Saturday, 5 September 2015

Beautiful Utility ...My back to basics blogpost series!

In my recent series of posts, labelled Beautiful Utility, I have been investigating my own theory that your home's everyday essentials, All those things that you use in your everyday life, from making the first cup of coffee in the morning, to general housekeeping and cooking... should be equally stylish as your interiors to become a more integrated part of your home and thus improving the aesthetics and quality of your home-life.

Considering design as well as functionality when purchasing essentials for your home and considering storage of these tings in an aesthetic way, will make your home feel more pulled together and maybe even make the jobs around the house seem a little less of a chore...

This is a round up of my posts covering this theme,including some useful, put pretty DIY's,  so far....more to come.
Click on the images to see the full blogposts on each theme:

Introducing my beautiful Utility post series

My first post introduces my theory and gives you an indication of the theme's I'll be covering.
Inspirational coffee stations
My first post started as I start my everyday: with coffee...posting some inspirational images from the www. of beautiful coffee stations...
My coffee station essesntials
My second post reveals my own coffee station...
DIY print cork coasters
A fun an easy DIY for your hot drinks...
Stylish sink-side organisation and tools
Then on to washing up: How to keep your sink-side looking stylish...
DIY print tea-towels
Create your own stylish printed tea-towels for all sorts of useful purposes...
Beautiful Kitchen design Details
Moving on to stylish kitchen and cooking essentials...
DIY wooden bead trivet
A simple and useful DIY that will add some style to your kitchen...
Beautiful House keeping essentials and storage
How to make your housekeeping and cleaning supplies and tools look stylish and talking about storage stations...
Then, lastly (for now) I am talking about how to make your laundry essentials more stylish...

There will be more to come in the future in this blogpost series, such as offece and paperwork organisation and even Kids toys and this space!

Thursday, 3 September 2015

household cleaning essentials

Image from An angel at my table
Today's subject for my beautiful utility post series is Household cleaning.
I've lost your interest already, haven't I??
But wait!
Nobody likes cleaning, ok, I get that...and if you are anything like me, your cleaning tools and supplies are not what you want to spend your money on, right?
But in all honesty, doesn't your arsenal of cheap plastic brooms and buckets, ugly, branded bottles of cleaning products and your old, washed out cleaning cloths kind of ruin the aesthetics of your home? 
I've been stuffing all that crap under my kitchen sink for years...outta sight , outta mind, right?
Only, the truth is : Housekeeping and cleaning is an ongoing job...never ending (Uuuurgh!) and inevitably all that stuff will be found laying around the house as it's being used...or not put away, like little eyesores in my otherwise well thought out interior!
Image found on Elements of style
I'd love to have a separate room to house all my cleaning and laundry tools and supplies...a Utility room! But in our tiny Victorian terraced cottage, space is at a premium, and unfortunately such a luxury is in-achievable...And I'm guessing that I'm not alone!
So in terms of storing my cleaning supplies, I have to get creative, as the little space under the sink is quite frankly insufficient...I mean, it may be fine for housing a few bottles of bleach etc., but this does not help me hide away the hoover, buckets and brooms and other large things needed around the house....things that I quite frankly do not want to feast my eyes upon whilst eating at the kitchen table, or trying to relax on the sofa.... Their bright and ugly plastic-ness only serves as a reminder of all things not done in a day!
Image from Kitchen source book
Just a little area, a spare nook in our home would have been great, as keeping all those household essentials i one place would be ideal.

Image from A beautiful mess

I'd love to have a peg-board covered wall to organize my cleaning supply storage and I'd use wall hooks to hang dusters and brooms from....

Even just a few shelves on a wall where I could keep everything handy but out of sight would be great...
Image from BHG
I'd use pretty storage baskets to house unsightly washing paraphernalia and decanter all my cleaning liquids into pretty jars and boxes to make it visually more pleasing...

Image from Ollie and Seb
But unfortunately I have not got any such spare nook in my tiny home . At least not in a suitable space....

The only option I currently have, is to convert the little cupboard under the stairs, which is currently being used as a general dumping ground for stuff, into a designated storage station for all things household...
And quite frankly, it is not a bad option at all, and I count myself lucky to have such a space...
It will be my next project in the house.

If you have not got the luxury of having such a space to your disposal, why not try to convert a free standing cupboard in your home into your household supply station, like below:

Image from Kitchen source book
To convert such a small space to hold things like the hoover, mops and buckets and other necessary cleaning supplies, will take a bit of planning, and a few clever ideas to maximize the storage potential of the space, like using the back of the door, as pictured, below....
And if you'd like to follow along at how I do mine, sign up to my weekly newsletter by entering your e-mail in the bar at the bottom of this page, as I will be posting updates on my cupboard design and makeover over the next few weeks...

Image from Kitchen sourcebook
But, even with a great storage space for all my housekeeping and cleaning equipment, there is still the element of the ongoing nature of keeping a home tidy and fresh to consider, and as mentioned above, this stuff inevitably becomes a part of a home's make-up...

