Archive of ‘Homekeeping’ category

#ChristyLovesWimbledon: Bringing Wimbledon In To Your Home, with Love Chic Living

As you may have already guessed, the team here at Christy HQ can’t get enough of Wimbledon this year, and like a lot of people, we eat, breath and sleep tennis at this time of year.

By why should it just stop at the odd Wimbledon-themed party once a year? Why not take some inspiration from the court and bring it into our homes for the ultimate summer upgrade?

Luckily, our friend, Jen, from Love Chic Living, is also an avid Wimbledon fan and is here to help discover the ultimate in tennis-inspired home décor.

Upcycling Tennis Racquets

Credit: Houzz

This first idea is a nifty DIY project that will transform a vintage tennis racquet (these can be found online or in most charity shops) into a fabulous multi-purpose addition to your hallway.

Jen says: “As above, you can turn them into great wall hooks in the entrance hallway, or use them in a wall collage or display, or even add a few little hooks to them to store your jewellery.”

We think it’s a must for any tennis lover. What would you use yours for?

Tennis Wallpaper

Credit: NOTHS

Next up is this beautifully intricate tennis-motif wallpaper from Cazalet Designs. It features a delicate design on a lush green background which makes the piece simultaneously bold yet subtle. It’s fun without being too quirky and wouldn’t jar with other décor pieces.

Jen adds: “Coordinated as in the picture with bright contemporary décor, it looks cool without being kitsch. This would be ideal as a statement wallpaper or even an all over pattern in a smaller room.”

Towels

Now, how could we mention tennis-inspired decor without including our beautiful range of Wimbledon textiles? Possibly the easiest way to incorporate the sports-luxe look into your home.

Jen’s favourite is the Wimbledon Sports Towel in white. She says: “With just a nod to the tennis scene, this is a bang on-trend way to add some tennis-inspired interiors to your home”.

Vintage Wall Art

Credit: Etsy

If like us, you can’t get enough of the industrial interiors trend that is everywhere at the moment, this next piece from Etsy will be perfect for you.

A fan or the piece, Jen adds: “I just love this piece, it’s so different, stylish and not obvious at all. For the diehard tennis fan, a piece like this is a must. Perfect displayed on its own or as part of a larger wall display, maybe even with the upcycled vintage tennis racquets we mentioned earlier.

 

Christy Book Review #1 – The Shopkeeper’s Home by Caroline Rowland

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We’re guilty of not taking the time to switch off from technology, reaching for a tablet instead of a book from our bedside table. In an attempt to break bad habits, “What’s On Our Bedside Table” is a great way to ensure we delve into a few chapters of something wholesome (or not) each month. This month “The Shopkeeper’s Home” by Caroline Rowland is our reading material of choice.

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Caroline’s beautiful book explores the world’s best independent retailers and boutiques and their stylish homes. It’s amazing to see the cross over from home to work and the influences that have created a successful business and a happy home. The book includes homeware stores, cafes, a converted barn and even a repurposed gas station ,presented stylishly and with an individuality not often seen on the high street.

As Caroline says “we all love browsing the style pages for that peek behind closed doors to reveal a person’s home life” and she couldn’t be more right.

We thought you’d like to hear what we loved about this book…

“Decorating ideas to take home with you…”

We loved this section at the beginning of each chapter. It kept us inspired whilst perusing through the pages and having a nosy into the retailer’s shops and homes, whilst dreaming of how it could influence our own.

Photography

The stunning photography throughout the book inspired both envy and desire, as well as growing us buds of inspiration for our own shoots.

Shops Directory

If you are asking yourself “how can I…”, the last few pages of the book feature a 100 best shops directory. It displays the shops name, address and contact details from the book, plus more. It’s so handy – especially if you are visiting a certain town or country in the world and decide to go there after coveting over the items within the book.

Visit Facebook and Twitter to be in with a chance to win yourself a copy.

 

The Christy Essential Linen Cupboard Guide

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With all festivities and waves of guests dwindling, it’s time to de clutter the linen cupboard and get it organised ready for your next lot of guests to descend on your home. At Christy nothing gets us more excited than a pristine linen cupboard storing gorgeous linens from fluffy towels through to crisp sheets. If you’re anything like us your linen cupboard is over flowing with luxury linens so here’s some tips on organising your linen cupboard.

