Taking a positive look back on 2020 – What did I achieve?

Christmas has been and gone on what can only be described as the most surreal year to date. And I don’t know about you, but I am excited to look onto a new year and hopefully a brighter time for us all.

But before I bid farewell to this wretched year, I want to look back on 2020 in a positive light. There has been so much negativity surrounding these last 12 months, I didn’t want to kick start the new year with the same negative energy. So, grab a cuppa and even jot down your own happy memories of 2020. Do let me know if you create your very own 2020 round up, I’d love to give it a read.

We moved into our first house

If you’ve been around here for a while, you would have probably got fed up of my ongoing commentary of buying and selling to get into our first house. But this is by far our biggest achievement of 2020.

5 Years after stepping onto the property ladder, we made the next step. Yes, there was a 3 month wait, and we did have to move back in with my parents, but it was totally worth it.

Our family grew – with 4 little paws

Little did we know 2020 would entail a little fluff ball by the name of Rhodie. In September we brought home a Cockapoo who would steal our hearts, literally. Now, several months later, we literally couldn’t imagine our home without him. Dogs offer real warmth, purpose and love in a home, and he’s literally the best addition to our family.

Appreciation towards the small things

Lock-down 1 (March), 2 (November) and 3 (December) have all spurred my appreciation for the small things in life. Those small trips to Starbucks on the weekend, the sunshine on my cheeks, the small chit chats with family face to face. 2020 was a year of keeping your distance, but also embracing, and appreciating what we do have in life. I am forever grateful for 2020 highlighting my gratitude for my own home, and stable job.

I found my happy

In everything I have put into 2020. From working from home, moving property and continuing my own business. If this turbulent year has taught me anything, its to make sure I’m happy with the choices I take and the path I embark.

This year has certainly not been filled with new cities explored, sunny holidays or BBQs in the sunshine with friends and family. For many of us, its been a quiet year. But i’m forever grateful that at the end of this strange old year, I’m still in a lucky position in my job, relationship and home.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year! Thank you so much for supporting me and my slice of the web, I’m so excited to continue my journey with you throughout 2021.

Planning our New Home – Lounge mood board

We *should* be about 4 weeks out from having the keys to our brand new home! And since we have been practically homeless for over a month, our main focus has been making our new place as comfortable and ‘us’ as possible.

The great thing about a new build is the blank canvas it is, but it’s also very generic and very samey. With that in mind, we are keen to inject personality and flair into what could be a very boring box. We’ve been brainstorming interior ideas and styles for weeks and I’m at the stage of sharing our new home mood-boards.

Over the last week, me and my husband have been off and quiet literally exploring every single home store, searching for inspiration and new ideas to inject into our new home. And it worked, we found colour palettes, styling ideas and key pieces to nab to transform our home.

So here is the low down on the mood-board and the vision for our Living room.

The Space

We are incredibly lucky to have a space that is rather big for our cosy sofa and ample furniture for storage and style. It’s flooded with light from our window and double doors out onto our patio and expansive garden. We also have lots of wall space and some storage too with the cupboard under the stairs being accessed from our lounge.

The Vision

The idea of our home is improving on the style and decor we had in our apartment, and that is true to every room. As much as we adored our previous green, we are looking to adopt more colour.

The colour palette

Graphite is the key undertone of our home, with our graphite kitchen and black furniture pieces, so will be ever present in our living room. The deep blue / green and rich, dark orange will be key features on the bland walls.

We felt like it was a nod to our previous living space and style, whilst adopting new colour trends that will compliment new and old home pieces.

We did love the idea of a dark and moody space, but the fear of making the entire house a monochrome home was real – no disrespect to the monochrome, but our kitchen is going dark and we just didn’t want to overdo it!

The Styling

Our previous furniture is still very much loved, so we are injecting more pieces from the range, whilst styling the ones we had. We will add cosiness into the expansive room using texture and layers. I love the idea of layering numerous rugs to introduce a variety of colours or patterns.

We will also be carrying over our tribal styling pieces, whilst introducing simplistic, modern pieces too.

This is the first time I have created a full mood-board for our own home and honestly, it’s the best practice to visualize a space.

