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Victoria Sully Nov 2018 Circle Logo

 

Welcome to the Lylia Rose UK money and lifestyle blog.  My name is Victoria Sully.  I'm a busy mum of two, wife, full-time blogger and online money-maker who’s always trying to make and save more money.  I’m passionate about making money online, healthy living and blogging.  I’m a mama on a mission to be healthier and wealthier!  Please join me on my journey.


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Category: Minimalism

  1. Save time, space and money with a capsule wardrobe

    Posted on

    If you’re always short on time, space in your home and money, then choosing to have a capsule wardrobe could solve all of these things! 

    Read on for tips on how I manage my capsule wardrobe, as well as how it will help you spend less and become clutter-free in your wardrobe.

    Being a minimalist

    I’ve shared my story a few times on my blog of how I believe I came to be a minimalist and lover of a capsule wardrobe.  To cut a long story short, I moved house several times in my late teens and early twenties which included renting rooms in shared houses and bedsits. 

    Not only did I not want to lug so many belongings with me for each house move, but I also didn’t have much space at each property.  I didn’t need to buy a lot of furniture and home décor as I only had a bedroom to furnish.

    Once I settled with my husband I then had more space and belongings did at first begin to grow.  They also grew with the arrival of our children who need a lot of things and grow out of things far too quickly!  But having lots of stuff makes my head fuzzy! 

    I’m not one for mess or clutter and even just knowing I have things sat unused in cupboards or attics makes my head feel noisy.  I’m definitely a minimalist by nature and so I’m always minimalizing our belongings so we don’t have too many items and only exactly what we need and use.

    Ben still has a corner in the attic full of mostly junk which drives me quite insane.  I’m sure he keeps it there just to irritate me. Every time I go up to the loft I see if I can find a couple of pieces that I can pass on or recycle.  Believe me; he even has empty boxes up there from old electronics!

    Stay clutter free in your closet with a capsule wardrobe

    Save time, space and money with a capsule wardrobe (1)

    One thing I have now got Ben on-board with is a capsule wardrobe.  I was already doing it for me and the kids and now he’s reduced his clothing collection too.

    I’m forever clearing out the kids’ wardrobes as they outgrow their clothes so quickly.  I only keep a small amount of clothes for them.  Only what they need.

    Related - How to create an autumn capsule children’s wardrobe

    My own wardrobe is now down to around 50 items.  That’s in total, for the whole year.  I have a few items hanging – mostly tops, cardigans and a few dresses.  Then I have a pile of shorts, trousers and leggings.  I wear the trousers in the winter with boots and the summer with flip-flops.  I also have a box of underwear and a box of gym clothes and pyjamas.  I have two coats and a small selection of shoes – wellies, two pairs of winter boots, two pairs of pumps, one pair of flip-flops, smart flats and smart heels.  That’s it.  To be fair I could even get rid of the heels as I never wear them!

    I wear stuff until it needs replacing or totally goes out of shape, not just a few times until I’m bored of it.  This makes me much more careful with my clothing choices when shopping.  It has to be something I will wear numerous times before I’ll consider buying it.

    I’ve still tried to cut my own wardrobe down even more, but I think I’m now at my minimum!  Ben’s clothes take up around half our homemade triple size wardrobe and mine take up around a quarter!

    Save money, only buy what you really need

    My trick is to layer in the winter and reduce layers in the summer.  I pretty much wear the same wardrobe all year round.  Only in the summer I won’t wear my boots or fluffy cardigan.  Otherwise you’ll see me in the same outfits.  In the summer I might wear my trousers with a pair of flip-flops and a vest top.  But in the winter I’ll wear both the trousers and vest top, but I’ll add a t-shirt, cardigan, socks and boots.

    I don’t see the need to buy specific winter and summer clothes when I can make do with what I have.  Most clothes are suitable for all seasons, but it’s a case of layering them up when it’s colder. Even some summer dresses can have a pair of woolly tights or leggings added with a chunky cardigan to make them winter-worthy!

    Having one set of clothes, instead of several sets of seasonal clothes, is definitely a much cheaper option.

