A Residence Blog

Travel and adventure taking, memory and home making, parenting and play shaking, never faking, tales of family life.

A Residence Blog

Travel and adventure taking, memory and home making, parenting and play shaking, never faking, tales of family life.

Find of the week: Pretty Light up House Fairy Lights!


At this time of year I can cope with a few gentle nods towards the season of goodwill, especially if they bring some warmth and cheer in to chilly, miserable November. Hurrah for pretty light up house fairy lights!

This Christmas house light string is in the sale, for two days only…more from Best Season at Wayfair.co.uk to come, including a giveaway –  they have totally captured my imagination this year when it comes to Christmas decorations!

What colour is your front door? A ‘door inspiration tour’.

gorgeous front doors

What colour is your front door? Mine is green (and chipped).

I’ve just come back from a week in Malta, staying with James Villas. I don’t know about you but I find coming home from a holiday really tough. Most of the time I while I am happy to see home again, my house, my dog, my bed, adjusting back to work, life and the old routine can be hard. Don’t get me started on the weather.

I saw some amazing doors in Malta, so I thought I would brighten this cold and wet November day with some sunshine and colour. Continue reading

£350 Christmas Giveaway

shopping online

Something made me start to think about Christmas shopping today. Maybe it was that I am so overwhelmed and behind after having a holiday, that I feel I must procrastinate by getting ahead in other ways.

When do you do your shopping? I’m an early December online shopper, too many family birthdays in November to even entertain it before then. But I am really excited this year to start sharing some of my finds at Wayfair.co.uk on the blog.

Wayfair.co.uk have a little survey they need some help with, about Christmas shopping habits. It takes two minutes maximum to complete, as I timed myself for research purposes ( I am sadly probably not eligible to win).

The prize is a whopping £350 to spend at Wayfair.co.uk, on whatever YOU fancy. What a lovely Christmas giveaway.

Table decorations, kitchenware, Christmas decorations, unique homeware presents for family, a gift for your pet or the gardener in your life. Or maybe a new sofa or dining table just in time for the big day.

£350 Christmas Giveaway

Just click here to complete the survey and be automatically entered into this Christmas giveaway! Be quick the survey finishes Friday 21st November 2014.

And why not win a cushion while you are here?

Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com – See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/%C2%A3350-spend-wayfaircouk#sthash.yrr0Fhb1.dpuf

A Residence at The Interior Blog Awards

interior blog awards

Penny (right) chatting to Karen from Wayfair UK at the IBAs Photo Credit – IBA official photographer

A Residence was really honoured to attend the Inaugural Amara Interior Blog Awards at the stunning Rosewood Hotel last Wednesday, the blog was selected as one of just five blogs in the ‘Best Organisation Category’. That doesn’t mean I am really organised by the way, it means blogs who are blogging for a brand or organisation, in my case WayfairUK. Continue reading

Displaying children’s art work

I remember when my daughter first drew a picture that resembled our family. She was three. I was busy watching her baby brother and turned round to take something off the table and it caught me by surprise. I can’t explain the feeling, except it did feel slightly alien, like a communication from another planet, it seemed to come out of nowhere. I was deeply moved to see our little unit represented in felt pen on green sugar paper.

My son was much more reluctant and barely touched a pencil until the Christmas of foundation year, but now he comes home with image after image.

You may have seen in Tuesday’s post that this week’s Through The Keyhole participant created a lovely collection of framed drawings when her son was a toddler. She really inspired me to write this whole post on displaying children’s art work..

Children’s artwork brought together like this can create such an impact. I am impressed that yesterday’s Through the Keyhole found time with  a toddler in the house. I love her arrangement of simple white frames which really let the art work speak for itself.

TTKH Family portraits-001

If you are stuck for time or your child is a prolific artist or you want to preserve the small things they create, arranging lots of images is easier with a multi aperture frame or a frame with a multi aperture mount.  I need to start another one with all the notes my daughter leaves me. She loves to create little notes and drawings on post its and scraps of paper and I cherish these as much as the pieces she labours over for hours.

I did however make a start with these frames last Winter…my daughter’s is on the left, my son was still refusing to draw at this point, but stuck the owl together. But this year it feels like his time has come to represent the world.


All of these frames (from Wayfair.co.uk) are reasonably priced, especially for something you will treasure for years to come.

What do you do with children’s, grandchildren’s, nieces or nephews drawings? have you got any tips to share on displaying children’s art work?

Picture frame collage

Modern Gothic Home Inspirations

Modern Gothic

Happy Halloween

I thought I would take a slightly different approach to Halloween…

Modern Gothic

I think Modern Gothic could really work for us. There isn’t an item above that I couldn’t love in our home. Nottingham, where I live, has a thriving rock and goth scene, with lots of bars kitted out like a scene from a gothic horror movie. Although not a goth himself, Mr A loves it and I fear dear reader, he would do the same to our house in a time it takes a vampire to strike.

Whereas I think the secret is a nod in the right direction…

Individually I love all of those items, they conjure up drama and elegance (without looking like a theme pub). The  mirror would look great in our hallway, I think the cushions would look great on our black sofa and I would love that dressing table against my black butterfly wallpaper, but I would settle for this mirror…

Modern Gothic backdrops…

gothic looks

I love both of these Graham and Brown wallpapers, I think they have the power to give a Gothic scheme roots, and make it modern.

What do you like about modern gothic?


Shop the Modern Gothic Look


As it is Halloween, many of these items are in a promotion, so snap them up fast.  Pssssst….the damask screen is incredibly well priced, even before the promotion!


Pick of the Week: Be the change you want to see in the world



Have you changed the world this week?

This week’s pick of the week is inspired by Through the Keyhole, which was all about following your heart and being true to yourself. Do check it out, it really inspired me to think about how the objects I surround myself with, images and ornaments, might act as a reminder to live my life the way I want to.

As soon as I spotted this I thought it was a wonderful thing to have in a home. It encourages you to be an even better person, while cushioning you from the world, perfect. The saying ‘be the change you wish to see in the world’ is often attributed to Ghandi, but others think it is more likely one of those sayings that has been paraphrased until it ended up as we see it on this cushion. Still it makes me think, it inspires me, we CAN all change the world in small ways.

A smile, a kind word, a favour, praise, a donation, so many little gestures that go a long way. Have you changed the world this week?

I have one cushion to giveaway. Just follow the rafflecopter instructions. I also have more competitions here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How to magic a Halloween party out of nowhere

magic a halloween party

Here are 13 (unlucky for some) easy halloween party ideas, just in case you need to magic a Halloween party or Halloween fun for a rainy afternoon, out of nowhere. Well, okay, not nowhere, but I am thinking of things you probably have at home, in the kitchen or bathroom, that won’t cost a fortune. (So you can spend more on your costume ).


Me and my lovely family last Halloween!

Things like….Sugar, eggs, toilet roll, apples, cinnamon, flaked almonds, white wine vinegar, soft brown sugar, golden syrup, butter, jam jars, sticky labels or paper and selloptape, oil, glitter, food colouring, booze and/ or fruit juice, spaghetti, grapes,sweets, jelly, forks/chopsticks, marshmallows, string, gold or silver cake decorating balls, face paint, oh go on then, let’s throw in a pumpkin, egg, flower, feta cheese, milk.
Continue reading

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