How to add Country Cottage style on a budget

Since moving to the country, my love for home accessories has evolved. I would even go as far to state that I have found interior peace with the purchases I have made and the way I style them up. I know what looks good in our home, what accessories would enhance a space and the colour palette that compliments our surroundings.

However, as with most of my style posts, you don’t need to spend £100’s to achieve that Country Cottage charm.

Here are my top 5 ideas that you can re-create in your own home:

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1.
Re-use a jam jar as a vase and fill with sweet peas, roses or hydrangeas – preferably ones cut from your own garden! I picked these morning – how delightful.

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Convert an old photo frame into a chalk board by painting some card in chalk paint. This would look cute hanging in a kitchen or utility room

PinappleAndButtonCo-Icon-013. Fill small terracotta planters with artificial moss and individual flowers (can be found in Hobbycraft) – arrange them in groups of 3 on a shelf to add that rustic charm

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PinappleAndButtonCo-Icon-014. Buy blank cards in the £1 section and hang them from a piece of twine with basic wooden pegs. Creates a cute backdrop behind a bed. Add some fairy lights for extra sparkle.

PinappleAndButtonCo-Icon-015.  Place teacups and saucers (great ones can be found in a charity shop) and issues of your favourite magazines or coffee table books on a wooden tray . Add a vase of flowers for height and colour and place on a footstool. Always add Jo Malone for some added style!

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x PB x

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Adding light to your life….

In an earlier post, I shared that Mr PB had made a plea…..no more cushions. I believe a similar plea may come soon……no more candles!

I seem to have acquired, over the past few years, an eclectic array of candles, tealight holders, lanterns and more.

in all the rooms in our home, there will be a candle of some sort – whether that be decorative, scented or both. I just seem to get a lot of satisfaction purchasing candles. If it is a dull day outside (and there are plenty in the UK), I get so much pleasure lighting all our candles and snuggling down with a good book.

I also love styling a space with a unique collection of lanterns and tealight holders. This has grown since we visited South Africa.

During our stay at Lairds Lodge, Plettenburg Bay, the top of a chest of drawers was filled with a variety of candles – hurricane lamps, lanterns, tealights, candelabras and more. I was keen to try and reflect this look in our home and I am getting there….slowly.

Whilst on safari at Gorah Elephant Camp, Addo, candles were a necessity in the evening due to the permanent lack of electricity. Arriving back from a night time drive around the park, hundreds of hurricane lamps and lanterns would be lit and would emphasise the colonial warmth that the country exudes.

So, here is the collection….(so far!)

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The 2 tall lanterns along with the rectangular lantern sit on a wide windowsill in our garden room. These were purchased from Debenhams and Matalan a few years ago. I am not sure these exact lanterns exist currently but I know that similar types will be available in most home accessory stores.

I love up-cycling, converting a item from its standard use. When preparing for a baby shower, I purchased these Mason Ball jars from the U.S to use as vases around the room. I now use them as tealight holders. Sitting alongside our lanterns and with the garden room having a blue and cream theme, they really add a pop of colour.

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You will recognise the rose gold tealights from a previous post and to compliment these on the fireplace surround, I added the peach candle holders from Dunelm Mill and these delightful copper tealight holders from Culinary Concepts – a superb online shop offering both unique kitchen and home accessories. These were in a recent sale at £4.95 each. Although no longer available, Culinary Concepts do still have similar items on their website.

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Finally, I own a fair amount of scented candles. You will have seen Jo Malone featuring as a regular guest in my photos. The Wild Fig & Cassis is such an intense smell and fills a room within a matter of minutes. That also means that it lasts for ages and given its price compared to other candles, that is a good thing!

I tend to purchase other scented candles from…..TK Maxx (surprise, surprise!). My local store has a great range and my recent favourite is the Thompson Ferrier candle in the scent Crushed Lavender – perfect for this time of year.

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I have put links below of the items (or similar). Happy Shopping!

