3 home decorating tips to get a luxury look for less


Renovating your home within a reasonable budget can be difficult, especially when construction is included. Sometimes your ideal choices of materials and pieces may be unaffordable. However, there are ways to get luxury for less, either by investing in your future needs or with look-alike alternatives.

Kitchen worktops

Expert suppliers of kitchen worktops in luxury materials, like Modern Worktops, aim to encourage buyers to pay extra for quartz or granite worktops. Rather than choosing the mildly more affordable wood options, the advantage of stone is its durability, resilience and longevity.

Formed naturally, granite, quartz and marble are all beautiful looking kitchen worktop materials. They are also heat proof and chip resistant. Quartz comes with a hygienic bonus as natural gaps in the stone are sealed.

However, the cost that comes with stone worktops means that many seek out a cheaper option. For the look of granite, use upper end laminate. The cheaper the laminate the weaker the material, so mid-range sheets in a style of your preference will give the illusion of stone without the cost.


A good rug, with a stylish design and soft feel, will cost several hundred pounds. But a great rug can cost over a thousand. Bespoke rug designers like Bazaar Velvet specialise in providing a superior selection for those seeking the very best. Not only are the materials of the finest quality, but the hand-knotted construction is as much an art as the design of the rugs.

While a stunning rug like theirs would be an investment and sure to last a lifetime, you simply might not be able to afford it. That doesn’t mean that a good, well designed and durable enough rug is out of reach. Rugs make for great accents in a home so getting one that suits your house is important.

John Lewis’ range of rugs starting at the overly affordable end for less than £100, then move up to several hundred. For a classic look rug in ornate patterns and a close weave, you’ll be looking at around £600 on average. But for a more modern, arty print rug, you can find great choices in the £250 to £350 range.


Your furnishings will be one of the most important finishing touches for you home. For example, without somewhere to lounge on your evenings in, you might as well not have a living room. But, as with rugs and kitchen worktops, after other big renovations, you might not have the funds for expensive furnishings.

While companies like Argos and Mahahome offer affordable furnishings, an even cheaper alternative is to try using Gumtree or Freecycle. If you are quick and willing to make the trip to collect them these can be great bargains.

Once you have your furnishings, you can either keep them as is or, if possible, get them reupholstered for a cheap price. Doing your own upholstering or using a local seamstress could save you hundreds and allow you to find the perfect pattern from a wholesaler.

5 Interior Design Mistakes That Everyone Makes, Even Me!

As any regular reader of my blog will know, I love home improvement. Although I don’t consider myself an expert, I do think I know more about interior design that most people. After all, I am doling out tips so people can improve their homes! However, even I make mistakes from time to time. I no, I am as shocked as you are!

But, because I am here to help, I thought I would go over these mistakes, so you don’t fall foul of them, too.

Buying Furniture Before Measuring A Room

On the face of it, this one sounds like a something you would never do. How do you know what can fit into a room without measuring it first? Exactly, but time plays a huge part in this decision. Depending on the size of the renovation, it could take ages to finish the job. For that reason, people try and cut corners and make mistakes. Not only will guessing if furniture fits cost you money, but it will also cost you time as made to measure furniture can take weeks to build.


Not Taking The Doors Seriously

With interior design, everything is important because the little details can make a big difference. However, there are parts of your home that you will take more seriously than others. For example, you will concentrate harder on the lighting and colour scheme than you will on the windows and doors. But, the doors, in particular, can transform your home. Interior doors take up a lot of space and are plentiful in most properties. For that reason, you cannot afford not to decorate them and make them look amazing. Dull and ugly looking doors can affect every room in the house that you have tried to make look so appealing.

Getting Everything In One Day

Again, there is a need to speed up the process. The problem with buying everything in one day is that it is incredibly stressful. Spending the full day picking out every aspect of your home will leave you tired, angry and stressed. Even worse, you run the risk of matching every room because you cannot keep up with what you have purchased. And, you could change your mind and buy new stuff. That means you could waste a fortune because you couldn’t wait.

