Showing posts with label home. Show all posts
Showing posts with label home. Show all posts

Orlaith's Bedroom Tour

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Hanging Butterflies  - Similar / Bunny Pillow - Primark / Bed Sheets - Morleys
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Play Kitchen - Ikea
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Bookcase - Ikea / Table + Chairs - Ikea / Gro Clock - Here / Beatrix Potter Book Collection - Same Here

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Wardrobe - Similar
It's official, we're moving home! I don't know when exactly but probably in the next two months. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. And then it crossed my mind that I've never really done a proper bedroom tour of Orlaith's room in the whole (almost) five years that we've lived here. It will be nice to have something for Orlaith to look back on when she's older. Her first proper bedroom.

Orlaith's room was lucky to get a lick of paint a couple of months ago so it's looking pretty fresh compared to the other rooms in our home. I've spent a lot of time over the last few months going through all our belongings, pairing things down to just what we need with little excess. Things are a lot less cluttered and a lot more manageable now. Not everything has a designated place yet, but most things do, and I don't think there's much point putting too much energy into it right now since we're moving so soon. 

All the furniture in Orlaith's room is ours so we'll be able to take everything with us when we move and set up her room fairly quickly. Next time round there's a few things I'd love to try in Orlaith's room, like adding some wall colour, maybe even try a patterned wall, adding some shelves and new art work, and perhaps investing in some blackout blinds, like these ones from VELUX, which I've heard promote better sleep. But for now, we're just enjoying the time we have left here together.


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This post was written in collaboration with VELUX

Colour Outside The Lines with VALSPAR

Colour Outside The Lines

It's no secret that I am in love with a bit of re-decorating. I'm always re-painting rooms in my apartment and up-doing furniture. So when Valspar asked me to take part in their Colour Outside The Lines challenge I was really excited. And their main theme is... COLOUR! (duh!)

According to Valspar not only do 78% of homeowners choose to predominately paint their homes in cream, white or neutral shades, but one in five of us are actually scared to use colour in our homes. Umm guilty! Ok, so colour freaks me out a bit and it took me ages to decide where to add colour to my home. And then I found out that I may have to move home soon and couldn't really justify painting my apartment any more. So I called upon a friend and convinced her to let me paint a wall in her house (thank you friend)!

We started by looking for some inspiration online and decided on a look and colour scheme to aim for. I then headed to B&Q, freaked out at choosing a colour for my friends house from the hundreds of colour cards on my own (Valspar actually claim to mix up to 2.2 million different shades of paint colour), and I ended up borrowing a colour book from them instead. My friend and I then spent a night drinking champagne and going over colours.

Colour Book
Colour Book

We narrowed it down to two colours and I went back to return the book and pick up my tester pots (for only £1 per pot!). They even had gold and silver sparkles you can mix into your paint, which I really want to try in the future (Orlaith's room?), and a machine that lets you see how your colour will look in different light settings which I personally think is a great tool because colours change so much under different lights.

After trying out the tester pots we decided on a colour called 'Wispy Skies'. I went for the Premium Walls & Ceilings paint in a matt finish which is a paint, primer and undercoat all in the same product. It saves painting these extra layers on separately when it's all in one tin, and time saving is always a big hit in my book.

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I returned to my friends house one rainy day and began work. The Valspar paint was really enjoyable to work with and the coverage was great. We only needed two coats to get perfect coverage and the end result was lovely. We chose a great colour to fit my friends room and the end result was really great. In fact, it's made me want to go home, ignore the fact that I may be moving soon, and start painting colour onto my walls.

The Harris Icon range has been cleverly designed for ease of use which means effortless painting with fast results. I was excited to receive a Harris Icon pack as part of my Valspar challenge, including the Harris Icon brush set and roller set. The products were both light and comfortable to use, and were the perfect painting tools to use with Valspar paint. The painting process felt effortless and there was no bristle loss on the brushes. They were incredibley easy to clean. The range is also available at B&Q.

