All posts tagged: Home

Best of portable speakers: six stylish speakers that will fit right into your home

Best of… Portable speakers

Today I’m going all techy on you and talking about portable speakers. Gone are the days when you might buy a hefty, ugly sound system that would take up a corner of the living room and never move. Today, consumers want to be able to play music that seamlessly moves from room to room and doesn’t take up a whole lot of space. And for most of us, ideally without splurging out on a high-tech surround sound system and breaking the bank. That’s where portable speakers come in: they’re neat, compact and stylish, without compromising on style or sound. In our house, I listen to a lot of Classic FM (yep, I’m 28, no sniggers please) as I work in the spare room or go about my morning routine, while my boyfriend Olivier might want to play something on Spotify in the kitchen or living room. We have a UE Boom bluetooth speaker, which is so light and easy to carry around up and down the stairs, and produces sound at the click of a button. We’ve taken it away with …

The new house: BEFORE

The new house: BEFORE

You’ve had a sneak peek of the outside of our new house in south London, this time I want to show you the inside, before we get to carried away with renovations and forget to share the before shots! I’ve been sharing a few sneak peeks on Instagram and Snapchat but here I want to show you the exciting plans we want to carry out. Our new home is an early 20th-century terraced house near Brixton that has been subjected to various – I would say naff – additions and decorative choices by previous owners that are not in keeping with the period of the property. Our plan is to restore it to its former glory, strip back the horrible, ugly Seventies and Eighties features and bring back a little bit of its character. I’ve been eagerly watching George Clarke’s Old House New Home on Channel 4, where he helps homeowners transform their tired old homes into modern interiors. Like the homes on the show, I want to tear out terrible taste and make the most of the home’s history, while …

Make an entrance: improving your home’s kerb appeal

When moving house and looking to buy a property, first impressions are everything. We’ve just moved into a new house near Brixton in leafy south London (very exciting!), a big change for us from a 2-bed flat in the hustle and bustle of King’s Cross. It wasn’t quite love at first site for us though – this house was let down by its poor kerb appeal. We were initially put off by its uPVC windows, flimsy plastic door and thickly textured grey facade (the rest on the row are brick), yuck, yuck, yuck – it was only when we went inside and visited a second time that we started to see its potential. Unlived-in for months and looking tired, it just needed a bit of love and care. As with many things, looks can be deceiving and with just a few small changes, I believe we can gradually begin to bring this house back to life and restore it to its former glory. When B&Q approached me for their ‘Make an Entrance’ appeal, encouraging people to get …

I wish I lived here: a home with shades of beige

I wish I lived here: a home with shades of beige

People say beige is boring but it’s far from it in this beautifully peaceful Gothenburg home, the latest in my ‘I wish I lived here’ series. Regulars to the blog will know I love a bit of grey, but with so much of it around and in danger of getting overused, it’s nice to see a slight variation on the usual tones and shades – whether it’s a deep ochre, a natural khaki or dusty chestnut shade. I love how the owner has used a different tone of grey or beige in each room to delineate living, eating and sleeping areas. The effect really comes into its own when one room is viewed from another; the open doorways connect the different coloured spaces and make the apartment appear bigger than if it was all painted in the same colour. It almost looks as if the series of rooms could just keep on going, a clever trick to use if you have knocked through a wall to create two spaces or have a dining room connected to …

Home is better with U, making a house a home with Urbanara

Home is better with U, with Urbanara

What makes a house a home? I’ve often found myself wondering over this question during the course of writing my blog. For me, an interior is more than just a statement or pretty display frozen in time, they’re places that should be designed around how we live not just how we want it to look. In my mind, to make a house a home you need to concentrate on how a space feels to be in. A home is a space full of life in all its mess, full of things that tell your story and people to share it with. I recently saw an exhibition on the American designer Alexander Girard at the Vitra Design Museum in Basel, he designed interiors as stage sets for everyday living; he saw them as constantly changing works in progress that could adapt and grow over time. Unusually for a designer, he would keep in touch with clients for 10, 20, 30 years after a project, advising them on small changes and even helping to swap round the colour of the cushions every season. …

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My home on Apartment Therapy

