Theatre in Review: Chick Flick: The Musical (Westside Theatre)

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Chick Flick: The Musical — with that title, this is a series that knows its target audience and the way to woo it. A girls’-night-out amusement around a girls’ night out, it’s almost indecently poised to appeal to fun-seeking females in the…

Swap your blinds for a different design in seconds with this genius new range

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Tired of looking at the same old roller blind but can’t be bothered with the hassle required to change it? Help is at hand with Bloc Blinds’ brilliant new collection.

Related: Dining room curtain ideas – on-trend and elegant looks for window treatments

Thanks to a clever new design called Fabric Changer, you can now swap out the fabric part of your blind without having to wrestle the entire roller bar from your window frame – perfect for people who fancy a new look in a flash.

Buy now: Designer Collection Ivy Green blackout blind with Fabric Changer, from £38 for H130xW101cm, Bloc Blinds

How does it work? Well, thanks to clever hook-on-hook fixtures, all you need to do is unroll the blind fully, unfasten the existing blind, hook on a new one and roll the whole thing back up again. Available on a variety of fittings, from standard roller blinds to Easyfit (drill-free installation) roller blinds and even twin rollers (for a layered look), the Fabric Changer collection comes in a wide range of colours and patterns to suit all styles of kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms so you’re bound to find a style (or five!) that you’ll love.

Related: How to clean windows – get sparkling windows inside and out without streaking with our expert tips

Buy now: Designer Collection Crafty Leaves blackout blind with Fabric Changer, from £55 for H130xW101cm, Bloc Blinds

And the best bit? Ordering is super easy – each individual roller bar will be labelled with a QR product code that holds your blind’s unique measurements – simply scan it with your phone and order a replacement blind.

What’s more, you can order up to five fabric swatches, free of charge, to help you choose the right colour and pattern for your space.

Related: IKEA launches pollution reducing curtains – and you won’t believe how they work!

Buy now: Designer Collection Triangles Teal blackout blind with Fabric Changer, from £55 for H130xW101cm, Bloc Blinds

They’re an excellent choice for kids’ rooms, too, not just because you can swap the designs as they grow, but you can also opt for blackout lining to ensure you might just get that lie in on a Sunday morning.

The post Swap your blinds for a different design in seconds with this genius new range appeared first on Ideal Home.

See QVC’s most colourful homeware collection yet – we’ll all want the wall hanging!

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Today marks the launch of the new Erica Davies collection at QVC. The leading retailer has teamed up with stylist Erica Davies to produce a homeware collection. The 17-piece range offers everything, from bold garden furniture and faux plants to beautiful wall hangings.

In Erica’s own words the ‘colourful and bohemian’ collection is intended to help ‘add personality to our homes’. As a connoisseur of colour it’s no surprise the collection is bursting with vibrant brights and playful patterns.

Erica has been very conscious to create things people will love, all at affordable prices as not to exclude any budget.

What else is new at QVC? Is Amanda Holden’s new BundleBerry collection for QVC her best yet?

This morning I went along to meet Erica herself to talk about the colourful new collection…

Erica Davies talks through new QVC collection

erica davies

‘My collection started with the ideas that inspire my own home; typography, colour, print, textiles and vintage pieces. I receive so many messages from my social media followers about the things in my home – those requests were my starting point.’

Erica Davies at QVC

Which piece is your particular favourite?

‘It has to be the Love wall hanging’ Erica replies, without missing a beat. ‘It’s based on a vintage set of letters I have in my hall that I found in the window of an antiques shop. I get asked about them all the time. They make me smile every day and I really wanted to share the LOVE!’

Buy now: Erica Davies Canvas Hanging Scroll with Love Print, from £15, QVC

Here’s the inspiration behind the wall hanging from the new collection…

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What do you look for when shopping for your own home?

‘I am constantly on the look-out for pieces that will work hard in my home. I want things that are practical but look beautiful too.’

Erica Davies at QVC

These new pom-pom trim baskets are the perfect example of how practical pieces can be decorative too.

Buy now: Erica Davies Set of 2 Weaved Belly Baskets With Pom Poms, from £17, QVC

Erica davies at QVC

What part do plants play in a rooms decor?

