24/09/2016

Currently Loving: Marble Finds - Etsy Roundup

I often find myself really drawn to items made from natural materials such as ceramics, wood, onyx and in particular marble. I don't know what it is about marble but I just love it, to me it just shouts glamour and injects a space with a chic feel.

I thought I would do a little 'round-up' of some of my favourite marble finds on Etsy, I like to shop on Etsy as I feel I am supporting small business and crafters plus it's a great source of inspiration even if you're not planning on buying!

Marble Finds Etsy Round-up
Carrara Marble Soy Candle from The Lane London Candles
Marble finds Etsy round-up
Vintage Black Marble Horse Bookends from Blackwell Vintage
Marble Finds Etsy Round-up
Personalised Engraved Marble Cheeseboard from Krystina Hartry Design
For those of you preferring a little more colour, I discovered Absolutely Nice who specialise in quality vintage furniture and homeware. I LOVE their green and white marble effect enamel bowl and cups, such a fun way to incorporate marble into your home.

Marble finds etsy round-up
Green and White Marble effect Vintage Enamel Bowl from Absolutely Nice
Marble finds etsy round-up
Green and White Marble effect Vintage Enamel Cups by Absolutely Nice
Marble can be a great way to store trinkets and bits and bobs on a dressing table, just add a vase of roses and you have instant chic.

Marble finds etsy roundup
Faux Marble Clay Ring Dish by Michel Gervais Art
Marble finds etsy round-up
Marble Pot with Copper Lid from Skandi Designs
Adding a marble effect can even make mundane items, such as mouse pads, look good. Printed Pretty Gifts do a great range of marble effect accessories such as mugs, mouse pads, phone covers and laptop sleeves. I think I've just discovered what my next spending splurge is going to be on!

Marble finds etsy round-up
Marble effect Mouse Pad from Printed Pretty Gifts
Marble effect Laptop Case by Printed Pretty Gifts
We are hoping to be including some marble pieces in our online shop when we launch, I am in love with these marbled ceramic pots that will be available in the shop.

Marble home decor
Marbled Ceramic Pots via Instagram @Lizzie the Magpie
If you fancy having a go at a little faux 'marbling' then check out my DIY faux marble coffee table post.

Right I'm off to do some packing for my holiday next week. Have a great weekend everyone!

20/09/2016

Rustic Beach House

Rustic Beach House
 
I'm not quite sure how I stumbled upon this beautifully rustic beach house - maybe down some pinterest/instagram wormhole - but I'm glad I did! The house belongs to lifestyle designer and stylist Jessica Bataille and was recently featured on micasa. I have seriously fallen for the fresh, light and airy feel created by whitewashed walls, blue shutters and rattan accents and I'm getting very excited for my holiday soon - this time next week we will be on our way to Turkey and I can't wait!

Rustic Beach House

Rustic Beach House

I love that the interior has been kept simple and pared back, yet it still manages to be cosy. The colours in the textiles, the texture of the rattan and the collected items, such as the coral, add interest and warmth.

Rustic Beach House

Rustic Beach House

Rustic Beach House

Rustic Beach House

Rustic Beach House

I could just imagine myself here, cooking up a Paella after a lazy day beach combing for driftwood and shells....one can dream!!

13/09/2016

Recent Antics

Just a little on what I've been doing and loving lately.....

Recent Antics
Daisy Cottage
We've just returned from a fantastic weekend away with friends, staying in 'Daisy Cottage' in the Staffordshire countryside, complete with hot tub!!

Exploring
It was a very relaxed weekend with lots of eating, drinking and a little walking (to the local pub) to burn off the calories!

Pretties
Yesterday was spent catching up with housework and a little trip to a local antiques centre in the afternoon. I've always been slightly obsessed with ceramics but I seem to be really drawn to coloured glassware at the moment, loving the blues and greens and the way the light shines through the glass.

Bohemian Ceramics
Speaking of my obsession with ceramics, I am in love with the tableware we have just taken delivery of for the website launch in October, love the bohemian feel.