I’m very excited. Late last year lovely photographer Cathy Pyle came to photograph my humble abode and now you can see the full tour around my ‘serene and bright Bloomsbury apartment’ on interiors website Apartment Therapy! It was a cold, bright November day and the sun was streaming in, Cathy did such a beautiful job capturing the sunny living room and bedrooms while making the most of the dark kitchen and bathroom at the back of the house that I never photograph myself. It’s made me reassess what I like (the light grey and white walls, in fact all the grey!) and don’t like (the boring, bog standard bathroom.. shudder) about my home. Always one for a redecoration project (you can hear how I single handedly took down the bathroom door, fixed it and then put it up again…), I can’t wait to get started on my next project. For me a home is a constant project, I’m always wanting to change little bits, refresh and renew. In the meantime, I’ll leave the photos to do the talking, …

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Light loft living by Chan + Eayrs

I’ve recently been considering moving from my 1930s King’s Cross flat into somewhere new. I always find myself veering towards old, period properties for their unusual details, charm and little eccentricities. For me, new builds can so often be lacking in character, with generic, homogenous features and penny-pinching space standards. Not so for young, London-based studio Chan + Eayrs, which has branded itself as both architect, interior designer and developer. It has just completed its first project in New Cross, south east London. The New Cross Lofts are dreamy, with thought put into every little detail – from the exquisite herringbone brick exterior, that references surrounding Victorian terraces, to the cast concrete benches inside. Standing on the plot of a former garage on the corner of Pagnell Street and New Cross Road, the building comprises two work studios on the ground floor and two apartments above. A lofty winter garden connects the spaces and floods the spaces with light. A soft, neutral colour palette is seamlessly brought together with lime-washed oak floors, walls painted in Rolling Fog by Little Greene and exposed …

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Q&A with… Laura Thomas Linens

Scotland-based Laura Thomas is an interiors blogger and designer who runs her own bedding and homeware brand Laura Thomas Linens. The brand started in 2012 when Laura, as an expat Scot living in New Zealand, couldn’t find any good quality egyptian cotton bedding or duvet sets. Now she sells stylish bedding (including beautiful embroidered cotton) at affordable prices as well as blogging about DIY projects, decorating tips and clean, white interiors. She’s certainly a girl after my own heart – ‘Laura Thomas Linens has evolved from my love of white bed linen and going to sleep wrapped around crisp, white bed sheets,’ she says. Second to lovely white sheets, in my opinion, is a softly scented candle to light just before bedtime (it was one of my Five Steps to a Better Night’s Sleep on the blog the other week, see the post here). Laura hand makes and hand pours her own collection of scented candles, using 100% soy wax, essential and fragrance oils, and they smell divine. Inspired by her time in New Zealand and her old garden in the …

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Your Home Needs This #01: Vitra toolbox

‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.’ – William Morris I’m starting a new series on the blog – ‘Your Home Needs This’ – where each week I will profile one must-have design object that is on my wishlist or in my own home; you know, those little objects you keep seeing everywhere and really, really want (and have done for ages). The name came out of the way I make excuses for buying new objects for myself, often telling myself – ‘I need this in my life’, ‘it would look perfect here’, ‘it really would complete the room’, ‘oh, that would be really useful’, any excuse really…! Yet, I’m not just talking about buying needlessly, I am all too wary of the digitally-driven need to constantly consume and purchase the next ‘It’ item. I like my furniture and products in my home to be built to last – my favourite items, that I will keep forever, are my Eames DAW chair, my Alvar Aalto …

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at{mine} – a new online community for home and design lovers

I love sneaking a look inside people’s homes; I can spend hours trawling through Pinterest, flicking through interiors magazines, or my favourite past time – walking down a lovely row of Georgian terraced houses and peering into their big windows, checking out what’s inside and how the owners have decorated their living rooms (no really!). If you’re anything like me then, you’ll love new online community at{mine}. Set up by founders Ia Bergman and Helena Benelbas, both former executives at Goldman Sachs, it was previously only visible to beta members (you might remember April’s Styling the Seasons was created in collaboration with at{mine}), but has now fully launched to the public. Together in one place you’ll find like-minded people, creatives and bloggers opening the doors to their homes and sharing decorating and interiors tips. Members can upload photos, tag the sources of the products and be inspired by other real interiors. You can find me at{cate st hill}. Say founders Ia and Helena: ‘When visiting homes of friends and family, inevitably someone would say ‘I love this, where did you get it …