Handy Home Tips: How to arrange flowers in a bowl

Vases make an excellent gift as you can never too many to accommodate flowers of different sizes and shapes (add this one to the ‘gift list’ for someone who is hard to buy for!). 

However, if you don’t have the right sized vase, it’s great to know that a bowl can also be converted into a gorgeous vessel for displaying flowers by simply using some tape…

Image from www.casadasamigas.com 

Why we love it:

  • A bowl has a lower profile than a vase, so is easier to see over when you are talking to people on the other side of the table. 
  • A bowl is more stable and less likely to get knocked over when you’re reaching for the pepper. 
  • This method accommodates lots flowers of lots of different shapes and sizes. The flat surface means that small flowers with shorter stems won’t get ‘lost’. 
  • You can have fun experimenting with lots of different sized bowls. This idea will have me checking out the glassware section more carefully the next time I go to an op shop or secondhand store!
  • You can also experiment with different coloured bowl and flower combinations – a white bowl will set of brightly coloured flowers, whilst a colourful bowl would look great with white flowers or flowers in one tone, i.e. all pink. 
  • A beautiful bowl of flowers like this would make the perfect hostess gift the next time you go to a dinner party. 

What are your favourite flowers to display at home? 
We’d love thoughts – please comment below…

Handy Home Tips: How to update your decor with rope

Natural rope or twine is an inexpensive element you can use to ‘make-over’ lots of different home accessories. The other great thing about the natural feel of rope is that it complements quite a few different interior styles, such as the coastal/beach look, as well as rustic/vintage looks. It’s a really versatile material that will also blend well with lots of different colour palettes. 

Here are a couple of ideas of how to use rope to makeover a couple of items most people have at home…

1. Rope Frame

A basic, inexpensive wooden or plastic frame can be turned into a unique frame with some rope and a glue gun

Full instructions and images from www.celebrations.com

Why we love it:
  • Kids’ rooms, living room – wherever – this is a versatile look that will suit most interiors
  • It’s inexpensive – you can pick up rope from a hardware or variety store and cheap frames are also pretty easy to come by these days. Just be sure to double check the back of your frames to ensure that fittings and fastenings are satisfactory quality. Flimsy fastenings can be tricky to open, or will break easily. 
  • You could experiment with different techniques with the rope, such as plaiting or twisting it for a chunkier look. 

2. Rope Lamp

Give an old lamp a new lease of life with this quick and stylish DIY makeover 

This versatile, neutral rope base pairs well with any shade colour/design
DIY instructions and images from www.amyallender.com

Why we love it:

  • I think everyone has one of these types of lamps in a cupboard at home that is crying out for some DIY TLC. 
  • A stylish lamp creates beautiful mood lighting and is an inexpensive, versatile accessory for the home. 
  • This lamp would make a great handmade gift for any home. 
  • Brights, pastels, prints and plains – you could pair any different lamp shade with this base. 
Where would you use this DIY technique in your home?
We’d love your thoughts – please comment below…

Handy Home Tips: How to choose artwork for your home

The problem with renting a house is not being able to bang nails in the wall, willy-nilly to display your artwork and photos. Why is this a problem? Because displaying all of these little personal pieces transform a house into a home. Being surrounded by happy memories through photographs of fun times with people you love, or a print that you bought on that trip to Prague make us feel good. This month’s blog series, Handy Home Tips is all about feeling good at home.

Fortunately, there are plenty of handy picture-hanging products on the market now (such as Command Strips) that allow you to display all manner of framed artworks (even if they weigh up to 7kg) and don’t damage your walls or require nails and a hammer. 
So now there’s no excuses and the only thing left to do is pick some pieces to decorate your walls…

We thought we’d get some expert advice on this process and caught up with Tiffany Jade Benn, Director of a new online Sydney-based homewares store, HART : LDN (www.hartldn.com).