Feeling protected by the Evil Eye
I've been living in these earrings lately, ever since I first visited Turkey with my husband Tefo, I have been really intrigued by the 'Evil Eye' (Nazar) and 'Hamsa' Talismans, they are everywhere in Turkey and I am developing a serious collection of jewellery featuring the charms. These earrings from Flying Tiger are the latest addition!

All images taken from my personal and Merry Magpie Instagram accounts.

08/09/2016

How To: Easily Update a living room (on a budget!)

As I mentioned in my DIY faux marble table post, we have given our living room a bit of an update recently and it got me thinking about ways to quickly and easily liven up your space, on a budget naturally, here are my top 6 'quick fixes'.

1. Add or change textiles - With the upcoming change in season, it is the perfect excuse to add or change cushions and rugs in your room. Maybe make an impact with darker colours or more textured and luxurious materials such as wool and sheepskin, simply switching out some of your cushions can transform the feel of a room. As you may know, or will become aware, I am obsessed with rugs, I believe they can completely alter your space and add interest, pattern and colour. Remember, rugs aren't just for floors, they could be used as wall hangings or draped over sofas or armchairs too.
ebay, Etsy, flea markets, car boot sales and charity shops are great places to find textiles and rugs at reasonable prices.

Easy updates for a living room
This Kilim rug defines this reading nook space. Image via pinterest.

2. Candles - This is such a simple thing to add and may not seem like much but when dusk arrives, which is getting earlier and earlier now, I light the candles in my living room and the space comes to life! Everything (including people!!) looks so much prettier by candlelight and it adds a cosy, atmospheric feel to your room. If you are worried about candles with children or pets then battery candles or fairy lights can work just as well. Turn off your overhead light, flick on some lamps, light some candles and sit back with a glass of wine....perfect! If they come in pretty containers, they will look great in the day too and if they're scented they will fill your room with a lovely smell!
You don't have to go all out and buy expensive candles, you could try dotting tealights around the room, even an old glass jar can look really pretty filled with a candle or battery tealight.

How to update a living room on a budget
Candles on my mantel
How to easily update a living room on a budget
Candles on my mantel
3. Update furniture - We all know that painting furniture is a great way to change the look of a piece and the room it's in, but I've lost track of the items on my 'one day I'll paint this' list! If, unlike me, you are motivated enough to actually paint your furniture then brilliant. If not, there are other, slightly lazier ways to update your furniture! How about changing the knobs or hardware or using fabric, wallpaper, or even wrapping paper to update the back of a bookcase or shelves? You could place a piece of mirrored or non-mirrored glass on the top of a piece of furniture and maybe display some photos, postcards, wallpaper or fabric underneath? Back in the days when I was obsessed with Cath Kidston I recovered the top of an old pine desk with some of her oilcloth, if I'm honest, it looked a little strange but it was a really practical, wipeable surface, maybe with the right furniture and oilcloth combination I could have something - if you try it and it works for you, please send me photos!!
Hardware including knobs and handles can be picked up cheaply from places like homebase, photos can be printed from your computer and wrapping paper could be used instead of old paper. I have even been known to scan a favourite fabric or wallpaper into the computer and then print it off on paper!

My DIY faux marble coffe table
4. Update your seating - Playing around with seating is a great way to update your space, but furniture can be very expensive and we all know the feeling, you're bored with your sofa or armchair but don't want to get rid of it or can't justify buying a new one. Re-upholstering is an option but it can often be expensive, unless you can source your own cheap fabric and the sofa or armchair is structurally sound. You could have a go at upholstering yourself, there are country wide courses if you fancy learning a new skill! There are other little tricks that you can use to change the look of chairs and sofas without the hefty price tag. I have an old cream Ikea sofa in my living room that was a bargain when I bought it but is now looking slightly worse for wear, I used a striped throw that I've had for years and tucked it over the back and seat area of the sofa but have left the arms uncovered so it looks more like part of the sofa and less like a student digs! This could be done with any blanket, textile, throw, rug or sheepskin and can completely change the look of your seating. Blankets and throws could also be draped over the arms of chairs and cushions piled up to disguise ugly fabric. Another great way to change the look is to recover the back or seat cushions but not the actual sofa, this is the perfect way to add a splash of colour or pattern too. If you have an armchair that doesn't have a cushion, you could add one with a cover in your favourite fabric. Charity shops, ebay and etsy are great places to find fabrics, thinking outside the box helps too, an old pair of curtains or bed linen could be cut up and re-used.
There are websites such as Bemz that make slip covers for Ikea furniture, although not the cheapest, they do give you a wider range of fabrics that Ikea itself. You could also try ebay for second hand slipcovers for your Ikea sofa.

