Wednesday, 24 April 2013

How to update your sofa | vintage reversible cushions

When Matt and I started browsing the web for potential flats, the first thing that would put me of a property was the sofas. I think it must be a pedantic pet peeve of mine... but we did spot some horrors i.e. bright red leather and corduroy.. a definite no-no. We struck pretty lucky with the sofa that was already in our new flat, it's really inoffensive - a grey and black two seater with matching cushions.

My mum offered to make us some covers and an extra long cushion out of some vintage fabric and some dark grey linen that matched the fabric on the sofa. Of course I said yes, I knew this would add some personality and life to this pretty dowdy piece of furniture.

I thought I'd show you what she made, they're a brilliant idea, you can reverse them for two different looks - so relaxed and effortless poofed up on the sofa. Enjoy...

This is side one with the vintage fabric, how pretty is this print? I love it because it's not at all twee or too girly, the greys, yellows and oranges work amazingly well together and the bright piping adds a contemporary touch. I think they have a real Scandinavian kinda' look to them. The cushion is a long rectangular shape that fits perfectly on our sofa, it's so comfy and slouchy, but also makes for a great floor cushion when guests pop round. 

When you flip the cushion over you have the dark grey linen that matches the sofa brilliantly. My mum also made two covers for the cushions that were already on the sofa, these too are in the linen with bright yellow piping. This darker side is for when Matt has beer and FIFA time, it's a lot more masculine, but easily accessorised with fancy cushions and throws. 

It just shows that dowdy old furniture can easily be spiced up and with cushions like these and you can chop and change as you please. I'll leave my mums email address here if you'd ever like to chat to her about having some made ( as they really are lovely pieces for the home. 

Do you guys have any ideas or tips for updating furniture? I'd love to know...


Thursday, 18 April 2013

Take a peak inside Llewelyn & Company | Hay-on-Wye

A couple of weekends ago I visited the quaint little Welsh town Hay-On-Wye. Many of you might know Hay for it's world famous book festival that's held every year. I've grown up visiting the town with my parents - memories of having giant bowls of homemade soup at The Granary and itching to have a look in the bear shop fill me with fondness. Add a few years on, I'm now itching to browse in the wacky antique shops and the unique independent stores.

One of my favourite shops is located in the centre, it's painted a dreamy duck egg blue and goes by the name Llewelyn & Co. The store is beautifully merchandised with antique French, Scandinavian and British furniture, filled with cute trinkets and home wares that you cant help but want to take home with you. The lovely owners so kindly let me take photos in their shop to show you guys. So enjoy taking a peak...

I could easily list about fifty things I'd like from these photos, everything is so cleverly and beautifully presented and even if you're not looking to buy anything, it's such an inspiring shop to browse around for quirky ideas and tips. 

Llewelyn & Co have a lovely website where they sell some truly amazing pieces, so definitely have a look here and if you're around the area take a look inside the shop, the owners are really sweet and humble, it really is just a lovely experience in which you undoubtably won't come out empty handed!

Have you ever been to Hay? and let me know if you've looked on their website, I'd love to know...


Sunday, 14 April 2013

Spring essentials...

Spring is a little absent here in the UK, however I'm still stocking up on bits and pieces for when it decides to arrive. Here's a few of my favourites...

This is possibly my favourite candle of all time and shock horror it's lavender. I bought it last spring and completely fell in love with the musky floral scent, luckily I got given another for Christmas so am saving it for a warm spring day. I'll leave the link here to the Voluspa website, where you can buy one of these, they have lots of different sizes and packaging to suit your taste. I personally love this pretty jar, it'll make a perfect make up brush holder when it's fully burnt too...

Moroccan oil for me is an essential all year round, but especially in the spring as the weather heats up. This gorgeous bottle of pure Moroccan oil was brought back from the place itself by my parents. I use mine mainly on the ends of my hair when it's getting a little dry and also to dose my cuticles when I'm having a home mani. It's super nourishing and leaves wherever you apply it feeling like cashmere. You don't have to trek all the way to Morocco to get your hands on some, you can easily pick it up on the high street.

It's nice to switch to a fresher fragrance for the spring and summer, my go to is Diptyques Do Son. I can't tell you enough how much I love this scent, it's so subtle, elegant and refreshing with a lovely mix of floral and beachy tones. Spot on for this season. Have a nosey on the Diptyque website here, it's super luxurious and makes me want to buy them all!

No spring essentials list is complete without a nail polish, right? This pretty off peppermint shade is from Primark, it caught my eye and was cheap as chips, so I thought I'd give it a go. I have only got good things to say about this polish, it goes on perfectly with 2 coats and leaves the loveliest spring time shade on your nails for a good 4 - 5 days with minimal chipping. If you're a bit of an ESSIE freak like me, this polish is a definite dupe for "mint candy apple" but a smidge of the price. 

Like any true Brit I'm a tea addict, I go through bags like there's no tomorrow. I'm on a bit of a health kick at the moment though and find tea quite heavy with all the milk I add, so as an alternative I've been sipping on this Lemon, Ginger and Ginseng tea from Marks and Spencers. I'm not a huge flavoured tea fan, but this is an exception and perfect for the warmer weather. It's super soothing, relaxing and a little bit zesty. Can I also add, how adorable is the packaging! 

What are your spring essentials? Id love to know...


Sunday, 7 April 2013

My lavender lust | Welsh Lavender

I love everything about the scent of fresh lavender, it's homely, fresh and soothing. If you've been following my blog for a while, you may remember a little post I wrote about my lavender basket and how much I adore it, since then I've fuelled my lust for the fragrance with countless candles, oils and I'm always on the hunt for natural, organic products that use lavender - today was my day. I stumbled across a company called Welsh Lavender, I thought I'd share with you the lovely products I bought...

The first product I found was this "farmers hand cream" - what originally attracted me was the packaging, I love the simplicity of it, so up my street. The cream itself almost has almost a whipped consistency that blends seamlessly into your hands leaving a subtle lavender scent that to me has a twist of mint. Like it says on the tin, the cream is for "hard working hands" so it's naturally really rich and nourishing - a perfect piece to pop by the kitchen sink. 

I'm a bit of a lip balm fiend, so I couldn't leave without the "farmers lip balm". Again, the packaging is so me, it'll look perfect sat on my bedside table for an urgent lip SOS. Like the hand cream, the lip balm has a fresh lavender scent, this time with a refreshing citrus tint. It's feels perfectly nutritious on the lips and would make a great base for lipstick.

All their products are handmade in Wales and as a Cardiff resident I think it's great to support local brands and businesses, especially when they're as lovely as this one. Check out the website here and have a read of their story, very interesting and some lovely photos in the gallery, I'm sure you guys will love them. 


Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Waiting for summer...

Yesterday was the first day for a couple of weeks that it wasn't bitterly cold - here in the UK you have to make the most of these kinda' days, as they don't seem to come around too often. I'm not really a summer girl. Don't get my wrong I enjoy it, I just prefer the Autumn months, but recently I've been craving the sun and any bright colour I can get my hands on (hence my neon scarf). That's why I love these photos from yesterday's late afternoon trip to Penarth, it gives me faith that the summer is soon to come. 

What's Spring time like where you live?