Next Stop Christmas

Bonfire night is so last week. I like it, don't get me wrong. I love the sparklers and the parkin and it's genuinely not until the 50th banger has gone off in my neighbourhood, sending my Lhasa Apso into yet another yapping fit, that I start looking forward to the end of bonfire night and the automatic igniting of Christmas.

But that touch paper is now lit. My thoughts have turned to locating the perfect Nordic Spruce and I do not want to see another whizzy, bangy (and please not squeely) firework until New Year.

As you may well have predicted, decorating the house for Christmas is a big deal at House Candy HQ and I'm always on the lookout for new ideas to bring the JOY.

Noel letters £60

Noel letters £60

My letter box is already heaving with the bulge of Christmas catalogues and I am eager to take a peak at what decorative treats Christmas 2016 has in store. Today's offering came from Next and it got my festive feels off to a flier. 

Every year Next delivers one or two pieces that could easily be mistaken for designer. As I thumbed through the Christmas fashion today, I couldn't help folding corners of pages bearing such high end copycats as red velvet platform ankle boots and quilted animal print handbags. Luxe winter boho was also temptingly well represented with a multi-printed tie neck dress that looks straight off the runway. It would be very easy to get distracted, but let us just focus on the homewares shall we?

Next is always one of my go-tos for a quick, on trend update that won't break the bank. This Christmas they've got all interior trend angles covered ... and then sprinkled them with glitter. Here are my favourite festive picks so far:

1) No brainer neon

Red led heart light £35

Red led heart light £35

White LED Love sign £50  Next

White LED Love sign £50 Next

Well LED lights actually but at £35 and £50 respectively, these are the perfect entry level light up signage. Agree?

2) Infinity and beyond lights

Infinity arrow light £55  Next

Infinity arrow light £55 Next

These infinity lights will be a sell out, I am sure of it. Personally I'd prefer to splash £55 on this beauty that can be used all year round than invest in the life size LED nodding reindeer that my kids are swaying towards, but hey, apparently they are the experts in this department. 

3) Gold trees

Gold tree £100  Next

Gold tree £100 Next

Gold is the new black where Christmas trees are concerned. Okay so it looks a bit like a real one in January after a month of central heating abuse, but teamed with these coloured berry LED fairy lights in an oh-so-trendy dark painted room and you've got one achingly hip bauble hanger.

Coloured berry lights £28  Next

Coloured berry lights £28 Next

4) Festive furs

Present stocking £12  Next

Present stocking £12 Next

Now I'm not one for a festive cushion. I do not have a Christmas table cloth, nor a saucy santa pinny to cook my turkey in (sigh). However, I'm strangely drawn to this blush pink faux fur velvet stocking with gold effect sequin trim. Santa come hither...

5) Christmas bunting (I know, Christmas bunting FFS!)

I almost couldn't include this on the basis of it epitomising the very category of Christmas decoration that by rights should be banned ...  and yet...

Christmas bunting £12  Next

Christmas bunting £12 Next

Pretty innit? Like it's been written with a sparkler.

So that's the seal broken. I've placed my first Xmas mail order and any minute now I'll have popped my first mince pie and choked on the stench of a cheap cinnamon infused candle. 

What catalogues have got you excited for Christmas? Do you go all out to deck the halls or does the idea of trimming up fill you with dread? Like it or not, Christmas is coming and your letter box will not let you forget it! Let me know your thoughts in the comments section, I'll crack open the mulled wine in anticipation.

Claire x





Archive by Alexa returns for Christmas

This is not a pea coat...

Templar Coat  £99 Archive by Alexa at Marks and Spencer

Templar Coat £99 Archive by Alexa at Marks and Spencer

 It's a navy blue wool mix pea coat with contrast black velvet collar and brass button detail. 

This is not a blue blouse...

The Lovell Blouse  £35 Archive by Alexa at Marks and Spencer

The Lovell Blouse £35 Archive by Alexa at Marks and Spencer

It's a powder blue, high frill collar cotton blouse with a preppy hint of suggestion.

