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Mum Little Loves small businesses

As many of you know, I like to support small businesses as often as I can. If I can buy something beautiful from a little or local business, I will! Small businesses often make unique, handcrafted items that you can’t buy anywhere else. Why wouldn’t you want something different, something that not everybody else has, something that someone has put all their love and effort into? I definitely do.

When you buy from a small business you are often helping a stay at home Mum pay for her kids dancing or soccer lessons, or a family put food on the table or pay their mortgage. Would you rather this, or would you rather help the CEO of a huge store pay for his second luxury car?

One small purchase can make a big difference!

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OK, rant over, I really just wanted to share and showcase a few of my favourites that I have featured on #mumlittleloves recently.

Oars Galore custom paint and pattern new oars and paddles to suit any decor, they also source and supply vintage oars. They will work with you to create a custom piece that is unique and hand painted. All their oars are authentic, maritime grade, sea worthy oars. What a fabulous conversational piece for your home, and ‘oarsome’ to style with. Prices start from $90. (*all photos from Oars Galore Instagram here)

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I met Carolyne from Carolyne Hallums Art on Instagram many years ago. She is a beautiful soul, always so supportive and encouraging. Her art has always been full of love and life. She has recently started a series of mini floral paintings which has created quite a frenzy on Instagram, she can barely keep up with the orders. I was lucky enough to snap up the first of Carolyne’s mini series, and trust me it won’t be my last, it is absolutely stunning. Her original pieces are very affordable at $55 for the 8×8″ and $65 for the 10×10″ (plus postage), bigger pieces available by request. You can contact Carolyne via her Instagram account here.

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Pili Pala Pieces has a gorgeous collection of unique and whimsical pieces. They are all designed and made in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. They feature vintage illustrations and patterns from the 1800’s and 1900’s. Some pieces also feature their exclusive illustrations based on old nursery rhymes. They are fun and classic. These are some of my favourite pieces. The sets of 3 clouds or pears are $109, the vases start at $39 and the tea towels are $16 (wouldn’t it be adorable framed). You can shop here.

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Nouvelle Vie says – ‘We believe that even the little things you do everyday can be done in style and should make you feel good….and it shouldn’t cost a fortune either!’  They are staying true to their statement with a gorgeous range of handpicked items from across the globe. Here’s some of my favourites. The ‘Desert Blossoms’ enamel set ($42 for the pitcher, $34 set of 3 cups) is a showstopper on any table setting, pair it with the ‘Fork it’ ($20 set of 4) napkin rings and ‘La Paz’ reversible table runners ($32) and you’ve got a winning combination. If your short on dining seating I love the idea of having a few of these ‘In the Hot Seat’ pouffes($35)  around to pull up for extra guests. You can shop here.

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Noc Noc Wooden Toys sources a collection of hand-crafted, original wooden toys from artisans around the globe. They are hand picked, non-toxic and made with love. I love their range, not for my children, but for myself. Their wooden pieces would be right at home amongst my ginger jars, books and flowers. The little whale pen holder ($89) is adorable, and I would proudly display him on my desk. The ‘Boatload of Sailors’ wooden people ($46) are such a fun little nautical family, I would sit them up on my bookcase. Don’t even get me started on that adorable little boat ($89).

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I would also like to take this opportunity to answer a couple of questions I get asked regularly.

“Do you get paid to feature products?” No, I don’t. I feature products that I like or feel that my followers will like. I prefer to feature products that I have personally seen or used as I would hate to promote something that is of inferior quality or is not as it appears in photos. I want my followers and readers to trust my judgment on products.

Will you do promotional post in return for products? Yes, If I believe the product is of interest to my viewers. If I come to an agreement with a business to promote their business in return for a product I will disclose it as a ‘sponsored post’. Be prepared, If I do a sponsored post I will ask for a special offer for my readers, there has to be something in it for them too! Occasionally, I receive gifts with no prior arrangement to promote the product, If I choose to share these with you it’s because I genuinely love the item.

