Redecoration: Fresh New Look, Purple and Grey Living room

Since moving into our first home last year, it’s been a process of continuous updating. When we moved in, we painted everything fairly neutral, a blank canvas so we could move into a fresh, clean house and put our own stamp on later. The living room is a weird room – as the stairs and front door lead straight into the living room, it’s hard to make the room feel like a cosy lounge instead of a corridor to the kitchen – so it’s been a room I’ve been trying to improve as the year has gone on.

Originally, the whole room was white. While it was light and fresh, it did look a bit stark and I’ve been feeling like it needed a pop of colour. My current favourite trend is grey – chalky hues, warm greys, cool greys and purple-greys…all the greys! So when it came to picking a new colour for the living room, I was inspired to mix a fresh, light silver grey with a chalky greyish purple for a feature wall. Under the stairs is a great place to add my purple feature¬†– it added depth where the alcove is, and tied the whole room together, balancing the under stairs half of the room with the purple sofa and armchair on the other side.

Choosing a light grey for the remaining walls was hard – with the living room being quite dark when we originally moved it, and having made it a light, fresh room once we got the keys, we were wary of loosing the light room we’d created. The light grey we chose was just off-white, a very cool grey with a hint of blue/purple. My dream shade of a warm grey was a little too dark for the living room, so that will be a paint colour for another room (watch this space!).

The new silver on the walls and the darker purple grey under the stairs both look amazing with the white gloss woodwork and has given our room a classic but modern update. It’s exactly what I wanted – a more stylish, grown up look, making the room more of a living room than a corridor. Teamed with fresh flowers and a some candles, I’m so happy with my spruced up room and fresh look…Onto the next room! ūüėČ

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Tidy¬†house, tidy mind: Spring Cleaning and Interior Dreams

Recently, I’ve been on a bit of an interiors binge – oogling other people’s homes, shopping for accessories, drooling over in store displays. Since getting my own home, I’ve been much more into obsessing over interiors. And, Instagram, my trusty old addiction, doesn’t help, as I have a feed full of gorgeous homes popping up constantly. Seriously, I love house-snooping.

There is an element of interiors-obsessing I don’t like, and that’s the ‘never being satisfied’ bit of faffing. It seems I’m always on the hunt for ‘one more thing’ for that spot, or to finish the room off. I guess, being quite recently moved into a bare house, it’ll take time to add things and accumulate treasures, but I’m definitely happier with our home than I was a few months ago, given the extra effort we’ve put in to make it less bare. The new bookcase in the living room made a big difference, and although I’m still adding stuff, it’s made the room seem much more lived in.

The kitchen is another part of the house that I’ve been trying to improve. It’s not like we disliked the kitchen when we moved in, but we would have chosen something different if we had a choice. I’ve been trying to cosy it up a little – more homely touches that make it feel like our kitchen, rather than the previous owner’s.

Keeping the house clean and tidy is a challenge with two dogs and a very furry long-haired cat, but I’m forever motivated by the gorgeous snaps on instagram of cosy, clean homes. I always wondered how my mum has so much energy and motivation when keeping her home immaculate, and I’m starting to realise – there’s nothing more satisfying than a spotless room after it’s been cleaned.

I’d love to follow more pretty homes and interiors, so please say hi on Instagram or leave a comment so I can check out your page.

The mug life (it chose me!)

I’m sure anyone who follows my personal Instagram¬†or reads my blog regularly, knows I’ve got a mug problem. There’s an in-joke in our family, “I’ve got enough mugs” is a regular catchphrase but we still keep buying more. Each time we consider buying a mug (or actually go buy one), there will always be someone who says “got enough mugs?” as a joke.

I do love my mugs, and with collecting Emma Bridgewater pottery, there’s always a new pattern or a new phrase that we want personalising on a mug. A while ago, there was a tag game #myemmabridgewatermugs on Instagram where you’d share your mug collection when tagged. I was surprised how few mugs I actually had (always an excuse to buy more, eh?). I do treasure my mugs, especially the personalised ones I’ve either bought or been gifted. There’s nothing more special than having your favourite song, memory or meaningful wording on something you’ll enjoy for a long time. So many times, I smile when I drink out of one of my mugs because I’m reminded of something so meaningful (my Princess mug, for example, was gifted to me as it was what my grandma used to call me).

