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September 20th  

If you want to update a room with a new theme or a new selection of accessories, but need to stick to a budget, then heading to the high street is definitely the way to go to save money.

Many high street retailers have newly launched collections and with a few select purchases, you can inject a much needed update into a room.

If you love the timeless feel of pastels, with their soft tones and gentle air of calmness, then Wilkinson’s have a nice collection called Barely There which focuses on soft, bleached out shades of pinks, greens, blues and creams.

Barely there pastel home style idea from Cosy Home

With the exception of one item, all of the pieces featured here cost £8 or under, which seems pretty good to us:

1. Pom pom cushion, £7

2. Meadow stems in medicine bottle, £8

3. Barely wall art, £20

4. Ballet shoes canvas, £6

5. Ditsy floral cushion, £7

6. Ditsy floral door stop, £6

7. Set of two bird ornaments, £5

8. Rose cushion, £7

We think it’s a great collection for a cosy home update. Do you agree?

September 17th  

Antique china plate designs

If you love antique plates, but don’t have enough spare cash to buy them or enough space in which to house them, then how about this for an alternative?!

This decorative cotton tea towel is illustrated with antique plate designs from the art collections at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The tea towel could be used for its intended purpose of aiding you with drying up your dishes, or you could re-purpose it and hang it on your wall, framed or unframed.

Either way, this is one collection of antique plates that you don’t have to be fearful of accidentally breaking! Get yours from Bonnie & Bell.

September 16th  

If you’re planning a wedding at home, make the day even more special with these lovely handmade accessories.

1. Personalised wedding cake topper, Googly Gifts

The level of detail on these toppers make them a real talking point.

These beautiful, detailed models are handmade from Fimo polymer clay, which is non toxic and durable. The figures aren’t edible, but will prove a lasting keepsake of a special day. Artist Helen makes each figure individually from photographs and can include pets, children or props for hobbies. This would make a lovely, personal gift for a friend who’s getting married, or a finishing touch for your own wedding. Prices start at £119.99, more information from Googly Gifts.

2. Wedding cushion, Swanky Maison

A simple, elegant cushion in contrasting colours.

This simple, handmade cushion features a silhouette of a bride and groom (in four different designs) in a coffee colour against a duck egg blue background. Made from 100% Thai silk, it includes a duck feather pad. Prices start from £85, available from Swanky Maison.

3. Wedding papercut picture, Ingrained in Grain

Mark the day with this pretty picture

This striking hand-drawn and handmade paper-cut picture would make an unusual wedding gift or anniversary present, and can be personalised with the names of the bride and groom, the date and venue of the wedding. Priced at £54.95, available from Wow Thank You.

4. Ivory paper flower garland, Vintage Affair

Delicate and unusual, this garland lends a festive air to the room

Glam up your garden for a summer wedding with this garland of 15 paper roses, available in white or ivory. It would also look good as part of a table centrepiece. Priced at £6.99, available from Ginger Ray.

5. Bespoke wedding letters, Jonny’s Sister

Be a man (or woman) of letters with these initials

Large wooden letters in the bride and groom’s initials will help your guests find the wedding venue. After the event, use them as decoration iside or propped up against an exterior wall. Made from MDF, they come in a range of sizes and fonts and are supplied ready to paint. Prices start at £24 per letter, available from Jonny’s Sister.

6. Porcelain flower tealight, Emma Clegg

Pretty and practical, this tealight will lend a warm glow to the day

This lovely, hand thrown porcelain tea light is decorated with hand cut and pressed individual porcelain flowers, and would make either a lovely wedding gift or an unusual table decoration for the day itself. Priced at £48, available from Miratis.

7. Heart embossed flower pegs, Big Little Things

These little clips will be useful during and after the event

These cute little clips are hand crafted and have a wide range of uses. Use them to attach guest place cards to glasses, menu cards to centre pieces or photos to a line. Sold in multiples of 10, 50 and 100, prices start at £2.50 for 10. Available from Big Little Things.