Closet organisation

Firstly have a good clear out of all your bedding and towels, we separate are linens into the following categories:

  • Towels
  • Bedlinen
  • Favourite linens
  • Guest linens
  • Children’s linens

And most importantly a pile for linens that have seen their best days, do not be afraid to throw away linens – just think of all the new soft fluffy towels and beautiful new bed linen designs you can purchase!

After you are happy with the piles of linens before thinking where they will be homed in your cupboard fold them neatly.  Watch this video for a tutorial from our towel design manager Julia on how to perfectly fold a towel.  Handy tip, fold your pillowcases up together and insert them into the middle of your neatly folded duvet. This will help to keep your linen closet looking in tip top shape and will also allow you to grab the full bed linen set for those last minute emergencies.

Once you have your linens all neatly folded and ready to put back in your closet, it’s time to give the cupboard a quick spruce up with some polish and even put a fresh little sachet of your favourite scent to keep your closet smelling fresh.

Finally place your linens back in remembering the categories you spilt you linens into previously. Colour co-ordinating your linens is also a great way of keeping your linen closet organised.

The Perfect Guest Linens

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We’ve all been there when last minute guests arrive and our spare towels are in the laundry. Here are our useful tips on linens for guests which will make them want to come round again…

  • Have a separate section for your guest linens which are reserved strictly for visitors.
  • A spare robe for guests will make them feel like they’re really at home.
  • A spare pillow and duvet will allow your guest to wrap up warm on the winter nights. In Summer a spare flat sheet may be needed as an alternative to a duvet.
  • Layer up your guest bed with cosy knit throws and an array of cushions and a fresh bale of towels for the perfect finishing touch to your guest room.

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The Perfect Capsule Wardrobe for your Home

One last tip on linens in your household; we would recommend two bath towels and one full spare set of bed linen per person within the household to keep everyone in luxury linens.

Our essential linen guide can be found here and this can be printed and displayed on the back of the door on your closet for easy reference to our tips.

We’d love to hear how you get on organising your linen cupboard send us a message on Facebook and Twitter and tell us how you’ve categorised your linens.

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5 Essential Decluttering Hacks

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The art of decluttering seems to be every where at the moment, with Marie Kondo converts keen to learn the art of living in a calm, clutter-free space. Get ahead of the curve this year and start your spring cleaning early with our top 5 essential decluttering hacks. These valuable tips will help you clean, declutter and arrange your home using innovative techniques. Whether you need more space or simply want a fresh new start.

Invest in a label maker

Label makers are the perfect excuse to decant cereals, beverages, flour, sugar, spices, etc. into attractive jars that look great when on display, or stacked in a cupboard. Simply label each jar with it’s contents and place the jars either on a shelf, or neatly tuck them away in your kitchen storage. Not only will you feel organised, but you’ll secretly have loads of fun with playing with the label maker.

Wax the stove top

This fantastic tip not only makes your stove top look brand new, but it also makes cleaning spills and stains easy peasy. To achieve this, all you need is car wax and a cloth. Simply buff the wax into your stove top and wife off any excess. The wax will create a barrier between any spills and you stovetop, meaning you can simply wipe stains away with nothing more than a cloth.

Store bed sheets in pillowcases

Ever find yourself searching through a tangle of bedding, only to discover you’re missing a pillow case? By folding your bed sheets neatly into their matching pillowcase, you’ll never be searching for that missing component again. Not only does this tip keep all your linens together, but it will look great when you can stack each filled pillow case on top of one another, saving time and space.

Try the hangers trick

Keeping clothes we no longer wear takes up precious space, and makes your wardrobe look unorganised and cluttered. This trick is simple. Take all the hangers in your wardrobe and face them all in the same direction. Once you have worn a piece of clothing, store it back in your wardrobe with the hanger facing in the opposite direction. After 3 – 6 months, donate all the clothes that hangers haven’t been turned round to charity. This way, you can declutter and do a good deed at the same time.

Add plants for a finishing touch

Adding plants to your home keeps your home feeling fresh and looking great. Once you’ve completed your spring cleaning this year, pop to your local garden centre and invest in various plants to give your home that extra boost. Cacti and succulents are fantastic for those who want a low maintenance option but still want a stylish finish.

Do you have any essential spring cleaning hanks you want to share? To share your tips, head over to our Facebook and Twitter.

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Burning Calories and Maintaining Your Home!

