Trends for AW18

Part of my job as an Interior Stylist is to research upcoming trends and always be ahead of the game. This information informs clients of what will be popular, including everything from colour trends to lifestyle imagery. We gather inspiration from everywhere - fashion, textiles, interiors, branding and come up with a pretty sound impression of the upcoming season.

Trends for interiors are a lot more slow moving than fashion and you'll find a lot of regurgitation from the previous seasons, just improved and renamed! After all who has the money to redo their house every 6 months to keep on top of the trends? These trends can be interpreted in everyone's individual way. You might, for example, see a resurgence of brightly coloured cushions in the shops or lots of metallic vases which is a reaction to trends on a much smaller scale than whole room makeovers. I thought I'd share with you some of my favourites I've found so far....



This is a more raw take on the ever popular Scandi trend. It's all about imperfect materials, appreciating nature and becoming one with it. Lots of untreated woods, pale walls and natural wool throws are key for this trend. It's the epitome of hygge, layering is key and bringing the outside in is a must. Think wilderness prints, sheepskin rugs and skulls.

 Image by  Romain Ricard.
 Image by  Villa Boreale . 

Image by Villa Boreale

 Image by  Ingredients LDN.



Response is all about taking responsibility for environmental/social/policital issues. We are a generation of individuals who want to repair the damage we have done. So whether that's shopping responsibily from independent and ethical stores, or eating more vegan food or volunteering in the local homeless shelter - we can all play a part in change. Colour palettes are calm, soft and neutral with lots of imperfect ceramics and handmade items flooding our homes rather than mass produced elements. 

 Photo by Pottery West. 

Photo by Pottery West. 

One idea that has grabbed my attention is the notion of having a Capsule Furniture Collection. Voice unveiled a collection of "fundamental" furniture at Stockholm Design Fair last week which is designed to be highly functional, accessible and long lasting - just like a capsule wardrobe would be.

 Image by  Voice Furniture.
 Photo by  T  his Is Paper. 



As with anything, there's always the opposite. Bold is a direct reaction to Response. This is about wanting it all, not being afraid or ashamed of individuality and living life to the full. Interiors will be bright, I really see red being a huge colour towards the end of the year and into 2019. There will be clashes of colour too, lot of metallics and a nod to the 70's. 

 Image from  Master Bedrooms.  

Image from Master Bedrooms. 

 Image unknown 

Image unknown 

 Photo by Tessa Ross-Phelan. 

Photo by Tessa Ross-Phelan. 

So that's my favourites so far, what do you think? Does any of these catch your eye? Or are you a rebel for trends, preferring to do your own thing? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Things I've learnt about Instagram

A few people have been in touch with me recently asking me how I've grown on Instagram and how I've found "my flow". Whilst I am by no means an expert, I thought I'd share a few tips I've learnt along the way. 


When I first started out I was always reading up on Instagram, trying to find the magic secret. The truth is there isn't a magic secret, Instagram changes all the time and there are definitely peaks and troughs. It also takes work and time. I wouldn't recommend doing anything unless you actually enjoy it. For me, it's a hobby where I can express my passions for Interior styling which I live and breathe.

 Always faffing around the house

Always faffing around the house

Most of what I learnt in the beginning came from Sara Tasker of 'Me & Orla' fame. I'm sure you've heard of Sara already but if you haven't go check her out. She has a beautiful Instagram account and an amazing blog where she shares all her tips and tricks of the trade. She even does Instagram courses for the more dedicated lot amongst us.  

 My very first flatlay with Me & Orla 

My very first flatlay with Me & Orla 

I did a styling workshop with her in 2016 and one of the things that stuck with me was the use of the app Mosaico. This has been a God send for me when it comes to planning my posts. Working the 9-5 as many of us do, especially in winter, makes it impossible to take daylight snaps as it's dark when we leave and dark when we come home - is it Summer yet?!? I'm also not a very impulsive person - I like to plan, and plus my house is not clean all the time! It's probably only clean for about 3 days of the week! Mosaico allows you to see what each image looks like on the grid and everything works together and flows. It also lets you save regularly used hashtags so you don't have to type them all in constantly. 

 Planning my grid using Mosaico 

Planning my grid using Mosaico 

Speaking of hashtags, I think they are still really relevant. In my opinion they are the best way for audiences to discover you. A great account I follow for Interior tags is Eclectic Street. Every week the lovely Sam rounds up the best hashtags in the Instagram world and posts them for people to use and share. It's really good for discovering new tags and accounts and some of them even involve prizes.

 Eclectic Street's regular hashtag round up

Eclectic Street's regular hashtag round up

If interiors isn't your thing, look at accounts you really admire. See what hashtags they are using, search those hashtags and see what other people are posting under it. This is great to collect inspiration and discover other awesome accounts. 

 My saved collections from all the amazing inspirational accounts I follow. 

My saved collections from all the amazing inspirational accounts I follow. 

Another really important tip I learned is to post regularly and consistently. I post pretty much everyday at the same time - it's usually on my way into work on the train where I get ten minutes to chill before the madness of the day starts. It doesn't matter if you can't commit to everyday - all the experts say just being consistent is key. So if you can post once a week, every other day, whatever you can then do it, and stick to it. Obviously on weekends I'm not setting an alarm for 8am but I still post in the morning, a couple of hours difference won't hurt so don't stress about it. 

 My morning commute - on a good day! The rumours are true - it rains more than it shines here in Manchester.

My morning commute - on a good day! The rumours are true - it rains more than it shines here in Manchester.

Remember Instagram is a community and what you put in, you get back. Regularly interacting with people's accounts that you like and follow, whether that be commenting or liking or direct messaging and just generally having a chat - it pays off. You will appear on peoples radar and they are more likely to follow back and interact with you if they like what they see. 

