Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Making the advent wreath

I am bursting to the seams with excitement and anticipation for the four weeks that lie ahead of me. The joys and delights of enjoying Christmastime to the maximum. I truly am like a child in a sweet shop surrounded by the most delicious treats, just waiting to be tasted and delected. Can you tell I'm in my element?! And to top it off, I'm off to Germany very soon for a quick trip to indulge in all the wonderful delights of the Bavarian Christmas markets and all of what the interior shops have to offer. Yippee!

This weekend I took some time to create my Christmas advent wreath, which is currently sat on its lonesome on the dining room table, waiting to be joined by all of the other decorations yet to be hung up... so today I share with you the before and afters of this years wreath.

The theme is contemporary Scandi white, red and silver with mirrored base, glitter, snowflakes and hearts.

All the makings...

Setting the scene...
Red & white candles

The finished article

Simply embellished candles & felt snowflakes

Silver sprayed stones & painted wicker balls

The first candle lit...

...enjoying the candlelight with Gluehwein and mini Stollen!

 I hope you like my design. Why not email me photos of yours so I can share them on the blog too?

Happy advent wreath making!


Thursday, 24 November 2011


Noun: A rare, unusual, or intriguing object.

Recently, I was thinking about random design objects and back to this years BBC Apprentice and the porcelain teapot, that team Logic (led by the series winner Tom Pellereau) tried selling into interior design shops. Then whilst flicking through an old copy of marie claire Maison magazine I found something very similar, which inspired me to write about curios today or in other words objects that are bizarre, intriguing and simply fascinating. What was the designer thinking when they came up with the concept? Do you think you'd have a place for any of these in your home?

Bone china teapot light £95, Tuscanor Lighting
Not suitable for pouring you tea with, but would make for a discussion point over afternoon tea & cake!

Fork & Spoon candle holders £5.50, House Knutsford
Impractical, can't eat with them but a quirky decorative touch for an Alice in Wonderful type dinner party!

Rose Clock £49.04, Hidden Art Shop
A new take on a Victorian ceiling decoration. It makes clock-watching much more glamourous!

Hybrid collection from Seletti, launches at HOME, Earls Court Jan 15-17, 2012
Italian innovative household product company Seletti's Hybrid collection is a set of bowls, plates, mugs, cups & saucers designed  by CTRLZAK that show the juxtaposition of Eastern and Western porcelain in one piece. Each piece features two styles with a colored dividing line down the center. Talk about conversation starter!

A Handful of Plates, designed by Alissia Melka Teichroew
Take a normal plate and squeeze it up - now you can hold it with one hand & eat with the other. Perfect for parties...now, where to put my drink..?

“Curiouser and curiouser!” cried Alice 
(she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English).

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Setting the scene...

There's nothing like a brisk walk along the beach first thing in the morning to clear the head and fill it with new ideas and inspiration! I thought today I'd share with you some of my favourite little 'scenes' that I have created in my home, which may provide you with some ideas for how to set the scene in your house in the time before decorating for Christmas. I hope you like them!

mossy dining table centrepiece

my continuing love for tree stumps!

painted frames + wallpaper samples, simple use of yellow rick rack

prettying up the kitchen worktop

cute little jelly moulds!

white, grey & silver hallway decor

nature's finds
I hope you like some of my creations...I'm desperately trying to hold off decorating for Christmas... I already have the boxes down from the attic and have been rifling through them. I need to obviously, to make sure I know what I need to buy to add to the collection this year, don't I?! I'm being patient though, as I'm off to my most favourite place for all things Christmassy next week....Germany hooray! I think I'd better take an empty suitcase becuase I KNOW I am going to find LOTS I want to buy there ;) How are you getting on with your Christmas decoration planning?


Thursday, 17 November 2011

Time to think about the Christmas decorations

In today's Exeter Express & Echo I share with you a few little ideas for creating some simple and cheap but individual and creative Christmas decorations...


December is competition time

I thought I'd give you a tip off today... the start of December sees the launch of the Home Restyler Room Restyle competition on Facebook. So take some time to get some photos of a room that needs a makeover, visit
http://www.facebook.com/home.restyler , 'like' the page and keep your eyes peeled for news of the competition coming soon!

It'll make a fab Christmas present!

Happy snapping!


Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Taking inspiration from nature

Today is one of those days where I have been really appreciating the small things. Unfortunately, last Friday I damaged my back so perhaps it's thanks to the cocktail of strong painkillers that I have slowed down (and when I say slowed down, that is quite an achievement for little miss whirlwind me!) and stopped to take stock of the little things that we can use to make a big difference.

A carpet of burnt orange, rust & deep red

 The leaves are finally turning and all around are stunning natural, earthy tones of terracotta, indian reds, gold and bronze. (Driving from Powderham to Exminster has to be one of the most stunning routes at this time of year!)

These gorgeous colours don't just have to stay indoors, so how about bringing some of them into your home with candles, squashes and woodland forage finds.

A collection of squashes in a porch, mixed with fallen leaves & berries, next to chopped logs piled high, ready to keep the fire burning all through the cold months, is my idea of the perfect porch! Would that I live in the deep countryside, but I'm just not at that phase of my life yet. Forward planning though...

What an entrance this would make!

Create stunning displays using only what is natural, finished off with coulourful candles and beautiful ribbon.

Autumal display  

For real wow-factor, decorate a picture frame with pine cones, cinnamon sticks, dried slices of citrus fruits, gold-sprayed berries and natural leaves. You could just glue them onto strips of bark to create a raw, natural looking long centrepiece for your dining table or you make a Christmas wreath for your front door.

