0213_valentinestablescape

Your Perfect Valentine’s Day Dinner

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, staying in is the new going out. Restaurants on Valentines night are overbooked and let’s be honest, noisy! I don’t mean to sound like your Gran here, but nothing says romance like good-old-fashioned conversation.

So this weekend, turn your dining room into a date-night haven with my tips. Whether you’re planning a first date, something special or an anti-valentines with the girls, we’ve got you covered!

For The First Date-rs

firstdate

(Photo source: ayi.com)

Whether you’re inviting over that hottie from the office or that hunk/honey you simply swiped left on, the general rule with first dates is to keep that cringe factor low. So if you had heart shaped balloons and giant teddies in mind, give them a miss! Nothing screams ‘I am clingy; LOVE ME and have my babies’ like a fluffy, pink bear. And it’s waay too late to swipe right now…

Gifts

Giving that this date could potentially be the pre-lude to either a love story or a horror novel, I really wouldn’t be going all-out with the gifts. Flowers (NOT roses) or a nice bottle of wine will suffice.

The Table Layout

Simple is the key! Make a classy and sophisticated first impression by choosing neutral tones and timeless patterns. Highlight the center of your table with the chic jacquard table runner in beige. Top with burnished silver candles for a timeless touch with a hint of romance.

Beige

To stick with this classic, neutral theme, opt for the sophisticated two tone place mats.

As for embellishments, keep your serve wear clean and white. Flowers, cut-out hearts and balloons are a HUGE no! But feel free to turn up the romantic heat with a couple of candles.

The Soundtrack

Your ipod in shuffle mode.

Given that you probably don’t know your dates musical preferences, it’s best to play it safe and provide variety. Make sure to include some older tracks in there too, there’s no better conversation starter than childhood tunes!

 

For The Long Term-ers

CoupleinBed_intimacy-660x439

(Photo Source: chatelaine.com)

You and your other half are happily living together and, chances are, you eat dinner together every single night. The trick here is to create a fun and romantic atmosphere to make it special, so get out those flowers, candles and cut-out hearts pronto!

Gifts

Set yourselves a budget before hand if you’re worried he/she will go all out! For men, a bottle of cologne is always a yes! If you’re wanting to treat your lady, why not get here a nice piece of jewellery? Even if you have agreed on no gifts, a single red rose for her is always a must.

The Table Layout

You know each others sense of humor down to a tee, so embrace this with a cheesy, yet suitably romantic, table layout.

0213_valentinestablescape

(Photo Source:pamelacopeman.com )

Get this cute cottagey vibe of this dog-tooth print with the modern squares rectangular tablecloth. Next, print in cupids color with the saree border table runner.

Dot your table runner with elegant tall candles and sprinkle heart shaped confetti to your…erm…hearts content! These heart-shaped place-mats can easily be made with a heart shaped stencil and felt. However, if your are not quite Martha Steward, you could opt for some solid red ones. The floral embroidered place mats have a suitably romantic floral decal.

Most importantly, add a unique touch with a hand-made note to your other half. Even if it looks like something a five year old could have created with their eyes closed, they will still appreciate it!

You could even up the cheese factor by adding photographs of you throughout the years along your table runner. Altogether now: ‘Memoriessss’.

The Soundtrack

50shades

(Photo Source: ebay)

’50 Shades Of Grey’. Although the movie itself may be a red card in your eyes, rest assured that its soundtrack is suitably romantic, with that little edge of spice.

For The Teenage Couple

Property release:, Model release: A D | date created: 2007:01:04
(Photo Source: lmt-lss.com)

It’s Valentine’s day and your parents have finally agreed to go out for the night to leave you and your beau alone. So how do you make your first Valentine’s together one to remember?

Gifts

If you’re shopping for your girl, get her something cute. A little teddy, heart shaped chocolates or a heart-shaped necklace are all sure to make her cheeks blush. As for him, how about a cute photo frame with your favorite shot of you. Also, never underestimate the power of a card!

Table Layout

We appreciate that you don’t have Bill Gate’s budget, so keep your table sweet, simple and thoughtful.

rose

(Photo Source: blog.partydelights.com)

Lay your table with a white tablecloth than cover with paper hearts and a single red rose at her place. Add a few candles and voila! For an extra romantic vibe, add a patterned, red, table runner, such as the damask style table runner.

 

Soundtrack

ed

(Photo Source: xtra-vision.co.uk)

Ed Sheeran- ‘X’. With slow, yet on-trend songs, you can trust on Mr Sheeran to set a sweet and romantic atmosphere!