If you become stuck with what to post and run out of inspiration, don't worry you are in the right place. As well as following really inspirational accounts, there are plenty of people doing photo prompts. These prompts get the creative juices flowing and give you great content without even realising it. The 'My House This Month' is one I like to join in with when I can. I even wrote a blog post about my first attempt which you can read here. There are currently over 80,000 posts on there so you can imagine all the amazing accounts you will discover and all the possible people who can discover you by searching that particular hashtag. 

 A 'My House This Month' post 

A 'My House This Month' post 

My last tip is to use an editing app to take your photos from good to great. I personally use VSCO which has beautiful filters that are free and also really nice ones you can buy for a couple of pound. It also allows you to edit things like brightness/contrast, straighten those wonky angles and play with shadows and highlights. I tend to use the same one or two filters to create consistency with my images. See below for a before and after!

 Before - raw photo taken with the iPhone 

Before - raw photo taken with the iPhone 

 After! Using VSCO filter and editing features.

After! Using VSCO filter and editing features.

So that's it - like I said at the beginning I am no expert and I've pretty much self taught myself for about a year. It's trial and error but a lot of fun! I hope you found it useful, please feel free to message me with any questions and go check out those accounts I mentioned, you won't regret it!

Wreath Making

I love getting crafty and Christmas always brings out the urge a little bit more so when I heard about Chloe Robinson's Wreath Making workshop at Rose & Grey, I immediately bought a ticket. 

 My Valentine's Bouquet from Chloe Robinson

My Valentine's Bouquet from Chloe Robinson

The shop interior is gorgeous, if you haven't made it down yet and you live local to Manchester I definitely recommend you head down. It's a bit out of the way but 100% worth it. And I have always admired Chloe's bouquets at Altrincham market so much so I had to tell the OH any other Valentines bouquet would fail in comparison! 

 Rose & Grey Christmas Display 

Rose & Grey Christmas Display 

So on a Wednesday evening, 16 ladies (no men unfortunately - I couldn't drag my OH there even if I'd promised beer and food!) settled down round tables with prosecco and nibbles. 


The first step was to add spruce to the circular oasis and cover as much of the oasis as possible. The key is to stick to one direction with the spruce, trimming the ends to create a spike long enough to in-bed securely in the foam. It gets quite messy with pine needles everywhere and a good set of sacateurs are recommended. 


Next up is the foliage. Chloe had provided everyone with a big bunch of all sorts. I went for everything green and by this point I had accepted my wreath was going to be a bit of a wild beast! I can't really do neat and small. 


The Eucalyptus as always smells divine and filled the room with a festive smell whilst listening to a christmas playlist. I used to hate Christmas songs (anyone who ever worked in retail will know the pain of playing them from September onwards!) but sensibly starting in Decemeber has given me a new found appreication of them - old & new. Ariana Grande is a guilty pleasure at the minute! 

Once the wreaths were completely covered in foliage, it was time to add all the little extras to help make them unique and personal. I decided to avoid the red berries and concentrate on more subtle colours. Thistles are another favourite flower of mine so I add four or five to the wreath and embedded them in amongst the foliage. 


Chloe has also brought a selection of little extras including cinnamon sticks, dried fruits and pine cones. I really want to add them all but the stylist in me decided it would be too much. I could have just kept going, I was having so much fun but the Wreath was already looking pretty wild at this point so i decided to just stick with some dried fruit. 

These were attached simply by threading some fine wire through the fruit and tying it around the foliage. I went for four to five again to try and keep a symmetry running through. 


I loved seeing everyone else's creation, no two wreaths were the same. Had such a lovely evening meeting new people and chatting away whilst relishing the chance to be hands on. It was a bit of a mission carrying the beast back home and the taxi driver was very nervous about having it in his car but both myself and the wreath made it home in one piece! 


I decided against hanging it on my door because a) I want to be able to admire it and smell the beautiful scents at all times and b) I live in studentville and no doubt they would nick it whilst drunk and put it on their heads or something!

After wandering round the house for a couple of days, trying it in various places, we settled on the hallway, hanging it from the banister. This was much to the delight of Bojangles who thought it was purely for his entertainment and spent the rest of the evening trying to unpick the wire which it hangs from (carefully edited out with the help of photoshop)! He did however provide me with some gorgeous Instagram worthy pictures! 

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So for anyone wishing to do something like this, there are so many going on from Wreaths to Centrepieces  and everything in between. I went solo - something I wouldn't have dreamed of doing this time last year and yes it is nerve-wracking for the first 10 mins but as soon as you get stuck in, you realise you are with like minded people who all have similar creative interests. If you have creative friends then it's a lovely little activity to do together which doesn't involve a hangover! 

Big thanks to Rose & Grey for hosting and to Chloe Robinson for being an excellent teacher! Can't wait for the next one! 

'Tis The Season

Winter is well and truly here - the temperature has dropped massively, trees are adorning every household and Christmas fever has taken over Instagram.

Here are few little touches to make your home feel cosy and warm over these winter months.  


1. Fairy Lights & Candlelight - All of the Lights

You can never have too many in my opinion. I am currently ordering more as I type! As much as statement pendant lights and chandeliers look impressive and really make a room, the warm soft ambiance of floor lamps, fairy lights and candles are the best for creating a cosy mood. 

My favourites are battery powered copper wire lights that I normally order from eBay. They come in different lengths and are very flexible, meaning you can wrap them around almost anything. I tend to move them about the house to where my mood suits. Current favourite places are in lanterns and jars.



Also I have never been one for Christmas cushions but this H&M deer cushion was too cute to resist and it really helps make the room look cosy, bringing the Christmas cheer. I reckon I can get away with it all year round. 

