Category Archives: Interiors

We’ve moved house!

Our new house: scandi midcentury style

We did it! Last week we moved to our dream home. It’s been almost a year in the making, with plenty of indecision and disappointments along the way. I’m so happy and relieved to say that we’re finally in.

After weeks and weeks of packing and sorting, moving day arrived. It was hard work, but the whole process was made much easier by using a removals company. We still did most of the packing, but knowing someone else was doing all the heavy lifting was such a relief.

Our new house: scandi midcentury style

We waved goodbye to the cats for a couple of days, took the boys to school and then closed the front door of our terraced house for the last time. It had been our home for the last seven years,  and what busy years they were! The boys grew from babies to toddlers, and so much life has happened within those four walls. But despite all that, none of us felt particularly sad. All four of us have been wanting a change for a while. As one door shut, another one opened. We’re ready for the next chapter of our lives.

Our new house: scandi midcentury style

Our new house itself couldn’t be more different to our old home. It’s a brand new, detached house. While it’s built in a traditional style, the inside is very light, bright and modern. All the things we’ve been craving. It’s in a different bit of town, but there’s no need to change schools or anything drastic. It’s nice to explore new streets, but everything we love about Ely is still within easy reach.

Our new house: scandi midcentury style

Currently, we’ve mainly living in the huge kitchen/dining/living space. There is a separate sitting room too, which I’m planning on setting up as a cosy den for watching TV or reading. Upstairs there are two more floors – including our attic bedroom and bathroom.

We’ve been here a week and it is wonderful living in a modern house. The space flows and we don’t all get on top of each other. There’s more than one toilet! Four, to be precise. And the kitchen is a dream.

Our new house: scandi midcentury style

I love old houses, but it’s so refreshing to have a completely blank canvas. In our previous two homes (both period terraces) the space was defined by original features like fireplaces and alcoves. I loved these, but it’s very liberating to not have whole layout of a room dictated by these focal points. You might think it’d be characterless, but we’re actually finding it’s the opposite. All the furniture, pictures and books we’ve collected over the years have already lent it lots of warmth and personality. It has started to feel us very quickly. More so than I ever remember happening before with any other house move.

Our new house: scandi midcentury style

These photos are just a hint of how things look. There are still lots of cardboard boxes everywhere, but I wanted to invite you in for that virtual cup of coffee and a mini-tour. I hope you enjoyed it and I can’t wait to show you more.

Our new house: scandi midcentury style


Easy ways make your home calm and cosy this autumn

How to create a calm and cosy home this autumn

Every new season makes me look at my home through new eyes. My home style changes according to the time of year. In summer, I love to create a sense of space and light, keeping the garden and house as connected as possible. Come autumn, I like to retreat indoors and turn my home into a cosy retreat.

I want things to feel warm and welcoming, but also calm and tidy. Now is the perfect time to make some small changes before the really cold weather arrives. As well as doing the obvious things like servicing your boiler, there’s are lots of simple little ideas we can all try…

First up, have a good clean and de-clutter. Do this now and it’ll last you till Christmas. Hoover the sofas, clean out the space under the stairs, sort out your clothes…you know the drill. The kind of jobs that don’t need doing very often, but really make a difference.

Eliminate draughts. Unless you live in a brand-new house, it’s likely you’ll have a few draughts in your home. The worst offenders in our house are the letter box in the front door, the bay window and the gaps under the doors. We’ve resorted to stuffing socks in the letterbox when it’s really cold, but a more sensible solution is a letterbox draught strip. You can get the same thing to fit on the bottom of your doors too – or try creating your own DIY excluder by stuffing an old pair of tights with newspaper.

How to create a calm and cosy home this autumn

Plenty of blankets. I’m a big fan of wool blankets and fleecy faux-sheepskins. We try not to switch on our central heating until the end of October when the weather really changes. Cuddling up on the sofa with a blanket is so much more economical than heating your entire house for the occasional chilly evening. Add a hot water bottle for an extra boost.

