Stylish toy storage

Apologies for my absence of late, I discovered the world of instagram (@decor.junkie – come say hi!) and also have a toddler who decided to stop napping (nooooo!), well actually he temporarily stopped napping and now we’re back to every few days, which is better than nothing.

While he’s asleep is the perfect time to try and sort his toys, because otherwise he decides he can’t live without that annoying musical toy that he hasn’t played with in 9 months and you just can’t get rid of anything or tidy up.

As much as you try to only buy nice wholesome wooden toys, it’s inevitable that some brightly coloured plastic crap (usually with lots of buttons and irritating noises) will find it’s way into your home. So my solution is to find stylish ways of storing toys away when not being used. Below I’m going to list some of my fave storage solutions for said plastic crap.

Obviously a toy box is a good place to start. Argos have some fairly reasonably priced ones, including a plain pine one that you can easily paint or customise yourself. I went with a white one from Sue Ryder online as it was a bit smaller than some of the others I’d seen and had a soft close lid (avoiding squashing small fingers!). It cost us £49.99, but is now on sale for £39.99 with 10% off for new orders. Click photos for link.

toybox

 

argos toy box

 

Baskets are pretty much everywhere at the moment and there are some really pretty ones about. They are such an easy way to tidy things away, as you can just bung everything straight inside. The down side being that it takes literally 2 seconds for the toddler to tip it all out again. I’m a little in love with Oli Ella baskets, they have some gorgeous designs and I will definitely be adding a few of their styles to my collection. See my favourites below. Belly baskets are also cheap and simple option (Ikea have some for £9, although make sure they’re in stock before you drive an hour to your local store to get some like we did!). I’m also loving all the grey and felt storage baskets around at the moment, like the one below from John Lewis.

 

felt basket

Vintage storage solutions are a good one, as they add heaps of character, can usually be found cheaply second hand and are pretty good on the environment front. I love the old steamer trunks that have plenty of space and can even be used as coffee tables. However, they can be quite hefty and take up a fair bit of space, so something to be aware of. I’m keeping my eye out for a reasonably sized vintage leather suitcase as I think it would make a great home for the wooden train track and train paraphernalia we’ve accumulated.

vintage leather suitcase

Metal trunks are a great way of adding an industrial vibe with tons of storage. I’ve already bought one metal trunk and went with this one from Habitat, which cost £40.00, but I’m thinking about getting another larger one to stack underneath. They’re quite hardy and will stand up to a fair bit of bashing from kids, also a few dents and scratches won’t look too amiss and will only add to the industrial look. I’ve found that the clasp on this one generally flips in the way if you knock the lid down. But trapped fingers could be an issue with other styles, so might be one for older kids!

habitat trunk

trunk laredoute

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other toy storage options include stacking boxes, crates and lidded bamboo or seagrass chests.

I particularly like this ‘Mr bear’ pull along crate from Great Little Trading Company (£40),   bamboo lidded storage from Habitat (from £30) and wooden stacking crates (£30 GLTC).

 

book cart

 

 

habitat bamboo cheststacking box

 

Anyone else have any ingenious solutions for hiding away the toys? I’d love to know …

 

 

 

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Thrifty Challenge

So it’s been a while since I’ve posted, not for lack of motivation, but time to myself has been pretty limited. Today I decided to set myself a challenge while out shopping. With a £5 budget I had to find a second-hand bargain for the house from one of the local charity shops. I love browsing charity shops, you never know what treasures you might find. Not only is it good for your wallet, it helps create funds for charities and there is the added bonus of being good for the planet, reducing demand for newly manufactured goods by reusing those already in circulation.

A few months ago I picked up a complete vintage tea set for only £3.99 and I’m pleased to say today’s challenge was equally as successful, with 2 items purchased for under £5 and the change even went in the donations pot!

I browsed a few shops before settling on my final purchases, with a lace curtain and art deco vase nearly making the cut. But in the end I settled for an Aztec style table mat and peacock decorated jewellery bowl. As you can see below the new additions are already making themselves at home.

