The Search For A New House Continues…

The Search For A New House Continues…

I have mentioned recently that we have been looking for a bigger house in our area. At the moment, Olivia is, at 13 months, still in our room as we only live in a two bedroom house and Jack’s room is far too small to fit the two of them in. Luckily we have quite an abnormally large bedroom so it isn’t too bad but I would so love my own space back.

Before Christmas, we were looking at three and four bed properties in our village. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on which way you look at it, the prices in our area are quite high so it can be quite difficult to find a house that fits both our needs and our price range. We were lucky enough last year that I was earning enough for Steve to leave a job he was unhappy in and he’s hopefully about to go part time in a new job from next month or April. We found that the fact that I was the only one working counted against us as my income can be variable so we have put off looking again until now.

We did find the perfect house in the village, close to the school, close to our beautiful common that we are so lucky to have and close to the amenities. It has been on the market for months and now we are finally in a position to put another offer in, it looks like they have finally rented it out.

This summer, Steve may also come into some money from an inheritance. We already have plans for this – put most of it in savings and pay off any outstanding debts. Hopefully we’ll also be able to put down 6/12 months of rent for a place as well whilst the savings accrue some interest and the debts fall off our credit score so we can hopefully get a mortgage. But if we find the perfect place in the village in the meantime, what will we do? Go for it of course.

But just what is the perfect place for us? Well, it needs 3 or 4 bedrooms for a start. One for us, one for Jack, one for Olivia – if there is another, that’s a bonus. We want wood flooring throughout the downstairs – we live in a house right now that is fully carpeted and that is totally not kid friendly – with Olivia at the age that she is, discovering food and exactly what a nappy is and trying to take it off, carpets are a nightmare. We want a decent sized kitchen – we currently have a galley kitchen and not enough space for all of our utensils. I want somewhere I can actually cook properly without feeling cramped and so Steve and I can start putting recipes on the blog again. We also want a dishwasher – this girl is fed up of hand washing!

I want a garden. Yes, we live a stone’s throw away from the local common right now but it hasn’t really been fair for Jack to grow up without a proper garden. I also want a decent amount of storage space – I’ve already mentioned that this house doesn’t have much in the way of kitchen storage and the same can be said for most of the house. We’ve got a cupboard in each bedroom and our garage – that’s it. It’s a flat roof so no loft and we do struggle with everything – after all, with two kids we’ve got car seats, bikes, pushchairs, toys…so much stuff and nowhere to put it. Jack has even got a whole bedroom set that he hasn’t been able to use yet because it won’t fit in his tiny bedroom so it is currently stored in the garage.

It may seem that we have got a whole list of things we want and it should be quite impossible to tick all the boxes but luckily the majority of properties round here come with plenty of storage space, decent gardens, downstairs wood flooring and enough bedrooms – it’s just the budget that often throws us.

For now, the search for a new house continues. I’ll keep perusing the websites looking for a local place and fingers crossed we find our perfect home soon!

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Choosing The Right Lighting For Your Home

Choosing The Right Lighting For Your Home

It can be so difficult to choose the right lighting for your home. I know I struggle. The lighting throughout our house is so inconsistent – it’s unreal. Our living room has a simple lampshade set up, the dining room chandelier set up. The kitchen and bedrooms are light bulbs although our bedroom is bizarre and has the light off-centre which makes no sense to me. Trying to choose the right lighting for my house is pretty much impossible.

I’ve been looking at the designer lights available at Studio Arntzen, created by Paula Arntzen. Her design lights shop has such a wide variety of beautiful designs that would suit my house such as the Grand Trianon and the Droplet.

I always find it so difficult to pick items for my home. We are four people living in this house – all with different tastes. I usually just stick to plain and simple items so that everyone’s happy but I would love to give my home a little more pizzazz with lighting like this.

There are some tips you really need to know before buying lighting for your home. You need to know the basics and create a lighting plan and learn more about the different types of lighting. They say that a successful lighting scheme is made up of several layers: natural, general, accent and task light.

Paula Arntzen knows exactly how to make sure you have the perfect lighting for your house. Studio Arntzen is run by Dutch designer Paula Arntzen and not only does she have a strong fascination for lighting design but she also has an interest in furniture design. She mixes her craft skills with design, and a delicate use of technology to create wonderful products. She tries to push the boundaries of design and experiements with materials and techniques to create experiences with their own distinctive identity.

