Down with chrome - the hunt for alternative bathroom accessories

A few weeks ago I stumbled across a rather lovely toilet roll holder, which featured as my hero product that week (take a look here if you missed it). The holder, plus the fact that I have just finished a new bathroom installation, really got me thinking about bathroom accessories and how bloody boring they can be.

When looking for those bathroom essentials such as towel rings, pedal bins, loo roll holders and bathmats the choice out there is really limited. When you have spent a good chunk of money on a new suite, fabulous tiles and the perfect mirror, why then do you have to sacrifice your style and add standard chrome fittings to complete the room?  I say you shouldn't have to and yet that is all that is on offer at the majority of retailers out there.

SO I am taking a stand this morning and sharing some of my favourite alternative bathroom fittings, to save your bathroom from death by chrome...

  1. Toilet roll holders - not the most exciting things, so you would think, but I have found three which are just perfect. This brass and walnut one is from Holly's House, £28.50
  2. This holder is the black version of the one above. They also do this same style in a larger size, perfect as a towel ring
  3. Finally in the toilet roll section, this gem is from Ikea and costs just £2.90
  4. Towel rings are infinitely difficult to find in anything other than chrome, so instead I am going rogue and propose choosing some decorative hooks for your towels instead. This marble hook set is from Anthropolgie priced at £42, or £24 for a single hook version. Perfect with a couple of small hamman towels draped off them
  5. Copper and marble continue to be the materials du jour and this toilet roll brush perfectly combines both to make something which is typically quite, ahem, nasty to something of beauty. It's from Dwell and hold a fairly hefty price tag of £65
  6. I love the simplicity of this swing bin which would work perfectly in so many schemes - this one is also from Dwell and costs £24.95
  7. Another toilet roll brush, this time made from natural materials birchwood and concrete. I love this - totally simplistic but high on design creds. Definitely on my wish list. You can get this one from Amara for £45.25
  8. Finally a bathmat that I can actually get excited about. Having an actual sheepskin rug in the bathroom can only be described as unhygienic, as I imagine they just breed things when they get damp. This cotton version, cut into the shape of a hide is just perfect and adds the perfect amount of quirk and cosiness to the bathroom. I #need this one. From Urban Outfitters for £25
There you have it. I would love to know if you have spotted any other great bathroom accessories out there - I am on a one woman mission to find them now.

H x

Hero Product 20th October

Today's Hero Product comes courtesy of the lovely people at Marks and Spencer who have pulled out a bit of a corker in the lighting department.

Now I have to be honest, M&S is not the first place I would look for design-led homeware pieces but I have to say, I may have been wrong. This brass chandelier-esque ceiling light is the perfect balance of modernity, glitz and understated cool. It reminds me of the LA interiors I so often fawn over on Pinterest, as is perfectly designed to sit high above some brightly coloured kilim rugs and a marble topped coffee table. Priced at just £79 it is also a total steal... I am buying one for my bedroom post-haste.


Loaf Love

One of the hardest things about our house renovation has been living without a sofa. Honestly it has been a real struggle for the last four.whole.months. It is something that you just take for granted when you have one, but when you don't; woah. Living without a sofa means that your bed becomes the place you do everything, from watching TV to eating breakfast (ok so the fact we don't have a dining table plays into this a little too).

So you can see why I was just a tad excited to make the journey down the Victoria Line to's new Battersea showroom, or Loaf Shack, to order the sofa which has been the result of about 2 years in research and planning (a sofa is a big investment - you have to get it just right, right?!).

I decided to plump for the Pompidou in a gorgeous linen fabric and the count down has begun for it's arrival. I have to say, I am glad I went to the new showroom with a clear idea of what I wanted because the range is just fabulous and the new showroom is totally seductive...

 Laid out in a great warehouse style room, most of the range (although not quite all) is laid out in room mock-ups in a vast array of colours and fabrics. Computers are dotted around in case you need to refer to the online site for specifics or to mock up your favourite style in different colours and samples are hanging up nearby so you can get a good look and feel before making a decision. I spent about an hour draping my favourite fabrics over different pieces of furniture, so much so that someone actually thought I worked there. *time to go home*

SO many fabrics so little time 
All of them are also available in little swatches so you can take them home to mull over before making a decision
The range is displayed in various sizes and colours for inspiration
My favourite section of the shack though was their 'Take Away' section which offers accessories to buy there and then, something that you can't do on the website as there is usually a few weeks wait. The range includes gorgeous throws, cushions, candles and bed linen. The linen bedding bundles are so dreamy - it was hard to resist but something I might just add to my Christmas list (wishful thinking!). 

The bed linen in soft hues and natural fabrics
Super cosy throws

Bath salts, candles and crockery mean you can live loaf even if you aren't in the market for a sofa
Finally the beds and mattresses...

Great selection, ranging from the traditional to the minimalist
Definitely worth a trip if you are nearby!

H x

How to create a mood board

I am very happy to report that our renovation is really starting to take shape now and we should be set to start decorating the bedroom within the next week or so. Making the first paint decision is really tough when you are starting any room renovation so the first thing I do is dump colours and furnishings into a mood board and start working it out. I switch in and out images, colours and accessories until I find a look I love.

