Decor Ideas For The Family Home

The family home is one of the most important things in your life, providing you and your loved ones with shelter, warmth, assurance and a place to call your own. That is why so many people want to make sure their family home has personal touches that appeal to them. Making the most of your space is essential and there are loads of decor ideas for the family home that will make your loved ones feel relaxed and comfortable.

When looking at decor ideas for the family home, the needs of every member need to be considered - Small brown dog on a sofa

When you are looking to create a stylish relaxing home, your starting point should always be to thoroughly clean the property and then try to declutter it as much as you can. You can find some great ideas in this book. From there, you will find it easier to style your home in the way that is best for you and your family. And what better time to refresh your home than spring?

Durability is essential

When you are creating the ideal family home, you need to ensure you choose the right options with your family very much in mind. If you have a young family, you know that kids can be excitable and boisterous at times, which means your choice of furniture must be able to endure some tough treatment. That means furniture like sofas, and even tables and chairs should be robust enough to handle that without serious damage being caused.

Cosy living room with 2 sofas and cushions - decor ideas for the family home

Create a comfortable home

Families should be looking to enjoy quality time together and creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere is a big part of that process. Buying high-quality cushions that look and feel great will go a long way in developing a relaxing atmosphere in a family room.

Good quality carpets and rugs, with a friendly print, will also assist in creating a positive and friendly atmosphere at home.

Shutters allow you to enjoy the light you need

Allowing as much natural light into your home can be of benefit but it is important that you are in full control. There will be days when you want as much natural light as possible and there will be times when you want as little light as possible getting into a room.

A fashionable and functional way to achieve this is by fitting window shutters. California Shutters can be adjusted to fine tune the amount of natural light entering a room, allowing you complete control.

Linen neatly organised with storage baskets - decor ideas for the family home

Invest in storage

You can never have too much space at home and storage options are essential in making sure your family has enough room for activities and fun. Depending on your budget and taste, there is a range of decor options that help you to keep a tidy and organised room while still creating a strong style.

Every member of the family will have their own tastes and needs and when it comes to finding decor ideas for the family home, you need to think about your finances and how far your budget will stretch. However, with some careful research (for example on Pinterest or in interior designs or home magazines), you can create a functional family home that is visually appealing and comfortable to live in.

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Disclosure: “Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.”

Quick Tips To Freshen Up Your Living Space This Summer

Everyone wants to stamp their individuality on their living space, don’t they? And there’s something about the reappearance of the sunshine that makes you want to freshen up your living space for summer.

But how do you do that without spending a fortune or resorting to homeware items from the major retailers which, although lovely, might appear on many a coffee table, shelf or nightstand?

freshen up your living space for summer - hammock with a cushion in a living space

Making the most of your budget has never been more important and, whilst we might not have the cash to completely overhaul our living space, there are cost-effective ways to add a bit of verve and pizzazz.

Sometimes a bit of shopping around is all that’s needed and with a bit of ingenuity, you can completely transform your space and incorporate your own decorative style.

Here are some quick hits to freshen things up.

Freshen up your living space for summer

Change your bedding and curtains

New bedding and curtains can make such a difference and give a room a fresh new look. Now that the weather is hot, crisp white linen or bamboo sheets are best to wick away sweat and keep you more comfortable.

Curtains with a thermal and black-out lining will help your sleep because not only will they keep the room dark, but they will help keep the room cool during the day.

Change your artwork

This doesn’t have to cost a fortune.  Why not find some quirky postcards and frame them in ornate photo frames?  Or how about using wall vinyls to create your own, unique, feature wall.  You could use family photos or if you’re a keen photographer, some of your favourite nature or holiday snaps.

If you’re artistic yourself, you could create your own artwork – why not try using acrylics to create a textured canvas or get the kids to create a collage.  If you don’t mind a bit of mess you could even create your own artwork featuring the children’s hand and footprints.

freshen up your living space for summer - A colourful graffiti mural

Change your living room soft furnishings

A very easy way to reflect the new season’s trends without blowing the budget is to change your cushions, throws and rugs.

For example, you could change your throw pillows (or even just the covers) to reflect the new season’s colours and textures.  I am particularly fond of doing this at Christmas when we go all Hygge with festive cushions, candles and faux fur throws, although that doesn’t really bear thinking about in this current heatwave, does it!

