Sunday, 14 December 2014

Gifts for the Home

This is a very special gift for my home. My favourite type of gift. As someone who loves interiors my Christmas wish list is often filled with bits for my home. Not so much functional things or storage but luxury items that are a bit special.

This blanket is amazingly soft and so luxurious. I have thrust this blanket at all my guests, urging them to just touch and feel how soft it is. The ultimate in French shabby chic from The French Bedroom Company that have such a fantastic range of gifts for those that love to fill their home with something unique. I also have their black sheepskin rug on my wish list for our bedroom, perfect against the floorboards. In the colder months I like to have lots of blankets in the living room to cosy up with. For me it sets the mood for evenings at home with candles lit while you sink into the sofa with a blanket. I won't mention how useful they also may be when 2 boys want to build a den!! I can't wait to cosy up with this blanket tonight, we have seen some beautiful sunshine here at the coast but freezing temperatures!

Merry Christmas! 

Love Lemon x

* Please note that the product included in this post was provided for review purposes. All thoughts are of course my own.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Christmas Wish List 2014

I hope everyone is getting into the Christmas spirit. Having two young children we kicked things off pretty early here. It's an exciting time and I'm looking forward to lots of days and meals spent with family.

Here are a few things on my wish list for Christmas:

Larry the Lion plate from Rocket St George. I want him on my kitchen wall.
Pretty Honest by Sali Hughs
A peg board from The Kid Who
Angel wing trays from Graham and Green
Leather Biker jacket from Warehouse 
Sheepskin from The French Bedroom Company 
Pineapple light from The Kid Who

Love Lemon x 

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

An Evening with the Dulux Mixlab

I was very excited to attend an evening learning about the new Dulux Mixlab with a talk from Joanna Thornhill whose book Home for Now really inspired me. I am no expert when it comes to choosing colours, putting colours together and knowing exactly what it is I need to buy. I simply know what I like and I guess the rest. The new Dulux Mixlab looked a little daunting at first but once explained it was actually really simple. The wall of colour was split into cool, warm and neutral colours. It so clear to see all the different tones you can work with when picking your key colour.

found it particularly useful to see the harmonising colours simply by looking at the colours either side of your key colour. However the ones I liked most were the contrasting colours which were slightly more dramatic in effect and can be found by skipping along 2 colour blocks. There are such a range of tones that mean you can decide how bold you go! 

Another amazing feature is the scanner, you can take an item into store that you love the colour of and scan it. I took in a vintage cake plate with a bright turquoise flower design. I just loved the bright colour and wanted to add it to my kitchen. Joanna helped me match the colour and we looked at harmonising and contrast colours. I decided on bright turquoise furniture paint to update my dining table and chairs and a bright yellow lampshade for above the table.

All the functions and examples of finish are clear for you to choose. For example I had no idea that you could buy hardwearing paint for hallways for knocks and scrapes. Having 2 boys I think I may need to decorate my whole house in the stuff!!

There is a great video here that explains things in much more detail.

Another option to help with your decorating is to use the new Dulux Visualizer App which actually allows you to see the colour on your walls! I am very excited about this as I think sometimes its so hard to visualise things particularly if you are going for something very different or bold and feel a bit scared of making a big change. You just point your camera and pick a colour. Such a great idea! I have been all over my house adding colour! 

Anything can inspire colours and schemes but its not always easy to know where to go from there. Putting colours that work together can seem daunting so its nice to know you can use this Mixlab to try things out and have some guidance. 

Look out for my paint project coming soon! I can't wait to get started. Thanks to Homebase and Dulux for a fab, colourful evening!

Love Lemon x

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Tesco Spring/Summer 2015

I know its raining and cold and summer seems so very far away but I for one love a bit of colour and seeing lots of bright yellow, blue and tropical colours in the Tesco Spring/Summer collection for 2015 was a lovely treat in November. Not to mention a favourite new collection of mine Stockholm that adds a bit of vintage style.

