• My big green garden renovation

    by  • April 15, 2016 • Living • 0 Comments

    In September last year my partner and I moved in to our first house and subsequently gained our first garden. The previous owners had lived there for five years but hadn’t touched the garden during that time, apart from to cut it back when it started looking more like a jungle than an actual garden.

    Jungle garden - the before

    When we moved in, it was overgrown to say the least – we had a grape vine (yes, grapes) growing all the way across the garden and into a tree, an apple tree (that while fruiting in abundance was very much diseased) and more weeds than we could shake a stick at.

    Garden full of weeds

    One afternoon we decided to tackle the garden (to the best of our abilities). With a little help from family we chopped, pruned, dug, strimmed and hacked our way through the afternoon and were left with a space that looked dramatically different and much, much bigger.

    Garden after strimming

    We left the garden for the winter in the hope that the frost would kill some of the weeds, with a view to tackling the garden properly come spring. Well spring has sprung, the weeds are growing with a vengeance and we’ve decided that rather than tackle the necessary rotivating, turfing and new fencing that is needed with our wholly insufficient skills, that it would probably be best to get someone in.


    The previous owners of our house were very much into their DIY, which wasn’t always a good thing. It’s a beautiful Victorian house but every room has at least one bodge job, from excessive plug sockets in really weird places to skirting boards too short for the room… So we have decided to do things properly (and by properly, I mean getting someone who actually knows what they are doing to do it for us).


    Wish us luck!

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    The perfect 40 winks: How to ensure your kids have a great night’s sleep

    by  • October 13, 2015 • Living • 0 Comments

    We could all do with a few extra hours of sleep a night, but the stresses of daily life, busy routines and work often get in the way. Most adults need around 8 hours sleep a night, but children often need much more. Here are a few simple tips to ensure you and your child get the best night’s sleep ever…


    Turn off technical devices at least 30 mins before bedtime. Not only will children want to play on the phone, they are also easily distracted by other devices such as the TV or Xbox. Make sure that everyone in the house turns off all technology before bedtime and don’t leave phones charging near your child’s bed. Place phones and devices on the floor, out of reach.


    It’s worth keeping active and getting plenty of fresh air, this will tire your family out, ensuring a better night’s sleep. If your child has been doing lots of high impact exercise give them at least two hours to wind down before bed.

    Choose the right mattress. John Lewis have children’s mattresses that are dual-sided so you can flip between a stretch knit fabric and a damask. Make sure the mattress is firm and supportive and go for a light-weight duvet between 4.5 and 9 tog. Don’t overload their bed with pillows and invest in a mattress protector to ensure everything stays top quality for longer.


    Block out daylight or street lams that could disturb your child’s sleep. Choose a blackout blind or lined curtains. If they are a nervous sleeper use a nightlight to provide a comforting glow.

    Make the bedroom a relaxing place to be. This can often be difficult to achieve in a child’s room as they are busy spaces, packed with colour, personality and normally lots of toys! The ideal child’s bedroom should be a multi-functional space that’s perfect for playing, learning and sleeping. In all bedrooms you should think about low lighting, making sure the room is the correct temperature and keeping the space as tidy and calm as possible.

    Don’t miss:

    Best mattress: Our top 10.

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    Let’s go retro!

    by  • September 17, 2015 • Relaxed Spaces • 0 Comments

    It has come to that time of year again where summer is drawing to a close and the kids are back to school. It is times like this that make me feel like I want to get organsied about things new term, new you – you know the drill.

    After I came back from my holiday I had one of those moments where I wanted to redecorate, reinvent and try to become more organised with work. So as I pondered, I thought what better way to do all of this than to create a new home office?

    I’ve looked through all of the home offices on housetohome.co.uk and have chosen my favourite retro designs which I think would make a beautiful, organised space for any home.


    This retro home office is beautifully neat and tidy as well as stylish and interesting. The hexagonal shelving is a quirky addition which makes the office more unique and fun. Who says offices have to be all work and no play? I also love the use of bright primary colours with a neutral colour scheme as they add a pop of colour and brighten up the sophisiticated space.


    If you’re inspired by the retro style office, try opting for an old-style wooden desk such as the one above. I love this desk as it is understated yet still a beautiful piece of furniture. The oak finish and the vintage design give a rustic feel and fit perfectly with many different colour schemes.

    This style desk would look great in a home office that has a neutral colour scheme with unusual features and flecks of brighter colours as it is not too bold or overpowering yet can still act as a statement feature.


    Or, if you’re looking for a retro style home office that isn’t so bold you can always go for basic furniture and brighter accessories. This  office has a simple black desk chair which is sleek and effortlessly beautiful. Simple desk chairs like this can be paired with patterned wallpaper to enhance the retro style without being too bright and ambitious.

    Think about the combination you use wisely, just because you want the retro look, doesn’t mean you to have to opt for everything neon! Pair brighter wallpaper and storage boxers with plain desks and units to avoid overcomplicating the colour scheme.


    When it comes to a home office, one of the most important parts is having a lot of storage. I absolutely love these upycled retro glass door bookcases from FurnitureEtc. These bookcases are a great addition if you want to keep a neutral colour scheme and go retro with accessories. The monochrome colours on these bookshelves work well with neutral schemes as they add interest and a fun, vibrant feel to the retro home office look.

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