Decorating a shared room

Decorating a lounge room for a couple

When the boyfriend moves in…

Who wants a snoop around our new room? Everyone? Thought so!

I love looking at how people style new rooms as much as the next gal and seeing as you enjoyed my bedroom post and the post I wrote two years ago on styling my boyfriend’s new flat, I think you’ll enjoy this one.

This new room is where the two posts meet in the middle. My boyfriend has moved into my house and rented this room (whilst I rent our now-shared bedroom). It’s the perfect scenario – we each pay our share of the house but now it feels almost like we have two rooms.

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Shiny Homes: Sophie & Jack in Birmingham

globe on the windowsills with books and ornaments big windows

 

Birmingham Home: Sophie & Jack

I met 31 year old jewellery designer and lifestyle blogger Sophie last year on a Blogger trip to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. We had seats next to each other on the flight and were neighbours in our accommodation so it wasn’t surprising that my constant presence would force us to bond at some point. My neediness was kindly catered to and Sophie obliged to being my friend, even to the extent of whatsapping after the trip. What a gal!

Yearning to be reunited with my Canarian pal once back in Blighty, I set off on a 1.5 hr train to Birmingham! Sophie kindly invited me to stay in her apartment which she shares with her her two Guiney-pigs and friendly boyfriend Jack, a photographer and vlogger who’s well dressed with ‘a stupid haircut.’ It’s a bowl cut, if you’re interested.

He’s 27 and born and bred in Brum and together they live in the Jewellery Quarter, a slice within Birminghams’ ring road to the North West of the city center. They describe as ‘the best area.’ And, well, it pretty much is!

cute plant pot with succulents windowsill

 

The Jewellery Quarter

Jack explains of their location; “We chose this area because it’s really nice with lots of old buildings. In the past, there were only jewellery shops but the area is quite up and coming now. In the past 4 years, good things have opened here like artisan bakeries and pubs. Living here is a sweet deal. It’s really close to town, just a 20 minute walk and we get to have a studio and an apartment in the same building!” 

This, it’s clear is what makes it for Sophie. “I have a 2 minute commute to work, I only have to walk downstairs! Birmingham is a place where things happen and it’s really creative. I moved here to live with Jack and at the same time I quit my job and went full time so it’s a really exciting place for me.”

fruit in bowls on marble slab

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How to help decorate your boyfriends’ house

london themed prints iknowthisgreatlittleplace to make your rented house a home

 

The Man at Home

I’m always concerned for guys who share houses with girls. Surely the inevitable girls’ encroachment i.e overspilling of ‘stuff’ and girly touches on mans’ personal space must be inevitable. I’m sure this must often happen to the poor guys, or at least I’m certain that if I lived with one, the bedroom wouldn’t be ours. Oh no. It would be mine… With a lodger sleeping there. I can’t help that I have so many things ok!?

That’s not to say that I don’t like boys’ things or boys’ style. Just check out Mat’s blog for my kinda man things. In this post I’m positively embracing the tastes of my boyfriend and his flatmate both whom, thank gaahhd, appreciate a colour scheme and a nicely arranged shelf.

They’ve just moved into their rented London space, a modern, half furnished white flat in Camden. I can’t lie, I did make some ‘creative suggestions’ and gave them a couple of housewarming gifts but otherwise the style comes from them. I promise.

colourful boys house rent interiors guys room shelves

colourful boys house rent interiors guys room

colourful boys house rent interiors guys room yellow flex cable cage lamp

colourful boys house rent interiors guys room teal telephone

colourful boys house rent interiors guys houseshare

3 part planter succulent plants in rustic pots

juggling balls

easy sofa improvements with colourful cushions

 

 

The Shared Space

So what tips can I make to help with decorating your boyfriends’ house?

1 – Colour lover. We started with colours, naturally. The shared lounge and kitchen took its tones from the questionable 70s style curtains and sofas, plus a contrasting teal tone picked from some even more questionable Greek coasters. With a few colour-coordinating cushions and a throw, we toned down the bright blockiness of the sofa.

2 – Believe it or not, the boys requested more stuff to fill their shelves. Cray right?! A little vintage scavenger hunt in Brixton found a nice old tin which you could pop some ivy into and a teal tray for the table. Display notebooks like this world map journal along with DVDs and books and add a statement telephone to replace your boring black handset.

