Friday, May 30, 2014

Guest post- New Kitchen Trends!

This post is provided by Kirstin.

It does not seem too long ago when nearly all kitchens were pretty much covered in white, but nowadays things are much different. Now there is a trend towards brass accessories, natural materials and much more. Here are some trends to keep an eye on in 2014:

Metal Fixings

Kitchens are all about warmth and that is exactly why warmer metal fixings are starting to come in to fashion. In the past nearly every kitchen had cold stainless steel and so on but now people are starting to use a much more varied set of metals including brass and copper. Something as simple as using brass handle fixings can really make your kitchen stand out from the crowd.

Focal Point

Every kitchen should have at least one or two focal points. If you need inspiration when it comes to your kitchen’s focal point look, stand at your kitchen door and work out what areas attract your attention first. Is it the kitchen window? Or the center of the room, where you can find the appliances, either your cooker or hob? If it is the latter why not upgrade to a new appliance and then plan the rest of the room around it. An example of such would be a statement creating AGA cooker, or bold coloured oven, using the color from the oven as the accent for the rest of the room so accessorize wisely. Simple is definitely effective when it comes down to it and you will be in awe of the modern look that will be achieved.

Natural Materials

Using natural materials for things like your kitchen walls can make a huge improvement to the style of your kitchen. Although it is not the cheapest option available, more and more people are starting to rip apart their old kitchens to expose natural beams to give the kitchen a bit more life. If you are not lucky enough to be able to tear apart your walls to do something like this, you still have the option to build beams in to the ceiling though.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Guest post- Eight Ways To Reinvent Your Kitchen For Less!

This post is provided by Neil Maycock.

Reinventing your kitchen does not have to cost the world. You do not need to get an entire new kitchen to make a difference. Brand new kitchens can cost thousands and there are other ways to redesign and enhance your kitchen.

Before your splash out on a pricey new kitchen and spend all your savings, try some of the following ideas. You will be impressed with the results and it will feel as if you have a brand new kitchen, without the huge price tag. Here are 8 ways you can reinvent your kitchen for less.

1. Repaint instead of replacing

Instead of replacing old cabinets simply repaint them. They can look completely different with a fresh new paint of coat. Try a bright bold colour or go for gentle pastel tones for a more subtle effect. You can also paint creative designs onto cabinets and use contrasting colours to make your kitchen stand out. Better Homes & Gardens have some helpful tips here

2. Create your own tile patterns

You can make your own ceramic tiles if you fancy a DIY challenge. However, this is not the cheapest or easiest option. Instead, try using stencil designs to enhance plain, budget tiles. Add your own creative touch to dull kitchen tiles and give your kitchen a totally different look. Tiles stencils are fairly cheap to buy and there are lots of different designs to choose from.

3. Use clever tools and tricks to make the most of your space

Sometimes simply making the most of the space you have can have a big impact on the overall look and feel of your kitchen. Invest in some helpful space-saving tools such as space-saving utensil sets, collapsible kitchen products and storage products that are designed to save space.

4. Get new parts instead of an entire kitchen

If you have a bigger budget then consider getting new cabinets and parts for your kitchen. Daniel at Kitchen Warehouse said “Instead of buying a whole new kitchen simply enhance your existing layout with new drawers, a new sink or stylish kitchen doors and handles.”

You can pick and choose the parts of your kitchen that you want to improve and keep the things you are happy with. Custom designed drawers and new handles can really make a big difference.

5. DIY where possible instead of paying professionals

If there are any tasks you can do yourself instead of paying a professional then try and have a go. You can rope friends and family in to help, you might even know someone with some handy skills. You will find you are more than capable at completing simple creative jobs and basic tasks, and you will feel a sense of achievement after you have transformed your kitchen yourself.

6. Brighten up your kitchen with lighting

Lighting is an important part of any kitchen, it can really influence the overall look and feel of different rooms in your home. You can make your kitchen seem newer and brighter simply by enhancing your lighting. Use spotlights to highlight key areas and if getting lighting built in is not an option then simply use lamp shades to brighten up the room.

7. White paint

Giving your kitchen a fresh coat of white paint can make it feel brand new. Repaint areas that have faded over the years and if you have any white cabinets you can repaint them too. White kitchens naturally look open and spacious.