Do you have a favourite candle accessory or store that you purchase from? As always, I would love to hear your ideas. Please share below.

x PB x

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Lanterns – http://www.debenhams.com/home/home-accessories/candles-holders/lanterns

Mason Ball jars – http://www.amazon.com/Ball-Heritage-Collection-Pint-Bands/dp/B00B80TJX0

Peach candle holders – http://www.dunelm.com/product/blush-pressed-glass-taper-candlestick-1000050003?cmCategoryId=34214

Copper tealight holder (not exact) http://www.culinaryconcepts.co.uk/medium-glasshouse-lantern-copper

Jo Malone candle – http://www.jomalone.co.uk/product/3560/9741/For-the-Home/Home-Candles/Wild-Fig-Cassis-Home-Candle#

Thompson Ferrier candle – http://thompsonferrier.com/default/catalogsearch/result/?q=crushed+lavender

From the sublime to the ridiculous…Our Italian adventure part 2!

Leaving the tranquil calm of Lake Como, we took a 3 hour drive to Venice (Venezia). Hopping on board a vaporetto, we travelled up the Grand Canal which, at times, felt more like a confused motorway with the amount of boats that seemed to dash in front of one another – removal companies, delivery firms and hoards of tourists using the river to it’s full capacity.

We disembarked at San Giglio and made our way to our hotel – AD Place. Tucked away between the winding canal and narrow cobbled streets, the hotel had an unimposing entrance that, without a map, you may well walk past without realising it.

The entrance hall was swathed in heavy Moroccan style fabrics covering the walls and the floor was adourned with lanterns of all shapes and sizes. At night, the candlelight added to an already romantic setting.

Climbing up the uneven stairs, you could only imagine what secret those steps and walls could share, even beneath the bright purple décor. After having to take our luggage up several flights of stairs in Lake Como, I was intrigued as to how this hotel would avoid it without a lift – the answer was in the chairlift type contraption with hugged the staircase!

There was a small bar area with extravagant silver sofas and a fantastic Marilyn Monroe coffee table. This was also where the simple breakfast was served each morning.

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The hotel also benefits from a small, almost bijou, roof terrace. We were fortunate to have this to ourselves on both afternoons – watching the sun disappear behind the red tiled rooftops whilst enjoying a bottle of wine and reading our books was the perfect end to the hustle and bustle of the day.

Entering our room, we were greeted by a bold purple and green colour scheme – not something you would naturally expect behind the traditional brick walls. A large room with double aspect windows which looked down onto the canal, I realised I was in Venice when we were treated to a verse of Nessun Dorma by a passing gondola which resonated up the passageway filling our room.

A four poster bed dressed in voile dominated the room and I’m pleased to share that the bed was covered in cushions of varying textures and a throw

IMG_3543A large white wardrobe and matching dressing table were practical and standard but the dressing room chair was just divine – a traditional button back in lime green and woodwork painted a beautiful lilac.

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The windows were draped in a heavy purple velvet and the walls were covered in a purple and white stripe fabric. I realised during our stay the walls were padded, presuming that Italian preservation orders don’t allow wallpaper but this added to the eccentricity.

The table lamps and floor lamps were dressed in a gorgeous deep purple voile with crystal accents which reflected across the room – not particularly practical if you want to read at night but I guess its a good job I had my Kindle Paperwhite!

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The bathroom was a reasonable size, although the shower was a little cosy compared to the luxury we had in Lake Como.

The piece de la resistance had to be the Granny Smith apple place on a wall bracket. Not obvious at first as so much of the room takes your attention but a bizarre addition that made us both smile…and we aren’t even sure why.

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I am sure that this hotel’s décor would not be to everyone’s taste and some may seek the more Venetian style extravagance but I personally swooned at their ability to mix the bold and brash with the traditional. Venice has an ability to embrace a style that most would not dare and for that, I admire this beautiful city that may one day be forever lost.

x PB x

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Let’s style it up!

If you are a regular visitor to my blog, you will know that in one of my first posts, I shared that as well as Stationery, I am also very keen on interior. Let’s not pretend that this is verging on interior design. I did sign up to complete an interior design course… I just haven’t quite got round to finishing the programme.