‘For me, plants are an integral part of a room’s overall design and I really wanted to include lots of different sizes and styles in my collection – from faux plants to bold prints.’

The collection is filled with thoroughly realistic faux plants – all of which are UV treated so they can be used indoors or outdoor.

Buy now: Erica Davies Faux Plant with UV Protection, £84, QVC

How do you use rugs in your own home?

‘Rugs are everywhere in my own home,’ Erica explains. ‘The colours and texture of this rug make me so happy! Pink has become such a universally popular colour and it works beautifully with contrast brights. I also love that it mixes so well with darker colours and ‘heavier’ fabrics such as leather and velvet.’

Erica Davies QVC

This rug is making a real style statement, especially in the larger size. Berber rugs are still very much on-trend. In keeping with Erica’s love of colour this design shrugs off the traditional monochrome pattern to incorporate more vibrant shades of orange and hot pink.

Buy now: Erica Davies Hand Woven Geometric Style Tassled Rug, from £87, QVC

Erica Davies at QVC

‘I love the bright orange patio set – it’s a simple, streamlined, comfortable set, but designed in a knock-out colour that was inspired by my own dining table.’

Buy now: Erica Davies Steel Outdoor Bistro Dining Table, £99, QVC

The tropical print cushions and outdoor rug are great ways to add an instant hit of colour and pattern, indoor or out.

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Erica’s Instagram feed gives fans a glimpse into her stylish home. Seeing how heavily this has influenced her own designs makes the collection feel thoroughly authentic.

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AD I started decorating my future home aged eight. Virtually, obviously, from the pages of my mum’s catalogues – where I’d cut out pictures of bedspreads, rugs and cushions for my scrapbook, while deciding on the colour of the kettle for my future flat. Slightly strange child, perhaps – but the love for interiors was – and is – still strong! And while I went on to pursue a career in fashion, home design and decor has ALWAYS been my passion project. So I am BEYOND EXCITED to announce something I’ve been secretly – and very happily – working on for over a year. On March 8th this year, MY VERY OWN INTERIORS COLLECTION WITH @QVCUK WILL LAUNCH! I KNOW! I feel SO proud and excited and SO sick with nerves, all at the same time! Working with the team has been a creative dream from the start (and they didn’t even seem to mind when I produced a twenty-page mood board presentation!) They completely understood my passion for adding colour and personality to a home, so my collection is all about those little details that can create a real impact, through colour pops, print and sophisticated fun! And to be honest, YOU have all been a huge part of the process. Your support, questions and encouragement through me sharing my own home have really contributed to this first collection – so I really hope you love it as much as I do! MARCH THE EIGHTH! ONLINE! I WILL SHARE MORE SOON!! 🥳 #EditedByErica #EricaDaviesForQVC @qvcuk 📷 @eleanorskan

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I can confirm there is a second collection already in the pipeline – Erica confirmed this herself, yay!

Related: 10 reasons why everyone likes shopping at QVC

If this range is anything to go by, more affordable colour accessories are on the way to jazz up our homes.

The post See QVC’s most colourful homeware collection yet – we’ll all want the wall hanging! appeared first on Ideal Home.

DIY: Shoe Rack

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I’ve partnered with Arrow Fastener™ tools several times to showcase how to make things with their tools. This week, check out the DIY shoe rack I designed and constructed with the help of one of their many handy nail guns!

 

 

The frame of this shoe rack was built with 2×2” birch posts and ½” birch planks (from Lowe’s) and assembled with wood screws.

 

 

I painted the legs and stained the planks and secured them with the Professional Electric Stapler T50AC from Arrow Fastener™.

 

You can modify the plan to fit the width of your entry or porch or mudroom. Find the full tutorial on this DIY shoe rack on the Arrow Fastener™ website!

 

*This project brought to you in partnership with Arrow Fastener™ tools. All photographs, design plans, and opinions are my own! Visit the Arrow Fastener™ projects page for dozens more creative DIY projects around the home.

