Tag Archives: Interior design

Interior Inspiration! William Morris – Love for Design

Standen House

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris

A quote I couldn’t agree with more! Today I decided that I really wanted to write about where interior design influence can come from. Especially where I tend to get inspiration from as what influences people can vary and is always personal. I love interior design and my inspiration comes from the people around me, my background, my work life, and a lot of the time simply the places I visit.

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Last year before we moved into our new flat I had the privilege of going into the famous Standen house in Sussex, which is actually part of the National Trust sites since 1972. I went with my sister who had a membership to National Trust sites in the UK, so I was lucky as I got to spend some quality time with just her on a beautiful spring day, for free! 😀 Thats one person that always inspires me, whether it be interior design or not. She’s artistic and incredible, so the tour of the site was just a huge added bonus.

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For those of you who don’t know much about the site  or house I’ll just give a brief description. The building of the house started in 1891 and was finished in 1984 at a cost of £18,065. My God what I wouldn’t do to be able to recreate something with the same budget 😛  And following what William Morris said ‘A house should be clothed by its garden’. William Morris (1834–1896) was one of the single most influential designers of the nineteenth century. He was more than just a designer, and under his guidance and influence the Morris & Co. firm flourished into the fashionable decorating firm it is still to this day. The house was designed to compliment the garden and vice versa, and it was purposely done so that the house and garden are seen together as one large design. The gardens of the gorgeous house were created by Margaret Beale, who happened to be the lady of the house 🙂 She was fascinated by plants, and thus had a strong influence on how the gardens came to be.  This said Morris made sure to bring the outside back in. The house is filled with floral prints and stunning inspiration from the garden. The house is chalk full with Morris carpets, fabrics and wallpapers. As we walked through I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of colour, intensity, and design that went into it. It was like walking through a work of art. At points it was overpowering for sure, because as I’ve stated before, I love my simple clean lines, but I couldn’t help but be in awe and a bit jealous if I’m honest, of such a stunning house. I could only imagine what it was like to live there over 100 years ago. Having said that however, a lot of the designs and prints in that house are used to this day. If not directly, then definitely influentially.

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We ended our lovely walk with the sites café’s own baked cakes and organic juices. It was too yum to even express in words! I also noticed the house did a lot of family fun times, like easter egg hunting for example. So its a great place to go and just have a family moment outside as well. The house is filled with facts and daily routines of the people that lived there. The gardens were superb and I could really tell why Mrs. Beale was so fascinated by plants, because she really did have a wonderful array of them! The house definitely inspired me in terms of colours and prints and its something I still carry with me today. I’ve never seen a house that literally didn’t have a corner of it decorated in some sense or another. So, if you’re ever wondering where to get inspiration from… then sometimes it really is as easy as walking outside and looking around. Or simply taking a trip with your sibling or spouse and making a day of it. I get inspired everyday by something. But rarely do I get blown away by the sheer amount of artistry in one spot! If you need some colour in your life or even just a bit of delicious carrot cake. Then go and have  a snoop around Standen house! You won’t come back looking at prints the same way again, I promise you!

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Standen House
“The true secret of happiness lies in the taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.” ― William Morris

 

Bamboo – Natural, elegant, cheap, durable, & sustainable.

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Bamboo, where do I even start? This little evergreen is one of the most versatile plants. It can virtually be used for anything. From houses in Asia, to luxurious Gucci bags on the high streets of Kensington. From the simple chopping boards, to beautiful works of furniture art.  It’s even a food for one of the cutest (and one of the most pointless) animals around! The snuggly Panda! There really aren’t limits to what this amazingly apt tree can do.

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I personally love the way bamboo looks. Maybe its because for 14 years I stared at a lot of bamboo in various forms growing up in Asia. I even ate out of it! To me it looks clean, modern, and earthy, but also has a twist of the old mystical times of South East Asia. The great thing about bamboo is that it grows insanely fast, in certain areas some varieties are actually reported to have grown 250cm in 24 HOURS! You can literally sit there in front of it and actually WATCH it grow! It is the fastest growing plant on the planet. Add to that the fact its sturdy and looks stunning, well hey, you got yourself an amazing little gift from Mother Nature.

Bamboo Box LargeThe best factor however for me is that bamboo tends to be really cheap, even though it can look expensive (and of course it can be too if you want that!). Like I’ve mentioned before I like to keep things clean and tidy and clutter free. I recently did a trip to Ikea and saw a little bamboo container there for £9 as a set of two. To Large Bamboo Boxme, thats a bargain! I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it! As you all know by now storage means everything to me, especially in this flat. And what do you think boxes are for? Si señor, storage! The first larger one (the smaller one is in the larger box) I wanted to use in the bedroom to hide all of the hubbies lotions and perfumes. The second I wanted in the bathroom just to have a place to ‘contain’ our toothbrushes and Smaller Bamboo Boxtoothpastes so as to at least attempt to make it more organised. You can even use the ‘lids’ of the boxes for something, or to even elevate them like I did for the smaller box in the bathroom. The sizes are great and can even fit on small ledges and shelves. Bamboo also seems to have a soothing affect on me. Somehow I don’t think its as harsh looking as other types of materials.

