Why I'm checking in at Hotel House Candy

If the girl can't go to the swanky hotel, the swanky hotel must go to the girl. 

I love a hotel break. I love the whole checking in bit and counting down the door numbers to find my room. I love cocktails in the hotel bar and night caps from the mini bar. I love the free shampoos and the pillow menus (yes, I'm that posh). I love room service and breakfast on a tray with a side order of crisp newspaper. I love the fresh sheets, the fluffy towels and the manly robes. I love people watching and guessing whose having an affair with the hunky night porter. No way does that only happen on telly.

I totally get why Marilyn Monroe took a suite at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel instead of fending for herself and reckon if I was a millionaire spinster I'd do the same.

Thing is, I'm not.

In fact, I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that most days it feels like I'm the one running the B&B. More of a Fawlty Towers experience I admit, but with evening meal, laundry service and personal chauffeur thrown into the FREE room rate, I've yet to receive a formal complaint.

So I'm not quite sure whether it was the wannabe hollywood movie star in me, or the frustrated housekeeper that could not resist these burnished gold, mirrored letters at the flea market this week. They still have some LED strip lighting in them and I'm hoping to resurrect them to make a full on light-up sign. The question is for where?... The penthouse suite? The Lobby? The private members bar? A swish new bathroom complete with chandelier over the bath? 

I'm open to suggestions. Please do let me know what you think in the comments section. Meanwhile, there's the toilet paper corners to fold so I must dash.  

Claire xx

PS If you enjoyed your visit please help spread the love by giving this post a quick share on any of the socials whilst I get happy hour started in the bar. Nuts are complimentary :)

Original WAG = Serious SWAG: My Tina and Bobby crush crescendos

I haven't experienced WAG envy on this scale since Victoria Beckham's Team Baden-Baden taught the world a lesson in girl squad manners back in 2006.

Michelle Keegan's portrayal of Tina Moore (wife of World Cup '66 hero Bobby) in the ITV series Tina and Bobby has stirred something inside. Not just Inside my heart, not even limited to inside my wardrobe, but inside my entire home. I want a bit of that late sixties/early seventies WAG (SWAG as it now needs to be known) at House Candy HQ and I'm turning to the celebrated retro-glam interior designer David Hicks for inspo. 

A classic David Hicks designed living space

A classic David Hicks designed living space

Contrasting textures define Hicks' style, with deep shag pile carpets balancing out the shiny surfaces and angular shapes of furniture typical of this era. Orangey browns and rusty red leathers that remind me (in a good way) of Starsky and Hutch are punctuated with pops of glossy turquoise. Leafy house plants, low hung, slightly random wall art and patterned curtains rock a retro vibe that my sources tell me is set to make a significant comeback this year. 

And it is this kind of SWAG - a retro & therefore infinitely cooler version of today's luxed up footballer's wife style, that we were invited to swoon over in Tina and Bobby.  In particular, it was their last marital home, the dream 70s open plan new build that made me long for life back when there were only 3 TV channels, telephones were attached to curly wires and it was the done thing to barbeque in 6 inch platform knee boots. 

Here's some ideas I'm considering to help me bring a bit of retro-glam SWAG to my pad:

1) Cladding

Image from Pinterest

Image from Pinterest

I'm thinking of putting the flooring up the wall when/if the kitchen extension ever happens (unlike Tina and Bobby, we're having to save up see). The ceilings will be lower there and the modern contrast will create a cool kind of cosiness in an otherwise featureless new-build area.

2) Contrast Piping

Image from Elizabeth Horlemann

Image from Elizabeth Horlemann

I've been hunting for the perfect low, boxy sofa for some time and having failed to find it, I've decided instead to get my 11 year old Habitat Sydney sofa recovered in velvet and add some contrast piping. Tina and Bobby had a similar look in the TV series, complete with fringing which I'm also absolutely mad for, but am saving for another project. See below.

3) Fringing

I fancy a day bed. Welllllll, it's the perfect place for a SWAG to get her pedicure done and with this fringing no one will ever know that I'm way too posh to hoover under the furniture.