This is not a shirt dress...

Portland dress  £45 Archive by Alexa at Marks and Spencer

Portland dress £45 Archive by Alexa at Marks and Spencer

it's a .... Oh okay, you get the drift. The second round of Archive by Alexa has dropped at Marks and Spencer and I'm Christmas advert-style excited about it. 

I know, I'm not a fashion blogger and I'm not going to pretend I know anything about the cut of the fabric on the halter neck polka dot number or any of the other pieces in this winter capsule collection for that matter. All I know is this: It's nice, affordable clobber, handpicked by Alexa Chung. That's ALEXA CHUNG btw - and she ploughed through a hundred years of Marks and Spencer designs to pick her favourites so that we could love them all over again. And I do.

I went OTT on the summer launch, but with Christmas coming it's a situation I really need to avoid this time around. Instead I want to pick just the one hero piece for prosperity and in case you're interested, I'm going for a Luxe Tux; for two reasons:

1) I wanted to introduce the term Luxe Tux. Catchy huh?

2) It's velvet (heart eyes).

Clarenden Tux £75 Archive by Alexa at Marks and Spencer

I warned you I couldn't do fashion speak. Homewares on the other hand I can talk in detail about. In fact I'm crazily excited right now because tomorrow I am visiting Marks and Spencer HQ in London to preview the Spring/Summer 17 Homewares offering. More on that amazing, pinch-myself situation later.

In the meantime, I just want to put it out there that an Archive by Alexa Homewares range would be magical. And, oh! what a coincidence, here I am living so very near Leeds and so perfectly placed to dig through the Marks and Spencer archives and help hunt out vintage house candy.  

Alexa, if you're reading, I am not an interiors blogger... I'm a vintage obsessed, self proclaimed trend spotter ... and I'm you're freakin' biggest fan!

Grab it while you can fashion fiends. Just save me a Luxe Tux will you?

Claire x

Welcome to Leeds, John Lewis

It's happening. John Lewis is set to officially open its doors to the lovely people of Leeds tomorrow, 20th October 2016 and we're all a little bit giddy about it.

Artist impression of John Lewis in the new  Victoria Gate  shopping complex, Leeds

Artist impression of John Lewis in the new Victoria Gate shopping complex, Leeds

So giddy in fact, that at 6pm last night, a few thousand of us formed a very sophisticated, middle class queue at the foot of the impressive new Victoria Gate shopping complex for an exclusive card holder preview evening.

At 6.05pm, we elbowed each other out of the way to get to the free fizz and canapes and, fuelled with bubbles and bitesize salmon en croute, we lapped up 4 floors of the kind of fabulousness John Lewis is famous for.

Regular readers might not have me down as a John Lewis girl. This is not the place to pick up a neon pink sideboard, I'll give you that. But there is a sensible side to me you know? With John Lewis, I know I'm going to get great quality and value for money. And I know I speak on behalf of my fellow Yorkshire folk when I say, we're bang up for that.

John Lewis is somewhere I head to for products I know are going to live up to their hype. And thanks to its unbeatable list of design collaborators, it is now, more than ever, on my go-to list for affordable, on trend house candy.

Here's a few of my favourite John Lewis homewares available on line and at the shiny new Victoria Gate store in Leeds:

1. Content by Conran coffee and side table set

Black enamel coffee table and 2 side tables £599  John Lewis

Black enamel coffee table and 2 side tables £599 John Lewis

2. Brushed Brass Flos IC Lights

Flos IC wall lights £260  John Lewis

Flos IC wall lights £260 John Lewis

3. West Elm Bar Cart

Brass bar cart £339  John Lewis

Brass bar cart £339 John Lewis

3. Joules Tableware

Joules dog plates and mugs from £9.95  John Lewis

Joules dog plates and mugs from £9.95 John Lewis

On Air light box £75  John Lewis

On Air light box £75 John Lewis

So I know you're all desperate to know what classic homeware items made it back to House Candy HQ?

