Nursery wish list

Woah. Discovering the world of children’s shops is a very dangerous game: there are so many lovely things! Making a wish list for the nursery has been difficult purely because there is so much to choose from and far too much temptation to go completely over board. Forget the boring stuff that we’ll actually need, I’m just enjoying choosing the pretty stuff right now.

I have chosen a white back drop for the room and because I don’t like bright, bold colours I have gone for my favourite dusky pinks, blues, greys and greens with touches of black and lots of raw wood and jute baskets to ground the scheme so it doesn’t look or feel too sickly.

Here is a taster of some of the lovely things I have found, some of which I have bought already, others may remain firmly on my wish list forever *sigh*.


Nursery wish list | Apartment Apothecary

Chalkboard – Labour & Wait, Hot air balloon light – The Modern Nursery, Saar Manche illustration – Tea & Kate, Quilts – Camomile London, Cushions – Camomile London, Wool rug – Urbanara, Zebra basket – The Tipi , Home cushions – Smallable, Ferm Living whale mobile – Smallable, Natural belly baskets – Olli Ella, Changing basket – Olli Ella, Cam Cam swaddles – Little Goldie.

I want to include lots of texture in the room using layered textiles on the day bed, a snuggly woollen rug and lots of baskets to store toys and blankets. I’ve chosen a beautiful illustration, a chalkboard and a couple of other prints for the walls.


Nursery wish list | Apartment Apothecary

String shelving – Haus, Sebra Kili cot bed – Houseology, Chest of drawers – Ikea, Day bed – Ikea, Rocking chair, Black-out blinds – Luxaflex.

I’ve been told by friends with babies that black-out blinds for the window are a must, especially as the cot has to be positioned under the window as this is the only place it will fit in the room. A lot of Luxaflex blinds have the option of room darkening fabric and they are safe for children so that seems like a good choice. I wish I had the budget to source some beautiful vintage furniture for the room but I need the practicality of the Ikea day bed and drawers at the moment as we have such a severe lack of storage. I will, however, be on the hunt for more characterful options as the baby gets older – what I really want is some lovely wooden furniture rather than all the brand new white pieces. Hopefully the beautiful Danish cot and a lovely rocking chair that Jules’s mum used when he was a baby will make up for the generic Ikea stuff. I am keeping the String shelving from our home office in the room, too, as storage is key in our small flat.


Nursery wish list | Apartment Apothecary

Wooden activity arch – Smallable, Cart and cubes – Smallable, Sebra rabbit – Smallable, Maileg bunny – Tea & Kate, Sebra elephant on wheels – Smallable, Little People books – Southbank Centre shop, Wooden toy bundle – Sarah & Bendrix, Luggy basket – Olli Ella, White paper doll house – Sarah & Bendrix.

I know the baby won’t be able to play with some of these toys for quite a while but they look so pretty! Wooden and crocheted toys, beautiful books – all so tempting…

Someone hold me back!

Katy x


Dyson V8 Animal cordless vacuum review

I am beyond excited about this new addition to my home. No, it’s not a stylish piece of furniture or a beautiful piece of art but a cordless vacuum. A CORDLESS VACUUM! Believe me when I tell you that this is a life changing moment for me and I squealed when it arrived at my door last week.

I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about keeping your house clean living with a dog that turned out to be very popular and a few readers who are also dog owners left comments recommending the Dyson V8 Animal cordless vacuum (the Dyson V8 Absolute is very similar but choose the Animal if you have pets). I always like getting personal recommendations so I decided to take your word for it and try it out. The lovely team over at sent me one to review and it arrived the next day with a one hour delivery slot – great service!

I am being completely honest when I tell you that the vacuum is completely brilliant and has made keeping our flat clean so much easier. Our current vacuum is big, heavy, bulky and just getting it out of the hallway cupboard is enough to put me off using it, let alone dragging it around the house and having to bend down to use any of the attachments. I constantly bash it into the walls when I pull it around corners and knock stuff off surfaces with the hose every single time I use it! Let’s just put it this way that vacuuming is my least favourite chore but the one I need to do most because of all the dog hair.