Order logs and get your chimney swept. If you have a wood burner, or an open fire, then now is a great time to check everything is in good working order. It’s important for safety, but it’s also a nice little ritual that’ll get you in the mood for the cosy evenings ahead. If you don’t have a wood burner or open fire already, then now is definitely a great time to think about having one installed. Even a small solid fuel stove pumps out an impressive amount of heat!

Think about pests. As the weather gets colder outside and we switch on our central heating, you’re more likely to get unwelcome visitors like mice and clothes moths in the house. We don’t want them spoiling our cosy evenings, do we? Hang some lavender bags in your wardrobe to deter clothes moths, and stock up on a few mousetraps in case you need them later.

Organise your hats and scarves. Keep your collection of gloves and winter woolies organised with some new hooks. I love to hang little baskets from our hooks to keep all the odd pairs of gloves and mitten organised. If you’re short on space, then try hanging simple hat and coat hooks on the back of doors. Under the stairs is a great spot!

What are your top tips for getting organised for the colder weather? Let me know in the comments! 

This was a collaboration with C&W Berry.




My spring interiors edit – with Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury Home Cushions

Beautiful homewares with my weekly shop? Yes please, Sainsbury’s. Every time I’m there doing my shopping something catches my eye. They’ve got all the bases covered – whether you’re kitting out your first home, looking for the latest interiors trends or just popping a nice scented candle in your trolley. 

With spring in the air I’ve been itching to give my sitting room a seasonal update. Luckily it’s fairly easy to ring the changes without doing anything drastic. Accessories are key. We can’t all change our furniture and sofas every year, but we can pick up little pieces which will instantly update our homes.

Sainsbury's Home faux succulents

At Sainsbury’s these accessories are beautifully designed, affordable and as easy to buy as a bag of doughnuts.

I like to start a seasonal update with cushions and throws. I’m always drawn to neutral greys and mustard yellows, so the Helsinki collection was exactly what I was looking for.

Sainsbury's home Helsinki cushions

I chose a large grey cushion, a throw and a smaller crewel-work cushion. I love the unexpected pop of navy.

Sainsbury's home Helsinki cushions

Once I’ve updated my cushions and throws, I like to look for a few on-trend decorative accessories to instantly update the feel of my room. This trio of faux succulents in concrete-effect pots are a brilliantly low-maintenance way to tap into the trend for houseplants and greenery. They look amazingly realistic!

Sainsbury's Home faux succulents

I don’t own any large vases. I tend to use jugs and jam jars, so there was a real gap in my home for a proper, grown-up vase. This bowl shaped vase feels so sophisticated. All for £6.

Sainsbury's glass bowl vase

Small changes, big difference. And all as easy as pie. 

Thank you to Sainsbury’s for gifting me the items mentioned in this post. Where possible I have linked to products online, but all are available in store now.

Three things I’m loving this week

Heather McLennan Cushion from Contempo Stirling

Well hello! Things have been a bit quiet around here thanks to a combination of half-term and flu. But I’m pleased to say I’m back – and I have some lovely things to share with you this week…

Heather McLennan Cushion from Contempo Stirling

A beautifully Scottish cushion… I live in flat Fenland which is a very long way from the rugged beauty to be found north of the border. So I was delighted when Contempo got in touch asking me if I’d like to try one of their gorgeous cushions featuring the designs of Heather McLennan. The jewel-bright colours are simply stunning – it’s a little bit of Scotland in my sitting room. And, even more excitingly, it’s made from sumptuous vegan suede which feels so luxurious! Click here to view the full range of Heather’s cushions, which are available exclusively online from Contempo, an independent shop in Stirling.

Heather McLennan Cushion from Contempo Stirling

Cold cures have also been on my mind this week… I put out a plea for remedies on my social media and received so many replies. Top of the list were the traditional hot lemon, ginger and honey – plus a rather more exciting beetroot and ginger smoothie. I’m officially sick of germs so I’m hoping that drinking my body weight in the above will see me through to the spring.

