Friday Favourite Five…Scented Candles

How did it get to be Friday again?! I can’t tell you how happy I am to see the weekend – I don’t think I had another week-day in me!! As I mentioned yesterday, I am playing catch up this week so I’m just popping in with a quick ‘combination’ Friday Five/Organising Challenge post to kill two birds with one stone (so to speak!) I thought as it’s a long weekend and for some of us, half term, and there may be the vague hope of some kind of relaxation, I would share with you five of my favourite scented candles.

Scented candles are literally an obsession of mine – it’s a problem. I cannot get enough of them and in my opinion, the weekend hasn’t begun if we don’t get the kids in bed, stop running around like crazy people and get a couple of scented candles on the go. It is just one of those things that makes me feel relaxed and calm. (I know, it’s a craaaazy life we lead!)

But, before I share that with you, I will share a quick before and after from my weekly challenge to organise an area of my home each week. As I mentioned last week, I had cleared out a wardrobe and a chest of drawers in our guest bedroom as we are planning to sell them. In doing so, I created a disaster zone and it took me days to sort it out! However, as this before and after shows, we have come through the dark days and into the light! I’ve dropped several boxes of things to charity and binned a lot of rubbish. I also had a good sort through the children’s clothes and passed any they had outgrown to friends and family with little ones. I feel good as we are now another step closer to changing this room around. (I shared our plans for this room here yesterday.)

Can't wait to inject some personality into this space

Can’t wait to inject some personality into this space

Remember how I said I would dispel any myths that our house was always clean and tidy?! How am I doing?!!

Anyway…moving on…scented candles! My favourite thing! (Well, one of the many!) Here are my current fave five (there are so many more on my list but as always, I’ve tried to give a variety to suit all budgets.)

1. Neal’s Yard ‘Calming’

Neal's Yard Organic 'Calming' Candle

Neal’s Yard Organic ‘Calming’ Candle

This candle is made with essential oils and it is the best I have EVER found for fragrancing our entire home. The lavender smell just gets everywhere and it lingers for days! (£29.50 via the link above or, if you’re local to me, go here and my little sis can hook you up!)

2. Sanctuary Spa ‘Classic’

Sanctuary Spa 'Classic'

Sanctuary Spa ‘Classic’

I discovered this candle in the sale at the beginning of last year. I bought it as a present but it smelled so good, I just couldn’t part with it! (Oops!) Again, a great one for a fragrance that lasts. (£10 from via the link above but check out the Boots 3 for 2 offer in the lead up to Christmas or an even better price-reduction in the January sales!)

3. Wax Lyrical ‘Spring Clean’

Wax Lyrical 'Spring Clean'

Wax Lyrical ‘Spring Clean’

This candle smells just like your washing when you pull it from the machine. I had a large one with two wicks and it lasted me two years (and I think I mentioned how often I like to light my candles?!) I felt that although it was pricey to buy, it was great value for money because it lasted so long. (£12 for the medium size via the link above but there are both smaller and larger sizes available to suit every pocket!)

4. Wild Lily Candles ‘Wild Jasmine’

Wild Lily 'Wild Jasmine'

Wild Lily ‘Wild Jasmine’

The Wild Lily candles are a fun, more easily accessible option if you aren’t looking to break the bank. This ‘Wild Jasmine’ scent is so heavenly, it always reminds me of holiday sunsets. (£8.50 via the link above)

5. The White Company ‘Orange Grove’

The White Company 'Orange Grove'

The White Company ‘Orange Grove’

Finally, you cannot go wrong with The White Company’s scented candles though they are definitely not a cheap option. I always look out for them in the sales or at outlet shops where you can sometimes snag one for a bargain. (£20 via the link above but don’t get excited if you see the 20% off event flash up as it excludes candles – boo!!)

And there we have it…5 of my favourites. Does anyone else have a scented candle obsession? I would love to hear about your favourites in the comments – I’m always on the look out for my next favourite!

As always, you can sign up to my email feed (see sign-up box top right on a computer or below on a tablet or smart phone), and follow me on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram for updates between posts. Thanks so much for reading. Until next time…xoxo!

All text and images are copyright Home Heart Harmony unless stated and opinions are my own. Single images may be reproduced only if they remain in their original state and must be credited back to Home Heart Harmony with a link to the site. Failure to do so constitutes a copyright violation. 

Boy Bedroom Inspiration

I had a fantastic couple of days away with my sisters and parents last weekend and as a result, my schedule for the week has been knocked off track a little bit! So, bear with me while I try (and probably fail) to catch up! It was such a fun weekend full of lots of laughter so completely worth the set back but I’m back to it today researching ideas and items for our son’s new bedroom. My desire to get going with this project was re-ignited by my research for last week’s Fave Five post and I’m back on the case! We seem to move at such a snail’s pace with everything, there are just never enough hours in the day! I hope to get started with the room transformation within the next couple of weeks/months/years! You never know your luck!

