Choosing the right type of flooring in your home is really important for both style and usage. As mentioned a couple of days ago, we are working on the lounge right now, and I cannot wait until we can afford to replace the carpet with something more family friendly. Whilst carpets can be cleaned of kids (and pets) messes, and they are cosy too, I do find them annoying when your space is small and you have young kids. For the purpose of it being easier to clean up messes and looking smarter/more stylish, I much prefer some type of flooring down in the rooms that are used a lot – it is way easier to maintain. But, when you’re investing your time and hard earned cash, you want to know that you are making the right choice and that the work is durable and long lasting.

There is a wide variety of flooring available in the market nowadays and what you decide on for your home will mainly depend on the location and purpose of your flooring. For example, if you want to cover the flooring of an office or playroom, it will be quite different from the one you’re going to go for it were in a kitchen. In the same way, flooring for a bathroom, kitchen or a corridor will all be different depending upon its usage and the area being covered, so do some research here. 

Another important factor that will determine the type of flooring is the budget you have set. It so important when putting your mark on a home that your try and stick within your budget. There are professionals that can help you in this department, as well as helping you choose which flooring option is best suited to your home and usage – They have the experience to judge what type of flooring will best suit your needs, and they’ll give you the exact plan that will suit you.

If like us you are looking at changing the flooring in your home (either now or in the the coming months), then you may find the following ideas useful. Here are some of the best flooring options in the market to give you an idea about it all before you head out and make a purchase! 

Laminate flooring:

Laminate flooring is the most popular choice of flooring nowadays. The reason is that it is easy to install and even easier to maintain. The inner layer is composed of melamine resins and fiberboard material and the outer layer is clear and gives the flooring a beautiful finishing. It gives your floor protection and elegance at the same time as being budget friendly. What’s great is that you can choose from a variety of designs, and the professionals will come and install them for you if needed – The work can be done in just the budget that you have planned.

Solid wood flooring:

Many people plan on getting solid wood flooring. Although it is a good option because it is the most genuine of all the flooring options and looks great, it won’t be as convenient as other flooring options because it takes way more time to get installed. Also, the entire installation process is a little difficult creating more fuss for you (not ideal with a busy family). 

Luxury vinyl tile:

Luxury vinyl flooring is probably the best option for commercial flooring as opposed to a home. Because of its durability and performance under high traffic, it is the first choice for commercial flooring. It is easy to install and easy to maintain. It has a protective glossy layer on top, which keeps it looking fresh and new, and does not let it fade away so easily.

Engineered hardwood flooring:

When you want original solid wood flooring level of work, but also want to keep it in your budget limits then this is a great choice. It is cheaper than solid wood flooring but still costs more than other synthetic flooring options.

There are multiple options available in the market for flooring, and choosing the type that best suits your needs does not need to be a difficult job. Set a budget, pin some ideas and then maybe get some professional help (not like that ha) and your flooring dreams will become a reality! 

I can’t wait to get some darker, wood look flooring in our downstairs. We already have it in the porch and I love the vibe and ease of it in our busy home.

*This is a collaborative post 

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A lot of changes occur when you become a parent – From the physical changes within your body, to your almost non-existent social life and depleting bank balance too. Before you know it, dishes are piling up, you can’t move for all of the toys scattered across the floor and up the stairs (just me?) and mount washmore seems to be taking over the house and life! In all of this, and what I can only describe some days as chaos, it can often feel like your house will never look the same again. 

I have a really distinct and bold/funky home style, and there sat day in day out in our neutral lounge, I reached a point where I felt I needed a bit more style to it. Our bedroom is just about done now (post coming soon), and the kitchen too, once I add some prints, but the place where we spend most of our family time just doesn’t have the exciting homely vibe I want from it. As a result, this weekend we cracked out the paint and have begun working on sprucing it up. Whilst we can’t yet afford to fit the much desired wood burner and flooring, painting and a new rug, curtains and accessories mean that it already is feeling a brighter and happier space for us all to enjoy. 

