Archive: Apr 2014

  1. Bank holiday room makeover – be inspired and win!


    Bank holiday room makeover: five ways to transform your table, including flowers in bottles, a candle holder as a place setting, lavender tied to a serviette, mixed vegetables on a wood plaque and a cupcake under a small glass cloche.

    You may not be jetting away this bank holiday weekend but you could transform your dining room into a French-style haven with these quick tips. On my blog at Tincture Ltd I’m always on the look-out for fabulous things, so I couldn’t wait to use Sainsbury’s products in this fragrant lavender makeover, which is perfect for entertaining or even as a wedding look.

    1. Start by choosing lavender-inspired pieces from the Sainsbury’s English Vintage range and lots of lovely lavender.
    2. Create a floral centrepiece with different-sized lavender bottles and glasses filled with flowers along a table runner.
    3. Place lavender optic jar tealight holders in the centre of each set of dishes as table settings.
    4. If you prefer, try making your own floral table setting. Dip white card tags into tea and leave to dry, before writing on your guests’ names. Tie the tags to fresh lavender. Finally, tie the lavender sprigs to folded napkins with purple raffia.
    5. To evoke a sense of Provençal cuisine, display heritage tomatoes, purple artichokes and French garlic in one of these wire heart baskets or on a text wooden plaque, laid on its side as a board.
    6. For dessert or as an extra decoration, place the cover of an oh-so-pretty lavender & geranium cloche candle over a cupcake – this is also very practical if you’re eating outside, as it will keep bugs at bay and prevent food drying out.

    To create this look, I used: tin heart jug £10; large vintage lavender bottle, £5; medium vintage lavender bottle, £4; small vintage lavender bottle, £3, see instore; wire heart baskets, £15; lavender optic jar tealight holder, £3; text wooden plaque, £12; lavender & geranium cloche candle, £3 Et voilà! All finished. Hope you enjoy your own room re-style projects this weekend.

    Win Grand Designs Live tickets!

    Has this post left you feeling inspired? Leave a comment below to say what home improvements you’ll be doing this bank holiday weekend and you could be randomly selected by Sainsbury’s to win five tickets to Grand Designs Live, courtesy of BRITA.

    If you’d like the chance to be the lucky winner, remember to be quick – you only have this weekend to enter! This prize draw closes on Friday 2 May 2014 at midday.

    Please see the terms and conditions

  2. How to sleep better – plus win a bedroom look!


    What do you look for in a great night’s sleep? Serene colours and a declutter can create a restful atmosphere in your bedroom – but when it comes to the finer details, everybody’s different. From light levels and background noise to the firmness of your mattress or pillows, what lulls you off to sleep is as unique as you are.

    Choosing the mattress that’s right for you can seem complicated, so I’ve put together a quick guide on what to look out for – and if you leave a comment below to say what you need for a great night’s sleep, you could be in with a chance of winning all the homewares pictured above! Just see our ‘How to enter’ section.

    Spring support

    The most common spring system in a mattress is the open coil or open sprung, which is available in a range of tensions to produce different support. If you like a firm mattress, try the 12.5 gauge – the firmest type of spring.

    Two’s company

    In a shared bed, a mattress should provide support to both of you: if one of you is heavier than the other, then the bed can sag and you’ll both to roll into the dip! A pocket spring mattress features individual pockets of springs that make sure the surface stays even.

    Have your fill

    While springs provide support, fillings ensure comfort. Generally, the more springs and filling, the more comfortable your bed will be. You can also choose memory foam: combined with open coil or pocket springs, this breathable material moulds to your shape, relieves pressure points and can even promote better circulation.

    How to enter

    So, what do you look for in your perfect bed? And what else guarantees you a comfortable night? Let us know what you need for a great night’s sleep and you could be our randomly selected winner! Your prize will include all the homewares pictured above – please see our terms and conditions for full details.

    This prize draw opens at 10am on Thursday 24 April 2014 and closes at 9pm on Thursday 8 May 2014.

