The Fundamentals Of Bedroom Design*

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In one way designing a bedroom is quite simple because it is the one room in your house that is completely your own. If you live with children for instance you will share every other space, but your bedroom can be an oasis to which you retreat when you need a rest after a long day. Otherwise if you are entertaining and you have your friends over you will probably invite them to feel at home in your dining room, living room, your garden and your bathroom of course. However, your bedroom remains just yours. However, it is also a difficult room to design for the exact same reason. Since it is so personal and intimate getting it right is so important. If you do not spend enough time thinking about how your bedroom looks you may find that you cannot relax there. There is so much psychology mixed up with interior design that it sometimes makes you wonder how many decisions are actually conscious rather than performed at the behest of a subconscious feeling or urge. Why, after all, do people like one color over another? There must be a reason but many people would not be able to explain their preference one way or another and would be left saying that they just like a color because they like it.

If there is one thing that is crucial to a good bedroom it is a good bed. One myth that is easily dispelled is that a hard bed is absolutely good for you. Many people confuse a firm bed for a supportive one. However, it all depends on your back and your body’s needs. If you find that a goose down featherbed suits you more, go with that. However whatever bed you choose you should do a lot of research as choosing the wrong one can cause serious back pain and long term problems.

In any case picking a color for your bedroom is important because it can have such a massive impact on how well you sleep. Research from the National Sleep Foundation found that the best color for a bedroom is blue. The reason for this is that receptors in your eyes- called ganglion cells are most receptive to blue shades. These cells inform your brain of information which affects its day to day rhythm. Since the color blue is associated with calmness and peace seeing it as you try to drift off to sleep will help your brain realize that it needs to relax. In fact blue hues in bedrooms have been shown to reduce blood pressure and a person’s heart rate. However if blue is not your style you should go for soothing colors like grays, silvers and neutrals. One important feature of decorating your room is to not to use too many backlit objects like phones or TVs when you are trying to sleep. They inhibit the production of melatonin in your brain which helps you sleep. Switching them off and picking up a book is a better way to have a more restful night.

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Home of Juniper wish list and discount

My homewares radar was triggered again recently with the discovery of yet another online emporium to browse- Home of Juniper. Focusing on “conscientious consumerism” Home of Juniper sells a wide range of products including kitchenware, stationery, home decor, jewellery and gifts. They are proud to support both British producers and ethical craftsmanship from further afield bringing us a beautifully curated site full of unusual and quirky treasures.
Being the way I am, I couldn’t not put together a wish list to share with you- I also (being the giving person that I am) have a discount code to share which will give you 10% off and free shipping on any purchase until the end of June- details at the end of this post.
As you can see, I’ve fallen hard for the kitchenware. I love the rustic look of the tea set and espresso cups whilst the coaster (so true) and shakespeare quote banner were just lovely finishing touches I couldn’t help but include.
As promised, you can get 10% off and free shipping on your order until the end of June by using the code daisychain at the checkout. Do report back with what takes your fancy and let me know what you’re treating yourself to.

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A Cox and Cox Homewares Wish List*

If you’ve spent any length of time reading my blog you’ll have worked out by now that I have a thing for homewares (thanks Mum!) This went in to complete over-drive when I was living in my flat and now I’m back in the parental home I’m yet to reign it in, spending an inordinate amount of time planning ahead to when I move out again.

I have a regular selection of sites that I like to browse, Cox and Cox being one of them- and it’s from there that today’s wish list came about.

It’s all a bit cliche but right now I can’t get enough of clean design with a girly twist. Pinks, greys and copper are seriously floating my boat and if I could deck my future abode out entirely in these colours I would be a very happy girl.

I dream of having wooden floors that I can cover in big, luxurious rugs, statement chairs for curling up and reading in with piles of blankets all around in complimentary shades. I’d even be prepared to part with my currently favoured bold printed bedding in favour of pastel quilted pieces- again accessorised with a blanket and cushion mountain to make my bed the cosiest place on earth.

In my head I have visions of high ceilings, bookcases rammed full of my favourite reads and a couple of cats roaming around just waiting to curl up on my feet. In reality what I’m likely to end up with is a small flat with haphazard furniture, a couple of small rugs, novelty printed bedding sets and one cat that prefers to chew toes rather than curl up on them and keep them warm.

At least I have the internet to keep my dream alive!

What would your ideal home look like and where are your favourite places to browse for homewares and inspiration?

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Moving or Improving?*

Well, this feels like a terribly grown up post to be writing- there’s nothing like thinking about buying your own home to make you realise you actually are an adult and there is a LOT more to be considered than you assume when you’re younger and home ownership is just a pipe dream.

That’s not to say that right now I’m actively looking to buy, but with a bit of luck in the next twelve months or so I might be able to do this and it’s never too early to start thinking about it- it’s probably one of the biggest steps in any person’s life so when Slater Gordon Property Solicitors challenged me to think about everything that needs considering when you take that leap in to potential home ownership.

