beach house interiors

We just cannot get enough of our beach house at Birchington Vale and due to a busy social schedule (the twins – not ours!), we haven’t been down for a couple of weekends. So we are really looking forward to getting down there on Saturday – after the girl’s sleepover that is!

You know that feeling you get when you are in your favourite place? The world seems at peace so you sit back and relax? That is how our home at the beach makes me feel. We love it so much I could move down to Thanet in a click of my fingers but of course real life butts in and it’s just not possible. Paul would have a 2 hour commute each way, the girls would have to change school and with year 5 looming it’s just not a good idea to move them right now.

So, what’s the next best thing? Well, bring the beach house home!

twins on beach

 

very excited to be part of the Wayfair home experts team, I have collaborated on numerous occasions in the past, like my ‘Shelfie’ post, where I concentrated on wall art in the bedroom. I also created a recipe for them, a classic beef stew which, come the autumn, I shall be putting back on the weekly menu.

Now I am a Home Expert, I will have the opportunity to work on exciting projects with them and I embraced my first challenge, the Blogger’s Picks, with a lot of enthusiasm.

I was asked to go on the Wayfair website and choose six favourite pieces to create a theme. I chose Go Coastal and the above image is my final choice which I put forward.

Wayfair Home expert badge

Beach house interiors

Bar table and stools  

The thing I love most about the summer is the impromptu visits, the barbecues, the drinks, the easy chat in the summer warmth, this bar table and stools is perfect as it is casual but elegant at the same time and can be turned into a dinner table too. should the situation arise.

Kashmir table lamp

I like to create an ambience that shouts out, locally sourced, beach life and rustic. This Kashmir table lamp ticks those boxes in a quiet and understated way.

Ship’s Wheel Wall Decor 

Fun, fun, fun! Why not add a bit of retro to the room and keeping in with the beach theme too. This ship’s wheel decor is most definitely an eye catcher.

Vienne vase 

Pure, classic, simple and beautiful in its own way. I might be tempted to drop shells, driftwood and beach mementoes into my Vienne vase in it as time goes by …

Glass mosaic place mats 

My colours. I can’t stop looking at them and wouldn’t these mosiac place mats work perfectly as an impromptu dinner mat or even a centre table for dips and snacks? LOVE.

Reclaimed wall mirror 

I love reclaimed articles and this wall mirror is a perfect example. It shows great workmanship, it is functional and it has that ‘Im rich but not a show off’ attitude about it. Beautiful.

 

So there you have it, my first challenge completed and I am really pleased with my choices. what do you think? Are you inspired by your environment when decorating the home?

Moroccan Antique Lamp[ThinkStock - iStockphoto]

A guest post by Moroccan Bazaar

As anyone who’s travelled in the Middle East and north Africa will know, the souks of cities like Marrakesh provide a shopping experience quite unlike anything you’ll find on European soil.

For the budding interior designer, browsing one of these dense and labyrinthine open-air markets is a vertigo-inducing assault on the senses. They’ll come face to face with a dazzling array of exquisite throw rugs, luminous lanterns, intricately fretworked furniture, pouffes, pillows, table runners and tassels.

Unfortunately, not all of us can afford to shop for homewares halfway across the world – much less to ship an extravagant haul back home to Britain. That said, just a few pieces of Middle Eastern or Moroccan decor can set you on your way to having the Bedouin-inspired living space you’ve always dreamed of.

Evocative lighting

Lighting plays a profound role in establishing a room’s atmosphere. The smallest of alterations can transform a homely, unspectacular interior into something that evokes the glamour and sophistication of a cosmopolitan Marrakesh residence – or even create a sense of drama and mystery.

Middle Eastern and Moroccan lamp shades are often characterised by intricately tooled fretwork, casting mesmerising shadows and bringing drab surfaces to life. For a classic souk curio, consider investing in a floor lamp rather than a wall or ceiling-mounted one. These vary in size and height – some standing up to a metre tall – so they’re equally viable as breathtaking centrepieces as they are for bringing life and animation to a neglected corner of a room. You’ll find austere iron-framed floor lamps as well as more delicate brass and iron variants, so it’s worth reflecting on what will suit the room best.

