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Posts Tagged ‘cushion’

Summer has finally arrived in the UK, perhaps a little too much, and it’s hot hot hot! Which means of course it’s the perfect opportunity for some al fresco dining, and to enjoy those summer evenings. You’re may already have a table and chairs, and perhaps a seating area to relax in, but as with all rooms in the house it’s those little details and additions of accessories that make all the difference. Here are some lovely accessories and ideas that you could think about adding into your outdoor areas to create a charming and comfortable space.

Cotton Seat Cushion from H&M Home

Give your garden chairs a little bit of a spruce, style and comfort with a seat cushion. It’ll allow you and any guests to stay outside into the evening without getting uncomfortable as well as making more of a feature out of the furniture. These ones from H&M Home are fun and season appropriate and will help give the seats a little extra personality.

To create the perfect outdoor space, its about making it feel like a room in the house, and adding accessories is the best way to do that; you wouldn’t buy a sofa for you living room and leave it bare without a throw or cushions, so do the same for your outdoor area too! If you’re worried about weather damage, get yourself a little trunk or chest that can live near the back door to store your soft furnishings in. Give you seating area more substance with some playful cushions; this braided cushion from H&M Home has the perfect summer vibe for your backyard, and can be blended into different colour schemes.

Braided Cushion from H&M Home

Add some more botanical glamour to the seating area with this design from Designers Guild, its sophisticated and fun, and would work nicely with the H&M cushion above for a fresh contemporary look.

Palme Botanique Emerald Outdoor Cushion from Designers Guild

As well as being comfortable, being able to stay in your garden late into the evening also requires some good light sources. Creating the right atmosphere is an important part of any dinner party or special occasion, and lighting is a main factor. I love this outdoor chandelier found on Pinterest, it adds a romantic touch to an outdoor dining area, and it’s not your usual outdoor lighting, so gives your space some uniqueness.

Garden Chandelier from Sheer Luxe via Pinterest

For a different look, a few of these lanterns dotted amongst tree that hangs over a seating area, or along a pergola would look lovely. Make a statement look with them by hanging a few at different levels, or a sleek row of them.

Batur Hanging Lantern from Oka

If you want to add some eccentric style in your garden area, why not add a few of these flamboyant candlesticks from Angel & Boho. Their ornate design will give the space a little over the top charm, giving the area a fun and whimsical feel.

Petit Oiseaux Bird Candlestick from Angel & Boho

A seating area with a coffee table can be given a party makeover with a lighting addition like this one; a metal tray with tea lights floating in water will transform your day-to-day outdoor area into a dream land.

Candles Floating in Tray from Pinterest

Making sure you add the extra pieces to your outdoor area will make the space seem extra vibrant and full of style. Dining, coffee and side tables can be filled with extra home accessories to really put your own stamp on the space. Something like this mirrored tray from Angel & Boho is not only lovely and glamorous, but great for transporting drinks and nibbles, or sporting some candles when the sun goes down.

Gilt Mirror Tray from Angel & Boho

The idea might seem a little odd considering that your garden in probably surrounded with plants, flowers and wildlife, but having a vase at your table filled with a cutting of your favourite flower form your garden or just one you love, could be a really special touch; especially if it’s in a patio or decking area. A glass design to keep the space filled with light is a good option, this asymmetrical vase from H&M Home has a pretty look for an outdoor space.

Asymmetrical Vase from H&M Home

Of course you’ll need a beautiful set of dinnerware when dining outside, if you’re thinking about upgrading yours, this Naya set from Made is a lovely, contemporary design. The muted palette is perfect for showing off a meal of colourful foods.

Naya 12 Piece Dinner Set from Made

Finally, just as a little extra touch these candle holders from Garden Trading are just a really sweet addition to any outdoor table; especially with a little bit of sand placed in the bottom.

Wells Windlight from Garden Trading

It’s easy to not associate your garden as an extra room in your home, but when the weather is as good as it is now, it becomes the most important part of the home; so make sure that your space is comfy, stylish and suits your personality perfect so that you can enjoy as much time in your garden as possible.

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Using animal motifs in your home can be a great way of giving the space a healthy portion of personality. Animals have had quite a presence in interior design in the last few years with new, playful ways of using them; from quirky ideas like salt and pepper shakers, to wallpaper to abstract interpretations, there are lots of ways to include animals in your home that suit your style. I’ve pulled some of my favourite ideas that are around at the moment to share with you.