This is our son’s room at present (you can read about the last update in one of my first ever posts here):

Our son's bedroom as it is now

Our son’s bedroom as it is now

If I’m honest, I love this room exactly as it is and I feel a bit sad about leaving it behind. We updated the room just after Christmas 2013 by adding the shelves around the bed and moving out all of his old furniture but since we added a matching desk at the other end of the room (which he needs these days for his homework and hobbies), it’s a little bit cramped. So, while he could continue to manage perfectly well where he is, it does seem sensible to let him move into the larger guest room now that he’s getting bigger and is keen to have more space.

His main priority is somewhere to keep all his computer/tech gear which, at the moment is spread all over his desk. This is fine until he wants to do something else (like homework or drawing – which is his other big hobby). As far as I’m concerned, it would be great for him to have an additional surface for all this gadgetry so that his desk can remain largely clear.

Having researched some lovely panelling a few weeks ago and shared the pictures with our son, he is keen to add some to his room and I think the blue paint is probably getting a bit young for him now so it would be good to team some white panelling with a greyer, more grown up paint above. This way, I think we can still incorporate the blue in his bedding and the red in the headboard (although I have seen some curtains and bedding which are making me wonder whether we should change those things too!)

Here are a couple of mood boards I’ve created showing items I have my eye on for this room (links via the numbers below).

 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12

I’m thinking any one of the four paler greys on the colour swatches shown at ’11’ might be an option. I need to get some testers and give them a try. I am in love with the thick striped navy and white curtains in picture 12 but in my research, found some other patterns in the navy and white colour-way which also caught my eye (see 5 and 6). I am also considering red and white stripes or chevrons (I love the bean bag in picture 12 so a combination of the two might well be on the cards!)

We desperately need to re-carpet our whole upstairs (apart from our master bedroom which has been done) and I’m hopeful that we can get a fairly neutral shade like the one shown at item 9 that will be relatively hard-wearing.

Our son’s current bed, the shelves around it and his desk will all be transferred into the larger room and I’m thinking of painting one of the chests of drawers already in the guest room so that he can keep it as that extra surface I mentioned. Does anyone have any suggestions for ways to store technology that make it less ‘in your face’ and still allow for the mass of cables that seem to be everywhere?! Please let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions for ways to contain that mess!

The lamp shade you can just see in the top left corner of his current room is great to look at but not so great when you need light in the room! Its dark colour and the shape seem to contain all the light within the shade rather than casting it around the room so I will definitely be looking for something lighter and brighter this time around (see options 3 and 8 above). I have always been a bit nervous about mixing more than two colours and/or patterns but pictures 1 and 12 really inspire me to be a bit braver and test those boundaries a bit!

I can’t wait to get started. I’m thinking the blogging schedule may suffer a bit while we undertake the practical side of making these changes but hopefully it will be worth the wait!! I would love to hear what you think of these ideas and plans. Please let me know your tips for decorating for a ‘tween-age’ boy if you have any.

As always, you can sign up to my email feed (see sign-up box top right on a computer or below on a tablet or smart phone), and follow me on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram for updates between posts. Thanks so much for reading. Until next time…xoxo!

All text and images are copyright Home Heart Harmony unless stated and opinions are my own. Single images may be reproduced only if they remain in their original state and must be credited back to Home Heart Harmony with a link to the site. Failure to do so constitutes a copyright violation. 

Friday Favourite Five – Kids Furniture

It’s Friday again – yay! I hope you have all had a great week. Ours has been eventful but all’s well that ends well and we are looking forward to a calmer weekend! This week I’m going to talk about my five favourite places to buy furniture for kids. Since having our kiddo’s I don’t want to think about how many hours I have spent researching the best places to buy items for their rooms. I am usually inspired by something I’ve seen in a magazine or on a website and am usually disappointed when I find out how much the item costs. Many times, I’ve had to be reigned in when making purchases for our home and as it turns out, we are usually able to achieve a similar look for (a lot) less. That doesn’t mean I don’t love to buy a higher end item in the sales though!

So, without further ado, here are five of my favourite places to shop for children’s furniture….

1. Aspace

All Images from Aspace

All Images from Aspace

Aspace specialise purely in children’s furniture and accessories and the range is nothing short of gorgeous. It’s not cheap but the quality is top notch and they often run a discount of 15 – 20% if you pick your moment. Keep checking into their website for offers and promotions. (There happens to be one running right now so quote ‘PETALS’ at the check out for a 15% spring discount – I’m not sure when it runs out, so get in quick!)

