Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Ten Country Christmas Hallway Ideas

Aaaah, Country Christmas hallways, I LOVE YOU! The decorations are going up in our home. Day by day, every room is getting more and more Christmassy. Bliss!! Now, I've had lots of questions over the years about how best to decorate your hall at this festive time of year. 

So here are a super-fantastic 
Ten Country Christmas Hallway Decoration ideas....

Ten Country Christmas Hallway Ideas

Ten Country Christmas Hallway Ideas

Ten Country Christmas Hallway Ideas

Ten Country Christmas Hallway Ideas

Ten Country Christmas Hallway Ideas

Ten Country Christmas Hallway Ideas

Ten Country Christmas Hallway Ideas

Ten Country Christmas Hallway Ideas

Ten Country Christmas Hallway Ideas

Ten Country Christmas Hallway Ideas

What are you waiting for? Get into your Country style hallway and make it Christmassy!! 


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Thursday, 1 December 2016

Top Ten Nordic / Scandinavian Christmas Hallway Ideas

It's the first day of December! Christmas is coming!!
So I thought we'd kick off this most joyful of seasons with some gorgeous Scandinavian-inspired Christmas hallways.

Don't you love to walk into a lovely festive hallway, to be greeted by Christmas sights and sounds and smells from the moment the front door is opened, and these, my Top Ten Christmas Nordic Hallways do just that....

Top Ten Nordic / Scandinavian Christmas Hallway Ideas

Top Ten Nordic / Scandinavian Christmas Hallway Ideas

Top Ten Nordic / Scandinavian Christmas Hallway Ideas

Top Ten Nordic / Scandinavian Christmas Hallway Ideas

Top Ten Nordic / Scandinavian Christmas Hallway Ideas

Top Ten Nordic / Scandinavian Christmas Hallway Ideas

Top Ten Nordic / Scandinavian Christmas Hallway Ideas

Top Ten Nordic / Scandinavian Christmas Hallway Ideas

Top Ten Nordic / Scandinavian Christmas Hallway Ideas

Top Ten Nordic / Scandinavian Christmas Hallway Ideas

Is this Scandinavian Christmas look your hallway cup of tea (or should that be mulled wine?!)?
Or do you like your Christmas hallways with a little more colours?

Then you'll love what I'm about to share...


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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Book Review: The Garden Source by Andrea Jones

I first came across The Garden Source by Andrea Jones in a local bookshop and I seriously struggled to put it down! 


This book is a little different from anything else I've seen (and much the better for it!) so let me try to explain...


The Garden Source (published by eightbooks) is divided into four sections, which is each further subdived:

Connect: Lawns, Gates, Steps, Sightlines...
Divide: Walls, Seating, Pots, Trees...
Space: Rural, Small, Walled, Vegetable...
Style: Country, Formal, Contemporary, Rose....

The Garden Source: Inspirational Design Ideas for Gardens and Landscapes: Andrea Jones, James van Sweden: 9780847837595: Amazon.com: Books:

Each of the sections is basically gorgeous photos after gorgeous photo but by curating them in this way it's so easy to find bountiful inspiration and to search very specifically.

The Garden Source: Inspirational Design Ideas for Gardens and Landscapes: Andrea Jones, James van Sweden: 9780847837595: Amazon.com: Books:

It's a little like the Pinterest board of all the best gardens in the world, with each image carefully described, all collected in one stunning place, and in glorious book form!

The Garden Source: Inspirational Design Ideas for Gardens and Landscapes: Andrea Jones, James van Sweden: 9780847837595: Amazon.com: Books:

Andrea Jones is one of the world's foremost garden photographers and seen thousands of different gardens to be able to draw ideas from. The Garden Source is a wonderful sneak peek into the crevices of her beautifully organised archives.


The Garden Source is currently taking pride of place on my pile of bedside books, and I know it'll be one of my go-to book for years to come.

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Thursday, 24 November 2016

Book Review: Tanya Bakes by YouTuber Tanya Burr

It's that time of year when, not only am I buying, buying, buying for friends and family's Christmas presents but I'm also, rather sneakily, adding ideas to my own wish list, leaving a trails of hints which get more and more obvious as time goes by! 


