’ve just washed a jumper and folded it on one of the lids so it won’t need ironing. I don’t want to have Botox or my varicose veins sorted so why not allow myself this luxury.”

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Decorating with dark colours

Experimenting with colour at home is not something most people do, unless they’ve decided to paint their kitchen magnolia instead of cream. The interior designers that make the biggest impression are those that embrace colour and aren’t afraid to take a few risks.

Decorating with dark colours is one of the biggest risks you can take. It’s an artful balance of accessorising, light and contrast that make it work. Often it’s just easier to stick to beige, but this post will show you how it’s worth taking the risk. So goodbye egret, hello ebony.

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Black

If you want to add a dark colour to a room but you’re slightly nervous about the commitment, the bathroom is a great place to start. The black walls work very well in this space because the huge window lets the light stream in. The white shower curtain also adds a light relief to the dark walls, balancing it out perfectly. Utterly chic.

Black bathroom

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Blue

Another great way of minimising the risk or paiting your entire room a dark colour is if you paint just one wall. This royal blue wall is gloomy but works brilliantly with the urban/squat vibe of the interior. The shabby linen sofa adds to the artistic haven of the space, and makes the entire room look off-beat with a hint of ‘accidentally on purpose’.

Blue living room

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Grey

Look at this beautiful clutter! I love how pots, pans, jars and cups are strewn about this kitchen. It’s very busy, but the simple dark grey wall brings it together to add an element of simplicity to an otherwise over-crowded room.

grey kitchen

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Green

When it comes to decorating with dark colours, sometimes simplicity is key. In the above image, the dark colour balances out a cluttered room, while in the image below, the dark green compliments the simplicity of the arrangement. The incredible throw cushions create enough pattern and busy-ness to bring a bit of life into the scene, while the clean lines of the lamp and tables add a touch of Scandinavian style.

dark green dining room

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Accessory of the Week: Oriental

by: Alice | February 18, 2014
Posted in Bathrooms Colour schemes Fun Stuff Interiors and Ideas

While it’s still February outside we might as well try and bring something exotic into our home. A dash of oriental design does wonders for the mood and will make you feel like a extra in Eat Pray Love (hopefully). A small gesture like having an oriental-style fan hanging on the wall or applying a stencil to your hallway can transform a  room from simple to serene.

Oriental style stands for clean lines, simplicity and a way of life that is beyond the daily grind. I always feel inspired by these interiors to de-clutter my life and spend more time doing yoga. Here’s how to add a splash of oriental design to your home…

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In the bathroom…

This is the most important place to make sure that you’re unwinding, and adding an oriental touch will transform your bathroom into a relaxation haven. This wonderful statement wall adds character to a plain and simple room.

Oriental bathroom

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In the kitchen…

Clean lines and granite give this room an oriental edge without going over the top. Most notable and simple however are the Japanese bowls. It’s amazing how something this simple can bring an entire culture into your home.

japan

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Oriental art…

Oriental art is a fantastic way of bringing the style into your home without committing too much. This picture is stunning and the colours will brighten up any space. Now where to find that chair…

Oriental bedroom

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Where to find it…

There are plenty of beautiful, unique accessories out there that will win you this look with minimal effort. Here are a few of my favs.

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Vintage silk embroidered Chinese screen

Chinese Screen

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Handmade Oriental Bedside Light

Oriental lamp

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GP and J Baker cushions in Oriental Bird

Oriental cushion

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