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 – and it’s so easy to recreate with some draped fabric, a few gold or silver stars and lots of comfy cushions.


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


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.


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 that turns a simple corner of the living room into a self-styled sanctuary where you can escape and let go.


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 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.

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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Books for garden loafing

8 books to read before they hit the big screen

3rd June 2016

If like us, you’re fed up of your friends (especially Game of Thrones lovers!) always telling you how much better the book is than the movie or the TV show, then here’s your chance to get one up on them.With summer fast approaching, and sun loungers in gardens everywhere calling out our names, we’ve compiled a list of some great reads for summer 2016 – for adults, teens and kids – to get stuck into now, so by the time the film’s released, you’ve been there, done it and had time to get the T-shirt printed! Enjoy…

Books for kids and teens

Roald Dahl – The BFG


The Big Friendly Giant (or BFG to his pals) is one of Dahl’s most-loved children’s books. It’s the story of Sophie who lives in an orphanage run by the nasty Miss Clonkers. Sophie is befriended by the BFG who, unlike other giants, doesn’t eat children (bonus!), and the unlikely pair team up to keep England’s kids safe from all the other giants, with a little help from the Queen! Book suitable for: 7+ as the concept of being eaten could be a little scary for younger kids

Published by: Penguin Books

Film release date: 22 July 2016


JK Rowling – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic beasts

Book suitable for: 9+The Muggle guide to all the magical, fabulous and, ok then, fantastic creatures in the schoolbooks studied by Harry Potter and his pals at Hogwarts. A must-read for all HP fans, this is the perfect complement to the existing series of mystical adventures, and the ‘graffiti’ in the book’s margins from Hermione, Ron and Harry ‘The Chosen One’ Potter himself adds an unexpected fun twist.

Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing

Film release date: 18 November 2016


A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness

Monster calls

Award-winning author Patrick Ness is one of the best YA (young adult) authors, and you can see why when you delve into this moving book. Thirteen-year-old Conor has been plagued by the same dream every night since his mum fell ill… but this night, when he wakes from the nightmare, there’s something at his bedroom window, and this monster isn’t going to be satisfied with anything less than the truth.

Book suitable for: 12+

Published by: Walker Books

Film release date: 21 October 2016


Ransom Riggs – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Miss P

Jacob, 16, idolised his grandfather who used to tell him tales of invisible boys, super-strong girls and kids who can make fire in their hands. After his granddad is killed in front of him by, well, something not quite of this world, he goes with his dad to an out-of-the-way island where he discovers the ruins of what was Miss Peregrine’s Home, along with a stash of photos of some very peculiar children indeed. And Jacob starts to think that maybe his granddad was telling the truth all along.

Book suitable for: 14+

Published by: Quirk Books

Film release date: 30 September 2016


Books for grown-ups                         

Jojo Moyes – Me Before You

Me before you

If you’re looking for a book that you’ll read in one sitting, that will have you feeling warm and fuzzy one minute and sobbing the next, then the deeply poignant, bittersweet story of the unlikely relationship that develops between Lou Clarke and paralysed Will Traynor after she becomes his carer, hits every nail right on the head.

Published by: Penguin Books

Film release date: 3 June 2016


Paula Hawkins – The Girl on the Train

Girl on train

High-functioning alcoholic Rachel Watson gets the same train to work at the same time every day. To pass the time, she makes up stories about the people around her, and creates her ‘perfect couple’, who she names Jess and Jason. But all isn’t as perfect as it seems – ‘Jess’ or Megan, as she really is, is having an affair, and when she disappears, Rachel decides to help her husband find out what’s going on. But is she prepared for what she uncovers?

Published by: Penguin Books

Film release date: 7 October 2016


Dan Brown – Inferno


The fourth of Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon books (The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, The Lost Symbol), opens with our super-sleuth professor waking up in a hospital bed in Florence having lost his memory. When his life is threatened, he and his doctor Sienna set off on a literary-fuelled adventure around the city, following the clues and decoding the mystery with help from Dante’s masterpiece Inferno.

Published by: Transworld Publishers

Film release date: 14 October 2016

Ben Fountain – Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Billy Lynn

This book is a day in the life of 19-year-old war hero Billy Lynn who is about to return to Iraq. He and the other survivors from his Bravo Squad are on the last day of victory tour designed by the Bush administration to garner public support for the war. During the course of the day, Billy rubs shoulders with the rich and famous, and is lauded by his fellow Americans, but also has to face up to the truth about his life, his family and his honest feelings about his imminent return to the battle zone.

Published by: Canongate Books

Film release date: 11 November 2016


Let’s get outside

Looking for something to loaf on while you’re reading one of these brilliant summer books? Never fear, we’re here with a selection of loungers and recliners so comfy you’ll never want the day to end.

Looking for more inspiration?

Check out our newest Style Sourcebook, online now. It’s packed with style advice and ideas on the latest looks for your home, including a piece on How to Take the Inside Out, along with some top tips for evening entertaining in style.

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