Thursday, October 30, 2014

The benefits of wood flooring!

These days there is a huge choice of flooring to choose from, whether you want carpet, laminate, vinyl or wood the options are almost endless! Selecting the right floor for your room can be a difficult task as it will have a knock on effect on the rest of the decoration.

There is however, one floor type that has been ever popular throughout the ages due to the numerous benefits that it offers. That floor type is wood, of course. We have decided to take a look in a bit more detail about this popular option and examine why it is so sort after.

Widely Available

Wood has a rich history and a strong association with historical buildings; it was one of the first floor types available and has been popular from the very early days when adding a floor to your house seemed like a luxury. This is partly due to the fact that it has always been easily available and the technology involved with the manufacturing of other flooring options has only evolved in the early to mid-part of the 20th Century.

Unrivaled Longevity

One of the main benefits of wood flooring is that it can last for a very long time without needing to be replaced and they can actually look better the older they are. Unlike carpets which can easily be stained, wood can be kept clean and looking brand new with minimum maintenance, a quick sweep of the floor is certainly much easier than lugging a heavy hoover across it- America’s National Wood Flooring Association recommends never damp mopping or vacuuming.  In the event that the wood does become scratched over the years you can easily remove the scratch by simply sanding it down, which is much cheaper than having an entire floor refitted.

A Worthy Investment

Wood flooring has often been over looked by many as it has traditionally been seen as an expensive option. This is no longer the case though as many suppliers such as Posh Flooring have an incredible range of styles to choose from all at affordable prices.

It could also be a great investment in your house with property experts like Phil Spencer suggesting that a wooden floor could add value when it comes to selling. Wooden floors appeal to many prospective buyers as it is seen as a timeless addition in any area of the house.

Amazing Durability

The durability of wood floor comes from its thickness and this also provides a great underfoot feel that can help keep it a little bit warmer. In fact, renowned design magazine House and Home tout wood flooring as being one of the warmest and most durable flooring types.

For those who live in particularly chilly areas you can also adapt and modernize it by adding under floor heating, something that is not available with other flooring options.

Incredibly Hygienic

Finally you have the added benefit that wood floor is a hygienic alternative to carpet, something that should be taken advantage of, especially by pet owners. The Asthma Foundation of America recommends hardwood flooring as an ideal choice for sufferers. Dog and cat hairs will often be dropped and walked into the fiber of the carpet, and muddy footprints from both pets and people can be a nightmare to clean out. Simply wiping a wooden floor with a damp cloth will remove all the parasites, fleas and dust leaving you a clean and hygienic floor.

With so many advantages of wooden floors the next time you are thinking of redecorating any room in your house you might want to consider it as an option.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Product review- Magnum boots!

As many of you already know, we are currently residing in Illinois, and that means we will be expecting a heavy snowfall during winter. My husband did 90% of the snow shoveling and he has been complaining about getting his sneakers wet while snow shoveling for some time. I guess what he needs is a pair of tough work boots to do the job!

So when I was contacted by Magnum for an opportunity to receive a free pair of their fabulous work boots, I immediately agree.

Did you know that Magnum designs boots for the police force, security personnel, paramedics, the military and special operations in mind? Since Magnum boots are specifically designed for tough jobs to protect one's feet during the job, I am sure it will work equally well for my husband when he's shoveling the snow during the cold, wet winter months!

Here are some of my favorite Magnum boots!

Aren't they good looking? I would definitely picked one of the above for my husband if it were up to me. However, I let him picked something he likes since he will be the one who wears it. This is the pair of boots he selected!

The boots arrived in this box.

The pair of boots my hubby picked!

Side view.

The construction and details.

The slip-resistant rubber sole.

My husband is a little camera shy but he agreed to model the boots if I promise not to take pictures of his face. :) Here he is, trying to rock his new boots for the camera!

According to my husband, these boots feel comfortable and lightweight. With its composite toe for safety, a waterproof and breathable feature, a slip and oil resistant rubber outsole for grips, these boots seem like the perfect footwear for our crazy Illinois weather. I particularly like the slip-resistant and waterproof feature for winter days. 

In general, they are well-constructed, built for safety and designed for durability, what's not to like? My hubby is looking forward to wear them during the upcoming winter, snow shoveling or not! He highly recommends these boots! 

(Check out other rave reviews here.)

So consider gifting these boots to your boyfriend, husband, son(s) or a male friend if they are working in the military or law enforcement sector. Happy shopping!

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

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Our guest bedroom (work in progress) Part 8!

