Getting your Home Cozy for Winter with Direct Blinds

Whenever I thought of shutters in the past, what always came to mind was either rustic English cottages or the cobbled streets of small European towns lined with shuttered windows. If that’s what you thought too then read on, I’m about to change your mind.

When we bought and moved into our first house together back in March 2016, Topher and I were relieved to find that the previous owners had left blinds on all the windows in the house. One less job for us to deal with (and pay for) right away! Now that we’ve been in here almost two years however, the plain windows feel a little, well, plain! You definitely can’t describe them as cozy!

One way to get your house cozy is to invest in some window to floor curtains. Unfortunately for us that was never an option as our cats love to climb them! So what’s another way to make your windows help your home feel more cozy? Enter Direct Blinds and their wooden shutters.

Shutters -hampton_vivid_white_cafe

I never thought that shutters could look both contemporary and rustic at the same time but Direct Blinds have made it possible. The muted colours are ideal for fitting into any colour scheme, whether you’re a fan of all the colours or prefer a more neutral palette. They also come in both full height and cafe style if you want to let a little light in.

And they’re not just for winter – shutters are ideal for keeping the light out on those bright weekend mornings where you really don’t fancy being woken up at 5am. Or if you have kids and want them in bed at a decent time!

But back to winter (how cold is it by the way? I’m sitting in my dressing gown over my clothes as I write this!) – shutters allow you to forget that it’s dark outside at 4pm. And I’m all for that. If you find yourself getting a bit down about the lack of sunlight, creating a cozy haven in your home can be a great way to cheer yourself up.

A bit of cozy inspiration for you:

shutters inspiration


Top Row: 1, 2

Middle Row: 3, 4, 5

Bottom Row: 6, 7

Other ways to get your house cozy for winter:

  • Fairy lights (a bloggers best friend)
  • All of the throws and blankets
  • Light a fire if you have one
  • If you don’t have a fire, light some candles instead (and be safe!)
  • Bake something or make mulled wine on the stove – the heat and smells will make everything better.

Having a look at Direct Blinds‘ website has really changed my mind about shutters. How about you?

Post in collaboration with Direct Blinds. All words and opinions are my own.

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Upgrading The Aesthetic Of Your Home Benefits You More Than You Think


We all love our homes. But how often do we adapt them to suit our current tastes? We might find ourselves to be the type of person who often changes what we want and what we enjoy quite often, meaning that a large investment in a complete redecoration can seem financially unfeasible compared to how often you feel accustomed to changing it. Not only that, but the effort we must go to for a complete makeover can be a demotivating factor in itself.

Upgrading the aesthetic of your home benefits you more than you think however. This is worthy of examination, especially if you haven’t taken the plunge for some time. Not only does redecorating help you feel fresh and new in your home, but an updated space helps lend you fresh perspective on your living environment and as such your living tastes. We are connected with our environment more than we realise from day-to-day, so it’s important to treat it with the same respect we do our bodies. Not only can upgrading a room help you gain a new lease on life, but it may help you feel more motivated to upgrade the other variables in your living situation to more profoundly suit you.

Here are some tips to help you get started.


New Colours

You’d be surprised at how different a room can look with a new fresh paint, or new furniture set all themed around a select look. It may help the light play in the room in a much more attractive way, to such an extent that the room seems bigger. Even in the depths of winter where you hope to stay cosy and warm, light colours can help a room flourish. Not only this, but colours have proven to provoke emotions when we’re exposed to them, meaning spending plenty of time in a drab and dark environment can make you feel the same way. Consider a new lick of paint, it might just work the wonders you crave.


Start Small

No one ever said that redecorating a room should be undertaken all at once. The beauty of home decoration is that it can proceed at your own pace, the pace you are most comfortable with. Starting small such as purchasing a white gloss extending dining table, a new leather sofa, or a large mirror to help double the size of your room from a perspective standpoint can all be large and worthwhile additions that don’t break the bank to begin with. Implementing these new features can help you think along the lines of future improvement. You never know, one item may help click into place the aesthetic you were unsure about going for in the first instance. It’s always worth a try.


Sell Unnecessary Items

Everyone has plenty of junk around the house, and just like mental cobwebs, these can become stifling and oppressive. Never be afraid to throw out or sell old items to fund your new redecoration. Doing so can help you shed years of fatigue from your home and mind. See, not all decoration is simple home improvement. Cleaning yourself out this way can help you ‘reset,’ much like a spring clean does. You’ll also be growing a handy reserve of funding that gives you the opportunity to upgrade further.


With these tips, you’re sure to experience a resurgence in your home life and general energy.

This is a collaborative post.

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The Kitchen Nook Gallery Wall

So I was at odds today on what I should write about. I didn’t really think I had anything to say. But I remembered that I never showed you the beginnings of my gallery wall in the kitchen. It’s similar to the idea of the gallery wall I have on the landing but it’s more niche. I thought about waiting until we’ve painted to hang things but it’s going to be at least a year or two so we may as well enjoy the prints until then. This is just in the nook where we eat in the kitchen. Technically it’s a kitchen diner but I don’t think it’s big enough to call it that. So a nook it is.

Every print is going to be food related. Topher and I love a good pun and we’ve been collecting them for a year or two now. So far, all but two of them are from the A Beautiful Mess Happy Mail subscription I had last year. And I’ve actually got a few more though they’re proving more difficult to find frames for due to their odd shapes. The other two are from Paperchase.