2. Great Little Trading Company

All images from Great Little Trading Company

All images from Great Little Trading Company

Great Little Trading Company (GLTC) offer amazing and eye catching storage systems for kids. They also have an appealing range of furniture, toys and accessories. I was always particularly drawn by their play tables and wooden toys when my children were younger and their Christmas offering is always worth checking out for pretty decorations and practical seasonal items.

3. IKEA

All images from IKEA

All images from IKEA

IKEA are always a winner as far as I am concerned. Gorgeous, great quality, practical furniture at un-rivalled prices make IKEA our go-to for items for our home. The only draw-back of course, is that half the world has the same opinion so you are unlikely to find anything unique! However, when you can personalise your items with paint, wallpaper and decorative knobs, why pay more?!

4. Next

All images from Next

All images from Next

We have always been big fans of Next furniture around here. Their prices are mid-range so they offer a cheaper alternative to the likes of Aspace and John Lewis while they are very much in the thick of the competition when it comes to style. Make sure you buy what you want from any particular range when you see it though as their selections tend to change relatively quickly.

5. John Lewis

All images from John Lewis

All images from John Lewis

British stalwart John Lewis have an impeccable reputation when it comes to quality and their furniture is no exception. They also pride themselves on their customer service so you get some peace of mind when you spend what will undoubtedly be a little bit extra. Their kids furniture range is not huge but it is quality not quantity that will have been at the top of their buyer’s list. Definitely worth checking out the sales for a fantastic quality item that will last.

Does anyone have any other suggestions for favourite places to go for children’s furniture? These are just five of my faves but as always, it was a tough choice! I would love to hear about your preferences in the comments.

Catch up with my previous Friday Five posts….

Beds

Home Accessories

Remember, you can sign up to my email feed (see sign-up box top right on a computer or below on a tablet or smart phone), and follow me on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram for updates between posts. Thanks so much for reading. Until next time…xoxo!

All text and images are copyright Home Heart Harmony unless stated and opinions are my own. Single images may be reproduced only if they remain in their original state and must be credited back to Home Heart Harmony with a link to the site. Failure to do so constitutes a copyright violation. 

 

Weekly Organising Challenge – Food Storage

Home Heart Harmony Weekly Organising Challenge - Food StorageContain your excitement people! This week I tackled my food storage tubs!! I know, I know, it’s hard to bear the anticipation but I’m going to keep you hanging on a moment longer while I tell you what I’ve really been up to this week. I have been doing some much more large-scale organisation in the guest bedroom that is soon to be our son’s new bedroom.

Before we can move number 2 child into the larger room, there is some serious work to be done (and that’s before we even begin with the decorating!) At present, the guest bedroom is a bit of a furniture grave-yard. It’s where the ‘furniture we don’t want elsewhere but can’t bear to part with yet’ goes to live out the retirement years. We currently have a bookcase which was part of our first ever furniture purchase, the bedside cabinet that I had as a child, a wardrobe and chest of drawers that were chosen while hefting our baby girl around IKEA at 9 days old (what were we thinking?!), an IKEA desk that I would really like to use but can never get to and another solid wood chest of drawers that we had made when we moved into our second home.

Unfortunately, because the new guest bedroom is smaller than the current one, something has to go. So, we’ve decided to sell the IKEA wardrobe and chest of drawers. That means, it all has to be cleared out. So, I have spent this week clearing out these two items of furniture and I have created quite the disaster zone upstairs! I always say that decorating one room can impact the entire house and I can already see that happening here! I need to move everything out of the guest room and into our son’s room and all the stuff from his room into the guest room and in order to do that, it ALL has to come out! And I don’t even have a before and after for you because the ‘after’ is just an empty space!

So, let’s just take a moment to settle ourselves with a ‘before and after’ of my food storage containers and calm the heck down!

The Before and After we've all been waiting for!

The Before and After we’ve all been waiting for!

That’s better! Everything in this drawer now has a lid (how does it happen that none of the containers ever matches any of the lids?) and things are much more accessible (to say the least!) The large white boxes are from IKEA and they are great for dividing the space in this drawer and giving me more useful storage.

I just had to share this graphic with you as it made me giggle. (I added the black star so as not to offend!) Funny because it’s true! Not any more though with my newly organised drawer!

Has anyone else been taking part in the weekly organising challenge? I’ve received a few photos but please, keep ‘em coming! Catch up with last week’s organising challenge here.

Remember, you can sign up to my email feed (see sign-up box top right on a computer or below on a tablet or smart phone), and follow me on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram for updates between posts. Thanks so much for reading. Until next time…xoxo!

All text and images are copyright Home Heart Harmony unless stated and opinions are my own. Single images may be reproduced only if they remain in their original state and must be credited back to Home Heart Harmony with a link to the site. Failure to do so constitutes a copyright violation. 

Decorating with…neutrals!

