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

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I’ve been meaning to do an Urban Jungle Bloggers post, but have not got my act together. Thanks to Igor for encouraging me on !

Urban Jungle Bloggers was created by Igor and Judith and you can read about it here.

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It helped that the recent photos I took at the Merci store in Paris fitted with this month’s topic – A green window sill or balcony.

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There was certainly an urban jungle outside.

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And most certainly indoors too!

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How about these ‘rock band’ planters for a cool window sill ? Which one would you pick?

An old wooden crate, a stencil with some black and white paints could easily reproduce this look.

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Here’s ‘The Who’ with some beautiful foliage.

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Love these pinky leaves in the ‘New York dolls’ box.

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A deeper box such as this would be ideal for growing herbs or vegetables.

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This concrete planter by Jens Milonton is both beautiful and affordable. Shame it was too heavy for me to carry back to London.

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These hexagonal concrete planters are certainly unique.

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Hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the little urban jungle inside Merci and found some ideas for your window sill or balcony.

Have a good week all!

Paris-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell.jpg I have recently returned from beautiful Paris following attendance and presentation at an international medical conference.

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I stayed at the Hotel Chavanel, a recently opened boutique hotel tucked away in the Madeleine district, 8th Arrondissement. It was only a stone’s throw away from the Galeries Lafayette with its roof top views over Paris. There was also access to a metro nearby and was close walking distance to the shopping area of Rue Saint Honore.

The hotel was beautifully designed and comfortable. We received the most friendly welcome and treatment throughout our stay.

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I knew the hotel had style when I spotted their Teal Ligne Roset sofa contrasted against the mint tones of the carpet in the main reception area.  I definitely noticed their on trend grouping of side tables, not to mention my favourite Normann Copenhagen Tablo side table.

We sampled some excellent restaurants at walking proximity to the Chavanel. I highly recommend L’Aromatik and Chez Cecile for their delicious French Bistro style food. If you fancy something different at an affordable price, do try Higuma on rue Saint-Honore for their Japanese noodles. The Kimchi noodles packed the desired spicy punch after much French fare.

Now, for my favourite, the shopping recommendations.

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Bonton, one of my favourite French children’s brands was on the to visit list. Being a typical design blogger, my eyes were drawn to the far wall painted in a fresh mint tone, adorned by cute prints of some of my favourite films.

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The colourful children’s home wares and furniture section was on the lower ground floor. I fell in love with these desk sets with their painted metal legs.

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There was also a children’s hairdresser there, with its cheery yellow sign.

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If only they did adult clothing sizes. The colours were all my favourite for this Spring/Summer season. Corals,Teals, mints and bright pops of Canary yellow !

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How cute is this for a stylish little toddler! Love how the mint cardigan contrasts against the deeper jungle green of the trousers and the scarf, such Parisian chic!

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Just up the road from Bonton was the Merci concept store. I will be writing more about Merci in my next post.  This seems to be the must visit store in Paris, for a design lover.

We visited the cafe there, styled as an old library or reading room from an elegant period home, brought up to date with the rows of dangling, bare light bulbs illuminating the titles.

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I must tell you now, the cakes at the Merci cafe are to die for! We visited the cafe twice on two separate occasions just to have cake!

The orange cake above was drenched in a tangy citrus juice which made it melt scrumptiously with each mouth full. Okay, I think you’ve got the point, the cake was yummy!

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When you visit the Merci store, it would be a real miss if you didn’t come out with one of their famed paper bags by Be Poles.

Now that I already own a few, my eyes turned to their Vipp bins. If only I could lug them home on the Eurostar!

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I also loved the colourful linen bedding there. The colours above could quite possibly be the new look for my bed. You can get similar bedding from Designer’s Guild in London.

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We were blessed with beautiful weather whilst in Paris. I had to take a peek at the Jardin Tuileries before making a visit to another much talked about concept store, Colette.

The gardens were in full bloom, pretty with shades of pink everywhere, from the blossoms on the trees to the fuschia Tulips carpeting the grass.

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So, next stop, Colette, the fashion forward concept store. The blue dots are apparently the store’s trademark logo.

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There was indeed an eclectic range of dresses in bold colours upstairs, with an oriental and tribal feel to the patterns. The clothes were expensive but unsurprising for the curated, one of a kind creations.

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I loved the scents and packaging of the candles on the ground floor.

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If you need to do something touristy like visit the Notre Dame, then do take a stroll alongside the River Seine and visit the beautiful flower market near the river, then grab an ice-cream from Berthillon.