You can even invest in new mats for the front and back door to add a bit of quirky fun – although I’m not sure I’ll be getting the one with the Batman insignia Ieuan has his eye on.

Go vintage

You don’t have to buy new of course.  Scouring flea markets and antique fairs are lovely ways of passing a Sunday afternoon and you may find some fabulous new treasures.

Adding a vintage throw to your bed or an antique vanity set to your dressing table can make your bedroom look really special.

Again, you could find vintage or retro prints and frame these too.

Change your colour palette

Sometimes a complete change from one end of the spectrum to another can really ring the changes. An easy to way to lighten and brighten is simply to repaint in a white (or a tinted white) or a neutral and add accents of colour via soft furnishings.  This will make your rooms look bigger too.

Or a beach theme is quite easy to do – bright white, navy and shades of pastel blue in stripes.  You could use your favourite seaside souvenirs or even if your kids are like Caitlin, their vast and ever-growing shell collection.

freshen up your living space for summer - Collection of lavender stems in a small glass

 Don’t forget flowers

As you know I am a huge fan of fresh flowers and tend to avoid fake ones as they tend to collect dust. There are great bouquets to be had from the major supermarkets these days – and we usually find a bargain bunch or two at Aldi or Lidl.

Make them extra special by using a quirky vase or ornament and don’t be afraid to try a row of single stems rather than the more traditional arrangements.

Decorate the garden too

In this hot weather, your garden becomes an important part of your living space so it’s worth investing in some exterior decorations to create a little outside idyll.

Create atmosphere with strings of lights, either battery operated or solar, cute statues and even a fairy garden.  Caitlin has been asking for one of these for ages.  If you have room, the sound of a water feature is always calming and soothing.  You could even create your own meditation corner with a Buddha statue or just a lovely sculpture that talks to your mood.

freshen up your living space for summer - Face of the Buddha status covered in pink flowers

If you are looking for something a little more unusual, take a look at an online retailer, who offer unique jewellery, designer decor, tabletop items and handcrafted gifts.

They offer a great platform for artists and designers and each item listed has a link to information about its creator so you understand the thinking behind the piece. And over a third of their collection incorporates recycled or upcycled materials.

I think we’re all a lot more thoughtful about our global footprint these days, aren’t we?

How will you freshen up your living space for summer?

Make More Of Your Space With Kids’ Bean Bags

One of the most popular seating options with children is kids bean bags which not only provide more comfort than a chair, but can be shifted around the house with ease – making them the perfect solution for when extra seating is needed at larger family gatherings.

Kids can use bean bags for gaming, playing, chatting, reading or just relaxing after a busy day. They’re great to have when the kids’ friends come over and are a lot of fun heaped together.  These days they come in a range of styles which makes co-ordinating them with kids’ bedrooms and bedding a breeze.

Bean bags can be a lower cost option to flexing your seating arrangements and are also useful to make the most of smaller spaces.

Here are some of my favourites from family run business Children’s Rooms who stock everything you need to fully kit out and personalise children’s bedrooms and playrooms.

Batman VS Superman Beanbag (£21.95)

An incredibly popular film with many little boys, this Batman VS Superman Bean Bag would take pride of place!

Batman v Superman Child's Bean Bag

Blue Cotton Beanbag (£14.95)

A more neutral bean bag to weather the common changes in ‘favourites’, this is a good quality bean bag which, with its plain styling, should give years of service.

Marvel Avengers Bean Cube (£21.95)

Something a little different, this Vibrant Bean Cube features Spiderman, Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man and Thor.

Vibrant Bean Cube featuring Marvel superheroes

My Little Pony Bean Bag (£21.95)

Ideal for little girls and a past firm favourite of Caitlin as it features Rainbow Dash.

My Little Pony Bean Bag Featuring Rainbow Dash

Peppa Pig Bean Bean Bag (£14.95)

And another firm favourite with the little ones….

Peppa Pig Bean Bag

Whilst bean bags may not be the best choice for long term seating in terms of posture and back support, there’s no doubt that they can be incredibly useful to have about.

Particularly when you consider the cost of upgrading the family sofa instead!

*collaborative post

Quick Ways To Upgrade Your Home This Spring

It’s Spring and there’s nothing like the reappearance of sunlight to make everything in your home look a little, well, drab.

All those DIY jobs you’ve been putting off starting to gain an urgency – painting the skirting boards, fixing that leaking tap, repainting, mending curtains. Our list is already quite long – and that’s without including the garden!