If you’re looking for something a little more compact, try employing a handful of different Moroccan candle holders. These won’t break the bank and can be easily rearranged, so you can create that exotic ambience whenever and wherever you fancy.

Moroccan Antique Lamp[ThinkStock - iStockphoto]

Cushions and pouffes

It’s easy to revitalise a drab and lifeless sofa with just a couple of throws and cushions. This avenue alone could be enough to satisfy your cravings for souk-chic decor – think of textiles adorned with spellbinding oriental patterns, indulgent sequined cushions and opulent leather bolster pillows.

The quintessential Moroccan furnishing is the leather pouffe, a fabulously straightforward means of injecting some north African glamour into your home. A veritable design classic, the pouffe comes in a massive variety of different colours so there should be something to suit just about any colour scheme. A more conservative burgundy or brown will give the impression of having come directly from the souk, but more adventurous interior designers should consider the unparalleled glamour afforded by a faux leather gold or silver footstool.

Mirrors and frames

To breathe some new life into your wall decor, consider replacing understated mirrors and frames with more ostentatious furnishings. Moroccan-style frames often incorporate elaborate patterns, whether through wrought iron trellises or hand-chiselled silver fretwork. Crucially, you’ll want pieces that suggest they’ve come straight from the workshops of artisans who trade at the souk, so the more eclectic the better.

Don’t be afraid to choose furnishings that contrast with one another. Whether your frames are finished in brass, gilt or even camel bone, you’ll find that the treasure-trove look creates an exciting bohemian vibe – giving the impression that you’re a worldly-wise traveller even if you’ve bent the rules a little.

Photo credits – ThinkStock / iStockphoto

Disclosure: This is a guest post that has been written for Moroccan Bazaar

HomeSenseThis year’s BritMums Live also saw me invited to lunch hosted by HomeSense and asked to become a Sensologist. Well I’ve never had an ‘ology’ before so how could I refuse?

I was asked to complete the Facebook app to discover which sense I used when decorating my home, I hope you had a go too as there were some fabulous prizes to be won.

Anyway, turns out I am Atmospheric, which I like and agree it kind of suits me.

I like to create atmosphere in our home be it tranquility in the bedroom, colour pops in the kitchen for fun or beautiful pictures on the wall to remind me of long ago holidays.

Yes for me a home is all about atmosphere, you may trip over a few cuddly toys on the floor and have to step around a half completed puzzle but I hope you’ll feel at ease in my house and warm to the bits and pieces I have on show.

All of my objects mean something to me, they have a tale to tell and I treasure them all so when I go shopping I try to search for products that speak to me and will fit in with the rest.

Having discovered I am Atmospheric HomeSense then invited me down to visit one of their stores and my closest happens to be a stone’s throw away at Thurrock.

I don’t visit Thurrock very often as we have the dreaded Dartford Crossing separating us with long tail backs and nightmare queues but off I set one sunny morning and presented with a £30 voucher I started to search the store for items that grabbed me.

homesense cushions

Sadly (for me) there were loads and loads and loads. I couldn’t make my mind up on the cushions I wanted to take home and changed them about three times before settling on this LOVE one I have on my work chair (RRP £12.99)

HomeSense Love cushion

and my owl – isn’t he colourful? (RRP £12.99)

HomeSense owl cushion

I LOVED this chaise longue with it’s scatty patchwork but it was over my budget at £599.99 but still hugely discounted (60%) from it’s original price

HomeSense chaise Longue

I thought these bright tiles would make an excellent addition to kitchens, dining rooms or conservatories, they are backed with felt and have hooks for hanging but I guess they’d make great pot holders too.

