Price Points: Old skool sneakers

Black old skool sneakers | H is for Home

My (only) pair of trainers are coming to the end of their life. I’ve had them for at least 15 years and the soles are worn down to the thickness of paper and the fabric is splitting across the vamp where the toe joints bend. They’re a pair of all-black Nikes and I’d like to replace them with something fairly similar.

I don’t like trainers that are too high-tech – you know, those made with colourful space-age material, aerodynamic shape, computer-engineered soles and all that. I just want a pair of old skool sneakers. ‘Sneakers’ must be an old fashioned word – my spell-check tells me it doesn’t exist!

I know exactly what I want from my new pair. I’d prefer if they were low-tech canvas or hemp. They need to be black all over, I don’t like black uppers with thick white sidewalls. This kind of style is so They can be worn with jeans, skirt or dress – really versatile.

I usually prefer the look of Pumas over other brands. However, I’m tempted by the £90 Nikes – they’re completely customisable. You can choose the material; the colour of the base, quarter, swoosh, laces, outsole and sidewalls; style of the tongue… you can even have customised text printed to the underside of the tongue!

  1. Old Skool Lite: £55, Vans
  2. Suede Classic+ trainers: £58, Puma
  3. Nike SB Zoom Stefan Janoski iD skateboarding shoe: £90, Nike

Price Points: Black thermal leggings

Black thermal leggings

I took my first Christmas shopping trip into Manchester city centre yesterday. I was mainly looking for warm winter clothes for Justin, but I managed to have a little browse at a few things for me as well. Before the weather begins to get too cold, I want to make sure I get myself a new pair of black thermal leggings to wear under my waterproof trousers while I’m out walking.

I popped into Marks & Spencer and made a beeline for the escalator up to the ladies’ underwear department. They had a very good selection of thermal socks, tops and bottoms. I had a feel of their cashmere blend leggings… so soft and warm! Cashmere is a brilliant material for thermals, it’s very soft – softer than sheep’s wool (which makes me itch if it comes into direct contact with my skin for too long), it provides excellent insulation, it’s lightweight and it’s a natural material. Everything you need for a winter base-layer – it’s the choice that I’ve gone with!

Thermal leggings have had a 21st century high tech treatment. They’re all about Heatgen™, Thermolactyl and Isotherms and their ‘heat retention technology’. It reminds me of the kind of terms used by laundry detergent and cosmetics companies in their TV and magazine ads!

  1. Isotherm women’s brushed leggings – black: £4.99, Mountain Warehouse
  2. AUTOGRAPH Heatgen™ thermal leggings with cashmere: £25, Marks & Spencer
  3. Thermolactyl grade 4 long pant: £32, Damart

Home Tones: All Black

All black bedroomcredit

It’s dark, dramatic all black for this week’s Home Tones. And we’ve chosen images where walls, floors and ceilings are incorporated into the scheme. It creates a cocoon or womb-like space that envelops the occupant. Spotlights and mood lighting have the perfect backdrop to look their best.

There are a wide range of highlight colours that work well. Our personal favourite are those mustard yellows, tan leathers, blonde woods and wicker. It’s also a great colour to display artwork against. Black & white photos sit very nicely – and bold flashes of colour have real impact – a huge abstract oil painting springs to mind. All in all, it’s one of our absolute favourite interior looks.

All black hallwaycredit

All black exteriorcredit

All black living roomcredit

All black home cinemacredit

All black sitting roomcredit

All black home officecredit

All black kitchencredit

Home Tones: Nearly Black

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Somerset cottage sitting room with nearly black painted wallscredit

You’d be hard pressed to open an interiors magazine today without being presented with rooms bedecked in nearly black. It’s a recent favourite, especially in wall coverings. Farrow and Ball’s Railings must be the most famous deep grey paint colour on the market right now.

If you don’t wish to be that bold, you can test the waters by using it as an accent colour – in furniture, soft furnishings and lighting. It’s just the best colour for showing off brass, blond & chestnut coloured woods, yellows, lime green, blood red, teal and shades of white.

It works so well when hit by shafts of natural daylight and is quite magical by night too, lit softly by lamps or the flickering flames of real fires and candles.

All the photos that we’ve featured here prove that nearly black can work successfully in any room of the house. Go on, embrace the darkness! 🙂

Eclectic bedroom painted in Farrow & Ball 'Railings' eggshellcredit

Stone spiral staircase with red carpet and nearly black painted wallscredit

Nearly black fitted kitchen cabinets with contrasting lime green bar stoolscredit

Dark grey painted bathroom with large feature wire chandeliercredit

Nearly black painted sitting room with matching sofa and floor lampcredit

Study with floor, walls, cornice and bookcase painted in very dark greycredit

Cloakroom with nearly black painted and tiled walls and splash-back contrasting with white sanitary-warecredit

Etsy List: Black Beauty

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'Black Beauty' Etsy List curated by H is for Home

Black is stylish and sexy, adventurous and dangerous, mysterious and serious. You can jazz it up by using it alongside bright colours like fire engine red and hot pink; give it a ‘luxe twist with gold, bronze and animal print highlights or go traditional with white and cream. You can incorporate black into your interior décor scheme with pattern – think hounds-tooth, check, spots and stripes.

Don’t be afraid to use it – but beware of overusing it – unless you’re intentionally after a Gothic look!

Black Beauty
Curated by H is for Home

Monthly Mood Board: Monochrome

'Monthly Mood Board' blog post banner

Black and white monochrome mood board | H is for Home

A monochrome interior need not be boring. What it lacks in colour, it can more than make up for with pattern, texture, tactility… and humour.

  1. Vitra Utensilo black: £177.00 – £219.00, Heal’s
  2. Mima Le Chat print: £42, Bodie and Fou
  3. KLIPPAN two-seat sofa, Storlien black/white: £175, IKEA
  4. Bobby desk lamp: £12.60, Habitat
  5. Vintage ivory 10kg weighing scales, black & white gingham scales: £3.26, Etsy
  6. Smeg A4-BL-8 dual fuel range cooker, gloss black: £2669, John Lewis
  7. Marimekko Siirtolapuutarha Dots espresso cup & plate: £26, Heal’s