Ikea kitchen storage solutions

What’s the best thing you’ve ever bought at IKEA? The next time you venture there, all you need to buy are these four items, which have helped me transform my kitchen storage issues:

1. BYGEL rail £2.

Attaching these rails to my pots and pans cupboard door to hold lids has stopped me screaming every time I open it. I can now find the right lid for the right pan. Do it, if you haven’t already.

2. VARIERA shelf insert £2.

These little shelves have doubled my cupboard capacity. Is it going too far to say they have changed my life?! You NEED to get these.

3. BEKVAM spice rack £3.

Attaching these spice racks to the inside of your food cupboard doors adds so much extra storage. They also makes things easier to see.

4. KNUFF magazine files £6.75.

Screwing these to the inside of kitchen cupboards adds space to store more bulky items like chopping boards, cleaning products etc.

I know this post is a bit dull (and I promise it is not sponsored by Ikea) but adding these items to my kitchen cupboards really has made a difference. Just wanted to share the storage love…

Katy x

 

Jelly moulds

When I was a child I had the most amazing birthday parties. Highlights were the games, the novelty cake my mum always made (the Care Bear one was my favourite) and the rabbit shaped jelly. We had a burgundy plastic rabbit-shaped jelly mould that I have always remembered. Anyhoo, I’m getting off the point.

The point is I love a jelly mould. The more vintage, the better. When I came across these jelly mould hanging planters from Angus and Celeste I was at the ready with my bank card. However, I realised they were very expensive and the company is based in Australia and the shipping alone was going to cost $45! I just couldn’t justify spending that much on a hanging planter – although I would happily accept it as a present (Jules, I hope you’re reading this).

So, feeling inspired, I am going to try to make my own next week, but I want to show you the original, just in case you are feeling richer than I am…

Angus and Celeste Hanging jelly mould planter collection

Angus and Celeste Hanging jelly mould planter white

Angus and Celeste Hanging jelly mould planter green

Angus and Celeste Hanging jelly mould planter blue

Angus and Celeste Hanging jelly mould planter pink

Angus and Celeste hanging jelly mould planters

Angus and Celeste hanging jelly mould planters cream

If anyone can tell me why jelly is traditionally made in the shape of a rabbit, please let me know!

 

Vintage baby shower

Keeping with the baby theme I wanted to show you some pics of the wonderful baby shower my sister organised for her friend, Helen. The wonderful Katharine, of Peachey Photography, was there to capture the day, and she also arrived laden with cakes and beauteous flowers. A team effort resulted in the most gorgeous spread and a special afternoon full of bubbles, laughter and love…

Vintage baby shower table

So pretty! A vintage-inspired spread.

Vintage baby shower party food

Vintage baby shower cake decorated with flowers

A pistachio and lemon cake made by Katharine and decorated with fresh flowers by my own fair hands.

Vintage baby shower Babycham

A kitsch addition of Babycham bottles dotted around the place.

Vintage baby shower nappy cake

A VERY kitsch addition of the traditional American nappy cake that I made. If you haven’t seen one before, it’s made of lots of rolled up nappies with goodies hidden inside.

Vintage baby shower jam jar vase

We used the appropriately named Bonne Maman jars to display the pretty flowers.

Vintage baby shower hygrangea

Vintage baby shower cake

Vintage baby shower present opening

The beautiful mother-to-be, Helen.

Vintage baby shower presents

An easy way to decorate a room is to fling bunting from one side of the room to the other. Follow my bunting tutorial to make your own.

Vintage baby shower bunting

My little sister, Amy.

Vintage baby shower bunting

My big sister, Juliette.

Vintage baby shower champagne

My mum, Claire, holding the champagne.

Vintage baby shower ring test

The ring test!

Vintage baby shower cake stand

Vintage baby shower fox booties

Surely the best present of the day.

If you want to see more photographs of the day, head over to Peachey Photography’s blog.

Gorgeous friends and family coming together to celebrate, all captured in stunning photographs. A perfect day x

 

 

Nursery ideas

Listen up, Kate…

I’m sorry if I’m about to offend lots of you, but there is nothing I like less than a generic nursery furniture set – BORING! They are usually white, made from horrible laminated wood and a really dull shape. Worst of all, the furniture can only be used for a nursery, so it becomes redundant when the child grows up. I also dislike blue or pink gender-specific rooms.

Here are my tips for making a nursery more exciting, more interesting and a little less generic….

