There is nothing I love more on these icy cold nights, than rushing home with the kids from school, kicking our shoes off and getting snugly together with a Christmas movie. We have a sneaky hot choc or herbal tea (yes before dinner), and all grab a blanket each, before diving on to the sofas, shutting out the world, and reconnecting from our busy day before it all starts again for dinner and bed time!

As I wander around our village to and from school, I have been noticing more and more that lots of people not only have wood burners going (yes please) but also have beautiful shutters on their windows… I never really noticed it in the Summer, but there seems to be something so lovely and cosy about them (especially adorned in twinkly little Christmas lights). Wood burners and shutters – they both seem to be a thing here, and both are things I do not have but which I can only imagine add to a cosy home on cold Winter nights in! With this in mind, and our new love of cosy movie nights after school, I have put together a few essentials I see to having a cosy Winter home. Some of these things I can, and do do now, others will be DIY jobs hopefully done for next Winter.

Creating a cosy Winter Home

Blankets – Before having a family and owning our own home, I always imagined I would love to have a basket filled with throws and snugly blankets for the winter time. I wanted people/us/our kids to be able to come in and get cosy, and feel relaxed whilst we sat around talking, reading or watching films!

Only now has this become a reality, and just last week I pulled out all of our blankets and folded them neatly  chucked them into a basket by the fireplace. It instantly brought a cosy feel and made me immensely happy too.

Candles – I love candles burning at this time of year. It instantly brings a warm glow and lovely scents that scream “cosy room”! I have a love for Winter smelling ones, like cinnamon or gingerbread! A lovely bunch of burning candles on cold nights definitely bring the cosy factor!

Warm Socks/Slippers – These are such a small thing, and probably one we take for granted, but cannot be underestimated either. I love a good pair of chunky sock to snuggle in on cold winter nights (and days too for that matter). I love to see the kids take off their shoes and pop on some cosy socks or slippers. You know you’re home and can just feel all warm and cosy. What a treat for your freezing little toes!

Fire – I love a good fire in the Winter. It is super relaxing and inviting, and feels so homely and cosy! I think a good fire, especially now we live in the countryside, is an essential to creating a cosy Winter home! Whilst it isn’t a project we plan to carry out this year… we most certainly want a wood burner in time for next Winter. I have been pinning a few ideas and can’t wait to live the cosy Winter dream!

Shutters – This is something new on my list of ideas, all thanks to my nosy wanders around the village! But I think they look so beautiful and homely, and are incredibly beneficial too. Not only do they look modern and fresh, but keep the room warmer in the Winter and cooler in Summer!

I would like to get some in the bay window downstairs, and then work up to the bedroom windows. I remember on holiday in Italy that they made the rooms so dark, and it felt nice to shut the world out! I think shutters would be a lovely addition to making a home cosy at Winter, especially when you throw in some twinkling lights too. What a lovely way to shut out the world and create a little place of happiness!

Winter isn’t my favourite of seasons, but it is one I love for all of the cuddles and snuggles, the beautiful scenery, and the opportunity to get cosy! I love making my home Winter ready and relaxing with blankets and little candles by the light of the Christmas tree. I love to gather my little family together and shut out the world, and I look forward to accomplishing more of our DIY goals to make this even more cosy and joyful!

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I am delighted to report that we are finally cracking on with our DIY projects in our new home in a hope to spruce it up before our first Christmas here. I think, as it’s a big project, we might just leave the lounge until the new year, because I want it to be right and not rushed! But at the top of our list was to organise the porch/entrance hall as you will see from the below picture I took, it was complete chaos and on some days it was a bit of a struggle to even open the front door!

It now looks so much better and I couldn’t be happier – this little space makes me so happy and it wasn’t very expensive either, as in true frugal style… most of it was from Gumtree or Ikea.

