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

I’m super excited to announce that I have joined forces with Barnardo’s the charity, to curate an online Barnardo’s x Little Big Bell preloved Homewares auction store with everything starting at just 99p.

Yes, you heard right, starting at 99p! The online pop up will start on Saturday 1st August 2020 at BST 10am and end on 8th August 2020.

With the whole Covid 19 pandemic thing, it has been hard on charity stores.

Many have not fully open and goods are only slowly trickling into the shop floor because donations have to be quarantined.

It’s also been difficult for shoppers venturing into the stores because of queues and a limited number of people being allowed in. The good news is that, the preloved Homewares store online allows you to browse and bid at leisure, totally socially distanced and of course all proceeds will go to support the vulnerable children and young adults that Barnardo’s usually help.

As you can see from the screenshot of the shop above, the clock has already started ticking.

Fancy seeing what’s in the pop up? Here’s a little sneak peek: preloved homewares Do you already have your eyes set on something?

Spot those pastel coloured Le Creuset tableware on the trolley? I bet they will go quickly. Here’s a close up view of the Le Creuset set, starting from 99p! I love the concept of shopping for preloved Homewares, because it’s fun to hunt for that unique affordable piece that you can’t find in the high street. preloved homewares It also adds character to our homes and allow us to personalise our space. preloved homewares Most importantly, shopping for preloved items saves on resources and reduce waste whilst supporting a good charitable cause. preloved homewares Just so you know, Barnardo’s has more than 710 charity shops across the UK where you can find all

sorts of bargains, donate goods or volunteer. You can also shop online. All profits from the sale of

goods will help the UK’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.

Barnardo’s has reopened almost 600 of their stores across the UK since lockdown restrictions were

eased and are working tirelessly to protect the health of all store colleagues and customers when

shopping in their stores.

Barnardo’s has introduced a number of safety measures such as hand sanitising stations and

protection screen guards at till points. All items on sale are quarantined for a minimum of 48 hours

before being sanitised and placed on the shop floors. preloved homewares Here are my top tips for preloved homewares shopping if you do go visit a charity store.

1.Be strategic.

Go at particular times of the year when stock is likely to be high, such as after Christmas/ New Year.

Go little and often, especially on weekdays when it’s quieter , to check out the newly arrived preloved stock, and the perfect time to grab a bargain

2.Know your Shop locations.

Map out the shops and research each area for their demographics, style and vibe.

This can give you an idea of the types of Homewares that will be donated.

3.Go with a plan.

The biggest mistake is going into a charity shop with no clear plan of what you want or where you are going to place the item.

You may end up overbuying or overspending ( although I always try to reassure myself that it’s for a good cause).

I’d say, take a look around your home before going, to identify what you need or want.

Do you need a new vase? What sort of colour should it be? Do you want to add to your collection, if so what’s missing from it?

Make sure you measure the space it’s going into or have an idea of what that space looks like.

4.Know your budget.

Ha, ha! I know easier said than done, but lots of things at very cheap prices can soon add up.

All I can say is that, you can comfort yourself by knowing that you are helping someone in need with your spending.

5.See the potential.

It may not be immediately obvious but what you have picked up, may have the potential to be an amazing piece of decor.

For example, you could frame the photos or illustrations from an old picture book to give them a new lease of life.

6.Resale value.

If you research and know your preloved items market well, whether it be on eBay or for auction, then rewards can be reaped.

As they say “One person’s junk, is another person’s treasure.”

7.Be bold.

Don’t  worry about mismatched items. It’s super fun to mix different patterns and colours together to create an eclectic look.

8.Go for a classic.

If you are apprehensive, then you can always err on the side of caution and go for a Classic that you know will have a resale value. The image above is in my home, and you can again see some of the pieces that will be in the pop up auction store.

Finally, I leave you with a few examples of how you could style your home with preloved items.

1.Create feature walls

A mismatched collection of vintage floral plates of varying sizes could create a striking effect on a plain white wall.

Or

You could collect white plates of different sizes and shapes to place against a painted solid colour wall. I quite like the idea of vintage white plates with scalloped edges of varying sizes against a Tiffany blue wall. 2.Vintage tins can really add a pop of colour or character to your space.

If you have a white kitchen, perhaps consider buying some tins with pretty designs to store your tea or dried goods. You could display them on a shelf.

You could also use vintage tins as vases to display flowers. Just place a glass jar of water inside. 3.Recycle tea cups and saucers.

