5 articles Tag cosy

Light Up Your Life with a New Lighting Scheme

There are certain things that I like in a living room. A sofa which is big enough for the whole family to snuggle on, plenty of wall sockets for plugging things in, a fireplace, and plenty of flexible lighting options. I think the latter might be the one which is most important to me; I hate sitting in a room at night with the bright, overhead light on as it’s really not condusive to settling down and relaxing, so I need ways to light a room which aren’t so harsh. With this in mind, I thought I’d take a look at some creative ways to light a room which give you flexibility on how the room is lit at different times of the day:

Pendant Lights

Light - Pendant Lights

Okay, so I know I said overhead lighting wasn’t my fave, but there are ways to get creative without having to alter the room too much. There are some beautiful lightshades which can be opened and closed with a little pulley to allow more or less light (or more direct light) to be shone from the fixture. They can be used with pendant lights from lights.co.uk and allow you to have complete control over how bright your room is.

LED Strips

Light -LED Strip

As time goes on, LED strip lighting has become cheaper and more accessible, and can now be used in all types of settings. I absolutely love the look of furniture with LED strips added in an almost hidden position, such as on the underside of the opening of a Welsh dresser to create a really subtle glow around a room.

Candles

Light - LED Candles

Gone are the days when candles were too much of a fire risk – LED candles are all the rage right now and they actually produce a really gentle light which looks like an authentic candle glow. We love LED candles so much that the kids have even got them in their bedrooms too – essential when you live in the middle of nowhere, like us, and have power cuts  more regularly than you have hair cuts!

Neon Signs

Light - Neon Signs

It wasn’t until I saw a programme a few years ago where the presenter went and made her own neon signs that I realised how accessible this type of design is for the home. I’d love to, in time, have custom-made neon signs for the girls’ bedrooms as I think they’re such a funky, modern way to add both style and light to a room.

Lamps

Lamps

The most obvious way to make your lighting scheme work for you is by placing lamps in all of the places that you want to add extra light. A well-placed lamp can change the tone of a whole room and I love experimenting not only with different locations for a lamp and what they do to a space, but also changing the types of bulbs that you use – at one point, we had a remote controlled bulb in one of our bedroom lamps which could be just about any colour of the rainbow, as coloured light is so much better for the eyes when you’re trying to get ready to sleep.

Staying Toasty Over the Winter

Photo by Sergei Solo on Unsplash

Yes, it’s on the way, alright! The mornings have a definite chill to them and the leaves are turning a lovely shade of russet. Aesthetics aside, the thermometer will start to head downwards and you’ll be eyeing up thick jumpers in shop windows. So, when the cold season comes around for real, should you pick up that thick jumper or turn the thermostat up?

That full tank, courtesy of Supersaveroil.ie, came pretty cheap over the summer, but you shouldn’t be so smug about it – you have to make it last until March! Here’s some good ideas to help you to do just that.

Add some new insulation

You could lose up to 60% of your hard-earned heat via the roof and walls of your home, so they both need to be insulated. You’ll need to use at least 10” of insulation material in the loft and you should examine your windows to look for – and fill in – any cracks.

Lower the heating by at least a degree

Just a degree lower can reduce your fuel oil usage by 10% and you shouldn’t even notice this, especially if you’ve used some insulation and less heat is escaping.

You can also start turning off your radiators 15 minutes or so before you go to bed. They’ll still be warm for a while and by the time they’ve cooled off you’ll be fast asleep with your hot water bottle!

Bleed all the radiators

You should do this at least once a year. Radiators develop air pockets and this prevents them from working properly – you’ll have to turn up the heating to get the benefit. Try to bleed them two or three times a year and especially before winter sets in.

Go retro

A great way to get the most out of your heat is to place old-fashioned insulation panels behind all your radiators. These panels look like stiff metallic bubblewrap and what they do is reflect heat back into your rooms, as otherwise it’d seep into the walls and simply get lost.

