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Monohomes is a lifestyle store that sources unique and luxurious home accessories and gifts. Visit us here, www.monohomes.co.uk to see our gorgeous full range. 
This blog is all about what goes on behind the scenes, what we love, what we've been doing and general stuff that fills our day!


Friday, 26 July 2013

The Finished Wall.....

Well my last post left off with my wall plates all painted, but they weren't yet ready to hang, so I started googling. I knew I definitely didn't want those hangers were you see 4 little prongs on the outside, so I googled invisible plate hangers. The first thing that came up were these, and they were just what I wanted

But, not only would I have to order them off amazon and wait, they were between £2 and £3 each and I had 9 plates to hang. Lets not forget what inspired my plate wall in the first place,Free Kirsie's Fill Your House For  Free and I'm sure when the lovely Kirstie Allsopp made the programme she wasn't expecting anyone to go out and spend nearly £30 on something to hand a project that cost £6.00. 
I obviously then typed in DIY invisible wall hangers ( what did we do before google? ) and lo and behold there it was, hot glue, large paper clips, and a bit of felt, except I only had the large paperclips!! But I'm nothing if not industrious, so instead of hot glue out came this......

And instead of felt, I raided the childrens craft box and cut some foam circles into strips, et voila, invisible wall hangers....... for free!!

I'm not sure I'd do this with any expensive plates I have, if it hadn't have worked it wouldn't have been the end of world if they'd ended up in pieces on the floor.
I left them for about 9 hours to cure, just to be on the safe side, and then I got hanging.
I'd like to say I made paper templates, blah blah blah, to get the placing right. I didn't, far to faffy. I just hung one at time, took a step back after each to see where I wanted the next.
And here it is.... not great photos I know, but a photographer I'm not.

The bottom shot shows the true colours best, and made me even more determined to find a new lamp. I love the shadows the glass crystals make on the wall, but I think a tripod or industrial type lamp would look amazing in this space! I'll keep you posted on that one!
Oh and nearly forgot, my verdict on wall plates, I'm definitely thinking Fab.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Wall plates, fab or drab??

When we first got the gorgeous Cowy Horn, ( Kids choice of name!!) and put him up on the wall I was instantly smitten, he was big and fabulous and shiny, what more could I want?

 He even gets fairy lights at christmas and bunting for any occasion!!
But that was over 6 months ago and recently I find he's looking rather lost on the wall on his own, but I didn't have a clue what to add to the wall that wouldn't detract from his fabulousness. ( is that a word? it is now!)
I thought of a couple of smaller animal heads but thought they'd take the limelight away from whats supposed to be a focal point. On and off for the past few months I've been lusting after some gorgeous plates to display like these by Andrew Tanner

And although I love them, again I thought they may make it look all too busy for what is essentially a room to relax in. I was also very worried about channelling this sort of look

when what I really wanted was this style from House to Home

so, nothing has happened to the wall, and I put it to the back of mind in one of those I'll know what I want when I see it kind of way. I was right, I did know it when I saw it!
Watching Kirstie's Fill Your House For Free on Tuesday night I saw the perfect solution in one of the houses they revamped. I spied a wall of plain white matt plates hung on the wall, they were all different plates but looked the same texture so I guessed that they were painted, and there was my answer..... Surround my gorgeous gazelle with plain matt plates!
So off I went the next day to the charity shop and came home with these,

Very twee and vintage floral, fyi, not very 'me', plates. So after sanding them down and giving them 3 coats of paint ( tester pots from B&Q) I had these

I'll be the first to say they aren't going to stand up to any scratching, the paint may well just come off, but they're going high on a wall and I'd be surprised if they stay around for years, I change things often. So for what I want them for they're perfect. There are 9 of them in all, and fingers crossed they'll be up on the wall tonight.

Can't wait to get them up and show you what they look like!

Monday, 22 July 2013

White and Bright

Although not to everyones taste, I've got to say I love nothing more than a bright white home..... I spend far to long gazing at images of gorgeous white interiors like this, this and this..... I can imagine myself in a simple body skimming long jersey dress, just bobbing about the house, making lattes and smiling serenely at my gorgeous family of perfect children dressed in white t's and blue jeans that bring out the bright blue of their eyes.........  I can dream can't I? If you know me, you'll know I don't have the body, or height, for long body skimming dresses, and white t's on my children, please, they'd be clean for all of about 2 seconds! And a house like this? Yeah I'm still dreaming, and it's taken me a long time to realise that actually I could never live in a completely white home, I need a little colour.

