Our Favourite: Wooden Bathroom Accessories

A bathroom can be transformed by the accessories and little details you add to the room – a houseplant here, a bath mat there.  Wooden and natural materials are perfect for softening the look of bathrooms that might otherwise feel a bit cold or clinical, and I’ve recently been on the look out for wooden bathroom accessories to work with my brother and sister-in-law’s new on-trend grey and white bathroom.

You need to be careful in choosing wooden items for a bathroom as they need to be treated approporiately (otherwise they’ll rot), but if you get it right you can update the look of your room without having to spend money on expensive bathroom rennovations.  They pop up across a wide span of price ranges, so you can take your pick accordng to your budget:

 

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1. Taunus Bath Mat £27.55 |  2. Oak Rope Light Pulls from £6.95   |  3. Iris Hantverk Bath Brush £13  | 4. Lavatory Brush Holder & Brush £23.95

 

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5. Wooden Bath Tidy £45  | 6. 4 Dot clothes rack £85  |  7. Teak Slat Bath Mat £98  | 8. Lav Brush Set £45

 

 

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Stylish, Unisex Baby Changing Bags

This round up post isn’t strictly interiors, but we’re bending the rules a bit with this one, as it’s something I had to hunt for fairly recently now that I have a new small person in my life (note: for anyone who knows us this is Kath posting not Liz – Liz would like to stress that she hasn’t secretly acquired a child).

The world of baby changing bags was entirely foreign to me, but when I started looking I was immediately overwhelmed by the amount of choice. I was also a bit put off by the out-and-out girliness of a lot of the bags, which isn’t me at all, and I certainly wouldn’t inflict a pink cupcake-print bag on my other half (not if I want him to ever change a nappy).

Below are my pick of bags that I think are simple, stylish and practical (ie. you can wipe them down / stick them in the wash) and don’t scream ‘changing bag’.   Some are specific changing bags, and others are simply backpacks that you could use as a changing bag if you pick up a handy changing mat insert.  Any of these I’d be happy to use as a normal bag beyond the changing bag stage and, most importantly, all have passed the husband test of ‘minimal embarrassment if made to carry’.

For those of you interested, I ended up buying a unisex navy changing backpack from Etsy shop One Duo (which has Mary Poppins-like capacity and zillions of pockets) along with a spare travel changing mat from JoJo Maman Bebe.  It’s been worth the investment as I love the look of the bag, and other handbags aren’t getting a look in at the moment!

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1. Herschel Pop Quiz Backpack – Grey £59.95 | 2. Storksak Noa Changing Bag £75  | 3. Fjällräven Kånken Backpack £56.99 | 4. Laessig Neckline Changing Bag £83.92 | 5.  Skip Hop Pronto Changing Station Bag £30 | 6. Skip Hop Duo Signature (Heather Grey) £60 | 7. PacaPod Hastings Changing Bag – Navy Stripe £69.95

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Our Top 5 Finnish Design Discoveries

Lapland probably isn’t the first place you’d think of going in order to investigate the Nordic design scene (unless you live in a log cabin and it’s permanently Christmas). But that’s just it – Lapland, more specifically Finnish Lapland, isn’t a tinsel tastic tacky explosion it’s a tasteful, charming and authentic place with a design and interiors scene that extends far beyond baubles and bells. Having been lucky enough to land a trip to the city of Rovaniemi (read more about our Lapland for Grown Ups adventures here) we weren’t quite sure what to expect on the design front. Liz has a long-standing obsession with all things Scandi so hopes were high that their Nordic neighbours would be equally as sharp in the style stakes.

We weren’t disappointed. Having already explored the likes of Finnish giants Marimekko and Iittala we stumbled upon a small concept store in the city called Mainoa which bills itself as a ‘Design shop that offers high quality Finnish craft and design‘. It was here that the real local gems were discovered, we only arrived 20 minutes before closing but left with a bag full of goodies each…

The Finnish design scene is definitely thriving and should certainly be more celebrated. So in a small bid to raise it’s profile we have compiled our top 5 Finnish design discoveries.

 

1. Kauniste

Kauniste means to decorate or to make beautiful – a pretty apt name if you ask us. This independent Helsinki based company works with talented and award winning illustrators and artists to create a paper goods, fabrics and homewares. Lucky for us they have an online store, but incase you want to browse in person you can find a list of UK stockists here.

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From the top: Note book set €12.00, Calendar 2016 Kitchen Towel Mint €15.00, Mökkilä Blue Cushion Cover €24.00

 

2. Mifuko

A certified member of the World Fair Trade Organization Mifuko’s products are all handmade by women’s self help groups in rural Kenya. Combining contemporary Finnish design with traditional Kenyan handicraft techniques to produce colourful baskets, bags, rugs and ornaments.