Home Heart Harmony Decorating with neutrals

It’s been a while since I wrote a ‘Decorating with…’ post but I’ve seen so many gorgeous neutral rooms on the internet of late, I was inspired! I must admit, I have always been fond of using colour in our home so a neutral scheme is not something I would necessarily have considered. However, it’s always interesting how tastes change over the years and having researched this post, I could really get carried away with a neutral room scheme and it’s making me re-think my entire home! Gah!

We don’t really have any neutral spaces around here (although I suppose our entrance way is pretty neutral…

Our entryway is really our only neutral space

Our entryway is really our only neutral space

I think the key is to layer your textures and materials so that you don’t finish up with anything too one-dimensional. Using wood (of various types), wicker, fabrics, wallpapers, carpets and rugs can all add such personality to a neutral scheme, it is really amazing. Here are some of my favourites on the web at the moment…

This living room from Thrifty and Chic is a neutrals masterpiece. I love the fluffy neutral carpet layered with an even fluffier rug complete with white-painted wooden panelling on one wall to add texture. The darker wood tones in the area behind the sofa add some interest and depth while the pale curtains are floaty and perfectly light against the darker curtain poles. I could definitely live with this!

This bedroom from Carol Reed Interiors shows us how to do luxury neutral. The gold accents in the chandelier, picture frames and mirror along with the mirrored bedside furniture and oversized lamps are so classy and elegant. The patterned rug and bedding teamed with natural wooden floors give it a less formal edge making this neutral sanctuary inviting and warm which, let’s face it, is exactly what we want from our bedroom at the end of a long day!

I know I have shared this living area from Thrifty Decor Chick with you before but it is such a great example of how to make a neutral space work, I couldn’t possibly leave it out! The white panelled walls against the neutral paint colour are my favourite thing about this space. The panelling adds such a lot of character. Layered with the patterned rug, the wicker accessories, the painted wood of the sideboard and fireplace (just visible on the right) along with a few little pops of red, it is just perfection.

 This kitchen diner has a more formal tone and uses cream leather, dark wood tones, floor tiles and painted cabinets to balance the scheme. I love the subtle addition of metallic and black painted picture frames which add some interest while maintaining the sleekness of the overall look. The open plan layout lends itself perfectly to a neutral scheme which can be carried through from kitchen to living area equally effectively.

This gorgeous living room from The Turqoise Home uses slightly greyer tones mixed with patterned curtains and rug to achieve a light and airy space which feels both relaxing and calm. The grey-stained wood of the sideboard along with the white panelling and fireplace balance one another and I love the use of the grey leather arm chair opposite the pale fabric sofa which vary the seating and provide additional extra textures. (It’s worth checking out the before and after via the link on this one.)

So, what are your thoughts on neutral? As I said, I’ve always been a ‘colour all the way’ kind of girl but these spaces have seriously made me re-think my stance and I may have to work up to making some neutral changes around here at some point!

Why not visit my previous ‘Decorating with…’ posts here (Duck Egg), here (Pink) and here (Grey/Gray) for more inspiration or click on the ‘Decorating with…’ link in the ‘categories’.

Remember, you can sign up to my email feed (see sign-up box top right on a computer or below on a tablet or smart phone), and follow me on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram for updates between posts. Thanks so much for reading. Until next time…xoxo!

All text and images are copyright Home Heart Harmony unless stated and opinions are my own. Single images may be reproduced only if they remain in their original state and must be credited back to Home Heart Harmony with a link to the site. Failure to do so constitutes a copyright violation. 

 

Friday Favourite Five…Beds

Well, I’m in the market for a new bed. We have had our poor old thing for coming up to 15 years so it’s served us well. I am slightly terrified at the prospect of replacing it since I’ve suffered with back trouble since my early teens and had to have spinal surgery 5 years ago (which was successful and life-changing to say the least). The thought of buying the wrong bed and creating problems again is frightening but our current bed is desperately in need of replacement.

So, I thought I would have a little browse and see if I could find something that might encourage me to take the plunge and make a purchase. As I said in my last Friday Fave Five post, it’s virtually impossible to pick just five. In this instance, I definitely have an idea of what I would like in an ideal world but I’ve tried to avoid too much similarity with the five that I’ve chosen here. I’ve also tried to vary the budget a bit. (Click the subtitles for links and bear in mind that all prices are for a Kingsize bed). With all that in mind, here are my favourite five (for now!)….

1. The ‘Henrietta’ from Feather and Black

The 'Henrietta' from Feather and Black [Image from Feather and Black]

The ‘Henrietta’ from Feather and Black [Image from Feather and Black]

This is the sort of bed I dream of. Feather and Black are at the higher end of the market and this baby comes in at an eye-watering £1,599. I may have to look for a budget version!