8. Linen napkins with handmade rose, Wooden Toy Gallery

These napkins are decorated with a red rose, symbol of love

These 100% linen napkins have a removable handmade rose to delight your wedding guests. Available as a set of six, they’re made in Europe by folk artists who craft these products using traditional Baltic States techniques. £25 for six, available from Wooden Toy Gallery.

9. Ceramic heart decoration, Melissa Choroszewska

This ceramic heart will add a touch of style to any occasion

This porcelain hanging heart decoration are handmade, and each one is unique. They’d look lovely hanging from a garden treat for a summer wedding, and would also make unusual wedding favours for female guests. £7 each, available from In-Spaces.

10. Paper rose, Paper Tree

This delicate rose is almost indistinguishable from the real thing.

These beautiful, hand crafted and coloured paper roses come in a range of colours and sizes. Unlike the real thing they won’t wilt, droop or shed petals and they’ll last for years to come. Use a single rose as a table decoration, make up a bouquet or use to decorate an archway or door. The large size measures stem length 60cm, flower diameter approx 12cm and costs £10.95 for a single flower from Paper Tree.

By Sara Walker

September 8th  

Oh, we do like to be beside the seaside! Summer may be starting to draw to a close, but we’re keeping our memories of sunny beaches, coastal walks and ocean colours alive with these sea-inspired cushions, perfect for adding a little marine chic to your home.

1. Hand painted beach scene, Edwina Cooper Designs

Each one of these hand made cushions is unique.

We’re sinking into our deckchair on a hot, sunny day. There’s a glass of iced lemonade to hand and nothing else in sight except a single sail boat on the horizon…..oh, we’ve woken up. Escape into a relaxing dream at any time with this beautiful cushion, featuring a unique panel hand painted in fabric paints. Priced at £40, it’s available from Edwina Cooper Designs.

2. Yellow delight cushion, Christopher Daniel

These stripey cushions add a nautical flavour

This cheerful yellow cushion reminds us of stripey deckchairs. Use them for garden furniture or in conservatories or garden rooms to preserve that sunny feeling. £22.50, available from Christopher Daniel.

3. Seaside cushions, Jan Constantine

In strong blues and reds, these cushions would grace any beach hut

Inspired by Jan’s cottage on the Cornish coast, these seaside designs of lobster, compass and crab come in nautical cobalt blue and cream with red accents. For more information about the seaside collection, which includes other details and retails at £75 per cushion, visit Jan Constantine.

4. Puffins cushion, Andrea Lauren

Create your own Puffin Island

Who could resist this puffins cushion? Featuring the unmistakable bird with its black and white colouring, distinctive black head flattened, brightly-coloured bill, the cushion is designed by Andrea Lauren and costs £30 from Hunkydory Home.

5. Coastal cottage cushion, Claire Loves

Perfect for your cottage or castle

This UK-made cushtion is beautifully illustrated with higgledy piggledy seaside cottages.  Available in dark navy and sea grey, the cushion cover is made from heavyweight 100% cotton fabric and comes with a duck feather inner pad.  It measures 45cm by 45cm and costs £36 from Claire Loves.

6. Beach hut cushion, Coastal Home

Give a coastal feel to your favourite chair

Turn your home into a beach hut with this pretty printed cushion. The cheerful design is printed on both the front and back of the cushion cover and a duck feather inner is included. £26.95 from Coastal Home.

7. Nautical striped cushion, the Nautical Company

Nautical but nice.

The seaside credentials of this cushion couldn’t be any better – not only is the design called ‘nautical striped’, but there’s also an embroidered red anchor for a splash of colour. Priced at £19.99, available from The Nautical Company (where else?).

8. Blue seagull cushion, Sandra Hardy

A stylised seagull adds a nautical twist to this cushion

Seagulls can be a hazard at the seaside – best to keep them safely in your living room. This cushion is screen printed with seagull design on a background of old food advertisement text, and comes complete with a feather cushion pad. £40, available from Sandra Hardy.

9. Lighthouse cushion, DigetexHOME

A realistic printed storm scene makes this cushion stand out

For something a bit different, how about this stormy lighthouse cushion, £32? Printed on both front and reverse, it comes with a feather pad and measures 43cm by 43cm. There’s also a matching roller blind available, both from DigetexHOME.

