How to create an easy budget-friendly bedside wall lamp. 

So I am rethinking my bedroom bit by bit and was wanting some new bedside lights. My bed is very low and therefore felt I needed some height in whatever I decided on. Last year I had bought a wire shade from Merci in Paris just because I loved it.


Having no idea where I would use it or how. So I started to have a look around with what I could do. And had been pinning a lot of inspiration around semi DIY lighting.  I found a retailer on Amazon called Vendimia Lighting Co who specialise in all the composite parts of lighting. Including flex in multiple colours and designs, Bakelite casings, vintage bulbs and retro shades. I’m not that confident with electrical wiring so wanted something that I didn’t need to mess around with too much and that could be plugged in rather than into a ceiling rose. (I have a plug socket either side of the bed.) They had the ideal flex with a plug and a switch with a Bakelite bulb holder. Perfect for this job!  A black and white striped flex works well with the rest of my decor.

Then I just grabbed an inexpensive Ikea Ekby bracket.


The vintage bulbs I had seen online were quite expensive. I needed another alternative that still looked good. Luckily my local Wilkinson’s stocked a line by TCP called Rustic. See here. For a bargain £3. They are a really nice shape and give off a orangey glow.


With all the bits sourced. I attached the bulb and wire shade to the flex. Then attached the bracket to the wall at the desired height. (I used command strips as I can’t drill into the wall) and then wound the flex around the bracket et voila!

I am pretty pleased with the outcome. Although can’t decide if I should paint the bracket either white or black. What do you think?

Beautiful, cheap, marble and copper table hack.

  
I’m at it again with the marble contact paper! 
I received this great copper wire basket for Christmas from my sister from Tiger. It wasn’t that practical from a storage point of view but I thought it would make a great bedside table. 

I just needed a round bit of wood for the top. I really struggled at the hardware store to get circular bits of wood without having to get it custom cut at an added expense. 

Then came in the ikea Frosta stool. Only £8 and the top is the perfect size. A match made in heaven!

Materials:

Cheap Wire basket.

IKEA Frosta stool 

Contact paper in marmi. 

Scissors. 

Ruler

Pencil/pen. 

  

First Time Ikea Hack – Mid Century Marble Ikea Linnmon table

IKEA HACK DIY DESK

I have been looking to fall in love with a mid century desk for about 4 months now but not quite found anything that 1. either I liked enough or 2. I could actually afford!

So fed up of having no where for my computer and all my craft stuff stacked on the floor. I decided to take matters into my own hands and create something as an interim solution. Until the elusive perfect mr desk comes along!

I had seen quite a few ikea hacks on pinterest using marble contact paper and so the seed was sown. In total it cost me £50 which I was really happy with. You could even do it for £30 if you use ikea legs aswell. So here’s my step by step guide to a Mid Century Marble desk

1)  Materials

1 x Ikea Linnmon desk top £5.90

Marble Contact Paper in Marmi

Set of four legs of your choice. (I chose some hairpin legs from ebay.com)

Screws

Drill

Ruler

2 & 3)  Place the marble contact over the table top and slowly peel the backing off starting at one end. Using a credit card or ruler to keep the air bubbles out. Tip is to spread out from the middle to the edges as you go. Be patient this can take a while but is worth it to get a professsional finish.

4 & 5)Turn over the table top and line up your legs. Mark where the screws need to go. (if you are using ikea legs you can skip this step) Drill a pilot hole for each of the screws, being careful not to go all the way through. Talking from experience here!

6) Screw your legs on firmly.

Turn over. Voila! Your table is ready to style!

Hope this has been helpful. This was my first ikea hack and I was really proud of the results. I do now want to cover everything in marble contact paper though!

Top Drawer Top Pick – Zoe Attwell

Zoe Attwell Stand at Top Drawer SS15
Zoe Attwell Stand at Top Drawer SS15

One of the designers that caught my eye at Top Drawer was Zoe Attwell. She started her career in editorial design and then changed to pursue her passion of pattern . I’m very glad she did! I love her use of bright cheerful colour and her mid-century influenced designs. Not to mention the beautiful styling on her website. I really want that bedside cabinet! What home could resist one of those gorgeous tea towels or luxury linen cushions! Grab them on Zoe’s NOTHS Shop.

100% Linen Cushions by Zoe Attwell. (photography by Tom Leighton)
100% Linen Cushions by Zoe Attwell. (photography by Tom Leighton)

T2 or Tea for Two ?

Stacking shelves has never looked so appealing!

So last Sunday I met up with a friend for a bit of a wander down Redchurch Street near Brick Lane. I hadn’t been for a while but there was a couple of new places that had opened up including an amazing new teashop. It was so beautifully put together from the tea leaves in little copper pots to the modern and bright packaging to the perfectly formed tea cups and other paraphernalia. I couldn’t stop looking at everything.

T2 – Minimalist Packaging
Bright floral teapot anyone?
Bright floral teapot anyone?

Everything was just so bright and bold. I liked that everything was pared back with black which was actually a refreshing change to the white you usually see in retail spaces. Surprisingly this didn’t make it feel serious or imposing just made the colours pop even more. I did fall in love though with Barry (never thought I’d say that!) the most perfectly formed mug. The shape just made you want to hug it with two hands and fill it with comforting soup or hot chocolate. Will definitely have to buy some when I get my new place!

How can something so perfectly formed be called Barry?
How can something so perfectly formed be called Barry?

