A Very British Hygge

Why are we Brits so obsessed with all things Scandinavian? We seem to love Scandi design; type ‘Scandi’ into Google and every major high street brand has a listing on the first page. Each one trying to tempt us to come and check out their Scandinavian inspired offerings. Plus there’s a very well known blue and yellow homeware store that sells — not only Scandinavian homeware — but also the food. Meatballs anyone? It’s no secret that my big (man-shaped) boy and I used to go on date-nights there. Never let it be said that we don’t know how to live. We love their fashion too. When the boys were tiny, I used to scour the internet for Nordic baby-grows; the sight of those squashy little bodies encased in cool Scandi stripes or hip patterns would have my heart beating just that little bit faster. And it’s not just Scandinavian products that we’re loopy about. We seem to be influenced by their way of life too. Hygge was last year’s hot new buzzword — with Lagom following swiftly on it’s heels this year. But what are they? And why are we so fascinated by them? Well, ‘Lagom’ is a Swedish… Read More

Home Etc #124

Happy Home Etc day! And happy November too. I love this time of year. I’m definitely not a fan of winter but the run up to Christmas always fills me with so much excitement. PLUS I discovered yesterday that our home etc hashtag has been used more than seven thousand times! Pretty amazing for a little tiny community! Here’s a little collection of my faves. _hellobirdie_ /clarina1985  /diaryofamumof3 / house.of.hale.interiors   /fromcity2suburb / mrsjennyswift /pinkscharming / brickdustandglitter /homewiththebuckleys Favourite Home Etc Blog Our favourite blog post from last week comes from Emma who writes over at Oh Gosh. She shared her fabulous hallway transformation. I love these kind of posts the best. It’s all very well and good showing a beautiful, perfectly styled space but what did it look like before?? Well — I’m not going to show you — if you’ve not been over to her blog and seen for yourself!! I’m just going to say, it was nothing like the welcoming vision of loveliness that it is today! Pop over t her blog and have a look at the before pictures. So lovely. But when they’re paired with the ‘before’ photos it definitely gives an idea of how much work they’ve done! Well done Emma and welcome to… Read More

Letting sleeping dogs (bears) lie | A Sleepbear mattress review

I’ve gone to great lengths in the past to make sure our guests have a good night’s sleep when they come to stay. We’re lucky that the basics are already covered. Our guest rooms are on the back of the house so there’s very little traffic noise; visitors won’t be woken by lorries rumbling by in the wee small hours. We also have shutters on the windows; so the rooms are darker than dark. In fact — as my mum once discovered — it’s sometimes a little too dark. She woke up in the middle of the night once and was convinced she’d gone blind. Thankfully she hadn’t. It was just pitch black and she got a little disorientated. Anyway. Back to the positives. There’s always fresh bedlinen and clean towels. And a couple of year’s ago I set to, making a care pack for overnight guests. A basket full of everything a guest could possibly need whilst they were staying with us. But for all of those things, ultimately, the main thing that aides a comfortable night’s sleep is a good mattress. And if the mattress is akin to sleeping on porridge — or a bed of nails — no… Read More

240 weeks and 6 days | Autumn Colour in the Garden

We went back to my mum and dad’s a couple of weekend’s ago. It was my friend’s 40th birthday and we left the boys with my parents overnight and went up to the Wirral; footloose and fancy free. The next day we were not *quite* as chipper. Mr D had the hangover from hell and I had to drive the two hours back from the Wirral to my parents; then take over parenting duties once we arrived. Thankfully it was a beautiful day. We were having unseasonably warm weather and, whilst my party-loving husband slept his headache away, the boys and I spent most of the afternoon in the garden. I always think this time of year is amazing; nature puts on the most incredible show. There was so much colour in my mum and dad’s garden. Not the bright, brash shades of summer but richer, more jewel-like colours; hot pinks and berry-tones. Deep purples, reds and orange. And a million shades of green; everything from the silvery-grey of the eucalyptus to acid chartreuse of the Callicarpa bush. There were so many lovely plants. Some I recognised but others I had to ask my mum. Here’s my three very favourite… Read More

Home Etc #122

Did you know, there are just 8 weeks and 5 days until Christmas day? Sorry — for those of you that still aren’t allowing the C Word to be mentioned but I think we need to take a deep breath and acknowledge that it’s on it’s way. Me especially. I’ve been living in a bit of a weird state of suspended animation recently. Ever since the boys started school I’ve been trying to get into a routine and find my groove. Weirdly, everyone else in the family seems to have managed beautifully. The twins segue from nursery to school seems to have been faultless and they’ve settled in nicely. Their daddy drops them off at the classroom door every morning, before heading off to work. But it seems that I have not been able to adjust so well, and the change in structure has unsettled me a bit. Happily, the Home Etc community has been keeping me grounded and I’ve really enjoyed seeing lots of new blogs linking up each week. Favourite Home Etc Blog Our favourite post from last week was from Leoma who writes over at Style The Clutter. She showed off her gorgeous sitting room. Spectacular non? Although,… Read More

William Morris, Uganda & The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

I read something last week about Swedish Death Cleaning. Huh?? Yes quite. I thought Marie Kondo’s decluttering method was a bit full on but this new practice makes that look fairly tame! This new craze is based around a book called The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by a lady who, it’s fair to say, is in her twilight years. Margareta Magnusson is aged somewhere between 80 and 100 and has written a guide for purging your home of excess belongings (that you don’t need or cherish) in preparation for leaving this mortal plane. Her motto (one of many it must be said) is: ‘If you don’t love it, lose it.   If you don’t use it, lose it.’ Although the book focusses on the elderly and their families, Swedish death cleaning can be used whatever your age; to help you declutter your life. This isn’t a new concept by any means though. Back in 1880, the esteemed designer William Morris famously said: ‘If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.’ So although Swedish Death Cleaning may be… Read More

Home Etc #120

Aaaah happy Home Etc day! We’ve seen some lovely new bloggers linking in over the last few weeks. My cohost Lins has been on a real mission to bring fresh blood into our little community. And, as a result, we’ve been treated to some fab posts; both linking in here, and over on Instagram. I remember someone once saying that Home Etc was a bit like an online interiors mag and it’s so true. It’s lovely to go through and have a browse. The things that people are doing to their homes are just fabulous. Take last week’s favourite post for example. Favourite Home Etc Blog It’s from Jenny who edits the blog Seasons In Colour. She won a coveted Amara Interior Blog Award last year, for best colour inspiration, and it’s easy to see why. Her blog is a veritable treasure trove of colour and full of tips and tricks to create a lovely home. She shared an IKEA hack — always a favourite for me. I once turned a shoe-rack into a bathroom storage bench and gave a tired old IKEA chest of drawers a little bit of a face lift too. Jenny took a couple of humble… Read More

237 weeks and 2 days | A colourful bedroom makeover

Amazing how quickly the summer has passed. It seems that no sooner as the first snowdrops appear — and we joyfully wave goodbye to the cold and grey — that we we have the longest day, the nights begin to draw in and, in the blink of an eye, autumn is here again. It’s so unfair. The dark days always long outstay their welcome — but spring and summer seem to fly by. My sure-fire antidote to this is to fill my eyes with as much colour as I can during the summer months. I think this is one of the reasons I love festivals so much.   They provide so much colour and entertainment; a feast for the senses, that create colourful memories to last long after the summer has passed. But although I’m a huge fan of colour — and my wardrobe choices reflect that — our home has always been a little more ‘muted’ (for want of a better word). Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for bright accessories but these have generally been tempered by a pale background. Until last year, when I bucked the habit of a lifetime and — on a whim —… Read More