Here are some of my favourite bits.

Love Lemon x

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

High Street Goodies

Recently I have been thinking about my own personal brief for my home and looking to buy some new bits and pieces. I have a wish list however I also have a very tight budget. A budget that does not stretch to my visions full of room of luxurious fabrics, an Ercol love seat, Parker Knoll armchair, G-plan units, Anglepoise lamp and a Heals sofa. It does mean I have to work with what I have, search vintage stores, auction rooms, eBay, paint items to fit in with my scheme and be patient. To be honest all of that is a challenge but also stretches my imagination and helps me stay focused. I like to buy vintage pieces but I also like to shop on the high street and mix and match. I often find bits and pieces that are great copies on expensive designs for a fraction of the price. Here are a few of my favourites at the moment.

There are quite a few sofas on the site that I like. So many have that 60's style about them and I love the colours available. This is the Jonah 2 seater which is £499.
I recently bought this lamp that was a bargain price of £49.99 from The Range
This chair is perfect for a lounge with vintage character. At only £150 from IKEA I think it's a great price too. It can be hard to find a vintage chair without some work needing to be done to the wood or re upholstering necessary. For me this chair offers the vintage style without the work and endless searching on EBay!!
I bought my g plan sideboard quite a few years ago on eBay for £50. I was quite shocked I managed to get it for that amount and I love it. However I did find a great option to buy a new sideboard that looks the part but doesn't break the bank. This is from the Stockholm range at Tesco and is only £319 (currently on sale). I love the American White oak and cut out handles. Such a solid piece of furniture.
Now all you need are a few colourful accessories!

Have you found great vintage style pieces on the high street?

Love Lemon x

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The Shift Dress

The shift dress has to be one of my favourite classic vintage designs. When I signed up to my first dressmaking course I had my heart set on a shift dress with a peter pan collar which you can see here. I wear it so much and went on to make another. 

I particularly like pockets or a collar on a shift dress and there are so many variations on the design.

The shift dress became popular in the 1960's but has been around long before then. It really came into it's own on the dance floor in block colours and bold patterns. It feels like this dress will always be around in some way, shape or form. It can be worn as a casual dress in the daytime or dressed up for the evening. Worn by Jackie Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn this dress will always be seen as a classic design.

I have around 6 different shift dresses in my wardrobe now, all very different from each other. I absolutely love this easy to wear jersey cotton shift dress with pockets from Fever London who also have a great selection of shift dresses. 

Someone wanted in on the action!

It was so windy the day my husband took these photos!
What is your favourite style of dress?

Love Lemon x

PS. Thank you to Fever London for the dress, please note all thoughts are my own.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Styling the Seasons - October

Had I written this post on Sunday I would of described October as a beautiful month of sunshine and blue skies, however the rain has been pretty bad here for the last 24 hours and doesn't look like it will stop anytime soon. Still I feel thankful we have had some warm weather this late in the year. 

My styling at home for this months #stylingtheseasons involved moving lots of pieces from my front room to mix things up a bit. I am really enjoying changing this area of my home and it feels nice to see different bits and pieces from my collection here. 

You can read more about Style the Seasons on my first post in September here.

This month I have also added my new print by Samantha Eynon.

Love Lemon x

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Fever Trousers

Trousers you say?! Yes, I chose trousers over all those gorgeous Fever dresses. I was curious and just couldn't get the print out of my head. Based on a tile design these trousers look great for daytime or evening. I wore them with heels and flats, a plain t-shirt and they look best with red nails and lips.

With the weather cooling these trousers feel like a much better option to getting those jeans and tights on just yet. 

Love Lemon x

Thank you to Fever for these trousers. Please note as always the thoughts above are my own.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Styling the Seasons - September

I really love this idea of styling a corner of your home for the season that was introduced by Katy from Apartment Apothecary and Charlotte from Lotts and Lots. This is a sideboard in my kitchen that I like to re organise with the seasons and sometimes when I just fancy a change.

