RIP Fudge

RIP Fudge

We don’t often publish really emotional posts, however we feel that we need to today. We reckoned that we can’t spend years blogging about all aspects of life and then not dedicate a post to one of the most important things – no matter how difficult. Our much-loved Weimaraner, Fudge passed away two days ago at the age of twelve. We knew this day would shortly arrive, he’d been suffering with hip and spine degeneration and digestive problems. Despite this, the devastation we’ve been feeling since it happened is crushing.

He’s been an integral part of our lives for such a long time, just getting through the mundane day-to-day chores is horrendous. What seemed important before suddenly feels irrelevant. As we work from home, he’s been in our company practically 24 hours a day. When we think about all the things we’ve shared – the thousands of walks, the holidays, days pottering in the garden, nights by the fire, the pork pies!

The house feels completely empty without him. In the future we hope to console ourselves with the fact that he had a great dog’s life and couldn’t have been more loved – and the reason it’s so painful is that we had something very special to lose. For the time being, it’s a bit of a struggle to say the least. You have to just keep going, we suppose.

We’ll try to keep on top of business and blogging as we work our way through the loss and grief. If there are any hiccups in our normal routine or schedule, we hope you’ll understand.

Sweet dreams little man…

Tips on how to style your holiday home

Tips on how to style your holiday home

If you own a holiday home or have recently purchased one, you need to know how to prepare for the guests to arrive. You have a blank canvas on which you can truly use your style to give it a unique touch. Thanks to the rise of sites such as Airbnb, you can now rent out your property for days or weeks at a time when you aren’t using it, meaning you can get some welcome additional income to help with your household bills or Christmas presents. However, you don’t want your home to lose those quintessential touches – making it feel more like a hotel than a cosy bolt hole. So, whether you plan to use your holiday home yourself, or are looking to rent it out to holidaymakers, then keep these styling tips in mind.

Large picture window in a holiday home

Flooring

Believe it or not, flooring can make or break a holiday home. If your property is by the beach, then carpet is a nightmare to clean, while woodland cabins could soon see your dream floorboards become mud stained and damaged. If you are planning on renting out your home for several months of the year, then you need to make sure that you put practicality over style when choosing the right flooring for your property.

If your home is likely to be popular with families, then a non-slip and easy clean option will be a functional ideal to help any little accidents to be removed quickly and easily. If your property is in a more urban setting, or you only rent out to adult guests, then go wild with your dream cream carpets or wooden floors. However, if you want to make sure that you protect your flooring then warn your guests before arriving. Stiletto heels will cause some serious damage to your oak floorboards, so it’s better to set some ground rules before you start welcoming guests.

Open fire in a rustic holiday home

Embrace the surroundings

Remember, that your property is your second home, rather than a hotel or guest house. So, don’t let yourself be too influenced by the latest style trends or colour palettes. If you are fortunate enough to own a log cabin or cottage in Cornwall, then embrace your surroundings and any features that your home already offers. Don’t spoil gorgeous wooden beams with garish paint, or get rid of architectural features – as these add a unique touch to your property. Remember, these are all aspects that you can highlight when marketing your house to potential guests. If visitors wanted to stay in a hotel, then they wouldn’t be choosing your home.

Neutrally decorated sitting room in a holiday home

Be bold

Use colour to give your vacation home a truly unique touch. Remember, that you can use bright and vivid colours in the living areas, although bedrooms should be kept neutral so that your guests can feel a sense of calm when they are resting. Neutral tones can make the house feel modern, open and clean, but the use of dark colours in small, cosy living spaces can make any property feel cramped and oppressive for guests. Always buy sample tins of the paints that you like and test them in natural daylight for a true representation of how it will make your room feel. If you have a room that is for younger guests, then you may even want to consider using paint that is designed for easy cleaning. Tots and little hands will soon wreck any white walls, so make sure that you choose a darker neutral tone to conceal any damage.

Neutrally decorated double bedroom in a holiday home

Add unique touches

If your home is full of quirky or unique furniture, then this could influence whether your guests keep coming back year after year. Especially if you are marketing your home for adult guests, then make sure that you use a few unique pieces and items across your home to give it a personal look and feel. From adding some flea market finds, to leaving family photos on display, there’s no reason why you should make your home a sterile or boring environment. So, let your creative juices flow and be sure to include several items or pieces of art work that celebrate who you are as a family. It’s advisable, however, to refrain from keeping objects of high sentimental value in your holiday home, some things cannot be replaced!

