Friday 28 September 2012

Mi-Septembre Giveaway!

It's giveaway time at Modern Country Style today. Mi-Septembre are giving away two of these Classique pouches for YOU! One is right here via Modern Country Style, and the other over on Modern Country Style's Facebook page. Both competitions are open to Europe only. A winner will be announced in one week

These Classique pouches are stunningly presented, wrapped in delicate tissue with their own presentation box. Mi-Septembre have combined linen, cinnamon, star anise and the most delicious fragrance you can imagine. All the loveliness of Christmas plus a touch of autumn crispness is how I'd describe it. So scrumptious!

All you have to do to be entered into this competition is to 'Like' Mi-Septembre on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know.

{To be entered into the second competition, simply visit my Facebook page for details...}

Simples. Non?

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Wednesday 26 September 2012

Keep It Tidy Tip Number 2: Pretty Things Work Wonders

Two of our girls share a bedroom, so, as I explained hereI wanted to make their beds a special private space. After this post, I had lots of questions asking about the bedding we've used.

The bedding is from The White Company. We chose the Milly Quilt plus Pink Gingham duvet covers and Oxford pillow cases.

Now on with the Keep It Tidy Tip....

Something I've found pleasantly surprising with my littlies is that they respond fantastically well to the idea of having lovely things in their rooms once they've learnt to keep their space looking mostly presentable.

I make it clear that when they keep their bits and pieces tidy like big girls do {ahem} then...and only then....could they have the big-girls room they were asking for. worked a treat!

Not so much a bribe, rather an incentive, I like to think...

I find The White Company's bedding to be absolutely the best value for money. The quilts, in particular, are beautifully made. Plus they are machine washable, for any accidents that may come my way. 

{Didn't I say no felt tips in the bedroom? Gaaaaah!}

Speaking of very pretty things, 
there's a Modern Country Style giveaway 
from Mi-Septembre coming your way on Friday.....

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Monday 24 September 2012

Keep It Tidy Tip Number 1: Building Routines Into Family Life...

As anyone who's ever had to look after children will tell you, without tidying techniques the kiddiewinks will win the they-make-a-mess-and-you-tidy battle hands-down. I don't want to make out that our house is perfectly ordered at all times: it isn't....but I do want you to know that there are ways to make your life much easier when it comes to keeping on top of the messiness that family life, bags, dirty laundry, toys, books, games, wet towels......the list goes on and on, doesn't it?

Images via BBC

When we first started having children, I soon realised that, unless I wanted to spend my entire life either picking up after the family, or feeling miserable at the mess that might ensue if I didn't, I needed to make sure everyone got in on the act so that keeping our home shipshape became a family job. 

Image via Health

A key part of helping our family run smoothly is building in tidying routines. One of the spin-off benefits, aside from the security of the same-ness that routines build into our children's lives, is that it makes it much less stressful to keep on top of the mess that children seem to magically breed wherever they go.

So, my first tip for keeping on top of children's chaos is this:

Don't Try To Do It On Your Own

Get everyone to help as part of the daily, for example, when we have our evening meal together, I cook, and the others take it in turns to lay the table, clear the table, load the dishwasher and wipe the surfaces. It works so well, even littlies can get in on the act. When patterns are established for every day, there's never ever moaning. It just becomes part of their world, which makes your job MUCH easier....with more time for the best bits like cuddling and playing and baking and reading the full pleasures of Modern Country life.

Image via: Frugal Law Student

Think about stressful times of your day and see whether building in a routine could help, whether that's first thing after school or bath-time....and do let us know how you get on...

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Friday 21 September 2012

If you've ever had to tidy up after a child then this one's for you....

We can't possibly cover all the ins and outs of doing up our girls bedroom without talking about the nitty-gritty of keeping things looking pretty...once the camera turned off, I mean. Let's get real: most likely, those wellies have been entangled in the chandelier in an innocent game of catch, bringing the whole thing crashing down...

{don't tell me you can't see that happening...}

If only the toys that children leave around the house looked like this,
boots neatly paired, car parked just-so, 
there would be no need for 
super-tidying solutions.

But they don't so there is....

You should know that we have five children 
so when it comes to keeping mess at bay, 
I'm pretty much a pro!

Drop by next week and see 
the very best problem-solving tips I've found 
for keeping things ship-shape.

Image via: House to Home

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Wednesday 19 September 2012

Sheepskin Rugs and Throws: Eighties Throwback Or Tactile Heaven?

I'm not sure that's there's much in life that is more 
deliciously tactile than sheepskin.

Just look at these lovely images.
Don't they make you want to 
dive in head-first to the deep, shaggy pile?
To bury your face into the luxurious softness?

They did go through a rather sad phase of looking terribly dated but, huzzah!, they're back with a vengeance, looking as classic as ever but, the wonderful thing is, they're bigger and better than before.

You can buy sheepskin in a whole range of colours, either dyed or from rare breeds, which can give beautiful fleeces like these:

Sheepskin is so beautifully natural. 
It's an easy way to rock the rustic vibe.

