UK Lifestyle Blog 2018-12-03T02:41:24+00:00
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Home Edit: We’re giving our home a lil TLC 💞

In September it’ll be FIVE YEARS since I agreed to buy my little home off a new build plan. I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone; it feels like only yesterday I was wearing a hardhat on a building site trying to imagine what my kitchen would look like. As we look forward towards the future, we’ve talked about letting go of our beautiful home and upgrading to something bigger to accommodate our future goals and aspirations.

The thought of ever leaving this 2 bedroom house breaks my heart because I worked SO hard to purchase and furnish it on my own when I was 23. Scanning the market, we have an idea on what type of property our next move might be. We’re not going anywhere soon… so until then, we’ve decided to make some tweaks to the house so we can squeeze a couple more years out of it so that when we eventually do move we’ll have a bigger budget. This, coupled with the fact, I’m not ready to say goodbye just yet.

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Lounge

I spend the majority of my time in the lounge when I’m at home – it’s my favourite room in the house. Last year we shuffled the furniture around which made the room feel bigger, and it feels much more social when we have guests over. I’m really glad we did it because the rooms so much better this way.

We’ve recently inherited a bigger television and cleared out the cupboard under the stairs (such a relief!). We’ve moved our large grey DFS armchair back to the bedroom and replaced it with a gigantic fur beanbag.

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It’s the comfiest thing in the world, not to mention the room weirdly feels BIGGER having it in here. Hanging behind it on the wall is a stunning Moroccan rug that I picked up in Marrakech on my hen do last month.

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Kitchen

Our house isn’t big but we’re lucky that we’ve got a decent size kitchen that opens onto decking with stairs into a garden, giving the illusion of space. The illusion of space isn’t much good in reality though…

We can comfortably get a dining table and chairs in our kitchen and there’s enough room for us to both cook in there, but it was limiting. We couldn’t put in a dishwasher because there wasn’t enough under-counter space.

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We stuck a condenser tumble dryer in the corner of the room, plumbed our washing machine in under the sink and cleaned our dishes by hand – not the end of the world.

Someone then gave us the idea to convert our downstairs bathroom into a utility room, freeing up space in our kitchen for a dishwasher and space where the tumble dryer was stuck in the corner of the room behind the dining table. Considering we don’t even use our downstairs bathroom, this seemed like a genius idea.

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The rug is a new addition, too! I picked this beauty up when I went to Jordan in December with my best friend (another blog post I NEED to write). It’s handmade by the local Jordanians near Petra. 

We picked up a cheap dishwasher, called a plumber, and a couple of hundred quid later we had a utility room, one less bathroom to clean and a lot more space! The best bit was, we don’t have to spend our evening scrubbing dishes. I can’t believe we didn’t think of this before.

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It’s so much better being able to keep our laundry basket, bin and other cleaning products tucked away in a cupboard. We managed to keep our sink in there, too which is good for when we need to empty the water tank from the tumble dryer. It’s not particularly beautiful but it makes life way easier.

Bathroom

We’ve lost one of our toilets but honestly, we never used it! It was so small and we have a family bathroom upstairs, so we always used that one anyway. One less room to buy flowers for, too…

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There’s only so much you can do when decorating a bathroom, especially when you just like everything to be white, like me! We bought a new bin, some fancy new soaps and got a bath caddy. But the most exciting thing is actually very sad… We finally got our heated towel rail fitted and I’m so happy.

We bought it literally two years ago and never got around to having it plumbed in. TA-DA! 👇

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When the plumber came over to sort out the utility room, we got him to pop the radiator in too. It looks so much nicer than before and it’s a much better use of space. Goodbye towels hanging on the landing.

Overall, it doesn’t look much different in the bathroom because I try and keep it clear from bottles etc. We do have some new scales that sync up to your phone and track your weight, which is pretty cool!

Bedroom

We’ve made some small changes to the bedroom but nothing major. Our bedroom has a large G-Plan sideboard at the end of the room opposite the bed with 2 matching bedside tables. I love midcentury furniture and would probably decorate the entire house with it if I could afford to. Watch this space… 👀

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I’d been on the hunt for some artwork to go above the bed for a little while. We don’t have a headboard and I didn’t really want one. Instead, I wanted a statement piece. That exactly what I found when I came across this beach oil painting print. I couldn’t resist it, and it looks so beautiful with our bamboo lampshade.

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The print has a hint of pink in and we’ve got a lovely new (to us) vintage pink ottoman, which compliments our pink and grey contrast bedcovers nicely. The DFS chair being in the bedroom works really nicely with the grey already in the room, too. Happy accidents and all that.