7 Weeks of Puppy Love – What it’s been like as a fur mumma!

People now call me mum, to Rhodie, which has been rather bizarre but also warming. Because in these last 7 weeks, I seem to have gained a ‘mothering instinct’ when it comes to this little pup. Whether it be clearing the latest inside accident, nabbing stones from his mouth or playing with the water bowl to make sure he’s getting plenty, my every second thought now surrounds this little fluff ball.

But boy, its hard work taking on this roll as fur-mumma. Beside the poop and wee, there is so much to worry about! Has he eaten something he shouldn’t have? I hope that’s not poisonous for dogs? Is he bored?

But thankfully, me and my husband seemed to have created a fantastic team when rearing a puppy. With a little discipline, but a heck load of love, Rhodie has come on leaps and bounds – literally!

Potty Training

It took several weeks but we have made huge headway when it comes to poops and wees! We only went through 130 puppy pads to get him preferring the grass to the hard wood flooring. I had heard of lots of different tactics to encourage outdoor toilet trips, but we only found a couple of things that actually helped.

Keeping him on a lead – Especially in the first couple of weeks, keeping him on a lead in the garden helped, especially since he could be easily distracted.
Staying in one place – Within the garden was a fantastic idea! It meant Rhodie knew when we headed to a particular spot within the garden it was for one reason only – the toilet. Even now off the lead, he nearly always does his business in that area!
Praise – And lots of it! Our neighbors must have thought me and my husband were mad, but we really really praised any toilet trips. Keeping out tone high pitched and lots and lots of cuddles and clapping. He now associates those outdoor toilet trips with high praise!

When it comes to incidents inside the home, we have always sent Rhodie outside after, and reinforced no and naughty when Rhodie was inspecting the crime scene. In recent weeks, we found he wasn’t telling us so much so he needed to go outside and would just wee inside for the sake of it. On these occasions we rubbed his snout in his wee and again reinforced no. Whilst it sounds harsh, it worked as very quickly he was once again telling us he needed to go outside.

We have no way moved past the indoor incidents, but they are certainly few and far between.

Bedtime

This is an interesting one, as we are in a very unique situation, living at my parents whilst our new build home is finished. Alas, we knew we wanted Rhodie to have full reign of our new home, and sleeping upstairs with us when we are in our new abode. Bearing this in mind, from the start he has been staying in our bedroom. No downstairs crating, always in our room in his own bed.

During the early days, he was in a crate, but he would cry and cry if the door was locked. So, naturally, that door has never been closed or locked! Whilst I panicked we would wake up to a room shredded beyond recognition, we have been incredibly lucky that he has yet to knaw, nibble or ruin any furniture during the night!

In the last couple of weeks we have invested in a bigger dog bed and had away with the crate. Although I thought this might have an impact, it hasn’t. He settles easily at night, with willingly going into his bed once we have turned the tv off, and only wakes us at 6:30am every morning to join us for a snooze on the bed.

Always lead them to their bed – Reinforce the word bed when putting them in their crate / bed and always take them straight back if they leave.
Ensure there are chew toys – Like ropes and cuddly toys. This will ensure you’re not waking up to carnage.
Before Bed, a good let out – We always let Rhodie out just before bed. This will reinforce the idea that that is the time to go toilet.
When they cry, don’t talk and let them out – This is another one I read on the internet and it works a treat. To discourage a playtime during the middle of the night, listening to their cries and letting them out without acknowledgement is a clear sign they should go out, do their business and go back to bed.

Walks

We were so lucky that at just 12 weeks old he was ready to go for daily walks. And keen to make sure he was road savvy, we have only been on local walks to the park. In fear of pushing him too much at once, we have been fairly frequent for walks, but doing no more than 10-15min at a time.

We are reinforcing sit at the curbside and he is now getting the hang of sitting and waiting – so much so we don’t have to say it. I would highly recommend this type of walking first before heading on extravagant woodland walks. Short leads also help refrain him from pulling!

I don’t think anyone really appreciates how much patience it takes for a puppy.

As much as you can prep for broken sleep, wee and poo, being relied on by a fluffy friend is pretty tiring. Aside from the financial tie, puppies and dogs require love, care and attention, even when you might not feel able to offer it 100%.