    Be intentional when buying clothes

    Save time, space and money with a capsule wardrobe

    My actual wardrobe (a couple of outfits are in the wash)

    This year, 2019, I am doing a zero spend on clothes for the whole year!  I am challenging myself to not buy any clothes for the entire year.  I took a good look at my wardrobe and though it’s looking pretty scarce, I believe I have enough to get me through an entire year, all the seasons and beyond. 

    In recent years I’ve not been a big clothes shopper anyway, but I’d still sometimes splurge on something I spotted at the supermarket or that caught my eye passing a store.  It’s usually these unintentional clothing purchases that end up sat in my wardrobe not getting worn very much!  They are quick impulse buys for a moment of pleasure and I didn’t ever give them much thought.  They were excitable purchases!

    So even though I didn’t do it very much, I was still a sucker for quick impulse buys that I didn’t really need.

    By stopping this altogether I will definitely save money this year.

    I’m also making a promise to be intentional in the future when buying clothes, so I only buy what I set out to buy because I really need it.

    Less choice, more time

    I tend to wear the same clothes most days.  I get stuck on a favourite comfy outfit and I’ll wear it several days in a row.  Life is so much easier and quicker like this!

    In my late teens I had a huge shopping addiction.  I was obsessed with shopping for clothes and had around four rails overflowing with clothes and piles of clothes underneath. 

    I wasn’t always a minimalist!

    It was really ridiculous, but also very overwhelming.

    Getting ready took forever.  There was so much choice every time I needed to get dressed.  I had so many options and so many decisions to make. 

    I must have wasted hours every week just putting outfits on and off whilst I chopped and changed my mind.

    What a waste of time!

    Reducing that choice means you’ll have far more time to do other things.  Sometimes having less options is better!

    Smaller wardrobe, more space

    You can now even buy some space-saving and beautifully designed single wardrobes which are perfect for keeping your capsule wardrobes on track.  I love the MADE white single wardrobes I found here at Lionshome, but there are even cheaper options too.  Or like us, you can make your own wardrobe.  They are plenty large enough for all the clothes you really need and if you can’t fit your clothes in, then you’ve got too many!

    Not only is a smaller wardrobe a cheaper option than a full size version, but think of the bedroom space you will free up!  Large bulky wardrobes can impose on so much of the available space in a bedroom, especially if space is at a premium, so a single slim wardrobe is a much neater solution.

    We originally had a regular size wardrobe each and I remember having to persuade Ben that we’d be fine with one triple wardrobe between us instead.  I wanted to create more space in our bedroom and this reduced our wardrobe space by around 25%. 

    Ben was convinced and built us a lovely triple sized wardrobe from old pallet wood which he refurbished.  Now I think we could have gone even smaller and saved more space in our bedroom!

    Not only have we saved space with a smaller wardrobe to what we originally had, but we have also got rid of a couple of chests of drawers which used to house clothes.  Now we just have the wardrobe and need nothing else.

    How to save time, money and space with a capsule wardrobe

    Having a capsule wardrobe really does suit my lifestyle and make clothing a lot more organised and affordable.  I’d definitely recommend it if you are overwhelmed with the amount of clothing you own and want a simpler life.

    To finish, here’s a quick look at how a capsule wardrobe is beneficial:

    • Save time – less time shopping for clothes you don’t need, less time choosing outfits, less time spent laundering, ironing and organising clothes
    • Save money – Buying less clothes will save money.  Needing less storage for the clothes will save money on furniture.
    • Save space – the less clothes you have, the less storage space you need for them.  Reclaim space in your bedroom by choosing a single wardrobe. 
    • Stay organised – clothes washing becomes easier as there is less variety of clothes.  Wardrobes stay organised and spacious as there are less clothes in them.  Find clothes easier.  Less clothes means less clutter and makes it easier to keep wardrobes neat and tidy.

