How to get your home in shape for summer

Finally – we’ve hit some nice weather! After a start to the year that could be described as nothing less than ‘temperamental’, the ‘best from the east’ seems like a distant memory after the recent bout of lovely weather we’ve enjoyed. The most recent bank holiday weekend was the hottest on record; there’s no doubt we’re all well and truly in the mood for summer now! As we hope the good weather continues, attention quickly turns to our homes. The transition from the cold to hot weather means change is needed. Here’s how to get your home ready for the summer – both inside and out!  

Getting the outside in order 

During winter, our homes take a beating from the elements. When it’s cold and wet outside, the last thing on your mind will be to get some outside work done. Because of this, the outside of our homes can look a little neglected once the nice weather comes back around. Take some time to look around and which areas need some TLC and get to work.  

Windows 

As the sun shines through your windows, you soon realise the amount of dirt and dust that has collated on them. Whilst the insides might have been kept clean, the outsides can be covered from top to bottom in water spots and streaks. Warm water and soap will help to get rid of dirt, and for an extra gleam factor you could try using some specialty window polish.  

Patios and Walkways 

If you’ve got a path leading to your front door, this is often the first impression visitors to your home will have. Best to make sure it leaves a good one! Stray leaves and mud can make their way onto pathways, and flag stones become discoloured due to excess grime on top of them. The same goes for patios. Give the stones a thorough jet wash to return the stone to its former glory.  

Get Back into Gardening 

With the warmer weather comes more care for our gardens. It’s time to plant the flower beds and cut the grass. After all, the time for barbecues is only around the corner! Take some time to care for your neglected garden. Days out to the garden centre can also be a good family day out. If you’ve got little ones, let them pick their favourite flowers – and maybe enjoy a cake form the café, too!  

Moving indoors… 

Getting your home prepared for summer means adding a light and airy feel to your home’s décor. It’s time to move away from thick blankets and candles, and create a more seamless transition from the outside in. 

Get rid of excess clutter 

Creating a feeling of space is important when planning your home’s summer makeover. By removing unnecessary clutter from around your home, you lend it to a much more contemporary interior design. Move around your home and find a place for anything that doesn’t need to be there. You might have to be brutal at times and remove items you really love – but it’s for the greater good! These items can always be moved into other rooms, and of course brought back out when it gets cold again. 

Incorporate light colours 

Whether you’re making small changes or looking for a complete design overhaul, the colours you use are crucial to the overall feel of your home. You could re-paint your walls to represent a summer-themed haven in your home, or use small design aspects to add splashes of bright colour. Small throw pillows and thin blankets work well for this. After all, here in the UK we’re unlikely to have zero use for a blanket every now and again – even in summer! 

Use natural elements 

Blending elements form the outside into your interior design helps create a buzz and summery feel across your home. Small indoor water features and house plants are great for creating the seamless transition from the outside and, as previously mentioned, this is important for summer décor. House plants will also make the air feel cleaner, so it’s a win-win!  

Clean the floors 

In some rooms, your home may be one of the main features of your interior design. If this is the case, you definitely need to make sure they’re as clean as possible. Even if they take a back seat to the rest of your décor, you should do your best to maintain them. Carpets should be washed and cleaned as much as possible, and wood or laminate flooring should be swept and cleaned using a damp mop (although don’t get them too wet as this can cause more harm than good!) 

Have you got any more tips for getting your home in shape for summer? 

This is a collaborative post.

My ‘Stars & Clouds’ Nursery Wishlist

I’ll be honest with you all, Baby No.2’s nursery is merely a figment of my imagination, at least for now anyway. We are planning to move house and relocate back to Bristol early next year (yay!) so for the time being Baby Button-Nose will not have a room of their own. (Ahh, poor second born!) But hey, it’s all good because he/she will be rooming with the ‘rents (Stephen and I) until they’re at least 6 months old.

When I was pregnant with Jasmine, I spent a lot of time creating her ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ inspired nursery. It was one of the more enjoyable aspects of my pregnancy and I’m still really proud of how her room turned out. This time around I’m thinking of creating a little ‘nursery corner’ in our bedroom – a small but beautiful space for our baba.

I’ve noticed that I’ve definitely been drawn to a certain theme when looking at items for nursery decor – stars and clouds.

