Monday, 24 April 2017

My top 5 favourite homeware buys this month

Every month I basically spend most of my wage in Homesense, Home Bargains, Primark and Wilko. I love to find those hidden gems that are hard to find, but when you find them you feel a flutter of excitement.

I’m not quite sure if this will be a one-off post or a series, as I am trying to save a little more and to not buy the things I don’t really need for a while. However, here are my favourite things I have bought past month/six weeks.

Diamond honeycomb decorations

I picked these up a couple of weeks ago from Homesense for £2.50 and I adore the Spring pastel colours! I have a new obsession with any kind of honeycomb decorations and I try and find any bit of hanging space available so I can hang some around the flat. These are by Talking Tables, which is a really nice party brand and their website is full of lots of pretty inspiration.

Mint side table

This is probably my favourite thing that I’ve bought this month and I couldn’t get out of the shop quick enough! I picked this beauty up for £9.99 from Homesense and I really love the lovely mint colour. I wasn’t really looking for a side table for the flat, but I knew it would look lovely next to the armchair we have.

Gold cat teabag dish

I picked this up fro George Home for £1.50 and it’s so adorable! I’m not really a cat person at all, but I thought it was so sweet. The majority of my kitchen is copper themed, but it’s so cute that I couldn’t resist. I used to work at George Home and they have some amazing trend led homeware in that’s really inexpensive.

Mint utensil holder

This is another Homesense buy (I practically live in there!) and I think it was £4.99. It’s actually a wine cooler, but I really wanted it for a utensil holder. It’s terracotta inside, which is a trend I really love. I have a bit of a thing with utensil holders (much like honeycomb decorations!) and I now have three, who even needs three?!

Framed art prints

I love these art prints that I created with as a little DIY. I picked up the 6 x 4 frames from Wilko for 50p and popped in two pieces of really pretty wrapping paper that I picked up from John Lewis. I have a whole blog post dedicated to how I get my framed art prints for under £5, so make sure to check it out if you’re after some cheap art prints!

What are the fave things you've bought this month? I'd love to know!

FIND ME ON: Twitter |  Instagram: @katiebearx 

Monday, 17 April 2017

How to get framed art prints for under £5

I love having frames dotted around the flat, they make it feel more homely and lived in. As well as framed photographs, I also love to have framed art prints as they add something extra to my decor.

I’m always on a budget when it comes to decorating my home and the cheaper the better. This doesn’t always apply to the quality of something, I’ve found that you can get just as good quality decor items in shops such as Wilko, Homesense and Home Bargains, compared to what you can get in more expensive retailers. So, when it comes to having framed art and quote prints, I like to find bargains or create my own for less.

Quote print packs

These are a little harder to come by, but check your local Homesense and TK Maxx for packs of quote prints. I picked up a pack of 12 a while ago for £4.99 but they can be quite hard to find as it depends on their stock levels. I’ve hung some of the prints around the flat with copper bulldog clips and have some of them framed too. I picked up this frame from George Home for around £3-£4 and the prints work out at around 42p each (!!!), so this is another print under £5.

Wrapping paper

I recently saw some amazing wrapping paper in John Lewis and I had to buy a sheet of each. I plan on using it for my scrap book and other bits and pieces and I knew it would look great in a frame. I bought two 4 x 6 inch frames from Wilko for 50p each, then measured and cut two 6 x 4 inch pieces of both of the prints for the frames. I love how they turned out and they were so inexpensive. John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Paperchase all have amazing sheets of wrapping paper so it’s worth a look.

Free printables

I’ve already mentioned my love for websites where you can get free printables but they are such an easy way to get really nice prints for free. I print mine off on card, so it’s a little sturdier. You could get them printed off on a better quality paper or card and shops such as Staples or Rymans, offer an inexpensive printing service. I personally prefer to save the pennies and print them off at home.

I always to go Wilko for frames, and sometimes Home Bargains too. These Harry Potter prints were 10 x 8 inches, so I picked up two frames from Wilko for £2.40 each. The total for these two prints were £4.80 which I think is a bargain for good quality prints.

I really hope you can use my post for a little inspiration. If you’re amazing at drawing, typography or graphic design, you could create your own prints to frame too. Most of the frames I get are the ‘Wilko Easy Photo Frame’, as they are so inexpensive. You could of course pay a little extra for your frames if you want your frame to really do the talking!

FIND ME ON: Twitter |  Instagram: @katiebearx 

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Party decoration inspiration

I’ve always been a fan of decorations of any sort, whether it’s Christmas, Halloween, Easter or birthdays, I’ll be there sticking banners to the wall and filling the room with balloons. I think this penchant has come from my mother, she does about every crafting hobby going and has decorated every Christmas and birthday during my lifetime with lots of decoration goodies.