For A Dinner Date Night With The Girls

ladiesnight

(Photo Source: myultimatehens.com.au)

Being single doesn’t have to equal stuffing cheese puffs alone whilst watching ‘The Notebook.’ Cut the wallowing and get your single girls round for a dinner party!

Gifts

Instead of gifts, why not get every guest to bring a different type of cheese or wine? You can’t beat cheese and wine night!

Table Layout

This anti-valentine’s table layout is suitably girly and cute, whilst being hilariously sarcastic.

antivalentinestable

(Photo Source: styleblazer.com)

To re-create this ‘cutesy’ look, begin by embellishing your table with an oh-so-girly tablecloth. The Hand painted floral table cloth will work a treat. Florals and pastels? Pfft! Who needs men?

Wanting something more pink? Go for the exotic oriental table runner.

This table layout is all about the cute touches, so go crazy with hearts, flower petals and glitter! Finally, juxtapose this lovey-dovey vibe with homemade anti-valentines day signs. Some our favorites include ‘love bites’ and ‘bittersweet.’ Gotta love a good food pun!

Soundtrack

4

(Photosource: wikipedia.com)

Beyonce- ‘4’. Queen Bey is a must for a girls night. Cue drunken screamings of ‘who runs the world? Girls!’ and ‘best thing i never had’.

How will you be spending your Valentines day?

Read More

boa3

10 Chic Ways To Tie A Scarf

If you thought a scarf was simply a matter of ‘throw it around your neck’, I’ll stop you right there! In the world of the stylish, a scarf is not just a fashion accessory, it’s an endless source of self expression. In less waffly terms, there’s a whole lotta ways to tie a scarf that can add style and that little bit of quirk to your look. ‘Erm… so how exactly do I tie it then?’ I hear you ask. Fear not: I have searched far and wide, **cough** google, to find you the ten most stylish ways to tie your scarf!

So grab your fave scarf, pop yourself in front of the mirror and get ready to endure my mug for the next few minutes! It’s time for a scarf tying masterclass!

1. The French Knot

frenchknot1

Fold your scarf in half so that it is one large loop.

frenchknot2

Drape the loop over your neck and pull one loose end over and through the scarf loop.
frenchknot3

Repeat with the other loose end.

frenchknot4

Wearing Tropical floral scarf in berry

2. The Sailor

sailor1

Drape the scarf around your neck, ensuring that one end is significantly longer than the other.

sailor2

Wrap the long scarf length around once.

sailor3

Wrap it around a second time.

sailor4

Tie in a knot at the side. Ahoyyy matey!

Wearing Exotic silk scarf in berry

3. The Back Shawl

shawl1

Drape scarf over shoulders and through the elbows.

shawl2

Secure in a knot for an instant shawl.

Wearing Striped print scarf in red.

4. The Turtleneck

turtleneck1

Drape scarf around neck, ensuring one side has most of the length.

turtleneck2

Wrap around until both ends are short.

turtleneck3

Tuck the excess scarf fabric behind your neck under the bulk of the scarf.

Wearing Floral paisley scarf in Autumn.

5. The Infinity Scarf

infinity1

Begin with your scarf draped around your neck.

infinity2

Make a DIY infinity scarf by tying both ends together.

infinity3

Twist the scarf and place the loop over your head.

infinity4

Wearing Solid color scarf in turquoise.

6. The Bandanna

bandana1

Fold your scarf to create a square.

bandana2

Fold in half diagonally to create a triangle.

bandana3

Tie the two outer edges together and voila!

Wearing Solid color scarf in maroon.

7. The Boa

boa1

Pull scarf around neck from the back and cross around once.

boa2

Take one side of loose scarf length and twist it around the scarf around your neck. Do the same with the other scarf length, twisting around the scarf already around the neck.

boa3

Wearing Abstract floral wool scarf in brown.

8. The Parisian

french1

Throw scarf around neck so that it’s cascading down your back.

french2

Tie in a knot at the nape of your neck.

french3

Wearing Exotic silk scarf in berry

9. The Braid

braid1

Knot your scarf around your neck.

braid2

Take the right hand side over the left and pull through. Repeat on left and right hand sides alternatively until there is no fabric left.

braid3

Wearing Abstract floral wool scarf in brown.

10. The Asymmetric Shawl

wrap1

Throw scarf over one shoulder.

wrap2

Wrap the scarf round your back and under your arm and tie.

