Thursday, 9 October 2014

// Sooooo....this happened!

Newly Engaged

So you may have noticed I haven't posted in a little while. Me and Mr F finally managed to book a last minute getaway to the Algarve two weeks ago. 

We found the most perfect hotel far away from all the tourist hot spots and spent our days lounging by pool and driving along the coast finding remote beaches and traditional fish restaurants.

To top off an already perfect trip together, my best friend of almost 9 years and my childhood sweetheart asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. 

Since our return, our days have been filled with celebratory drinks and dinners with friends and family. Things are finally starting to settle down now, so I will be returning to more regular posting with the hopes of including a little wedding prep ;)

Helena xx

Saturday, 27 September 2014

// Dorm Room Decor

How to style your uni room on a student budget

4.// 'Get Shit Done' Notepad 5.// Art Print 6.// Throw 7.// Light 
8.// Rug 9.// Laundry Bag 10.// Door Mat 11.// Basket

Whether you are just arriving this weekend or have already had the past week to settle in, you will have quickly realised that your student room is seriously lacking in style and comfort.

But don't fret, with a few co-ordinated budget buys, you can quickly transform your dull and lifeless room into a homely and comfortable place to hang with your new friends and start your studying. 

Here are my tips on styling your student room:

1.// Pick a style/colour and stick to it - 

As in the above picture, you can see that choosing co-ordinated pieces can quickly bring a small room together. 

2.// Buy lots of cushions and throws - 

Make your room inviting to friends with comfy cushions and cuddly blankets for box set marathons (trust me, you will have lots of these). 

3.// Stylish storage -

Lots of clutter can make small rooms seem very messy, very quickly. Try and keep your surfaces clutter free with some stylish storage. Buy or DIY some statement boxes or baskets to keep your nick-nacks in on top of your selves. Or even make a display out of your accessories with a quirky jewellery stand. 

4.// Statement walls -

Perk your wall space up with some on-trend prints or posters. Either stick them up with washi tape for an extra bit of pattern or colour, or frame them and 'hang' them up on the walls with this amazing invention (super strong, but easily removable sticky strips)

5.// Extra seating -

Bean bags and pouffes are great for when you need some extra seating when your mates hang out in your room but also as the perfect reading spot when you don't want to sit at your desk a minute longer!

6.// Mood lighting - 

Buy a statement desk lamp for an added wow factor or string up some fairy lights over your bed for some evening ambiance.  

Enjoy the best three years of your life!

Helena xxx

Friday, 26 September 2014

// Amara Interior Blog Awards - I've been nominated!

Just a quick post today (but very exciting none the less!) - I have been nominated for an Amara Interior Blog Award under the category 'Best Newcomer Blog'.

If you have enjoyed following along so far then I'd love it if you spared a few seconds to enter your vote for me - it would mean the world.

PS. If you have yet to make plans for this weekend I would seriously recommend allocating a good couple of hours to scrolling through their website. I have found so many amazingly talented new bloggers to add to my Bloglovin feed! 

Helena xx

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

// Pattern in the Powder Room

Would you go bold in the bathroom?

My partner isn't quite as adventurous as me when it comes to decorating, so I tend to relegate the crazy prints and colours to artwork, cushions and accessories.

But I just can't keep the need for a big expanse of pattern at bay.

So this was my thinking..letting myself go crazy with the downstairs loo! 

It's the perfect plan.

Can you imagine the wow factor your guests would get?!

And look at that dalmatian print paired with the malachite mirror. I die.

I mean who doesn't want zebras all over their walls right?

Here are a few of my favourite wallpaper prints:

(1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.)

Which one is your favourite? 

I'm in love with the bees. Can someone make me a notebook in this print?! If you've got the skills, seriously, let me know. 

Helena xxx

// DIY: Mongolian Faux Fur Stool

How to make a Mongolian Faux Fur Footstool


Mongolian Fur stools have been cropping up over the internet for the past few months now and I just love the way they add a bit of glamour to a room. 

However, these bad boys will unfortunately set you back a fair few bob. But why shell out your hard earned cash when you can whip one up of your own in under an hour?!

I'm honestly not exaggerating when I say this really is the easiest DIY piece of furniture you can make. 

You will need:

Foam pad - here
Ikea Frosta stool - here
Mongolian faux fur cushion/faux fur fabric - here
Staple Gun
Adhesive Spray
Bread knife/scissors

1.// Take the seat of the stool and place it on top of your foam pad. Using a marker pen, trace around the edge. Either using scissors or a bread knife, cut out your circle of foam.

2.// Remove the filler pad out of the faux fur cushion. Take the cover and cut off the back piece so you are left with just the front faux fur panel.

2.// On a flat surface lay the square of fabric front side down.

3.// Place the newly cut foam and the seat in the middle of the fabric and trace around perimeter 4 inches from the edge. 

4.// Ensuring your seat and foam is in the middle of the fabric, pull one side of the faux fur up and over the edge and secure to the bottom of the seat with your staple gun, making sure not to cover any of the screw holes where the legs will attach. 

