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House Curious

Lifestyle and interior shop. Social workshops for the creatively curious.

Filtering by Tag: entertaining

Our top tips for creating a cosy guest room

Sommer Pyne

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Create a home away from home for your guests this festive season. 

It’s that time of the year when we turn hostess with the mostess and no doubt at some point you will be welcoming guests into your home. We’re sharing our top tips with you to create the most cosiest of guest rooms. Whether you need to completely overhaul a room or just add some finishing touches follow our tips and your guest won’t want to leave.

#1 - Lighting

Lighting in any room is so important for creating the right mood. To create a cosy atmosphere have your main lights on dimmers and turn them down or off. Use table and floor lamps at different heights. Each room should have about 3-4 different lighting sources. Use accent lighting to highlight certain areas or art. Add some festive fairy lights around the bed frame or add them to a glass jar. Another trick is to use fairy lights under the bed to create a warm glow. So magical!

#2 - Plants

Plants are a must in any room or bedroom. They breathe life and energy into a room and not only that they also purify the air. Hanging a bunch of Eucalyptus on a wall is a great decorative touch and also looks great once they dry out. Rubber plants, fiddle leaf figs and monstera plants are some of our favourites at House Curious. It's also a lovely idea to have a vase of flowers on a bedside table or go one step further and place a small plant next to the bed with your guests name on a tag as a thoughtful little gift.

#3 - Cosy Accessories

Layer up on tactile cosy accessories - blankets, throws and cushion are an easy way to update a room. Lambswool throw, velvet cushions and sheepskins are winter must-haves. Slippers by the bed is also a nice touch.

#4 - Statement Furniture

Bring in furniture that uses natural materials such as natural wood. Natural materials help ground a room and creates a sense of calm. When adding furniture think about how your guest might use it or how you want them to feel. They will need somewhere to store their clothes, a seating area with books creates a welcoming vibe. In our guest room I have a portable rail and I’ve added wooden furniture and wicker furniture that has been lovingly handmade.

#5 - Finishing Touches

Accessorise bedside tables with magazines, books, candles. A bottle of water with glasses by the bed is also a good idea, along with some painkillers for anyone that might be hungover. A calming pillow spray or rescue remedy night is also a nice touch.

MOON MIST
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PIMPED UP FETA CHEESE TWO WAYS

Sommer Pyne

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This recipes is super easy and a great summer addition to any table. You can either add it to a cheese board for a casual affair or it goes great with grilled meats and salads. I’m all about making my life easy and this is perfect because it has the wow factor with minimal effort. The beauty of this recipe is that you can pimp it several ways with your favourite herbs and spices. Here are a couple of examples but you could pimp it with Middle Eastern spices or go for something spicy, add nuts or fruit. Below are my two go to flavours:

Lemon thyme with red wine & bay leaves salt

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Ingredients

Good quality feta cheese

Fresh lemon thyme

Lemon and rind

Nicolas Vahé Red Wine and Bay Leaves Salt

Nicolas Vahè Rapeseed oil or good quality olive oil

Cracked pepper

Method:

Place your feta cheese on a serving plate sprinkle the salt down the middle of the cheese and sprinkle around the plate. Next, add the thyme by removing leaves from the stalk, chop finely and sprinkle over the cheese. Grate the lemon rind over the cheese and then squeeze half of the lemon juice. Drizzle the rapeseed oil over the cheese and the plate, adding a sprig of thyme as garnish. 

Basil, sun blushed tomatoes with olives

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Ingredients

Good quality feta cheese

Fresh Basil

Olives

Sun blushed tomatoes

Niclas Vahè Garlic Olive Oil

Cracked pepper

Lemon

Fresh chilli (Optional)

Method

Chop the fresh basil, olives and sun blushed tomatoes.  Arrange on top of the feta cheese and then drizzle the garlic olive oil. Squeeze the lemon juice over the top, add fresh chillies if you like a kick and cracked pepper.

And that’s it. Add some crusty bread, wine and you’re good to go. Sometimes the simplest things in life give you the most pleasure.

Enjoy, Sommer x

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HOW TO CREATE THE PRETTIEST GARDEN PARTY

Sommer Pyne

Styled by Sommer Pyne

Styled by Sommer Pyne

Summer is in full swing and it's perfect BBQ weather and a great excuse to throw a garden party. If you’ve been following me on the gram you’ll know that I turned 40 and I’m milking it for all it's worth. I’m not just having one big party I’m doing several small things across the year and on my actual birthday I hosted a garden party with a small group of friends. If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to throw a party with maximum gorgeousness, then here’s how you to it.