Dyson V8 Animal cordless vacuum review | How to keep your house clean with a dog | Apartment Apothecary

I knew a cordless vacuum would solve a lot of these problems as they are so easy to store on a charging dock and not having a hose or cable to worry about is pure bliss and makes moving around so much easier and less hassle. However, after doing a bit of research the Dyson V8 Animal not only gives me the benefits of being cordless it actually provides better cleaning than my current vacuum. Let me tell you how…

Dyson V8 Animal cordless vacuum review | How to keep your house clean with a dog | Apartment Apothecary

Charging dock that can be screwed to the wall, four attachments, the main handset and an extender pole.

The Dyson is extremely versatile as you can use the handset with the attachments so it’s like a hand-held vacuum, especially good for our sofa and bed to get rid of Otto’s hair or more generally for getting rid of crumbs on the table, in kitchen cupboards or use the brush attachment for dusting shelves. We can also take it out to our car to get rid of dog hair and mud, which is invaluable. I talk more about the special pet hair attachment in the video below and you can see me using it on my sofa and Otto’s bed. My regular vacuum doesn’t come close to removing dog hair in the way this does.

When you add the extender pole to the hand set it changes in to a regular vacuum and because it is so light (only 2.6 kg – some cordless vacuums are up to 5 kg) you can easily reach up to the ceiling to get rid of cobwebs, add the brush attachment to clean skirting boards without the need to bend down (something I have to do with my regular vacuum) and the main attachment for the floor pivots on a ball head so it is very, very easy to use.

I now use the Dyson several times day, just a few seconds at a time, to keep on top of the dog hair and it makes a massive difference to how clean the house feels generally. If I use it on the maximum suction setting the charge lasts for up to 7 minutes but I only really need to use that setting when I’m cleaning the sofa, car or Otto’s bed to get rid of hair. Generally, it only needs to be on the minimum suction setting for vacuuming the floor and in that case it can last up to 40 minutes. If I want to do a big clean of the whole flat I still use my regular vacuum as that can take up to an hour but otherwise it is the Dyson V8 Animal all the way!

Here’s a bit more detail…

Thanks to my lovely readers for recommending this and to for sending me one to review – I am so, so pleased with it!

Katy x

Dyson V8 Animal cordless vacuum review | How to keep your house clean with a dog | Apartment Apothecary

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Friday Faves

How is it the end of October already?! Seriously? I’ve spent the week planning features for November and I suddenly realised that my planner is about to run out of pages as well as the year running out of days (and once December starts that’s the end of the year with just a hazy month of fairy lights, parties and presents, right?). Anyhoo, I promptly put an order in for my annual Rifle Paper Co calendar – I chose this one from Papermash – and now I need to choose a new planner so I thought I’d share some of my favourites that you can buy right here…

Right, I’m focusing on making the most of the rest of this year and trying to slow time down a bit. Hope you’ve all had a good week and enjoy the weekend!

Katy x

Made to Last

One of the things I have enjoyed most about starting a blog is discovering and meeting so many independent shopkeepers and makers. I love being able to introduce them to you as I know finding the time to source great products either for your own homes or for gifts can be very difficult for some.

Today, I would like to introduce you to Made to Last, set up and run by Joel who has kindly taken the time to answer a few of my questions about his online shop. I’ve also picked my own favourite products from the shop for you to take a look at. Over to Joel…


1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and why you set up Made to Last?

I have been interested in the environment and the impact that we have on it for a long time. A particular incident that I always remember is travelling on a boat up the Amazon river where the boat owners used to just empty the bins over the side of the boat.

As well as that I have always been a cheapskate and struggled with value for money (I was on the cheapest boat available going up the Amazon). I love a bargain and have had my fingers burnt far too often as a consequence. A few years ago I made a decision to focus on value for money and buy quality products that will stand the test of time.

Additionally I have a background in marketing for retail online so wanted to marry these personal interests with my professional skill set. Made to Last is the result.

2. What makes Made to Last different to other shops?

Our focus on value for money is the key differentiator. All of our products show a clear price and a guarantee length from the manufacturer. By comparing the price with the guarantee length our customers can get a rough idea on value for money.

It is a new concept and some suppliers although selling amazing products on Made to Last are unable to give warranties to the length that they really know that their products will last. But they are slowly coming round to the idea and in a few years I think that the idea will really hit home as it helps both customers in terms of trust and also suppliers in terms of pushing them to make the best products – when they do they sell more.

