You may have seen our new collections floating around on our social media recently, but its finally time for the big reveal!
Say hello to the new cushion collection, designed and made exclusively by The Room Alive.
If you have been following us for a while you'll know that it all started with our wallpaper, or a Palm Leaf Garden wallpaper to be specific, it has received so much love online and offline too, that when we had requests for fabric in the same pattern it was a no brainer - it was just a matter of time until the cushions would be arriving!
As per our wallpaper, we wanted a sustainable product and wanted to be proud of the way our cushions are made and of working with local businesses.
All our cushions are printed and made in England with 100% cotton fabric and filled with a feather inner for the best snug feeling.
They're easy to love and also easy to maintain, as the cushion covers can be removed and washed. They come in three different designs and in colours to suit everyone. Have a look at our mini collections below...
For the Love of Dots
For the Love of dots cushions in 'Love' and 'Sleep'.
Palm Leaf Garden
Palm Leaf Garden cushions in Green, Grey or Pink.
Dotted Lines cushions in Black & White and Grey & Blush
From soft tropical patterns to our modern twist on geometric patterns, they are elegant with the added trendy touch.
Every design is available in two different sizes: 45 x 45cm and 60 x 60cm. Perfect for sofas, beds and children's beds whilst the larger size is equally great as floor cushions, super comfortable sofa and bed cushions and also for reading nooks.
A perfect gift for a loved one too... which one is your favourite?
You can see more details and the full collection here.
The Wild Rabbit - Kingham
Happy New Year!
We wish you a fantastic 2018! With a new year comes new goals and dreams, and quality family time is at the top of most people's lists for the new year - especially for working parents. Whether you run your own business or have a job, the juggling of daily life pressures, busy schedules and raising kids can take its toll on anyone.
How about we make more time to create memories with our loved ones?
Sounds good right?
Last Autumn we went to the stunning Cotswolds for a family weekend break, and although just over an hour away from home, it was amazingly relaxing and just what we needed at the time. A weekend hotel break and a change of scenery were perfect to help us switch off from the pressures of the daily routine whilst the girls had a blast. Not to mention the amazing interiors we got to check out at some Boutique Hotels and shops!
To read what we got up to in the Cotswolds, including fun for the little ones and where we got the little treats from the chef below, check the full article in Trivago's Room5.
The Christmas rush has now well and truly kicked in, and if like me you still haven't finished your Christmas shopping or completed your wish list, this guide will help!
With blush pink being the go-to colour for many things this past year, from homewares to accessories, from art to clothing, it makes sense that it will also get a deserved spot under many Christmas trees.
Here's our top picks with the best of pink, click on the images for more details:
For more Christmas gift ideas also check out our Top Picks: Christmas Gifts under £15 guide.
All products featured are in stock and ready to ship!
ORDER BY 5PM ON WEDNESDAY 20/12 FOR DELIVERY BEFORE CHRISTMAS
There's just a couple of weeks left until Christmas, and with the high streets packed we thought it was about time we gave you the run-down of our perfect gifts this year, all for under £15!
Take a look at our selections below - perfect as stocking fillers or just a little something special.
Our kids section features a number of small items this year that can be kept to cherish such as these prints and wall hangings, or could come in handy over the festive period like these fun activity place mats!
Treat her this year with something that will look as good in the handbag, as the bag Itself! We love these motivating notebooks, and on-trend pom-pom key ring.
Metallic homewares and blush are still very popular, so you can't go wrong with fabulous tea light holders, ornament or trinket dish.
And finally, take a look at our bespoke art prints! Perfect for home or office, propped up on the mantle or framed in a collection, these will always welcome gifts that are something a little special.
All collections feature products in stock and ready to ship!
I am one of those people that secretly plan Christmas really early on in the year, I probably start pinning ideas in August! Then it's on the lookout for table settings, yummy recipes and finding a beautiful wreath for the door (one of the hardest decisions I must say as there are too many gorgeous wreaths out there these days!)
And then, there is the TREE! I was a little bit excited knowing that I didn't have to wait until the 6th of December for that this time...
...and that's because back in July I was invited to take part in the super fab Christmas Tree Challenge with Style at Home Magazine.
I jumped at the chance and how lucky was I! I was one of eight Style Makers that were chosen for the challenge.
With celebrity MUA Alice
Mid-august on a warm summer day off I went to the location house in London, and straight away I was welcomed by Jane and her lovely team! After a coffee and introductions, I was taken for hair and make up and that was a treat... The beautiful Alice (@wonderlandhairandmakeup on Instagram) is a celebrity Hair & Make Up Artist and she is beautiful inside and out!