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Target’s End-of-Winter Furniture Sale Is Here—Shop Our 7-Piece Edit

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Spring has nearly sprung, and there’s little we love more than celebrating the arrival of a new season by swapping out tired statement pieces for something shiny and new. That said, we’re firm believers that a seasonal home refresh—large or small—shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg. Luckily, Target’s major furniture sale was seemingly created for budget-savvy decorators in mind.

Featuring all home goods for up to 25 percent off (though, you can snag an extra 15 percent discount with the promo code MARCH), the beloved retailer’s seasonal sale is a gold mine of statement furniture.

Sick of looking at your stained loveseat? Craving a bonus bench for the foot of the bed? We scoured the sale for the best-discounted items. Your search for the perfect swap ends here.

A velvet indigo accent chair is total eye candy for a master bedroom or living room in need of an extra seat. Did we mention you save $115?

Black has a reputation as a risky color, but when it’s introduced in small doses and on fresh surfaces, the stark hue can feel airy and bright.

Elevate your morning routine by sliding a set of these sleek steel stools under the kitchen breakfast bar.

Want to spend an entire Sunday cuddled up in front of the TV? There’s nothing to feel guilty about with this half-off loveseat at your side.

Cane continues to prove itself as a need-to-know material. Embrace this woven trend and your inner-Marie Kondo with a storage unit that will feel at home in any room.

Want to dine like a true Scandinavian design lover? This streamlined table exudes Nordic simplicity.

Park this velvet stool at the foot of the bed if you want to wake up to a touch of Art Deco luxe.

See more stories like this:

Glam Decor Is Making a Comeback—Shop Our Top 10 Picks
Life Hack: Put a Bunch of Eucalyptus In Your Shower
12 Clever Ways to Keep Your Tupperware Storage In Check

Decorating with Luscious Pastels Adds Zippy Flair to a Plain Space

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There’s always much ado about adding bright pops of color to a room, but they’re not the only way to brighten a space. Decorating with pastels can add dimension and color while maintaining a calm vibe. Pastels are a wonderful way to add a new hue to a neutral space without going overboard and can also be used to tone down a room that’s already got enough bright colors happening. Besides, using pastels is not just about painting the walls. Sure, that’s an easy way to create a base for a room but opting for furnishings in pale hues is also a versatile way to work a lighter palette.

Softly Colored Sofas

Pastel colors can still pack a punch.
Pastel colors can still pack a punch.

The shape and style of the sofa you choose — along with the other pieces you group with it — will influence the impact of the pastel color palette. This sofa from Polart is a light pink, but it makes a bold statement thanks to the silhouette and materials used. By grouping it with more pieces in the same color, it becomes very dominant in the space, even when mixed with brighter tones, like a kelly green.

The silhouette can help emphasize or play down the impact of a pastel color.
The silhouette can help emphasize or play down the impact of a pastel color.

Pretty in peach, this elegant sofa shows the softer side of the pastel palette but doesn’t sacrifice impact. The curving shape and high sides speak volumes in glamour, which is highlighted by the choice of velvet upholstery. Placed in an otherwise neutral space, the sofa is a standout, which is demonstrated by the beige throw pillows, which push the focus back onto the color of the sofa.

Pastel shades of citrus are a modern choice.
Pastel shades of citrus are a modern choice.

Equally elegant but with a more modern edge, this pastel citrus colored sofa derives its boldness from the shape. The color of the upholstery is a perfect pairing for the dark metal frame, which might get lost with a more vibrant tone on the cushions. In fact, this is a great example of how a pastel hue can help highlight the interesting frame or legs on a piece of furniture.

Pastels can be key in a tonal color palette.
Pastels can be key in a tonal color palette.

The sofa shows how a pastel can be used in a multi-tonal piece to highlight the color family in the room. While the wall covering behind the sofa is neutral, it does have a strong pattern, which could compete against a sofa with a bold color.  This piece combines an overall pastel color combination that is accented with cushions covered in darker shades of the same color range. The addition of just a couple of patterned pillows — still in the same color family — is just enough to make the sofa pop. As a bonus, the pattern on the wall almost looks like an abstract version of the one on the pillows.

Subdued Lighting Fixtures

Adding color to light fixtures draws the eye upward.
Adding color to light fixtures draws the eye upward.