8. Declutter and clean

You are not going to get very far if your kitchen is a mess and it feels cluttered. You can instantly make your kitchen feel newer and refreshed by giving it a good clean. Get rid of all the old food at the back of the cupboards that you are never going to eat. Save space by throwing away any cutlery and utensils you do not need. You will feel instantly relieved and it will seem as though you are walking into a totally different kitchen.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Giveaway- $200 Decor Planet Gift Certificate!

Happy Memorial Day, my lovelies! Today, I have a fabulous giveaway from Decor Planet

Decor Planet is a company specializing in selling luxurious home and bathroom products including bathroom vanities, bathroom faucets, bathroom cabinets & mirrors, bathroom shower panels, and a variety of other contemporary bathroom items online at discount prices.

Here are some of my favorite bathroom vanities from their website!

Whitehaus 35 1/4" Large U-Shaped Console With Oval Bowl And Chrome Overflow

Cole+Co Marilyn 38" Antique Bathroom Vanity With Countertop- Designer Series Collection

Fresca Modello White Modern Bathroom Vanity With Ceramic Sink And Medicine Cabinet

Fresca Bellezza White Modern Bathroom Vanity With Solid Oak Woods And Ceramic Sinks

Fresca Opulento Walnut Modern Double Sink Bathroom Vanity With Medicine Cabinet

Avanity Windsor 72" White Antique Double Sink Bath Vanity With Countertop And Sinks

Are you drawn to their modern vanities or classic vanities? Your favorite?

Now that you have seen some of their fabulous offerings, let's get back to the giveaway! Decor Planet has decided to offer one lucky Mix And Chic reader a $200 gift certificate towards any item(s) from their website!

Not sure what you can get for $200 and under? Here are my picks!

Here's what you need to do to win a $200 gift certificate from Decor Planet!

This giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only.

To enter:
1. Be a follower of Mix And Chic via Google Friend Connect (click on the button located under 'Followers' on the right sidebar) and let me know how you will spend your $200 Decor Planet gift certificate if you win(with a link included). After you have done both, please leave a comment followed by your email so I can contact you if you win. (If your email can't be located, another winner will be picked).

 For example: I am now a follower of Mix And Chic via GFC and I would love to get this item if I win.

(enter link here)

(enter your email here)

(one basic, mandatory entry)

For additional entries (an extra entry for each of the following):

2. 'Like' Decor Planet on Facebook and leave a separate comment.
3. 'Like' Mix And Chic on Facebook and leave a separate comment. (If you are already following, please leave a separate comment to let me know as well.)

4. 'Follow' Decor Planet on Twitter and leave a separate comment.

5. 'Follow' Mix And Chic on Twitter and leave a separate comment. (If you are already following, please leave a separate comment to let me know as well.)

6. 'Follow' Mix And Chic on Pinterest and leave a separate comment. (If you are already following, please leave a separate comment to let me know as well.)

7. Mention this giveaway on your Facebook status (include a link back to this post and leave a separate comment.)

8. Tweet about this giveaway (include a link back to this post and leave a separate comment.)

You have a maximum of 8 entries.

The last day for entries is June 4, 2014. The winner will be chosen by and announced on Thursday, June 5, 2014. Good luck!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Guest post- 5 Steps to Redesigning Your Office Space!

This article is provided by Erica Bryant of Roomations.

With tax season behind us, now is the perfect opportunity to start fresh and spruce up your office space. Follow these 5 tips for a successful, design-savvy makeover month.

1. Switch out furniture

If you have it in your budget, replacing your current furniture is an easy update. Starting with your work space, a Parsons or cross base desk are two classic choices. Both stylish and functional, these desks generally do not take up much room, lending more space for the rest of your shopping list, such as seating.

Your desk chair does not have to follow the traditional prototype of having casters. Try opting for a chic, bamboo side chair. Make this a DIY project, and spray paint the base of your chair a high-gloss black or matte gold. However, if you are more comfortable in a chair with casters, a white leather task chair offers great back support and will complement your new desk.

Extra seating may also be important if you use your office to see clients and if your space allows it. In this case, a settee or a pair of armchairs will fill your space nicely without taking up too much room.

2. Get organized 

The secret to an efficient work space is staying organized. Built-ins are a wonderful edition, as you do not have to worry about buying individual pieces. Choose a designated wall and create a built-in that incorporates storage necessities such as shelving, cabinets and drawers.