3 – Let there be light! The amazing yellow flex cage lamp that I had spotted a while back on Such & Such was a definite need plus illuminated the corner nicely at night.

4 – My suggested addition of plants wouldn’t be the guys’ natural choice, but picking succulents and bushy lavender helps make the space feel grown up but not girly and now they love them. Sit pots next to rustic looking candles for a potting shed vibe.

 

colourful boys house rent interiors guys room

england illustrated map

colourful boys house rent interiors guys room primary colours shelves

 

5 – Crockery too cool to hide in the cupboards? Add character to the shelves by displaying nice coffee and tea mugs or a mug with a print and quirky egg cups.

6 – Pick prints! We all love bright graphic prints and those white walls were calling out for them. Instead of banging in nails on the newly painted walls, we went for twist-off sticky pads to tape down the frames. I adore the London themed prints from I Know This Great Little Place. The guys went for a north London themed one (right on colour cue too!) and map of the UK in illustrated place names. Represent! Over on the kitchen side, we picked a bright print with all the London boroughs represented from Place in Print. Why not learn a bit about your city whilst munching on your toast?!

7 – But first, coffee. Liquid caffeine is a pretty big deal in this household. My boyfriend’s a barista so a home machine is as important as a shower. Obviously, they couldn’t settle for anything drab so they picked out this bright orange Dolce Gusto machine. You simply pick up pods with your favourite mixture in the supermarket and pop one in the machine. You control the temperature and strength and in seconds, there’s your fix.

8 – Keep that kitchen tidy. The limitations of drilling into walls makes things like spice racks and shelves a no-go. We picked up this rustic tray, perfect for all the seasonings, from H&M home.

colourful boys house rent interiors guys room

bedroom colourful boys house rent interiors guys room north london print

dolce gusto coffee machine bright orange

easy spice rack tray h&m home

eggs and soldiers in dog eggcups

 

 The Boys Bedroom

1 – The weird thing about boys is that they own fewer things than you. Strange because there’s no balloon pump, compact mirrors or hair ties at your disposal but useful if you want a nice clean looking room. If they are a man of stuff, it’s all about the storage. Pick up colourful boxes from IKEA and align them together on shelves.

2 –  Get those colour cards out again! We went for trusty primary colours this time, with light bright blue to match the Urban Outfitters bedding and colour pops of yellow and red.

3 – Go green. Freshen up the space with bright green plants (I genuinely took a cutting of my bathroom plant and grew it into this beauty) plus pick up some £1 cacti at Columbia Road Flower Market. Boys love cacti.

4 – Lighten up. There’s nothing like a good lamp… Or 2. Luckily there are loads of anglepoise replicas out there now and the studious style looks pretty cool. We picked up the little red one in Debenhams ex-display for a fiver (similar here) which helped towards splashing out on the beautiful blue lamp from Made.com for £50. Worth. It.

 

colourful boys house rent interiors guys room shelves primary colours

bedroom colourful boys house rent interiors guys room london print music station

guys shelf products

bedroom colourful boys house rent interiors guys room

colourful boys house rent interiors guys room decorating with records

 

5 – Push their hobbies. My boyf is big on music, your guineypig, I mean guy might be big on tech, or sport or design. Display those passions and create a space for them to live. A bright red table serves to show off a guitar and the pedals can live underneath. Above we placed a music themed print to tie together the space in colour and theme. If they’re a muso, records are a winner. Frame the sleeves and then place the records on shelves to literally show off your library.

6 – Speaking of prints, did I tell you know much I like them? The London alphabet links the colour scheme, is all designy and makes for a handy reference when you need new things to do in London! The biggest wall serves to show off the biggest print, one I commissioned my bestie Carrie to hand write. If he has passions, get them on paper and frame it. Good gift!

7 – Big softie. Soft furnishings are your final touch. Yes boys, you do need that contrast colour cushion. Look how nice it looks now! Pick up affordable cushions and rugs in H&M, Urban Outfitters and Oliver Bonas.

 

bedroom colourful boys house rent interiors guys room

bright red stripy rug and red chair in a guys bedroom

colourful boys house rent interiors guys room plants

Your Turn!

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Halloween: Party Ideas

halloween drinks

Halloween Party Time!

If you’re thinking of hosting a Halloween party next week then take a tick to look at my super easy party prep list! If you’re a champion faffer like me then this will ensure that you’re not spending all your night worrying about your costume or whether your nibbles menu has defaulted to 99% sugar content again.