Pampering done, it was time for the highlight of the day: decorating the tree!
My retailer (which I only found out on the day!) was George at Asda, and everything from the furniture to the decorations couldn't have been more beautiful!
The Christmas colours I had to work with were gold, purple and blue and although I love gold, I wouldn't have chosen purple and blue previously... until I saw these! I was won over by the glamour of my tree and how those decorations and colours worked together.
There was also one piece of furniture that made its way straight to the top of my wish list, and one that I would have never thought to look for at George at Asda before this shoot! This stunning glass top brass geometric side table is also super reasonable at only £79. Stunning!
The glass top geometric brass table from George at Asda
And this is how it all looked together:
The finished tree and how everything came together are on the December issue of Style at Home Magazine (the issue is out now!)
The team was fabulous and although the photographer couldn't shed 3kg off me with his camera (well my youngest daughter was only 3 months old at the time), he did a great job at capturing the best shot.
And they wouldn't just let us go hungry after all the glam and excitement, we were also treated to a prosecco lunch with the team, the other style maker Gemma and the PR Team for George at Asda and Homebase. It was a fantastic experience and I got to meet some fabulous talented professionals! A big thank you to Jane (Executive Editor), Laurie Davidson (Stylist), Emily Dawe (Style Assistant) and Simon Whitmore (photographer).
Now to get some of those beautiful decorations on my own tree...
Sleep. Chase your dreams. Repeat. Sleep is such a big part of our lives, it can most often be the cure and the solution for anything. The more rested you are, the more likely you are to make things happen!
It is kind of ironic that I have been obsessing with a new bed for the last few months, my youngest daughter has just turned six months old this week and I have not had much sleep for a long time now. And it doesn't look like she will become a good sleeper anytime soon... I am typing this at 1.30am while she's wide awake and refuses to settle for the night!
Never mind that, longer sleep nights will come sooner or later, and when I can fully enjoy my sleep again, I want it to be in one of these beds that I have shortlisted.
These sleepless nights have left me dreaming of the comfiest headboard ever, somewhere I can just sit back on and enjoy my favourite Netflix series or read stories for the girls. A couple of months ago our Palm Leaf Garden Wallpaper was styled for Home Style Magazine and ever since I have been swooning over that pink bed!
And also an all-time favourite with thousands of pins on Pinterest, the super bedroom of the awesome blogger Olivia from Lust Living, her style is the best and room after room she does not disappoint. This bedroom is something else, and her bed is a big part of it. Great inspo all together!
With these two fab bedrooms in mind, I started the search:
A grey or pink upholstered bed to fit into a scandi-boho bedroom.
The Ruffle Bed from Loaf.com
This bed from Loaf.com reminds me of a cloud, it looks so inviting and dreamy. And there is a choice of 157 fabrics to chose from, so you can almost have a bespoke bed to fit exactly what you are looking for. The highest priced bed on my shortlist, it seems worth it for the luxury and unique design it offers!
The Kristoff Bed from Swoon Editions
I am a big fan of Swoon Editions' furniture and now of their beds! I picked the Kristoff bed because of the simple vintage scandinavian design and those tapered oak legs. Plus what is not to love when you can also chose this gorgeous 'Blossom' House Weave fabric?
Chesterfield Bed from Maisons du Monde
A more traditional version of the one above, this one is a good choice from Maisons du Monde, and one of the most affordable. The grey colour is subtle and it would be so much fun to style a bedroom with this comfy bed in it.
Roscoe Bed by Made.com
When I started my search I didn't think I'd fall for this Dusk Pink Roscoe bed from Made.com but I did. This bed would make a statement anywhere in its gorgeous colour and beautiful oak legs, high end style and Nordic charm, this one has it all. And at a reasonable price too - win-win!
Brunel Bed from Heal's
Ok I did say upholstered bed and this one from Heal's is only half upholstered, but the headboard is to die for and the base and legs are a mix of industrial and cool mid-century Scandi. So it just had to make the list!
Now the difficult task is to choose one... which one is your favourite?
The fun is only just starting at choosing a bed... Here is a selection of boho-chic bedroom decor accessories you can use for the perfect bedroom, a useful list when it comes to building a mood board and putting the perfect bedroom together:
Read here for more inspiration on how to get the Boho-Chic look.
Recently we have been invited to join David Lloyd Milton Keynes for a six-month membership. A couple of weeks have gone by and I've had the time to discover most of the facilities (believe me there is so much to do there!), I figured it's time to share what my goals are for the next six months. It is always more of a commitment once it's written... and I'll have you all to hold me accountable for it now!