2. Festive Stars 

These Rose and Grey stars were an absolute must when I visited the showroom in November. They are reasonably priced too. Again a few fairy lights, candles and a gorgeous mug of hot chocolate bring a subtle festive style into the house. 


3. Christmas Quotes

The letter-board is perfect for adding little seasonal updates without breaking the bank. I used the smaller Rose & Grey star with the faux Eucalyptus stems that were bought from Home Sense last year. Nothing beats real Eucalyptus and the smell is divine but I love that I can have these all year round and the only maintenance they need is a bit of dusting every now and then! 


4. Celebrate the Gloom

As much as the dark nights and mornings can play havoc with taking photos, I'm an advocate for embracing the darker light into your photos. Mid afternoon around dusk always seems perfect for me at the minute, with a bit of help from an extractor light this photo of my normally boring kitchen became really atmospheric. I introudced the faux Eucakyptus onto the worktop and it really lifts it!


5. Add a little Christmas Tree

This £10 Christmas Tree from Sainsburys is the perfect addition to the dining table even if I did have to trim it slightly to fit under the lights! It's also good for anyone with a small space to still bring the Christmas cheer into the home without breaking the bank. I dressed this with the battery powered fairy lights (no I am not being sponsored but I most definitely should be! :D) The pot was a bit ugly so I've just wrapped a bit of hessian around it for now, but I want to add some twine and ribbon to make it look a bit prettier when I have the time. 


Another addition to the tree are these gorgeous Worker Bee decorations from Bonsall Mill. They are handmade by my lovely cousin, based in Derbyshire but made with Manchester grit and determination. They are the ultimate tribute to Manchester with the gorgeous little heart addition on the underside, I'm absolutely in love. There are also loads of other animals in the Countryside Christmas collection so go check them out if you are fans of handmade treasures you can keep forever. 

6. And Finally...

Grab a cuppa, a few mince pies and a good interiors mag. Now is the time to take some time off, surround yourself with loved ones and get some good old rest. Christmas used to be a dreaded time as 10 years in retail ruined all the festive ideals for me but now I relish being able to take a couple of days off with the fire blazing and a good old Christmas film.  Go on, you deserve it!


Recapping Autumn

How is it nearly Christmas? These last few months have flown by and I've been so busy I haven't had time to document it! So here's a little recap of new updates to the house and beyond!

Pumpkins invaded our house and the planet.


I absolutely loved having these as ornaments and moving them around the house. The silver one is from Home Sense and will now be coming out every Autumn. I also bought fresh pumpkins from the greengrocers which lasted the whole 2 months. I didn't really want to throw them away! 


I also took inspiration from Theresa Gromski and had a go at spray painting some! 

Some were more successful than others and I underestimated my patience waiting for them to dry. Turns out I have none!

 The finished result!

The finished result!

I got out in the fresh Autumn air.


As long as it's not raining, I absolutely love going for Autumnal walks. The colours, atmosphere and mood are just divine. Dunham Massey is a local favourite spot for strolling, drinking hot chocolates and spotting deer. 

I was also lucky enough to be invited on a booze cruise for my friend's 30th which took us along the Manchester ship canal and I got to see the city in a whole new way. 

 Unseen Manchester

Unseen Manchester


Even my walks to the train station became photogenic with frosty crisp mornings and low winter sunrises. And we enjoyed a decent firework display at Platt Fields park which we are lucky enough to be within walking distance.

 Bonfire night at Platt Fields

Bonfire night at Platt Fields

Updates To The House

I have been lucky enough to have been gifted a few items this season for which I had lots of fun styling and creating content for.

VonShef allowed me to choose from their new Christmas Cocktail range and it was a no brainer which one to choose. The 7 piece brushed gold cocktail set is absolutely perfect on our sideboard and of course I had to test it out with an espresso martini! Top marks all round!

IMG_0818 (1).JPG

Another favourite gift was The Squares from Squared One. They will print any of your images on 5mm white plastic boards which make the images really sturdy. This means I can prop them up anywhere around the house, which I have been doing loads of! I chose a few images from our Italy trip to keep the memory alive during the dark winter months!


 The Monstera on his throne!

The Monstera on his throne!

And of course no house update is complete without a couple of trips to Ikea. I went in for a cafetiere and came out with a chair, a coffee jug and a monstera plant!! Totally worth it though - the Ekenaset chair was such a bargain. It reminds me of some of the mid century modern designer chairs that are triple the price and it fits perfectly in the man cave. 

The Monstera has been placed into our bedroom and needed some sort of platform to sit on - hence the second trip to Ikea for a stool. I think I'm going to either paint or stain it darker but it will do for now! 

 Man cave

Man cave

Another new item I am obsessed with is this Ikea coffee pot, which is crazy considering I rarely drink coffee! It fits so perfectly with our Fika print though, and looks amazing when styled with Ben's Mums famous pumpkin pie!


And finally...

I decided to make the most of my weeknights!

I feel like this year has flown by and it's probably due to my ever increasing age but I like to think it's because I really do live for the weekend. Apart from exercise, my weeknights consist of eating tea, watching tv and getting into bed as soon as it's socially acceptable! 

So I made a few weeknight plans and it felt so good. Getting up for work wasn't painful, the day went really quickly and I had something to look forward to (I really don't look forward to exercise).

First up was Champagne tasting at The Refuge, Manchester. In collaboration with Pierre-Jouet they had transformed their winter garden into an interactive high-tech garden installation. We had 4 full glasses to taste, including a £68 per glass vintage. It was such a lovely evening with the girls and I can think of much worst way to spend a Tuesday evening!