Patio overlooking the Greek coastline

Ample seating

Don’t scrimp on seating! Even if your home is small and perfectly formed, remember that when your guests stay in your property they may invite friends and family members over for meals. Be sure to have ample seating in your living room, with a cosy couch and lazy chairs for your visitors to chill out in after their family meal. If your property has a deck, then be sure to provide some outdoor seating too, as your guests will love the opportunity to spend time eating and sharing time with family outdoors. You could even consider keeping some extra seating in store, if you have a garage, so that any visitors can help themselves and make good use of the space. If you’re looking for advice or help on renting out your holiday home, then sites such as TripleNet Gateway can help. Visitors may be put off returning to your property if they can’t enjoy it to the full, so make sure that you consider all options as you prepare your home to receive paying guests.

As a holiday home-owner, you need to make sure that your property reflects your own tastes and style, while providing a practical and welcoming space for any potential visitors or guests. Make sure that you provide enough seating and consider the type of flooring within your home. Don’t be afraid to include a few unique items or family photos to make guests feel welcome and at home – it’s a holiday home and not a hotel. Finally, have fun with colour to make your property feel stylish and warm. There’s no reason why you can’t inject your holiday home with a few stylish touches and colours, just make sure that whatever you choose suits your space. Once you’ve given your home a makeover, you can sit back and enjoy your stylish efforts.

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4 things to consider when redecorating your bedroom

4 things to consider when redecorating your bedroom

Redecorating your bedroom may seem like a simple, straightforward decision at first, but it can involve a lot of logistics. If you want something impressive that will stand out, or that makes your bedroom more functional and conducive to sleep, there are some things you’ll have to consider before you start. Here are some of the things you have to know when redecorating your bedroom.

Bright red bedroom wall with black iron bed head

Will the colour still be in style years from now?

Colour is probably the most important thing you’ll have to decide upon before you do anything. It will set the tone for the whole room and dictate what kind of furniture with which you’ll be decorating it. It’s essential that you don’t just choose a colour because it’s trendy since you might have difficulty not only sleeping in it, but finding bedroom furniture in your colour as well. This is why you should go with classics unless you have no issue with switching colours every few years.

Heavy bedroom curtains

Are these curtains conducive to good sleep?

One of the main purposes of curtains is to provide you with the proper light levels for a good night’s sleep. Sure, we all want our curtains to look stylish, but unless they can perform this important purpose, they’re pretty much useless. Make sure that the curtains don’t clash with the other colours and textures in the room, but also make sure that they have the proper thickness as well.

Girl's bedroom with wall art

What’s the room’s focal point?

There’s nothing that can spruce up the look of a bedroom like a good focal point. And this isn’t simply limited to bedrooms, any room will feel incomplete without a clear focal point.

Most would assume that the bed should automatically be the focal point of your bedroom. However, a focal point could be anything, such as a nice piece of art for instance. You can construct a whole room around a piece of art – from the colour of the walls through to the bedding. This will give the room a great sense of cohesiveness. You could also go for something a little bit more extravagant, like a nice chandelier for instance. Whatever you choose as a focal point, make sure that it’s special and stands out.

Bright, white bedding

What kind of bedding will I be using?

This may seem like a simple question however, the way you choose your bedding will have a profound effect on the overall look of your room. Most people would be content with picking a generic, pre-made matching bedding set. But if you want to make it extra special, it would be better to choose pieces from various sets. This will allow you to come up with something more unique and mix & match textures to give the room that extra oomph.

Redecorating your bedrooms needs proper planning if you want your efforts to be focused and the end result to be cohesive. If you take the few points above into consideration before starting your project, you should be able to come up with great ideas for your next bedroom.

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Get their look: Log cabin-inspired bedroom

Log cabin-inspired bedroomcredit

A log cabin-inspired look won’t suit every interior however, in this new-build in London it looks spot on.

The rustic clap-board wall is a pretty simple job for an enthusiastic DIYer to accomplish in a weekend. All it would take to reproduce is a pallet of reclaimed pine floorboards, hammer & nails, tape measure, spirit level and sharp electric or hand saw. Just look out for hidden electric cables and water pipes when banging in the nails! We love the way the planks continue across the ceiling making you feel enclosed when snuggling up in bed.

The warm wood is picked up in the bed head, bedside tables, armchair and beautiful herringbone parquet flooring. The rustic feel is counterbalanced with industrial type wall, ceiling and table lighting. The huge sliding windows which look out over to mature trees help bring even more of an ‘at one with nature’ feel to the room.

