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Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

Fireplaces can be a mistreated part of the home, especially in an old house that’s gone through its fair share of renovations. Gutted, over-embellished, given a heinous mantelpiece, or even boarded up, some fireplaces have been through it all. So if you have a slightly neglected fireplace, or are looking for some new ideas to spruce yours up, here are a few ways you can give yours a bit of life back.

If your fireplace is a little lacklustre, you can turn it into an attractive feature by updating the surround.  You may just have a simple mantelpiece that can be given a new lease of life with a lick of paint, which can completely change its look. I found this image on Pinterest of this traditional mantelpiece that’s been painted in Downpipe by Farrow & Ball; giving it a sophisticated and modern look. It’s an ideal solution if you’ve moved into a period property but want to keep the interiors contemporary.

Traditional Mantelpiece painted in Downpipe from Farrow & Ball from Emma Connolly via Pinterest

Another way you can update a fire surround, is by replacing dated tiles with a newer design. This image of a wooden mantelpiece juxtaposed with white tiles and dark grout creates an interesting look, allowing for a combination of old and new, soft and hard.

Wooden mantelpiece and contemporary tile from Apartment Therapy via Pinterest

For a similar look, I love this tile from Bert & May, the small hexagonal pattern in a light grey would look great next to a painted mantelpiece, in either a dark or bright colour.

Glazed Grey Daroca Tile from Bert & May

Traditional Fender around a stone fireplace by Acres Farm via Houzz

Having a fender around your fireplace has more than just a functional aspect, it can also look rather stylish and give the area a touch of glamour. The fender above made by Acres Farm has a traditional look, perfect for this large stone fireplace place.

If you’re going for an uber-glam and sophisticated looking in your living area, a pair of well-crafted dogs will look gorgeous, almost as gorgeous as a real dog lying in front of your fireplace showing his belly to the world.  These leaf style fire dogs from Chesneys are beautiful, working perfectly with the dark walls, modern art and crisp-marble mantelpiece.

Leaf Fire dogs from Chesneys from Dear Designers via Pinterest

Fire dogs can be a great way to introduce some avant-garde design to your fireplace, I love this abstract dog-like design from Jamb. They’ll keep your fireplace looking good even when it isn’t lit.

Large Linton Fire dogs from Jamb

Adding some extra fireplace accessories can give yours its own spark of personality, whether you want to add some contemporary coolness or a bit of extra glamour. A fire guard can really show off some character; it doesn’t have to be in the same style as the rest of the fireplace, if you have a period fireplace in your home, inserting something like this clear glass guard from Graham & Green can keep it feeling relevant.

Clear Glass Fireguard from Graham & Green

Keeping your logs safe and dry is a must for a successful fire, and what is a must for someone with a stylish home is that they are kept safe and dry in a fashionable manner. This steel open-basket style holder will look great next to a fire with the flames reflecting against the metal.

Burnished Steel Log Holder from Cox & Cox

If you’re style is more suited to the classic wicker log basket, this Holkham log basket from Grace and Glory has a simple but lovely design to it.

Holkham Log Baskets from Grace & Glory

A hearth is a great place to add some decoration to as well, if not you don’t need the roaring fire on, but still want the ambience, using candles can give the same effect whilst looking cosy and dramatic. I love this image of a collection of candles and trays, to equally protect the hearth and look fabulous, it gives the fireplace a playful edge.

Candles and Trays from Muus on Tumblr via Pinterest

Metal Tray from H&M home

H&M Home has a great selection of trays to choose from so you can experiment with difference looks without breaking the bank. And finally, I had to throw in this adorable fireside accessory from Graham & Green, these matches in a glass bottles are the perfect way to finish off your fireplace look.

Glass Jar Dark Green Matches from Graham & Green

Glass Jar with Dark Green Matches from Graham & Green

From big changes to little ones, there are loads of ways to get creative with your fireplace, you don’t just have to settle for what you’ve been given. It’s a great canvas to really show off your style with, and an interesting place to play around with colour, shape, style and decoration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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They often tend to be forgotten about, but stairwells are a prime bit of decorating real estate. As long as the basic function of your stairs isn’t compromised, you can have pretty much a free reign on how you’d like to utilise the area; turning it from a passing space getting you from A to B, into a beautiful feature in its own right. Whether you’re thinking big and bold or simple and sweet, there are loads of great ways to style a staircase, and the individual parts of them that you may not have thought about.

