10 October 2014

Creative and unusual bathroom inspiration

Most properties - rented or bought - tend to come with a really standard bathroom, and it's usually a room that most people decide to redecorate after a while. Me and my other half redecorated both our bathrooms a couple of years ago. We didn't just change the toilet and the basin, but we tore out the whole bathrooms and redid everything from scratch - and what a satisfyng feeling that was! Finally our bathrooms were exactly the way we wanted them! 

Although, when I say 'exactly the way we wanted them' I'm still talking about pretty standard bathrooms, just with our choices of tiles and furniture. If I could afford it, I would obviously style my bathrooms into some funky designer rooms. You can always dream though... and here is some bathroom inspiration.

How about a Baroque inspired bathroom for example, with dramatic black swirls a see-through glass bathtub? Houzz is featuring lots of glass bathtubs on their site which you can check out here. I love the Baroque style with it's swirly patterns, but even though the bathtub looks really sleek and stylish I would probably feel a bit awkward actually taking a bath in it.

When it comes to basins you can really think outside the box and go all creative. I'm loving the simplicity of this wall-hung stone basin, and the combination with the Oriental style tiles. Opposites attract, right? The rouch stone and the fine swirls look beautiful together.

And talking about beautiful... how amazing is this basin made out of purple quartz?! I've never seen anything like it before. So unique and absolutely dazzling - literally!

Using a wooden worker's bench as bathroom furniture is part of the recycling trend, and it really compliments a white bathroom. When going for such a focal piece, white really is the way to style it. The counter top basin looks so simple yet stylish, and suits any bathroom style since it's so versatile. It reminds me of the old times when people simply washed their hands in a bowl. You can find similar counter top basins at bathroom stores such as Bella Bathrooms.

Going for a rustic look in your bathroom is extremely popular, and even though the actual toilet, basin and bathtub is standard white, a bathroom can look extremely interesting due to its other features. You really can't go wrong with the combination of roughly cut wood and stone together with standard white ceramics. It's timeless!

Who doesn't love a long, warm shower? And it's an even better experience when it looks fresh and stylish. Above is a pretty standard bathroom with a twist - they've gone for creative shower doors rather than the standard style. The black patio door style gives more of a cosy atmosphere to the bathroom, with a bit of an antique feeling to it.

When it comes to actual showers there are a huge number of styles to choose from, both when it comes to look, technique and power. Why not go all modern and high-tech for example? This digital shower controller from Mira would look really sleek and stylish in any bathroom, and as well as this they have a wide variety of electric showers and any other showers under the sun.

What does your dream bathroom look like?

6 October 2014

For the Love of Food - street food festival

 On the last weekend of September, the food festival 'For the Love of Food' came to Leeds. It was all set up on Millenium Square in the heart of the city, and it sure was a different experience.

 With street food from all over the world including Scandinavia, Asia, the Caribbean and more, there was something to suit everyone's taste. There was even speciality food that doesn't belong to a certain part of the world, but that would work anywhere - the one I'm thinking of in particular was a stall that served smoothies out of donated fruit and vegetables that were going out of date, that would otherwise just have been thrown away and become landfill.

The different street food companies are all part of a competition, and they tour England to gain votes to win an award for Best Street Food. You can read more about it on For the Love of Food's website

I was really amazed by all the different stalls, with the unique decorations and quirky and unusual menus. All companies had something really unique with their food - either ingredients wise, or the way they were cooking it.

How about this funky street style caravan from Fresh Rootz for example? Doesn't it look unique, if anything?!

Myself and my other half, whom I visited this food festival with, tried a few different dishes - one being this slow cooked venison in a flatbread from The Moocher. Their unique thing is that they cook their food on an original Sankey Army Field Kitchen. It looks delicious, and it was - except for the insanely hot scotch bonnet sauce that almost made me cry!

Being from Sweden, I was extremely curious of what they would serve in the Nordic Street Food stall, and I hurried over straight away...

I almost screamed with joy when I read the menu and saw that they served chanterelles - a sort of mushroom that is classed as a delicacy, and that only grow up north. Me and my parents used to go out in the forest and pick these mushrooms every autumn, but unfortunately they don't grow in England. If you're lucky you might find them in Scotland, but nowhere near the same amounts as in Sweden. 

The wrap looked and tasted absolutely delicious. Very fresh flavours, with sour cabbage and soured cream as well as the chanterelles. I was in heaven!

This is what chanterelles look like when they're fresh - bright orange-yellow, and they smell amazing. I was so close to grab the whole basket and just run off with it ;)

We walked around the food festival for a couple of hours, and it was so lovely just taking in the atmosphere; the Caribbean music that blasted out from one of the stalls and filled the whole square with its rhythm, the fantastic smells from all the food being cooked, and the general noise from happy people munching on food.

I'm loving how it's so trendy to be environmentally friendly nowadays. This is what the people behind The Cauldron says about their company;
-“All our power is supplied from the solar panels on the roof of the van. And all our packaging is 100% compostable. Our mission is to prove that fast food CAN be delicious and ethical and give the towns and beaches in our corner of the world a taste of something different from the usual fish ‘n’ chips and frozen burgers.”

We tried the pulled pork wrap from The Cauldron, and it disappeared so quickly that I didn't even get a chance to take a photo of it. I guess that's the best feedback they can get ;)

We were very happy with our little day out in Leeds at For the Love of Food festival. It was a lovely day, and something different to do. If this festival comes to your city it's definitely worth visiting! Even if you're not hungry it's worth it just for the atmosphere.

The only thing we thought could have been different is that we would have liked to see an option of half sized portions, so that you could have gone around and tried more food without getting too full. Something to think about for next year, perhaps?