It’s my boyfriend’s 21st next month and since we’re now living together, I’m planning on decorating the flat with as much pretty paper fans, pom-poms and balloons, as my bank card will allow. He won’t be bothered in the slightest whether I display a balloon that spells out 'Happy Birthday' on the wall or not, but I’m determined to make the flat as pretty as possible.

My favourite shops and brands for party supplies are Hobbycraft, Card Factory and Ginger Ray. I recently discovered Ginger Ray and oh my lord, it’s like Pinterest spat out a party range. They have all the inflatable balloon banners, tableware, paper honeycomb balls and bunting you could ever want. They have some really nice themes, such as metallic, iridescent, mint ombre and pastel, which are all amazing and I would happily buy one of everything if I was rich. Hobbycraft also sell Ginger Ray, as well as their own range of decorations which are similar, only a little cheaper. Card Factory is my go-to place for cards, balloons and gift wrap since it’s so cheap.

I currently have bought this balloon banner in silver for his birthday. I think the silver will look really nice against my brick wall in my flat! I really want to buy some blue paper fan decorations to hang and some blue balloons too!

I’ve added some lovely photos from Pinterest that have given me party decoration envy, if it is a thing! What are your favourite party decorations?

FIND ME ON: Twitter |  Instagram: @katiebearx 

Monday, 3 April 2017

How to have a stylish home even if you’re on a budget

I’ve always enjoyed flicking through interior design magazines since my early twenties, and even more so since I’ve moved into my flat. No matter how much I love browsing the pages of Elle Decoration or Living Etc, I’ve always been so put off by the extortionate prices of some of the products they feature. £50 for a cushion?! £200 for a light shade?! In all fairness, if I was being paid a million pounds a year, I probably would spend £50 on a cushion or £200 on a light shade. However, as I'm not (one day!) and I have to manage my money well, including paying the bills and the rent, I like to figure out ways around styling my home cheaply.

I absolutely love magazines such as Your Home and Style At Home as they feature really affordable products and encourage people to do a little DIY and upcycling to save on costs. They feature products from high street shops such as George Home and Wilko, and really affordable products that can add so much style to your home.

I have a lot of people asking me how I manage to get everything so cheap, so I’ve put together some of my advice on having a beautiful home whilst working with a tight budget.

The hidden gems of the high street

The most expensive item in my flat (apart from the furniture as it came with the flat, and the TVs/consoles!), is my floor lamp which I bought from George Home at Asda. It was £40, but I got 20% as I worked for them at the time. The high street is my favourite place for home bits and bobs. My favourites shops are Homesense, Wilkos, Primark Home, George Home, The Range, B&M and Home Bargains. You can get some really good pieces for under £10 in most places. My little side table was £9.99 from Homesense and I absolutely love it! Primark Home offers really good trend-led pieces and I love the little trinkets and signs that they sell.

It’s worth checking the supermarket home brands like George Home at Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s ranges, as you can pick up affordable bits and bobs whilst you do your weekly food shop. Don’t shy away from the Pound shops either. I picked up the cute copper plant pot in a photo further down, from Poundworld and you can’t really tell it was £1.

Get creative
I currently have two pieces of furniture that I’ve upcycled in my flat. I made the little coffee table from an old footstool and I took the lid off, gave it a clean and a lick of paint. The table was free, so it only cost me £2 for two £1 paint tester pots from Wilko. The storage unit was looking a bit shabby when I picked it up (yet another freebie!), so I have it a clean and painted the inside shelves. It cost me £2, again for two tester pots and I couldn’t be any happier with it.

Make sure to look out for bits of old furniture in charity shops too. I recently saw loads of bits of furniture in the British Heart Foundation furniture shops. There were some really cool cabinets and console tables for under £30 that I would love to have bought and gave then a new lease of life.

Look out for freebies
There is nothing better in life than things that are free! I have several framed prints dotted around my flat that cost nothing (apart from the frames!). Pinterest have a lot of inspiration and links to websites that offer free printables. You can get free organising labels, meal planners, calendars and wall art from a lot of places, which you just need to print off and frame yourself. For wall art, I go to Wilko for frames as they have 6 x 4 simple black frames for 50p. I printed off these two Harry Potter watercolour quote prints and bought two 10 x 8 frames for £2.40 each from Wilko, so I got the two framed prints for a under £5.

If you search for ‘free printables’ or ‘free quote printables’, there are lots of resources available to create a stylish (and cheap!) gallery wall.

I’d love to know how you style your home on a budget and feel free to comment with a link to your blog!

FIND ME ON: Twitter |  Instagram: @katiebearx