Example of Dalmatian Wallpaper from Trend Addictions via Pinterest

When you think of animal prints in homes, you might be tempted to make a grimacing face, but nowadays there are some rather sophisticated designs around that counteract the bad rep animal prints have faced. Something I love is this Dalmatian style print that you can find floating around at the moment. It falls somewhere between polka dots and animal prints, and has the perfect zest of personality and glamour without being over the top; instead it offers a really pretty, feminine look for a room. Sanderson have something similar to this look above called the Ocelli wallpaper in three different colour ways.

Ocelli Wallpaper from Sanderson

Using animal motifs doesn’t have to apply to just one type of interior style, you can find all sorts of accessories in a whole range of designs from minimalist to extravagant. This cushion from Mineheart might appeal to the more dramatic and glamorous interiors, with a dash of humour. This best dressed giraffe would look perfect on a bold armchair or mixed into a range of scatter cushions.

Dame Griselda Cushion from Mineheart

Add some animal into your interiors with a three-dimensional aspect; this Indian Tiger money box from Rockett St George has a fun charm to it, as well as an antique look to it. It’s well suited to a bohemian style interior, but could also be integrated into different styles as an exciting pop of colour and character.

Indian Tiger Money Box from Rockett St George

This panther vase from Graham & Green hits the nail on the head. It finds the right balance between quirky and sophisticated, giving an overall design that’ll catch your eye and be an unusual addition to a smart and sleek look. Contrast the strong black look with a few stems of brightly colour flowers.

Panther Vase from Graham & Green

Cole & Son do some absolutely knockout wallpapers, they’re beautifully crafted and designed to perfection so that even with a big, brave print the wallpapers still retain their sophistication, style and grace. This Jabu wallpaper reinvents the concept of striped wallpaper; the rhinos and their patterned horns peak out of the African motif stripe and the overall effect is stunning.

Jabu Wallpaper from Cole & Son

There’s a wonderful sense of humour that’s involved with using animal motifs in the home; a simple, mundane item can be given a little twist, like this door mat. If you want to have some fun with your interior this is a great way to start as you mean to go on.

Leopard Door Mat from Amara

Add a little extra flair to your drinks with this Giraffe tray from Graham & Green. The pattern of giraffes are mirrored on the tray to create an abstract and intriguing look; a beautiful set of coffee cups or glasses will look lovely on top of this wild design.

Giraffe Birch Tray from Graham & Green

A beloved photo or memory can be given a touch more style with this lounging leopard frame. His paw dangles over the photo in a charming way, it’s the perfect finish for a fun nostalgic moment.

Leopard Picture Frame from Rockett St George

If you like the idea of animal motifs, but like you interiors to feel more contemporary and graphic, this fabric (and wallpaper) print from Osborne & Little may be right up your street. The waves of abstract foliage reveal a sleek black panther. This bold print would make an amazing statement as a sofa fabric, or an exciting set of curtains.

Fantasque Fabric from Osborne & Little

Finally, add some spice to your salt and pepper with these adorable leopard head shakers from Amara. They’ll make a super sweet addition to a table or breakfast nook, and will be sure to put a smile of guest’s faces when they come over.

Leopard Salt and Pepper Shakers from Amara

Adding in animal motifs into your interiors is a great way to utilise you style in another way. A contemporary look with clean lines is given a little more oomph with a sleek panther vase, or a bedside table is a given an extra flair with a leopard picture frame of a fond memory. There are always great ways to get creative with your home, so go out and find your favourite animal.

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Fringed accessories are having a moment in the interior design world right now, and for good reason, it’s a really fun and playful way to add texture and an extra dimension to a room. Whether your go to style is bohemian, glam or contemporary there are some great ways to incorporate fringe into your scheme.

An easy way to introduce the fringe trend is with cushions; swapping them around, or adding in new designs is a quick way to update a room or seating area, whether it’s for seasonal reasons or to add in a trend you love. Fringed cushions are available in all kinds of styles; this cover from H&M Home is a great way to add some fun to your glamorous room. Whereas this design from The Conran Shop would suit an eclectic, contemporary look.

Fringed Cushion Cover from H&M Home

Dipped-fringe Cushion Cover Quince from The Conran Shop

For a more classic contemporary look, this graphic pattern cushion with a sweet fringe trim is a lovely modern look; perfect for accompanying a smart sofa or armchair. Of course the classic fringe style is the bohemian look, where the fringing looks effortless and rustic, especially on this cushion from Rose & Grey.