Flamingo snow globe £15  John Lewis

Flamingo snow globe £15 John Lewis

Never knowingly Undersold, that's me. 

Welcome to West Yorkshire John Lewis, it's about time too. Doors open Thursday 20th October. Happy shopping all,

Claire x





Julius Sieze Her - Grab the designer dining chair that nails ALL the trends

Whoever said money can't buy class hasn't seen the Julius dining chair, designed in Portugal and available exclusively from Open Plan Living 

I don't feature designer furniture much on My House Candy, mainly because I can't afford it. But I do recognise that there are some designer items, Iike a classic Chanel tweed jacket for example, that have a game changing air of luxury about them. And they throw common sense out of the window. 

Pink velvet, gold framed Julius chair from Open Plan Living

Pink velvet, gold framed Julius chair from Open Plan Living

Now this stunning gold framed dining chair, upholstered in finest blush pink velvet, costs twice as much as my dining table, so I can't just go waving an excitable Visa card at it can I?

Let's take a good hard look at the budget.

My fashion friends go by the cost per wear rule. Well, if I own this chair for the next 40 years and sit on it every evening, it costs me just 0.12p per day. *Note to enquire about instalments*

But there's extra value for money in this chair which you are forgiven for having overlooked. See, this chair nails five must have interior trends in one canny, pretty-in-pink package. That's FIVE for the price of one people, count 'em:

1) Pink - the perfect shade of sorbet pink to satisfy all of my cravings

2) Gold - the new brass and forever my favourite precious metal (See wedding ring for details) 

3) Velvet - Go on admit it, it's got its plush little paws into you too?

4) Glamorous Gatsby - He had me at hello. No, actually before then when I first encountered the dashing self made millionaire in the F Scott Fitzgerald novel and decided glamorous 1920s Long Island is where my heart belongs. These days high glamour art deco-dence is a major interiors crush that shows no signs of slowing.

5) Miami - The South Beach vibe that's predicted to be big for 2017; fun, retro, kitsch, Ken and Barbie.... I'm almost there, I just need a couple more flamingos. 

So there you go. Not only is she extremely beautiful, but the Julius chair is also a hard working little doll, who definitely deserves a seat at my table.

Julius chair looking lovely from all angles

Julius chair looking lovely from all angles

In all seriousness, I've been googling deco style metal framed dining chairs for a while now and vintage ones rarely come up for sale in Britain. If they do, they are likely to need a professional upholstery job, so this is not an item you are ever going to get on the super cheap. 

Beautiful Julius has given a thrift lover like me a taste of the finer things in life and that's the thing about designer goods isn't it?  You see, all these junk shop finds, painted up-cycles, high street copycats that I covet - they have all helped give my home its lovely, down to Earth personality. But this chair has made me realise it could do with an out and out star of the show too.

Open Plan Living is an innovative brand, bringing cutting edge Portugese design to the UK. Its unique portfolio of products can be made to order in bespoke size, colour and fabric preferences, making it a favourite with interior designers whose clients demand something a little more exclusive than you can find on the high street.

However, this is a name for the likes of you and I to keep in our little black books too. Within their range of furniture and accessories, there are some prize pieces that compare favourably in price with well known furniture brands and have the extra benefit of being handmade to exceptional quality standards.

Some people buy diamonds and pearls to feel like a Princess. Personally, I'd go all out for the throne.

Julius Chair £1,863.00 Open Plan Living

Julius Chair £1,863.00 Open Plan Living

What do you think? Have you got a piece of furniture that has lives up to its designer price tag? Let me know below, it will seriously help me justify this to the House Candy Benevolent Fund.

Claire x


I woke up like this - The bang tidy, untidy bed update you need to nail

Hey, it's Humpday and we're all busy racing to get to the end of the week, so today I've got a timesaver for you.

Don't bother making the bed.

Seriously, it might upset your mum, but believe me it's far more "magazine" to leave your bed a bit dishelved these days. It's also a total winner because it gives you an extra 5 minutes actually in it.

