Easy Peasy bed styling.

Do you have unlimited cash to spend on luxurious bed linens?
Unfortunately, neither do I!

So I thought I’d share a few different looks you can achieve with just a few pieces.

Firstly, this is not one of those Pinterest worthy, magazine ready, takes 3 hours to make your bed type of posts.
This is how to achieve a styled bed everyday in just a few minutes, because I’m pretty sure y’all have better things to do than obsess over your perfectly placed throw pillows.
Am I right?
Also, please excuse my lack of ironing, my sometimes blurry photos and my weirdly high bed … real life people!

Ok, now we have that cleared up…

There are places to splurge and places to save, especially with bed linen.
One of the things I’ve always splurged on and never regretted is a basic white or neutral coloured quilt or comforter. It is the perfect base for so many looks throughout the whole year.

I prefer a quilt or comforter over a doona and doona cover as they sit beautifully on the bed, I don’t have to do the shake and shuffle with huge king size doona covers and they are often larger than a doona, which is great when you sleep with a #quilthog who pulls it all to their side during the night (the #quilthog might be me).
If you prefer or already have a plain doona cover in a neutral colour that will also be a perfect starting point.

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Currently I have a natural coloured linen quilt on my bed. If you’ve followed me for a while you’ll know how much I love linen, you can read all about it here. I’d really love a pure white or light grey/silver quilt going into the warmer months. I think white always looks so fresh and serene, and silver is cool and inviting.
I’ve shared my favourites below.

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My current quilt – The Capri Linen Quilt | Her Shed
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On the wish list – Sheridan Abbotson in Silver
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Belgian Flax Linen Quilt | West Elm

Next – pillows!
I like to use king size pillowcases on a king bed, it fills the entire space so you don’t have a gap between them.
I have taken a few photos of my bed with king size pillows and with standard size incase you don’t have any in the king size.

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Mine are from The Pillow Slip Store, you can find them here. They also have the best range of king size pillowcases around.

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Ruffles Linen King Pillowslips – big love!

This is where we start to add layers with a second set of pillows and a blanket, throw or second quilt. I like to add a contrasting colour or a pattern. If you are unsure about mixing patterns and you’d like to add a patterned cushion, stick with a plain colour, any colour that makes you happy and works with the other elements in your room, also look for some texture to add interest.

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My diamond quilted linen throw is available in heaps of colours. You could also use one of these as your base quilt, I switch mine around often.

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Pretty sure I need this in every colour! – Belgian Flax Linen Diamond Quilt | Pottery Barn

Next, add your favourite cushion to the middle of your pillows.
This is probably the most basic styled bed and super easy to accomplish everyday.
The bonus with this one is you don’t have to remove and replace a huge pile of cushions every morning and night.

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Lexington Pinstriped cushion | Riviera House

Another option which is just as simple, add a pair of cushions in front of your pillows. You can try european size or smaller throw cushions. The ones I’ve used below are from Pottery Barn and are no longer available, but I’ve found some similar if you love them.
TIP: Always use feather inserts, they plump the cushion out and make it easy to give it a good chop in the middle. I buy mine from Ikea where they are great value.

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Artwood Navy Check Lodge cushion | Crawford & Co Living

Ok, lets try something slightly different.
Here I’ve used standard size pillows and laid them flat instead of vertically. I’ve also folded my sheets back over the top of the quilt. This looks great if you have patterned or coloured sheets in coordinating colours. My sheets are from Bed Tonic here.

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Again, add your decorative cushions and another blanket or throw where your sheets are folded back.

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My hand embroidered cushion is from Cathy Penton Atelier here. And the white blanket is from Canningvale here.

If you’re feeling rather creative, try laying 2 pillows vertically and 2 horizontally.
Add 2 decorative cushions in different sizes, I like to use one square and one oblong cushion. Look for interesting fabrics, textures or patterns. I’ve mixed a leather cushion with a linen cushion, such a perfect pairing.
Add a textural throw for more interest and luxury.

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The leather cushion is from Square Fox Design here.
The throw is one of my favourites from Mayde, it is super soft and such beautiful quality. The blue is no longer available, but they still have a few left in charcoal.

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Kirribilli blanket | Mayde

Lastly, if your in a rush in the mornings, try the relaxed look with layers of cushions casually thrown on the bed and a couple of blankets and throws unfolded and tossed on the end of the bed.

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The gingham cushion is by Caitlin Wilson from That Pretty Market.

Obviously there are hundreds of ways to style your bed with countless textures, fabrics and patterns to choose from. If you see a picture of something you would like to create in your own room, take notice of the small details like the way the pillows are placed, the layers of quilts, throws and blankets, the textures, the patterns, etc…

There really aren’t any rules!

If you are on Instagram, search the hashtag #MLLbedstyling too see a few of my combinations.