My main challenge over the last six months has been the lack of time to do anything that doesn't involve the kids or the business, so I may be ambitious but one of my main goals is to get back into my pre-pregnancy shape, not necessarily losing weight, although I'd be happy to wave goodbye to 3 unwanted kilos! But mainly toning up and putting things back into place (Mums out there, you know what I mean - toned bum and legs and a flat tummy or as close to that as possible). So I have started running again, weight training, pilates and plan on joining spinning classes soon.
After my first workout, documenting on my Insta stories!
The entrance to the gym and cardio equipment
My second and most important goal is to spend quality family time. With a very intense last year and not much help around, we haven't allowed ourselves to relax much lately, so this is the perfect opportunity! I treasure those moments we can spend together as a family, be it swimming after a class or playing in the DL Kids area, or even having a go at tennis once Lia turns three.
Alongside that, running a new business is a 24/7 thing and with limited time my to-do list is always growing longer! So going to David Lloyd allows me to take that time a few times a week to spend time with the family, without getting behind on my business. There is wifi in the club and also an adults-only work area really well equipped, so I can be on top of things whenever needed.
The first two weeks...
I kick started my running journey and I have managed to run for a whole twenty minutes, admittedly at a slower pace than I used to before, however I am over the moon with that start! I love that David Lloyd cardio equipment has its own screen where you can watch TV whilst working out so I have been catching up on the news (or on X-factor!) and it does make the work out easier in a way. Call it multi-tasking or cheating, whichever way it is working for me!
I have also taken a pilates class and it has definitely pushed me in all kinds of ways, I realised what parts of my body really need strengthening and it also gave me a much needed mind space. Amazing #mummetime and work out - talk about multi-tasking again!
My work station for a couple of mornings last week
Lia ready for a fun swim
We have also taken the girls swimming. Mel went in the pool for the first time and she was a natural! We took some water toys and everyone really enjoyed themselves. I thought getting showered and changed with a baby might be a nightmare - it wasn't too bad though it took some planning... there are showers with baby seats and there are changing tables, a play pen and plenty of seating areas in the changing rooms.
Lia has really been enjoying the DL Kids area where me and the Mr normally sit and take turns to work out or attend classes. My five-month old doesn't take bottles so leaving her at the creche is not an option yet for us (although they do take babies from 4 months old!) but we hope by the end of the year this will change. This is also the area where we meet friends or enjoy a nice and well-deserved post-workout meal. It's a really casual and friendly area.
So far it has been great! This week I am booked into a body balance class and a yoga class and I am looking forward to those. Having a great place to go to where I can take my family is keeping me motivated, as there are great facilities for the whole family so I don't have to miss out on time with them to keep fit, and whilst many years ago I would have never even thought of that, these days it is the main factor we consider when choosing what places to go!
Lia enjoying herself on the play frame
The kids area - it is hard to get little one away from it!
One of the studios
The indoor swimming pool
Disclaimer: David Lloyd has kindly gifted us a six-month membership, as always I would only share activities that we do ourselves and all opinions are my own.
Nothing marks the start of a new season like a new cushion on your sofa...
The easiest way to update your decor, and one of the most affordable ways too, cushions complete and elevate any room instantly transforming it into whatever you want it to be: quirky, colourful, minimalist, romantic, trendy.
Well, this is the great news: We now have Palm Leaf Garden Cushions!
In the same signature colours of Blush and Green on Blush, they're here to make a statement.
Cotton velvet backing with exposed brass zipper detail
Linen cotton blend backing with exposed brass zipper detail
We love supporting local and small businesses, and our cushions are handmade in the UK by local crafters, and our 100% cotton fabric is also printed in the UK.
We are also bringing some simple designs with unique details, a bit of colour block with a nod to the geometric trend:
All new cushions can be seen here. I hope you enjoy them! x
For the past many years we've been really active, when we had no kids we used to work out several times a week, play tennis, take pilates and spinning classes. Plus take the dog out for long walks or bike rides. My first daughter was born in 2014, and seven weeks later I was back at it. We didn't necessarily have the time to continue with all the activities as before, but the gym was still a non-negotiable, and I used to run a few times a week and take the odd spinning class here and there.
Everything changed when my second daughter was born in April this year. Our gym membership was long gone as spare time became nothing more than a distant memory. There. is. no. spare. time. Toughest time of all, as you are restless looking after a toddler and a baby who cannot coordinate their sleep times and have different needs, both my husband and I are constantly exhausted.