Malini Green Glacier Fringed Cushion from Trouva

Boho Fringed Cushion from Rose & Grey

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous with your fringe, take a look at some of these lighting ideas. 1st Dibs always was a beautiful selection of vintage and antique pieces, and this fringed silk pendant is simple stunning. The ornate metal banding is a lovely detail, along with the pretty layers of fringing.

Fringed Silk Pendant from 1st Dibs

Rothschild & Bickers have designed a fun, retro glass and fringe pendant, available in different colours so that you can find your perfect combination; if you like the idea of using a fringed pendant in your home, these would be great for hanging over a dining table or as beside pedants.

Vintage Fringed Lights from Rothschild & Bickers

For something a little more modern and unusual look, this fringed lighting design by Lindsay Adelman is a gorgeous find, and becomes more of an artwork than lighting.

Cherry Bomb Fringe Flush Mount from Lindsey Adelman

A classic place you might find some fringing or tassels is of course on rugs. Rugs already add a textural element and some warmth to a room, so go one step further with some fun fringing. This Pom rug from Swoon Editions is a perfect buy for a modern bohemian style, with the multi-coloured tassels giving it some character.

Pom Rug from Swoon Editions

This Trapini rug from Mason du Monde is a really versatile design; it could work in a kid’s room or a bathroom.

Trapini Rug from Maison du Monde

Fringed accessories can make lovely additions to your home, adding a stylish light-heartedness into the mix. These fringed letter hooks from Anthropologie are so cute. They’d make great personalised hooks for kid’s room, or in a hallway.

Fringed Monogram Hooks from Anthropologie

For some extra glam in a bedroom, these fringed mirrors from Oliver Bonas are lovely! The two sizes and tassel colours means you get creative with how you display them, filling a large space with a mix and match look, or keeping a succinct look with three of the same in a row.

Nappa Fringed Mirror from Oliver Bonas

And of course who can resist one of this fringed baskets from Anthropologie, they are guaranteed to put a smile on your face, plus they’re super handy storage.

Tahati Basket from Anthropologie

A few bits of fringe here and there in your room is a great way to add a playful and textural element to your home, so go find your favourite fringed piece!

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Using spots and stripes in your home may not be something you automatically gel with, I certainly didn’t; in fact spots and stripes had to work pretty hard to win me over. When it comes to spots and stripes it’s all about finding the right balance; for spots I think it’s about avoiding that twee and cutesy look, and for stripes finding a style that isn’t too traditional or beachy. I’ve found a few ideas of stylish spots and stripes that can be a great way to give a home a touch of the fun, patterned effect.

‘Fitzroy Black Stair Runner’ from Roger Oates

For me, when I think of stripes in the home I immediately think of Roger Oates and their fabulous stair runners, which in fact was major part in changing my opinion on stripes. The Fitzroy runner is smart, sleek and contemporary. The stripes bounce of the stark white stairs and walls, giving it a really punchy effect, it’s a great feature to see when you first walk in the door, showing off a relaxed but sophisticated sense of style.

If you don’t want to use stripes in such a dramatic way, this mirror from Barker & Stonehouse is an interesting twist on the pattern. With strips of mirror formed into one large piece, it gives a subtly to the motif, whilst still creating an intriguing design.

‘Cattelan Striped Mirror’ from Barker & Stonehouse

I love this spotted pattern by Marimekko, the dots squished together on rows is a simple design, but really gives the tableware a fun character, the jug is a great one-off piece in the collection to buy if you want a stand out item on your table.

‘Oiva Siirolapuutarha Pitcher’ from Marimekko

These Louis Poulsen pendants bring just the right amount of a coastal vibe, with a shell-like shape and beach tones, but with a sophisticated and contemporary design. They’ll hang elegantly alone or in a group, the three colourways could be mixed over a kitchen island unit for an eye-catching feature.

‘Cirque Pendant Lights’ from Louis Poulsen

Although polka dots in interiors aren’t something I would necessarily put in an interior, I’m a little smitten with the Polka Square wallpaper design by Farrow & Ball. It’s a delicate style that would look really sweet in a kid’s room or hallway.

‘Polka Square Wallpaper’ from Farrow & Ball

Sticking to wallpapers, this wavy stripe by Elitis, is a modern and fun way to make a strong statement in a room. Its design can hold its own style wise, but would work as a backdrop for your furniture as well.

‘Parure Memoires Wallpaper’ from Elitis

Margo Selby always has some beautiful designs, with just the right amount of colour, texture and retro design to give you a fresh look. I love this throw with its geometric circular pattern, it would make a great accent of colour in a living room.