Happy Styling!

Hx

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Is your child getting their Forty Winks?

We’ve all heard the studies about how important sleep is. As adults we definitely notice our body slow down and our mood change if we have a few late nights, but what about our children?

The latest research says that adequate sleep can help children fight obesity, avoid colds, illness and increase their concentration at school. The studies suggest that sleep is essential to good health. Kids that get enough sleep have fewer learning problems and attention issues and when kids don’t get enough sleep it directly affects their mood and behaviour.

Last year we had so many problems with our youngest, Orlando. He’s 6 and due to our crazy lifestyle and hectic hours, he just wasn’t getting enough sleep. He had minimal self control and was constantly fidgeting at school. When the school teachers suggested his behaviour was not normal for his age, I started taking his terrible sleep routine more seriously. Wow, what a difference it made!

It’s obviously crucial to nurture their sleep habits, so how do we make sure our kids are getting what they need?

It’s not always easy, especially if your little one is a night owl or has trouble getting off to sleep.
There are definitely things you can do to help your children sleep. You can use lavender oil on the soles of their feet, you can limit their screen time, you can wear them out with sport activities and numerous other tactics. However, the most important tool to help your child have a good night sleep is to make them feel safe and happy in their bedroom.

Their bedroom should be their sanctuary, it should make your child feel comfortable and content, they should be surrounded by their special things and feel like their room reflects their personality. Kids love to be involved in the planning and decorating of their own space and by letting them help, they feel a sense of ownership and pride in their space.

So what do you need to create the perfect bedroom for your little one? Let’s start with the most important thing – the right bed.
Forty Winks have been the sleep experts for more than 30 years, they know beds and they can help guide you to the right one. The variety nowadays is vast and beds come in lot of sizes and styles. Consider the age and size of your child now, but also think of how much they will grow in 5 years and future proof your purchase by thinking ahead.

Before you decide on the bedroom furniture, have a good look at your child’s belongings, assess how much storage space he/she needs and how he/she will use their bedroom space. Does he/she need extra storage space for a large toy collection? Do you have teenager that needs somewhere to study? Do they have friends sleepover often where a trundle-bed or bunk bed would be handy? Do they have a small room that need to be multi-functional?

By simply choosing furniture that fits your needs and offers the right storage solutions you can create an organised and serene space.  Creating a place for everything helps your child to be neat and tidy and put their belongings away. Sleeping in chaos is not relaxing, having an organised space bring a sense of calm and makes it easier to relax.

Let’s have a look at some great furniture solutions for all your kids, from their first big bed, to shared spaces and the teenage years.

If you have a little bookworm, a bed like the Pluto would be perfect. It’s crafted from solid Victorian Ash and with its built-in shelves there is space for all your kids book right next to them in bed. It also has a trundle which is handy for sleepovers.

PLUTO / Forty Winks
PLUTO / Forty Winks

If your child shares a bedroom with a sibling or is simply a social butterfly who has lots of friends over frequently, the beautiful French style SNOW bunk bed might be the perfect option. It is a slanted design with a single bed on top and a double bed on the bottom, it also has a trundle for extra sleeping space.

SNOW | Forty Winks
SNOW | Forty Winks

If space is tight, the Quantum Loft bed packs a lot into its smart design. It only requires the floor space of a single bed, but it is a complete sleep / work / study / play solution. With a loft bed, desk and utility area, wardrobe storage and toy storage it really is the workhorse of kids’ beds!

QUANTUM | Forty Winks
QUANTUM | Forty Winks

The ODYSSEY is a great option for kids or teens. It has under bed storage and a ‘secret’ compartment in the bed head, perfect for stashing diaries and special things. This range has a fabulous range of matching storage solutions such as the 2-drawer bedside table, 4-drawer tallboy and study desk.

ODYSSEY | Forty Winks
ODYSSEY | Forty Winks

The ARC is a great choice for kids that don’t like the dark, it has a bookend bed head with built-in LED lighting so the kids can quickly and easily access the light without having to leave the safety of their bed. This king single sized bed also features a trundle and under bed drawers for extra storage.

ARC | Forty Winks
ARC | Forty Winks

As you can see, Forty Winks really do have you covered for all your children’s furniture needs.
Once you have determined your furniture you will need to choose a mattress. Take your child with you and let them lay on the mattresses and find what’s comfortable for them. Of course, you can be guided by the experts at Forty Winks, they will help you with the right fit for your space and budget. Keep in mind your child is growing fast and they will need the right support and comfort through these important growth years.

Bedlinen is also important, especially to some children who are sensitive to different textiles. Choose soft, warm and comforting layers that they can add or remove for their personal temperature control.

