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November 24th  
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How to make your home cosy with lighting

Now that we’re back to darker winter evenings and less natural light, it’s more important to think about ways to cosy up our home with lighting. There are plenty of great lighting ideas available from Lampcommerce to help light up your home for winter. Here are some practical ideas for tackling winter light issues in different rooms of your home.

Dining room

Stunning fairy pendant light

Whether you’re eating family meals around your dining table, or hosting a dinner party, good lighting can make a huge difference.

Big, bold statement lights that are hung over the dining table help provide light where you need it most, plus they make a statement in their own right. The Skin 70 SP hanging lamp is a good example of a light that meets this task perfectly and will help light up your dining room in style.

Living room

Add light and colour to cosy up your living room

In the living room there are various options available for adding light. For starters, one large light in the middle of the room can make a statement as you walk through the door. Or, if the room is large, a ceiling light at either end can ensure that the lighting in the room is balanced.

As well as adding a cosy feel into a room, the right lighting can also add a sense of warmth too. The Spillray hanging lamp, designed by Manuel Vivian for the brand Axo Light, is an excellent example of this.

It’s a gorgeous design that naturally draws the eye towards it and the orange shade is a lovely warming colour. The design of this piece can also be customised, which is great for creating a personal look.


Luna moon style wall lights

Make your bedroom  a cosy zone that you’ll love being in with the use of well chosen lighting. A glaring overhead light can be too bright for a bedroom and certainly not help if you’re trying to create a romantic mood. Instead, opt for some softer lighting in the form of an uplighter, unusual wall lights or some stylish bedside lamps.

To help create a romantic mood in your bedroom, or simply pretty it up, consider adding a string of fairy lights around the mirror,  window or even your bed. They’re certainly not a form of lights to only use at Christmas – they work all year round and there are some lovely decorative options available.


Brighten up your desk with a yellow lamp

If you’ve got a study or home office, or simply an area of another room where you have a desk, task lighting is important. The right level of lighting can help reduce the risk of eye strain, especially when you’re using a computer or your kid’s are doing their homework.

A solid and sturdy desk lamp which you can angle and move to the exact position you want is ideal. If you like a traditional style, you could have a bankers lamp. Or for a more contemporary look, consider using an oversized desk-style floor lamp.


Wall lighting ideas to cosy up your home

The right lighting is essential for your bathroom too. For anyone wanting to use the mirror for shaving in the morning or putting make-up on, having the right light can help the task become a lot easier (and ensure you shave or add makeup the right areas!).

The bathroom can be a place to relax and unwind, so a harsh ceiling light isn’t appropriate all the time. If you like relaxing in a bath in the evening and want the room to feel cosy, then try adding a dimmer switch so you can create mood lighting.


How to use lighting to make your home cosy

Finally, don’t forget to consider the light in your hallway or entrance. It’s the first place visitors to your home will see, so make a good impression by making it seem light, bright and inviting.

Consider adding an overhead pendant light in a complementary colour to your decor. Or go all out with making a big first impression with a bold coloured light or chandelier.

(Collaborative post / Images courtesy of LampCommerce)

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November 19th  
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Winter’s setting in, the days are getting darker and it seems like it’s a long time until spring. If you don’t have a holiday to the sun booked this year, cheer up your home with our pick of these colourful, bright Moroccan-inspired accessories.

1. Moroccan tile cushion, The French Bedroom Company

Moroccan design cushion, £35

Be influenced by the Moorish designs of Morocco with this traditional monochrome Moroccan tile pattern embossed onto a white background. The perfect way to introduce a touch of Moroccan style into your home. Comes complete with feather pad. £35 from The French Bedroom Company.

2. Moroccan style tealight lantern, Melody Maison

Moroccan tealight lantern, £14.95

This grey taupe metal tealight holder in a traditional Moroccan style is designed to be freestanding, but could also be hung in a conservatory or in your garden
The hinged door with patterned glass panels opens to place your tealight inside. £14.95 from Melody Maison.