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An optimistic spirit of “new year, new me” motivates many of us to make a New Year’s resolution. Usually the idea of a blank canvas will be the motivation for many to do more or less of something in their day-to-day lives. Getting fitter, exercising on a regular basis and generally improving lifestyle can usually be found at the top of the list along with home improvements.

You’ll be delighted to know that burning calories doesn’t have to start at the gym, or sporting unforgiving yoga pants (unless you really want to wear them). You can get an all over workout and improve your home at the same time! Changing habits and regular household chores, can make your failed resolutions a thing of the past!

Starting with the bathroom…

Scrubbing the bath and grimey tiles for 30 minutes alone burns 95 calories – add in mopping of the floor for 15 minutes to burn an additional 45 calories! Accelerate the workout by getting on your hands and knees and scrubbing down all areas of the floor.

Handy Tip: Alternate chores between rooms upstairs and downstairs. The more times you can climb the stairs, the more you’re toning your gluteus maximus! Walking up and down stairs soon adds up! Taking the stairs can add up to 125 calories burned each day.

Vacuuming for 15 minutes burns more than 40 calories – that’s the same as 5 minutes of continuous burpees.

Back up to the bedroom…

Making and laying your bed for 30 minutes burns 38 calories – The same as jogging along a flat terrain or treadmill for 10 minutes. Ironing your bed linen burns approx 88 calories, it also tones muscles of the upper body. Alternate arms to even the workout.

Cleaning windows for 30 minutes burns 68 calories, that’s the same as 15 minutes power yoga.

Improvements all round

Alter your mindset by not leaving things to pile up at the bottom of the stairs – take individual items upstairs as soon as you need to. This also stays on top of clutter in the home. A clutter-free home is a happy home.

When ironing, keep the laundry basket/pile on the floor (rather than on a raised surface like a table). That way you’ll constantly have to bend and stretch to reach the clothes, you can change your stance into a squat to elevate further.

Get creative in the kitchen – chopping, stirring, peeling and beating all burns more calories than simply taking out a ready meal out of the fridge and heating it up… And if you really want to work up a sweat and get your home smelling delicious, have a go at making your own bread using the below recipe – kneading the dough is hard work and great for your triceps!  

Bake your own Bread – The Taste of Home recipe

Ingredients

• 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
• 2-1/4 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 2 tablespoons canola oil
• 6-1/4 to 6-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

Directions

• In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the sugar, salt, oil and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

• Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.

• Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide dough in half. Shape each into a loaf. Place in two greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30-45 minutes.

• Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 2 loaves (16 slices each)

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Recipe Credits | Homemade Bread in The Taste of Home Cookbook 2006, p452
Statistics from calorielab.com

 

Increasing natural light around your winter home.

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Increasing natural light around your winter home.

It’s that dreaded time of year again… The clocks have gone back and we’re frighteningly close to December Solstice and the shortest day of the year!

During the Winter months, the reduction in light can leave you feeling like a vampire, rarely seeing the light of day and living in a cave. It’s easy enough to buy more and more artificial lights to brighten up your home, especially during the festive period. Due to years of hoarding it seems like there is (and never will be) a shortage of fairy lights…

However, there really is no replacement for natural light. Sunlight is proven to release chemicals in our bodies called Serotonin, the more Serotonin we produce – the better it is for our health and wellbeing. Increasing exposure in the home to natural light can result in an increase in energy, less fatigue and dramatically reduce rates of depression.

It’s no secret that Britain is far from one of the sunniest countries on the earth. It’s not only aesthetically pleasing, but essential to our health to maximise the intake of day light around your interiors while we can get it… A good place to start is to watch the light move around your home. This will help you plan where and how you can make adjustments to make the most of the short daylight hours.

The brighter side of life…

One of the most efficient ways is to start with the decoration. Replace dark, absorbing paint shades for a light, reflective hue, such as White, Yellow, Cream, Mushroom, Egg Shell Blue etc.  

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Mirror Mirror on the wall…

Large Mirrors and light shelves can be an extremely effective way of promoting the light and sharing it with shaded areas of the room – especially when facing an open light source, i.e. Windows.

A handy trick for dark rooms would be to place two similar size mirrors directly opposite each other, they will reflect the light off both surfaces and distribute it further around your space. Go one step further and replace solid wood doors with glass designs. Light will travel through the transparent door and boast light into the surroundings

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HANDY TIP: Use frosted or tinted glass for privacy.