But there are some quick ways you can freshen up your space without spending a fortune and add some of those finishing touches that make a house a home.

Here are some ideas you might want to try.

* Repaint – but if you are renting make sure you get permission from your landlord!

* Display family photos – you could create a photo wall or mix and match frames.

* Change the curtains – perhaps ring the changes by swopping to a roller or Venetian blind.

* Create a cosy corner to read in by adding an armchair to your bedroom.

* You can also add character to your bedroom with bedding in different textures, colours and fabrics.

* Hang String lights –  pretty at any time of year. Stuff strings of battery operated lights into glass vases to add a cosy glow to corners and mantle pieces or drape over the kitchen or your bed to add some atmosphere.

* Match soft furnishings – it’s amazing how soft furnishings such as cushions, throws, rugs, lampshades and curtains can brighten a room and complement the interior design of your property. While vibrant colours such as red, green, pink, purple and light blue work well against plain décor, blacks, greys and creams can also look stunning in a minimalist environment.

Once you’ve got an idea of which colours work well together, you can then start getting creative in each room giving each part of your home a different style and twist. You don’t have to spend a fortune. You can make such a difference with soft furnishings such as throws and cushions.

We recently discovered the Yorkshire Fabric Shop, an online retailer of upholstery fabric, where we selected this lovely plush large cushion in a soft shimmering grey – Geneva Luxury Fabric Crushed Velvet Cushion In Silver Colour. It’s a great size and beautifully made.

Caitlin with cushion from Yorkshire Fabric Shop
I suspect Caitlin has laid claim to my new cushion!

Based in West Yorkshire, Yorkshire Fabric Shop has a warehouse full of upholstery fabrics suitable for sofas, chairs, cushions, boats, beds and whatever else you can imagine. They have 1000’s of fabrics rolls in stock and also offer free samples to help you decide on what type or shade of fabric you need before you commit to buy anything. You can also visit their warehouse if you are nearby.

As you can see there is a wealth of fabric choices available.

Yorkshire Fabric Shop fabric options

and we liked the helpful cushion finder.  You can choose from pre-made cushions or select your own fabric and have them handmade.


Yorkshire Fabric Shop cushion finder


I tell the Husband regularly that you can never have too many cushions.  He doesn’t believe this but I am working on him.

Cushions come in 4 sizes – small (28cm x 28cm), medium (43cm x 43cm), rectangle (50cm x 30cm) and large (55cm x 55cm). Prices are around £45 for a small and £65 for a large.

Each cushion has a handmade reversible cover with a zip and a cushion insert filling made from hollow fibre.  You can have up to 6 free fabric samples before you order and you can also buy the same fabric by the metre.

If you want to change the look and feel of your home’s soft furnishings, you’ll definitely find some new ideas to upgrade your home here.

Quick Ways To Make Your Rented Accommodation Your Home

When you have just rented a new flat or apartment, the last thing you want to do is have to spend more on furniture or interior decoration.

In June last year, The Guardian newspaper reported that the cost to rent even a one bed flat was soaring and that workers under 30 pay almost half their monthly wages on rent.  For workers in London, that figure rises to around 57%.

Room with artwork displayed on clipboards

So what can you do to make a rented property feel like home without spending a fortune?  Here are some tips you might find helpful.

Buy the best quality furniture you can afford

Tempting as it is to dash off to IKEA, if you’re looking for a more personal touch then it’s worth spending the minimum on basics such as chairs, tables and lamps but investing a little more in your bed, mattress and bedding.

Go Second Hand

Ask your family and friends if they are looking to pass any furniture on.  You could also try Freecycle or there are car boot sales and charity shops, as well as Gumtree.

You may find a bargain – or even a valuable antique!

pile of blankets

Be generous with the soft furnishings

My personal philosophy is you can never have too many throws and cushions.  (The Husband does not subscribe to this philosophy so a lot of ‘negotiation’ goes on)!

Soft furnishings can add quirkiness and warmth to a room, whether it’s an unusual curtain design or an extra cosy rug.

Just remember if you hold lots of curry parties to buy things you can clean easily!

Asthma and allergy sufferers may be better off dispensing with old carpet (with the landlord’s permission), polishing up a wood floor and adding rugs.

Get the paint brushes out

If you’re stuck in a magnolia hell then (again with the landlord’s permission), a repaint might be on the cards.  Just remember that dark colours will make a room look smaller whilst lighter colours will enhance the space.