After I bought those two items, the theme of bambooing up the bathroom/flat really began. You can’t just sprinkle random bits and bobs in areas when you decorate. Interior design wise and feng shui wise rooms need to flow and need to seem like you aren’t stepping from one extreme into another. I’m a member of ACHICA ‘The members only Luxury Lifestyle Store’ and they do great flash sale offers on luxury items (a lot of which I’ve actually sold in my previous jobs). You have to wait for the products to arrive, but its always worth the wait. Luckily, I stumbled across a gorgeous bamboo range on the same week called ‘Premier’. They had tons of things I found attractive, but as always my frugalness came out as well as my need to only buy what I needed.

Bamboo Hand SoapNot to forget that I can’t just buy everything, I have very limited space to play with. I ended up getting a ceramic lotion dispenser with a bamboo stand  for hand soap as well as a Bamboo Loo Brushceramic loo brush with a bamboo stand! The dispenser cost £4.5 and the loo brush was £11.50! Absolute steals! I’ve seen this same sale pop up a few times on ACHICA so I wouldn’t be surprised if it came up again! It’s a great place to find truly exquisite things for much much cheaper. I really love them! They bring me back to Asia in a sense, but with a European flare. If your into sustainability, elegance, durability, and simplicity then bamboo products are definitely for you! Bamboo is unquestionably on trend at the moment and suits almost all interiors. Come on everyone, lets help our planet, our wallets, and our interiors by sprucing up some, and getting some bamboo beauties!

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Crates/Wooden Boxes – Storage never looked so good or natural!

Saxhyttegubben

I kind of have a thing for crates and wooden boxes. They’re so adaptable and look great! Not to mention either cheap or even free (if you know where to look), and guess what – have storage! For me thats already everything I need. They tend to come in good sizes as well so you can fit them into small spaces, which is exactly how we ended up using them. I used to work in a place that got a delivery of Saxhyttegubben Blåbar juice and they delivered the juices in these beautiful wooden crates. Those crates were then never collected back by the company so we either had to throw them away or, if you smart like me, keep them! Oh and as a side note the juices are SO delicious! Really hit the good ol’ Nordic in me again as they are picked from the forests of Sweden  and their surroundings, and aren’t simply bush grown. Believe me, there is a difference!

CratesSadly over the years I’ve broken a few through countless moves, but I still have 4 that have made it through! I’ve used them in every way you can think of. From just shelves on an ikea storage shelf unit, to paper recylers, a night stand, and now as an occasional table. I just love the fact I can hide so much stuff in them and they still look great. They’re quite fantastic in many different interior styles as well. And as my hubs also mentioned, you can paint them whatever colour you want to suit your interior. We haven’t gotten around toBoxes doing that as that is one of his manly man duties which he one day needs to also finish. Spray paint tends to be quick, cheap, and fast, but you can find whatever paint that tickles your fancy.  You simply wouldn’t believe just how much these small boxes can conceal. Not to mention you can usually get them for free if you just know where to ask or look. Try a few cafés around where you live, supermarkets, flee markets, or even just sometimes outside shops. If you wanna get some juice as well as crates then order some juice from the Saxhyttegubbe online store! 😀 I’ve also often seen apple crates for really cheap on Gumtree or Etsy, or if you want more bespoke ones you can try www.crates4you.com . The wooden crates are great for a rustic or traditional look, or if you’re going for that country/barn style of look. We have quite a simplistic scandinavian style and it works brilliantly with that as well. So have a look around and see what you can do with some free (or at least cheap), versatile boxes! You’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Storage Storage Storage (Bed) & Memory Foam Mattresses

Ahhhh – the bed. Probably the most important thing you would need to buy for your flat is the bed. It’s where you rejuvenate, sleep, relax, and… uhm… do.. other things *ahem*.. Anyway, I think we can all agree its something you should probably invest in slightly. I mean who’s favourite part of the day isn’t snuggling up under a nice duvet in a plush bed? But who said a bed has to stop there?

When we accepted our flat we knew it was going to be unfurnished and thats exactly what we wanted. Because for once we didn’t want to live in a place where every single piece of furniture looked like it came out of about 90 different studens’ uni years. Also, I was definitely aware of the serious storage issues we would face and knew when we moved in I would have to be smart about things. I would say I spent a good 3 weeks trying to find good beds that made sense, looked alright, felt comfy, but at the same time was multi-functional! i.e. it REALLY needed to be more than just a bed. Thats when operation hide-all-the-crap started.

The first thing we had to agree on together collectively was the size of the bed. We both compromised and knew we couldn’t get a king size (well we could have, but then that would be our bedroom… one massive mattress..) and settled for double. But because of this we also agreed that we wouldn’t buy the most expensive double bed we could get as one day we would want to upgrade. So, the frugal obsesssive research began.