How do I get on #mumlittleloves? Simple! Tag me on Instagram, send me an e-mail, leave me a message, send me a sample, just alert me to your product. If I think my readers and followers will like it, I’ll feature it on Instagram and Facebook.

FYI – The Desert Blossoms enamel set from Nouvelle Vie was gifted to me.  Everything else is shared because I love it!

Happy Shopping!

Hayley x

 

Figs & Feta feature

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How Hayley Little’s @mumlittlelove’s DIY Brand Became an Insta Success

“The reason I share is to encourage other people to be brave. I don’t want people to think “I can’t do that.”
So I take them through the steps to show them they can.”

Here at Figs and Feta, beauty is life. But what is beauty without love, authenticity, and passion? What’s pleasing to the eye should also be uplifting to the heart. This is why we love Hayley Little – the woman behind the home-decorating breakthrough @mumlittlelove. Through her DIY page on Instagram, she gives us a glimpse into her beautiful life, heart, and hearth.

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“I’ve always loved home décor. I obviously got this from my Mum. I would go to school, come home, and she would have completely changed my room.”

And she really puts the “mum” in @mumlittlelove! Hayley’s cozy, brilliant, dynamic style reveals the joy, warmth, and busyness of being a mum to three beautiful children. Beaming with texture, colour, and print (and the occasional appearance of Holly the poodle and Skipper the cat), Hayley’s colourful table-settings, lively living rooms, and creative holiday arrangements express her real life.

A home is meant to be lived in. And by inviting us into hers, and giving us the vision to create our own, she shows us that we can “do it all” not in spite of being a mum but BECAUSE of our superpowers as mums.

Hayley’s story

“I got Instagram to spy on my (then teenage) daughters. I was at home with my third baby at the time and didn’t get out much. I started sharing random pictures of the house and it grew quickly.”

And we can thank her superpower for getting @mumlittlelove to where she is! From a few nonchalant (yet stunning) posts to now 30,000+ followers, Hayley’s success seemed overnight.

So what’s her secret?

It’s a stroke of good luck combined with self-belief, hard work, and PASSION that create the recipe for success. For many years, she and her husband, a builder, flipped homes. So, although she “got it from her mama,” she also spent many years working hard to cultivate her skills.

No longer a home-flipper, now a DIY superstar, her current project is her own home. And it has us flipping out! It has her heart and she’s set on creating a home she loves, not what everyone else does.

Be You, Be True…

Do you also paint life with your own colours and pattern your own way in the world? If you’re reading this, take it as a sign to share your gifts!

Hayley’s vibrant designs, natural materials, and vivid patterns catch our eye. Her humility, grace, and fun attitude catch our hearts. She is totally herself every step of the way!

“I remember when I was doing my office cabinetry, I put a photo of myself up. My face was covered in sanding dust, I was disgusting! And everyone was like, I love that so much! Thank you for being real, that’s what I look like when I D.I.Y too!”

… And Share with Others What You Do

Hayley’s belief in herself and in supporting local businesses around her is just another reason why we simply love her.

At @mumlittlelove’s origin, she shared one small business every day for a year (yes, every day for a year!) to promote shopping small. And now in a beautiful “return” of fate, she is collaborating with many brands (go, Hayley!). When you follow your heart and share it with others, what goes around really does come around…

Bella’s Boho Chic (but not really) Bedroom

Arabella, Bella, Beellah, Bee, BB.
Daughter, Big sister, Little sister.
Virgo.
Creative, Genuine, Quirky, Loyal, Witty, Considerate.
Alternate music fan, Thrift shopper, Crystal collector.

I love this kid … but when she requested a ‘Boho’ style bedroom I had to question where she came from. Really? Boho? in my house? Ummmmm …. NOPE!

But, I also know that we all have our our style and I want Bella’s bedroom to feel like her home, her sanctuary and her special haven. I want to let her personality shine through and let the room tell her story.