Image from House to home
So my solution to prevent garish eyesores in the form of cheap plastic dusters etc. laying about is to pledge to invest in some well designed, functional but good looking cleaning tools and other household essentials, along with the aforementioned stylish storage solutions...
Here's a few nice examples:

A handy cleaning caddy ,will mean that I can carry what I need for the job around the house in style, and a nice looking bin is top of my wishlist for the kitchen. The idea of having beautiful tools, like a good-looking mop (did I just say that??) and bucket appeals to the glamour-puss in me (I have been known to clean my floors wearing high heels whilst dancing to loud music....I mean: Making the best of a dreary situation, like cleaning, has got to be a good thing , right??) And I've recently replaced my broken plastic duster with a gorgeous ostrich feather one, and quite frankly, I now proudly display that thing in my kitchen. I've also been on the look-out for a nice long-handled dustpan and brush to replace my "get-on-your-hands-and-knees" plastic set for ages, and love the one in my collage above.
When researching for this post, I must say that John Lewis has the most stylish range of cleaning and household products out there, and they are NOT paying me to say that! I adore the packaging on their Brooklyn range of fact their entire Brooklyn home range  is beautifully designed, and I'll be sharing more from it next week when I tackle the subject of Laundry!

Image from Garden trading

In my recent series of posts, labelled Beautiful Utility, I have been investigating my own theory that your home's everyday essentials should be equally stylish as your interiors to become a more integrated part of your home and thus improving the aesthetics and quality of your home-life.

Considering design as well as functionality when purchasing tools for housekeeping, will make your home feel more pulled together and maybe even make the jobs around the house seem a little less of a chore (Optimistic, I know)...At the very least, if your duster is as gorgeous as mine, you wont mind taking it for a spin every now and then!

Pop back next week to see me trying to bring some style into doing the Laundry!

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

The Amara interior blog awards

Hi !

OK, so due to me not feeling great this past week, I've struggled preparing the planned blogpost for you instead of beating myself up about it, I've decided to be gentle on myself and have put together this replacement post instead...I hope you'll all forgive me!

So for those of you who doesn't already know, Nostalgiecat has been nominated for the second year running for best DIY and craft blog in the prestigious Amara Interior blog awards.

Last year, to my surprise, I made the final 5 shortlisted blogs in my category, and got to go to the amazingly decadent award ceremony, and I would love to make it again this year.
So, I thought I'd take this opportunity to tell you all how it changed my life to make the shortlist last year, and how much it would mean to me to make the final 5 again this year.

When I found out that I'd been nominated last year, I was not in a very good place personally....actually, I was considering quitting the blog all together as I felt lacking in energy to keep it up.
 But finding out that someone, somewhere out the real world, thought enough of my little blog to take the time to nominate me, blew my tiny mind!
I figured, what the heck....just a little bit longer!
I must admit, I was, and still am, a bit uncomfortable toting for votes on social media, but I thought "I owe it to the person that has made the effort to nominate me", so I pushed on....
....and your response was amazing!
Seeing that people from all over the world would take the time to vote for Nostalgiecat, made me myself, in what I was doing, in the blog and in the future!
So thank you all so much for your support last year....every single vote you gave me helped build me up, grow in confidence and put a smile on my face!

As I mentioned above, I had never expected to make last years shortlist, but thanks to all of you, and you support, I did...and it has changed my life!!

I may not have come home with a trophy at the end of last years award night, but I still felt like a winner!
I got to meet (Read: observe cautiously from afar LOL) some of my blogging and interior idols, as well as getting to know some of my blogging peers, whom I now call friends (Love you all, you know who you are)!
It made me feel like I was part of something, something worthwhile and important...that I had something to contribute to, in this mad online world us bloggers work in!
 It made me proud to call myself a blogger!
It helped me redefine myself, at a time when I , truthfully, felt lost and needed it the most!
It also brought a lot of opportunities I didn't even realize that blogging could bring: Collaborations and working relationships with both brands and people that I admired. 
Last but not least, making it to the awards night last year, meant that I could take myself and my little blog seriously and actually pursue blogging as a career....and it gave me the direction my life needed!

So, this year I would love to do it all again....but this time I'm not so green, not so lost and not distrusting in my own potential...
I've found my calling, my strength and my vocation: I know who I am and what Nostalgiecat stands for and the direction it is going....
My personal life still feels like a battle sometimes, and if you pay close attention to my social media posts, I sometimes touch on those issues, because I feel like they are also an important part of my creative life....but here on the blog I tend to keep it professional: Creative interior design is my thing, and it defines me and Nostalgiecat.
I see the blog as an online resource anybody that want to improve their homes, both functionally and aesthetically can refer to for tips and tutorials....Learn how to best drill a hole through a tile or how to paint your wooden floorboards....or how to make a simple, but stylish coffee table or some art for your walls...In the past year I've posted loads of DIY tutorials that will help give you some creative ideas and help you add some personality to your well as tips on how to set about redesigning a room and budget guides to stylish and creative home life enhancing solutions...

I truly believe that Interior design is for everybody, and that it can help everyone make their home their favorite place to be!

I have a lot of very exciting projects in the pipeline at the moment, that I cant wait to share with you do sign up for my weekly newsletter by entering your email in the bar below if you think you'd like to follow along...

And if you have a minute to spare, I'd love it if you would give me your vote for Best DIY and craft blog at the Amara interior blog awards....It really means THAT much to me, and this year, maybe I could even win it??

But I can't do it without your support, so please vote for my little blog by clicking on the logo, below:
Please vote for me for best DIY blog

Thank you!