Swapping out a metallic light fixture for one that features a pastel color is an easy way to incorporate lighter colors into a room. This decorating idea will work in any space. If a room is bright and light, an oversized, modern fixture in a pale hue emphasizes the brightness and adds a hint of color. If it happens to be a predominantly white decor palette, a cool citrus light fixture like this one will become a dominant feature. It’s important to remember that the size of the fixture can help increase the impact of the color or play it down, depending on the goal in the room.

Old style paper lanterns in a pastel peach highlight a vintage setting.
Old style paper lanterns in a pastel peach highlight a vintage setting.

A pastel light fixture can also help brighten a dark space. Here, traditional Japanese paper lanterns in graduated sizes are rendered in a pale salmon color. The works nicely in the dark space and is a lighter touch combined with the serious vintage furnishings. Adding pastel hues in a room that has little natural light or seems a bit closed in is another way to lighten the mood of the space.

Luscious chairs

Grey and pastel, minty green is a fabulous combination.
Grey and pastel, minty green is a fabulous combination.

Adding a pastel-colored chair to a room is almost like popping one of those pale-colored after dinner mints in your mouth: It makes you smile and say “ahhhh.” This gray and mint green chair combines a sturdy angular frame with cushy velvet upholstery in a deliciously cool hue. With gray being a commonly used neutral in many homes, pastels are a match made in heaven. The cool colors on this chair are accented with the stud detailing around the edges.

Pastel velvets are popular upholstery textiles.
Pastel velvets are popular upholstery textiles.

A cushier choice is a well-padded armchair. This peach velvet seat has a mid-century modern vibe with its wooden legs and a stylish silhouette thanks to the rounded arms. A chair like this could be combined with neutrals or added to a living room that is already chock full of prints and patterns. It’s also versatile enough to transform a bedroom or office as well as a living room. While it might seem like a contradiction, this is a bold pastel choice.

Pastels can also be whimsical in the right design.
Pastels can also be whimsical in the right design.

It’s also possible to amp up the impact of pastel furnishings through repetition and bold styling. These two chairs by Boffi are upholstered in a pastel salmon color but the abundance of gold and the throne-like shape make them more dramatic. In addition, the giant size of the lamp makes it whimsical and the color of the lampshade more pronounced.

Use plain pastels to contrast bolder printed fabrics.
Use plain pastels to contrast bolder printed fabrics.

Bold, dark florals are trendy both in fashion and furniture, and by pairing them with a pastel in the same piece, it possible to have a totally different look. The black frame and powerful rose print on the back and arms of the chair are given more impact with the use of pastel pink for the seat. It’s a nice strategy for lightening the palette without diminishing the drama.

Tufted pieces in pastel colors look like confections.
Tufted pieces in pastel colors look like confections.

This pale pistachio tufted bench is almost like a dessert confection. Adding this to a bedroom will inject a big dose of glamour and style. The light green would be a delicate accent in a neutral color palette and could serve as an accent in a room that is already done in another pastel hue, like this pink one. The bountiful use of pastels in a bedroom make it more soft and feminine while a well-chosen piece or two can add a seductive edge.

Unexpected Wooden Finishes

Lacquer finishes in pastel tones are innovative options for wood furniture.
Lacquer finishes in pastel tones are innovative options for wood furniture.

Furniture finishes have become more innovative and pastel colors are the go-to choice. Consort’s Bosse credenza comes in a range of lacquer colors and this blush shade is sophisticated and eye-catching. Paired with natural wood pieces, it is a focal point, but it would also be ideal to mix with patterned upholstery for a soft but trendy touch. A quality piece of wood furniture in a pastel tone will brighten the rooms of generations to come — perfect for becoming a family heirloom.

The range of stylish furnishings available show that decorating with pastels doesn’t have to be limited to paint and pillows. Designers have created plenty of options for those who prefers their colors to be understated and serene. Try adding a piece to a bedroom or living room and see how it brightens the feel.

The post Decorating with Luscious Pastels Adds Zippy Flair to a Plain Space appeared first on Home Decorating Trends – Homedit.

