Archive: Aug 2015

  1. 3 easy ways to get your home Airbnb ready

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    Holiday rental company Airbnb has taken the world by storm, currently having more than 1,500,000 listings in 190 countries. UK hosts are renting out a spare room for anything from £8 to £1,000 per night.

    So, if you’d like to offer up a room in your house to a holidaymaker it’s important to make sure it provides guests with what they’re looking for – a real home from home.

    And that is easily done. All it takes are some stylish touches here and there, and the visitors are sure to keep coming back for more.

    Purple home accessories to style up your home

    1. Give a warm welcome

    The first thing you want to ensure is that your spare room looks warm and inviting. There’s no need for a big overhaul – a few artfully chosen pieces can instantly make a room look cosy and well put-together.
    Drape this berry woven throw, £15, over a bed or chair and scatter a couple of purple chenille cushions, £10, around too. This lavender and geranium diffuser, £10, will give off a welcoming fragrance, while cute pieces like this dark orchid trinket jar candle, £4, just add that extra something.

    Baskets to help declutter

    2. Have a tactical tidy up

    You’ve probably been meaning to do it for a while anyway, so have a quick purge of any bits and pieces you don’t use anymore. These rustic rush weave baskets, £10 for 3, should be able to fit under any bed, so they’re perfect for keeping things out of the way. These Moroccan-inspired woven baskets, £10 for 2, and large white wire storage basket, £10, (available in small, £8), are also good choices for an instant, stylish neaten-up.

    Throws for the final touches

    3. Enough supplies

    It’s really important to have enough sheets and towels for your new guests to use. Impress them with this grey shell print bedlinen double, £25, or vintage-style country floral print bedlinen, £18. And thick, fluffy bath towels are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser – go for classic Egyptian cotton towel, £8, or cool monochrome diamond towel, £10.

    Hottest Airbnb places to head

    Of course, Airbnb isn’t all about inviting people to stay, it’s about jetting off and seeing some amazing places too. And there really are some incredible homes on offer. Check out our favourite few from the ‘Airbnb Top 40’.

    Cubehouse, Rotterdam

    Cubehouse, Rotterdam

    Mind-bogglingly brilliant to look at from the outside, this house is also lots of fun inside with all sorts of confusing angles and fun shapes going on. Located in Rotterdam, Holland, it can be yours to stay in from just £395 per night.

    Tile House, California

    Tile House, California

    You heard us: a whole house filled with colourful mosaic tiles, inside and out. In the making since 2000, this incredibly unique house in the Twentynine Palms area of California is full of bright colours and quirky touches. It even has a hot tub. Available from £139 per night.

    Dairsie Castle, Fife

    Dairsie Castle, Fife

    Why settle for a house when you can stay in a castle? Originating in the 12th century, the castle perfectly blends medieval charm with modern comforts. And starting at £271 a night and sleeping up to 13, it’s never been easier to be king for a day.

    Check out all the products featured, plus the rest of our stylish home range at your nearest store.

  2. 3 of the best Instagram accounts for interiors lovers

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    1. Share ideas at {mine}

    Newly launched this year, at{mine} is an online community for home and design lovers where members do the sharing. The site’s Instagram is packed with pictures of beautiful, real homes and by double-clicking the image you can view where to buy the featured items. Simples.


    Get the look: artful clutter

    Use surfaces to showcase a personally curated mix of candles, potted plants, mismatched glassware and ornaments – it’s an intriguing and creative way to show off your favourite things.

    Artful accessories for the home

    1. Large grey sand hour glass, £8 | 2. Silver bird object, £6 | 3. Small mercury glass bottle, £6 | 4 . Small ceramic lantern, £6 | 5. Small white candle stick, £6 

    2. Find chic kitsch at Charlestown Vintage

    Junior stylist, lifestyle blogger and copywriter Charlotte dreams of becoming an interiors magazine editor, and we say why not! Her Instagram feed is a delight to scroll – packed with vintage florals, country gardens and quaint tabletops.



     Get the look: vintage tabletop

    Create a quintessentially English tabletop by artfully arranging a mix of vintage-style and contemporary crockery, glassware and cutlery. Top Instagram tip: when taking a shot of your beautiful tabletop, make like Charlotte by angling the camera from above to achieve an on-trend bird’s eye view.

    English tabletop accessories

    1. San Miguel recycled carafe, £5 | 2. Monochrome jug, £10 |3.  In Bloom teacup and saucer, £4 | 4. Mini cake dome, £15

    3. Let loose with ISpyDIY

    Run by crafty creator and DIY-er Jenni Radosevich based in New York, I Spy DIY shows how to replicate designer style by making it yourself. And Jenni’s Instagram feed is proof that doing it yourself produces amazing results – think painted neon brights, quirky typographic art, DIY favourites and foodie creations.

    Three shelves with home accessories and flowers


    Get the look: colour pop

    Squeeze the last few drops of summer into your home by introducing brightly coloured accessories and graphic prints. This works best with neutral décor and fresh white walls, allowing your pops of colour to have maximum effect.

    1. White & Black Pattern Bone Effect Frame, £15 | 2. Aqua tumbler, £5 | 3. Dipped mug, £4 | 5. In bloom floral print bed linen double, £18

    Find our full range of stylish homeware products at your nearest store.