     

    Related content

    Why every woman should create a capsule wardrobe

    Keep your clothing costs down with subtle fashion

    How my bedroom décor describes my personality

    Save time, space and money with a capsule wardrobe

  2. Keep your clothing costs down with subtle fashion

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    In 2019 I have decided to do a no-spend year on clothes for myself.  I’ve asked my husband Ben to join in too, but we’ll see if he does.  My wardrobe is down to approximately 50 pieces, not including nightwear, gym wear or underwear.  That’s approx. 50 pieces of normal clothing, including 2 occasion dresses.  Though those dresses are more smart/funeral type, so let’s just hope we don’t get invited to any weddings in 2019!

    I love being minimal and was already on this path before it became a trend.  I unknowingly had a ‘capsule wardrobe’ before I read any articles about it.  I wasn’t always like this as I used to have a massive shopping addiction, clothes addiction and debt problem.  I would wear an outfit once and then never again.  I’d shop on store cards and the debt and addiction accumulated.  When it was time to get myself out of debt and go on a debt management program, I really had to learn to budget.  I had to sell most of my belongings, including nearly all my clothes, and I lived in a bedsit for the cheapest rent possible.

    It was here that my minimal journey really began as I lived in one room!  That room was my bedroom, kitchen and living room in one!  It was small, but it had to do.  I had to learn to lie minimally as I simply had no space for anything else – not even one storage cupboard!

    Now I love to live minimally.  I also like a challenge and I have a financial savings goal this year too, so I’m interested in all these no-spend challenges I’ve been seeing flying round the internet.  We’re going to try a couple of no-spend months and I’m personally trying a no-spend clothing year.  I did buy a backpack as I didn’t have one and a couple of bras as mine didn’t fit and now that’s it.  That was all I really needed to get me through a year when I looked at my wardrobe.

    Whilst not buying any clothing for an entire year might be a little too extreme for you, there are still ways you can cut back on your clothing spend, but still look and feel great.  One of these ways is with subtle fashion.

    How to do subtle fashion and keep your clothing costs down

    Keep your clothing costs down with subtle fashion

    Image

    Subtle fashion is simple fashion.  It’s knowing what looks great on you and keeping it understated, but at the same time also looking great!  It’s perfecting your own style and throwing together a look that looks effortless.  I want to show you why subtle fashion is the best fashion, and how you can easily achieve the look without it looking boring.

    Here’s how to do subtle fashion:

    Keep it neutral

    You can’t really go wrong with neutral colours and most people actually like to wear simpler things.  You can still look great in neutral colours by picking the best fits for you.  It doesn’t have to be boring as you can match it with a nice bag, some shoes, and some accessories.

    …and minimal

    Minimalism is a key part of subtle fashion as it’s about being subtle and not going overboard screaming look at me!  It fits well with a capsule wardrobe and minimal lifestyle.  It’s about choosing pieces carefully for the wardrobe and choosing well.

    Accessorising is essential

    It’s easy to make the plain and subtle fashion look more interesting through accessorising.  This is always a cheap and cheerful way to add interest, colour and pattern to a neutral outfit.  It also keeps costs down as you can alter the look of the same outfit with a few new accessories, which are much cheaper than buying clothes.  One great way to keep the look subtle and not clunk it up with jewellery is with a lovely pair of earrings.   It can add some bold features to the look, especially if you have your hair out of the way. But for a subtle look, we think simple earrings are the best, rather than going for something like big hoops or a statement pair. Minimal jewellery has been on trend and suits the subtle look perfectly.  Choose thin band rings, dainty necklaces and bangles.  Then just wear one or two at a time.  In the winter months a simple hat or scarf in a bright colour or monochrome pattern could be all you need to make your outfit more bold.

    Keeping it comfy

    There’s nothing better than being able to keep it comfy and that often comes in the form of the shoe that you’re wearing.  Subtle fashion for me is all about being comfortable and not overdressing, so flats are a must for me.  A good pair of comfy flats such as TOMS are great for a casual daytime look and some flat lace-up boots are perfect in the winter.  It’s possible to look chic, but also be comfy in slim stretch jeans and oversized jumpers.  Leggings, ponchos and flat knee-high boots.  It’s about being comfy and stylish all at once.