30 September 2014

A visit to Kosta Boda Art Hotel in Sweden

Kosta Boda Art Hotel spa
This summer I was lucky enough to visit beautiful Sweden, and I spent some time in the county of glass - a part in southern Sweden known for its glassworks and glass art. 

I ventured into the deep forests of Småland and had an overnight stay at the amazing Kosta Boda Art Hotel in the heart of the county of glass. The hotel, which was built in 2009, is a spa hotel as well as an art hotel, and all guests have access to the indoor and outdoor spas.

Kosta Boda Art Hotel
When entering the hotel you're met by various beautiful pieces of art in the reception, and everything you see is available to buy. Although, if your wallet can't handle the giant exhibition pieces there is a smaller glass shop for decorative and collectable pieces, as well as an impressive outlet shop just across the street.

Kosta Boda Art Hotel glass bar
Kosta Boda Art Hotel is also famous for its stunning glass bar, which has an underwater feeling to it. The photos don't really do it justice, but you have to visit it to experience its true atmosphere. The well-respected Swedish artist Kjell Engman has contributed to the design of the bar, and several of the art installations around the hotel. Himself, along with six other Swedish artists, have also designed the actual hotel rooms in their own unique styles - no room looks the same as another one, which makes your stay even more exciting. 
You can read about the different artists here.

Kosta Boda art hotel room
The room I stayed in was designed and decorated by Kjell Engman, and his style is inspied by the animal kingdom (especially the sea), as well as music. All of his rooms have a glass guitar hung up over the bed, and the vases and other smaller glass pieces in the rooms are all from his collection - and just as with the pieces in the reception these are all for sale.

I was also lucky enough to stay in a room overlooking the outdoor pool - gorgeous!

kosta boda art hotel decorations
There's was an underwater theme in my bathroom, with the sink being the same shape as the swimming pool in the spa, decorated with colourful  little glass fish.

kosta boda art hotel exhibitions
And talking about the spa - as I mentioned before there is an indoor as well as an outdoor spa at Kosta Boda Art Hotel. The outdoor spa has a hot tub which you can use all year around, as well as a large swimming pool, and the indoor spa has a sauna, a steam room, a relaxation area, a hot pool and a normal swimming pool. Although saying that it's a "normal" swimming pool doesn't do it justice - it was designed by Kjell Engman and actually has an underwater glass art exhibition in it. Now, I'm not going to tell you what it is, but you're just going to have to visit the hotel and see for yourself ;)

I really enjoyed my stay at this hotel and found all the different areas and exhibitions really interesting. The hotel may be located out in what feels like the middle of nowhere, but I promise you you'll keep occupied, and you will definitely not be bored.

31 August 2014

Building and styling up a day bed

 When I first opened up the boxes for my new day bed and saw the instructions for building it, I thought  'It's not exactly as detailed as IKEA!'. But I needn't have worried - it was pretty straight forward.

 The Sophie day bed is from the wide selection of furniture at Asda Direct, and has a white metal finish. It was delivered in 2 different boxes, with the accompanying mattress on the side. The mattress is optional, but since I didn't already have a mattress this size, I thought it was best to get one. 

 After having figured out which of the metal pieces went where, and what screws were meant for what part of the bed, I started putting the bed together. It probably took me about an hour since I was doing it myself, but if you are two doing it I can imagine it being a lot quicker.
One thing to think about when screwing in the screws is that you only do it  loosely to start with, and then when the whole bed is finally put together you go around and tighten all the screws as hard as you can.

 Almost there...!

 Aaaaand... voilá!
All it needs now is the mattress and some nice bedding.

 The day bed is basically just a single bed, but the whole point of a day bed is that you use it as a sofa during the day, so you'll need a lot of cushions that'll work as the back rest. I've gone for a colour theme that matches my room, and the main colours are lilac and olive green.

 I got the cushions and the bed spread from Asda Direct as well. This French post card cushion is my favourite, and works as a focal piece amongst the other more basic cushions.

 I am really happy that I finally got rid of that ugly sofa bed I had in this guest room before. Those of you who have followed my blog will know that I have ranted about replacing it for years now. And now the day is finally here!

Guess who was the first one to take a nap in my new Sophie day bed! Little bugger! ;) But I guess that means it's got a zeal of approval.
Most people think that they can only get furniture at places like IKEA or other speciality stores, but buying from Asda Direct works just as well. Plus, they tend to be a lot cheaper than stores that focus solely on furniture.

21 August 2014

Sofa bed vs. day bed

I've decided! I'm finally getting rid of the ugly sofa bed in our guest room. It's not even a proper sofa bed, but just one of those ugly grey metal frames with a folded futon on it. Uuurgh...

I'm thinking of either replacing it with a proper sofa bed - proper meaning one that actually looks like a normal sofa when it's not used for sleeping in - or a day bed.

 I've been looking around online for some inspiration, and found quite a few that i like. Now the question is, sofa bed or day bed?
The two lifestyle photos in the collage above are from Pinterest, the beige sofa bed is from Home Essentials through Catalogues247, and the lilac 2 seat sofa bed is from AHF.

This gorgeous white metal frame single day bed is from ASDA. It looks very girly in this picture, but with it being of such a simple design you can style it how you want. All you need is a throw and some stylish cushions.
Although the dream is to purchase this white wooden Hemnes day bed from IKEA. I've had my eye on this for ages as it's so clever - you can eiter use it as a sofa, a single bed, or you can pop up another bed from underneath so that it turns into a double bed. It's just a teeny bit expensive...

Wouldn't it be funny if I went for an olive green bed to match the focal wall of my guest room? ;)
Nah, maybe not... hehe.


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