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Last week we had the pleasure of seeing Lizzie Ibbotson, our sales rep for Osborne & Little, which meant we had a look at the beautiful Belvoir collection by Matthew Williamson. It’s an absolutely gorgeous array of colour, patterns and excitement and a triumph of both wallpaper and fabrics that are on par with one another. Not only am I smitten with the whole collection, but I now must visit its main source of inspiration, the Gothic Revival style of Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire, which is a truly beautiful place.

Exterior Shot of Belvoir Castle from Pinterest via Flickr

The Ballroom at Belvoir Castle

The Folklore fabric from the collection is a patchwork wonder, and inspired by a rug found in the ballroom of Belvoir Castle. Its busy pattern is playful and creative, and has a modern Arts & Crafts sensibility to it; a fantastic way to brighten up a living space in the home.

Folklore fabric on the bed, and Ceramica wallpaper

This photograph also features the ceramica wallpaper in its most vivid colourway; each plate holds a different designs, but all with familiar Matthew Williamson motif’s that he is most known for. A very daring design that isn’t for the faint hearted, but if you’re brave enough, what a statement you’ll make.

At first glance, the Sirius design, available in both fabrics and wallpaper in a multitude of colours, is simple in its design; but it is in fact a very curious design, that’s perhaps one of my favourites. The stars are given an almost three-dimensional effect as their metallic tone glistens as you move it back and forth. Here it’s shown in with a neutral background, but colourways also include some feisty vibrant shades too.

Sirius fabric on the seat cushion, and Sirius wallpaper

Orangery fabric used for the drapery

Orangery is one of the fabric designs, which although it’s a very busy design, still manages to have a calming effect when viewing it. The background is a lace pattern, inspired by a vintage design; and on top of this is a beautiful depiction of birdcages, orchids and butterflies. There are two colourways; one with fuchsia pink and feisty orange and the other with punchy lilac and pastel yellow. Both colourways are sure to make an impact, and have that iconic Matthew Williamson feel to them.

The next pattern is so lovely that I had to include images of both the wallpaper and fabric versions; the Lyrebird design has a beautiful tile effect from far away, and up close the detailing is stunning, with an Arts & Crafts style to it. Both the fabric and wallpaper are paired with Farrow & Ball’s Arsenic, which makes a stunning collaboration.

Lyrebird wallpaper

Lyrebird fabric used for the drapery

The Rosanna Trellis is a very soft, romantic design that sits dreamily in a room. The soft blush pink background against the garden roses had a delicate nature to it; perfect for a feminine, peaceful interior.

Rosanna Trellis wallpaper, Sirius fabric on the seat cushion, Rosanna Trellis and Contour on the scatter cushions

For some of the patterns in this collection, Matthew Williamson has reinvented some of his past fashion collections, just like the Duchess Garden, which has a damask background and some very lovely dahlias in the foreground in some rather lovely colours. There are two colourways with the darker background, and two in neutral shades if you want to create a lighter look.

Duchess Garden on outer cushion, Contour on inner cushion and seat cushion, Duchess Garden used as drapery and wall paneling

 

If you’re into luxurious interiors, especially those with a bit metallic glam, this fanfare design was made for you in mind . The cobalt blue with the silver detailing is a real show-stopper, and looks incredible surrounding this ornate architrave.

Fanfare wallpaper, and Sirius seat cushions

And lastly, this beautiful Waterlily design come in a wallpaper, a fabric and a sheer and is just oh so pretty. Swimming amongst the flowers are carps, that’ll flow effortlessly in the breeze in the sheer form, or float around the room in the wallpaper.

Waterlily Sheer used as the curtain, Duchess Garden and Sirius used as for the cushions

The Belvoir collection from Matthew Williamson for Osborne & Little is downright gorgeous, with the utmost care and thoughtfulness taken throughout, with every colour, design, detail and stitch done with precision and beauty.

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Autumn is arguably my favourite time of year, perhaps a close tie with the first few months of spring, but there’s something about autumn, with its falling leaves and the perfect amount of nip in the air. You can start planning on how to turn your home from the cool summer vibe to a warm and cosy one, using nature as your best inspiration. Deep colours, warm lighting and cosy textures are the best way to make your home feel ready for those colder evenings. I’ve collected a few ideas of some wonderful ways to transform your home.

