Tuesday, 19 July 2016

A Fancy Dress & A Mini Date

where to eat in anglesey http://www.archieandtherug.com/
Sometimes you get small moments even as the mummy of a very pro active toddler to wear a fancy dress and you even get to go on a small date, (toddler in tow of course). When we had our mini break we were on a tight budget but we decided we would have one nice meal out. I found a great restaurant just by the Menai Bridge aptly called The Straits Restaurant an ordinarily pricey place they actually do a very reasonable 2 course fixed price menu for £15.95. My beetroot risotto was a dream.
where to eat in anglesey http://www.archieandtherug.com/
where to eat in anglesey http://www.archieandtherug.com/
So I donned a pretty frock and we headed off to the restaurant. On the way the little dude fell asleep so we pulled over to have a chat. We also took some great pictures of the Menai Bridge and some of my super cool frock with the bridge in the background.
where to eat in anglesey http://www.archieandtherug.com/
It is such a beautiful bridge and the location gave us quite a lot to spot and google whilst we waited for the mini to wake up so we could go and eat. Down in what is called The Swellies is a tiny church, St. Tysilio's Church to be exact. We discovered a few interesting facts about this church; it is thought that the church was dedicated in the 7th century but the current building only dates back to the 15th century and no one knows who built the current building. There is a causeway leading to the church that is covered by water once a day and the small graveyard that holds the bodies of the workmen who died during the construction of the Menai Bridge.
where to eat in anglesey http://www.archieandtherug.com/

where to eat in anglesey http://www.archieandtherug.com/

We enjoyed our hour of 'grown up time' and then he woke up and we ate. During dinner Joe turned to me and said, "this is perfect, the three of us, I love all of us together why would we want to ever go on holiday without him." It is in those moments that I realise how much I love this guy because he is totally on the same page as me when it comes to Sebastian. We are obsessed, that little guy completes us.

What I Wore // Dress Bolongaro Trevor // Boots Bocage


Sunday, 17 July 2016

How To Spend 3 Hours In London

a travel guide to London http://www.archieandtherug.com/
A short while ago I made a daring there and back trip to London from West Yorkshire to meet with the marketing, editing and PR team that will be dealing with my book promotion this October. In true British city style I arrived to a grey and rainy London but on the upside I discovered that my publishers new building was opposite one of my favourite walks in London so I can now share my guide to what to do in London when you have 3 hours to spare.
a travel guide to London http://www.archieandtherug.com/
This is the view from the front door of my publishers and it may look unexciting but keep in mind that I did say it was a grey rainy day. The view you are looking at is the Southbank, my favourite walk though London and a favourite of many film makers. Here are a few of the movies filmed on this stretch of the river; Truly Madly Deeply, Four Weddings & A Funeral, Man Up, Bride & Prejudice and Wimbledon, can you name any others? Armed with only my phone to take photographs and wearing boots that I thought were waterproof I set off on my walk.
a travel guide to London http://www.archieandtherug.com/
a travel guide to London http://www.archieandtherug.com/
The building dates back to the late 19th century when it supplied electricity to the Royal Mail, it then became the manufacturing home of Oxo cubes. The building is an architectural wonder before they started to fill London with large ugly glass monstrosities. Today it is a multi purpose building that houses high end flats, a very fancy bar and restaurant, galleries, design shops and independent craft stores. Most are out of my price range but they are all still a wonder to behold. One of my favourites is Candy Anthony a bridal and evening wear shop.
a travel guide to London http://www.archieandtherug.com/
a travel guide to London http://www.archieandtherug.com/
a travel guide to London http://www.archieandtherug.com/
Once you are done looking at beautiful things you cannot afford walk along the river to Gabriel's Wharf to look at beautiful things you can afford. The square is filled with independent shops, cafes and bars.  I discovered a wonder shop where I managed to pick up a very cute little shirt for Sebastian.
a travel guide to London http://www.archieandtherug.com/
a travel guide to London http://www.archieandtherug.com/
a travel guide to London http://www.archieandtherug.com/
Okay this is about the right time to stop for a pizza. May I suggest Gourmet Pizza Company.
a travel guide to London http://www.archieandtherug.com/
Now you are rested and fed continue walking up the river to see wonderful sights such as The National Theatre, despite the harsh concrete lines I have a real soft spot for this building. Walk a little further on and you can marvel at the street art and the skateboarders. Personal confession I used to have a real thing for skateboarders in my teens, that phase was replaced by the much longer basest phase. 
a travel guide to London http://www.archieandtherug.com/
a travel guide to London http://www.archieandtherug.com/
a travel guide to London http://www.archieandtherug.com/
It is probably time for another coffee break and there is a delightful little coffee truck on hand to serve your needs.
a travel guide to London http://www.archieandtherug.com/
Walk a little bit further and you can see the Houses of Parliament and The London Eye. Keep going until you have the Natural History Museum on your left and proceed up the stairs it is time to make your way to Soho.
a travel guide to London http://www.archieandtherug.com/
a travel guide to London http://www.archieandtherug.com/
Now the walk from the houses of parliament to Soho is an easy on, it is all flat and it will take you via many shops and theatreland. If you get lost and do not have Google maps working on your phone you could always use this new analogue version of  google maps as shown below. There are a whole bunch of them around town.
a travel guide to London http://www.archieandtherug.com/
You are now at the end of your time in London but not before you have dinner at my favourite place in Soho and it is cheap. Govinda's Vegetarian Thali cafe is on 10 Soho Street, W1D 3DL. I hope you enjoyed my little whistle stop tour of London. Let me leave you with a really bad photo of a very cool vending machine that spits out books, yes that is how my publisher rolls.
a travel guide to London http://www.archieandtherug.com/

