Tag Archives: interiors

Designing A Practical And Stylish Family Kitchen

When we built our house two years ago we put so much thought into the design process of each room. We always knew that the kitchen would be the main hub of the house for entertaining family and friends. We put the kitchen central at the back of the house with large bifold doors that go out on to the patio. I wanted it so that in the Summer we could have indoor/outdoor living yet still be nice and cosy in the Winter time. We always host the whole family at Christmas and Easter time so I also wanted a kitchen that I could easily prepare a large meal in.

Our friend Gemma from Vault Design sat with us and showed us lots of different kitchen designs. I was conscious that with building a brand new house I wanted a kitchen that wasn’t super modern. We knew we wanted a grey kitchen and ended up having the cupboards in Farrow and Ball ‘Elephant’s Breath’ and the Island in ‘Mole’s Breath’. Gemma had a fantastic piece of software that could bring our design to life before we ordered it.

A lot of kitchens we looked at had the hobs or sinks on them but I wanted a clear, clean white island that I could serve up the meals on and I didn’t want it to look to busy. I also decided against having stalls and a breakfast bar on one side as we had space in the kitchen for a table anyway. The only thing we added on the island was a EVOline plug tower which is great for a carving knife and I also charge my laptop using this too. It neatly goes back into the island when not in use. I also had a few of the plug sockets changed so they had a USB connection too which made charging a phone easier and kept the actual mains plug bit free for other things like the nutribullet and coffee machine.

With the island we chose three huge draws on one side for cutlery, plates and sandwich boxes and a bin draw which we actually just keep carrier bags in and on the other we have two mirrored back display cupboards and a Fisher and Paykel wine fridge. I also had every draw in the kitchen lined with a protective non slip grey matting to protect the painted woodwork.

We opted for Neff appliances in the kitchen and utility room bar the Fisher and Paykel fridges. I wanted a big fridge freezer that would fit everything in perfectly without having to play fridge jenga after our weekly shop. I also loved the design of the Fisher and Paykel ones.

We made a feature of where the ovens would go with plate warming draws underneath them and made everything completely symmetrical. I love the way they look and have so much cooking space when cooking a large meal for a dinner party or family occasion.

The sink area has the main large sink and a smaller one next to it with the waste disposal in it which we didn’t have in our old house but I now couldn’t live without it! We also opted for a Quooker hot water mixer tap which is amazing and also has a child safety system on it as I was worried about having boiling hot water on tap in a family kitchen. This makes my tea in the morning instant! We also had a little spray gun put in the corner of the sink which makes it easy to clean around both of the sinks.

Behind the sink and hob area we went for a grey glass splash back. On reflection I wish we had put it all the way around the worktop to protect the painted walls. We also opted for an induction hob as well as one gas hob which makes cooking with a wok easier and if there ever is a power cut I can still cook on the gas hob.

I really wanted a pantry cupboard but with taking so much space up making a feature of the ovens we out in a pull out pantry cupboard instead with two shelves to store everything neatly.

I wanted everything in the kitchen to have a place and went for as much storage space as possible so everything looks neat and tidy and not crammed into a cupboard space. I also utilised the corner space by making it into a smaller bowl cupboard. Every flows too with the large draws under the hobs being just for utensils and cooking equipment.

Having the dishwasher by the sink and across from the cutlery and plate draw is great as it makes it a quick and easy job to unload the dishwasher each morning. I didn’t realise before our dishwasher was fitted but I love how it has a light that shines onto the floor that lets you know how long the wash cycle has left.

On the wall in the kitchen we have a TV as the kitchen table is where we eat the most, to be honest the dining room table only gets used on special occasions. The TV itself is on a great bracket so it is flush against the wall during the day but when we want to watch something whilst sitting at the table you can pull it into your chosen position.

Our kitchen table is one we brought about 11 years ago at the Ideal Home Exhibition. When we moved to this house we just brought some new chairs from John Lewis that went better with the colour of the kitchen. Buying the new chairs meant the table wasn’t actually tall enough so I asked the carpenter to build some little blocks and he stained them the same colour as the table which lifted it up and they just look part of the table. Saved buying a whole new table! The boys each have a personalised Stokke Tripp Trapp which they use at the table to save getting any food stains on the chairs. You can use these up to adult and also make a great extra chair at a large dinner party.

Having the large bifold doors is great. They actually open in two halves or the whole thing. Last Summer when we had a get together with our friends it was great to just have them open and it made bringing all the food outside easy and its just perfect for entertaining.

On the walls in the kitchen they are painted in shade ‘Elephant’s Breath’ and I have three lovely art deco tiles around the room that my in laws brought for me over the years on my birthday. We had these at our old house too and I absolutely love them!

The utility room is off of the kitchen with a door to the side of the house that we use during the Winter if the boys want to play in the garden. Again we went with the same colour scheme and plenty of storage idea. I chose a large butler sink as I knew this would be wear the muddy football boots would end up being cleaned. The washing machine and tumble dryer are also in here and a large ironing board cupboard. At the end of the utility room is a boot room area where you can sit and take off your muddy shoes before coming into the house. I also have a weekly organisation board on the wall.

Off of the utility room we also put a coat and shoe cupboard in that has a motion activated light and helps to keep everything stored neatly but in easy reach.

I think we really achieved everything that we both wanted in a kitchen, somewhere social, light and bright, stylish, practical and comfortable. I absolutely love my kitchen!