With DIY and home style on my mind right now, here are some simple ideas to keep your home stylish when you have kids trying to undo everything.

Choose a dark colour scheme

When you have a house full of little people, choosing the right colour scheme becomes extremely important! Whether you’re raising a nutty, sticky-fingered toddler, or a careless six-year old (not referring to our kids at all there!), it can be hard to protect your furniture and flooring against the constant mess and spillages they somehow manage to create. I find that no matter how many times we say don’t eat in the lounge, or “take your shoes off” muddy prints and sticky fingers appear in those places.

However one thing I have discovered to help with this is a darker colour scheme  – it can help you to disguise those accidental spills and stains and it is also very on trend and daring (win win)! 

Darker colours such as navy, dark greens or darker patterned wallpapers and dark floral-patterned sofas and chairs, will expertly hide the daily mess kids can create. We recently did this in our kitchen, and I love the navy blue with dark tropical feature wall we went for. It not only brings style and personality to a plain country style kitchen, but it is easy to keep fresh with a young family! 

Invest in clever storage

When raising kids, spills are not the only thing you need to worry about. If you are not careful then clutter also becomes a major obstacle in keeping a home looking stylish, whether this is from all of those toys strewn all over the floor, crafty bits and puzzle pieces everywhere, or just the usual clothing scattered around the house. I find that keeping it tidy can prove extremely difficult if things don’t have a place, and that’s where clever storage comes in useful.

In our old house we had a huge basket hamper in the lounge for all of the toys and it was so useful. Now however they have the Killax storage from Ikea in their rooms with toys themed in various boxes inside. Looking out for stylish decorative storage baskets in thrift shops, homesense or at car boots, are also a great idea to keep toys and books organised, or fold in tights and socks on a shelf.

For the porch or bedrooms then you can also invest in stylish clothes rails and stands from a company such as Cox & Cox , and we find our wooden chest really useful to lob in all the shoes in the porch!

Whatever your home style though, you are sure to find lots of stylish storage options out there which can help keep the home looking neat and whilst bringing a piece of style to the room too.

Pay attention to materials

Fabrics are a quick and easy way to bring style and personality to a home! I currently have a few metres of dalmation looking fabric in my sewing box, awaiting to be made into new cushion covers for the lounge. Its is thrifty and effective and I love how personal it feels to make things for my home!

More recently I dyed the kitchen blind navy and added pink pom-poms. These small and cheap things really bring style to a family home on a budget!

If you are not that crafty, then I would advise that when choosing decorative fabrics and materials, it’s best to stick to things that more resilient and easier to clean than others. Vinyl flooring for example or a leather sofa are especially great choices for the busy family home due to their easy maintenance, affordability and stylish design, and if you can simply wipe away spills, or throw fabrics right in the washing machine, it’s going to help to keep the home looking stylish, clean and lovely with minimal effort.

Rugs are another way to add style and cover up stained carpets or protect wood floors with kids around.

Add some plants

Plants in funky plant pots or baskets, along with succulents, are very stylish right now. You can buy them all over (I just got one on Saturday in Lidl for £1.99) and I have a few in each room (and are on the hunt for more – provided I can keep them alive), but I find that plants are a great way to bring style and joy to any home.

These are just a couple of tips you can follow to keep your family home more stylish and clutter free. The best thing about them is that they require very minimal effort and are thrifty ways to make a huge difference to your life and environment. 

*This is a collaborative post

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This post has been drafted for months and I have never got around to publishing it – sorry! It is a little sneaky peak into our home and a look at what we did with our girls bedroom when we moved in last Summer. I am hoping to show you a few more (as and when we add the finishing touches) but as they are both getting older now, and with Alice soon coming out of a cot and most likely into bunk beds, I wanted to show you (and preserve the memory of) their little girls unicorn bedroom!

