9 online homeware stores that deserve a little attention 

 

I keep googling ‘homeware stores UK’ in the hope of finding some new places to shop from. I’ve found a few round-ups and lists of online homeware stores that aren’t just Ikea or John Lewis or Oliver Bonas (not that I don’t love all of those – I just want some different options) but then I get to the sites themselves and often find my status as a non-millionaire a problem.

I have a whole new home to fill very soon as I’ve managed to accumulate basically zero furniture in my 26 years (adulting like a pro) and I don’t want to buy EVERYTHING from Ikea.

I say this, I will buy many things from Ikea.

While I don’t want to overload and buy loads of stuff I don’t need, having lots of empty space to fill seems as good a reason as any to get some shopping done. After many weeks scouring the internet, Twitter, Instagram, blogs and magazines I’ve put together a list of homeware websites/shops that are affordable, sell all the things you’ll likely need to function and plenty of pretty bits for staring lovingly at too.

1) M&S

Okay, now this is probably obvious to everyone and I thought I’d get it out the way, but I honestly never really thought about M&S for homeware. I love their food and I love their clothes but that’s always been the extent of my Marks and Sparks browsing. Turns out they have a lot to offer.

What they’re good for: KITCHENWARE! The above spring coffee mug was brought home by my boyfriend the other week and they have loads of similar, lovely kitchen/cookware bits.

2) Wayfair

This is my current favourite website. They sell practically everything in the home world and they change their offerings so often you’ll never get bored of browsing.

What they’re good for: Sales – they have a new sale every couple of days on different products or themes or even by room. They do a good selection of contemporary sofas and lots of lovely light fixtures too.

3) Red Candy

The point of Red Candy is to be bright and bold and buy less beige and they can certainly help there.

What they’re good for: Clocks and photo frames are especially worth a look.

4) Lo and Behold

I found this site through just typing ‘homeware’ into the Twitter search bar, and while they don’t actually stock that much, you can find some gems. Very modern, very smart and all of the colours and patterns are understated and chic.

What they’re good for: Throws, bedding and lights.

5) The Range

I feel like maybe most people know about The Range, but late to the party as ever I only found their site a few weeks ago. Lots of furniture – big furniture, small furniture, they sell everything. It’s not all my cup of tea but there are some really nice storage pieces and coffee tables.

What they’re good for: Reasonable prices, good storage and lots of selection.

6) The Little House Shop

A lot of the stuff on here reminds me of H&M’s home offerings, but they do a bit more in the way of jazzy lights, bigger selection of prints on cushions and random stuff like toys.

What they’re good for: Lights, hanging mirrors, cushions and planters.

7) Cuckooland

I came for the name, stayed for the wooden storage. When I first landed on this site I wasn’t really sure it was really for me (although they the most amazing kids teepee beds that make me want to be 8 again), but they have some really nice stuff.

What they’re good for: Chests of drawers, storage units, garden stuff, kids furniture.

8) Howkapow

Expect bright, cheerful and quirky.

What they’re good for: Unusual candles, pretty mugs and cups, quirky kitchenware and fun gifts.

9) Bouf

Not the cheapest in this list, but it’s the bigger stuff you’d pay more for anyway that they win at. Lots of trendy hexagonal shaped furniture and really nice  painted wood.

What they’re good for: Bookcases and dining chairs.

8 things I want in my kitchen

kitchen

The closer I get to actually moving, the more I keep letting myself look at homeware. One of the only rooms we have stuff for is the kitchen, so it feels easy to just build on that rather than face facts that we have other entire parts of a functioning home missing. These are all the fruits of random phone shopping on the train this week, apart from the teapot, which I found in Westfields. I’d never heard of  T2 before stumbling upon it a few weeks ago but I can see myself getting VERY well acquainted. If you know of any other places that sell homeware that I can browse online during my train strike fun times, link me up.

1) Printed porcelain mug – H&M – £4.99

2)  Stripe gold rim mug – Matalan – £3.00

3)  Salter vintage scale – Dunelm – £16.99

4)  Skyscraper coasters 4 pack – H&M – £1.99

5)  Leaf salad servers – H&M –  £12.99

6)  Agate bottle opener – Anthropologie – £16.00

7)  Dazed & Dazzled teapot – T2 – £46.00 Salter vintage scale

8) Denby halo cereal bowl – Dunelm – £8.99

Interior style crush 1- everything grey

I’ve never been much of a Pinterest person I have to admit. That’s always mostly been down to not really getting how it works or ever having anything big to plan. I’ve watched friends get completely swallowed by it while planning weddings or holidays or decorating, and now I’m edging closer to moving, I’ve finally fallen under the Pinterest spell.

I downloaded the app after deleting it ages ago in a ‘phone storage full’ emergency while I was on holiday and had sunset photos to busy myself with taking. I’ve never had to do any proper decorating but as the time to be a fully-fledged adult approaches, I find myself thinking about paint more and more. Thinking about paint makes me feel like I don’t really  recognise myself, but it’s also really exciting.

I remember my parents redecorating our bedrooms when I was in my teens and picking an explosion of colours and various, really bright photos frames, lamps, rugs and fairy lights from Ikea. Now though, instead of ALL the colours, I’m suddenly really into grey. REALLY, REALLY into. It’s unfortunate that my boyfriend thinks grey is ‘cold and unwelcoming’ because it means I’ll have to decorate the whole house in it while he’s out one day.