5 Instagram Photos That Stopped Me In My Scroll

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Hello! Each Wednesday I share some of the photos that stopped me in my scroll while I was perusing Instagram the previous week. Here are this week’s picks! 1. @ArtistResidence: Hands down, my favorite new feed I’ve started following lately! Here’s a link to their website: Artist Residence Hotels 2. @JessieWatts– Boy, could I spend some time…

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The post 5 Instagram Photos That Stopped Me In My Scroll appeared first on The Lettered Cottage.

Wine Country Vacation Cottages

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Is the California Wine Country on your list of places to visit? Perhaps this year? Events begin as early as spring here in Northern California, and I’m excited for barrel tasting in Healdsburg next weekend. When touring the wine country, one must live the full experience! There’s something so special about sitting outdoors around a firepit surrounded by grapevines sharing a bottle purchased in a nearby tasting room!

Where I live, the wine country includes both Napa and Sonoma, they are adjacent to each other. The Napa Valley is one of the most popular wine tasting destinations in the world. The towns stretching from Calistoga in the northern part of the county down to St. Helena to Yountville in the south are all gorgeous destinations and all the appellations are easily accessible along the Highway 29 route.

Napa feels more elite with its resorts and trendy restaurants, whereas Sonoma is more laid back and spread out, and in between the wineries you’ll pass cow pastures and craft breweries. The Napa Valley has over 500 winery listings so good luck even scratching the surface on a singular visit, but you can definitely have the wine country experience by spending 3 or 4 full days in the region.

 

Personally, when I travel, I love the Airbnb experience more than staying in a hotel because I can lounge around, make breakfast, and do laundry and feel more like a local. I spied some really cute cottages in the Napa Valley on Airbnb:

 

The Bungalows in Calistoga (sleeps 4)

 

Modern Getaway in Napa (sleeps 4)

 

Cottage with vineyard views (sleeps 4)

 

St. Helena Cottage (sleeps 4)

 

Farmhouse retreat in Calistoga (sleeps 8)

 

Vineyard Bungalow in St. Helena (sleeps 4)

 

Italian style villa (sleeps 4)

I live in Sonoma County and there are wineries all over but most of the tourists visit the Healdsburg area to the north, or Sonoma in the southern part of the county. You’ll get the full wine country experience in either of those areas because you’ll be surrounded by acres of vineyards with views, and you’ll have a long list of tasting rooms to choose from.

 

When out-of-towners visit me, I always take them on a Sonoma Plaza tour and to these five favorite wineries, and sometimes I’ll take them through the valley of the moon. Up in the northern part of Sonoma County near Healdsburg, I highly recommend tasting and touring the Dry Creek Valley and/or the Alexander Valley.

Here are a few Airbnb cottages to stay at in those regions!

 

The Barn in Sonoma (sleeps 2)

 

Farmhouse Cottage in Sonoma (sleeps 4)

 

Thornsberry House in Sonoma (sleeps 6)

 

Kenwood Retreat (sleeps 8)

 

Hilltop Guest House in Healdsburg (sleeps 2)

 

Dry Creek Valley Cottage (sleeps 2)

 

Wine Country Cottage in Healdsburg (sleeps 4)

 

Farm Stay Apartment in Healdsburg (sleeps 2)

There are two airports to consider if your destination is Napa or Sonoma. The Sacramento airport is about a 45 minute drive by car (assuming no traffic) to Napa. The Oakland airport is a one hour drive by car to Sonoma or Napa. If you’re destination is just the wine country, I’d avoid the San Francisco airport unless you’re planning on a few days exploring the city during your vacation.

Have you visited Sonoma or Napa recently? What were your favorite places?

Winter/Spring Mantel Decorating

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Well, here we are. At the end of another work week. How did that happen so fast? I swear it just turned January and now we’re eight days deep into February!  In my last post, I mentioned that I’ve been getting up early to write. I don’t *always* do it, but I’ll tell you what:…

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Theatre in Review: The Shadow of a Gunman (Irish Repertory Theatre)

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The Shadow of a Gunman bills itself as a tragedy, and whether it will arrive, finally, in that designation — at another action that’s savage in its violence and frank about the cowardice of its leading characters — it requires nearly…