Using mirrors will help make the space look lighter and brighter too.

If you’re rubbish at painting (as I am), hold a painting party and reward your mates’ artistic efforts with pizza and some chilled beers.

Add some art

Hanging pictures makes a huge difference to a room and if you’re arty why not paint a few canvases of your own.  You can make some pretty simple but effective looking paintings using acrylic paints or, again, see if you can find some interesting pieces at local charity or antique shops, craft fairs or sales.

A great way of covering a large area of wall if you don’t want to repaint is with a wall mural.  You’ll find plenty of companies offering this service online.

There’s a vast range of designs to choose from – anything from racing cars to cities like New York and traditional art and landscapes – or upload your own photo.  Simply attach to the wall with the special reusable adhesive supplied.

The wall murals come in a variety of sizes and some companies even have a “view your room” function to see what it will look like in your room.

Pixers Wallpaper

Bring the garden indoors

You can get reasonably priced bunches of flowers from your local supermarket these days or just keep it simple using one seasonal flower as a theme – Snowdrops for February, Daffodils for March etc. Display them in mismatched vases or vintage glass bottles.

Or create a mini indoor garden by growing herbs in quirky pots and canisters.  Just remember not to leave sensitive plants on a sunny windowsill and remember to water them (something I am terrible at!).

You can’t go too far wrong with the student staples of Spider plants and Cacti!

Row of crocuses on a windowsill

Get a candlelit glow

There’s nothing like candles and tea lights for adding atmosphere.  You could even make your own scented teacup candles using your favourite essential oils – they make lovely presents too.

So there you have it – some cheap and cheerful ideas to make your space your own.  Just remember to check your tenancy agreement before you start making any material changes and make sure that you are able to take your new purchases with you when you move on.

What tips would you add to this list?

This Year’s Hottest Trends For Your Child’s Bedroom Decor

It’s a challenge to keep both parents and children happy when it comes to decorating their bedrooms, isn’t it?

A child’s bedroom is a room which comes with a large set of demands. It must be tough enough to be able to withstand vigorous and, let’s be honest, occasional destructive playing.

child's bedroom with Apple Tree Farm bedding

It should also feel both comfortable and secure, crucial elements that allow a room to act not only as a playroom but also as a place of rest and relaxation.

The room must also be versatile in its design and should not only grow with your child as they mature, but should also allow your child to easily keep up with the latest trends and characters from their favourite films and TV shows, with a range of simple to make changes.

The above is a huge ask of any room, and when you’re planning the decor, furniture and fittings you need to consider both the look but also the function.

So whether you are decorating a nursery for a baby who will soon be making an appearance, updating a nursery for a toddler, or are just looking to refresh your child’s bedroom, family run business offer the design and decorating inspiration you need to help you achieve the perfect room.

They are one of the largest independent online retailers for kids bedding, kids curtains and matching childrens-bedroom accessories. They also have the largest selection of toddler bedding sets.

So I asked them what this year’s hottest decor themes for kids bedrooms will be and this is what they told me.

Nature & Animals

Whether its safari bedding, butterfly curtains, bird’s bedroom accessories or high definition daisies, we are seeing a huge increase in sales of all things involving nature. It’s possible that these sales represent an increasing effort from parents to get their children interested into the great outdoors! Our predicted best sellers in this category are farm themes, jungle themes as well as forest & flower themes.


There are a few things which are just timeless, and a clutter free bedroom has to be one of them. To this end, we stock and supply a wide range of children’s storage options, meaning that you (hopefully) never have to stand on another piece of Lego again. The range includes storage bins, storage boxes, toy boxes and bookends, everything your child needs to keep their bedroom in great condition.

crocodile storage box

Often purchased as part of a full bedroom theme, a number of these kids’ bedroom storage products enhance the aesthetics of a room, as well as serving an important function. One of our favourites has to be our camouflage storage box, the irony of hiding clutter in a camouflage box isn’t lost on us!

Feature Walls

A feature wall is certainly nothing new with regards to interior design, they are however becoming increasingly popular in children’s rooms, creating a fantastic centrepiece which children love.

There are a wide range of wallpapers which can be used as feature walls – some customers choose colourful stripes and more neutral themes, whilst others dive head first into the amazing array of cartoons and characters from hits such as Frozen, Disney and Marvel.