Key Interior Design Trends for 2016

  • Mixing old and new: I’ve always been a fan of mixing old and new – because you get the best of both worlds! Classic, timeless pieces can blend effortlessly amongst modern styles and technology. With the recent minimalist trend, certain interiors can risk becoming bland and sterile, but with the addition of vintage or retro pieces, you can inject character into a room. I for one am very happy to see this trend gaining popularity.

oldandnew

Source: Bloglovin

  • Adding the personal touch: Demand for bespoke and artisan interiors products has soared in recent years. Everyone wants something that sets their home apart. Handmade items are often perceived to hold greater value than the mass produced. They also provide a connection to the maker, add a storytelling aspect to the design process and give more value for money. The increased interaction between consumers and designers enables more customisation of products, creating unique pieces. This is an exciting trend that many retailers could use to their advantage. Daniel Hopwood, president of British Institute of Interior Design (biid.org.uk), says: ‘The recent up-cycling craze, is about to become more sophisticated. ‘This year is about taking the shop bought product and customising it to add character and personality or finding the craftsmen or artist to create the bespoke.’

artisan products

Source: Decorator’s notebook

  • High Contrast: This trend draws parallels with the mix of old and new. Creating a contrast of styles or textures creates interest and adds depth to a room scheme. I think this trend will most prominently be seen in kitchen design with a move away from plain white and cream gloss units and shift towards a mix of monochrome cupboards as well as contrasting the plain gloss units with more interesting and warming wooden cupboards.

high contrast

Source: Hitta hem

  • Graphic Tiles: Geometric prints have been making a statement in kitchens and bathrooms throughout 2015 and this trend looks set to continue. These bold prints and patterns can be used to jazz up walls and floors, while giving a modern edge.

geometric tile

Source: Mckimm

  • Brightly patterned fabrics: Vibrant fabrics with an Asian and South American influence are likely to be big this year. With the Olympics in Rio this year, Brazilian colour influences and exotic motifs are likely to be seen across fabrics and textiles.

    Philippa Prinsloo, design manager for John Lewis Home, says Brazilian themes will be big. ‘Brazilian brings out vibrant greens that celebrates the more exotic flora and fauna of jungle and the Forest,’ she said. ‘The bright colours help to accessorise a space and do so with a bit of wild abandon.’ Brightly coloured patterned fabrics can add warmth to a room and are a great way of adding style that can be easily changed.

brazilian prints

Source: Elledecoration

  • Statement lighting: Lighting is a big trend at the moment and an excellent way to creature a feature in a room without too much disruption. We’ve seen the growth of pendant lights, especially in kitchens and above breakfast bars, as seen here. This is likely to continue with more statement lighting making it’s way into other rooms.

statementlighting1

Source: West elm

  • Metallics: Metallics have been on trend for a while, with copper taking centre stage. With more 70’s influences appearing, a shift towards brass and gold accents looks likely. From appliances, to hardware to light fixtures, warmer metals will be adding interest, style and glamour to interiors in 2016.

gold accents

Source: decorpad

  • Calm, soft tone colours: This year’s Panetone colours (Rose Quartz & Serenity) provide a calming colour palette; with some predicting the soft dusky pink will become a staple neutral. These colours, reminiscent of the 1950’s work well with retro and mid century looks.

 panetonecolours

Source: Bloglovin

  • More eclectic kitchens: Kitchens are likely to lean towards a more lived in look in 2016. This makes sense with kitchens being the heart of the home. The move away from stark, single colour units and the introduction of contrasting units as well as natural elements, continues this trend. Open wooden shelving can help to achieve this vibe, with mismatched ceramics and crockery on display and easy to access.

eclectic kitchen3

Source: gofeminin

  • Statement bathroom mirrors: 2016 will see the introduction of luxe, high impact bathroom mirrors in place of medicinal mirrored cabinets. This is a fantastic opportunity to add glamour to your bathroom. It can also help maximise space in what can often be a small room by reflecting light at the same time as creating a focal point.

statement bathroom 2

Source: Apartmenttherapy

I’ve just picked a few of the key trends likely to be gracing interiors over the next 12 months, there are many more which may or may not take off.

It will be interesting to check back in later in the year to see which trends have made most impact and if any unpredicted trends surface. While it is important to be aware of the changing trends, it doesn’t mean you should be remodelling your entire house based on them. You may like to pick and choose according to your preferred style or you may not follow trends at all, but prefer more timeless decor.

Either way I’d love to know if you have incorporated any of these key trends in your interiors, whether it was deliberate or pure coincidence …

Getting Organised!

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Life with a baby can leave you with little time for yourself and things can easily get on top of you (hence the gap between blog posts). I’m trying to stay organised, so that when my little one is awake I can spend all most of my time and attention on him instead of being distracted.

When you’re at home all those organisational jobs that need to be done end up staring you in the face and it can be quite very frustrating when you don’t get a chance to sort things out.

Little time savers or ways of organising the home can make a big difference, they can help clear your mind and give you a positive outlook. This week I’m feeling motivated to get organised. I don’t know whether it’s the winter weather or the start of a new year, but its definitely time to channel my inner teacher and get out the charts, spreadsheets and stationery.