If you could add colour to your home which room would you choose and what colour would it be? Visit the Valspar website for more inspiration here: http://www.valsparpaint.co.uk


BEFORE
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AFTER
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blue statement wall

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Mini Home Tour

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It's been a long time coming but I've finally done a home tour of sorts. Things may look minimal but I've cheated a bit and haven't photographed my junk filled space which I'm still in the process of tackling. But keeping the rest of the space clear while the clearing out is happening is important to me so I can set a standard.

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Bedroom
My bedroom is my favourite room. For me it needs to be a clean and clear space to help me switch off and relax. The wardrobe in my bedroom is actually empty right now. I have the same wardrobe in another room and all our clothes fit into it and I'm still deciding whether to keep this one or not. This room is next on the list to be repainted.

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Kitchen
My kitchen (which is usually never this tidy) is the hardest space for me to keep on top of. I find doing the dishes so boring so it always gets left until the very end of the day. I promised I'd get myself a dishwasher at some point this year. Also I'd like to ditch the microwave soon... Baby steps.

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My bike is massive and I have no where to store it so it's currently in my kitchen passage. This wall space used to be used as a coat hanging/white board space but the coat rack fell off last week so now it's the bike space.

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Living Room
My living room is such a pain in the bum for me right now, it's just looking all wrong but replacing living room furniture is expensive. The empty shelf on the wall used to be packed with books. The majority have now been given away. I've got about 20 books left which all fit in my TV unit (which you can't see in this photo). The shelf is coming down and the room is to be painted. Also the table and chairs are temporary. I'm using this drop leaf table for now to save space but I don't really like it in here.

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And finally a picture that makes me happy. When the sun shines it floods the rooms with light patterns and I get to ripen my fruit on the window sill. Someone came over today and was so confused by my fruit collection by the window.

I'm very indecisive when it comes to what goes into my home. Because my style is always evolving I've found that sticking to neutral colour schemes works really well for me. But things get hard when investing in new items for the home like furniture or wall art because they can cost a lot of money and they don't always look the way I envisioned them to look. Once I've finished painting the place I'm going to try to stop making my apartment a work in progress and turn it into a space I feel happy and relaxed in. A finished project.

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Clearing Out The Crap

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I wrote a couple of weeks ago about starting my journey towards minimalism. Over the past couple of months I've been, as the title suggests, clearing out my crap. And wow, I had so much crap lying around in my apartment, and it's been a time consuming task going through all the items and choosing what to keep and what not to keep. 

Some spaces I've returned to again and again, selecting more things to give away each time. It's amazing how when one layer of crap has gone, it's so much easier to see the next layer of crap for what it is, where as before it looked important next to the first layer of crap... if that makes sense.

The picture above was from the second closet clear out I did which happened this week. We've gone from two stuffed wardrobes to one stuffed wardrobe (the second wardrobe is sitting empty right now apart from some towels and bedding). I hope to make it one un-stuffed wardrobe soon but I'm moving at a speed that's comfortable for me. I love listening to motivational podcasts or videos (that don't require watching) while I'm doing my clear outs.

I've still got work to do in order to reach a place I'm happy with, and I think this will be an ongoing journey. But my spaces are clearer, my mind is clearer and as a result I'm feeling really happy and productive. I've still got a few a lot of things to sort through. Things I'm not sure what to do with or where to put, like wall art, personal art supplies and other bits and bobs. There are parts of my apartment that are still quite chaotic, but it's orderly chaos. Kind of.

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Re-Decorating

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Ever since I re-painted my whole apartment about two years ago I've been wishing I had chosen a lighter paint. Back then I was a bit scared of choosing white as I thought it would make the rooms feel a bit cold so I went with magnolia, but as I've honed in on my personal interior style I've been drawn heavily towards white spaces and my desire to live in one has increased.

