My dream reading space

So most people cannot deny one of the most relaxing things to do is find a quiet corner and read a real page turner of a book. Whatever the time of year reading is just the perfect past-time, whether it is in the winter and you want to curl up under a blanket feeling cosy or in the summer sat in the garden or by the pool. But what helps to make that reading experience even more enjoyable?

Well surrounding yourself with the right ‘tools for the job’. First up, and most importantly, a comfy chair, personally I prefer mine to be as soft as possible and with a cushion or two. How about this gorgeous sectional sofa from arhaus.com.

Arhaus have an extensive range of sectional sofas, these types of sofas are fantastic as they can be flexible and adapt to most room shapes and sizes. More and more people are now looking for more choice when it comes to the types of sofa they want for their room. Sectional sofas have become so popular now and most stores now stock a good range of choices, go check out the full range at Arhaus here.

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Sectional sofa

Next up, setting the scene. Now I am going to enter my perfect world now. I’m a bit of a Disney and Harry Potter fan so to have your very own library would be out of this world right? How about these for some inspiration…………

harry potter

 

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Cosy reading nook

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Blue velvet scheme

Now the finishing touches for your library/reading corner. Lighting is key in a room like this so here are some of my favourite choices.

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Brushed brass tiered pendant

This beautiful tiered pendant lamp has the perfect look for any reading space or library, Arhaus currently have a fabulous range of pendant lighting to choose from, check them out here.

You would also need some table lamps to give you that extra light you need as well as helping to create the right atmosphere and look to the room.

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Table lamp

And of course you would need somewhere to store all your books. Shelving can really transform a room and if you are limited on space shelving can really maximize the area you have to work with. How about the ultimate in library style shelving, this fabulous modular bookcase with its very own ladder!

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Modular bookcase

So whatever your size and shape of room, if you are lucky enough to devote a part of your home to just reading and storing your books then some of these pieces will hopefully inspire you to create your dream reading area/library.

And because I have a slight obsession with libraries here is a link to my Pinterest board devoted entirely to them Lovely Libraries

I hope this post has inspired you, what kind of items would you use in your ultimate library?

Mint and Molly xx

 

 

 

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5 simple ways to add value to your home

There is no denying it, ‘an Englishman’s house is his castle’. Most of us take a lot of care in our pride and joy, our sanctuaries, our homes. Whether its a large detached house or a lovely cosy flat, making our own space feel homely and welcoming is so important to people these days. And something that is also important to us is making sure our house’s value is as high as it can be if we were to ever sell it on.

There are many ways to add value to your home and they don’t all need to cost a small mortgage to do them. Here are my top 5 ways to add value to your home.

Loft conversion – if you live in a house then you will definitely have a loft. Most of us use them to store our suitcases and belongings we can’t bear to part with (but probably should). Why not make more use of this often forgotten about space and convert it. You can often gain 1 large room or maybe 2 smaller rooms from a conversion. And the numbers can also add up too, spend £20,000 on a conversion and expect to add around £40,000 to the value of your house. Loft conversions are also not too disruptive as you can still live quite happily in the rest of the house whilst it is being done.

loft

Get rid of the garage – again a space that is often used to store junk, we certainly don’t keep our cars in them anymore! The average cost of a conversion is around £10,000. You can easily gain 1-2 rooms from this project. Gaining an extra reception room will always add a good amount of value to your property.

Refurbish the front door – one of the first things anyone will notice or look at on a property is the front door. If its looking a little shabby it will really let the rest of the look of the house down. If your budget allows it then you can get a composite door and they come in almost any colour, or if your budget is a little smaller then refurbish your current door/purchase a wooden door. Prep it well and give it a lick of paint, some new door furniture and its as good as new.

front door

Spruce up the kitchen – replacing a kitchen can be very expensive, not to mention all the hassle that comes with it. No working appliances and having to live on takeaways. However, you can easily revamp or update a kitchen without having to completely replace the entire thing. If you are happy with the layout as it is then you can repaint the door fronts and replace the handles, change the tiles or for a relatively low cost replace the worktops. Updating the lighting can also make a huge difference to the look and feel of a room. Doing any of these things can really transform a kitchen.

kitchen

Bring the outside in – if you are lucky enough to have a garden why not make sure that you can enjoy it all year round. In the winter we may not go out in our gardens as much but we can still enjoy being able to see them from inside. Installing patio or bi-fold doors is a great way to bring the outside in and isn’t as expensive as you think if you shop around.

bifold doors

I hope these ideas have given you some inspiration on ways to improve your home, maybe you have implemented some of these yourself or have some others ideas, I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Mint and Molly xx

Top tips for keeping succulents

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A growing trend in house plants over the past few years is succulents, they will compliment most interior schemes but don’t be fooled, they aren’t as easy to keep as you think, here are some top tips to keep your succulents looking and staying healthy.