10. Angel fish cushion, Free Spirit Designs

This angel fish cushion adds a dash of quirky style to an interior.

Oyster-coloured linen cushion with appliqued angel fish in quirky, pink tartan. The waves are stitched on in  hot pink cotton thread. There’s also a matching seahorse cushion in turquoise. Cushion pad not included. Priced at £39.50, available from Free Spirit Designs.

By Sara Walker

September 5th  

This year, the plentiful rain and hot sun have resulted in an early, bumper crop of apples.

Britain’s favourite cooking apple is the Bramley, a variety that’s now over 200 years old, and the earliest records in 1862 record the first ever commercial transaction –  a sale of “three Bramley apples treees for 2/- to Mr Geo Cooper of Upton Hall”.

Ideal for cooking, with its tart flavour and readiness to break down to a puree, Bramleys quickly  increased in popularity and were planted extensively at the turn of the 20th century, providing food during the First and Second World Wars.

If you love Bramley apples or are lucky enough to have a tree in your own garden, you’ll love this recipe for an unusual apple crumble pie.

A crunchy hazelnut crumble topping transforms this apple pie into a treat

You’ll need:

For the pastry:

  • 125g plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 55g butter
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons cold water
For the pie:
  • 800g Bramley apples
  • 100g sugar, plus a little extra

For the crumble:

  • 85g plain flour
  • 85g butter, cubed
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground hazelnuts (optional)
What to do:

Add a little extra bite by mixing slices of firm eating apples such as Cox or Braeburn with the Bramleys

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  2. Start by making the pastry. Put the butter in a large bowl, cut it into cubes and add the flour. Using your fingertips, rub the flour into the fat until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, and add half the water. Work the mixture together until it forms a soft dough, adding a little more water if necessary.
  3. Turn the pastry out onto a floured surface, and roll it out to about 1/2 cm thick and about 3cm larger than your pie dish (a shallow 23cm one works well). Roll the pastry onto the rolling pin, transfer it to the dish and unroll it, pressing it firmly into the corners and trimming off the excess. Prick the base all over with a fork, and blind bake in the over for around 8 minutes.
  4. Peel and core the apples, and cut the flesh into pieces. Put them in a large pan with a little water, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the apples are soft and pulpy. Allow to cool, then add sugar to taste. When completely cold, transfer the apples to the pastry case.
  5. Finally, make the crumble topping. Put the flour and butter in a large bowl and rub them together with your fingertips. When the mixture looks like rough breadcrumbs (it won’t look like fine breadcrumbs as the pastry did, as there’s less fat to absorb the flour), stir in the sugar and hazelnuts.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crumble topping is pale golden and bubbling. Allow to cool slightly before serving with clotted cream, ice cream or custard.

Apple themed home accessories

Mad about apples? We love these apple themed home ideas:

Red apples apron, Free Spirit Designs

Protect clothes from apple juice with this autumnal apron

Prepare your home-grown produce in style wearing this contemporary apple print apron, made from a quality linen/cotton blend fabric printed with an original design. £26.20 from Free Spirit Designs.

Green apple mug, Lotte Kühlhorn for Koloni Stockholm

Perfect for tea, coffee…or even hot spiced apple juice.

Enjoy a well-earned cup of tea with your pie from this fine bone china mug with its bold, simple apple design. £9.50, available from the Scandinavian Shop.

Willlow apple platter, Vintage Trading

Keep fruit safe and blemish free with this natural platter.

Made from brown unstripped willow, this simple round willow platter will help store apples attractively until you’re ready for them. It’s available in two sizes, 38cms diameter and 34cms diameter, and costs from £25 to £29 from Vintage Trading.

By Sara Walker


September 3rd  

When decorating a room there is always one area that tends to be the hardest – and sometimes that can be trying to find a lampshade that is the perfect finishing touch. Many people leave it until last and go for a bulk standard lamp, either in a neutral colour or to match the curtains or wallpaper.

