Friday, 27 November 2015

A Weekend at The Hoxton Hotel Amsterdam

Recently myself and Mr B celebrated a very special wedding anniversary, a silver one to be precise, although how 25 years has passed so quickly is beyond me!

These sort of occasions call for a couple of days away without the children in a nice hotel to remind yourselves that there was a life you had together before family came along. While we deliberated on whether to try a destination neither of us had been to before, or to return to an old favourite, we came across a new site, called Very Chic. Basically they pick the very best of the worlds hotels and nail them down for the very best prices.

After we had looked at what they had on offer, we decided on The Hoxton in Amsterdam. I have been to Amsterdam before, as some of you may remember from the blog, to celebrate a special birthday with friends. Mr B had been to Holland on business but never to Amsterdam and we had both heard very good things about The Hoxton and so the dye was cast and The Hoxton was booked. I might add at this point that the prices on the Very Chic site were 62% discounted from the usual room rate, so it's now our go to site to visit for any future trips.

As soon as the taxi pulled up outside the hotel, I knew we were going to love it as it's situated on the Herengracht which is the main canal which make up the canals around the nine streets area. This area is the picture postcard shots you see of Amsterdam, with bikes nonchalantly leaning against canal bridges with lovely antique lamps lighting the way in the evening and the Dutch merchants houses elegant and grand, now mainly turned into shops, cafes and bars for you to explore.
The entrance to the hotel is also the bar and dining room, so immediately you are enveloped in a warm convivial atmosphere, although not stuffy and formal, very relaxed with young staff and a canteen style interior, mixed with vintage finds and mid 20th century designed furniture.

Our room was beautiful, over looking the canal, as most of the rooms are, with soft lighting and a digital Robert's radio playing jazz music as we entered. The large comfy bed, had an amazing headboard, made of caramel coloured leather and the ensuite bathroom had a spacious walk in shower and artfully laid metro tiles in a geometric design. Everything was perfectly picked from the Pen & Ink toiletries to the selection of Teapig teas in the room.

Each evening ,over the weekend we were there, a DJ played in the bar until 2.00am and the cocktail list was long and exquisite. The food was informal, home cooked style at very reasonable prices for a hotel of this standard. My niece, who used to work for Soho House in London, informed me that The Hoxton kitchens are run by Soho House, enough said.

The next time I return to Amsterdam, as I surely will, such is my love for this city, I can't imagine staying any where else, from the location to the staff, the toiletries and the cocktail menu, everything was perfect.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Trend - Two Tone Walls

I've noticed recently, as I've been flicking through the interiors mags, that there's a new and interesting paint trend for two tone walls.

Imitating the classic and traditional style of using a dado rail to divide a wall height, this new style is cleaner, crisper and more contemporary.
The use of a darker colour on the bottom half of the wall is a really practical solution for high traffic areas, such as halls, dining areas and childrens rooms.

If you prefer something less graphic and a little softer on the eye, the ombre effect is another technique, that has transcended from the dip dye soft furnishings and pottery that have been on trend for some time now.
It's a great way to add interest to a room other than using wallpaper and all you need is masking tape a pot of paint and a spirit level!

Monday, 23 November 2015

Little Greene Paint Company - Blues

If your home is looking like 50 shades of grey, apologies now for the over use of the phrase, then you might want to consider a shade of blue for your next decorating project?

Little Greene Paint Company, those clever people who gave us the scales paint chart, providing us with different depths of neutral greys and creams, have developed a new "blues" paint chart. Recently launched at Decorex, the paint chart, consists of 21 hues of blue, from soft and pale, to deep and dark, with a limited edition hand mixed shade called Ultra Marine.
Blue has, for centuries, been the colour inspiring artists from Picasso, who had a whole blue period, to Yves Klein who created his own blue, named after him. Ultra marine was beloved by Renoir and Van Gogh, all of them knowing the power of blue to calm the senses and evoke emotions and atmospheres.

A range of classic 20th Century patterned wallapers have been recoloured by Little green to compliment the new shades and harmonise beautifuuly with the range.

Lynda Gardener Interior Designer Australia Country Retreat

I've long admired the work of Australian Interior Designer Lynda Gardener and follow her instagram account which is filled with inspirational places she has either visited or designed.

Last month in Elle Decoration her beautiful and stylish country retreat The White House, in Daylesford, Australia, was featured which Lynda describes as being influenced by Scandinavian design. It's a white, light filled space filled with rustic charm and quirky props picked up along the way.

If you're lucky enought to be visiting Australia, Lynda rents out The white House and a smaller propety, The White Room, in Melbourne. 

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

A DIY Space Saving Pegboard Christmas Tree - Rose & Grey Styling Challenge

Rose & Grey, the online retailers, for quirky home accessories, love throwing a styling challenge gauntlet down to bloggers and this month, I was asked by them to take part in styling their white pegboard by Block, using a Christmas theme of my choice.
My teenage daughter, Amber, will make great use of this pegboard in her bedroom, which is perfect for storing all her jewellery & hair accessories, but for now I've tranformed it into a Christmas tree for her bedroom, which is always short on space, her being a typical hoarding teenage girl. So armed with string, baubles and a star, I set about creating.

The tree is so easy to make using bakers twine to thread through the holes and topped with a felt star I could see it taking shape.

 If I'd had more time to design the finished tree, I would have changed the red and white bakers twine for black & white, to make it more contemporary, but as working mums know, time is not always on our side and the red string was in my cupboard of props already. It's available along with other colours from Papermash. You could also use metallic thread for a bit more bling, there are lots available here on Etsy.

The white board comes complete with wall fixings and a selection of  15 coloured painted pegs, so that items such as the baubles, £1.00 for a pack of 9, from Sainsburys, can be hung and Amber can add more decorations, of her choice, to the tree.

She loves decorating her bedroom around Christmas time with fairy lights and cards from her friends, she's definitely a mini me and always has a small artificial tree, on her dressing table or window sill, but this is such a great space saving idea and can be propped on a shelf or wall hung, minimising any more clutter, what's not to love?
For a little extra sparkle you could also pop small white fairy lights through the holes in the back?

Saturday, 10 October 2015

5 of The Best Vintage Style Wooden Bath Racks

The best part of any design project, for me, is the accessorising, buying all those little finishing touches that make a house a home.

We've recently had our bathroom retiled, new floor and wall tiles, in a black & white monochrome theme. It looks great but to avoid it looking a little sterile, I've added wooden accents, such as a vintage Ercol chair, sourced from my favourite vintage dealer, Mrs M Vintage.

I also bought a traditional wooden bath rack to sit across our salvaged roll top bath and after much deliberating and surfing the net, I have found, what I think are, the best 5 available, finally settling on The White Company version, which I love.

Here are the rest of the best.
Baileys Home & Garden bath rack is made from recycled floor boards.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

5 of the best new Supermarket home accessories from George Asda

We all have our favourite supermarkets where we prefer to shop but how many of us look at the Homewares section? No me neither really but I think all that's about to change after I spied the new Luna collection by Asda.

The range has tapped into all the latest key trends in interiors from copper, to cork and marble and all at Asda prices. At this point I should tap my back jeans pocket but as I'm not a vlogger you'll have to imagine this bit! What I'm trying to say is they are cheap, but look like they could have been bought from some chic Scandinavian site.

Here's my top 5 buys and it's definitely worth going online or in store and checking out the rest of the range.

Glazed copper canister £4.00

Cork notice board £6.00

Matt black & cork shade £20.00

Copper star cushion £7.00

Set of 4 place mats £5.00