If you are planning on keeping them indoors the best types to choose are ones that prefer low lighting such as the Haworthias and Gasteraloes variety.

Light

Succulents ideally need around 6 hours of sunlight/daylight per day. The obvious choice is to keep them on a windowsill but be careful not to let them be in direct sunlight as they can get sun burnt, you can keep them on a windowsill that is bright but that you know won’t get lots of direct sunlight throughout the day.

Watering

It is a myth that succulents don’t need much watering, but like most other plants also don’t over water them. Succulents like to have their roots soaked but then allow to dry out, they don’t like being sat in constant water. You don’t need to water them daily but ensure you completely soak the soil and roots then let them dry out completely before you water them again. It’s also not advised to use a spray bottle to water them either! And like a lot of plants they become dormant in the winter so don’t need as much watering.

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Containers and Pots

Succulents do look lovely in a glass container and there are some beautiful examples of  ‘mini-greenhouses’ available, however, as succulents don’t like sitting in constant damp conditions a ‘mini-greenhouse’ won’t be the perfect container for them long-term. Of course you can keep them in a ‘greenhouse’ but make sure you closely monitor how damp they are. The best types of containers to use are either terracotta or glazed ceramic pots.

Temperature

As a general rule succulents like to be warm during the summer and cool in the winter. In the summer try to keep them between 70 and 80 degrees and in the winter between 50 and 60 degrees. As long as they are getting a constant ideal temperature with no sudden fluctuations in temperature then they will be happy and ideally don’t let them get below freezing.

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So there you have it, my top tips for keeping these cute little plants, like any plant treat it with care and it will flourish.

Mint and Molly xx

 

Perfect Mother’s day gift ideas

It’s not long now until Mother’s Day and it’s always difficult to know what gift to buy for the special Mum in your life. I can’t think of any Mum’s that would not want a beautiful bunch of flowers but I also wanted to give my Mum a gift that she can keep forever. She is a keen gardener so a plant rather than flowers is also a lovely idea. However, my parents have recently finished an extension on their bungalow so the fun part arrives……finding those all important finishing touches.

Homewares are always such a perfect idea as a gift as you can spend anything from £5 upwards and its always fairly easy to know what kind of style someone likes. So this year I am going to buy a plant and a homeware style accessory for her lounge.

At Mint and Molly we have some lovely items that are perfect as a gift for Mother’s Day. And there is still time to order to ensure your gift arrives in time. Below is a selection of our current stock.

fern frame

Fern 6 x 4 frame – £6.99

home is where

Free-standing Home block sign – £7.99

chalkboard

House shaped chalk board with chalk – £8.99

We hope this has given you some lovely ideas, what gifts are you planning on giving this Mother’s day? or if you are a Mum what are you hoping to get?

Mint and Molly xx

 

Girl’s Bedroom makeover

My daughter is now 4 and I have been planning on giving her bedroom a makeover for a while now. She has so many toys they were starting to take over in the room and I felt it just needed a bit more organising.

There are some fantastic ranges of furniture available the moment, I opted for some items from Ikea. They always seem to have a good range to choose from and of course are very reasonably priced too.

I opted for a large chest of drawers and one of those shelving units that you can put the coloured fabric boxes in (which is perfect for storing all her toys).

Here are some before and after pictures………..

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And here are some links on which pieces of furniture I chose………….

Kallax Shelving Unit – £20

IKEA KALLAX shelving unit Choose whether you want to hang it on the wall or stand it on the floor.

 

Drona Pink Box – £2.50 per pack

IKEA DRÖNA box Easy to pull out and lift as the box has handles.

Koppang Chest of drawers – £60

IKEA KOPPANG chest of 3 drawers

I’m really pleased with the result and hopefully it will make it easier for my daughter to be able to tidy her room……..

Mint and Molly xx

 

Hygge – What’s it all about?

You may have heard of this term a lot recently, so what is Hygge?

By definition it is the Danish art of living well and staying cosy. Pronounced ‘hoo-ga’ or ‘hue-gah’, the word is becoming increasingly recognisable. The term is actually Norwegian and means ‘well-being’. Its about creating a warm and cosy environment mainly in your own home. It embraces the simple things in life that makes us happy, from cosying up on a cold evening with candles lit and a roaring fire, to spending time with your family and friends.

The high season of Hygge in Denmark is Christmas, this is when the Danish really go to town. Hygge exists all year round in Denmark but its during the winter months and Christmas that its really embraced. Because the Dane’s experience very long dark days during winter they try and embrace this by creating cosy atmospheres. Lighting candles, wrapping up in warm oversized scarves and blankets and drinking warm hearty drinks such as mulled wine all help to make those long dark days a little more bearable.