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Midcentury teak and bamboo probably don’t go together but I’m totally in love with how it looks – even S is impressed with the pink. We’re currently working on the office and I’m so excited to share it with you xxx

March 17, 2019|Home Decor|

How to Safely Get Parcels Home When on Holiday or Travelling

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I’ve just got home from Marrakech. I went over there with 11 of my nearest and dearest to celebrate my hen (blog post coming VERY soon!). I love everything about Morocco and I couldn’t wait to get back there with my friends and family and show them why I’m infatuated with this place. If you’ve been, you’ll know one of the great things about this place is the souks. Markets overflowing with gorgeous homewares and handmade leather goods.

Of course, we filled our bags with rugs, slippers and trinkets, then tried to shove them in our suitcases to get them back to the UK. Checking luggage is expensive, and if you’re buying a large rug, even a large suitcase won’t save you. We’re going to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam for our honeymoon and we don’t want to be stuck in that situation again, so we’ve looked into some options for shipping goods home.

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Six years ago when moving back from Australia I sent a large parcel back to the UK. I can’t remember exactly how much I spent, but it was a couple hundred bucks! I was kicking myself for going through to the Australian postal service, instead of looking at options online. Alas! I won’t make the same mistake twice… Here are some tips for if you’re thinking of doing the same.

Perfect Packaging

Parcels get home safely when they’re packaged properly. Particularly if you’re transporting fragile and expensive items, it can be a good idea to wrap them up in polystyrene and plastic wrappings before they’re encased in their boxes. This bolsters their protection against things like knocks and bumps during transit and ensures the item remains intact.

Why put up with the risk? Ensure that there’s the best packaging possible with your items, and your parcel should make it home just fine. By going the extra mile here, you ensure that nothing goes wrong – it’s really that simple!

Tracking Technologies

Of course, even with the best packaging, parcels can be lost or misplaced. This can cause a lot of anxiety and fretfulness, especially when the arrival of the package was highly anticipated and important. Therefore, there needs to be a way of ensuring your parcel gets home not just safely but gets there at all!

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Is there any need to put yourself through all that stress and worry? Consequently, companies like Parcel2Go can help here; their parcel tracking services mean that you can keep tabs on your order wherever it may be. You’ll thereby remove the ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ that come with transit complications, and always have immediate access to the status of your delivery.

Neighbour Negotiations

Even when a parcel does make it home, if there’s no one to look after it, worry can set in again all the same. It’s unattended if you’re living alone, or it could be that it’s so big it won’t fit through the letterbox and there’s no one there to receive it. What can you do here?

Well, for all the bells and whistles technology affords, not many devices can beat a trusting neighbour. If you’re concerned that your parcel won’t make it home, perhaps ask your neighbour to receive it on your behalf. It’s the next best thing! This way, you know your package is in good, caring hands, which may just give you some comfort.

March 15, 2019|Travel|

Low-Cost Home Improvement Ideas You Can Do Over the Weekend

Every now and then, a moment of inspiration overcomes us all. Suddenly, we feel a desperate craving to radically redesign our home. After all, our tastes and stylistic tendencies develop greatly over the years, and the home evolves with those changes. It’s a space to feel most ourselves, so it’s only natural that big alterations are made.

That said, sometimes time isn’t always on our side when these moments of creativity hit us. Whether it’s careers to pursuit or kids to raise, there isn’t always the leeway to make a good start on some quality home improvement. Home improvement firms are closing down too, bottlenecking the options available to people who want to overhaul their homes without spending a fortune.

So here you have it… 3 low-cost home improvement ideas that you can do over the weekend without having to splash your savings on expensive furniture (**psst** it won’t take all day either!).

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Incorporate Plants Indoors

Plants are cheap, but they conversely have great value when incorporated into the home. For example, they circulate a great amount of oxygen around every room they feature. What better way to liven up the home than to fill it with more life? There’ll be a vivid injection of colour and greenery, and overall elevate the home beyond the typical and bland furniture and decorations.

For example, companies like Coopers of Stortford can help greatly here. They cover plant care supplies alongside many other niches, so if you’re aiming for a flare of green originality in your home, use their services. In the end, it’s never a bad idea to add some natural greenery into your home!

Update Lighting

Your indoor lighting scheme can communicate a lot about your home. They can emphasise certain areas or objects in the home, emphasise a formal or informal space, and overall illuminate any room so that it’s easier on the eye. Often, it’s the lighting that adds those final ‘homely touches’ that make a house feel warm and welcoming, having a diverse range of effects on things here.

