Weekly Organising Challenge – Organised Linen Cupboard

Home Heart Harmony Weekly Organising Challenge - Linen CupboardI should have called this post ‘Organised Ironing Piles’ because that’s essentially what goes on in here! I have tried and failed more times than I care to remember to keep on top of my ironing. There are just never enough hours in the day and I have come to accept that there is never going to be a time when everything we own is neatly ironed and put away. Am I the only one? Perhaps we have too many clothes?

Instead of beating myself up over piles of un-ironed washing all over the house, I have designated our linen cupboard as the place to hide it all!! Now I just have a big ironing session on a Sunday evening and a couple of smaller sessions through the week (usually at 6.30 in the morning when I realise the kids didn’t hang up their uniform the previous night or I don’t have anything left to wear to work!)

Before

Before

I have organised this space in the not too distant past but as you can see, things have spiralled out of control, yet again! I’m going to blame the change in seasons for this one (just as I did with my last challenge!) The top shelf is home to our towels. I forgot to take a ‘before’ picture of this bit prior to emptying it out part way but it was just a mess of towels teetering up out of my reach and falling over into the back of the shelf never to be seen again! The two bags at the bottom here contain all the children’s ‘out-of-season’ clothes and as yet (due to the fact that we didn’t really stop wearing our winter clothes until a couple of weeks ago) I hadn’t got around to switching things around.

After

After – Ignore the mess of wires, they are an unchangeable feature!

Last week, I made the children try on all the summer clothes that had been packed away in these bags and washed pretty much every item of clothing we own! I then packed away all the winter clothes that still fit, gathered up anything that didn’t fit to be passed on to smaller family members and ironed and put away all their summer clothes (all while trying to pack for a weekend away – it looked like a Chinese laundry around here!) The children have an ironing basket of their own which lives in their wardrobe but I try to stay on top of their ironing a bit better so they don’t have too much sitting around un-worn before they grow out of it.

The two baskets on the higher shelves were supposed to be one for me and one for hubby but things have got a bit messed up as time has gone on and there was some confusion! (Yes, really. Can you tell?)

Some of the clothes in the bottom of those baskets have been lost for a while now and I certainly don’t have the patience to lift everything out each time I’m searching for one particular item so they just got forgotten about.

All ready to be pulled out and ironed when the mood strikes! (So, never then.)

All ready to be pulled out and ironed when the mood strikes! (So, never then.)

In order to avoid a reoccurrence, here are the things I have done differently this time:

  • Labelled the baskets so my things don’t get mixed up with hubby’s again.
  • Folded our clothes differently so that everything can be seen at a glance.
  • Thrown out any clothes we no longer wear.
  • Packed away all our ‘out-of-season’ clothes in the same way I do for the children.
  • Limited the clothes we kept to the amount the basket will hold – one in, one out from now on. No more hoarding old clothes with holes in thinking I will patch them up. It just isn’t going to happen!
  • Rolled all our towels rather than folding. It makes it much easier to reach them as they take up less space and the stack doesn’t reach such great heights any more!
  • Continued using the bags at the foot of the cupboard for the children’s ‘out-of-season’ clothes as this was working well.

Home Heart Harmony Weekly Organising Challenge - Linen Cupboard

From now on, as I take things out to iron, I’m sure they will be replaced with clean items coming out of the wash. To add new items, I just tip the basket up on one end and insert the new ones at the top. I suppose at some point, the basket may become less full and things might fall around a bit but, let’s face it, that’s very unlikely!! Here’s a quick final before and after…

Home Heart Harmony Before and After Linen Cupboard

Does anyone have any super-star tips for staying on top of the ironing pile? I would absolutely love to hear them. Please share in the comments. I wish there was a magic spell I could cast to get everything freshly pressed and hanging in the correct wardrobe whenever I desire! In the meantime, I’ll just have to stick with hiding it all away!! (Shhh!)

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!

P.S. I’m sharing this post over at the iHeart Organizing Four Week ‘Wait No More’ Challenge.

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.

 

Painted Chest of Drawers

Home Heart Harmony Painted Chest Update

Well, progress has been slow in our son’s bedroom as we spent the weekend moving furniture out, which had a knock on effect everywhere! We knew we were going to need some extra storage space in the garage to get this project completed so we ordered a new shed (which we’ve been meaning to do for ages) to house some of the things currently stored in the garage. Of course, we had to wait for the shed to be delivered and then it needed to be assembled so what with that and the painting project I’m about to talk about, the week has run away from us once again!

