New Ribbon
Slide 3


Following the wrap-up of Stockholm Fashion Week is the launch of a new collaboration between two Swedish fashion greats, skate/street brand WeSC and design duo Altewai Saome READ MORE...
Slide 1


The Design and Craft Fair, MADE LONDON, returns to One Marylebone 24-26 October to present the very best in contemporary craft and design. Showcasing over 120 READ MORE...
Slide 3


It's called Ripley's Aquarium of Canada (as opposed to Ripley's Aquarium of Toronto which would follow the format for their US locations), which is not helping the general READ MORE...
Slide 3


I'm taking you backstage again! This time at Orlebar Brown's Covent Garden shop where the SS15 collection of tailored beach and resort wear was shown both in in the shop, and to the delight READ MORE...
Slide 3


Each season Showstudio invites their favourite fashion illustrators to create their own unique view of the collections, then they present each series READ MORE...
Slide 1


I opened the cover of a new landscape photography periodical I had just received called Land/Sea and began browsing the photos and words as I walked into my kitchen READ MORE...
Slide 3


Yes, this is a men's fashion post. And it feels right. This season's London Collections: Men was my first ever thanks to an invitation from long-term London Fashion Week sponsor Toni & Guy READ MORE...
Example Frame

June 30, 2014

3 Types Of Custom Furniture that Make the Most of Your Space

Modular-bookcase-for-living-room-furnitureModular storage offers ways to use your space more efficiently without compromise; good design can make it look better than ever

Homes are getting smaller. A survey by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) revealed that the average size of a three-bedroom home in the UK is now just 88 sqm – almost half that of homes built in the 1920s & 30s. So while our new-build homes are nicer, more efficient and designed with modern life in mind, we’ve got to get creative with the space we have.

In the RIBA survey, 65% of owners of fully occupied homes said their available space limited furniture choices and layout. However, this can be used an an opportunity to customise your furniture and make the most of the rooms and create a home you love, rather than feel like you’re settling. This guest post runs through three simple and affordable solutions for the home to help transform it into something with a unique yet fantastically functional, interior design.

1. Self-Adjusting ‘Anti-Wobble’ Tables

There’s a new type of technology which utilises hydraulics and automatic locking. FLAT is a company specialising in adapting this technology to eliminate the scourge of wobble tables on uneven surfaces. Whether it’s on grass, paving or sloping surfaces, it can ensure that the table top is always level.

How It Maximises Your Space:

Anti-wobble tables help you make the most of any areas, inside or outside, which you’ve otherwise considered ‘off limits’ for dining or any table top activities. According to Garden Organic, the average UK garden size in 2006 was 90 sqm – and the RIBA survey found that this has changed negligibly since then. Online store Eclipse Furniture are one of the UK’s leading approved distributors of the product which allow you to dine al-fresco, regardless of home much space you have and what surfaces you can use.

 2. Bespoke ‘Angled’ Sofas & Soft Furnishings

Rather than trying to shoehorn that bookcase into a tiny corner, or having to put your new sofa at a weird angle because of a protruding chimney breast, bespoke furniture, while typically more of an investment than ‘off the shelf’ products, is an excellent way to ensure no space is wasted. What was once awkward might now be your favourite feature in the room. 

How It Maximises Your Space:

A good manufacturer can create a design that works with the awkward angles, etc. that present challenges. TailorMade is a Windsor-based company offering bespoke sofas with personalised service - and they will also source fabrics if you have something particular in mind. It's worth a consultation with a reputable company to find out what options you may have - you might be surprised! 

3. Modular Storage & Furniture

Modular design is an increasingly popular option for furnishings and accessories, typically offering several possible combinations and often a more unique presentation. One such system is Opencase which incorporates wooden wall panels with rods at regular intervals. You can then add any number of included components such as shelves, rods, cupboards, racks, boxes and baskets – to create the storage system that works best for your space.  

How It Maximises Your Space:

Modular designs let you 'chop and change' parts which gives you the flexibility to build and modify the unit as your needs change. Depending on design, they can work well in tight or awkward spaces, and when no longer needed there can be recreated to be useful in other rooms. 