I was also lucky enough to be invited to a Moodboard Workshop hosted by the lovely Helen Robinson of Stylin In The North and Kirsten Wilson of Hello Day Planner. It was held in the ever gorgeous setting of Rose & Grey Interiors

To say I was nervous was a massive understatement. I had never done anything like this solo as I'm generally rubbish at networking and promoting myself but I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone. It was honestly one of the best things I've done in a long time. Being with like-minded people was so refreshing and I finally got to meet some lovely people that I chat to regularly on Instagram but had never got to meet. It has opened up a few doors for me which I'm very excited about working in the future and I can't wait to do more. I would urge anyone who is unsure about attending a workshop because of confidence to just go for it. There is nothing bad that can happen when you are surrounded by this lovely Insta community!


And so that sums up Autumn - my favourite time of the year! Looking forward to exploring winter now! :)

 Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween

Italian Adventure

So a little break from Interiors and Manchester but I just have to write about my amazing adventure in Italy. I had been planning this trip for a year and had waited ever so patiently (or not in the case of my friends and workmates!) for September to arrive. The main reason for visiting was for a wedding of our close friends, for whom I was honoured to be bridesmaid. We decided to combine this with a road trip around Northern Italy. 

Stops covered were Lake Como, Milan, Parma, Modena, Portico & Florence and these are just a few snippets of the journey... 


First stop of the trip was Lake Como. We arrived late at night after driving from Milan Airport and the crazy winding roads in the pitch black meant we didn't have a clue where we were, or what our surroundings looked like. It meant the best surprise first thing in the morning though.

 Waking up to this! 

Waking up to this! 

Our apartment was found via AirBnB - Residence Le Terrazze. You definitely need a car to get up here but it is sooo worth it. The views are insane and there's a private spa with a hot tub and pool which was right up our street! 

I don't think I've ever been somewhere so beautiful, I just couldn't get over the view. No wonder all the celebs including George Clooney call it home. 

 Breakfast with a view!

Breakfast with a view!

As I mentioned before, staying up in Perdelo, you would be wise to hire a car. But everywhere else in Lake Como is pretty accessible using the lake ferries. We only had 3 days to explore and managed to see Bellagio & Varenna. It was pretty tough prizing ourselves away from the apartment if i'm being honest. 



 View from Vezio Castle

View from Vezio Castle

One top tip if you are staying in the Varenna area is to go and eat at Crott Del Meo. It was the first and best meal of the whole two weeks. Authentic Italian cooking that served whatever chef was cooking that evening. Absolutely delicious. 

Stop 2. Milan


It was a whistle stop tour of Milan as we did it in less than 24 hours. We stayed in the Navigli district which is a bit Northern Quarter-esque in the sense that it was once run down and has now become the trendy area to drink and eat. Set on a series of canals, this is the home of Aperitivo time. Most of the bars have a massive buffet selection which you have access to when you buy a drink. It was a really cool atmosphere and definitely reminded me of home. 

 Air BnB Milan Style 

Air BnB Milan Style 

Next Stop: Parma 


Parma was a pretty surprise and a lovely afternoon was spent wandering the peaceful streets en route to our next accommodation. I just loved the coloured buildings - they were so cheerful basking in the sun. The churches were also some of the most beautiful that we saw throughout the whole trip. It was so non touristy and quiet on that random wednesday that I wouldn't want to stay there longer than a day or two but who knows it might come alive when the sun goes down. 

 Chiostri di S.Giovanni Evangelista

Chiostri di S.Giovanni Evangelista

Home for the night : Al Vigneto Farmhouse

We had pre-booked a farmhouse in the Emilia Romagna hills over looking Parma for an authentic foodie evening. After a slight mix up, we were greeted by the owner who looked after us extremely well. He fed us his own vineyard Lambrusco (3 euros a bottle!) and hooked us up to a local restaurant - Trattoria Leoni where no one spoke any English but we got by with a little help from google translate and our foodie instincts. The food was insane and we had such a lovely meal on the terrace overlooking the city. 


The night spent in the wilderness alone was a little spooky for me and the lack of air conditioning combined with a mosquito fight meant an unsettled sleep but waking up to another amazing view was totally worth it. The breakfast was also delicious, setting us up for the next destination. 


Stop 5 : Modena

We went on the hunt for a balsamic producer and accidentally stumbled across the world's oldest. Acetaia Giuseppe Giusti is a unconspicious building in the middle of the countryside. The family has been making balsamic vinegar since 1605 and you can just turn up and take a tour for free. It was so informative and the best bit was being able to taste all the different products they produce, including the 100 year balsamic which would set you back 500 euros!

  Giuseppe Giusti  balsamic factory

Giuseppe Giusti balsamic factory

Ciao Bologna - Stop 6


Bologna was probably the least researched part of our trip - we knew very little and to be honest I wasn't that fussed about going. By this point most of our friends had made it to the wedding venue and I was desperate to see them and celebrate. But boy am I glad we stopped here. Beautiful Bologna, full of life and vibrancy. This is clearly a student town which meant it was bustling with bars and restuarants and shops. It also has the most covered walkways in Italy which was handy for the afternoon downpour we experienced - if only Manchester city council would take note! 

 Terrazzo Love on my Air BnB bedroom floor 

Terrazzo Love on my Air BnB bedroom floor 

We had a great day exploring and an even better evening soaking up the nightlife. This was also the first place we had a proper espresso martini - I rate places on how good they are! We had the real bolognese which doesn't involve an inch of spaghetti and drank excessive amounts of Limoncello. Perfect!

 Bologna's answer to the leaning tower - The Two Towers

Bologna's answer to the leaning tower - The Two Towers

Wedding Destination - Portico Di Romagna 


This tiny Italian village in the heart of the hills was invaded by the Brits for a weekend and for that I apologise! Portico was founded in ancient times along the road to Florence and came to be known first as a market place during the Roman times. It captured my friends hearts so much that they decided to get married here and invite us all along for the ride. 


The hotel that looked after us all was Al Vecchio Convento and I cannot recommend this place enough. Marisa, her family and her staff attended to our every whim and made sure we were well fed and drunk at all times. This place is truly magical and I cannot wait to return. 


