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HIBS100 Index of Home and Interior Blogs

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April 16th  
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If your little princess likes to rule the household, give her a worthy setting with our pick of the top ten regal bedroom accessories.

1. Mini room divider, Opera Fun

This cute screen, with its fairy tale castle, will be a big hit with your child – but it’s also a practical way of screening off clutter or sub dividing a room into dressing and play areas. Available from Arthouse, priced at £30.

2. Princess print, Milly Green

This sweet print is a take on the classic children’s tale ‘The Princess and the Pea’, and features a slightly worried-looking royal mouse on top of a pile of mattresses. The print can be personalised with your child’s name, and is also available framed. Unframed, it costs £25.50 from Milly Green.

3. ‘The princess sleeps here’ wooden sign, Heaven Sends

This shabby chic sign is ideal for hanging on your child’s bedroom door to mark their room. (We may know one or two slightly…ahem…older girls who’d like this on their bedroom door, as well.) Priced at £6.90, available from KiwiFunk.

4. Fairy tale bookends, Heather Alstead

These contemporary bookends are made from laser cut mild steel with a mat off-white finish or mat black finish. Incorporated into the classic fairytale quotes ‘Once upon a time’ and ‘The end’ are little silhouettes of princes, princesses and castle turrets. These make a pretty and practical addition to a bedroom, great for keeping books or notebooks tidy. Available from Great British Designs, £28.

5. Child’s chair, Made with Love Designs

The ultimate accessory for your child’s princess-themed room has to be their very own throne! Made to order by Made with Love Designs, these vintage-French-style Queen Anne chairs are available in a range of fabrics and textures, and at 67cm in height, 54cm wide and with a seat height of 40cm, they’re perfectly made for little bodies. £150, available from Made with Love Designs.

6. Full length ivory mirror, Ayers and Graces

Make sure your princess can admire herself in her full royal regalia with this full length French-style ivory mirror with a 10cm frame. Also available in white, gold or champagne silver gilt finish, it costs £199 from Ayers and Graces.

7. Felt swan head, Aspace

Add a quirky touch to your princess’ castle with this beautiful swan head, complete with crown. Handmade from felt in in the UK, it costs £70 from Aspace.

8. Knitted princess cushion, Justine Louise

This handmade knitted cushion is personalised with your child’s name in the colours of your choice and decorated with optional sequins and sparkly gems. Made using soft Italian merino wool, it has shell button fastenings. Prices start from £55 from Justine Louise.

9. White cut out heart triple mirror, Melody Maison

This triple mirror, ideal for making sure you’ve got your crown on straight, is made from wood with a white hand painted finish and has a cut out heart to add a girly feel. Designed to sit on top of a dressing table or chest of drawers, it costs £54.95 from Melody Maison.

10. Fabric bunting, Ginger Ray

Fabric bunting in pink and green with a floral design to add a touch of charm to a plain bedroom wall or the outside of a bedroom door. Bunting measures 3.5m and contains 14 flags in total. £8.99 from Ginger Ray.

By Sara Walker

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April 13th  
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Adding a bird box to your garden will help provide a safe environment for nest building, and our top ten colourful, funky bird houses are pretty as well as practical. When choosing a site for the box, make sure it’s securely fixed to a solid surface and there’s a clear flight path to the entrance. It should be sheltered from rain, wind and strong sunlight, and positioned at least a couple of metres from the ground to help deter predators.

1. Bird house, Idyll Home

Wooden bird box from Idyll Home

This simple bird house is made from FSC wood with a metal roof. Personalise it by painting or staining it, or even adding your own design of flowers, birds, zebras…the birds won’t mind. £14.50 from Idyll Home.

2. Eva handpainted birdhouse, Oscar and Eve

Metal Eva bird house, handpainted in Kashmir

Here’s an unusual avian abode that’s already been handpainted for you, in Kashmir. This pretty Eva nesting box will brighten up a dull corner of the garden, and is available in red, green and blue. £14.95, available from Oscar and Eve.

