Archive: Aug 2014

  1. How to… make your home guest-ready

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    You know how it is – friends knocking at the door, and the place looks like it’s been hit by a bomb! I’ve found myself in this situation more times than I’d care to admit, but over time I’ve developed a few quick-fix solutions for when friends arrive unannounced. Here’s how I make sure my home is guest-ready, fast:

    Put it away

    When guests turn up unannounced, clever storage solutions are always my first port of call. I stash bathroom clutter out of sight in these roomy lidded wicker baskets, sweep any paperwork or magazines that are scattered about into this wire basket, and sort both clean and dirty laundry into two separate hampers.

    The right light

    Good-mood lighting makes a room instantly welcoming and I love lighting scented candles to add warmth and a welcoming aroma. It might sound strange, but I wrap them up and pop them in the fridge for an hour or so before lighting them. Wrapping them stops the wicks from absorbing moisture, and my candles last longer with a slow, even burn.

    Ready for bed

    I always make sure there’s a fresh set of bed linen ready to come out if anyone decides to stay the night. To save me digging around for a matching set, I tuck the sheet set and duvet cover set inside one of its pillowcases, and then stack them, set by set, in my linen cupboard.

    Prices, clockwise from bottom left: Mini Milk Churn, £3; Brecon Natural Chair, £249; by Sainsbury’s Small Rope Lantern, £16; by Sainsbury’s Large Rope Lantern, £22; by Sainsbury’s Metal Task Lamp, £30, see instore; by Sainsbury’s Ripple Effect Grey Mug, £4, see instore; Brecon 3-seater Natural Sofa, £449; by Sainsbury’s Natural Linen Cushion, £18; by Sainsbury’s Natural Stripe Cushion, £15; by Sainsbury’s Large Navy Cushion, £18; by Sainsbury’s Navy Linen Stripe Cushion, £15, see instore. (All part of our Refined Rustic range.)

    Tip of the week

    If you’ve got a beautiful bunch of flowers on the kitchen table or on a side table in your living room, guests are less likely to notice any surrounding clutter.

    Three key pieces

    Putty embroidered double duvet cover set Large metal basket Extra Large Lavender & Geranium Cloche Candle

    Large metal basket, £12; Putty embroidered double duvet cover set, £35; Extra Large Lavender & Geranium Cloche Candle, £30.

  2. How to… make floral displays

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    My job might involve me getting up at 3.45am to head to London’s New Covent Garden Flower Market, but I love making someone’s day better with a beautiful bunch of blooms! If you want to brighten up your home with a really eye-catching floral display, here are my top tips:

    stems is to cut them longer than you need Fill the vase three-quarters fullArrange the flower in the vase.

    My conditioning tips

    Before you get arranging, give your flowers a little TLC. I remove any leaves below the waterline of my vase, so the water stays clean. My rule for cutting stems is to cut them longer than you need — you can always make them shorter! I make a fresh, angled cut in each stem for maximum water absorption, and fill the vase three-quarters full.

    Large flower arrangements

    I love arrangements with plenty of texture! I work to the idea that you have a ‘lead singer’ flower (one that grabs your attention), a solid base of greenery and then the support singers (these are full of character, and make the lead singer look even better). Use the foliage to create a stable grid as the base for your arrangement, then begin forming a shape. Add your flowers, and check there’s not too much stem showing at the base of your arrangement.

    Keep those stems in place

    If you’re not using foliage as a base, you can create a grid for your flower arrangement using pot tape (thin gaffer tape, basically). This creates support and lets you build an arrangement quickly and easily.

    Tip of the week

    Don’t worry if you snap a stem or one of your flowers doesn’t make it home in one piece. You can still use them in bud vases, egg cups, jam jars or mugs! Just re-cut the stem so it can absorb water properly. Florence is the founder of Petalon, a London-based florist delivering beautiful seasonal bouquets around the capital by bicycle.

    Three key pieces

    Honest Gardener Enamel Mug Blue Dipped Tumbler Pink Heather in Jar

    Pink Heather in Jar, £8; Blue Dipped Tumbler, £4; Honest Gardener Enamel Mug, £2.50, see instore.

  3. This week we love… back to school crafts

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    We love any excuse to get crafting here on the stationery team at Sainsbury’s! With the kids getting ready to go back to school in a few weeks, it’s the perfect chance to add a little DIY fun to those term-time essentials. I think this cute homework calendar is great for making with kids – they’ll love putting their own stamp on it with lots of decorative touches!

    Step 3: Try using glitter glues, fluffy pom poms and pipe cleaners for starters. Add a loop of string to the top of your calendar so it’s ready to hang wherever you like!Step 1: Make sure you’ve got everything listed above! Place a label onto the centre of each foam shape, and write the day of the week and homework subject on it.Step 2: Push the coloured string through the hole at the bottom of the first shape and knot the end to secure it. Thread the other end through the top of the next shape, and knot to secure. Repeat until all the shapes are tied in a line.

    What you’ll need:

    5 x Butterfly Foam Shapes
    10 x Fluorescent Sticky Labels
    1 x Get Creative Ribbon & String Pack
    1 x felt tip pen
Glitter glue in various colours

    (All available instore from Sainsbury’s)

     

    To make the homework calendar:

    1. Make sure you’ve got everything listed above! Place a label onto the centre of each foam shape, and write the day of the week and homework subject on it.

    2. Get an adult to make a hole in the top and bottom of each foam shape, using a cocktail stick. Push the coloured string through the hole at the bottom of the first shape and knot the end to secure it. Thread the other end through the top of the next shape, and knot to secure. Repeat until all the shapes are tied in a line.

    3. Now for the fun part! You can decorate your shapes however you like! Try using glitter glues, fluffy pom poms and pipe cleaners for starters. Add a loop of string to the top of your calendar so it’s ready to hang wherever you like!

     

    Sainsbury's baking book available instoreTip of the week

    If you’ve got any loose ribbon ends handy, try making these super easy bookmarks. Tie a piece of ribbon around the top of a paperclip, making sure both ribbon ends are an even length. Repeat with ribbons in different colours, and use to bookmark recipe books or all that back to school reading!

    Are you a stationery geek? Get organised with the notebooks, folders and labels on our Stationery Pinterest board.

     

    Three key pieces

    Fluorescent Sticky Labels

    Creative Ribbon & String Pack,  Butterfly Foam Shapes

    Fluorescent Sticky Labels, £1.99; Butterfly Foam Shapes, £1.49; Get Creative Ribbon & String Pack, £1.33.
    All available instore.