    Adding subtle colour

    Sometimes if you find yourself wearing all neutral colours, you need to find a way to add a bit of colour without making the look too bold. Bags can definitely do this for you. If you’re wearing all black then a contrasting colour such as mustard or red will really make the look pop, without making it look too chunky in colouring. Again, you can also choose a scarf or hat for a pop of colour.

    Mostly it’s about comfy clothes that are still stylish – a minimal wardrobe of your favourite fits that look great on you with accessories to add interest, colour and pattern.  Keep costs down by replacing key pieces when you really need to and looking to accessories to rejuvenate your outfit instead of an entire new outfit.

     

    Read these next!

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    Why every woman should create a capsule wardrobe

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    How to save money on shopping all year

    Tips for saving money when buying kids clothes

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    Keep your clothing costs down with subtle fashion

     

  3. How to easily organise family paperwork at home

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    Not so long ago I felt I was drowning in paperwork, so I took some steps to reduce the amount of paperwork I had to deal with and to organise our important documents more effectively.  I will share how we easily organise our family paperwork at home to stop it being an overwhelming task:

    Noticeboards

    How to easily organise family paperwork at home

    Click here to shop the rainbow combination board

    Noticeboards are the easiest way to keep organised at home.  We use magnets on the side of the fridge for upcoming appointment letters and vouchers.  We also have a noticeboard in the kids playroom which has their current school information pinned to it.  For making lists and noting down reminders quickly, then whiteboards are a great idea.  There are lots of different whiteboards to choose from here at Teacherboards in all sorts of colours to match your home décor.  There are boards that are magnetic or choose a half’n’half with cork or felt to one side for pinning things.

    Synced digital calendars

    Since I stopped writing in my beloved handwritten planner and went digital with our family calendar, I have to begrudgingly admit… it saves so much time!  Ben had been trying to convince me for ages to use the iPhone calendar, but I was just so used to writing everything in a week to view planner.  This was a bit of a pain when Ben wanted to make plans, but he was not with me and didn’t have access to the planner.  He had to constantly call me to check our family plans.  Now we have set up a family calendar and it’s synced between our iPhones.  This means we can both see all our plans wherever we are and can put our own arrangements in without having to confirm with each other first.  It also saves a lot of time as we can set up recurring events each week, month or year, without having to write them out every week as I did before.

    Go paperless

    There’s pretty much no need to be emailed any bills nowadays.  Almost everything can be done online.  We receive our bank statements and energy statements online which saves the hassle of receiving the letters each month and having to file them.  If we ever need a paper copy then we can print one by ourselves from our online accounts.  Going paperless saves time and paper!

    Have a filing system

    Some paperwork isn’t paperless yet and so it does need to be organised at home.  Having a filing system that is organised can prevent this task from being overwhelming.  I have a tray in my office that recently received paperwork I need to keep is put into.  Then every now and then I sort it into our metal filing box.  This is a lockable box that holds suspension files.  These have tabs at the top to write the contents of each one.  They can be quickly located and each on pulled out to access documents quickly.  We have just one large metal box file for the whole family which I’ve divided into Home, Ben, Victoria, Bella and Reuben.  When I put away the paperwork from our tray, I will also take the time to discard anything we no longer need from within the metal file.  For example, for household bills I will only keep the last three.  If we are paid and up to date then I don’t see the need to keep them any longer than this.  Many of our bills can be accessed online or we can request extra copies of previous bills if we need them.  It’s very rare we would need them though!

    Use apps

    Luckily the schools and nurseries are going digital too.  We now get sent school letters via email and also to an app.  This means they are all in one place should we need to reference a newsletter and we no longer have to deal with as much printed paperwork coming our way.  It’s much easier to organise things like this.  Sometimes I will take a photo of a letter and save it to a folder within the Photos section of my phone.  Then I can recycle the letter and not be overwhelmed by so many bits of paper everywhere, bit I can still access the letter if I need to.