When I recently got an invitation to attend an event at David Lloyd Milton Keynes I was over the moon. Partly because David Lloyd is the best health club around here, and partly because it included the magic sentence 'bring your children'. That was it! A solution to my long-lasting lack of fitness activities!
My almost three year old and I attended the event along with other lovely local bloggers and their children, we were given a tour of the facilities, a yoga class whilst the little ones attended a kids club class or the creche, time to go swimming with the littles and a yummy dinner. It was the start of my journey back into fitness and best of all: family included!
It was no surprise I was aching from the yoga class, for several days after! However over the next weekend I was back in there to start off my journey to fitness. The Mr was fully onboard, being as committed to fitness as he is. So off we went, fully loaded family of four to kick start our membership at David Lloyd!
We both managed to work out whilst my eldest one was playing in the soft play frame and kids area and making new friends, and my youngest one was either feeding, sleeping or just looking around being cute.
Enjoying the kids facilities whilst having a break from the soft play frame
The girls at David Lloyd Milton Keynes
There is a vast array of activities for them, especially when Lia turns three in December. She will be able to attend kids club activities and even tennis lessons.
It seems like the perfect way to set back into a healthy routine, school holidays are out of the way and I can pop in there anytime I want to attend a class or do some exercise. All I need to do is book the creche and get my training gear on. I might even take my laptop as the facilities are great and with the little ones entertained I need to make use of all the time I can to get work done these days!
I will keep you updated on our progress...
Alright interior lovers and enthusiasts, join me on this one... are you also endlessly updating and changing your rooms around? I am. A room is never finished, is it?
This is just what happened to my study, I had an initial makeover done about a year ago and that was much needed, as the walls looked tired and had damages from the furniture used by the previous owners. After the initial makeover, it looked so much better already, brighter and fresher and much better for a work space.
There was still something missing though. And so I figured, it was missing more of what I love! Gold, Blush, Textures and Plants. It was a no brainer, a mini makeover quickly made the to-do list.
Here is what the room looked like in each stage of this makeover...
Before, when we moved in and as I started redecorating
After the initial makeover about a year ago
I love my desk, and I did not want to get a new one as the size and shape of it were perfect for the size of my room and my needs. That's when I found the solution I needed.
I used a can of gold spray paint which I got at Wilko for £3.95 and I started the transformation. I have used Rust Oleum previously but this time it so happened that I bumped into these at Wilko and I decided to try it, and the price was very reasonable. The Rust Oleum one seems to be more of a pure gold tone, while this one from Wilko is somewhere between a gold and a rose gold tone. I liked it for the purpose of this makeover.
The desk legs got two coats of the spray paint and so did some of the office storage accessories. I have also rearranged the furniture, replaced the tall bookshelf unit by a more practical one with more storage, and added a few accessories. I wanted to make it more of a blank canvas so I could change it to fit any season/mood as I go along.
It was all done in a day, within the month when I was preparing our home for a magazine photo shoot, so I planned it all beforehand and got all my accessories in good time. I did a lot of decluttering and organising, as well as making sure that all the gold, blush, textures and plants were placed to keep me inspired and give me a reason to keep going on those days when coffee doesn't do the job.
I still want to do one more thing to it though, which is painting the ceiling in a different colour, and the Dulux Colour of the Year 2018, Heart Wood which is described as a warm pink seems to be a good contender for this job. I haven't told Mr Room Alive yet... he'll probably find out when he reads this!!!
Let me know your thoughts! Have you transformed a space in your home by using spray paint? x
This last year has been a rollercoaster (my 'year after redundancy' post is coming soon!) and I have done and achieved many things I would have never imagined a year ago.
The most recent one is that my home has been featured on an 8-page spread on Home Style Magazine! My home, in an interiors magazine! I did have to pinch myself when the email came through many months ago. Then after that I started making list upon list of things that I needed to finish in every room of the house.
I see so many fabulous homes out there on Instagram and Pinterest everyday, most of them magazine-worthy. As much as I was excited, I was also nervous/scared/a perfectionist so here I am sharing a few things I have learnt when I had my home shot for a magazine.
The first page of our feature on Home Style Magazine October 17 Issue
Just before that though, the number one question I got asked once the magazine was out:
Does your home always look this good/tidy?
The answer is a big fat NO! It doesn't look far from it though as the decor and accessories are all the same. But just add layers of daily toddler mess, dog mess and husband mess (sorry Mr Room Alive). Topped with my own mess because I don't have time to tidy up because I'm picking up after everyone else. Yep, you got the picture!
