Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog
Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog

autumn-cocktail-gordons-gin-photo-little-big-bell I’ve just finished a busy shift in the A+E department. It’s Friday YAY!! I need an Autumn cocktail!

I need something cold and refreshing with a dash of my favourite Gordon’s gin. Something a little bit different to the usual Gin and tonic. What shall I make?

I decided on something fruity with an Autumn twist. The cocktail experiment turned out surprisingly well. I named it Autumn spiced apple cocktail.  autumn-gin-cocktail-lets-cocktail-photo-by-geraldine-tan-little-big-bell Here’s how I made it:

1.Place 2-3 mugs full of cloudy apple juice into a saucepan with 5 cloves and 2 fresh sprigs of Rosemary.

2. Add 1 table spoon of granulated sugar to the juice and stir to take some of the sour away.

3. Simmer the mixture over the stove for 6-7 minutes, then leave to cool.

4.Place mixture into ice cube tray and freeze.

5. Once frozen, remove as many ice cubes as you need and blend in blender. You could add some mint or frozen raspberries into the blender too if desired.

6. Add Gordon’s Gin and stir.

7. Pour into glass and decorate with some fresh Rosemary. autumn-spiced-apple-cocktail-photo-by-little-big-bell The result is a seriously refreshing cocktail, not too tart, not too sweet, but with all the fragrant flavours of Autumn. You’ve got to try it, it’s so delicious.

If you make and store the spiced apple ice cubes in the freezer in advance, then you can blend up the cocktail in a matter of minutes.
chocolate-pretzels-for-halloween-party-photo-by-geraldine-tan-little-big-bell A cocktail needs some snacks right?

I had a bag of American style pretzels lying around the house. Since Halloween was just round the corner, I decided to coat the pretzels with orange coloured chocolate so that they look like pumpkins. chocolate-pumpkin-pretzels-little-big-bell Pumpkin pretzels and the perfect Autumn cocktail. Bliss!

Off to go put my feet up now and watch a video box set. For more Autumn cocktail inspiration, check out my post at Pachamama. Good night all and wishing you a wonderful weekend. x spiced-apple-recipe-gordons-gin-photo-little-big-bell

( All photography and styling are by Geraldine Tan, editor of Little Big Bell).

happy-and-co-napkin-photo-by-little-big-bell Do your eyes get drawn to bold patterns when shopping for home decor? I normally do a double take, pick up the object and then quickly put it down again. I’m always trying to visualise how I could fit such patterns into a home interior setting. I used to be indecisive but now no longer. Here are the 5 steps I have developed to give me the confidence to decorate bold patterns and colours in the home.


I was recently given a set of striking monochrome patterned napkins (above) from Happy and Co. They’re called Bondi.

Instinctively, I would have placed the napkin against a light or neutral backdrop, such as on a simple white plate. This would have taken the edge out of the design.

Instead, I tried contrasting the napkins against a bright colour, such as the ombré blue plate above. I went further by colour blocking against a bright yellow table cloth.

Can you see how the bold pattern now pops out? Decorate-bold-patterns-and-colour-at-home-image-copyright-of-geraldine-tan-little-big-bell  2. MIX PATTERNS TOGETHER IN A RANGE OF SIZES.

Be brave when you want to decorate bold patterns and colour in your home. Mix those patterns together.

My general rule of thumb is to ensure that the patterns used are smaller than the ones to be showed off.

To prevent visual chaos or competition for attention, try using the same colour palette in the patterns. This is especially so for patterns that are next to each other. I have kept with black in the display above. mix-and-match-patterns-table-setting-little-big-bell So here you have a mix of bold patterns and colours. Decorate-bold-patterns-happy-and-co-cushion-photo-by-little-big-bell Check out this pretty Marine Blue cushion called Newport, also from Happy and Co. Its pattern reminds me of bamboos. Can you see it too?

I’ve decided to decorate my daughter’s bed with the cushions.


I mentioned previously that when mixing patterns together, ensure the patterns are smaller than the ones you want to show off and also to keep the colour palette similar when patterns are placed side by side.

However, if similar patterns were to sit on top of one another, or be layered against each other, then keeping the same colour palette could dilute the effect of that pattern.

In the photo above, you can see that I have contrasted the blue against the light pattern of the wallpaper.

You can still have a unifying colour palette when layering patterns together, as long as they are in small doses. Take a look at my sofa here, you can see that there is a unifying palette of blues, mints and yellows in the different patterned cushions. how-to-decorate-teen-girl-bedroom-little-big-bell 4. PLAY WITH PATTERN SHAPES.

Another important rule when contrasting patterns against one another, is ensure there is a difference in the shape and direction of the patterns.

Imagine if this wall had the similar Newport pattern or the small horizontal lines from wallpaper were all running in a vertical direction, then the impact of the cushion pattern will be lost.