While I love scouring the Emma Bridgewater seconds shelves on my trips, I can never get my head around how something so personal to me could be bought by someone else as a second. I know ‘not quite perfect’ personalised mugs are¬†purchased by unsuspecting customers in the EB shop, not knowing the history or love behind the wording they’ve found on a seconds mug. But then, the customers who do purchase someone else’s seconds give their own meaning to the personalisation they find in store. I know myself every special memory behind the personalised mugs I own, and I think that’s why I hold such high sentimental value on my little pottery collection.


  

Spring interiors: first home updates a year on

Ever since moving into our new home last year, I’ve felt like it’s not properly finished, like it needs cosying up. I know there’s a fine line between accessorising and clutter – the other half likes things minimal, but I think a house should still feel like a home, lived in and with our stamp on it. It’s felt pretty bare since moving in, which is understandable as it’s our first house and we had to buy everything from scratch…I know that we’ll fill the home with more personal things as we live in it and buy little additional touches.

However, I really was inspired to make an effort in making the rooms feel a little more lived in. One thing I really wanted was to add a bookcase in the room. With the sofa, chairs and coffee table, plus bare walls, I really thought the room needed something taller to bring the room together and not look so flat. The other half agreed that a bookcase would be a really nice addition to the room, especially with him having received some beautiful books recently. We decided on a tall grey bookcase from the Cotswold Company so it would tie in with our painted grey and oak coffee table. It’s still a bit bare as we keep adding stuff to the shelves, but I’m thrilled with how it looks in the room – it’s totally changed the feeling in the room, no longer does everything sit below waist height in the room! I just need to find a place for a few pictures and I’ll be very happy!

I’ve spent a lot of time recently moving things around and spring cleaning and it feels really good – things feel like they ‘fit’ more. Mirrors have gone up, a clock, fresh fairy lights…it all feels like the house is coming together now! It may have taken a year but I wanted to add to the house as and when I found something lovely…buying stuff for the house is my new favourite hobby! Maybe when we get some time, we’ll get a bit more experimental with paint colours on the wall…I love soft greys and pale blues at the moment.

Also, a few bunches of fresh flowers is my favourite way of adding some life and colour to a room – especially when I’ve spent the day cleaning, it’s a lovely finishing touch for a sparkly clean room!


  
  
  

Decorating our First Home at Christmas

Christmas in our new home is something I’ve really been looking forward to. We officially moved in at the start of 2015, although we had the keys just before Christmas, but as we were redecorating and doing some renovations, this will be our first actual Christmas spent in our new home. ¬†All year I’ve been mentally planning where we can fit the Christmas tree (it’s a tiny living room!) and as soon as the shops started filling their shelves with Christmas goodies, I was picking up bits and pieces ready for closer to Christmas. While we’re not really doing presents, that’s no excuse not to go all out on decorations, is it?

When it came to the tree, I didn’t want to go too traditional. I love bright colours and bohemian touches around the home usually, so when I started seeing bright pinks and blues in Christmas baubles, I decided to go brighter and funkier with the tree. I found plenty of pinks, blues, greens, and yellows as accent colours, with some silver and white wintery baubles to keep things classy and christmassy.

While most of our decorations are brand new to go with our brand new (to us!) home, we were gifted some beautiful vintage silver bells from Mr Ruby Wren’s mum to add some history to the tree. Plus, we’ve got plenty of lovely decorations that, although new, will be keepsakes for years, like our two little ceramic dogs (bought for Dolly and Maggie!) and the adorable felt angel for the top of the tree. We decided we really wanted an angel rather than a star topper, and it was pretty hard finding an angel topper that matched the bright, modern colours of the tree decorations…I think we did pretty well with our adorable angel from Paperchase!

And, so far, so good on the ‘puppies versus Christmas’ front…good little pups! ūüôā


  
  
  

Cosying the house for Winter: Interior Styling

Since we moved into our first home earlier this year, the house has been a little too bare for my liking. I love what we’ve done so far and the house definitely has our stamp on already, but it was lacking that cosy feeling that comes from amounting pieces and treasures from over years, especially as when we moved in, our priority was doing the renovations and buying all our furniture and appliances. My aim for winter is to cosy it up – fill the bare walls with pictures and artwork, cover the floors in rugs and find lots of lovely trinkets to adorn the dressers and tables.