I decided on some darker colours for September with the deep green runner, purple flowers and newly acquired dark blue vintage coffee pot. I often collect a lot more bits on here but its a new chapter for us and a school start for our little boy and it felt like we needed to clear some bits and make space.

Please share your #stylingtheseasons below, I would love to see them.

Love Lemon x

Emery Dress + Liberty

I completed my 2nd dressmaking course at The Felixstowe Sewing School and chose a vintage inspired dress pattern which was a little more complicated than my first simple shift dress including a gathered skirt, pockets and a lined bodice. I was looking forward to making something different but also excited about trying the pattern by independent pattern designer Christine Haynes. After looking at so many gorgeous patterns I chose the Emery dress.

I absolutely love this dress. I made some alterations to the bodice and decided on a combination of short sleeves and a collar and I just love that it has pockets. I am thrilled with the Liberty fabric and contrasting red collar. I have worn it so much. I really do need to make another. A great dress to wear with tights and a cardigan in the winter too.

What do you think?

Please excuse my poor modelling skills!

I would love to hear about your dressmaking if you want to add a link below.

Love Lemon x

Monday, 22 September 2014

September Sun

I hope you all had a great summer, it’s been especially nice to see some September sun here too. My 4 year old has now started school and we are all settling into the new routine. It has been a busy summer visiting friends and family and generally keeping my boys entertained, thank god for the beach at the end of the road! This has meant the blog posts have been a little lacking lately. I have missed blogging but it has been nice to just focus on my family and enjoying some time with the boys.

Here are a few photos from our summer:
I think the highlights for me were an amazing trip to Ireland to see friends and their new baby girl, some great days at the beach with the boys and their cousins, a visit from our friends from Manchester, a beer festival with my brothers and a girly weekend with my friends to Cambridge.

Love Lemon x

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Beside the Seaside

Welcome to my first ever room makeover, which I am very excited about!

Recently, I have felt inspired by a few things, one of which is living by the sea – how beautiful it can be and how happy it makes me. Another is Joanna Thornhill’s book Home for Now, which is full of inspiring ideas that you can read more about here. It made me think about my rented home and how when renting there is a certain limit to what you can do. But this shouldn’t stop people from making it their own.

Our spare room was best described as a dumping ground with a bed. It was where all our odd bits of furniture ended up. We are so lucky to have lots of family and friends that come to stay with us and we love it – it’s been amazing to have the space to put people up. So I wanted to make this guestroom into something special. It’s a great room at the top of the house with a small balcony. It has a dark navy blue wall, which I decided was the perfect backdrop for a nautical, beach theme inspired by the sea at the end of the road! It’s all about working with what you have – if life gives you lemons and all that!!

So, first have a look at the room before (I always love this bit):
And here is the room now:
I have been working through ideas for the past few months. First, I sanded back the orangey pine on the rocking chair and repainted it white – I love how it looks now. The bedside table was something I found outside someone’s house when we lived in London. I really liked the shape of the legs and it was a good solid wooden table but it looked as though someone had started a DIY makeover that they never finished. Rather than paint it, I decided to add a sheet of glass on the top and put pictures underneath of beaches we have visited – I used postcards and old railway poster prints. I filled an old vase with stones and shells that our family have collected over the years from various beaches. After some searching, I finally found some old wooden boat oars from a local couple that I scrubbed clean and revived with some linseed oil. As most of you will know, I love old and new together and I feel this room satisfies my obsession!

I found the cushions, throw, artwork and storage box all at Tesco, which has a great seaside living range and they also have some great interior ideas on their Tesco Living site.

Have you recently completed a room makeover? Or do you have a nautical room of your own? I would love to hear from you.