A beautiful candlelit room by Ralph Lauren Home via Pinterest

In the summer all you want is light, bright rooms that can soak up the sun, but when the nights start to draw in, creating an inviting space with some warm lighting is the perfect way for your home to make you feel protected from the cold. Candles are a must have item in the autumn, but what’s equally as important is finding the right holders to keep them in.

If you love your cool contemporary interiors, but still want to add some warmth to your home, these metallic base candle holders from Graham & Green are a lovely way to incorporate both concepts into an interior. Mix and match the different finishes, or keep a clean look with just one in different sizes.

Tiya Lanterns from Graham & Green

To really hone in on the feeling of autumn, these Nkuku candle holders are beautifully decorated in charming autumn colours. The antiqued finish will really give you that warm, glistening feeling; a great way to light a small get-to-together or a quite night in.

Morri T Lights from Nkuku

Go one step further in using nature as inspiration with these lovely leaf wall candle holders from Rockett St George. With a hint of Baroque style, but with the right amount of modernity as well, they’ll keep your walls looking interesting and pretty and help to create a fantastical woodland feel to your home.

Leaf Wall Candle Holder from Rockett St George

Filling a room with different textures helps to create an inviting atmosphere in your home, ridding the place of any harsh surfaces and adding in warm, textural pieces will keep those cold thoughts at bay. I love this image below, of a cool contemporary setting that’s subtly been given some winter charm to it by the use of the faux fur throw and the textural tassels of the rug.

A clam textural living space from Nyde via Pinterest

Velvet is a fantastic texture to use in your accessories, but in autumn it’s practically a necessity; just want you need to nestle into on a cold night. These cushions from Zara Home are a divine colour, and will complement the warm oranges of the autumn, plus they have the perfect velvety sheen that’ll give your home that extra bit of luxe.

Velvet Cushions from Zara Home

I hold the biggest soft spot for the use of faux fur in interiors, there’s just something about a good quality item that’s too hard to resist. This furry stool is an amazing buy and the perfect way to top off an autumn style interior. Its sweet little legs give it a Scandinavian touch, plus the fur comes in different shades so you can match it to your existing colour scheme.

Shawn Sheepskin Stool in Taupe from Graham & Green

For an extra touch of texture to your walls, this hanging frame from Anthropologie with the cutest fringing along the bottom is a lovely way to frame a treasured photo or piece of memorabilia.

Fringed Hanging Frame from Anthropologie

For me, autumn colours is the best part about the season, in Cambridge we’re very lucky to have an abundance of trees all around the town, and when autumn comes the roads are full of fallen orange leaves. A beautiful deep orange is a lovely colour to add to your interior; just like this bedroom below which has been given a sumptuous orange throw and shades of orange cushions, all in wonderful velvet fabrics.

Rich orange bedroom from Designlovefest via Pinterest

This rug from Missoni Home is just the perfect colour, completely spot on for autumn. It’ll add depth to a clean and crisp white interior and enhance the romantic feeling of an interior that’s been decorated in dark tones.

Nirsa Rug from Missoni Home

Another lovely orange find is this beautiful, bright glass vase, a perfect place to host some winter twigs.

Wells Bubble Vase in Amber from Graham & Green

And finally, for that extra bit of autumn cheer at your dinner table, these Abigail Ahern plates are superb! The raw edge and rich colour are a lovely way to just your home a luxurious rustic vibe.

Cadiz Plates from Abigail Ahern

As autumn comes in, so do the luscious colours, textures and atmospheric lighting; helping you turn your home into a warm, cosy nest that you’ll never want to leave.

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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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Our 6 week evening class covering all the elements you need to design and plan your own home starts next week, and there are just a few places still available.

Interior designer, Cate Burren, will show you week by week how she approaches interior design projects and will reveal the insider tricks of the trade.

For more information and to sign up visit our courses page on our website – here.

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As the kids go back to school this month, it got me thinking about how they need somewhere in the house to do all that homework they’re about to receive! Having a dedicated space which is relaxing and interesting means that it may make homework time just that little bit easier. In the same way you’d want to fix up your own home-office space to feel like a stylish part of your home, it can also be done for your kid’s workspace too! Whether it’s a whole room dedicated to the cause, or a smaller space in their bedroom, there are loads of different ways to create the right space, for little ones and for teenagers.