A natural creation by yonibunga

For a more simple display, add a bag of oranges or grapefruits to your weekly shop and pile them up next to a white display of candles. Simple, cheap and scented! Waste not, want not, when you get peckish you 'll have a healthy snack to hand! Group some nuts next to the fruit for a less stark look.

Simple, cheap & scented

For another, edible splash of atumnal colour, in your home, make some heart warming carrot & coriander soup, serve with crusty rye bread and relax. Bliss.


Thursday, 10 November 2011

Inspiring festive creations

I've just written my next article for Exeter Express & Echo and it's all about setting the scene at home for Christmas. I wrote about making your own advent wreath and I remember last year when I talked about advent, that the advent wreath isn't something that is that big in the UK and I would very much love it to be. Being half-German, I am very lucky to have a German perspective on all things Christmas. They go in for decorations in a big way and have some beautiful ideas for making your home festive. Today I would like to share with you a selection of inspiring ideas for making your own advent wreath from one of my favourite German websites / magazines Living at Home.

Funky, modern take. The numbers could be re-used for birthday decorations

Traditional with obligatory nuts, cinnamon sticks & orange slices

Classic, hanging option for real impact & wow factor

A mediterranean, outdoor option for your doorstep

Whimsical, fairytale, vintage look

Quick, easy, & cheap modern version

Red, white, silver & on-trend

The options are endless, your imagination is your only limit, so get creative! Do share your creations, email them to Home Restyler and I will share them on the blog.


Tuesday, 8 November 2011

It's a wrap

Dare I say it, but it's starting to look somewhat like Christmas! Every day now, I'm seeing more and more Christmas messages here there and everywhere. The shops are full of gifts, decorations, wrapping paper, cards and delicious festive treats. So now that it is a lot colder and Halloween and Bonfire Night are over, I am officially stating that I am getting into the Christmas flow! Woo hoo...my absolute FAVOURITE time of the year!

To celebrate my official acceptance of the most wonderful time of the year here are some of my most favourite wrapping paper designs this year.

Stylish & adorable vintage designs that hark back to a by-gone era

Retro 50's wrap
Filoro Gifts £4.99, 5 sheets

Christmas Village Scene
Filoro Gifts £4.99, 5 sheets

A Few of our Favourite Things
 Paper by Lab Partners at Nobrow, £10, 5 sheets

Modern scandinavian inspired gift wrap

Scndinavian inspired season greetings
Red Lilly, £1.10 per sheet

Scandinavian hearts with silver detail
Orchard cards, £8.25 5 sheets

Traditional snowflake pattern
Cox & Cox, £12.50 bumper 10m roll

Woodland inspired wrapping paper

Hugo the Hedgehog
John Lewis, £4 4m extra wide roll

Winter woodland
RSPB, £4.99 6m roll

Red/silver reindeer wrap
Funky Wrapping, £2.99 2m roll

It may seem early but there's no time like the present to get organised for Christmas! Happy shopping!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Make your home sparkle this Bonfire Night

It’s that time of year when all that sparkles and glimmers goes off with a bang, but don’t let that happen to your interior d├ęcor. Here are a few ideas and some inspiration to bring some shimmer and sparkle to your home for the firework season.

Romantic sparkler shapes

Choose your precious metal – the use of silver and gold colours create entirely different looks, they evoke different emotions and have an incredibly different impact on how a room feels.  If, like me, you much prefer silver and platinum when it comes to your jewellery, you are more likely to prefer using them rather than gold in your home, and vice versa.  
Silver, often used in conjunction with glass, pale wood, white and grey, simple design and pattern creates a cooler, lighter, more Scandinavian look at this time of year

Ideal Home Foliage & Frost dining room

Gold, often teamed with reds and berry colours, darker woods, more opulent fabrics and patterns, creates a warmer, cosier look and feel, that doesn't have to be old-fashioned.

Ideal Home Glitz & Glamour dining room

Choose the precious metal colour which suits you best and work it into your autumnal colour palette. No matter what colour scheme you already have in your home, you can mix in either silver or gold to it to add that vital sparkle, shimmer and shine that is so welcome in the darker, colder months.
Dress up your dining table – enough of eating on the sofa, make an occasion of your dinner throughout November and lay a table fit for a feast . 

  • Simply dress your table with a crisp white tablecloth, overlay it with a silver sequin table runner and set places with sparkly glass beaded table mats and coasters (glass beaded placemats set of 2 £25.00 & set of 4 coasters £20.00, TheWhite Company)

  • To accessorise wrap crisp silver and white linen napkins in bejewelled napkin rings (silver leaf spray napkin ring £3.50 each, John Lewis), add silver trimmed glassware and china, lay perfectly polished cutlery and finish the look by dotting antique silver painted globe tealight holders along the table (Globe tealight holder £6.95, Velvet Brown)

  • Create a simple but stunning centrepiece: spray apples, twigs and leaves with silver glitter spray and pile them all up in a glass bowl or on a glass cake stand. Voila!

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star – we all know that getting the lighting right is key to creating the perfect atmosphere in a room. If you’re happy with the lighting in your home but want to add a bit of twinkle without breaking the bank, why not buy some ‘fairy lights’. Light garlands aren’t just for Christmas; they can be hung in your home throughout the year. Simple strings of shimmering lights hung over mirrors, mantelpieces or sideboards add that personal finishing touch, making your home that little bit prettier and welcoming. These beautiful lights are from Primrose & Plum and cost £28.00, definitely worth the price for that added bit of sparkle.

Beautiful crystal garland fairy lights