It was the best weekend filled with love and happiness and it was beyond perfect.

 Photo courtesy of Roaming Rooney

Photo courtesy of Roaming Rooney

Last But Not Least : Florence

 View from our rooftop terrace - absolutely noway sponsered by Nutella!!!

View from our rooftop terrace - absolutely noway sponsered by Nutella!!!

Florence was by far the busiest place we'd been for the last two weeks and seeing lots of tourists was a shock to the system! Our group had now grown from 4 to 8 plus my friends adorable baby so we needed a good base in the heart of Florence. AirBnB provided the most beautiful apartment in the heart of Florence. Saverio and his wife were the best hosts, providing us with everything we needed. Their apartment is gorgeous and I even debated not writing about it to keep it our little secret so we can back again and again! 

 Bedroom details

Bedroom details


Florence itself was just how I imagined it - beautiful historic buildings wherever you turn. We took a free walking tour on the first day which is something I've never done before but our friends highly recommended them. It's a great way to get your bearings and see some things you would never normally see. And all for free! 

After that our days were spent wandering the city, stumbling on random streets and enjoying the sunshine. We climbed the Duomo and admired the amazing 360 views but to be honest, the view from our own private roof terrace was second to none!


One of the guests from the wedding party recommended we go to the Sculpture museum whilst in Florence - The Bargello. It's way quieter than the Uffizi museum so if you don't fancy the queues and the crowds, this is the one to go to. It has a beautiful central courtyard which is really peaceful and the sculptures are memorizing. 

 The Bargello Museum 

The Bargello Museum 

The last night of our trip was spent on the roof terrace, drinking prosecco and reminsicing on everything we'd experienced over the last two weeks. It was the most full on holiday I'd ever done - i've never been struck by the travelling bug and the thought of backpacking round Asia has no pull whatsoever. This was absolutely perfect for myself - I saw so many beautiful places just two hours from home that will stay with me forever.

Thanks for reading, apologies for straying away from the interiors theme but I just had to document it all! 

 Too much food, too much prosecco and too much love - perfecto!

Too much food, too much prosecco and too much love - perfecto!

Before & After - Living Room

The dining room transformation went down so well, I thought I'd share the story of our living room so far. It is by no stretech of the imagination finished but hopefully it will inspire somebody to create a cosy homely space without breaking the bank. 

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This was the estate agents photo of the house when we bought it. See what I mean about love of red??!! It's a decent sized space but I feel like the previous owners really didn't make use of the room properly. 

The first thing we did was paint! Obviously it had to be grey (I was discussing with my boss the other day whether or not in 30 years time, people will wonder what possessed the grey obsession and put it alongside the avocado bathroom suites and the brown patterned carpets as interior fails!!). I spent about a week when we first moved in painting all the walls I could in the house - many a Friday evening was spent up a ladder with the tiniest of paint brushes trying to get my edges perfectly straight! 

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 Sorry for the picture of me - this is to show the lack of furniture which made it great for night out photos! 

Sorry for the picture of me - this is to show the lack of furniture which made it great for night out photos! 

The chimney breast was painted in Valspar Bottlenose Dolphin as in the dining room and the rest of the walls are Valspar Weathered Cottage. They are part of the cool grey palette and are the best alternative to neutral white.

For about 3 months we didn't have any furniture in here, we lived in the dining room on camping chairs but that didn't stop me putting up some floating Ikea shelves and placing our collection of prints to get started. The prints are a collection of my photographs, postcards and prints from some of our favourite local artists such as Hugh Winterbottom.

We bought the initials at Altrincham market from Matt at Northern Letters, after a embarrassing conversations about J & B which put the other way means something entirely different (I'll leave that to your imagination). In fact it played on our minds so much we went and bought the ampersand to break it up!! 

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When the sofa's finally arrived, to much relief they fit perfectly. Having never bought a sofa before, there was a lot of worrying - will it fit, will it be comfy? We got the Copenhagen 3 seater and snuggler from Furniture Village and I love them! Having spent many a hungover day on here, I can confirm they are extremely comfy!


We put the snuggler under the bay window, making the space instantly feel more homely than the previous owners had attempted. We live on a busy road and as this room is at the front of the house, I wanted the attention to be away from the view outside and more focused on the centre of the space.  It also provides a great sunbathing spot and lookout for Bojangles, who has adopted the snuggler as his very own throne! 


The rest of the room is always being faffed with of course. I'm always introducing new items and moving things around. I really like how the copper stands with the grey and although I was considering swapping everything out for brass at one point, I'm glad I wasn't quick enough as copper is definietly proving to be a timeless metal (at least for now). 


The Jack Lloyd prints came with us from our previous rental where we stupidly put them behind the sofa so we never actually looked at them. Now they sit on either side of the fireplace where we can admire them from where we lounge. If you haven't checked out Jack's gallery 'House of Bystander' in Chorlton, I highly recommend it. I started off buying the small £5 off-cuts before graduating to the real deal! 



My top tips for making a living room feel cosy are to always have fresh flowers, lots of candles and ambient lighting - we have the cloud light from and a floor light from Ikea that has travelled with us from house to house and is still going strong. I also have a fair few plants (the ones I can keep alive) to add a touch of greenery and life. They seem to do OK in this room as it does get a lot of light. 

I'm also a big fan of fairy lights and battery powered ones are great for putting inside lanterns and jars - they are perfect on a winter night to help create that Hygge atmosphere. 


The latest addition to the living is the coffee table. After living with the good old Ikea Lack table in various colours for about 5 years, it is so nice to have a proper styled table. We got this from Swoon Editions and it has probably been my most considered purchase. I have been eyeying it up for at least 6 months before we finally took the plunge. It was worth the consideration, although it is a lot smaller than its predecessor so will take a bit of getting used to. I love how it shows off the Next rug more!