3. Moroccan pendant ceiling light, Made with Love Designs

Moroccan pendant ceiling lampshade, £79.99

We love this pendant light, with a rustic gold finish and Moroccan cutout detailing which will bring a touch of the African bazaar to your living room. It would complement either an industrial, modern or traditional decor. £79.99, Made with Love Designs.

4. Moorish Morocco charcoal rug, Modern Rugs

Moorish Morocco charcoal rug, £74.99

This new Moroccan-inspired collection showcases consists of several designs in thick plush hand-carved cut and loop wool. The rugs come in a range of neutral and rich tones designed to show off the three dimensional effect. Prices start at £74.99 from Modern Rugs.

5. Moroccan print tray, Cordello Home

Morocco print round blue tray, £42

This large tray, £42, is part of the exclusive Signature Collection from Cordello Home. Big enough to accommodate tea for two and holds a teapot, cups and saucers and a plate of treats, it’s made from single sheets of birch with no joins and is handmade in Sweden.

6. Tangier Regatta blue and white rug, IN-SPACES

Tangier blue and white Morocco rug, £45

The eye-catching design of this rug has a distinctly Moroccan influence, great for adding some exotic style to your living room. As it’s made of recycled plastic, it’s also waterproof and suitable for outdoor use. Available in different sizes, prices start at £45 from IN-SPACES.

7. Kasbah mother of pearl wall mirror, Atkin and Thyme

Decorative Kasbah wall mirror, £189

Inspired by Moroccan architecture but created through a traditional Indian craft, the Kasbah mother of pearl inlaid mirror will be a feature on your wall. The frame is handcrafted from natural materials, so each one will be unique. £189 from Atkin and Thyme.

8. Moroccan round mirror tray, Puji

Moroccan round mirror tray, £95

This beautiful gold mirrored tray is a work of art in its own right, combining the classic Moroccan inspired Quatrefoil design for a glamorous and sophisticated result that will work in any decor. £95 from Puji.

9. Louane patchwork Moroccan floor tiles, Walls and Floors Ltd

Moroccan ceramic wall tiles, £29.95 each

Create an instant impact with these colourful large ceramic Louane tiles. Part of the Zeinah collection, they have a mix of different eye-catching designs with a matt finish; perfectly for bringing your floors to life. Each tile is composed of the nine different designs, making it easier to lay than smaller tiles. £29.95 each from Walls and Floors Ltd.

10. Set of three Moroccan-style tealight holders, Furnish.co.uk

Set of three Moroccan style tealight holders, £9.95

This Moroccan tealight holder set brings a touch of exotic beauty and great lighting accent to your home. The cups are made using coloured glass and topped with a decorative pattern right at the lip area. £9.95 for the set of three, which contains one each of teal, blue and green glass cups, from Furnish.co.uk.

By Sara Walker

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November 12th  
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The festive season is fast approaching and we can’t help but start thinking about ways to decorate our home this year, starting with Christmas wreaths.

You can buy wreaths ready made and decorated, even fully equipped with lights, or buy a bare base and create your own. Whatever your approach, here are five ways in which you can use wreaths to decorate your home.

1. Hang a wreath on your front door

Red and green Christmas wreath for a front door

(Image via Pixabay)

For starters, there’s the classic favourite of using a decorated wreath to hang on your front door. It’s a great way of cheering up the outside of your door during the festive season and welcoming guests.

 2. Hang a wreath above your mantelpiece

Christmas wreath mantelpiece decoration

(Image via House to Home)

Don’t just give your visitors the joy of seeing your wreath – bring them inside your home too. Both fresh and artificial wreaths work well inside and it’s especially a good option for a wreath made of materials that aren’t suitable to be left outside in all weathers.

To make it easier to hang and save the need for a hook or nail, hang it on an existing picture or mirror.

