1 Blomma London: August 2014

Study Space

My other half increasingly finds himself working from home at the moment and, as we continually read in the press, this is becoming increasingly commonplace. The trouble is how motivated can you really be working from a laptop in bed or on the sofa with the TV taunting you in the background? Such is the reason that 'working from home' can often be interpreted by others as 'not doing a great deal'. But he does work hard from home, but finding a place to do it is tricky. Therefore we are currently investigating ways to incorporate a work space into our flat so there is a dedicated place available to him... here is some inspiration in case you are looking to knuckle down at home too...

Have a look on my Pintrest page for some more inspiration too.

Having a comfy chair for me is key. A sheepskin rug thrown over a vintage dining chair is the perfect addition to a workspace, creating just the right amount of homeliness

I love the idea of having space for two chairs to sit at the desk. That way you are never competing for space if two of you are home. A thin, long table is the perfect solution

If your workspace is going in a space with another use (e.g. a kitchen or lounge/dining room) then use photographs and prints to mark out the area so the desk feels like it belongs

Storage is key when building am at-home work area otherwise it will be more of an eye sore than a lovely addition to your home. Shelving and filing boxes are essential

A small desk like this can easily squeeze into the smallest corner of your home. Perfect if you are tight on space

If you can, positioning the desk by a window will ensure you have enough light and will ensure you don't feel claustrophobic working from home. If you can't get a window make sure you have good lighting like this great stainless steel version 
Some top picks from me here...


Clockwise from top left...

  1. Lamp, John Lewis
  2. Storage box, Ikea
  3. Extra long desk and shelving unit, Ikea 
  4. Industrial storage trays, Etsy UK
  5. Sheepskin rug (to throw over your chair!), The White Company
  6. Oak chair (comes in a pair), Made.com
What do you think? Hx



Making the most of a bijou bedroom

This week a colleague of mine drew straws with her house-mates to divvy up the bedrooms in their new flat in Finsbury Park. Sadly for her she came out of the draw rather badly and has ended up with a shoebox for a bedroom. I can empathise with this fate as my own bedroom is pretty poor in proportions too. But a small room can be cosy, and at the end of the day you only sleep there so how much space do you really need? But I understand her pain so here are some tips for making this most of a small space...

My bijou bedroom (today's rain clouds are making it look a bit moody today)
1. Lighter colours will always make a room look bigger but work with what you have. As I have high ceilings and a big window in my bedroom I went for a very dark colour on the walls and light bedding instead. I like how cosy the room has become but I have worked quite hard to fit in the storage I need to ensure it doesn't feel oppressive


2. Pick furniture with legs rather than a solid base. The more floor you can see the bigger the room with feel. Most importantly, this applies to the bed. If you have a small bedroom you will probably be temped to buy a divan with drawers for storage but these look old fashioned and they drain the feeling of space. I am a big fan of Warren Evans for affordable, brilliant quality bedframes...

All beds from Warren Evans

3. Even though you have given up inbuilt draws, under the bed is still a great place to store things. Try vintage wicker hampers and suitcases to store handbags, accessories and anything else you need to stash

1. Metal storage cases, Not on the High Street 2. Wicker under-bed storage basket, Laura Ashley 3. Metal Trunk, Not on the High Street

4. If you have as many clothes as me you will definitely need a good chest of drawers. Pick a style which takes up as little floor space as possible but is tall so you have plenty of storage space.

1. Hemnes chest of drawers, Ikea 2. Tall Boy chest, Loaf

5. Find hanging space wherever you can. Using decorative hooks and door racks you will be able to turn handbags, coats and jewellery into part of the decor


Clockwise from top left...


So there you have it. Do you have any other tips to share? Would love to hear them...

Hx



Moving in with your boy

I'm going to be a little sexist here and assume that it is mostly the woman in a relationship who takes the lead when it comes to the decor in a new home. So, when a reader got in touch for some decorating advice now she is moving in with her partner, I can only assume that she means that she feels a need exert her own style whilst ensuring her partner feels comfortable too.

So in response, here are my top 5 tips for creating a gender neutral home to satisfy both you and your partner's tastes and needs...