Blogmas Day 3: Christmas Dining Table Inspiration

I cannot wait for Christmas this year! Oscar is so excited and Archie understands all about Father Christmas this year properly for the first time, so its really magical. This Christmas as usual we have both sides of the family for lunch, there are 12 of us around the table for lunch. Christmas is my favourite time of the year and I love adding personal touches to make it as fabulous and as special as possible for everyone.

I have been searching on Google for Christmas table ideas over the last few months and found so many great ideas. I have decided to stick with my usual Gold colour theme to match our fabulous Pines and Needles Christmas Tree. This is our second year of having our gorgeous tree delivered and dressed and its a show stopper! I’ve picked up lots of little bits from Christmas fairs and garden centres and online as well and thought I would share a few ideas with you. We also went to the Ideal Home Show at Christmas where I brought some new decorations.

For the last few years I have used Gold chargers on the table that I brought from Next. This year I wanted to get some gold place mats instead and again brought them from Next, one side is a shimmered gold and the other is glitter gold. I prefer the shimmer but you could alternate each mat to jazz it up a bit. They come in a pack of four with the coasters for £20.

I also follow a lot of independent sellers on Instagram and Facebook and ordered some lovely personalised wooden Christmas tree place setters from Pretty Personalised who sell lots of personalised gifts.

Last year I had a beautiful centrepiece made by Love Flowers in Rickmansworth and it looked amazing and smelt divine! I think it was about £100 and I will definitely be getting another one this year.

Last year I also found these cute wooden personalised napkin rings and brought thick disposable napkins from Marks and Spencer to put inside them. They have similar ones available from Not On The High Street, a set of 12 is £48.

To go with my Gold theme I also have Gold Cutlery from Viners. The sets come in lovely display boxes and are £135 a set for four people. The only annoying thing is I can’t put them in the dishwasher so have to wash them up by hand.

I hope I have given you a few ideas. I would love to see your Christmas Dining tables and any great ideas you have, so make sure you share them with me!

Oscar’s Marvel Themed Bedroom

When we started building our house last year one thing I was really excited about was making both the boys bedrooms as amazing as possible. I had looked on Pinterest for ideas and brought more home and interiors magazines than I care to admit. I eventually decided on a Marvel themed bedroom for Oscar as he is really into it.

I found online that Dulux sold a Marvel themed bedroom kit with a wallpapered mural and the blue paint to match it. When I went to buy it online I had to really hunt for it as to my horror it had been discontinued so as soon as I found it I brought it and just kept it in our loft until we needed it. We did have to buy extra paint as the paint provided in the box wasn’t enough for a the size of Oscar’s room. The whole kit was £109.


I then saw a Philip’s wall light online of Spider-Man and it looks like he is coming through the wall. As soon as I saw it I knew Oscar would love it and we had to get it. The head and hand come as two separate lights and included is the crack effect sticker which our decorator put up for us. The lights themselves are just battery lights so when Oscar is older and doesn’t want them anymore they are simple to take off and paint over. The were £35 each and they look fantastic, especially at night! They are cheaper now on amazon at only £19.99 each. (Link below).


I then spent some time looking on websites like Etsy for Marvel accessories and found a lady who made wooden letters and paints them in various children’s characters. She made me ‘Oscar’ in different Marvel characters and it cost £50. I also found a wooden Marvel car and peg doll characters which was £40. The picture on the wall above is by Doug Hyde and was given to Oscar on his Christening Day five years ago.

I got Marvel Avenger bedding online as well and that was £25 for a double and a side table night light which again is made by Philip’s off Amazon which was £20.

We didn’t show Oscar his new room until it was all finished and he absolutely loves it! He was jumping up and down, it was very cute! Look out next week for some more boys bedroom inspiration when I will post what we did with Archie’s bedroom.

Aloka SleepyLights Review

A few weeks ago we were asked to pick one of the fun designs in the Aloka Sleepylights multi-coloured LED light range from Potwells. I knew Oscar would love the Robot design and when Oscar came home from school to find his new light set up in his bedroom he absolutely loved it. There are 26 lovely designs to choose from and six of these designs are now stocked at John Lewis and Mothercare.

John Lewis stock these designs:

Mothercare stock these designs:

So what is so great about these new amazingly fun children’s lights…… Firstly Oscar loves having a remote control and lays in bed constantly changing the colours and leaves it on a different colour each night. You can also leave it to rotate through the 12 different colours and the light gives off a soft and calming glow which is perfect for bedtime. Having the control is great for younger children too who can use the control which is great for practising their fine motor skills and learning all the different colours as well. The lights also have a side-lamp feature which leaves your light on a bright white glow which is also great for when you are reading a bedtime story and need a bit more light.

The light also has a dimmer function which is great and you can choose from four varying levels of brightness, it also has a sleep button which will automatically lower the light to create the ideal calm and dreamy environment to fall to sleep in. I also set the timer to turn the night light off after an hour saving the need to enter the room to switch it off as the evenings are lighter at the moment although Oscar sleeps with the remote under his pillow and turns it back on if he wakes in the night.


Oscar’s favourite light setting is the bright blue but my favourite without a doubt is the beautiful rainbow light show! Archie likes watching the light show too I am going to order the Giraffe light for him as it is perfect to have in a nursery.


The Robot Aloka SleepyLight has an RRP of £39.99 and I think is great value. Not only does it look great in Oscar’s bedroom but buying a SleepyLight will last you for years when using it from newborn.

Disclaimer: We were sent the light for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are honest and my own.