A second option is to shop for storage systems. The infamous EXPEDIT shelving unit by Ikea is intended to make your life a bit easier as it offers answers to typical storage dilemmas. EXPEDIT is specifically designed to fit storage bins, magazine files, and letter boxes. Many retailers offer these types of small storage containers in various colors, with white being classic and most popular.

3. Find inspiration

To keep your creative juices flowing throughout the day, align your walls with matching frames holding inspirational quotes, Etsy prints and artistic photographs. Mount a picture rail above your desk to layer your frames and style decorative items and accessories such as zinc letters, a vintage trophy or a brass figurine.

To collect your thoughts and ideas, allow a mood board to serve as a space for you to place all things beautiful. Positioned alongside your desk or hung on an adjacent wall, let this board operate as a collage of your thoughts and beliefs.

And if you are feeling daring, give your walls a face-lift by choosing an accent wall to paint a bright color. Or for a true transformation, apply patterned wallpaper.

4. Re-arrange

Every so often, changing the angles in your room by swapping pieces out or moving your furniture around will give your room an entirely new look. For example, your desk does not have to be pushed against a wall. Face it outward for a better window view and change of scenery. Do not worry so much about cords showing as those can easily hide underneath a rug. You can even pull out a bookshelf to use as a room separator. Align it next to your desk, as low bookshelves can serve as extra work space.

5. Accessorize

Last, but not least, have fun with the details. The finishing touches of bringing in new décor will give your space a renewed life. To create a foundation, area rugs cozy up any space and with pops of color or graphic pattern, can offer the bold statement you may be looking for. Opt for more color with pillows, lampshades, or dramatic floor to ceiling curtains.

When it comes to lighting, task lamps are a trendy option, with chrome and brass being my top favorites. To add character to your space, hunt for one-of-a-kind table lamps at your local thrift store. And for an element of drama, hang a chandelier above your desk, as a true definition of a glamorous redesign. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Product review- W Concept!

Have you heard about W Concept, a brand that offers thoughtfully selected stylish clothing, bags, shoes, accessories and more from internationally acclaimed and young designers alike?

I adore so many items from their website. The following pieces are particularly my favorites!

Imagine how thrilled I was to receive one of the items from their fabulous website for a review!

More shots of this lovely bag from their website!

 The lovely bag that I received! 

This bag is great in person! I am absolutely in love with the overall design for its clean, beautiful lines. The gold hardware and details are gorgeous! Made with Indian leather, this bag has light scratches and natural marks on it. The condition of the bag is more rugged than pristine and that's what I like about it. The leather itself is soft but it can easily hold its shape and can stand on its own without assistance even when it's empty.

Inside the bag, there is a zipper pocket, two interior pockets and two small slots to fit a pen and a pencil. The shoulder strap is adjustable and the strap is long enough so I can wear it cross body style if I want to. A favorite feature of mine is definitely the back zipper, it is quite unexpected and very thoughtfully designed! The back zipper can easily access the interior conveniently so you don't need to unbuckle the front straps to reach your belongings.

If you are a fan of clean lined, stylishly-designed handbag with a youthful, rugged flair, then this bag is perfect for you! Get yours here.

Disclosure: I have received this product to review for free but the views and opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Don't forget to stop by W Concept to check out other fabulous offerings! Happy shopping!

Friday, May 16, 2014

And the winner of the giveaway is ..........

Announcing the winner of the recent exciting giveaway brought to you by BLACK+DECKER.

I used to pick a winner and here it is! The lucky winner who will be receiving a BLACK+DECKER pivot vac is 

Nancy from Powell Brower At Home.

Congratulations, Nancy! I will email you soon. Thanks to everyone who entered this giveaway. I have lined up more fun and fabulous giveaways for you in the near future, so keep checking back. Happy weekend, my lovelies!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Guest post- Interior design trends for 2014!

This post is provided by Ella Mason.

Last year we saw a lot of bright prints and colors coming into the interiors scene. All these styles have evolved, some have got brighter while some softer elements have been brought to others. Here are some of the trends to look out for this year.

Parquet floors

Wooden floors are always going to be popular (for inspiration, take a look at Easy Step Flooring) but one of the big trends this year is parquet flooring. The patterned floor trend is big at the moment and a great take on that is this kind of wooden flooring. The distinctive geometric style is striking but has a distinct elegance to it.


Copper accents play on the metallic trend from the catwalk and this can be pulled off in so many ways. Think light fixtures, taps, kitchen accessories, cushions and more.