William McLure's apartment. He's recovered the sofa cushions in a blue and cream fabric and added co-ordinating scatter cushions for a chic, smart look.
5. Add Artwork - This is a case of do as I say and not as I do unfortunately, as I've mentioned before, we are currently renting our house and while we can put things on the walls, I'm too lazy to re-paint them when we leave! In the rooms that will probably need re-painting any way I have added some art but my living room is pretty bare unfortunately. So, if you can add art to your walls, it can be so transformative, it creates a focal point, adds drama and the subject matter can change the feel of a room. Art doesn't need to be expensive either, there are so many sites out there now selling all kinds of artwork for really reasonable prices. Etsy showcases lots of upcoming artists, Photos.com features a huge array of prints to suit all tastes and offers framing too and markets and auctions can be brilliant places to pick up both oil paintings and watercolours for hardly any money. You don't even have to buy art as such, you could print photos, use pages ripped out of magazines, frame postcards and mementos, get crafty with box frames, display plates on walls, frame fabric or wallpaper, there are loads of sites that let you print your instagram photos too. My husband brought a flag back from a recent trip to visit his family in Turkey, now, I'll be honest because he won't read this, I wasn't overly excited, I worry when he wants to introduce things into the house and red isn't my favourite colour but he does live here too so some compromises have to be made! We decided to frame the flag in an old black frame which had been knocking around for a while, this was when I started warming to the flag as the frame sort of calmed it down a little and made it look older. We then hung it in our kitchen above our trolley, which has some red accents, and now, I actually quite like it. See, anything can be made into art.

Framed Turkish flag in my kitchen!
6. Finally, introduce plants - I feel like I have mentioned this a lot but plants and flowers really breathe life into a room, their organic shapes break up and soften uniform lines and they also just look pretty! If you have the room, go big, add a palm tree or cactus in a gorgeous pot, you could even buy a fake plant if you're not the most green fingered person. If you don't have the room, smaller plants or just vases of flowers dotted around the room will really make a big difference. If you don't have surface space, a problem in my living room - I blame the huge TV my husband insisted on, you could even introduce hanging planters with little succulents in. You don't need to spend a fortune on plants and flowers, you could just pick some grasses or wild flowers on your next walk or from the garden, supermarkets do great flowers now at reasonable prices, garden centres and Ikea have ranges of palms and cacti and even ebay sells plants, we recently bought a palm tree off ebay for our dining room!

How to update a living room on a budget
This side table arrangement in my dining room is bought to life by the succulents and cacti
I hope this post gives you a few ideas, if you guys have more suggestions of budget friendly updates I'd love to hear, so please share. Happy sprucing!

We are off for the weekend tomorrow to stay with friends, if you'd like to follow along with our adventures I'll be posting updates over on my instagram. Have a great weekend!

06/09/2016

Shop Talk

I thought I'd give you guys a little update with our online shop and let you know where we're at with it all. We are planning on launching the website and online shop in October, when we are back from our holiday and I'm so excited about it! Those of you who have followed our journey a little will know that we have been selling on etsy for a while now and have had websites in the past, our last website crashed and unfortunately we couldn't get it back so we've had to start again. In a way, I am pleased it happened as it's given us a chance to go in a slightly different direction and I feel the new website will be our best yet, it's really mirroring my own personal style and will be full of the things I love!