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Kiondo baskets From €29,00, Ornaments 3pcs €20.00

 

3. Lovi

This family run company based in Northern Finland produce 3D figures from the highest Finnish quality birch plywood. They come flat pack so it’s your job to assemble them but I imagine it’s slightly more enjoyable than our experience with Swedish flat-pack furniture… Take a look at their online shop, there are loads of different ones to choose from – our favourite was the famous Finnish Moomin character, ‘Snufkin’.

Lovi Finnish design Snufkin with Hattifatteners

Snufkin by Lovi €14.50

 

4. Polkkajam

A family company run from a studio in an old dairy on Kimito Island (southwest Finland), talented creatives Kristiina Haapalainen and Sami Vähä-Aho produce playful imagery inspired by their surroundings (which sounds pretty idyllic to us) and then applied across variety of products including stationary, postcards, posters and wrapping paper.

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 Postcards €1.30, Wrapping paper from €4.50

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Posters from €12.00

 

5. Mark Roberts – Photographer

Mark hails from Blighty, but has made Rovanemi, Finland, his adopted home town, as he goes hiking in the Lapland wilderness searching for the perfect shot. We picked up some of his limited edition prints at Mainoa Design Shop, but you can get your paws on them online, via his online store.

Misty Island photograph by Mark Roberts

Photograph of landscape with trees

 Prints from €12.40

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Our Favourite: Nordic Interiors

We’re heading off to Finnish Lapland in a few weeks’ time, thanks to the nice folks at Thomson Holidays. As well as checking in to say ‘hi’ to Old Saint Nick, we’re also going to be exploring the activities that Lapland has to offer for the (marginally) more grown-up traveller.

To get us in the mood, we’ve been looking at Nordic-inspired decor to cosy up our living spaces, now that November is coming into full force here in Blighty. The wild and windy weather and dark evenings are making it far more appealing to stay holed up inside, so it feels like we should make the most of it and embrace the Nordic spirit….

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1. Skog Poster 48 euros  |  2.  Nordic Nights Hot Water Bottle £12 |  3. Danish Geometric Pots from £24 | 4. Golden Magritte Bookends £30 | 5. Copper Trim Chopping Board Set + Stand £71  | 6. Gran Tray, Green/white 42 euro | 7. Wooden Storage Boxes from £16  | 8. Ströva, Soft toy £12  |  9. Senior, Casserole with lid £30 | 10. Bears Mugs – Set Of 4  £4 | 11. Faux Fur Throws £35 (incl p&p)

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Our Favourite: Record Players

I started buying records when I was at art college in Bradford, I also owned a pair of purple cords. No it wasn’t the 60’s it was the 00’s. I thought I was cool…

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My collection is modest, and I don’t imagine it’s worth very much – they’re well loved and not in a mint condition kind of way. However, since moving into our new house they have been a little neglected – shelved alongside the dusty board games in the dining room. They are soon to get a new home though…

Since my office/study has been finished (post to follow soon) i’ve been hankering after a reasonably priced player so I can listen to my music whilst I work. The retro record player must be in vogue as there has never been so much choice, Urban Outfitters’ offering is particularly good. I can’t vouch for the sound quality of all that are featured but if, like me, the waves only needs to fill a small space then it’s perhaps worth considering ones with built in speakers.  My favourites are Crosley The Player Turntable (pictured above) £110 and and Philips OTT2000 Bluetooth Stereo System, £149.99.

More over on Pinterest…

 

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1. UO X Dansette Sterling Standing Record Player £250 (currently on back order), 2. Ricatech RTT95 Record Player Turntable USB £199.90, 3. PROJECT black turntable £200, 4. Steepletone USB Norwich Retro Wooden Record Player £85.58, 5. Philips OTT2000 Bluetooth Stereo System £149.99.

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Our Favourite: Alarm Clocks

Getting up in the morning isn’t pleasant at the best of times, but in winter months it can seem especially torturous when it’s dark and cold outside (for Northern hemisphere dwellers).