I'm particularly loving this pretty unkept situation and wondering how I can pull it off ... and then pull it over me for the whole entire winter.

Gorgeous pink and yellow bedding goals from Design Love Fest on Pinterest

Gorgeous pink and yellow bedding goals from Design Love Fest on Pinterest

Here's what I found. You can keep your bedding all plain and white (fresh white sheets don't you just love 'em?) but you need to cover all that cleanliness up with a sweet as sugar bed throw and a couple of stylish cushions, okay?

As you know, I'm OBSESSED with pink *officially no longer a girls' colour btw* and the silky quilted throw above is giving me serious come to bed eyes. Whilst I haven't yet come across this exact one, I've found some similar options that would pretty much do the job.

Pale pink Rosha John Rosha throw, £100  Debenhams

Pale pink Rosha John Rosha throw, £100 Debenhams

Floral and diamond patterned cushion covers and throws £22.99 - £119  Zara Home

Floral and diamond patterned cushion covers and throws £22.99 - £119 Zara Home

Then for the cushions. Big squishy ones if poss. I'm mad for this sulphur yellow colour which looks amazing with baby pink and also makes the whole look nicely autumnal. Never a bad thing. 

Sulphur plain velvet cushion, £25 John Lewis

Sulphur plain velvet cushion, £25 John Lewis

And that's it. Looks as good first thing in the morning as it does all done up. Isn't that worth lusting after on a wet Wednesday?

What do you think? Can you leave your bed messy on a morning or is that concept simply messing with your OCD? Let me know in the comments section.

Happy half week all, how are you getting over the hump?

Claire x

Common Interest - Artistic wallpaper strikes a chord

I try to be cool about it, but the fact is I am like a lioness over my cubs, especially on a Monday.

As I drop them off at school and watch their back packs wobble off into the distance, half of me is doing cartwheels at the prospect of a few hours with only myself to look after, and the other half is wondering ... Did he do enough spelling practice?... Did he remember his trainers? ... Did he even clean his teeth this morning?

So today I'm feeling all lioness (and let's face it I'm rarely not feeling palms) which made it particularly exciting to return to my layer and find this Lioness and Palms print wallpaper sample poking through my letterbox.

Lioness and Palms wallpaper £140 per roll by  Common Room

Lioness and Palms wallpaper £140 per roll by Common Room

Common Room makes fine art accessible to the likes of me and you through its stunning range of artist designed wallpapers. The Lioness and Palms design is taken from the early 20th Century designer and architect C.F.A Voysey's original watercolour design, sourced from the V&A museum archives. 

Like choosing a painting, I look for something that connects with me when I pick a paper; something that matches how I'm feeling, rather than matches a particular interiors trend. This is the best advice I can give for creating a vibrant home that tells your own personal journey through its interior.

The Common Room Lioness and Palms print is available in two equally gorgeous colourways. I love the idea of this Midnight option teamed with rich emerald green subway tiles in a modern Victorian bathroom.

Lioness and Palms wallpaper in Midnight by Common Room

Lioness and Palms wallpaper in Midnight by Common Room

But my personal preference is the lighter Midday colour option. It conjures up exotic Out of Africa adventures which, when it's up in my spare room, will be all kinds of hysterical for my guests. I live in the same town I grew up in FFS. Travel is not my strong point. 

But you see, it's not the plains of Africa I'm transported to when I sit here with my cup of Yorkshire tea, picturing C.F.A Voysey's child-like brushstrokes bringing some botanical artistry to my attic bedroom.

Sure, I see a jungle out there, and I see one proud/potentially vicious mamma protecting two golden heads, whilst keenly keeping a paw on the palm print fashion pulse. (And if she's anything like me, she's about to race to the rescue of her hungry cubs with an over laden lunch box any minute now.)

Art, imitating life and simultaneously decorating it.  Common Room, I salute you.

Happy new week all,

Claire x



Treble Rebel - 3 ways to rock the street art trend at home

No longer an outlet for angry teenagers to voice their beef, street art is one of the coolest and instagrammable art forms out there and its influence on the interiors scene is so loud it deserves an ASBO.