5.// Now take the fabric on the opposite side and pull up and over and staple down again. You must make sure it is pulled nice and tight so you get a good rounding of the edges on the foam pad. 

6.// Once you have completed the top and bottom, repeat for the sides.

7.// Now fill in the gaps, pulling tightly and stapling down so all fabric is secure and flat to the bottom of the seat (as it is a circle, you may need to make tiny folds as you go, but these won't be seen once you flip it back over). 

8.// Trim off any excess fabric.

9.// Finally attach your legs following the instructions provided by Ikea.

Helena xxx

Thursday, 28 August 2014

// Cocktails for the Weekend

Keeping-Summer-Going Cocktails

Word on the grape vine is that temperatures are set to rise again this weekend. Something about high pressure coming over from the Caribbean...sounds pretty good to me!

Anyway, I thought I'd take advantage of the good weather by spending the weekend out in the garden with friends drinking cocktails before the UK finally admits defeat and succumbs to Autumn. 

Here are a few of my favourites from around the web:

I don't know about you guys, but near me there are an abundance of early ripened blackberries in all the local hedgerows. So that basically makes these cocktails free, right?

And this one is for the morning after....

Have a good one!

Helena x

Monday, 18 August 2014

// Marble Bathrooms


Can these marble bathrooms get any more drool-worthy?!

I found the most amazing herringbone marble tiles from none other than Topps Tiles! Who would have guessed it? They look seriously high-end. 

But I've got an even better surprise....they are currently 15% off too. 

Try to remember to recompose yourself after you've rushed down there. We don't want the sales person thinking you're weird or anything.

Helena xx

Saturday, 16 August 2014

// How to Make a DIY Tufted Footstool : Part One

I had been on the hunt for the perfect footstool for the past year and a half. I was after one which was stylish yet functional. One which was comfy enough to put my feet on but could also double as a coffee table. Oh and I forgot to mention. It also needed to remain within my pitiful budget. 

Here is some of my inspiration:

Living easy: Highlights, she says, include a tufted purple ottoman in the living room, cultivated with the help of designer Amy Kehoe

Oversized tufted ottoman coffee table.  Love this in the family room...perfect.

I'm not sure why it took this long to realise that this was never going to happen. Most footstools are well over £200 (and that's the lower end of the market).

So to the interwebs I turned!

Now I would like to just take a moment to give some appreciation to some seriously talented ladies out there. If you Google (or Pinterest) 'DIY footstool' you will be bombarded with hundreds upon thousands of thorough step by step tutorials all done by talented women who dug out their husbands tool kits and took matters into their own hands. Check out these ones:

Little Green Notebook
Love, Pomegranate House
Addicted 2 Decorating
Artsy Chicks Rule
Design Sponge

As you can see from those links, there are lots of different ways to try making your own DIY tufted footstool. Some use preloved coffee tables, some build their own base, some go tufted, some pre-sew with piping. 

I personally didn't want to have to deal with the over hang that comes with a coffee table so I decided upon building my own base. After a little browsing of the internet and planning sizes etc I complied my list of materials and took myself down to B&Q and Dunelm Mill.


4" foam block - (L) 100cm x (W) 56cm
Quilt Batting (found either online, at Dunelm or any fabric shop)
Plywood Sheet
2 x wood 2x4s (ask someone in the store to show you what these are if you don't know)
Long wood screws (i.e. 2")
Nail tacks (lots)
3/4" wood screws (make sure you have enough for the amount of tufts you want)
Washers (same amount as the 3/4" wood screws)
Spray adhesive/PVA glue
Upholstery Fabric of choice
Self covering buttons
Super glue
4 x legs of choice (I got mine off ebay-depending on what legs you get you need to buy appropriate fixtures to attach them)

How to make a DIY Tufted Footstool : Part One - THE BASE

So to start off with, you need to decide how big you want to go. I just went with the size of my foam (100cm x 56cm) as this was the right sort of size for my room. 

Cut your plywood out to your desired size. If you know at the time of buying your base, B&Q will do this for you.

Once you have cut you plywood, you need to trim down your 2x4s to the same lengths and widths of your base. I cut my two length pieces first using a rotary saw (you can use a jigsaw or hand saw if you don't have one of these) to match the length of my plywood base. 

Then you need the two smaller lengths for the width of the base. To calculate where to cut, measure the width of your base then minus the width of your 2x4s times two. Again, you need to cut two at this length.

On a flat surface (use clamps too if you have then), drill two long holes (one at the top and one at the bottom) through the tops and bottoms of both longer pieces of 2x4s into the two smaller 2x4s. Then screw in your long wood screws to connect the base together. 

Now, either using a nail gun or small tacking nails and a hammer, place your plywood base on top of the frame and nail frequently around the perimeter ensuring it is well attached. 

That was hard work, so grab a quick cup of tea and a biccie (preferably a bourbon, obvs!).

Last thing to do for your base is attaching your foam. Either using your spray adhesive or PVA glue, cover the entire of your plywood base and quickly place your foam on top, moving it into the correct position whilst the glue is still wet. 

Grab as many heavy large things as you can and plonk them on top to ensure all areas of the foam gets attached thoroughly. Leave over night to dry.