Paula studied Traditional Furniture Making at the HMC in the Netherlands after high skill where she developed her knowledge and crafting skills. She then went on to study Product Design at the ArtEZ Academy Art. She launched her design studio after graduating in 2009 where she focused on the realisation of light installations for products and public spaces. Her work has been internationally presented and it is not hard to see why.

With all that knowledge, I am certain that her lighting products would suit any home – once you know the lighting basics. Paula knows what she is talking about and what she is designing and I am in love with her designs. We need to change up the light fixtures in this house as they are all over the place with no consistency so I’d love to make mu lighting throughout the house consistent and of Studio Arntzen’s beautiful designs.

I’ve already got a few favourites such as the two I mentioned above but there are plenty of other lighting products available on the site that I’d be more than happy to have in my household. After all, it is nice to have nice stuff in the house sometimes that everyone can appreciate, right?

How do you choose lighting in your home?


Interior design trends of 2018: what you need to know

It’s important to get our homes right, but with trends changing all of the time — it can be hard to keep up.  Now in 2018, you want to leave everything in the past and in terms of interior design, this is achievable.

What worked in 2017:

Many trends made their way into our homes last year, and it’s important to look back to see what worked and what didn’t. We aim to look at some of the best trends that transformed our homes over the past year:

You might have noticed the colour green around quite a lot last year, that’s because Greenery was the winner of the World Colour of the Year Award. The colour green did well in general, as we saw the use of this colour in fashion and commercial design – making it an instant hit with the general public. Greenery represents refreshment and revitalization, which a lot of people could relate to during that time.

A popular choice for homeowners last year was untreated walls, showcasing the fine brickwork behind the plastered walls — teamed up with a flaming stove makes this rustic look more visually pleasing. This trend was a brilliant way for homeowners to save both time and money when decorating, whilst giving them the flexibility to be versatile with their furniture.

A more unique type of product that was featured around our homes was furniture with a cork aspect. The environmental friendly material was commonly used throughout the year to make items such as vases, glasses and even lampshades. However, they were often accompanied by a metallic surround that gave off a youthful yet premium vibe.

The biggest trend in kitchenware last year was the infamous mason jar — used by people around the country for cups for cool beverages! Young or elderly, everyone had one in their kitchen. This trend even caught on with restaurant owners, who discovered that they could use these to serve drinks as well as storing food and ingredients. Accompanied with a striped straw, mason jars are the perfect item to serve a nice cool beverage.

What do we expect to see this year? We’ve teamed up with Oldrids & Downtown, retailer of the most beautiful bedroom furniture and a department store that has over 200 years’ experience, to find out more:

Predicting the future trends of 2018

Copper was one of the most used materials in the home, with almost every desired product available — but don’t expect it to stay around. Gold and brass furniture will make its return and will become a household essential, although making it subtle is the key to making them look good. Golden legs of a table accompanied with a white top will be the talking point of all of the dinners you host, for instance.

A mix of materials and colours will be big in 2018, forget about your crystal white worktops! Everyone seems to have a white kitchen, white tiles and white marble worktops and, frankly, it’s a bit repetitive. Mixing finishes will give it a cool New York-like aesthetic that everyone will love.

To create a more superior environment across your home, use rich colours for any threaded item — including curtains and cushions! This can really benefit the furniture you have in your room and make it pop to any visitors. Don’t go too wild with different colours, but at the same time don’t be afraid to try something you haven’t used before, such as a mustard tone – be the trend setter with all of your friends.

Forget about your bright coloured walls as in 2018, we’re using much darker and deeper colours — this will compliment your rich colouring around a room. For those who opted for untreated walls last year, it’s time to leave them there and generate something new in your living space. Picture grey walls with your mustard curtains – it’s an interior designer’s dream. Withhold the elegance in your home by opting for a palette of aged colours that will make the most beautiful backdrop.

There’s no better time for furniture from the 1970s to return, so expect wooden products to be dotted around your home. From units in your living room to your dressing table (accompanied by a long motel-like mirror), you will have plenty of storage space that will accompany the colour of your walls and threads beautifully.

