Styling A Sideboard

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ON THE SIDE

I’ve talked about it so much on this blog but here we are again – it’s my favourite piece of furniture making a reappearance! This time I’m talking about how to style up a sideboard and turn it into more than a piece of storage, and into something beautiful in its own right.

theme

When accessorising and styling something up, whether that’s an outfit or a piece of furniture, it’s always a good plan to pick a theme that pulls it all together. For me, that was metallic accessories in a vintage style, to match the 1960s aesthetic of the sideboard and tie it back into the rest of the room. I’ve chosen gold as the main metallic, with an accent of copper in small doses – I always think mixing metallics looks super luxe.

accessories

Accessorising was key to making sure the sideboard looked like a part of our living room, but it’s key to choose simple accessories that don’t clutter up the space or make surfaces look untidy. I chose a sleek gold lamp that makes a statement without being oversized or fussy. I also switch between vases for different plants; a gorgeous gold vase that looks just as good empty as it does filled with flowers, or the ubiquitous white IKEA metal plant pot for my new fern. And there’s another tip – plants make everything look better!

In terms of practicality, I also like to make sure that there’s items I’ll use, as well as items that just look good. So we decided to have the sideboard function as a bit of a bar cart too! To keep things simple, use a tray to keep all of the items together; I picked up  a gold round tray from H&M and have stacked our key cocktail paraphernalia on it to keep things looking tidy. So we have copper cocktail mugs, a vintage shaker and gold/silver bar tools too – everything you’d need to make a great cocktail but it looks gorgeous too!

artwork

I think the finishing touch to any room is artwork and styling up a piece of furniture like this is no different. I wanted a print framed on the sideboard and after much deliberation, I went for a really simple, pretty typography print in black and white (of course!). I chose this one from Etsy – it looks cute and it cheers me up every time I look at it.

I also wanted some artwork hanging above the sideboard –  it was the biggest, emptiest wall in the house and it really needed something to make a statement while sticking with our key theme of being sleek and simple. In the end, we chose these deep blue prints (to match the feature wall) complete with metallic sun and moon, framed in white so they have big impact against the wall.

So now we have the finished article and I love the way it looks in our living room. It’s easy to change things up t00 – a brightly coloured bouquet or a lush green fern changes the whole aesthetic and I can’t see me getting bored of it at all!

How do you like to style pieces in your home?

Monthly Favourites: August

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MY FAVOURITE THINGS

SKINCARE

I’ve been taking it back to basics this month; with the humidity here in London, plus the dusty commute, the heat and the general grimness of the air down here, my skin can easily look dull and dry without proper attention. I’ve really been getting the use out of my Foreo Luna dupe, the Precision Beauty electronic facial brush. Paired with a gentle cleanser, like this Body Shop Vitamin E one, I love using this facial brush 3 or 4 times a week to gently buff away dead skin cells and leave behind fresh, plump and smooth skin.

BEAUTY

I dyed my hair back to brown this month(!) and I’ve been enjoying experimenting with my makeup to suit my new shade. One of the products I’ve rediscovered is the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette; I didn’t get much use out of this palette when I was blonde but it definitely works for me when my hair is darker. I love the soft rose shades and the richer mauves, perfect for creating a more autumnal look!

NEW PURCHASE

So as I mentioned, I took my hair back to brunette this month. It was kind of an impulse decision; a week before I was loving my pearly blonde hair, and then the continuous difficult upkeep and damaged condition annoyed me one time too many, so I booked a trip to the salon and had it transformed back to brown. I hated it for the first fortnight as it was SO dark, but now it’s washed out and faded loads so it’s a much nicer, softer brown. I still love the blonde and I think I won’t be kept away from it for long, but it was time to give my hair a rest – and brunette is so much easier to manage than bleached!

ITEM OF CLOTHING

I’ve spied a few gorgeous pieces online and in the sales this month, but my favourite is this pink ruffled blouse from ASOS. It’s extreme ruffles! I can’t wait to pair this with black jeans or leather leggings for the autumn, it’s going to be a seasonal favourite I think.

SHOP

It’s too hard to pick one shop this month as the sales have been so good! I’ve gotten some great pieces in ASOS, Topshop and New Look, and I’m fearing for my bank balance post-payday as the new season collections are so gorgeous…!