So that's the lounge - for now. I'm pretty pleased with how this room is coming along but as always there's still so much more to do. On the list are - darkening the fireplace - its the only piece of light wood left - (having a log burner installed would be the dream) and replacing the blinds with something more classy like shutters. 


It's the perfect chill out room for the three of us to snuggle on the sofa and watch endless episodes of Netflix series! And I'm really looking forward to another winter getting all cosy and hibernating here. 


My House In July

This hashtag came at a time when I was struggling with my Instafeed, I definitely felt it was getting a bit stale as there's only so many shots of the dining room a girl can take! It was started by @onawingandachair and it was perfect for me. Every day a different prompt challenged me to create inspiring photos around my house and beyond (I did cheat a couple!) I loved having a theme and it really helped grow my followers and reach into the wider Instagram community. Some were more successful than others, others are definitely classed as 'a bit dodgy'. Here's a round up in case you missed it, including some unseen images that either didn't make the cut or came to me later on! I also only started on day 4 so I have included some more recent pictures which fit the earlier themes. 

1. Door

Just a sneaky look at a door - my front door is a horrible uPVC number that is on the steadily growing list of "things to change". If only there was a never ending pot of money and all the time in the world! Someone once told me before we bought the house "make sure you do all the jobs straight away or else you'll never get round to doing them." They were 100% right!

2. On The Wall

 A collection of my own polaroids and a Jack Lloyd print give a really simple update to a plain white wall in my dressing room. 

A collection of my own polaroids and a Jack Lloyd print give a really simple update to a plain white wall in my dressing room. 

3. Books

When asked why I turned round all the books on the bookshelf, I simply said "it's for Instagram and it looks 100% better this way." Plus I don't want anyone seeing my dodgy choice in reading material! This bookshelf seems to be really popular on Instagram and is from Maison Du Monde. It fitted neatly into our weird sized alcove and I love messing around with it, adding bits, moving things around - a stylists dream!

4. Floral

This is a cheat and was actually taken in August but I couldn't resist adding it in because it is so perfect for the prompt. I recently attended a flower crown workshop with the lovely @tangledupinblooms. I highly recommend it, it was so much fun and the flowers were beautiful. Who doesn't want to know how to make a crown of flowers? It's a skill everyone must have!



5. Bedroom

 A strong statement blue from  Dulux  - Breton Blue and a pop of yellow from the Manchester Print - perfection!

A strong statement blue from Dulux - Breton Blue and a pop of yellow from the Manchester Print - perfection!

6. Grey

The best colour! If I had my way I would paint every room a different shade of grey. I love it. It's so versatile and the perfect alternative to white. It can be neutral or statement, warm or cool - just the best!

7. Wood

 Reclaimed wooden shelves purchased from eBay are great for displaying colourful spices (and pickled eggs if you like that kind of thing!)

Reclaimed wooden shelves purchased from eBay are great for displaying colourful spices (and pickled eggs if you like that kind of thing!)

8. Vintage

 The only vintage item I own - this mirror belong to my Great Grandmother and now lives in my dressing room. Excuse all the dodgy pictures! 

The only vintage item I own - this mirror belong to my Great Grandmother and now lives in my dressing room. Excuse all the dodgy pictures! 

9. Pattern

Another cheat but I love this pretty floral pattern found in The Lost And Found in Knutsford. Sorry to keep banging on about this place but I'm still not over it! 

10. Textiles 

I bought these outdoor cushions on a whim in Sainsburys but with the lack of British summer and the failure to get started on the garden project, they live in the dining room as a pretty prop for the table. One day they will get to be outside! Maybe next year!

11. On The Table


This was a fun prompt to complete as it brought back memories of my days as a Visual Merchandiser and laying out tables in roomsets and windows. I do miss being hands-on a little bit as part of my everyday job but I was really chuffed at how quickly it all came back!

12. Outside

 A cleverly edited shot of our garden - it is still uncompleted and I have great plans for it...if we ever get a decent British summer!

A cleverly edited shot of our garden - it is still uncompleted and I have great plans for it...if we ever get a decent British summer!

13. Art

Art has such a varied meaning - what makes a piece of art? We don't really own many authentic art pieces, in fact we didn't own any until we received this as a belated house warming present from the OH's father. I think it fits in perfectly with all our other pieces of cheap art prints and homemade items. It's good to mix and match, helps to create that eclectic feel that is so personal to you and that no one else can quite replicate. 


14. Kitchen

 A lovely sunny day when the light flooded in through the window - come back sun! 

A lovely sunny day when the light flooded in through the window - come back sun! 

15. My Favourite


Favourite was a tough one as I have some many favourites! The nook in the dining room was the obvious choice as a my favourite spot as it really helped boost my Instagram profile and gained me my first 1000 followers! Bojangles is also an obvious fave but the reason I'm in the picture isn't because I'm in love with myself, haha, but because it coincided with the #styleithappy theme "Me" and I was inspired by all my favourite instagrammers coming from behind the camera and showing themselves to the world. It's a daunting thing to do when you've built a page around beautifully styled interior pictures without a human insight, never mind yourself. So glad I did it though, the community is so lovely, everyone really came together and supported each other. 

16 & 17. Upcycle & On The Shelf

 These B&Q shelves are the only upcycled thing we have in the house at the minute - just a quick tester pot paint job and voila! 

These B&Q shelves are the only upcycled thing we have in the house at the minute - just a quick tester pot paint job and voila! 

18. Colour

 Slowly injecting more green into the lounge to go with all the dark woods and greys. It really pops which is lovely.

Slowly injecting more green into the lounge to go with all the dark woods and greys. It really pops which is lovely.

