Emerald City

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I'm a little bit obsessed with green this week. It started with an emerald handbag that screamed at me from a display of muted greys and browns in Marks and Spencer.
I was wowed by its ability to instantly update my winter outfit. Like the first green shoots of Spring, it gave me hope for sunnier times.

And so it got me thinking of home. How else could I hurry Spring along?

I love fashion and have to get my seasonal fix on the high street. I'm prepared to spend more on designer classics that will stay with me for longer, but fashion can be throwaway and we Yorkshire folk don't part with cash willy nilly.

 It's the same with my interior choices. Along with the rest of the universe, Ikea is my first port of call for a quick fix home fashion purchase and this season is no exception. I'm particularly craving the Stockholm padded dining chair below for an instant burst of colour in my monochrome dining room. £140 for a statement chair that could fool anyone into thinking it was an expensive collector piece. Also check out the gorgeous green rugs to really fash things up a little.

www.habitat.co.uk has some great accessories to bring the outdoors in. I particularly love their range of bright ceramics, including some zesty lime pieces.

Take the attention above eye level for some lighting that will make stylish visitors green with envy. This pendant light from www.heals.co.uk cannot fail to bring an all white scheme to life.

But it's back to good old Marks and Sparks who have the whole green trend sewn up with its funky, yet sophisticated new Harper range. Firstly, it shares its name with a Beckham babe and therefore is bound to have serious fashion credentials. And secondly? Well it matches my new bag of course.

Shop the full range here: www.marksandspencer.com/harper-collection

While you're there take the opportunity to fill your green bags with a couple of these botanical beauties:

Get your green fingers clicking on some more uber-fresh House Candy, including some cool green wallpapers on my Pinterest board www.pinterest.com/claireprice3517/go-green/ 

You can also pick up some painting inspiration to nail the green scheme with Farrow and Ball. Just click on My House Candy Cravings above.

Please leaf me a comment and share your green ideas too  :-)


The Happy Cleansing

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If I'm going to spend some decent money on a hand wash it needs to be good. This is.

It smells pure, it looks pure, it is pure. If possible, I would dedicate a whole bathroom shelf to all things Aesop. Lather myself head to toe in nourishing aromatherapy so that when I passed you, you'd inhale.

As it is, this solitary but not unsubstantial 500ml bottle stands alone in my downstairs loo awaiting the matching hand cream. It never fails to win compliments, even from my little boys when they are allowed to use it.

It was one of those purchases I kind of regretted at the time. "27 quid for soap Claire, Really? You're a Northerner, remember?" And then I did remember…  "It's Glamuary", I said. "The month of enjoying simple pleasures and making everyday things special", I said. "Have you not dedicated hours of blogging time to this very notion?"(At this point you might need to check out my previous posts)

You won't be surprised to learn that I used to read Aesop's Fable's as a girl. I think subconsciously that's what led me to this brand. For those not familiar, Aesop's Fables are weird little tales with a hidden meaning. So of course there had to be a moral to this story right? It's also the moral to my final fable of Glamuary: "MAKE THE SIMPLE STUFF SPECIAL AND THE SPECIAL STUFF SIMPLE."

GlamJan, it's been a pleasure. 

Hands up who want's some? Get in on the Aesop Story here … www.aesop.com


Hooked on order

Perhaps it's too much time spent indoors. Maybe too much January juicing has messed with my head. Suddenly I crave order and I crave it NOW.

So this morning, as I tripped over three pairs of discarded trainers and four layers of coats fell on top of me, I knew it was time. Winter clobber, sling your hook. Today I am addressing everyday storage hangups with a therapeutic session of cloakroom cleansing.

I'm on the hunt for a boot bench. Not only can I place nice (clean) shoes underneath, but the boys can actually sit down whilst they fight with their shoelaces, instead of scrambling around on the floor looking untidy. This one from www.notonthehighstreet.com  is pretty much perfect. Add a few natural weave baskets from www.bodieandfou.com and even the abundance of gloves, hats and shin pads that my family hoards can find a place in my heart.