Shop Talk
Bohemian Bowls
I describe our style as 'where playful meets proper'; I always favour a classic, simple and timeless backdrop warmed up with eclectic details, global textiles and fun accessories.

In the new online shop you can expect to find lots of colourful ceramics, with a bohemian feel, as well as old and new rugs and of course our Turkish Kilims.

Shop Talk
Vintage One-Off Rugs
Fair Trade Textiles
As I'm slightly vintage obsessed, the shop will feature one-off vintage finds that we have collected on our travels, I couldn't have a shop that didn't involve vintage and antique pieces, I love imagining their past life and, in my opinion, they bring a space to life by adding soul and individuality.

Shop Talk
Monochrome Vintage Finds
Shop Talk
Colourful Vintage Plates
As a reflection of my permanent wanderlust, the shop will have a travel inspired vibe, we're currently putting together a collection of colourful and fun accessories including some items of jewellery and bags.

Shop Talk
Turkish Towels and Tassel Necklaces
I am really excited to launch the website and have lots of plans for the future, one of which will hopefully be a 'pop-up shop' or 'online market' where products will be themed and in very limited quantities or even one-offs. I'm thinking global finds bought back from travels, one-off vintage pieces, handmade items and hopefully some collaborations with designers too.

The launch collection will be an edited inventory of homewares and accessories that I love and I hope you will too. For more updates and some behind the scenes goings and doings check out our shop and my personal instagram accounts.

See you in a few days with a 'how to' on updating your living room, quickly, easily and on a budget!

02/09/2016

Friday Feels

Some gorgeous interior photos to inspire some 'sprucing' over the weekend!

Friday Feels

Friday Feels

Friday Feels

Friday Feels

Friday Feels

Friday Feels

Friday Feels

Friday Feels

Have a great weekend!

30/08/2016

DIY Faux Marble Coffee Table

DIY Faux Marble Coffee Table

I hope you all had a lovely long weekend. We went out with some friends and generally pottered around the house which is always nice!

Last week we decided to have a little move around in our living room as, due to my magpie tendencies, it was becoming too cluttered. Previously we had an ottoman as our coffee table which I felt was too big for our small room. It is now living at the end of our bed and in its place are two round tables of different sizes and heights. I liked the idea of having the two tables as they are a more flexible solution and easier to move around when guests come over.

I must apologise in advance for the grainy photos, my living room has a window on the left of the room which casts a shadow across the right side making it really difficult to photograph, anyway, this was the set up before.....

DIY Faux Marble Table
Don't judge my horrible laminate floors, we are currently renting and one day I will have the floor of my dreams...however that changes daily from wooden flooring to concrete to hessian!!
You may recognise the larger round table from this post it was found in an antiques shop and cost a whole £10! I didn't initially like it as I felt it was too white and a little shiny but my husband (and the price tag!) persuaded me and I'm so glad we did buy it as I love it now! I have had the smaller table for about 10 years, I think it was originally from habitat and, if I rememeber correctly, it was a present from some friends back in school. It has been such a useful occasional table, the metal legs fold in on themselves so it can be staked away really easily and its super light so can be moved around the room.

So, I was really happy with the set up but just wanted to smarten things up a little and break up the white, hence a DIY was born! I remembered I had bought this marble contact paper a while ago as I'm slightly obsessed with marble but could never afford the real stuff so when I saw the sticky back paper I knew one day I would use it somewhere.

DIY Faux Marble Coffee Table

It was so simple to do, I placed the table on the back of the paper and drew around it to give me a template, I then cut out around my drawn-on circle to give me the size I needed for my table top. I peeled off the back of the contact paper and carefully stuck the faux marble paper on top of my table smoothing out any air bubbles as I went.

DIY Faux Marble Coffee Table

I switched out the rug to go with the grey theme and I'm so pleased with how it looks now, it's really bought my little table back to life and just smartened up the seating area a little!

DIY Faux Marble Coffee Table

DIY Faux Marble Coffee Table

Now, what else can I cover in 'marble'?!