Try to service your boiler twice a year

Boilers are very complicated machines – they can develop airlocks, let in water, accumulate soot and sometimes, manage a combination of all three! Any one of these problems can reduce your boiler’s efficiency by up to 8%, so effectively, you’re wasting 8% of your fuel.

You should have a service at the end of spring and at the beginning of winter, ideally. However, if you can only manage one service, the autumn one is the one to book so you can identify and sort out problems before you’re left with no heating on the coldest day of the year.

Keep your supply safe

Fuel poverty is a problem in Ireland, with around 400,000 households spending more than 10% of their annual incomes on heating their homes. This has the knock-on effect of making fuel theft more common, so you’ll need locks on your tank at the very least. You should also keep your tank as hidden from view as possible and use motion-sensitive lights and alarms. You can also install tank sensors that alert you on your phone if oil levels suddenly drop.

Tips for Creating a Cosy Living Room

When I was a kid, I used to love being outside when it was starting to get dark; people would turn their lights on inside and it would make the world look really cosy. Sounds weird, but hey, I was a weird kid! Now that I’m a grown-up, I love settling down of an evening into a living room which feels warm and cosy, and I thought I’d share a few tips with you on how we give ours a super cosy feel:

Lighting

Lighting is probably the most important aspect of a cosy room. I hate sitting down to watch TV with glaring overhead lights on, so we tend to have lamps which we can use to create little pockets of light, rather than the whole room being bright. It helps the girls to get sleepy and we don’t get glare off of the telly if we’re trying to watch something.

Cushions

Although we were lucky enough to be gifted a new sofa, just before Christmas, we also like to have lots of scatter cushions around so that we can sit comfortably. Cushions are also a great way to change the look of the room without needing to spend a lot or make massive changes.

Blankets

As well as lots of cushions, we also tend to keep a stash of blankets in the lounge so that we can cover ourselves up if we start to feel chilly. The girls love getting cosy and dozing on the sofa rather than having a set bedtime, which is something we’ve done since Sausage was a baby, and it’s lovely to all spend time relaxing together.

Rug

Our living room is carpeted, but the floor underneath is concrete, so if you sit on the floor for any length of time, you start to feel the cold. We recently invested in a nice, thick rug and the difference it’s make to the cosiness of the room is huge! As well as keeping it warm, it feels lovely and soft underfoot and makes playing on the floor with Maureen the Pup much nicer!

Fragrance

This might sound weird, but I always think a room feels cosier if it smells nice. In the winter, I tend to use a cloth to rub essential oils (clove or cinnamon around Christmas!) on the top of the radiators. Once they warm up, the smell starts to radiate too and it makes the room smell incredible, without needing to burn anything or use plug-in diffusers.

Do you have any tips for making your home feel cosier?

Cosy Autumn Fashion & Celebs Who Are Rocking It

Although Summer is by far my favourite season, one thing I love about Autumn and Winter is the fashion. Cosy knitted jumpers, jeans and boots are basically my winter uniform, and I’m also a huge fan of oversized knitted dresses which I can team with tights and boots too. I spend a lot of time in and out of the car on a normal day, doing school and nursery runs, gym drop-offs, shopping and all the other errands I run during the day so I tend to wear a padded gilet rather than a full coat as it’s more comfy to drive in and layering high-quality knitwear underneath is a must for keeping my arms warm!

I was thinking about all the celebrity looks that I love for the AW17 season (as well as the state of fashion executive recruitment in 2018) and I thought I’d share a few of them with you for your own inspiration:

Emma StoneEmma Stone Looking Cosy

I’m a huge fan of Emma Stone’s style – she keeps things chic and simple, choosing a jumper with a bold asymmetric print and teams with classic blue jeans and black ankle boots. The camel coat looks amazing on her, especially with her colouring, and the whole outfit looks casual and cosy without sacrificing style.