Decorating Without Help

Now, you don’t always need a professional. Obviously, professionals have a lot of benefits. But, the negative of the price could easily outweigh all the positives, especially if you cannot afford them in the first place! Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t enlist someone else’s help. Any person who is capable with a paintbrush or wallpaper will make the process a lot easier. Remember: finding help is the legitimate way to speed up interior design.

Overcomplicating Everything

Because it is your home, there is a need to go over the top. With regards to interior design, simplicity is always best. Stick to the basics and your home will never lose its appeal.

The above is by no means an exhaustive list, so always be on the lookout for more potential mistakes.

Ideas For Planning A Hen Do With A Difference

Traditionally, the hen do was the bride’s last chance to let her hair down with her friends before tying the knot. This meant a night on the town partying, sipping cocktails and having a laugh with the girls.

Today, however, that’s not always the case. Not all brides like the idea of spending their hen do going out and getting drunk. Many prefer to do something a little bit different, and that’s absolutely fine.


If you are in the process of organising a hen do for a friend who doesn’t want to go out and party, you may be a little stuck for ideas. However, there is no need to panic, as I have put together a guide to lots of hen party ideas with a difference.

Book a spa weekend

If the bride-to-be is in need of a good pamper, booking a spa weekend is the perfect way to celebrate her last days of freedom. Choose the poshest hotel that you and the other hens can afford, and spend a couple of days having treatments and sipping champagne.

The best thing about a spa weekend hen do is that even if the bride doesn’t like the idea of going clubbing, you can still have a drink at the hotel bar. You can also enjoy delicious meals in the restaurant, complete with more champagne.

Go to London

If the bride-to-be fancies a hen do that’s fun and exciting but doesn’t want to go out and get drunk, planning a trip to the capital is ideal. There are so many amazing things to see and do here, so no matter what happens, you will have an amazing time.

If you have a look online, you should be able to find a few package deals for London hen dos. These won’t all include clubbing, there will be various deals that will be perfect for you, the bride and the other hens. From cocktail making classes to sightseeing deals, you should be able to find lots of fantastic deals.

Stay in a fancy hotel and have afternoon tea

For an elegant hen do, consider booking rooms in a nice hotel for a couple of nights. While you are there, you could spend the afternoon enjoying a sophisticated afternoon tea. This could either be at the hotel where you are staying – you may be able to get a deal that includes this, or at a local cafe.

If the bride wants to include her older relatives in the hen do, including her mother and the groom’s mother, afternoon tea is perfect. To make the occasion more special, why not opt for a venue that offers champagne, as well as tea?

Go on an activity day

If the bride-to-be loves sports, an activity day could be the perfect option for her hen do. From abseiling to archery, there are lots of fantastic activities you can do. If there is something that the bride has always wanted to try, such as whitewater rafting, find an activity centre that offers it.

To get a good deal, keep an eye out on sites like Wowcher and Groupon. You should be able to find some good deals on these sites. There are lots of activity centres to choose from, so you should be able to find a suitable one.

Planning a hen do with a difference is a lot easier than you think, all you need to do is take note of the tips and ideas, above.

How I Manage to Save the Pennies When I Go Clothes Shopping

Like most ladies, I love to go shopping, but I’m forever shuddering at the prices. So I’ve developed some great methods to save myself valuable pennies when I go shopping. Check them out and try to put them into practice yourself.

I Set a Budget

My first piece of advice to you would be to always make sure you set a budget. I do this before I even leave the house. I sit down and decide what I want to buy. And it doesn’t matter if I’m getting shoes for this summer or a coat for the coming winter. I always make sure I set a budget. This means I know exactly what I can spend, and how much I have to play with. By not setting a budget you’re going to end up overspending and coming home with bags of things you don’t need. Believe me, I’ve done it!