3. Thoughtful Gardener bird house, Wild and Wolf

Thoughtful Gardener wooden bird box

A pretty wooden bird house from the Thoughtful Gardener collection by Wild and Wolf, featuring lovely vintage illustrations and the words ’house for birds’, will give your local feathered friends a home to be proud of. £21.25, available from Berry Red.

4. Mr Birdee nest box, Clare Loves

Mr Birdee sustainable plywood nesting box

This unusual nest box is designed for all manner of small garden birds.  Made from high quality birch plywood from sustainably managed forests, it arrives flat packed and assembly is straightforward.  £19 from Clare Loves.

5. Victorian house bird box, Lindleywood

Handmade Victorian house nesting box by Lindleywood

Lindleywood are a British company based in Lincolnshire, who design and make a wide of beautiful, quirky bird boxes. They’re ideal for gifts as they can be personalised and matched to your recipient. We love this Victorian house, complete with front door and bay window. £55, available from Lindleywood.

6. Bird house, Orla Kiely

Wooden bird box in Orla Kiely’s striking trademark design

A striking and stylish wooden birdhouse, suitable for the very chicest of chaffinches or trendiest of thrushs. Decorated in Orla’s signature stem design, it has a hanging loop on the back for fixing and a practical side opening for cleaning. £25 from Berry Red.

7. Sylvester bird box, Red5

Wooden cat-shaped Sylvester bird box

Birds will always trust their instincts rather than appearances, and know they can safely fly into the ‘cat’s mouth’ with this quirky bird box. Made from durable marine quality plywood with good insulation properties, it’s designed to be warm in winter and cool in summer. £19.95 from Red5.

8. New England nesting box, Laura Ashley

New-England-style bird house from Laura Ashley

A simple white-painted nesting box with shingled roof in the New England style, this nesting box would look lovely anywhere in the garden. Was £26, now £18.20 in the sale at Laura Ashley.

9. Pub bird box, Lindleywood

Pub bird house from Lindleywood

Here’s another pick from Lincolnshire-based company Lindleywood – this cute little pub. An ideal gift, this is one local hostelry you’ll be happy to have nearby. £59, available from Lindleywood.

10. Copper roofed bird house, Berry Red

Copper-roofed wooden birdbox

Designed especially for members of the tit family of birds, this wooden birdhouse has a copper roof which will fade to a delicate verdigris over time.  With a side opening for winter cleaning, it’s made from gently stained, treated wood to withstand outdoor life.  £20, available from Berry Red.

By Sara Walker

 

 

 

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April 10th  
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Just because you’ve grown out of having a My Little Pony bedroom doesn’t mean you can’t add a little grown-up equestrian elegance to your home. Lots of designers have latched on to the equine trend, so make sure you win by a head with one of our top ten picks.

1. Running horse sculpture, Artisanti

Running horse sculpture from Artisanti

This sculpture in metal resin with a bronze finish captures the power and speed of a galloping horse, and is sure to make an impact either displayed on its own or as a set with the other figures in the range. The sculpture measures approximately 35 cm x 9.5 x 23cm, and is available from Artisanti, priced at £62.

2. Dala Horse shot glasses, Lotta Odelius

Dala Horse shot glasses by Lotta Odelius

For a less naturalist look, how about this set of four shot glasses with the classic Swedish Dala Horse design. Designed by Lotta Odelius, the horses are printed in red with green and white manes and bridles. Each glass has a thick base, making them very sturdy and has a capacity of 50ml. Priced at £13 for the set, available from Berry Red.

3. Horse head or rear mug, Yas-Ming

Horse head or rear mugs

These quirky mugs are created in the UK and designed by Yas-Ming Ceramics, a collaboration between designers Yasmin Dilekkaya and Ming Wai Sun. Made from a combination of techniques including slip casting and moulding, the mugs are finished by hand and are available in head or rear designs, sold separately. There’s also a cow version. Available from In-Spaces, £22 each.