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Two sweet Clothes boutiques that I discovered and loved whilst in Paris were Des Petits Haut and Karl Marc John.

If you want a well curated department store, then Le Bon Marche is the place to go.

One of the coolest shopping streets you should visit is the area around Rue Charlot in the Haut Marais, 3rd arrondissement area. You can read all about it in Time Out here.

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I know I went on about Merci’s cake above, but there is a huge possibility it came from Rose’s bakery, a must visit place for brunch and cake of course.

I love the rustic, industrial feel of the cafe with its bare stone walls, worn mint concrete floors and Ercol chairs. We visited the branch in Rue Debelleyme in the Marais district.

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Here are the cakes. I spot the Citron Orange cake, could this be the same one I had at Merci?

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Now back to design stores. If you visit Rose Bakery on Rue Debellyme, then nearby on number 22 is this new design store called Isarie.

There was a beautiful photography exhibition by Nicola Matheus . You can see part of the rainfall print in the photo above.

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Love the pastel Scandinavian ceramics on display there.

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and the eclectic range of table lamps. The mint one is my favourite.

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We stayed into Sunday, specifically to attend the famed Parisian flea market of Saint Ouen. It was an interesting spectacle but to be honest, I prefer the London flea markets.

It was a charming sight to see the antiques vendors set their lunch tables on the street outside their shops with pretty table cloths, vintage plates and cutlery as they chatted, ate home cooked meals and drank wine.

We explored the recommended area of Paul Bert for some 1960s inspiration. Loved the colourful Eames chairs scattered on a side street.

Paul-Bert-shop-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell.jpg The 1960s was certainly a colourful era.

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These vintage bottles would look great with some fresh Spring blooms.

If you visit this area, I highly recommend the Bistrot Paul Bert for lunch. The Boeuf Bourguinon I had came served in a cast iron pan and was absolutely delicious.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my quick whizz through Paris. I will be writing about Merci for the Urban Jungle bloggers post next. Until then, have a happy Easter weekend!

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What a fun weekend I’ve had! Last Saturday, I took my son to Molly Meg’s pop up shop launch party. It was at the Anthropologie shop on King’s road in South London.

(Above photo from Molly Meg and Michelle Marshall)

Milk-anniversary-book-Molly-Meg-pop-up-shop-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell.jpg  The party was co-hosted by kidswear magazine Milk.

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Love the way the windows looked before the opening.

Once opened, I just knew it would be a colourful affair. Paper honeycomb balls in aqua, turquoise, pink and yellow adorned the ceilings.

( Balloon photo from Molly Meg and Michelle Marshall)

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My son made an instant bee-line for these scrumptious cupcakes, whilst I explored the shop. Below are a few things that caught my eye.

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These dolls by Rose in April were so sweet and whimsical.

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LuckyBoySunday, my favourite, popped up all over the shop. Here is Pale Nulle looking festive in a yellow party hat by My Little Day.

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A few lovely things here for a child’s room. The knitted badger head by Sincerely Louise would make a quirky, cool wall centrepiece.

The above Lecons de choses skateboard shelf is perfect for a teen’s room and comes in a variety of colours.

The cute monochrome print is by Miniwilla.

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How sweet are these coat hangers?

Tad-Lapin-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell.jpg These cards are by Tad Lapin and come as A3 posters too. The bunny print would be an ideal Easter gift.

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Alas, a snap of empty seats at the La cerise sur le gateau photo booth. My son did manage 2 minutes of sitting down for a photo, but not long enough for me to capture a shot. Love the slogan on that cushion, more available here.

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Now I reveal my purchases. The cat print duvet cover and pillow case are by Beau Loves UK. I’ve been instantly hooked on this brand since I first set eyes on their products. They do super stylish childrenswear too.

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These trendsetting kidswear magazines, Babiekins and Milk magazine had me totally absorbed.

Hope you have enjoyed this post. The Molly Meg shop will be opened through till April 27th 2014 and I highly recommend it. I know I’ll be going back for more! There is also a programme of children’s creative workshops on offer.

Wishing you all a lovely week!

 

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Hello! Back with my ‘A room in the house’ series where I pick a room and discuss an interiors related aspect, then endeavour to search for a similar product, hopefully at a more affordable price to help recreate the look. Today, I’m visiting my dining room, more specifically my dining table.

Recently, for a lunch party with good friends Will and Toby, I wanted to create a table that looked simple, yet fresh like Spring.