Tiffany Jade Benn, Director of a new online homewares store, HART : LDN

Read on for Tiffany’s helpful tips on:

1. Buying artwork for yourself
2. Buying artwork as a gift for someone else
3. This season’s hot artwork trends and must-have prints

Buying artworks for yourself:
• Be brave! Just take a slight shift from your usual style. The moment I started doing that everything changed.
• Choose your frames carefully and mix styles. If you have a collection of prints together mix the textures of the frames for an eclectic look that people will be instantly drawn to.
• Don’t rush – take your time to browse for your artworks. 
• Many framing websites will allow you to upload a photo of your artwork to see what frame will suit it best.
• If your budget allows wait until you have purchased all your artworks for your home and hire a professional picture hanging service. They work quickly, efficiently and clean up after themselves!

Choosing artwork for someone else:
• Have a look at their current interior style and head for something along those lines…however…
• Pick something that is a slight shift from their comfort zone. Not too far though!
• Don’t limit yourself to prints alone. I have a beautiful tea towel that I bought in New Zealand 6 years ago and framed it – it’s still one my favourites!
• If you’re feeling generous get your gift framed. Either pick a ready-made frame or search on the internet for made to measure frames. There are many made to measure framing websites that won’t break the bank. I love contemporary prints in very ornate frames, it makes such a statement.

This season’s hot prints

1. Metallics

The metallics trend following on from last year is showing no signs of slowing down, thankfully! It gives a feeling of luxury and high-end style at prices we can all afford. Metallics are striking in any room where you want to add a touch of luxe.

A fantastic unisex print that completely embraces our obsession with everything metallic

Senna Jean Heart Gold Foil Print 
Bring a bit of love into your life!

2. Global

Think American Indian headdresses, crosses, dreamcatchers, skulls, cacti, tee pees. Think of the Navajo in Arizona & New Mexico. This trend can easily be slotted into a colourful interior with the rich, deep colours of the desert or something more minimalist as there are many prints that are monochrome. This is a bulky unisex trend and there is truly something for everyone.

These tips were kindly shared with us by Tiffany Jade Benn from HART : LDN.
HART : LDN stocks products for men & women, for all ages and budgets with the majority of the products being designed and produced in Australia by up-and-coming designers.
Check out their website, www.hartldn.com and Facebook page.

Here are some tips on how to hang artwork in your home…

What are your favourite pieces of artwork? 
Where do you have them displayed at home?
We’d love your thoughts – please comment below…

Handy Home Tips: How to hang pictures

So you have a beautiful collection of photos and artworks, framed and ready to hang. 
But how and where to hang them? Do you display them on their own, or try to group them together? 

My anxiety of hanging something in the wrong spot often slows the process of actually getting the jolly thing on the wall. But I think my nervousness of hanging pictures is justified – after all, how many holes-in-the-wrong-spot do you really want in a wall?

So, you can only imagine my delight when I stumbled across this Picture Hanging Guide. 
I also love that it gives options for pics on shelves and on the wall next to the stairs

Image from www.lushome.com

If you really want to confuse yourself, you can find more suggestions here…
Some key things to consider:

Why spend time arranging your artwork before hanging it? 
Well designed layouts complement your home interiors, making a room look interesting, but light and spacious. Beautiful collections of photographs are excellent wall decorating ideas that help declutter homes and design beautiful and cozy, personal and modern interiors…Balanced compositions of photographs and artworks complement interior decorating with rhythm and repetition, adding harmony and interest to rooms.” 

Why should you group smaller images together?
Large empty walls can handle big collections of photographs or large photos. A single small photograph on an empty wall looks lost and unappealing. If you have lots of small photographs, it is better to design a composition and arrange them on empty walls in accordance with one of layouts that demonstrate how to hang photographs and decorate empty walls like a professional decorator. Source: www.lushome.com. 

How do I start this process?
Layout your proposed idea on the floor first and don’t be afraid to make changes. 

How do you decide what artworks to hang on your walls at home? We’d love your thoughts – please comment below…

BRAND OF THE WEEK: Brushtech Brushes

YES! There is an easier way to clean your wine glasses, decanter and BBQ grill. 

It’s all about having the right tools for the job. When it comes to household brushes, Brushtech have a solid reputation for quality products that are designed to make tricky jobs quicker and easier. 

