For ages people have been telling me that I should visit Burford Garden Company. After a couple of friends told me that it would be right up my street, I put it on my ‘to do’ list. After the fifth person told me that I would love it, I realised that they really must be on to something and finally set aside some time to pay a visit.
Well, I can tell you now, I certainly wasn’t disappointed! The whole store is a feast for the eyes. I couldn’t stop snapping photos at every corner and I just had to share it with you!
Burford Garden Company is a haven for all who are green fingered, but if (like me) you’re not overly handy with the secateurs, I can still absolutely recommend a visit. There is something for everyone here, regardless of whether or not you’re a keen gardener.
Despite the name, the Garden Company also stocks an impressive range of house plants, home decor, food and drink, and another of my true loves, stationery.
As a lover of interior design it can often feel as though all of the best home decor haunts are in London, so as an Oxfordshire resident I was so excited to find out that there was somewhere local to me with so much inspiration and so many beautiful buys packed into one space!
It’s worth a trip to Burford Garden Company for the displays alone. You will stumble upon gorgeous glasshouses, vintage vehicles, and even a yellow submarine, nestled in amongst the beautifully curated collection of plants, both indoor and out.
If you’re a fan of all things rustic or the jungalow aesthetic, you will be in heaven!
As a fan of unusual houseplants I was also over the moon to discover that the range here extends to, amongst many others, the ever elusive (at least in Oxfordshire!) air plants, String of Pearl succulents and Rosary Vines. These are three plants I’ve been in search of for over a year now, but hadn’t yet had the joy of coming across. Needless to say, I was like a kid in a candy shop!
I was wandering around the store for a couple of hours and I know that I didn’t even scratch the surface. I definitely left with my basket a little heavier, my bank account a little lighter, but my smile a lot wider. I know I’ll be back to realise more of my jungalow dreams!
Have you ever paid a visit to Burford Garden Company? Do let me know if there is anything I missed that I should keep an eye out for next time, or if you have any suggestions for other wonderful spots in Oxfordshire where I can satisfy my appetite for plants and decor!
I am delighted to say that I have a guest post up on the Barnardo’s blog, The Thrift.
The post combines three things that are close to my heart; house plants, home decor and, of course, thrifting! It’s all about homing your houseplants creatively and affordably, whilst supporting your local charity shops. You should totally check it out!
I think it’s probably quite clear to you by now that I’m a big fan of DIY! I love putting my own mark on my home decor, and one of my favourite ways to do this is by upcycling furniture.
With a few small changes you can easily breathe new life into pieces you already own or snag a bargain by turning that dusty, unwanted piece at the back of a second shop into something that turns heads. So, if this is something that appeals to you, read on, because today I want to share with you some simple ways that you can spruce up drab furniture and give it a style of your own!
This is such an easy and affordable option and it works for all manner of items!
Depending on the material you’re working with, you will need to pick the right paint. For example, chalk paint can be used for wooden furniture, whereas metals and plastics are best off spray painted.
Before you paint, make sure you sand the furniture down to take off any existing varnish or paint. Next, use a tack cloth to take off dust, ensuring a smooth finish.
Using the same colour scheme for more than one item of furniture is also great way to tie together mismatched pieces and give the illusion of a coordinated set.
If you’re looking to give new life to something wooden and you’re more of a fan of raw wood than painted, then this is an option for you! Although bear in mind that this can’t be used for laminate wood.
Clean off and sand down your piece of furniture and give it a coat with a stain of your choice from your local hardware shop. Simple! For protection and for a more polished look you might also want to finish the piece with a coat of clear wax or varnish afterwards.
For drawers and cupboards it’s amazing what a difference new handles can make. They’re so easy to pick up from your local hardware shop and they really can transform a piece! You can opt for a simple and classic update or you can have some fun and pick something quirky!
From simply re-covering the seat cushion of a dining chair, right the way through to reupholstering an entire sofa, this is another option that can completely change the look of a piece of furniture.
For those of you looking for a thrifty option, why not take a look online for tutorials that show you how to do DIY upholstery with nothing but your chosen fabric and a staple gun. Alternatively, you can take trickier or larger items to a professional to have them recovered. This isn’t necessarily a cheaper option, but it’s great if you want to give an item a personal touch and sometimes it can still work out cheaper than buying an item new.
This is another option for those of you who enjoy a bit of a DIY project! It’s a great way to update pieces that could benefit from a bit of extra height, or that already have legs, but ones that look a bit outdated. Take a look online or at your local hardware shop to see what options are out there.