To do that, I chose some mint coloured, linen placemats from Designer’s Guild. You can find similar at H&M home.

To contrast the mint, I decided on a mix of grey and teal. My Ittala Teema plates were perfect for this. A budget option for similar plates can be found at Ikea.

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Napkins are often colour matched with placemats, which at times could look dull, so I decided on the contrasting tone of teal.

The green glasses from Design House Stockholm and ombre pillar candles balanced the overall look. I bought my candles from Designer’s Guild.

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Now a Spring table wouldn’t look right without fresh flowers. Here, I enlisted the help of my local talented florist Matthew Richardson from The Urban Flower company, who I have previously written about here and here.

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After explaining to him about the colours that I would be using for the table, I left Matt to work his creative magic in my selected vases.

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The pinks, yellows, oranges and violets he used were simply stunning. Each piece was a work of art.

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I remembered previously interviewing Matt and he explained how his creations took fruition through instinct rather than set steps.

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I think that is truly a sign of an artistic mind. Hope you’ve enjoyed my Spring lunch table and the cheer these floral arrangements have brought. Wishing you a wonderful and restful weekend.

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Now that some semblance of warmer weather is starting to sweep London, my thoughts turn to a Spring refresh of my home office.

Admittedly, it is already very colourful, but I feel the time for a change. I’m veering towards a pastel palette like the inspiration above. Image via Art and chic from Present time.

I have compiled my wishlist below.

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These candy coloured shelves by Hay immediately caught my eye last weekend, when I walked into the Conran shop in London.

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Whilst in Los Angeles a few months back, fellow blogger and good friend Will introduced Gudy and I to Crate and Barrel and CB2. Imagine my delight, when I found out that they now ship to the UK.

Above are my picks from CB2:

The galvanized trunk in Canary yellow. Perfect for storing away any folders or paperwork.

The turquoise desk on wheels. A very ‘this season’ colour.

The dusky pink file cabinet.

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I already have a mint coloured Muuto Leaf lamp for my daughter’s room, but how could I resist this pale pink one! Just goes perfectly with everything above.

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I am always excited to see what Kerry Layton of Seventytree comes out with. She is so talented and I love her style.

These new prints would look perfect with all that I’ve chosen for the new study above, don’t you think?

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Now for a bit of indulgence! These Tongue chairs are by Arne Jacobsen, a ‘reissued’ lost design classic. The pink one would compliment the turquoise desk perfectly.

I spotted them two days ago whilst at Heal’s in London.

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Now for some icing on the cake. Here are some colourful pastel coloured desk accessories from Hay, which can also be purchased from Present and Correct.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post as much as I have pulling it together. Have a good week. x

 

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It was an honour last weekend to have my son’s bedroom featured on the front cover of the Sunday Times newspaper – Home section.

It was written by Katrina Burroughs, on Unisex style in children’s bedroom.

To quote Katrina “it was about the decor wars that are gently waged between adults and their offspring – and between adults and the purveyors of pink and blue designs –  and how the bill payers can triumph, creating child friendly yet stylish interiors that satisfy all parties.”

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I styled two gender neutral rooms for the feature. The above photo was used. The other room was styled in a monochrome palette, revealed below.

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Not sure if you remembered my son’s recent bedroom Spring refresh above? It was very blue.

I’ve fine tuned it to yellow and mint for the unisex feature.

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Katrina’s comment in the Sunday Times made me smile. Here it is “Her taste is understated, chic, design-savvy – good luck getting her to admit a novelty duvet into her house.”

Yes, the whole issue around novelty duvets! I’ve been lucky so far with the latter, my children have not really requested them and we have worked collaboratively to achieve the look in their rooms.

Here’s a list of where everything is from:

The duvet cover is from Hay; the linen mint ombre throw is from Designer’s Guild; the bed is from Little White company; the prints are by Fine Little Day and Corby Tindersticks; the chevron green rug is from Urban Outfitters; the side table is Componibili by Kartell; the mint leaf lamp is by Muuto.

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This striped cushion in yellow and blue is by Kangan Arora, a recent purchase from Heals. That sweet little fella sitting on the bed is by Lucky Boy Sunday.

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The chair is vintage, by Casalino and the cushion is by Lucky Boy Sunday.

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Here is the monochrome room

The duvet cover is Arne Jacobsen by Design Letters from Skandivis; the dog pillow is by H&M ; The Cross throw is by Pia Wallen; the geometric storage bag is by Ferm Living and the mint stool is part of the new Brakig range from Ikea.