A playroom in the home is a great space for children to have fun in, but as they get older they may need to use the room to study in as well, so finding the right balance between the two is key. I love the look of this room below; it’s a lively, open space that’s full of colour. The interesting shelving units keep the toys at bay whilst homework takes place, and the large table and bean bags instead of chairs gives off a more relaxed vibe, making it suitable for switching in between homework and fun; a good idea for younger kids who don’t need such a regimented work space.

A playroom-homework space combination from Lonny Magazine via Pinterest

I love the idea of using bean bags as a form of seating for your child’s space; making it feel like it’s strictly for kids. However, there are some rather stylish bean bags that, as an adult, I still kind of want. This arrow design from Not on the High Street is lovely, it’s fun enough for little ones, but also has a grown up style that’ll continue to be cool as they get older.

Children’s Monochrome Bean Bag with Arrows by Tillyanna from Not on the High Street

If you have a large, beautiful table that’s perfect for the kid’s but you don’t want it forever ruined with pen marks and spillages, investing in a plastic table cover is a good way to go. While I’ve seen some pretty ghastly plastic table covers in my time, they’re not all bad. This clear plastic cover with polka dots from Table Protect Direct is the best of both worlds; sophisticated enough to fit in with your existing design scheme, but fun enough for a kid’s space.

Crystal Clear White Spot Vinyl Table Cloth from Table Protect Direct

Giving your children a stylish place to work in their bedroom means that not only will you get your own space back, but they’ll be more inclined to work there if it feels grown up and personal. It’s also a good idea if you need the work space to be in a bedroom, that you make the space its own individual area so that you can separate work from the rest of the room. I love the look of this work space created for a child; white furniture with pastel accents creates an inviting and fun area which can easily be incorporated into an existing bedroom scheme.

A white and pastel work space for a child from Claire Archibald via Pinterest

A good desk for a kid’s bedroom must be both durable and stylish enough to last for years. A simple design that can be adapted with accessories over time is a good investment, and it’ll help turn a work area into a place where the kid’s want to be. This desk from La Redoute is a great buy; the white lacquered top and interestingly shaped wooden legs gives it a sophisticated but playful feel; with just a hint of mid-century to it.

Jimi’s Child Desk from La Redoute

While it’s important to let your child have their own style, sometimes you’ll find that they might want to copy yours (at least for a few years!) So finding miniature versions your own style for your kid’s workspace is a great way to encourage them to work and feel more grown up, especially if you too are at your own desk working. I really like this child’s version of the clear plastic chair design by Kartell that’s been making the rounds for a while now, all it needs is the addition of a seat cushion, something fun like a faux fur sheepskin, to give some extra comfort and style.

Loulou Ghost Children’s Chair in Light Blue by Kartell from Amara

If you’re limited on space in your child’s bedroom, using some wall-mounted shelves instead of free-standing ones can save you a whole bunch of room. These wooden shelving boxes from Maison du Monde are a good buy, they’ll be able to hold a lot of stuff, plus they’re a fun, colourful way to be organised.

Multi-coloured Wooden Shelves from Maison du Monde

As your kids turn into teenagers, giving them their own homework space is even more important. This beautifully designed space is a perfect, mature room; there aren’t any childish items that’ll annoy the brooding teenager, instead they’re presented with somewhere stylish, making them feel more like an adult.

Grown up work space from Interior Blog Awards via Pinterest

A large desk, which is stylish and has space for written and computer work doesn’t have to cost a fortune; Ikea have a rather elegant design to hand. The Alex desk is a simple style that’ll appease all teenage tastes; and will look good in any interior scheme.

Alex Desk from Ikea

Giving your teenager some interesting prints to put up on the wall of their homework area will also help to make it feel more mature. Desenio do some cheap but stylish prints, like this banana leaf print of artsy world map, both of which would feel at home in a teenage work spot.

Banana Leaf Print from Desino

World Map Print from Desenio

Creating a space for your kids to work in doesn’t mean having to skip out on style. You can make high functioning areas that can still look good and feel fun; making the mission to get all the homework complete just a touch more interesting for both you and your child.

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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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After moving into a new house recently, it’s become apparent to me more so than ever that filling a house with just the ‘big stuff’, like sofas, chairs and tables, can only get your so far, and even though your house might be full there’s still something missing. For me, in order for a house to truly feel like a home, smaller items, the accessories, must play a prominent part to turning a blank space into one filled with life, soul and character. I’ve pulled together some thoughts to give you (and me!) an idea of how best to give your home that stamp of personality.