2. The ‘Aurelia’ from John Lewis

John Lewis Aurelia Bed [Image from John Lewis]

John Lewis Aurelia Bed [Image from John Lewis]

I have always loved me a good sleigh bed. This one in white is particularly gorgeous. My only reservation with it is that it wouldn’t match the paint colour of our existing furniture so we may have to re-paint our things to match. I’d have to give consideration to whether it was my favourite by a big enough margin to make the effort!! The price for this one is £1,399 so still probably way out of my price range anyway!

3. The Finlay Storage Bed from ‘Made’

The Finlay from 'Made' [Images from Made]

The Finlay from ‘Made’ [Image from Made]

This one is a more realistic £599 and I like the look which is quite understated. The major bonus is that the whole mattress section lifts up to reveal full-size under-bed storage. It comes in a range of neutral colours and I could see this fitting well into our existing decor scheme however it’s not quite as glamorous as some of its more expensive counter-parts!

4. The Willis and Gambier ‘Camille’ from John Lewis

The Willis and Gambier 'Camille' bed from John Lewis [Image from John Lewis]

The Willis and Gambier ‘Camille’ bed from John Lewis [Image from John Lewis]

I love the fact that this is a wooden bed which still has a padded headboard. It’s french style look is right up my street and I like the grey tone of the wood. This one is £1,150 so less expensive than my first two picks but still steep. I am actually quite surprised by how expensive beds are! I am wondering if buying a new mattress for our current divan bed is a better budget option for us!

5. The ‘Melodie’ from Marks and Spencer

The 'Melodie' from Marks and Spencer

The ‘Melodie’ from Marks and Spencer [Image from Marks and Spencer]

This is definitely one of my favourites and so, of course, it’s sold out in the King Size. I can’t even give you a price but the price range is £1199 (for the single) to £1,599 (for the super king) so somewhere closer to the top than the bottom!

What do you think? I think numbers 1 and 5 are my favourites but if I’m honest with myself, there’s no way I’m going to talk the hubby into spending that sort of money on a bed (sad face). However, whilst browsing, I have come across some really gorgeous head-boards so I’m thinking new mattress and headboard is probably the way to go.

Does anyone have an amazing and comfortable bed that they would like to recommend? I would love to hear about beds that may be beneficial with my back troubles. Please leave a comment if you have a suggestion. Thanks so much lovely people.

Remember, you can sign up to my email feed (see sign-up box top right on a computer or below on a tablet or smart phone), and follow me on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram for updates between posts. Until next time…xoxo!

All text and images are copyright Home Heart Harmony unless stated and opinions are my own. Single images may be reproduced only if they remain in their original state and must be credited back to Home Heart Harmony with a link to the site. Failure to do so constitutes a copyright violation. 

Weekly Organising Challenge – Under-sink cabinet

Home Heart Harmony Organised Undersink CabinetI thought I would go crazy and kick off yet another regular feature this week. If you have ever read my ‘About Me’ page (which was written in my very first week of blogging 16 months ago), you will have seen that part of my reason for starting this blog was to ‘get my life in order’. I’m not sure I’m really achieving this terribly well as can be evidenced by the fact that I can never find anything!!

I am assured by other bloggers that being organised will save me oodles of time searching for lost belongings and I’m definitely keen to do that! It’s not that I don’t try hard to keep my ducks in a row, it’s just that I seem to start off with all the best intentions and then just run out of the time or energy to really get on top of things or maintain what I’ve put in place. However, since we set up our command centre, the fact that the system has continued to work in keeping our paper clutter under control has inspired me to put some effort into getting the rest of the house in order too. So, each week I am going to challenge myself to organise one area of our home – whether it be large or small. If you want to join in with me, I would love to see your before and after pictures – send them to homeheartharmony@yahoo.com and who knows, maybe we’ll get enough for a round-up post every now and then.

People always think I’m super organised (which really makes me laugh) but I am about to dispel all those myths with a whole series of ‘before’ pictures that will erase any ideas you may have had about that! I almost can’t bring myself to do it but…in the interests of tackling the issue and moving forward…here goes!

This week I am challenging myself to organise the cabinet underneath our kitchen sink. This cupboard has been sorted and re-sorted over and over again but it always seems to end up like this…

Argh!

Argh!

(See how I made that picture smaller to save you any distress!) To try and maintain my efforts this time, I have done a few things differently:

  • I have labelled all the containers so everyone knows what goes where (I made the labels using paper and washi tape and covered them all in transparent sticky film as they are likely to get wet at some point).
  • I have purchased a cleaning caddy which can be transported around the house and returned to the cupboard without having to move anything around
  • I have left some space for new bottles of cleaning products or kitchen towel at the back.
  • I have added some additional storage boxes and hooks on the door.
  • I have taken out any duplicates and stored them on a shelf in the garage until the current bottle is empty.
  • I have added a small 3-drawer plastic storage unit for dishwasher tablets and salt (which were previously kept in a box which had become stuck to the bottom of the cupboard!)
  • I have sized down our recycling box which previously took up the whole of the adjacent cupboard to add extra space for cleaning materials that we don’t use regularly but still need. (Tip: the hidden recycling box is a great clutter buster. It means we have a place to put our recycling that’s not the work-top and we just empty it into our larger bin outside whenever it becomes full.)
Much better than it was...