I thought I’d share some of the items on my wishlist:

somewhere-to-sleep

The Chicco Next to Me (in Silver) – £165

With Jasmine we hired a Bednest for the first 6 months of her life, which means we don’t have a bedside crib to reuse for Baby BN. I had been considering buying a Snuzpod or a Chicco Next to Me and, after seeing them both in the flesh at our local Mothercare, I now have my heart set on the Next to Me crib in silver. (You’ll notice a bit of a grey/silver theme going on!)

star-cushions

Polka Dot Pastel Star Cushion from Sass & Belle – £13.00

How adorable are these star cushions? I think I’d pick the grey but all three of the pastel colours are gorgeous.

blankie

Meyco Cotton Baby Blanket (Amazon) – £29.99

I can just imagine our little bubba being snuggled up under this stunning cloud blanket. It’s made with soft brushed cotton and is breathable, meaning there’s minimal risk of overheating. It’s machine washable which is super important where babies are involved. They are messy little critters!

This blanket is also available in Mint, Pink and Blue.

cloud-print

Cloud illustration poster from Desenio -£7.99 (12×16″)

I’m all about the finishing touches when it comes to nursery decor. I think they are truly what makes a beautiful space… well, beautiful. This super cute cloud print from Desenio is a brilliant example. I think it would fab on the wall in Baby BN’s ‘nursery corner’. Tying my stars and clouds theme together perfectly.

mobiles

  1. Cloud, stars and Moon Mobile from Velveteen Babies – £72.00
  2. Songe Musical Mobile from Maisons Du Monde – £34.99

I have an obsession with baby mobiles which is probably why I’ve ended up sharing two of them on my wishlist.

1 – You must, MUST check out the range of mobiles available from Velveteen Babies. They are all “carefully and lovingly created by hand from start to finish.” I was lucky enough to win this particular mobile through an Instagram competition and I can tell you now, they are even more stunning in real life! It’s also probably what started my fascination with cloud nursery decor.

2 – I love the simplicity of this grey and white musical mobile from Maisons Du Monde. I think it would make such a lovely baby shower gift. This mobile is currently unavailable to buy (boo!) but according to the website, more are due back in stock soon (yay)!

cloud-light

Sass and Belle LED Cloud Light available from ASOS – £20.00

I’m. In. Love.

I just cannot think of anything more perfect to complete Baby BN’s cloud and star themed nursery corner. The light is freestanding and battery powered (x2 AAs) which means it could sit on my bedside table and be used as a nightlight during those 4am feeds!

And that brings me to the end of my ‘Stars and Clouds’ nursery wishlist. If you fancy a bit more nursery inspo – take a look at my post about Jasmine’s Little Red Riding Hood themed nursery:

jasmines-nursery-tour

You can also check out these nursery decor wishlists from two fellow mama-to-be bloggers – Emma and Debbie:

nursery-picks-emma

nursery-decor-wishlist-1024x1015

 

I’d love to know – what’s your favourite item on my wishlist?

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Making a Sleep Nest with Homebase

I recently wrote a post all about how to get a better night’s sleep. One of the tips that I shared in that post was to ‘make your bedroom a sleep nest’. So, when Homebase recently got in touch with me to ask if they could help with a home project, I knew exactly what I wanted to do – make my very own sleep nest!

Getting into bed each night should be a comforting and sensual experience. You’re more likely to get a few more of those early nights if you actually look forward to going to bed. Personally, I can’t wait to jump into bed if I know I have fresh-on clean bed sheets.

Recently, I’ve found myself falling back into bad habits and I’ve been crawling into bed at a ridiculous hour most nights, leaving me exhausted and groggy the next day. By choosing some products from Homebase, I wanted to try and recreate that clean-bed sheet excitement, but for every night. I wanted to turn my bed into a cosy sleep nest that I looked forward to slipping into each night. Somewhere where I’d go and read a book for an hour or so before snuggling down for a good night’s sleep.

My sleep nestFirst up I started with the basics – Pillows! Our original pillows had certainly seen better days, in fact, there wasn’t all that much left of them as they’d been squashed and flattened to within an inch of their lives. So out with the old pillows and in with these Silentnight ‘Feels just like down’ pillows (14.99).