Getting a puppy has been the best decision we made, but has been testing. Being at home with a demanding puppy can feel pretty isolating and lonely, especially during a pandemic. The worry of leaving them alone, even for a quick pop to the shops is ever present. Plus the guilt when you do come home and they are just so eager to see you again.

But having that little fluff ball is also so rewarding. The pure joy of just being with you is so warming, and just feeling needed and loved, even when you yourself have the worst day. Being in demand, mopping floors constantly, clearing poo, yes its all grinding but its totally worth it!

My Top Tips for new fur-parents

Set boundaries from the start – Like being on the sofa and bed. This is vital because confusion from you will only lead to a confused, disobedient pup. We have trained Rhodie to sit and wait to be invited up to either the sofa of bed.
The lead is your best friend – Especially in the early days of potty training. Whilst it can be tedious to keep going out with the puppy, it helps ensure they know where to go to the toilet and won’t be distracted when in the garden.
Integrate early – with other doggos. We are fortunate that we are living with my parents and elder dog currently. But we have ensured he is mixing with other dogs including family dogs and greeting others on walks.

-Pin for later-

We are ripping out our brand new, new build kitchen! – Here’s why…

I would be lying if I said we didn’t get a lot of raised eyebrows when we say we are replacing the brand new kitchen in our new-build property.

When it comes to buying a brand new home, you would think you have endless options and choices to make when it comes to making your new home personal to you and your style. And whilst some house builders do offer a lot of upgrades, additional extras and general options on the basics, some do not. And unfortunately our house-builder falls into that latter category.

Now call us snobby, but we were so desperate for some upgrades in our kitchen, and yet unfortunately we were told we do not qualify to upgrade anything! We were prepared to spend a little more on different style doors, a higher quality of worktop, a bigger oven. And yet we couldn’t. So, after 3 hours of choosing a kitchen that we didn’t like, weeks of searching for additional units, and trying with all our might to like the options we had, we decided it was best to buy all new.

Read : 6 Things to know before you buy a new build property.

Functionality

Number one reason for installing a new kitchen is functionality. The kitchen in our new property lacked storage and user-friendly space. With a under counter oven, two over counter cupboards and just one draw, it really lacked usable storage we desired for a family home.

Compared to the kitchen we had in a two-bedroom apartment, we were losing 50% of our cupboard space and storage. Despite having more wall and floor space available. We had been given a downsized oven and sink too!

Our new improved kitchen will give us 7 usable cupboards with smart storage solutions, one large pull out larder, 3 plinth draws, 2 narrow spice racks and space for our built in fridge/freezer, washing machine and dishwasher! We have kept all counter space and moved our oven into a tower unit and given ourselves a larger sink. Win Win all round!

Design

As with any part of a home, it can often be to personal taste. So whilst many would love what we choose from the developers, unfortunately it isn’t exactly what we had in mind. We had dreamt for a dark, matt, handle-less kitchen, which was far from the only dark colour ( bluey – purple) high gloss, silver handled, light butcher block design we opted for with the developers.

The newly designed kitchen instead has the look and feel we were looking for. Our new home style is modern retro and we wanted our kitchen to reflect that. With a darker colour palette, including the units and counter top, we’ve achieved the look and feel we were after for our modern new build home.

Long Lasting

When we were choosing our first house ( second property ) we knew we would be in it for a long time. Any property purchase is an investment, but for us, this was especially. We are up sizing, hoping one day to fill the spare rooms with little feet. So, a kitchen that can’t support a family Christmas with a over sized Turkey, and offering plenty of storage and cooking space is vital for many happy years in our new home.

We have come across lots of raised eyebrows when it comes to our kitchen plans – even from the developers themselves. But we are so excited to upgrade and get the kitchen we have always wanted.

Throughout our entire house purchase process we have been making sure we choose what we want for both practicality and style. And that was the same for our kitchen. We knew the functionality would grate very quickly, along with the downgrades on what we had previously. So instead of us waiting to get incredibly frustrated with the kitchen, why not fix it straight away.

Revealed : Our New Home Colour Palette – PLUS how you can create yours!

One of the biggest things I am determined to nail in our new home is that all important colour palette. It took 4 years to inject some colour into our previous property and I am fixated on the idea of getting ours right, first time around! I just couldn’t cope with living in a white box again.