    Receipts

    If I buy something that costs a lot of money, like a new TV, or something with a warranty then I will keep the receipt and file it in our metal file.  Otherwise for purchases that might go back soon, like clothing, I will keep the receipt on the fridge and recycle it once I know we are keeping the items.  For all other irrelevant receipts, like food, I will simply take a photo of the receipts as I make money from them on the Shoppix and Receipt Hog apps.  Then I recycle them.  By using these apps to make money from my receipts I am also creating photo evidence of my receipt and purchase, so I don’t always need to keep the physical receipt as proof.  I still do if it’s a large purchase, just in case.  But if I ever need to reference a receipt or purchase number then they are stored within the apps.

    Get rid of the junk

    One thing that really irritates me is the amount of junk mail that Royal Mail delivers.  I know they have to deliver addressed mail, but they now also deliver a stack of leaflets almost every day.  Perhaps you like these leaflets and yes they are harmless, but to me it was just another job to do; something else to pick up and recycle and waste my time.  I really don’t need any more bits of paper to deal with!  To stop flyer distributors from posting things I stuck a ‘no junk mail’ sign on the door, but did you know Royal Mail employees ignore these?  To stop Royal Mail from delivering their junk mail to you there’s a form you must fill in on their website.

    The biggest way I am managing our family paperwork is simply by not having any.  By going paperless with bills, using apps for school newsletters, storing receipts on my iPhone and using a digital calendar means the amount of paperwork we now receive is drastically reduced.  If we do receive important documents then I have a filing system to quickly put things away and to be able to relocate when needed.  By doing all this I find the family paperwork is no longer so overwhelming.

     

    What to read next
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    How to easily organise family paperwork at home

     

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  4. Autumn style staples for kids – how to have a capsule children’s wardrobe

    Posted on

    Before even being aware of the minimalist trend and capsule wardrobe trend, I was following it – even for the kids.  I believe my obsession with living with less started when I moved home around ten times in my twenties and also lived for three years in a bedsit.  I lived in one room and simply couldn’t have a lot of stuff.  Moving house so often was also such a pain that it was easier to simply live with less stuff to make for an easier move!  I also have this secret desire to pack everything up and travel the world, so that’s only possible without getting attached to belongings and having only few things!

    In recent years the capsule wardrobe and living minimally has become very mainstream and even a trend.  Many aspire to live like it, but find it difficult.  I think this is because of the emotional attachment people have to objects and also the fault of consumerism where we’ve been made to believe that having lots of things is valuable.  Having children is often an excuse for owning more and more things and having an excuse to go along with it!  Kids come with a lot of stuff.  Yes they do, but you can still live minimally.

    Could you have a capsule wardrobe for your child?

    A friend recently visited and saw my daughter’s wardrobe and exclaimed ‘are all your daughter’s clothes in there?’  Confused, I replied, yes and she explained that she’d never be able to fit her three year olds clothes in such a small space.  I opened it up and she was even more astounded as it’s not even full!  I then proceeded to show her my son’s wardrobe and my wardrobe and she was shocked questioning ‘where’s all your clothes?!’

    My children each have a child sized wardrobe.  Reuben has a draw of shorts and jogging bottoms, a drawer of PJs and underwear, then no more than 10 tops hanging on the rail.  Bella has a drawer with leggings, shorts and skirts, a drawer of nightwear and underwear and then half the hanging rail is school uniform and half the rail is for play clothes – more like a third and a third though as there is lots of space.

    Autumn style staples for kids – how to have a capsule children’s wardrobe

    Bella's wardrobe!

    I honestly don’t see the need for any more.  It would just be a waste of money. We have enough so as we don’t run out of clothes when I get a couple of wash loads behind and that is all.  Plus the kids probably have slightly more than they need to cover sickness and messy play.  At any one time they probably have around 10 tops, 10 bottoms each, a couple of packs of underwear (a bit more for Reuben as he potty trained this year and there’s still the odd accident), 1-2 hoodies or cardigans, a rain coat each and a warm coat each.  That’s all they need!  Bella has a couple of dresses too and often her jersey dresses last for ages as when they are too short to be a dress, she’ll use it as a tunic/long top over her leggings.  They have a pair of wellies each, boots and two play shoes.  Their feet have both grown two sizes this year, so I don’t want to spend a fortune here only for them to outgrow them in a couple of months.  Plus they tend to just stick to one pair of their favourite trainers each and wear them almost every day for play.