Temerity Jones – New fun lifestyle brand.

So a little bit later than planned but here are a few of my highlights from the Top Drawer/Home show in January. It was a very large show with lots of inspiring exhibitors with amazing products on display.

So starting with Temerity Jones, a new homeware and lifestyle brand that has a decidedly mid century leaning. Probably why I was attracted to it from so far away (or maybe that was to do with the pegboard on the stand)! It feels like its doing something abit different compared to alot of brands. I loved the gold pineapples and wire-framed lighting. Both I’m starting to see more and more of. Temerity Jones seemed to pull it all together in very visually cool way and less minimalistic. Their website is mainly for trade but I have started seeing some items being stocked in Oliver Bonas, Joy and similar stores. Think I am definetely going to have to have one of those light fittings!

TemerityJones

2015 – The Year of the Blog

Happy New YearSo 2014 I finally got round to deciding on a blog name and actually setting it up. I blogged a few times but just didn’t make it a priority. 2015 is going to be different.

So 2015 I’m making a promise to myself and anyone reading that I am going to blog everyweek. Whether it be short and sweet or intense and in depth. This is the year that I am focusing on the things that are important to me and that I love. So first post this year will be about Top Drawer. I’m attending tomorrow with my good friend and children’s illustrator Elissa Elwick. (go check her out!)  I am sure I will find lots of interesting and inspiring items to tell you all about!

East London Comic Arts Festival 2014

Poster by Chris Ware for ELCAF 2014
Poster by Chris Ware for ELCAF 2014

A few weekends ago I went along to the East London Comic and Arts festival in Hackney. I heard about it from a couple of different friends. Not a particularly big fan of comics but I do love anything that is creative especially graphic arts. It was very busy with a large queue so my expectations and excitement levels were very high.

ELCAF exhibitor hallI

I was interested in looking for some new and exciting prints for my flat. I was not disappointed! Here are a few of my favourites….

European Children's book publishers.
European Children’s book publishers.

Planeta Tangerina are a European children’s publishers with a lovely list of writers and illustrators.

They had a selection of books but what really stood out was this bright swimming print from Madalena Matoso. It reminded me of my sunday morning swims in London Fields Lido. Her work has a bold graphic handwriting. I would recommend you check her books and illustrations out. 

Madalena Matoso - You're Gonna Win
Madalena Matoso – You’re Gonna Win
London Fields Lido on a Sunday morning.
London Fields Lido on a Sunday morning.

Philippa Rice is an illustrator and comic book author that I also want to highlight. Particularly her new comic Soppy which is due to be published by Square Peg imminently.

by Philippa Rice
by Philippa Rice

I really love her simple use of and black, red and negative space. It has a strong visual aesthetic whilst cleverly subtly expressing emotion and lots of character.

Page from Soppy
Page from Soppy

I ended up buying the last one of her prints for my flat. I couldn’t resist! It is now hanging above my desk.

Perfect above my desk
Perfect above my desk

Let me know if you attended ELCAF and your thoughts?

The Bear Essentials!

 

Bear pattern using vintage Liberty fabric from Purlbee

So my friend is having a baby boy and I had been looking for ideas of some gifts I could make. When I remembered a post I had saved from the purl bee website. It was for a lovely shaped teddy that used vintage liberty fabric. See post here I had never made a stuffed toy before so I was abit apprehensive plus my sewing skills aren’t the neatest at times! I had some double sided soft fluffy material that I had kept hold of but never had a clue what to use it for. This was the perfect project! Plus if my sewing wasn’t 100% then it should be quite forgiving. 

2 right arms… Woops!

I needed to look for some contrast fabric for the paws, feet, nose and ears. I already had in mind that I wanted to use up some scraps of silk that I had. So settled on some light blue polka dot. Ideal for a baby boy. The instructions and clear pictures made the actual process of making the bear fairly simple. You make all the head and limbs first. Then the last section is the body where it all comes together and your bear is born! Although I did misread one part which meant that I made two right arms by mistake. Woops! 

Nearly finished bear – just need to find him some cute button eyes!

For my first attempt I was really impressed with myself! It did take me about 7 hours in total including the arm mishap but he’s a lovely size and shape. Would thoroughly recommend the pattern from Purlbee and am now hooked. Mmm what other animals can I make! Any suggestions? 

 

A few of my favourite things

I thought I would start off with my first post about all the things that I love in my own home.  Just so you could understand my own domestic aesthetic. Personally I’m not sure how I would describe it. Eclectic, maybe. Vintage, abit. Practical, definitely! I’ll let you judge!

 

Starting with my bedroom. I’ve always had a love of red and white. Think it’s because the contrast is quite stark and has a Scandinavian aesthetic to it. Hence the curtains and duvet being from ikea. The blanket was a gift. It’s made from British wool, manufactured up in leeds and I absolutely love it. It’s white with red hearts as you can see below and has red with white hearts on the reverse. Bronte do absolutely beautiful homeware items. Definitely check them out. The lamp is from M&S and is a really affordable alternative to the iconic arco floor lamp. Plus it’s smaller so is perfect for a bedroom! The print is one of my sisters of a bird sitting on a coconut. Abit of a strange juxtaposition but I think that’s why I like it. And last but not least some cushions that I designed as part of my degree project. They are watercolour and pen drawings of some colourful Chinese scenes. I also have the originals framed in the front room. 

Everyone’s favourite place! Their bed!