So here we are again, painting the apartment to create a space better suited to us. The two rooms we've completed so far have been totally transformed. Last time I painted the whole apartment in one go, but this time I'm taking things a bit slower, doing it room by room and taking breaks in between. I'm listening to my body because painting is an utterly exhausting process and really takes it's toll on me.  

I hope to share some of our brighter and de-cluttered spaces with you soon and perhaps try to dig up some pictures to compare it to.  But for now you can see some pictures of a much smaller Orlaith helping me decorate two years ago HERE, HERE and HERE.


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Five

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A few weeks ago I had the joy of welcoming Orlaith into her 5th year of life. Yayyy. At Orlaith's request I put on a little party for her with a few of her close friends and she chose a Rapunzel theme. We played party games, had party food (everything is more fun with the word party before it!) and then had a slumber style screening of the film, Tangled. It was lots of fun!

Orlaith is turning into the most beautiful and sassy little girl. She wants to be a vet when she's older, she is utterly obsessed with animals and shows such kindness and maturity when she's around them. She loves reading and adores being read to, ever since she was little books have captivated her. She has the voice of an angel, she sings all the time, for hours a day, and she really has an emotional attachment to music. Whenever she sees a microphone she's straight there asking someone if she can perform on it because she loves to sing to people.

Orlaith drives me nut cakes sometimes, because she's so head strong and knows what she wants, questions everything and is always pushing the boundaries, but that's who she is and it also makes her an interesting and fun person to be around. She's already such an amazing kid and I think she's going to grow into the most amazing woman.  

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Minimalism | The Beginning Of A Beautiful Journey

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I've always had a problem with clutter and I've found myself losing so many hours a week 'sorting' and 'arranging' things and doing household chores. I got to a point where my head was always rushing at 100 miles an hour with lists of things I had to do. And when I wrote these lists down none of them were kept in the same place and usually ended up getting misplaced leaving 'thing to do' as 'things undone'.

I would end up staying up hours past my bedtime finishing things off, or jerking awake at 3am and not being able to go back to sleep. And every morning I'd wake up not looking forward to the manic day ahead. I started trying to sleep less so I had more time during the day to get my 'stuff' done. And all the while Orlaith was there needing my time and attention too.

Then, a few weeks ago, I experienced what I'd call a kind of burnout. I was a total wreck, I could barely lift my head off my pillow I was so tired, my emotions were up and down like nothing I've ever seen (really, it was quite scary), I was totally burned out and out of control and I was terrified of how long it was going to last. Luckily it only last three days, but I took the message that I need to slow down and most importantly calm down! I also stepped away from the blog then (hence the silence) because I needed some time to re-evaluate my priorities. 

It's got to the point where I've told Orlaith I'll do something 'later' with her one too many times. I'll get to the end of yet another week not having touched my art work. If I can't find time to spend on two things I love, my daughter and my art, among the many other things I find myself too busy to do, what the heck am I doing with that precious time? How important are the things on my to-do list and what am I willing to sacrifice to do get them done?

The other day I happened across an article on something called minimalism and it really spoke to me. I started searching for articles and YouTube videos on the subject and it was a bit of a lightbulb moment. What is minimalism? Wikipedia claims minimalism is 'to strip everything down to its essential quality and achieve simplicity... to a stage where no one can remove anything further to improve the design". While they are referring to architecture the concept is no different to the results one aims for with minimalism of... stuff.

There are so many different 'types' of minimalism, for instance, some people count all their items and don't go over a certain number (e.g. 100 items), and while I don't know if I could ever live like that I think taking on board the principles of minimalism and practicing them in my life would be so beneficial to me.

The goal of minimalism is to only surround yourself with things that serve you or help you get to where you want to be. That's it. Everything else that's a distraction or doesn't serve a purpose is insignificant and should not be there. I'm not going to try and live off only 100 items but I've been changing things around here and adopting a more clutter free and intentional lifestyle.

