Magical nooks in the house

Magical nooks in the house

2nd August 2016

With the newest Harry Potter book (well, script) hitting the stores this week, we thought we’d sprinkle a bit of our style sorcery around and show you how to create some magical nooks in your home and garden.

It’s been a long time coming (nine years, to be exact) but Harry Potter mania is once again descending. That’s right, on 31 July, at the stroke of midnight (the witching hour, or what?), the ‘Special Rehearsal Edition’ of JK Rowling’s new play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two, will be released, a day after the play premieres at the Palace Theatre in London.

It’s already the most preordered book of the year, with Harry’s myriad fans desperate to find out how the Hogwarts’ hero has fared with a job at the Ministry of Magic, marriage to Ginny Weasley and three kids to boot… and no, we’re not going to tell you what happens (because we haven’t read it yet either!).

JK Rowling’s new play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two

Make some magic of your own!

But once you’ve got the new Harry Potter book in your hands, where are you going to settle down to read it, we hear you ask? It’s not as if you can just wave a wand and conjure up a perfect little magical nook, is it? Well, yes, actually – because we’ve cast a style spell and come up with some top tips on how to create a magical space in your home or garden. Altogether now… abracadabra, alakazam!

Fairytale reading nook for kids
The dictionary definition of nook is ‘a small space or corner that is inside something’, which is great because it means you can have one absolutely anywhere you like. If you’ve got kids who like to read – or be read to – why not create one in their bedroom so they’ve got somewhere magical to curl up with good book.

Pink perfection
We love this ethereal, floaty, indoor-tent idea on lifestyle site stylemepretty.com – and it’s so easy to recreate with some draped fabric, a few gold or silver stars and lots of comfy cushions.

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Nice n stripy
For boys, we were wowed by the clever use of an alcove we found on nelliebellie.com… that’s what we call making the most of a small space!

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Cuddle up
And it’s all very well for the kids to have somewhere comfy to read, but what about mums and dads when it’s story time? Worry not, as DFS has a huge selection of  comfy cuddler chairs and sofas to choose from, just like this sherbet-coloured beauty.

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The enchanted forest… indoors

No, we’re not talking elves and tree sprites! But we are talking about getting creative with natural, forest-inspired materials, such as wood, leather and wool – it’s a fast-track way to create some earth magic in your living room. We were felled (sorry!) by this idea from Dutch inspiration site zelfmaakideetjes.nl that turns a simple corner of the living room into a self-styled sanctuary where you can escape and let go.

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A mystical garden glade

Magical nooks don’t have to just be inside… you can create a beautiful secluded space in your garden that really comes into its own once the sun goes down, like this charming one we discovered on wedding planning site itakeyou.co.uk. The simple garden furniture (DFS has a superb selection to suit all gardens and budgets) is transformed into something extra special by all the twinkly lights, candles and lanterns – we can’t think of anywhere we’d rather be on a hot summer night.

summer-wedding-ideas
Looking for more inspiration?

Check out our newest Style Sourcebook ezine, online now. It’s packed with style advice and ideas on the latest looks for your home

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6 boredom busters your kids will love

6 boredom busters your kids will love

11th July 2016

Six fab, fun and fairly cheap ways to make sure your kids don’t utter the dreaded B-word this summer!

The school summer holidays are almost upon us - if not already here for some. And with six weeks of sunny fun, frolics, friendship ahead of us… and endless cries of ‘I’m bored! ’little words that strike fear into the heart of any parent!

But not this summer, oh no, because we’ve channelled our inner child and found six boredom-busting activities that kids of all ages will love… and the best bit is, they won’t cost you the earth!

1. Bring out the ‘boredom jar’

They’ll need A jam jar, some paper and some scissors

Cost Pennies

Bored no more

The ultimate boredom buster from muminthemadhouse.com

You know what they say, ‘Fail to prepare and you’ll be preparing to fail’, so this summer get a headstart on the little critters with a ‘boredom jar’ stuffed full of ideas that they can pick at random. Jen Walshaw, über-blogger at muminthemadhouse.com has a great template you can download with loads of activities ranging from Make a volcano and Write a poem to Tidy your room (seriously!). Even better, get the kids to cut them out and it’s a win-win!

2. Working at the carwash

They’ll need A bucket, some warm water and some detergent

Cost Pennies

The perfect kids’ activity for a sunny day

Win-win! Clean car and happy kids

Kids love playing around with suds and water, so why not let them? Your car is bound to be a bit grubby after months of school runs and play dates, so give them free rein to valet it inside and then let them loose with a sponge and some warm water on the outside. If you’re not comfy letting them near your pride and joy, they can always wash their bikes instead!

3. Sundae girl (or boy)

You’ll need Ice cream and as many toppings as you fancy

Cost From 50p upwards

The DIY ice-cream sundae bar from hellolittlehome.com

Top toppings for your ice-cream sundae

Set up a homemade ice-cream sundae bar, like this yummy one we found at hellolittlehome.com. Just pick a selection of their favourite sweets and sauces, then unleash them to create the treat to end all treats.

4. We’re going on a treasure hunt

You’ll need Paper to make the maps and clues, and a few treats to find along the way

Cost A few quid (depending on how generous you are with the ‘treasure’!

A treasure hunt is a sure-fire summer holiday boredom buster

X marks the spot in a DIY treasure hunt

The great thing about a treasure hunt is that you can tailor it to the ages of your kids. Little ones will love dressing up as pirates (who doesn’t!) and searching in the house or garden for more clues, while older kids can have their scavenger fun in the local park (under supervision, of course). Activity website handsonaswegrow.com has plenty of ideas for theming your hunt.

5. Bubble snakes (not on a plane!)

You’ll need A water bottle, an elastic band, an old sock, washing-up liquid and some food colouring

Cost About £1

Rainbow bubble snakes

 

Ok, so this is a bit messy but it’s the perfect activity for a hot summer’s day in the garden. Basically, you stick a sock over the cut end of an old water bottle, dip it in soap suds and blow (little ones will need watching in case they suck instead of blow!). For full instructions, check out housingaforest.com.

6. Got lemons? Make lemonade

You’ll need lemons, caster sugar, ice and water

Cost About £2

A tasty craft activity to beat summer holiday boredom

Lemonade – made from real lemons!

To make a pitcher of the zingy stuff, you’ll need about 400ml freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 10-12 lemons) and 75g caster sugar. Dissolve the sugar in the lemon juice along with about 200ml of water, then chuck in a load of ice and top up with more cold water. Taste and add more sugar if necessary.

Looking for more fun things to do with the kids during the summer holidays? Then check out our recent blog – DFS Dens – and get them building their own hideaway… using a DFS sofa, of course!

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