Your stair risers, the vertical part between each step, is often an underrated part of your stairway, and it’s a great place to add a little stylistic element, especially if you have narrower stairs that can’t afford to give up any surface space. Depending on your style, and the style of your home, there are all sorts of ways to get creative. Using tiles to decorate your risers can be a lovely way to introduce a pattern or colour into the area, and can really give your stairs some extra flair. This monochrome mix of tiles leading up the stairs really adds some personality, turning the stairs into a main focal point.

Hand Painted Tiles on Stair Risers from Eva Rees Flickr via Pinterest

I love this idea of introducing to developing a theme with the tiles you’re using, these Gatsby tiles from Fired Earth has an Art Deco style, and could give a staircase a really beautiful, smart finish.

Gatsby Tile from The High Society Collection from Fired Earth

If you live in a rented property, or just what to try out a style, using decals is a simple and easy way to add a pattern to your stairs. This geometric pattern has introduced a bit of flavour to a clean and contemporary case of stairs; it works perfectly with the dark wood of the steps.

Stair Decals by Stickers Colouray at Etsy

The wall leading up the staircase is an optimal location to hang a collection of artwork, big or small, especially if you have a few pieces that don’t quite go with the style of your living or bedroom, but you love them anyway. A stairway is well suited for this as it means you’ll see your pieces everyday but not all day, every day. You might want to create some synergy between your artwork, sticking to similar style frames and the artwork itself, or use the space as a miscellaneous heaven, with a collection you’ve been compiling for years and can continue to add to.  I like the black and gold theme of this collection below, it gives a sense of matching tranquility, as well a glamorous feel.

Collection of Prints with Gold and Black Frames from Apartment Therapy via Pinterest

If you have a collection similar to this one, creating a beautiful wall display on your stairs may be the best way to show it off. Displaying it on the stairs means both you and your guests will find new discoveries as you’re coming and going.

Collection of Curiosities from Remodelista via Pinterest

In the same way a collection of art works wonderfully on your stairs, so does a gang of mirrors, or ornamental frames. Whether it’s a contemporary, vintage or traditional style you want to go for, a selection of mirrors moving up the stairs can make a beautiful feature. I love this collection, they’re all different, but kept in sync by their white frames.

Antique Mirrors on the Stairs by Turquoise, Tulips and Bliss via Pinterest

Somewhere in between artwork and antique mirrors lies these gorgeous glass frames from Anthropologie. With their ornate detailing, tassels and space to put prints, postcards, leaves and memorabilia, they’d make a beautiful feature on your stairs.

Royal Theatre Frames from Anthropologie

If you have a wider case of stairs, or perhaps a landing between two flights, you have the opportunity to use of a bit of surface space to decorate. A simple way to give this area a bit of life is with some pretty lanterns, which are always sweet and can be found in a whole variety of styles. If you’re worried about a fire hazard, you can always get some good quality LED candles that’ll still keep the ambience going, without you having to check on them every few minutes. I love these lanterns below, they’re a soft brass colour, which really pops against the stark white or the rest of the interior.

Staircase Lantern Decoration from Anne Sage via Pinterest

For a similar look, these brass lanterns from Mia Fleur will do the trick nicely, the different sizes with help create a nice flow as you move up and down the stairs.

Brass Lanterns from Mia Fleur

For a contemporary take on the Moroccan style lantern, coming soon to Maison du Monde are these fabulous Breme lanterns. The curved glass panes are a nice design feature, and would look beautiful contrasting a white wall, or embracing the drama in a darker interior.

Breme Metal Lantern from Maison du Monde

Your staircase can be more than something you just run up and down when you’re in a rush in the morning; instead it can be a glorious array of style and intrigue, full of creative ideas and interesting items that you pick up over time, giving you an excited new space in your home.