Thankfully Mr Smith has little opinion on our home style (if it was up to him it would stay the same), and so he’s totally okay with me doing my thing! My home style is rather like me – a little crazy, colourful and the odd piece of bling! I love patterns, I love retro and I love glam (though the latter is nigh impossible when you share a home with wild animals kids). And so I decided that from the first step inside our home I wanted to create a look that let them know they were in our home. I went for a monochrome look with a statement mirror and it came together simply and well! Of course I looked around for a few deals, and am very pleased with the areas where I got a good deal and saved us a few quid…

Our Porch

For so long I have wanted an area to keep shoes and coats. A place to walk in and kick off our shoes before going into the lounge. Our old house was a back to back and we were constantly cleaning mud off everything!!! The coats were hung by the door, but that also meant they too were in the lounge and it just felt messy and all out of sorts. I LOVE that now we have a porch/entrance way … separate to our lounge where we can store wellies and shoes, coats and bags.

I originally wanted a locker room style hooks, and have a really colourful wallpaper, however we realised this would be too faffy and so instead opted for white walls (as its a little dark in there), and then with that I wanted to incorporate the lovely black and white stripe fabric from Ikea, so that kinda created an immediate monochrome look!

I wanted an oval or circular mirror and found this amazing one on Gumtree for £20 which I just love! We bought the storage box on Gumtree also for £25, and then the hooks, shelf and fabric for the cushion are from Ikea! I saved money and made it my own style by making the cushion on top of the storage box. It only took me like 10 – 15 minutes to do and I like the pop of pattern in the room.

The baskets are both from Homesense – The smaller one on the shelf was £9.99, and the bigger one in the corner was £14.99! I had some love2shop vouchers so I guess technically they cost me nothing.

Finally, taking inspiration from my sister in law, I decided to put 3 little hooks down low for the kids which they absolutely love too, and they have been eager all week to actually hang their coats up after school – SCORE! These were from the Yorkshire shop Boyes for £2.60 each.

How to make a Pom Pom Light shade

My most favourite touch to our porch is my lamp shade. Firstly because it is blumming awesome, and secondly because it was a right bargain too! The lamp shade is from Ikea and when I bought it earlier in the year I only paid £2.50 for it (I believe they’re about 3 now!). Then, with inspiration from my mother in law, I bought just over a meter of black pom poms from BOYES which cost £2 and glued them round! I just love it – and it adds a little something funky!

So lets get our craft on and make one. It is really simple and quick if you have everything organised.

You will need:
*Chosen Light shade
*Pom Pom trim
*A glue gun

To start just get the shade you want and then choose your pom poms (colour/size) from a local haberdashery (or ebay have them too). I think a crazy pattern one would look cool with bright pom poms if you were feeling ambitious!

Next using a glue gun, just carefully glue small sections to the bottom outside edge of the shade and stick it round a little at a time, making sure the cord marry’s up with the edge of the light shade so as to be neat and professional!

Once you have gone all the way around cut off any remaining pom pom cord and stick the two edges so as to not look tatty. And hey presto – a beautiful and stylish light shade on a budget!

Having a beautiful home doesn’t have to cost a lot when you adopt a thrifty mentality. You can have lovely things, your own individual style, and create beauty on a budget with a little planning and shopping around! I love our new porch and can’t wait for the next project!

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One of the main things we both agreed on when we were looking to move house last summer was that we wanted to buy somewhere that needed very little doing to it. Neither of us is very good at DIY and we weren’t in a position to take on a project – it would just be too stressful with little kids, and so we decided to play it cool and find somewhere not only with a decent space for our brood, but that would only need cosmetic things to make it feel like us.

We loved this house as soon as we pulled up outside of it on a sunny May day and I knew it was the one! Whilst not completely our style, it was done up nicely and it had the space we needed.

The current occupiers had teenagers, so of course there are the odd things that don’t feel so kid friendly, but now we have been in the house for about a month, and having gotten a feel for its flow and look, there are a few things we have discussed that we want to do to modernise it and make it feel a little more kid friendly too.

Front Door

Starting as you enter the house we have a rather traditional wooden style door. Since being in the house though it’s clear to see the kids can very easily sneak out to get to there friends…. I have no problem with them playing out, it’s a lovely neighbourhood, but I don’t like the idea that they can get out so freely and sneakily!!! I’ve no idea what winter will be like with it, but I can hazard a guess that it could be slightly draughty. SO, with those 2 reasons I think that a Composite door in a beautiful bold colour would not only be more energy efficient and secure with the kids, but also add a touch of style to modernise our home.