Collage of Marvel characters

One of our

favourites, and a paper which has already proven itself to be a bestseller this year is the Marvel Avengers Breakout Wallpaper.

With a number of Marvel films due out in 2017 & 2018 including Spider-man Homecoming 2017 Thor Ragnarok and Avengers Infinity War – we are confident in this paper continuing to be a popular choice.

Rooms That Grow

Alongside neutral colour schemes, we are seeing our customers relying on accessories to quickly and easily change the design of a room over time. This method allows a children’s bedroom to be almost continually updated with products such as wall stickers, bean bags, rugs, curtains and bedding at a low price point, avoiding the need for total decoration and theme change from age restrictive themes which children very quickly outgrow.

An example of this would be a boy’s bedroom, painted in pastel shades of blues which provides the perfect platform for easy customisation with bedroom accessories.

Miniature Seating

Another range which is increasingly being discovered by parents is ‘miniature seating’. This range typically includes everything your child needs to sit, lounge and relax in their room, either with friends or alone.

Popular seating options include bean bags, as well as inflatable and non-inflatable sofas and chairs. The inflatable options are perfect for smaller rooms, which struggle holding permanent large pieces of furniture. Bean Bags also represent another very flexible option, bright, comfortable and easily stored, they are a popular choice.

Batman bean bag

Children’s Rooms provide children and their parents with the largest range of top quality children’s bedding, children’s bedroom furniture and children’s bedroom accessories online, at unbeatable prices.

You can visit their website here:

*collaborative post

Review: ChattyPillow Character Pillow Cases & Socks

If the love of your life is unlikely to be with you on Valentine’s Day this year, then why not snuggle up to Johnny Slept or Taylor Sleep?

Johnny Slept Pillow Case - ChattyPillow -
Johnny Slept – £12.00

These quirky ChattyPillow pillowcases are made by fun sock company ChattyFeet from 100% cotton and are sure to brighten up the most lacklustre of winter evenings.

Do they remind you of anyone?

They would make an ideal gift for the hopeless romantic or the positively love-lorn. Each pillowcase costs £12.00 or £22.00 for a pair.

Taylor Sleep Pillow Case - ChattyPillow -
Taylor Sleep – £12.00

Chatty Feet also make a great range of socks featuring characters such as Prof. Brian Sox and Kate Middle-Toe Socks!

Prof Brian Sox - Chattyfeet -
Prof Brian Socks – £7.50


Kate Middle-Toe Socks - Chattyfeet -
Kate Middle-Toe Socks – £7.50

The socks also come in children’s sizes from 12 months up to 10 years.  Adult sizes are from UK4 up to UK12.

Much more interesting than plain black socks and a definite ice-breaker.  Plus, they’d make really good sock puppets to amuse the kids.  Bonus!

ChattyPillow Pillow Cases - giveaway -


How To Make Your Child’s Bedroom More Fun

I’ve heard a lot of parents say that kids bedrooms should be neutral spaces so that they’re easy to redecorate as they grow up. However, I am a big believer in making children’s bedrooms places that are as fun and enjoyable as possible. It is their bedroom after all, so it should be somewhere that they love spending time in. Plus, if your child likes their room, they’re more likely to sleep in their own bed, instead of yours.

Your child’s room should not only be a fun space but also, somewhere that is creative. That’s why, when it comes to the decor and design, you need to think like a child. Ask yourself what is your child’s favourite colour? Who is his or her hero? What games does he or she love to play? When it comes to designing a space your child will like, it’s all about thinking like them.

Kids bedroom ideas

To help you design a bedroom that your child will love spending time in, here are a few tips and ideas.

Incorporate bright colours 

kids bedroom ideas - a brightly coloured children's bedroom
Picture source: Flickr

For a child’s bedroom, bright colours are a must. If you design a bedroom that’s a dull, dreary space, the chances are that your little one won’t want to spend time there. However, if you pack the space with colour, they’re bound to love it.

The easiest way to add colour to the space is by painting the walls in a bright shade of their choice. Or using wallpaper, to add extra colour. However, if you live in rented accommodation, the chances are that you’re not able to use paint or wallpaper.

The fact that you’re not allowed to make any permanent changes doesn’t have to affect how colourful the space is. As instead, you can add colour with accessories. Bright and bold curtains, rugs, wall art, bedding, and storage space, can be all it takes to create a beautifully colourful space.

