Our little master bedroom is finally finished (bar the odd plant maybe) and I am excited to share it with you! Believe it or not, it is the first time in our married life, that we have actually had a bedroom of ours finished. Our first home was rented so it was never an option, and our next home had a long list of “To Do’s” that never got done, and then we threw in the towel sold it. And then we bought this house, and here we are now – all settled in house number 3 and a lovely bedroom that is all done and I couldn’t be happier with this space.

We moved into our village semi last summer and it is vastly different to living in an old back to back in Leeds. I did love our house in Leeds for the sheer size of the rooms and the character it had (not to mention that it was the first house we bought together). But, as we were pretty skint for the years that we lived there, and as it held some sad memories, we never really got off the ground with renovations or even finishing the decorating in places . When we bought this house though, we really liked not only its layout and location, but that it didn’t need really need any major things doing to it all. We were excited to just embrace it as it was and put our style into it! It does have potential to extend or redesign if we choose to like some of our neighbours have, but for now we have what we need and our focus is to decorate the rooms to feel like home for us!

We have 3 bedrooms and all are double rooms, so we are fortunate enough to be able to have good size rooms for the kids too. Our room isn’t hugely any different (size wise) to the Girls room, but we took as the previous owners had it as their bedroom and we liked the already fitted wardrobes. Whilst they could be bigger too, and we have talked about extended them, for now they are totally sufficient for what we need!

When we moved in last year, we decided to go with grey and ochre as our colour scheme, and this was all because I fell in love with this rather cool wallpaper from wilko – it won my heart and basically made the decision for us. Nath was happy with grey and like me does like some colour in there too. I am all about colour accents, and I really love bold patterns and generally stuff I look that makes me think “gosh that’s cool” (wait til I show you downstairs!!) this wallpaper did just that, as did the cool velvet light shades and Ikea cushions on the bed (that all bring out the ochre tones).

Whilst this room is quite bold and a little crazy I suppose for some, I also feel it isn’t too much and has a the right balance to be able to keep our bedroom calm and relaxing too. So, without further ado, let me talk you through it.

Our Grey & Ochre Master Bedroom

I decided to only use the wallpaper as an accent wall, because it is a small space and would probably be too much. The other 3 walls are a light warm grey that we picked out and matched to the pattern. The wall where we wanted the bed, is the side we decided to wallpaper and this was done pretty much the same day we got the keys! It then took us a few months to paint and get curtains and everything else!

I really like how well our bed fits with the colour scheme – we have had this bed since we got married and I love its old fashioned style . I think one day, one without the foot bars and a padded headboard would probably fit the room better, but with our new Simba mattress and some snug bedding I am really happy with it as it is for now.

Above the bed I wanted some art or pics, but wasn’t 100% sure what as the wall is already rather busy! One thing I was keen on though were some letters of our initials! Nathan’s parents, for as long as I can remember have had an initial above their sides of the bed and I have really loved it. I bought some wooden letters to do the same for us from hobbycraft for about £3 each, and then painted them with a tester pot in a darker grey! I am not 100% sure on the picture collage, but I do like the couple shots we have – I am thinking of blowing up some wedding pictures that are black and white and more smoochy to put up in its place.

The cushions on the bed are from Ikea as is the grey shaggy rug at my side of the bed – I really like them both.

We both have a set of drawers that mix nicely with the yellow tones and silver/pewter vibe, which were inherited – as were the 2 mirrors that we hung above them! The big one for my side, came from our old house and it is a home thing I especially love. I really love getting peoples cast offs – especially if they are in my style (as these most certainly are) they are exciting, a treasure, and make a room great without have to spend a lot!

The hardest thing about finishing our room was actually finding light shades that had the look and vibe I wanted! In the end, and after months of getting them and then returning them, I picked up some ochre velvet ones in The Range a couple of weeks ago for £4 each when I went shopping with Nath’s mum and sisters – high 5 to me! I was so so pleased! I did consider glass ones for a long time, but as we have 2 light fittings, a small space and are both tall people, it was a disaster waiting to happen. I am really pleased with my velvet ones though and they bring something special to the room to finish it off!

I am so pleased to finally have our bedroom done – it is cool and calm and a space I love to be in! It is very much my style and Mr Smith loves it too – happy wife…happy life and all that! We love this room to share together and are happy with how it has come together.

 

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Designing the nursery where your child will sleep, play and grow up, is an incredibly exciting part of growing your family. However, planning for your new arrival can also be a daunting thing too – especially for first time parents. Having had 4 pregnancies, and raising a small tribe of kiddies, you would hope that as an old timer I might have some level of knowledge and expertise about everything, from picking colour schemes and furniture, to making sure the room is safe and contains all the essentials you need!!

Whilst I wouldn’t class myself as an expert (or even old timer), I do however have some insights to help with this process and thought it would be good all the same to share some of the tips I have learned along the way. I a hope that the will alleviate any stresses and help new parents or soon to be parents as you design your nursery in anticipation for your new baby. 