This guest post was written by UK blogger Tom McShane, working with renowned custom furniture suppliers Tailor Made Sofas and Eclipse Furniture. The firms work with domestic and commercial customers to provide unique products for specific properties.

June 27, 2014

My Kitchen Remodel and Extension Decorating: Second Look at Floors

Light-oak-plank-floor-white-roomCan't decide between a warm blond plank and a cool white one? Put one on the floor and the other on the ceiling! Photo source

Ok, it's crunch time. The extension, which opens up from the kitchen and therefore will share flooring, is built and it's beautiful - and it's empty! Well, except for a modular sofa still in boxes to protect it - it wasn't supposed to arrive until the end of July after the floors and painting were completed - and a new Magis table that I had to put out because I just wanted to be able to look at it. 

So we have to get moving on finishing the extension so we can use it. There is one major consideration in choosing the flooring: it has to work with underfloor heating which is how we're going to heat the extension. We know people who chose this way over radiators and are glad they did, so let's hope it's the right decision for us. (As a Canadian who is used to huge basement furnaces and floor vents, the rads bother me because they limit your options for placement of furniture and are a bit of a beast if you're trying to create a minimalist decor.)  There are actually very few types of flooring that are all-out bad ideas for underfloor heating, typically the kinds you're not likely to consider anyway, while the rest offer varying degrees of success. Ceramic, limestone and slate tiles are excellent thermal conductors, while vinyl flooring offers very good transfer of heat, and engineered wood is preferable to solid as heating is dependent on width and thickness, as some examples. 

Medium-plank-floor-white-kitchen-open-conceptThis multi-toned floor is probably as warm as you can get while staying on the lighter side of things. Photo source

So do I want a plank or tile? (The next groundbreaking innovation in home design concepts will be to somehow cast an image in your existing kitchen, like a hologram, so we don't have to rely on our wonderful yet wildly inaccurate imaginations.) I love the look of plank, and sometimes tile appeals depending, and I'm drawn toward continuous flooring which usually means poured resin or concrete. But that just feels bigger than me and my god, concrete in the UK? On the coast where it's damp most of the year? Anyway, I'm pretty sure that anything that needs to be poured will not do well with heating coils unless there's some way around drowning them. I think the clear winner is plank. 

As for colour, I'm pretty much decided on light. And then the question is will it have cold or warm undertones, such as what's known as Nordic or Arctic white which can cast a hint of blue, or a light oak with just a touch of brown. What I know I don't want is that chalky, painted, shabby chic look with no tonal variation; for solid colour I'd rather do tile and not cover up the natural gorgeousness of wood grain. And nothing overly lacquered. The extension is going to be cool, with a light, saturated grey on the walls and blinds in a 'Platinum' shade that is just so pure and clean, especially when compared to other greys I was shown which had beige or pink undertones and were not what I think of grey, more a taupe or mushroom which is really another colour altogether in my book. So a cool floor like a whitewash oak would seem the obvious choice, but is that too much coolness? Can you mix warm and cool? Of course! In fact in this case, because it's a space you live in, you need a balance to keep a room from becoming either too stark or too warm, the latter of which tends to not feel very modern. But of course there are other factors to consider, such as natural light - our extension is almost all windows which will warm it up significantly- as well as the colours of your furniture - we have a light grey modular sofa and white dining table - and how you accessorise the room which can be all it takes to set the balance.

Included here are some images I found which show cool rooms - walls, fixtures, furnitures - with both cool and warm, light coloured floors. They all look so great I'm not sure it helps me decide one way or another! (Hence the title of this post being 'second look at floors', not 'final'. But at least I'm closer than I was last time.) 

Scandi_Style_ MacDonald Wright Architects 05-light-wide-plank-floorThe overall effect of these gorgeous, wide planks is more on the cool side, though they do offer just a hint of warmth that can be played up with medium wood chairs, as seen here. Photo source 

White-nordic-plank-floorThis Nordic floor sets a very cool tone in this mostly white room despite the warmth of the table and chairs. This look is more about contrast and playing up the clean whites. 

The Winners of the Cunard Mediterranean Style Competition are...