  1. Beat wall light, black by Tom Dixon
  2. Buster + Punch Hooked 1.0 nude pendant ceiling light + small lampshade
  3. Deadstock Catherine table lamp by Castor
  4. Bed frame
  5. Fibreglass plant trough
  6. Natural engineered flooring, oak herringbone
  7. Striped throw, yellow/grey

Get their look: Log cabin-inspired bedroom | H is for Home

Check yourselves in for festive fun at Hotel Chocolat

Hotel Chocolat chocolate Christmas tree

We’ve been busy doing lots of Christmas-themed posts in the past couple of weeks. So much so that we need to give our own Christmas plans a little more attention maybe – especially on the Yuletide gift front.

Hotel Chocolat packaging | H is for Home

We’ve just been sent a beautiful chocolate parcel by Hotel Chocolat and it got us thinking… chocolate has to be the best foolproof Christmas present ever. We’re don’t know the exact percentages involved, but surely there aren’t many people who don’t like a bit of chocolate! In fact, in all my years, I’ve only ever met one person that doesn’t like chocolates… and I think they were just in denial! You can be pretty confident that a present involving chocolate will be a big hit with most people.

Christmas Hotel Chocolat

The standard newsagent bar of chocolate is fine for everyday consumption however, at Christmas you want something just a little bit special – whether it be superior quality, creative flavours or festive themes & packaging. Fortunately, Hotel Chocolat has built it’s reputation on fulfilling all three.

Hotel Chocolat Christmas stocking | H is for Home

Chocolate is the perfect gift idea for grown ups and for children. Kids especially like the fun shapes, novelty packaging, exciting flavours and quirky twists on a Christmas theme. The chocolate parcel stocking we received contains some lovely little treats including creamed caramel puddles, a sleigh team and Santa on a stick!

Children's chocolate from Hotel Chocolat | H is for Home

The kids’ section on the Hotel Chocolat website contains a myriad of chocolate-themed Santas, snowmen, robins, penguins, snowflakes, puddings and the like. We’re looking forward to trying our novelty reindeer/ we enjoyed sampling our novelty reindeer, but perhaps most grown ups will be looking towards more sophisticated options.

Hotel Chocolat & Prosecco gift box

The classic champagne & chocolate springs to mind. A variety of choices are available on this front. There are other boozy options too including gin, Prosecco or even beer & chocolate collections. Or how about incorporating the chocolate into the drink itself with delicious salted caramel cocoa vodka?

Hotel Chocolat wreath box

There are things for the whole family to share – such as Christmas crackers, advent calendars and tree decorations. There are hampers too with something for everyone to enjoy. Some of the hampers and boxed collections are so attractive that they’d make a wonderful centrepiece display for those festive get together meals and parties.

Hotel Chocolat subscription box

The Hotel Chocolat website is a joy to browse – full of tempting choices for all occasions. Chocolate is wonderful gift for Christmas, however – Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day and anniversaries provide plenty of other chocolatey opportunities too!

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Designer Desire: Kaj Franck

Mosaic of Kaj Franck designs | H is for Home

What? We’ve never featured Kaj Franck on Designer Desire before? How did that happen?!

We have some of his designs in our home and in our shop. So far, we own a ‘Muki’ mug decorated with Raija Uosikkinen’s ‘Lintu’ pattern and a large ‘Kulho’ bowl with Esteri Tomula’s ‘Tatti’ mushrooms pattern (6th from top, on the left).

The one design on his wares that I really, really desire is ‘Sydän’, the red hearts on white enamelware range (3rd from top, on the right). This pattern was designed by Gunvor Olin-Grönqvist. I’ve seen it on bowls, plates, kettles, jugs and mugs – but the condition and price has never been right.

Kaj Franck (1911-1989) was one of the leading modernist Finnish designers working in glass, ceramics, enamel and metalware. He was artistic director at Arabia (now Iittala) and produced many of their designs as well as ones for their subsidiary company, Finel. He also designed many pieces for glassware company, Notsjö Nuutajärvi.

After researching Franck’s back catalogue, we realised that there’s a similar scenario to the design collaboration between Cathrineholm designers Grete Prytz Kittelsen and Arne Clausen. One person designed the vessel (which was Franck’s domain) and others, such as Esteri Tomula and Raija Uosikkinen, produced the applied pattern.

Some of his popular ranges – such as Teema crockery, Scandia Cutlery and Kartio glassware – are still being manufactured and are available from the Scandinavian Design Center and Finnish Design Shop. I prefer his more colourful, more interesting vintage designs which are always available on eBay, Etsy, Pamono and Bukowskis.

There’s a book on Franck that I’d love to buy, or failing that, have a flick through entitled Kaj Franck – Muotoilija / Formgivare / Designer, currently on sale at around the £100 mark.

Portrait of Kaj Franckcredit

Additional image credits:
1st Dibs | Bukowskis