‘Galeano Throw with Textured Velvet’ from Margo Selby

For a smaller addition of a few spots to your home, this little ceramic salt pot has an abstract spotted design that’ll look great on your dining room table, or next to your hob among the spices.

‘Selborne Pottery Blue Spot Salt Pot’ from Trouva

To keep stripes to more of a traditional form, William Yeoward has some classic designs. This stool has beautiful pink and cream stripes, and the curved wooden legs and the bouncing seat pads gives it an extra spark of personality.

‘Triple Elka Stool’ from William Yeoward

Finally, I had to pop in this sweet cushion from Houseology, the colourful stripes have begun to run like water colours, giving the cushion a softer look. A quick and easy way to add stripes while giving a chair a splash of colour.

‘Bluebell Gray Lomond Cushion’ from Houseology

A spot and a stripe here and there in your home is a great way to add character and break up a space, while offering an alternative pattern and design to a room to keep it looking fresh. Whether you want to stick to traditional styles, or test out some more contemporary looks, there are all sorts of ways to have a little fun with a few spots and stripes.

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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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Inviting to look at and still room to sit comfortably. Chair, cushion and delectable fabrics all from Vanessa Arbuthnott.

There is a battle raging in our households and it concerns the quite intense emotions elicited by the humble cushion. Many sane, sensible and fair minded couples that I visit in my capacity as their interior designer can quickly lapse into not only passionate opinions but also surprisingly petty bickering when the subject of cushions is mentioned. I am going to horribly generalise now so please forgive me if you don’t fit into my unsubstantiated gender stereotyping, but seems to me that it tends to be us girls that love cushions and it’s the boys who really don’t.

My investigations into anti-cushion behaviour have found some recurrent themes. The first and most virulent relates mainly to cushions on the bed. “Where do they go at night?” the boys cry “we have to throw them on the floor”. Ok, I understand, they need a place to go when they are taken off the bed and the floor is not it. A simple solution would be a chair, window seat or ottoman at the end of the bed that they could reside on over-night.

The second complaint is normally about the number of cushions on the sofa. “We can’t even sit down without taking some of them off and throwing them on the floor” (are you seeing the ‘throwing them on the floor’ pattern emerging?). It’s a valid point, you need to be able to sit on your sofa, but this very rarely means you can’t have any cushions on it at all. Really, have you felt the comfort a cushion offers?!

Even I have to admit (and on a personal level you may have guessed that I am an extreme cushion lover) that the purpose of cushions in adornment. Some comfort for sure but primarily adornment and is there anything wrong with that? The key really, as with all things interior related, is the balance of style and functionality. A contemporary muted minimalist space will be spoilt by brightly coloured highly patterned cushions but will be enhanced by a limited number of plain cushions adding a layer of texture and comfort. Similarly a room that is verging on the bland can be hugely improved with a burst of colour, pattern, texture and a visual hit of inviting comfort.

Cushions do have an advantage that they are easier and cheaper to purchase than larger items such as a sofa or carpet. However, this does not mean that you should not take the time and effort in choosing your cushions, or that you should opt for cheap if you are not sure. A ‘make-do’ cushion is a waste of money as it is highly likely that you will want to replace it almost as soon as you get it home. If you buy a cushion you really love you may well have it for life so it represents much better value for money whatever it costs.

Contemporary cushions from Andrew Martin bring colour and comfort to a grey scheme.

Fortunately, there is now a very good selection of ready-made cushions available on the market. One tip I would give you when looking for off the shelf cushions is to find a fabric or accessories company that you really like and see what cushions they have on offer. I find that high street store cushions are often incredibly middle of the road and quite depressing because of it, whereas a company that isn’t trying to offer all styles to all people can be a lot more inventive. For example, Chelsea Textiles (www.chelseatextiles.com) have a wonderful range of cushions for those of a more traditional bent and Andrew Martin (www.andrewmartin.co.uk) have lush designs on offer for those of a more contemporary sensitivity.

If you do go down the route of having cushions made (and I warn you now, it is an additive business), you have a world of opportunity at your fingertips. Key decisions include size and shape, fabric obviously but you might want to use a couple of different fabrics, say one on the back and a different one on the front, or a different fabric as a side or decorative panel, and then of course there are trimmings. Trimmings are the interior addicts’ sweeties and are a joyful business to pick and often are what makes the cushion special. The key with having cushions made (and actually any bespoke item) is to find the right craftsperson and make good friends with them. As with many needlework tasks, cushion making sounds very simple but to get it right is always more complicated that you think. You need to find a soft furnishings maker who knows what they are doing, will listen to what you want and has a good level of patience. Thinking through the design before starting is vital and no detail should be overlooked, as cushion disappointment is not pretty.