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 She told me she wanted a ‘Boho’ vibe, after discussing what that meant to her I discovered that it wasn’t really boho, it was more of a vintage and collected feel that she wanted in her room. She told me what she wanted – light colours, nothing too bright, minimal patterns and no blue. She wanted to be able to hang her own art, photos and treasures on the wall (eeeek). She wanted somewhere to display her crystals and use her record player. She also wanted block out curtains since she loves a long sleep-in.

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So, we brainstormed a plan that would fuse her style with the rest of the house. We talked about what colours she connects with and I was so relieved when she suggested shades of green or pink, mixed back with layers of neutrals like brown and tan.

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We started with the curtains since they needed to be ordered first, and in my opinion are one of the most important parts of a room, especially when they take up an entire wall like they do in this room. They really are the make or break features of a room, we gave this room a mini makeover just after we moved in and while it looked pretty, the previous window treatments let the entire room down and it always felt dated and shabby.
We already knew we wanted block out curtains with a sheer. She has a large double door that goes out to the balcony and she uses it often. Curtains made sense as they are quickly opened to access the doors. We have used the same sheers throughout the house for continuity and also because they are perfect – the Tahiti Sheer Snow curtains.

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We sat down together and ordered a few samples from Blinds Online that we both liked. When they arrived I let Bella choose from the samples, there was no bad choice and I liked them all, but I must admit, I opened them first and I totally would have hidden any I didn’t like from her first, haha!

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She chose a beautiful green linen, I was actually quite surprised as I thought she would choose a pink, but I couldn’t be happier and I ordered them immediately before she changed her mind. Since she chose a plain colour, I decided I wanted to add a little something to them. I’ve seen interior designers use beautiful trim on their curtains and I knew I could achieve the same look for much less with Blinds Online. All of the curtains and blinds from Blinds Online are already custom made to your requirements, adding a simple upholstery trim is one of those details that elevate them and make them feel designer and expensive. I ordered a couple to choose from in our colour palette from Etsy, we ended up going with the multi coloured pom pom and they looks super cute. As I have hand stitched them on with a simple running stitch, they are easily removable later on if her style changes.

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Next, we chose the wallpaper. Wallpaper takes up a lot of real estate and makes a big statement. This is where Bella and I had very different ideas on what we wanted. I would have loved to use the Buffalo Check in brown from Edge Wall Art, but Bella wanted something a bit more ‘boho and spiritual’. She really loved the Astrology Hemisphere but we decided her bedhead would cover most of it on the wall we had in mind. She also loved the Bohemian Forest but the colour palette wasn’t quite right with the green curtains. We came to compromise and decided to ask our friends at Edge Wall Art if they could do the Bohemian Forest in the same colour way as the Buffalo Check in brown. Thats the great thing about supporting small business, they print the wallpaper themselves and they can customise it to suit your needs, they can even add your kids names into some of the kids wallpapers.

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With the two biggest decisions made, it was down to the details.

I gave the whole room a fresh coat of paint in a more neutral and brighter white. The last owner chose a pink based white and while I initially thought I could live with it, the constant pink glow just wasn’t working for me. I chose Dulux Snowy Mountains in 1/4 strength, and I painted all the trims and doors with Dulux Vivid White. I also changed out the door hardware to matte black which modernises them. It’s these small details that make a big difference in the overall feel of the room. I will continue these elements through the entire house.

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We shopped the house for as much as we could before deciding what we needed to purchase.

We decided to keep the furniture, we still love her bed which was a lucky eBay find years ago, but it was looking a little shabby and while I don’t mind vintage and worn furniture, this was looking more trashy than chic. I gave it a fresh coat of white paint and it looks amazing. Her bedside tables are still current at Early Settler and we both agreed the timber brought some much needed warmth to her room.

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We still needed to find a storage solution for her to display her crystals, record player and special treasures. While her room is a great size, there isn’t much wall space, between the entire wall of glass windows and sliding doors, the door to the walk-in wardrobe, the door to the bathrooms, the door to the storage closet and the entry door to her room, there was barely any wall space left. I had one skinny wall left to work with, and I mean skinny at just over 80cm wide. After much searching we finally found a bookshelf  that we both agreed on, it was deep enough for her record player, but not overly heavy and imposing on the space, and had lots of shelves for her to display her collections.