HomeSense tiles

Fun in the hallway with a stag head

HomeSense

Look at this full mirror for only £99.99 I’ve seen the equivalent in a home catalogue for £250!

HOmeSense mirror

…and my piece de resistance which I dragged away at the grand cost of £59.99 because I had to have it, this massive bean bag/gaming chair. It’s covered in a tough, wipe clean fabric and both girls can get on at the same time. The idea is to create them a reading corner in their room so as they learn to read more and more they have a cosy place to do so.

HomeSense

The one thing to keep in mind about shopping at HomeSense is the buyers are buying all year around and stock is constantly changing so if you do fall in love with something my advice is to get it as you will not find it on a return visit.

Check out my Instagram timeline for more images of amazing products I found whilst shopping at HomeSense

Disclosure: I was given a £30 voucher to spend in Homesense and write this review as you can see I went way over budget as there were far too many things I wanted to buy *sigh* I could have spent a fortune.

“I’ve had a few in my time.” said the Lady to the Bishop. Sorry I couldn’t resist that comment :-) but let’s be serious I’m talking about coffee tables. As a young girl out of college my first was a very scratched glass and chrome hand me down and the most expensive coffee table I have ever owned was a hand made wooden one topped with glass that was the worst ever to clean as the work was so intricate, I had to use a hairdryer to get to the really tricky bits! Currently I am using the girls’ little table and chairs to rest my mug of tea on of an evening whilst feasting my eyes on Luther (isn’t he gorgeous?)

Yes, I can see you’re not impressed and in fact neither am I but needs must and all that. You see, the last coffee table we had was a sturdy wooden base, a shelf underneath for all my magazines, heavy books and the TV guide and a glass top but the girls soon learnt to pull themselves up on it and when we caught them standing on it, grinning from ear to ear at their prowess we knew it had to go. Reluctant to part with it I dawdled with taking photos in order to sell it or pass it on and it wasn’t until the girls started bashing the glass top with metal cars that I quickly made my mind up and our coffee table was banished from the lounge never to return.

I enjoyed all that extra space and so did the twins, finding all this new found running area but two issues arose the first, where to put my magazines, books and the TV guide? And secondly when the girls were in bed and fast asleep where to put my mug of tea? The floor wasn’t a satisfactory solution as I’m always worried about spillage, knocking it over and so the children’s craft table was moved into place and became our coffee table, sigh… such a sad story.

As the little ladies are growing and becoming more spacially aware I have found myself once again longing for a ‘proper’ one and that’s why this coffee table link caught my eye. I mean the price range is vast and although I normally am attracted to an article at the very top of the price range which I can’t afford there are plenty of other examples that are just as nice for me to gradually come down to. Also I have found myself umming and arring about which style? Should I go for a nest? Very handy when you have people round, or a console which looks so chic against a wall. Oak? Bent glass and stainless steel? Walnut, sheesham? The list is endless which can only mean that this is a serious business and I must dedicate time and thought to it.

Which would you go for?

A long long time ago Rebecca tagged me in I’m a Nosey Blogger and it has taken me until NOW to finally be able to produce a vlog where I show you around my English castle, (sorry Rebecca!) I have had a short break to Cornwall, two family birthdays and a massive catch up to do, plus the fact preparing a video does take time and I had to make sure the whole house was clean – never an easy feat!

For those who don’t know, we moved in at the end of last June; this particular house wasn’t our first choice as it had so much internal decorating to do, some of it has been started but the bigger projects require LOTS of money and therefore I am making do whilst I hope to win the lottery. I wrote a post way back on how our front room looked when we saw the place and you can also the bathroom in it’s previous state too so enjoy a stroll around chez moi!

So as the rules state I must tag 5 people to do the same and I shall go with Mummy’s Little Monkey, Over The Hill Mum, A Scandinavian Sojourn, Frankie Parker and Young and Younger who is currently moving home so we’ll wait to see her home when she has a bit of time – good luck with your move Heather! Head over to Two Became Four for rules and info