A small tip for you by the way. Kids, always check the back of the picture frames when you purchase them from a pound shop. As it turned out, the three white ones (and also some that are on the landing) are not meant to be hung on the wall. They’re just for standing so there’s nowhere for them to hang on a nail – the back is completely flat. Oops.

That was easily fixed though. With the help of my trusty glue gun and some string, I made some DIY hangers so that there was something for a nail to catch onto. That and I removed the stands from the back so they would hang flat against the wall. Sorted.

So far we have the following:

Clockwise from left (the middle one is last):

  • I am a Unicorn (from Paperchase)
  • Let’s Taco ‘Bout It
  • You’re kind of a big dill
  • Complex Carbohydrates (literally a bunch of potatoes, bread etc saying stuff like What is my purpose? Why are we here? What is the meaning of life?) – from Paperchase
  • But first, coffee
  • Coffee cup surrounded by sayings like “I have a latte feelings” and “Words cannot espresso.
  • You are the pumpkin spice to my latte

They all make me smile every time I look at them.

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The Landing: The After Shot

The landing is finished! Well, at least the wallpaper striping and painting part is. As I mentioned last month, I was ready to decorate our landing after living with the wallpaper I hated since we moved in March. Take a look at what it looked like before. Not horrendous but definitely not my taste. So here it is with the finished white walls. Sorry the photo quality is bad – it’s the time of year where there’s terrible light!

The landing after 1

As you can see, the walls are super plain now but I plan on making a gallery wall up the stairs so that will improve over time. I’ve put up the prints we currently have ready but I’ll be adding photos and more prints to the mix. I kind of like the fact that it’s a work in progress. Yes I could have gone out and bought a bunch of frames and quickly picked out some pictures but I think that this way it will allow us to only put up stuff that we really love. That and we do not have the money lying around to do it all now!

The landing after 2

My vintage Some Like It Hot poster has been put back in it’s rightful place and though funnily enough it did look good with the old wallpaper, I love it so much more now. I can’t wait until the walls are filled but I’m looking forward to building our collection. We plan on putting more large pictures upstairs on the other walls but that requires actually going out and finding things we like so we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled.

The landing after 3

As for the actual process of stripping the wallpaper, all I can say is that it’s easy but it’s hard. I know it doesn’t make sense but it was easy in the way that painting is easy for me, but hard in the way that the ceiling was very high on the stairs. That was definitely the difficult bit. I did the majority myself (without a ladder) but Topher had to step in to get the bits right at the top.

The landing after 4

So I’m sure you’re thinking how did I do it without a ladder? I’m a ninja. And I duct-taped the scraper/paint brush etc to the end of a mop. Who needs fancy tools eh? Though I did get a bit scrape-happy and gouge a bit of the walls when I first started stripping at the top of the stairs. Oops! On the bright side, Polyfilla is so easy to use! New skills learned. And I also learned I’m not that great at sandpapering. Lucky we’re covering the wall in frames, right?

The landing after 5

So here’s the beginning of the gallery wall. Clockwise from the top left is; a postcard from London when we used to live there, a cat print from etsy, the home sweet home and hello print are both from A Beautiful Mess either from the messy box or the happy mail box, the tree print was a gift from Claire and Steve last Christmas and the Hobbit print was from the same etsy shop as the cat print. I’ve already got some other prints ready but I just need to find the right size frames for them because they’re a bit of an odd shape. I’ll probably replace the frames for the London and Hello print too because they’re not exactly the right size.

The landing after 6

Finally, this is our chalkboard (the chalk is currently on walkabout somewhere) which is currently being used to hold our keys. It’s next to the front door. We got it as part of a prize from our London Slimming World group when we won couple of the year back in 2013/2014. I don’t remember exactly which year.

Anyway, that’s the current state of the landing. I’ll do update posts in time when our gallery wall collection grows. Watch this space!

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My Week #24 – Wallpaper and Wedding Fairs

*They’ve started snuggling up together again! *More wedding dress shopping

*Stripping the wallpaper finally. *Victoria Baths

*Rainbow! *I got Slimmer of the Week at Slimming World

*New cook book *The Refuge, Manchester

It’s been a busy week in the house of Nomad. I started decorating the landing and hall in my house. Wallpaper is gone (woo hoo!) and the painting is in full swing. Though a tip for newbie wall-strippers – go easy with your scraping device. I slightly gouged into my wall in a couple of places so a quick trip to B&Q was needed for some Polyfilla! I’ve got just a week left before it needs to be ready for my party so I think it will all be good. I’ve just got a lot of painting ahead of me now.

At Slimming World I lost another 1 and a half pounds which somehow got me slimmer of the week. Yay. And I also got my Slimming World Christmas recipe book. I can’t wait to get cooking. I’m still feeling motivated and I really want to get as close to my target weight by Christmas as I can. Fingers crossed!

In other news, I went to Victoria Baths and visited a vintage wedding fair. I had to go by myself since everyone was busy and it was ok but a bit on the small side. I’m looking forward to going the National Wedding Show this weekend with Claire. We’ve got VIP tickets which include a hair and makeup trial. Ideal as I have no idea what to do with my hair. Something we learned from the last one is that you go home with a lot of stuff so we’re being prepared this time and both bringing small pully-suitcases. With me being the bride and there being three of us going, we struggled big time with all the bags and our big coats so with there only being two of us this time and both of us getting married, we need to be ready. Excited!

Speaking of excitement, even though it’s just under a year away, I’ve just booked flights for Topher and my honeymoon! The excitement is real. So happy and can’t wait. It’s been years and years since we went on holiday just the two of us so it’s going to be doubly special.

So it’s all good right now for me. How was your week?

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