Much better than it was…

Ok - there is no way to make the under-sink cabinet look good in a photo but you get the idea!

Ok – there is no way to make the under-sink cabinet look good in a photo

(I had to cut a small section out of the back of the recycling box to fit around the pipe). I also gave the cupboard a really good clean and then sprayed ‘spider stop’ over everything and allowed it to dry. I may have mentioned by spider-phobia before. I don’t know if this stuff works but in my book, it’s worth a try to keep those horrible pests out of my house and cupboards! If nothing else, it smells of peppermint so you get a pleasant waft every time you open the door!

Is anyone else fed up with wasting time searching for things? Keen to get your place organised? Well, please, organise along! It’s much more fun doing things like this together. Don’t forget to send your before and after pics to homeheartharmony@yahoo.com.

You can also sign up to my email feed (see sign-up box top right on a computer or below on a tablet or smart phone), follow me on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram for updates between posts. Until next time…xoxo!

All text and images are copyright Home Heart Harmony unless stated and opinions are my own. Single images may be reproduced only if they remain in their original state and must be credited back to Home Heart Harmony with a link to the site. Failure to do so constitutes a copyright violation. 

 

Top Ten Tips to sell your stuff on eBay

Home Heart Harmony eBay Selling TipsHappy bank-holiday weekend friends! I hope you are all enjoying your long weekend. We have been keeping things low-key and hoping the sun comes out so we can either get out in the garden or take ourselves off to a National Trust property somewhere. I’m determined to make the most of our memberships this year and I recently bought a new picnic rucksack so we *have* to get some picnics in when the weather allows!

After all my painting last week, I started this week determined to make some real progress with clearing some of the clutter I’ve been hoarding hanging on to. With two growing children in the house, there is an ongoing, relentless tide of clothes, toys, shoes, DVD’s, video games etc coming in to our home. If I didn’t purge these items every now and then, we would find ourselves overwhelmed. I find myself in a constant battle to ‘clear out’ and I usually have a stash of things I need to sell. I’m not an eBay expert but I have sold things using eBay and I know lots of other people who regularly sell and make good money selling things they no longer need or use.  So, as a result, I have picked the brains of friends ‘in the know’ and drawn on our own experiences to bring you my ten top tips for selling your stuff on eBay.

1. Only sell seasonal items.

In order to get the best price for your possessions, you need to sell them at the time of highest demand. So don’t be selling your winter coats in the summer or your floral maxi dresses in the winter. Wait for the right moment and you will maximise the amount you can get for any given item. Sell the toys or bikes your children have outgrown in the months leading up to Christmas and get your Ugg boots on sale in early Autumn when people are starting to make the switch from sandals and ballet pumps to warmer footwear. As a general guide, look at what’s selling in the shops at any point in the year, and sell your similar items.

2. Don’t sell rubbish.

When clearing out, I always separate our belongings into piles, keeping the best items to sell. The slightly more worn items or those that are in less-than-good condition, go to charity. The really awful bits that are stained or falling apart go in the bin and only the best items get sold. This way you will ensure good feedback from your buyers and secure a good seller-rating.

3. Show your items off in the best possible way, describe them accurately and be honest.

If you are selling clothes, make sure they are washed and ironed. If it’s toys, clean them up. For shoes and bags, take the leather cleaner to them. The more effort you put in to making your items look good, the more money you are likely to get for them (most of the time!) If your item has any flaws, take photos of them, mention them in the description and make sure your buyer knows exactly what they are getting. Use the title and description to your best advantage including any words you think buyers of your item might use in their search terms. So, don’t be afraid to be specific and list all of your item’s features….for example…

Pretty navy blue and floral Joules Picnic Rucksack‘ will get you more hits than ‘Picnic Rucksack‘ and ‘Disney Store, Toy Story, Pull-string Talking Woody Doll‘ will get you more hits than ‘Talking Woody Doll.’

4. Ensure you get the best possible pictures.

Always photograph the things you are selling in natural light, preferably on a sunny day when you have plenty to play around with. If you are selling something large, take it outside and you’ll get even more light. Pay attention to your background. I can’t stress that enough! I have seen people selling things which are photographed on dirty work surfaces or carpets and there is nothing more sure to put me off! Lay your items out on a clean, neutral backdrop with plenty of light and you can’t go wrong.