TV SHOW

I think I’ve probably already mentioned this somewhere, but I’ve been engrossed in Sex and The City this month; all 6 seasons are on Sky (never mind that I’ve had them on DVD for years) and I’m currently into season 5. I’m loving reminiscing with an old favourite show, although it’s only now I’m older that I can see the flaws in the characters so much easier. I mean, Carrie really is a dick, right?

MUSIC

My Spotify Motown playlist has been spicing up my evenings this month!

FOOD & DRINK

Speaking of spicing up my evenings, my favourite dinner this month has been steak and fries, with the addition of a homemade chimichurri sauce. Inspired by a delicious dinner we had at Hawker House a while back, I use this recipe for an amazing zingy update to a classic meal. Plus it’s super quick to make, and much easier than a bearnaise!

TREAT

Quite a treat this month – we’re off to Barcelona! Keep an eye on my Instagram for plenty of snaps and tips, I can’t wait!

A Wedding Guest Outfit with a Twist

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A summer wedding, you say? If you’re expecting prim and proper, pretty shades of pink and peach and lilac, then I’m afraid you’re hitting up the wrong blog, ladies.

When we were invited to a wedding reception in Edinburgh in June, I had a vision in my head for months of wearing a gorgeous, cerise-pink satin dress that’s been hanging in my wardrobe before Christmas, looking like a very bright and shiny Quality Street wrapper. But when it got closer to the time and I realised *everyone* would be wearing shades of pink and purple, I decided to think a bit outside the box and channel the ultimate style icon for a wedding guest outfit with a twist.

My inspiration? Kate Moss at her legendary 30th birthday party, strutting out of a club in a shimmering star-printed black maxi dress, complete with wild, tumbling curls and a Bowie-esque gold star painted over her right eye. My weapon of choice was this gorgeous maxi from ASOS (similar here), with its glittering stars and sweeping sleeves – black might not be everyone’s choice for a wedding but when a dress is this fabulous, it should be!

I felt amazing in this dress! I think we all need something like this in our wardrobe arsenal;  slide up the zip and feel like a superstar, there’s nothing more transformative sometimes. I paired it with my very favourite silver and gold t-bar heels from Topshop (similar here), the most comfortable pair of heels in the world, and with a well-loved (read: slightly battered) pleather laser-cut envelope clutch (similar here). As a finishing touch, I added my new favourite hair accessory, a Grecian gold-leaf headband and piles of dainty gold necklaces and bracelets, for the glamorous-boho look I was envisaging.

I loved this look in its entirety and am already searching for the next occasion when I can recreate it – who says you can’t wear black to a wedding?!

My Most-Used Makeup Brushes

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THE BRUSH OFF

By most beauty blogger standards, I have a fairly small makeup brush collection, but to me that just means I’ve found my favourite selection of tools and have a strict edit that I know I can use everyday for great results. Here’s my favourite few…

I have a new-found love for the Real Techniques Buffing Brush. After a couple of years of using the Expert Face Brush, I toyed with this one and loved the results so much more. The Expert Face Brush is great for dense coverage, but the Buffing Brush gives a light, glowy finish to whatever base product you’re using. I find it so quick to blend out foundation with this brush and it always leaves a soft, natural result.

Also from Real Techniques, I adore the Stippling Brush. I use this to apply cream blush for the most natural flush of colour; it’s so easy to blend product and super quick too. I’d always preferred using my fingers for cream blushes until I used this brush – it gives a result like no other! Their Powder Brush is perfect for dusting on a light layer of translucent powder to set my makeup too.

My ELF Bronzing Brush is one of those that I’d forgotten about for so, so long, until I picked it up for trying out a new powder highlighter with. Cue a soft-focus, shimmering glow, perfectly blended out and diffused. The bristles on this brush are super soft and light, meaning blending is so quick, light and easy, and doesn’t affect the base underneath. It picks up product nicely and makes light work of application. For the price, this is crazily good!

I got the Bellapierre Kabuki Brush in a beauty box last year, and I was super impressed with the quality. It’s a completely cruelty-free brush and the bristles are incredibly soft and gentle. I use this with my highlighter palette, to sweep a light dusting of shimmer all over my face for a subtly glowing effect.  It’s much pricer than my other options here but really worth it if you’re looking for a great all-rounder.