These are my biggest forms of grey inspiration that Pinterest has served up so far, and some of my favourite home boards, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Above are all from Barker and Store House- New Nautical board

Above are all from Red Online boards

Above are all from Interior Decorating board by Lawrence

Got any favourite interior pinners? You can find me pinning all of the grey and all of the world map murals here: pinterest.com/laurenrellis010/ 

Home inspiration from a year of travel: Hotels, apartments and houses

My camera roll is my best friend right now. I’ve been really lucky to have stayed in some beautiful places while travelling in the last year. From Air B&B gems to amazing apartments, it’s all been rather pretty. I’ve saved a few of my favourites on my phone for inspiration for eventually moving in the next year and these are my favourites. Shocker: White things make me happy. As do amazing armchairs because who doesn’t love sitting?

Isle Of Skye, Scotland  

I stayed here in February with five friends and it was pretty much a Pinterest dream. There were blue wooden floors, white walls, long flowing white curtains and an open fireplace, not to mention a garden that led straight to the sea and a casual brook running through the back straight into the bay. This place was my dream house. I loved everything about it. It also massively helped that it was in such a beautiful place. Scotland is immense. This was also an utter bargain from Air BnB.

Colombo, Sri Lanka 

This girls trip was one of my favourite two weeks ever. Sri Lanka is beautiful and you should all go there at some point. I blogged all about it if you’re interested in tips. This apartment was a last minute decision, we booked it on someone’s phone at the beach, and rocked up to amazing views, amazing decor and the cleanest, most idyllic little sea view bedroom. The colour of that chair is the colour all things should be.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Another ridiculously cheap Air BnB deal, this place in Copenhagen was colourful, modern and full of so much quirky character. I love the bookshelves and the bright prints and OBVIOUSLY the white wall. I fear my future home might look a bit like a dentist waiting room with all the white, and when I say fear I mean I hope and dream.

Killaloe, Ireland

Okay, not an interior, BUT LOOK AT THOSE WINDOW BOXES. And the peachy doors. This was the cutest, quietest street in the tiny village of Killaloe, in County Clare. Ireland has all of the colourful houses any blogger could ever hope for.

Galway, Ireland 

This little cottage was the ultimate shabby chic girls house. It’s been featured in interior magazines and I can see why. I’m not into the twee look massively but the bedroom was lush. Dark wood and white pops and the warmest duvet I’ve ever slept under. (Seriously, it gets COLD in rural Ireland.) Love the white chair and table and LOVE this bed. 

  

Do you have the UK’s messiest bedroom? DO YOU? 

I think having a tidy bedroom has been a battle I’ve fought my entire my life. I remember days spent tidying up the room I shared with my sister under my mum’s supervision and getting so stressed out about where to put various Barbies and craft boxes and where the lid to Pay Day was. Oh the 90s ❤

Anyway, it’s now 2015 and not much has changed, apart from now I’m tidying up life admin and work clothes instead of Malibu Barbie and Sylvanian families. I have a massive bedroom, so it really shouldn’t be a problem, yet it still so often ends up looking like a post-apocalyptic accident. I do have to share it with my boyfriend so it’s not all my fault I guess, and we DO try. Life just happens. I can’t be the only person with ‘the chair’ in their bedroom: a place to dump discarded clothes, random things, odd socks and belts and which is absolutely never used for sitting. Life happens. Mess happens.

I do bloody hate having a messy bedroom though. It makes me feel stressed and annoyed when I want to be calm and relaxed, and now I’m at the grand old age of 25, I’ve realised the answer is storage. I love storage. That’s the lamest thing I’ve ever said but it’s true. Sometimes I search just ‘storage ideas’ on Pinterest because my life really is that hip and happening. The party never ends. Ahem.

I’ve come to the realisation that you can’t have a bedroom that looks like a Showroom. It’s just not possible. So now my room is full of storage, large and small. I’ve used the thrifty brilliance of Gumtree to get some drawers and shelves and other bits of furniture in my room. I also regularly buy trinkets and vintage tins on eBay because it’s possible I need to get some new hobbies.

I don’t think I have the messiest bedroom in the world, although there have been days I’ve woken up after chaotic nights out or long, stressful work weeks and wondered HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?!?!? If you have or know of someone who has a bedroom that literally can take more, then Time4Sleep want you. They’re giving away a storage bed worth up to £500 and all you have to do is send a photo. You can even do it on Twitter using the #messybedroom hashtag. The extended comp has 8 days left, more details are here.*

Happy tidying. (Not really. It’s Sunday afternoon. I’m going to have a nap.)

Bedroom accessory lust list- £15 and under

Maybe because I know I’m imminently moving and maybe because I spend too much time searching the ‘interior’ section of my Bloglovin account, I’ve become obsessed with looking at bedroom accessories. I even tried to do it on the tube this morning when I had no signal and was stuck in a tunnel. Copper candle holders are urgent. I’m all for anything cheap and cheerful and these are all saved in the notes section of my phone, so I thought I would share.

montagebedroom

1) Paperchase- Jungle fever frame £15

2) Tiger- Strawberry alarm clock £3

3) H&M- Laundry storage bag £6.99

4) H&M- Metal tealight holder £2.99

5) Urban Outfitters- Mini brass edge jewel box £15

6)  Next- Copper candle lantern small £15

7) Wilko- Home sweet home bottle £3

8) Wilko- Glass storage box £12

9) Zara Home- Striped fabric hangers £9.99

Home decor lust list

I’ve become fully obsessed with Pinterest all over again in the last week. I love home ware and basically anything clean and white and pretty with splashes of colour. Also after staying in the most beautiful house in Scotland with pale blue wooden floors and white walls with lots of framed prints and colourful armchairs, I started pinning all sorts of bedrooms together to prepare for eventually moving house. These are the kinds of looks I’m currently lusting over:

collage

Photo wall: Pinterest

Rug: Urban Outfitters online

Bedding white and blue: Laura Ashley online

Armchair: Pinterest

Guava candle: Urban Outfitters online

Floral armchair: Pinterest

White desk and wall hanging: Pinterest