A Unicorn Bedroom

The kids rooms were the first to be done, and we got them done quite simply and quickly. Ethan has his own room (which I will post about soon) and the girls share. Megan was adamant when we were moving that their room would be pink and unicorn themed – the rest was up to me! I was sure that it would be simple and classic whilst incorporating the unicorns. I most certainly didn’t want big characters everywhere and we didn’t have time or the energy to faff with wallpaper or anything, and so we painted it all pink (from the olive green it once was), knocked out the fitted wardrobe and built in a make shift one using Ikea units! This way it felt fresher, was a better use of space and was certainly more age appropriate for a 1 year old and then 5 year old!

I decided to put their beds opposite to one another and next to the window. It seemed to use the space well and I also wanted Megan to have a side and Alice to have a side as at times she has been known to whine about sharing a room with “a baby”! Alice’s bedding was the cloud set from Ikea – which I felt went well with the unicorn theme, whilst keeping it classic and baby like for Alice! We then painted an Ikea spice rack above Alice’s cot for her few baby books, and a Kallax unit at the end where we put her toys, nappies/wipes and vests in various baskets!

I bought Megan’s bed spread from Primark for about £12 – I liked it because it had a retro feel to it and the pastel colours toned down the unicorns. Above her Ikea bed (which I bought second hand for £30) we put up 2 white ikea picture rails to display unicorn tat and little bits and bobs. This was her favourite part of the room as it was her special place that Alice was too small to reach and tamper with.

I also made a small “princess dress up” zone between the end of her bed and closet area. It was super simple and easy using a rail from Ikea that cost a couple of pounds and adding a mirror that was from our old room over it.

Since moving in and getting settled, and as they have both grown up a little (and Alice can climb up on things) we have had a little shift around in the girls room recently. We have maintained the unicorn them, but dismantled the hanging area to swap over Megan’s bed to that side of the room. She likes her little nook, and an added unicorn garland (£1 from Hobbycraft)!

The shelves that were over her bed now hold lots of books and Alice’s cot lies at a different angle with us building a hanging space in the corner where her book shelf was!

I expect in the next year or so this room will love very different, as we move Alice from her cot and them both into bunk beds. As they grow and need more space, we will also add in a wardrobe and proper drawers and possibly a small desk too for Megan to do homework at!

Our new home is very slowly coming along, and whilst we are not doing any major renovations to it, it is still hard work to put our stamp on it through style and decor. I am full of good ideas and have a colourful home style, however both Mr Smith and I are not that great at DIY and so it never looks as good as I imagine! For now though I am really pleased with this simple unicorn bedroom for our girls and the rooms we have almost finished that feel rather lovely!

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I am someone that absolutely loves and very much needs my sleep (just ask Mr Smith). In recent years this has been made much harder by 3 things – Kids, a snoring husband and restless nights on a springy tat mattress! Whilst I can’t do much about the first 2, the change of our mattress to a Simba Hybrid, has made a world of difference to how well I sleep!

When we were first married I slept very well – we had at that time a lovely memory foam topped mattress that brought me sheer comfort every night, but when that reached the end of it’s life during Mr Smith’s final year at University, we could only afford to buy a cheapo one from Gumtree (of all places)! Of course there was no shopping around, no testing out, no reading reviews – it was an essential and it was cheap, so it was a done deal! After the first night we knew exactly why it was so cheap and vowed that we would never scrimp again on a mattress!

You can then only imagine how much I leapt for joy when Simba came to the rescue and asked us to review one of their Hybrid King Size mattresses. The Simba Hybrid is like no other – With a unique combination of 2,500 conical pocket springs, responsive memory foam, a “simbatex” layer, a perfectly engineered support base and a temperature control hypoallergenic airflow sleep surface, it is 5 luxurious layers designed to fit you and help you get the quality of sleep you’ve been dreaming of.

Together these 5 layers provide freshness and comfort, cool and gentle support, and it’s engineered support base has 7 different zones to ensure a perfect night’s sleep for all. The Visco memory foam moulds expertly to your body shape and it’s basically like a mattress that is tailor made for you. Whatever position you choose to sleep in, this mattress is engineered to offer optimum comfort and a fab nights sleep like never before!