    More is just a waste

    Clothes are always getting covered in muck, food, mud, paint, etc, from school, home, the park and nursery, so they often only get worn once or twice and then thrown in the wash basket.  I’ve the washing machine on almost every day, sometimes more than once, so clothes are constantly being washed and re-worn over and over.  Once they are too stained, grown out or worn through then they go in a charity bag (we always have a charity bag on the go, hung up in a cupboard) – our local charity shops can even sell worn out clothes or ruined clothes to the rag trade, so there’s never any waste.  Then we buy clothes as we need to, in replacement. 

    I’m sure many people have far too many clothes than they actually need, especially for their kids.  I’m amazed that my friend has too many clothes to fit in one wardrobe for her three year old.  I can only imagine the clothes don’t get as much wear as my kids’ clothes.  Kids grow out of things so quickly too; we are having to buy new clothes every season!

    Kids outgrow clothes constantly

    Right now I’m thinking about buying some autumn clothes for the kids.  As the weather is cooling we need to get some trousers, long sleeved tops, jumpers and a new warm coat for both Bella and Reuben.  Whilst us adults can wear our same clothes from last year, the kids really can’t!  They have shot up so much – Bella is probably a couple of inches taller already, maybe more!  We will find kids designer wear online by checking selling marketplaces such as eBay, have a browse in our local charity shops and also try to source new sustainable pieces from companies like H&M who sell recycled clothes and organic clothes in their conscious ranges.  Sometimes the cheapest brands do not last as long, but there are some surprises like H&M that make really high quality clothes – I’ve had some items of clothing from them for over ten years!

    How to create a kids autumn capsule wardrobe

    I’ll be checking what still fits them firstly, to ensure we aren’t buying things we don’t need.  For example, I do still have Bella’s winter coat from last year and it’s in great condition, so we’ll see if it does fit her still before getting a new one.  Occasionally coats are so large that they do last two year which is a bonus!

    Here are all the items you really need to create a kids capsule autumn wardrobe:

    ·         Warm coat

    ·         Rain coat

    ·         Wellies

    ·         2x Play pumps/trainers

    ·         Boots/hi-tops

    ·         10 bottoms

    ·         10 tops

    ·         2x hoodies/cardigans 

    That’s it!  I even think we are over buying with the tops and bottoms, but like I said, that’s to cover all messy eventualities and backlogs of washing like if we go away for a week and need extra clothes.  Two pairs of trainers are to cover when one pair might get soaked or super muddy.  Bella will have some winter boots, but Reuben will have some hi-top trainers for those cold wet days.

    Obviously this list doesn’t include pyjamas, underwear and socks and so on.  The kids usually have 3-4 packs of socks at any one time, 2-3 packs of underwear and around 4 pairs of pyjamas, though Reuben has been surviving on two pairs of PJs for a while!

    It’s totally possible to have a capsule wardrobe for your kids this autumn.  We make use of t-shirts that still fit from the summer to wear under hoodies and cardigans, until it’s really too cold to do so.  Providing they don’t have a sudden growth spurt then this wardrobe can even see them through the whole winter, saving money and making sure all the clothes get plenty of wear.

    At the moment my kids are six years and three years old, so they are still quite messy, especially the three year old!  I expect as they get older we can even cut down the amount of clothes they need.

     

    Related blog posts

    Why every woman should create a capsule wardrobe

    How to create a warm and welcoming minimal dining room

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    Why less is more

    How my minimal bedroom décor describes my personality

     Autumn style staples for kids – how to have a capsule children’s wardrobe

    Collaboration

  5. How to create a warm and welcoming dining room

    Posted on

    Buying a home with a dining area was really important to me when we purchased our first home as a family.  When I was younger we never had a dining table that me, my mum and sister could all sit together at.  My mum was a young single mum and we lived in a small flat with a dinky kitchen.  She managed to squeeze a small blue square table in front of the kitchen cupboard so me and my sister could eat properly at a table.  My mum either stood at the kitchen side or ate in the living room.  At Christmas the table would be pulled out and we’d all somehow manage to squeeze around it for Christmas lunch without being able to move anywhere else in the kitchen at all!  Of course this situation was very different to mine now as we had no money back then and had to make do living in a small space, but it did make buying a home with enough space for eating together more important to me.  In this blog post I will share how to create a warm and welcoming dining area sharing what we’ve done and things I’d like to do.