What will your home look like this year? Use our predictions to get ahead of the game.


The Pros of a Steel Building Project

If you’re thinking of adding a new fixture to your property, such as a structure or building, then you should consider using steel. There are pros and cons of using these materials, which we’ll outline for you in this handy guide.


When it comes to durability, steel can’t be beaten. It will last for longer than most other materials, especially if you use the high quality stuff. It can be painted to your liking and you won’t suddenly find that your building is crumbling away one day.

With wooden homes and buildings, you may find that you have to replace large chunks of the structure, even if only a small part actually needs replaced. This can end up costing much more money in the long term. Corrosion can be an issue with steel buildings, but when maintained properly you won’t find that this is much of a problem.

Speedy Building

The erection of a steel building is much faster than other materials. There are fewer joists and individual parts to be put together, as much of this can be done ahead of time when the building is being manufactured.

There’s more simplicity to this method too, so if you wanted to go for a DIY approach, you wouldn’t need to be incredibly skilled to put a building together. Most steel buildings come with a handy guide so that you can see if you’re up for the task before you get started.

Reduced Costs

This will depend on the type of steel building that you want to create, but generally these can be cheaper overall than other materials. Your labour costs can also decrease as a result of the quick building time. Armstrong Steel have a very handy calculator that you can use to check exactly how much your steel building would cost, so take a look at their site to work it out.

With the extra money that you would save, you can splash out on a larger building or sprucing up the vicinity of the building.

Eco Friendliness

With steel building projects, there are no trees to worry about and many steel manufacturers use eco-friendly practices. This means that you can have a new building on your property, without having to worry as much about the effect on the environment.

You can check in with the manufacturer to figure out where their steel comes from and whether it’s recycled or not.

Spacious Interiors

With steel frames and buildings, you can really go big. This gives you wide, spacious and modern interiors that will really make your home pop. This extra free space doesn’t have to be cold or spare either, as you can make that space work for you. The modern feel of a steel building can even influence how you decorate the interior, if you want to create a cohesive design.

Steel buildings come with so many benefits, no matter what size of structure you wish to create. They can save you money, be built quickly and create the home of your dreams, what more could you ask for?


Transform your home in 2018 with these 3 statement furnishings

There’s no denying that the new year provides you with the perfect time to update your home decor. So, if you’re keen to revamp your spaces but you’re not sure where to start, why not introduce some statement furnishings into your rooms? If you’re in need of some inspiration, here are three pieces of furniture that are guaranteed to steal the limelight.

  1. A beautiful bed frame

It’s important that your sleep space is a calm, comfortable haven – but there’s no reason why it can’t look the part too. So, why not give your bedroom a new look this year with a beautifully made bed frame? As the focal point of your boudoir, a stylish bed frame gives you the perfect opportunity to make a statement.

The good news is, there are a whole host of different designs you can pick from that will complement your overall decor theme. For example, if you’re all about the vintage vibes, you could go for a rustic, French-style frame. As furniture specialists Crown French Furniture point out, this style of bed frame is perfect for adding a touch of elegance to your bedroom. Look out for designs with intricately carved detailing to get your look spot on.

  1. A chic credenza

A credenza could be the perfect addition to your home in 2018. Whether it’s your living room, dining area or hallway, these stylish sideboards can be positioned in just about any room, helping to improve the look and feel of the overall space. You can choose from a wide array of designs, from gorgeous antique, mirrored versions to stunning modern and contemporary styles. So, regardless of your taste, you shouldn’t struggle to find the perfect fit.

Aside from looking great, a credenza also offers you an extra storage solution. You can hide your various bits and bobs without having to compromise on style.

  1. An attractive armchair

An attractive armchair is a must have if you want to transform your home. For example, this piece of furniture can be used to create a cosy reading corner in your living room, or you could position one alongside your sofa as an extra seat. Alternatively, you could incorporate it into your study or nursery to give these rooms a little more personality.

The style and colour armchair you go for is up to. For instance, if you’re feeling bold, you could go for a bright, colourful upholstered design, while styles with wooden arms and legs are perfect if you want to keep things neutral.

How do you plan on updating your home this year? Let me know in the comments!