Thursday, 29 November 2018

The very start of Christmas

Over the weekend we headed over to the first significant event of the Christmas period, the Ludlow Medieval Fayre. However, there was so much festivity on the way that they we actually arrived there later in the afternoon. The first little distraction was Stokesay Castle and the adjacent church, looking like a little fairytale escape and a medieval taste of things to come later that day. We stumbled by some broken boughs of fir and cones that we bundled into the car to take home and decorate with, now adorning the kitchen. The church was framed with holly trees absolutely bursting with berries, has it been an especially good year? The birds must be very happy about that.
Stokesay Castle

Back into the car, we then stopped off at a frost fayre in Church Stretton with stalls of crafts such as knitted teddy bears and Christmas cards, all the usual crafty things, glass and jewellery and mince pies and raffle tickets. Nothing grabbed our interest but it did get me thinking about making a start on some Christmas shopping and what I need to buy. Little Bird is especially tricky to buy for as he has autism and doesn’t understand the concept of toys so much, often clothing is a better option for him. Places like the Condor UK Online shop with a large range of knitwear would be good for some snuggly items for him, he loves to be cosy at home more than anything. I’m also looking for a dressing gown and some pyjamas for him for over the Christmas period, perfect for watching The Snowman in, as is our tradition. Clothing is such a great present option, from children’s cotton socks to boots and jumpers, it’s probably what I’ll ask the family to get him too. Off out into the cold, we then had a little look around the pretty town itself with steam engines chuffing around and shop windows full of seasonal cheer.
painted Father Christmas

I’ve been to Church Stretton before, significantly here when I wrote about it, little did I know that I’d be living not so far away! Funny how life pans out. We had a browse around charity shops and I bought a couple of Christmas carol cd’s for the car, had coffee and cake, then did a little homeware shopping. There is a wonderful store that sells ironware for the house – brackets, signs, door furniture etc and they do garden stakes according to the season. Near Halloween, Sweep picked up a pumpkin, witch and bat one, today I found a Rudolph one, promise to show soon with all the rest of my Christmas goodies. The florists here had a selection of wintry feel plants, skimmia, cyclamen and small firs, I made a mental note to look out for some back in Shrewsbury to tidy up the brick planter at the front of the house. I drive myself silly with checklists that I have to complete before Christmas, not only gifting but smartening the house up and making sure it looks just right. This year being a little tricky as I only moved across to Shropshire in the summer.
Christmas plants

The houses here are very pretty and we played a little game of ‘where would we live….’ Obviously out of our price league but fun anyway, walking down the roads by the church, looking in estate agent windows and discussing where we could live when we retire (long way in the future!) Perfectly symmetrical houses with cute windows and some already with Christmas trees and lights put us in such a good mood. Father Christmas drove past driving a tractor and waved, so all in all a very good start before we had got to the Medieval Fayre…..and that will be another post….
Holly by a church

*Collaborative post

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

6 living room design tips

By following a few simple guidelines, you can create a living room that is both functional and beautiful

The living room is home to many things. A sofa for you and your family to lounge on, a television, a coffee table for drinks and snacks, and shelving for all your books and knick knacks. If you have an open plan living room, you may even need to create a space for dining.

It may feel as though simply finding a spot for all these items is enough hassle, without the added worries of decoration and styling, but by bearing a few simple design rules in mind, you can give yourself a living room that is more than the sum of its parts. Here are a handful of tips for you to consider when decorating your living room.

Image source Vinterior 

Create different 'departments'

This is an especially useful tip if you're decorating a more open plan space. Creating different 'departments' of your living room for different purposes - for example, an area for the sofa, coffee table and television, and another for a dining table, or desk and bookcases - prevents the space from becoming too jumbled, while keeping a nice sense of cohesion. Separate them with rugs, to create little zones.

Vintage chairs

Chairs are primarily functional items, but they are also the main focal point of any living room. Investing in some vintage chairs is an excellent way to introduce some character to the room. Antique furniture has history, guaranteed uniqueness, and makes for an interesting conversation piece. 'Vintage' is a term that encapsulates a myriad of styles, from Victorian parlour settees to whimsical art deco chairs. Companies like Vinterior specialise in traditional furniture, and have hundreds of different chairs in their collection, to suit every aesthetic
Colourful vintage armchair
Image source Vinterior

Keep it clean

You don't want your living room to appear too cluttered, so try and select a few key items of decoration, like a plant, flowers or a handful of tasteful ornaments, and be sure to give them room to breathe. However, if you're a natural hoarder and have a lot of treasured items you'd like to have on display, give them their own special area in a glass fronted cabinet. This will keep them safe, dust free and give them the attention they deserve.

Size matters

There may be a large corner sofa that's piqued your interest, but unless you have a large living room with plenty of space to spare, then it would be best to choose something smaller. Take measurements of the space you have available, and select pieces that fit those dimensions. Furniture that is too small will get lost in the space, while items that are overly large will get in the way and appear ridiculous.
Large Green Cupboard
Image source Vinterior

Keep windows clear

One of the most common mistakes people make when rearranging their living room is to put a sofa or other large furniture underneath a window. Not only does this make cleaning the window sill and watering any plants more difficult, it also limits the amount of natural light the room has access to. Arrange your furniture around the window to allow as much light as possible to flood into the space.

Play with it!

Don't let yourself get stuck in a rut. All too often, when we buy new furniture to replace the old, we end up putting it in the same place. Redecorating a room is an opportunity to let your creative side loose. Move furniture about and take pictures of it from different angles. Something as simple as moving an armchair could drastically change the way you feel about the space.

*Collaborative Post