4. Crochet horse head, The French Bedroom Company

Crochet-effect horse head, The French Bedroom

This horse head with its crochet pattern textured surface is a quirky and unusual decoration. Put a pair either side of a fireplace or French mirror in the hallway for a real talking point. Available from The French Bedroom Company, priced at £44.

5. Green ceramic Tang horse, Shimu

Green ceramic Tang horses, Shimu

These ceramic horses in a jade green glaze are reproductions of horses produced during China’s Tang Dynasty. Pottery horses like these were produced to be buried with the wealthier members of society. The Chinese believed that this life woud continue into the next, and so in order to preserve their status and high standard of living they would have ceramic replicas of their servants and most important possessions produced to be buried with them. Was £79, now £65, available from Shimu.

6. Horse mugs, Milly Green

Bright and colourful horse mugs, Milly Green

If you’d prefer your equestrian style to be practical as well as fun, these brightly coloured mugs, £10.99 from Milly Green, should fit the bill. Made in fine bone china, and with a design reminiscent of summer gymkhanas, they’re hand decorated in the UK and come in a choice of purple or teal.

7. Horse and hound linen cushion, Voyage

Horse and hound cushion, Voyage

A linen cushion featuring a traditional watercolour print of a huntsman and hounds with a neutral linen background. The edging and reverse of the cushion are covered in a soft red wool check, and it comes complete with a feather pad. Available from Cotswold Trading, was £45.50, now £25.40.

8. ‘Good gossip’ mug, Trumper’s World

‘Good gossip’ horse mug from Trumper’s World

This fine bone china mug features a design from a watercolour painting of two horses. By husband-and-wife artists Ray and Jo Mulry, the mug’s lettering says ‘You can’t beat a good gossip’. It’s priced at £12, and available from Trumper’s World.

9. Horse head bookends, Alison at Home

Resin bronze effect horse head bookends

This pair of horse head bookends is made from moulded resin, giving the impression of tarnished bronze, to add a little class to your library. Each one measures 24.5cm in height. Made from resin so not suitable for supporting particularly heavy books. £34.50 for the pair, available from Alison at Home.

10. Icelandic ponies cushion, By Nord Copenhagen

Icelandic ponies cushion, By Nord Copenhagen

This high quality photo print canvas cushion is inspired by  Nordic nature and features inquisitive Icelandic ponies on the front with a plain black backing. £85, available from Cloudberry Living.

By Sara Walker

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March 31st  
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Make your own chocolate

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Everyone knows that homemade is best, even – in fact, particularly – when it comes to Easter eggs. This year, say ‘no’ to homogenous, supermarket sweets and create something that’s perfectly matched to your intended recipient – it’s much easier than you might think. Here are a few tips to make sure you get the best result.

* Know your limitations! Large hollow eggs look impressive, but are the most difficult to make. If this is your first foray into being a chocolatier, start with solid novelties or smaller hollow eggs. Cakes Cookies and Crafts have some hollow Easter egg moulds available, or Lakeland do a selection of solid novelty moulds which are great for beginners.

Making hollow eggs needs patience and a steady hand

* Use the right ingredients. This is one area where you can really set your homemade egg apart from shopbought equivalents. Use a good quality dark chocolate with high cocoa solids – around 70% is fine.

* Slow and steady is best when melting chocolate. Never be tempted to plonk it all in a pan and turn the heat up! You can either put the broken chocolate in a bowl and melt it over a pan of simmering water, or melt it in short bursts in the microwave. If you’re making solid novelties, you can pour the melted chocolate straight into the moulds.