Friday, 15 July 2016

A Guide To Painted Feature Walls

a guide to feature walls http://www.archieandtherug.com/
This post is dedicated to my oldest friend Angela, a wonderful lady who asked me this question, "Are Feature walls dead?" The quick answer is no, but they have certainly evolved painting a brighter colour on one wall and hoping for the best but let me expand that answer with some pretty pictures and a tad more waffle and opinion.

When you consider the feature wall it is obvious that for a long time it was simply a way inject the colour you were too afraid to use on every wall or have some wallpaper that you could just about afford if you restricted its usage, the latter I am still doing as my wallpaper tastes and my bank balance do not correlate. Those reasons for a feature wall are all fine and dandy but it has evolved as we have discovered that it is way to inject a design edge, delineate space and visually portray some personality in your space.
a guide to feature walls http://www.archieandtherug.com/
Think about using colour to delineate spaces within a room. This is especially useful in a multi purpose room and let's face it we don't live in mansions so that covers most rooms.
a guide to feature walls http://www.archieandtherug.com/
Children's rooms are some of the worst offenders when it comes to having multiple identities. Sleep space, study space, chill out space, creative space, crazy play space. Clever use of colour can really help. It might seem to those who have been fearful of colour in the past that filling an already confused area with different colours will be an awful idea but in fact when executed with confidence highlighting different areas of a room as something in particular will remove visual clutter and help it feel larger and more usable.
a guide to feature walls http://www.archieandtherug.com/
A feature wall can serve a real practical function as well as being decorative. If you have a child that keeps drawing on the wall and repeatedly saying no is leaving you feeling like you are banging your head on said defaced wall try something else. Try giving them a dedicated wall to express themselves on.
a guide to feature walls http://www.archieandtherug.com/
You don't have to dedicate an entire wall just part of it and your chalkboard wall can be almost any colour you can imagine.
a guide to feature walls http://www.archieandtherug.com/
a guide to feature walls http://www.archieandtherug.com/
Of course you could go all out and create magic, this is a great way of realising a fantasy from a favourite book for a child's room. If you are not an artist you can look into wall stickers there are some very good one's out now and places that will print up custom stickers. You don't have to stick them on a plain wall, try colour blocking then applying the stickers for a more professional designed look.
a guide to feature walls http://www.archieandtherug.com/
a guide to feature walls http://www.archieandtherug.com/
With a simple use of painters tape and shaped accessories and furniture you can a space of wonder that will give the impression that you are in fact an artist.
a guide to feature walls http://www.archieandtherug.com/
With the creation of frog tape we no longer are limited, even the most unsteady hand can create interesting shapes and create walls that look like they have fallen out of the pages of a design magazine.
a guide to feature walls http://www.archieandtherug.com/
a guide to feature walls http://www.archieandtherug.com/
a guide to feature walls http://www.archieandtherug.com/
You don't have to limit your bold painted walls and colur choices to your kiddos rooms they work just as well in grown up spaces. This look does not have to be expensive, in fact your colour blocks can use tester pots, it just has to be a considered colour palette.
a guide to feature walls http://www.archieandtherug.com/
If cool pastels are not your thing and you want a more classic look whilst still remaining edgy and want the world to know you are fully embracing the metamorphosis of the feature wall you can use your painters tape to make a bold dark band in a room, we can't all be Abigail Ahern.
a guide to feature walls http://www.archieandtherug.com/
Delineating spaces works for grown ups as well as kiddos and is a great way to turn your room from decorated to designed.
a guide to feature walls http://www.archieandtherug.com/
A colour block that matches the shelves creates amazing impact to a utilitarian space.
a guide to feature walls http://www.archieandtherug.com/
If you do decide to have a wallpapered feature wall give it extra edge by taking a colour from the paper and using it to highlight areas around the room.