For decor, use kids toys

Instead of using ornaments for decor, as you would in an adult space, use toys. This gives the room a more fun and child-like vibe. As well as using actual toys as decor, look online for decor that is designed to look like toys. For instance, you can get storage space that is designed like a race car or a fairy castle. Or, rugs that are shaped like a football or flower.

On the walls, instead of hanging wall art, consider using board games. You’ll find plenty of sites online sell board games that come with hooks and can be used as an alternative to wall art. These can make the room feel more fun and more child-friendly.

Pick the perfect bed design 

kids bedroom ideas - a pink, red and white cabin bed
Image credit

When it comes to choosing the bed, it’s a good idea to think carefully about the design that you opt for. While it’s true that a plain frame design will grow with your child, it’s not as fun or exciting as a bed that’s a little different. For a bed that will allow your child’s imagination to grow, why not consider a cabin bed? While they might cost a little more than a regular bed frame, they are ten times more exciting.

Be creative with lighting 

For lampshades, get creative. Don’t just opt for boring ones, think outside the box. Instead of a normal lampshade, how about one shaped like the globe? To get an idea of what lampshade designs there are to choose from, have a look online. If you know where to look, there are some excellent novelty ones that kids will love.

Little kids are often scared of the dark, so it’s important to be creative with lighting in their room. On the ceiling, pop glow-in-the-dark stars, so that even when the lights are off, they can still see what’s around them. It’s also a good idea to add a nightlight beside the bed so that if they wake up in the night, they’re not scared.

So if you want to design your child a bedroom that he or she loves, take note of the kids bedroom ideas above.

Creating A Welcoming Care Home – 3 Crucial Decorating Points To Consider

Many of us ‘baby boomers’ find ourselves sandwiched neatly between caring for our children and caring for our elderly parents.  And, looming on the horizon is the possibility that we may one day have to make some emotionally difficult decisions about our parents’ long-term care.

An elderly couple walking - care home decoration -

Nobody would want to live in a sterile, unwelcoming environment. Much can be done with clever decorating to create a place which fosters a feeling of security and comfort – and these are the type of places we would prefer our loved ones to inhabit when home care is no longer an option.

If you own a care home or any other type of residential home, the following tips are worth considering for the benefit of your residents and staff.

Creating a welcoming environment in your care home isn’t just about employing friendly, warm and dedicated staff; you also need to set the scene with well-considered decoration. Safety and hygiene need to play a part in the decision-making process when it comes to interior choices but that needn’t be at the expense of the aesthetic appeal of your care home. It’s important to get things right for the residents and staff who will spend a lot of time in the same areas every day and impress visitors to the premises to help your business stand out.

Here are a few crucial decorating points to consider…

Colour and light

You don’t need to be familiar with the seven chakras to engage in colour therapy to recognise that different colours can impact our moods. When you are choosing the colours of your walls, furniture and soft furnishings, this can help you make calculated choices to improve the daily experience of your residents. Yellow is a warm colour that is said to have positive connotations and research has found that it works to wake up the brain. Red, another warm colour can be associated with aggression and feelings of anger whereas pink is actually used within some prisons because it has been shown to lower confrontational behaviour.

The cooler colours of blue and green are said to have a calming impact upon our moods, but did you know that diners have been shown to eat fewer calories when eating in rooms where blue dominates? This is thought to be in part because of the low occurrence of blue foods in nature. This means the shade may not be an ideal choice for your dining room!

Colour charts - care home decoration -
Choosing the right colour can make such a different to the atmosphere

It’s not just colour that can improve our mood, having a good presence of natural light is crucial in a care home where guests may not be able to go outdoors as much. Choose window dressings that allow light in while maintaining privacy and consider using bi-fold doors both externally and internally to allow light to flow throughout the building. There’s no need to stick with modern PVC if it doesn’t fit in with other elements of your design scheme, Creative Doors Direct have some nice oak options.

Choosing furniture

Ease of cleaning, comfort for guests and ability to withstand wear and tear; care home furniture needs to meet higher criterion than items used domestically. When selecting items such as armchairs you’ll need to consider breathability of the fabric, how easy it will be to remove spills and other stains for infection control purposes and whether the fabric will withstand constant cleaning too. Lookout for stain-resistant fabrics and designs that incorporate spaces for easy cleaning as well as mechanisms for helping individuals rise and lower themselves where needed.