I believe establishing an entire home colour palette helps focus the search for new pieces and styling – key when furnishing and decorating a new home. Since we had lots of furniture pieces to keep and incorporate into our new home, we already had something to work around.

After lots of searching, in home stores and on pinterest, we have managed to create a home colour palette for paint and furniture, to work with and drive focus for styling and purchasing. So without further ado, here’s our home colour palette, and how we managed to pick and create it, so you can do the same!

Read : Lessons I learnt from decorating our first home

A New Home Colour Palette

I am so in love with our colour palette it is unreal. After lots of ‘soul searching’ I really did wonder whether we would be able to find a new colour palette that felt like us, complimented our personal style and was ultimately new.

When thinking of an entire home colour palette, its important to define your rooms as different spaces, but also bear in mind the palette as a whole also. Having a complete palette that compliments throughout will help make your entire home flow and feel as one.

Essentially, if we were to bundle every colour from our palette, into one room, it would work together well. This is a sign that we have created a unified colour palette.

How to do it digitally

I used canva to create our colour palette. Search paint websites for different shades and upload these into a template. Overlapping them and playing around with different colours digitally can give you a real representation of your palette and how well the colours work together on the screen, but eventually in a space.

Our ‘Red Thread’

Despite the rule really being you should have one ‘red thread’ colour, we have two. Yep, two. And ours is Graphite and Off-white ( Hollyhock ).

With every space in the new home, I was leaning towards black furniture and white styling pieces. And whilst at first I thought that should just be the palette of the home, I really loved having colour in our last property, and I didn’t want to feel like I was living in a black and white film!

Our home ultimately has both Graphite and Off-white ( Hollyhock ) present in every space, unifying the entire home and making it feel flowing throughout. These star colours bind the palette together and offer a base colour for every space in our home. These colours will be used in the furniture and woodwork.

For example, in the Kitchen the Graphite is our kitchen units and surfaces. The Hollyhock will be paint work and walls. Slaked Lime Dark will be our feature wall backing onto the dining space.

My advice to create yours

There is no one size fits all when it comes to creating a home colour palette. But there are some key points to remember when starting afresh and defining yours.

Here are my top tips for you to kick-start and create the perfect home colour palette for you.

1 : Don’t Rush – start early

Rushing a colour palette will always end in disaster. Take your time, order lots of samples and search pinterest for inspiration. Start early too. If you want to be painting and decorating in the new year, start thinking colours now. This will give you plenty of time to swap and change, without fret of taking too long.

2 : Consider your furniture

Whether you will be buying new, or keeping your current pieces, considering the furniture you will be using throughout your home is vital for choosing a palette that compliments them, rather than clash!

3 : Focus on the key areas of your home

Kitchen, Living Room and Bedroom are your vital areas of your home. Trying to inject different colours or shades into every room is a hard task, so focusing on those key rooms and working out from there, will help focus your palette.

Remember, you don’t need to have lots of different colours and shades for every room. Much rather, use the colours from other rooms differently to keep consistency and flow.

I will be using a combination of the colours I have already picked for my other spaces in my home ( WC / Spare Bedroom / Office / Bathroom ).

4 : Don’t dwell on the trends

It’s so easy to be swept up in the new trends when it comes to painting. But, who wants to re-paint their entire home every year as the trends change? Keep your soft furnishings and styling pieces for the trends and use paint colours and shades that will compliment these changes.

5 : Use feature walls

If you’re not afraid to change the paint colour often, use feature walls and different painting techniques to inject some of the bolder colours of your palette. Top and Tailing spaces with feature walls can bind in those colours, without overwhelming a space.

Read : Unique ways to paint your walls

I have thoroughly enjoyed creating our home palette and would strongly urge everyone to do the same. It’s proved instrumental in making key decisions for our new home including flooring colours, tile choices and key furniture pieces. It’s helped us truly define our style for our entire home, whilst embracing different moods and trends in different spaces.

If you want to create a unified, flowing home that oozes style, nestle down and create a home colour palette. It’s not just for paint colours, its for soft furnishings and styling too!

Will you be creating a home colour palette? Is there more you want to know about how we are creating a unified home? Get chatting in the comment section below!

