The boutique bedroom brief to brag about

"I'm picturing a hazy Ibiza sunrise when you haven't been to bed. Sex on the beach (cocktail form). A mediterranean breeze wafting through your Kenzo kaftan..."

Eos  light shade by Vita  Chapelle Sunrise  wallpaper by Blackpop UK

Eos light shade by Vita Chapelle Sunrise wallpaper by Blackpop UK

I'd like to say this is how the scene setting went when I pitched a bedroom design to my very stylish friend. Truth be told, we were out on a run and she was tapping me up for ideas for wallpaper that was as nice (but not as pricey) as the one she'd just spent the weekend drooling over at a boutique health spa. 

"Blackpop" I said, without hesitation. Not to be mistaken for Blackpool of course, which is at the opposite end of this design brief spectrum.

I've been championing Blackpop UK since I set out blogging a couple of years ago. The brand was a bit of an inspiration in fact - possibly the first time I realised an artistic twist on classic design was what got my interior design heart a-ticking. I have rules when it comes to splashing the cash where interiors are concerned and Blackpop's luxury fabric and wallpaper passes my test for all the following reasons:

  • It's handmade by a small team of passionate artists.  
  • You won't find any trend led design cliche's amongst its pattern books, which means it will stand the test of time. 
  • Design wise, it rocks. Think Kate Moss kicking back in her Cotswolds country pile. Think Kate Middleton re-upholstering an antique chaise as a clever little anniversary gift for Wills. Think Kate Winslet taking a bit of Titanic inspired English grandeur to the Hollywood Hills. Think Katie Price.... um, no we're getting mixed up with Blackpool again. 

Blackpop is about faded grandeur, it's about art, heritage, elegance and quirk. It's about effervescent Britishness. Blackpop is sophistication, with a rock star edge and if you're one of those people who likes to namedrop, it's definitely one to know because this name has style kudos in celebrity circles (though I couldn't possibly reveal my sources).

So anyway, chatting Chatty Man wallpaper with my running pal turned into a trip to Redbrick Mill near Leeds, where the client (she'll love that) had her heart set on a beautiful Feather and Black bedroom set.

I'm a huge fan of rattan for all it's French-ness and boho beauty, so the Versailles bedstead and two matching bedside tables got a big thumbs up from me. Before you know it, this whole Chateaux Chic vibe begun to emerge and then we started adding all the fluffy stuff.

This is the Vita Eos shade which I also have above my bed. Not one the husband is likely to pick out though, hey?

To keep him happy we added extra edge with more masculine touches such as the Abigail Aherne Raven lamp for Debenhams. 

A freestanding vintage style record player for that rock star status and Loaf's laid back Lazy Linen bedding in boy-friendly grey.

With its classic bones and quirky touches, my friend's beautiful house perfectly suits the Blackpop aesthetic. In fact I'd go as far as to say, they need each other. 

Limited Edition Oasis lyrics print £22 by  North6Graphic Design

Limited Edition Oasis lyrics print £22 by North6Graphic Design

If you also need wallpaper advice or help with a decor dilemma, I'd be happy to help and you don't even have to go on a run with me to get it. Just drop me a line at myhousecandy@gmail.com or get me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. 

In the meantime, I'd love your feedback on this little project. Please do get in touch with your comments.

Claire x

 

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 

 

 

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

Three chairs for Matthew Williamson.

If you like fashion and you like interiors, the launch of Matthew Williamson's very own furniture range this week probably got you a bit giddy.

Me too.

Tango armchair by Matthew Williamson

Tango armchair by Matthew Williamson

Margot armchair by Matthew Williamson

Margot armchair by Matthew Williamson

Minelli armchair by Matthew Williamson

Minelli armchair by Matthew Williamson

Of course, this is not the flamboyant fashion designer's first foray into interior design. His trademark exotic bird print wallpaper designs have had Brits steadily migrating back to maximalism for the best part of this decade.

Bird of paradise wallpaper £67 per roll  www.amaraliving.com

Bird of paradise wallpaper £67 per roll www.amaraliving.com

The Matthew Williamson for Debenhams range has been a runaway success, with homeowners freely giving into girliness and convincing their other halves that it's perfectly acceptable to wake up with a pink flamingo by your bedside.

Flamingo lamp £75  www.debenhams.com

Flamingo lamp £75 www.debenhams.com

But this new furniture range takes the Matthew Williamson lifestyle brand one sumptuous stage further. This is not simply about whimsical features and quirky touches. This is full on house couture, with iconic pieces that embody Matthew's 360 degree approach to design.

The range includes five upholstery ranges and unique occasional pieces in vivid colours and signature prints. Focussed on exceptional craftmanship and unrivalled quality, the designer selected Nottingham based furniture manufacturer Duresta to produce the range, which launches exclusively in Harrods before rolling out to nationwide retailers later in the year.

Tango sofa by  Duresta  for Matthew Williamson

Tango sofa by Duresta for Matthew Williamson

Further excitement comes in the form of elegant occasional tables, with a fashionable twist. 

Flamingo wine table by Matthew Williamson

Flamingo wine table by Matthew Williamson

Lacquered top console table by Matthew Williamson

Lacquered top console table by Matthew Williamson

Coffee Table by Matthew Williamson

Coffee Table by Matthew Williamson

With their bright colour pops and flamingo inspired detailing, these are pieces with the ability to add instant drama to a room and seriously up the fashion ante.

I need to take some deep breaths... In fact, I could do with a lie down and this fuscia print velvet day bed feels like exactly the spot for an afternoon daydream. 

I have yet to discover how much it will cost to up my Matthew Williamson game and bag myself a piece of interior fashion history (The range is yet to go on general sale). Suffice to say, these do not strike me as sofas I'd let my sons Netflix and chill on, whilst scoffing a bag of Maltesters. 

Unfortunately, I wasn't one of the peacock print posse perched elegantly on armchairs whilst sipping champers for the glamorous unveiling of the MW Furniture range earlier this week* 

But whilst I haven't stroked the plush velvet cushions, nor caressed the lush lacquered table tops, I have literally inhaled the designer's instagram feed, exploring the details that make this range so fabulously unique.

These pictures alone are enough to fill me with new ideas for my own infinitely cheaper upholstery re-inventions and furniture up-cycles, which will have to do until such a time as I can afford the real thing. And you know what? I'm pretty sure Matthew won't mind me borrowing the idea of contrasting piping or neon brights. Why?  because his furniture, like his fashion line, is designed to inspire as well as to enjoy. Thanks to him, I know that my next furniture makeover will be bolder, brighter and hipper than before. And with any luck, my next sofa will be too.

Three cheers for Matthew Williamson. Hip. Hip. Hooray.

Who's been inspiring your interior choices this week? I would love to hear your news.

Claire x

*Future invitations welcome