Its complete luxury (and yet very affordable) and was just what our bed and lives needed!

The Mattress came in what I would consider a small box for a King size mattress!! I stood there in amazement wondering how the heck a King Size mattress had fit in there and why was it even in a box? Little did I know the surprise that Simba had in store for us!

Once you have taken it out of it’s little box, Simba needs time to settle into it’s new home. We removed all of the cellophane, laid it on the bed, and then the magic happens! The Simba Mattress begins to expand and settle – its all rather fascinating really! Within minutes you have an inviting mattress sat looking at you, and beckoning you to jump on. And then, a few hours later it is settled and ready to use, and you begin to see what all the hype is about.

100 night sleep trial and a fab warrenty

I don’t need 100 nights to tell you that this mattress is not just good, but absolutely blooming fantastic!

But if you aren’t sold by the end of this post, then know that Simba not only make a wonderful mattresses, but they offer you 100 nights to to make sure the mattress is just right for you. If then you are not 100% happy with it for any reason during the 100 day sleep trial, they will arrange a free pickup of your mattress and fully refund you the cost of your purchase – no questions asked.

I also love that Simba offer an amazing warranty too which is something else we love about them as a company. Every Simba mattress comes with a 10 year guarantee and if your mattress fails during the 10 year warranty period, they’ll exchange it for a brand new one.

Our Verdict

We have had the mattress now for almost 3 weeks and are sleeping in absolute luxury – It has turned our master bedroom into a haven of happiness!

During these last few weeks one of the biggest things we have noticed is that we barely feel one another turning over or moving around. This is because of the Simba Hybrid’s flexible zoned base and unique patented springs, that respond individually to each sleeper so that your movement doesn’t affect your partner, and as a result we are sleeping incredibly well. One night last week Nath brought Alice into the bed, and again I didn’t even feel or notice her presence as I would normally do, instead I slept right through!

The mattress is medium to firm and I love it. It offers great support for both of our backs, and I definitely have noticed a difference on my hips. They have been achy since having kids and if I walk a lot during the day, I really feel it at night. The Simba Hybrid offers instant support and on busy days especially, I can’t wait to hop (or rather crawl) into my new dreamy bed!

We are both side sleepers and I especially have noticed that once in position, I barely move all night. I sleep well, in a deep long sleep and wake up feeling way less achy and groggy than I did with our old mattress! I found after the first week my body felt better, and now 3 weeks on I have noticed I feel really rejuvenated every day. I wake up feeling rested, even if I have gone to bed late! It certainly proves to give quality sleep to us both!

So in a nutshell – We basically sleep a hundred times better on the Simba Hybrid Mattress than we were doing – even with 3 kids in the mix!

I can’t get enough of my bed now! It is optimum comfort to sleep in, so comfortable to work from (yes I am writing write now from it!) and watch movies in, and I love how you just sink into it and feel instantly happy and at ease! We both love it, and I could quite easily spend my whole day in bed. Some afternoons I have a sneaky lay on it, just because it feels THAT nice!

Sleep (and the quality of it) affects so much of our lives. If I am tired, I am grumpy – I feel sluggish and achy, and generally have a miserable day! I need my sleep and our new Simba Hybrid is ensuring that that is attained on a level I haven’t experienced in years! Having this dream of mattress means I am able to sleep wonderfully and spring out of bed in the morning ready to face whatever the kids are throwing my way! As the young people of today would say – It’s “on point”!

How about £75 off your Simba purchase? 

Simba believe that if everybody was a little more rested, the world would be a very different place. Happier, healthier, more productive and better decisions would be made. They are re-imagining every aspect of the sleep experience one bed at a time and would love to offer all of my readers a hearty £75 of their purchase of a Simba Hybrid Mattress! Simply click the link, and look forward to an amazing nights sleep for less ———-> GIVE ME £75 OFF MY SIMBA

* We are working with Simba in an affiliate partnership and were sent the Simba Hybrid complimentary in return for both a review and social media work. Thank you Simba for such luxury – All pictures are my own! 

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