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Whether it’s desk lamps or overhanging fair lights in the doorway, there’s obviously a lot of room here for customisation and decoration. It takes no time at all to update a home’s lighting arrangement, so consider doing this if it appeals to you. For example, you could purchase multi-coloured lamps that change shade at the press of a button or invest in some high-end LED wall lights that brighten up the room! In the end, your homes aesthetic could change at the flick of a switch.

Paint Walls

Obvious but underestimated, sometimes all a room needs are a new coat of paint. After all, over time paint chips and fades away, and the walls need a bit of a makeover every few years or so. Of course, it could be that you’re just bored of the colour scheme you’ve had for a while now; no matter the reason, painting the walls in a room can easily be done in one weekend!

Consider sprucing things up a bit and going for a fresh update where the walls are concerned. Perhaps it could match the furniture better, or follow a particular theme you’ve already set out elsewhere in your house? Don’t shy away from mixing and matching and seeing what works and what doesn’t; you’ve got all weekend!

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March 15, 2019|Home Decor|

Transform Any Room With These Lighting Hacks

From the bathroom to the living room and the kitchen, there isn’t a room in the house that you don’t want to evolve. For some reason, it is impossible not to upgrade a home, even if you have just finished a remodel!

The problem with having an interior design addiction is the cost. You are well aware that decorating any area of your house costs a lot of money. So, to keep the cost down and upgrade your property, you need to concentrate on the little details like lighting.

Here are the lighting hacks that you need to know if you want to revamp any room and not spend a fortune.

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Choose The Right Fixtures

The obvious choice is to install a ‘big light’ in the middle of the roof to take care of all of your lighting needs. However, one big light is not the only choice at your disposal. In fact, if you want to transform a room and complement a particular style, you will need to consider your options. For example, if you don’t want a bright room you should use a variety of lamps. Lamps provide a softer light that makes a room look much cosier and warmer. Stuck for ideas? Festive Lights have tons of inspiration on their website. 

Task Versus Ambient

Although you should go with your preferred style, you should also mix up the type of light in any room. So, if you prefer ambient lighting, it is always a good idea to have at least one task lighting fixture to add contrast. ‘Wait a minute. What are ambient and task lighting?’ Task lighting is bright, bold light that dominates a room whereas ambient is soft, mood lighting. Regardless of the tone, you should mix and match to get the tone exactly right.

Double Up

One tip that all lighting design specialists will recommend is doubling up. In layman’s terms, to double up means adding an extra fixture to the room so that there is always more than one fixture in any room. A singular light fixture will struggle to illuminate a room on its own, which means it won’t have the desired effect. By giving it a mate, every room in the house will gleam and look its best at all times of the day.

Natural Light Is King

Yes, synthetic light is a good alternative, and it will do the job. But, natural light is better because it makes everything look more appealing. Obviously, you want as much natural light as possible, which is why you have to exploit the windows as much as possible. The best way to do it is to use curtains instead of blinds. Then, all you have to do is draw the curtains during the day to let in all of the light. At night you still get your privacy, but during the day you can take advantage of the sun’s rays to great effect.

Add Mirrors

‘What do mirrors have to do with light?’ The answer is a lot because mirrors reflect light at different angles. These reflections help to make the room look bigger and roomier, which is one way to revamp a room. When it comes to lighting, there is a variety of options that can turn a dull room into a lively one.

February 25, 2019|Home Decor|
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**WINNER** Best European Lifestyle Blog 2018 🌺🥥

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Strawberry Squeeze is a UK lifestyle blog written by me, Sam Charles! Ranked as Up and Coming on Bloglovin’, Strawberry Squeeze publishes content from health and beauty to travel and adventure.

I aim to updated the blog at least once a week (usually much more often!) with guides, inspiration and reviews. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook to keep up to date with all my posts 💕

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Strawberry Squeeze is a UK lifestyle blog but what exactly does that mean? Mediakix defines a lifestyle blog as “digital content representation of its author’s everyday life and interests”. This is perfect for fickle little me, that changes what they’re doing every 5 minutes.

Whilst my career, my fiancée and my home is consistent, my hobbies and interest are all over the place. Life is too short and I want to experience EVERYTHING. One weekend I’ll be climbing a mountain, another I’ll be surfing, then the next week I’ll be watching learning how to create macrame wall hangings.

I always wonder how successful I could make the blog if it was in a niche with a focus but alas, it just wouldn’t be me.

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