Warm up your Living Room with Fun and Colourful Pillows

The winter isn’t just creeping in anymore, it’s here in full force and we’re already starting to feel the effects. With the nights getting longer and the days getting shorter we’re also spending more time indoors and thusly more time in the living room, where (as the name suggests) we do the lions shares of our actual ‘living’. Of course we’ll be stoking the fireplace and cranking the thermostat up a few notches but there are many more subtle (and less expensive) changes we could be making to our living rooms to make them not only ‘seem’ warmer but to ‘feel’ warmer too. Warm colours that reflect the softness and vibrancy of the Summer will really help your living room feel alive with warmth and whilst changing the wallpaper or buying new furniture might seem more than a little severe, a new set of colourful pillows could really help your living room ‘pop’. Read on for a little more elaboration.

Pillow Cases

A living room will generally reflect the personalities and lifestyles of a homes residents and the pillow cases should be no different. The great thing about your pillows is that changing their aesthetics is as easy as simply swapping out their cases. Pillow cases are a cheap and convenient way to make your living room reflect the changing seasons. During the summer you could have subtle blues and yellows to help reflect the laid back vibe of the season and at Winter you can help heat up the room by sticking to stronger reds, browns and golds, colours that give off an air of warmth and glamour. As well as the various colours available of course you will also be able to lend your cushions a completely fresh ‘vibe’ by the use of different patterns. The key is to choose pattern and colour combinations that match the theme and style of your room. You might also consider livening the designs up by implementing more unconventional patterns or possibly even photography. You should also consider how many pillows you actually need as it can be a little too easy to get carried away and end up with 5 pillows to every seat. Size is also a factor to consider. Especially if your furniture is rather ‘past it’ you could use larger pillows as ‘seat cushions’ and smaller pillows as back support. Try not to go overboard though or you run the risk of seeming messy.

Throw rugs

An elegant alternative to changing pillow covers, throw rugs can be used to completely transform your furniture in seconds. Used in tandem, a throw rug and collection of different pillow cases will make your living room almost completely customisable and it doesn’t need to stop at the living room either. You can take the general style of your living room and use it in other rooms to give you home a ‘cohesive’ feel. The bedroom especially (the natural home of the pillow you might say) can really be brought to life by a series of colourful pillows with designs that echo the living room whilst also having their own ‘slant’.

Crispin Jones loves DIY and home improvement and is currently the blogger for Vibrant Doors. To see more of Crispin’s articles and blog posts please visit their blog.

Budsies Review and Giveaway – Turning Artwork into Stuffed Animals

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Today I am sharing with you Budsies.com, a wonderful way to turn your child’s artwork into a forever stuffed animal. I was able to do two stuffed animals based on each of my youngest children’s artwork. I have to tell you, Budsies did an amazing job at getting my son’s artwork matched up to their drawing. The only complaint I would have, and advice for those who order, is that you note if this is for a boy or girl. I have two boys who do not like “girl colors” and sadly there is a lot of girl colors to their Budsies. This is just something to make note of when you order, the quality and match-up to the artwork was not lost at all, they do an amazing job!

 Budsies Gift

You can see in the image above how my son, Aj’s artwork was matched perfectly! I love how they included the lines that he drew in his king robot artwork. The antennas were included and the crown that Aj had on top of his robot. The stuffed animal matches up to the artwork like you wouldn’t believe. I am simply close to speechless about this.

Budsies Artwork

Next up you have K-man’s artwork turned into a stuffed animal. Again you can see how well Budsies.com matched up my son’s artwork into the stuffed animal. The stuffed animal has two heads and the colors match up. I can see why purple was done here, as that is really what the artwork showcased, again I should have made a note to change the coloration on his artwork. It’s funny how the boys can color with girl colors but when it comes to stuffed animals or toys, they cannot fathom having a girl color.

My Thoughts on Budsies.com

Overall I have no complaints, Budsies.com takes about one month to ship so that is something to make note of. I was let known of that fact ahead of time. They have excellent customer service and their website is very easy to navigate. I did have issues with navigation at first for their payment screen and within 24 hours it was fixed so I could order. That was an awesome plus for Budsies.com

Next up, I think the softness and quality of the stuffed animal is perfect. I don’t feel this is a “chinsy” stuffed animal that is going to fall apart. It seems to be a well made product.