Chose glass tabletops or acrylic chairs to reduce the amount of light absorbed by furniture. They can be placed anywhere – and can look really striking!

Fiddler on the roof

Fit roof lights and/or Sun Tunnels! Roof lights are a more expensive solution – but don’t underestimate the difference they can make! They open up any room, and floods all surfaces with light, regardless of whether the room is South or East facing. Sun Tunnels are as effective as windows, if not more so in some cases. Solar tubes can benefit those areas in your home where natural light barely reaches. i.e. Toilets, panties. etc.

The finishing touch…

Palm Frond

Once you’ve experimented with a few of the above tips look at decorating empty walls with lightweight, simplistic artwork. Hang with a simple bulldog clip to reduce the need for heavy rimmed picture frames.

Below are two FREE printables in the design style used in our Palm Frond bedroom set. Space purposely chosen to boast large windows, increase sunlight and enhance creativity.

postDownload Dream BIG – A4 printable here

Download X<3 – A5 printable here

Let us know your handy tips in the comment box below!

 

#ChristyChristmas: Time to… Prepare your guest room

#ChristyChristmas: Time to… Prepare your guest room


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It’s Christmas week, the food shopping has been done, the presents are gathering under the tree and the guests are imminent. Everything is ready and waiting for the guests to descend but there’s no chance that you’ll be relaxing just yet – not until everyone has a drink and multiple food options. Vol au vent anyone? Champagne?

If you’re accommodating family or friends overnight, then we’ve got a simple trick that’ll make your home synonymous with hotel quality luxury – perfectly folded towels! Watch the video now, and fold your way to spa style luxury with resident Christy towel designer Julia Hewitt.

Wishing you a very merry Christmas season from all of us here at Christy.

 

Create the perfect cushion arrangement

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How to create the perfect cushion arrangement

A well and beautifully laid bed can be easily achieved at home. Following a few simple arrangement rules will make an empty, cold looking bed a thing of the past…

Firstly, it’s good to look at the entire arrangement of the bed. Once you’ve chosen and set your bed linen, you’re left with a blank canvas where we lay the pillows/cushions – this will become the masterpiece of the master bedroom!

We recommend adopting a pillow layout somewhat similar to the below diagram…

diagram

Starting with the largest first, arrange two co-ordinating Squares/Shams in an upright position against the headboard. Squares create a wholesome staggered look to instantly revitalise any bed. Secondly lay your first set of pillows. We like to chose a Plain Dye coloured, none patterned under pillow to breakup any colour from the linen design. Prop the second set of linen matching pillows at the front ensuring the back pillows are peeping over the top. You have now set the foundations. Make sure your pillows are straight, and fluffed! Now onto cushions… The fun part!!

Cushions can absolutely transform a bed, especially by adopting pops of bold solid colours. Your choice of cushion can make two beds, set with the same design look completely different. Don’t be afraid to choose contrasting colours. Pick colour shades from other items around your room such as: lamp, flowers, artwork, etc to tie the whole bedroom together.

So far your bed will look symmetrical. Create a more interesting tone by adding an odd amount of cushions. I’d suggest arranging from left to right, keeping the larger cushions to the back to continue the staggered feel. Mix different sizes and styles towards the centre. Be careful not to over do it – there is such a thing as too many cushions, also stray from using correlating colours and designs. It can, on occasion become overkill. Bright colours are the winning combination!

Ensure once more that all cushions are fluffed and pressed!

Don’t forget to place your favourite throw at the foot of the bed. It’s worthwhile to ensure at least one of the cushions chosen to layer, matches or compliments the throw, it will amalgamate all items together… Don’t forget, throws are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they are the perfect ‘just in case’ layer for cold nights.

Now all that’s left to do is to slip into your cosiest of pyjamas, grab a good book and cuddle into your new retreat.

WARNING: Once you’ve created the perfect bed, getting out (especially on a cold morning) can cause difficulty and/or distress.

We would love to see your layered bed. Tweet us your pictures @christy_home.

 

#ChristyChristmas: Time to… Prepare for guests

#ChristyChristmas: Time to… Prepare for guests

It’s never too early to start planning for your Christmas guests; in fact, the earlier you begin the smoother the whole process will be. One of our Christy ambassadors, Love Audrey, seems to have got the knack of hosting down to a tee, and here are some of her top tips. If you have any words of wisdom to add please share them on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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  1. After what will no doubt have been a long and hectic journey, your guests will be grateful for the offer of a warm bath followed by a restorative snooze. Make sure their surroundings are soft and sumptuous with fresh linen and clean towels, the fluffier the better! Remember, everyone feels the cold differently, so give guests the option of extra blankets and additional pillows to ensure they get a good night’s sleep.