Always Shop the Sales

I can’t stress this enough ladies – always make sure you shop the sales. There will always be sales on no matter what time of year it is. And a lot of the time you’re going to find that you can get really great bargains by using the sales. You might even think about buying stuff off-season as I sometimes do. For instance, as we move into winter some stores will start to put their summer stock on sale to get rid of it. This is the perfect opportunity to buy some bits for next year at knockdown prices. But I’m sure there will be current seasonal stuff on sale as well.

Remember to Use Vouchers

These days it seems like there are vouchers and coupons that can be used for anything. And this is great because it means that there are money saving opportunities out there. It’s just a case of us finding them. Now, I like go online and check out the range of vouchers that are on offer. Click here and you can browse them yourself. There’s no good reason to not make use of vouchers nowadays. These are essentially free discounts that are just lying there waiting to be used. And the stigma surrounding discount vouchers is no longer around these days. I always make sure I have plenty of vouchers with me whenever I go shopping, and you should do the same.

Check Out Charity Shops

Okay, before you turn your nose up at me I should tell you that charity shops are a gold mine! So many of us ladies look down on the idea of shopping in charity shops. But you need to try to get past this opinion. I used to be the same, but I have discovered that charity shops are an untapped resource. Sure, you’re not going to find anything nice in most of these places. But there will be one of two things you might find that you really like. Experience tells me that we’re going to end up paying much less for charity shop garments. So don’t you dare discount charity shops as a way of saving money!

We all love to go shopping; as women it’s in our DNA. But the problem is money is so much tighter these days. And a lot of clothes seem to be getting more expensive. So we’ve always got to look for new and improved ways to save money when we shop. I’ve listed mine here for you, so try them out and let me know how you get on.

Find The Best Skiing Of Your Life – Here’s How!

If your idea of a vacation is snuggling up under the blankets, drinking a cup of hot cocoa, and staring at snow out the window, then you might as well book a log cabin at stereotypical resort. But if you have a sense of adventure and want to experience the racing through the snow like never before, then a heli-skiing holiday is for you. Heli-skiing allows you to have the most visceral skiing experience imaginable. If you want to get the most out your heli-skiing experience, a small boutique heli-skiing operation is sure to offer the most thrilling skiing of your life!

You want to select a boutique heli-skiing company that accommodates your needs and works around your schedule. By keeping their operations small, they can offer packages that are flexible, ranging from 2 to 6 night stays. You can also start your trip on any day of the week. Plenty of other companies subscribe to the one sizes fits all approach, where the length of your trip must begin on a designated day and end at a certain time. This approach best serves the needs of the company but not you – the thrill seeker. You spend the rest of the year adhering to a schedule predetermined by deadlines, why would you want to vacation in the same manner? When you’re on vacation you should be able to determine the day you arrive and the day you leave.

The entire package is built to satisfy your thirst for adventure. This experience is personalized and you can book packages that are small, accommodating only 4 people. Heli-skiing in small groups makes for an intimate and unforgettable trip. Imagine the beauty of the powdered snow of Revelstoke, British Columbia untouched and unadulterated. Now imagine cutting through it as you ski down the slope of powdery white with close family or friends.

To make sure you heli-skiing holiday goes off without a hitch, be sure to contact Great Canadian Heli-Skiing. Their dedicated team of customer service representatives, pilots, and skiing guides provide world famous heli skiing trips. With access to one of the most beautiful, remote areas on Earth, they’ll have you skiing faster than you ever have before. Surrounded by beautiful evergreens and unending vistas of mountains, you’ll return to further visual nourishments, as your lodgings are comfortable oases with all of the modern amenities.

So when you’re ready to actually do something this vacation, get out from under the blanket and hop off the couch. Book you and your friends’ a heli-skiing holiday and get ready to have the best skiing experience of your life.

Are crystal chandeliers in style?


Crystal chandeliers have long been popular among homeowners thanks to their elegance, opulence and characteristic sparkle. But are these ornate light fittings still in style or have they had their day in the world of interior design?