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The bathroom is an essential part of any home, and a great place to insert some thoughtful styling. Whether it needs to be a place to relax or to have a sense of organisation, or be a room where you can let your creativity run a little wild, designing a bathroom that works in sync with your personality and needs means making the most out of the functional space. You may have just designed your dream bathroom and are now looking for those finishing touches to make it feel like your own space, or perhaps you’re like me who’s about to move into a house with a less than desirable bathroom and are in desperate need of accessories to improve the situation! There are some interesting ways to utilise your bathroom space and turn it into something of a sanctuary.

Bathroom Decorated in Plants found on Pinterest by user Katy101

For me the bathroom is a great place to keep plants, all that oxygen in the morning has got to be good for you, right? This image gives me all the incentive I need for a beautiful, overflowing plant haven. If you’re fully willing to participate in the plant-bathroom combo but are lacking some much needed space, a little window sill full of foliage can do the job nicely. I love this image below and how the green of the plants brings out the colour in the tiles, giving a warm welcoming feel to the space.

An Array of Pots on a Window Sill by Design Sponge via Pinterest

To recreate some of these looks you’ll need some gorgeous pots and planters (and of course the plants too!) Maison du Monde have a nice selection of hanging planters, an interesting way to display your plants, it’s also great to introduce more plants to your bathroom without taking up a lot of floor or wall space.

Selection of Hanging Pots from Maison du Monde

For a natural feeling to your pots, this earthenware collection by The White Company are a great range of colours and textures, as well as size, making them perfect for filling up with a whole variety of plants and flowers for your bathroom. They’ll sit nicely on a window sill or if you have the floor space, arranging some on the floor, stools and surfaces to create mixture of heights will give a lovely overall look.

Earthenware Collection from The White Company

Storage is a must-have in a bathroom, whether or not you have a lot of room to play with, there are ways to find space even when you thought you had none. If you can’t add any permanent solutions to your bathroom, you’ll be able to find a great range of non-permanent ideas to accommodate your needs. If you live in a rented house, and don’t have the option of changing your bathroom to your own style, you can use your storage to do this. This shelving unit from Ikea is simple and contemporary, and can let your accessories do all the talking. It’s an easy item to adapt to any style that your bathroom may already be designed in.

Molgar Shelving from Ikea via Pinterest

This glass cabinet is a great piece to have if you’ve got some room. It looks more like a display case than an ordinary bathroom cabinet, making a feature in the room, and allowing you show off your ornaments and accessories.

Bathroom Cabinet from Katie Hackworth via Pinterest

If you are really lacking in space, a small trolley with a few shelves is a sweet idea. This little number from Baileys lends itself to the industrial style, and would look great with a few plants hanging over the edge.

‘Work in Progress Trolley’ from Baileys Home and Garden

 

Wire Basket Storage from Decorating Your Small Space via Pinterest

I love the use of these wire baskets in this image, they’re a contemporary version of the woven basket that you so often find in a bathroom. They keep the space feeling light, whilst still being very useful. These copper versions from Habitat have a great shape and will keep your things organised in style.

‘Clissold Wire Baskets’ from Habitat

Another quick way to add some personality, as well as some organisation, is with a few trays, to help keep your products and toiletries at bay. I love this hexagonal wooden tray, it works as a blank canvas to show off any pretty toiletries or perfumes you might have.

Bathroom Tray from Kate Lavie via Pinterest

This metal tray from H&M Home is so sweet and has some lovely detailing in the border. A few of them would look great lined up on a shelf of a window sill with a few vases of flowers between each one or at the end.

Metal Tray by H&M Home

Accessorising your bathroom is a lovely way to give your space that extra added boost of style. It allows you to redecorate your bathroom even if you can’t really redecorate, turning the room into your own, individual space where you can really make your mark.

 

 

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If you love styling your home, there’s a good chance creating a beautifully tailored table setting is at the top of your to-do list. There’s no fixed way to create a gorgeous looking table, from simple, clean looks for more extravagant, it really boils down to your own personal taste, and your what your lifestyle requires. From day-to-day dining to those special occasions, a beautiful table setting is the key to turning even the simplest of meals into something of a celebration.

