Scandi style plant stand

I am so pleased to be sponsored by clas ohlson this month. As you know, I love Scandinavian design and interiors but the price tags on a lot of the key design pieces can be eye wateringly expensive. I’m all about trying to bring the look together on a budget and the Scandi roots of clas ohlson provide beautifully designed accessories at a very low price.

Collections of house plants set against a white interior is a big Scandi trend so I decided to pick out a plant stand from clas ohlson to show you how you can recreate this look. Plant stands are a great idea, especially if you find it difficult to keep on top of looking after your plants because when they are all displayed together you can tend to them more easily.

Different ways to use a plant ladder | Apartment Apartment

I gave my plant stand a quick lick of paint as I wanted it to blend into my white walls but the grey stained pine is ideal if you want to use it outdoors to display plants or as a potting station (the rod at the top is great for hanging tools from using S-hooks). It would also be perfect for a balcony as it makes the most of the space. If I had a big enough kitchen I would love one of these and use it for herbs.

I think it is a good idea to always have a watering can indoors filled with water so that you can easily water plants as and when you notice that they need it – I like this one.

Different ways to use a plant ladder | Apartment Apartment

Do pop over and check out clas ohlson and have a rootle around – there are many stylish bargains to be had!

Katy x


Pink to make the boys wink

You all know I love a bit of pink, which is a slight problem because Jules doesn’t. I recently painted our kitchen pink and it is still beyond me how on earth I managed to convince him to go along with that (other than that I promised to do the painting and he could go on holiday for a week!).

However, he put his foot down hard when it came to bringing pink into the bedroom although slowly, slowly I have been adding more and more without him quite clocking it yet. Therefore, I thought I would share some ways of incorporating pink into a room without splashing it all over the walls and these ideas can work with any colour really, which is especially useful for those of you who rent and can’t change the neutral decoration.

So, in our bedroom we have brilliant white walls and the floors are painted in Farrow & Ball’s All White. All of the furniture is natural wood, the wardrobes are white so there really is no permanent colour whatsoever. Just by adding a few touches of pink here and there it feels like a pink room though and when I am tired of that I can switch it up and change things around and make it feel completely different.

Adding touches of pink to a bedroom | Apartment Apothecary

I have a blush pink linen duvet cover from Soak & Sleep that adds a subtle touch of pink but can be changed really easily if I want to tone down the pink vibe – sometimes it is white and sometimes it is grey, which makes the room feel totally different. The lampshade from Lane is the only permanent pink fixture in the room.

Adding touches of pink to a bedroom | Apartment Apothecary

Even the pink rim on this vase from Holly’s House makes a difference but I can easily switch it out for something more neutral.

Whenever I take photos in my bedroom Otto has to be in the room with me and he sits there the whole time with his chin planted on the bed begging to be let up. I couldn’t help but include him here today!

Adding touches of pink to a bedroom | Apartment Apothecary

Adding touches of pink to a bedroom | Apartment Apothecary

The smallest additions can add hints of colour like this beautiful ceramic cup on my dressing table from Simple Shape. It helps to tie in the bedlinen to this side of the room.

Adding touches of pink to a bedroom | Apartment Apothecary

Oh, and there he is again, still waiting to be let up!

Adding touches of pink to a bedroom | Apartment Apothecary

I love the versatility of white walls and floors and being able to change the feeling of the room using just a few accessories. I just hope Jules doesn’t read this post and realise that he has a pink bedroom 😉

Katy x

Tips for hanging wall art

Hanging wall art is a problem that hampers a lot of us, I think, and I often go to friends’ houses and notice that nothing at all is on the walls for fear of making holes everywhere or choosing the wrong place for a piece of art. Therefore, I just want to chat you through a couple of things that can make the job a lot easier.

Firstly, I always tend to buy picture frames from Habitat (they also do mounts) or John Lewis because they have a good range of materials and sizes and I far prefer quite thin frames to bulky thick frames. Alternatively, for special pieces I will invest in taking wall art to the local framers – worth every penny in my mind. One of these days I will commit to sourcing some vintage frames and taking them to the framers to use for special prints (they often lack glass, mounts or clips if you buy them at antiques markets or car boots so the framer can rebuild them).