For a cheaper option and where space is tight, I love the idea of wire shoe racks. Plain and simple usually works best in small situations and as usual, www.loaf.com has it covered with its aptly named Whatsit bench below:

This one from  www.grahamandgreen.co.uk also has a handy place to shove the junk mail as you rush out of the door. Saves me losing important letters to my glove compartment, but I'd need to be far more selective with my shoe options to make this one work. Maybe we could have one each?

I have a thing for coats and appear to have acquired more than my fair share in recent years. With dedicated styles for dog walking, school run, work events and social occasions, I'm finding it hard to edit which means only one thing. More hooks.

I'm slightly obsessed with vintage coat hooks. Most salvage yards have a selection and I find mismatched works just as well as a full set. In my Victorian house, either ornate or rustic suit the space best. I found a huge run of old school hooks mounted on a timber board that can easily cope with the burden of four busy lives. There's even a hook left for the dog's lead because bless her, she's the tidiest of us all.

They say first impressions count. So if you are greeted with a sight resembling any of the following scenes of beauty and order when first stepping foot through my door then please, assume away:

You see, it doesn't have to be completely anal. Just minimally anal. Organised chaos, as opposed to actual chaos. Hat's off to that idea, I'll let you know how we get on.


More than just a number

If I were a limited edition chair THIS is what I'd want to look like.

The swoon-some Arne Jacobsen Series 7 chairs have been given a special anniversary makeover to mark their 60th birthday. They are available in these perfect pale pink and deep navy colour ways from February 1st for this year only. Each one is numbered for extra collectability, but I really don't mind which number I get. Do you?Image Map

Click here for more info www.dailydecorum.net


Create Big Brother Bedlam

If this year's Celebrity Big Brother is an experiment in how interiors affect your emotional psyche, then game on Channel 5! For the CBB House, full to the rafters with references of sorcery and witchcraft, has cast its ugly spell.

By now it's likely you're getting a bit bored of the bitching (very Un-Glamuary). But don't switch off too soon - you can always turn the TV on mute and focus instead on some cracking House Candy.

Anyone else loving the gorgeous Birdcage chandeliers dotted about the place? Whilst the real thing requires something of a celebrity pay cheque, it's easy to create a similar vibe using a wire cage and a simple string of fairy lights.

In the CBB bedroom department, things are less horny and more thorny than in previous shows. Still, a wicked witch has to put her pointy toes up somewhere and she should find this year's collection of pretty painted iron bedsteads a welcome change from her usual sleeping conditions.

I've got the very similar Primrose bedstead from www.next.co.uk in my guest room. Concerned it was a bit Prom Queen and not enough Rock Princess, I styled it with some sexy animal print sheets from www.very.co.uk It's now the perfect place for poor little Patsy to hide in her cute matching Onesie.

But it's here in my French inspired Darcy Bed from the dream makers at www.loaf.com where I await true love's kiss. This mattress is so comfy that in all my thousand year's slumber I have never felt a single pea. And in this Super King version there's more than enough room for a Handsome Prince or two. 

Elsewhere in the CBB house it has been slightly disturbing to note many more similarities between Big Brother's decor choices and my own.

1) There's the big owls and their eerily silent gaze...

2) There's the abundance of parody in the form of trompe l'oeil wallpaper… 

3) There's the unnecessarily large, cauldron-like silverware…

4) And there's the poor animals turned to stone…

All I need is a secret Diary Room  - oh and one of THOSE Abigail Aherne lamps please and I can host the next series! So Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, it's off to therapy I go ... but what of this year's housemates?

Will the handsome Anglo/American Prince find true love charading as an ugly sister?

Will the wicked stepmother be choked by her home grown poison Ivy?

Will good overcome evil and Cheggers land a new TV contract? 

