Sparkle is a new online retailer which aims to bring more sparkle to your life with a gorgeous selection of fairy lights and LED lights for use all year round in your home and garden.
Founder Thalia noticed when she was renovating her home what a difference lighting can make to a space, really bringing it to life. She struggled however to find the lights she wanted, at a reasonable price and so Sparkle was born, a curated collection of beautiful, affordable statement lights.
Sparkle has recently launched its Christmas collection, with lots of beautifully designed lights to bring a warm glow inside and out this festive season.
Image Credits: All Sparkle
Copper Fairy Lights £28.50
Lightweight and elegant, these fairy lights on copper wire are perfect for creating some sparkle in your home. Great for all year round as well as Christmas and can be used indoor or outdoor.
Deer With Lights £15.95
Simple and understated deer with lights, a brilliant extra detail to decorate your home at Christmas. Use them as a pair or they also work individually.
Battery-powered gold leaf fairy lights £39.95
These beautiful leaves fairy lights in gold can be used inside and out, perfect for bringing some warmth to a space. Part of Sparkle’s botanical collection, they are handmade, and hand-painted. Perfect for decorating a mantelpiece, table, shelf or even a front door.
Greenery Fairy Lights £13.95
These greenery string lights bring the outside into your home for the Autumn/ Christmas period or can also be used in the garden. The perfect combination of fairy lights & greenery.
Hanging Silver Starburst Lights £28.95
These stunning starburst decorations are featured here in silver, but also available in a copper finish, bring a pretty light to a room. Great solo but even better in a gang. Great as Christmas decorations but work all year round. They bring a lovely warmth and glow to any room.
Starburst copper fairy lights £25.95
These beautiful copper wire lights are perfect for creating some sparkle in your home. They can be used indoor or outdoor. Available in short (battery operated) & medium (plug-in). Also available in a black & silver finish.
Standing Star Light (silver finish) £34.50
This free-standing star light has a beautifully detailed cut-out 7 point star shade. Perfect for decorating your house at Christmas and all year round. A real statement piece that gives off a lovely warm cosy light whilst also creating impact in a room either lit or unlit. You can also use them as a Christmas starlight in a window, this is how they are used in Scandinavian countries.
When it comes to easy viewing, nothing makes us feel as warm and cosy as watching the Great British Bake Off. So as the nights begin to get darker and we curl up with a hot cup of something and either indulge in some baked treats, or feel ourselves salivating as we see the brilliant bakes take shape, why not enjoy the art of baking yourself?
Many of us no doubt dabbled with a spot of baking at the beginning of lockdown but even if you didn’t, there’s no time like the present to take up a new hobby that we have a feeling your family members, friends or neighbours will enjoy just as much as you.
Or if GBBO has inspired you to get baking yourself, we have picked out some of our favourite products to help you do just that. And in style, of course.
From baking necessities like measuring spoons, cake tins and an apron to the products that will help you feel like a GBBO contestant in your very own home, we’ve got you covered.
What would you be baking up first? And who are you backing to take the GBBO title this year?
Jon Frullani Architect is a Dundee based architect and interior design practice based in Tayside. They work with homeowners and businesses throughout Scotland to create bespoke buildings and successful renovation projects. They’ve been fortunate to be entrusted to work on a number of incredibly exciting architectural projects over the years, from luxurious living spaces, to striking workplaces. They deliver a service centred on the needs of the client, providing innovative solutions to a wide range of design challenges. Formed in late 2011, the practice has evolved into a team of 18, with offices in Dundee and Anstruther. They provide a dedicated service across the whole of Tayside and Fife, as well as the rest of Scotland and beyond.
The approach from the outset at Jon Frullani Architect is to offer a full range of architecture services in-house. This means you can relax, safe in the knowledge that they'll take care of everything. From feasibility studies, planning applications, building warrants, construction, right through to the interior design of your completed project; they offer a true one-stop-shop architectural service.
As part of the government's National Islands Plan, the Islands Bond will aim to address a longstanding problem for many Scottish island communities; depopulation.
