Our Favourite: Welcome Mats


“Take your shoes off!”

I always used to get into trouble for trailing my muddy shoes across the hall carpet, so much so we had a strict ‘no wearing shoes inside’ policy at my parents house. Fair enough I hear you say, but when I was even banned from wearing my brand spanking bonafide Kickers I wasn’t happy (terrible childhood right?)

Now it’s my turn to make the rules, all I ask is that guests wipe their feet before they come in – so a door mat is an essential accessory. Here’s our best, most reasonably priced picks (after all you don’t want to be spending an awful lot on something that is essentially designed to become filthy).



1. Coir Doormat – Good Day $29 (apologies this is USA only but it’s my favourite – hopefully it’ll be in UK stores soon),  2. Ovalado Doormat £19.99, 3. Fox Washable Doormat £7.99, 4. Cloudy Browns door mat £15, 5. Margo Selby Phoenix Doormat £20, 6. Morocco Door Mat £10, 7. Pheasant Bird Coir Doormat £17

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Our Favourite: Home Telephones

I have the misfortune of being an EE customer in an area where EE signal is a bit ropey and in an old house with thick stone walls which seem to weaken it even further.

Whenever I try to make a call from home I have to loiter by the windows, which must make me look pretty odd to the neighbours, especially when I run from one window to another as the signal starts to fail. I recently reached the very peak of my frustration when I was on the phone to the bank, had just navigated through the nine circles of hell (aka the automated telephone system), and after 20 minutes I finally reached a human being, and the signal chose that point to drop. Gaargh!

Suffice to say, I think a re-instatement of the house phone is needed to restore my sanity, and it turns out that there’s a fantastic selection of stylishly retro ones available. In fact, my parents keep reminding me that their red rotary dial phone would be very much in vogue now had they kept it instead of switching it out for a modern one in the early 90’s due to my protestations that it was preventing me from being able to participate in Going Live! phone-ins (not that I ever did get to speak to Chesney Hawkes…)


1. Wild & Wolf 746 1960’s Corded Telephone, £49.95 (collect in store / £3 p&p)  2.  Etsy, GPO 162 1930s Art Deco Bakelite Pyramid Telephone, £150 (£7.99 p&p)  3. Amazon, Emerald Green Classic 1970s Style Trim Phone  £34.95 (free p&p) 4. Amazon, Swissvoice Epure Full Eco Cordless Single DECT £ 49 (free p&p)  5. Retro style phone five by viva designs  £85 (£10 p&p)  6.  Etsy, Genie – 1980s Retro BT Telephone in Antique White £40 (£4.99 p&p) 7. IWOOT GPO Audrey retro push-button telephone £34.99 (free p&p)

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Our Favourite: Hallway Furniture

I’ve been decorating my hall for about 18months now (it’s not that big, i’m just that slow) so I’ve had plenty of time to think about how I’d like to furnish it. However, living in a typical redbrick Manchester terrace means the hallway is incredibly narrow, and the ceilings incredibly high so room for furniture is limited. My dreams of owning a lovely midcentury telephone bench have sadly been put on hold. The space I do have though I hope to utilise for  hanging coats, organising post and displaying books. So here’s my ‘slim pickings’ for narrow hallways (note the dream ercol bench – couldn’t resist)

More over on our Pinterest board


1. Graham & Green | Wire Floor Storage £125, 2. Urban Outfitters | Scroll Shelf in Teal £20, 3. Habitat | Twiggy Natural Wood Oak coat stand £150, 4. Ark Midcentury | Ercol telephone bench £295, 5. England at Home | Botanica Shelving Unit £329.99, 6. Cox and Cox | Antiqued Metal Console Table £180, 7. Not on the Highstreet | Pigeon Post Letter Rack £20


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In Search Of A Hallway Light

glass pendant light

Taste in light fittings is sadly not something we shared with the previous owners of our house.