But lampshades don’t need to be boring or beige. They should be viewed as an opportunity to be creative, not a task that has to be done for the sake of it. So here are ten very different lampshades which will stand out in your home rather than blending in.

1. Atlas Azure lampshade

This handmade Atlas Azure lampshade comes in a variety of sizes, and is designed to fit in to either contemporary or period settings. The colours on the map are stunning and it is a beautiful lamp for someone who wants the lampshade to have some meaning behind it. It costs £39.99 from Not on the High Street.

2. Himalaya shade – black strong shade

A perfect example of a very unusual lampshade is this Himalaya shade, £12 fom the Lighting Retailer. It is made up of several little lamps contained within a circular frame.


3. Cat large black lampshade by lush design

This large black cat lampshade by lush design is very much of a period design.  Black and grey silkscreen print on laminated tissue, the lampshade has sleeping cats, fighting cats, pouncing cats, dancing cats and more playing in and amongst the trees. A beautiful lamp for £62.50 fom Iapetus.

4. Jeeves table lamps

We have cheated here a bit – these are table lamps as opposed to lampshades, but we thought they were too good to leave out. The Jeeves table lamps costs £268 from Gift ideas.

5. Photo collage buddleia of suburbia lampshade

This photo collage buddleia of suburbia lampshade is gorgeous. It has been printed with fade resistant inks on high quality tear-proof paper and finished with a protective polymer lacquer to deter dust. The shade, lined with a velvet trim, is on sale from Radiance Lighting.

6. Bigoli lightshade

The Bigoli lightshade is certainly unique looking. Made from spirals and twists of tubular crinolin mesh, the lighting this light shade gives off is stunning, casting beautiful patterns on the walls and ceiling of your room.  It costs £204.95 from The Glow Company.

7. Campbells soup light shade

Here is one which might suit a teenager’s room or anyone who loves retro design labels – the Campbells soup light shade – £9.95 from The Glow Company.

8. Loopy-Lu black lampshade

The Loopy-Lu lampshade is made of polypropylene loops and is a lampshade that will stand out rather than blend in. It costs £30 from the Furnish website.



9.  Koziol stella M hanging lampshade

Red Candy advertise this Koziol stella M hanging lampshade as being suitable for any room of the house. We could see it working in a  retro looking kitchen. The dome shaped shade is made from recycled translucent plastic, and is priced at £79.

10. Antique Cranberry Tinted Glass Lamp Shade

Below Stairs of Hungerford is an interesting website to visit. They have a good selection of 1920s and 1930s lampshades. This antique cranberry tinted glass lampshade is from the 1920s. It has a flared trumpet shape and costs £65.

By Jackie Cosh

September 2nd  

Light and cosy living room lounge

Light is at the core of our daily lives. Its quality affects the way we feel, influences our moods and is vital to our health and wellbeing.

As technology provides new and exciting solutions, it has become easier to control the atmosphere in the home through lighting. Despite its importance in helping people to relax, enjoy themselves and carry out a variety of everyday tasks, lighting does not tend to be very high on most people’s list of priorities.

Over the past few years, LED technology has rapidly evolved and has helped to focus attention on lighting design in the domestic space. It is not an exaggeration to say that LED has driven a profound shift in the industry, probably as great as the invention of the filament bulb in the 1880s.

Controlling luminosity using LEDs is leading to a transformative shift in the essence of lighting design as it is allowing for new ways of planning and utilising life-enhancing illumination. Dynamic effects made possible through LED controls give home designers the power to paint with light and, in doing so, create an atmosphere that more closely meshes with people’s moods and the ambience of a room.

What’s more, LED advances mean that designers can now play with millions of colour variations and, at the same time, homeowners have the added psychological benefit of knowing that low-energy LEDs are good for the planet.

The eco benefits of LEDs include the low heat – 90% of the electricity burned by traditional light bulbs is diffused as heat – and the very long lifespan of the lamps, with most lasting for up to 50,000 hours.

Advanced brightness controls are an increasingly sought after feature when refurbishing the home. From the simple dimmers to total home-control systems, an intelligent design and application can radically improve quality of life.