However, I find other ways of researching interior fashions. That is usually a visit to T K Maxx!

I did this recently. In fact, I browse regularly. You never know what you will find. They regularly change their stock so I try to visit once every couple of weeks. I also love that there isn’t 15 of the same thing so hopefully you are adding a little bit of uniqueness into your home.

And guess what?! The unique found me and I found a pineapple! How convenient.

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That came home with my right away. It would look perfect on my shelving around the fireplace.

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When I positioned it, it looked a little lonely. I haven’t yet tracked down a large silver button, but if you spot one, let me know! So, it needed something extra.

I wanted to create an easy style to the shelving. A selection of items that look like they belonged. Therefore, I added some Posh Graffiti. Every household should have (one or more) of their products. Such a simple concept but with great results and can be used in a variety of surroundings. The addition of the initials was perfect. I haven’t fixed them to the wall, they just lean in which can be precarious when cleaning but it adds to that relaxed “oh, I just chucked that up there” look.

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Finally, I spotted these seriously gorgeous rose gold, dusky pink tea light holders. Along with a lovely pair of inexpensive clear peach candlesticks, these tea light holders add a blast of colour but with softness. When lit, the colour is really ornate and, like, most of my purchases, they were cheap! Around £5 each which I think is a great price for something that draws the eye.

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What additions have you made to your home recently?

Where else do people shop, other than T K Maxx? I would love recommendations of where to find inexpensive gems.

Please leave a comment by clicking on the link above this post And don’t forget, you can find us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

x PB x

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http://www.poshgraffiti.com/

The obsession is real…..I’ve started writing about hauls!

And I have a stationery swap pal! But more on that shortly….

In my search for all things perfect about stationery and style, this has developed an interest in regularly shopping. “Developed an interest”?? Who am I kidding. I am forever shopping. There ain’t no thing as no spend months in my little world.

So, to that end, I have collected a fair few items over the past few months which I thought I would share. Those pieces that I have starting using will appear in a follow first impressions so watch this space if you are keen to purchase the same.

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First up – notebooks. Although I try to use up a notebook before moving onto another, that doesn’t stop me from having stock. In a recent visit to Paperchase, I spotted these adorable sticky note sets. I love that they come in a hard back storage book making them using to use on the go without damaging them. They also look cute on a bookshelf. One of the sets is a List Book so also includes a standard notepad which I think will be super handy. 20150620_190924007_iOS

I also picked up a pack of Cath Kidston notebooks which come in a set of three in their usual cute floral designs. These are probably more an A6 size which is great for slipping into a handbag. I use these in meetings if I’m travelling quite a bit with work. You can still get plenty of content on the pages but they are far more convenient than the usual Black and Red A4 pads.

So, my next item was purchased purely for its look rather than its practicality but how cute is that Today slim pad!? It’s from Marks and Spencer – that was a treat! If you are from the UK, you will know that M&S are more renowned for their bras and meal for £10 so it was a pleasant surprise to see that they have upped their stationery game. The store I visited, which is their flagship in the South, had a wide collection of new products so I would highly recommend checking it out either online or in store. I’m not sure about availability for overseas but, leading into my next items, you could always find a swap partner to connect with to send you a selection!

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As you will guess from the title, I recently connected with a lovely lady from the U.S. on an FB group. Fully aware from my extensive research that the U.S. seem to do it better than us, I reached out to see if anyone would like to swap and this lady said yes!

We did our first swap a few weeks ago – it was an easy, pleasant and painless experience which I know is sadly not always the case for some, but I hit lucky!

The items included in the box will continue to feature in my next few blogs but as a starter, she sent me 2 adorable journals and 2 list pads from Target. Apologies to all the stationery experts out there, but for those starting out, you will see a lot of hype about Target Dollar Spot. I have not visited this part of the store before as I always just thought it was seasonal products but the Target Dollar Spot has got a lot to say for itself! Beautiful stationery that retails around $1-$3 each!! I haven’t started using these items yet, saving for a special reason but I’ll be sure to feedback.