You have all the maths to do tomorrow so make sure to eat some oily fish and get a good nights sleep. Your brain will need it!

Helena xx

Friday, 1 August 2014

// H&M A/W14

pictures from h&m

H&M's AW14 collection evokes retro bohemian glamour with it's mix of deep, sultry colours and rich, velvety fabrics. 

On-trend marble and copper accessories once again take centre stage in the form of trays, candle holders, cups and jewellery boxes. 

However, it's this seasons 'rustic' kitchen accessories which have caught my eye. Oh and I'll definitely be picking up that ombre blanket too.

Check out the entire collection here.

Helena x

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

// Artist Feature: Lola Donoghue

Pastel Abstracts

In the first of my 'Artist Feature' series I will be sharing the wonderful works of art from the talented Miss Lola Donoghue, who has the pleasure of calling Galway, Ireland her home. Having come across Lola whilst on my usual peruse of Etsy, I have since discovered that she has collaborated with my two favourites, West Elm and One Kings Lane and has even featured in House and Home Magazine and on the A Beautiful Mess blog. She has sure been making some waves recently!

Lola's work combines soft pastel hues with striking abstract designs, often incorporating a mixture of different materials, from acrylic paint to oil pastels and fine liners, which has made her art so very difficult to tear my eyes away from these past few days. (Not even joking. I've been unable to close the tab up to her Etsy page and website for the past three days running. I'm trying to stop myself from buying one of the larger prints for my living room. My heart is saying "YES, YES, YES!" but my bank account is saying "NO, NO, NO!" - the prints aren't actually too pricey, I'm just seriously broke.)

So without further adieu ladies and gentleman, feast your eyes on the below. You won't be disappointed.

If like me you have been tempted to purchase some of her art then check out her Etsy page for a selection of prints and originals. Lola also takes commissions if you have something specific in mind.

Do you know of any artists with a similar style to Lola's? If so, please comment me below. I'm always on the hunt for new art to get lost up in.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

// DIY: Marbled Phone Case

How to create a marbled phone case

I love swapping up my phone case every now and again, and there are endless options out there these days to choose from. But there is no better feeling when someone asks you where you got your amazing phone case from and you get to reply "I MADE IT!".

This DIY marble phone case is easy-peasy, can be done within minutes and allows you to use up all your old nail varnishes that you have hanging around. 

DIY Marble Phone Case Instructions //

1. Container big enough to fit your phone case in ( I used an old Indian Takeaway box...yum lamb bhuna)
2. Cocktail stick/BBQ skewer
3. Assortment of nail varnishes in your fav colours
4. Nail varnish remover (to dilute your nail varnish if it isn't runny enough)
5. Disposable gloves
6. Clear or plain phone cover in colour of your choosing

First off, cover the surface you are working on with a protective sheet or newspaper. Fill up your container with enough water to cover the phone plus a bit extra. 

Next unscrew all the lids off the nail varnish bottles and line them up in the order you want to use them. This is going to help speed up the pouring and swirling process (the nail varnish hardens on top of the water really quickly so you have to move fast!).

Now I know I'm not wearing gloves in these pictures. But that's because I learnt the hard way. You WILL get nail varnish all over your hands doing this, so if you want to save an hour scrubbing your fingers with polish remover then I would definitely recommend buying some disposable gloves or putting some marigolds on.

Before you start pouring test how runny your polish is. It needs to be viscous enough to pour easily out of the bottle. If you think it's a bit gloopy then simply pour a tiny bit of your nail varish remover into the bottle (I recommend doing this over the sink..I learnt the hard way) and give it a good shake.

Now start pouring your nail varnishes one on top of the other (like in the picture above) and they should start spreading out over the water.

You need to ensure you pour enough out to cover the whole of the water surface (any gaps will show up on your cover).

Remember, you need to move quick at this stage.

Now grab your stick and drag and push it through the varnish until you have a pattern that you are happy with.

*Excuse the mess*

Once you are happy with your marbled pattern simply take you phone case, hold it close over the water and then carefully drop it into the container.

As you can see from the picture, the nail varnish covers 'sticks' to the surface of the phone as it moves through the water.

Either use your stick, or grab a piece of kitchen roll and skim off the remaining nail varnish from the water.

Carefully take out the phone case, trying not to touch the sides or bottom too much as you may smudge the pattern, and place it face up on a surface to dry.

When you take it out, you may see some water drops left on the surface of the phone case. Try and shake or blow off as much as you can as soon as you take it out. As the cover dries these water drops will make little indentations in the pattern.

If you do notice any gaps in the pattern, just use a bit more nail varnish to blend it in whilst it's still wet.

 I thought I'd try marbled nails too. Idiot....

So there you go. A really quick and easy DIY phone case to try at home on a rainy summers day. 

You can pretty much marble anything using this method. Just up the size of your container for bigger items and use more varnish! I might try some marbled note pattern next.

I'd love to hear and see how you attempts went! Please comment or send me any pictures via email or twitter ( or @helenaoverton) and I will upload them on to the bottom of this post.