Welcome back, my lovelies!

If this is your first time here and would like to catch up on previous installments, please click on the links below.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 6

Part 7

I have been waiting for my bedding forever and now all my bed essentials are finally here! Here is a sneak peek!

What do you think of my new bedding? I am absolutely thrilled with the bedding I picked because the blue band on my bedding and on my roman shades are almost an identical color, a total score! I was concerned at first and afraid one might came in a dark navy and the other one in a bright blue but fortunately, I took a chance and it paid off! :)

Last weekend, my husband helped me installed the coat hooks under my artwork. This time I am satisfied with the location of the hooks, no more changes!

I am happy with how everything turned out! At the moment, this room is about 95% completed! Currently, I am just waiting for two back ordered quatrefoil mirrors which will be delivered in December. 

Thanks to those who have been following my week-to-week progress and to all my new readers for checking out my room makeover. Stay tuned for the big reveal in December!

If you need help decorating your home, please click here for further information regarding my design services.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fall/ Winter 2014- Your Guide to the Key Interior Design Trends!

As the leaves begin to brown and fall from the trees, fall is upon us and the memories of our recent summer holidays are fading fast. However, this time of the year certainly should not be all doom and gloom as there are some fantastic interior design trends set to warm up your home throughout the colder months and give you the lift you will undoubtedly be looking for.

We have teamed up with the experts at KES Lighting to take a closer look at just a few of the trends we believe are set to be hot in the interior design world during autumn/winter 2014.

Combine the old with the new

The coming seasons offer you the perfect opportunity to combine older features with those that are brand new. This contrasting look is set to be incredibly popular as homeowners look to restore a bit of tradition alongside the many modern day essentials that are now commonplace in our homes.

This trend therefore gives you the perfect opportunity to head out to the antique or second hand shops to find a bargain and incorporate your purchase perfectly into your interior design.

Lighting with the ‘wow’ factor

Whilst lighting is of course a vitally important part of your home, the actual lights themselves can become stunning features of your interior. Lighting needs to add warmth to your space, particularly as the nights draw in early and the cold weather takes hold, so designs with an abundance of glass which reflect the light all around the room are set to be popular.

Floor lamps are the easiest and most effective way to achieve the desired ‘wow’ factor, becoming a feature that immediately draws the eye when entering a room alongside creating the warming effect that every home needs during these colder months.

Go for Tartan

Tartan is all set to be bang on trend this coming autumn and winter, with a tartan blanket hanging off the back of a chair or sofa instantly adding a feeling of warmth to the room. Whilst effectively adding character and an element of luxury, it is wise not to add too much in the one space though as things can quickly turn and start to look overcrowded.

Ideal for adding some texture to a room, tartan as well as heavier wool rugs and blankets should contrast in colour to that of your room for the best end results. For instance, if you have calm, neutral colours on the walls, opt for a bolder pattern on your blankets or rug to create the perfect mix in your setting.

Get cozy with knits

After a long day at work on a cold, dark winter’s eve, there is arguably nothing better than snuggling down on your sofa in front of the TV with a warm drink. To add further comfort to this experience, knitted cushions are the order of the day, with these designs set to get increasingly popular during the coming seasons.

Chunky knitted cushions and the strangely named pouffe, which is in essence a larger knitted ball of wool to rest your feet on, will immediately add a feeling of warmth to your space and help you to feel cozy no matter what the weather outside.

Winter are fast approaching, so make sure your home is set for the colder months by incorporating some of these interior designs trends to add warmth, comfort and luxury; a complete contrast to the weather when you look outside! 

This post was written by Oliver Kyle in partnership with KES Lighting; retailers of a wide variety of stylish lighting designs to complement the look and feel of your home all year round.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Our guest bedroom (work in progress) Part 7!

Thanks for coming back and check in on my guest bedroom progress.

If this is your first time here and would like to catch up on previous installments, please click on the links below.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 6

To recap, I wasn't quite happy with our art placement situation last week so I enlisted the help from hubby to change from this ..........

to this..........

I am loving my"new" artworks in their new location and the scale feels just right. I think the "new" artworks "ground" the wall so much better and since they are black and white, they don't compete with the faux deer head on the opposite niche wall, a concern which I had earlier.

If you think the fashion sketches artworks look a little familiar, my guess is you probably saw them on my home tour before. They were used as stand-ins in my living room for a brief period and were replaced by a white faux deer head. Yep, I definitely have a thing for faux taxidermies. I just love their sculptural beauty.

