Like many people, spring is the time I tend to look around my home with fresh eyes and start to think about re-decorating, decluttering and re-organising things. It’s also a great time to really ring the changes and invest in new furniture or accessories. In recent years, vintage and shabby chic furniture has been one of the key home interiors looks. Specialists in vintage, French and shabby chic furniture, Melody Maison are one of the leading companies specialising in this style. I’ve been finding out a little more about them.
Melody Maison was started in 2004 a small spare bedroom in Yorkshire. The company grew into a leading retailer of shabby French Chic and vintage style home furnishings.
Melody Maison is a real family business, with cousins, brothers, aunties and daughters all working together. They pride themselves on exceptional customer service, with everyone striving to provide the very best service every step of the way.
They design, manufacture and distribute French style furniture all over the world. Their range of furniture is either designed by and made exclusively for Melody Maison, or sourced from selected suppliers.
“French style” can mean so many things in interior design. From the understated pale aged shabby chic look, to the ornate and grand rococo style, to boudoir style chic using jewelled colours paired with gold. French style furniture is rarely modern in design. Vintage and shabby chic styles are full of character and can give your home a bespoke one-of-a-kind look.
Their website is full of so many gorgeous pieces of furniture and accessories for every room in your home, including clocks, lights and mirrors. I’ve quite fallen for this White Wooden Window Pane Mirror which I think would look fantastic in a conservatory, or in a sheltered spot in the garden perhaps.
This Window Pane Mirror is made from wood to look like a rectangular window with 2 sides and panes of mirror where glass would be. It is painted white with a washed finish to look aged, and it can be wall mounted. Its dimensions are 49cm wide x 58cm tall.
Visit the Melody Maison website to see their full range of vintage and shabby chic furniture and accessories.
This month I’m starting an online food history course with the University of Reading, it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time so I’m excited to be taking the plunge. Naturally I’m preparing for it in the best way I know how, not by reading relevant texts and getting up to speed, but by buying notebooks and stationery. This week I’ve picked up a few writers’ essentials which should see me though work and study over the next few months.
The Imperial War Museum Shop is one of my favourite places to find vintage style stationery and homeware and they’ve really come up trumps with this beautiful notebook.
This lovely large leather bound journal is similar to the notebooks soldiers will have carried with them during the first and second world wars. It is stunning, the pages are hand stitched inside the leather cover and there is a band of leather to wrap around it to keep it all together.
The natural paper is thick and speckled, so it looks really authentic and almost handmade. The notebook has a real vintage feel about it too, just having it on my desk makes me feel happy. It’s beautiful and I know when I take this out to meetings or lectures to make notes that it will turn a lot of heads.
The large leather bound journal measures 15.5cm x 11cm and costs £20. It is a real statement piece of stationery and I’m very much in love with mine.
It’s almost impossible for me to do any work without a brew by my side, and I couldn’t resist this mug with one of my favourite non-swears on it. Blimey is something I say quite a lot (and get ribbed for). I’ve always said it, but since becoming a mum I’ve toned down my “effing and jeffing” a bit and I’m all about the blimey and the crikey these days.
There are two different versions of the non-sweary mug, Blimey and Crikey. Either would have suited me well. These porcelain mugs are the standard size for a proper cuppa and cost £9 each – perfect for fans of retro non-swears like me!
I’ve got a few more bits to buy before my course starts, not least my text books, but I’m loving my vintage style writers’ essentials. I always think if you’ve got nice things to work with, then work seems like less of a chore and more of a pleasure.
You can find lots more vintage and retro stationery, books and other goodies on the IWM website.
Note: I was sent these writers’ essentials in return for a review, all images and opinions are my own.
For men, the last few years seem to have been about sharp haircuts and big beards. I love a beard as much as the next woman, but there’s an awful lot to be said for a clean shaven man; men who make the effort every morning to look spiffy. With this in mind, I got my hirsute husband to try out a monthly subscription box for men – Razorun – everything you need for your daily wet shave.
The first Razorun box contains a double edged safety razor, a shaving brush, blades, soap and a couple of mystery items. Our box contained some matches and a shaving towel. From your second box onwards you will receive aftershaves, soap, blades and more. There are several different payment options depending on the length of your subscription, but they start at £17.99 per month for 12 months.
When we opened the box we found that it contained everything you’d need for a wet shave (apart from the water obviously). Fitting the blade into the razor was simple and after a hot shower, husband lathered up and got shaving.