I've spent the last few weeks clearing out the 'junk' in my apartment, things I never even considered junk before but I now realise were only serving me as a distraction, and I've really been purging. I've let go of over 50% of my belongings. And do you know what? I don't miss a single thing that's gone. What were all these things doing sitting in my apartment without a purpose? Yet I was spending my time constantly organising these useless things. Time I could have spent playing or reading to Orlaith or working on other productive things.

I can't wait to share my journey with you because I sincerely hope this is a big step in a much more productive future. And there's nothing bad to be said about that.


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Wall Murals With 1Wall

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Today I'm teaming up with 1Wall to introduce their great range of wall mural designs.  I have quite a monochrome living room theme going on. Sometimes I throw a couple of colourful cushions on my sofa to add a bit of extra comfort and colour but sometimes I just like the simple monochrome look. When my apartment is cluttered my mind is cluttered so keeping things simple really helps me stay focused.

I chose the white loft brick wall mural for my apartment as I thought it would suit the style of my place well. I received the product with a sachet of wallpaper paste, which can also be purchased from the 1Wall website, however without any instructions I didn't really know where to start. I got online and watched their online video tutorial which helped.

The finished look is great and having a statement wall in the room adds so much character! I can stand back and enjoy the natural brick look a lot, and when I sent a picture to my friend she couldn't believe it was my living room. It's very realistic and I like the white tone they've used. However take a step closer and things aren't as great. 

Let's just say putting up wallpaper isn't as straight forward as videos make it look! Following the packet instructions of the wallpaper paste left me with a very watery mixture that wouldn't allow my paper to stick to the wall and left it permanently hard and wavey. When I got the paste to a thicker consistency the damage was already done to the mural and no matter what I did the paper ended up getting very creased on the wall. 

I wish I could keep the mural on my wall because when you're standing on the other side of the room and can't see all the creases it looks so good! But due to all the creasing I'm going to have to take mine down and repaint the wall back to it's original colour. 

I think, with a bit of wallpapering knowledge, this product would look great and I'm so disappointed that it didn't work out for me.  If you haven't the first clue how to wallpaper but you love the 1Wall murals, find someone with wallpapering knowledge and get them to help. 

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AFTER:
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Life In Pictures

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bakin' cakes
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these two having quality time
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lots of painting
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fun days with my cousins
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crashing out after nursery
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sushi cravings
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my loves
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more cakes
This 'Life in Pictures' is a kind of home edition. All the pictures (bar one) was taken at home, to give you a glimpse of what's been going on around here lately. Being such an indoors kind of person I spend so much time at home and what I do here is such a huge part of my life. Days out are nice, and we have them when the weather let's us, but home is where the heart is, as they say, and I like to make life here as cosy and comfortable as I possibly can. 

Recently I've been spending most of my days painting, organising and decorating Orlaith's bedroom, with some baking thrown in for good measure. I've been getting some cake commissions so if you feel like a cake and live in London let me know and we can create something great together. Yum :)

{GIVEAWAY} How To Catch A Star

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Oliver Jeffers is an incredibly talented illustrator and children's book author. His art work has always inspired me and so I was thrilled when Harper Collins sent me a copy of the 10th Anniversary edition of his book, 'How To Catch A Star'.

'How To Catch A Star' follows the story of a boy who tries lots of different ways to catch a star and is complimented by simple and sweet illustrations by Oliver Jeffers.

Orlaith really enjoys reading the book with me and whenever we get to the end she asks me to read it again. We're really happy to have added this book to our collection and I think it will be one of our more frequently read ones!

I have one hardback copy of the 10th Anniversary Edition of the book to give away along with a 'How To Catch A Star' poster and a USB stick containing an Oliver Jeffers video and activity sheets. To enter simply use the form at the bottom of the page.

Alternatively you can pre-order your copy of the book here.

All entries will be added to the My Froley mailing list which you can opt out of at any time.

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