A big congratulations to our three winners of the Cunard Meditteranean Style Blogger competition! Myself and Jen at Lovechicliving would like to thank everyone who entered and for the great effort put into your Pinterest boards and blog posts. We had a lot of fun reading your posts and every blogger had a wonderfully distinct view of their chosen Mediterranean destination. 

It was a very tough competition when we got down to the final selections, the quality was so high and we found them very inspiring, creative, engaging and original. Wallflower Girl captivated us with her original Turkish delights post which including the recipe for us to try at home, and her Pinterest board showcased ways upon ways of how you can interpret Turkish style and bring it into our own homes. The detail and comments on her pins really helped us visualise her designs. Poppy Loves transported us to the streets of 1950s Rome on a moped with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, taking us on a wonderful trip that combined both the old and the new, and her Pinterest board was a visual delight that showed us how to have our own Roman Holiday at home. Finally, we loved the mix of cultures Happy Homebird brought together in her Gibraltar-inspired Pinterest board, giving us a good feel of how this unique style would work in at home. 

Thank you to Cunard for providing the amazing prizes which I'm sure our three winners will really enjoy spending on creating their own Mediterranean style!

June 24, 2014

Book Review: Land/Sea Vol. 1


I opened the cover of a new landscape photography periodical I had just received called Land/Sea  and began browsing the photos and words as I walked into my kitchen. Twenty minutes later I realised I had been blithly oblivious, planted in the middle of the room, completely entranced by its pages. I felt like I'd just been on a wonderful trip. 

This stunning piece of escapism is the first volume of Land/Sea, a labour of love conceived by the founders of Triple Kite Publishing, photographers David Breen and Dav Thomas. Through the periodical they seek to showcase the very best of the UK's most innovative landscape photographers. Cleverness with soul. You'll see. 

What I love most about this volume is the range of diverse styles. Each edition will feature five photographers with a distinct view - articulated in accompanying interviews as well - so as you transition from one collection of photos to the next you are presented with a different perspective on landscapes. Some are rather traditional but no less breathtaking as Al Brydon illustrates with his somberly saturated and stunningly contrasted Peak District images on film; while others are like non-representational design - see Joe Wright's photos below - at times only discernable as landscapes through their context. All employ a keen eye, enviable technical skill, and an intriguing subject to tell the photographer's story. Take Valda Baily, whose impressionist style using in-camera techniques and deliberate motion creates stunning compositions out of what is otherwise ordinary:

Theswellelife-land-sea-valda-bailey (1 of 1)Valda Bailey's impressionist style of landscape photography can be irresistibly dream-like

Alas, the traditional representation is not to be discounted; it holds its own against the more experimental techniques and can be just as compelling. Finn Hopson has a way of presenting the familiar with a touch of magic. You'll recognise his landscapes from your drives through the country, but Hopson gives something extra so you stop and take in the scene in a way you may not have otherwise noticed. 

The flowing textures of the fields defined by the green of the grass peeking through the snow in this work are particulary lovely:


Joe-wrightJoe Wright's photos have a bold graphic quality that allows us to view nature in a different way

Rounding out the series is Giles McGarry's striking, high contrast cityscapes of London, focusing on contemporary architectural forms. The bold, angular lines and sleek curves in monochrome provide a refreshing complement to the organic shapes that precede the collection:

Theswellelife-land-sea-giles-mcgarry (1 of 1) (2)

The final word comes in the form of an essay by accomplished landscape photographer Paul Kenny, and it's a fitting conclusion to a wildly inspiring adventure through photographs; he sends you off feeling ready to take on the world with your own camera. 

As for the presentation of the book itself? It impresses. The textures captured within the photographs are beautifully complemented by the tactile quality of the volume. The soft lamination on the cover is followed by semi-transparent introduction pages, something like onion skin, leading into each photo collection flawlessly printed on substantial stock. Score one for print in the battle vs. online. 

It's worth mentioning that I'm a Canadian who has lived in England for eight years, and I've lost count how many times I've heard this: "Canada is a beautiful country - what are you doing here?' My reply is always "Yes it is. But have you seen your country?" I should carry around a copy of Land/Sea to remind them just how lucky they are to live here. 