There are a few elements of daily life that I’m trying to organise, one being the weekly food plan. It’s become the bane of my life (First world problems, I know!) We get a weekly box of fruit and veg delivered, which changes by season, so we try and plan our meals around that and buy the few extras that we need. Although it takes time to devise a weekly menu and shop for the extras, it saves us spending a small fortune at the corner shop. It also saves me time prepping and making dinner as I know exactly what’s on the menu.

Whilst it will be an ongoing project I have found some planner templates below, which are a good place to start. Pinterest is also a very useful resource bank.

http://blog.worldlabel.com/2012/organizing-planner-the-harmonized-house-project.html

Having somewhere to write the meal plan and then clearly display it, helps me and my husband to know what meals are coming up and what needs preparing. It seems to be working well so far and I’ve even spied friends that have come over checking out the menu to see which night they’d most like to come to dinner!

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At the moment our meal plan is displayed on the pillar in the kitchen using a clipboard, but below are some other interesting ways you could display yours. I’m thinking I might try a magnetic photo frame on the fridge next …

 

 

Source: thenest, carlaaston, vintageglamourous, pinterest

 

Under the glass dome

Autumn is upon us and it’s a time for change. For months I’ve been staring at the glass dome in our kitchen-diner thinking I could be much more creative with it’s display, but couldn’t think of anything outside the obvious. It’s currently used to display a bird ornament and while it looks cute, I feel it could be much more striking. I was hoping an amazing idea would spontaneously appear, but no such luck, so I’ve decided to search for inspiration.

Originating from 17th century Italy, the glass cloche was used to protect plants from frost, whilst acting like a miniature greenhouse. The idea soon caught on and spread across gardens in Europe. Today they have moved indoors and become an interesting way to display flowers, books, crockery and other intruiging objects. They can be a great way of adding personality or creating a seasonal display within your home and many retail spaces also use them to display their wares. They obviously lend themselves to the kitchen for food storing purposes, but don’t be limited by practicality; they really can be used anywhere.

The displays I’ve been drawn to range in style from intricately beautiful and kitsch, to traditional and more natural. I also love the idea of changing them with the seasons. So to coincide with the arrival of Autumn, I’ve included some creative Autumnal displays. There are so many interesting ones I haven’t yet decided which is my favourite, but I hope to try out several of them!

I hope you like some of the ideas below and I’ll be back with an update when I’ve found one that suits my style.

cloche1 cloche2 cloche3 cloche4 cloche5 cloche6 cloche7 cloche8 cloche9 cloche18 cloche17 cloche16 cloche15 cloche14 cloche13 cloche12 cloche11 cloche10 cloche19cloche20

Source: toy carsdeutinkamer, mediacache, cotton reels, dilcdn, rootedintime, bymildred, finehomedisplays, rowenandwren, lifechilli, forodecoracion, decouvrirdesign, juxtapoz, raisingmissmatilda, notonthehighstreet, white-living, theloopyewe, bhg, davidstarksketchbook, designsoda

Chalkboard Art

chocolatechalkboard

A few weeks on from the completion of our chalkboard pillar and it’s become a useful kitchen feature. Shopping lists, reminders, growth charts and personal messages have all found themselves exhibited on the pillar at some point. Having proved its usefulness, I am now keen to treat it more as a work of art and have been searching for designs to create an impact. Although not alien to drawing, I am not a spontaneous doodler and need a source of inspiration to follow.

With the rise of the hipster cafe and the blackboard wall, there are a multitude of funky graphics and quotes out there to draw on (excuse the pun!). I’ve gathered a few of my favourites below, which I will be narrowing down and trying my hand at in the near future … Let me know if you have a favourite chalkboard design.

Many of these can also be purchased from Etsy as framed prints, so if you don’t have room for a chalkboard, you can still create interest in the kitchen.

Kitchen themed chalkboard art:

tea&deserts rollwithitchalkboard

bonappetitchalkboard               bonappetitchalkboard

I’m loving this balloon themed artwork.

balloonchalkboard

Bicycles make interesting art:

bikeprintchalkboard

Quotes can be motivational and inspirational:

creativitychalkboard    quotechalkbpard2                          lightbulbchalkboard             alicechalkboard

Chemical formulas and symbols can also make interesting displays:

chocolatechalkboard chemicalsymbolchalkboard

Source: shutterstockEtsyEtsyEtsyEtsyEtsyEtsyInstagramFineartamericanrdcEtsy