3. Create a decorated wreath chandelier

How to make a Christmas wreath hanging chandelier

Liven up your ceiling decorations, by creating a decorated wreath chandelier. It sounds complicated, but it’s honestly not.

There’s a great tutorial over on the House of Fraser website, by Rohini Wahi, showing step-by-step instructions for transforming a simple wreath into a hanging chandelier.

You can also watch a short video demonstrating how it’s made:

4. Use a wreath as a base for a candle decoration

Candle and wreath table decoration

A round Christmas wreath can be used as a decorative base for a candle – just pop the candle inside the ring. Use fresh flowers or other seasonal items, such as pinecones, to liven it up and consider adding more height to the wreath to make it look fuller.

A wreath used in this way make a great centrepiece for a Christmas dining table.

5. Hang a wreath in your garden

Alternative use for a Christmas wreath - garden bird decoration

(Image via HGTV)

Wreaths don’t just have to be confined for use in your home, they can work well in your garden too.

Hang a wreath on your back fence or gate, or try something like this idea, of hanging a wreath from a tree in the garden. You could incorporate a hanging bird treat from it too, to give the birds a wintery treat.

Want a ready made wreath? Shop for one now at House of Fraser and get up to 30% off.

***This is a collaborative post***

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November 9th  
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Forget wooden clogs, gingham tablecloths and channelling your inner Heidi – modern Alpine style is all about traditional with a twist. Think beautiful bare wood, open fireplaces, fur throws and colourful rugs to get the look right. Here’s how:


The secret of an Alpine look is wood, wood and more wood, as textured as possible. In fact, the key to pulling off this look is using really strong textures such as rough grain wood, fur, wool and linen to stop the result looking industrial.

For authenticity, the walls of the room should be covered in rough wood cladding. For most of us, that’s expensive and impractical (although it does help keep the heating bills down!) – to get the look at a fraction of the price, how about this woodland timber cladding wallpaper from Colours at B&Q?It’s recommended for bedrooms, living rooms or dining rooms and comes with paste the wall technology for easy hanging and removal. It costs £15 for a 10m roll.

If a wood look on the walls seems a bit much, then introduce the wood theme with plain white walls and wooden furniture. Think rough, weather beaten and aged rather than smooth and polished – we like this Ritz refectory table, £641, from Sweetpea and Willow, made from reclaimed timber.

Ritz refectory table from Sweetpea and Willow, £641

It has a simple classic style along and a weather washed pine finish, and at almost 2.5 metres long is perfect for seating a group of friends for fondue or raclette after a day outside.

Another piece that will work well is this Boston Kavita chair, £104 for two from Harley and Lola.

Boston Kavita reclaimed wood chair, £104 for two from Harley and Lola

It’s also made from reclaimed wood, so the carbon footprint is reduced. Each piece is handcrafted by local artisans and unique.

Wooden floors are another must for the Alpine look. If a real wood flooring isn’t an option due to cost or other considerations, there are some excellent laminates on the market that look almost like the real thing.

If you have pets and are worried about the practicality of a real wood floor, how about these clever vintage wood tiles? They have a authentic worn look to add character and style to any room. Shades and patterns vary from a pale grey right through  to light and dark browns, to create that all-important textural effect. Tiles measure 150mm x 600mm and cost £1.62 each from Tile Mountain.

Soft furnishings

With bare wood as the room’s access, it’s time to soften with fur, wool and strong textural fabrics to give a cosy effect. For a sitting room, choose vivid plain colours for sofas and armchairs, in velvet, velveteen and plush.

Add faux fur rugs to floors, and lovely, luxurious faux fur throws and cushions to sofas. Pick out some colour accents with bright woollen blankets – keep a selection folded onto a chair or low table as a focal point.

We like these gorgeous fake fur throws, blankets and runners, handmade in England. They come in a variety of designs and sizes including ermine and lynx, and are made from 80% acrylic and 20% polyester for practicality. Prices start at £250 from The Fine Cotton Company.