5 Things to do during lock-down 2.0 – that you didn’t do last time!

That’s it, we, the UK, are in another national lock-down. 4 Weeks of essential travel and shopping only, and no visits to family or friends. It’s a scary time so it’s completely understandable to be overwhelmed, worried, scared, anxious. And everything in between of course. I myself am taking a different approach to this next lock-down – with a whole lot of positive attitude.

Along with that positive mindset, I’ve decided to make sure this lock-down is a little more productive than the last, with these five things I’ll be doing over the next 4 weeks.

Read : Simple life pleasures whilst staying at home

Keep in touch

If I’ve learnt anything since lock-down ever became a thing, it’s that keeping in touch with friends and family is so important for all involved. Make sure you keep in touch with them over these coming weeks. This second lock-down can be tough for us all, so making menial chit-chat and even unloading your worries to a friendly ear can hugely help keep spirits high.

Top Tip : Perhaps this lock-down is a fantastic time to create weekly quizzes or Sunday afternoon tea catch ups via facebook video.

Send Gifts

Lock-down can be a lonely old time, so sending a quick pick me up to someone special can ease the strain. It doesn’t have to be expensive, even just a little care package of self-care items including hand cream, bath salts and more.

Shop online

Retail therapy can make anyone feel a little better, surely? And in November there is an even bigger excuse to shop – Christmas! Don’t forget to shop small too – supporting independent businesses can be the lifeline they need during this difficult time.

Do that thing you have been putting off

I’ve been putting an awful lot off recently, partly due to my lack of enthusiasm. But as 2020 starts to wind down, now is a great time to make a little something of the year – that’s my mindset anyway.

Conquering those bits and bobs you’ve been putting off all year will certainly give some purpose to the year, and make this lock-down productive.

Release the Pressure

Of feeling like you have to be achieving something. Whilst this post might come across like you need to be doing something productive during a lock-down, you don’t. You really should just be looking out for yourself, and your loved ones as much as possible.

Release the pressure on yourself and your mental health by unwinding, taking time to distance from the madness. Lock-down isn’t here to learn a new skill, write a book or knit an entire wardrobe. But if that’s what helps release the pressure and unwind than do what you need.

This lock-down is so different from the previous. We all kinda know what to expect, and we know we can make it through. Like my husband says, we all have a 100% track record for making it through every day.

What will you be doing differently this lock-down? Do you have any plans?

Faux Fireplaces perfect for Autumn 2020 – The Three

I have always dreamt of a fireplace to decorate with beautiful blooms during the summer, autumnal arrangements and of course a Christmas garland during the colder months. For many of us, a real fireplace isn’t on offer, so a faux will have to do.

But whilst faux may not be ideal, they can be equally beautiful for your living spaces.

Why choose a faux fireplace?

As mentioned, some of us don’t have the opportunity to have a real, roaring fire in our home. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have the comfort and warmth of one. A Faux fireplace can be placed in any space, any home, and come in a variety of sizes and styles. As long as you have power, you can plonk your fireplace wherever you please.

Fireplaces don’t have to hinder your space neither. Mount your tv above your fireplace to create a focus of both your tv and faux fire. For a ultra modern home, consider a built in faux fireplace and tv for a sleek, streamlined look.

The Three

If you’re now pining for a faux fireplace just in time for Christmas, here’s 3 of the hottest to buy. From traditional styling, to modern mounting, there is one for every home and style.


Next – Jefferson / Bronx

Next Home is one of my favorite, high street interior stores. Their gorgeous furniture ranges span lots of different styles and trends. Their variety of faux mantles and fires offer something for every budget and interior look. The beautiful wooden faux mantles are high on my five faux fireplace list simply because of their beauty and classic appeal. If you’re looking for something that won’t age and will blend well throughout various interior changes, one of these are for you.

Shop It


Imagin Fires – Broadway Suite

A little more on the expensive side, the broadway suite is perfect for those more traditional, yet grand spaces.

The classic style and colouring makes it once again an investment that will suit a changing colour palette and interior style.

Shop It


White wall mounted Electric Fireplace

For those modern styled homes, this is the one for you. This design lends well to displaying your TV above, so you don’t have to compromise on your telly being the centre piece of your living space.

Being mounted to your wall also gives the illusion of space and is ideal for those small, intimate lounges.