A selection of small eggs in different chocolates and sizes looks impressive

* Reserve a little chocolate for ‘gluing’ the halves of the egg together when it’s finished.If you’re making a hollow egg, don’t pour the chocolate in. Instead, use a pastry brush to spread a thin layer of chocolate all around the moulds, then let it dry before adding another layer. Building up the chocolate in layers like this means a much better chance of getting an even finish.

Breaking chocolate into small pieces makes it easier to melt

* To decorate, you can pipe a design in coloured icing. If you’ve got children helping, icing pens or tubes can be easier to manipulate than an icing bag. Alternatively, pipe a design in contrasting chocolate (milk or plain), stick on chocolate buttons or stars with some extra melted chocolate, or brush on some melted chocolate and cover the area with hundreds and thousands or chocolate strands.

* Professional presentation is the key to the perfect present. For small novelty shapes, put them in a clear cellophane bag and tie with raffia or ribbon. Small eggs can be given in a clean egg box, and for large hollow eggs, tie a ribbon round to hide any messy seams then wrap them in a cellophane bag.

* If you’d like to make your eggs from flavoured chocolate, it’s simplest to cheat and use a good ready-flavoured brand such as Green and Blacks. If you’re set on making your own, use flavourings that are oil based as adding water to chocolate makes it split. For coffee flavoured chocolate, use instant coffee powder ground up very finely in a pestle and mortar. Add the coffee powder when you’re melting the chocolate, a pinch at a time, until you get the strength you want.

* Once you’re feeling more confident, try tri-colour or marbled eggs. Melt one sixth white, one sixth milk and two thirds plain chocolate. Drizzle the white chocolate into the mould, and let it dry completely. Drizzle in the milk chocolate in and let it dry, then build up the rest of the egg with plain chocolate, applying it in layers as before. For a marbled egg, put blobs of white, milk and plain chocolate into the mould and mix it all up loosely with the tines of a fork. Let it dry, then build up the egg with plain chocolate as before.

In addition to being packed in bags as gifts in their own right, solid Easter chocolate novelties also look great as cupcake toppers or on the top of the Easter cake.

 Sara Walker

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March 27th  
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Tired of traditional chocolate eggs? Looking for something a little lower calorie to give or receive? Our pick of the top ten spring chicken and egg Easter gifts for your home will inspire and delight, without being fattening!

1. Chicken tray, Yours Sustainably

Indian metal tray by Yours Sustainably

This round hand painted stainless steel tin tray with its cheerful, naif design and bright colours will cheer up a kitchen or dining room. Use it for serving drinks or food or simply displaying some of your favourite things. Matching tea light holder and jug also available. Made in India to fair-trade standards. £26.50 from Yours Sustainably.

2. Hen jug, Gisela Graham

Cute hen jug by Gisela Graham

Cheer up the Easter breakfast table with this cream ceramic hen jug. Ideal for milk, cream, sauces or as an unusual vase for wildflowers, it’s available in two different sizes. Price starts from £7 from The Contemporary Home.

3. Hen clock, Annabel James

Moving hen clock from Annabel James

This chicken clock has a tail that ticks on the second, perfect for timing eggs!  Made of foamalux board, it has nickel hands and comes complete with a battery. Made in England. £45.95, available from Annabel James.

4. Egg storage box, Clare Loves

 

Metal egg storage box from Clare Loves

An egg-cellent idea.  This metal egg box is wall mountable or can also be freestanding, and will keep a dozen eggs safe in its removable storage rack. The chick magnet on the outside is a useful holder for notes and messages. £75, available from Clare Loves.

5. Egg cosy, Charlotte Macey

Handmade egg cosy from Charlotte Macey

Handmade from lovely pale duck egg linen, with a spotty white linen lining. each hen egg cosy is individually embroidered and appliquéd on both sides. An egg cosy is ideal for keeping your boiled egg warm on Easter Sunday – but your soldiers will have to look after themselves! £12 from Charlotte Macey.