There’s something special about watching a man have a wet shave. As I child I would stand at my father’s knee and watch him lather up and shave. It was one of our things, I’d sit, legs swinging on the bath while he shaved. We’d talk about everything under the sun whilst he carefully dragged the razor across his face. Even now I love to sit and watch a man shave.
Using the synthetic brush and the soap provided he lathered up his face. It’s a moment of ritual in a shave that you don’t get when you’re squirting foam out of a can, so it felt a bit more special than usual.
The shave took him a bit longer than usual, I think he was being cautious with the new blade, he has a very contoured face and his beard grows quickly. The double edged razor was heavier than the modern razors he is used to, but he liked the results and his face felt very smooth afterwards.
I think the Razorun monthly subscription box is a lovely gift idea for men. Especially those men who like to do things the traditional way, shaving with proper shaving soap and a proper razor blade. Having a box of different shaving goodies sent each month is I think a lovely way of making a daily chore into something a bit nicer.
As a woman who probably cares a bit more about skincare than her man, I’d like to see some manly moisturisers and calming aftershave balms in subsequent boxes. I know each month the products are hand selected, so maybe that’s something which may happen at a later date. No two months are the same, which is part of the fun.
With Father’s Day fast approaching, I like the idea of setting up a subscription for a monthly Razorun box for either my Dad or for husband. Giving them a monthly treat to help them tackle a daily chore will hopefully help to remind them that they’re appreciated year round, not just on 19th June 2016 (Father’s Day).
To get a discount on your Razorun subscription enter SMOOTHSHAVER at the checkout, this gives you 15% off your first order. For more information about Razorun and their monthly shaving subscription boxes, visit their website.
How to have a good wet shave
Anyone who has ever run a razor over their face or any part of their body knows that shaving without due care and attention can leave you with irritation, razor burn or little cuts. Here are some top tips for having a good wet shave.
Get your face wet. Husband likes to have a shower and he exfoliates before he shaves so it is easier for him to shave.
Use a good quality shaving soap, cream or oil. Find a product which suits you and your skin (lots of women use conditioner on their legs and in an emergency it’s ok to use on your face too).
Use a good quality shaving brush – this will help get a good lather up and help lift the stubble making it easier to get a close shave.
Change your razor blade regularly. A dull or blunt razor is more likely to give you razor burn and irritation.
Use hot water, run the razor under the hot tap to clean it whilst you are shaving, this stops it clogging up with gunk and leaves the razor clear to give you the smooth shave you want.
Rinse and wash your face after shaving and then apply some soothing aftershave balm or a light moisturiser.
If you follow these tips you should get a good shave. Do you have any shaving tips you can share?
Note: We were sent a subscription box from Razorun for review purposes. All images an opinions are our own.
I have been a fan of enamel cookware since I bought a couple of baking dishes a couple of years ago. They’re so easy to care for, they’re great to cook with and look really stylish when you put them on the table. I’ve been keen to expand my tiny collection of enamel kitchenware for a while now, so I was delighted when Prestige introduced me to their brand spanking new vintage range.
The new Prestige Vintage kitchenware range has the stylish vintage look which is incredibly popular today, with all the practicality we expect in a modern kitchen. The range includes stylish accessories, oven to table cookware and a number of practical pans in useful sizes. The kitchenware is made from enamel coated steel and ceramics and comes in a choice of blue/white or red/white so you can mix and match to complete your look.
Enamel cookware is known for being easy to clean, rust proof and great for retaining heat. It’s ok to be thrown in the dishwasher after use and it’s incredibly durable. No wonder my Grandma loved it and no wonder it’s come back into fashion!
My new Prestige Vintage 19cm saucepan is a great size for family cooking. I can make a decent sized stew in it for an evening meal for the three of us, and because it’s made from enamel it can go from hob to oven to table with no bother at all. The only word of caution would be that it’s not suitable for use in a microwave, but everyone knows you can’t put metal in the microwave, so it’s not a problem really.
My Prestige Vintage 19cm enamel pan looks fab. I chose the blue stripe, but you can get it in red too. The pan is well made, sturdy but not too heavy. I’ve used it a good few times to cook with and it’s been great, and so easy to clean. I accidentally burnt caramelised something when I wasn’t paying attention, and it cleaned up really easily and left no marks at all.
As you can see it is a beautiful pan, a classic design and for my money the perfect kitchen staple. The Prestige Vintage range is a design classic and is ideal for practical everyday use. I’ve fallen for the Prestige Vintage range big time. It seems I have a vintage heart after all.
For more information, and to view the whole of the Prestige Vintage range, visit the Prestige website.
Note: We were sent the Prestige Vintage 19cm enamel pan free of charge for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.