Good design, whether attempted by the homeowner or directed by a professional, aims to achieve a perfect balance between efficiency, convenience, economy and aesthetics. A poorly deployed dimmer solution can lead to a gloomy domestic space. To achieve a pleasant atmosphere, dimming should be countered with varied and well place light sources.

It almost goes without saying that any homeowner who values light quality will avoid CFLs like the plague. While they certainly cut electricity consumption, the quality is truly woeful and more or less uncontrollable.

It is also important to invest in the highest quality fittings available within a given budget. When redecorating or making more radical changes, the right bulbs, fittings and controls should be a central design component. Good controls also help with practical or “task” lighting for homework, cooking, reading and hobbies.

Comfort and convenience is provided through the astute positioning of table lamps, which are essential in adding accents and a varied intensity to a living space. Controls add further potential, giving users the opportunity to create a cinema-like mood when watching a film, for example, or increase brightness to read or work.

The ability to dim effectively can help to set a romantic scene. An intimate dinner can be enhanced through an instant, one-button touch to create a candlelit ambience.

If a homeowner is particularly confident and knowledgeable when it comes to design, they may undertake a project to transform their homes by themselves. However, it’s advisable to seek the advice of a professional where feasible. Experts can steer households to lighting nirvana by helping them to make decisions, from choosing simple dimmer solutions to total home control systems.

This guest post is written by Mark Sait. He is managing director of, a full-service efficiency partner helping businesses and households reduce energy and water consumption, and cutting carbon emissions to improve sustainability.

(Photo credit: Shutterstock)

September 1st  

We all know the UK weather can’t be relied upon, and our shops stay full of waterproofs and brollies all year round. Instead, we’ve decided to guarantee our sunshine with these cheerful, sunny home accessories.

1. Sunshine apron, Freya

Freya sunshine apron

Guaranteed to cheer you up on the cloudiest of summer days, this cheerful bright yellow apron is designed in the UK by artist Freya. Featuring a stylised elephant design and the words ‘Fill me with sunshine’, it’ll add a splash of colour whether you’re wearing it or hanging it behind the kitchen door. Made from 100% heavy cotton drill, it has an adjustable neck strap to fit any size and costs £24 from Very Nice Things.

2. Bottled sunshine range

Fresh and summery bath products from Quintessentially English

Who could resist a range of bath products called Bottled Sunshine? Bringing the scent of fresh lemongrass to your bathroom, this range will uplift and cheer. Lemongrass fights jet-lag and fatigue while helping to relieve headaches, and these Bottled Sunshine products are made from natural and organic ingredients and pure essential oils of lemongrass. The range includes a bath cupcake, soap, massage oil,  hand and body lotion, hand and body wash and bath oil elixir. Prices start at £3.25, available from

3. Yellow drum lampshade, Hunky Dory Home

Great for contemporary or traditional interiors

Handmade from a sunny yellow linen fabric, this shade is great as a ceiling light or on a standard lamp. It’ll give any room a warm, sunny glow and would be perfect for north facing or dark rooms. Measuring 30cm by 20cm, it’s priced at £28, and available from

4. Children’s sunshine plate, Helen Dardik

Colour, durability, a bold design – this plate has it all

This sunshine melamine plate by Helen Dardik will cheer up any meal, inside or out, with its bright, colourful design. Measuring 20cm, the plates and dishwasher but not microwave safe and cost £6.50 each from Peanut and Pip.

5. Sunflower cushion, Blooming Briony

Bring the outside in with this cheerful cushion

This scatter cushion features a print from an oil painting called ‘My Sunflower’ by artist Briony Benge-Abbott, with a royal blue background contrasting with the  bright yellow and soft orange hues of the petals. The cushion includes a  duck feather pad and measures 45 x 45cm. Available from Blooming Briony, priced at £65.

6. Smiley lamp, MR MARIA

Smile! Bring a warm glow to your rooms.

This is possibly the most cheerful lamp we’ve ever seen, and it certainly made us smile. By Dutch design duo MR MARIA, it has a bright dimmable LED lamp and measures 43.5cm in diameter. It would make a perfect night light for a child’s room, or a quirky talking point in a sitting room. Available from Maiden, priced at £189.

