5 things we do in bed… it’s not just for sleeping!

Button & Sprung bed with floral upholstered headboard and base

Many people see their bedroom as a sacred shrine to sleep. You read articles advising insomniacs to remove unnecessary distractions such as computers and mobile phones from the room. Luckily, both of us rarely have trouble dropping off to sleep. It’s said that you spend a third of your life in bed – for us it could be getting on for up for a half! Here are some of the things we get up to in bed… no sniggering there at the back!

Working from home in bedcredit

Work

We both work primarily from home, and a lot of that time is actually working from bed. Working mornings begin before we even get out of bed; we’re on the iPad or laptop answering emails, browsing social media… and even blogging. They’re all jobs done from the comfort of bed. Speaking of comfort, upholstered beds & headboards give necessary support to your back. They can be beautiful as well as practical, we especially love the pretty floral patterned example from Button & Sprung in our main image. Get extra help from bolsters and cushions.

wall mounted bedside reading lightcredit

Read

If you enjoy reading in bed, you’ll need decent lighting. A wall-mounted reading light frees up limited bedside table space. The bulb should be bright enough so you don’t strain your eyes, but not so bright that you dazzle yourself. Get a lamp with an adjustable, directional arm so that you (and your page-turner) don’t disturb or keep the other person awake.

Breakfast and newspapers in bedcredit

Eat

We usually have coffee in bed first thing most days, but breakfast in bed, especially at the weekend – now that’s a real real treat. A tray laden with fresh coffee, croissants, fruit, bacon & egg… along with newspapers and the radio… bliss! Come to think of it, it’s been a while – Sunday it is.

Bedroom decorated in natural shades with TV mounted on a wall at the base of the bedcredit

Watch TV

We love watching films and gorging on box sets such as House of Cards and Scandi dramas. We have a large TV mounted on the wall opposite the bed in our upstairs den. It’s such a comfortable position to watch the screen from. The perfect place to switch off and relax in the evenings – wood-burner crackling, pillows plumped up, a snack or chocolate treat close to hand.

Poppy storage bed base from Button & Sprung

Store stuff

Your bed can take up a huge amount of the space in your bedroom. Make it a multi-functional, practical piece of furniture by having an ottoman or under-drawers. You can never have too much storage space! You’ll find a large selection of divan beds with drawers and king-size ottoman storage beds on the Button & Sprung website. Bedding, towels, out-of-season clothes, shoes or, in my case, the overspill of vintage handbags can all be stored out of the way until needed.

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Oxo tin – cubed

Three types of vintage Oxo tin | H is for Home

We’ve bought quite a few vintage tins this week including three classic Oxo tins.

Three vintage Oxo cubes tins | H is for Home

We love an Oxo tin – that bright distinctive colour, design and logo. They’re perfect for holding all kinds of bits & pieces – and ideal for storing stock cubes, of course.

Three vintage Oxo cubes tins with lids open | H is for Home

Attractive packaging is always lovely to see in the kitchen or larder – and these tins are full of vintage charm. They have a real tradition and homeliness – a bit like a Colman’s mustard jar, HP sauce bottle or Kellogg’s cornflakes box. And when you lift the lids on these, you’re greeted with interior decoration too. In fact, the three tins we bought this week all had different insides.

Vintage Oxo cubes tin with lid open | H is for Home

Each tin holds about 50 cubes, so big enough to keep a selection of flavours – convenient and easily to hand when cooking. No more scrabbling amongst the packets at the back of the cupboard. We sell them for between £8 and £12 each and we’ve usually got one in “stock“.

Get their look: Garden games room

Garden games roomcredit

The word ‘garden room’ generally conjures up a mental picture of a highfalutin’ shed. This garden games room is so far removed from that image.

I’d love this room at the bottom of our garden… it’s about the same size as our garden! I love everything about it. The expansive run of folding doors out onto a patio. The huge vintage Chesterfield sofa for stretching out and reading in lovely natural light – or watching a film on that massive television. The vintage teak sideboard and record cabinet… probably holding an eclectic collection of LPs. The cute little wood-burning stove for those evenings when there’s a nip in the air.

This is a room where every member of the family, whether aged 4 or 94, would enjoy spending time!

  1. GLADSAXX frame, black
  2. Knitted pouffe, natural
  3. 65″ Curved 3D Ultra HD Smart TV
  4. Songs Playbar home cinema sound bar
  5. Vesta V8 Woodburning Stove
  6. 4-seater Chesterfield sofa
  7. Art Deco armchairs
  8. Orla Kiely nest of side tables
  9. Vintage teak record cabinet
  10. Vintage teak sideboard

Get their look: Garden games room | H is for Home

Caring for your Leylandii hedge

Leylandii topiary in the shape of a viaduct at Newtownards, Portaferry Road, Mount Stewart, Northern Irelandcredit

Once you’ve planted your new hedge, your work has only just started! Here’s the low-down on helping your Leylandii trees to grow and thrive.