Contemporary Table Setting from Interior Decoration via Pinterest

This setting above follows a clear theme; showing that all your plates and bowls don’t need to be from the same set, as long as they co-ordinate. The simple colours tones gives off a contemporary feeling, and works as a great canvas to display your food. By having a simple foundation of tableware it can make it easier to introduce the stars of the table, like some gorgeous cutlery or a decorative serving bowl. For a simple setting like this one, I would keep to the minimal theme, but add in something to stand out from the rest, like these beautiful mugs from Arrow + Sage, a great way to add flair to your normal breakfast or a Sunday brunch.

‘Theory Mug No.21’ from Arrow + Sage

Giving your table some extra pizazz when you’re entertaining will not only make the room and table look distinctive, but make your guests feel like they’re getting the special treatment too. This setting really stood out to me as an innovative way to use your regular tableware and with just the a few small additions to make it seem like it was design especially for your event. With woven placemats, wooden handle cutlery and tan leather napkin holders, there’s a simple rustic feeling going on, and by simply placing a fern leave under a glass plate the table is given a flash of excitement. Although this might be a little over-the-top for some, keeping a table feeling fresh and lively with some plants and flowers is always a great idea.

Botanical Table Setting from The Perfect Palette via Pinterest

For a similar look, these place mats from West Elm are a great starting place if you want to create a rustic, natural styled table setting; you can choose to stick with the Natural finish, or mix up your look with either the slate or charcoal.

‘Woven Placemats in Natural, Slate and Charcoal’ from West Elm

If you like the idea of a glass dinnerware, I love this design by Catesby’s, the bobble detail on the rim is a sweet touch that can give your setting an individual feeling.

‘Glass Bobble Plate in Large’ from Catesby’s

You may want to embrace your inner theatrical side with a luxuriously dark table setting. This sleek black setup is simple yet oh so effective; the dark tones give off a sophisticated vibe, perfect for instantly switching from regular dining to a dinner party.

Dark Tones Table Setting from Vosges Paris via Pinterest

This rich bronze colour plate from The Conran Shop will add a beautiful, glamorous feeling to your table, and help to recreate this dark and mysterious look if it has you feeling inspired.

‘Organic Sand Dinner Plate’ from The Conran Shop

Tableware Selection from Suzanne Sullivan via Brown Paper Bag

Finding some stand-out pieces of crockery can really make your table look great. Whether it’s a large serving platter, or maybe a set of sweet side plates, discovering a design that really speaks to you will make your setup feel all the more distinct. This Aztec hand-crated design by Suzanne Sullivan is mix between bohemian and glam, making it the perfect unique piece to show off your style. By using an eye-catching patterned design for your stand-out piece, you can choose to have simpler, less expensive surrounding pieces, and still keep the table looking smart and stylish.

Glamorous Table Setting from Smitten Studio Online via Pinterest

This well thought out table has been given a really contemporary, luxe look. There is a perfect balance between the three main colours, black, gold and white, giving an overall crisp, sharp and glamorous look. This a small table, but its setup shows that you don’t need a banquet hall to make your dining area feel like royalty. To test the gold plate waters, a little number like this patterned plate from H&M Home, is a fun and stylish way to see if the theme is for you. And if you think you’re ready to take the leap, go all out with these devilishly glitzy plate from Amara by L’Objet.

‘Patterned Porcelain Plate’ from H&M Home

‘Alchimie Gold Plates by L’Objet’ from Amara

There are so many ways to creative with your tableware, from finding pieces to make your everyday a little more exciting, to thinking outside the box when it comes to entertaining and creating a statement. Your dining table is the perfect place to experiment or push your style and have some fun in your home.

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How They Decorated is a wonderful book filled with beautiful stories and inspiring images. The book tells the tales of ‘Great Women of the Twentieth Century’ and their incredible homes. As you move through the book, from the homes of nobilities to artists, you’re taken on a journey and though the styles and ideas change with time, one thing that is always present is impeccable and daring taste.

In the hallway, with the sitting room to the side, in Lady Diana Cooper’s London home is an unconventionally located bar with the owner’s portrait placed above for all to see. There’s an inviting sense of informality about this bar that juxtaposes the exuberant nature of the house itself; it brings together an idea of elegance with a dose of playfulness as well.

Another way Lady Diana shows off a relaxed approach to her home is with her faithful accessory, the hat, piled on top of one another, bar one that is placed upon a bust of herself in the centre of a chest of drawers. Lady Diana is quoted as saying, “I like bedrooms best… with a big bed and tiny dog”, continuing the sense of light-heartedness in her style.