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  1. When you’re hauling countless gifts across country, it can be easy to forget the essentials, so consider leaving a stash of toiletries in the guest bedroom. Sample sizes of everything from toothpaste to deodorant could come in handy, but if you really want guests to feel cared for, a spare robe and some slipper socks would be perfect too.
  1. A well stocked bedside table adds another element of comfort to your guests’ surroundings. Fresh flowers, a pile of books or magazines and a box of tissues is a good start. A scented candle (don’t forget the matches) and easy access to a pen and paper might also be appreciated.

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  1. Keeping a few refreshments within easy reach is a good idea. Not only will it help alleviate any potential guilt if a guest feels peckish between meals, it also takes some of the pressure off you having to fix countless drinks and snacks on top of the usual Christmas catering. Try filling a tray with bottles of soft drink, biscuits, snack bars and maybe even the odd mince pie!

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  1. Nowadays, no one travels without their tech, so be sure to leave the Wi-Fi password somewhere visible. You could also invest in a universal charger, just in case someone forgets that vital bit of kit.
 

The Best Houses Of The Silver Screen

One of our favourite things to do on a rainy day is to curl up with a Christy throw and rewatch our favourite classic films, admiring the beautiful, covetable homes. We’ve picked out our most envied houses from the movies, looks from which we would love to recreate in our own homes.

The beach house from ‘Something’s Gotta Give’

The Hamptons beach house in Something’s Gotta Give is the perfect location for the unfolding of Harry & Erica’s romantic tale. The actual house is in Long Island (The Hamptons), but production designer Jon Hutman created the romantic home using interior sets. The beach location, layout of the home and the paint palette used are so covetable that the fictional home has a fan following and has inspired many a renovation.

Architectural Digest featured the home online, revealing interesting nuggets of information, such as the fact that the kitchen countertop was wood painted to look like soapstone. Diane Keaton, who plays Erica in the movie, has said that the kitchen from Something’s Gotta Give is her all-time favourite, and we think it’s pretty perfect too. We especially like the presence of fresh flowers throughout, which creates a romantic look.

Perhaps our favourite room in the house is Erica’s bedroom, complete with windows and built in shelves, Erica’s reading nook is bright, airy and peaceful – something we could all benefit from! Set director Beth Rubino has specified that the paint colours were custom-mixed to look good on the set, so there is unfortunately no paint code for the palette used in the house.

The house recently sold for $41million, but looks very different on the inside than it did in the film.

The glass house from The Lake House

The Lake House was a 2006 remake of South Korean film Il Mare, where two residents of the same house exchange letters through the mailbox, despite living at the house two years apart. The film itself is a entertaining love story, but the story of the glass house used for filming is just as captivating.

After looking extensively for a lake house to use for filming, the glass lake house was actually designed and built specifically for the movie in Maple Lake in Willow Springs, Illinois, and was allowed to be built as a temporary structure on the condition that it was removed after filming. The house was designed in two weeks by Nathan Crowley and took 100 people 7 weeks to construct. Here’s what the Lake House looked like during construction:

Our favourite view of the Lake House is the shot from the exterior at night, though this view highlights the fact that the home is compact and minimally styled. In the film, Alex tells his brother that “This house is about ownership, not connection. [His father] built a house, not a home.”

The cottage from The Holiday

The cottage from The Holiday is quintessentially British, but unfortunately doesn’t exist outside of the movies. The front was constructed in two weeks in an empty field, and extensive landscaping formed the garden; most of which is unseen in the film. The DVD special features showed the progress of the front:

While the reality of a winter in this cottage would probably be broken boilers, draughty windows and stone-cold floors, Amanda (Cameron Diaz) manages to enjoy the festive season in England. The picturesque village of Shere (in Surrey) was transformed into a winter wonderland for The Holiday.

We love the bedroom in the cottage; completely charming with its built in storage and bookshelves.

http://hookedonhouses.net/2010/12/05/kate-winslets-english-cottage-in-the-holiday/

Those are our favourite homes from the silver screen – which homes from movies did you fall in love with?

 

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