Soft and Soothing Colours

When it comes to colour schemes, there are endless possibilities for your baby’s room. You only have to go on pinterest to be faced with countless amazing ideas, that showcase vintage, glam, monochrome, animals and nature, or fairies and rainbows! There are so many possibilities, however, as your baby grows and develops into a little person, I assure you that they will let you know what out of all of the above (if any) they want, and will be keen to decorate in their favourite colours and characters! It is such an enjoyable thing to help them create their own space, but for now though, and with a baby, I would suggest you try to keep colours relatively neutral and soft – after all, as parents, you’re the ones who will be looking at the colour scheme the most and when you’re tired and sleep deprived.

I personally would keep it fairly gender neutral and accessorize with pinks or blues (if that’s your vibe!) or fabrics that will match your personal taste and the theme you want for babies room. You don’t know that maybe down the line the room will  be used for something else or they will share with a sibling, and if it has a neutral base, it will not only create a calm space for baby and you, but it makes it far easier to switch up uses and styles! 

Create a Safe Layout

In addition to choosing a cot and mattress that meets safety regulations, you will also need to think about how the room is laid out. This is probably really obvious but just in case, some ways you can keep baby safe is by making sure their cot/crib is out of reach of radiators, lamps, power cables, wall sockets, curtains and windows.

All of these, as well as too much clutter (or things they can reach and pull into the cot/on top of them) can quickly become a hazard to your sweet baby – especially as they start to crawl and become mobile – trust me!! 

A Comfortable Chair

While there’s loads of stuff you’ll need specifically for your new little baby (create a wish list for your baby shower!), don’t forget a comfortable chair for you too. Whatever way you feed your baby, a chair is so important as you will spend a lot of time in here feeding or just holding and comforting your new addition! As they grow its nice to sit them on your lap and read and with all of that in mind, you will most likely need somewhere comfortable to sit day and night. 

To find the right one for you, just go and try a few out. While an armchair may be right for one new mum, another might prefer a rocking chair – It’s purely a case of personal preference. I would suggest checking Gumtree or Facebook marketplace for both nursery chairs and furniture as in my small experience you can get some really fab preloved deals to help cut the cost of having a baby! My favourite was the katy crib we got for Alice! 

Adaptable and Practical

Creating a practical room for your baby is essential but you also want it to be cute and stylish too. The good news is you can achieve this by thinking about how you can adapt the space. As I say, whilst a neutral colour scheme can be soothing for newborns, they’re also more flexible as your little one grows and their tastes changes. Also, while you could invest in a changing table, a large dresser and a table top changing mat can work just as well too (just make sure you always watch baby on them). 

Storage is also something to think about with practicalities! A nice chest of drawers is ample for a baby and great to keep socks, vests, baby grows and bibs neat. Laundry baskets double up as great toy/soft toy storage, and picture rails (like the ones in Ikea) are really useful to stand books and little trinkets on!

In addition to these tips and ideas, it is also necessary to have the basics covered too. This means plenty of muslins, blankets, waterproof mats, a room thermometer and different lighting (both practical ceiling lights to soothing night lights). One of my must haves for babies is large muslins – they are great for swaddling, cleaning, burping and shielding from lights and sun! 

Art work is another way to personalise a room without overdoing it – quotes, animals or alphabet prints in frames can bring a lovely style to a babies nursery with minimal effort.

Whatever you choose though, I am sure your precious new bundle will be surrounded by joy and love! Don’t stress it, but be assured that by number 4 you are happy to just find a small corner to call theirs!!!

*Collaborative post 

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We have been in our new house now for well over a year and whilst it is a working progress, we are very happy in it and settled. We often say that moving was a really good choice, because we love being in the countryside now as opposed to the bustling city (it is so chilled and pretty)! This cute village semi is our second home that we have bought since being married (our first being a back to back terrace in Leeds) and it wasn’t the easiest decision. Not just because it took us ages to decide on where to live, but because are income isn’t massive and whilst we wanted to move, the additional costs that go into buying your own home can quickly accumulate and we wondered how we might afford to move once we found the house!

With savings and stuff we were fine, but if you’re new to the property buying market, and looking at buying a new home too, then the last thing you’ll want is to be caught out by hidden fees and additional costs on what is sure to already be quite a major expense/purchase. To help avoid this scenario when you’re looking to buy, and to be able to budget and factor in these extra costs, What follows below is a list of a few of the hidden costs you can encounter when buying a house.

Legal Fees

There are certain legal processes involved in the sale of a property that include drawing up contracts, transferring deeds between parties and arranging a sale date. More often than not, this is handled by a solicitor on your behalf, and of course you will be charged for this service. Legal fees are typically £850-£1,500 including VAT at 20% though shop around as many do offers and set price packages too. 

Stamp Duty

If you are purchasing a property worth over £125,000, then you will need to pay a tax known as Stamp Duty (legalities but pretty annoying too!). However, the more expensive your desired property is over this figure, the higher the rate of this tax. You can find the rules and breakdowns of these costs and how much you are likely to need to pay by looking on this UK Government page.