Luxurious faux fur throw, from £250 from The Fine Cotton Company.

To get the look for less, how about this 60cm square faux fur cushion from Bean Bag Bazaar? Was £34.99, now just £20.99.

These faux fur cushions from Bean Bag Bazaar are a great budget buy.

Add a splash of colour while staying well away from gingham with this cosy throw, made in Yorkshire from pure Merino wool. With its dotty reversible design, it’s two looks for the price of one. It’s also available in light blue, pale grey, and navy blue. £92 from Ville et Campagne.

By Sara Walker

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November 4th  
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Enamelled plates, mugs and cookware are made by by fusing powdered glass to a metal object. The enamel used in making cookware and crockery is called vitreous enamel as it uses glass, and it’s extremely hard and durable.

The glass powder is fused to the metal by firing it at hight temperatures, at which point the powder melts, fuses and then hardens to a smooth surface. Modern day enamels have broken away from their ‘campfire’ image, and are now bright, attractive and a bonus for any contemporary kitchen.

If you’re hosting a Bonfire Night party, invest in some pretty enamel mugs or a coffee jug to add some practical style to the outside table.

Here’s our pick:

1. Muurla enamel mug in ‘leaves, Eclect Design

The stylish leaf design on this enamelware mug by Muurla (Finland) lends a contemporary feel to a retro motif and will look great in your kitchen. Lightweight and durable, it will be at home around the picnic table as outdoors in the garden. It’s dishwasher safe as well. £11, available from Eclect Design.

2. Contemporary enamel mugs, Dassie Artisan Homecare

These traditional enamel mugs have been given a contemporary makeover, with a choice of Moorish, lovebird or chevron designs in a fashionable soft grey. Each piece of enamelware has been handcrafted from porcelain fused with steel, and each one is unique. The mugs are heat resistant and can go from oven to table, perfect for entertaining, and can be used for hot or cold food – indoors or out. Dishwasher safe.£10.95 each from Dassie Artisan Homecare.

3. Set of four tumblers, Berry Red

This set of four enamel tumblers, each with their own design inspired by the four seasons, is ideal for mulled wine around the bonfire. Presented in their own folk printed gift box, they also make a lovely gift. Hand wash only. £30, available from Berry Red.

4. Allium bloom enamel mug, Burgon & Ball

Designed by Sophie Conran for Burgon & Ball, this enamel mug is perfect for carrying around the garden and keeps your hands warm on cold days. Lightweight and virtually unbreakable, it’s made from stainless steel with an enamel coating and stainless steel rim. There’s also a cherry blossom design available. £16.95, available from Annabel James.

5. Set of three Girasol jugs, Loaf

Pretty and practical, this set of three jugs in different sizes will be equally happy serving hot drinks in the winter, cold drinks in the summer and doing duty as flower vases in between. Made from lightweight powder coated steel, they have a hand painted edge detail for extra character and cost £45 for the set from Loaf.

6. White enamel salad servers, Cachettte

Handmade in France, these salad servers are ideal for serving baked potatoes round the bonfire. Made from metal and enamelled to a crisp white, they’re durable and dishwasher proof. £31.65 for the set, available from Furnish.co.uk.

7. Enamel tray in duck egg blue, Burgon & Ball

Pile everything onto this pretty and practical tray to carry it outside to your party. The high sides mean there’s less chance of anything slipping off enroute, and the delicate Allium Bloom pattern means it will look good when not in use. £14.95 from Annabel James.

8. Set of two enamel folklore plates, Nina Jarema

These pretty, quirky enamel-covered plates come as a set of two – ‘night’ and ‘day. They’re ideal for giving outdoor meals a party feel, and cost £20 for the set from Berry Red.

9. Enamel water jug, Dotcomgiftshop

A traditional design, this jug holds a generous two litres, ideal for serving drinks and a range of other household uses. Matching basin available. £19.95, available from dotcomgiftshop.