Once the prints are framed you then need to choose the right place for it to make it shine…

Planning a gallery wall

I saw a completely gorgeous gallery wall arranged by Holly over at Avenue Lifestyle in a recent bedroom makeover she did (I warn you, if you pop over and look at the full room you will feel the need to completely redesign your own – it’s to die for!). Quite often I hear people saying that they would have no idea about how to go about this but, as Holly shows in the picture below, all you have to do is lay them out on the floor first and play around with the composition.

Easy ways to hang wall art | Vintage gallery wall by Hollly at Lifestyle Avenue | Apartment Apothecary

I want everything in this bedroom but I want the art work most of all! Image via Avenue Lifestyle.

Easy ways to hang wall art | Vintage gallery wall by Hollly at Lifestyle Avenue | Apartment Apothecary

Holly lays the pictures on the floor to help her arrange them. Experimenting with he composition is the easiest way to create a gallery wall. Image via @holly_avenuelifestyle

Command strips

I know lots of people fear making holes in their walls, especially if you rent your property. That’s why you need to become best friends with Command Strips. They behave a bit like velcro so you press two pieces together, stick one side to the back of your frame and the other side to the wall. I swear on my life these things work and when you want to move the picture all you have to do is pull the strip off  and it takes no paint with it. They are brilliant (hooks are also available that I use all the time). The point is that you will not need to make any holes in your walls and your picture will never be wonky as it is firmly stuck in place.

Paper templates

When you have attached your command strips and you are ready to hang your pictures to help you figure out where to put them and how to space them use paper templates. Draw around your pictures to make your templates and use blu-tack to attach them to the wall to help you visualise what they will look like in a certain position. Again, experiment!

Easy ways to hang wall art | Using command strips to hang pictures | Apartment Apothecary

Paper templates will help you hang pictures evenly and in the best position.

Easy ways to hang wall art | Using command strips to hang pictures | Apartment Apothecary

A set of my favourite prints drawn by Rikkianne Van Kirk

Easy ways to hang wall art | Using command strips to hang pictures | Apartment Apothecary

Illustrations by Rikkianne Van Kirk. See more of her work in her Etsy shop.

Easy ways to hang wall art | Using command strips to hang pictures | Apartment Apothecary

Hope this may help anyone who struggles with hanging their wall art (I know I do). I *think* I have decided where to hang it all in my living room.

Katy x


Adding the finishing touches to a room

You may have noticed that I’ve been a bit quiet around here the last couple of weeks as I am struggling with our current round of IVF, which is much, much longer than the previous rounds so it really feels like an endurance test. I don’t know about you but when I don’t feel well I really struggle to think of creative ideas or concentrate so I will try instead to have a practical focus on the blog this week, which might come a bit more easily.

Our living room and kitchen makeover is all finished but dragged on and on because the delivery of a new sofa was very delayed and without that I couldn’t finish off the living space. We are now at a stage where the final finishing touches need to happen and I’ve hit a bit of a wall, mostly because I have felt so floored by all the drugs I am on but also because when so much work has gone into getting the ‘big’ stuff sorted it’s easy to run out of steam doing the smaller jobs e.g. framing art work, deciding on lighting, potting up plants, hanging mirrors etc.

So, I have put together a list of helpful tips if you are in the same situation and hopefully it will help me along the way too!

1. Ask for a trusted opinion

When you’ve been working on redecorating a room for a while it can become all a bit of a blur and you can no longer see the wood from the trees. You can end up having no idea whether the room actually looks nice or not because you have looked at it and studied it for so long! That’s why it’s a great idea to call on someone whose opinion you trust to come over and gauge their reaction. Make a little list of things you have been struggling with – placement of art work, cushion choices, whether the big houseplant should go on the left or the right of the window – and ask their opinion. I did this a couple of times last week and it has really helped me refocus and trust that I am making the right decisions.

2. Make a comprehensive list

I can find it a bit stressful when I think there is still loads to be done and therefore I do nothing. Making a clear list makes everything feel more manageable and can remove some of that stress as more often than not you realise there isn’t as much to do as you had built up in your mind.