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You can’t have a notebook without a writing instrument! So I have also built up my pen collection recently. Included in the swap box were some cute gel pens in pink, teal and green. I particularly love the heart on the lid.

Other recent pen purchases – pastel Sharpies! I have seen their primary colour collection but spotted these pastel beauties in the line up at Paperchase.

I also love any type of heavy gel pen and these uni ball are just gorgeous colours which I know will write well too.

Finally, I had heard on the blogging grapevine that the Pilot Frixon pens were awesome. So I had to try! I just purchased the pink neon for now and will see how I get on.

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You can find links to all purchases below.

Have any of you swapped with someone recently and been super chuffed with the contents?

Any recent purchases that you would like to share too?

Please comment clicking above this post. Also, remember to find us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter!

x PB x

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http://www.cathkidston.com/cath-kidston/set-of-3-clifton-rose-notebooks-1012698

http://www.paperchase.co.uk/stationery/essentials/sticky-notes/blur-floral-boxed-sticky-notes.html

http://www.paperchase.co.uk/stationery/essentials/sticky-notes/chunky-floral-sticky-notes-book.html

http://www.marksandspencer.com/geometric-shopping-list/p/p22367946

http://www.staples.co.uk/fine-permanent-markers-pastel-colours-assorted-x-4/cbs/416339.html

http://www.pilotpen.co.uk/en/must-have/frixion-family.html

Shh…I have another love….don’t tell the stationery!

Unlike my long lasting love of Stationery, my other passion for interior design has grown more in my later years – particularly since I became a home owner.

I take great pride in making my house a home – a cliche for most, but for me, I truly believe this. To walk through my front door and see a collection of accessories, furnishings and decor that has evolved from many influences has a great feeling of satisfaction.

I say that this has developed more as a home owner, but I do vividly remember decorating my room at University with limited resource, money or scope to paint the walls! I signed up one weekend for my room to be used on the University tour for Open Days and certainly received a healthy amount of positive vibes from those visiting. I’m not sure what I did other than make my room feel like home, creating a haven to come back to.

I have continued to do just that in each place I have lived in. Having, last year, moved into our forever home, the collection is steadily building and giving each room an identity is a long term project.

Whenever something new is added to a room, THE question is asked – how much? And actually, I always surpise Mr PB because I honestly don’t spend alot. Most of my finds come from high street stores, charity shops, antiques fairs or friends having a clear out.

And the truth is – you don’t need to spend the earth to make something look high quality. It will always come down to what it looks and feels like to you and if it fits with the room’s personality.

This is how easy it is…….how much would you think this floral display is?

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Ok, so a leading question because you will know it didn’t cost £100’s. But before I tell you how much, I’ll share how I achieved it. I wanted a centre piece for my dining table to add some height into a fairly open room. I measured the height I wanted and then costed up semi-professional arrangements – that was a no go!

So, opted for the DIY option. Tape measure in hand, I headed to TKMaxx. I am frequently hunting in the home section! I found a cheap vase in the clearance section! Then onto Hobbycraft who have a great selection of very, very reasonably priced artificial flowers that I arranged in the vase whilst I was there to ensure I achieved the look I wanted. The shop assistants thought I was a little strange but did comment that they thought it looked lovely…..The stems varied in length and some didn’t quite meet the bottom of the vase so to cover that up, I added a piece of burlap into the bottom of the vase to add depth and character. Total cost, £23. Pretty impressed even if I say so myself.

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So, I will continue to share when I find treasures and how I have settled them into their new home. I am very aware that not everyone’s tastes are the same and you may purchase something that not everyone likes or see something on my blog that makes your eyebrows raise. But……who cares. If you can live with it and it brings a smile to your face, that is what is important.

Do you have a bargain that you are super pleased with or a piece of creative DIY? Please share your photos via my social media sites.

If you would like me to share hints and tips on anything in particular, please comment below.

Love x PB x

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