    Three key pieces

    Ashby dove grey night stand

    teal square button cushion

    teal faux mohair throw

    Ashby dove grey night stand, £298; teal faux mohair throw £20; teal square button cushion, £8.

  3. Hot from the catwalk: three spring home trends

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    The catwalk may seem a world away from the cushions you choose for your living room, but fashion and home trends actually go hand in hand, with designers inspired by the same fabrics, colours and details. With this in mind, here are three fabulous styles to try right now.


    The embellishment trend is feminine yet feminist: it says I know who I am and I can play with it. Think Amy Adams in American Hustle.

    See the look: Blumarine Chanel Spring Summer 2014 (above)
    Get the look: Boho Chic range


    Navy is a follow-on from the ‘head-girl’ fashion including Peter Pan collars and prim knitwear. This colour is win-win for interiors too: it’s on-trend right now, but it’s so classic it also never ages.

    See the look: Chanel Spring Summer 2014 (above)
    Get the look: Refined Rustic range


    Mood-enhancing sunshine shades are all over the catwalk for spring/summer, giving a nod to 1950s ice-cream parlours and happy bygone times.

    See the look: Burberry Spring Summer 2014 (above)
    Get the look: Memory Lane range

    Catwalk photography: Getty Images

    Three key pieces

    Carved glass candle, £10; large navy linen cushion, £18; lemon metal case, £10

    Carved glass candle, £10; large navy linen cushion, £18; lemon metal case, £10

    Carved glass candle, £10; large navy linen cushion, £18; lemon metal case, £10

    Carved glass candle, £10; large navy linen cushion, £18; lemon metal case, £10.

  4. 6 Easter craft ideas for kids

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    Whether it’s making cute jar chicks or adorable outfits, keep boredom at bay with these Easter craft ideas.
    Have a hilarious time making an egghead family with egg shells

    1. Create cute jar chicks

    Kids will love making these cute Easter jar chicks, which make a great gift or a sweet table centrepiece. Finished off with chocolate eggs, raffia and a ribbon, they add a hint of Easter charm to any home.

    2. Make an egghead family

    Have a hilarious time making an egghead family. Transform a handful of eggs into silly faces with some cress, kitchen towel and doodling skills.

    3. Build a rocket

    A home-made rocket; use household items to create a bright, fun spaceship

    What do you do with the kids during a rainy Easter break? Build a rocket entirely from household items, that’s what. Follow these 6 easy steps and prepare for liftoff!

    4. Craft a table setting

    With a few crafty items and a handful of jelly beans, everyone can get involved in making this Easter flower table setting.

    5. Kit them out in Easter outfits

    Get your kids into Easter mode with these DIY seasonal outfits. Baby birds, bumblebees and flower headbands will make them look like butter won’t melt. Everyone say ‘Awwwww’.

    A fun flower table setting: use a flower cut-out and some jelly beans for a fun table setting

    6. Easy-to-make hand puppets

    Borrow Dad’s socks and get creative with these brilliant hand puppet ideas. Making mini mice, ladybird fingers and cheeky bunny puppets are all great ways to keep the kids entertained this Easter.

    Tip of the Week

    For a pretty and thrifty table setting, fill a few washed, empty jam jars with water and pop a daffodil in each one with the stem cut short.



    Three Key Pieces

    Easter craft pack by Sainsbury’s, £5; Fluffy yellow chicks by Sainsbury’s, £1; Hollow milk chocolate eggs, £3.50. See our range instore.Easter craft pack by Sainsbury’s, £5; Fluffy yellow chicks by Sainsbury’s, £1; Hollow milk chocolate eggs, £3.50. See our range instore.Easter craft pack by Sainsbury’s, £5; Fluffy yellow chicks by Sainsbury’s, £1; Hollow milk chocolate eggs, £3.50. See our range instore.

    Easter craft pack by Sainsbury’s, £5; Fluffy yellow chicks by Sainsbury’s, £1; Hollow milk chocolate eggs, £3.50. See our range instore.

