Wear your heart on your house

Twelve years ago I found a big old house to renovate. I fell in love with its high ceilings and Victorian features. I was wowed by its whopping great windows and seduced by its secret staircase. It stunk of wet dogs and dirty laundry and was a three storey hotch-potch of DIY disasters. Decorating wise it made me want to vomit.

This week that house is pages 86 - 88 of 25 Beautiful Homes Magazine and I feel like a lottery winner. 

25 Beautiful Homes Feb issue out 3rd Jan

25 Beautiful Homes Feb issue out 3rd Jan

The magazine goes on sale on 3rd January so I won't spoil it by sharing all the pics here. Once my three pages of fame is over (it won't take long) I'll milk it for all it's worth. 'Til then I just wanted to end the year on a high note and say a HUGE thank you to all of you who have taken the time to read the blog, like and share my ramblings and been inspired to get in touch. Without you I could never sit here on New Year's Eve with a glass of champagne and stick one finger up at my brother-in-law, who laughed his arse off exactly 3 years ago, when I announced over a Chinese banquet that I was starting an interiors blog. Cheers bro :)

Whatever your dreams are for 2017, I wish you all the luck and determination in the world. 

Love to you all and a Happy New Year.  Let's rock it.

Claire xxx

Festive Beasts and Where to Find Them

It's the office party at House Candy HQ and what a bunch of party animals we are. 

OK, truth be told it's just me and a load of animal shaped paraphernalia with ribbons round our necks, but hey, I've been to worse Christmas do's (and the obligatory mannequin challenge is going to be a breeze). 

Here's how the idea for a wilder take on trimming up came about.

Nothing I found in the pile of Christmas decorations stored up in the loft filled me with any joy this year. I took one look at all the tasteful gold baubles, the pretty, frosted white tea light holders, the au-naturel garlands bearing faux mistletoe and any festive spirit that had been there, suddenly drained away.

2016 does not feel like the year for sticking with the norm where Christmas is concerned. As Grazia so perfectly put it this week, it started with the death of David Bowie and went down hill from there. It's been a car crash on a global scale, so no wonder it needs help getting into party mode.  For me, that help has arrived in the unexpected form of a fat little penguin from TK Maxx. Mr Popper here got me thinking...

My Party Popper £8 TK Maxx

My Party Popper £8 TK Maxx

My place has turned into quite the ornamental zoo this year. No trip to the second hand market has been complete without an animal themed trophy of some sort, be it a vintage brass heron or a yellow ceramic deer head. These fellas have lifted the tone of my interior to new levels and it occurred to me that they could easily do the same thing with Christmas. 

I'm not alone in my thinking that it's the animals having all the fun this year. John Lewis clearly got the brief and its seasonal squad of trampoline-ing wildlife has captured the nation's heart.

My four legged friends (2 in some cases) can't do party tricks, but my God do they know how to rock a festive ribbon. Let me introduce them to you:

My House Candy Party Animals

1. The Horny Host

Find me at the Baaa?

Find me at the Baaa?

2). Babycham

3). The Grumpy Git Who Loves You Really

4) The Unlikely Pairing

5). Seasonal Stalkers

6). Feathered friends

"Have you seen what she's wearing?"

"Have you seen what she's wearing?"

If Christmas Party at the Zoo feels like a totally appropriate theme for your mad house, but you haven't hoarded quite as many animal themed ornaments as me over the last 12 months, worry not. Here's a roundup of some totally gift appropriate festive beasts and where to find them in time for party season. (Just don't forget the ribbon). 

1) Monkey bottle holder

2. Flamingo Wall Hanging

3. Felt tiger head

£69  Uburnara

4. Swan Vase

5. Beagle Bust

£60 Abigail Ahern at  Debenhams

£60 Abigail Ahern at Debenhams

So there, no reason for any of us to feel alone this Christmas and please, PLEASE don't keep your festive fun to yourself. Let me see what fantastic beasts are residing at your place. Share them with me on Twitter or Instagram @myhousecandy using the hashtag #housecandyparty or post a pic on my Facebook page to come and join the party.  

Have fun all!

Claire xx 



What your Christmas chocolate says about you

I'm 41 and if there's no Terry's Chocolate Orange in my stocking on Christmas morning there will be tears. That's milk Chocolate Orange for the record.

One year my parents gave my sister and I the dark version and there was beef. Like all family crisis', we met in the kitchen to decide the appropriate course of action.

"But we ALWAYS have MILK chocolate orange," I whined  as I tapped and unwrapped more aggressively than usual over family Trivial Pursuit. "Did you forget?"

"Perhaps Sainsbury's ran out?" my sister offered weakly, I felt it gave them a get out.  

"FFS!" Said my mum. (Since she learned the Queen swears there's no stopping her). "Does it even matter?", she shrugged stuffing 2 segments in at once and swilling it down with a double brandy.

Here's where agreed to differ for the sake of the kids witnessing a full on family brawl before watershed. See, getting the chocs right at Christmas DOES matter. It matters A. Lot.

You only have to look at the furore surrounding the scandalous double spacing of Toblerone triangles to see that we Brits do not like our chocolate traditions fiddling with.

And that's when I realised. Right there, as I hovered incessantly over the Like button on a Facebook post documenting the gradual demise in the size of Quality Street tins since 1980. I had joined the army of pathetic, fully grown adults who were stuck in a chocolate rut.

I cannot allow this to happen. I loathe ruts, even chocolate ones. I insist upon moving with the times as absolute basic practice, the ultimate life goal of course being to find oneself ahead of the times more frequently than not.

So lock up the mint Match Makers. Feed the Ferrero Rocher to the dog (if they'll eat the evil little suckers). We are updating our festive chocolate supplies as of NOW and there's not a Lindt Reindeer or a Roses Caramel Keg in sight.

Yes, I will weep on Christmas morning if there is no Terry's Chocolate Orange in my stocking, but they will be tears of joy and on 2 counts:

1) It means my husband actually read my blog.

2) Hopefully the orange will have been replaced by one of these thoughtful chocolate gifts that are far more representative of my on-trend/progressive nature where candy (house or otherwise) is concerned:

1) Chocolate Cacti

White chocolate cactus lollies £2.95  Trouva

White chocolate cactus lollies £2.95 Trouva

2. Chocolate Flamingos

12 pink chocolate flamingos £4.95 + shipping from  Etsy

12 pink chocolate flamingos £4.95 + shipping from Etsy

3. Chocolate Avos

Chocolate Avocado £12 + P&P Choc on Choc at  Notonthehighstreet

Chocolate Avocado £12 + P&P Choc on Choc at Notonthehighstreet

4) Chocolate biscuits

Box of biscuit shaped chocolates £10 Choc on Choc by  Notonthehighstreet

Box of biscuit shaped chocolates £10 Choc on Choc by Notonthehighstreet

Happy advent all.

Claire xx

P.S Did you know that chocolate coins were also passe? These days kids deal in dollar. Let me know if anything in this blog post disturbs you!