There can be some barriers that make it difficult or put people off such a move, such as the issue of finding employment, transportation, securing a home in the first place and financial issues more generally.
By offering young people and families £50,000 to move to or stay on the islands, the Scottish government intends to launch the Islands Bond next year, with 100 bonds offered at a cost of £5m.
With more than 90 inhabited islands scattered across Scotland, there are communities spread across places such as Shetland, Orkney, the Highlands, the Western Isles and Argyll and Bute.
So what do you say, would you up sticks and move to a Scottish island for £50,000? It could be an offer too good to resist for some people looking to embrace a more rural way of life in some of Scotland’s spectacularly beautiful islands.
Image credits: Unsplash
There’s no denying that for many of us, the last months of lockdown made us re-evaluate where we would ideally like to live. Perhaps working from home has meant that you no longer need to commute into a city and fancy living a more rural life? Or maybe you’ve been yearning to be nearer family, as the past year has meant you’ve not been able to see them as much as you’d like.
New research by estate agency Yopa reveals the best places to buy a property in the UK, based on what buyers are now looking for in a home. Research has determined that buyers are now placing greater emphasis on access to green spaces and the coast. Job opportunities and proximity to local amenities when deciding where they want to live have also added to their decisions.
Yopa commissioned a survey of over 2,000 British adults and asked how their relationships with their homes, families and communities have changed since the start of 2020. It then analysed several economic and quality of life metrics to determine the best places, including job opportunities, access to green spaces, proximity to schools rated “good” or “outstanding” by Ofsted, average local salaries, proximity to the coast, and crime rates. They used this information to create their top ten ‘Love where you live’ list. And first on the list? Aberdeen, closely followed by Edinburgh. East-coasters, the rest of the UK is finally realising what you already knew!
The full Top 10 places to lock down a property, according to Yopa:
We spoke to Kerry from @Twyxhouse who has lived in and around the Aberdeen area her whole life. She says she can’t imagine living anywhere else. “I love the people, our accent, and the diverse landscapes,” she says, “I’m two minute’s walk from the beach, 10 minute’s drive to the woods, and only a couple hours from the mountains! Honestly, I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else”.
Yopa’s Chief Property Analyst, Mike Scott, says, “Commutability has become less important as the country has embraced working from home, whilst proximity to both green spaces and the seaside is now vital as people have been forced to consider day trips as opposed to long-haul holidays. Job opportunities and salary levels are also of greater importance in a tumultuous period that has been marred by furlough, redundancies and job losses.”
Councillor Jenny Laing, Leader of Aberdeen City Council, was not surprised by the top spot: “Aberdeen is a wonderful city, rich in history and heritage and modern in its outlook. It's a great place to work, live and raise a family. As the UK local authority of the year we have made huge investments in our culture with the award winning Aberdeen Art Gallery and our new Exhibition and Conference centre. We have invested in green space such as the £28m Union Terrace Gardens project in the city centre which complements our numerous parks throughout the city. We’ve shown we are innovative, working in partnership with the private sector to lead the transition to net zero which has the potential to create jobs. But my favourite thing about Aberdeen is its people because they are welcoming and inclusive.”
Clean your home with a clear conscience using these eco-friendly products…
As more of us become aware of the toxins and chemicals that are in some of our tried and trusted favourite cleaning products, it’s easy to see why eco-friendly cleaning is becoming more of the norm.
And there has probably never been a period of time where we’ve been keen to clean surfaces in our homes than right now.
There are so many brands out there offering a more sustainable and eco-friendly alternative! Whether it’s for washing clothes or dishes or cleaning bathrooms and kitchen worktops, there is an option for everyone.
Not only are these products better for us but they’re also better for the environment.
There are lots of different options out there, depending on your needs, budget and just how environmentally friendly you’re looking to be.
One easy way to change how you shop and use products is by utilising reusable bottles. It eliminates the added waste of additional bottles of products that you use all the time, such as hand wash, shampoo, cleaning spray and a whole lot more.
Another way is by only buying products that are completely recyclable.