Cold remedies and Oh Comely magazine

Spring blooms to beat the decidedly un-springlike weather… The weather has been gross this week – we’re talking non-stock mizzling drizzle. You’ve got to find comfort where you can. For me that’s a carpet of purple blooms on the first sunny day in at least a hundred years.

Purple spring blooms

A big thank you to Contempo Stirling who sponsored this post. Ongoing support from lovely brands big and small makes this blog possible. 


A Very British Hygge

What to look for in winter ladybird book

Hygge is the Danish concept of cosiness. It’s that feeling you get when you find warmth and shelter on a cold day. It’s about closing the curtains on a dreary evening, lighting your candles and burrowing into your favourite blanket. Or spending the afternoon curled by the fire with a new book.

Technically, you’re supposed to pronounce it ‘hue-guh’ – although I’m sure I’m not alone in stubbornly referring to it as ‘higgy’ in the comfort of my own head.

The wind in the willows

The concept of hygge has taken Britain by storm – but I have to confess that I’ve always felt a bit annoyed by it.  Since when do we need lessons from the Danes in how to be cosy? Surely the whole idea of an Englishman and his castle is the very epitome of hygge?

Yes and no

Retreating to your castle and pulling up the drawbridge behind you isn’t exactly a cheerful thought it is? Just look at Brexit. The Danes are the happiest nation on earth. The British are not. Hygge is a big part of that.

Hygge isn’t just about battening down the hatches against the storm, it’s about relishing the warmth and vitality to be found in our hearts – whatever the weather.

A Very British Hygge by Simon Sinclair

Which is where A Very British Hygge by Simon Sinclair fits in. It’s a little book published by Everest, full of clever little reminders that it’s easier than you think to be more hygge…

De-clutter. Let your home tell your story by giving it a chance to breathe. Ask yourself if that dusty pile of magazines or pile of odd socks brings you joy. If the answer’s no, then get rid of them. Your home will feel lighter, and so will you.

…but remember to be kind to yourself. The concept of hygge isn’t about creating a scandi-inspired show home.  Perfection doesn’t guarantee happiness. Accept your home’s limitations – and your own too while you’re at it. Hygge is all about making the best of things.

Make your home comfortable and warm. This isn’t just about cushions and fairy lights, it’s about looking after the practical things. Double-glazed windows, decently fitted doors and insulation – they’re the building blocks you need to create a cosy home.

Be sociable. Don’t shut yourself away just because the weather’s lousy. Our homes come to life when we invite others in. Have friends round for a simple supper, or gather all the family in the sitting room to play a board-game.

Plum & Ashby candle

Make the most of light. When we think about embracing hygge we tend to think imagine candles and lamp light – the epitome of cosiness. But don’t forget to make the most of the natural light you do have. Adding a conservatory or a skylight to your home is a great way to enjoy the sun all year round. Or try putting your favourite armchair next to a bright window. Find the time to sit down there with a cup of tea as often as you can.

How do you get a sense of hygge in your home? I’d love to know. For more information on all things Hygge and to download a free copy of Simon’s book click here. 

This post was a paid commission by Everest.

Home Notes for January

Home notes in January

January is a classic time for re-think your home. Maybe someone bought you a trendy book on de-cluttering for Christmas. Or perhaps clearing away the Christmas decorations has inspired a new-found minimalism. Whatever the reason, a new year is a great time to clear up, clear out and find bold new inspiration.

I’m starting with de-cluttering. We’ve donated bag and bags of things to charity, and I’m not missing all the things I packed away to make room for the Christmas decorations. I’m going to think long and hard about how many of my supposedly precious possessions I really need to keep.

White hyacinths

I’m filling my tidier rooms with fresh blooms and indoor bulbs. White hyacinths are my favourites – although I can’t stand their cloying scent. I can live with the smell though, as I love the classic purity of them. Try removing them from the soil and putting in jam jars around your home. They just need a little water for their roots.