Apart from the living room, which has gray walls, every room in our home is painted white, and with children, whats easier than keeping a pot of brilliant white paint and paintbrush handy for the inevitable dirty marks? And while I dream all white dreams, in real life I like to have shots of colour brought in through accessories, cushions, vases, artwork etc. I think it adds interest and brings life to the place without looking too bright and garish. And with a white base, everything can move from room to room when I get an itch to move things around, so I think I've found what style works for our home, for now, in a years time I might have changed my mind, but thats what I love about our home, it's always a work in progress.

What about you? whats your favorite home colour palette?

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Our 'new' old sofa.....

When we bought our current home some 6 years ago, I wanted a completely fresh new look than what we had gone for in our last house, which meant that when we sold it we left practically everything. The couple who bought our house were first time buyers, all the furniture was 2 years old, and we left it all for free so they got a good deal!
But it meant we turned up at our new home with a corner sofa, washer, fridge and our clothes and not much else! Cue a trip to Ikea. My head was full of visions of glossy white loveliness, but furnishing a WHOLE house, our budget at the time didn't quite reach the 'glossy' part. It did reach the white though, so I was happy.
Over the last 6 years every room has been re-done twice, I like change, what can I say, and with each room change has come a furniture upgrade, and I got my glossy white vision.
The one piece of furniture that has never been upgraded however was our trusty old Klippan 2 seater in the conservatory.

 It has had a fair few new covers, as the room is mostly used by the children for playing, tv etc, so they don't stay pristine for long! We started with red covers, perfect fit, we moved onto black, what is going on ikea with the black, they DO NOT FIT, I know, I've bought 3! They rip when they first go on, they're baggy, they look awful! But with no good colour options available I stayed with it, dreaming of the new plush velvet sofa I was going to buy to replace it, but when it's in the room off the garden and the kids use it more than me was I really going to spend £700+ on a velvet number, I think not, not until it's no longer the kids main hangout anyway!
For the last 2 years I've been waiting for Ikea to bring out a grey klippan cover, grey is everywhere, it was an obvious colour for them to produce, but clearly not as they haven't, and I couldn't live with this any longer.....

So I started looking at companies who made ikea sofa covers with other fabrics, I was looking for grey cotton, what I found was grey washable VELVET...... Can you guess how happy I was? And the icing on the cake...... it was only £95, and £104 with delivery! It was mine, well it was after 3 weeks, as it had to be made and delivered!

I'm in love, You can find me lounging in the softness of it if you want me, I don't want to move!

Now it's just waiting for it's cushions....... new ones maybe? I'm thinking a moustache one!

The cover is from a company called Ikuva, I haven't been paid, asked or given a discount to do this post, I just love it so much I couldn't not share. It's like I have a brand new sofa and the fit is perfect! This is the Washable Velvet in Slate but they do tons of fabrics from plain to floral, and not just for the klippan either, they do them for a host of ikea sofas, so if you want to show your old sofa some love don't hesitate, I'm so glad I didn't. I have the velvet sofa I wished for and I've saved about £600, what's not to love!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

We've Opened

Monohomes is officially open for business.......

Today is our first day trading, which I'm so excited about!! Can't wait to start wrapping and sending the gorgeous goodies out to people, and even though it's very exciting, I'm also very aware of all the work I have in front of me, (hopefully). I really need to get myself out there and get better acquainted with FaceBook and  Twitter, I'm @monohomes on there by the way. It doesn't really matter what lovely things I stock if no-one actually knows about it!
I'm really excited to be going to the Harrogate Home & Gift event next week, although the business account might not be as happy as me about it! The list of exhibitors is amazing and I'm sure theres loads of things I'll want to be stocking at Monohomes.

Here's a selection of the things we have in stock, and some of the things due to arrive in next week.....

Paper Bag Vase

Black Tea & Jasmine Candle
Cement Candle Holders
Sass & Belle Pug & Camera

Mini Bunting

Audrey Always Print
London Skyline Feather Cushion
Retro Radio Feather Cushion

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

A 'growing up' room...

