Tuesday, 22 July 2014

We're moving on to pastures new......

After 5 wonderful years of trading, Homes & Dreams has now closed its virtual doors. I am very grateful to all of our customers and everyone who has supported us during this time.

This decision has followed a new change in direction for me, I am now concentrating on a new career  in a helping capacity with the end goal to become a qualified counsellor. Unfortunately through voluntary work and studying I now find myself unable to commit the time and attention that Homes & Dreams requires and so it is with a heavy heart that I have had to say goodbye.

Thank you once again for all of your support, we couldn't have done it without you!

Warmest Wishes


P.S. We will be selling the remainder of our stock at ridiculously low prices through ebay. Why not take a look at ebay.co.uk/usr/homesdreams

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Highlights From Gardeners' World 2012

Last week I visited Gardeners’ World Live at the NEC in Birmingham. This was my first visit to a garden show of this scale and so was unsure about what to expect.
The RHS Floral Marquee was packed full of ideas and inspiration. I have to say that I was really impressed by the scale of the stands put on by the various associations and nurseries.
Amazing Alliums
Just a small part of Birmingham City Councils award-winning display
Lilies in all their splendour
The show gardens outside were impressive and gave lots of design inspiration. The Water Wise Garden below shows how plants can adapt to dry conditions and how waste water can be collected and re-used, perfect if we are to face more hosepipe bans!
The Water Wise Garden by Brett Hardy

Coming Out To Play? by Adam Frost
The main highlight for me though was seeing my gardening hero Monty Don. The presenter of the BBC gardening programme Gardeners’ World and a self-taught gardener, gave a frank and insightful talk on the filming of Gardeners World which takes place in his own garden in Herefordshire. Having seen and heard him live I can only say that I admire him even more!
Monty Don
In all I had a great day out and spoke to some interesting people who are passionate about what they do and I left feeling inspired, ready to tackle my own garden - after I rested my aching feet!

If you feel inspired to get gardening Homes & Dreams sells a wonderful range of gardening accessories from Burgon & Ball, Sophie Conran, Hawes and Gardening Trading. You can find them at http://www.homesanddreams.co.uk/the-country-garden-8-c.asp 

Monday, 11 June 2012

The Great British Strawberry Season

Image: Garden Organic

It is that time of year again when British strawberries ripen and herald the start of Summer. June is the start of the British strawberry season, synonymous with Summer they are only in season for a brief time, from early June through to August.

By far the best strawberries to buy have to be from a local producer. A day out strawberry picking can be fun; supermarkets may sell the cotton wool impostors cheaply but the flavour is incomparable to home grown fruits.

Strawberries were originally called strewberries because when growing they appear to have been thrown about. After various name changes they ended up as strawberries after the straw that was used as a mulch to surround them when growing.

In medieval Great Britain newly weds enjoyed strawberries, borage and soured cream for their wedding breakfast believing them to be an aphrodisiac. The heart shaped fruit has long been a symbol of purity, passion, and healing. In the 18th century farmers would fill baskets with the berries and tie them to the horns of their cattle as an offering to elves who, it was believed, could help them produce a good supply of milk.

5 Facts About Strawberries

1. 5 strawberries provide more vitamin C than an entire orange 

2. 100 grams of strawberries contain approx 30 calories

3. Strawberries were cultivated by the Romans as early as 200 BC

4. Roughly 27,000 kilos of strawberries are eaten during the Wimbledon Championships

5. On average there are 200 tiny seeds on each berry

So pour the Pimms, get set for Wimbledon and enjoy the British strawberry season! 

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

What Is Your Dream Home?

Many of us dream of a home in the country, a rural escape where money is no object, where the practicalities of commutes and school league tables don't matter. How sweet life would be without the constant traffic and the need to earn a living!

Would your dream home be a Georgian rectory with an classic symmetrical facade? A roses around the door cottage topped with thatch?
 Or how about something grander, a manor house with oak paneling and secret passage ways. Or would it be a piece of working history, a converted barn or mill?

Given the choice I would opt for a mellow stone cottage topped with a slate roof, built into a hillside overlooking a lush green valley and surrounded by nature. How about you - what's your dream home?

images via Pinterest

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Displaying Vintage Treasures

If you're a collector of vintage treasures it can be challenging to find suitable ways of displaying your collections. Decorative objects often have more of an impact when grouped together and displayed en-mass rather than scattered around a room, here we take a look at some of the ways of doing just that.

  • Cabinets are a good way of housing collections that have their own curiosity value but don't necessarily blend with a rooms decor.Painting the cabinet or lining the back with wallpaper can incorporate a collection into a room.
  • Old black and white or sepia tinted photographs can be hard to display among lighter, fresher colour schemes. Try hanging them in a hall or passage way where they can be seen in passing rather than dominating a living room.
  • Vintage bottles look more impressive grouped together rather than used individually. Place them in wall mounted shadow boxes or line them up on shelves.
  • A collection of vintage books can be stacked as a platform for other decorative objects or give extra height to a table lamp.
  • Wall hung groupings are a great way to display some objects. Vintage tea towels or aprons make unusual wall art in the kitchen.

So, if you have a collection of vintage items group them together for the greatest visual impact. You will enjoy seeing your collection together and your friends and family will get great pleasure from seeing your beautiful vintage treasures too!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Country Colours

Whether or not you live in the country, you can enjoy a simpler way of life by decorating your home in a modern country style and one of the key elements of doing this is through use of colour.

Modern country colours are natural, muted and subtle - think of the shades that are found in nature sage, moss, slate, clay, duck egg and chalk.


Qualities - Cool, Clear, Fresh
Grey is a versatile neutral colour to decorate with in the home and comes in many shades from Dove to Slate. Teamed with pale blues it looks clean and fresh or alternatively with taupe it takes on a warmer, earthier look. Furniture and panelling painted in pale grey take on a elegant Scandinavian look.


Qualities - Organic, Restful, Natural
The colour of freshly emerging leaves or muted sage, decorating with green in any shade is like bringing the outdoors into your home. Green is restful and rejuvenating, use apple green for a fresh summery look or olive for a rustic, autumnal feel.


Qualities - Warm, Comforting, Relaxed
Calm and comforting, oatmeal is a perfect neutral base colour. Add white to keep it fresh and modern and plenty of texture to offset the muted effect. Honey tones and rich browns will add depth while tones of stone and slate will cool it down.


Qualities - Cool, Crisp, Clean
Cool blue creates a clean and crisp colour scheme, think blue and white stripes in a classic seaside beach house. Often seen as a cold colour add ivory or oatmeal for warmth or add pure white cotton and paintwork to keep the look fresh and modern.  

All pictures from Design Seeds

Monday, 16 April 2012

National Gardening Week

National Gardening Week - Home

From the 16th to the 22nd of April 2012 National Gardening Week has been launched by the RHS to get the nation growing.

"Thousands of people across the country are coming together and getting involved to enjoy, share and celebrate everything about gardens and gardening.

Communities and organisations are pulling out all the stops to host garden open days, garden parties, quizzes, plant swaps and a wealth of other activities to share advice or lend helping hands to friends, neighbours and the local community."

 You can find out more at www.nationalgardeningweek.org.uk and don't forget  - if you need any gardening tools and garden accessories we have a lovely range to get you started!

 Sophie Conran Gardening Trowel - £14.95

Happy Gardening!