Tip one: Use vintage furniture

Vintage library drawers

Vintage retro drawers in nursery

Vintage retro cot

Tip two: Don’t use pastel or gender-specific colours

Yellow and grey retro nursery

Red themed nursery

Monochrome Scandinavian style nursery

Tip three: Source interesting wallpaper

Un Dimanche a Paris wallpaper

Available from Famille Summer Belle.

Available from Ferm Living.

Ferm Living wallpaper

Available from Ferm Living.

Mini Moderns Whitby Lido wallpaper

Available from Mini Moderns.

Tip four: Paint your existing furniture instead of buying a nursery set

Painted child's wardrobe

Painted nursery furniture

Painted wardrobe for nursery

Tip five: Add interesting art work

Retro film poster in nursery

Mimi's circus print

Available from Mimi’s Circus.

Vintage educational chart

Tip six: Use vintage fabrics

Vintage blankets in kitsch nursery

Vintage lampshade in nursery

Vintage lamp and fabrics in nursery

Vintage patchwork blanket in nursery

What do you think? Do you like these ideas or are you a more traditional pink or blue kind of person? Have you recently decorated a nursery and done something a bit different to the norm? I’d love to see pics – email katy@apartmentapothecary.com x

P.S. Kate – I’ll be expecting a pic from you, too.

Beautiful stairs

For a long time now, I’ve been trying to convince Jules to create our ‘five year plan’. Sad, I know, but I’m a bit of a control freak and like to know where I will be and what I will be doing in the near future (even though I know, through experience, that plans never work out the way you want them to).

This weekend, I have finally managed to pin him down to agree to buying a house in the next year. This decision has mainly been influenced by our new puppy, Otto, who needs a garden (I knew this would happen, hence agreeing to get a puppy !). The idea of having a house – hopefully a period one – and being able to decorate and furnish it, is almost too exciting to bear. So, I am going to begin by dreaming of stairs…

When you move into a new house, there is always work that needs to be done and money that needs to be spent. You have to prioritise and make compromises and I am always looking for ways of saving money, whilst making my home as nice as can be.

We are currently away for a week, so I am unable to make anything or take photos of my own, so I am going to show you some stairway inspiration that I have found from Pinterest. All of these ideas are achievable, cheap and relatively easy and would be a good place to save some precious money when moving into a new home.

Inspiration…

The first idea is to use wallpaper to decorate stair risers. Sarah Moore is a vintage designer and writer and here is an excerpt from her book Vintage Home with a tutorial for these gorgeous stairs:

Vintage wallpapered floral stairs

You will need:

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Metal ruler
  • Thick card for template
  • Scissors or craft knife and board
  • Selection of vintage papers
  • PVA glue and brush
  • Clear acrylic varnish

Tutorial:

  • Measure one of the risers in the middle of the staircase and use the dimensions to create a card template using scissors or a craft knife and board. Check that this fits on all the steps – the first and last often vary slightly.
  • On the back of your wallpaper, draw around the template, then cut out the pieces. Measure and cut out any risers that vary from the template.
  • Make sure the stairs are free of dust and any loose particles, then paint one riser at a time with a thin layer of PVA glue and smooth the paper in place. Push out any air bubbles or creases towards the edge of the stairs. Pay particular attention to the edges, ensuring that they are glued in place.
  • Wait until the glue is totally dry, about 24 hours, then cover the surface of each riser with a light coat of clear acrylic varnish to protect the paper.

Other ideas…

Painted banister

I love the simplicity of this hallway and the striking addition of colour to the banister rail.

Grain sack stair runner

This is a great idea, instead of spending a fortune on a professionally fitted stair runner. This grain sack fabric is tough and hard wearing and can be attached using glue. Stair runner tutorial here.

Painted blue stair case

I did a post recently about paint effects and this is a good example of how playing around with colour can be an easy way to add interest to any home.

Painted stair runner

A cheap, stylish alternative to a traditional stair runner. I like the colour a lot.

Natural wood stair runner

Or, just leave the middle of the stairs natural wood, which ties in well with the beautiful banister.

Stripy painted stair case

A little more tricky to do and very time consuming. Would definitely be a talking point.

Painted duck egg staircase

By painting the stair risers the same colour as the walls, with a different tone for the treads, creates a clean, simple look.

Now, I’m off to traipse through Right Move…I’m sure I can get a year down to six months. Jules is going to regret entertaining this idea. Ha!