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.

How to Use Red in Your Home

How to use red in your home

Red is the first color of spring. It’s the real color of rebirth. Of beginning.” Ally Condie

I was startled that this quote was the first I found about the colour red as I took this photo only yesterday of spring buds. It suddenly made complete sense to start my journey through colours by exploring how to use red in your home – not only is red the first in the rainbow, but as Condie rightly acknowledges it is the first colour of spring. It is life. I love that Condie feels it is beginning too. Here’s why. Continue reading

Finds of the Week: Geometric Trend



Geometry Questions of shape, size, relative position of figures, and the properties of space


The geometric trend continues to take up plenty of interior column inches in 2015, to be honest it won’t be going anywhere – it’s been going since ancient Egyptian times, and is a trend we see in Moroccan interiors too. So, don’t be afraid of it being short lived, take the plunge, but as always, do go for pieces that truly speak to you. As I picked out these pieces I realised just how much shapes can be emotive.

Shapes are everywhere and everything. I’ve picked out these Vitamin Hex Mixed Mugs because I love the way they tell me stories, they make me think of computer games, of blood cells, of biology lessons, of maths lessons, of honeycomb and of plying tetris as a kid. They would look great in a minimalist kitchen, with a splash of red or another dramatic colour to make them really come alive.  If you are dipping your toe in the geometric trend, these are a great place to start.


If you have a small budget but want to really embrace the geometric look, how about this geometric rug as a bold statement feature, 43% off in the sale currently. I’m looking for something exactly like this to finish off the Moroccan den.


Or for a small, inexpensive, yet bold nod to geometrics, I love these geometric cushions from Bibu. Geometric can be colourful as well as shapely. A quick and impactful update to the living room.


If you are looking for even more unusual pieces in the geometric trend how about this 2 piece hexagonal side table set? I love the enamelled tops, a glass of wine and some nibbles would look perfect on it.


If you are looking to continue those hexagons and really splurge on something unique, how about the Zava Luce Hedrum Globe Pendant?



Have you embraced the geometric trend, or are shapes already part of your interior world?

New Home Resolutions Giveaway


I don’t know about you but there have a been a few stumbling blocks in my New Home Resolutions. I made a list of monthly resolutions to really get my home in order, please feel free to use the printable and ideas in this post to help you tackle your home too. I also have a giveaway which is easy to enter, the prize is £50 to spend at Wayfair.co.uk, towards your January home improvement project!

New Home Resolutions 2015

January for me is all about the hallway, lots of experts tell you to start here, make an entrance, get your home really working from the moment you step through the door, inspire yourself to continue every time you set foot in the house. Have you got a home improvement project on the go, or something you would like to tackle in January? Do come back and share it on Friday 30th January – in the comments, on twitter @pennyalexander_ or link up a blog post.

It’s logical starting in the hall, but my goodness it is hard!

The year always starts with such promise, my Monday was so productive and upbeat and then suddenly Tuesday threw a few curveballs and by Wednesday my home was in chaos. The hallway was back to its usual state as the dumping ground for anything and everything. Leaving for work and school was a complete scramble.

I have my eye on some products to change that, a stairway basket for starters. I am not sure this bargain of a hallway unit will fit but having a basket for each member of the family to stash things is a great start. I want some storage to hide our paperwork and bits and pieces in, which can be easily picked up and carried around the house as we sort them!

I also have an idea for a theme, our hallway is our launch pad to new adventures and journeys so I want to play on maps and travel. I have some great craft ideas on that to share.

I guess all that is missing is the actual tidying up and sorting routines. I promised to scour the web for some great tips and share those later in the month with some images of the new space. I made a little start, and I found some great tips – there is hope!

I have a £50 to spend at WAyfair.co.uk to kick start your home improvements this year. Simply follow the rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out other competitions here

Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com

A Year in the life of the WayfairUK A Residence Blog

In January 2014 I agreed to the wonderfully creative idea to make A Residence blog part of the homestore Wayfair.co.uk. Anyone who has ever owned or written a blog will know that blogs evolve so much, so quickly. So I was excited, intrigued and fascinated to become the Wayfair A Residence Blog.

I will be honest, it has taken time to adjust, but I have no regrets, I love the way it has evolved. In fact, writing this post I am staggered by how many new skills I have learnt outside of blogging, what a creative process it has been, and how far some of the things I occasionally dabbled in on the blog have developed and brought me pleasure, especially photography, food, homemaking and craft.