Personally, I love a good set of hairpin legs. They’re great for adding a mid-century or industrial look to a piece of furniture and they come in a wide range of lengths, from super short right up to dining table height, making them an extremely versatile option. They’re also very affordable and easy to attach with a drill and a few screws.
Sometimes existing pieces of furniture can be transformed with a simple switcheroo. Take a look at an item you’re not sure about and picture it in a different space. Perhaps it would fit better in a different part of the room, or in a different room altogether.
I hope these tips have given you a good starting point for your own upcycling projects. Remember, though, the most important thing is to be creative! Draw inspiration from decor pieces you like and think about ways to incorporate the styles you love!
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not exactly green fingered. I’m new to gardening and I’m still taking my time to learn how to do things right. However, although I may not be entering the Chelsea Flower Show any time soon, I do love spending time outside at every opportune moment, and with the recent heatwave sweeping the UK I decided to try my hand at sprucing up our garden.
In this post I certainly won’t be telling you how to perfect your peonies and grow spectacular sunflowers, but I can give you a few tips on making your outside space a welcoming haven to sip a cup of tea or entertain your guests.
Why have a beautiful garden if you can’t sit and enjoy it? An outdoor dining set is lovely for eating dinner or entertaining friends on a summer’s evening, but even a simple bench or chair placed in your favourite spot provides a perfect place to press the pause button and enjoy the outdoors.
Get that garden clutter out of sight with a bit of storage. Sheds are an obvious place hide away less than pretty garden essentials, but if you’re tight on space then why not go for multi-purpose items, like a wooden chest that can double as a bench?
So, I’ve talked about the functionalities of garden furniture and storage, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t look great too! On the inside my shed is home to an unexciting array of garden tools and scrap DIY materials, but on the outside it looks like a rustic beach house (well, I like to think so).
Hardware shops stock outdoor paint for wood in all kinds of colours to suit your taste, and not only will a coat of paint make a feature of mundane items, it will also help them to last longer. Win win!
I love my outdoor lighting because it enables me to enjoy my garden in the evenings as well as during the day.
A simple, functional outdoor lamp is great for lighting up your space while you re-pot those plants you forgot about earlier in the day, or you could opt for some festoon lights or lanterns to give your garden a whimsical and warm feel while you host a dinner party or do a spot of stargazing.
You can choose from real candles, battery powered candles, and outdoor and solar powered lights depending on what suits you.
I know. I’ve said it, that dreaded word!
Seriously though, don’t underestimate the power of getting rid of those weeds. Make it a regular task to just pop outside every other evening with a nice cold drink and nip those pesky weeds in the bud. It makes all the difference to how your outdoor space looks and it can actually be quite therapeutic. Honestly!
Let me know if this has inspired you to give your garden some love, and get in touch if you’ve got some suggestions for mine!
So, you may or may not be aware that this month is Plastic Free July. Social media feeds are full of people talking about how they’re cutting out plastic to make an important step towards sustainable living and, in turn, preserving the planet’s resources for future generations. It’s amazing how much a seemingly small step can make a difference and this got me thinking about changes I can make in other aspects of my everyday life which can have an impact too. It didn’t take me long to realise that my love of home decor was an obvious place to start. Interior decor trends are ever changing and it can feel impossible to keep up and even more difficult to switch out the old for the new without creating a lot of waste. So, how can we keep our homes on trend whilst also balancing sustainability and the all too elusive affordability?
This is an obvious suggestion, but one that is absolutely worth a mention. There are lots of fabulous brands out there that offer beautiful homewares made from sustainable materials. Many of these brands also ensure that their products are ethically produced too! What’s not to like?
For those of us who enjoy a bit of DIY there are plenty of options for sourcing sustainable materials. One option is to check the labels of products in your local hardware store to see if they offer options from sustainable sources. Another choice is to take a look to see if you have any local recycling centres that you can source materials from. I was very pleasantly surprised at the array of initiatives around that offer anythying from wood and paint to refurbished tools!
I made this industrial shelf from an old scaffold board. The recycling centre cut it to size for me for free and it only cost £5!
Although the initial cost of this option can be somewhat higher, buying wisely and investing in high quality items that you love can save you money in the long run. This one can also be a double whammy for your sustainability goals if you pick an item from a sustainable brand! Of course, fashions come and go and sometimes it feels as though your new purchases are out of date before you’ve even managed to get them through your front door. To ensure maximum longevity, why not try investing in simple and neutral key pieces that you can easily accessorise and update in order to keep your decor fresh. For example, sofas can be updated with new cushions and throws and wooden furniture can be re-painted.