3) Kitchen Hatch

OK so this probably won't happen, but I SO like the idea of decanting my M&S ready meals in the privacy of the kitchen then serving them to an adoring dinner party without them ever needing to know the secret behind my Chicken Chasseur.

4) Flos IC lighting

Flos IC Ceiling light in Brass £364  www.amara.com

Flos IC Ceiling light in Brass £364 www.amara.com

If Flos IC lighting were a celebrity, I'd be its stalker. Ball shaped pendant lights were big in the 70s but can somebody tell me in what era these simple, elegant yet not at all ostentatious beauties would look out of place, because I can't think of any. 

Here Flos look stunning in a period panelled setting, an image I've been staring at for far too long already today. These babies are earmarked for my hallway and that's a fact. 

So Tina, you can keep the diamond rings. I'm not fussed for the fancy cars and as for the wealthy, good looking football hero of a husband... pah! what a let down he turned out to be. But I do like your retro WAGishness lady. I love your bo-ho dresses and since adopting your beehive, my fine hair has a whole new lease of life. I love your SWAG Tina Moore (or at least I love Michelle Keegan's version of your SWAG) And I'd LOVE for you to bob round to my place for Babychams so we can talk the Dralon and tassles off each other.

Claire x

Unless stated, images are pinched from Pinterest where incidentally I'm collecting 70s interiors images like WAGS collect collagen. Follow me here for inspo.




Why I'm switching on the Marks and Spencer lights

I know its Big Switch On Week and we're all about seeing z-list celebrities give Christmas the green light. (And the red, yellow, blue, pink, purple and orange light etc.) But illuminations-wise, we really need to fast forward to January when half the bulbs have blown in those tacky flashing bells, but your new Marks and Spencer designer-look chandelier casts a million watts of class.

When BHS went into receivership this year, it left a void for staggeringly good value designer look lighting. It was Marks and Spencer I turned to to fill that gap and purchased three super stylish lights, all of which could easily be mistaken for high end brands.

This Sputnik inspired Dexter lamp caused the biggest stir on Instagram and, if I'm in the mood, I'll still let a visitor or two think it's designer.

Dexter  copper sputnik light £179 Marks and Spencer

Dexter copper sputnik light £179 Marks and Spencer

Now BHS is back with an online only offering and once again some achingly good copy cat classics. But Marks and Spencer's Spring Summer '17 homewares launch shows they are not about to be knocked off their new found lighting pedestal.

Since I haven't been asked to switch on my local Christmas lights this year (or any year for that matter) I'm consoling myself with the thought of flicking the switch on any of these faves come their release date early next year. 

Stella 4 light chandelier £125 Marks and Spencer SS17

Stella 4 light chandelier £125 Marks and Spencer SS17

Loft leaning tripod lamp £95 Marks and Spencer SS17

Loft leaning tripod lamp £95 Marks and Spencer SS17

Conran Corin 6 light candleabra £199 Marks and Spencer SS17

Conran Corin 6 light candleabra £199 Marks and Spencer SS17

Mila Chandelier £299 Marks and Spencer SS17

Mila Chandelier £299 Marks and Spencer SS17

Conran Corin table lamp £89 marks and Spencer SS17

Conran Corin table lamp £89 marks and Spencer SS17

Recently, I was lucky enough to take a peak at the full range of Spring Summer 17 homewares from Marks and Spencer and discovered a whole load of fashion led, luxed up house candy.

On-trend furniture detailing such as marble table tops and brass legs featured heavily, demonstrating how the brand has once again found form. Recent fashion collaborations have helped resurrect its pole position in our hearts as well as on our high street, and if the new homewares collection is anything to go by, Marks and Spencer appears to have flicked that interior style light ON for 2017.

Hope you're all joining in the Christmas countdown? Would you believe the boys and I found ourselves inadvertently swept up in a santa parade with a bunch of fully grown elves whilst going about our regular town centre business on Saturday? Turns out Hygge is not that big in Lapland. For these fellas, winter is just one big party.

Claire x