Considered the “true queen of American style”, Evangeline Bruce’s interiors were timeless and soulful. Her private library has its walls and cupboards covered in fabric, giving the whole room a gloriously over the top effect.

Sybil Connolly was a celebrated fashion designer, and it’s evident that her love of fabrics filtered through to her home as well. The fabric effect papered walls of her Dublin house is something that practically no person, nor home could pull off, but somehow it turned out beautifully, paying homage to her lifework in one simple, but bold move.

There is something extremely enticing about this overly bejewelled mirror from Gabrielle van Zuylen’s home in Paris; it’s glamour at its finest.

Babe Paley, a New York socialite, had some truly fascinating interiors. This living room that is full to the brim with colours, texture and style is said to have been “the sum of what Babe herself personified – polished, sophistication, and legendary style.”

Another brightly coloured home is that of the writer Fleur Cowles. It’s the kind of home where everything stands out in its own right, and yet perfectly fits together in one flawless ensemble.

These footstools at designer Pauline Trigeres’ home in Westchester County in New York are just beautiful creations; the gorgeous mother-of-pearl inlay looks divine against the bold emerald green tops.

This garden room below is a one-of-a-kind vision that takes your breath away. It belongs to Bunny Melon in Virginia, and everything in it from the trelliswork to the arsenic colour, to the array of pots and baskets forms perfectly together to make a beautiful haven.

The home of Georgia O’Keefe respects the history of its location, New Mexico, as well as reflecting the modernist characteristics of herself and her work. The cool clay walls and long incorporated seating area are met with pops of colourful cushions and green plants, which gives the room a relaxed, understated but collected and assured atmosphere.

This book, from start to finish is a journey through homes and history. It perfectly sums up the idea that a home tells its owners story, and through this book you can see that these women lived great lives, in fabulous homes.

 

How They Decorated is available by Rizzoli

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A neutral or dark tone palette are a beautiful way to style your interiors, and there is nothing like a little pop of bright colour here and there to add some excitement and a refreshing touch to an otherwise colour free room. From oranges to yellows to pinks, a handful of candy colours can really add some flavour to your home.

‘Soufflé Sofa in Lava Plush Velvet’ from Loaf

The great thing about Loaf is that they not only do a great range of styles, but an amazing set of colourful fabrics as well. This fiery Lava velvet has the perfect dose spicy red mixed with a dusty romantic feel. It’s a bold choice, and it can really make a seating area come alive.

Give your dining table an extra zing of colour with these coloured candles from Graham & Green. The fruity shades will look almost as delicious as the food; stick to one bright shade for a harmonious flow, or create a pick ’n’ mix style with the whole range.

‘Tall Coloured Dining Candles’ from Graham & Green

Add a bounce to your neutral sofa or armchair with a zesty coloured cushion like this one from Rockett St George; the acid yellow is soften by the linen texture, and will give your sofa a modern but cosy feel.

‘Lisbon Soft Cushion in Acid Yellow’ from Rockett St George

I can never seem to resist a fluffy accessory or piece of furniture, especially not one in an unusual colour; this furry footstool from Lime Lace is a fun way to add colour to a living room. A small piece of furniture can be a great way to introduce colour as it won’t overpower the room. This Lilac shade is my favourite, but there are a whole load of other colours available as well.

‘Ceri Baa Sheepskin Footstool in Lilac’ from Lime Lace

Curiousa & Curiousa are a fantastic company that have some intriguing designs, and what’s more they are definitely not afraid of colour. This Gobstopper pendant in a lively green will add style and character to a room; giving it a real statement.

‘Gobstopper’ from Curiousa & Curiousa

For a small touch of orange and indigo blue these animal head hooks from Habitat are light-hearted way to give a utility or hallway some colourful fun.

‘Blue Horse Head Hook and Orange Cow Head Hook’ from Habitat

Or go big and bold with this vibrant, shocking pink chest of drawers. It may seem an ambitious choice at first but with the right accessories, this piece will look beautiful in a bedroom.