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The monochrome prints are from Future and Found.

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The alphabet cups are by Design Letters and the laundry bag is by House Doctor.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my styling! Have a wonderful weekend. x

Allied-Maker-wall-lamp-on-little-big-bell.jpg Hello all! I’m back with another ‘A room in the house’ feature. This time it’s in the study, more specifically, how to keep the desk clutter free.

Quick wins include desk drawers and tidying away pens and pencils. Certainly the high street is saturated with all manner of paraphernalia to address the latter. I’m taking a more wide angle lens view of tidy, and here are my gathered thoughts.

The desk lamp, a common work surface staple, occupies a fair proportion of the desk area. A wall lamp may be the perfect space saving option.

I’m liking the above Allied Maker’s brass and oak lamp found via Remodelista.

Wall-lamps-for-home-office-study-on-little-big-bell.jpg For a more pared back, contemporary feel, how about the Caravaggio and AJ wall lamp ? The AJ lamp comes in a variety of pretty colours.

SSB1-book-shop-on-little-big-bell.jpg Point noted that a desk is a place for work, so no matter how one wants a clutter free area, there will always be books.

If standing up and down to reach an overlying shelf is too much of a distraction to the work flow, then a shelf for the desk like the one above, found via Book shop may be an aesthetically pleasing solution.

Penguin-donkey-and-Kay-and-Stemmer-little-big-bell.jpg If a shelf on the desk takes up too much room, an easy arms length away shelf may fit the bill. Here are two that I like, the Agnes side table from SCP and the classic Penguin donkey from Skandium.

alcove-shelving-study.jpg Can’t talk about a tidy desk without broaching the subject of shelving. There are many options for this. I’m liking this little alcove with its feature black wall and contrasting white shelves, found via Style at home.

For flexibility in configuration, try the String shelving system.

Grid-display-study-on-little-big-bell.jpg Now this metal grid ( accompanied by large paper clips, clipboards and hooks) above the desk, will not only provide clutter free, but can very much be a design feature too.

Image from Hitta-hem.

Organisation-ideas-in the study-on-little-big-bell.jpg Here are a few more ideas:

1.Wire coat hangers to hold up magazines. Image from Stylizimo.com

2. The Utensilo, now a classic, provides ample storage space above a desk.  (Image 2 via Hitta-hem .)

3. A free-standing spring frame with the dual role of desk tidy and display, found via Boligliv.dk.

Hope you’ve found some useful ideas here towards a clutter free desk. Have a great week all.

Graeme-Hawes-Heals-Modern-craft-market-Little-Big-Bell I was recently invited to the launch party of Heal’s discover: The Modern Craft Market. It was a wonderful event packed full of home grown talent, crafts and creatives.

The market which will run till February 16th, consist of a curated group of independent designers, Royal College of Art graduates and handpicked artisans from the Crafts Councils and Contemporary Applied Arts.

Here are my picks: The contrasting coloured rimmed bowls above by Graeme Hawes.

Meret-Probst-Heals-Modern-craft-market-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell These faceted glasses by Meret Probst that sparkled like Amber gems.

Gillies-Jones-Heals-London-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell These milky glass bowls by Gillies Jones are simply charming in hues of light minty blues.

Kirsty-Adams-ceramics-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell These beautiful and delicate ceramics by Kirsty Adams remind me of the Mediterranean, perfect for a Summer table setting.

Stuart-Carey-porcelain-stoneware-at-Heals-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell Loving the porcelain stoneware bowls by Stuart Carey. The green and yellow bowls, when stacked, would look so sweet together.

Soderlund-Davidson-Heal's-modern-craft-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell Soderlund Davidson’s mix and match candlestick holders are so much fun. You can select your layers and colours for a personalised creation.

Ikuko-Iwamoto-Heal's-London-photo-by-Geraldine-of-Little-Big-Bell Love the sculptural element of Ikuko Iwamoto’s vase and cups, along with their textural dots.

Kyra-Cane-Heal's-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell The bold black strokes wrapped around Kyra Cane’s porcelain bowls has that ombre effect that is so on trend at the moment.

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I wouldn’t mind one of these colourful pillows by Morag MacPherson. Inspired by vintage fabrics, they have been digitally printed on.

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This Kangan Arora cushion in my favourite colour Teal, is on the wish list.