Land/Sea is published three times annually, and I look forward to getting lost in the next one. 

June 23, 2014

LANVIN | TOM FORD Japanese Horror-inspired Fashion Film

Here's a little horror-inspired fashion viewing for your Monday morning! Directed by Trevor Undi and styled by Takafumi Kawasaki, the film follows model Jun (Image Tokyo) as she haunts her own doppelgänger through the streets, cemeteries and undergrounds of Tokyo Metro wearing bold looks by Lanvin and Tom Ford. It's so cool; this is the first fashion film I've seen that I didn't want to end. (If you're reading this through your email subscription please click on the title of the post to view the film on the blog.)

Produced by & East of Normal for VMagazine NYC.

Undi_Kymera_TokyoL_F 1

Undi_Kymera_TokyoL_F 2

Undi_Kymera_TokyoL_F 3

Undi_Kymera_TokyoL_F 4


June 20, 2014

LC:M: Backstage at Matthew Miller with Toni & Guy

Theswellelife-matthew-miller_8 (1 of 1)-3

Yes, this is a men's fashion post. And it feels right. This season's London Collections: Men was my first ever thanks to an invitation from long-term London Fashion Week sponsor Toni & Guy to go backstage with their session team to cover the looks. My aesthetic preferences in both fashion and home decor have been shifting from the slightly fussy to pared-down and minimalist (the design of the blog is going to be overhauled to reflect this and it can't happen too soon). More gender neutral. Sometimes you need a palate cleanser and men's fashion seems to be the melon sorbet. 

I was able to attend three shows with Toni & Guy, the first being Matthew Miller, a British designer known for his structured tailoring, performance fabrics and engineered digital prints. The mainly navy pinstriped collection was inspired by WWII demobilisation suits which had a look of being taped up, sometimes with printed messages, and up close I caught some frayed edges on the lapel of an all-navy blazer which took the structured tailoring into a more casual territory suited for guys of the models' ages. Flower garlands - like memorial wreaths? - worn around the neck and wrists gave the outfits colour and organic texture. And then there was the hair which finished the look. Some of the models were cropped super short and therefore needed no styling, while others got the full seriously slick military treatment from the Toni & Guy team - headed by Chie Sato - who used their own army of tools and products to create "40's/50's military young boy with a twist".  

Want to create the look? Here how's Toni & Guy did it, using their session kit which included the label.m Diffuser, label.m Pin Tail Comb and label.m Pro-Advanced Straighteners:

1.This look works best for straight hair. Use a mix of label.m Extra Strong Gel and label.m Gel and apply product on comb and move through hair from roots to end.

2.From either the left or right side take a section of hair from the corner of the head to create a side parting. 

3. On the opposite side, depending on hair density, take a horizontal section to create an undercut look. On both sides of head comb hair until completely slicked back and then start drying the sections with a diffuser (and if possible a setting net - you can see one being used below.)

4. When dry, move to top part either combing to the side or forward and dry with a diffuser (again using net if possible). To make hair nice and flat use straighteners from corner to end of the hair to create texture and so that ends are completely straight. To finish, use label.m Hold and Gloss and blast with cold air for maximum shine.

I love the options this technique gives to a style that is short underneath and long on top; you can slick the top down on the side or wear it longer in the front depending how you're feeling that day. 

Theswellelife-matthew-miller_13 (1 of 1)

TheSwelleLife-Matthew-Miller Theswellelife-matthew-miller_12 (1 of 1)

Theswellelife-matthew-miller-13 (1 of 1)

Theswellelife-matthew-miller_15 (1 of 1)

Theswellelife-matthew-miller-11 (1 of 1)

Theswellelife-matthew-miller-40 (1 of 1)

Theswellelife-matthew-miller-12 (1 of 1)

Theswellelife-matthew-miller_5 (1 of 1)

Theswellelife-matthew-miller-15 (1 of 1)

Theswellelife-matthew-miller-41 (1 of 1)

Theswellelife-matthew-miller-16 (1 of 1)