And a lot of products are also vegan friendly, which is increasingly becoming a chosen way of life for so many.
If you really want to take it to the next level, check out ‘Who Gives a Crap’ eco-friendly and 100% recycled toilet paper.
By Ellis Cochrane
If you spent your lockdown baking your own goods from scratch, making handmade crafts or listening to Taylor Swift’s albums Folklore and Evermore on repeat, you have already taken part of the ‘cottagecore’ trend.
Image Credit - wallsauce
Available at - wallsauce.com
Search the term on Instagram and you will find a romanticised versionof the simple country life, from gingham tablecloths, to idyllic cottages and stunning natural landscapes. Cottagecore was gaining popularity throughout 2019 but the global pandemic of 2020 led this to be one trend that does not look like it’s going away. Society as a whole had slowed down, allowing us the chance to live more simply and find inspiration in our heritage and family roots. This directly links to cottagecore which largely focuses on the return of traditional ways and being at one with nature and the environment. Cottagecore is anaesthetic movement that searches for that feeling of paradise and finds it in a cottage in the middle of nowhere, fresh air all around you and technology turned off. It is a key interior trend for 2021, as more and more of us are drawn into its romantic notions of connecting with nature and living with a more calm ethos. Do you want to transform your home into a serene oasis?
Here’s my tips on how you can escape to the country from the comfort of your own home...
SOME HUE CUES
It’s important to maintain a natural colour palette and warm tones when trying the trend. Key colours that are associated with cottagecore are green, brown, yellow and cream. Whether you choose to go with a yellow sofa or a green feature wall, these colours can offer a great feeling of serenity that makes you feel like you are at a fantasy cabin in the woods rather than in your flat in the middle of town.
BRING THE OUTDOORS INDOORS
Cottagecore is centred around the idea of harmony with nature and flowers and plants can be a great way to bring nature into the home. For a more country aesthetic, take advantage of the fresh spring flowers and try placing natural wildflowers or dried flowers that look like they have come from the rural outdoors, around your house. If you want to embrace the trend even further, you could try your hand at making your own flower wreath and walking through the garden wearing your favourite floaty summer dress.
GOLDEN GLOW LIGHTING
Embrace your romantic side and focus on soft golden hued lighting to createa tranquil ambience. Get ready for those long summer nights, and buy some string lights, candles, lanterns and lamps that cast a sunset glow over a room and create a sense of warmth and comfort within the home.
STRICTLY VINTAGE AFFAIR
Shop around for some vintage or antique pieces to contrast the modern furnishings that you have. By purchasing just a few vintage items, your home will quickly look like a country farmhouse full of timeless classics and traditional style. Cottagecore is often seen as a more sustainable way of living and buying is a great way to adopt this key part of the trend.
In addition to buying vintage, you can also introduce a few retro technology items to achieve a traditional interior style. For example, put your phone down, grab your record player and listen to some mellow indie-folk hits from an LP, not your streaming service. This will leave you anxiety free and in a relaxed state of mind.
Add some artwork to make your living space feel more nostalgic and inviting. Find art that captures the beauty
of nature itself. Look out for botanical prints, rural landscapes and country cottages that will capture the essence
of the countryside and transport you there.
GO WITH THE GRAIN
To create the rustic countryside look, try to add some wooden elements into your home interiors. You could make a feature wall with wooden furnishes or simply have a table made of wood in your dining room or kitchen. Using wood connects your home to the rural outdoors and when used internally, it can provide a feeling of nostalgia and raw energy. Try pairing the wood with white andbeige to get a modern rustic summer style in your interiors.
FEAST ON FLORALS
Dine on floral crockery and vintage look dish-wear for a more country feel dinner setting. This will bring a touchof femininity to the home and is a nod to the classic, traditional styling. Accessorise with some linen napkins, gingham tablecloths and some fresh fruit to complete the look.
When it comes to finishing touches such as cushions, rugs and throws, invest in pieces with embroidery, patchwork or crochet. These will look more handmade aesthetic in your interior design. They will also lend character and personality to your rooms, making them essential to have around the home.
By Chloe Suze