So armed with painters tape, the various paint types and multitude of colours available the only thing holding you back from turning yourself from a decorator to a designer is confidence. My advice is go for it. And when you do share it in the comments below.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

My Guide To Mismatched Chairs with Chairish

A Guide To Mismatched Dining Chairs http://www.archieandtherug.com/
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My home is simply filled filled with 'finds', furniture and ephemera that has previously been loved and is now waiting to be adopted. I am not sure if it is the romantic in me or the fact that I fancy myself as a bit of a raconteur but I love to have things in my home that have their own story. I like to imagine the history of a piece of furniture. I was very happy to team up with Chairish, an online store, on this post. Chairish gathers and sells those pre-loved pieces that are waiting for a new home.

Gone are the days when having a mismatched dining set was a sign of poverty and you had to reassure your guests that yes you were saving for a matching set. Now each individual dining chair can tell a story and be a conversation piece but there are a few important points to consider.
Tip 1 - Seat height. I cannot stress enough how important that all of the seat heights are withing a couple of centimetres of one another. Imagine how awkward dinner would be if they weren't!
A Guide To Mismatched Dining Chairs http://www.archieandtherug.com/
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Tip 2 - Make sure they are different you don't want to be left looking like you tried to match them but they were just slightly off.
A Guide To Mismatched Dining Chairs http://www.archieandtherug.com/
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Tip 3 - Don't pick anything too ornate. Lots of fabulously engraved chairs do not lend themselves to this look at all.
A Guide To Mismatched Dining Chairs http://www.archieandtherug.com/
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A Guide To Mismatched Dining Chairs http://www.archieandtherug.com/
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Tip 3 - To paint or not to paint. This really is a personal preference. I think you have to go with what works with the rest of the room. Chairs that are worn can look great unfinished and if you have found fantastic chairs but they have an ugly lacquered finish I would say painting them is the way to go. If you have a set of matching chairs that really suit your needs but you want to adopt the mismatched look paint each one a different colour but keep the walls neutral or white.
A Guide To Mismatched Dining Chairs http://www.archieandtherug.com/
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A Guide To Mismatched Dining Chairs http://www.archieandtherug.com/
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Tip 4 - Regardless of your colour choice NEVER use gloss or an oil based paint, you will die of frustration before you finish as each side needs to be fully dry before you can start the next bit, not just touch dry fully cured. Use a water-based eggshell or chalk paint and a sealer.
A Guide To Mismatched Dining Chairs http://www.archieandtherug.com/
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Tip 5 - Think outside the box. How else can you change up your chairs? Colour block the chairs? Dip the legs? Cover the seat pads? Let you creativity loose on this one. It all depends on the overall look and feel of the finished room that will help you navigate through the sea of choices.
A Guide To Mismatched Dining Chairs http://www.archieandtherug.com/
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Please feel free to leave links to your mismatched chair project in the comments section. I hope you feel inspired.