Copper fixtures look great against dark walls for a raw, industrial look.


Botanical prints have gone further with bright, bold tropical designs. If you want to ease yourself into this trend, go for printed cushion covers. If you want to go all out, reupholster a chair in one of these prints.

There is so much you can do with this trend from the fabrics and accessories to turning your home into a tropical paradise with a few well-placed plants.

Soft furniture

Minimalist, retro styles are out and comfort is in. Plush sofas and armchairs, piled high with cushions, are now a living room staple. You need somewhere you can relax and enjoy your time in your own home. For once, it really is comfort over style.

That is not to say all soft, comfy sofas are ugly – quite the opposite in fact. Go for a plain sofa that comes with lots of cushions. From there you can add more or introduce blankets for an added soft touch.

If you do not want to buy a new sofa, simply stock up on cushions in varying sizes and lots of fluffy throws.

Mixed patterns

A lot of country homes do this perfectly but the trend is finally transferring to the rest of the interiors market. Do not worry so much about only having one statement print or having prints that match. Instead, buy the things you like. As long as there is a common color, you can not go wrong.

Mix florals, stripes, polka dots and more. Do not be afraid to experiment and try something new.


It does not matter how you use it, this is the color that everyone is talking about. Use it on your walls, buy a navy chair or simply go for that navy vase you have had your eye on. How far you take this is completely up to you and your current home décor.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

7 Easy Swimming Pool Maintenance Tips!

The thing about owning a swimming pool is that the more you are prepared to look after it the more benefit you will get from it for longer. A pool is no different from most other large investments that you make; it needs a bit of care and attention. What follows are a few tips that anyone can put into effect.

1. Get Out the Vacuum

You probably thought that only carpets got vacuumed? Well it may surprise you to learn that your swimming pool needs vacuuming now and again just like your carpets. Experts suggest that you vacuum your pool once a week. The analogy with vacuuming a carpet is not too far-fetched. The action of vacuuming a pool is not a million miles away from that of vacuuming a carpet – you just need a bit of a longer reach. As you would with a carpet vacuum, you need to check the filter frequently.

2. Keep The Surface Of Your Pool Clear

If you have a pool already, you will be more than aware how quickly pretty unattractive pieces of debris can build up on the surface of your pool. Even if you do not have a pool yet, you will appreciate how easy it is for materials like dead insects, leaves and other rubbish to form on the pool’s surface. Not only does this look ugly, it is not a good idea to leave it because when it sinks it is much more difficult to remove. Therefore, skimming the surface of your pool each day is well worth the time and effort. You can skim your pool easily with a net attached to a lengthy pole.

3. Keep The Algae Away

Once a week or so it is a good idea to brush the walls of your pool where algae and calcium are likely to build up. With outdoor pools it is very important to keep the area around the pool free from such things as animal excreta, too much vegetation and chemicals like fertilizers. Very importantly, clean up bird droppings as soon as you can. Bird droppings contain nitrates, which algae need to grow.

4. Shut Down Your Pool When It Is Not In Use

There will be times when your pool is not being used – during the winter for example - and the best advice here is to shut it down completely, not least because this will save on energy bills. It is also a good idea to keep it covered when the pool is not in use to reduce the evaporation of water and protect it from debris.

5. Maintain The Pool’s pH At Its Optimum Level

If you require advice on this; any swimming pool supplier will be happy to help, you will find the widest selection of swimming pool supplies online, so it would not take long to find expert advice. The optimum pH is between 7.2 – 7.8 – the pH scale runs from 0, acid to 14, alkaline. Testing your pool’s pH is relatively straightforward using paper strips or tablets.

6. Do Not Let The Water Levels Get too Low.

The danger of letting your pool’s water levels get too low is that it could damage the pump. When your pool is in use it is going to lose water through evaporation and all the splashing about that happens when people use it. You can easily top it up using a garden hose. Keep your pool covered in the winter to reduce the amount of evaporation. Experts will advise you to keep the pool filled during the winter.

7. Check the Calcium Levels in Your Pool

Calcium levels should be between 150 – 250 parts per million. You can check them yourself or you can take a water sample to an expert.

Different pools have different maintenance needs; however, the single irreducible minimum is that all pools have to be looked after. You may well use a service company for the care of your pool, but the tips explained above are things you can do yourself.