The only other note is to make sure to specify any color alterations you have to the actual artwork, those who work at Budsies.com rely on what you type in the comments section while ordering to truly match up your child’s artwork into a forever stuffed animal. It’s up to you to ensure you are describing it properly in the ordering comment section.

Where to Order Budsies?

You can order Budsies directly on Budsies.com. It’s a quick and easy process! Each Budsies cost about $59.00 and to me that’s priceless when you see your child’s face light up as they realize their artwork has just become “real”.

Enter for Chance to win One Budsies


Below is your chance to enter to win one code for one Budsies

One person will be randomly selected as a winner  of one Budsies.com Code from the entries using the Rafflecopter form below.

Giveaway Starts today and ends 12am EST on November 13, 2013. Open to USA only. Winner will be announced live on site and emailed directly. Winner shall have 24 hours from announcement post and email to claim prize otherwise another random winner shall be chosen using the random generator through Rafflecopter. ** one entry per person, while you can tweet once per day, all other entries are ONE TIME per PERSON. 

Using the Rafflecopter form below is easy; use name/email to log in or Facebook for login. Rafflecopter will not use your email or access for anything other than giving me a way to contact you should you be the randomly chosen winner! Winner will have 48 hours to claim prize or another person will be randomly selected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be Inspired by the Antiquity of Morocco

Exploring the rich cultures of other countries can create the perfect themes for the home and transform your rooms into luxurious spaces full of features that are the epitome of elegance and style across the globe. The home is the perfect place to allow us to experiment and recreate favoured designs and trends, an environment that is consistent with comfort, warmth, relaxation and true beauty, a place that caters for our every need and fulfils every desire.

The idea of having antique and eclectic items throughout the home creates a feeling of traditional and classic beauty, that combined with the warming, exotic tones of Morocco culminates in a home that is not only an example of true style but a space that is enjoyed, utilised and offers the perfect form of escapism.

Antiquity of Morocco

To truly embrace the antiquity style of Morocco, every element needs to be considered from the preferred colour tones to the accessories and the furniture that will perfectly adhere to the styles that are being incorporated. Furnishing Homes is no simple task as we attempt to find the most exotic pieces that not only fulfil the needs of design but also are perfectly functional and offer all the things we look for in furniture pieces such as comfort and practicality.

Combining Culture and Comfort…

To be truly inspired by the cultures that Morocco brings incorporate some of the finest elements within your home to transform it into a foreign delight.

Warming tones are the key to the success of this theme, having terracotta’s, deep blues, pastels, warm gold’s and reds will create a true feeling of warmth and will transport you into a world of warm sun, beautiful blue skies and the fine delights of the North African country.


The theme is all about creating an idea of comfort, luxury, refuge and hospitality with an added hint of luxury with lavish accessories and furniture. The vibrant warming colours are designed to correlate perfectly with the architecture and intricate designs that are found throughout the home.

There are some key additions that perfectly incorporate this theme into the home and allow the look to be fully embraced and continued throughout the home, every room needs to be transformed into a foreign delight and allow for the theme to be fluid and consistent in every space possible. Moroccan antiquity is versatile enough to allow for each room to maintain its purpose and fulfil its intended use without affecting the trend that needs to follow throughout the home.

Moroccan Made…


  • Geometric wall hangings in the specific colour tones add an idea of luxury and elegance and are perfectly representative of the theme
  • Rugs are a common feature in any Moroccan home and they should not be overlooked in yours
  • Lanterns are essential to secure the theme within your home, the small touches can unite the style of a room as a whole
  • Antique mirrors create a feeling of openness, light and the antique approach adds to the overall theme

Collection of mirrors, Marrakech, Morocco

  • Rusted iron, brass and pottery are the materials most commonly thought of when considering the style of another land
  • Screens can separate open plan spaces or be a stunning focal point within any room

10 Ways to Maximise Your Living Space

maximize living space

Finding ways to maximise your living space is important, because it’s inevitable that you’ll collect many odds and ends throughout your life. Instead of investing in costly storage units or having to toss out cherished items periodically, here are ten ways you can maximise your living space.

  1. Purchase Products That Serve Multiple Purposes

Storage ottomans and side tables with extra storage are excellent if you want to maximise your living space. Simply store away a few titbits in these items that do more than just look good in your living room.