3. Plan your budget

If you know that you still need to buy finishing touches for your room/s plan your budget carefully. Perhaps space out the purchases over the next few months and plan towards that.

4. Take your time

I think it can be a positive to take your time on the finishing touches of a room as it makes it feel more organic and a break after doing major changes can be refreshing as you come back to the room with a new perspective. However, you do need to be firm with yourself about what needs to be done and plan some sort of timescale as I have seen soooo many people never ever finish a room off as they just get used to it the way that it is.

5. Take photos to gain new perspective

If you are struggling after working on a room for too long and you feel unsure about what it needs to pull it all together try taking a few snaps. Seeing the room on film can really help give you a new perspective and a bit of distance, which should help you identify what you need to add to make it feel finished.

6. Break it down

Once you have the big stuff in place i.e. new wall colours, furniture, room layout, flooring, it can be helpful to categorise the finishing touches to help you figure out what you need. Think about a) lighting – at least three light sources in each room b) textiles – curtains, rugs, cushions, throws c) walls – art work, prints, shelves, mirrors d) decorative accessories – plants, books, objets d’art. Work through each category in that order.

Adding the finishing touches to a room | Apartment Apothecary

7. Be prepared

Be clear about the colours you want to use in the room and carry a paint colour card as well as fabric swatches for your sofa/curtains/cushions around with you in case you see something you want to buy (yes, I actually do that). It will save you so much time and umming and ahhing if you can make a decision there and then as you come across things you like. Also, always have a few snaps of the room on your phone so that you can reference those if you are in a shop and trying to make a decision on whether to purchase something or not.

I have been choosing between different rugs, lighting and artwork for my living room over the last couple of weeks so I’d like to share that decision making process with you this week as it may provide some good inspiration if you are making changes to your living area.

Hopefully be back tomorrow with lots of lovely lights that I’ve been lusting over.

Katy x

The minimalism game

When the wondrous Jeska from Lobster and Swan posted on Facebook a link to the Minimalism Game at the end of February and put a call out for friends to join in I got overly excited.

As you may have read here I started a really big clear out last year that ended with our vintage jumble sale. I got rid of masses at the time but I needed a push to finish the job off, especially as we’ve just re-done our kitchen and living room so it seemed like the perfect time to get all our cupboards and drawers organised at the same time. Well, the minimalism game was the ideal prompt to finally get the flat in order.

Basically, I had to get rid of one thing on the 1st March, two things on the 2nd, three things on the 3rd and so on until tomorrow, March 30th, when I will get rid of 30 things. I’ve never come across this type of structured decluttering that stretches across a period of time; I’ve always been the type of person who likes to do the whole lot over a couple of days. However, this month long challenge worked really well because not only was it far more manageable in terms of time but I could also give far more thought to how to get rid of the ‘stuff’. I was able to make considered donations to the charity shop and drop off an item or two there when I was passing rather than needing a car for the chore, I had the time to list stuff on eBay or my instagram sale page, I was able to return items that I had borrowed and could gift items to friends who wanted them. In short, nothing got thrown away that could otherwise have been donated, repurposed or recycled.

I now have space in my drawers and cupboards – actual space. I now have colour-coded bookshelves. I now have very little stored under my bed and light can shine all the way across the room instead of being blocked by under bed storage boxes. My kitchen cupboards are a dream come true. We no longer have a cable trunk (ok, not quite true, we have fewer cables and they are stored in their own cupboard). My bathroom cabinets are no longer filled with out of date grossness. I now have an extra £375 from selling some of my clutter to spend on lots of new stuff – ha!!!

Here is what I shed this month…

The minimalism game | Decluttering tips | Apartment Apothecary

The minimalism game | Decluttering tips | Apartment Apothecary

The minimalism game | Decluttering tips | Apartment Apothecary

The minimalism game | Decluttering tips | Apartment Apothecary

There is still a bit of work to do in my hallway cupboard and a little more organisation in my office but otherwise I may have a decluttering break for a while. And breath!

Katy x

P.S. Join in with the game and get a friend/s to join you – I found posting a pic on my Facebook page every day really helped to keep me focused.