10. Folklore enamel jug, Hintons Home

A pretty enamelware creamer, with a 500 ml capacity, decorated with the ‘spring rain droplet’ design by Nina Jarema, this would be ideal for serving hot milk or sauce. £9.95 from Hintons Home
By Sara Walker
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November 3rd  
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Summer’s over for another year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful floral display – you just need to think outside the ….er….garden. We’ve selected our favourite bright, cheerful floral accessories to bring a pop of colour into your kitchen this autumn, and keep things blooming all year round.

1. Flower spray jug, live laugh love

Floral ceramic jug, £8.95

At just 9cm tall, this cute ceramic floral jug with with its lovely pale blue handle is perfect for cream in your coffee or a posy of flowers or autumn leaves. £8.95 from live laugh love.

2. Spray flowers tea towel set, Cath Kidston

Spray flowers Cath Kidston tea towels, £12

This set of bright, fresh floral tea towels features two contrasting prints, perfect for cheering up the kitchen on a grey day. Made from 100& cotton duck, they’re as practical as they are pretty. £12 from Daisy Park.

3. Agnes vintage tea cosy, The Oak Room

Agnes vintage floral tea cosy, £12.99

Go really retro and unleash your inner tea lover with this vintage style quilted tea cosy with pretty floral design and red dotty trim.   Made from 100% cotton, it’s machine washable and a fair trade product too. £12.99 from The Oak Room.

4. Marimekko Pieni Unikko Small Tray, Cloudberry Living

Bright red poppy rectangular tray, £26

Well, we might not be able to pronounce the name of this tray, but we do like it. Printed with Marimekko’s signature design first seen in 1964, the bright poppy design will make you feel uplifted and summery all year round. Made from birch plywood, it costs £26 from Cloudberry Living.

5. Fantasy large khaki mug, Pip Studio

Bright large floral mug, £10

Beautifully decorated with bold florals, this large (350ml) mug is guaranteed to perk you up in the mornings over your first cup of tea or coffee. Made of porcelain, not dishwasher or microwave safe. £10 from Daisy Park.

6. Set of two Darcy teacups, Alison Appleby

Set of two porcelain floral tea cups, £20

If you enjoy a little Regency romance in your life, how about this pair of porcelain darcy tea cups, handpaitned with peonies and cherry blossom? The Darcy collection, which also includes a tea cannister and teapot, was inspired by Regency England when Earl Grey was Prime Minister and taking tea was often at the centre of refined social life. £20 from Black by Design.

7. Rose and bee cake/cheese plate, Emma Bridgewater

Emma Bridgewater roses and bees cake plate, £39.95

Emma Bridgewater’s traditional nostalgic pattern features pretty pink roses, little bee detailing and a Persian blue border. Serve up the perfect afternoon, get out the cups and saucers and cheer yourself up on a drizzly afternoon. £39.95 from Daisy Park.

8. Bloom retro orange tray, Berry Red

Round vintage style retro floral tray, £28

If you love retro style, here’s a floral pattern that’s a little different. A cheerful addition to your kitchen, this lacquered wooden tray is ideal for the vintage inspired home with its orange curved grid pattern and simple floral repeat. £28 from Berry Red.

9. Flower colander, Kizmos Flora

Bright yellow flower colandar, £6.99

Rinse and drain fruits, salads and vegetables with this handy colander, with feet for a stable base when sitting the colander in the sink or on a counter. The colander also has an easy to hold petal lip, vital for a secure grip when rinsing and draining. It’s unusual and attractive enough to take rinsed salads straight to the table, and costs £6.99. Visit Kitchen Craft for stockists.

10. Daisy masher, Clare Loves

Flower-shaped potato masher, £19

With a design inspired by flowers in a meadow, this potato masher is made in the UK from beech and high grade stainless steel for a beautiful and functional kitchen essential.  £19 from Clare Loves.


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