Home Heart Harmony Painted Chest

This chest of drawers which I mentioned in this post was one we had made for us a good few years ago. It was originally untreated pine but it went to live with my niece for a few years and my sister had it painted white. I liked the white but after years of use by both my niece and then us again, it was in urgent need of a new coat of paint.

Home Heart Harmony Painted Chest

The unit will now be in our son’s new bedroom and as such, I decided white paint wasn’t the way to go. His furniture is all from IKEA and the shade of the wood is called grey/brown. I definitely didn’t want to paint this chest brown so I thought it would be best to pick out the grey tones of his existing furniture and paint this one a dark grey. This colour is called ‘Grey Steele’ and it’s from the ‘Colours’ range at B&Q. It’s a water-based Satin finish. I really wanted to update the drawer pulls as well so I took off the old ones and replaced them with these antique brass effect ones. I think the antique brass looks great on grey and I’m so pleased with how the unit has turned out.

Home Heart Harmony Painted Chest

For those that are interested in the process, I sanded the unit first using a palm sander and then used two coats of a primer/undercoat to make sure all the imperfections were well and truly a thing of the past. I finished up using two further coats of the grey but for the top coat, I used a mini micro-fibre roller to get a better finish. Each coat didn’t take that long but I did allow plenty of drying time between each one so it’s taken a few days (probably a week actually by the time I finished it). I have to say, the micro-fibre roller was a game changer. I had intended to use one from the start but I didn’t get around to ordering it until I was half way through the process. The roller made the job so much quicker and easier and the finish was better too. I wish I’d had it earlier in the process!

This chest will give our son additional storage (as he will be losing a full height fitted cupboard in the move) and will also provide an extra surface for all his gadgets which will mean his desk can remain much clearer for homework and drawing (he is a keen little artist). He has desperately needed an extra surface for some time so he will be delighted with this, I’m sure.

Home Heart Harmony Painted Chest

When I showed him the finished chest today, he was really excited about it, he loves the colour and the drawer pulls were his favourite part. I can’t wait to get the room done now. I think it’s going to be a slow project though. We have SUCH a busy few weeks coming up with big family birthdays, weekends away and the end of the school year. We are just going to take it a bit at a time and not put pressure on ourselves.

Why don’t we just finish with a quick before and after?

Home Heart Harmony Painted Chest Before and After

Has anyone else been updating furniture lately? I do love it when a piece of furniture can be given a whole new life with just a lick of paint.

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.

 

Are we losing our children to technology?

Home Heart Harmony - Are we losing our children to technology

It’s been a while since I talked ‘family.’ Our kiddo’s are growing waaaay to fast and, as we approach the end of yet another school year, it is scary to think about how much has changed around here, even in just the last 12 months! As many of you will know, we had a power cut last week which knocked out our wi-fi router. As I mentioned, it was a long week but in lots of ways, it was soooo good to have my children back for a few days! That sounds so awful doesn’t it? I’m aware of how bad it sounds. The way in which we spent the week really brought to the forefront of my mind an issue which has been troubling me for quite some time now so I thought I would ‘share’ with you all. They say a problem shared is a problem halved don’t they?

Our daughter is 11 and our son is 9 and they both have access to iPads and laptops. When we decided that they would be allowed to use these devices, it was largely as a result of their insistence that they ‘needed’ them. All of their school homework was posted online and they often needed to use a computer to complete it. They assured us that they were the ONLY children left in the entire universe that didn’t have a device of their own! Hmmm, I’m not quite sure that was the case (in fact, I think the truth was being seriously stretched).

However, having given the issue significant consideration (and having got sick and tired of the constant arguing over my laptop) we decided to take the plunge and invest in some technology for the children. This was both the best and worst decision we have ever made! Don’t get me wrong, these devices and the ways in which they can be used are incredible! (Let’s remember that I am not exactly whiter than white when it comes to the issue of technology over-use! I have both a personal and blog Facebook and InstaGram account, I write a blog and share it with the world electronically. I know that there are two very strong sides to this argument!) If I’m honest, in situations where children are required to sit still and quiet for a extended period of time, these devices are an absolute gift from heaven! However, the trouble really starts when you need to get them away from the screen and back into the real world.