1. Keep things neutral and use accessories to add colour and interest. This is particularly true if you're renting, but aside from that it will allow you to slowly introduce things that make the place homely without scaring him. Greys, blacks and whites are a good place to start. Here is a good example...


Simple grey walls but killer accessories which you can build up over time

2. The likelihood is that you probably have quite similar taste already, but its a good idea to run some themes and colours past him before you decide on anything. Buy a copy of Ideal Home and just point out some things you like and see how he reacts to them. A good time to do this is when he is preoccupied with either football / Xbox because he is less likely to pay enough attention to object to anything.

3. Although he will probably winge and claim that he doesn't understand the need for endless cushions, throws and rugs, he will definitely appreciate them once you have bought them so don't be put off. Here are some of my favourites at the moment...

Mr & Mrs cushions are a must right?

Clockwise from top left...



4. Be practical. Men can understand things which have a purpose so consider this when you buy any furniture. Somewhere to stand his artisan ale whilst watching the football will make him infinitely happy, as will as much storage as you can bear. A hero piece for me is this coffee table from West Elm. Not only is it lovely looking but you can put things in it, eat things off it and lay your feet upon it... the ultimate man's checklist

It's not cheap at £449 but it will be in your home for many years to come

5. Go hunting for bargains. Junk shop, car boot and charity finds are great because men love a project. If you can get him involved in anything which involves taking apart pieces of wood, sanding and hitting things hard with a hammer he will definitely end up loving it because it will remind him daily of his infinite manliness.

So that is my list of top 5 things to consider when moving in with your boyfriend. I feel that I can definitely think of more tips so keep your eyes peeled for a part 2...

In the meantime do you have any tips to share?

H x




Paul Smith for Anglepoise

Today at 12pm Paul Smith's special edition lamp for Anglepoise is available for pre-order via their website. The collaboration marks the coming together of two iconic British brands to create a stunning interpretation of the classic desk lamp.

I am a big fan of both Paul Smith and Anglepoise, and I have a vintage, cream coloured version sat next to my bed. It's one of my favourite things at home and was luckily handed down to me for free (which makes me love it even more!)



The Paul  Smith edition features the bold colours Paul Smith is famous for along with his signature at the base. The RRP is £149 and can be purchased at the following UK stores:

Heal’s
196 Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7LQ
T: 020 7636 1666 www.heals.co.uk

Skandium @ Selfridges
Lower Ground Floor, 400 Oxford Street, London W1A 1AB
T: 020 7318 3379 www.skandium.com

Twentytwentyone
275 Upper Street, London, N1 2UA
T: 020 7288 1996 www.twentytwentyone.com

What do you think? Will you be buying one? I must say I am pretty tempted...

Hx


Super Stripes

As you know, I am a big fan of monochrome and often steer away from bright, overly patterned interiors (although I am trying to be a bit more experimental). Sometimes white or grey based interiors need a bit of zing added to them and for me there is nothing better than a stripe to do this. Here are some inspirational room sets to get you thinking of how you could add some stripey interest to a neutral room...

This striped carpet runner adds a splash of colour and personality to an otherwise cold space

A white bathroom suite can be uplifted with a great, hard-wearing rug 

A simple and cheap solution is to add a striped throw to the end of your bed to refresh simple linens


So cute for a child's bedroom to add a bit of colour

Add a painted stripe up your stairs for a fun and cheap way to add interest to a functional area

I love this room. The minty stripes on the wall are subtle and yet bring together the coral and turquoise scheme beautifully

You can't beat a cushion for making a quick and easy change to your living room. These striped cushions are a must have for any Scandi inspired home
These blinds from Apollo Blinds are great for adding some subtle texture to a modern white kitchen

Here are some of my picks from the highstreet...


Clockwise from top left...

  1. Stripe shower curtain - West Elm
  2. Stripe effect bowl - Heal's
  3. Stripe storage basket - West Elm
  4. Striped bathroom towels - The White Company
  5. Stripe cushion 1 - H&M
  6. Stripe cushion 2 - Marks and Spencer
  7. Pet cushions(various sizes) - Land's End
  8. Stripe runner rug - Cloudberry Living
  9. Armchair - House of Fraser


What do you think? H x

Skip Diving for Treasure

This weekend I came across a skip as part of a trip home to Bedford. I always hear about people finding great items whilst rummaging in skips but my experience has found that to be pretty rare and I never actually find anything worth taking home. But this weekend I struck gold and have had my belief in treasure hunting restored. Remember to ask the home-owner first but I can't urge you enough to give it a go next time you pass one.

