Meet Troy …

I have a new boyfriend!
Yes, I am married but my husband approves of Troy, actually my husband loves Troy too.
Troy is tough and strong, dependable and reliable and exceptionally good looking.
Troy is our new washing machine, the Electrolux UltimateCare 800 series from Betta Home Living.

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I wanted to share him with you because I understand buying a washing machine is a big investment and sometimes all those specifications and functions can be confusing. Do I need SensorWash technology? What is an UltraMix system? What is the Vapour feature? And why do I need a powerful spin speed?
I’m going to tell you what is important to me in a washing machine and why I chose Troy.

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SIZE
We are a family of five, between work clothes, school uniforms, sports gear, 4 beds and the 758 towels my kids use every week, I do at least a dozen loads of washing per week. A large drum size is important, I’d rather do one big load that 2 small loads. Troy has a 9kg stainless steel drum with an extra large door opening, making loading and unloading easy and the extra visibility means no stray socks get left behind!

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GENTLE ON CLOTHES
This is where the UltraMix system comes in. It mixes your detergent with water so it is fully dissolved before it reaches your fabrics, resulting in less colour fading and no detergent residue, even in cold water.
The wool cycle has the Woolmark Blue certification so you can feel safe in the knowledge that your favourite hand wash only woollens can be washed safely, with no felting or shrinking.

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SQUEAKY CLEAN CLOTHES
This is where the Vapour function comes in, it refreshes your clothes with nothing but vapour, no detergent required, which means it’s not only gentle and reduces wrinkles, it also eradicates up to 99% of allergens and germs. That means our clothes don’t just look clean, they really are clean.

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ENERGY & WATER EFFICIENCY
Yes you do need the SensorWash technology. It minimises water & energy use and saves precious time, the smart sensors automatically detect the soil and detergent levels to adjust the washing times for optimal, energy efficient results that reduces unnecessary wear on fabrics. It helps keep your whites whiter and your blacks blacker.

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Troy ticked all the boxes for me, but there’s one more thing that made me take the plunge with him, he’s exceptionally good looking! The classic white with dark blue trim, I can’t think of any other washing machine that I’d rather have in my home.

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My laundry has always been a little ‘vanilla’. It’s never been a space that I’ve found any inspiration, or had any desire to decorate, until now. The blue and white colour of the machine tempted me to clean out the crap, hang some curtains and make it a place where I WANT to be rather than a place where I HAVE to be.
Who knew Troy would inspire a pretty laundry, look after our clothes, save us money and generally make my life easier …
WE LOVE YOU TROY!

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You can find your own boyfriend or girlfriend at Betta Home Living.
Also, for those of you who like to have the matching set, Elecrolux have a dryer (link to dryer here) with the same beautiful blue trim and I’m sure they look amazing side by side, or stacked vertically.

I got mine at Betta Home Living who were an absolute joy to deal with.
Shop online here or find your closest store here.

Happy shopping!

Hayley

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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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Christmas at the Little house.

Firstly, yes thats my surname – Little.
I’m not referring to my house as little, because even though it’s smaller than our last house, it’s still too big, I know … because I’m the one who has to clean it, urgh!

If you follow me on Instagram you will know that we are mid renovation and currently the entire upstairs of our house is out of bounds so we can paint everything, and I mean EVERYTHING and re-finish the timber floorboards. What this means logistically, is that every item we own is currently downstair or shoved in the upstairs bathrooms and balconies, you might have seen us camping out on our mattresses downstairs on the floor. Let me tell you, It is not an ideal living situation and I certainly wasn’t excited at the thought of Christmas decorating.

My tree is HUGE and takes at least an hour to put it up, and then it always looks like it’s on a lean no matter how much I try to make it straight. Next for the lights, I swear I wrap them up carefully each year but when I pull them out the next year they are in a pile of tangled mess, so I spend an hour untangling them (and swearing under my breath) to then spend another hour getting them on the tree. All that before I have even started decorating. I truly didn’t know if I had it in me this year, but I have 3 excited kids so I knew I had to make an effort …

Until Balsam Hill kindly offered to send me one of their amazing trees this year, and they said it would be pre-lit. Did you just say PRE-LIT? I couldn’t have said YES fast enough. It arrived in a couple of days, you might have seen the excitement from my youngest Orlando on my Instagram, he could barely contain himself!

We had the entire tree unpacked, assembled and the lights twinkling in less that half an hour. It was so easy and Orlando, who is only 6, was excited to help me fold out the branches with the included gloves, he was so impressed with himself. And I am so impressed with this tree, there was no wrangling lights either, the entire tree is pre-lit evenly and beautifully, all you need to do is plug it in.
FYI – My tree is the Monterey Pine 150cm, you can find it here.