Which way was your favorite? Did you manage to master them all? Let me know in the comments below…

 

Read More

Greek-Blue-Color-Trends-2015-590x469

Home Decor Inspiration: Greece

Is it just me or is Winter seeming to last forever this year? Hey Mother Nature: We are so over freezing down to our bones, bring on the rays!

With balmy, Mediterranean breezes and famous sunshine-filled days, Greece is certainly where we would rather be! If flights are out of the question, why not give your house a little Grecian lift?

After all, Greece is famous for it’s decadent marble pillars, bright white hill top homes and classic Mediterranean decor. The Greeks really know their stuff when it comes to interior design, so let’s jump on their brick-filled bandwagon and give our homes some Mediterranean charm!

Santorini

Santorini

(Source: bodtur.com)

Ah… Santorini! This tumbling hill of white stone houses set against the stunning, blue Aegean Sea is the dictionary definition of paradise. If the real deal is a little out of your reach, bring this European paradise into your home with this idyllic blue and white patterned decor. I personally promise that it will give you that Summer feeling!

Greek-Blue-Color-Trends-2015-590x469

(Photo Source: livingimpressive.com)
To transform your living room into this bright and breezy resort, you need to invest in a few key pieces in snorkel blue, one of the biggest color trends for 2016. Color moguls Pantone describe it as ‘happy and energetic’. It seems the Greeks were onto something!

For the chance to relax in your own paradise, begin by transforming your seat cushions by layering them with the ornamental embroidered table cloth in blue. Next, add some Grecian comfort with printed blue and white cushions. We love the print on the damask floral pillow cover: so Mediterranean!

Jacquard floral pillow cover

Damask throw pillow cover

Floral embroidered pillow cover

Finally, inject some more oceanic colors with a sea-toned table. Don’t fret! You don’t have to invest in a new piece of furniture; we don’t all have Bill Gate’s bank account! Simply adorn your table with the hand painted floral table cloth in ocean blue.

With Spring approaching, what better time to inject a sense of Santorini into your outdoor area? Take inspiration from the islands traditional cave houses with an array of greenery and homely cushions.

traditional-cave-house-in-santorini

Dot your outdoor area or porch with potted greenery to create a more believable Mediterranean landscape. Invest in a round wooden coffee table; perfect for hosting brunches! Then add a cosy edge with lime, stone-blue and neutral cushions. These can add comfort to your bench, chairs or even a brick ledge or wall! To copy the true Santorinian color scheme, invest in these cushions:

Solid geometric pillow cover

Yellow

Elegant dahlia pillow cover

Hand brocade pillow cover

All you need to do now is invite the neighbors round (Togas optional)!

Mykonos

4-mykonos-town-aerial-view-726

(Photo Source: mykonosblu.com)

Mykonos is where the young folk go to party! This tourist hot spot is all about the beaches, with sea-front bars pumping out tunes 24/7.  And what comes with such a vibrant nightlife? Top notch restaurants!

DSCF9870

(Photo Source: littlebalilove.com)

Can you get more quintessential Greek than this restaurant? With wall paintings of classic Greek architecture and table layouts that resemble the countries flag, this decor makes you literally smell the halloumi!

If you are looking for an excuse to hold a Greek dinner party, why not take a decor leaf out of this restaurants book? Let’s start by giving our table a Greek makeover! Embellish your table with a plain white table cloth, then lay the hand painted deluxe floral table runner in king blue along the center.

Alternatively, dot your guests places with the two tone embroidered place mats in blue; so Greek!

Athens

g_acropolis

(Photo Source: bbc.co.uk)

When it comes to architecture, you can’t really beat Athens for inspiration. The Acropolis of Athens, with its marble columns and intricate textures, makes us want to turn our home in a neutral, minimal paradise. Luckily, for inspirations sake, this Athens townhouse, designed by Ese Studio, has already done so. Get ready to recreate!

kolonaki-house-interior-design-by-esse

(Photo Source: designmup.blogspot.com)

To give your tables a neutral edge, top them with the shimmering spiral place mats in gold. If you can’t afford brand new marble tables (and who can?) you can try topping your table with marble slabs or even marble coasters. This gives your table an instant air of Grecian luxury.

Top your sofa with some cushions in pale beige and highlight with two statement cushions in a darker shade. We recommend the exotic oriental pillow cover in coffee brown.

Keep your furniture neutral and invest in natural wood tables and storage vessels. This neutral look is one that you will never grow old of!