So when I came across Tanya Bakes (by super-YouTuber Tanya Burr) it made me think that I should share it with you in time for you to add it to your Christmas list!


Tanya Bakes, as you can imagine, is choc-full (pardon the pun!) of gorgeous photography, perfect staging and clever words but is it worth the cover price? On a word, yes!! Every page exudes warmth, gentle humour and that zeitgeisty word hygge (the Danish word for the ritual of enjoying simple pleasures).


The book is spilt into 8 chapters, Cookies and Biscuits, Muffins, Cupcakes & Tray bakes, Cakes & Loaves, Puddings, Pastry, Bread, Brunch and Special Occasions.

TanyaBakes2200

And, oh my goodness, this book contains recipe after recipe that you will want to dive straight into the moment you turn each crisp, glossy page. With names like the Ultimate Celebration Cake, Chocolate Orange Cheesecake, Kate's Mum's Lemon Slices and Salted Caramel Brownies, your only problem will be which to tackle first.

TanyaBakes2200

Tanya's little preambles will boost your confidence no end, making you feel as though you too can conquer the world! She has a knack of spanning the bridge between celebrity and ordinary girl-next door.

{It should definitely be mentioned that there are mistakes in this book but Penguin here are at pains to say that these aren't a reflection on Tanya and offer to replace any copies that contain errors.}

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Thursday, 17 November 2016

How To Get GORGEOUS Original Floorboards With Osmo Polyx-Oil Terra And Clear Satin

We've taken a short break from the family room (more on that shortly) to begin work on one of our girl's bedrooms. There were bare floorboards in this room but they were (hurrah!) in pretty good condition but needed a lot of work in the looks department.


The dirt and grime that builds up on floorboards over years and years and years is not scrubbable offable (Oh, how I wish it was!!) so we hired a sander but if you're in the same boat as us, and I know many of you are, then please listen carefully. To keep the character of your floorboards in tact, go easy on the sanding. You don't under any circumstances whatsoever want to remove the beautiful patina that has taken, in our case, hundreds of years to build up.

You see, older floorboards usually end up with a bow shape, rather than being flat and smooth like new boards. If you sand this shape away then you'll also be sanding away what makes your floorboards unique. Sand away the top point of this bow, by all means, but leave the overall shape in place. The beauty of the floorboards won't show at this point but, if you follow my instructions, all will become clear....

One of the biggest challenges you'll face is finding a suitable, hard-wearing finish in a NON-ORANGE shade!! I was hoping for the final colour to reflect the gorgeous old age of the floorboards, rather than the feel of newly installed cheap pine, which SOOOOO many of options we looked at had until, until, UNTIL....we stumbled upon Osmo Polyx-Oil in Terra.


Below is an image of four different finishes we tested. Osmo Polyx-Oil in Terra is the shade on the top left. Can you see how it has highlighted the grain in a darker shade? It's this feature that had me totally sold!


I started off applying the Polyx Oil (which is described as an oil-wax combination but goes on as easily as a varnish) with a brush but ended up using a sponge to get the precise application I was after.


After applying one coat of the Osmo Terra Polyx Oil, we were left with this....

(Can you see how the colour clings more to the unsanded areas? This is what will give you gorgeous colour variation in your end product.)

The next day, we applied a oat of Osmo Polyx Oil in Clear Satin. This is available in more shiny or less shiny versions but this is my favourite look! - I wanted it to feel as though we'd managed to find genuinely old period floorboards in incredible condition and Clear Satin gives that look. 


The Osmo Poly-Oil in Clear Satin was, again, easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy to apply and enhances the colour of the Terra brilliantly, adding a rich, mellow warmth. Simply give your brush a good dip in the tin....

Wipe it one way across the floorboards and then the other way to spread off the excess on both sides, like this:


...and then go over that area with your brush, backwards and forwards, to give a thorough, even coverage. This is not rocket science but will reward you with arm muscles the like of which you've never seen!!

While it's drying, the Osmo Polyx-Oil looks pretty glossy but panic not!...that gorgeous Clear Satin finish will emerge, like a butterfly from its chrysalis!

Yes, my Modern Country friends, your caterpillar floors are in for a transformational treat!!

This is the second room we've used this combination of Osmo Poly Oil in Terra, followed by Clear Satin, and I'd use it again in a flash!

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