6. Bohemian egg cup set, The Oak Room

Set of three Bohemian ceramic egg cups

Brighten up your breakfast table with this set of three pretty eggcups, with a Bohemian design in three fresh, pretty colours. As each egg cup is different, there’ll be no more mixing the family’s eggs up if everyone likes them cooked differently. £8.99 for the set, from The Oak Room.

7. Egg holder rack, Anticline

French-style metal egg rack

This pretty metal hanging mug holder with its hen design will  add a touch of French country style to the kitchen. It holds a dozen large eggs and will hang from the wall with standard screws or can be freestanding. It’s one of a range of French country accessories from Anticline, a small company based in Perpignan which specialises in rustic, farmhouse style accessories. £29.50, available from Boutique Provencal.

8. Chicken cake tins, Sophie Allport

Set of three chicken design cake tins

A set of three cake tins in Sophie Allport’s popular chicken design, which features speckled Maran hens and white eggs. Perfect for keeping that Easter Simnel cake or spiced biscuits fresh over the weekend. £35 a set of three, available from Sophie Allport.

9. Chicken doorstop, Laura Ashley

Laura Ashley’s quirky chicken doorstop

This chunky, quirky chicken is practical too, holding your doors either open or closed depending on what the Easter weather decides to throw at us! To make it even more attractive, it’s currently reduced to £16.50 (was £22). Available from Laura Ashley.

10. Cornish hen double oven glove, Betty Boyns

Stylish and practical Cornish Hen oven gloves

A practical and stylish Easter gift, these double oven gloves are available in two colours and form part of the ‘Cornish Hens’ range. Designed and made in the UK, they cost £15 from Betty Boyns.

By Sara Walker

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March 20th  
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Your bedroom is the place where you go to relax and unwind, to catch up on sleep or spend a lazy Sunday morning in bed, so it’s only right that you have a comfortable bed. Whatever your bedroom needs and style, there’s a bed out there for you. Here’s a selection of bed ideas in six styles that you could use to create your very own cosy bedroom.

The shabby chic style bed

 Shabby chic style bed

(Image credit and product info)

For lovers of all things shabby chic, then you can’t beat a classic white coloured brass bed. The Victorian style bed oozes charm and, coupled with pink and white floral bedding, is a haven of vintage style. Plus, you’ve got the classic brass bedstead to enjoy, with brass finials and sturdy bedposts. What’s not to love about this appealing bed?

The statement headboard bed

King size upholstered headboard

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If you’ve already got your ideal king size mattress, but need a new headboard to bring it up-to-date, then buying a new headboard is a quick and inexpensive option for creating a new look bed. Whether you want wood, metal or  upholstered, a new headboard can help you create the statement look you’re after. It’s a great way to add you own style and impact to your bed, without costing a fortune.

The luxury TV bed

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Are you a fan of watching TV in bed? Whether it’s snuggling down to watch a film together, watching the footy or catching up on your favourite soaps, a bed that can accommodate a TV provides all the comfort you need. What’s more, if you’ve got the space for it, a 6ft super king size TV bed, complete with a DVD tray and a screen of up to 32 inches is the ultimate in luxury.

The day bed

 

(Image credit and product info)

If you’re short on space, but need a spare bed, then a day bed is the ideal compromise. Use it as an elegant sofa during the day and when you’re on your own, then make it up into a 2.6ft guest bed when the need arises.

The storage bed

The ultimate in practical style, the storage bed is the perfect bed if you’re desperately in need of extra storage space. No more randomly shoving items and clutter under the bed, never to find them again. Now you’ve got a designated space to store things in an organised style, out of sight, but still easily obtainable.

The colourful bed

Create impact with a colourful bed

(Image credit and product info)

Forget adding colour to your bedroom through bedding. Why not pack a punch and add colour with your bed frame? A colourful fabric bed like this one is a real statement piece. Team it with crisp white cotton bedding for an elegant look.

For all your bed and headboard needs, check out www.bedsos.co.uk.

***This is a collaborative post***

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