Lots of people have asked me for more info on how I pull these together and the answer is so low-tech and unfancy, and it's a program most people already have on their computer. And that is Powerpoint. I have tried various design software packages, free tools online and lovely, crafty, 3D mood boards but I always come back to Powerpoint. It is simple and easy to use and really helps me visualize a room.

So here is my step by step guide to designing a space using a mood board in the context of my own current bedroom planning...

  • Think about the existing furniture and accessories you have which will play a part in your new space. For me and my bedroom I have a pine chest of drawers which isn't my dream piece of furniture but it also isn't enough of an issue to change it just yet. Grab images of it in the flesh or online if you can and pop it into your Powerpoint slide
  • Now have a think about the new things that you have your eye on which are achievable in your new room. When I say 'achievable' I mean pick things which are in your price range which you could afford to splash out on once the room is decorated. Inspiration boards are great things, but if you are just about to get started on a room, this mood board is about bringing to life what will become the final scheme. In my mood boards for example, I have picked rugs and accessories which have been on my wishlist for a while from high-street retails such as H&M home, Zara Home etc
  • Once you have picked the key pieces in the room, play around with the layout. I like to set it up to represent the positioning of the room as best I can but it's totally up to you. I also like to remove the white edges from images pulled from the internet to give it a clean look. If you don't know how, here it is - select the image, go to 'format' and 'remove background'. It doesn't always give a clean removal so play with the 'select areas to keep' and 'select areas to remove' functions which will help you get it right
  • Once you have the layout,  play with the background images to represent the flooring and the wall colour. This is what I find the most useful as finding the perfect backdrop to the furniture and accessories in the room is what I find the hardest, especially as I am a bit of a colour-phobe
  • Once you have your layout and your first design, simply 'duplicate' the slide and start a different configuration, throw in a different rug or background colour and just have fun with it
  • And that's it - really simple and so so useful. Here is where I am at with my bedroom mood board at the moment, using this same technique...

As you can see, I have popped in the chest of drawers and armchair which I already have. The Ikea bench, wall light and H&M linen bedding are all things on my wish list for the room and the other bits, such as the rugs and cushions, are just me trying to see what colour schemes work and which don't.

I think I am leaning toward number 3 and maybe bringing in some more coral colours to pick out the details in the rug, Hmm i'm not sure though... more mood-boarding it is! Which do you like best?

H x

Hero Product 9th October

Today's hero product is the most gorgeous washed linen throw from Holly's House, which is quickly becoming one of my favourite homeware retailers.

At £175 it is something I might justify as an 'investment piece' because the quality of the fabric, and timelessness of the design mean that it will never go out of style, The frayed edges and soft blush pink would be perfect lounging at the end of the bed in any Scandi- luxe bedroom.

If you missed the latest hero products you find take a look here and here.

Have great weekends everyone!


Painted woodwork in a stylish Swedish home

Today's real home comes from Sweden and features some serious paint-spiration. As someone who wants to go for the all white, Scandinavian vibe at home but also feels drawn to the warmth of colour, this home has really given me food for thought.

Take a look and see what you think... keep an eye out for the painted woodwork, gorgeous floors and strategic pops of colour.

What do you think?  I love the use of the minty grey on the woodwork which seamlessly flows onto  the walls in the bedroom - makes the space really cohesive but adds interest and a subtle change from room to room. When you have such great details such as intricate door frames and skirting boards, painting them is a great way to make them shine. Farrow & Ball's Parma Grey or Calluna would work really well if you are looking to recreate the look at home.

The bright rugs, armchairs and art look amazing and add personality.

A final word goes for that amazing fireplace - why can't you get those in the UK!?


Getting cosy for Autmn

Today felt like the first day of Autumn. The dreary sky, the chill in the air first thing in the morning and my sudden craving for all things carb-y and warming mean it's officially landed. So today here are my top picks for transitioning your home into Autumn mode as the dark nights and short days draw closer...


  1. There is no better way to get cosy than with a sheepskin. This double hide from John Lewis is 100% on my wish list. I intend to throw it over the end of my bed for a super lux touch which also keeps your toes warm
  2. Darker evenings mean its time to get your candle game on. This gold candle holder from Oliver Bonas would look lovely on the mantelpiece, dining table or next to you in the bath
  3. Cable knit socks are just the perfect finishing touch to your favourite lounge wear. These from Zara are perfection
  4. I am a bit obsessed with candles, can you tell? This scented trio from Betty Jackson at Debenhams not only smells divine, but the ceramic pots will be perfect tea light holders once the original wax has burnt away. They are also in the sale at the moment - what's not to love?
  5. A pair of slippers is an essential home item if you ask me - I tear myself through at least three pairs a year. These Moroccan leather versions from Bohemia Design are perfect right now; not too thick so you are going to get too warm, but cosy enough to take you through to winter
  6. A touch of texture exudes cosiness, and this woollen stool would be the perfect addition to any bedroom or lounge. It's from Zara so the price is most agreeable too at £49.99
  7. This rug from West Elm is the stuff of dreams. Made in India using 100% wool - it's a must have if you are trying to add a touch of artisanal bohemia to your home (and frankly who isn't)
  8. Finally, Autumn means it's time to whip up some hearty, wholesome one-pot suppers. From slow cooked casseroles, curries and soups your best friend will be this cast iron pot from House of Fraser. Its half price in the sale at the moment too
So there you have it. What pieces will you be adding to up the cosy ante?

H x