• Archive for December, 2015

    It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

    by  • December 18, 2015 • Living • 0 Comments

    The Housetohome team is in full festive spirit, with trees and decorations springing up around the office and in our homes.

    Here, we share our Christmas trees and festive decorating schemes…

    Kate, social media editor


    Tree – real or fake? Fake

    Scheme for 2015: Mixed metallics with warm white lights.

    My favourite thing about Christmas is…the food, particularly bread sauce.


    Julie, content editor


    Tree – real or fake? Fake

    Scheme for 2015: Snowy white and frosty silver.

    My favourite thing about Christmas is… going away to the Christmas cottage.


    Jodie, editorial intern

    Jodie Christmas tree

    Tree – real or fake? Fake, so the cats won’t climb it or eat it (we’ve learnt from previous years!)

    Decorations: Three sets of twinkly lights (we like sparkle) with gold, dark reds and dark purples to match the room’s colour scheme. Our second tree is dark green and gold.

    My favourite thing about Christmas is…gifting presents and seeing people open them!


    Liz, web editor


    Tree – real or fake? Fake

    Scheme for 2015: Silver glittery baubles, coloured lights and a rustic gold star. We’ve also hung white warm lights around the living room door frame and have a mini stocking garland around the fireplace.

    My favourite thing about Christmas is…the food, roasties to be precise.


    Jen, content editor


    Tree – real or fake? Fake

    Scheme for 2015: White, silver and a touch of blue. We’ve also hung twinkling white lights around the window, fireplace and outdoor conifers. A stocking adorns every door handle.

    My favourite thing about Christmas is…Christmas markets, cosy log fires, mulled wine and Bratwurst.


    Karmen, video editor


    Tree – real or fake? Fake

    Scheme for 2015: Pink and flamingo-based

    My favourite thing about Christmas is…sweet treats.


    Tamara, shopping editor


    Tree -real or fake? Fake, purely a style choice for the colour.

    Scheme for 2015: Every decoration on my tree has sentimental value and I’ve built up my collection over the years. To make a statement I’ve got a good mix of twinkly lights, flamingos and personalised neon baubles – lots of pink!

    My favourite thing about Christmas is…the festive spirit and the sparkle. A touch of sparkle makes everything so much more glamorous & jolly. Oh and MARIAH!


    Nat, web editor


    Tree – real or fake? Fake

    Scheme for 2015: Miley meets shell pink.

    My favourite thing about Christmas is…the food (stuffing, at least two kinds and they must be made with sausage meat), Christmas markets and Baileys.

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    From tired old tub to sleek power shower – it’s new bathroom time!

    by  • December 8, 2015 • Living • 2 Comments

    Replacing our bathroom was the next big job after our kitchen renovation in May.

    The rather ridiculously shaped room had very tired floor-to-ceiling tiles, a tub that had seen better days and a sad electric shower holding the whole thing together.

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    The tub’s number was up a long time ago when we decided to rip it out and replace it with a sleek shower enclosure which would make much better use of the space.

    Plus we wanted the rain shower to end all rain showers –  like in hotels when you can’t believe your Expedia-booking luck.

    The whole room was ripped out (the day the heavy tiles brought down the plaster board walls was a particular highlight…), before the builders installed the new fixtures and fittings (all in all about £600 from Victoria Plum), re-plastered the walls and began the tiling and floor work.

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    I fell in love with the large metro tiles at first sight (officially the Diamante Teal range from Topps Tiles but I have renamed them ‘Wahaca Teal’), and we wanted vinyl flooring fitted to keep the re-fit on budget.

    The vinyl replaced large, grubby floor tiles which were awfully cold if you nipped into the bathroom without slippers and were a pain to keep clean.

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    The difference is amazing – the room instantly feels warmer and more welcoming.

    We finished the room with ‘powder grey’ bathroom paint from the Wickes bathroom range, and white on the ceiling, skirting and door frame – getting rid of the gloss green felt as good as you can imagine!

    What do you think?

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    The great Christmas debate: Real or Fake?

    by  • December 2, 2015 • Living • 0 Comments

    I’m not sure how it happened, but it’s officially the most wonderful time of the year again.

    2015 has raced by in a flurry of grey, elephant ornaments (the new owls) and pineapple prints, and now the festive season has arrived in all its magical glory.

    And with it comes the great Christmas debate – a real or fake tree, people?


    Growing up we always had a slightly wonky fake tree which I have fond memories of putting together each year, before placing it on a table (next to the nativity crib which one of the cats would end up sleeping in) and gazing at it each day until the BIG day.

    After a few years of faking it, we started picking a real tree each year, which was plonked in a suitably festive bucket before the great decorating marathon began.

    Following years of renting and not really bothering with a tree, last year we bought our first Christmas tree and set it up proudly in the living room. It was cheap and cheerful and most definitely fake.

    So, wheel it out again or leave it in the loft and go for a bit of authenticity?

    Our local area has real trees for order (local trees for local people, joking, obviously) which I’m pretty tempted by, and given we’re only away from home for two days this year it would make the place look suitably festive for the season.

    But the pine needle debacle and the cost all add up, and instead of splashing out on a new tree we could perk up the old faithful with new decorations and lights (which will inevitably need replacing anyway after one bulb breaks – ONE! – and lets the side down).

    So eco considerations, the cost and ease (no pine needles on a faker’s watch) versus the smell, authenticity and annual choosing ritual of a real tree.

    How do you have yours?

    If you’re faking it all the way, don’t miss our round up of the best of the – faux- bunch this year

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