I’ve been super impressed with the brushes that I recently picked up from the H&M Beauty line in their Oxford Circus store. Desperate to try out a new brow wand (my ELF Brow Wand has seen better days!) I picked up the Brow & Lash Brush (styled like Bobbi Brown’s brushes, so lush) and have been so impressed with the quality. I use a brow wand every day, even no makeup days, to tame my brows and attempt to look mildly groomed, and it keeps any applied product looking natural. I also picked up the Large Shading Brush and I am so in love with this – it makes applying eyeshadow a breeze! Super soft bristles, a great domed shape and packed full to make blending out a dream. Total bargain too.

What are your most-used brushes? Are there any I should be trying?

Nip + Fab Bee Sting Skincare

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NIP + FAB FIX CREAM | FIX EYE

Queen bee

It’s been a good few years since Nip + Fab launched their lauded Bee Sting skincare range, and it’s always been something I’ve been keen to try. When I spied both the Bee Sting Fix Cream Deluxe and the Bee Sting Fix Eye in my local TK Maxx (where else?) I knew it was finally time to test these products out for myself, and so far, I’m pretty impressed!

First up, the branding and packaging of the products just draws you in – that vivid yellow and purple combination is stingingly bright but just looks so cool on your dressing table, they stand out a mile amongst the generic whites and peaches of my usual products. I usually find that when something is packaged well, I expect it to perform well – so both products had a lot to live up to.

The main ingredient in both products is bee venom, to help lift and firm up skin. This supposed ‘wonder ingredient’ has quite a buzz about it (pardon the pun!) and I’ve been waiting to see its miraculous effects for myself. Alongside wheat proteins and other acids, the Bee Sting range is designed to act as a ‘second skin shield’, actively protecting skin from environmental damage, filling in lines and plumping skin for a fuller, fresher look.

Both products are designed to be used day and night, but so far, I’ve only really used these as part of my pre-bedtime routine. Mostly because I still have a stash of daytime skincare, but also because I’m worried how long it takes to sink in before applying makeup, and I just don’t have time to spare in the morning.

The Fix Cream Deluxe is a seriously thick, rich cream that feels luxurious and almost heavy on the skin. A little goes a long, long way though and for the first few minutes, you can really feel the product on your face as it takes a little while to settle for me. When it’s absorbed, skin feels really plump and soft, and I can see where the ‘shield’ aspect comes from, as it almost feels like a primer over the surface – it definitely doesn’t sink in completely. I’ve found that very quick and gentle application works best otherwise you get a bit of product ‘balling up’ on the skin but overall, once applied skin looks and feels great, making a smooth and almost a sticky base for makeup – perfect for those of us who like our foundation to last all day!

The Fix Eye cream is another seriously dense and heavy product. I’m used to much thinner, lighter, more liquid eye creams, but there’s really nothing fluid about this. It’s a small tub of almost solid golden cream, that takes a bit of work to soften up pre-application. A really tiny dot is all that’s needed as this is seriously rich, but make sure to warm it up between your fingers before tapping it under and around the eyes – its solid texture means it’s easy to drag the delicate skin around the eye area if you’re not careful. So again, it’s a tale of slightly tricky application – there’s definitely a knack to it – but once applied, my under-eye area looks smooth and hydrated, and any fine dehydration lines are filled in and pretty much invisible. It feels super luxurious to apply this before bed but I’d be worried about applying concealer etc. straight over the top of this in the morning.

All in all, I’d say I’m very impressed with the results of the Bee Sting skincare routine. They are both anti-ageing products, which I’m probably too young for to give an accurate overview of their effects, but what I have seen in terms of filling in lines and plumping up the skin is very impressive. Application is tricky and takes a bit of practice to ensure you’re getting it just right, which can be irritating when you just want to get ready in a hurry, but the soft and smooth results are impressive enough for me to overlook that. If you’re looking for a luxurious skincare routine – and you’ve got some time to spare in the morning – the Bee Sting products might just be for you!

Have you tried any Nip + Fab products?

Interior Inspiration: Sixties Style

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ROCKING CHAIR | TABLE | MIRROR | SOAP DISPENSER |
SIDEBOARD | RUG | ARMCHAIR

If there’s one decade I love more than any, it’s the 1960s. The fashion, the beauty, the music, the style – and this isn’t just limited to our wardrobes. Sixties style, mixed with a chic Scandinavian flavour, is exactly how I want our home to look, and there’s some incredible pieces available just now to help us all achieve that chic retro flavour.