Okay, so we can’t all afford to buy brand new investment pieces and sometimes it’s just not practical to buy for the long term, especially if you move about a lot. Besides, sometimes it is just nice to mix up your furniture! Buying second hand and vintage can be a great way to get the best of both sustainability and affordability. Plus, if you buy wisely you can often be safe in the knowledge that if an item is in good enough condition after having a previous owner, it will probably stand you in good stead too!
If an item is broken, see if you can find a way to fix it. If an item looks out of date, maybe it can be given a new lease of life with a bit of creativity! Blogs, Pinterest and Youtube are excellent sources of tutorials and inspiration and you will soon find out how easily some small changes can absolutely transform something that you thought was an absolute goner!
Sustainability isn’t just about being conscious of where you get your items, it’s also about being conscious of where they go. If you’re finished with an item, might it be of use to someone else? You could give it away to a friend, take it to a charity shop or even sell it and get some funds for your next decor project!
The fashion Police aren’t real! Who is going to mind if you don’t stick religiously to the latest trends? The most important thing about your home is that you love being in it, and if you pick decor items that you love then they will be timeless to you, and that’s all that matters!
If you’re on your own journey to live a more sustainable lifestyle, I hope that you will find these thoughts useful. If you’re not, then I hope that these tips might inspire you to incorporate a bit of sustainable living into your everyday life.
Get in touch if you have any sustainable living tips of your own. I’m always looking for ways to be a bit more caring towards the planet!
I’ve just returned from a wonderful stay by the seaside in Devon, a favourite of the TFD household when we’re in need of some R&R. We go at least once a year and make sure to stay right on the seafront where we sit with endless cups of tea and lots of books (I finished 3 last week, a new personal record!).
I love being by the sea and every time I’m there I can’t help but become more inspired than ever. The last week was no exception and, although I’m pining to be back on the beach with the sand between my toes, I’m also feeling refreshed and my mind is now bursting with ideas! I’m lucky enough to really enjoy my job, but there’s something about clearing your mind of the everyday and getting away from the 9 to 5 that just helps to recharge those creative batteries!
I live nowhere near the sea, so I love to include beach inspired elements in my home decor to remind me to stay inspired. In this post I’m going to show you a couple of my favourite, super easy (and I seriously mean super easy!) seaside inspired crafts, perfect for city homes and coastal dwellings alike.
Cut a circle from some sturdy cardboard and use a glue gun to fix drift wood in place all the way around. Yes, it’s as easy as that!
Thread clear fishing line through pebbles and shells with holes in to create a nautical pendant that you can hang anywhere in your home. I’ve also added some freshwater pearls, buttons and other nautical treasures to give a pop of colour!
Let me know if you gave these DIYs a go, I’d really like to see how they turned out. I would love to hear from you if you have any tips for my next visit to Devon too!
Our house is a new build and, as with many new builds, we were advised not to paint the walls for the first 18 months. This is a rule that we stuck to, but I’ve been longing to give our living room a statement wall for months, so I was hitting up the local DIY shops as soon as we reached the point that we were allowed to paint!
I’m never one to shy away from a bold decor statement, and having had the last year and a half to plan I decided that instead of picking one paint colour, I wanted to pick three. Finally, last weekend, armed with some Frog Tape and a paint roller, I set to work on my long awaited geometric masterpiece, and I’m so pleased with how it turned out that I’m going to share with you how I did it!
Take some time to plan the shapes you would like, where you want your lines to sit and what colour you want each shape to be. I sketched out lots of different designs and picked a favourite before I set to work marking it out on the wall using masking tape.
Ideally you will use a laser level to get the masking tape lines perfectly straight on the wall, but if, like me, you don’t have access to one of these magical tools, I can reassure you that it is still possible to get the lines straight by eye. Just take a step back each time you apply some tape and re-adjust as necessary. Your lines won’t be perfect, but honestly, no-one will notice!
Top tip: Make sure you use a good quality masking tape for this project. My go-to is Frog Tape. You want your lines to be as clean as possible and by using cheaper masking tape you can run the risk of your paint lines bleeding into each other. Not a good look!
You will also want to mask off the areas that you don’t want to paint, like skirting boards, the ceiling, plug sockets, and so on. My wall also had a radiator on, which I chose to take down so that I could paint behind it.