If you're looking to add a little more Country to an otherwise Modern space, then sheepskin may just be the answer you're searching for.

And size-wise, the sky's the limit. 
Fleeces can be carefully sewn together to create one enormous sheepskin. 

There are loads of options too. Whether you use sheepskin as a rug...

a throw....

or simply as a cushion....'s a brilliant way to add natural texture to any room. 
And, what's more, they're relatively cheap too.

It's all good news today, my pumpkins.

Especially a certain girlie bedroom.....?

Images via: Strawberry Hills, Unknown, Design Loft, Kingdom of Style, Unknown, Domino, Speciality Linens, Ikea, Unknown, Emma's Blog, Occa-Home, The White Company, Unknown, Unknown

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Monday 17 September 2012

Ten Ways To Get Your Curtains Looking Fabulous

Here are my top ten tips for 
making sure your curtains look 
completely fabulous.

1. Choose the right material.
It was worth waiting to find the perfect fabric for our girls bedroom. Even if you have a fairly small window, like ours, the right curtains can make a real impact. We chose Cabbages and Roses Hatley in their pink colourway. It was love at first sight. From the moment the parcel arrived, wrapped in delicate tissue paper, to the final hanging of the curtains, Hatley is utterly Country, with this beautiful floral pattern, yet, because of its fairly sparse, monochrome design, utterly Modern all at the same time.

2. Before buying, hold material up to the light.
Don't be fooled by sample books. When your fabric is hanging up, light streaming through the window will change how it appears. You can see from the two photos below (first on an overcast day and the second with glorious sunshine) that this Cabbages and Roses fabric does change a little with sunlight, despite being lined and interlined.

3. Don't skimp on interlining.
Unless you want a deliberately floaty appearance to your curtains, it's absolutely worth forking out for good quality interlining. This is a layer of blanket-like material which is sandwiched between the main fabric and the lining. Interlining creates a feeling of additional richness and weight to the curtains that can't be imitated.

4. Choose lining colour carefully.
Although it may look beautiful from outside your window, if your lining is too bold, it may show through, affecting the appearance of the curtain fabric. Always, always test!

5. Pick good quality blackout lining for bedrooms.
Cheap-as-chips blackout lining is a false economy as it can start to peel, which looks ugly and stops its effectiveness. Not good!

6. Ensure the pattern matches across both curtains.
If your curtains are patterned, make sure the pattern falls at the same position on each curtain. A mis-match would look awful, of course, but a completely precise match is what to aim for.

7. Choose an appropriate header.
We've used a simple metal track here to prevent too much light getting in when the curtains are closed, as it keeps the curtain next to the wall, so we kept the pleat very simple too. This finish is called a pencil pleat but, if you want something fancier, there are plenty of options. In general, the grander the window, and the smarter the pole, the larger the header should be.

8. Add weights to corners.
Another trick for adding a feel of sumptuousness to your curtains is to add purpose-made weights to the corner of each curtain. These are sewn in, so aren't visible, but help the fabric to drape delightfully without pulling.

9. Check how the curtain will look when pushed back. 
Curtains spend as much of the time open as they do drawn so remember to see at how your fabric looks when it's fully pleated. In our girls bedroom, Cabbages and Roses Hatley still looks super-pretty when the girls draw the curtains in their bedroom each morning.

10. Tie in your fabric with the rest of the room.
In particular, ask yourself, 'how does it combine with the other soft furnishings?' and 'how does it combine with the walls?' There's no use having gorgeous fabric, if the rest of the room doesn't act as a foil to enhance its loveliness!

Have you checked out the Cabbages and Roses website? 
If you're looking for Modern Country fabric then you're in for a treat! 
Thoroughly recommended!

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Friday 14 September 2012

Our Girls' Bedroom: The Snuggly Beds

For our girls' bedroom, we decided on a gentle blend of florals in a restricted palette of white and pinks, which helps keep the chintzy look at arms length.
{though that's not to say that it can't look beautiful in some settings
....just not what I was after in this room}

We're also limited the florals to the soft furnishings:
The curtains. 
The quilts. 
The bunting. 
{How could there not be bunting?
This is Modern Country, after all. ;-)}

It's all very well showing beautiful images from glossy magazines but how do these ideas translate to real rooms with real children in real families?

The very happy answer is really rather well.
This is a look that feels homely and sweet and cosy 
- just right for my gorgeous girlies.

I began where I believe all bedrooms should start: 
the bed.
The delicious focal point of the room.

I wanted the girls' beds to be a real haven, 
somewhere they can flop with their cuddly toys 
and a good book and 
just forget about the cares of the day.

Somewhere that I can snuggle them down 
with a hot water bottle as the nights draw in....

but where a hot water bottle is never strictly necessary because the bed is 

And, let me tell you, the girls LOVE it,
which, to me, is the best test of all!

I'm linking with At The Picket Fence!

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