Spoiler Alert  - I have it on good authority that Big Brother's Fairy Godmother will send them all safely home, a little richer and a wee bit wiser. And of course they all live happily ever after in the land of make believe. Well apart from Katie Hopkins, who turns into a fat, lazy, ginger haired frog, named Charmaine.

The morale of the story: Decorate wisely and NEVER trust a snooty cow with a crooked nose.

The End.

P.S Thank you to the Genie that came up with the brilliant idea of auctioning off all the CBB furniture for charity - Grab your little bit of Big Brother Bedlam here www.gumtree.com 


January Stinks

Not a whiff of the winter blues at my desk.

Beach in a bottle, courtesy of www.jomalone.co.uk

Mid-week slump? Run out of nuts and berry super mix and reaching for the Wagon Wheels? If you're hiding extra pounds under your boyfriend's t-shirt and remnants of glitter gels are clinging to your toes, you need to seriously GlamUp. Welcome to Glamuary, Part 4: The Big Stink.

For this one I think you are ready to employ one of your newly detoxed senses...

The pine needles are on the compost heap, the plug-ins are running on empty and all that is left of the scented candle is a blackened jar of Christmas past. So enter Jo Malone and her unmistakeable scent of luxury and indulgence. Guess who just unleashed her new Room Diffuser. And she's not afraid to use it. 

Now with post Christmas finances as they are, I suspect room diffusing is low on your list of priorities. Mine too. But let me tell you of the simple pleasures this little pot of smelly water has brought to my life today:

1) I can see mess. I can hear wind and rain. I can taste vitamin tablets. But at least one of my senses gets a hit. I can smell sweet Lime, Basil and Mandarin. And it makes me happy.

2) I get that Jo Malone feeling every time I enter the room. The one where I go in the shop and candles are burning. Hands get rubbed in nourishing creams and life suddenly feels incomplete without a bow-tied bag.

3) The persistently wet dog is no longer offending my nostrils.

It's true. This is the Rolls Royce of room diffusers and there are lots of lovely alternatives out there that are more pocket friendly and less status symbol, but in my opinion none do the job better. Here are a few that hit the right notes:

1) Great budget option in a chanel-style bottle from www.yankeecandle.co.uk

2) A bit of Orla Kiely never goes a miss from www.johnlewis.com

3) Aromatherapy a-go-go  from www.nealsyardremedies.com

So with the toughest month of the year in full swing, don't give in to the Haribo addiction and its gummy grip. Get up off the sofa and give that fitness DVD a go. Ditch the dry shampoo and grab your curlers.  Glam Up and smell the room diffuser. 

Pay day may be a while away, but suddenly I'm stinking rich.

Happy Glamuary, love Claire xx


Soak It Up

It's foul out, which means we have two choices:

1) We can brave the wind and the rain, try to see the funny side as the brolly flies inside out for the tenth time, and ultimately wish we lived on Necker Island.

2) We can stay indoors and listen to the howling storms from the comfort of a hot, bubbly bathtub.

But wait, this is GlamJan remember so we're going full-on hour -long bath hogging, in broad daylight, whilst the children throw lego at one another and quite possibly starve downstairs.*

*No children were harmed during this experiment.

Yes, the only way to soak up the luxuriousness of bath time is to be totally and utterly selfish. Oh and to get yourselves an amazingly plush deep pile bath mat, so that when you finally thaw out, the exit becomes is a tiny bit more bearable. This rag-rug beauty is from House Of Fraser and sadly (for you) is currently out of stock so I have kindly rounded up a few alternatives that will do the job just as nicely:

1) Get the red carpet treatment at House of Fraser:

2) Add a touch of luxe from The white Company:

3) Trust your animal instinct at BHS

4) Go Supersized at John Lewis

5) Add some sparkle at Next

For those glutenous Glam-Jans out there who just can't get enough of this month long glamour fest, don't forget to exfoliate first and once dry, smooth on some fake tan … Et Voila! that January-just-off-of-the-plane look all the supers are coveting. Kate Moss went to Brazil, you went for a bath. Same difference.