Styled by Sommer Pyne

Styled by Sommer Pyne

Think about a theme and then base your colour scheme, flowers and any other decorative ideas around this. It can be really loose so don’t over think it too much. It could be as simple as your favourite colours, Spring or festival vibes. I find having a theme helps give me a starting point to focus on. I’m Australian so I wanted to have a little nod to my roots but done in a very tasteful way. Nothing snooty just a beautiful laid back affair with lots of botanicals.

You’ll need the following...

1. Wooden pallets to form a low table. 

You can get really creative and stack them or just use a single layer like I’ve done here. They come in lots of different sizes, but the ones I used are 120cm x 100cm. The number of guests will dictate how many pallets you need but roughly speaking you can fit 4-5 people per pallet. You can buy pallets online if you google them or if you’re after free pallets head to your local Big Yellow Storage and I’m sure they will be happy to off load them to you. They usually have plenty lying around and they hold on to them for about a week and then they pay for them to be collected, so you’ll be doing them a favour.

2. Sheets, towels or blankets

Firstly lay 4-6 sheets down in a row (the number of sheets will depend on how large your table is) and make sure there is enough sheet sticking out on either side to sit on. I allowed about 70cm each side. This is your base and now you need to layer. Place either towels or picnic blankets around the edge on top of the sheet. I used these cool stripy towels from H&M, which were really good value and were perfect with my setting. I then added cushions so people could lounge on them. I used a variety of cushions from House Curious and some extra large ones from Sainsburys. 

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3. Botanicals and foliage

This was the most fun for me as I love flowers and I managed to find the most beautiful Australian botanicals that were perfect for my Australian theme. I had a mixture of eucalyptus, monstera, banksia and some other exotic flowers. I also bought lots of extra foliage and palm leaves. The best place to buy your flowers are from a wholesaler or flower market as it can get quite pricey or see what you can grab from your garden. I always go to The New Covent Garden Market when I'm doing an event but make sure you go super early to get the good stuff. 

I used palm leaves as my place mats, but you could also use banana leaves, or use a roll of craft paper instead. It’s all about the layering! I used two large glass vases from House Curious as my centre piece and filled them with my gorgeous Australian botanicals. I placed the large vases of botanicals in the middle of the table and then used branches to weave between the vases to complete the centre piece. 

4. Ice buckets filled with icy cold rose is a must.

Place ice buckets on the pallets so people can help themselves to the bubbles and rose. This gorgeous ice bucket above has just landed at House Curious and is the perfect accessory for summer parties.

5. Mix your plates

I used a mixture of plates from our Nordic Sand and Palm print range available here. No need to be matchy matchy, head to your local charity shop and get a selection of different plates. Gone are the days where everything has to match.

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6. Extra-large balloons with tassels

Extra large balloons are great for adding that extra wow factor and they are very Instagram worthy. If price isn’t an issue you can get some great balloons from BonBon Balloons who also deliver. Or if you’re a bit thrifty like me you can buy extra-large balloons on Amazon for a steal. I also found DIY tassels from here. If you’re the craft type you can make your own tassels from scratch, which I did for my daughter’s birthday one year. It’s time consuming so if you’re time poor don’t do it. Here’s a link to a YouTube video on how to make your own.

7.    The little extras

Weave tea lights in and around the foliage and dot lanterns, fairy lights and festoon lights around the garden to add a summer warm glow for when the festivities carry on into the night. 

8. Props and games

I used a large Fortnum and Mason picnic basket as a decorative piece, but I also filled it with some games, sunscreen and picnic blankets. I love a bit of tipsy badminton!

To see more of the festivities of the day head to my instagram highlights.

A BBQ is perfect for this kind of setting and again makes for a chilled affair. I was lucky enough to have Anna Barnett do my catering for my birthday bash. After all it was my 40th so I wanted to relax and enjoy chatting with my friends. We had seabasss, slow roast lamb, BBQ corn, scallops, delicious salads and the most incredible cheese board. Our guests were asked to fill their plates up and we all gathered around my makeshift table feasting and chatting in the sunshine. The icing on the cake was live music by Steve. If you want to create that extra special touch to an event then Steve is your man! We spent the afternoon grazing on our large cheese board and my lovely friend made expresso martinis for everyone. We partied on into the night and I was a very happy 40 year old. Now that’s how you put on a garden party! If you found this interesting or helpful in any way please comment below and share your garden party tips with me. Don't forget to tag me on instagram if you use any of these tips to throw your own party. 

Sommer x