Memory Foam Mattress

I  quickly came to realise I wanted to try out a memory foam mattress as my sister and her hubs recently got one and I read up on so many great benefits of having one. Some of which include better sleep, less back pain, more allergy friendly, and most importantly for us was the fact that if one person moved on the bed, the other person wouldn’t bounce around and feel it! If you’re anything like me then memory foam mattresses are great! I sleep like a drunken star fish. I flop around and take over massive amounts of space. Then adding to that the fact I still to this day have not learned to not drink loads of water before bed, makes me need to pee in the middle of the night. This used to wake the hubs up, but ta-dah not anymore! Plus when you have a big bulky muscleman sleeping next to you on a normal bed, the second they move, the drunken star fish bounces up on the other side of the bed and wakes up. A foam mattress actually stops that almost 100%. In regards to the mattress, you can find TONS of different variations, but what we went for was a medium Halo Memory 250 Mattress with Pillows from worldstores. And oh my god do I love it. Both of us moan with happiness when we get to lie in our bed, its that amazing! Once you get the mattress though you just have to let it rise (along with the pillows) for a good 24 hours before using it as they come vacuum packed. It’s also a bit factory stinky at first, but that goes away quite fast. However, a mattress is a mattress… we still actually need to get to the storage bed. As I said we needed a bed that actually served more than just a place to sleep, it needed to have a function.

IMG_4107I spent that 3 weeks checking GroupOn, online sources, bed stores, etc, for a storage bed. All of them were either quite hideous, hella expensive, or the storage space provided by them was just pointless or completely unmentioned. The problem still remained – we have all those suitcases we HAVE to put somewhere. And my massive one simply doesn’t fit in the other “storage” beds because of the lack of – yup – storage! I wasn’t kidding before when I said we have absolutely no storage space, none, nada, zip. I finally found a deal on worldstores for both the mattress mentioned before, and a Genoa Ottoman Bedstead. At the end we managed to grab the whole set (with pillows!) for less than £332! (Shhh if you buy em together you get an additional discount). Thats less than a double bed and mattress from Ikea! A NORMAL bed et co from Ikea! I was so happy! Not to mention the fact that the customer service I got from worldstores was actually quite great! I asked them loads of questions and measurements about the storage bed before I even went and bought it. The delivery was fast, cheaper than other places, and actually on time (for once!).

The bed was kinda fun setting up with the hubs as we both got to bicker at each-other while trying to figure out how to work the “pump” mechanism. I.e the thing that helps the bed move up. Now, remember the previous post with the huge amounts of luggage and Storage Bedother miscellaneous stuff? Guess where 65% of that all went! Yup, INSIDE the bed! This was and still is an absolute saviour when it comes to hiding all the unused things we have! If you have serious storage issues and have a small flat I really do recommend a storage bed! It works just as well, is just as sturdy, looks great, is cheap, but actually serves more of a function than just a simple frame. Also, I’m all about clear surfaces, probably the Nordic  in me. I literally get stressed if I see a mess. So this was perfect for hiding clutter. Out of sight, out of mind! If you need any more information or have any questions about what type of storage bed or mattress to go for, believe me, I am your man. As I have spent more than my fair share staring at hundreds (literally) of different ones as well as trying to find one with the right budget. And what bliss it turned out to be! Clutter be gone and sleep be good! Oh so so good.

 

And so it begins… The Frugal Interior Addict

This is going to be the very first post on this blog and one I’m really excited about because I get to blab about my favourite subject! Interior design! Ok, plus it’s a fun way to keep my mom in check of whats happening as well . So, as we know, I live in the ever so glamorous London… or not. More like I’m always too broke to do anything and now understand how well off we all had it when we still lived with our parents. I mean I literally feel as though at the end every month I’m excited to finally get that paycheque, only to have half of it fly right out my window and into the hands of another person. But, hey-ho I suppose thats life and like everyone else I just grin and accept thats how things roll in London. At least I have a roof over my head! Have to be happy about that fact.

My whole life I’ve managed to more or less work in the same area, which is design. I studied business and marketing and actually managed good grades, but like any uni student, I quickly figured out I have no idea what on earth I wanna do. But somehow something always drew me back to interiors and everything it comes with really. And this is what I want to share with the world.

I want to bring to others what I obsess over… I mean literally obsess over. I can spend eons fussing over a throw for the couch (and oh my god don’t even get me started on the couch factor!). I struggle with – and I know I simply can’t be the only one out there – serious space issues, storage issues, and lastly budget issues. As much as I’d LOVE to have a credit card that never ceases to have funds in it, reality is, I don’t and every time I want to furnish our new flat out with something I have to go out with a very strict budget in mind before I can even start. Finding stylish, yet affordable (and functionable!) solutions for our wee little flat is a constant up-hill battle for me, and I love it!

Being at a certain age now I’ve really come to terms with what it is I like and how I want my everyday surroundings to make me feel. And this is the journey to that.

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The hubs is going to hate me for this, but this was our move in day… no storage what so ever and the bed only came the night before. Mission impossible to get all of our stuff fitted somewhere began. And when I say we had no storage space, I truly and utterly mean it. No attic, no cupboards, no place to hide anything. No place to put a vacuum cleaner into either! Well, now that theres literally a clear picture of where it all began the process of obsessive research can begin 😛