Without realising it these things have started to filter into our own way of life without us knowing that this has been a celebrated way of life in Denmark for a long time. You will see influences of this in the home trends at the moment. Grey is currently a go to colour for home decor and Hygge is very much of a Scandinavian style in interior design with grey and white being used predominantly in these types of schemes.

The style of Hygge is influencing our styles and trends in the home and you will find lots of ideas and items available to help you ‘Hygge’ your home. Here are some of my top picks for this coming Autumn/Winter.

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Scandi flowers cushion – not on the high street.com, £35

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Scented candles – Arabeller Dennler

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Black and cream woven throw

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‘Let’s Stay Home’ print

So you don’t need to spend a fortune to ‘Hygge’ your home. And remember Hygge is about embracing all the things that make us happy and to help us de-stress ourselves from our everyday busy lives. Maybe that’s why the people of Denmark are the happiest people in the world.

Mint and Molly xx

 

Autumn Home Trends

So I think its safe to say that Autumn is creeping up on us, the days are getting shorter and there is that slight chill in the air. So a perfect time to start creating that cosy feel in your home and one easy way to do this is to switch out your accessories, things like cushions, artwork on the walls, throws etc.

I’ve picked out my favourite from what is currently available in stores (and all at discounted prices)!

  1. Scented candle, Marks & Spencer, was £6.00, now £2.99
  2. Check cushion, Next, was £8.00, now £5.00
  3. Table lamp, Wayfair, was £39.99, now £27.99
  4. Cotswold throw, Wayfair, was £49.99, now £17.76
  5. Set of 2 leather mirrors, very.co.uk, was £49.99, now £45

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So some very quick, cheap and easy ways to update your home for that cosy, autumnal feel. Get the kettle on, get the biscuits out and snuggle in front of the tv.

Mint and Molly xx

We’ve only gone and done it!

So we’ve finally taken the plunge, Mint and Molly is now open for business.

It’s been a dream of mine for a very long time to have my own little business and here it is. Obviously because of my passion for interiors  we are selling a lovely range of homewares and gifts. We have so much planned for this year at Mint and Molly with new stock and ranges available all the time.

We are open for business!

Here is a sneeky peek of some of the fabulous things we currently have available.

Sneeky Peek

  1. House Chalk Board – £8.99
  2. Hanging signs – £4.99
  3. Butterfly Box Frame – £7.99
  4. Hexagon boxes – £3.99 each
  5. Scarf – £6.99
  6. Enamelled bowls – £6.99 each
  7. Pink and white tote bag – £7.99
  8. Roses purse – £4.99
  9. Small satchel bag – £12.99

I would love to hear what you think of our product lines so far and if there is anything you would like to see more of. Feedback is always so useful so its always welcome.

Mint and Molly xx

Easter decorations for your home

Easter is fast approaching and its always a perfect time to have family and friends over maybe for a lovely roast or a spot of afternoon tea, there are so many lovely items now in the shops so why not decorate your home this Easter to give it that lovely welcoming springlike feel.

Easter decorations

Set of 6 easter egg decorations – £6 www.notonthehighstreet.com

Easter Garland – £12.00 www.notonthehighstreet.com

Napkins – £3.59 Pink Poppy Party Shop

Gold Mini Easter Eggs – £5.95, bag 100 wwwchocolatetradingco.com

Gold Bunny Cupcake Toppers – £2.70 pack of 5 Cardoodle at www.etsy.com

I have chosen very pastel coloured items, but you could also change the themed colour, maybe Beatrix Potter inspired with Peter Rabbit items or a Alice in Wonderland tea party theme, its always fun to just let you imagination run wild!

L x

M&S interior finds

For Christmas I got given some vouchers to spend at  Marks & Spencer and up until this weekend I was really struggling to think of what to spend them on. Then it came to me, I am interiors fanatic and happened to pop into M&S at the weekend and was so impressed with their homewares collections. The trouble now is what to choose as there were so many gorgeous bits and pieces there. So maybe you can help me!

As Spring is approaching…………it is honest! I was loving all the muted and copper tones. My spare room is crying out for some finishing touches, its painted a pale grey colour so could take any scheme or colour I chose.

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So some favourite accessories!

  1. Large Geometric Cushion – £19.50
  2. Panama Table Lamp – £39.50
  3. Chenille Knitted Throw – £45.00
  4. Alphabet Scented Candle – £6.00

 

M&S

 

A room can be completely transformed once the accessories are added, and one good tip for if you like to change the scheme without having to re-decorate everytime, then grey is a really adaptable colour. You could easily add bright pops of colour like shocking pink or mustard. Grey is my go to choice of room colour right now and I love it!

L xx