Graffiti inspired home furnishings dominated at Decorex International, with luxe home furnishings brands resplendently rebellious in their paint splattered prints and powerful papers. Here's 3 ways I'm looking to work more street into my semi.

1) Make a splash

The new range of artistic abstract prints from Blackpop

The new range of artistic abstract prints from Blackpop

At Blackpop, it wasn't a stinking bad mood, but an obsession with artist Jackson Pollock that inspired designer Maxine Hall's latest range of edgy wallpapers and sumptuous velvets. Pair the two together and your room turns into one big, bad-ass work of art.

For a more colourful take on the trend I fancy the gorgeous Blue Note design for a feature chair and will add playful lighting or some cute neon - 'cos I'm girly like that. 

Blue note velvet £144 per metre

Blue note velvet £144 per metre

Blackpop's designs are now available at Curiousa & Curiousa. Visit their store on Amwell Street in Islington for more inspiration on luxuriously eclectic living, including bespoke lighting and furnishings.

Scottish art-meets-homefurnishings brand Timorous Beasties has been crawling all over the street art vibe for some time now and its trademark statement wallpanels have all the hallmarks of a boss boutique hotel.

Graffiti stripe super wide wallpaper panel £300  Timorous Beasties

Graffiti stripe super wide wallpaper panel £300 Timorous Beasties

The luxe home furnishings brand also does paint splattered masterpieces as wall panels, wallpapers and seriously sexy velvets. 

Kaleido Splat wallpaper panel from £120  Timorous Beasties

Kaleido Splat wallpaper panel from £120 Timorous Beasties

2) Get less cushty with the cushions

If you want to start with more of a scribble than a full on wall of art, head to Society 6 for the coolest range of cushions, pillows and framed prints at bargain prices. I'm looking to use some spray painted prints like the one below to brighten up my sons' room.

B is for Bamm cushion £14  Society 6

B is for Bamm cushion £14 Society 6

3) Buy Actual Art 

For me, having a fabulous piece of abstract art in your home, is the equivalent of adding a studded leather jacket to a vintage tea dress. It takes away all the twee.

I can't say enough good things about London artist Rowan Newton, whose work has transformed my home and for whom I have a special savings pot where I'm excitedly collecting all my £2 pieces ready for my next purchase.

Delphic Ambiguity by  Rowan Newton

Delphic Ambiguity by Rowan Newton

For more urban art originals and prints to suit a variety of budgets, visit new online urban art seller

3F-XO (Red) Print £125

3F-XO (Red) Print £125

So what's your thoughts on street art? Drop me a line in the comments section, I would love to hear from you.

Also this week, I'll be looking at the new graphic prints that are big news for next season and filling you in on my delve into the design archives at Denby Pottery. 

Happy new week all,





Flamboyance rules at London Design Festival

Question) What do you call a group of flamingos?

Answer) A Flamboyance

It's hands down the coolest fact I know and one that may come in handy if my recent trip to London Design Festival is anything to go by.

See, flamboyance is big news. Huge in fact. Flamboyance - whether it be a group of flamingos hiding in the foliage...

Flamingos a go-go at  Hoxton Grill

Flamingos a go-go at Hoxton Grill

... A bunch of cheeky monkeys busting out of banana leaves...

New monkey print wallpaper by Clarke and Clarke at Decorex

New monkey print wallpaper by Clarke and Clarke at Decorex

... Or an over indulgent, brightly coloured, Liberty print carpet...

Alternative Flooring Co 's Liberty print carpets at Decorex 

Alternative Flooring Co's Liberty print carpets at Decorex 

Flamboyance is where it's at.

Shrinking violets take note. This is not a look you can pull off easily. Kindly stick to geometrics and/or graffiti inspired fashion statements if you will - another equally hip (but possibly longer term) design trend which I will cover to in a later post.