Shop it


Going faux doesn’t have to mean it looks fake. Aside from my three choices, there is literally hundreds of faux fireplaces and mantels to purchase, many fooling the naked eye from being faux. Check your space and adopt your style with the faux arrangement you choose, whilst considering how you use your space too.

Do you have a faux fireplace? Are you considering one in time for Winter? Get commenting below!

My November Goals

Well, well, well, November here you are! It seems a bi-monthly goal post is much easier to pen together. With a lack of activity and not much change through the month of October, I really struggled to see the positives and have something to focus on. Much rather, I sought the, keep your head down and press on attitude. October entailed a lot of window shopping for home purchases and settling in with our little pup – Rhodie.

As November started with the announcement of another national lock-down, it seemed like a good month to write off. But as easy as that would be, my mind is focused on tackling some of my to-do list and some of the things I should have achieved during lock down 1.0.

So, here it is, my November Goals to manifest into reality.

Read : My September Goals

Plan and Purchase

Back in September, it was all about exchanging and moving out of of our first home. But it’s already been 6 weeks since we made the move out, and have thankfully exchanged on our new build and completed on our apartment! Now the wait is on for our property to finish, on schedule, just in time for Christmas.

With *hopefully* just a month or so to go until we have those precious keys, November really is about planning and ordering those important pieces ready for our completion. I have lots of ideas, and my eye on lots of pieces, but its time to make the decisions and order where we can.

Read : Lessons I learnt from decorating our first home.

Get Rhodie road savvy!

Late October marked the milestone of Rhodie being able to go outside on walks and experience the wider world. He loves his little walks and we are keen to get him road savvy before taking him on countryside walks on the rolling hills. I hope by the end of November he will be confident roadside, and sitting curbside too!

Read : Prepping for Puppy parenthood

Dare I say, Read…?

I say this because back in September I wanted to read just 2 books in a month, and I didn’t even manage that. So I say it again, reading is on my agenda, especially with another lock-down imminent.

Read : Simple life pleasures whilst staying at home

Start the Christmas shopping

I fear Christmas shopping with social distancing, minimal customer numbers and queuing outside stores is a recipe for disaster. Paired with the prospect of an early December completion and my endless list of new home DIY, getting started early on Christmas shopping is a must for November. I will be shopping online for much of my shopping, and I’m excited to spread the cost instead of dumping it all on my credit card.

November will be the month for lock-down 2.0. And instead of wasting the time safe at home, we plan to get things ready for our next chapter, and prepared for the festive season.

What are your plans for the month of November? Do you have any goals for November?

Lessons I learnt from decorating our first home

There is so much excitement that comes with owning your first ever home, that we all make mistakes in the decorating department. Even the best of us. I will happily declare that my husband and I were like kids in a candy shop. Our own space, a chance to choose our own furnishings and style and decorate how we like. We were eager to get stuck in.

And it’s here that you can make some pretty costly mistakes. Since we have been in our home, I have often urged other home buyers to avoid some of the mistakes we made.

So let’s get cracking on some of the lessons we learnt decorating our first home.

Read : 5 Things I want from my next home

Live in your home before splurging on furniture

You might not even have any furniture of your own, like us. But one thing we really should have done is buy what we needed first, and look at the other bits later on. But being new homeowners we of course hit Ikea, and with a vision of white on white ( which did not work ) we bought bookcases and those alike that just didn’t work in the space. Within a couple of weeks we knew we had made a mistake and just tried to make it work.

I would highly advise living in the space you have before making any rash decisions on furniture and key pieces. It’s best to get a feel for the space you do have and how you would like to utalise and style it. Then you can make the correct choice on key furniture pieces.

Buy furniture that will age well

When purchasing your furniture, its also best to consider how long it will last you. Is it on trend now? Is it a fashion piece rather than a necessity? Will you be moving in the near future? If so, will this piece work in a different space? Whilst you might think this is a little too much consideration, it’s worth noting, especially if spending big bucks on furniture pieces.

As mentioned, we bought a fair few pieces that haven’t worked out long term. It’s been essentially wasted money and has meant we have had to spend more to replace and update. Pieces that we have since bought, we have carefully considered how it can fit into a new home when we do move.