Not only that, I also treated myself to a Silentnight V shape support pillow (£12.99) which I thought would be perfect for when I’m snuggled up in bed reading a book.

my sleep nest

By the way, if you fancy a little bit of bedtime inspiration then I highly recommend The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna – it’s an excellent read! :)

My sleep nest

With the additions of my cosy new pillows, my bed was already feeling a lot more ‘nest’ like!

At the end of the bed, I added a gorgeous cream throw (£17.99) which is lovely because it adds another texture to my sleep nest! I’ve felt quite chilly in the mornings lately (what’s going on, Summer?!) so it’s been very handy to have an extra layer to snooze under. It’s made from 100% cotton and responds to temperature changes making it perfect for keeping you warm or cool.

cosy cream throwOne thing I really wanted to focus on when creating my sleep nest, was lighting. Lighting is so important for setting the right mood, especially when trying to create a relaxing atmosphere. And what’s the best kind of lighting for creating a tranquil, relaxing atmosphere – fairy lights, of course!

C.I chose these Habitat Mia LED fairy lights (£15.00) to add the wall behind my bed. They give off a warm glow and instantly make the whole room more inviting. The garland has 8 multi-function settings: Combination, steady, in waves, sequential, chasing⁄flash, twinkleflash, slo-glo, slow fade – obviously for the purpose of creating a calm atmosphere I stick to having them on constant.

fairy lightsBut I didn’t stop there with the lighting, oh no! I just couldn’t resist this little colour changing LED heart light…

heart lightYou can also get these sweet little LED lights in the shape of Duck, Square, Ball and Star. And they’re only £2.50 each!

Also, little tip for any parents of wriggly babies/toddlers during nappy changes – give them one of these to hold. Jasmine is OBSESSED with my little heart light. I may have to get a couple more of them!

I think they also would make a great alternative to having candles around the bath too! ;)

And there you have it, my perfect sleep nest!

Sleep nest completeHow would you make your bedroom more of a sleep nest?

Check out my Pinterest board for even more sleep nest inspiration:

Follow Tinyfootsteps Blog {www.tinyfootsteps.co.uk}’s board Cosy bed inspiration on Pinterest.

This post was written in collaboration with Homebase. 

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Our home: A weekend project

Aside from blogging and social networking (Oh hai, Twitter!), the other thing I spend a lot of time on when using the internet is admiring interior design and beautiful houses. I’m addicted to Pinterest (although I seldom ever get around to making the awesome craft ideas I’ve pinned) and I could spend hours on Rightmove looking for our perfect ‘forever home’.

It’s so easy to take for granted what you already have. We’ve only been in our current house for a year and yes, we’ve outgrown it already and yeah, it’s far from perfect but for the foreseeable future, it is our home. When we moved into this house we quickly decorated all of the upstairs bedrooms (if you’re interested I can do a post of these too?) but then we left the rest of the house as it was because it was ‘livable with’. We soon had something more important to focus on, our little lady, and everything else got put on hold.

Lately I’ve felt frustrated that half of our house doesn’t really feel like it’s ours. But with a 4 month old baby it’s hard to find the money and time to decorate the rest of the rooms downstairs. However, I decided that in just one weekend we should easily be able to redecorate our porch and it would make a huge difference.

In the last few months our porch had become a bit of dumping ground for winter coats and scarves, pushchair paraphernalia , stinky old shoes and it would appear, a photobombing schnauzer…

It was starting to get frustrating that every time we entered or exited the house, we’d have to fight our way through the mess (the before picture was after a tidy up!) so we decided to bite the bullet and give the space a lick of paint and a new look. I am so, so happy with it and I’m glad we have another area in the house that feels like ours.

Wall colour: Homebase World of Colour – Sky £18.99 (2.5 L tin)

Devon Cream Storage Bench from Dunelm Mill £149.00

Duck egg aspen cushions and Vintage bird cushion £14.99 each also from Dunelm Mill.

It’s not completely finished as I want to put some picture frames up with some family photos in to personalise the area a bit more. I’m also thinking of spray paining our ‘home sweet home’ sign white to fit in with the rest of the items. In the meantime though, I feel it is already a vast improvement.

Are there any rooms in your house that you are desperate to decorate?

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