The hall light was the most extreme case in point. It was a chandelier with ivy leaf and butterfly detailing, which we inherited as they were emigrating to Oz (sadly I have no pics of the original but it was similar to this).

It was a quality Laura Ashley-esque pendant, but jarred with the simple, traditional feel we were trying to create. And replacing it became an increasing priority, as more and more visitors to our home assumed it was our own newly-purchased style statement (“wow, I love your light, is it new?” “Er, no, we’re getting rid of it.” “what, why? It’s gorgeous.” “um, it’s not that we don’t like it, it just doesn’t really fit with the rustic vintagey style of the other furniture we’ve bought”… “that second hand stuff?” *awkward silence*)

But who knew the search for a hall light would prove so hard? I spent over a month scouring UK websites with not one respectable candidate. Success came as we extended our search to the US and came across a glass bell pendant from Pottery Barn.

The simple design is exactly what we were looking for – something that wouldn’t jar with our Victorian house, but isn’t overly traditional and twee. It’s rather susceptible to dust, but worth the effort as it part of the first impression to visitors, and the first thing you see when you come home every evening. We also managed to sell the butterfly light on Gumtree to a delighted buyer who drove all the way from Chester to Leeds to pick it up, so it too found a an enthusiastic owner and loving home – happy endings all round.

We bundled the bell pendant in with shipping for a rug – to buy alone with tax and shipping currently comes to around £100. Of course, as soon as we bought it I started to see similar classic glass pendants everywhere (sod’s law!). So if you like the style, I’d recommend UK retailer Fritz Fryer which has one of the best selections of classic glass pendants.


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Our Favourite: Hallway Mirrors

So apparently, it’s good idea to have a mirror by your door so you can double check your appearance before you head out.  Heeding this advice, I purchased a vintage black and gold mirror last year from the Sheffield antiques quarter for a bargainous £15.

Unfortunately, placing it at head height when you’re 5ft tall looks really odd by all accounts. So I raised it to ‘normal person’ height and now perform a Tigger routine whenever I want to check that I haven’t got food stuck in my teeth.  It still looks great in my hallway though, and here are some other small mirrors of various shapes and sizes for inspiration:


1. Scandanavian Design Center | Felt Panel mirror £70 (£5 p&p) 2. Etsy | Last Look mirror  £27 approx.(+£7.30 p&p) 3. Rockett St George | Ornate Mirror with Metal Frame – Small £14.95 (+£5.95 p&p) 4. Zara Home | Mirror with a Border Frame £39.99 (delivery free to store or £9.99) 5. Graham & Green | Small Round Convex Mirror £38 (+£5.95 p&p) 6. French Connection | Porthole Mirror £49 – £55 (delivery free to store / £3.95p&p) 7. John Lewis | Round Hanging Mirror £45 (in store/ £3 p&p)  8. Cox and Cox | Kasbah Mirror £55 (£5.95p&p) 9. Rockett St George | Square Antique Zinc Mirror £26.95 (+£5.95p&p)  10. Next | ormann Copenhagen Ready Hook with Mirror | £33 (+£7.95 p&p)

For more mirror ideas check out our Pinterest mirrors board

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Geometric Rugs

I reckon it’s the graphic designer in me but there’s something about a bold pattern that I really cannot resist, the brighter the better. So Scandinavian geometric rugs are right up my street (or down my hallway as it were).

The Britta Sweden ‘Anna’ rug was my choice for the soon to be completed hall, and as it’s made from woven plastic there’s no need to panic when people start traipsing their muddy shoes across it. Practical and beautiful, you can always rely on the Swedes.

There are plenty more Scandinavian statements to choose from though…


1. STOCKHOLM Rug £100 2. Linie Design Mirina Pastel Rug £350.00 3. Pappelina Honey Mustard & Vanilla Runner £62 4. Medium Wally Floor Rug £295 5. ANNA Britta Sweden SEK1220.00 (approx £122)

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