Traditional designs that never fall out of favour

It’s true that crystal chandeliers aren’t exactly avant-garde. In fact, they’ve been around for hundreds of years in various different guises. However, like all true design classics, they refuse to fall out of favour. These decorative lighting accessories can still make a style statement today despite the fact that they’re nothing new. Traditional designs represent the ultimate in luxury and they have the power to instantly transform otherwise dull rooms into decadent spaces. Lighting specialists such as The Lighting Superstore offer a range of traditional designs that have a timeless elegance and unsurpassable sense of grandeur.  From candlestick creations to circular ceiling plates with crystal droplets, there’s no shortage of options to choose from.

These fittings can work well in a range of different rooms, but they’re best in living rooms and dining rooms, and they can also make a bold statement in large stairways.

A contemporary twist

As well as the old, crystal chandeliers can offer a flavour of the new. Contemporary twists on these home design classics share the splendour of more traditional designs but are brought bang up to date thanks to their more unusual shapes. They also often feature finishing touches of chrome to given them an even more sleek and modern look. Examples include elegant glass rods suspended from chrome plates and delicate spiral pendants. Light fittings like these can form a stunning centrepiece in modern, minimalist homes.

Achieving the best results

So, far from being an interior design throwback, crystal chandeliers are at the height of home design fashion. However, if you’re to achieve the best results, you’ll need to choose these light fittings carefully. For example, while these accessories are meant to be grand, if you get the sizing wrong, there is a risk they will be overbearing. So, before you buy these products, measure the space you intend to hang them in to ensure your chandelier is suitably proportioned.

As long as you take care to select the right designs for your home, you can rest assured these light fittings will make a superb addition to your rooms. Even better, they are guaranteed carry on looking great for decades to come.

4 Fantastic Ways To Get More Out Of Your Home

We’d all love to live in a multi-million-pound mansion of luxury, wouldn’t we? Unfortunately, that outcome isn’t one that many of us get to enjoy. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a slice of the good life at home.

Size doesn’t always matter. It’s what you do with it that counts. Find a way to make the most out of the room available to you, and you can turn any property into the perfect home for your family to grow.

Here are a few ideas to help you achieve those goals.


Make Use Of Every Room

Most homeowners wish they had more space in their home. Tragically, a lot of us already have it, but fail to make the most of it.

If you’re currently using your spare room as a bog standard guest bedroom, you’re doing it all wrong. Turn it into a multi-functioning area, and the home will instantly feel a lot greater. It’s great to have an area for your parents to stay, but you need to put the members of your household first.

Alternatively, people that work from home may wish to turn it into an office area. Whatever you do, regaining space will almost feel like an extension.

Get More From The Garden

One of the most commonly overlooked areas in the home is the garden. But if you give it the love and attention it deserves, your outdoor spaces can add a lot of charm to the home.

Investing in quality outdoor garden furniture will transform your boring patio in an instant. It will soon be the perfect venue for sharing family meals or entertaining guests. Meanwhile, you only need to plant a few flowers to give the area a special flavour.

Sometimes we all need a place to just sit back and relax in the cool breeze. Improving your garden will make a huge impact on your general happiness at home. Embrace it.



When it comes to home improvements, we tend to think solely about buying new things. However, one of the best ways to upgrade the property is to get rid of the junk.

Most families amass a lot of unnecessary items over the years. While they might not feel like a big deal, they are taking up a lot of space. Selling them at a garage sale will claw back crucial space around the home. Better still, it could earn you a little extra money.

Those funds can go towards something you’ll actually use.

Redesign Your Bathroom

The home should put a smile on your face. After a hard day at work, nothing achieves this better than a nice relaxing soak in the tub. Your bathroom might not feel like the most important room of your home, but it can make a huge difference to your general happiness.

Everyone loves a day trip to a luxury spa, but you can bring those vibes into your own home. Simple additions like new towels and a few beauty products will go a long way to helping you relax. As well as helping your state of mind, it should make a noticeable difference to your skin and general appearance too.

Be sure to check your water pressure too. Nothing is more frustrating than a poor quality shower.