‘French Louis Chest in Fuchsia’ from Out There Interiors

Sticking to the pink palette is this raspberry rug from Luke Irwin, the deep shades mixed with the softer, faded sections gives the rug a look that isn’t too bright or harsh, making it perfect for adding some colour without it overwhelming the room.

‘Cato Raspberry Rug’ from Luke Irwin

Lastly, a dose of orange gives the concept of a grandfather clock a modern twist. The sharp black and the lively orange together create a clean and crisp look.

‘Orange Wall Hanging Pendulum Clock’ from Lime Lace

 

Adding spots of colour to your interiors is the perfect way to add a little something extra to your clean white, or dark moody scheme, helping you add an element of surprise to your home.

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If you’re heading out to the beach this summer, or anywhere outdoorsy, keep the creature comforts of a stylish home at hand with some fantastic accessories that’ll make eating in the great outdoors feel less like camping and more like a relaxed al fresco affair. From glassware to blankets, we’ve got you covered, so that you can sit back, relax and enjoy that summer breeze.

Though the idea of a beautiful, sandy beach is rather picturesque, the reality is getting sand everywhere and anywhere. Avoid this mess with some helpful, and stylish, floor cushions and throws. These stripy picnic blankets from Trouva are made from recycled bottles, and are sturdy enough to keep that pesky sand at bay.

‘Striped Recycled Bottles Picnic Blankets’ from Trouva

Lean back and relax on these beautiful floor cushions, perfect for cosying into. The rich colours will really add some drama to your surroundings. Or keep it natural and more casual with one of these rush weave cushions from Not on the High Street.

‘Large Floor Cushions’ from Out There Interiors

 

‘Circular Rush Weave Grass Floor Cushions by Dibor’ from Not on the High Street

Give your seating area some character, and extra comfort, with a few of these beautiful outdoor cushions from Designers Guild. They’re a great buy and can be moved from a formal outdoor seating arrangement to a spontaneous picnic as quick as a flash.

From top to bottom ‘Jade Temple Cornflower, Amlapura Cobalt and Palasari Cobalt Outdoor Cushions’ from Designers Guild

Fine dining in the great outdoors can be made a little easier, and a lot more stylish, with some fun plasticware from Amara. These petroleum coloured tumblers are so pretty, and will work perfectly alongside these sky blue champagne flutes.

‘Double Face Acrylic Tumbler in Petroleum’ from Amara

‘Jellie Champagne Flute in Sky Blue’ from Amara

If you like a touch of over-the-top glamour, this wine glass is sure to be the icing on the cake, proving that being outdoorsy and sophisticated totally mix.

‘Chic & Zen Acrylic Wine Glass’ from Amara

It’s not only your drinks that need somewhere pretty to go, but your food too, and this pineapple plate from Graham & Green is so fun and summery.

‘Pineapple Bamboo Plate’ from Graham & Green

Keep everything packed away neatly is a classic and elegant picnic basket. This barrel shaped design adds an interesting touch, while the whitewashed basket below lends a contemporary feel.

‘Barrel Shaped Picnic Hamper by Eaton Hampers and Basketware’ from Not on the High Street

‘Ninon Whitewashed Wicker Picnic Basket’ from Maison du Monde

Stay out of the sun and into the cool shade with this stylish umbrella from House Doctor. The simple design means you can style it into the scheme without it looking out of place.

‘Oktogon Beach Umbrella by House Doctor’ from Wayfair

When it’s getting into the evening and you’re in need of some extra lighting, a few romantic candles that are protected from the wind will keep your magical surroundings well lit. This little bubble cage candle holder from Rockett St George is a really sweet find, adding charm to your alfresco area.

‘Glass Cage Lantern Candle Holder’ from Rockett St George

If you like a touch of the nautical theme, you’ll love this lantern from Zaza Homes, it’s a fun and simple edition to keep you going through the night.

‘Wood and Rope Nautical Lantern’ from Zaza Homes

And for that extra warmth, that most British holidays need, a cosy throw and a fire are the perfect companions. This blanket from Trouva is a beautiful colour, with some fun tassel details.

‘Jade Green Scandinavian Woven Blanket’ from Trouva

So whether you’ve venturing down to the beach, park or even just the bottom of your garden, make sure you have everything you need to have an amazing time this summer.

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