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The last big hurdle in this space was wall art. Bella wanted a wall where she could change out her photos, pictures, art and mementos, I was picturing an 80’s wall full of ripped boy band posters and smiley face stickers, Nooooo! We considered a giant cork board, but that idea didn’t excite me. Then we considered hanging vintage wooden windows and using the glass panels as frames for photos and art, again, I wasn’t very enthusiastic about this idea either. When I was putting the vintage windows back in the garage, inspiration struck me, I saw a piece of VJ board there that was leftover from my bedroom. I thought it would make a great display area, like a giant cork board, but more grown up. It would give Bella a space to display her things, but keep it confined to one area instead of exploding all over the entire wall. We screwed the VJ board to the wall and framed it with Dado rail, I painted it with the same enamel paint I used for the doors and trims. We think it’s practical and pretty.IMG_0090

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We love how this bedroom has turned out. Just a few changes have made such a big difference. The fresh paint has made it feel bright and clean. The wallpaper has given it the ‘Boho’ vibe Bella wanted. The curtains make it feel luxurious and bring the colour to the space. All the small details together have made this room a space that Bella feels is more ‘her’ and truly reflects her personality and style, while also keeping it relevant to the rest of the house.

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We hope you love it as much as we do!

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Stay tuned for Orly’s and Lucy’s rooms in the next couple of weeks.

Happy Styling!

Hayley x

Seacova

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I recently heard somebody say that they couldn’t have coastal style in their home because they didn’t live by the ocean. I pondered this for quite some time, why … why if you love the ocean can’t you surround yourself with its treasures in your home? I don’t know what the fancy interior designers would say, but I say – go for it!
We live in Australia, we are surrounded by ocean, so adorn your home in shells and coral, splash the colours of the ocean on your walls and check out these gorgeous cushions …

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I have been dying to share these with you, it has killed me to keep them under wraps while we waited for all the stock to arrive!
I have a few in my own home and every single person who steps foot in my house has loved them, I even had one friend trying to smuggle some out in her handbag! You know who you are!

Introducing Seacova and the lovely face behind the brand, Clare.

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Seacova Coastal Interiors is the result of Clare’s love for the Australian coastline and the charm of American seaside cottages. It is a luxurious brand celebrating coastal living with a stunning range of cushions and furniture. These pieces are perfect for Australian living, with their coastal motifs and stunning colours straight from the depths of the ocean.

I absolutely fell in love with this range as soon as I saw it and knew it would be perfect for my new day bed. When it arrived I was even more excited, these cushions are even prettier in person. They are embroidered on 100% cotton, and piped in coordinating fabrics.

The Cape Cod collection in duck egg blue and sky blue is timeless, sophisticated and beautiful. Perfect for those of you who prefer a more gentle colour palette.

Cape Cod Collection.
Cape Cod Collection.

The Florida Keys collection is all about palm trees, sail boats and sea creatures in a crisp navy and white. It is classic coastal style and really makes a statement.

Florida Keys Collection.
Florida Keys Collection.

Also, don’t miss the outdoor collection of a faux bamboo sofa and chairs, they are powder coated aluminium and ideal for an Australian summer outdoors.

Alboo Bella seating.

 I was lucky enough to steal 1/2 an hour of Clare’s busy day to dig a little deeper and learn some more about Seacova …

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I strapped my travelling boots on after college to explore Asia and Europe. My sister and I finished up living in London where we bunked on the floor of my aunt’s trendy Islington apartment for two whole years! I am grateful for the travel experience as it was character-building and opened up my mind up diversity.

Since then I have always lived close to the Australian seaside where I met my husband twelve years ago after re-locating to Brisbane. In the Spring of 2011 we were married on a tropical island in Fiji and now have two young children. Life is busy to say the least – our 7-month old girl and 3-year old boy certainly keep us on our toes!