White hyacinths

Tulips seem to be around really early this year. And I’m happy to snap up armfuls of these pastel-coloured beauties. They’ve got to be one of the most cheerful blooms on the planet.

Yellow tulips

I’m also on the look out for new houseplants to add to my collection. Creating an indoor jungle is still very much a thing in 2018, and is part of the larger trend for maximalism.

Image: IKEA

Maximalism? Weren’t we just talking about minimalism? Well, yes, but 2018 is also the going to be another year for big, bold designs – think clashing wallpapers, palm-print chairs and dark indigo walls. To embrace this style, I think you need to first take a minimalist approach and thin out your possessions. That way, you can embrace statement designs without your home feeling like a chaotic mis-match.

What’s caught my eye?

I’d love some armchairs in bold colours and interesting designs. I don’t have any space in my current house, but if I lived somewhere bigger I’d create a reading are with bookshelves and a couple of quirky armchairs. These two from IKEA very much fit the bill.

IKEA armchairs

Yellow chair, £179, IKEA / Rocking chair, £150, IKEA

Antique shops are also a great place to find interesting designs. A great thing to look for are chests and blanket boxes. I’m always staggered by how expensive new versions of these cost on the high street. Buy a vintage one and you’ll get something that’s solid and full of character. I stumbled across this chest recently for £100 in a local antiques centre and I was very tempted.

Antique chest

What are you planning for your home this year?

5 reasons you should keep your fairy lights up all winter

5 Reasons you should keep your fairy lights up all winter

Christmas has come to an end. But we don’t have to banish al the glitter and light from our homes just when we need it most. Here’s 5 reasons why it’s absolutely ok to keep your fairy lights up all winter. 

It’s natural to crave light. Why deny yourself this simple pleasure? There’s a sense of joy and hopefulness in a string of fairy lights, whatever the time of year.

Dull corner of your home? Fill it with fairy lights. Or more specifically, jam jars and vases full of battery-powered lights. These cheery pools of light will warm up even the dreariest room.

Create a little ritual. Christmas is full of these – coming home and switching on your tree lights is such a soothing thing. You might not have your tree anymore, but you can still continue this ritual in January. Get home, and switch on your strings of fairy lights straight away – it’s balm for the soul on dark winter days.

Twinkly white lights perfectly compliment the freshness of green shoots, indoor bulbs and fresh new flowers. Arrange fairy lights behind a vase of flowers to make it glow.

And finally, because it’s the perfect way to start the year as you mean to go on. Don’t be apologetic or try to please others. Put two fingers up at Winter. If you want to keep up your fairy lights until Spring, then do it.

5 Reasons you should keep your fairy lights up all winter

Home Notes for November

Home Notes for November

The nights are dark and the heating’s on – it’s time to hibernate. Hygge, cosy – call it what you like. November calls for comfort and warmth. 

I’m slowly adding lots of comforting touches to my home. Candles are hugely important and lighting them in the evening is a nice little ritual. This woodland animal candle by Sainsbury’s is very pretty.

Sainsbury's woodland animal candle

I’ve also stocked up on this set of three robin candles which have a light, festive scent. Once they’re burnt out, I’ll use them for tea lights. You can split the set up and use for secret Santa or teacher presents come Christmas.

Robin candles by Sainsbury's

Once upon a time, I only bought plain white bed linen. Then I discovered the inexpensive designs by George Home. They’re an affordable way to give your bedroom a seasonal update – and, considering the price, they feel surprisingly good. This year, I’ve chosen this Scandi-inspired wintry set.

Scandi inspired winter bedding by George Home

I love choosing seasonal flowers. This month I’m buying a lot of eucalyptus. Its subtle colour and elegant leaves not only look beautiful, they also smell amazing. Arrange a big bunch in a jar…

Big bunch of Eucalyptus

Or mix in with other flowers for smaller displays…

Carnations and eucalyptus

What else am I loving this month? Dunelm currently has some beautiful – but affordable – homewares. Here are my favourites…

Dunelm A/W17

Hare bedding, £25-£33 / Oak Leaf cushion, £18 / Set of four woodland plates, £10 / Gorse cushion, £14

What does your home look like in November?