19. Lighting

I love this light so much. What you can't see from this clever angle is the massive crack that the Other Half did whislt celebrating a United goal - sad I know! I haven't found anything I love enough to replace it with yet so ashmedly it still hangs in the living room, crack and all! Not very instagrammable but totally real life! 


20. Basket

 Love our wire basket and peg from Moth in West Didsbury. The perfect prop for our hallway. 

Love our wire basket and peg from Moth in West Didsbury. The perfect prop for our hallway. 

21. Bathroom

 Quick styling session with some Jo Malone Christmas gifts that I can't bear to use as they are just too lovely!

Quick styling session with some Jo Malone Christmas gifts that I can't bear to use as they are just too lovely!

22. Botanical

The things you do for Instagram. The Botanical prompt today coincided with the hashtag #allmyplantsononething by @mvwetter so I couldn't resist! Cue a bit of eye rolling from the Other Half when he asked what I was doing. "Just take an Instagram pic!" Obviously! 


23. "I Did This!" 

I am constantly taking photos of everywhere we go and displaying them around the house. It's much cheaper than buying someone else's work and also provides us with really good memories whenever we look at them. I bunched them all together on the fabulous Ikea floating shelf in the lounge for a one time picture. I really like them though so I might keep it like this! 

24. Glass

 New glass jug from  Moth Style  in West Didsbury - one of my all time favourite interior shops.

New glass jug from Moth Style in West Didsbury - one of my all time favourite interior shops.

25. Pair

 My favourite pair of Sleeping Beauties - one was hungover, the other just likes sleeping... A LOT. 

My favourite pair of Sleeping Beauties - one was hungover, the other just likes sleeping... A LOT. 

26. Best Buy

The Instagram fave! Infamous purchase from BHS that I bought when I worked there as a Visual Merchandise Manager. It went into the sale and with my staff discount was so cheap, I bought it even before we found a house. It works so perfectly in the dining room - it definitely deserves the "Best Buy" status!


27. Frames


I am obsessed with buying frames and prints - we will run out of walls soon. These frames are from The Range - they have a lovely collection and are really reasonably priced. The prints are from a newly discovered Desenio - so so cheap and highly addictive! 

28. Marble

 Marble tables in  Grand Pacific  - Espresso Martini optional 

Marble tables in Grand Pacific - Espresso Martini optional 

29. Copper

This was one of the first items we bought for the Living Room. I always wanted to inject copper in with the grey tones so the Sainsburys Lantern was perfect. Pictured here with my lovely gift from Happy + Co. These guys are trying to sustainable and give 10% of their profits to the Happy + Co farm in Cambodia. This provides much-needed jobs for the young men and women, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables for the whole community. Go check them out, their products are lovely. 


30. Animal

 Obviously Bojangles is star of the show! Pictured here with the Happy + Co cushion

Obviously Bojangles is star of the show! Pictured here with the Happy + Co cushion

31. Mirror

This hallway mirror was from Home Sense and was quite a pain to hang. It turns out the hallway walls are very crumbly and don't take weightly products very well. It's also showing the hallway reflection of the stairs. I hate that carpet with a passion for a number of reasons - 1. it's brown & 2. cats and carpet do not mix - so many clumps of hair. I really want to paint it in Farrow & Ball "Blackened" and swap the carpet for a stylish runner - one day! 


So there you have it - 31 Instagram posts inspired by the prompts. If you are struggling with your feed and what to post next - a hashtag is a great way to kick start the creative juices. It also opens up the opportunity to connect and be inspired by feeds you didn't know existed. Go on, give it a try! 

Interior Inspiration - Manchester

Whenever I get stuck on the creativity front - I always head out and try and find inspiration from my home city. There are gems everywhere you look and Manchester really is becoming a hot trendy place to be. Here's my top 10 (for now)...

No.1 Leaf On Portland Street

Leaf is rather unexpected as it sits along the huge row of Bruntwood buildings on Portland Street, in fact it wraps around an office building splitting into two spaces. This is a hidden gem that is not yet so well known so it's perfect for admiring the interiors and having enough room to wander. It used to be the old Cube Gallery that I frequented as a graduate so has a special place in my heart. There are so many gorgeous details here, it is sympathetic to it's history whilst being bang on trend and current, mixing the old with the new perfectly

No.2 The Lost & Found Knutsford 

Technically not Manchester but close enough and just 20 mins on the train. This place is absolutely gorgeous, every single detail has been thought of - from the floor to the stairways to the fabrics. Set in an old church, the high ceilings and arched windows are perfect for statement chandeliers and bold patterns. There's a sense of fun in the little touches - neon lights, colourful flowers and vintage propping that gives this space the edge.

No.3 The Refuge

Probably one of Manchester most Instagrammed spots - the Winter Garden is everything you'd want it to be and has probably been the source of inspiration for a few of Manchester's latest spots. From the monochrome tiles on the floor to the deep green velvet sofas, I adore everything about this space. The tree in the middle wrapped in fairy lights is a real showstopper, and the marble table tops and floral patterns work so perfectly together. Set in the Palace hotel, you really feel the grandeur of the past whilst being completely in the now. 

No.4 Chapter One Books

This was an unintential find one day wandering around the Northern Quarter but definietly one I'm glad I stumbled one. Chapter One Books is an independant bookshop/coffee shop in such a lovely space, it makes you want to stay here for hours. The decor is so eclectic with random bits of furniture used to display books, chairs for lounging and the most gorgeous green vintage reading lamps I have seen in a long time! It feels like stumbling into someone's very eccentric lounge but immediately feeling at home! 