Now that we cleared that one up, here is what I learnt:
Don't aim for perfection!
Style and character are all you need. I am a perfectionist and I admit it. I take ages proof-reading my blog posts and taking all my pictures as I want them all to be perfect. I keep moving things around my rooms because I am never 100% done styling it.
However, what is perfect for you won't be for everyone else. And lived in homes are not perfect to a home-staging level. Who wants to live in a staged home anyway?
The most important thing is that your home reflects your personality, your lifestyle and that you are HAPPY in it! As cheesy as it sounds, a happy lived-in home is what people want to see rather than a staged home.
The guest bedroom being shot for Homestyle Magazine
The guest bedroom as it was featured on Homestyle Magazine
Plan and Decorate!
When I was given the fab news that our home would be shot for Home Style Magazine , I still needed to decorate the hallway and the nursery, I wasn't totally happy with my study and I also needed accessories to style my guest bedroom and kitchen.
Timing wise, it couldn't have been more challenging! My baby girl had just been born, and I was struggling with lack of sleep and time. So I took it easy. I decided to start hanging the wallpaper in the nursery but didn't set myself a deadline. I was able to hang one to two sheets a day and in a week it was done! Same for the hallway, another week and the wallpaper was up. We also wanted to do the woodwork on the hallway and paint the banisters, but this wasn't realistic. (Yes I had to let go of trying to make it perfect, back to point one!)
If we got it done in time under those circumstances - anyone can!
The week before
This was the most intense week. All the big decorating jobs were done by then, so I started styling the rooms. The guest bedroom is probably the tidiest room in the house, so that was finished first. Then the study. Bedrooms, kitchen, hallway, living room. I had almost everything in place and decluttered. Ticking off to-do lists was my favourite thing to do that week.
The day before
I did go cleaning-and-tidying-mad this day! Room by room. My oldest daughter went to spend the day and had her first sleep over at the grandparents so this was a massive help. I was hanging pictures on gallery walls at 2am, and giving the house a super clean & tidy spree with the super help of Mr Room Alive (redeeming myself here!). We didn't get much sleep that night but when the Magazine Editor and the Photographer arrived they complimented us on how well we prepared our home for the shoot and how much easier it made their job on the day! Extra points for the prep ;)
My study featured on Home Style Magazine October 17 Issue
Green & Fresh
Get plenty of fresh flowers and plants - anything that looks fresh and pretty to dress the coffee table, counters, bed side tables, bookshelves, bathroom windows, you name it. Flowers and plants can elevate any room! Stick to you colour palette and style and the results on camera will be amazing.
Same goes for fresh cakes and bread, the perfect props on any kitchen shoot! The prettier the better. And after the hard work is done you can then treat everyone to a well-deserved slice of cake!
Think of each frame
It is totally true that you could be shooting a beautifully styled frame in a room that is far from finished. Just like Instagram! You would never see the cables hanging under our sideboard, or the paint smudge on the ceiling, or the toys that manage to make their way in under the sofa even after I cleared it 10 times!
You do have time to style each shoot to your taste and move anything that you don't want in the photo out of the way (those cables!) As long as your personal style is there, the talented photographer will capture it the best possible way.
Our bedroom and ensuite featured on Home Style Magazine - October 17
I absolutely loved the experience and I so grateful to the lovely Lorraine for giving me this opportunity and making the day really enjoyable. They were such a pleasure to work with and they let me get my vision across the photos. The girls bedrooms didn't make it into the feature, but they can be seen here, we have a bunnies themed room and a Beach Hut inspired nursery.
The Home Style Magazine October issue is out now, so you can still get a copy if you fancy having a look at our home in print! And if your home is being featured in a magazine soon, drop me a line in the comments below as I'd love to check it out. x
This has been an exciting month so far, with so many new projects on the go, and a magazine feature of our own Palm Leaf Garden wallpaper!
We are a small business run by me, a mum of two girls under three years old who works round the clock when I am not looking after the little ones, and we have launched our wallpaper collection this year so this is kind of a big deal.
Even more so because the super talented Interior Stylist Emma Fishman from Creative Makeovers has made such a beautiful job for Home Style Magazine by using a soft palette of chalky pastels, mixing textures, plants and metallic accents to turn it into a cosy boho-chic dream bedroom. Talk about bedroom goals...
"go for a striking palm leaf design on the walls, like this wallpaper from The Room Alive, which comes in this fun dusky pink and lush green combo. The wall is the statement so leave it free from decor"
The whole feature can be seen on Home Style Magazine October Issue, which is out for sale now.