Home Etc

Home Notes for September

Home Notes for September

A change in the seasons always makes me want to spruce up my house. I like to add little seasonal touches, but also to shift things around and continue my never-ending mission to declutter our lives. September is such an inspiring time and I’ve been focusing on creating a nurturing sense of warmth and comfort – plus, creating inspiring new work spaces for the whole family.

Home Notes for September

We’ve bought the boys new desks for their bedrooms, which means that our old crafting table has now become our kitchen table. The space the craft table occupied by the window has become a cosy seating area.

Home Notes for September

I’ve been dreaming of beautiful scandi-style chairs for a while, and, in a moment of inspiration, I remembered the Poang chair I’d banished to the loft about five years ago. I’m glad I kept it as it fills the space perfectly, and I’d forgotten just how comfortable it was. It used be the nursing chair when the boys were babies, and it’s a bit grubby, so I’ve added a new sheepskin and throws to pretty it up.

Home Notes for September

We’ve also added a small footstool by Maison du Monde (love their stuff!) which at £35.99 was a fantastically affordable way to get the scandi-look I wanted, on a budget. A new IKEA floor lamp and a side table from Aldi complete the look. It is now everyone’s favourite corner of the house and I’m constantly competing with cats and small boys as to who gets the honour of sitting there.

Pearson's of Chesterfield pots

Another favourite find this month is a trio of retro stoneware pots by Pearson’s of Chesterfield. I guess they’re from the seventies and I love the designs on them. They’re perfect for a baby spider plant or a bunch of autumn blooms. I picked mine up for £1 each from a charity stall, but there are lots on eBay too.

What else have I spotted lately?

I really love the new cosy cushion collection at White Stuff. This is my favourite.

Plum cushion by White Stuff

I have also just discovered the wonderful work of Brie Harrison. This dahlia print is particularly lovely.

Have you made any changes to your house this month? Or a favourite find? I’d love to hear about it! 


Home Notes for July

Garden flowers

Regular readers will know that I don’t live in a show home. Far from it. Our period terrace is rough round the edges – it has pretty corners, but it also has very grubby corners. I struggle to take photos of it in its entirety. Because of that, I’m not always the best interiors blogger. However, I do love my home and every month I like to share what we’ve been up to and what’s on my interiors radar. It’s my little bit of imperfect perfection.

Home Notes for July: the bloggers desk

This month I’ve been enjoying curating the space I work in. My clever husband read last month’s Home Notes post and bought me this Jacqueline Colley screen print for my birthday. It now sits above my desk and I love looking up at it while I work.

Home notes for July: Jacqueline Colley screen print

We’re also gradually filling our newly painted hall with new pictures. Another clever birthday present from my husband, is this framed vintage tea-towel. We’ve had it for years and have always talked about having it framed. Finally, it’s up!

Fresh Milk's Gotta Lotta Bottle tea towel

Another favourite this month is this beautifully scented candle by Arum London. I really love candles on summer evenings – lighting them feels very therapeutic. The luxurious combination of jasmine and mint is perfect for summer – even when it’s not lit it fills the room with its gorgeous scent.

Arum London Jasmine and Mint candle

My garden is blooming (as are the weeds) and there’s an abundance of lovely flowers to bring in the house. Picking them and arranging them is one of life’s simple pleasures. I love this little banner from Weald Store, which sits beautifully alongside my posies.

Home Notes for July: garden flowers

So, what am I longing for? Top of the list is a freshly painted bedroom. I’m also edging closer to buying some much-needed kitchen chairs to replace our old ones (which are permanently sticky and stained after the toddler years). These Habitat chairs are my currently at the top of my list.

Habitat dining chairs

Disclosure: Arum London kindly sent me a complimentary candle of my choice.