Theswellelife-matthew-miller-36.2 (1 of 1)

Theswellelife-matthew-miller-20 (1 of 1)

Theswellelife-matthew-miller-42 (1 of 1) Theswellelife-matthew-miller-35 (1 of 1)

Theswellelife-matthew-miller-34 (1 of 1)

Theswellelife-matthew-miller-23 (1 of 1) Theswellelife-matthew-miller-38 (1 of 1)

Theswellelife-matthew-miller-14 (1 of 1)-2 Theswellelife-matthew-miller-37 (1 of 1)

Theswellelife-matthew-miller-27 (1 of 1)

Theswellelife-matthew-miller-24 (1 of 1) Theswellelife-matthew-miller-33 (1 of 1)

Theswellelife-matthew-miller_11 (1 of 1)


3 Modern Ways To Beat The Heat At Home This Summer

Summer is well and truly in full swing – even as this guest blog is written, we’re basking in the warm sunshine and enjoying a satisfying and comfortable breeze. It’s set to get even better, too – or at least hotter. The Met Office predicts that summer 2014 has a 25% chance of being the hottest summer on record, and it’s even more likely that we’ll see above average temperatures.

Whatever the outcome, it’s going to be another scorching summer so it’s important to keep cool – both for the benefit of your own health, and to allow you to get the most enjoyment out of the summer sunshine and beautiful weather. This guest post runs through three modern and effective ways to make sure you beat the heat, keep cool and enjoy your summer comfortably.

1. Consider High-Tech Home Automation

Thinking of home automation as expensive, complicated systems reserved for the wealthy and technologically cutting edge homeowners of this world is a thing of the past. If you own a smartphone, tablet or even a standard home PC, we all have ways of controlling small aspects of our home – even if it’s something as simple as turning down your stereo or being able to DVR TV shows from your phone.

The same technology can help you control just how comfortable your home is – whether it’s regulating when and where your home is heated in the winter or setting your air conditioning units or fans to ensure that rooms are kept below a particular ambient temperature. A fledgling project currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, called Embue, allows total remote and smartphone control with individual room sensors to manage heating and cooling with minimal manual control needed.

2. Take A Dip In Your Very Own Pool

Ok, so not many of us have our own pool – but it’s not entirely unheard of, and you don’t need to be a multi-millionaire to boast one in your back garden. Plenty of space and a reasonable investment can give you a decent enough sized pool to relax in during the summer – whether indoors or outdoors. In fact, the Swimming Pool and Allied Trades Association (SPATA) put the typical price of a good quality above-ground pool at between £10,000 and £12,000, which is affordable for most people looking for a top-end home addition.


Industry website puts the typical lowest cost of an extension to be just under £16,000 which makes a swimming pool an achievable addition that’s on a par cost-wise. However, maintenance of a pool is vital – typically colder, wetter and unpredictable British weather will put it out of use for the late autumn and winter period.

Therefore, before you start to don your trunks as the sun starts to peek out at the start of spring, you need to make sure your pool is clean of any grime and impurities, and is also correctly chemically balanced. Opt for specialist retailers like The Swimming Pool Store to ensure you get the right treatment products to make your pool safe.

3. Bask In Satisfying Air Conditioning

You can open all the windows you want and have enough fans to confuse your living room with a wind farm, but nothing beats a genuine quality air conditioning system. It’s definitely a luxury addition, and not as commonplace in homes as it is in places like the USA (particularly in those hot and humid southern states), but its effectiveness can’t be understated enough. Not only can it help you regulate temperature, but also humidity – something which is vital on those hot and muggy summer afternoons.

Like most of these options, they require some investment and they are a long-term solution so be sure you can see yourself in your home for a number of years before taking the plunge on an AC system. The local tradesmen directory Service Magic says it’s difficult to pin down the average cost of an air conditioning system due to varying square footage of homes and sizes of rooms, but it can vary from several hundred pounds through to a few thousand. UK-based firm Cooper Poole offer some units from around £800, and systems from a few thousand pounds – this should give you a good guide to the cost of air conditioning, which is a reasonable investment when compared with other similar home additions and alterations.