Once you’ve masked off all of the necessary areas and made sure that your floor and furniture are all sufficiently covered by a protective sheet, it’s time to get painting!
Once you have filled in all of your geometric shapes with paint and they are completely dry, you can gently pull off the masking tape. You’re not finished yet though! Obviously, the parts of the wall that were hidden under the masking tape will be unpainted, leaving gaps between each shape. You may want to keep these lines, but for me, it wasn’t the look I was aiming for so I masked up the areas next to these unpainted lines and filled in the gaps.
Once again, you will need to wait for the paint to dry. Then, once you’ve removed the masking tape (again!) you’re done. You have the geometric feature wall of your dreams!
I’m so excited to have tackled my first big painting project in the house. It was a bold move, but I really feel that it’s made the living room a much more cohesive space.
Let me know if you decide to give this a go. I would love to hear how it turns out!
Following the latest season of Revamp Restyle Reveal, I’ve been feeling inspired to tackle the rooms of our house that just haven’t had much love, and our blank walled bathroom was at the top of he list! Over the last year I’ve gathered plenty of knick knacks that I thought would look great in our bathroom and I’ve been longing for a way to display my finds so that I can enjoy them while I have a soak. Never wishing to waste an opportunity to exercise some creativity and to hone my DIY skills, I decided that I wanted to more than just put up some shelves, and after a fair bit of Pinterest browsing I decided that a giant pegboard was the answer to my woes! I loved the idea of being able to switch things up on whim and how this practical storage solution doubles as a quirky, industrial style, decor statement. If you like the sound of this too, you should definitely read on to find out how to make your own!
Materials for this project:
Plywood of the size and thickness of your choice (my boards were 12mm thick)
Dowel (to make the pegs)
Tools for this project:
A Forstner drill bit (the same diameter as your dowel)
A spirit level (for mounting your board to the wall)
Goggles (because nobody wants to get flying bits of plywood in their eyes)
Overall, this was an extremely affordable project. One huge sheet of 12mm thick softwood ply cost me £28 and the hardware shop that I bought it from cut it to size for free. I insisted on taking all of the offcuts home for future DIY projects (so watch this space!). I wanted my boards to be slightly raised off the wall, so I also bought 4 pine batons to use for mounting the boards, along with a metre of dowel to make the pegs. All in, the materials for this project cost me less than £40!
Now, depending on the space that the pegboard is going in, the sizes and measurements will be different for everyone. In case you’re interested though, my pegboards were 100cm x 55cm and the peg holes were all 14mm. With a lot of careful measuring I worked out that I needed a gap of 7.5 cm at the top and the bottom of the board and a gap of 2.5cm on each side in order to space the peg holes 10cm apart. I took my time working out these measurements and marked out exactly where each hole needed to go before going anywhere near a drill. Remember, measure twice (or about twenty times if you’re me!) and drill once. Trust me, patience will save you A LOT of hassle in the long run!
After carefully measuring up, I put my plywood on a raised workbench, making sure that there was nothing underneath that I would accidentally make a hole in. I then donned my goggles and started drilling small 3mm pilot holes right the way through the board into every point that I had marked for the peg holes. This is an important step for reasons that will become apparent later on! Whilst doing this I made sure to keep my drill as upright as possible to ensure that the drill holes were not wonky, otherwise the peg holes would be wonky, and then the pegs would be wonky… and nobody wants wonky pegs.
Next, I swapped my 3mm drill bit for a 14mm Forstner drill bit and, using each pilot hole as a guide, I drilled approximately half way through the thickness of the plywood (again, keeping the drill as upright as possible). Now, why not drill all the way through, you might ask? Well, during my practice runs I quickly realised that if I drilled all the way through in one go, the drill bit would splinter the plywood on the way out. Not pretty!
Top tip: If you’re inexperienced with drills (like me!) use some scrap plywood to practice on. This way you can perfect your technique before making a start on the real thing!
Another top tip: You can actually buy guiding tools that will ensure that your drill holes are as straight as possible. I didn’t know they existed until after I’d completed this project (damn!). My pegboard still turned out great, but if you want yours to be the height of perfection then you might want to consider one of these!
After drilling about half way through on the one side, I then flipped the plywood over to drill the rest of the way through on the other side of each hole, creating a nice clean cut on both sides. Now, this is where the pilot holes really come into their own, because you can see exactly where you drilled through on the other side of your pegboard and you know that you’re going to meet in the middle!