Don’t buy cheap paint

Very specific this one and well we learnt the real hard way with this one. Some swear by own brands of paint, but in all honesty, we really mucked up in our master bedroom, choosing cheap paint. We spent 3 days decorating and ended in tears with me weeping after being so tired. We ended up giving up and three years later, I still find new patches on our grey and charcoal walls.

Spend more on the branded paint and avoid those cheaper own brands. It will save you in hassle in the long run and most of the time, cheaper paints require more coats.

Prep your surface

Our first painting session in our home really was a disaster. We didn’t prep the walls whatsoever. Huge mistake and meant the cheap paint just didn’t do well at all. Sanding down your surface will make it much easier for the paint to take and will give you a great finish.

Carefully consider your colour palette

We didn’t get started right away with the decorating in our home, partly due to it being a new build and everything was a wash of white. We carefully considered our colour palette and I’m so glad we did. We chose neutral furnishings which made choosing our entire palette easy to match with what we had.

I hugely recommend looking at how all your colours work with each other. Create mood boards to work with a coherent scheme that compliments.

Cheap isn’t always best

I’ve alluded to this quiet a few times throughout this post, but essentially cheaper alternatives isn’t always best. I love a bargain, but when it comes to furniture and paint, spending a little more can save you time, hassle and expenditure later down the line.

When we first moved in, we purchased cheap Argos pieces and whilst they lasted, we didn’t keep them too long. They were pretty flimsy, and unfortunately looked cheap. I do wish we had held back and chosen pieces at the beginning that may have cost a little more, but lasted and suited our space better.

Okay, so we didn’t make any catastrophic, house fell down kind of mistakes when decorating our home. But we certainly made some mistakes we could have avoided if we had been patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and whether you’re buying your first home, second home or forever home, it will not be perfect straight away. Take your time, consider carefully and enjoy the process.

Did you make mistakes when decorating your home? Do you have any advice? As always, leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

How to make the most of open plan living

Open plan living is most certainly the new way to live. New builds are embracing it, older builds are being remodeled to include it and it’s top of the property wish-list. A open plan living space is perfect for those families, social butterflies and those who love the idea of wall-less living. It creates unlimited space, and one that can chop, change and house everything and anything you want. It’s somewhere everyone can come together without anyone being left behind.

In a world where children can spend hours playing computer games, and adults slaving over a hob, a open space allows everyone to be together, even when everyone is just doing their own thing.

But how do you really make the most out of wall-less spaces? How do you make open plan living work in the usual, maybe even small UK home?

Having had a open plan Kitchen, dining, living space, I share some top tips to create the perfect open living space.

Read : 5 Things I want from my next home

Invisible Zones

Even in open spaces, having ‘zones’ helps divide the space and utalise it as much as possible. This is really important when creating a useful yet flowing open plan living space. The zones don’t have to be visible, but defined by furniture and style. Using a sofa or a counter top as a ‘wall’ between your living space and dining area is a popular way to divide the space whilst keeping it open and spacious.

When thinking of the entire space as individual zones can help break down the space to decorate, furnish and style. This is highly recommend when struggling to dress you open plan living space.

Tip : Use rugs to create visually pleasing ‘zones’ if wanting a true divide.

Adaptive furniture

Open plan living lends well to versatile furniture that can chop and change depending on what you’re using the space for. Like dining tables that can extend or coffee tables that turn into a desk. With every piece that you include in your open space, consider how it can be used for different occasions and uses.

Coordinating colour scheme

When it comes to decorating your open space, consider it as one, cohesive room. Make sure each zone carries something of the same colour scheme, palette or material. This is so important when creating that flowing, stylish space. This doesn’t mean you can’t create a different mood for your living area or dining zone. Instead, just adopt other colours, tones and finishes that work with that underlying, recurrent decor.

Embrace light

As with any space, embracing natural light and implementing more when needed is really important to creating a balanced space. Ensure natural light is being maximized with mirrors and reflective surfaces. Inject moody or soft lighting with lamps, standing lights and dimmer switches.

Open living spaces are a modern example of utilizing space and being versatile with your home. Whether it be a socializing space, a family area or cosy all in one spot, open plan living is a well invested floorplan staple for modern living.

Do you have a open plan living space? How do you style yours? Get commenting below.