Small decorative items and ornaments are great way to show of your style, as well as your memories and souvenirs, and although some people may start to get that hoarder’s grimace on their face, the idea of small items equalling clutter can be avoided as long as you find a good place to store and display them.

Old Printers Tray from Flickr via Pinterest

I love this way of displaying small trinkets and treasures collected over the years. We have a lovely one in my family home, full of pebbles, stones, feathers, things we collected as children which my mother kept. Left to their own devices they might look rather like a mess, but placed together in this museum display case sort of way, they begin to tell a story, making them all rather sweet.

Though the actual objects are something you’ll need to find on your own, there are plenty of printer trays available from places like Etsy, ready to house your collection.

‘French Printers Tray’ from Vintage Foggy on Etsy

I love the idea of displaying items in irregular places, especially if something can be hung on the wall instead of occupying that ever valuable surface space; this is also a great way to not only create a feature in a room, but to avoid a sense of clutter! This decorative weave baskets and plates are a lovely bohemian style, whether you’ve picked them up in a foreign land, or seen one you loved in a store, they’re beautiful and handy!

Decorative Weave Baskets and Plates from Simply Chi on Etsy via Pinterest

I love this simple design from Porcupine Rocks, it’ll look great with some smaller more colourful ones surrounding it.

Block Weave Large Platter in Black from Porcupine Rocks

Both real and artificial flowers and plants are a must-have in a home for me. A bunch of brightly coloured sunflowers will instantly give a room a bit of life, and some elegant hydrangeas can be the perfect accessory for a sideboard or end table. Adding plants or flowers to a room will make the room feel bright, and can create an interesting feature, or an accent of colour in the room.

Floral Arrangement from Cate Burren’s book ‘Secrets of a Stylish Home’

For some of the best faux flowers around, Funky Bunch has a beautiful selection of florals so that you can make your own beautiful arrangement.

Delphiniums in Blue from Funky Bunch

Cushions are one of the easiest way to add some detailing to a room. Whether you want to insert colour or texture, or both, cushions can instantly add some fun to a room. These brightly coloured cushion dress up a formal sofa, drawing attention to the space, and at the same time picking up on the surrounding area’s colours.

A Vibrant Sitting Room from Pinterest

For an interesting addition to a sofa or armchair this quirky design from Graham & Green will really spice things up.

Angel Pom Pom Cushion from Graham & Green

An interesting and stylish lampshade will help bring some intrigue to a room, as with all lighting, you can use lampshades to get creative and think outside the box. I really like how these wire lampshades take a traditional shade and turn it into something rather contemporary; a fun way to create a feature in a bedroom.

Wire Lampshades from La Maison d’Anna G. via Pinterest

You can change a room’s whole theme with a quick swap of the pendant shade. This wire number from Trouva is full of colour and fun; a lovely way to spruce up a playroom or kitchen.

Multi-coloured Wire Lampshade from Trouva

Coasters aren’t just a useful way to protect a beloved table, but they’re also a nice way to add accents of colour or a hint of pattern to a room without going over the top. These wooden coasters give off a lovely rustic feeling, and with each one sporting a different flower they have their own personalities.

Rustic Coasters with Flower Detailing from Country Living via Pinterest

If you like the idea of a wooden coaster but want to add a hint of glamour into the mix, these petrified wood coasters from Curiosity Home are stunning.

Polished Petrified Wood Coaster from Curiosity Home

While large mirrors are obviously useful to have in the home, and can be oh so pretty too, smaller mirrors are great for grouping together and making a beautiful feature wall. Compiling a whole range of styles and shapes are really create an enchanted feeling. I love how this bathroom has a sweet ornate large mirror in the centre, which is then decorated by an array of smaller, intricate mirrors as well.

Collection of Antique Mirrors in Bathroom from Design Sponge via Pinterest

There are really so many styles you can opt for when it comes to collecting a range of small mirrors for a display, I love the idea of using a convex mirror as well, like this little one from Rockett St George.

Little Aged Black Convex Mirror from Rockett St George

From little projects, to treasured memories and adorable buys, finding the small things that make your house feel complete are the items that you’ll end up loving the most, as though they may be little, they’ll have the biggest impact.

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