Any GlamJan tips yet? I'd love to hear from you. Please leave a comment and Follow, Follow, Follow for more essential tips on surviving the month everyone … OK ... someone is talking about …  GLAMUARY!

Claire x


Nice Jugs Jan

Since Glamuary is now an actual thing,  I felt the need to send myself flowers. A short, sharp shock of pink to get me through the DryFri slump.

Jeez, it felt like putting lippy on after a week in hospital. GlamJan - right there in a second hand milk jug. And the best news? This £5 clashing tulip/rose combo will keep me pink and perky for 7 days guaranteed (M&S don't lie you know). How's that for value? So get your jugs out and treat yourself to a bunch of gorgeous flowers. You can even keep your onesie on for this one. #GlamJan #Glamuary

Please don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin! x


Who's for Glamuary?

Poor old January. The month when fun becomes a swear word. When the wine stops flowing and the chocolates get chucked to make way for gruesome looking green things. When we're bullied into thinking the appropriate out-of-hours dress code really should be gym gear and the ideal night out, well is actually a night in.

So we might all be holed up in our onesies watching box sets for the duration of this month, but in my book thats all the more reason to add a bit of glamour to the whole sorry affair.

Throughout the month I will be  trying my best to add a bit of House Candy glam to Jan. And I'm starting with these amazing crystal glasses from Waterford's chic Mixology range

I've collected mix matched vintage glasses for some time now, but it's definitely a fine line between chic and chinz. Whilst I like the patterns to be all contrasting, the OCD in me needs the shapes to be kind of the same. Waterford is bang on with this gorgeous collection which you can mix and match to your heart's content and not worry one jot about creating a collection Mrs Faversham might harbour in her dusty drinks cabinet.

I'm lucky enough to have a very glam, very generous friend who, sick of drinking from my chipped second hand flutes, bought me this starter collection of clear champagne coupes for Christmas. I can't wait to add to it, probably with some of the gorgeous coloured pieces on offer. And with January's saving grace - the sales - on at the moment, there's some fantastic discounts to be had. Just click on the link above and see for yourself what a refreshing change this range is to bog standard clear glass.

I'm not very good at saving my favourite things for special occasions. Yes, I've worn the Burberry Mac on the school run because there was no where else to go. Yes, I let the dog curl up on the newly upholstered velvet Chesterfield. I don't see the point waiting for a special occasion or a special guest to arrive to bring out gorgeous items that are yours to enjoy. For one, if it's not something I use all the time I will probably forget about it and 2, experience tells me David Beckham is not knocking on my door any time soon.

So today, the first bog standard Wednesday of the year, I will curl up in front of the goggle box and pour into one of these delicious glasses a sugar free, non-alcoholic beverage that, let's face it will taste pretty dull. But hell will it sparkle.

Please join me for Glamuary and share with me any items that are giving you something to luxuriate about this month.


Interior junkies follow here for rehab

My name is Claire and I'm addicted to House Candy. Furniture, accessories, textiles or just a short, sharp hit of pure design brilliance. I don't have to go far, for an interiors fix.

As part of my progressional rehab (sadly there is no cure) I'd like to share with you the highs and sometimes lows I've had in my own home - House Candy HQ. And if I have any quick hits elsewhere, I promise you will be the first to know.

It would be great to hear from like minded interior junkies such as yourself. Whether it be a heads up on cool shops, lust worthy items for your wish list, a makeover to bring on instant room envy (It's cool, I can cope) or treasured junk shop finds, you could make a hopeless addict, very happy by clicking on the new Bloglovin button to connect.

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/13396979/?claim=rpzzwzbjq86">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

2015 is a brand new year and I'm sure you are well aware that there's a lot of House Candy out there just waiting to be discovered.  Please join me on this journey and as my therapist once told me, "Together we can decorate the world". Love Claire x