The four “magic” Brushtech Brushes for your wine glasses, decanter, BBQ and grill

The “magic four” brushes are the:

1. Wine Glass/Stemware Brush

Brushtech Wine Glass Brush – get those wine glasses sparkling for your next dinner party

Why we love it:
  • The soft foam bristles gently remove wine stains, lipstick, and greasy lip marks around the rim of the glass
  • The tapered shape makes it easy to clean the very bottom of the glass (which is nearly impossible with a sponge)
  • The sturdy plastic handle makes it easy to hold and control the brush
  • The foam is water resistant, which means it doesn’t absorb water so it’s quick to dry and won’t harbor bacteria 
  • To thoroughly clean your brush (only necessary after many uses) you can simply pop it into the dishwasher.  

2. Decanter Brush

Brushtech Decanter Brush – this brush is designed to bend and clean unsually shaped decanters and carafes
Why we love it:
  • The slim shape is designed to fit in the narrow necks of most decanters to remove wine stains and residue. 
  • The soft foam bristles won’t scratch or damage your decanter’s fine crystal
  • This long brush is designed to be bent and flexed to get to those hard-to-reach spots
  • The brush can also be used for carafes, vases, water jugs and bottles (anywhere you’d use a bottle brush), so it’s a versatile cleaning tool. 
  • The foam is water resistant, which means it doesn’t absorb water so it’s quick to dry and won’t harbor bacteria 
  • To thoroughly clean your brush (only necessary after many uses) you can simply pop it into the dishwasher.  

3. Large BBQ Grill Brush

Brushtech Large BBQ Grill Brush – the fast way to clean max surface area of your BBQ

Why we love it:
  • The wide head quickly cleans a large surface area of your BBQ
  • The brass bristles are durable and long-lasting, but won’t scratch porcelain grills
  • One of these brushes will outlast the other sponges and clothes on the market, which over time will save you money. 
  • A dedicated tool for cleaning the grimy BBQ may mean that it will get cleaned more often! (although we can’t promise that!)

Brushtech Small BBQ Grill Brush – ideal for getting into these tight corners and crevasses 

Why we love it:
  • With all the same attributes as its big brother, the Large BBQ Grill Brush (which is durable and long-lasting) this small BBQ Grill brush is designed to get into the small spaces of your grill for a thorough clean. 

    How do you currently clean your glassware and BBQ/grill? What are your favourite products to use? We’d love your thoughts – please comment below…

    Handy Home Tips: Fridge Magnet Tins

    These brightly-coloured little tins are too cute to throw out, but what to do with them?

    The addition of a strong magnet to the back of these little tins transforms them into handy storage vessels for little bits and pieces, such as pens and pencils. 
    Image from www.ezzly.hubpages.com
    Here’s why we love them:
    • They make vibrant, useful fridge magnets for storing little bits and bobs such as pens, pencils, elastic bands, pegs, drawing pins, safety pins, paper clips, buttons, etc. 
    • They are a great way to reuse attractive little tins
    • They add a bit of colour and charm to any kitchen
    • You can pop them on the fridge or any other magnetic surface

    What sort of magnets do you have on your fridge? 
    We’d love your thoughts – please comment below…

    Homeware Gift of the Day: Ashortwalk Moon Thermometer Time Clock

    We’re huge fans of clocks as gifts and this Ashortwalk Clock is particularly special. It looks and feels like slate, but is unbelievably made from recycled coffee cups! Here are some other reasons why we love it…

    Here’s why we love it:
    • This is recycling at it’s best – a high quality, durable material created from recycled coffee cups. 
    • The moon, thermometer and time faces are all useful functions. 
    • This is an unusual clock that would make an interesting conversational piece in your home. 
    • This clock is a fantastic gift for hard-to-buy-for people, especially men! 
    • It’s a great size for most rooms (350 x 150mm) – not too big and not too small
    • The styling is simple and timeless, so this clock would suit most interiors. 

    Who would you give this clock to? 
    We’d love your thoughts – please comment below…

    Handy Home Tips: Towel Baskets

    Does your home have enough storage? 