Yay! Now you’ve drilled all of your holes, you have a pegboard! On to the fun of mounting the board on the wall…
Every home is different, so you will have to tailor this step to suit the type of walls that you have. I have plasterboard walls, so for each board I opted to cut 2 pine batons to the same width and, after a lot more careful measuring, I used plasterboard fixings to secure these to the wall exactly where I wanted the top and bottom of each pegboard to go. I then attached the pegboards to the pine batons with screws, using a spirit level to keep the boards straight….Well, I say ‘I’ did this, actually it was ‘we’. Mounting these boards to the wall was definitely a 2 person job and I would recommend getting help from a trusted companion for this task!
When your pegboard is finally mounted on the wall, you can style it and rearrange it to your hearts content! I used some of the offcuts of my plywood to make little shelves and I also found it a great place to hang some plants!
This is by far one of the biggest DIY projects I’ve tried, and it’s also one of my favourites. I hope that it’s inspired you to have a go yourself! I would love to know what you think, so feel free to get in touch!
I love crafting and I’m always looking for creative ways to display the things that I’ve made and pieces of artwork that I’ve found. I’ve recently discovered an incredibly easy way to create beautifully minimalist floating frames out of things that you will probably have already lying round your home, and I wanted to share it with you!
All you will need:
You will only need the glass from the picture frames, so they don’t need to be particularly fancy. I chose to use some basic clip frames, which you can find in a variety of sizes in most homeware shops.
Once you’ve removed the glass from each frame you can slot your chosen artwork in between the two panes and use a bulldog clamp on each side to hold them together (whilst, of course, being careful of any sharp edges and taking care not to break the glass!).
That’s it. That’s all you need to do. I told you it was easy!
The frames that I have made are 13cm x 18cm and I only need to use a couple of small bulldog clips. For bigger frames you can use bigger clips, and you may need to use more than 2.
I love how versatile these frames are. They suit a wide range of decor styles because of how minimalist they look. It’s also so quick and easy to swap out what’s inside and they’re a great way to display all kinds of keepsakes. I’ve filled my frames with polaroids, small paintings, pressed flowers and colourful confetti, but the possibilities are endless!
I would love to see what you use your floating frames for. Get in touch and let me know what you come up with!
I can’t believe it, today we finally have some sun! This seems like the perfect opportunity to show you how to make unicorn ice cream. Or, in other words, to give you an excuse to let your inner child run riot and then eat a frozen, sugary treat!
I used this recipe from BBC Good Food as the basis of my ice cream and added my own creative touches to create the final, magical product!
So, what will you need?
½ a 397g tin of sweetened condensed milk
600 ml double cream
Whichever flavourings you desire. I picked coconut and vanilla and used a teaspoon of each.
Food colouring in your colours of choice. I used very small amounts of red, blue and green to create pastel colours.
Decorations of your choice. I picked Hundreds and Thousands and edible sparkles
A hand mixer
A large mixing bowl
Several smaller bowls, one for each colour you want to mix up
One spoon per bowl, to mix up each colour of ice cream
A freezer safe container large enough to hold the ice cream and deep enough to be able to scoop from. I used a baking tin lined with cling film.
Step 1:Add the double cream to your large mixing bowl.
Step 2:Add the condensed milk to the cream.
Step 3 (optional): If you’re only using one flavouring, add it now! If you’re using more than one, wait until step 6.
Step 4: Use the hand mixer to whisk the mixture until it forms stiff peaks.
Step 5: Separate the mixture into several smaller bowls. One for each colour you are using.
Step 6: If you’re using more than one flavouring, add each one to a separate bowl now. That way, each colour of ice cream will have its own flavour!
Step 7: Dip a cocktail stick into the food colouring and mix it into the ice cream. By using very little food colouring you will give your ice cream very pale pastel colours. Use a little more food colouring if you want yours to be a bit brighter.
Do this individually for each separate bowl of ice cream.
Step 8: Use a spoon to mix the colour into the ice cream more thoroughly.
Step 9: Use a spatula to scoop all of your different colours of ice cream into your freezer safe container and swirl them all together.
Make sure not too mix the ice cream too much, otherwise you will lose the marble effect.
Step 10: Pop it in the freezer until it’s solid!
Step 11: Enjoy!
This ice cream is so creamy and decadent, I know it’s going to be a show stopping must for all of my summer gatherings! I hope you enjoy making this ice cream as much as I do, and I hope you enjoy eating it even more. Drop me a comment to let me know how yours turned out!