No.5 The Refinery 

Nestled behind all the major tourist spots in Spinningfields, The Refinery sits quietly and unexpectedly. This is the ultimate "Hygge" and Scandi Chic spot in Manchester complete with fur throws and candles. The soft greys and warm yellows make this space the ultimate place for bottomless brunch with the girls or even somewhere you can take Mum and make her feel special. It also hasn't been tainted by the alchemist crowd so get there whilst it's still relatively unknown. Anywhere that offers blankets with a cocktail becomes my favourite place immediately. 

No.6 Grand Pacific 

For all the old school colonial glamour, head to Grand Pacific. It is glam and grand, with high ceilings and parquet floors, peacock chairs and huge palms. It is the perfect escape to have a cocktail or two and soak in the surroundings.

The toilets are also the stuff of dreams, starting my silly back & forth with a few fellow Instagrammers over great toilet designs. #ihavethisthingwithrestaurantloos may take off one day! 


No.7 Suri

This place is probably the most brand new of them all. It is everything that is on trend at the minute. I'm in love with the soft pinks and rose golds contrasting against the deep blues and black marbles. It screams luxury and you can tell the designers have really thought about creating an 'on trend' cool vibe. 

No.8 - Randall & Aubin

A newbie to Bridge Street, just off Deansgate - Randall & Aubin is the most stylish fish restaurant I have ever been in. Not only was the food delicious but the atmosphere was lovely. The space is very long and narrow with mainly big tables for groups and lots of sharing dishes, inviting you to get stuck in and really enjoy one another's company. There are a lot of patterned tiles everywhere with accents of brass to keep it classy. 

The toilets are something else too - pink, greens and that wallpaper is just amazing! So vibrant and fun yet also maintaining the level of luxury. 

No. 9 The Wonder Inn

The Wonder Inn is a magical place on the edge of the Northern Quarter, nestled in an derelict warehouse that Manchester is rich beyond belief with. It's a wellness centre dedicated to the community and houses a cafe, bar, yoga rooms and workshops. The low key styling of this space is just wonderful, who doesn't love fairy lights up against stripped walls with umbrellas hanging from the ceiling? The sense of history is fantastic with most of the original features remaining as well as peeling plaster and wonky ceilings! We stumbled on a Brass Band Gig here and it was absolutely epic. 


And finally...No.10 Alabamas 

The pancakes here alone are enough reason to visit but the decor is pretty amazing too. It's very American Eatery but with a David Hockney colour palette and will brighten up your day immediately. You might have to queue to get in but it is 100% worth the wait. The zebra wallpaper in the bathrooms is also well worth a nosey. I can't resist a Zebra theme! 

As I am writing this, there's at least 1 new place popping up on my radar everyday. Leaving the possibility open for a version 2 of this post - and also plenty of opportunities for me to go wandering, drink and eat! 

The Dining Room Transformation

A little insight into our dining room transformation...

The dining room has been a gradual process over a year and half, which although considering how impatient I normally am to have something finished, has worked out perfectly. I really feel like this room has evolved over time and will continue to evolve in the future as we grow. 

This was the space that sold the house to us, the open plan kitchen/dining space at the back of the building in which I immediately started imagining entertaining friends, having romantic meals and generally hanging out here. We live on a fairly busy road so this space is an escape and perfectly private. The romantic meals might be few and far between but the parties and fun are definitely not! 

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The first thing we did was get rid of the red - the previous owners had a hankering for all things red and pink. I, on the other hand, am obsessed with grey! The room and kitchen were in pretty much brand new condition so I just went with painting the chimney breast. This is something which may change over time but it was quick fix for me to paint quickly myself. It's Valspar "Bottlenose Dolphin" which I think we got inspiration from spotting a grey paint feature in an interiors mag. We spent the first 2 months in this space on camping chairs with a coffee table whilst we waited for the sofas to be delivered and for the tv connection to be installed in the living room. Very glam! 

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The Instagram favourite piece is the wall art above the fireplace which I bought whilst working as a Visual Merchandiser for BHS. It was such a bargain, we hadn't even found a house at this point but I couldn't resist it. The fairy lights were added for the housewarming as the OH isn't too keen on "girly things." At the time I was obsessed with an internet provider ad which showed a house party and Chaka Khan was playing, there were fairy lights everywhere, the house was filled with people and it just looked like the best party ever. That's what we tried to recreate and I maybe bias but it came pretty close! Once the lights were up, they never came down! 

Our table and bench set is from Next - I had a very clear vision from the start in terms of a dining table and this fit perfectly. We ordered the chairs from eBay which I was terrified of doing but it turned out to be the most seamless transaction I've ever done!  It became very apparent we were creating an industrial look without thinking too much about it, but the dark woods and the metal legs became a running theme.

The pendants are good old IKEA and we had to wait a while for an electrician to fit them but they were absolutely worth the wait.

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The OH sourced the bookshelf as we struggled for ages to find something which would fit in the alcove and with our interior vision. In the end we found it on Maison Du Monde. 

The next big purchase was the sideboard which is rarely seen in my Instagram posts, partly due to my struggling orange tree and partly due to it always being hidden from the camera as it's tucked behind a return wall. It's from and is definitely a work in progress.

The final piece of the puzzle came from the infamous green velvet chair from After Pantone announced their colour of the year 2017 - Greenery, my day job meant I was surrounded by all things green and I wanted to inject some of this into our room. We waited the longest time I've ever waited for something - I think it took 5 months. But once it arrived, the whole area was dreamt up in a day. 

All artwork and photographs are a result of my love of trawling craft fairs and makers markets and finding pieces that resonate with us and our life. I also like to think of myself as an amateur photographer so there's also loads of pictures I've taken of Manchester and the North West dotted around. 

This space is still our favourite room in the house and we've managed to create exactly what we imagined when first viewing it all the way back in November 2015. It will no doubt see more changes as my day job dictates I can't stop faffing and I can't wait for more dancing on the chairs with cocktails in hand to easy 90's with all our friends.