Here is what I found...


A range of great crockery was left in the skip. Although in a pretty grubby state, a good scrub is all they need to get them up to scratch. The wooden box is amazing - iIm thinking it could be a great big jewellery box. Any other ideas?


This 1950's magazine rack was just going to be thrown away. The yellow wooden feet good do with a re-spray but otherwise it looks great next to my vintage dining chair 

A real treasure were these 1950's placemats. The colours are so vibrant and they are in perfect condition. AND...

They came in this gorgeous box. Its a little scruffy round the edges but the receipt is still inside

A gorgeous 1950's stool. It needed a good clean (too many dead spiders hanging off this for my taste) but it looks fab


An enamel jug and an old outdoor lamp now make a lovely display in my kitchen 

Last but not least this stool is perfect in the kitchen to help me reach those top shelves. Since taking this picture I have given it a good scrub and painted it in Farrow & Ball's Ammonite eggshell wood paint and now its transformed.
Any favourite finds? Do you feel inspired to go rummaging next time you pass a skip?

Hx



Totes Amaze

Are you really bad at remembering to take your reusable shopping tote to the supermarket? I am dreadful at it and always feel desperately annoyed at myself when I sheepishly have to ask for a plastic bag. Well fear no more because I have found these lovely shoppers from West Elm which I certainly won't forget to take to the shops. Priced at £16 each and made from 100% cotton these witty totes will make that weekly supermarket visit feel a little less laborious...


Which is your favourite? Hx

Totally Tiles

I have been redecorating my bathroom in my head for months now. So many ideas, so many styles and yet none will come to fruition just yet because  redecorating bathrooms is expensive -humph - and my boyfriend only went and proposed. How very annoying of him. Anyway, whilst dreaming about sanitary-ware, taps and towels I have become quite obsessed with tiles. But not just your average tiles, but fun tiles which offer something different to a room than just providing a practical, waterproofing function. So today I have plucked a few ideas from Pintrest on how to use tiles in your home to create something a bit different...

How great are these?! Such an unusual pattern which provides such a dramatic impact next to the roll top bath. Great if you don't need tiles up the walls, but if you do try a white metro tile with white grout to soften the effect.

I am a sucker for a Metro tile but teamed with the Aztec inspired floor this has great impact. I love the pattern clash with the striped towels and the warmth from the copper taps.

Why not use great tiles in a hallway? Its a high traffic area and tiles are resilient and easy to clean.

There is something mystical about these mermaid tiles - great inside a wet room or walk in shower

Using the same tiles on the floor and wall is pretty daring but if you have a big enough room and can balance it with sleek, tidy interiors it can look fabulous. 

What do you think? Any favourites?
H x



Fabulous Fabrics

This morning I spotted this gorgeous room set on Elle Denmark. As you know I am a big fan of reupholstering old chairs, stools, Victorian commodes (?!) etc but I am really guilty of sticking to quite safe, neutral fabrics. I love a pattern but always keep to greys, blues, whites. This sofa has really got me thinking and I am desperate to get down to my local junk shop and try something a bit more colourful.

Below is a round up of some amazing fabrics I am tempted by for my next upcycling project... which do you think I should go for?

Liberty

Its a bit predictable but Liberty consistently make the most incredible prints. Here are some of my favourites which have just hit the legendary shop this season. Click here to view the whole collection.



Harlequin

A great variety of prints from modern florals to kitsch plane prints. The site is currently under maintenance but visit Wallpaper Direct for the full range.


Scion

Most famous in recent season for the Scion Fox print but there is a lot more to this brand. A distinct ethnic vibe to the current prints which are available this season. Try Fashion Interiors if you are looking to purchase.


Sanderson

Another traditional brand which perfectly mixes old school florals with modern twists and unexpected colour ways. Wallpaper Direct is the best place for a nosy at this quintessentially British prints.


What do you think? Any particular favourites? Hx