If you've ever wondered what idiot would set up a business and decorate their sons room at the same time, well, Tada, here I am!
Yes I wasn't content with just trying to get Monohomes up and running, I wanted a new room for my boy too!
Although on a regular basis I moan about how my children are growing up so fast, from an interior point of view I get really excited. I love planning how their spaces will change, the new functions the rooms will need and the little touches that really finish them off. I think its great that as they get older they no longer need 'themed' rooms, Whoo hoo for no more Cars, Dinosaurs, Princesses or the like that I've put up with in the past all in the name of being a good mum and wanting to put a smile on their faces.
I've been wanting to create a new layout and get rid of his mid sleeper for ages, it gets pretty tiring bumping my head whenever I tidy up! And although the rooms walls looked really white, as soon as we slapped the first brush of fresh paint on there, the difference made me feel a bit of dirty old bird for not doing it sooner!
So old bed took apart, new one in place, curtains down, replaced with blind for a less fussy look, all sorts of things moved around, one MASSIVE clear out and a bit of styling later here is his new room!!

I can't call it a grown up space, cause he's not and it isn't, so I'm naming it his 'growing up' space, but it is much more funky and older than what was there previously, I can see him for the next couple of years coming up here to 'chill' and hang out, in fact we've hardly been able to remove him from here since he saw it, which, when you consider he has the smallest room in the house, is quite a feat!
I'd love to know what interior adventures you've been up to lately?

Love, Nat x

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

A styled life???

Wouldn't it be a lovely world if all our homes looked like they do in Living Etc and Elle Decoration?  Well unfortunately for most of us we aren't going to have their photographers knocking on the door anytime soon! But just because our homes aren't large enough, old enough, 'wow' inducing enough, doesn't mean they can't be stylish, luxurious and above all a space that we get excited about to be in.
When I first thought about about setting up Monohomes, it kept on going round in my head that to be a good sales person you should be willing to sell anything, and I know that isn't me! But over time I began to realise that to be a good sales person, I just have to really believe in what I'm selling, so I knew then that
My home
  Monohomes would never, ever stock anything that I wouldn't have in my own home, and to be in my home it needs to be either, a bit different, bring a bit of luxury or just something that makes people take a second look, whether they like the item or not.  But there is one HUGE downside to this.... as more stock arrives everyday, my Husbands getting really annoyed at all the " I'm just going to keep one of these for us " statements that I keep making! But really that's the whole point of it all, our home isn't perfect, I'm constantly decorating, moving things around, changing things up, but I love our home so much and I think everyone should feel like that. So when I began to think about what makes me love my home, I realised it was the highly scented candles that I burn practically constantly, it's the gorgeous mugs I drink my coffee from, its the fact that my cushions are all filled with feathers so they're soft and cosy..... basically it's the little things!
Part of the family now!
My home is mainly white, walls, furniture etc, so anything I bring into the mix goes, be it a big silver gazelles head, a bright turquoise 1960's stag figure, a sparkly skull ( all true ) and its all interchangable from room to room, bonus! I know my taste is not everyones taste, but once I realised that I don't need to cater to 99% of the population Monohomes finally started to come together! It's literally a countdown now to us going live, but whether there will be any stock to sell or I just keep it all for me is anyones guess!! ;-)

Love Nat. X

Monday, 1 July 2013

Monohomes, going live....

Well it's certainly a long time since I dipped my toes into the world of blogging, but here I go. This time though its not a 'mummy blog', at 9 and 7, my two won't stand still long enough for any cute pictures for a blog!

Monohomes Living is a new venture for me, to go alongside the online shop I'm setting up.
After working at a 'desk'job for the last 12 years and having the shop idea playing about in my head for the last 2, when an offer of redundancy came up, it wouldn't be an understatement to say I nearly bit their hands off!
I'm 34, and time flies by so fast, it was totally a case of now or never. So here I am, 4 weeks after leaving work, in the middle of setting up what was previously ideas running round my head, and  hopefully the store will be live in next couple of weeks.
Monohomes will be all about the modern, quirky and unique home accessory pieces that make a house into a home, we'll be stocking pieces that aren't just the generic finds you see in most homes these days, things that will put a smile on your face, little luxurious finds that make the everyday feel a little bit more special, even if its just making a cup of coffee, I think everything you do feels more of a occasion when you're doing it with good quality wares!

It's really exciting, and a little bit scary too, I wont lie!! But whatever happens I can't wait to start and hope you'll love what Monohomes is going to be doing too!

Love, Nat! X