As for the previous artworks, I have relocated them on either side of the door.

The coat hooks were removed from their previous location and will be installed at the bottom of the artwork on the left.

During the Columbus Day sale, I bought this delightful wastepaper basket on clearance for $40 plus tax (with no shipping fee). Usually, a decorative wastepaper basket likes this cost over $70, still a splurge for me but a good deal nevertheless.

Isn't it pretty?

In other news, my bedding has arrived. Unfortunately, my duvet insert hasn't arrived yet. I was told that it will be delivered tomorrow. Hopefully, I can show you my bedding once everything is here!

Don't forget to follow along for another update next week!

If you need help decorating your home, please click here for further information regarding my design services.

How to Create the Perfect Fall Garden Living Space!

A well designed fall garden living space will help you make the most of the last vagaries of the warm and sunny weather, and be ready for the cooler and cloudier short days and long nights this season brings.

Fall is well underway, and we have already started to see the leaves turning from summer green to orange, red, purple, brown, and yellow. These vibrant colors lend themselves beautifully to fall containers, extending the season and providing focal interest to what could otherwise be an uninteresting landscape. Matching the colors to a room in the house or garden can liven up both areas beautifully

Outdoor Living Space

A stylish living space can be created in a garden simply by investing in a garden building tailored to suit your lifestyle. Imagine walking into your own bespoke garden room, a gym, a games room, an office, a bedroom, or perhaps a music room, just perfect for work, rest or play.

Just beginning to explore garden buildings? Then you will likely be amazed by their flexibility, and be excited to discover that, in general, there are no complex building regulations that need to be met, and usually obtaining planning permission is not necessary. This makes them even more affordable and a very wise choice.

Functional or Frivolous

Fall is the season when many birds leave the UK for sunnier destinations and traditionally children fly the nest heading for university, or want to spread their wings and move into their own space and show their independence. With property prices rising beyond affordability for many young adults a great solution is a purpose built garden building. A garden building can be easily turned into a more private abode.

Of course, garden buildings can be used for many other things too. Maybe you need some extra space for visiting guests, an extra shower room, or some extra storage space. The possibilities are endless. For more ideas, take a look at the selection of garden buildings by GardenSpaces. You will be surprised by the selection of options available to you.

Garden buildings bring a dormant garden to life and come in many stylish forms to blend seamlessly with existing garden designs, and inspire new ones. Water features, patios, chimineas, sensory areas, swimming pools, play areas, and outdoor seating can all change and enhance the appearance of a garden. And, the right garden building can ensure optimum use of this valuable space all year round.

Garden Gifts - Five a Day

Finally, why not plant some fruits and vegetables in your garden living space? You can grow everything from apples and pears to potatoes and cabbages! Herbs and spices can also be grown in pots and placed either on your windowsills or in small containers outside. Different foods will need to be planted at different times, however most are harvested during fall, and the range of colors that you will see in your garden before harvesting will truly liven the space.

With so many different ways to transform your garden, which one are you going to implement?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Shaping a Room: The Importance of Color and Lighting!

Maybe you have moved into a brand new house or apartment, or maybe you just want to redesign a room of your home. Either way, when planning your ideal space, there are many different components to take into consideration.Each one says something a little different.

Decide On a Color Scheme

Let us start with the most basic – and most essential component – color scheme. When choosing the hues, you will want to consider the intention of the room. Are you trying to create a tranquil space? Do you want it to be bold and fun?


Promoting happiness and optimism, yellow effectively activates the memory and inspires creativity. It is great for brightening a kitchen or work space. You can tone down a bright yellow with darker hued accents. If bright yellow is not your thing, try a paler, earthier shade. This will also appear to open up the space.


The color of passion, red will create a warming, romantic atmosphere in most any room. Red is also known for stimulating the appetite and conversation, which makes it ideal for a dining room. For bolder shades, it is common to paint the largest wall in the room a deep red hue, and tone it down with neutral colors, such as tans or pale yellows, on other walls.


Known as a harmonious color, blue is ideal for your bedroom. No matter the shade, its calming presence can actually act as a sleep aid. As a bonus, paler shades of blue tend to make your space appear larger.


In all of its hues, green represents balance. It is a healing, soothing color and will add a relaxing aura to any room. If you have youngsters, green also decreases hyperactivity in children. For a captivating space, combine different shades of green within one room and accent walls or décor with other colors, such as pink, grey or magenta.