As well as that we only sell products manufactured in the British Isles (including Ireland). This means that there are less taxes, less transport costs, staff in our suppliers companies are paid fairly and treated well. So through buying from Made to Last you can be confident that everyone is getting a good deal out of your purchase.

Made To Last | Apartment Apothecary

Top row from left to right: Cast iron casserole dish from Netherton Foundry, Hugo table light by Original BTC Middle row: Hill & Ellis professor bike bagBee9 drop leaf tablet desk, Utology desk tidy Bottom row: Hector small pleat table lamp by Original BTC, Cast iron cookware range from Netherton Foundry,  Albert peach cushion.

3. Why do you feel so strongly about British made goods?

The 3 reasons are:

1) Lower environmental impact through shorter distances between manufacturer and end user – we do not store the products – they go direct form the maker to the user.
2) Everyone in the supply chain being treated fairly.
3) I want to support manufacturing as I think that when people do jobs that involve actually creating something that another person benefits from, it makes them feel worthwhile. It is a shame that British manufacturing declined for many years – hopefully it’s revival will continue indefinitely.

4. How do you choose which products to stock in your shop?

We come across new makers and products in a number of ways, some through recommendations from our customers, in many cases the suppliers contact us and in other cases we research online for new suppliers and contact them ourselves. We then discuss with them which of their products will be a good fit for Made to Last and go from there.

5. Are you ever tempted to keep any of your products for yourself?

I have got a number of the products already – I have a chopping board from Rough Stuff Oak and some pendant lights from Mullan to name a few.

6. Where would you like to take Made to Last in the future?

A dangerously big question – I will try to keep it short….

Over the next few years we would like to develop the product ranges further, especially in furniture and as well as that develop the website and in particular the ease of customers finding the most suitable products for them quickly. This becomes an issue as we add more products. Long term, we would also like to open a showroom where people can come and see our products and try them for themselves. Finally – I am keen to do something about increasing reuse and recycling. I think that people are too quick to buy again rather than think about repairing. This will mean a lot of discussion and work with our suppliers in some cases but many of them already offer this kind of service – we just do not shout about it at the moment.

Thank you so much to Joel for giving us an insight into setting up and running an online store. I’ll take the whole Netherton Foundry range, please!

Katy x

*This post was written in collaboration with Made to Last

Selection of the best day beds

As I said in my nursery inspiration post, we definitely want a day bed in the baby’s room so I have started to have a look at some of the best options. There are a few reasons we have decided it’s a good thing to have in this room ranging from being able to house family members who want to come and stay, an extra bed for either Jules or I to escape to when the sleep deprivation gets too much, a cosy place I can nap and feed the baby and I think it will help make the room feel welcoming and become almost a second living space.

I have always, always wanted an Ercol day bed but it doesn’t quite fit our requirements that the bed be inexpensive and sleep two. It will just have to stay on my wish list for another few years!

Here are a few day beds that do meet our requirements but also a few others that aren’t quite right for us but may work for you…

Choosing a day bed | Selection of day beds | Day beds for a nursery | Apartment Apothecary

I’ve always really loved this day bed and it would work really well in the room but it’s just a bit too expensive for my budget. Two pack day bed from Loaf (they have a couple of other great options, too).

Choosing a day bed | Selection of day beds | Day beds for a nursery | Apartment Apothecary

I would loooooove to have this piece in my life and it would look amazing in the room but it doesn’t sleep two and it’s a bit too pricey. It’s definitely on my wish list for the future though. Day Bed One from Another Country.

Choosing a day bed | Selection of day beds | Day beds for a nursery | Apartment Apothecary

This is a good option as it converts to a double bed and I like the simple design and I could easily personalise the frame with paint. TARVA Day Bed from Ikea.

Choosing a day bed | Selection of day beds | Day beds for a nursery | Apartment Apothecary

My dream day bed – I will have it one day! You can buy one similar from Layer Home.

Choosing a day bed | Selection of day beds | Day beds for a nursery | Apartment Apothecary

A very practical option as it converts to a king size bed, it’s well priced and it has under bed storage, which always appeals. HEMNES day bed from Ikea.

Choosing a day bed | Selection of day beds | Day beds for a nursery | Apartment Apothecary

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It looks like there will be a trip to Ikea soon and as long as I’m treated to a hotdog at the end I’ll be happy 😉

Katy x