Love Lemon x

Please note that Tesco kindly gifted items for my makeover. All thoughts are of course my own.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Lemon Loves #2

So what are my loves at the moment, well to start with I have really enjoyed catching up on lots of blogs recently and following some great sewing bloggers since completing a dressmaking course in March. I particularly enjoy the Dolly Clackett blog featuring so many amazing dresses in such a variety of brilliant fabrics. I have also enjoyed reading Randomly Happy, Tilly and the Buttons, This Blog is Not For You and What Katie Sews. A whole new world of handmade for me and so many inspiring ideas. I would be grateful for any recommendations for dressmaking blogs. 

A few weekends back I was in London catching up with some friends which was so lovely, we had food and cocktails in Brixton village which I have wanted to do for a while after so many people had told me about it. So much amazing food to choose from, we went for Tapas which we all really enjoyed. I also popped into ED which is a Rigby and Mac store in East Dulwich, it's near where I used to live and I always loved popping in to browse all the colourful and quirky homeware. I bought some great rustic wall letters that are made from old boat wood. A fab addition to the growing collection of items on my hallway wall. 

I started another dressmaking course at Felixstowe Sewing School and I am so excited to be making the Emery dress by Christine Haynes. I really wanted to try an independent pattern this time and did lots of research, checking out all the amazing pattern designers out there. For me the Emery dress was the perfect style and I found some very pretty Liberty fabric at Clothkits who were also offering 25% off at the time. I haven't actually ever bought Liberty fabric so it feels very special to be using some for this dress.
Sun and more sun, it's times like these when I truly appreciate living by the sea. I have been out on my bike with the kids and we have loved sunny trips to the beach. 

There are many things I love about where we live, it's mostly about the beach and friendly people but also smaller things that make me happy like fresh bread from the tiny bakers around the corner that sells the most amazing bread. You can't beat fresh bread and this seeded loaf is my favourite.
I am working on giving my guest room a little makeover, so hopefully I will be sharing that very soon. It's very exciting putting it all together.

Love Lemon x

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Home for Now by Joanna Thornhill

I hope many of you have had sunshine where you are; it has been so lovely here and actually hot. I had a rare afternoon to myself and took a trip to the beach on my bike with a copy of Home for Now by Joanna Thornhill.
Renting a flat or house for me does not mean it cannot be made into a home – we have rented different homes during the past four years and have always looked for properties we felt we could make our own. I was really looking forward to reviewing this book, which is packed full of homes from first-time buyers or renters. None of these places are forever homes but this has not stopped the people living there from creating a place that is truly theirs.
There are so many colourful and interesting homes to really inspire. I had to keep making notes of things I wanted to do and ideas that popped into my head for my own home. Throughout the book, there are clear instructions on how to create the look yourself and in a less permanent way for those renting.
I particularly liked the idea for reusing pieces of furniture in different rooms and for different purposes – the idea being that things don’t need to be thrown away but can be changed or moved to fit somewhere else.
However much we try to avoid it, most of us have a lot of ‘stuff’ and storage is essential. Home for Now gives ideas on storage for each and every room, making the most of all available space no matter how small and even making a feature of it.
This headboard was created so cheaply and has such a dramatic impact.
The charm of mismatched furniture and different textures, materials and colours really appealed to the particular style I like. I often wonder if my own style of vintage pieces matched with bright colours is due to living in lots of different homes and working with a neutral backdrop – meaning I added colour with accessories and interest with vintage.
Two areas that I was pleased to see covered in the book were indoor plants and outside spaces. I have never been amazing with plants and gardening but I am getting better and have chosen a few plants for my home and would like to add more. I now have lots more ideas on how to display house plants and also how to add colour and outdoor areas to my garden. 

These wicker chairs look perfect in this bay window surrounded by plants.

This is definitely a book I will keep going back to for inspiration and ideas. Home for Now is published by CICO books and available from Amazon.

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Love Lemon x

Please note: Home for Now was sent to me for review but all thoughts are my own.