5. Have your auction end on a Sunday evening.

One of my friends told me this tip a few years ago. Apparently Sunday evening (around 9pm) is the time most people are online and buying. I don’t know if this is true but when I started using this tactic, all my things sold for a lot more than I had been getting previously. Worth trying. This means you will probably want to start your auction on either a Sunday (for a 7 day auction) or a Tuesday (for a 5 day auction) evening.

7. Bundle branded items together.

This works really well if you are selling children’s clothes. If you often buy kids clothes from a handful of different shops, try selling small (around 5 items) bundles of clothes by brand type. For example, a ‘Next’ or ‘Gap’ bundle will often sell more easily and for a better price than individual items for which buyers have to pay postage every time. Remember to wash, iron and display them nicely to get the best price. You can also use this tactic for books by the same author, DVD’s with the same actor or toys that are part of a range like ‘Play Mobil’ which buyers may be collecting.

6. Get the postage right. 

If you go too high with your postage charges, you will put buyers off but if you go too low, you will lose money so it’s important to get it right when it comes to gauging what to charge. I think it’s always useful to weigh your item first so you know exactly what you are dealing with. Remember to allow for the packaging you will need to use as well. In the UK, you can download the Royal Mail price guide (here) to get exact postage charges for the weight of your parcel. This way, there are no nasty surprises when you come to mail your item. I always sell everything second class ‘signed for’ and state this in the information when listing. Don’t forget to allow time to get your items to the post office as soon as you possibly can after the auction finishes.

8. Try the ‘pick-up only’ option for larger items.

For items that are too large to post, you’ll probably be surprised by the number of people in your local are who are looking to buy. We once sold a pile of paving bricks which had been hiding behind our shed since we bought our house by pulling them all out, hosing them off and stacking them neatly for a photo. We listed them as ‘pick-up only’ and there was quite a bidding war over them! Talk about money for old bricks rope!!

9. Make sure you are not alone if people are coming to your home to collect pick-up only items.

If you do decide to go the pick-up only route, always, always make sure you have the item waiting outside the door when your buyer arrives and make sure you are never alone. You can never be too careful when it comes to this kind of thing and as the seller, you are in a good position to ensure the collection time suits you at a moment when someone else can be with you. Don’t ever let buyers into your home.

10. Make the most of your free listing limit.

As a private seller, you can list up to 20 items a month on eBay without being charged. If you go over that limit, expect to pay around £0.35 per item.When you sell, eBay will retain around 10% of the total transaction cost (including postage) plus a small Paypal fee if your buyer pays with Paypal. But like I said, I’m no expert! Familiarise yourself with all the eBay selling fees here.

So, who else is ready to get listing on eBay with me this weekend?! It does take some planning but it’s so worth it when the money starts rolling into that Paypal account!! Good luck!

Don’t forget to follow along on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram for updates between posts. Until next week…xoxo!

P.S. – Do you have any eBay selling tips? I would love to hear about them in the comments.

P.P.S. – See more of my ‘top ten’ posts here, here and here.

All text and images are copyright Home Heart Harmony unless stated and opinions are my own. Single images may be reproduced only if they remain in their original state and must be credited back to Home Heart Harmony with a link to the site. Failure to do so constitutes a copyright violation. 

Friday Favourite Five…Home Accessory Sources

Yay, it’s Friday! And better yet, the Friday before a long weekend! To celebrate I thought I would kick off this little series in which I will tell you about my five favourite….anything! This week I’m talking about five of my favourite places to buy home accessories. It’s been so difficult to pick just five and this list changes on an almost daily basis but for now, here are my favourite five…

Parlane

All images from Parlane

All images from Parlane

For a pretty, shabby chic feel, look no further than Parlane. Their range includes gorgeous vases, candle holders, sculptures and decorative wall hangings of all shapes and sizes. Prices are usually pretty reasonable which makes them a firm favourite in our house! Parlane sell only through stockists and you can go here to find your nearest but I tend to come across their items in many of the independent boutique-type shops you find in towns and smaller cities. However, you can also snag some of their pieces on Amazon and eBay.

Sia

All images from Sia

All images from Sia

I first came across Sia when I was looking for some faux-flowers which weren’t completely unconvincing! Sia have a large range of faux-flowers which really are convincing and beautiful. They also do a great line in home accessories as well as some pretty fabulous statement furniture. Some of their prices aren’t for the feint-hearted but the more expensive items are mixed in with some really reasonable finds. I particularly love this silver stool and their Garden furniture is just dreamy! Have a look through their product brochure here, but be warned, you might get carried away! Again, Sia products are available only through their stockists and you can find your nearest by clicking this link.