Katy HolmesKaty Holmes Looking Cosy

Katy Holmes has always had what I would describe as a proper ‘grown up’ sense of style. Her clothes look practical and cosy (apart from the shoes – the tops of my feet feel cold just looking at her!) and on anyone else they might look pretty basic but somehow she makes them pop. I love the combination of knitwear with a leather jacket for the combinations of fabrics and textures.

Lily CollinsLily Collins Looking Cosy

Lily Collins is basically wearing what I spend most of winter and autumn in, here! Large chunky jumpers, skinny jeans and slouchy boots – it’s a personal fave which can be switched up by choosing different colours or difference types of knitwear. Lily has kept it simple, but I also find adding a necklace or bracelets takes the look to the next level.

Olivia PalermoOlivia Palermo Looking Cosy

Given the fact that I was a HUGE fan of The Hills and was OBVIOUSLY #TeamLauren, I find it hard giving props to Olivia Palermo as we ALLLL know what a cow she was to our beloved Lauren, but there’s no denying that she has an incredible sense of style. She always looks sleek and ‘put together’, even when rocking a winter outfit and I absolutely love the button detailing on her military-style trousers, adding a bit of bling to an otherwise low-key look.The addition of the faux fur proves you don’t have to sacrifice style to be cosy.

Rosie Huntington-WhiteleyRosie Huntington-Whiteley Looking Cosy

I’m a HUUUGE fan of greys and monochrome looks at the moment, grey is basically MY colour (is it even a colour, though?) so this outfit is really appealing to me. I love the fact that Rosie’s sleeves are long and oversized, letting them peek out of the bottom of her coats sleeves and ripped black jeans are LIFE.

Which celebrity’s style are you loving at the moment? Leave me a comment below!

 

UGG Slippers – Like a (H)Ugg for Your Feet

Did you see what I did there?! FNAR FNAR! 

Husband and I have a long running disagreement. He’s always telling me that I should buy clothes which are slightly more expensive and better quality and would therefore last longer. I tell him that I like the tremendous sense of value I get when I go into a cheap shop and buy 5 t-shirts, two pairs of trousers, a cardigan and a pair of pyjamas, all for the price of one pair of Levis. And besides, with the amount of ketchup I spill down my front, my clothes end up stained before they wear out properly anyway, so it matters not whether they’re cheap or not, the fact is; I’m a sloppy moo.

By this token, if you’d asked me if I’d ever spend £100 on a pair of slippers, I’d probably tell you to jog on…until today. For today is the day that these arrived:

My beautiful new UGG slippers. Apologies for the slightly awkwardly shot photo, but I had trouble taking it on account of the fact that I’m NEVER TAKING THESE OFF. When the box arrived, I opened it up and was astounded by the plushness (yes, that IS a word…honest) of the inners, it didn’t look like my feet would even fit inside, but I removed the cardboard and slipped them on. OH MAMA. I can honestly say that these are the most comfortable thing I’ve ever put my feet inside.

They couldn’t have turned up at a better time either, we’ve had the heating off for a few days as Sausage’s temperature has been so high and I’m a cold-body at the best of times, so my feet were starting to feel like little icebergs. Not any more. Such cosiness they’ve never known! They look absolutely gorgeous too, the ones I’m wearing in the picture above are also available in a purpley colour, which are totally lush.

 I know a lot of people will reel at the idea of spending £100 on a pair of slippers but I commented to someone on Twitter that I can imagine these slippers lasting about 10 years, so when you think of them as an investment like that, £100 isn’t really that much. Sure, I got these for free to review, but now I know the quality of them I can honestly say that even I would save up the money and buy myself a pair of these anyway.

If you have a woman in your life who you love, or even mildly like, and want an idea of what to get her for Chrimbo, get her a pair of these. Trust me, she’ll thank you for it!

(I also love the fact that they’re currently selling pink, limited edition moccasins to raise money for Breast Cancer charity The Haven with £10 from every pair sold being donated.)