    HOW TO CREATE A WARM AND WELCOMING DINING ROOM

    Whilst the artex certainly adds texture to our room, I despise it!  It is on our list of things to sort.

    Ideally I would have chosen a house with a kitchen-diner, but we ended up with a living room-diner.  Our home also has a converted garage so that space is the perfect long length for a dining room, but does anyone actually have a separate dining room nowadays?  Instead we use the garage as my office and the kids’ playroom.  It could be used as a dining room though if a future buyer wanted a separate diner.  I did think about this when I titled this blog post and perhaps ‘dining area’ would be more appropriate with modern house layouts!

    Anyway, we ended up with a living room diner which definitely helps to create a warm and welcoming dining area as the living area itself is cosy.  We have a log burner, fabric sofas and a large wool rug.  The walls are white which creates a light and airy space, but the floors, blinds and shelving is all oak so this brings in warmth and cosiness. 

    The dining area itself is something we only started focussing on last year.  Originally we had a four seater table from our old smaller home, but we were struggling with space with four of us at the table and especially when we had guests.  We bought a larger second hand upcycled farmhouse table from eBay, used our existing rustic look wooden chairs and bought a matching bench to go along one side.  The natural wood stops our white room from being too stark, giving the room a more homely feel.  The rustic table is also perfect for us as we don’t mind it becoming a little more damaged and worn as it just adds to its charm.

    To add more texture and create an even more snug environment I’d suggest adding some textiles to the dining space.  A rug under the table and chairs upon a hard floor would look great.  A table cloth, fabric place settings or a table runner.  I really did want to add a rug to ours, but with two small children my husband rightly thought it would be a bad idea considering the amount of food and drink that is currently dropped on the floor!  Perhaps when they are older.  We did have chair cushions which is another great recommendation to make wooden seating more comfortable and less bare, but ours just got too ruined with messy children and messy food!

    How to create a warm and welcoming dining room - furnish your home

    If you don’t have children(or they are not as messy as mine) then this dining set from Furnish Your Home will create a super comfortable, warm and welcoming setting with the warmth of the wood and comfy soft fabric seating.

    Lighting is also important to create the right ambience.  We found some white rattan lampshades to keep with the white wall theme and Ben, my husband who is handy with DIY, hung these as two low level pendant lights above the table.  The low lighting directly on the table helps to create a warm atmosphere.  We also installed a dimmer switch so we can change the mood depending on the type of meal – bright with the kids, but romantic if it’s just the two of us.  A tip is to not hang the lighting too low.  Ben and I are both quite tall and we kept hitting our head on the lights when standing.  We’ve had to lift them up a couple of times and I think we’ve finally found the right height for us.  If we had a deeper table then we’d hang them much lower.

    How to create a warm and welcoming dining room - furnish your home rose gol

    Whilst we opted for natural rattan effect lampshades in the end, we spent a long time debating over whether to choose copper or rose gold pendant lighting  such as these from Furnish Your Home which will add reflective colour creating a warm ambiance.

    Décor is of course a personal choice and I like to opt for a minimal style.  I had two large canvases printed with photos of the children taken by Jelly Baby Photography with brown and pink tones which not only add a family feel to the area, but some warmness too.  I have a white star on the wall which reminds me of Christmas decorations, so again another fuzzy feeling inside and also a plant to bring nature into the room as well as purify the air.

    In the day our dining area is filled with natural light from a south facing window so it’s spacious, light and airy, yet still welcoming.  In the evening or on a dark afternoon we turn the lights on and the feeling is totally different as the pendant lighting creates a glow over the table giving a cosier feel.

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