Sprucing up the living room

Question. What is your favourite room in your house? I’m guessing that some people will say the kitchen, which in many houses is a hive of activity. Some of you may say the bedroom – the place where you finally get to relax and sleep off the stresses of the day. But I think most of you may well have said the living room – the true heart of a family home. This is the room where you watch TV together, relax in front of the fire together, and generally spend most family time. Yes, the living room is certainly an important place for most families. And, if we’ve agreed that the living room is the most important room in the house, then maybe we can also agree that the sofa is the most important piece of furniture in that room.

Because, even in the most minimalistic living rooms, a sofa will take pride of place. It is an iconic item of furniture – think of Gogglebox without those settees to lounge on, or The Royle Family without that slightly threadbare sofa they seemed to spend their whole lives sitting on. But, in terms of sofa that is both classic and classy, there can only be one choice – The Chesterfield.

The Chesterfield is the oldest form of sofa, dating back to the 18th century, and supposedly named for Philip Stanhope, the 4th Earl of Chesterfield. With this in mind, it makes sense that many of the designs of Chesterfield that prove popular are distinctly vintage in their look, in deep maroons and brown and tan leather – giving a real feeling of opulence and wealth to them.  These look fabulous if your style is retro elegance, add a few chosen antiques into the mix (and I don’t mean the husband!) and you get a warm and homely look.

John Lewis Hayworth Medium Chesterfield Sofa from £1,700 click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Hayworth Medium Chesterfield Sofa from £1,700 click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Gable Snuggler from £1,500 click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Gable Snuggler from £1,500 click to visit John Lewis

It would be wrong to dismiss the Chesterfield as just an antique style throwback however. Remove the trademark leather buttons and leather finish and you get an utterly modern piece, totally fresh and most definitely 21st Century. You also need to look at the other elements of your living room in order to keep the look modern. A solid wood floor in a lighter shade keeps the look minimal, giving it a more Scandinavian feel rather than an antique look. You can make the look of the flooring much softer by adding a scatter rug in a neutral shade, or one that matches the sofa.

Other accessories that will make the room look fresh and modern include using scatter cushions on the sofa that add to the comfort, adding soft lighting that will give the room a subtle glow, or using candles for both scent and atmosphere.

Make your sofa the centre of your room design, and then build around it in order to create your own personal, cosy space. Opt for classic pieces, and your style will stay in style long after fashion pieces have faded.


Making your bedroom a perfect place

The bedroom is one of the most important rooms in your home. Not only is it the place where you sleep, it is also somewhere to relax and unwind after a long day. By making a few simple changes to your bedroom, you can not only enhance the look of it but also create your own perfect space. A stylish but cozy bedroom is the perfect place to escape to.

One of the most important things to think about when creating the perfect bedroom is your bed. Having the right bed is essential, not just for the look of your room but also for your comfort. Having a comfortable bed will enable you to get a good night’s sleep and will provide the perfect place to relax. You can keep your bed comfortable by taking care of your mattress – use a mattress protector to keep your mattress in good condition and if it begins to feel lumpy or uncomfortable, then consider changing it.

Another aspect of your bedroom that is worth looking at to improve the look of your room is a solid wood floor. Carpets are subjected to wear and tear that can leave them looking sorry even if they are relatively new, whereas a solid wood floor, not only looks attractive, but is hard wearing too. I personally think wooden floors also age well, ageing can add a little character which just adds to the look and personality of the floor, and hence the room.

Thinking about what you plan to use your bedroom for will help you to decide on how to make the most of your space. You can make your bedroom a place just for yourself by adding items such as a desk or a bookshelf. This will enable you to use your bedroom space effectively, as you can create a personal space that it is suitable for activities such as reading, as well as your own personal workspace.

Love this room!

You can also consider adding a TV to your bedroom to create the perfect place to relax and make the room feel more like your own. Adding a few decorative items such as some photos or art will also help to add a more personal touch. Installing some shelves is an ideal way to create extra space in your bedroom, as it will help to keep it organized and keep your floor free of clutter. If your bedroom is small, then space-saving items such as a desk with built-in drawers, or a chest of drawers that can also be used as a place to store your TV are a useful addition.

There are many simple design changes that you can make to your bedroom that can be done on a tight budget. Choosing the right wallpaper and curtains will help you to create your own personal bedroom space. Natural lighting is also essential for a bedroom. You can create extra light by adding affordable wooden shutters to your room. Shutters will help to make your bedroom more suitable for activities such as reading, relaxing, studying or sleeping, as you can easily control the amount of natural light in the room.

By making these simple changes, you can easily transform your bedroom into a perfect space. Exploring different designs will enable you to decide what bedroom themes and layouts work best for you. A comfortable bed and a room that is cozy but functional will enable you to have the perfect bedroom space for your needs.

If I won the Lottery just what would I buy?

I love shopping! There, I’ve said it. I love the feel of getting something new, of finding a bargain, of treating myself, or a loved one, to something that has been admired, but may have been too expensive, and has maybe had to be saved for. But monthly bills and expenses, and also the ever growing expense of having a child who seems to grow out of things at an alarming rate means that my shopping habits have to be frugal and careful. How I wish that money was no object!

I’ve become one of the best bargain hunters around. I love to shop vintage, adore charity shops, and enjoy the sales so much. I love eBAY, and preloved sites where you can sometimes pick up coveted designer items for a fraction of the original price (my most recent purchase was a Furla bag that is just the softest, most gorgeous item.) And I love TK Maxx, where you can find both High Street and designer items at real bargain prices. But all this bargain hunting doesn’t mean I don’t dream of what I would do if one day I won the lottery. A lottery win is the stuff of dreams, but somebody has to win it and for the cost of the ticket it has to be worth a try. Many lotteries offer far more in prize money than the UK National Lottery. What damage I could do in Selfridges with that sort of money. I often daydream, after winning the lottery, what would I buy?


As money is now no object, I would also add a little piece of Victoria Beckham to my dress collection. Victoria’s close are known for being understated and elegant, but this abstract print metallic midi dress is probably as disco as Victoria is ever going to get, and I absolutely love the style and the print, although I’m guessing I would have to let if out a bit…I’m not exactly a VB sample size.

A holiday would be nice too. The place at the top of my wish list is New York. I would love to see a show on Broadway, and, as a massive Sex in the City fan, I would have to follow in Carrie’s footsteps by checking out all the sights from the hit TV show. Where to stay? It would have to be the The St. Regis, a bargain at around £500 per night. Show me the way to the penthouse suite please.

Shoes and Bags

Just like Carrie Bradshaw, I have a real passion for shoes and bags. Winning a fortune would leave me with a shoe collection that would rival Carries, and of course I would have to add some Manolo’s and Jimmy Choo’s to that collection.

New shoes need a new bag, and this season’s lust have BOTTEGA VENETA pouch leather clutch is just so gorgeous it would have to come home with me. The price? Well, put it this way, there’s no change from £1000. Definitely one for the lust list.

What else? A supermarket sweep around Tiffany’s would be nice, as would being let loose in the Foyles book shop on Tottenham Court Road. I also wouldn’t mind buying my favourite football club West Bromwich Albion if money really was no object.

We can all dream, can’t we.

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