Pared-back tones of white and grey, mixed with darker woods, metallics and pops of colour are the key ingredients to get that vintage look. Furniture-wise, statement chairs are a great way to inject a key hit of style into the room, without compromising on comfort or making huge changes to your existing pieces. I love the Eames-style rocking chair and definitely have my eye on this for our living room, piled with a fluffy rug for a perfect reading nook – or this bright buttery yellow style is perfect for adding a pop of colour, in a great vintage shape.

Choose tables and storage with quirky details, like hairpin legs or splayed legs, like this side table and sideboard. Simple shapes and plain colours are key but you can still buy clever; a sleek sideboard looks fuss-free and streamlined, but you can cram it full of bits and pieces to keep the rest of your room looking tidy and minimal too.

In terms of accessories, I love pops of prints and colour, and splashes of metallics too. A gold round mirror is simple and striking, while a classic polka dot print is updated in the form of dalmation spots – a super cute way to add interest to any room. Throw down a rug to add colour and spark to your living room or hallway too; this bright patterned yellow one looks great and has that vintage vibe with a modern edge.

How would you give your home a 60s style?

 

Monthly Favourites: July

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MY FAVOURITE THINGS

SKINCARE

So this month I have been lucky enough to trial the new PURE Spa skincare collection, and I have been absolutely loving it. The full routine has left me with bright, clear and seriously smooth skin, and I have been thoroughly enjoying having a full spa experience at home. Check out my glowing(!) review here.

MAKEUP

With the weather being as hot and humid as it has been, I’ve had no choice but to keep my makeup look pretty low-key most days. A light layer of CC cream, a dusting of powder and a slick of mascara have been the most I’ve dared to brave the humid Tube with, but I’ve fallen back in love with the L’Oreal Exclusive Pinks lipstick in Blake’s Pink to amp up my every day look. This is a bright, blue-toned rose pink that’s perfect for freshening up your look, plus the formula is super moisturising and stays put. The perfect summer shade!

NEW PURCHASE

So this month was my birthday (25, eek!) and with my birthday money, I decided to get myself a little treat. I had my heart set on a pair of Adidas Stan Smith trainers, and then the day before my birthday, I spied that they had released them in a rose gold shade. Sold! They are just too cool.

ITEM OF CLOTHING

This month, I found the most perfect summer dress, and it has swiftly become my new favourite item! This striped cotton summer dress is such a pretty shade, and the shape is incredibly flattering. Plus, I adore the oversized ruffle collar – so French, so cute!

SHOP

In the same vein, La Redoute has definitely been my favourite shopping discovery this month. I’d written it off as a store for yummy mummies and their offspring, but after seeing a few cool pieces on other blogs, I decided to take a look online, and landed right in the middle of the sale. I found the gorgeous striped summer dress I mentioned, plus a chic gingham shirt and the perfect relaxed Breton top. I adore French style and I think I might have found the best place to source it!

TV SHOW

So I love guilty-pleasure TV, and last week saw the return of a perennial favourite, Don’t Tell The Bride. It’s back on Sky 1 and so far, I am loving it!

MUSIC

I have absolutely rinsed my Spotify Sunday Morning playlist this month; it’s perfect for lazy, hot afternoons and relaxed weekend mornings. I might be biased, but I highly recommend it!

FOOD & DRINK

So my birthday was basically an extravaganza of food and drink from start to finish, so there’s a lot of ground to cover here… From a champagne breakfast, to afternoon tea at Sketch (more on that below), to dinner and drinks at the Hawksmoor and the London Cocktail Club, I definitely had an indulgent day and got to enjoy all of my favourite treats!

TREAT

So yes, my big birthday treat was a surprise afternoon tea at Sketch, somewhere I’ve been longing to go for a couple of years. I, like most of us, was enchanted by the pink and copper glamour of the famed Gallery room and longed to try it out for myself, so it was a fabulous surprise when we arrived on the restaurant’s doorstep on my birthday. We went for the classic afternoon tea in the plush pink velvet surroundings of the Gallery, and it was perfection from start to finish. Delicious sandwiches, sumptuous scones and the most indulgent selection of cakes and desserts, plus an endless supply of tea and the most attentive service I have ever experienced. I enjoyed every second (even my bathroom break – those loos are something else!) and didn’t want to leave; a sure-fire sign of the ultimate treat in my eyes!