You could grow herbs or small plants in  vintage tea cups and display them by your window. preloved homewares There are so many possibilities of how you could style your home with preloved items. I’d love to know what preloved homewares you’d buy when you visit a charity shop. Anyway, back to the pop up Barnardo’s x Little Big Bell preloved homewares store.

I’d also like to thank some amazing brands and creatives for donating their works to the online auction store. All the framed art prints on this bedroom’s wall will be in the charity auction, and starting at just 99p! I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the brands that have donated, and they are :

Bombay Duck, Catherine Rowe designs, DoodleMoo , Eleanor Bowmer, Gayle Mansfield Designs, Hannah Carvell, Kitty McCall, Moi Mili, Nanas of Anarchy, Particular People ,Sugar Snap Studio, The Happy Blossoms, The Native State and W.A Green London.

Anyway, do put the details of this amazing event in your diaries.

The Little Big Bell x Banardo’s preloved Homewares sale will be from Saturday 1st August 2020 at BST 10am till Saturday 8th August 2020.

See you there and please please do come to support.

( This campaign is done on a pro bono basis. I am not being paid. I believe this is a great cause to support. Styling are by myself, Geraldine Tan, editor of Little Big Bell. The pink photos are shot by 3objectives, and the other photos in my home are shot by me.)

crème cookies Crème. The tastiest chewiest new cookie dough cookies to hit London.

I had to simply share it with you, because it is too good not to.

Think freshly baked chunky, scrumptious and crunchy external yet chewy warm cookie dough centres.

I found out about them from my daughter, who brought some home from a visit to their SOHO shop recently.

It’s called Crème, French for cream because they wanted a name that sounded soft, warm and cosy, like their cookies. creme cookies Made by Executive chef Jeremy Coste, who trained in classic French patisserie at Institut Paul Bocuse, followed by a period working under 2 Michelin-Starred chef Jean Francois Piege in Paris.

They come in amazing flavours such as Double Chocolate,  milk chocolate , white chocolate miso and banana dark chocolate cookie dough. The great thing is, if you are based in London, they can be delivered to your door. Just place them in the oven for a few minutes to recreate that gooey yummy just baked chewy cookie taste. I’m getting hungry writing about this, off to have some.

If you are passing through London, then do go try. They are so delicious and my new favourite comfort food.

Oh, and the packaging is absolutely divine isn’t it? Fits in so well with my interiors.

Hope I haven’t made you too hungry. Have a beautiful day all.

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

I’ve been in desperate need of a sofa bed since the start of the Covid 19 Pandemic, because I’ve been sleeping in my above “basement bunker” to isolate from my family whilst dealing with Covid patients in hospital during the peak.

My back was starting to hurt as the padding was thinning, and I could feel the metal frame beneath.

I was getting desperate, and so started researching for a sofa bed.

I wanted something comfortable both as a sofa and a bed, but would also fit in aesthetically with my home. So, here it is! The gorgeous Caruso sofa bed from Sofa Workshop. There is a choice of fabrics and finishes to pick from, and no surprises, I picked a pink fabric called Echo Rose Quartz.

I also selected light wooden legs to go with the pale pink.  The sofa covers are removable, so can be easily laundered which is just amazing. The covers fit so well and look so smart. You wouldn’t have known that they were loose covers. The bed itself pulls out easily. One little tug and it’s out, then pull up the legs for a wonderful comfortable double bed. Here it is up close in all its glory. As I write this post near midnight, I’m nestled on my cosy Sofa Workshop Caruso sofa, listening to Motown whilst sipping coffee. I’m really so happy with it. As lockdown is gradually being eased and the number of Coronavirus cases are coming down, I am becoming more relaxed in my interactions with the family. I’ve even ventured back into my bedroom upstairs.

However, as much as I’m hopeful for no second wave, I’m more prepared for it at work and at home.

I know that I will sleep better if I isolate in the basement again. If you are looking for a sofa bed, then the Caruso sofa bed from Sofa Workshop is super comfortable and the quality is amazing too. I write this after having used it for a few weeks. The cushions provide great back support, are adjustable and the seating are wide and deep enough for a whole family of four to snuggle together. When this Pandemic ends, the sofa bed would be handy for guests staying over.

If you are looking to buy one, then Sofa Workshop is currently offering a 15% discount off their Caruso range.

If you are an NHS worker, then you could get 15% off any sofa range. Happy shopping and have a gorgeous day all.

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

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