  1. Use Light Colours

Having dark rooms often downplays the amount of space you have available. After all, it’s said that black is sliming, so use lighter colours to open up a room.

  1. Install Mirrors

Although it may simply be a parlour trick, using mirrors in various rooms can give the impression of extra space. Having many mirrors in a room will give off the illusion of a far bigger interior.

  1. Arrange Your Furniture

Pushing all of your furniture to one side of a room can make it look very cluttered. When arranging furniture in a room, try spacing everything out and avoid the tendency to put that big couch flat against the back wall.

  1. Collapsible Furniture

Look into purchasing furniture pieces that can be folded up and downsized, such as sofa beds or drop leafs in dining room tables.

  1. Avoid Pattern

Having walls that are multi-coloured or walls that are papered with patterns can visually shrink the size of a room. Opt for monochromatic colours or colours that are paired with accent walls.

  1. Go High

Adding décor or bright colours to a ceiling will draw visitors’ eyes upward, creating the illusion of height. This will make rooms seen taller than they are and it will add an extra dimension to people’s appraisal of your living space.

  1. Utilise Your Windows

Open windows can create forced perspective, making your rooms look larger in comparison to your exterior. Also, don’t forget to utilise your window sill space with those odd trinkets that don’t really seem to have a place of their own.

  1. Reduce Clutter

Instead of having nine or ten pieces of small furniture that clutter a room, try to utilise two or three larger pieces that will open the space.

  1. Clean Up!

Sometimes the most effective solutions are the easiest to implement. If you feel that your space is cluttered, put away that ironing board and all of those toys on the floor.

Maximising your living space is easy, all you have to do is follow these ten simple tips. For more information, visit Anglia Home Furnishings.

Easily Brighten Up A Dark Room


The most obvious answer to brighten up a dark room is to repaint in a brighter colour. The best idea is to paint it white if it’s especially dark, since painting all the walls in a strong colour might be a little too much. White bounces and redirects the light around the room, often making it feel larger and more spacious. It’s definitely the first step to take if your walls are painted in a dark colour. If you’re unable to paint the walls then the other suggestions should provide alternatives to help in brightening up your room.

Light Sources

If you’re only relying on natural light via small windows or in a room that doesn’t receive much light then your best bet is to add extra lights inside. You could do this either via feature lights against the darkest walls, or aimed at furniture in the room. Otherwise a centre piece light mounted on the ceiling could be a great way of bouncing light in all of the corners. If there’s a fair amount of natural light already then you’ll want to make sure these lights aren’t overpowering, just enough to compliment the natural light.

Bright Drapes/Curtains

If you’re unable to repaint, a great way to brighten the room is by adding light coloured drapes at the windows. There’s no need to go overboard in costs with these, something simple or even home made out of fabric will work wonders.

Area Rugs

It’s fairly easy to overlook the floor when it comes to decorating your home, after all… how many people actively notice the floor oppose to your furniture or walls? You’d be surprised how much even a small rug changes a room. You don’t have to focus on outlandish colours to brighten the room, just choose hues that’ll compliment other colours around it. The only exception to this is if you have a particularly stunning rug that would work well as a centre piece since it’ll draw attention away from other areas of the room.


As well as being a common thing among most homes, mirrors are great in rooms where they’re not necessarily needed too. They’re often used as a decorative element to the room but they can also reflect light into areas that need it, as well as making the room appear more spacious.

Lighter Furniture

When picking furniture, choose lighter coloured woods instead of darker ones. Darker woods can make the room feel heavier, but you can always brighten these up with lighter coloured cushions and accents on the furniture. Though if you really want to brighten a room, instead of a dark wooden chair you could opt for something more modern like a tub chair or wing chair. These chairs come in a variety of different styles and fabrics so you’re bound to find something to fit your tastes and colour themes.

Plants/flowers, plastic/fake/silk flowers as a compromise to looking after them.

If you’re into plants and flowers then it’s an easy decision to use them to brighten a room. While bolder coloured flowers will obviously create a dramatic effect, any plants or flowers will transform the room effectively. Plants have the ability to make a dark cold room feel cheerier and more inviting. If you’re unable to maintain and look after plants then you could always opt for the silk/plastic versions to still reap the benefits of adding greenery to your room.

Ed Sloane is the MD of Home Life Direct and TubChairs.com, online furniture retailer based in the UK. Please visit www.tubchairs.com for further information.

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