As I write, I suspect that those amongst us who have yet to realise the true worth of the cushion may be feeling slightly light-headed, if not enraged, by my encouragement for spending hard earned cash on the decorative end of the soft furnishings palette. I would say sorry but I wouldn’t mean it so what I will do is to send a grovelling apology to any man who really does appreciate a cushion. That said, I do believe it is thanks to the female of the species that the cushion thrives. Without us the boys would all be sitting slightly uncomfortably on their sofas wondering why their rooms look just a tiny bit bland.

This article first appeared in Cambridge Magazine, April 2017

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Maybe it’s my imagination, or maybe I’m just ready for the autumn weather, but as soon as it turns September I feel a little nip in the air. While that may fill some people with sadness, I’m always secretly a little happy, autumn is my second favourite season after spring so I always welcome it with open arms. Making the transition from hot summer evenings to chillier autumn ones can always be made a whole lot smoother if you’re prepared, having your throws, cushions and snuggly furniture ready will mean that you’ll be looking forward to those evening curled up on the sofa instead of out in the garden. I’ve pulled together some wonderful products that’ll make those autumn nights even more tempting.

Finding a marvellous throw for the colder part of the year will not only keep you warm, but instantly make a sofa or bed look revitalised. Picking the best material for your throw is a job within itself, Merino wool is made from the Merino sheep, mainly in Australia, and is incredibly soft! I love this patterned throw from Wool Me, the red and green design will pop next to a pale coloured sofa, or help create a moody feel on a dark shade.

‘Red Green Merino Wool Throw Marta’ from Wool Me

If you’re looking for a throw that is outrageously soft, you can’t go wrong with a Mohair throw. Heal’s currently have a Mohair throw in five gorgeous colourways, but my particular favourite this the pastels shade. It looks perfect spread across a bed just like below but would look equally fabulous draped over an armchair when not in use.

‘Mohair Throw’ from Heal’s

Those nights where you’re inside watching a film, or reading a book instead of enjoy a summer’s evening can be made a whole lot easier when you have a wonderfully comfy sofa or armchair to curl up on. Loaf have produced a collection of sofas and armchairs, or as they lovingly call them ‘squishy’ chairs, that look like the King and Queens of comfort! Two of my favourite looks from their collection are the Snuggalump sofa and the Crumpet armchair, they both have extra thick cushions so you can get yourself well and truly comfy in one of these.

‘Snuggalump Sofa’ from Loaf

‘Crumpet armchair’ from Loaf

If you’re all set for sofas, but are still looking for something to snuggle up in, this cocoon from Graham & Green may be your sort of thing. Its design is perfect for anyone who loves playful and contemporary pieces, and if you love vegging out on a Sunday afternoon!

‘Zig Zag Cocoon Chair’ from Graham & Green

Getting your interiors ready for autumn doesn’t necessarily mean you need to kit your home out in those typical autumn colours, if you prefer the bright and bold scheme then go for it! Cushions are a quick and fun way to inject a bit of colour into your interior, plus they’ll really spruce up a room with minimal effort. These Frida cushions from Graham & Green are fantastic, they use abstract imagery of the iconic artist (and her parrots!) to create some playful cushions. Use intermittently in a set of scatter cushions or go all out and use all in a row to really make a statement.

‘Appliqued Character Cushions’ from Graham & Green

If you fancy something a little less bright but just as fun, head over to Trouva for this snazzy tassel cushion. It’s ideal to give a space some character, and a hint of Mediterranean feel.

‘Turquoise Tassel Kelim Cushion’ from Trouva

A great way to make your bedroom feel extra comfy for autumn is with a new bedspread, although it may not make it any easier to get out of bed in the morning! I absolutely love this velvet and linen bedspread from Niki Jones, it looks like you could wrap yourself up in it all day!

‘Velvet Linen Bedspread’ from Niki Jones

If you’re not quite ready to let go of summer, this beautiful duvet set from Houseology cannot be missed! The wisteria pattern will help you get through the colder months as you dream of summer.

‘Bluebellgray Wisteria Bed Linen’ from Houseology

Autumn is on the horizon and whether you’re happy or sad about it, one thing you can’t argue with is how much fun you’re going to have creating your perfect snuggly autumn retreat!

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