7. Sunshine bowls, Rigby and Mac

Make your own good weather with these sunny bowls.

These brightly-printed large ceramic bowls will be sure to bring some sunshine to your table, even if it’s drizzling outside. And if the sun is shining, these bowls would also look great used outside for salads. Available in four prints, they measure 7.5cm high by 13cm wide and cost £10.95 each from Rigby and Mac.

8. Sunshine print, Ros Shiers

Scatter the storm clouds with this open edition print designed by London based illustrator Ros Shiers and signed by the artist. Printed on heavy 220gsm white cartridge paper, it’s A3 size, delivered unframed and costs £24 from Urban Cuckoo.

9. Spindle candlesticks, ZigZag House

Cheerful and practical candlesticks

These sculptural ceramic yellow candlesticks are designed to hold both taper and pillar candles. Made from hard-wearing ceramic, they measure 17cm tall and cost £42 for a pair from Zigzag House.

10. Pushboy bin, Welco

Throw away in style with this funky bin

Who says functional can’t be fun? We love this tall, bright bin, which at 80cm high by40cm wide will fit neatly into a corner. Priced at £126, available from Red Candy.

By Sara Walker

August 27th  

As owner of and creative force behind Faux Doe Creations, Leanne Owen doesn’t take herself too seriously. Her ‘fake taxidermy’ animal heads, including deer, hares, foxes and even pheasants, are lovingly crafted from a range of materials to produce an individual, quirky result that’s very appealing.

Although she’s never had any formal training, Leanne cut her sewing teeth on making her own curtains and soft furnishings and discovered a knack for being able to see how things were made. A few years ago, though, she’d never have thought that her hobby would develop into a career.

Leanne Owens of Faux Doe Creations

In 2009, her life couldn’t have been more different. Working as an operational firefighter, a physically demanding job she’d done for ten years and loved, she was training for a charity bike ride to Paris when she noticed she was having problems moving the gear levers.

“At the time, I thought the problems were down to the training I was doing,” she says. “I was in pain, but I just thought I had a trapped nerve in my neck. Then I noticed I couldn’t use my computer mouse properly. I went to see an acupuncturist privately, and told her that on a recent holiday I’d noticed a problem with my flip flops dragging when I walked. She  said that as the problem was affecting both my feet and hands, it sounded neurological.

“I went to my doctor, who sent me off to a neurologist, who referred me for a DaTscan. I looked up what this brain scan was used to diagnose, which is Parkinson’s disease, and immediately realised how many of the symptoms I had.

I was experiencing some odd things, such as phantom burning smells which I thought were a hangover from my firefighting days, but they were all there on the list of symptoms. By the time I had the scan as confirmation I was already sure, so although I was devastated it had already had time to sink in a bit. The other problem was that I obviously couldn’t stay on as a firefighter, so I lost my job and my health at one go, and retired on a pension.

“Finding myself with plenty of time on my hands, I started fundraising for Parkinson’s UK, the charity who offer information and support to anyone feeling the effects of Parkinsons, taking part in the Great North Run and many other events.

One day, I was running a carboot stall for the charity when I got chatting to a girl who was buying some fabrics I had for sale, as she wanted to make a stag’s head. I loved the idea, as my friend Holly, who I trained with, had a real stag’s head on her wall and although I’d always admired its majesty I did find it a little creepy.

Designs range from the realistic to the whimsical

“My first stag was more of a soft toy really – I stuffed him with soft filling, and he was a bit floppy. Then, I started investigating taxidermy moulds which are made from rigid polyurethane which I thought would give a better result. I now buy these from a specialist supplier, customise them a bit if necessary and build up the heads with layers of fabric.

“I mostly now work on commission, but when I was starting out I did a lot of craft fairs and Malins Fabrics Ltd, a fabric shop in Pontefract, kindly put some pieces in their window for me.