Lastly, finish with the decor. Ask them their favourite colour or talk about a theme for their room. We’re not talking about splashing Transformers or Barbie’s all over their room, choose a more subtle theme such as the ocean, the solar system or rainbows and unicorns.
If your child insists on a character theme, you don’t need to have licensed quilt covers and character cushions to get the look, think about the colours in that character and use them as your base to work from. For example, if your child chooses Mickey Mouse, you can work with red and yellow with a splash of black.
Personalise their space with family photos, framed art, baby mementos or special belongings. Give them a place to display their latest Lego creation or school art project.

Creating a bedroom with your child will give them a sense of ownership and make them want to spend time in there. Ultimately, that’s what we want, and that’s what will help them relax and sleep like a baby!

I’m happy to say, after making a few changes to Orlando’s bedroom like adding some comforting elements and removing some stimulating ones, he sleeps like a baby and is a much happier, calmer and attentive child.

Happy Shopping!

Hayley x

Disclosure: This post was written by me in partnership with Forty Winks. I only work with brands that I personally love and think you will too. Thanks for supporting that brands that help me keep Mum Little Loves alive.

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My obsession with Linen!

If you follow me over on INSTAGRAM you would have seen and heard me raving on and on about linen lately.
No, I am not sponsored by the Linen industry, is that even a thing?
I just truly, madly, deeply love it!
My bedroom is layered with linen sheets, linen quilts and linen throws …

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I can see you rolling your eyes out there, like I’m all a bit crazy about this linen stuff. This is what I say to you – Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. I challenge you to sleep in it for a few weeks and not love it!

I swear I sleep better!
I find it cooler in winter but still warm enough to keep me comfortable when hubby blasts the air-con so cold we are all shivering.
I love the way it drapes over your body with a gentle weight and super soft texture.
And the best part, I have embraced the crumpled look, it looks luxurious and inviting and I can’t wait to jump into my  bed every night. Apparently, neither can the rest of my family who are frequently found hanging out in there too!

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I wasn’t sure whether the linen was laced with magic unicorn dust that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy or if there is an actual reason why they are so good, so I asked the gorgeous Julie from Bed Tonic to give me all the info. Here’s what she had to say …

Why is linen considered by many to be the ultimate fabric for bedding?
Linen is a 100% sustainable fabric grown from the flax plant. It requires very few pesticides and fertilisers during its growth cycle compared to cotton and uses a fraction of the water in comparison, making it much kinder to our planet. It’s incredibly buttery soft to sleep in and is a natural thermo regulator.

Linen is cool in summer and warm in winter, why?
Linen’s fibres are hollow grass like straws compared to cottons dense fibres. This allows air to flow naturally around your body in the heat and yet cosy warm under layers in the cooler months!

I’ve read that linen is good for people with skin conditions or allergies, is this true?
Because linen uses few pesticides, fertilisers and toxic chemicals to harvest, it is low allergenic making it kind to our skin.

How long should our linen sheets last?
Although our linen is still grown, harvested, spun and woven in much the same ways as earlier days, it is now put through an extra process called soft washing where the linen is washed with pumice stones after the garments and bedding have been made. This is similar to stonewashed jeans whereby it softens the fibres making it buttery soft from your first sleep.

However this process does shorten the life of the fabric somewhat as you don’t have to wash it for years to soften it anymore like in the olden days.
It also depends on how many sets of sheets you rotate on your bed. We have many customers who love their linen sheets so much they wash and dry them and put them straight back on the bed so obviously these would wear out quicker but you should still expect to get a solid 5 years plus from your linen.

Do they require special care?
Linen is not as fussy as it seems. It is pre washed before you sleep in it to avoid shrinkage. Warm machine wash and line drying is preferable but if you use a dryer keep the temp to warm or your linen will get very crinkled.

Occasionally I get a customer who says their linen has got stiff. This is caused by a build up of soap powder and a water only wash will strip the build up and make your linen soft again. Fabric softener is also ok.
If ironing is necessary (defeats the purpose of linen in our opinion), iron with a medium to hot steam iron. 

So there you have it, there is actual reasons why it’s so good!

If you want to try some for yourself, here’s what I can recommend as I have them in my own home, on my own bed …

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Navy Ticking Pure Linen sheet set from Bed Tonic here.

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Belgian Flax Linen sheet set from West Elm here.

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Belgian Flax Linen Diamond Quilt and Pillowcases from Pottery Barn here.

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Isle Linen Ruffled Throw from Her Shed here.
I also have the Capri Linen White & Natural Reversible Quilt from Her Shed which I am looking forward to using when the weather cools down, you can see it here.

I’m sure I’ll add to my collection and I’ll be sure to let you know what I think in the future.

Do you have linen? Are you as obsessed as me?
Tell me everything!

And Happy Shopping!

Hayley x

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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

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