The Designer Look For Less: Hay x Ikea

We all earmark IKEA as the place to go to get cheap, 'need it right now' furniture that is basic and functional. Yet in recent years IKEA has been moving up a level - working with highly revered designers to create incredible, but still amazingly affordable furniture. After talking briefly to Kit Neale about his SPRIDD collab with IKEA last year, he highlighted that IKEA's quality control meant that his collection with the Swedish power-brand took two years in the making. It is obviously IKEA's dedication to their designs that has attracted top name designers to collaborate with them on design-led, but affordable, collections. The much publicised Tom Dixon collection DELAKTIG will make its way into stores at the beginning of next year, while super-hip French multi-brand retailer Colette are currently working with IKEA on a new partnership.

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How to choose the right pendant lights for over the dining table

Dramatic pendant lighting hung over the dining table is an interior look that is both stylish and functional. A low-slung statement pendant light or two creates a real focal point as soon as you walk in the room. Positioned centrally above the dining table, or a few lights clustered together in a line the length of the table, really defines the rooms purpose.

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5 Easy Things I've Done To Dramatically Improve The Outside Of My Home

If like me you are addicted to property programmes, you'll no doubt be very aware of the words 'kerb appeal'. For those of you who are not an avid watcher of Kirstie & Phil, 'kerb appeal' is the term given to the instant appeal of your home as you look at it from the street. The more kerb appeal your home has, the more desirable it will be (and more value will be assigned to it if you are looking to sell). Even though I'm not looking to sell my property (we brought the 'dream family home' two years ago, and you'll have to drag me out of it) I try and keep the outside of my home looking as good as the inside. I love to return home and think "yes, I live here, and it's bloody lovely". It's also not that much hard work to take it from looking 'OK' to 'charming'

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How To Furnish A Small Living Space

It's my utmost belief that even the smallest space can be impeccably stylish. You do not need to own a mansion to create a glorious living space - which is lucky as apparently the average size of a family home in the UK has shrunk by two square metres over the past 10 years. If you rent, chances are that you are currently renting or have rented a flat in a converted property that was once a whole house? If you own your own place, let me guess that you shed a little tear when you saw the average cost of 'price per square metre' of a home in your area, and you had to purchase a smaller space than you had origionally intended?

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The New Tom Dixon Collection For Autumn/Winter 2017

Last week was the press preview for Tom Dixon's new collection for Autumn/Winter 2017. If you follow me on Instagram stories you'll know I attend a ton of press previews for new interior items - so what makes this one so special? The answer to that is that Tom Dixon is THE pioneer in design for the home. You know whatever he does everyone else will follow. What is seen at this collection will filter down to high street home ware a short while later. When he started doing his Oil Slick range, the following season there were oil slick bowls and vases and plates; and lets not even start on 'copper'. His round copper pendant lights indisputably started the trend for copper in interiors.

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Want to add something special in the design of your kitchen or bathroom re-model? You may want to check out Bisazza

If you have heard of the luxury tile brand Bisazza before, you are probably thinking 'why on earth is she writing about these guys, when her blog is meant to be about budget interiors?' You'd be right to question - the Italian brand, with their Sloane Avenue showroom, are mostly known as the product of choice for the wealthy lining their swimming pools.  However, Bisazza are actually wanting to reach out to a wider audience and say 'you know what, we aren't this scary brand only for the few. We want to everyone to enjoy our products, even if you only want a square metre for a splashback.' I think this is pretty cool, considering most luxury brands would turn their nose up at doing this for the sake of their existing clientele.

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How To Put Up Wallpaper: A Simple & Easy Guide

It was only a short while ago that I was a wallpaper neophyte. Even though I jump into pretty much all DIY with both feet, eager and willing to giving whatever it is a go, with wallpaper it just did not appeal. Mixing the paste, matching the pattern, not covering the light switch - it all seemed so stressful. Yet when I decided that I wanted to wallpaper my bathroom, enough was enough, I needed to bite the bullet and learn how to do it. Turns out it wasn't as bad or as stressful as I had expected after all! Since then I've done a bit more wallpapering and learnt what you have to do and where you can cut corners, so to speak.

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Celebrating #britishflowersweek: How to make hand-tied bouquets and other DIY floral displays for your home

This week is British Flowers Week - but did you know only 10% of flowers sold in Britain are grown here? To highlight this fact, and to celebrate our home-grown flowers and foliage, New Covent Garden Flower Market launched British Flowers Week in 2013 to promote British flowers, their growers and the independent florists working with them. One of those independent florists is Agent F, whose bouquets are a riot of colour and who I first met just before Xmas when I made a festive table centrepiece with them.

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My Guest Room Make Over Ideas + How To Use Inspirational Interiors To Decide On Decor In Your Own Home

The guest room in our house has been somewhat neglected compared to the other rooms. The furniture that has been in there the past couple of years since we moved in was furniture from our old house that I didn't really like anymore. The sofa bed had seen better days and was on its last legs. This room has been on the re-do list for ages, but I was really struggling trying to decide what design would suit the room best.