Monterey Pine / BALSAM HILL
Monterey Pine / BALSAM HILL

At 150cm, our tree is on the smaller side this year. The advantage of having a smaller tree is that it is much easier to find a spot to put it, it takes less decorations and is faster to decorate. It still looks amazing and gives us all the Christmas feels while I get to keep my sanity.
I did consider putting up a second tree, it seems to be very on trend to have more than one tree these days, but I just can’t face my big tree. Maybe I can talk hubby into another Balsam Hill tree ….

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What do you think? Isn’t she pretty with all those twinkling lights?

Photo 27-11-17, 12 41 50 pm I didn’t buy any new decorations this year, I would have loved to do a pink theme but to be honest, I think anything would look beautiful with those twinkling lights! I attached a big red satin ribbon bow instead of a star or angel. I thought the pop of colour was a pretty touch and seriously, who doesn’t love a bow!

Photo 27-11-17, 12 42 23 pm I used this Regency Dupioni quilted tree skirt around the base. It’s pretty and classic, and will last me for many years. It’s also from Balsam Hill, you can find it here.

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I went with traditional red and green wrapping paper. I don’t often use red in my home decor, it feels like Christmas to me, so I probably go overboard with red at this time of the year.

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I even pulled my red Kitchenaid out of the cupboard!

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Santa’s Mailbox and Merry Christmas Cushion | Hamptons Home

It creeps into my living room too!

Another thing that I like to sprinkle around at Christmas time is twinkling lights. They are just so pretty and elevate everything to the next level of beauty.

Photo 27-11-17, 12 50 30 pm I created a fun centrepiece on my dining table with some pretty blue baubles, a big wooden tray and some of these gorgeous LED fairy light ornaments, also from Balsam Hill. I love the way they sparkle at night and give the table an inviting warm glow. You can find them here.

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They come with individual battery packs and are also on a timer which is great because you don’t have to remember to turn them off.

So, the Little house is ready for Christmas and I’m pretty happy with how easy and stress-free it was this year. I didn’t go overboard, I would love to add some garlands to my staircase and maybe a beautiful collection of snow globes to my sideboard, but they will have to wait until next year.

Have you started decorating for Christmas yet? Do you go all out? Or are you content with a pretty tree?
I’d love to see your Christmas decor! Please tag me on SM or e-mail me.
Who wants me to share my favourites?

Hayley x

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Get the custom look …

The story of my barstools continues, and this is the best part yet!
Remember I picked up 4 barstools for a song on Gumtree a few weeks ago? They were from the Henriksdal range at IKEA and even though they were a little bit shabby, the frame and seating was still in perfect condition.

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I bought some new covers from IKEA but they were plain white and not exactly the best idea when you have 3 kids and a a dog! They were dirty after just a few days. I decided to try a DIY and dyed the covers green, they didn’t turn out exactly as I had imagined and after a few days I was questioning why on earth I did it.

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You see, I’m a blue and white girl through and through and I really love pattern, I wanted the look of expensive custom made barstools with beautiful upholstery, but I didn’t want to spend a fortune. I also needed something that was easy to care for, last week alone Orly spilt maple syrup, milo, milk and some sort of orange sticky goo on the barstools.

That’s when I discovered Bemz.
Bemz makes customised covers for IKEA furniture as well as cushions, curtains and bedroom textiles. There are over 250+ fabrics to choose from and they are machine washable. You can create a whole collection of customised pieces in any room of your house for a fraction of what it would cost you through an interior decorator. Bemz gives you the opportunity to refresh and restyle your IKEA furniture without breaking the bank.

I popped on their website, chose the Henriksdal barstools and started scrolling through all the beautiful fabric choices. I must admit the blue and white gingham caught my eye immediately, but I wanted to be sure so I ordered a few free samples to check in my own space. They came quickly and I contemplated my selection for a few days before going with my original choice of the gingham, which you can find here.

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The covers arrived in a couple of weeks and I am absolutely thrilled. They are beautiful quality, they fit like a glove and they look amazing. Finally, I have the custom look I was craving, without the big price tag.

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What do you think? Don’t they look amazing, the colour is perfect and they bring so much personality to my kitchen.

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Do you have some IKEA furniture that is looking shabby and could do with a facelift? Or maybe you are looking for a particular colour sofa and IKEA have the right shape but wrong colour? Or if your on a really tight budget you can do what I did and hunt down the perfect pieces on your local online market place like Gumtree, make sure the frame and cushions are in good condition, the buy new covers.

I feel like this is a game changer in the world of home decorating, it’s gives us all an opportunity to customise our furniture, get the look we want and do it all with ease online.

 Pop over to Bemz for some inspiration and ideas, and see how easy it is to get the look you want!

Happy shopping!

Hayley x

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