So here it is in posts and pictures, one blog… twelve months.  Continue reading

Find of the Week: Wit Woo! Love this Shower Curtain


If you haven’t seen it already do check out my post on breaking down your home improvement goals into achievable monthly chunks. There is even a printable monthly planner to stick on the fridge door.

While I was doing mine, I got sidetracked thinking about shower curtains. How gorgeous is this one?  I really love owls, they are my favourite birds. It’s no secret i am a bit of a twitcher.

Owls have been ‘a trend’ for so long now that some of the things I see featuring them can be a bit twee, or repetitive, but the colours and patterns here are just beautiful and the detail makes them really lifelike.

Valilla HuHuu Shower Curtain from Wayfair.co.uk.

I know how much some of you love stags too, so check this stag shower curtain too stag fans! Or for more bathroom inspiration, check out this bathroom update page at Wayfair.co.uk

House Audit/New Home Resolutions 2015 Printable

transform your home in 12 months

Hello there.

Hope you had a lovely Christmas? If you are looking round at the post Christmas carnage and setting any New Home Resolutions or home related goals for 2015, then this post is for you.

I devised this goal setting exercise to help me take control of some small but important home projects which I think will make a real difference in our lives, I hope you might also find it helpful.

I don’t know about you, but I always start the year with such good intentions, but somehow I find it easy to cheat on any home related goals. Generally travel, days out of the home and buying impulse home purchases like cushions seem to take over my desire to get really organised and feel happy with our home. Either I never really break down what I really want to achieve in the house, or I try and tackle everything at once.

Both sure fire ways to fail.

Perhaps it is also because I just feel so lucky to have a decent roof over my head, that it feels wrong to spend time worrying about my home.  But I do. In fact our home often makes me quite stressed.

I feel like Princess Leah.


I feel like the walls are coming in on me!

I feel like the walls are coming in on me

Continue reading

Through The Keyhole: Opening My Heart

I asked for some festive Through The Keyholes and I am really glad that this one landed in my inbox ready for the night’s just before Christmas. I think tonight it is good to remember that while Christmas is a wonderful, happy time, it can also be a challenging time for those facing obstacles. Today’s Through the Keyhole participant explains how her home helped her to heal and to open her heart once more. A lovely Christmas message.

 Opening My Heart

Christmas Hallway

As soon as I found the house, I knew I needed to live there. After a devastating separation, I wanted somewhere to hide away and lick my wounds. I managed to drive past it a couple of times before I found the turning tucked away and then as I drove past the farm into the old saddlery, I just knew. Continue reading

Win £500 for the Charity of Your Choice!


WayfairUK have another fantastic competition on currently. This time it is a bit different, it’s the time of year for giving, and so Wayfair UK will donate £500 to the charity of your choice. What a lovely simple, but heartwarming idea!

Be quick you have until the 29th December to enter.

Many regular readers might have heard about the Team Honk Danceathon which was announced just last week. Each year Team Honk helps bloggers and friends come together to raise money for Comic Relief. You don’t have to be a blogger to join in though – everyone is welcome! If you are keen to dance at Wembley, but worried about raising the £150 sponsorship, well this could see you off to a fab start! Gather a gang of friends and join the Team Honk fun now.

Please look after this Kitchen #Paddington

Please Look After This Bear

I like to take home inspiration from all sorts of places, very often films offer brilliant ideas, this week Paddington inspired me to think kitchens.

We saw Paddington at the weekend and it was amazing. If you haven’t been yet you must, it is one of those films that is as good for grown ups, as kids, if not better in some ways, in that grown up can appreciate some of the wonderful work it does around refugees and the brilliance of the casting and set design and the way London is used as a location. Continue reading

Through The Keyhole: Talking of Sparkle!

Today’s Through the Keyhole promised me some Christmas sparkle, turns out she is in fact the year round, Queen of Sparkle. I should have known, her wit and way with words sparkles on her blog too, I do hope you will click the keyhole icon when you have read the post, and drop by!

Talking of Sparkle


Warm and twinkly living room

This room kind of sums me up. It is definitely my room. I chose the colours, the twinklyness of the lights (and yes, it still is twinkly even once the Christmas tree comes down) and the statement wallpaper. My husband came home and stared. It is pink. But it’s pink in a really good way. Continue reading

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