    I am yet to meet anyone who has enough storage in their house. Having enough room to store everything in your house is not necessarily related to the size of your house. A large house with no cupboards can have less practical storage than a small house with clever storage options. 

    The secret lies in seeing potential storage opportunities and making the most of them, like these wall-mounted towel baskets for your bathroom. 
    Image from www.ezzly.hubpages.com
    Why we love them:
    • It keeps the towels where you need them – in the BATHROOM! No more nudie runs to the linen cupboard to grab a towel when you forgot to get one before your shower. 
    • They’re stylish – these baskets are a design feature that look great on your bathroom wall. We love the colour-coordinated towels and shower curtain. 
    • Most bathrooms rarely have another bulk storage space to keep big items like towels. After all, you don’t want to waste your previous vanity cupboard space on towels!
    • They’re inexpensive – baskets like these are easy to source these days a will only require a couple of screws to secure them to the wall. 
    • They are versatile – you can choose how many baskets, what shape and size you go for. 
    • You can add more later if you need extra storage. Also consider other options such as wooden or plastic creates – anything that works well with your existing bathroom decor. 
    • They add value to your house. If you ever come to sell your property, buyers will appreciate storage solutions. 

    Where do you store your bathroom towels? 
    We’d love your thoughts – please comment below…

    Handy Home Tips: Button Earring Organisers

    You would be forgiven for thinking I’m obsessed with buttons are all the recent posts on handmade button gifts. It turns out that buttons are handy little things – even for organising your earrings. 

    I have a small jewellery tray that I keep my earring studs in when I’m not wearing them, but I can never find the pair I want when I’m rushing to leave the house and frantically sorting through the tray. 

    A handy use for spare buttons
    Image from www.ezzly.hubpages.com

    Why we love this button earring organiser:

    • It keeps pairs of earrings together in a large object that is easier to spot in a jewellery box
    • Everyone has spare buttons they could use for this
    • It’s a really attractive way of storing your earrings
    • It prevents earrings from getting lost, damaged, or separated from their back fastenings
    • You can store studs and drop earrings this way

    Here are some other ways to use buttons:

    Seven Ways to Use Buttons on Gift Cards and Tags

    Do you have any great ways to reuse buttons? 
    We’d love your thoughts – please comment below…

    How to keep a clean home

    April is Mr Gift’s Home Month. This month we are focusing on ways to improve the space around you at home – in your house and garden. 

    As colder winter days drive us indoors, we reckon April is a good time to ensure your home is your sanctuary, so you can truly relax and enjoy the time you spend there. This might be realised through a bit of redecorating, moving things around, or just having a good old tidy up. 

    Various studies have proven that the space around us impacts our mood, so we’re looking forward to sharing lots tips and tricks to whip your home into shape this month. Hopefully by the end of the month your house will be so alluring you’ll look forward to coming home at the end of the day…in fact, you won’t want to leave! 

    The first step to a harmonious household is a good old clean-up. Here is a great ‘cheat sheet’ to pop on the fridge and keep you focused on the main jobs. 
    Image from www.designsponge.com

    Here are some other jobs that could be substituted/added to this list:

    Every Day:
    • Make beds
    • Clean out one draw, cupboard or shelf somewhere in your house to keep on top of accumulating clutter. This gets you into the habit of clearing out things you don’t use regularly, and reminds you of the things you have so you can use them. Always keep a bag for the charity shop somewhere that you keep adding things to. When it’s full drop it off and start another bag. 
    Once a week:
    • Wipe the main shelves in your fridge, especially just before you go grocery shopping when the fridge is empty. 
    • Do your ironing – pull out 5+ outfits for the week ahead and iron them. This also saves time each morning trying to figure out what to wear. 
    • Vacuum the car (you might only need to do this once a month if you don’t have kids in the car or don’t use your car that frequently)
    Once a month:
    • Vacuum behind the beds/under furniture. This is one I always forget and it’s amazing the amount of dust that accumulates there!

    What are your top cleaning tips? 
    We’d love your thoughts – please comment below…