I have spoken to many friends and acquaintances who are parents and they all seem to be struggling with the same issue. Whether it be the family PC, a smart phone, a tablet, an Xbox or Playstation or even the Wii which was purchased with a dream of ‘family game nights,’ everyone seems to be facing the same dilemma. We all want our children to be accepted by their peers, we don’t want them isolated socially because they can’t take part in group messages, oovoo chats, FaceTime or IG direct messages, but at the same time, we want them to be a part of the family, we would quite like to spend some time with them every now and then and ideally, we’d like them to just put the sodding thing down once in a while! Speak to parents of older teenagers, and you hear a much more serious story. Hushed conversations reveal real concerns about burgeoning gaming addiction, unlimited access to pornography, cyber-bullying and young lives wasting away in front of a computer screen.

I do sometimes feel like the situation is spiralling out of our control and we often discuss ways in which we can act now in order to prevent more serious problems from developing further down the line. I really do feel strongly that we need to get a handle on this issue A.S.A.P! As a solution-driven person, I am always looking for ways to resolve a problem and I would love (seriously, really, please tell me) to hear how you are all dealing with this situation in your own homes (or if it’s even an issue). I really feel like I need advice on this! It seems like such a simple problem to solve but in reality, we don’t want our children to be the only ones whose parents are coming down hard on them. We don’t want to be fighting a constant battle. We want them to be happy, to be able to communicate and socialise with their friends, we don’t want them isolated or targeted for torment. But, our priority is our family, our time together and the health and well-being of our children. With that in mind, for what it’s worth, here are a few ways we have tackled, are tackling and are planning to tackle this issue with our own kids (with varying degrees of success and failure!) Please, share yours with me in the comments:

  • Limiting the time spent on devices to a set period each day
  • Only using devices at the weekend
  • Confiscating devices one (or more) hour(s) before bed
  • “Earning” device time with good behaviour and/or chores
  • Turning off the Wi-fi at certain times of the day or week
  • Not allowing the children to know the password to download new apps
  • Linking all the children’s devices to our own Apple ID so that we share photo streams, apps, internet favourites and accounts.
  • Setting parental controls with PIN codes known only to us.
  • Talking regularly with our children about ‘self-monitoring’ and the need for time away from the screens.
  • Encouraging them to participate in regular clubs and activities outside of the home.
  • Not taking their devices everywhere with them.
  • Discussing cyber-bullying and things which could harm themselves and others if shared online.
  • Getting out of the house together regularly to enjoy time as a family

I realise that these are not always realistic and I know how hard it can be to encourage the children to spend their free time doing things other than the one thing they want most. It does feel a bit like we are quietly fighting a never-ending battle but it’s one we are determined to win! Don’t forget to share your tips for tackling this problem in the comments, I would love to hear from you.

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.

 

Weekly Organising Challenge – Under-stair Cupboard

Home Heart Harmony Weekly Organising Challenge Understairs Cupboard

Oh my!! It’s been a long week around here. We had a power cut last Monday evening which knocked out our wi-fi router and we had to wait aaaalllllll week for a new one to arrive. I know, it’s been rough! I feel like this post was never meant to be! I’ve battled the wi-fi break down, then when we got a new router, I couldn’t get the printer to connect to it to make my labels, then when I finally managed to connect, I had to clear half the files off my computer to make room for the new printer drivers I needed to download, then the laminator ate my labels and I had to start again, then I ran out of ink, then my tripod broke whilst I was trying to take photos!!

Anyway, enough of the problems, I have finally made it!  This week’s organising challenge was a biggie. I can honestly say that there has not been a single day in at least the last six months that I haven’t thought about tackling this area. And that whole time, it has been gradually getting worse and worse and worse until we reached this point…

Duh Duh Duuuh!

Duh Duh Duuuh!

Ladies and Gentlemen…I give you…the cupboard under the stairs! It makes quite an impressive statement doesn’t it?! I cannot believe or understand how we have allowed this situation to escalate to this degree! WHERE does all this stuff come from?! I wish I had counted as I was working how many coats, bags, hats, scarves and pairs of gloves there were in here. I can’t imagine why we have so many.

You may (just!) be able to see from the before photo that, unbelievably, I have tackled this nook in the past. I even separated things out into drawers and labelled them as well as some of the hooks. Clearly, that didn’t work out too well.

I think the change of seasons is where we fall down with this cupboard. What we need to do is put away our ‘out-of-season’ coats until we need them again leaving just the ones were are currently using. But alas, I have been a bit slack about this.