Move the boiler / New Fireplace

The boiler works fine, but it is on the older side. Not just that but it is a back boiler, meaning it’s in the fireplace (weird right?!). As soon as I found this out when we were looking round I thought it would be best to move it upstairs and then fit in a more stylish fireplace. I’m not really into the look of the current one and with a baby turn tot its very impractical too. We always wanted a wood burner, but we shall see!

Fitted wardrobe in our room

 Our room has definitely downsized from our previous home, which is fine because I like how cosy it is. We do currently have a fitted wardrobe that we both share at the moment, but I think it would be nice to either put newer doors on it or even better, it would look way more modern to open it out and extend it…thus giving us both way more space for out stuff, and giving our room a nicer look in the process!

New Lights in our room 

Oh my the lights in our room .. now they are pretty ugly! I laugh at them every time I see them, and I am desperate to get an electrician round to take them out and put new more modern looking ones in. I think this will be definitely be one of, or the first job whilst painting and finishing our bedroom!

An Extension 

This one definitely is down the road..and a long way down the road at that. But having chatted to some more neighbours and hearing about theirs it seems like a great idea for family living with older kids in the house (hence down the line). And an opportunity for a utility room too (bonus!). This would be the ultimate modernisation project but something we neither have the funds or time for right now and something that isn’t particularly needed!

These projects are by no means at the top of our list of priorities (other than those ugly lights), especially whilst the kids are on summer break and the days are a little nutty, but they are things that most definitely need doing to update and modernise our home. We want to make it safer and more energy efficient, and generally just bring it up to date through these few small touches. A new composite door, boiler and fittings internally will seemingly be the best way for this, but mostly it will be through paint, wallpaper, curtains and furnishings!

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What a crazy 7 days we’ve had over here! Whilst Nathan and I are still living with various boxes piled around our room and our bed not yet put up (not to mention the several other corners of the house filled with stuff to be sorted), we are (at last) in our new house and it feels so lovely.  Last weekend was nuts! But with lots of hard work and resilience, its feeling a lot like a home and we are certainly at home here in our new village surrounded by beautiful scenery and people.

All of my bargains this week are home stuff (of course), and were all found on Gumtree. They have completely lifted the lounge and I couldn’t be more pleased with each of them and their price tags!

Sofa’s x2

My plan for the new lounge was to have 2 different coloured sofas that were equally colourful and yet very different too. I am a lover of colour and patterns in my life and decor, and felt that in this house, especially in places like the lounge, I wanted this to come out more so in the furnishings with plainer walls (though I might still crack out a wild wallpaper in the lounge!), so I have specifically spent the last couple of weeks looking for my sofa’s that would fit the bill.
My favourite style of sofa is definitely “Chesterfield” – I love the vintage, grand and stylish look and just find them so cool. With limited budget I never expected to even have a secondhand one for a few more years, however much to my delight I found a gorgeous pistachio green one in mint condition for just £180!! Every time I see it I feel soooo happy!! It seats at least 3 and just looks perfection.

In contrast to it is a lovely purple number (again in mint condish) that I found for only £70 – it has the bonus feature of being a sofa bed too which I feel like is a double bargain! My colours for the lounge are going to be based around an awesome parrot cushion I found recently in Next Home. I want it mainly pinks and greens, and so these sofa’s most definitely fit into it rather perfectly.

TV Stand

In our old house we had 2 of the white Ikea 4 square units in the lounge, and the Tv lived on top. It was a lovely fit, but I had already decided that they would move into the girls room for extra storage, leaving me with needing a new TV stand for the lounge.I sourced a lovely white Ikea one (6 months old) on Gumtree last Friday for £25! Absolute bargain and fits in well with my plans. I picked it up on Tuesday evening and it is a great fit in our home.

Tomorrow we are picking up a table & chairs (again Gumtree – haha) and have our bed to make up and a few more walls to paint. I am so happy to be in our new home and life is feeling lovely!

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