Gisela Graham

All images from Gisela Graham

All images from Gisela Graham

A particular favourite around Christmas and Easter, you can always depend on Gisela Graham for a fabulous festive ornament or pretty gift for a friend. I particularly love their mugs, bunting and fairy lights as well as their photo frames and trinket boxes. Sometimes, if I’m struggling to come up with a present, I will just put ‘Gisela Graham’ into Amazon and I usually find something just right.

Laura Ashley

All images from Laura Ashley

All images from Laura Ashley

I think Laura Ashley are hard to beat for beautiful home accessories. So much class and style is on offer and I have always found the quality to be great too. Prices are slightly higher than other high-street retailers though.

Casafina

All images from Casafina

All images from Casafina

Casafina is a ‘sale’ site where you can purchase high-end items for less but you have to get them when they are on offer or you miss out. You have to register to access the products and the content of the site changes regularly but there is usually something special. These items are ones I found today but they represent the type of items available. Great for rugs, lighting, vases and outdoor furniture.

Achica 

All images from Achica

All images from Achica

As with Casafina, Achica is a ‘sale’ site to purchase high-end products for less over a limited period. The homeware is, in my experience, usually stunning and I always get sucked in for longer than I intended when I visit! Definitely worth a regular peek! When you sign up, Achica send you emails about items you may find interesting.

Well, after researching this post, I am finding it very hard not to go and buy everything I’ve looked at! So much temptation! What are your favourite places to buy home accessories? I’d love to hear about them in the comments. Until next time….xoxo!

All text and images are copyright Home Heart Harmony unless stated and opinions are my own. Single images may be reproduced only if they remain in their original state and must be credited back to Home Heart Harmony with a link to the site. Failure to do so constitutes a copyright violation. 

Chalk Paint Chair Update (Part 2!)

Home Heart Harmony Chalk Paint Chair Update Part 2Well, another week has got away from me and it’s Saturday again! I hope you have all had a lovely week and managed to enjoy some spring weather. This week I have been mostly…painting chairs!

Back when I started this here blogging adventure, I was determined that the blog would respond to the needs of our home and not the other way around (ie. it would be a reflection of what we wanted and needed to do and would not see me forcing unnecessary projects for the sake of having something to write about.) Almost 16 months in and at the moment, I still feel like there’s enough to do around here to keep me busy with posts forever and a day….if only we could actually get on with doing some of it!

So, in the spirit of getting on, I was determined to finish what I started with the chairs for our dining area and get the remaining 5 chairs painted so we could finally get rid of our doggy-destroyed ones and move on. You can see my original post on the dining chair transformations here and a mere 5 (!) months later, here we are with six dining chairs basking in all their newly up-cycled glory.

Home Heart Harmony Chalk Paint Chair Update 6

You will notice we have four matching and two different chairs. I am always a fan of mixing styles when it comes to dining chairs so it was never my intention to have six the same. The two chairs at either end were part of a set my parents bought when I was a teenager and we took them on when they were heading for the scrap heap. They were unremarkable and we did nothing to update them….until now.

Home Heart Harmony Chalk Paint Chair Update 1

I love the way they have turned out with the chalk paint. They did take slightly longer to paint than the other chairs due to the larger surface area and ‘tricky’ legs but so worth it in my humble opinion!

Let’s have a couple of little ‘before and afters’ because we love them so…

Home Heart Harmony Chalk Paint Chair Update 3

And one of the other chairs from my last post…

Home Heart Harmony Chalk Paint Chair Update 7

And one of the dining area now that all the chairs and the gallery wall have been completed.

Before…

P1040928

And After…

Home Heart Harmony Chalk Paint Chair Update 5

All in all, and having lived with one of the painted chairs for a few months now, I would say that the chalk paint is great if you love a ‘shabby-chic’ lived-in look (which, fortunately, we do) but if you like things pristine, it may be better avoided. The chair I painted back in November is looking quite well used already (it has got a bit mucky from the wear and tear and is looking slightly ‘distressed’). However, I really do love the less glossy finish of the paint.

I have read that part of the beauty of the chalk paint is that you can use it straight onto your surface without sanding. Personally, I think a bit of sanding is always a good idea and whilst 3 coats has given a fairly good covering, I’m not sure it would have if I hadn’t sanded the chairs first. I did like the fact that there is very little of the ‘paint’ smell with the chalk paint, especially given that I’ve been painting chairs at our kitchen table for the last five days! Oh, and it’s easy to clean off (your clothes, floors, walls, hair!!) as well!

I’m looking forward to not painting anything this week! Has anyone else been up-cycling any furniture lately? Remember, I always love to see your pics which you can email to me at homeheartharmony@yahoo.com.

Don’t forget to follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for updates between posts. Until next week…xoxo!

All text and images are copyright Home Heart Harmony unless stated and opinions are my own. Single images may be reproduced only if they remain in their original state and must be credited back to Home Heart Harmony with a link to the site. Failure to do so constitutes a copyright violation.