This guest post was written by Tom McShane – a British blogger working in association with UK pool suppliers The Swimming Pool Store, and air conditioning specialists Cooper Poole. 

June 11, 2014

Stockholm: The Ferry to Vasa Museum

TheSwelleLife-stockholm-aqua (1 of 1)

One day in Stockholm we took the ferry to the island of Djurgården to visit the Vasa Museum, one of Stockholm's most popular attractions. 'Vasa' refers to the Swedish warship that sank just 1300m into its maiden voyage in 1628 and was recovered nearly 250 years later in 1961, having been preserved by icy waters that were low in salinity. Ordered by the King of Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus, the ship was ostentatiously decorated and when completed was one of the most powerfully armed vessels in the world. All of this just made its journey to the bottom of the sea a few minutes after setting sail even more embarrassing; the ship was dangerously unstable due to an imbalance of weight in the hull - that's basic! - and all it took was a breeze to topple it. It happened in view of a crowd of thousands. But the King was too impatient and his men were too timid to suggest postponing the voyage and so it ended in tragedy. About 30 people died. During an inquest all parties blamed each other and the formal answer given when the court asked why the ship sank was 'only God knows'. (God has thus far declined to get involved.) 

So this is a little tour of what we saw on the way to the Vasa, beginning with the walk down to the ferry port. 

TheSwelleLife-ferry_3 (1 of 1)

TheSwelleLife-ferry_1 (1 of 1)

The sign for the defibrillator elicited a smile: the word in Swedish reads as 'heartstarter'. 

TheSwelleLife-ferry_6 (1 of 1)

Djurgården is an island of fun, with a relatively small amusement park, Gröna Lund, of 30 rides.  

Theswellelife-vasa-amusements (1 of 1)

Theswellelife-vasa-amusements-2 (1 of 1)

It's my assertion that you'd have to be kind of mental to go on the Eclipse, a swing ride that stands at just under 122 metres tall (above, left, and below). Amongst other thrill-givers there's a tilting drop tower that sends you plummeting from 80 metres (above, right).

Theswellelife-vasa-amusements-swings (1 of 1)

TheSwelleLife-ferry_5 (1 of 1)

This is probably more my pace. It looks like a children's ride, and that would be about right. 

Theswellelife-vasa-horse (1 of 1)

TheSwelleLife-vasa-5 (1 of 1)

Colourful shoes are a common sight around Stockholm. I picked up a rather neon shade of yellow trainers myself. 

Theswellelife-vasa-streetcar (1 of 1)

A streetcar station on the island. 

Theswellelife-vasa-tulips (1 of 1)

I couldn't help but think how the breeze that was blowing these tulips over was enough to sink the Vasa. 

TheSwelleLife-vasa-1 (1 of 1)

A garden on the way into the Vasa. 

TheSwelleLife-vasa-4 (1 of 1)

I was intrigued by this blue slatted wall which just seemed so Stockholm. 

TheSwelleLife-vasa-3 (1 of 1)

It's not often you see a cannon getting a hole drilled into it! I'm guessing this is a replica of the bronze cannons that were found on the Vasa. Though it does look old, doesn't it? Maybe it's an original getting cleaned. 

TheSwelleLife-vasa-2 (1 of 1)

The Vasa Museum. And here is the absolutely massive vessel it houses; it takes seven stories to view the ship in its entirety:

Theswellelife-vasa-stern (1 of 1)

Theswellelife-vasa-carvings (1 of 1)


It's so huge that you just can't capture all of it in one shot, and you have to see it in person to get a sense of the scale. 

Theswellelife-vasa-2 (1 of 1)-2

Detail from a scale model of the ship, painted in what are believed to be the original colours. As was the custom with warships at the time, Vasa was decorated with sculptures intended to glorify the authority, wisdom and martial prowess of the monarch and also to taunt and intimidate the enemy. Many of the figures are in Dutch grotesque style, depicting fantastic and frightening creatures, including mermaids, wild men, sea monsters and tritons. (I was relieved to find there was a rationale for the creepy beauty of the figures. They were meant to freak you out.)

