Maximising Toy Storage Space in an awkwardly shaped Playroom | AD

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Disclosure: This is advertisement feature in collaboration with Great Little Trading Company, who kindly provided us with the Alba toy storage One of the things we were most excited about with the new layout of our house was the addition of a dedicated playroom for the boys. I'm not sure who was the most excited, me or them! Although we've made good use of toy storage solutions in the past, we've never had a room which was solely for the purpose of play, so it feels like a huge luxury to have that space now. Being clever with storage Despite our joy at having a playroom, we do have a few issues with the room that mean clever toy storage is absolutely key. ...

A Travel Inspired Bedroom for a Little Explorer | AD

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This is a collaborative post in partnership with Murals Wallpaper One of the things I was most excited about when it came to decorating our new house was the boys' bedrooms. I've been using Pinterest to pin ideas for ages and I really wanted to hit the right tone for them. I loved Ben's old nursery, which was rainbow themed, but wanted something a little more grown up for him this time around, but still with a lot of little boy charm. I've always been a big wallpaper fan, and one of my favourite pins on Pinterest was this beautiful Map Wallpaper Mural from Murals Wallpaper. I must have pinned it over and over again, so I was thrilled when ...

A Bedroom to Inspire a Reluctant Reader | AD

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This post is an advertisement feature, written in collaboration with the Great Little Trading Company. For as long as I can remember, I've been an avid reader. I could read before I started school, and I would devour books as a child, coming away from the library with stacks of 10, only to return a week later having read them all. But it's not a trait that I've passed on to my eldest son. Despite my best efforts in reading to him, he's shown very little interest in books and stories and the huge emphasis that school places on the importance of reading and writing has been a worry for me. Slowly but surely, he is starting to find a ...

Our Home Renovation: Week 11

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Gosh, it's been so long since my last update! Moving out of our house has been a huge stress on us all, and the long commute for the school run has meant that I've had no time to write. Which means that loads has happened, good and bad, so this may be quite a lengthy update. Excuse the photos all snapped quickly on my phone, but hopefully they give you an idea of where we're at. In my last update, we had a roof, but no tiles, and the internal work to rip out the existing kitchen and bathroom had begun. Looking back at the photos from that update, it feels so long ago. It's amazing how fast things move on. ...

Interior Design Trends Everyone Loves But I Don’t

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In making decisions for our current home renovation project, I've realised that there are certain features that seem to be on everyone's wishlist, but that I really don't like. I read a thread on Mumsnet recently where people discussed exactly this, and it was fascinating to read - there were so many things on the list that I love, that other people didn't, and so many that I agreed with, despite them being considered must-haves by estate agents all across the country. What it definitely showed me was that taste is such a personal thing, and when you're redesigning your home, there's no point in trying to cater to what you think other people want, as you'll never please everyone. ...

Tips to Get Your Kitchen Organised

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This is a paid advertisement post We are currently planning our new kitchen, and I'm determined that this time around I'm going to be organised from the start, with a place for everything. No more searching around in the depths of the drawers for the right sized tuppaware lid! Make Use of Door Space There are so many things that can be stored on the inside of a door - you can find racks to attach for herbs and spices, saucepan lids, cleaning products. All of those small things that don't take up too much space but tend to be clutter in a drawer or cupboard are perfect candidates for a door mounted storage rack. Saucepan lids are my bugbear - I'm always ...

Our Home Renovation: Weeks 4 & 5

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Weeks 4 & 5 have felt like a mixture of slow going and great progress. The steels to support the rear French doors have gone in, and we've seen the brickwork go up and the roof structure appear. Given the rainy and very cold weather, work has been somewhat stop and start, but our builders have been fantastic and at the end of week 5 we are actually slightly ahead of the project plan. It feels like huge progress when you start to see walls going up and get a better sense of what the space will be like once the project is finished. But the most significant development for us this week is that we've moved out. We didn't really ...

Our Home Renovation: Week 2 & 3

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We've just come to the end of Week 3, and the last two weeks have definitely been much less stressful than Week 1 was for us. All of the admin setup has been ironed out, and we've seen the blockwork put in, damproof course laid, drains being installed, and the concrete base poured (and then at least 3 animals then proceeded to walk across it, leaving loads of footprints). It really feels like things are moving on quickly. It's definitely feeling like a building site though, with our much loved garden covered in bricks, mud, diggers, and various other bits of building related material. The benefit of doing it over winter I guess, in that we don't want to use the ...

Designing Our Perfect Kitchen

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When we started thinking about our home renovation plans, the thing that I think my husband and I were most excited about was a new kitchen. We've lived with our current kitchen since we moved into the house 5 years ago, and it's fair to say that we've always hated it. It's not our style at all, and it's now hugely showing its age. The cupboard doors are warping and cracking from water damage, the pull-out larder door scrapes against the wall when you pull it out, meaning that the wallpaper has scraped off, leaving a bare patch of wall. Our oven dials have all failed, so the exact temperature of the oven is always an exciting mystery. And the ...

Our Home Renovation: Week 1

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Well, the first week of our renovation has flown by and the builders have moved on at a fantastic pace. First task was to demolish the rear patio and pergola, and instantly it was amazing to see how much brighter the kitchen was. I wish we'd taken it down years ago! We are living onsite for the first 6 weeks of the project, so we've slowly adjusted to living on a building site. The boys have absolutely loved it, and have spent hours at the back door, watching as the mini digger dug the foundations. Our first week wasn't without its stresses. The speed at which our project went from being planned for late summer to just after Christmas left us ...