Surfaces such as chests of drawers and tables should be sturdy and easy to wipe clean. Where possible, choose designs that are free from sharp corners too. For dementia sufferers, furniture items that allow visibility of items stored inside can be particularly helpful. Drawers with gaps that allow easy access and visibility of the contents and wardrobes without doors or with partial doors are good examples.

Finishing touches

It’s often not practical to allow residents to personalise lots of areas of the home, though many homes allow to residents bring their own duvet set or hang their own curtains along with displaying personal photographs and art. This can help residents to feel more at home and also plays an important part in retaining happy memories. Retro decorating takes this element to the next level. The term describes the practice of decorating areas in furniture, soft furnishings and wallpaper or paint styles that residents are familiar with from the past.

Bunch of flowers - care home decoration
Finishing touches can make all the difference

This type of environment is kept free from modern gadgets and might feature items such as old-style dial Bakelite telephone. Similarly, toilets may use the monochrome style design with black seats that have long been used in public spaces. Decorating in this way can help some dementia sufferers to feel more confident and comfortable in their surroundings, though it’s obviously tricky to strike a balance for residents born in different decades or in some instances, different countries.

Have you recently decorated a care home or another type of new business premises? What were your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them? I’d love to hear about your projects, so please share your tips!

Creating the Ultimate Kid’s Bedroom

At the moment, Caitlin and Ieuan are lucky enough to have their own rooms but, being younger, Ieuan is in what you might call the ‘box room’ and he is already well aware that his sister has more terroritory than he has.

One of our projects for 2016 is going to be the revamp of his room to create a den any boy would be proud of.

A child’s bedroom should be a great place to play, study and sleep, and the design of a child’s bedroom can actually be beneficial to their development.

Decorating a kid’s bedroom offers lots of opportunities for creativity and a great way to nurture your child’s interests and passions. Is your child a fan of dinosaurs, or are princesses more of their thing? Are they more cool or cosy? No matter what your child loves, you can turn their bedroom into a space that they love and want to spend time in.


There are so many options for decorating your child’s room. You can’t go wrong with starting with their interests and going from there. For example, if your child likes water then you can paint the walls blue, decorate them with fish and make it look like the room’s underwater.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, keeping things cool and stylish can be great, especially for older children that may be growing out of their childhood interests and moving towards a more mature identity. For rooms like this, you can’t go wrong with bold and bright colours mixed with more neutral decoration will make for a cool and stylish bedroom.

Sometimes, there’s no better way to create a bedroom that your child loves than by letting the child decide for themselves. Having white boards fitted on the walls lets your child decorate their own room as little or as often as they’d like. Sometimes there’s nothing better than a blank canvas!


Kitting out a child’s room with the right furniture, which can be used for various purposes. Sets of shelves can be used to store book, toys and trinkets, and a desk properly placed can make for a great study space. And, of course, there’s the bed. While it’s important that your child has a comfortable place to sleep it’s also important that it fits in with the theme of the room.

For example, if you have a daughter that likes to have sleepovers, then a wooden white guest bed is perfect for a girl’s room. The neutral white finish will suit almost any décor, the simple frame looks great, and the structure means that you can turn the single frame into a double or twin beds. These extra frames are stored within the bed, meaning that storage won’t be a problem. Bedstar provides a great range of beds suitable for children of all ages, offering fantastic comfort and style that would make an excellent addition to any child’s bedroom.

The most important thing is to remember that it’s your child’s room at the end of the day, and it should look the way that they want it to. Work with them to create their ultimate dream bedroom.

Review: Get An Autumn Glow With PartyLite Candles

GIFTED: As you know I love autumn, not least because it’s a brilliant time to annoy the Husband with the threat of new cushions, throws and scented candles.  There is nothing like candles for adding atmosphere and a warm comforting glow and I’ve discovered some beauties from Partylite Candles.

Two lovely mini glass jar candles from the Just Desserts range – £15.95

Any meal becomes more romantic by candlelight and of course, it is well known that candlelight is flattering to your skin. (Or at least you can’t see wrinkles in the dark).

Candles are part of our winter meal times too – the kids love watching the flickering flames and usually argue over who gets to blow them out.  Of course, we make sure the matches are well hidden.

We also keep a selection of scented candles to mask cooking smells and to just freshen up a room and Caitlin loves to choose her favourite fragrance.

But all scented candles are not made the same and you can end up spending a small fortune on a candle that doesn’t scent the room and, most annoyingly, has a wick that burns out long before you get anywhere near the end of the candle.

