Faking it: a wood burner without a flue

We have been yearning after a wood burner (wood burning stove, log burner, whatever you want to call it) for years. One thing we really miss in our 1970s house is that there aren’t any fireplaces whatsoever (a big change coming from period properties) and we’ve always thought that a wood burner would provide our living space with the perfect focal point, as well as being something to cosy up around when it’s cold out. But because we don’t have any chimneys, having a wood burner installed isn’t as straightforward as it might be, and after a couple of super-scary…

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How to create a neat and compact kids homework area

The area between the living and dining zones in our open-plan ground floor space has been through so many different uses as the twins grow and their needs change. Until a month or so ago, our old dining table lived there. We called it the craft table, but in reality it was a dumping spot and just attracted piles of clutter and paperwork (as evidenced by the cringe-inducing before shot above). I decided that it was time for the craft table to go – this would open up the space and help us in our constant battle against clutter, but I…

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Living room makeover – little changes make a big impact

You might have seen glimpses on my Instagram feed, but I don’t think I’ve shared photos here of our living room makeover and how just a few small changes have made a big difference to how the space feels. I had to keep it under wraps for ages as it was part of a style makeover with West Elm that was featured in the AW16 issue of 91 magazine, but now the mag has been out for a few months, I think it’s time I showed you how we’ve updated the space. My favourite black wall is still here – I’ve definitely not…

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Simple Christmas decorating with Nectar

ADVERTORIAL December is finally here and the Christmas festivities can begin in earnest. I tend to hold off putting up our decorations until mid-December (in my house growing up they didn’t go up until the weekend before Christmas), but I thought I’d share a sneak peak into the simple Christmas decorating style I’ll be embracing this year, along with some savvy shopping tips with Nectar. A double-whammy of inspiration and money-saving ideas!  Nectar challenged me to spend £100 on giving my home a festive feel, with the added incentive of collecting as many Nectar point along the way as I could by making…

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Living room update: DIY open shelving

We’ve always struggled to make the living space in this house work for us. It’s part of a large open-plan L-shape area that also includes our kitchen diner. We used a large open shelving unit from Ikea as a room divider and create smaller zones within the open-plan area, but we always felt that we were left with a living area that felt small and cramped, and a bit of an odd dead space behind between the living and dining zones. That dead space has been used in a multitude of different ways with countless furniture arrangements – toy storage,…

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