Today however, I'm still going OTT about the over the top vibe currently dominating the interiors scene. My head is actually hurting with the volume of extravagant patterns that I crammed into it my small brain on my whistle stop tour of London this week. It's either that or the naughty school night out at the Hoxton Grill on Tuesday to see the Rockett St George pop up tropical paradise. You can see how it inspires a bit of excess though can't you?

Neon pink flamingo £195  Rockett St George

Neon pink flamingo £195 Rockett St George

It's been a crazy week here as I've tried to cram in three away days on top of my normal workload and the usual stresses of family life. Amazing though, isn't it, how you think it's going to be impossible and then ta-da you get to Friday and it's done. (It's a big Fri-yay from me)

I'm looking forward to documenting all the exciting stuff I've been up to here on the blog, so please stay tuned and drop me a line if you see anything that floats your boat design wise. Remember to use the #myhousecandy on twitter or instagram if you've also got some fabulous decor wins to share. I'd love you to get in touch!

Meanwhile, I've got tired children, a neglected hound and two overworked grandparents to appease so I must keep this post short and tend to my flock. Which reminds me... I picked up this pinny at the Denby Pottery factory shop yesterday on my so very exciting bloggers trip to learn all about their impressive design credentials (details coming soon).

Flamingo pinny £8.99 from  Denby Pottery Factory shop

Flamingo pinny £8.99 from Denby Pottery Factory shop

It's exactly what I need for my Macmillan Coffee Morning next Friday. If you are in the area, you must pop by, but do be prepared for a bit of flamboyance with your fondant fancies, won't you?

coffe morning 2.jpg

Happy weekend all,

Claire x

Plush cushion crush at Asda

My crush on all things plush knows no bounds. Velvet is, and always will be, the best way to luxe up a look, whether it be to sit on ...

My fave plum velvet sofa and a couple of velvet cushions

My fave plum velvet sofa and a couple of velvet cushions

... or to strut in.

The dreamiest velvet platforms from  Miu Miu

The dreamiest velvet platforms from Miu Miu

Velvet rocks.

But when I popped to Asda on Friday night to cobble together something cheap and chic for tea, the last thing I expected to do was feed my current fashion passion for a measly seven pounds.

Velvet scatter cushion £7 from  Asda

Velvet scatter cushion £7 from Asda

This scatter cushion is the perfect little Autumn/Winter update  - and a pretty cool sending off gift for any students setting up their new digs, don't you think?

It looks so lovely on the stripey vintage chair my mum up-cycled that I'm struggling to decide which room deserves it most. Here it is bringing all the glamour to my guest bedroom.

This week I'm on the hunt for more touchy feely home fashion with a trip to London Design Festival and Decorex International. Keep following on Instagram where I will be sharing all the latest lush interior inspos. 

Have a great new week all, please let me know if you bag any cool cushions with your cornflakes too won't you? 

Claire x



Temporary business blip as I hoard all the neon pink stock.

Stick to writing Claire, the business world is not for you.

Neon pink sideboard, designed by ME!

Neon pink sideboard, designed by ME!

I may be forced to admit the critics were right if I continue to keep all the furniture stock for My House Candy Store!

Neon pink music chest currently making its presence felt in my lounge

Neon pink music chest currently making its presence felt in my lounge

Oh, I'm sorry but this neon pink lacquered vintage furniture is just SO amazing that if I sell it to you, I'm going to have to visit you every day for the rest of my life so that I can still get my fix. It's not an ideal condition of sale for either of us, no matter how friendly I am. 

But look, let's just call these pieces prototypes and hope and pray that I find a warehouse to store the next delivery of funky up-cycled furniture, because let's face it, if it gets through my front door it's not coming out. 

Please bear with me during this unforseen blip on my journey to international business mogul*. I am sure Kelly Hoppen also encountered this problem, right Dame? Follow me on Instagram for more examples of lovely one-off House Candy that may or may not make it to market!

Have a neon bright week all, let me know what furniture you've accidentally hoarded in the comments section. I would love to hear from you.

Claire x 

*Business advisor/general life coach applications welcome.