Theswellelife-vasa-3 (1 of 1)-2

Theswellelife-vasa-pigments (1 of 1)

During a twelve-year period more than one thousand pigment samples have been collected from the Vasa, with twenty kinds of paint being identified. The pigments are made primarily from plants and minerals, though synthetic paints such as lead-white and red lead have also been used. 

The raising of the Vasa and all of the challenges that came with it make for a fascinating story; you can read more about it at the Vasa Museet site.

Tips for Adding Value to Your Home

Contemporary-kitchen-breakfast-barInvesting in your kitchen design not only makes daily life much more enjoyable, it will increase the value of your home and make it easier to sell 

Housing prices are rising in the UK, and one thing you can do if you're looking to sell is invest in upgrading your home. (I always say do it well before you're serious about selling so you can benefit, too!) It will add value and help your listing become more competitive in the market. There are a few essential rooms in every house that can be redesigned or reworked to make the overall property appear unique and more appealing to potential buyers. Here we look at how ways you can improve specific rooms to enhance the value of your home:

  • Kitchen: The kitchen is one of the most utilised rooms in the house. It's the heart of the home and tends to be a magnet for guests at parties. Upgrading this room alone can add significant value to your property; recent research reveals that a kitchen renovation can add 4-7% to the value of a home. Buyers tend to be attracted to kitchens that have adequate cabinet and counter space, a well-functioning layout for appliances, and lots of natural light to make the room feel airy and spacious. Granite countertops are popular as they add high-end style to the overall look. Breakfast bars are also a sought-after feature in the kitchen, and if you think you don't have the space, you'd be surprised to find how easily even tiny kitchens can accommodate one with a little clever design. 
  • Bathroom: Ideally, your home will have a sufficient number of bathrooms/half-baths. If not, look into whether the space can accommodate one more ie. under the stairs. A new, well-fitted bathroom with impressive features such as a soaker tub, wet room, contempoary sink/vanity and storage for towels and toiletries will help make your home a standout amongst potential buyers. A touch of luxury can be added via extras such as heated flooring systems, steam showers, electric showers and whirlpool tubs. If you’re focussed on quality, you will find some of the best electric showers by Mira. Incorporating recessed ceiling lights, illuminated mirrors and wood shelving are great ways to complete the look and make an impression. 
  • Conservatory: A sunny extension in the form of a conservatory or orangery that overlooks the garden is another great way to add value to your property. It is one of the most attractive features for luring potential buyers as it increases the square footage of your home and connects the space between your indoor space and the outdoors. Recessed ceiling lights, built-in speakers and hidden HDMI cables for wall-mounted TVs (these are all features we have in ours) are inexpensive or even free upgrades that will make the room even more desirable.

It's also essential to style your home so the rooms appear as spacious and clean as possible to potential buyers. Get rid of any clutter, anything superfluous and knick-knacky, and do your best to present a neutral palette. Clashing patterns and dark colours tend to really bring the feel of a space down and it's always better to err on the side of dull rather than present as 'busy'!

June 07, 2014

Miss Kiki Salon Channels Asia with 'Inui'


Miss Kiki Salon is a collective that creates wearable art inspired by the beauty the find in their every day lives. Their latest designs form the Inui capsule collection of three summer dresses that elegantly reflect the patterns, colours, textures and imagery of Asia and the Orient. Each is made to order in softest cotton voile crafted to a fluid, unstructured shape using draping, folding and wrapping techniques that were inspired by their recent trip to Japan. 

What I love about Miss Kiki Salon is their oblivousness to trends. The designs are timeless, the fabrics naturally luxurious and always vibrant. Happy clothes with sophistication. 


The Son Dress. The unique textile design is inspired by the hot desert landscape and intricate patterns of Rajasthan. 

Miss-Kiki-Salon_Tai-DressThe Tai dress.


The Shin Dress is inspired by the florals and brightness of springtime Kyoto. 


Photos from



Cupcake Monday!

Interiors & Exteriors

Floral Friday

London Fashion Week

Fashion Illustrator Series

Artist Series

Paris & Cities

Painted Houses Project

Colour Colour 



  • Creative Commons License
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...