Bring Your Colors to Life with Lighting

Now that you have selected a color scheme, the next component is lighting. The design will vary, but mixed light sources will create a flattering ambiance.

Living Room

An overhead light is essential in the living room. Whether it is a ceiling fan, pendant or flush mount, you will want to put it on a dimmer to help set the mood. In addition, three of the four corners of the room should have a soft glow focused on an object, such as a plant or art.

Dining Room

Whether used for regular meals or occasional parties, make the dining room table the brightest spot with a hanging chandelier or overhead light (no more than 100 watts). Balance this out with softer, indirect lighting fixtures, like standing lamps.


Create a cozy atmosphere with reading lamps by the bed. Low wattage is ideal for a warm, soft glow. On the other hand, if you choose tracked fixtures, direct the lights toward the dressing area.


Sidelights for the mirror are perfect when applying makeup, and an overhead light will help fill out the room. Also consider a recessed or flush mount light for the shower.

While there are many other elements to take into consideration when designing your ideal room, lighting and color scheme are the two most important foundational aspects. Choose yours and start planning today!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Our guest bedroom (work in progress) Part 6!

I can't believe our guest bedroom is still not completed in six long weeks! 

If this is your first time here and would like to catch up on previous installments, please click on the links below.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

I know, I know. Our guest bedroom has been moving really slowly. There are a few setbacks and some backorders so I tried to work on whatever I can get my hands on at the moment. 

Last week, we were able to hang some artwork and coat hooks. Here they are!

The big picture!

Since the bed will be the focal point and wall niche area will be the featured wall, I really wanted to keep the closet area simpler so they don't compete with each other. 

Theoretically, it seems like the right decision. However, I am not sure if I like the bare walls and simplicity displayed on this wall. I might switch things up, we will see.

 My gorgeous coat hooks!

I like how the coat hooks looked on the wall. However, I do not like the placement at all. Hubby assured me that coat hooks are supposed to be installed higher for practical reasons. I just thought they look odd. 

To be honest, I am not liking our progress this week and had a lot of doubts. Hopefully, I can find a solution that I am happy with. On the bright side, I made an unexpected purchase last week and absolutely love it. Here it is!

I love its whimsical good looks. Such a cute, fun piece!

I have purchased a few new items for the room, hopefully they will arrive soon. Stay tuned for another update next week!

If you need help decorating your home, please click here for further information regarding my design services.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Book review- Haute Couture Ateliers: The Artisans Of Fashion!

Thanks to Meghan from The Vendome Press for sending me another gorgeous book, Haute Couture Ateliers: The Artisans of Fashion, authored by Hélène Farnault and photographed by principle photographer Alexis Lecomte.

Besides my passion for beautiful interiors, fashion is my second love so I am especially thrilled to receive this stunning book!

Haute Couture Ateliers: The Artisans of Fashion provides a rare glimpse of fashion's backstage, inhabited not only by remarkable designers but also by lace makers, weavers, textile finishers, pleaters, jewelers, feather workers, leather makers, embroiderers and many other specialized craftspeople.

In this book, you will find excellent photography along with detailed explanations that unveils the exceptional workmanship of these extraordinary artisans in the world of fashion.

Designer: Christian Dior
Photo credit: Sophie Carre

Designer: Oscar Carvallo
Photo credit: Alexis Lecomt

Designer: Marion Chopineau
Photo credit: Alexis Lecomt

Designer: Yiqing Yin

Designer: Stéphane Rolland
 Photo credit: Olivier Buhagia

Designer: Broderies Lanel
Photo credit: Alexis Lecomte

Designer: Christophe Josse
Photo credit: Dominiqe  Maître

Designer: Broderies Vermont
Photo credit: Alexis Lecomte

Designer: Stéphane Rolland
 Photo  credit: Oliver Buhagiar

Designer: Nelly Saunier
Photo credit: Alexis Lecomte

Designer: Yiqing Yin

Designer: Yiqing Yin

Designer: Broderies Lanel
Photo credit: Alexis Lecomte

Designer: Oscar Carvallo
Photo credit: Alexis Lecomte

Designer: Broderies Lanel
Photo credit: Alexis Lecomte

These amazing images are just a tip of the iceberg. You will find more exquisite photos in this oversized, 288-pages book! An absolutely delightful book that showcases the intricate and meticulous work of fine craftsmanship in the world of haute couture. The artisan's painstaking attention to detail in this book is fascinating and truly inspirational! I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fashion, beauty and creativity. You can get your copy here.

*I have received this book to review for free but the views and opinions expressed are entirely my own.