Are you loving this quintessentially Greek decor as much as we are? Which one is your dream home? Let us know in the comments below…

Read More

lv

5 Updos Using Scarves

There are some days when you just happen to wake up with perfect hair. The other days? Well they were made for updos! To add a quirky and stylish edge to your hairstyle, all you need is a hair scarf! Read on for five fabulous updos using scarves…

1. The Dolce & Gabbana

dolce-and-gabbana-spring-summer-2016-head-scarves-turbans

(Photo Source: shilpaahuja.com)

Dolce and Gabbana’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection was a literal homage to rural Italy, with fruit prints, Tower of Pisa patterns and Colosseum embroidery. Not ones to shy of theatrics, the Italian duo even re-created this quaint Mediterranean town by dotting the runway with fruit stalls and dry walls. What’s missing? The quintessential Italian lady.

She was present, of course, in the models. Dressed in slick and spicy florals and donning over-sized hair scarves, the ladies took us an adventure of lavish Italian vacations and long country strolls. Just looking at this up-lifting collection makes us want to rock an over sized turban every day of the week!

To recreate the look, tie your hair in a high bun and pull out a few strands for an ‘I woke up this way’ look. Next, wrap your silk scarf around your hair and tie in an over-sized bow or knot to the side of the head. This look is so quick and easy that you can kiss goodbye to bad hair days altogether!

You will need:

With a galore of summer hues swirled into an oceanic pattern, the artistic print scarf is a nod to Dolce and Gabbana’s Sicilian influence.

2. The Great Gatsby

gatsby

(Photo Source: whatsupdetroit.com)

Looking at fashion collections since Luhrman’s cinematic masterpiece was released in 2013, the influence of ‘The Great Gatsby’ is obvious. Fringing, drop waists and art deco prints are all in. But what about hair looks?

Carey Mulligan’s character Daisy gives us an example of a chic and easy way to do art deco. If you have short hair, tie your hair scarf about a centimeter behind your crown, then take a section of hair in front of the ear and shape to a sleek point.

gtsby

(Photo Source: hairstyle-blog.com)

For longer hair, tie your hair back into a high ponytail. Next, wrap your hair scarf around your hair about half an inch from the crown, leaving a peep of slicked-back hair on display. Tie your scarf at the nape of the neck and let the length of fabric make a statement.

You will need:

An art deco themed look deserves a serious print and this geometric print scarf does not disappoint!

3. The High and Mighty

20015404_9219

(Photo Source: fashion.allwomenstalk.com)

Voluminous and tumbling high ponytails are officially having a moment. Unlike the hairstyle were wore to elementary school, this look is all about texture. For a ponytail that Ariana Grande would envy, begin by gently teasing hair at the roots. For an extra lift, try spritzing in some dry shampoo and scrunching with your fingers. After you’ve reached volume-ville, tease the hair into a messy high ponytail. For a cheeky juxtaposition, curl the lengths of your ponytail with a wide-barreled curling iron. Finally, tie a printed scarf around the base of your ponytail and allow to cascade down with the lengths of your hair.

You will need:

This cute and flirty look is all about embracing your feminine side. The floral paisley scarf is just that!

4. The Einstein

braid2

(Photo Source: howtohairgirl.com)

Ok… so this look has nothing to do with Albert, but it looks so darn complicated that it needs some sort of hair genius to decode it! Luckily, the hair expert that created this beauty did, in fact, leave a step-by-step guide…

PicMonkey-Collage-1024x1024

(Photo Source: howtohairgirl.com)

Confession: it’s waay more simple then it looks. Firstly, secure your hair scarf around your hair by tying tightly at the roots of a small section of hair. Then French braid your hair as normal, using the scarf as a section of hair. Finally roll the plait up and pin.

You will need:

Black

For an easy braid, we recommend using a longer-length silk scarf, such as the floral paisley silk scarf.

 

5. The Louis Vuitton

lv

(Photo Source: mood.typepad.com)

With more than a Century’s experience in the luxury fashion industry, Louis Vuitton is a symbol of class, elegance and style. This Louis Vuitton hair scarf look seems to have come straight out of some luxury French yacht; and we love it!

If you want to look as effortlessly polished as the LV lady, this updo is the one for you! Tie hair into a very loose and low side ponytail. If you have layers, free a shorter piece of hair and tease with a straightening iron to create a perfect flick.  Curl the lengths of your hair, spray with hairspray and gently separate with fingers. Finally, take your silk scarf and create a feminine bow at the base of your ponytail.

You will need:

Feminine and luxurious, the exotic print silk scarf is perfect to create that Louis Vuitton vibe on a budget.

Which hairstyle is your favorite?