I’ve always been clear in my mind where it is I’d like to buy my first home, which I suppose both helps and hinders because I’ll be limited to what properties are available BUT it will give me direction in my search. I think the main obstacle that I will come up against (despite you know, actually getting the mortgage and sorting out the finances) is that I really want to live in a converted Victorian property so making sure the flat/house is in good structural order is essential. Given that my budget will likely only extend to a flat the other two issues I’m likely to come up against are size- it might be fine for me on my own, but should I meet someone and start a family for example, will it be big enough to accommodate if moving again isn’t an immediate option? The second issue which I believe is a common issue when buying a flat is that of Leasehold- that brings with it maintenance fees, an annual ground rent and potential restrictions on any big alterations, owning pets or subletting.
I also thought I’d share this infographic provided by Gordon Property Solicitors which contains some interesting facts and figures about buying your own home, and for non first time buyers the pros/cons of making improvement to your current home rather than the upheaval of a house move.
I’m aware that this post is very much only skimming the surface of the subject and I obviously have no real experience as of yet so I’d be really interested in anyone wanting to share their stories and advice about buying their own home- leave them in the comments!

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Kitchen Culture in the UK*

You should know by now that I love to bake, and more recently I’ve got back in to cooking. When I had my brief spell in my own flat the kitchen was by far the best equipped room in the house and whilst looking to move out again in the future it’s always the kitchen gadget section of any shop that draws me in first.

Today I’m bring you some interesting insights in to the UK’s kitchen culture thanks to five-star acrylic sheet supplier The Plastic People who create kitchen splashbacks to add a stylish touch to any cooking area.

From the most purchased kitchen items through to a look at the country’s cooking habits I thought this made for an interesting weekend read.

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According to research carried out by Mintel sales of small kitchen appliances have increased by 41% between the years 2011 to 2015 (from £635 million to £897 million for those who were wondering). Sales of food preparation gadgets increased by 145% in the same time frame and hot drinks appliances such as coffee machines increased by a not too shabby 89%.

The same piece of research has also revealed that in 2015 42% of Brits purchased a kettle (guilty), 30% bought a toaster (also guilty), 15% of Brits bought a sandwich maker or grilling machine, 13% of Brits bought a smoothie maker or juicer (yep), 13% also bought a coffee capsule or pod drinks maker and 11% bought a filter coffee machine- that’s a lot of gadgets!

When it comes to upgrading appliances the following is the frequency of upgraded appliance types in the kitchen from homeowners who either renovated their kitchen in the 12 months prior to the release of the 2017 Houzz Kitchen Trends Study — UK, are currently renovating their kitchen, or who are looking to do so over the three months after the release of the research:
Dishwasher(s) – 82 per cent.
Fridge/freezer – 78 per cent.
Extractor fan – 77 per cent.
Hob(s) – 75 per cent.
Wall oven(s) – 56 per cent.
Microwave – 53 per cent.

This same study also revealed that stainless steel was the most popular colour when upgrading appliances (47 per cent opted for this), followed by black (22 per cent) and then white (10 per cent).

The 2017 Houzz Kitchen Trends Study — UK delved into the following details about how and why Brits are going about upgrading their kitchens:
The frequency of increasing kitchen sizes sat at 63 per cent in the 12 months prior to the release of the research, for those currently renovating their kitchens and for those planning to renovate the space over the three months after the release of the research.
The most popular events that triggered Brits to update their kitchen were:

42% were recently purchased homes and owners wanted to make their kitchen their own.
32% had wanted to update their kitchen all along and finally had the means to do so.
30% could no longer stand their old kitchen.
26% acknowledged that their old kitchen had either deteriorated, broken down or became unsafe.
14% were adapting to family and lifestyle changes.

Again making use of the 2017 Houzz Kitchen Trends Study — UK the top kitchen storage solutions that homeowners opted for were:

77% added a cutlery organiser
61% updated their kitchen with deep drawer organisers.
51% added pull-out waste or recycling cabinets.
41% cent updated their kitchen with a corner carousel.
39% updated their kitchen with a pot and pan organiser.
36% included pull-out trays and/or shelves.

I’m a bit of a kitchen storage freak and love the kitchen at my parents’ house as it has so many nifty storage solutions! #KitchenGoals

According to the Houzz study the reasons why homeowners looked into new storage solutions for their kitchen are as follows:
79% were motivated as they wanted to make better use of the space.
57% wanted to reduce clutter.
55% wanted to make it easier to find items in their kitchens.
36% were motivated as they wanted to utilise awkward spaces
21% wanted to make it easier to cook and bake in their kitchens.

Again referring to the Houzz study we can see that modifications to the kitchen can have a significant impact on how people are utilising the room. Interestingly…
69% spend more family time in their kitchen.
56% now find themselves working and/or studying for longer in their kitchen.
51% are hosting more dinner parties/other forms of entertaining guest in their home.
49% are baking more
43% now cook or prepare more meals at home.
42% now have more sit-down meals.
36% of people reported that tehy now order less takeaways.
23% now eat more fruits and/or vegetables.

I hope you find this post as interesting as I did, as I’ve mentioned I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to kitchens and I cannot wait for the day where I own my own home (I can dream right?) and have free reign over the design of my kitchen. My parents had theirs done just over a year ago and the difference it has made is incredible- even my Mum is cooking more which kind of says a lot really!

Tell me about your kitchens…

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