 Is your background in something creative or is this a new venture for you?

 In 2010 I completed a degree in marketing at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane. From there I worked as a production manager in a graphic design studio followed by a management position at a boutique advertising agency in West End. Because we were part of a small team I was able to participate in developing strategies and brainstorming sessions with the qualified creative team members. I absolutely loved working with my colleagues: creative people are a hoot to be around.

 I was always passionate about interior decorating on the home front, and it was the coastal style that initially grabbed my attention. On weekends I spent hours looking through coffee-table books, shuffling various items around the house and scouting stores for new accessories. Eventually, my hubby actually banned me from buying any more shells or coral!

 As my passion for interiors continued to grow, I decided to take the leap and merge my work with that passion. Seacova became my creative outlet whereby I could develop coastal style interiors from the designing to the sourcing, managing suppliers, building websites and accounting. I could not have become a one-girl show without my previous job experiences and background.

It is clear the inspiration for your beautiful coastal-style cushion range comes from the ocean and seaside, was there something in particular that prompted the designs?  Do you design them all yourself?

I have been infatuated with American seaside cottages for as long as I can remember: front porches, white picket fences, french doors and light, bright rooms filled with shaker cabinetry…they stop my heart.

 My inspiration for the collection came largely from these coastal dwellings. I tried to picture complementary interiors that would create a soothing, relaxing space whilst using a colour palette inspired by the clear blue waters of the Australian coastline. In addition, some of the designs were derived from old ancient engravings I came across in my readings. The designs were created using Illustrator software, and then digitized for embroidery.

Embroidery detail of the Palm Tree cushion.
Embroidery detail of the Palm Tree cushion.

 The colour palette for your 2016/17 range is fresh and relaxed with soft blues, navy and white, then you have an unexpected pop of coral pink, where did this come from? 

 When it comes to colour, I am blue and white all the way, so naturally that dominated the collection. But there is definitely something to be said for a pop of colour. The seaside is largely blue and white on the surface, but underneath the water is a vibrant community of brightly coloured fish, plants and coral. The coral pink represents a hint of this vibrant underwater life. I was not sure about it in the beginning, now it is one of my favourites!

Pink Herringbone cushion.
Pink Herringbone cushion.

 Your collections are named after the famous seaside destinations of Cape Cod and Florida Keys. Have you been there or are they on the travel bucket list?

 I daydream about being there quite often, but have not travelled there as yet; it is definitely on the bucket list. When the children are a little older our plan is to hire an RV and drive all the way up the coast from Florida Keys to the Hamptons, Cape Cod and Nantucket.

Tell us about your own home and decor style? 

 My husband and I recently designed and built the family home. Yes, you guessed, the design was influenced by American architecture but also the attractive ‘Queenslander’. It is a hybrid of all the features we adore: a weatherboard construction with a front porch, exposed eves, french windows and shaker cabinetry. I would describe the style as classic coastal. As we had a limited budget, a lot of thought went into the design and how we could maximise our investment. Luckily, we had a fantastic builder who appreciated the character-build and was on-board with our vision. We are still finishing off a few elements. My husband, who loves to strap on the tool belt on weekends, has built a shed to match the house and is currently working on the white picket fence!

Clare's House!
Clare’s House!

 What does the future hold for Seacova?

 I hope to expand Seacova by developing more design elements and bringing more collections to the market. The internet certainly helps small businesses achieve that these days. I have also been working on some custom statement pieces. Here’s a sneak peek at the Hampton’s wing-back chair and matching ottoman that has just been introduced to the market.

Hamptons chair and ottoman.
Hamptons wingback chair and ottoman.

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I know you’re all itching to grab your credit card and start shopping, but before you go I just want to show you how gorgeous the cushions look in my home. Sometimes you see these beautifully styled images and wonder what they actually look like, just hanging out, like cushions do, in an everyday persons home.
They are so good!

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Aren’t they gorgeous!

Happy Shopping! #sorry #notsorry

Hayley x