Read More

living-room-with-plants

5 Ways To Bring The Outdoors In

Psychologists state that January is the most depressing month in the year. **Sighs** Dr Cliff Arnell, of Cardiff University, proved this theory to be true through a formula he developed, which took into consideration weather, debt and failed New Years Resolutions.

One thing we can change is how we interpret the dreary weather in our homes. By bringing elements of Spring inside, our moods will be uplifted. So let’s make January positive month, by bringing elements of the outdoors indoors!

Here’s 5 ways to bring the vibrancy of the Spring outdoors into your home…

1. Spring Floral Prints

8-Spring-Changes-in-the-Living-Room-at-thehappyhousie

(Photo Source: twelveoeightblog.com)

One thing that makes Winter so depressing? The lack of color. The Spring countryside is associated with newly blooming flora such as yellow daffodils, colorful tulips and, of course, freshly grown, green leaves.

Bring the Spring woodlands into your home with a vase of colorful faux flowers. I suggest faux flowers, as out of season Spring flowers could cost an arm and a leg. Plus: Fakies are so much lower maintenance!

Echo the blooms of your new bouquet through new additions to your sofa. Opt for Spring-like shades of yellow, green and bright fuchsia for an instant mood uplift. A mixture of floral and cottagey prints will work wonderfully and will create that outdoorsy, cottagey vibe.

Here are our top picks:

Jacquard floral pillow in green

Paisley pillow cover in yellow

Jacquard damask pillow cover

2. Natural Fibers And Materials

natural-kitchens9

(Photo Source: naturalhomes.org)

Ok: So the photo above is obviously from some sort of fairy tale, but the same idea remains: go for natural materials. This is very easy to implement into your kitchen, and no: you don’t need to change your entire work top to do so!

Go for details and focal points made of natural wood; this could include kitchen tools such as chopping boards, or more decorative items such as vases and wooden sculptures.

To give your dining table an au-naturale vibe, opt for bamboo or pine look-a-like place mats, such as the shimmering spiral hand embroidered place mats.

Marble or stone plates will work wonders too! Opt for look-a-likes to avoid any hefty costs.

3. Floral Bedding

floralroom

(Photo Source: Pinterest)

There is something so outdoorsy and uplifting about florals, so why not add more of them to your bedroom? We absolutely adore the floral abode above and it can be yours in a few simple steps!

Begin by switching your bedding set to a more floral design. I recommend the hand painted floral duvet cover set in an eye-catching purple or ocean blue tone.

For a certain air of nonchalance, add a contrasting fleece throw in a fuchsia tone. Psychologically, fuchsia increases feelings of positivity, hope and compassion: Perfect for keeping those January blues at bay!

Next, adorn your bed with a plethora of floral-printed cushions in a pink, blue and purple palette. I recommend the designs below:

Hand painted deluxe accent pillow cover

Purple

Paisley leaf pillow cover

Ornamental embroidered throw pillow cover

Now: time to add some magic! If you are lucky enough to own a four poster bed, decorate the wooden beams with faux pink and purple flowers and green vine leaves. This is sure to make your bedroom look like a stylish love child between a Pinterest board and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’

No four poster bed? No problemo! Simply attach faux vine leaves above your headboard in a neat line. Dot with faux flora for an extra outdoorsy vibe.

flowers
(Photo Source: www.dailysomething.com)

Alternatively, attach strings of faux flowers to a wooden stick, as shown in the inspiration photo above.

4. Greenery

living-room-with-plants

(Photo Source: dreamhomedsgn.blogspot.com)

This one’s a no-brainer! The easiest way to bring the outdoors into your home is inevitably through adding real plants. Plus: they have great health benefits too! If you are looking for an air purifier, go for a ficus alli. Palms are great for adding moisture to that cold, Winter air, as well as giving a warm, beach-y vibe to your home.

And the best thing about plants? They look great in every room in your house! To compliment your kitchen’s new greenery, why not embellish your table with the suitably outdoors-y jacquard floral table runner?

5. Water Features

mediterranean-indoor-fountains

Whether it takes up a corner of your kitchen table or half of your living room floor, a water feature is a sure-fire way to bring outdoor tranquility into your home.

What better way to beat the Winter blues than listening to the soft trickle that brings familiarity of warm, Summer streams?

Worried about potential leakage? A printed table cloth is a beautiful way to protect your floors from any water overflow.

The hand embroidered round tablecloth is a perfect addition to any water feature.

Do you wish your home was more outdoors-y? Which of our tips are you going to try?

Read More