Fresh flowers have also helped to inject¬†some life into our rooms, and lots of candles to bring warmth and the cosy feeling I’m trying to achieve.¬†This will be the first Christmas in our own house and I’m so excited to decorate and fill the house with festive touches. I’m slowly sneaking a few Christmas themed pieces into the house and I can’t wait to get the tree up!

The next part in ‘cosy the house up’ is to make the walls look less bare…if you look closely in the living room photos, you can see one photo frame ready to be hung next to the window, but I’d love to fill more of the walls with pictures – lots of photos, memories and art. Say what you will¬†about the smart phone generation, but I’m so glad to have thousands of photos stored on my computer taken from my iPhone. I have so many pictures to choose from and I’m looking forward to choosing some for photo frames. My mum has made an amazing feature wall in her home, featuring lots of photos, definitely a source of inspiration.

  
  
  
  
  
  

More Snippets of Home: Pinks and Purples

Recently the house has been looking especially purple, even down to the flowers in the kitchen. Looking at my recent photos, it’s surprised me how quickly Autumn has appeared and the days have become darker and colder. These photos were taking only a few weeks ago when we were enjoying some surprisingly hot days at the end of September and start of October…before the leaves fell and the weather changed! I love Autumn but I certainly miss the brightness of summer days!

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Behind the scenes, the Ruby Wren Office redecoration.

Ruby Wren has needed it’s own space for a while and we converted the spare room into a home office – partly RW HQ and partly Mr Ruby Wren’s office.

I knew I really wanted to get cube shelving units (thanks ikea!) so that I could stack paper and envelopes in their own little compartments. I chose a light pink colour for the wall, as I wanted something a little different but still bright and light. One of my favourite things in the room is my Emma Bridgewater Rose and Bee radio, which inspired the dusty pink walls.

It’s lovely to have a room where I can go to work and then close the door on when work is over – I’m trying to have a better work-life-balance and the office is really helping me to feel much more balanced. I also love being able to fill the office with my favourite little pieces, like my ‘Resist the Permanent Career Implant Chip’ sign (as a Futurama fan and someone who’s made there own perfect job, Mr Ruby Wren thought it was a perfect gift for me!) and my Simon’s Cat print.

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Spring Flowers – filling my Emma Bridgewater vases

I adore flowers, especially the more simple, spring flowers such as tulips and daffodils – flowers that can be displayed alone, either in a single colour or mixed with different shades of the same flower. Simple but beautiful. Since getting¬†a few vases from Emma Bridgewater recently, the Black Toast vase I picked up from their Stoke-on-Trent first shop, and the Stars of the Earth blue stars vase which was a surprise gift from my mum, I’ve really enjoyed having lots of fresh flowers in the house. Here are a few snaps from the last month in flowers…

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Snippets of Home

We’ve spent the last few months decorating and¬†I thought I’d share a few little snaps of some of my favourite finishing touches. We tried to make what was originally quite small, dark rooms¬†lighter and fresher with bright white paint and light oak flooring. We love mixing modern elements with more rustic, charming pieces, along with a few eclectic and bohemian touches to balance the brighter, white blank canvas.¬†I’m pretty sure you won’t find any interior magazines suggesting mixing ‘mermaid inspired’ aqua carpet with purple sofas, but I’m really pleased with how it tied together to make a unique, light space that really reflects our personalities.

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I also love that rustic, country cottage feel, but we didn’t want to make it ‘too country’ so only incorporated a few special pieces to mix into our modern home. I adore the gorgeous french grey painted dresser unit in the kitchen (which we purchased from the lovely couple at Country Chic who we follow on Instagram and Facebook) which matches perfectly with the french grey dining table and chairs. As you can see, I didn’t want to overload it with my Emma Bridgewater pottery collection, but incorporated some of my most treasured pieces like my Polka Dot Cat and the plaque which was a Birthday/House gift (the personalisation is an inside joke with the family), and mixed it with some more bohemian items like the turquoise buddha and glass vase.

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The living room is one of my favourite rooms in the house and is perfect for relaxing – it’s fresh, clean and modern while still remaining cosy and warm. We wrapped fairy lights around the staircase bannister which really add a lovely touch, especially at night when they’re more vivid. For Mr Ruby Wren’s Birthday, I purchased a gorgeous framed print from our local friends at Coulson Macleod. I’ve loved their work since we first met, back when both our businesses were starting out, and this ‘What is love’ print was perfect for the other half’s Birthday.

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