The other problem with this space is the shape. As with most under stairs cupboards, it is smaller in the back and not easy to get to so it really needs to be saved for storing things we rarely need. Trouble is, I forget what’s in there! So, even if we do need the things back there, I don’t ever remember they are there anyway!

Apart from throwing out all of the rubbish and donating anything we no longer needed to charity, here are the things I’ve changed in an attempt to make this area work harder for us in the future:

  • I designated areas for separate belongings – coats, bags, sports kit and the pup’s stuff.
  • I put away all of our ‘out-of-season’ gear in vacuum bags to be kept elsewhere and be swapped out when the Autumn arrives.
  • I made a ‘wipe-clean’ inventory of what’s tucked away in the back of the cupboard using a laminated print-out and whiteboard pen so that it can be easily changed/updated as necessary and stuck it at the front of the cupboard.
  • I re-labelled the drawers and hooks to encourage everyone to use them correctly.

It’s tricky to make this space look pretty for photos but here are a few of the dramatically improved ‘after’ shots to give you an idea of what’s changed! (Though now I’m thinking it needs a serious re-paint!):

Home Heart Harmony Weekly Organising Challenge - Understairs Cupboard

 

Home Heart Harmony Weekly Organising Challenge - Understairs Cupboard

 

Home Heart Harmony Weekly Organising Challenge - Understairs Cupboard

 

Home Heart Harmony Weekly Organising Challenge - Understairs Cupboard

The 'Before and After'

The ‘Before and After’

Have you been joining in with the weekly organising challenge? I must admit, it’s harder than I thought it would be to tackle a space each week (especially with a hundred technical hold-ups!!) Maybe I should re-name this the fortnightly organising challenge?! I suppose at least, it is keeping me on track and slowly but surely, we are improving things around here. I’m off to paint a chest of drawers. Don’t forget to send me your ‘before and after’ if you’ve joined in with the challenge this week!

To check out my previous ‘organising challenge’ posts, click on the links below:

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!

P.S – I’m sharing this post over at iHeart Organizing’s ‘Wait-no-more Organizing Challenge’

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 Update (Part One)

I thought I would give you all a little progress update today on our son’s bedroom (not that there’s much to tell!) I am planning to do update posts as we go so I thought I had better start somewhere and tell you what needs to be done (purely so that I have the satisfaction of crossing things off the list as we go!)

Last weekend we took ourselves off to find a carpet for this room (as well as a bed for ours, but more on that another day!) We decided (for the first time ever) to go with a deeper pile carpet. We usually go for something with a shallow pile because of the fact that deeper pile carpets always settle and go a bit flat anyway but this room is not going to get a great deal of traffic and our son was really keen to have something extra soft underfoot so we thought ‘why not?’

We picked a neutral shade which will go with anything we decide to put in the room going forward so hopefully it will last a while. So, here is the list of what needs to be done from now…

  • Order Carpet
  • Order / Buy Paint
  • Order wood for panelling
  • Order trim for panelling
  • Sell wardrobe and chest of drawers
  • Paint remaining chest of drawers
  • Sell guest bed and mattress
  • Move desk, bedside cabinets and bookcase into new guest room
  • Remove curtains and curtain pole
  • Remove picture hooks
  • Fill holes from hooks and curtain pole
  • Fit ‘faux’ panelling
  • Paint walls
  • Paint panelling
  • Paint door and skirting
  • Order new curtains, rug and accessories
  • Hang curtain pole and new curtains
  • Have carpet fitted
  • Move bed, desk and bookcases from our son’s current bedroom to the new one
  • Swap contents of wardrobe and storage cupboards between old and new bedroom
  • Hang pictures

That’s a big list. One step at a time. Deep breaths! I think the next step is to choose a paint colour. As I explained before, we are planning to ‘faux panel’ the bottom half of the room and paint it white. We love the look of panelling as I shared in a previous post and our son is keen to try it out in his room.

I am having a bit of a quandary over the paint colour for the top half of the room. I wanted to go with a pale bluish grey but I couldn’t see anything I liked in any of the ranges we felt were good value for money. My next resort was the Dulux colour-match service and as I said in my last post, I was leaning towards two particular shades of grey (they were ‘Mineral Haze 3 and Grey Steel 3’). However, when we reached the DIY store on Sunday, after spending waahaaay more than we had intended on the new bed and being unpleasantly surprised by the cost of the carpet, hubby was looking a little strained and I could see that the cost of a large tin of Dulux colour-matched paint was making the veins in his forehead bulge. I suggested a quick tour of all the other brands to see if we could find something similar. We were, afterall, at a different and much larger DIY store than we had been when we got our original paint colour charts.