  3. What do your colour choices say about your personality?

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    We’re all naturally drawn to particular palettes and colour ways – whether it’s an obsession with all things monochrome or a love of sugary pastel shades. Certain colours make us feel good while others help us to chill out, especially when used within our homes.

    You might not realise it, but your choices can often mean more than you think, reflecting surprising facets of your personality and your passions.

    Choose your favourite colour ways from our selection below to discover your palette personality, then translate your chosen shades to your home with a few key pieces from our summer collection.

    Yellow, orange and green colour palette


    Bursting with creativity

    If you’re drawn to shades of orange, the chances are that you’re creative, energetic and fun, while fans of yellow shades tend to be bright and cheerful types. These colours often feature during picturesque dawns and hazy sunsets – think sunbursts and sepia shadows – so you’re probably a nature-lover, too.

    If this sums you up, inject more of the colours you love with these stylish homeware picks:

    Brown and orange home accessories

    1. This hand-embroidered wild floral cushion, £15, is perfect for adding some countrified charm. 2. Add a pillar candle to this wooden lantern, £35 (small, £22), for instant warmth. 3. A terracotta pasta bowl, £5, gives any dining table a rustic, hand-spun feel. 4. With it’s burnt orange colour scheme, this tealight tray, £10, always gives off a fiery glow.

    Pastel colour palette

    A natural pacifist

    If you feel at your happiest surrounded by deep blues and aquas then you’re probably a trustworthy and peaceful type, while a love of purple suggests that you can have a spiritual side with a wise outlook on life.

    Our top products for trustworthy types such as yourself:

    Blue and purle home accessories

    1. Dramatic and romantic, this pillar candle, £8, is ideal for purple lovers. 2. With its graphic print, this earthenware aqua print platter, £10, is perfect for adding pops of colour to your kitchen. 3. Evoke the feel of lazy Mediterranean lunches with these aqua print dip bowls, £2.50 each. 4. This butterfly wall art, £15, makes a stunning statement piece.

    Black and grey colour palette

    More than meets the eye

    If you’re always drawn to monochrome hues, then you’re most likely an influential person with strong views, but you may well have a more mysterious side too? Modern and elegant – the combination of black and white is a timeless one.

    Sound like you? See our top products for you sophisticated characters:

    Black and white home accessories

    1. For a modern take on the classic white look, go for this grey shell print bedlinen, £25. 2. Inspired by the line etches of tribal artifacts, this ceramic vase, £10, makes a striking focal piece. 3. Give your favourite photos a touch of contemporary style with this bone effect frame, £15. 4. Bold prints are all the rage at the moment, so get the look in your home with this woven monochrome cushion, £15.

    To give your home a revamp, check out our stylish homeware range at your closest store.

  4. Get Mary Berry’s Great British Bake Off style in your kitchen

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    On top of the mountains of cake, the brilliance of Mary Berry and silver foxiness of Paul Hollywood, one thing we love about the Great British Bake Off is the decor. The pastel colours and countrified look give a quintessentially British feel, while a healthy dose of vintage pieces add a nostalgic twist.

    Lucy Parissi, food blogger and baking extraordinaire behind, is passionate about things looking as good as they taste so we asked her to show us how to get that country-kitchen chic look at home.

    Cook book

    Mary Berry: style icon

    Having beautiful and practical bakeware that’s a pleasure to use and a joy to look at is always at the top of my list. The Mary Berry bakeware range was created with the help of the great lady of baking herself, who was involved in everything from brainstorming to product suggestions and colour approvals. It’s little surprise then that the range is classic but supremely stylish.

    The whole range looks wonderful displayed on my kitchen shelves, but one of my favourite pieces is this biscuit tin, £8. Made from carbon steel, it’s perfect for giving that popular retro-kitchen look, while the cream and pastel blue colours ensure it retains a country feel. I also loved the blue ceramic measuring jug, £12 – practical as well as pretty. Whether you use it to serve up custard or display delicate flower posies, it screams ‘simple, British style’.

    White bowl and jug

    Cool ceramics

    A good mixing bowl should last a lifetime, so opt for these stoneware ones that come in small, £10, medium, £10 or large, £12, plus the wax-resist measuring jug, £10 to match. The cream colour again makes them a perfect fit for a country kitchen, while the black decorative detail gives it that high-quality, timeless look.

    Cook books

    Great British Bake Off recipes

    Any baker worth their salt knows that storing good recipes is a must, so use this Mary Berry notebook, £7 for jotting down your favourites, as well as any tasting notes. And for some inspiration directly from the queen of baking herself, check out Mary Berry’s Baking Bible, (hardback, RRP £26.09, Ebury publishing), or her Absolute Favourites recipe book, £12.49, which features all the foolproof recipes from the show. Make sure it doesn’t get covered in flour and butter by displaying it on a solid wood cookbook stand, £12.

    Baking essentials

    Serve in style

    1. These porcelain Mary Berry cake plates, £12 for 4, are guaranteed to fall under the ‘good china’ category. 2. Create a stylish backdrop for your spread with this 100% cotton tablecloth, £22. 3. With their ceramic handles and stainless steel blades, these cake forks, £10 for 4, complement the porcelain plates perfectly. 4. The last thing you want is for your baked creations to lose their freshness. Store them in style with these classic nesting cake tins, £15 for 3.

    Now you have the bakeware style inspiration, there’s only one thing left to do… ready, steady, bake!

    Find the entire stylish bakeware range at selected stores.