Start by whipping up the fun decorations below then pop over to the Funkin’ Mixers blog to see the rest of my Halloween Party tips including easy food ideas and a nail art DIY that will stop you wanting to bite your nails when the bugs come out! But first, see just how easily you can create creepy cocktails and finally get some outfit ideas with my Halloween ensemble!

Ghoulish garlands

halloween party halloween party halloween party halloween party

To make your cute pumpkin garland take some orange tissue paper and fold it length ways so that you have a long strip about 10cm in height. Concertina fold the strip to make a square shape being sure to use up all the paper equally. Set aside and make yourself a cute little template out of thick paper at the same width as the folded tissue paper.

Lay it on top and cut around the template being being sure to leave at least 1cm of uncut paper at the sides so that your evil-spirit-warding little mates can stay joined together in a line. Use a standing knife on a cutting mat for the eyes and then unravel your garland, voila!

 Creepy Cocktails
halloween partyhalloween partyhalloween partyhalloween partyhalloween partyhalloween party

Zombies, cats and witches (aka your guests) will soon be arriving so knock up a batch of 10 second cocktails so you can greet them with their poison as they walk through the door. Using Funkin’ mixtures, 100% natural mixers used in cocktail bars around the world, means you can simply fill a glass with ice, add your choice of spirit and Funkin’ cocktail mixer, stir and serve. Oh, and don’t forget to drop in some freaky sweeties to give your guests a Halloween surprise! You can grab yourselves a Halloween kit for extra ease, or here’s a recipe idea for you to get your creative juices flowing:

Funkin Ruined Daiquiri: 25ml gin, 25ml Campari, 100ml Funkin’ Strawberry Daiquiri. Shake all ingredients and pour over fresh ice and garnish with an orange peel. It’s as easy as ice in, spirit in, Funkin!

Creepy Costume

halloween co-ord bat print outfit halloween co-ord bat print outfit halloween co-ord bat print outfit halloween co-ord bat print outfit halloween co-ord bat print outfit halloween co-ord bat print outfit halloween co-ord bat print outfit halloween co-ord bat print outfit

What I Wore:

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I went batty for this cute co-ord from ASOS which means you can get away with dressing the part without having to go too cray. Add a touch more ‘Dracula’ with a maxi duster coat in blood red and match it to a pair of fun, spooky socks like these fang print ones worn under fluffy black sandals to add a dose of 80’s housewife into the mix!

As for accessories, here’s where you can get your DIY on again! For an easy choker just cut a strip of fabric, lace or ribbon and thread on a charm (a moon or crucifix work best!) And knot it behind your neck. I couldn’t resist the intricate cobweb ring/bracelet but you could also go for an ear cuff or tiara too to complete your wicked good look. To find out how to recreate my Halloween  nails, just pop over to the Funkin’ blog!

PART-2

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Students! A colourful bedroom = Happy halls

colourful student bedroom

colourful student bedroom

colourful student bedroom

Student Room Tips

Just a quick one this evening! Here’s a fun little project I did the other week to help you university students in Halls of Residence (or anyone in a small rented room!) to make your space colourful, happy and set you up for success! Take a look at the awesome video below to see me talk through my ideal student bedroom and how I decorated it for under £100. (My video debut, Eep!) If you liked my new bedroom decorating post last month then I’ll betcha you’ll love this – you might even recognise some of my favourite pieces!

Keep watching to see how 4 other Bloggers including my mate Mat from Buckets and Spades, would decorate their student rooms.

Find out more about the video and the project on the Voucher Codes Most Wanted blog!

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Watch the Video

colourful student bedroom

colourful student bedroom

Yay Lunchbox – Urban Outfitters (£8) | Biscuit Pocket Mug – Urban Outfitters (£12) | Aqua Vase – Tesco (£6) | Speech Bubble Chalk Board – Urban Outfitters (£12) | Good Vibes Party Banner – Urban Outfitters (£12) | Ethnic Patterned Cushion – Tesco (£4) | Paris A4 Archival Print – Emma Block (£10) | Reusable Straw Cup – New Look (£3) | Desk Lamp – Wilko (£4) | Catherine Lansfield Bumblebee Bedspread – Tesco (from £10) | Storage Box – Wilko (£2.50)

Liked the video? Take a look at how I styled my own colourful bedroom at home.

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