I was recently gifted a selection of lovely scented candles from PartyLite to try and I have to say that both Caitlin and I are impressed.

In case you have not heard of them PartyLite sells an extensive selection of candles, home fragrances and accessories and has over 68,000 PartyLite consultants in 18 countries around the world.

The company was begun in Cape Cod in the early 1900s by a school teacher, Mabel Baker who began crafting candles from the wild bayberries that grew around her.

At first, she gave them as gifts to friends and family but soon her entrepreneurial spirit took over and she was one of the early female entrepreneurs!  PartyLite aims to remain true to Mabel’s key values of honesty, integrity, fairness and quality.

Our PartyLite Candles arrived well packed with no damage to the delicate glass inside.  We received two mini scented jar candles from the Just Desserts range, “Nutcracker Sweet” and “Sugarplum Fairies” (£15.95), highly appropriate since Caitlin is dancing in The Nutcracker ballet at Christmas.

The candles in the glass jars are guarded by cute pink and purple soldiers. “Nutcracker Sweet” has notes of cinnamon, mulled spices, nutmeg and vanilla.  “Sugarplum Fairies” is a blend of plums, berries and pomegranates.

Forbidden Fantasy Scented Mini Candle Trio – £27.50

We were also sent a Forbidden Fantasy Scented Mini Candle trio in “Blush”, “Kiss” and “Flirt” (£27.50).  The scents are gorgeous and I will be smuggling one of these into my suitcase for our half-term excursion to the wilds of Tetbury.

Blush has notes of white grapefruit and violet, Flirt is a blend of white florals with rich fruits and musk and Kiss combines fresh notes and light florals with the warmth of amber and sandalwood. The fragrances are strong enough so as not to be overpowering or sickly sweet.

Lastly, we were sent the very pretty Warm Hearts Tealight Holder – £13.95, made of glass with an antiqued silver finish which looks lovely on a mantelpiece or bedside table.

Warm Hearts Tealight Holder – £13.95

PartyLite has an extensive range of candles and home fragrance products and some gorgeous items for Halloween and Christmas.  I find our American cousins approach both these celebrations with a good deal more gusto than we do here in the UK.  If you love Martha Stewart, then you’re going to love PartyLite.

They offer over 50 exclusive fragrances, in different categories such as Herbal & Woody, Edible & Spicy or Floral so you are bound to find one that appeals, plus some great ideas for making your Christmas table a stand-out event this year.  (We spent ages trying to find a gold runner for the table last year, much to the Husbands chagrin and don’t get him started on ‘decorative stags’).

If you would like to order candles, why not host a home party where there are discounts and incentives for the host or hostess (and you can also become a consultant).

Further information about PartyLite is available at

Review: Ozeri Precision II Digital Bathroom Scale

The Ozeri Precision II Digital Bathroom Scale has a new widescreen LCD with xBright technology. It uses 4 high precision GX sensors that can weigh up to 440 pounds (200 kilos) in 0.2lbs or 0.1kg increments. The scale is an oversized platform made of impact-resistant tempered glass and it has new InstOn technology which captures the precise weight measurement as soon as you step on (no prodding or cursing required – well, until your weight is displayed, that is). It is auto calibrated and will automatically turn off to conserve the battery life.  It takes 4 AAA batteries which are included in the box.

This is a very chic and slim bathroom scale from Ozeri which couldn’t be simpler to use. Simply insert the batteries, push the button on the back of the machine to select whether you would like your weight to be read in kilos, stones or pounds, step on and ….. hold your breath.

I have to say I suspect that it is also quite an effective incentive to diet as your weight is displayed in its bright blue light, so brightly that I didn’t even need my reading glasses to see the ghastly truth. 

Both The Husband and I tried it and then spent a half an hour accusing each other of indiscriminate carbohydrate consumption.The Husband tried to claim his clothing weighed at least 4lbs and that he was heavier due to two cups of coffee and a bread roll. Hmm. I then found him in the kitchen making a hot chocolate as consolation. I feel my Rosemary Conley book collection beckoning.

The Ozeri Precision II Digital Bathroom Scale is a really smart piece of kit – it has the Ozeri design edge to it and wouldn’t look out of place in a swanky batchelor pad in Mayfair rather than here at Downton Shabby. It currently retails at £17.95 at

Further information:,

*A PR sample was sent for the purposes of this post which contains an affiliate link.