Survey Expenses

Before you buy your property, it’s highly likely you will get a survey carried out by a licensed surveyor. This is to make sure that there aren’t any issues with the building you’re buying and you need one in order to have a mortgage approved. These can vary in price though and ultimately the more thorough the survey, the more expensive it is. The mortgage lender will sometimes stipulate the type of survey they require, however usually a basic one will be sufficient. Even so, this can see a bill of around £400. 

Removal Costs

When it comes to moving in, you may well need to pay a removals company to shift all of your furniture, belongings and general tat. Again, this cost can vary depending on how much you need to move, how far you need to move it and how long this will take. If possible, try cutting the costs and move yourself

Parking Charges

This won’t affect everyone, but not all homes will have free parking and you might have to pay a charge to make use of a parking space, or you may find you need to rent a space in a shared car park. This is likely if you are buying an apartment or home in an area that has designated parking. Again it is something you might want to look into and factor in when buying your home! 

Home Insurance

Having home insurance can protect you against any unexpected circumstances like fire, theft and damage, so it’s definitely something you should invest in. It is likely again that a mortgage won’t be released until you have insurance in place.

Like any insurance policy, the cost of this can depend on your circumstances and how much you need to insure, the size of the property and thype of possession you have. This expense is often less substantial than some of the aforementioned costs and could be handled with a one-off or monthly payment. Use comparison sites to find the best deal! 

I hope this post will be helpful in breaking down the cost of buying a home and help you avoid being caught out by any unexpected additional charges. However, it is important to note that this isn’t a comprehensive list and there can be even more costs involved. As a  final piece of advice  seek external financial support if you’re uncertain, or be sure to get your estate agent or seller to carefully go through all aspects of the sale with you first. If you are taking out loans or finance in order to afford these extra costs, please remember to look at the Terms & Conditions and APR! HAPPY MOVING! 

*This is a collaborative post. 

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The kids rooms, whilst lovely at the moment, also stress me out! I feel I am forever trying to find the balance between practical and looking good/a bit trendy, and also being playful but not too cluttered too!

If you’re looking to give your kid’s bedroom a makeover this season, then it might be useful to be aware of the trends that are big right now, as well as the ones that are timeless. I always love glam, colour and patterns in my interiors, but you may be in need of a little inspiration if like me you have a million ideas but cannot ever settle on just one! As a side note, I do always find that more plain decor and bringing out themes in soft furnishings and accessories for kids, are a way to better switch and change between trends and our kids ever changing interests! 

 The great news is that there’s plenty of inspiration to be found online (especially Pinterest) and in this post I wanted to look at some of the trendiest kids’ bedroom design ideas right now that you might want to consider this season to update their rooms.

Add a velvet touch

OK, so this trend isn’t very practical if you have very young and sticky children, but for an older kids’ bedroom, velvet is definitely something to consider.Just this week I have been eyeing up some lovely velvet curtains in H&M It’s one of the key interior trends this year, adding a more glamorous and elegant touch to your kids’ room.

You could keep it simple and opt for velvet cushions, throws or curtains. But, if you have the time and resources, then live on the edge a bit and go all out and add velvet to the walls!

Another way to bring this classy trend into the room, is by adding a velvet sofa (if you have the space of course) and Homesense have some great kids ones! This is an especially great idea for older kids as they’ll have a more grown up space to relax in with their pals! 

Consider wall panelling?

If you’re looking for an idea that’s both practical as well as super-trendy, consider using wall panelling. This is extremely durable, making it an ideal wall cover for any age and it’s also great for sticking posters onto it. The blu-tac won’t leave unsightly marks behind, so your kids could go nuts decorating with minion, unicorn or their fave star, without the worry of damaging the walls.

Opt for 1950’s glamour

This is by far one of my favourite interior styles (though I do not pull it off very well). It is also one of the more unusual trendy kids room designs featuring heavily this year. 1950’s glamour is great for those who have an older house with a more traditional style décor. Think 1950’s Hollywood style glamour and silhouettes with curved shapes. So, if you wanted to incorporate it into the kids rooms, it could be through a nursery chair with a curved design, or old-fashioned wooden chairs and a table. It is a bit out there for some, but you’d be surprised how many kids actually enjoy this trend.

The nature theme

Another theme that’s remained popular for a few years now is nature and my friend and I were recently discussing this / a camping theme for her sons room. It’s thought that millennial parents may be sparking the trend as they look to escape from the highly technological environment they’ve grown up in.

With a nature theme, it’s basically all about natural materials such as wood and natural textiles too.There are so many lovely nature inspired wall papers or paint colours, meaning it’s one of the easiest themes to go with if you’re looking for something that won’t take too much effort. Start by investing in all-wooden furniture such as wooden cribs, drawers and beds and neutral earthy colours. 

Trendy kids’ bedroom themes are pretty varied, so no matter what your own personal style and preferences are, there’s hopefully an idea above to suit you and your kids.

*Collaborative Post – images taken from Pinterest

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