  5. Kitchen style ideas: watch these shelves come to life!

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    What’s on your kitchen worktops and shelves? Is it simply the functional items you need day to day, or lots of ornaments that just gather dust? Here at Home Ideas we believe your kitchen can be both practical and beautiful, so we’ve put together this cute video of stylish and simple kitchen ideas.


    5 top tips for a tidy kitchen

    • Stack it: save space by stacking your prettiest cups, plates and pans on kitchen shelves, so they’re easy to reach.
    • Store it: keep pasta and dried pulses in gorgeous glass jars and tie with brown paper luggage labels. Old bottles and jam jars work just as well too.
    • Beautify it: create a pretty focal point with a bunch of vibrant flowers displayed in a simple glass bottle or vase.
    • Plant it: create a neat and tidy little herb garden in your kitchen. Pop potted herbs into drinking glasses – just remember not to overwater them, as there won’t be any drainage holes!
    • Contain it: keep those pesky crumbs at bay and store bread in a bread bin, to minimise on mess.

    What do you think of our kitchen style ideas – and do you have any of your own?

    Tip of the week

    Want more colour in your kitchen? Add a few key pieces from our cast-iron cookware range – the royal blue looks gorgeous with copper and oak.

    Three key pieces

    Cook’s Collection copper tri-ply 24cm stockpot, £65; Grey and white shaker, £6; Oak grater, £6Cook’s Collection copper tri-ply 24cm stockpot, £65; Grey and white shaker, £6; Oak grater, £6Cook’s Collection copper tri-ply 24cm stockpot, £65; Grey and white shaker, £6; Oak grater, £6

  6. Expert picks: our top five stationery must-haves


    It’s easy to be a stationery geek with a day job as a stationery buyer. I’ve got a bit of an addiction to notebooks and coordinated stationery, and I love seeing all the upcoming trends at work. With National Stationery Week running from 31st March to 6th April 2014, it’s a chance to indulge my passion for paper clips, pencil cases and that all-important paper quality. On that note, here are my top 5 stationery picks:

    Stationery must-haves; a scrapbook with printed tapes, coloured pens and sticky notes.

    1. Notebook

    I’m constantly writing out to-do lists, whether it’s for work, holiday packing or gift ideas. It’s really important to me to have a notebook that looks beautiful and is practical enough to fit in my bag.
    Top buy: Tribal Geo 3 exercise books. £3.99.

    2. Scrapbook

    I love being creative with photos and scrapbooking is the perfect way to create beautiful memories. I bring my photos to life with printed tapes, coloured pens, decorative papers and sticky notes.
    Top buy: Memory Lane postcards square scrapbook, £3.99

    Stationery must-haves; a desk accessorised with a notepad, stationery box, pen and photo album.

    3. Sticky notes

    Sticky notes help me to get organized in the office and at home, whether it’s sorting my favourite recipes, picking outfits from magazines or simply keeping track of any important weekly notes.
    Top buy: Botanicals butterfly sticky notes in tin, £2.49.

    4. Design pens

    I always like to make sure I’ve got a stylishly designed, good quality pen in my bag. I really love spring florals at the moment so it’s great to see this theme featured in our stationery range.
    Top buy: Memory Lane ballpoint pens (X2), £1.99.

    5. Storage Box

    I like to make sure I’ve got plenty of storage boxes on my desk at work and at home. I use them for everything: magazines, stationery, craft accessories, make-up, recipe cards and letters.
    Top buy: Botanicals painted floral stationery box, £4.99.

    Kerry’s top buys are all available at Sainsbury’s from 6th April 2014.

    Tip of the week

    Use banded notebooks to keep everything you stuff inside them firmly in place, from receipts and envelopes to scraps of paper.

    Three key pieces

    Three key pieces; a butterfly recipe book, floral post-it pad and postcard notebook. Three key pieces; a butterfly recipe book, floral post-it pad and postcard notebook. Three key pieces; a butterfly recipe book, floral post-it pad and postcard notebook.

    Butterfly recipe book, £5.99; Painted floral memo block, £2.99; Postcard book, £3.99. See our stationery range instore.