To cut to the chase, we picked 3 shades of regular, un-colour-matched paint, bought testers and (after spending much more time searching for the children than the paint) retreated to the checkout. All supplies of both good behaviour and patience had clearly expired for the day. It was time to call it quits.

Home Heart Harmony Boy Bedroom UpdateHere are the testers on the wall of the room in question. They are all much more blue (bluer than they look in this picture) and less grey than they appear to be on the front of the tester pots. However, before I run off to spend more money on testers, I think I will see what our son thinks. I think either of the bottom two might actually be o.k. (Since he has been hankering after blue from the beginning and they do both have a tinge of grey which might make them a good compromise.)

In the meantime, Hubby has measured ordered MDF to be cut to size for the panelling. (We looked at real wood planks at the weekend but they were expensive and I’m slightly concerned that the knots will show through the paint so MDF might be both cheaper and better.) We have already bought white paint for this part.

Home Heart Harmony Boy Bedroom UpdateI’m planning to paint this chest of drawers this weekend (as you can see, the last paint job has seen better days.)

Home Heart Harmony Boy Bedroom UpdateI’m going with a darkish grey so I’m looking forward to seeing how it works out. I’ve never painted anything in a dark colour!! (The last picture also gives a good idea of the carpet colour we have at present. I’m hoping the more neutral carpet will lighten the room considerably.)

Home Heart Harmony Boy Bedroom UpdateThe wardrobe and larger chest shown here are on eBay as we speak so they will both be gone very soon. (Feeling very sad about saying goodbye to them, they were the first nursery furniture we bought when we had our first baby.)

I think that’s it for this week. I’m sure the list will grow and change as I remember what else needs to be done.

You can check out the inspiration for this room here and hear more about the plans.

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. 

Weekly Organising Challenge – Living Room Cabinet

Home Heart Harmony Weekly Organising Challenge - Living Room Cabinet

Hey! Hope you are all having a great week. It’s been half term so the children and I have been busy enjoying some lovely days out and also some lazy days at home. I wasn’t going to post this week but I have been doing a little bit of organising around here so I thought I may as well share it with you. The fact that I am making an effort to do this even in half term is what is making me so happy that I decided to challenge myself in this way. There is just so much to be done and if I don’t focus and get on with it, things only fall further and further behind. Don’t forget to send me your before and after photos if you are joining in with me.

The Horrendous mess that was 'before'

The Horrendous mess that was ‘before’

This week, I tackled the side-board cupboard which lives underneath our TV. It was a mess of games, cameras, wires and random magazines and paperwork which hadn’t been looked at in years. So, most of the action here was just slinging things straight into the recycling or dustbin!

The baskets hide all the clutter and make things easier to access

The baskets hide all the clutter and make things easier to access

When I looked through what was left, I separated it into categories and added a couple of baskets I had cleared during my clear-out in the guest room. I made some labels with the lovely paper I used in this post using the same method I used here. One of the baskets provided a new home for some of our games and our old VCR which my husband wanted to hold on to. The other houses all of our camcorder gear – cables, cameras and old tapes full of memories.

Nothing like a pretty label to add the finishing touch

Nothing like a pretty label to add the finishing touch

(I’m not enjoying the ‘distressed’ paint finish we seem to have created on this cabinet! I can feel a paint job coming on!) When everything was organised, I had lots of space left over so I decided to use a couple of IKEA ‘Kassett’ boxes to store our Wii games and controllers which were previously over-filling one of the drawers above.

Let’s have a final ‘before and after’ shall we?

Home Heart Harmony Weekly Organising Challenge - Living Room Cabinet

I love the fact that this challenge is leading to better organised areas all around our home. I have soooo many spaces left to sort out so this could go on and on!!

I’m going to take a ‘half-term’ break from the Friday Five this week (since I have the kiddo’s home and we want to make the most of our last day). I’ll be back next week with more projects. I’m off on the DIY trail this weekend looking for materials to get started in our son’s new bedroom. Wish me luck!

Don’t forget to hop over to my Instagram page and follow me there. I’ve been stepping up my Instagram presence of late and sharing a bit more of what goes on around here in the day to day.

As always, you can still 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 FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest 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…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.