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Kezia Regan’s cushion caught my eye for its fresh Spring green painterly effect.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my picks. If you are in London tomorrow, do pop in to Heal’s to explore.

Have a lovely weekend all. x

Little M's room Another instalment of my series ‘A room in the house’. This time it’s a little makeover of my son’s room.

He has had a monochrome themed room since last Autumn-Winter. The dreary, wet weather in London has prompted me to do a Spring refresh.

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I didn’t want to spend a huge budget on redecoration, yet wanted the flexibility of reverting back to the original look.

I decided on a new colour palette of mint green, blues and yellows. Here’s what I did:

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I changed the duvet cover to a neutral shade, with accent colours from my chosen palette. The result is a lighter and brighter look. The duvet cover is from Hay .

I picked a soft and beautiful teal ombre throw  from West Elm London. This has pulled together the blue tones in the vicinity.

The white Casalino chair is a vintage find from Ebay. It is immediately brought to life by the colourful Lucky Boy Sunday cushion I bought from from the Conran shop.

The mint Lego storage box was bought from Copenhagen. I believe it’s due to hit shops in London soon, part of the new season collection.

Luckyboysunday-Fancy-Nulle-Little-big-bell In his reading and chess playing corner, I have replaced an existing monochrome print with the above yellow Apple Papple print by Fine Little Day.

His black and white chess board got a Spring refresh too. The above yellow portable set is by Les Jouets Libres.

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Gone are the Lisa Bengtsson dog prints in the second image, replaced by a display of my son’s favourite books, all in a unifying colour of blue.

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Ikea has just released a new limited edition furniture range called Brakig,  a collaboration with a designers ArtRebels.

My favourite piece from the Brakig collection is this mint stool, which I have used as a side table for display.

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The fibrepot above in blue and greens by Serax Maison D’etre, will house fresh floral blooms of yellow in his room.

The wooden bunny is by Kay Bojesen.

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Here are a few more home accessories that I have spotted out and about.

They would be perfect for my son’s room.

I’m liking the geometric cushions in mint and smiling storage boxes by Ferm Living. That canary yellow pendant from Finnsdottir would also be sweet addition.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my Spring refresh to my son’s room. Wishing you a wonderful week ahead. x

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Hello! I’m back with another instalment of ‘A room in the house’ where I pick a room and discuss an interiors related aspect. In addition to that, I will endeavour to search for a similar product to help recreate the discussed look.

I am also very honoured that this new series has been one of Red magazine online’s Editor’s choice in their interior design blogs round up.

I’ve decided to tackle the topic of coffee tables in the living room. This is partly to address my need for one or even two, now that I’ve bought a new sofa for our lounge.

I’ve noticed the trend for ‘pairs’, especially when the tables are small. The combined lengths of the small tables should not be more than half the length of the sofa, otherwise it would feel like a barrier.

Another great idea is to use a contrasting metal table (as above). It adds a certain ‘bling’ factor and draws the eye to the room set whilst accentuating the sofa.

For a cool Copper table, take a look at Breeze by Swedese.

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Living-room-side-tables Two small coffee tables counterbalance each other at different heights. One should be above the seating level, to allow for easy access. The lower one looks better when smaller in size, so as to not come across as obstructing.

Two coffee tables in different materials such as the first image in metal and marble exudes eclecticism. For a toned down minimalist interior, pairing the tables in similar materials, such as the wood in the above image adds a visual continuity.

For a similar tables above, take a look at Normann Copenhagen’s Tablo coffee tables.

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How about something different? A characterful coffee table that doubles up as storage space. A vintage trunk may fit the bill. I am liking the combination of vintage and contemporary in the above photo.

For a cool and colourful trunk, I am liking the new collection at Cambridge Satchel company. I’m just hoping they will do pastel shades soon.

For vintage trunks, try  West Egg.

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A table on wheels can be both practical yet stylish, giving the option to move if space in front of the sofa is premium and easy to manoevre if laden with coffee table books. It is also the perfect choice for an Industrial look interior.

Two stylish wheel table options are the Trolley 901 by Artek and the Block side table by Normann Copenhagen.

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If you can’t find the coffee table in the colour of your choice, then a brilliant and possibly cheaper option would be to paint a vintage piece. I’m liking how this mint coloured table compliment the dusky pink and grey cushions adorning the sofa.

For advice and help on furniture painting, try the workshop at West Egg.

Hope you’ve enjoyed and found this post useful. Now, for my coffee table hunting to begin. Happy weekend all. x

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