Obsessive gumtree disorder

Oh how I chuckled when I read about Obsessive Craigslist Disorder on Apartment Therapy. It all felt rather too familiar, especially the urge to constantly refresh my local offering of second hand bargains!

Rarely can I go to bed without searching for an elusive pair of decent looking bedside tables and a nice sturdy blanket box.

I still beat myself up about the 1950s kitchen cabinet I just missed out on because I took too long to decide. What was I thinking? It was a bit like this but in red – picture courtesy of Finch and West.

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I got this great little chest of drawers for £25 from Gumtree which has lovely little handles. Excuse the awful picture (and my floor that is about to be put through its paces with a sander) but here it is in my garden room with some Lloyd Loom chairs my Mum picked up at an auction.

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I’ve since moved it into our living room to store books and toys and for the moment it hides some unsightly cables. I’m not happy with its spot but it is doing sterling work at the end of every day when I stow so much stuff in it!

I also got this table and chairs for £25 – it was the feature of my one of my very first posts talking about Annie Sloan paint – which, as an update, I now believe should have been finished with the lacquer and not the wax as a it needs to be a robust piece of furniture that is in constant need of de-weetabixing thanks to my toddler.

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We also bought teak furniture, complete with parasol, for the garden. It would have been about £600 brand new but cost us £80 as a family were moving abroad.

I love the fact that I am getting a bargain but it also feels worthwhile in that it helps stop good pieces of furniture that are still functional and attractive going to landfill.

Of course, it does have its downside too. My pet hate is when fellow Gumtree’ers have decoupaged what look to have been pretty nice pieces of furniture in the name of ‘shabby chic’.

Now there’s an overused phrase if ever there was one! Can I just ask that you leave the bedside tables decoupage free please?

8 Best: rugs for playrooms and kids spaces

We’ve lined up our eight best rugs for playrooms and kids spaces for you this week. From foxy felt to flat weave, we’ve tried to keep them fairly gender neutral.

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From top left clockwise:
Graphic rug by The Pippa and Ike Show, £250
Fair isle rug, designed by Donna Wilson, at SCP, reduced to £715.36
Grey and yellow flat weave by Habitat, £150
Brita Sweden rug from Scandinavian Design Center, £299

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From top left clockwise:
Scion Mr Fox from John Lewis, £159 – £239
Triangle rug from Urban Outfitters, £69
Brita Sweden grey rug by Scandinavian Design Center, £299
Felt Fox Rug by molly-meg, £55.95

Given the forkfuls of bolognaise that was thrown all over my Ikea rug this afternoon, I would suggest the Brita Sweden vinyl rugs because they are reversible and washable. You can look at the full range here.

The coveted list: June 2014

Here’s a little round up of everything I am coveting this month…

I’ve always had a thing about airstream caravans so just imagine my high pitched squeals when I came across this little guy.

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Believe it or not, it’s a birdhouse. Yes, people – a birdhouse. I have to be honest, I think it’s a bit too good for the local crows. I would put it in my son’s room to add a spot of quirky interest. Available on etsy.

And staying with kids’ rooms, take a look at Little Me Teepee. It’s a new venture by my friend Janine, based in Cardiff, who is pictured below with her gorgeous little girl Vivienne.
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What a great little hideaway for a little one. It brings back memories of how I used to love making a den in the living room out of any handy blankets and quilts and the sofa. I am definitely going to have to get one of these for my little boy and I have my eye on a fabulous turquoise fabric.

Also, keep an eye out for Janine in the Etsy TV ad. She doesn’t know it yet (tee hee) but I’ hoping to do a much bigger piece about LittleMe Teepee in the coming months so check back in!

I finally managed a trip to House Envy this weekend after my earlier post about their online store. It was Father’s Day weekend so we combined it with a trip to the beach where my little boy discovered paddling! He loved every minute.

Anyway, if you’re in South Wales, I recommend a visit. I have been fancying this House Doctor storage bag and so I was lucky to get the last one in stock. It was only £12 so a great bargain. Ok. So it shouldn’t actually feature here seeing as I’m no longer coveting it! Just need to decide whether to use it for my boy’s toys or Mr Pretty Four Walls’ growing collection of trainers.

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And I found out earlier it’s National Picnic Week so I thought I’d include this brill little water cooler.

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It’s by the Glam Camping Company and is perfect for parties, picnics and camping trips. Perfectly retro!

Enjoy! Let me know if you indulge…

Style lust: Cathryn Weatherhead

I recently stumbled across illustrator Cathryn Weatherhead. I bought this lovely little print…

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It looks a little grey and grainy here but that’s just my shoddy photography!

Anyway, I decided to take a further look at her work. Cathryn is Cardiff based and, among others things featured on her website and etsy page, has created this gorgeous illustrated world map.

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I’ve seen maps like this before but I love the fact that Cathryn has used her native Welsh! I’m a Welsh girl myself but only know a little bit – or should I say ‘tipyn bach’ of the language.

Here are some close ups so you can have a better look:

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Wouldn’t it look amazing in these rooms…

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Original sources to images can be found on my Pinterest page.

Taste of the tropics

Fashion is full of tropical prints and Grazia this week describes the pineapple as the ‘surprise mega-motif of the season’.

And we all know that what happens in fashion translates into homewares. You certainly don’t have to look hard to find a pineapple table lamp or a parrot print.

Of course, trends can date quickly and if like me you live in Blighty, many of the ranges at the moment are going to look pretty out of place come October.

So the rule of thumb is not to spend too much on what is likely to be a seasonal fad. And buy a few key pieces that you can bring out every summer. Tableware provides a great opportunity to have a bit of fun when you’re entertaining and a slice of the tropics would surely lift the mood, even in the British summer!

These soft coral pinks, yellows and aquas look super together and are really warm and sunny:

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Neon tassel table runner, £38 from Anthropologie
Floral bowl, £16.99 from Anthropologie
Napkins £8 from Anthropologie
Fork, £3.99 from Zara Home

Cool blues and greens also add up to a pretty table:
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Canary table runner, £39.99 from Zara Home.
White pineapple jug, £29.99 from Zara Home
Banana leaf placemat, £15.99 from Zara Home
Parrot cushion, similar from Julesb.co.uk

And I couldn’t resist adding some juicy, fruity, totally over the top picks that would work well in a child’s room. If you’re after a tropical or jungle theme, then buy now!

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Zigzag cushion, from £3.99 from Zara Home
Flamingo papier mâché wall trophy, £62.99 from Sisters Guild.
Pineapple basket, £49.99 from Zara Home
Parrot hook, £9.99 from Zara Home