Try layering with subtle patterns that run at a different angle to the parent pattern. how-to-mix-patterns-and-colours-in-decor-little-big-bell 5. BREAK PATTERNS UP WITH COLOUR AND OBJECT.

When using a variety of patterns in a decor, it’s essential to add pieces that could also break up the patterns. It’s a way of giving the eyes a rest from a busy scene.

Add objects to create zones. Here’s where the larger pieces of furniture come into play. Try using neutral pieces that can zone off the patterns and not compete with it.

The wallpaper in the bedroom above is being framed off by the white bed, the prints on the wall and the side table.

I’ve also added some sparkly gold cushions in front of my blue Newport cushions and a green throw on the bed. These help tone down the pattern on pattern effect, and actually draws the eyes towards the design of the cushions more. decorate-patterns-and-colour-in-your-home-in-5-steps-little-big-bell That concludes my 5 simple steps to give you instant confidence on how to decorate bold patterns and colour in your home interiors and decor.

Do check out Happy and Co for their patterned and colourful homewares.10% of the profits bought from Home and co are also invested into community led farms in Cambodia. So a great cause whilst shopping.

So, are you ready to decorate bold patterns in your home?

( All photography and styling are by me, Geraldine Tan, editor of Little Big Bell. This is a collaborative post with Happy and Co., but all my opinions are my own.)

brass-decoration-for-the-kitchen-photo-by-geraldine-tan-little-big-bell With Autumn here, my attention has turned to making my home feel happy or as the Danes say it, Hygge. Hygge is more than a cosy feeling, it is also a sense of contentment which can be achieved by the simple pleasures in life, such as time spent with the family, or sharing a lovely meal with friends.

I was recently invited to explore the lighting collection at Clas Ohlson, a Swedish store that offers a range of affordable products in hardware, electrical, Home, multimedia and leisure.

I thought I’d share with you some of my amazing finds, and show you how I’ve created that happy feeling using lighting and metals at home. brass-light-frame-from-north-clas-ohlson-photo-by-little-big-bell Lighting should not be harsh but just a gentle glow. I think most people will usually think of using fabric lampshades to create that feel.

However, I wanted to show you my contemporary twist to cosy.

Metal framed lighting are often perceived as cold and harsh. If you used brass or copper, then they can definitely make a space feel warm.

Check out the brass Mini cage Table lamp above. At only 15 cm in diameter, it can sit comfortably on shelves and window sills. brass-light-stand-photo-and-styling-by-little-big-bell Or you could purchase a matching brass Rack Lamp base to hold it up. brass-table-light-on-stand-photo-by-little-big-bell Just look at that glow! I am pretty sure you will be pleased too, if you click to see its price.  how-to-decorate-with-brass-photo-by-little-big-bell The brass canisters for storage were also from Clas Ohlson. pink-copper-and-gold-decor-for-home-little-big-bell So I mentioned brass being a warm metal for Autumn, and my intention was to buy the brass version of the Globe pendant lamp above. However, I accidentally picked up the steel version.

Steel is definitely a cold looking metal, so I’ve decided to show you how I warmed up the look. steel-lamp-clas-ohlson-little-big-bell Just mix and match it with other warm metals such as Copper and brass. Also add some rosy pink, as I have with those hardback books. scandi-style-brass-lighting-little-big-bell-copy Turn on the light and doesn’t it look cosy? brass-stand-lamp-little-big-bell Again, you can also suspend the Globe pendant lamp on the rack lamp base as before. brass-candlesticks-from-clas-ohlson-photo-by-little-big-bell These brass candle holders were also from Clas Ohlson and you wouldn’t believe it, but they were less than £4 each. I think I might go back to stock up on more for my Christmas table decor. gold-baking-sheet-non-stick-photo-by-little-big-bell Don’t you just love the versatility of the lighting range from Clas Ohlson so far?

Look at how you can even remove the glass shade of the Globe pendant,to create this bare bulb industrial look. baking-brassware-clas-ohlson-littlle-big-bell This brass coloured baking sheet, scales and measuring spoons could make a happy weekend. Settle down with the family on a cold Autumn day to do some baking, and fill the home with scents of Vanilla, Pumpkin and spice. Here’s a post about an Autumn feast that I recently styled too. brass-decor-for-the-kitchen-photo-by-geraldine-tan-little-big-bell Hope you’ve enjoyed this post. Do take a look at Clas Ohlson’s website and search out those good buys, especially in the lighting section.
how-to-create-a-hygge-feeling-with-lighting-and-metals-little-big-bell Wishing you a wonderful week ahead. I will be back with more interiors post, so watch this space.

( This is a sponsored collaboration with Clas Ohlson. All styling, photography and opinions are my own. Images are all copyright of Little Big Bell).

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