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 Create a Conversation Sanctuary.

The Conversation Sanctuary

 The Conversation Sanctuary by penny-alexander

Do you have a quiet corner where you can go and chat on the phone, or catch up on family emails or social media conversations? Home and interior experts Wayfair.co.uk have partnered with home technology expert Gigaset.com and A Residence, to create this ‘conversation sanctuary‘.

Do you have the energy to talk on the phone at the end of a busy day? I’ve conjured up this minimalist space with that in mind, free of noise and clutter, but enlivening, cosy and with opportunity to be surrounded by lots of visual reminders of the people I often talk to. Continue reading

Find of the Week: Penguin Cushion


This guy will make someone very happy this Christmas.

He’s made me smile so much, he is my find of the week. He is handmade for Bibu, who are another new discovery for me in the incredible, never ending Aladdin’s Cave of delights that is Wayfair.co.uk.

Bibu is a Barcelona-based contemporary home décor brand. Their designs are originals, inspired by nature, and modern art. They combine a bold absorbent of graphics and colours to stimulate the senses and inspire imagination. They believe that basic images capture kids’ attention over and over. And that is why they aim to stimulate the imagination through a simple and creative lifestyle. Unique, cheerful, and colourful designs help them merge the harmony and an awareness of nature.

I love it!

This penguin cushion is protected by a sanitized hygiene application, to prevent bacteria growth.

He also has lots of friends, in case there is a particular animal shaped cushion hole in your life.

PS the grown up cushions are pretty funky too.

Have you found anything I need to know about at Wayfair.co.uk?

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
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