Leylandii hedge giving privacy around a swimming poolcredit

Keep your trees well watered

You need to make sure the trees get enough water to thrive and that their roots don’t dry out.

If you’re planting them between November and February, they’ll need less water (or none at all if it’s rainy) – compared to if they were planted in spring and summer. If you buy pot-grown Leyland cypress trees from thetreecenter.com you can plant them from March to October just fine, but make sure you water them regularly. Once they’ve gone through one growing season, their roots will have extended enough so that they won’t need additional help from your garden hose.

Long, tall Leylandii hedge with a large urn to give structure and proportioncredit

Here’s how you water them

You should check if your trees need watering by putting a finger into the root ball – or the soil next to the root ball – and judging its dampness. It should be moist, but not waterlogged. You should do this every two or three days throughout the first growing season.

You’ll probably find that new Leylandii need a good watering once or twice weekly, but obviously this depends on your weather and soil type. If you’re planning to go on holiday, use an automated sprinkler or ask a friend or neighbour to water them while you’re away.

Hose the soil around the root ball until the water starts to run off, then move along to the next tree. Wait for the water to sink in before repeating this process three or four times.

You might imagine that rain is enough to keep your trees watered, but often summer rain isn’t heavy enough, so it would be a good idea to invest in a rain gauge. The average Leylandii needs around a ¼-inch of rain to provide it with enough water for three days during the summer months. If you’re not getting that from the sky, you’ll need to intervene! Step in before the foliage starts to wilt and before the roots dry out.

Giant Leylandii hedgecredit

Drought symptoms

When Leylandii get too dry or too wet, you’ll see the leaves turn yellow, then brown. This starts at the bottom of the plant near the trunk, before spreading.

As you’d imagine, drought symptoms are most often caused by the lack of water, but similar symptoms can also be down to too much water. Don’t leave an automatic sprinkler on for too long, and if you’re planting in heavy clay, break it up with a garden fork or shovel so excess water can drain downwards and sideways. Otherwise, the roots will rot and this means they stop working, leading to water not reaching the foliage.

Trimming a Leylandii hedgecredit

How to establish and maintain your hedge

You can begin to trim your trees as soon as you’ve planted them – lop off any branches that are too high or long and this will encourage shoots to grow within your ideal shape, thickening the hedge. When the tops of the trees get to about six inches from your desired height, trim the tops, which will thicken out the width.

Once your hedge is established, you only need to trim once a year.

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Home Tones: Dry Rose

Loft apartment with Dry Rose recesses and armchairscredit

I’ve just discovered something called, ‘Colorstrology’. It’s like astrology… but instead of it being your star sign, it’s your colour. You can read all about it in Michele Bernhardt’s book, Colorstrology: What Your Birthday Color Says About You. Apparently, if you’re born on my birthday – November 24th – your colour is Pantone’s ‘Dry Rose’. You’re also meant to be, “Profound | Exotic | Committed”. It goes on to describe me further…

Pantone 'Dry Rose' colour swatchYou have a giving nature and at times you may feel like you are not appreciated. Try to remember that you are loved and that not everyone knows how to or has the capacity to go the distance the way you do. You are highly creative and understanding. Many people will come to you for support. Your personal color protects your energy. Wearing, meditating or surrounding yourself with Dry Rose supports the compassionate side of you, but doesn’t allow responsibilities to run you down.

I don’t know if I believe in Colorstrology… any more than I believe in horoscopes. Although the favourite colour of a Sagittarian is meant to be purple, we love to travel and we sometimes speak before we think – all correct facts about me!

My favourite shade of purple is violet, but this Dry Rose has grown on me whilst writing this post. I’ve chosen images below of a few homes where the colour’s been used very successfully.

Bathroom sink console with dry rose coloured towelscredit

Wall stencilled in Dry Rose shades of pinkcredit

Purple painted house exteriorcredit

Modern kitchen with purple painted walls and matching Kitchenaid food processorcredit

Corridor with purple painted feature wallcredit

Bedroom with purple painted wallscredit

Modern kitchen with Dry Rose painted splash backscredit

Price Points: Hanging Baskets

Three hanging baskets | H is for Home

We’re back out pottering in the garden and have had some lovely sunny days recently. Our patch isn’t the largest, so we’ve been making the most of the vertical. All the wall and fence spaces have numerous planters attached. We’re in the market for some more hanging baskets, we only have one outside the front door at the moment. So many of the ones we’ve come across are just plain old boring though.

We finally found these three that we like and would gladly give garden room. The one we’d like the most though is the mid-priced, white IKEA example. It can be used both indoors and out and you can by two or more and hang one above/beneath the other – a great space-saver for a truly vertical garden!

  1. Wilko Hanging Basket Silver 30cm: £4, Wilko
  2. BITTERGURKA hanging planter, white: £8, IKEA
  3. Scheurich hanging pot, bright green: £11.99, Amazon