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Business Spotlight On: Sweetpea & Willow

If you are a regular interior blog reader, you may have come across the name Sweetpea & Willow before. The owner of the furniture and accessories boutique, Jacquie, runs the award-winning Sweetpea & Willow blog 'Willow's Wardrobe,' alongside running the business with her husband Matt. Even though I'd often perused all the beautiful products Sweetpea & Willow sell online, I'd never actually visited their much talked about showroom. When Jacquie invited me down to have a proper look at all their products on display last week, I was so not prepared for what I saw when I visited!

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#UKHomeBlogHop: Styling My Balcony From Basic To Miami Botanical!

Hello and welcome to my post as part of the summer #UKHomeBlogHop! If you are joining me from Season's In Colour's post and have never read this blog before, then let me introduce myself. My name is Melanie and my blog is all about doing interiors on a budget with a bit of creativity and some DIY. For those of you who have come directly to this post just to check it out, then a huge thank you for coming by! If you enjoy this post then please do have a peep at the other blogs in this summer's Hop, all about styling our homes for summer. There are 27 amazing interior bloggers taking part in total, and it all starts here with host and organiser Swoonworthy's summer style.

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Save Money And Add Character In Your Bathroom By Using Vintage Furniture As A Basin Stand

Bathroom design, unless you have a very large budget, can often be uninspiring. It's very easy to fall into the trap of wanting clean lines and muted neutrals, because we tend to want bathrooms as sanitary, bright spaces. Smaller bathrooms can often end up being completely tiled in one plain design; while bathroom fixtures and fittings are often brought matching each other and therefore lead to a dull & flat space. One great and very cheap way to create an interesting and attractive bathroom is to DIY your own basin stand with vintage furniture.

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Design Your Own Real Or Faux Leather Italian Upholstered Chairs With HomePlaneur

A few weeks ago I visited Shoreditch Design Rooms as part of London Craft Week, where I got to see the trade of chair upholstering in full swing. What stuck me about upholstery is just how intricate it is, and how those who upholster chairs are really skilled artisans. Proper upholstery is defiantly not something that you can learn from a You Tube video and do with a glue gun! However, if you want to add your own touch to chairs in your home, like selecting the colour, fabric type (plus even the detail and texture of the fabric), HomePlaneur has the answer.

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Clerkenwell Design Week 2017: My Best Bits Round Up!

This week is Clerkenwell Design Week, a kind of urban festival if you will for lovers of interiors and design in general. The creative part of London that is Clerkenwell is host to CDW, which houses over 200 international brands within 7 exhibition venues, and more than 90 showrooms (generally furniture and design shops within the Clerkenwell grid).

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Why I Love Simple Plug-In Sconce Wall Lights (And What To Do If You Hate The Cable)

Wall lights seem to be a bit of a controversial issue - people either love them or hate them. For some, they are a stylish way to add lighting in a room. For others, wall lights are super-dated, and ceiling lights with floor & table lights for atmospheric lighting are preferred. For me personally, I love wall lights. The space-saving properties of them alone make them a winner in my book. By having a wall light as opposed to a lamp on my bedside table, I have more space for magazines / flowers / half-drunk cups of tea and so forth. I think they also can add a real feature to a wall, the same as an artwork or styled shelf can. A beautiful wall light will create a focal point.

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Celebrating Chelsea Flower Show 2017 with pretty pastel paint colours inspired by flowers

Chelsea Flower Show 2017 begins on the 23rd of May. The annual flower show is always a highlight for me as I find it a huge source of inspiration. I do not visit it every year, but I always absorb myself in the TV coverage to find out what's the new 'it' flower for 2017, and who has designed the best show-garden.

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Get Inspiration For Your Own Home From The Interior Sets At Grand Designs Live

This week I popped along to the Grand Designs Live exhibition at London's GIGANTIC ExCeL Convention Centre (seriously, I got lost in the building, wandering into another exhibition by mistake). Even though it would be amazing to build my own home, I'm quite happy in the already-built home I live in, so it was interiors rather than architecture that I was after at the show.

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From Country Style To Contemporary - How To Transform A Kitchen

We all know that kitchens are the area of the home that can suck away all our hard-earned cash. The units, worktops, fixtures and fittings - all these things often cost a lot of money. I know people who have been put off purchasing a home as the kitchen has not been to their taste or style, and they can't afford to also purchase a sleek, shiny new kitchen on top of the property price.

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Celebrating London Craft Week 2017: Upholstery With Shoreditch Design Rooms

Next week (from May 3rd - 7th, 2017) is London Craft Week. Now in its third year, this annual event is all about celebrating creativity and craftsmanship, with 230 events happening over the space of the week in the city. Last week I attended one of these events, the launch party for Heal's Modern Craft Market, and instantly navigated towards the stand hosted by Shoreditch Design Rooms. Based in East London, Shoreditch Design Rooms are successful upholsterers who offer training classes to the public ranging from leisure classes (where you can work on your own piece of furniture), to accredited courses for a diploma qualification in upholstery.

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Creating Bespoke Interiors On A Budget - Being A Guest Speaker At The Ideal Home Show In London!

Since starting this blog I've been able to do some seriously cool stuff. It has also opened up a number of opportunities for me career-wise that I would NEVER have been given without it. However, the email that dropped in my inbox on one of the last days of February really had me spluttering out my cup of tea. It was from the PR people behind the Ideal Home Show, asking me to give them a call in regards to doing a couple of presentations on the Interior Styling Stage at the event towards the end of March.

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