At craft fairs, it’s interesting to see people’s reactions – they either get it, or they don’t. The majority of customers are women, but I did have one couple where the husband had always hankered after a real stag’s head and his wife wasn’t keen. They bought a big stag’s head in Harris tweed and greens, and it was a great compromise.

At first glance, this beautiful stag made of leather, fake fur and wool seems real

“When I’m making new pieces, the fabric itself is a great influence as are colours and textures.

I mostly work with greens and browns, autumn and country colours, but I’ve made some colourful commissioned pieces, including a turquoise deer and a bright pink unicorn!

The noses are made from leather, as I love the tactile process of moulding it – I particularly like doing nostrils. The eyes are soft toy teddy bear eyes – I did experiment with taxidermy eyes, but they looked too realistic and wrong for the overall quirky feel that I aim at.

Leanne makes other animals apart from deer, including this cute fox

“Although these pieces aren’t toys, they are made to be touched and stroked. I like to add a bit of cashmere under the chin, and of course those leather noses are just made to be stroked. The ears are wired, so you can have them up or down according to your mood!

This bride and groom hare make an unusual wedding gift

“Each one of my little creatures is completely unique, I think as a result of all the determination that goes into creating it.

That’s why they come out looking like such characters, and it’s lovely when customers appreciate that, it makes it all worthwhile.”

For more information about Faux Doe Creations and to browse the photo gallery, please visit

August 26th  

How to create a cosy home

(Photo credit: Shutterstock)

While there’s still a while left to enjoy of the summer, there’s nothing wrong with thinking ahead – particularly when it comes to planning how to keep your family home nice and cosy during the colder months. If it’s important to you that you make your house warm and welcoming through the drearier season, here are some tips to achieving that this year.

Plan an Autumn clean

The ‘Spring clean’ needn’t be the only time you give your home a thorough once over – plan a top to bottom sort-out of your property this autumn and enter winter feeling refreshed.

If your house starts to get cluttered, dusty, or less than fragrant in the summertime, you’ll have the choice to head out into the garden or fling open the windows for fresh air – not so easy in winter!

Autumn is an ideal time to have a proper clear out of any junk and make sure everywhere is spotless; this way you’ll be ready for the Christmas period too, when visiting family and friends often make you feel the pressure to get things tidy.

Get your throws ready

Winter has its drawback; your favourite outdoor activities might be off limits, and your energy bill is probably likely to increase, but it can be a nice time to wind down and spend more time just relaxing.

Soft and snuggly throws for your bedroom or lounge are a must buy at this time of year, allowing you to keep warm whilst watching your favourite TV shows or catching up with a good book. Maybe treat yourself to some snug new slippers while you’re at it?

Upgrade your duvet

If you want to keep warm on the coldest of winter evenings, double check you’ve got a suitable duvet. Duvets come in various thickness, and you may find you have a standard all-season design or even a lightweight summer option. If this is the case, head online to order a reasonably priced Winter duvet. Winter duvets have a tog rating of between 12-13.5.

Clean the chimney

Plan on having a roaring fire this winter? Make sure your chimney is fit for the job. A clean chimney will reduce safety risks and ensure your home doesn’t fill with smoke unexpectedly. Autumn is a good time to start setting aside a budget for fire wood if you plan to rely on a log fire for heating your home too.

Prepare your central heating system

To keep your heating bills down this winter, make sure that your central heating is running as effectively as possible. You can prepare your system by bleeding radiators and invest in a power flushing service, which will remove lime scale and sludge allowing optimum performance, reducing the noise of your heating system too.

Switch to thermal curtains

Another way to make your home extra cosy this winter is to make sure you have the right curtains up.

It can be easy to sacrifice style for substance when it comes to window coverings – cheap blinds are an obvious choice is you want something modern and attractive, but they’re not great for keeping heat in!

Switch to thermal curtains (there are some beautiful designs out there) to make sure you’re not wasting any precious heat.

Treat yourself to new candles

Alongside a log fire, candlelight has to be one of the most-romantic winter accessories for your home. Stock up on pillar candles that you can place on your mantelpieces or dining room table and give a relaxed glow or choose pretty tea-light holders dotted around the room for a magical touch.

***This is a guest post***
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