A stylish alarm clock by no means guarantees a better waking up experience, but you might be less inclined to want to throw it across the room if it looks pretty on your nightstand.  Here are some of our favourites, you’ll find more over here on our Pinterest board  (and if you want something to put it on take a look back at Our Favourite Bedside Tables)

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1. Liberty | Newgate Clocks Red Covent Garden Metal Alarm Clock, £16.95 (£5.95 delivery/in store)  2. The White Company | Small Karlsson Alarm Clock £35 (in store / £4.95 p&p)  3. Naken | Minimal Alarm Clock, £36 (£3.95 p&p)  4. Etsy| Soviet Desk Clock, £23.40 (£8 p&p) 5. Clas Ohlson | Alarm Clock, £9.99 (in store) 6. Amazon | Handmade Classic Beech Wood Alarm Clock | £14.99 (free p&p)  7. Housing Units | NeXtime Flipped Alarm Clock,  £27

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Our favourite: Draught Excluders

I’m sure it’s colder inside my house than it is outside sometimes. Admittedly we could do with investing in new doors – both external and internal (our house suffers from wonky door syndrome – they’re either too short because we’ve removed the original thick garish carpet or, due to the age of the house, the door frames are angled at such a degree that we can no longer close them properly). But I’m cold now and doors are expensive. So if, like me, you need a quick, cheap but stylish fix then take a look at our draught excluder picks (I mean who can resist Monty the dapper slug?!)

And if you’re still feeling the cold check out Our Favourite: Blankets and Throws

 

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1. Dapper Slug – Monty £28.00, 2. Custom length chevron door stopper £10.17+, 3. Proud Fox Draught Excluder £16.17 – sale price, 4. Buckwheat filled draught excluder £17.45, 5. Clouds Scandi fabric £22.00, 6. Mr Fox retro draught excluder £22, 7. Isabella Draught Excluder £27.99

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Our Favourite: Sink Tidies & Washing Up Aids

In the spirit of Apartment Therapy’s January Cure, I’m going to start out small and realistic in my New Year ambitions.  So though I am unlikely to re-paint my kitchen units, put a new floor in and sand and re-varnish my worktops by the end of January (highly unlikely), I might at least be able to tidy up my sink area.

Sink tidies aren’t the sexiest item of kitchenware to shop for. They’re not quite up there with Kitchen Aids and cast iron casserole dishes, and you don’t find many interior decor magazines listing them in their ‘must haves’, but it’s worth shopping around and also taking inspiration from kitchens on Pinterest that use vintage crockery, bowls and glass dispensers to pretty up their sink areas (or cheat and hide everything for the photos).

My current sink tidy is a blue plastic version, which I think was bought from the pound store in student house days, and currently houses grey dish cltoths, a rusting scourer and a sticky fairy liquid bottle.  So it’s long overdue an overhaul, and I’ve just bought a smart new wooden dish rack from the nice folks at Brighton’s Utility to kick my re-vamp off.  Here are some other bits that caught my eye – for more inspiraton have a gander at our Pinterest board.

 

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1. Etsy | Magnetic Dish Cloth Holder £20 (£5.40 p&p)  2. Willow & Stone | Grill & Pot Brushes  £3.25-£4.25 (£5 p&p) 3. Joseph Joseph | Self-draining Dishrack £40  (free p&p)  4. Amazon | Chalk Coloured Washing Up Tidy £17 (free p&p)  5. Ikea | BESTÅENDE Detergent dispenser £4 (in store)  6. Red Candy | Jumbo Cutlery Drainer-Cream £11.25 (£2.95 p&p) 7. Objects of Use | Copper scourers £4.50 (£4.62 p&p)  8.  Hus & Hem | RIG TIG Sink Caddy Holder £9.95 (£3.95 p&p)  9. Jangneus | Black Bird Dish Cloth £2.95 (free p&p)

 

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Our Favourite: Egg Cups

How do you like your eggs in a morning?…

Personally I like mine boiled and served with buttery toast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why not do it in style and invest in some fancy egg-cups? Whether it’s just for you, your kids or perhaps a ‘special overnight’ guest you really want to impress – here are our favourites.

More on over on our pinterest board…

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1. Bloomingville Isabella Egg Cups £3.95 each, 2. Set of Egg Cups £15.00, 3. Rob Ryan Egg Cups £15.00, 4. Tom Butcher Ceramics egg cups £4 each, 5. Car egg cup £20, 6. Bordfolk’ Egg Cups £12.50, 7. Greengate Egg Cup Zoe £4.50, 8. Beardy Man Egg Cup £11.50, 9. Blue Owl Egg Cup £16.99

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Our Favourite: Floor Lamps

Now that the nights are long and dark, I’ve been looking out for a standing lamp to live behind my little easy chair in our office in anticipation of chilly nights spent huddled up with a book.

These are on my shortlist:

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1. Arche Floor Lamp in black £99, 2. Harvey Fabric & Metal Foot Switch Floor Lamp £62, 3. Copper Angled Floor Lamp £170, 4. Cross wooden floor lamp £140, 5. Caged Bird Floorlight £85, 6. Floor Lamp Black £20, 7. Marta floor lamp £140

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